Daily Archives: April 27, 2018

Senate Judiciary Committee defies Mitch McConnell, votes to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller

On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Senate Judiciary Committee defied Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and voted for a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by the chief suspect in his investigation, President Trump (this is a protection that existed under the old Independent Counsel law that Congress allowed to expire after Ken Starr). Senate panel approves bill to protect special counsel:

In a 14-7 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan proposal that deeply divided Republicans on the committee.

With every committee Democrat backing the legislation, only one Republican was needed to secure passage.

In the end, four Republicans voted for the bill: Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.).

Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ben Sasse (Neb.), John Kennedy (La.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) opposed it.

The vote marks the first time Congress has advanced legislation to formally protect Mueller from being fired by President Trump, who has railed against him in public and reportedly talked in private of dismissing him.

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CD 8: ‘There’s something happening here …’

Taegan Goddard at the Political Wire uses rounding to make the argument that Lesko’s Margin Shrinks to Just 4 Points in the CD8 special election:

Although early results showed that Debbie Lesko (R) beat Hiral Tipirneni (R) in Arizona’s special House election by six points, 53% to 47%, the Republican’s winning margin decreased after new votes were counted: Lesko 52%, Tipirneni 48%.

Current Spread: 4.8%

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Martin Longman at the Political Animal Blog has an insightful analysis of this special election:

Harry Enten of CNN makes three important observations about the results in yesterday’s special election for Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District. Debbie Lesko, a Republican state senator, appears to have defeated Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a physician, by five or six points [now under 5].  But it’s a district that preferred Mitt Romney to Barack Obama by 25 points and Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton by 21 points.  Overall, AZ-08 is twenty-five points more Republican than the nation as a whole. This Republican underperformance isn’t new; it’s part of a pattern we’ve seen this year and last in special elections where the Democrats are consistently doing much better than they have in the recent past.

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Enten notes that “Including Arizona 8, the average improvement for the Democrats has been 17 percentage points versus the partisan baseline. That’s better than any party out of power has done in the lead-up to a midterm cycle since at least 1994.”

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Democratic Party Leaders See Voter Explosion in Arizona LD 18

According to Dr. Janie Hydrick, the top three issues facing the community are public education (the number one issue), safety, and affordable health care.

Situated in their office at 725 East Guadalupe, District Chair Dr. Janie Hydrick and Webmaster Craig Falasco discussed the issues Arizona LD 18 faces this political season and the people-first goals they would like their candidates to pursue to move their community forward.

Encompassing parts of Ahwatukee-Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, and Mesa, this mostly upper-middle-class district is where the main campus of Mesa Community College is located as well as technology powerhouses Go Daddy and Intel.

It has an incumbent Democratic State Senator (Sean Bowie) and one Democratic State Representative (Mitzi Epstein) who are running for reelection. Two other Democrats LaDawn Stuben and Jennifer Jermaine are running for the other representative seat. (See https://ld18democrats.org/elections/#ld18_senate_house)

Voter enthusiasm has exploded

Describing the district as mostly centrist with streaks of both pragmatic and Sanders-style Progressivism, both Hydrick and Falasco contend that voter enthusiasm has exploded since the 2016 election with attendance at their January 2018 meeting showing a nearly four-fold increase from 70 to 240 attendees.

According to Hydrick, people are finding, thanks at first to Hillary Clinton’s Electoral College loss and later to the daily antics and policies of the Trump Administration, the benefits, and the necessity of active citizenship. Their enthusiasm has also grown with the recent Arizona Congressional District Eight results, feeling that the Democrats, with their platform, will be very competitive against the “entitlement reform” agenda of the Republicans in other areas that are less conservative and more diverse and inclusive.

Falasco cautioned that, even with a possible Blue Wave, Democrats have to do the little things that win elections like knocking on doors and making phone calls.

According to Hydrick, the top three issues facing the community are public education (the number one issue), safety, and affordable health care. Furthermore, Hydrick believes that a “quality education, a solid economy based on a work ethic and investing on people, and to restore the American Dream of solid income, a stable life, and retirement security is the key to satisfying the needs of the people in their district.

The District passed a resolution supporting the teacher walkout that started yesterday. Hydrick stated that the Governor and the Republican legislators supported tax cuts instead of fully funding schools. She also maintained that the Republicans had no idea of what was going on in schools and their ideas for solving the school funding issues involved taking funds out of other areas that vulnerable citizens depend on.

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