Category Archives: Scandals

Stacy Abrams’s ‘concession’ is a call to arms against systematic GOP voter suppression

Democratic Georgia  gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams acknowledged on Friday that she had no clear path to victory. She did not, however, offer a concession speech but rather a call to arms against systematic GOP voter suppression in Georgia. Video Link. Abrams spoke truth to naked abuse of power.

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Full Text: Stacey Abrams’ speech to end the Georgia governor’s race (excerpts):

[W]e are a mighty nation because we embedded in our national experiment the chance to fix what is broken. To call out what has faltered. To demand fairness wherever it can be found. Which is why on Election Night, I declared that our fight to count every vote is not about me. It is about us. It’s about the democracy we share and our responsibility to preserve our way of life. Our democracy – because voting is a right and not a privilege.

I stand here today as witness to that truth. This election is about all of us – as is the resolution of this moment.

I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

But to watch an elected official – who claims to represent the people of this state, baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote – has been truly appalling. So, to be clear, this is not a speech of concession.

Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede. But my assessment is that the law currently allows no further viable remedy.

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Sen. Jeff Flake threatens to hold up judicial nominees over protection for Mueller (Updated)

The always desperate for media attention Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Flake says he’ll oppose judicial nominees until Mueller bill gets vote:

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said on Wednesday that he will oppose any of President Trump’s judicial nominations until legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller gets a vote.

“I have informed the majority leader I will not vote to advance any of the 21 judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee or vote to confirm the 32 judges awaiting confirmation on the Senate floor until … [the bill] is brought to the full Senate for a vote,” Flake said from the Senate floor.

Flake’s threat will block the Judiciary Committee from approving judicial nominations and sending them to the full Senate without help from Democrats. Republicans hold a 11-10 majority on the panel and many of the most controversial nominees pass along party lines, meaning they would need either Flake’s vote or a Democratic senator to flip.

On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has slightly more leeway. With a 51-49 majority, Flake would need a Republican colleague to join him and every Democrat to block a judicial nominee on the Senate floor.

His decision comes after McConnell blocked Flake from bringing legislation to protect Mueller from being fired to a vote before the Senate.

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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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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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New Rules needed for media coverage of election night and beyond

Elections have long since ceased to be a one day event in America. Most states offer early voting in some form, and California and Arizona in particular offer relatively easy early voting by mail which invariably leads to voters turning in their mail-in ballots on Election Day. That in turn requires time for election officials to verify voter signatures and to count the ballots. It takes time to do it correctly, fairly and accurately.

The numbers the media breathlessly reports in their election night coverage and endlessly speculates about in their media consortium projections are actually a disservice to Americans on Election Day. The media want finality in the limited time frame they have set aside for election night coverage, which is unrealistic and impossible.

It can lead to candidates and political parties leading in those early election night results later concocting unsupported wild conspiracy theories about election fraud when ballots verified and counted in the days and weeks after election night swing to their opponent, as has occurred here in Arizona with Rep. Martha McSally, The Arizona Republican Party and the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee in the U.S. Senate race.

The ultimate consequence of this is to undermine public confidence in our election system and election results.

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