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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: dan cox

Maryland Republicans Nominate Far-Right Election Denier For Governor

Republicans likely squandered an opportunity to hold on to the Maryland governor's mansion, political analysts said Wednesday, after the GOP nominated a far-right election denier for the state's November gubernatorial election.

With 80 percent of the vote counted, Maryland Del. Dan Cox — a Donald Trump-endorsed state legislator who chartered three busloads of people to attend the rally that preceded the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 — is currently projected to win the Republican nomination for governor by at least a 16-point margin, according to the New York Times.

Cox defeated Kelly Schulz, the state's former commerce secretary, for the chance to try to succeed Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who is term-limited.

Election forecasters and experts believed Schulz — who was Hogan's pick in the race — could have made the race in an otherwise Democrat-heavy state competitive for Republicans in the fall.

However, experts say that Cox — who falsely claims the 2020 election was stolen, called former Vice President Mike Pence a "traitor" for not blocking the certification of President Joe Biden's victory, has ties to the QAnon movement that the FBI deems a domestic terror threat, and opposed coronavirus mitigation efforts — will make the governor's mansion near impossible for Republicans to hold in November.

"Cox was endorsed by Trump and bused people to the January 6 riot," Nathaniel Rakich, a senior elections analyst for the website FiveThirtyEight, tweeted after the Associated Press called the race for Cox. "The GOP might've had a shot with Kelly [Schulz], but now #MDgov should be a slam-dunk Democratic gain."

Jessica Taylor, a political analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report group, also said she believes Cox's win solidifies the general election as a likely Democratic win.

"It didn't have to be this way," Taylor tweeted, adding that the race "could have been competitive" if Schulz had won. Ultimately, Taylor said, "Trump putting retribution over sound political strategy cost" Republicans the race.

Even Republicans are not supportive of their party's candidate. A spokesperson for Hogan — who won election as governor twice, despite the fact that Democrats carry Maryland by wide margins in presidential elections — told reporters on Wednesday that he would not vote for his own party's nominee in November. (Cox unsuccessfully led an attempt to impeach Hogan in February over Hogan's COVID-19 mitigation policies.)

Meanwhile, Doug Mayer, a top aide to Schulz's campaign, described Cox's win as a "ritualized mass suicide" by Maryland Republicans.

"The only thing that was missing was Jim Jones and a cup of Kool-Aid," Mayer told the Times.

This is the latest race where a Trump-backed candidate has won the GOP gubernatorial nomination, despite the fact that the party operatives and officials feared they are the weaker candidate or would not be able to win in a general election against the Democratic nominee.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who also bused Trump supporters to the January 6 insurrection and was even on the restricted Capitol grounds during the violent riots, won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Pennsylvania. And Darren Bailey, another election denier, won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Illinois.

The Cook Political Report now rates the Maryland governor's race a "solid Democratic" contest.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

More Republican Legislators Linked To Violent Assault On Capitol

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The number of Republican state lawmakers identified as having either been at Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Capitol or part of the rally that led up to it continues to grow, as photographic evidence helps investigators pin down who was a part of the insurrection.

Four more GOP state lawmakers have been identified as attending either the rally that preceded the attack or the attack itself. They join 12 others who have already been outed as being part of the mayhem, along with a former state legislator.

The newly identified include:

West Virginia state Sen. Mike Azinger: Azinger posted photos to Facebook of being at the Washington Monument on Jan. 6 — the day of the attack — lauding the efforts by Trump supporters, even after knowing that the actions of the pro-Trump mob led to violence, death, and destruction.

"We're here!" Azinger wrote in a post that included photos of the Washington Monument, which has now been closed to the public due to threats of violence. "Stop the Steal, baby!"

Azinger blamed Antifa for the violence, a baseless lie.

Maryland state Del. Dan Cox: Cox is facing calls to resign after he went to the rally and tweeted that Pence is a "traitor" — at the very same time the violent mobs were marauding through the Capitol.

We've since learned that the terrorists at the Capitol were chanting that Pence should be hung, with a noose and a platform for a hanging spotted outside of the Capitol building.

Rhode Island state Rep. Justin Price: Like the other Republican state lawmakers who attended the rally or the insurrection itself, Price is also facing calls to resign after he marched to the Capitol with the pro-Trump mob.

Price claims he did not enter the Capitol, and also falsely blamed the violence on Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement, a patently false and racist accusation.

Virginia Del. Dave LaRock: LaRock wrote on Facebook that he was at the Capitol on Wednesday but did not say whether he entered the building.

He, too, falsely blamed outside agitators for the violence, even though the violence was carried out by Trump supporters and "antifa" was not found to be part of the crowd.

So far, at least one GOP state lawmaker has been arrested for their role in the violent attack: Incoming West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans, who took a selfie video of his crimes and shouted, "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol."

The Justice Department announced it was charging Evans with "one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds."

Evans' video made it easy for law enforcement to determine that it was, indeed, Evans.

Evans "streamed live to his Facebook page a video of himself joining and encouraging a crowd unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol," the Justice Department wrote in a news release announcing Evans' arrest.

Evans resigned on Saturday, saying "I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians."

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which seeks to get Democrats elected to state legislatures across the country, criticized GOP legislative leaders for not commenting on the number of Republican lawmakers who were part of the mayhem on Wednesday.

"There can be no unity without accountability," Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post said in a news release. "Every elected official who betrayed our democracy is unfit to represent their communities. We challenge our Republican counterparts to step up for the country they claim to love and join us in upholding the values that make this nation great. If there was any time to put country over party, it is now."

To date, at least five people died in the attack, including a Capitol Police officer.

And Trump is now likely to be impeached a second time for inciting the insurrection that led to the deaths and desecration of the Capitol.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.