Category Archives: AZBlueMeanie

The Department of Justice bows before the madness of King Donald

It appears that Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel is willing to sacrifice his integrity and his career in service to King Donald and undermining the independence of the Department of Justice. His Justice Department memorandum, dated Wednesday, attempts to argue that Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker (right) as acting Attorney General — who has never been confirmed as a principal officer by the U.S. Senate in his previous position as chief of staff to Jeff Sessions — does not violate the Constitution.

This runs counter to the overwhelming weight of expert legal opinion from lawyers on both the left and right, as I have previously posted. Obstruction of justice in plain sight: appointment of Whitaker is unconstitutional and illegal.

The state of Maryland is taking the lead in filing a lawsuit to challenge Whitaker’s unconstitutional and illegal appointment. Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General Faces Court Challenge:

Now, Mr. Whitaker’s appointment is facing a court challenge. The State of Maryland asked a federal judge on Tuesday for an injunction declaring that Mr. Whitaker is not the legitimate acting attorney general as a matter of law, and that the position — and all its powers — instead rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.

Mr. Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office,” the state said in a court filing.

[Read Maryland’s court filings.]

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Latest Vote Count

Today is targeted to be the last day for completion of tabulating ballots, however it could take days for Maricopa and Pima Counties to verify and tabulate all of the remaining early and provisional ballots.

According to the AZ Data Guru, there are still 147,000 ballots left to be counted statewide, 126,000 of those in Maricopa County and 19,400 in Pima County.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 4.38.59 AM

Only one race remains too close to call: Secretary of State. However, Democrat Katie Hobbs maintains a lead greater than the statutory trigger for an automatic recount (less than or equal to the lesser amount of one-tenth of 1 percent, or 200 votes).

Here are the latest numbers:

U.S. Senate (open)

Kyrsten Sinema (R)        1,110,045
Martha McSally  (D)       1,071,970
Angela Green (GRN)           52,905

Sinema leads by 38,075; declared the winner

Secretary of State

Katie Hobbs (D)             1,095,843
Steve Gaynor (R)           1,090,886

Hobbs leads by   4,957

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Kathy Hoffman (D)        1,104,481
Frank Riggs (R)              1,050,701

Hoffman leads by 53,780; declared the winner

Corporation Commission (2 seats)

Sandra Kennedy (D)     1,004,281
Justin Olson (R)               994,155
Rodney Glassman (R)    989,820
Kiana Sears (D)                937,318

Kennedy leads by 10,126 for the first seat; she has declared victory

UPDATE: Despite GOP claims, there is no evidence of voter fraud in Arizona. “They’ve offered no proof of their claims, other than pointing to the slow vote-counting process — which is still ongoing.” Steller column: Slow Arizona vote-counting doesn’t show fraud.





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A reform agenda for voting rights

Despite all the horror stories about “red state” voter suppression efforts in this election, there was also some good news for voting rights in the states as well. The New York Times reports, Before the Fights Over Recounts: An Election Day Vote on Voting:

In Tuesday’s elections [there was] a wave of actions aimed at making voting easier and fairer that is an often-overlooked strain in the nation’s voting wars.

Floridians extended voting rights to 1.4 million convicted felons. Maryland, Nevada and Michigan were among states that made it easier to register and vote.

From the Brennan Center for Justice:

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is gaining momentum across the country. Currently fifteen states and D.C. have approved the policy, meaning that over a third of Americans live in a jurisdiction that has either passed or implemented AVR. A brief history of AVR’s legislative victories and each state’s AVR implementation date can be found here. This year alone, twenty states have introduced legislation to implement or expand automatic registration, and an additional eight states had bills carry over from the 2017 legislative session. A full breakdown of these bills, as well as those introduced in 2015, 2016, and 2017, is available here.

Where AVR Has Passed 11-8-18

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Arizona became a purple state in 2018

Despite all the gloom and doom post-election day reporting here in Arizona about Democrats having squandered their voter enthusiasm and record turnout, as we approach all the votes finally being counted it appears that Democrats had a very good night after all in turning Arizona purple.

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has won the U.S. Senate seat for Democrats for the first time in almost 30 years, and becomes the first woman to serve Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick took back CD 2 for the Democrats, giving Democrats a 5-4 lead in Arizona’s congressional delegation.

Nationally, Democrats have currently picked up 31 seats to take back the Congress, with a number of races still to be counted in which Democrats lead in most of those races. See, FiveThirtyEight, We’re Tracking The Unresolved Midterm Races. Yes, there was a “blue wave” election. Democrats could win 40 House seats, the most since Watergate.

UPDATE: As of  November 14, the Democratic lead in the U.S. House popular vote stood at 7.1%, though it may yet inch higher. For comparison purposes, note that in 2010 — which was widely seen as a GOP “wave” cycle — Republicans won the U.S. House popular vote by 6.6%. (h/t Maddow Blog).

While there remain votes to be counted, it is increasingly apparent that Democratic state senator Katie Hobbs will be elected Secretary of State. She currently leads political neophyte and Trumpster Steve Gaynor by 5,667 votes. Hobbs’s vote total has increased with each day of vote counting since election day, and that trend is likely to continue.

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The fix is in to appoint Martha McSally to the Senate? (Updated)

I made the point in a post last week, Does Martha McSally have a Plan B?

If Arizona voters reject Martha McSally for the senate in today’s election, it would be an affront to Arizona voters to reward her with a consolation prize of being appointed to Sen.McCain’s seat in December, an appointed term that would run through 2020.

Now, I would expect that resident GOP apologist at the Arizona Republic, Robert Robb, would make the argument that appointing McSally to McCain’s seat is perfectly fine, the will of the voters be damned.

But surprisingly this intellectually dishonest argument is being made today by The Republic’s Laurie Roberts. 1 million voters can’t be wrong. Appoint Martha McSally to the Senate, Gov. Ducey:

It’s Day Seven of election night in Arizona and it’s clear that Democrat Kyrsten Sinema soon will be called Sen. Sinema.

While Republican Party leaders try to regain their temporarily (I hope) lost sanity and get over it, consider this:

Republican Martha McSally soon could be called Sen. McSally.

More than one million Arizona voters wanted to see the former fighter-pilot-turned-southern-Arizona congresswoman in the Senate.

Gov. Doug Ducey could grant them their wish.

Ducey could appoint McSally to the late Sen. John McCain’s Senate seat, the one that placeholder Jon Kyl is expected to leave by year’s end.

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