After months of delays by Texas Democrats, the Texas House voted 80-41 to approve Senate Bill 1 which will enact several new barriers to the ballot box for marginalized voters. Continue reading “Texas House Approves GOP Voting Restrictions”
Wow, that was quicker than I expected. Just hours after the Senate passed a bipartisan bill to improve the nation’s infrastructure, Democrats approved a $3.5 trillion budget that could help address climate change, expand Medicare, provide for pre-kindergarten and more. Continue reading “Senate Approves $3.5 Trillion Budget In 50-49 Vote”
More voter fraud found in Ohio. Oh, and yes, it’s another Republican caught cheating.
From NBC News:
Edward Snodgrass, who is a Porter Township trustee, has admitted to forging his dead father’s signature on an absentee ballot and then voting again as himself, court records and other sources revealed.
Snodgrass was busted after a Delaware County election worker questioned the signature on his father’s ballot. A subsequent investigation revealed the ballot had been mailed to H. Edward Snodgrass on Oct. 6 — a day after the 78-year-old retired businessman died.
In an interview with NBC News, Snodgrass said he made “an honest error” while struggling to take care of his dying father, who had advanced Parkinson’s disease. He said he had power of attorney for several years and because his dad had broken his right arm he’d already been “signing for him.” He said his dad had requested the absentee ballot.
Snodgrass told NBC News he had been “sleep-deprived” and not thinking clearly.
The 57-year-old has apparently agreed to plea guilty to a reduced charge of falsification which comes with a $500 fine and three days in jail.
Had he fought the charges of illegal voting, a fourth-degree felony, he could have faced a prison sentence of six or more months along with a $5,000 fine.
Even though Donald Trump continues to rant and rage about “widespread voter fraud,” the fact is it didn’t happen.
In May the Washington Post did a deep dive into local news reports across the country and found “only 16 incidents in which someone has faced criminal charges stemming from their attempt to vote illegally.”
I’ve previously reported on another Republican Trump supporter in Colorado who faked his missing wife’s signature and mailed her ballot in for Trump.
During an appearance on Fox News’s Ingraham Angle, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) continued to rewrite history regarding the invasion of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6.
“By and large, it was a peaceful protest except for there were a number of people, basically agitators that whipped the crowd and breached the Capitol, and that’s really the truth of what’s happening here,” said Johnson.
“But they like to paint that narrative so they can paint a broad brush and basically impugn 75 million Americans, call them potentially domestic terrorists and potential armed insurrectionists as well,” he added.
Last week, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) claimed “if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”
If only there was a way to form an investigation into what actually happened…
Ron Johnson claims it wasn’t an insurrection and goes on to say by and large it was a peaceful protest pic.twitter.com/E9TVzhNPTS
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 20, 2021
Hey @SenRonJohnson, you want to say that to the police officer who nearly had his eye gouged out? Or the other 139 officers injured by Trump’s violent mob? How dare you.
— MoreSkyPlease (@Moreskyplease) May 20, 2021
The Capitol was desecrated. They spread excrement on walls, pissed on desks and carpets, stole government property, smashed windows, beat and killed cops and went there with the intention of hanging mike Pence and shooting Nancy Pelosi. They were armed and dangerous #Insurrection
— Julia Seattle (@Juliane_Seattle) May 20, 2021
‘Peaceful protest.’ pic.twitter.com/NTrkPeHi1H
— Jess Balzer (@jessicajbalzer) May 20, 2021
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was removed from her leadership position in the House Republican caucus today because she refused to promote the idea that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.
From NBC News:
“We must be true to our principles and to the Constitution,” Cheney, R-Wyo., told fellow House Republicans before the closed-door vote, according to a source in the room. “We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy. Down that path lies our destruction, and potentially the destruction of our country.”
After the vote, Cheney said that if Trump tries to run again, “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”
According to reports, Cheney addressed her colleagues before the vote this morning and was booed by some in the room.
Last night, in advance of the impending vote, Cheney gave a full-throated speech defending her choice to speak truth to power.
While Cheney and I would probably disagree on practically everything in terms of political policy, I admire and respect her holding fast to the truth here.
Trump took a ‘victory lap’ of sorts after her ouster today calling her “a bitter, horrible human being” in a statement.
“I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party,” said Trump. “She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our Country.”
And Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the newly-elected 25-year-old from North Carolina, demonstrated what happens when you elect a 12-year-old to office:
Some news items you might have missed:
• Pink News: Major League Soccer has launched an investigation into LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget (above) over a homophobic slur in a video he posted to Instagram.
• Washington Blade: President Biden called for ramping up funds in the first year of his administration to beat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. In his initial budget request to Congress, he signaled he would continue the PrEP-centric initiative that began in the previous administration.
• Metrosource: The new hardcover book, On Fire: The Firefighters of France, is a curated collection of the best portraits and smoking shots from the wildly popular French firefighter calendars, personally selected by creator Fred Goudon.
• AP News: After promoting doubt about the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine made using the previously experimental messenger RNA, or mRNA, process, a top Chinese health official publicly admitted Chinese COVID-19 vaccines aren’t very effective saying they “don’t have very high protection rates.”
• Wichita Eagle: Kansas Senate Republicans ousted Sen. Gene Suellentrop as majority leader Friday after he was charged with leading police on a drunken 90 mile an hour, wrong-way chase down Interstate 70.
• HIVPlus Mag: A potential HIV vaccine is showing very promising results in Phase I human trials. The vaccine works by stimulating the production of rare immune cells that generate HIV-resistant antibodies. Such a result was found in 97 percent of human participants administered the potential vaccine.
WOW 😳 New HIV vaccine with a 97% antibody response rate in phase I human trials. This is the most effective trial HIV vaccine to date. It is based on the Moderna’s COVID vaccine. COVID tech acceleration could change Rx for cancer & HIV in future. https://t.co/3Nl0UJj6xW
— Dr. Ayoade Alakija (@yodifiji) April 4, 2021
Major League Baseball has announced it will hold its annual All-Star Game in Denver, Colorado, after Georgia changed its voting laws in March which could potentially restrict voting access for people of color.
Of course, MLB has the right to hold its game anywhere it wants in an environment that it deems appropriate.
Denver will be new host of 2021 MLB All-Star Game after it was moved out of Atlanta https://t.co/m9YxIiYeyO
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 6, 2021
But Republicans are still mad at MLB for pulling its game from the Peach State, so they are now trying to compare Georgia’s new voting laws to those in Colorado.
One issue Repubs tried to press today was that Georgia now allows for 17 early voting days while Colorado has 15 early voting days. They also point to the idea that Colorado has a voter ID requirement as does Georgia.
Colorado mails every resident a ballot. Georgia does not. This comparison is designed to mislead.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 6, 2021
But… it’s not that simple.
Colorado’s voter ID law for in-person voting (sometimes referred to as “non-strict”) allows for a variety of IDs including ones without photos. If voters don’t have ID on them at the time of voting, they can cast a provisional ballot and elections officials are charged with verifying their eligibility.
But Georgia’s in-person ID requirement is a “strict” law, requiring photo ID. And if a voter doesn’t have one with them at the polls, they can cast a provisional ballot, but the voter has to show a photo ID at a county registrar’s office within three days.
More importantly, though, Colorado votes almost universally via mail-in ballot.
All registered voters there receive an absentee ballot and almost 99% of voters there cast their votes via mail. So, the in-person ID requirement – and the number of early in-person voting days – is practically moot since the vast majority of ballots are cast by mail.
Also, as White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted today when asked about the “comparisons” by Fox News’s Peter Doocy, Colorado allows citizens to register to vote on election days which Georgia does not.
PETER DOOCY: Is the WH concerned MLB is moving their All Star Game to Colorado, where voting rules are very similar to Georgia?
PSAKI: Let me refute that. CO has same-day registration, universal mail voting… it's important to remember the context. The GA bill is built on a lie pic.twitter.com/TaDLU0mYNP
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 6, 2021
I got an idea, Peter… let's get Georgia to pass identical voting laws as Colorado including mailing ballots to everyone and using a great absentee ballot program and then Georgia can get the game back.
— PCR RitesGood (@pcrritesgood) April 6, 2021
If Fox wants to do ambush questions, maybe they should have a smarter person asking them …. the setup for this one was more 5th grader then seasoned reporter in my opinion.
— homebody (@HomebodyRupe) April 6, 2021
What part of what GA did was necessary? What “fraud” did they fix? The bill is intended to drive down the number of votes. Why does anyone defend this charade?!?!?!? You can try and defend voter ID but the GA bill – as a whole – is intended to suppress the vote.
— Sean (@soonerwithamask) April 6, 2021
Colorado has more than 370 ballot drop boxes all over the state.
Colorado has same day registration and in person voting.
Colorado has 350 in person polling locations.
Denver metro area has a combined 180 drop of and in person locations.
— Lizerenity (@Lizerenity) April 6, 2021
According to a new survey by Pew Research Center, the number of Republicans who say “everything possible” should be done to make voting easy has dropped precipitously since 2018.
Of course, this comes after their candidate lost the 2020 presidential election thanks to record-breaking voter participation.
As a response, state legislatures have introduced over 360 voter restriction bills this year.
Many election experts say the new laws will disproportionately affect voters of color, as well as those with disabilities.
Georgia, whose close elections for president and U.S. Senate drew national attention, has already passed a bill that effectively suppresses the vote in the Peach State.
Some aspects of the Georgia law include reducing the time period voters have to request absentee ballots, limiting the use of ballot drop boxes, and making it illegal to hand out water to voters standing in line for hours.
Crunching the Pew Center’s data:
• 59% of U.S. adults overall say everything possible should be done to make it easy for every citizen to vote, while 39% say citizens should have to prove they want to vote by registering ahead of time.
• 85% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents say everything possible should be done to make it easy for every citizen to vote, while 14% say citizens should have to prove they really want to vote by registering ahead of time.
• 28% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents say everything possible should be done to make it easy for all citizens to vote, while 71% say American citizens should prove they really want to vote by registering ahead of time.
It’s worth noting that prior to the 2018 mid-term elections, 48% of Republicans said everything possible should be done to make it easy to vote, while 51% said citizens should have to prove they really want to vote by registering ahead of time. That shows a clear 20 point shift in Republican attitudes on voting in less than 3 years.
Broken down by race, 84% of Black adults and 69% of Hispanic adults say everything possible should be done to make it easy to vote, only 51% of white respondents said the same.
On the issue of election security:
• 61% of U.S. adults overall say it would not make elections less secure if election rules were changed to make it easier to register and vote.
• 82% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents say the same.
• 37% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents say the same.
A congressman from New York, who believes businesses can refuse to serve LGBTQ people based on religious beliefs and has called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be impeached over sexual impropriety allegations, has apologized for his own sexual misconduct.
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), a six-term congressman who represents New York’s 23rd District, has addressed allegations that he unhooked a woman’s bra and then began to slide his hand up the woman’s thigh in 2017.
From the Washington Post:
In the story that published Friday, Nicolette Davis, a former lobbyist for Aflac insurance, said that Reed rubbed her back and unhooked her bra during a gathering with other lobbyists at a Minneapolis pub in 2017. She was 25 years old at the time and on her first networking trip. He was 45.
Reed last week declined to answer detailed questions about the incident, saying only, “This account of my actions is not accurate.”
But on Sunday, Reed apologized profusely to Davis as well as to his family, constituents and other supporters.
“Even though I am only hearing of this matter as stated by Ms. Davis in the article now, I hear her voice and will not dismiss her,” he said in the statement. “In reflection, my personal depiction of this event is irrelevant. Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility.”
Reed blamed the incident on his struggles with alcohol.
Reed also announced that while he won’t resign, he will not be seeking reelection in 2022 which is a rather empty statement since he declared when he was first elected he wouldn’t serve more than six terms.
Read more at the Washington Post.
The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, which surveyed 1,227 American adults, shows 49% of Republican men say they don’t plan on getting vaccinated against the coronavirus compared with just 6% of men who identify as Democrats.
Overall, 67% say they either plan to get their shot or already have, while 30% say they will not be getting the vaccine.
More from NPR:
Among those who responded to the survey, 73% of Black people and 70% of White people said that they either planned to get a coronavirus vaccine or had done so already; 25% of Black respondents and 28% of white respondents said they did not plan to get a shot.
Latino respondents were slightly more likely to say they would not get vaccinated at 37%, compared with 63% who either had or intended to get a vaccine.