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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: campaign 2018

GOP Leader McCarthy Makes Wild Allegations Of Vote Fraud

On Friday morning, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy provided no evidence to back up his claim of election fraud in California while giving a misleading press conference lamenting how badly Republicans lost in the 2018 midterm elections.

During a press conference from a Republican retreat in Baltimore, McCarthy began his discussion about California voting laws by lying about California voting laws.

McCarthy correctly stated that many people in California vote by mail. Voters who mail in their ballot must sign the envelopes. But McCarthy gives a wildly misleading statement about new election laws in the state.

“In California, they changed the election law,” McCarthy said. “When it went in to the election office, your ballot didn’t count yet,” he added, noting election officials check the signature against a signature on file to ensure they match.

“They took that all away. No longer do you have to sign it, and people can come to your door and pick your ballot up, whether it’s filled out or not.”

That’s not true. In September 2018, Gov. Brown signed the Every Vote Counts Act into law. This law “provides voters an opportunity to correct or verify signature mismatches on their vote-by-mail ballots,” according to the governor’s office. Rather than having ballots thrown away if signatures are missing or don’t match exactly, election officials are required to contact voters and provide an opportunity for them to address the issue.

“For many voters, signatures may change over time or disabilities may make it difficult to sign the ballot properly,” Alex Padilla, the Secretary of State, said at the time.

McCarthy then launched into a conspiracy theory, insinuating California Democrats somehow engaged in election fraud when seven of California’s 14 Republican House members lost their seats in 2018.

“Even in a case like [former Rep.] David Valadao, where the day after the election he was ahead by six percentage points. Three weeks later, he’d lost by less than 900 votes.” Voters fired Valadao and chose to have T.J. Cox represent them instead.

McCarthy also insinuated something was amiss in another California race where Republican nominee Young Kim lost to Democrat Rep. Gil Cisneros.

“Not only did [Kim] win on Election Day, she comes in and starts new member orientation. We find a few weeks later that yes, it changed,” he said.

Again, McCarthy is insinuating some sort of malfeasance rather than election officials simply following the law and counting all the ballots from every voter. His remarks mirror similarly false allegations of election fraud by former Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), former Speaker Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump.

In California, residents who vote by mail are allowed to drop their ballot in the mail up to (and including) Election Day. As a result, many ballots are not and can not be counted until several days or even weeks after Election Day. McCarthy, who represents a district in California, is well aware of this fact.

Yet by bringing up preliminary vote totals before all voters had a chance to be heard, he seems to want to silence Californians who chose to vote by mail in the final days of the 2018 election. He gives no evidence that any type of election fraud took place, and California officials have not identified any sort of widespread fraud.

In the 2018 elections, there was one area where massive election fraud took place — and it was Republican operatives in North Carolina who allegedly collected ballots that had not been filled in and filled them in for the Republican candidate. The fraud was so pervasive that the North Carolina Board of Elections refused to certify the results and then called for a do-over election.

McCarthy provided no such evidence while lamenting the losses of Republicans in California. Instead, he gave false information about California voting laws and seemed to support suppressing the will of voters who opted to mail in their ballots rather than go to a polling location on Election Day.

Rather than just accept the fact that voters rejected half of California’s Republican delegation in 2018, McCarthy chose to spread wild conspiracy theories instead.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

House Democrats Won’t Seat ‘Victor’ In Tainted NC Election

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.


On Friday, the Washington Post reported that incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has confirmed Congress will not seat Mark Harris, the GOP candidate for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

“Given the now well-documented election fraud that took place in NC-09, Democrats would object to any attempt by Harris to be seated on January 3,” said Hoyer in a statement. “In this instance, the integrity of our democratic process outweighs concerns about the seat being vacant at the start of the new Congress.”

The election in North Carolina’s 9th District is now the subject of a criminal investigation, as affidavits and testimony revealed that a man hired by the Harris campaign, local strategist Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr., sent paid ballot harvesters to the homes of absentee ballot voters — including elderly people of color — and illegally delivered the ballots to the campaign. More than 1,000 ballots may have been destroyed, in a race where Harris beat his Democratic opponent Dan McCready by just 905 votes. The alleged fraud took place in Bladen and Robeson counties, where Harris won an extremely high percent of absentee ballots despite Democratic voters leading in ballot requests.

This news comes just as the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, which refused to certify the election results in the district due to irregularities, is officially dissolved to comply with a court order finding the GOP’s prior attempts to restructure it unlawful. Without the board, which had the authority to call a new election, what happens next for the 9th District is unclear.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper recently vetoed a GOP-backed bill that would revert the elections board to its previous configuration, on the grounds that the bill also contained a provision crippling state campaign finance law. He has stated he intends to appoint an interim elections board.

The North Carolina Republican Party, though initially suggesting they were open to holding a new election, are now demanding that Harris be seated in Congress, with executive director Dallas Woodhouse claiming the election board “failed in their duty,” and asserting with no evidence that “Harris got more legal votes.”


Three Kansas Lawmakers Switch To Democrats — In A Single Week

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.


2018 was not a good year for Republicans in Kansas. They lost the governorship to Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly, after running infamous pro-Trump, voter-suppressing Secretary of State Kris Kobach. And GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder lost in a landslide to Democrat Sharice Davids, an attorney and former mixed martial arts fighter who will be one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress.

But the bad news is not over for the GOP in Kansas. Over the span of a week, three Republican state lawmakers announced that they were renouncing the GOP and switching to the Democratic Party.

Last Wednesday, state Sen. Barbara Bollier, a moderate Republican representing a liberal district in Mission Hills, declared her party switch, saying she “cannot be complicit in supporting” Trump’s presidency: “He is our president, but he is not representing my value system remotely.” The “final, last straw” for her, however, was the Kansas GOP’s decision to write transgender discrimination into the party platform.

This week, state Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a lifelong Republican who represents a district in Overland Park, followed suit, citing education. “Leaders in the Kansas House and Senate have now indicated that they will seek to scrap the bipartisan education plan achieved over the last two years, just as we are so close to solving this problem and ending the cycle of school litigation,” she wrote on Facebook. “My Republican Party, then, seems to no longer represent or serve the interests of the 19th District, Johnson County, or the State of Kansas … I believe that I can better serve my constituents, and support education as a member of the Democratic Party.”

At the exact same time, state Sen. Dinah Sykes of Lenexa announced she too was becoming a Democrat. “I am a moderate person who represents a moderate and pragmatic district that expects me to focus on issues and solutions that impact their day-to-day lives,” she wrote. “Increasingly, I see the Republican party focusing on issues and approaches that divide our country. I do not agree with that approach.”

It is worth noting that all three defecting lawmakers are women, and all three represent suburbs of Kansas City — reflecting two kinds of voters that Republicans have been losing precipitously since Trump’s election.

The November midterms had not altered the party totals in the Kansas legislature, as Republicans retained their 85-40 majority in the state House (the state Senate only holds elections in presidential years). But now, thanks to these defections, the Kansas GOP will be going into next year with losses in both chambers.

Although Kansas is a deeply red state, the GOP has faced problems there ever since the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback, a hard-right ideologue who has since been tapped as Trump’s ambassador for religious freedom. In his time in office, Brownback destroyed the state’s economy with reckless tax cuts and tried to eliminate the budget for the state court system so they couldn’t overrule his illegal cuts to schools. His tenure was such a disaster that it triggered a wave of moderate Republicans winning primaries, who proceeded to roll back his agenda.

In wrecking Kansas, Republicans ended up wrecking themselves. And they are continuing to pay the price for it.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.

Featured photo credit: KANSAS LEGISLATURE


Republicans Demand House Seat Despite Election Fraud

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.


Right now, the FBI is investigating whether Republicans engaged in election fraud to try to win a House seat for Mark Harris in North Carolina. At the same time, state and local investigators are examining whether Harris personally had a hand in the fraud.

In spite of all this, both North Carolina’s statewide GOP and the 9th Congressional District GOP just called on the state elections board to immediately certify the current election results, where Harris has a very slender lead. The GOP also demanded that Harris is seated when the new Congress convenes early next year.

The behavior of the state GOP party has been indefensible throughout this entire process. When it was clear that Democratic candidate Dan McCready was gaining during the vote count, Robin Hayes, GOP state chair, accused Democrats of trying to steal the election.

Then, evidence emerged that Harris likely personally directed the hiring of Leslie McCrae Dowless, a campaign worker linked to previous election fraud. Dowless, in turn, directed a scheme where he allegedly collected ballots that were incomplete and unsealed and then illegally discarded ballots.

For a brief moment, the GOP came to its senses and admitted a new election was likely necessarygiven the scale of the fraud and the narrowness of the margin separating Harris and McCready — a mere 905 votes. Trying to thread a difficult needle, Hayes is now saying he supports an investigation but that unless the state election board can “immediately” provide “significant public evidence” of that fraud, Harris should be seated.

This demand willfully ignores that an investigation of this scope can take time, as evinced by the fact that the elections board has already delayed a meeting over the investigation. That delay occurred because the attorneys representing people subpoenaed in the investigation have all saidthey need more time to produce relevant documents.

Further, it isn’t as if this is an investigation that had gone quiet for some time. There’s been a near-constant stream of news as more dimensions of the fraud have been uncovered.

The North Carolina GOP faces a problem entirely of its own making. The alleged fraud is attributed to both the GOP candidate, Mark Harris, and people working directly for the candidate. That behavior shouldn’t be rewarded with a certified election and a seat in Congress. While the investigation continues, while the very real prospect of a new election looms, Harris should not be seated.

Published with permission of The American Independent.


Women Warn GOP: You Dissed Us, So We’re Dumping You

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.


In what should come as a shock to no one, the Republican Party — which fully embraced an accused sexual predator for president, an accused child molester for U.S. Senate, and an alleged attempted rapist for the Supreme Court — is having trouble winning the support of women voters.

It’s getting bad enough, the Washington Post reports, that some prominent Republican women are calling for their party to make serious changes, and others are leaving the GOP altogether.

Yet the party doesn’t seem willing to do much about it.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), one of the few Republican women left in Congress after the 2018 midterms, argues that the GOP is now at a “crisis level” when it comes to representing women.

Republicans were on the wrong side of a massive gender gap in the 2018 midterms. For one thing, women voters heavily favored Democrats. For another, the Democratic Party got a record-breaking number of women elected to Congress — even as the number of women Republicans in the House plummeted by nearly half, from 23 to just 13.

There are many obvious reasons women might be abandoning the GOP. The party’s nasty habit of supporting sexual predators like Trump and Brett Kavanaugh is just one example of the GOP’s systematic opposition to women’s rights and gender equality.

Yet Stefanik’s solution to what she calls a “crisis” isn’t, say, changing the GOP’s position on sexual predators from “support” to “oppose.” Instead, she’s more narrowly focused on trying to get the Republican Party to support more women candidates in the primaries.

But even this minor change is too much for the new head of the Republican campaign arm, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), who called Stefanik’s suggested approach a “mistake.”

Emmer, one of 187 Republican men in next year’s GOP House minority, has a plan for Republicans in 2020 that looks a lot like 2018, including a tight embrace of Trump and the Trump agenda.

Meanwhile, the party’s deep misogyny is driving many Republican women to abandon the GOP entirely.

The chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, recently left the Republican Party over the Senate’s disgraceful confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh.

In Kansas, state Sen. Barbara Bollier ditched the Republican Party after four decades, in part because of Trump’s vulgarity towards women. She told the Post, “now I can sleep better — it was a huge moral thing.”

Christine Todd Whitman, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, told the Post that Republicans are not just ignoring women — they’re “aggressively looking the other way.”

Whitman predicted that if the GOP continues on this path, it will “largely become irrelevant.”

And it won’t be a moment too soon for women.

Published with permission of The American Independent.