Turning The Ballot Box Against Republicans

Region Philbis
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2021 06:29 am

GOP donor gave $2.5 million for voter fraud investigation.
Now he wants his money back.


Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2021 11:31 am
Trump finally built his fence; in Washington DC around the Capitol, not on the Mexican border!

0 Replies
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2021 05:56 pm
Mike Pence Declines Invite to CPAC Event Where Donald Trump Will Speak

Former vice president Mike Pence reportedly declined an invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where former president Donald Trump will be making his first major public appearance since leaving the White House.

The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida from February 25 to February 28. Trump will make a speech in the afternoon on the final day of the conference, according to a schedule posted on CPAC's website.

Several former Trump administration officials will also speak at the event, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Other staunch allies of the former president who will be guest speakers include Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

However, Pence is notably absent from the speaker line-up.

According to a tweet from Politico reporter Gabby Orr, Pence declined an invitation to speak at the event.

A spokesperson for Pence has been contacted for comment.

The relationship between Trump and Pence fractured in the waning days of Trump's presidency.

He left office shortly after being impeached on a charge of inciting the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers had gathered to affirm Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election.

Trump had urged Pence to block it—something Pence did not have the power to do—and the former president became a target of angry Trump supporters.

Trump is expected to use his CPAC speech to talk about the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement, a source told Reuters.

"He'll be talking about the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement," the source said. "Also look for the 45th president to take on President [Joe] Biden's disastrous amnesty and border policies."

0 Replies
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2021 05:58 pm
Republican Arkansas governor says he would not support Trump 2024 bid
BY JOHN BOWDEN - 02/21/21 01:22 PM EST 837

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said Sunday that he would not support former President Trump if he ran for the White House again in 2024, pointing to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," the Republican governor was asked by host Dana Bash if he would vote for Trump should the former president run in 2024.

“No, I wouldn't. It's time," Hutchinson responded.

"He's going to have a voice ... as former presidents do. But there's many voices in the party," the governor added. "He should not define our future. We have got to define it for ourself."

Hutchinson's statement is one of the strongest from a GOP governor breaking with the former president since the riot.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has also voiced his desire for the Republican Party to move on from Trump.

Aside from notable exceptions such as Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), many Republican lawmakers refused to lay the blame on Trump and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results for the violence that unfolded last month.

Ten House Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump over his role in the riot. Seven Republicans voted to convict Trump in his trial in the Senate, where the former president was ultimately acquitted.

Hutchinson was one of the few prominent GOP officials to acknowledge President Biden's victory in the days immediately following Trump's election defeat in November, telling NBC's "Meet the Press" at the time that he expected Trump "will have a voice for a long time in the party."


Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2021 09:10 am
The Supreme Court won't stop a grand jury from getting Trump's tax returns - a heavy defeat in Trump's prolonged legal battle to keep his tax records out of the hands of investigators.
The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2021 10:52 am
@Walter Hinteler,
The voting machine company Dominion has been fighting these allegations for several weeks with billion-dollar lawsuits.

Dominion is suing Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani and lawyer Sidney Powell, among others.

Now, according to several US media reports, the wave of lawsuits continues - against entrepreneur Mike Lindell. The company "My Pillow" has conducted a "defamatory marketing campaign against Dominion that has reached millions of people", according to the "Wall Street Journal" from the company's lawyers.

Wall Street Journal: Dominion Sues MyPillow, CEO Mike Lindell Over Election Claims
0 Replies
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2021 11:15 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Now the republicans can add embezzlement to the list of Trump's crimes they have ignored...

When greedy fat cats like Trump embezzle money from the IRS and banks guess who pays?

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release Of Trump Tax Returns

One would think that 4 years of paying for Trump to play golf would be enough.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2021 11:24 am
@Region Philbis,
GOP donor gave $2.5 million for voter fraud investigation.
Now he wants his money back.

Good luck with that. Probably already gone into various crooked bank accounts.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2021 12:19 pm
$900,000 Trump Inauguration Donor Gets 12 Years For Illegal Contributions, Tax Evasion

Perhaps this is the election fraud Trump was referring to?
0 Replies
Region Philbis
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 03:24 am

Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 09:36 am
@Region Philbis,
Evangelical leaders "recognise and condemn the role Christian Nationalism played in the violent, racist, anti-American insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6".

Open letter: Evangelical Leaders Statement Condemning Christian Nationalism's role in the Insurrection January 6

They call on all church people to clarify that Christianity is incompatible with “calls to violence, support of white Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories, and all religious and racial prejudice”.

The letter, first reported by NPR, notes that the evangelical community in the US has long been susceptible to the “heresy” of Christian nationalism – the belief that the country is fundamentally Christian and run by and for white conservative Americans. The signatories blame that tendency on church leaders accommodating white supremacy over many years.

As a result the ideology of Christian nationalism was allowed to flourish and helped to legitimize the 6 January attack by giving participants the false impression that their actions were “blessed by God”, the religious leaders said.

The presence of Christian nationalists was evident during the insurrection. Rioters carried signs proclaiming “Jesus Saves” and “In God We Trust”, and crosses were erected among the crowd.

A video of the unfolding catastrophe filmed by the New Yorker magazine showed one of the seditionists saying a prayer from the rostrum of the US Senate. He said: “Thank you heavenly father for gracing us with this opportunity to stand up for our God-given unalienable rights … and to send a message to all the tyrants, the communists, and the globalists that this is our nation, not theirs.”

Among the influential figures who signed the letter were Jerushah Duford, granddaughter of the TV evangelical preacher, the late Billy Graham. She told NPR that the events of 6 January had long been brewing. “It felt like this was a symptom of what has been happening for a long time,” she said.

White evangelical Christians remained remarkably loyal to former president Donald Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections. They voted for him on both occasions by about 80%, exit polls showed.

A survey by the American Enterprise Institute earlier this month found that 60% of white evangelicals continue to believe Trump’s “big lie” that last November’s election was stolen from him and that he should have been returned to the White House.
The Guardian
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2021 11:18 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Evangelical leaders "recognise and condemn the role Christian Nationalism played in the violent, racist, anti-American insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6".

Open letter:

Quit astounding!
0 Replies
Region Philbis
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2021 07:57 pm

0 Replies
NSFW (view)
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2021 12:28 am
A golden Trump statue pops up at the CPAC summit.

The Sin of the Golden Calf.
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2021 02:03 pm
In Statehouses, Stolen-Election Myth Fuels a G.O.P. Drive to Rewrite Rules

The national Republican Party joined the movement this past week by setting up a Committee on Election Integrity to scrutinize state election laws, echoing similar moves by Republicans in a number of state legislatures.

Republicans have long thought — sometimes quietly, occasionally out loud — that large turnouts, particularly in urban areas, favor Democrats, and that Republicans benefit when fewer people vote. But politicians and scholars alike say that this moment feels like a dangerous plunge into uncharted waters.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2021 07:41 am
Why Republicans Are Moving To Fix Elections That Weren't Broken
February 28, 20216:00 AM ET



Republican-led legislatures in dozens of states are moving to change election laws in ways that could make it harder to vote.

Many proposals explicitly respond to the 2020 election: Lawmakers cite public concerns about election security — concerns generated by disinformation that former President Donald Trump spread while trying to overturn the election.

The Brennan Center, a nonprofit that tracks voting laws, says that 43 states — including key swing states — are considering 253 bills that would raise barriers to voting, for example by reducing early voting days or limiting access to voting by mail. Lawmakers in a different set of 43 states have also proposed expanding voter access, but Republicans have made a priority of new security requirements and shorter voting periods.

In Georgia, which President Biden won by nearly 12,000 votes, legislators are considering multiple bills to restrict voting. The most significant, House Bill 531, is before a committee chaired by Republican Rep. Barry Fleming. He said Democrat Stacey Abrams campaigned to expand voter access after losing a governor's race in 2018, and now Republicans want their own changes. The bill is "an attempt to restore the confidence of our public," he said, because "there has been controversy regarding our election system."

That controversy had no basis in fact. Audits and recounts confirmed the accuracy of the vote count in Georgia, and lawsuits there and in other states by the Trump campaign and allies failed to show otherwise. But Trump sought to discredit the vote, and even asked Georgia's secretary of state to change the vote totals. Now Georgia lawmakers are moving to repair a system that was not shown to be broken.

The latest amended version of HB 531 instructs Georgia counties to hold no more than 17 days of early voting. Populous counties held more days than that in 2020.

Georgia District Attorney Is Investigating Trump's Call To Overturn Election
Republicans say they want to make voting rules "uniform" across the state's 159 counties.

"There are some counties that have as many voters as maybe a small neighborhood and Atlanta," reports Stephen Fowler, who covers elections for Georgia Public Broadcasting. "And this would treat all of them the same, which would tend to make it harder for the bigger, more urban, more Democratic metro counties to account for everyone and get them through the early voting process — especially if vote by mail is restricted by some other measures in the legislature."

The bill also puts new limits on weekend early voting, which would complicate efforts to allow voting on a Sunday just before the election. "Sunday voting," says Fowler, "is when Black churches in Georgia typically host a 'Souls to the Polls' event and where we statistically see the highest Black turnout during early voting."

Another bill, SB 67, would strengthen ID requirements to request an absentee ballot. The sponsor, state Sen. Larry Walker, argues that 97 percent of voters have the necessary identification; he told NPR it's a basic reform as mail voting expands. But Democratic Sen. David Lucas said some voters would be disenfranchised, and in a tearful speech on the Senate floor he told his Republican colleagues: "Every one of these election bills is [because] the election didn't turn out the way you wanted, and you want to perpetuate the lie that Trump told."

A promised follow-up to 2020

Even as Trump was attempting to overturn the election last year, his allies said they would use his false claims to shape future elections. "Mail-in balloting is a nightmare for us," Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News on Nov. 8, referring to a form of voting that had been used securely with little controversy for years, but was used more often by Democrats in 2020. Graham said that without changes, "we're never going to win again presidentially."

Appearing again on Fox News on Nov. 9, Graham said Senate Republicans would conduct "oversight" of mail-in balloting, because "if we don't do something about voting by mail, we're going to lose the ability to elect a Republican in this country."

Republicans lost control of the Senate in January, curtailing Graham's ability to follow up. But the party remains in control of most state legislatures, which make most election laws.

Myrna Pérez of the Brennan Center describes "a very discernible and disturbing pattern" to reduce mail-in balloting — for example, by adding requirements to request a ballot or changing the rules for drop boxes. She described the bills as "attacks on methods of participation that had been used by older, white voters for a very, very long time."

Mail-in balloting is only questioned now, Pérez said, because non-white voters have taken advantage of it. "There was very little attempt to hide the racialized nature" of the attacks on mail balloting in 2020, she said, noting that Trump allies constantly claimed corruption in big diverse cities such as Philadelphia, Atlanta and Detroit.

A divide among Republicans

Georgia Republican Rep. Buddy Carter is among those who questioned the 2020 election results. He supported a lawsuit to overturn the results in six states. The Supreme Court dismissed the suit, but not before Carter recorded a fundraising video promoting it, urging supporters to "chip in to assure that we get fair and free elections."

Today, Carter acknowledges reality, telling NPR: "President Biden was the victor in the state of Georgia," and "I don't believe that there was voter fraud." Yet he still voices concern about how Georgia applied its election laws.

"Absentee voting needs to be cleaned up. It needs to be tightened up," he said. "What other state is there, aside from Georgia, where if you vote in person you have to have a photo ID, but if you vote absentee, all you have to have is a matching signature? That's not right."

Rep. Carter's claim is not entirely true. Of the six states that strictly require a photo ID to cast a vote in person, only two — Wisconsin and Kansas — mandate a photo ID for absentee ballots. Tennessee and Indiana will let you submit other documents, such as a copy of a utility bill, to establish residency. Mississippi requires a witness, such as a notary public.

Georgia Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs, a Republican, concedes that many voters distrust the system. "I have a Facebook feed of individuals who don't trust the voting machines," she said. But she said it is only because many believed Trump's lies.

"We need to move into a narrative where you're not attacking election administrators for your loss," she said.

Fuchs said Georgia's repeated audits and recounts found two absentee ballots cast by dead people, out of 1.3 million absentee ballots and a total of about 5 million votes cast in Georgia. The secretary of state's office is prepared to back reforms, she says, but only if they make sense.

On Republicans and democracy

Some conservatives fear that attacking elections is the point of these proposed voting law changes.

"Rather than celebrate the massive voter turnout that we saw, they want to dial that back," said Charlie Sykes, a writer and conservative talk show host. He left the Republican party, and was ostracized, after he criticized Trump.

Sykes said his former Republican allies "see the country slipping away from them" through demographic change. He sees some of them embracing alternatives to democracy, including "anti-democratic authoritarianism."

We put Sykes' concern to Buddy Carter, the Republican Georgia congressman who supports changes to voting laws. Are Republicans giving up on democracy?

"I'm the eternal optimist," he replied, but "I do know that there are a number of Republicans who are very concerned." He described a meeting with one of his strongest supporters, who "was very concerned about the future of our party" and also about "the future of our country. And that's why what the Georgia state legislature is doing right now is extremely, extremely important."

Republicans maintain they're pushing to change voting laws at the urging of Republican voters. Those voters are following the lead of the ex-president, who remains a dominant figure in the party despite trying for months to overturn a democratic election.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2021 12:55 pm
A Supreme Court Test for What’s Left of the Voting Rights Act

WASHINGTON — As Republican state lawmakers around the nation are working furiously to enact laws making it harder to vote, the Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear its most important election case in almost a decade, one that will determine what sort of judicial scrutiny those restrictions will face.

The case centers on a crucial remaining provision of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race. Civil rights groups are nervous that the court, now with a six-justice conservative majority, will use the opportunity to render that provision, Section 2, toothless.

The provision has taken on greater importance in election disputes since 2013, when the court effectively struck down the heart of the 1965 law, its Section 5, which required prior federal approval of changes to voting procedures in parts of the country with a history of racial and other discrimination.

But Chief Justice John G. Roberts’s majority opinion in the 5-to-4 decision, Shelby County v. Holder, said Section 2 would remain in place to protect voting rights by allowing litigation after the fact.

Section 2 is permanent, applies nationwide and is not at issue in this case,” he wrote.

But it is more than a little opaque, and the Supreme Court has never considered how it applies to voting restrictions.

The new case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, No. 19-1257, was filed by the Democratic National Committee in 2016 to challenge voting restrictions in Arizona. Lawyers for civil rights groups said they hoped the justices would not use the case to chip away at the protections offered by Section 2.

“It would be just really out of step for what this country needs right now for the Supreme Court to weaken or limit Section 2,” said Myrna Pérez, a lawyer with the Brennan Center for Justice, which submitted a brief supporting the challengers.

Civil rights lawyers have a particular reason to be wary of Chief Justice Roberts. When he was a young lawyer in the Reagan administration, he unsuccessfully worked to oppose the expansion of Section 2, which had initially covered only intentional discrimination, to address practices that had discriminatory results.

The Arizona case concerns two kinds of voting restrictions. One requires election officials to discard ballots cast at the wrong precinct. The other makes it a crime for campaign workers, community activists and most other people to collect ballots for delivery to polling places, a practice critics call “ballot harvesting.” The law makes exceptions for family members, caregivers and election officials.

“I can’t believe the court would strike down common-sense election integrity measures,” Mark Brnovich, the state’s attorney general, said in an interview. In his brief, he wrote that “a majority of states require in-precinct voting, and about 20 states limit ballot collection.”

Whether the particular restrictions challenged in the case should survive is in some ways not the central issue. The Biden administration, for instance, told the justices in an unusual letter two weeks ago that the Arizona measures did not violate Section 2. But the letter disavowed the Trump administration’s interpretation of Section 2, which would limit its availability to test the lawfulness of all sorts of voting restrictions.

Section 2 bars any voting procedure that “results in a denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race.” That happens, the provision goes on, when, “based on the totality of circumstances,” racial minorities “have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.”

Dissenting in the Shelby County case, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Section 2 was not nearly as valuable as Section 5.

“Litigation occurs only after the fact, when the illegal voting scheme has already been put in place and individuals have been elected pursuant to it, thereby gaining the advantages of incumbency,” she wrote. “An illegal scheme might be in place for several election cycles before a Section 2 plaintiff can gather sufficient evidence to challenge it. And litigation places a heavy financial burden on minority voters.”

While Section 5 was available, Section 2 was used mostly in redistricting cases, where the question was whether voting maps had unlawfully diluted minority voting power. Its role in testing restrictions on the denial of the right to vote itself has been subject to much less attention.

But Paul M. Smith, a lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center, which submitted a brief supporting the challengers, said lower courts had worked out a sensible framework to identify restrictions that violate Section 2.

“It is not enough that a rule has a racially disparate impact,” he said. “That disparity must be related to, and explained by, the history of discrimination in the jurisdiction. Our hope is that the court will recognize the importance of maintaining this workable test, which plays an essential role in reining in laws that operate to burden voting by Blacks or Latinos.”

The two sets of lawyers defending the measures in Arizona did not agree on what standard the Supreme Court should adopt to sustain the challenged restrictions. Mr. Brnovich, the state attorney general, said the disparate effect on minority voters must be substantial and caused by the challenged practice rather than some other factor. Lawyers for the Arizona Republican Party took a harder line, saying that race-neutral election regulations that impose ordinary burdens on voting are not subject at all to challenges under Section 2.

Last year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled that both Arizona restrictions violated Section 2 because they disproportionately disadvantaged minority voters.

In 2016, Black, Latino and Native American voters were about twice as likely to cast ballots in the wrong precinct as were white voters, Judge William A. Fletcher wrote for the majority in the 7-to-4 decision. Among the reasons for this, he said, were “frequent changes in polling locations; confusing placement of polling locations; and high rates of residential mobility.”

Similarly, he wrote, the ban on ballot collectors had an outsize effect on minority voters, who use ballot collection services far more than white voters because they are more likely to be poor, older, homebound or disabled; to lack reliable transportation, child care and mail service; and to need help understanding voting rules.

Judge Fletcher added that “there is no evidence of any fraud in the long history of third-party ballot collection in Arizona.”

In dissent, four judges wrote that the state’s restrictions were commonplace, supported by common sense and applied neutrally to all voters.

Lawmakers were entitled to try to prevent potential fraud, Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain wrote. “Given its interest in addressing its valid concerns of voter fraud,” he wrote, “Arizona was free to enact prophylactic measures even though no evidence of actual voter fraud was before the legislature.”

The appeals court stayed its ruling, and the restrictions were in place for the election in November.

Mr. Brnovich will argue before the justices on Tuesday in the case that bears his name. He said the Ninth Circuit’s approach “would jeopardize almost every voting integrity law in almost every state.”

Leigh Chapman, a lawyer with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which filed a brief supporting the challengers, said the Supreme Court faced a crossroad.

“Especially in the absence of Section 5,” she said, “Section 2 plays an essential role in advancing the federal commitment to protecting minority voters and ensuring that they have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.”

0 Replies
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2021 12:57 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
0 Replies
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2021 05:07 pm
Excellent articles Neptune and Revelette!
0 Replies

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