Category Archives: Election Integrity

Dezinformatsiya or doublespeak, Donald Trump is Orwellian

Russian asset Donald Trump is fully invested in Papa Joe Stalin’s dezinformatsiya (disinformation) black propaganda. He is turning America into George Orwell’s dystopian vision in 1984.

In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars no less — patriots who have served their country honorably in military service — Trump slammed the news media as “fake news” for not upholding his preferred interpretation of the success of his administration. The New York Times reports:

“Stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” Mr. Trump said at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as part of the crowd booed and hissed in the direction of the press corps.

“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” the president added.

Winston Smith in 1984 lamented:

The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right.

A spokeswoman for the V.F.W., which is nonpartisan, said in a statement after the event that organizers were “disappointed to hear some of our members boo the press.”

This is the pernicious power of black propaganda — even the minds of patriots can be confused and warped by a dangerous demagogue.

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September forecast: possible government shutdown over Trump’s border wall

Martin Longman at the Political Animal blog brings up a topic no one is currently talking about, but should rightly be concerned about. Will the Government Shut Down in October?

Stan Collender, who is one of the best analysts on the congressional budgeting process, has put up a doomsday clock at his blog. It says that the Republicans have 69 days left before the government shuts down again, but the real number is less than half of that when you take into account weekends, vacations, and days when no votes are scheduled.

Or as the POLITICO Playbook correctly pointed out this morning, 14 legislative days until the government shuts down:

IT MIGHT PUT YOUR MIND at ease that August recess is around the corner, but Congress has 14 legislative days before the government shuts down Sept. 30. Yes, just 14 legislative days — including today — in session to pass a bill to keep the government open.

If you talk to top Republicans privately, they’ll brush it off, and say that there is no way PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will want a confrontation roughly a month before the election in order to get money for his border wall. A down payment to continue to build the wall will be enough to keep Trump happy, some top Republicans say.

Can they be so certain?

IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH IMAGINATION to see the president unhappy with a small pot of money for his signature wall. If the right goes crazy, saying Congress isn’t backing the president’s top immigration proposal, the president might get riled up. Remember: last time the president threatened to veto a spending bill his own staff had a hand in negotiating. Republicans will also be on the brink of electing new congressional leaders, which adds another complication into the mix. There isn’t much room for error, as you can see. And the president and his advisers believe that his immigration policy is a net positive for Republicans across the country.

OF COURSE, the uncomfortable reality for Republicans is that they will almost certainly need Democratic votes to get a government-funding bill across the finish line. And there are a healthy number of Democrats who don’t want Trump to have any money for his border wall.

MOST LIKELY at this point: Congress will try to use September to pass a stop-gap measure to fund government until the end of 2018.

“Stan Collender puts the odds of a October 1st shutdown at 60 percent.” Collender clearly has little confidence in this miserable do-nothing GOP Congress and an increasingly erratic and unpredictable president.

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GOP is a Cancerous Entity that is Reactionary, Undemocratic, and Xenophobic

It has come to this. Today’s America (and Arizona)  is the result of 40 years of conservative southern strategizing, negotiating Faustian bargains with segregationist Democrats and the evangelical community. It is the result of dog whistle ads like the “Willie Horton” ad in 1988, obstructing two Democratic administrations on issues like infrastructure, healthcare, raising wages, and immigration that the people wanted. It is the result of gerrymandering congressional districts that give them majorities when the Democrats win the national vote, and embracing underhanded tactics with domestic and (in the case of 2016) foreign sources that “stole” the election from the people’s choice for President.

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Arizona’s Voter Crisis

In 2014, the year in which our current statewide government officials were elected, voter turnout was 47.52%, the lowest voter turnout since 1942 (during World War II) with the exception of an aberrational year in 1998 (45.82%).

According to the Secretary of State, voter turnout improved to over 74% in the general election of 2016, but as I previously explained some time ago, this number does not tell the whole story in Arizona. Voter Participation in Arizona:

An accurate analysis of voter participation must begin with the Voting Age Population of the State, 4,710, 448 less the number of registered voters, 3,588,466.  There are an estimated 1,121,982 eligible voters who are not registered to vote in Arizona, and thus did not participate in the election.

According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s web site, this means there are more Arizona citizens not registered to vote than there are registered Democratic voters.

Take those 1,121,982 eligible voters who are not registered to vote and add them to the 926, 969 eligible voters who did not vote, and there are 2,o48,951 Arizona citizens who did not participate in this election.

This number is only slightly less than the total number of ballots cast in Arizona in 2016.

Arizona has always had a miserable VAP participation rate in elections.

In a little noticed report from the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission and ASU’s Morrison Institute released this past week, they report on the “voter crisis” in Arizona. Their press release is below the break with updated links to the report.

As I have often warned you, democracies die from indifference and neglect.

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Dark Money files challenge to Outlaw Dirty Money initiative to deny voters a say

The usual suspects from the “Kochtopus,” who have fostered Arizona’s culture of corruption for years, have filed a challenge to the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative to keep it from the ballot, and deny Arizona citizens their right to vote on regulating their corrosive dark money spending in our elections.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Suit filed to stop dark money ballot:

Officials of two organizations known for anonymous [dark money] spending on political campaigns filed suit late Thursday to keep Arizonans from voting on a measure that would make the practice illegal.

The lawsuit charges that some of the paid circulators for the “Outlaw Dirty Money” campaign did not register ahead of time with the Secretary of State’s office as required by law. GOP Attorney Kory Langhofer also said that out-of-state residents who were carrying petitions also failed to register.

Langhofer claimed several other violations of initiative requirements, including that some circulators were convicted felons who had not had their civil rights restored. That, he said, makes them ineligible to gather signatures.

Among the plaintiffs are Scot Mussi, executive director of the Free Enterprise Club, and Andrew Clark, state director of Americans for Prosperity. Both organizations have made repeated expenditures in Arizona elections both to support candidates of their choice and to oppose others.

More to the point, both say their groups do not have to disclose their donors. That is based on their status under the federal tax code as “social welfare organizations” which are permitted to spend up to half their revenues on elections without being considered campaign committees.

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The GOP’s ‘ICE, ICE Baby’ campaign strategy

Arizona Republican candidates for office at every level of office are — once again, as they have in every election cycle since 2004 — running on anti-immigrant hysteria ala Russell Pearce and Jan Brewer and Donald Trump.

Scaring old white people who vote Republican with scapegoating “brown people” and fear-mongering over the Mexico border is all they have.

Sadly, this has too often succeeded in Arizona. There are a lot of scared old white people who vote Republican in this state.

Governor Doug Ducey kicked off his reelection campaign by using your taxpayer dollars to film a campaign ad to praise his leadership on border security. Ducey uses taxpayer-funded event on border security to shoot campaign video.

Reps. Martha McSally and David Schweikert are getting a boost from One Nation, a Virginia-based non-profit “social welfare” organization with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove, which is running campaign ads across the state. The ads, which reportedly cost $500,000, praise both McSally and Schweikert for their work on border security. McSally, Schweikert get support from group with ties to McConnell, Rove.

Recently, the Republican Governor’s Association has begun running fear-mongering ads against Democratic candidates for governor David Garcia and Kelly Fryer because of their calls to reform ICE. Let’s just call it their “Ice, Ice Baby” campaign strategy (with apologies to Vanilla Ice).

Jeff Singer at Daily Kos writes, GOP ads are already attacking Democrats for wanting to abolish ICE. Here’s how they should respond.

Even though the Democrats won’t choose their nominee to take on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey until Aug. 28, Politico reports that the Republican Governors Association (RGA) is launching a $1 million ad campaign targeting two hopefuls, Arizona State University professor David Garcia and activist Kelly Fryer. So far at least, the RGA appears to be ignoring state Sen. Steve Farley, the third candidate in the contest.

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