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GreyhoundFan

Because they have to keep trying to suppress votes: "After losses on voting laws and districting, Texas turns to Supreme Court"

Spoiler

The state of Texas is in the midst of an extraordinary losing streak in federal courts over the way it conducts elections. It is hoping the Supreme Court will come to the rescue.

In the past couple of weeks, federal judges in four separate cases ruled that the Texas Legislature discriminated against minorities in drawing congressional and legislative districts, setting ID requirements for voters and even regulating who can assist voters for whom English is not their first language.

Two courts are considering whether the actions intended to discourage African American and Hispanic voters. If the courts find that the efforts were intentional, it could return Texas to the kind of federal oversight from which the Supreme Court freed it and other mostly Southern states in the landmark 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder.

As the decisions piled up, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) issued a string of statements denouncing the rulings, calling them “outrageous” and “astonishing.”

On Friday afternoon, he went to the Supreme Court for emergency relief rather than comply with a ruling that the state should call a special legislative session to draw new electoral districts in time for the 2018 elections.

The decision by a three-judge panel ordering new districts “is not just wrong, but egregiously so,” Texas told the Supreme Court.

But Democrats and civil rights activists in the state say the seemingly endless litigation over voting laws and redistricting decisions — and the comeuppance from federal courts — are the inevitable result of the Republican-led state’s aggression.

“It’s been a bad month for Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton,” said state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, policy chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, a plaintiff in the lawsuits. “Federal courts have issued three findings of intentional discrimination by the Texas Legislature in the past two weeks alone, evidence of its total disregard for the federal Voting Rights Act following the 2010 tea party surge.”

A finding of intentional discrimination is especially important.

In the Shelby County decision written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the court made unenforceable the part of the Voting Rights Act that required Texas and other states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before making any changes to election laws.

But the decision retained a portion of the law that could put states back under the pre-clearance requirements — for up to 10 years — if courts find the states had engaged in intentional discrimination.

“It’s no surprise the issue of ‘bail-in’ is coming up in Texas,” said Richard Hasen, a voting law expert at the University of California in Irvine. “It and North Carolina are the places most aggressive” in passing and enforcing new laws after the Shelby County decision was handed down, he said.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit struck down in 2016 a comprehensive voting law passed by the North Carolina legislature, saying Republican lawmakers had targeted African American voters “with almost surgical precision.”

But the panel did not seek to put the state back under federal oversight. The Supreme Court turned down North Carolina’s request to review the 4th Circuit ruling.

Texas has had an even more extended losing streak in the federal courts. Every court that has reviewed its comprehensive voter-ID law passed in 2011 — including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, considered one of the most conservative in the country — has concluded that the law has a discriminatory effect on minorities.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos, who was the first to find the Texas law discriminatory, ruled that changes enacted by the Texas Legislature this year to try to remedy its flaws were no better.

Ramos said the legislature didn’t make a sincere effort to correct problems and “trades one obstacle to voting with another.”

She said she will hold a hearing next month to consider returning Texas to federal oversight. A decision in the affirmative would surely be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and, depending on the outcome, to the Supreme Court.

The three-judge panel that found some congressional and some legislative districts must be redrawn also found the legislature intended to discriminate against minorities.

The panel has not ruled on whether that should subject the state to the old pre-clearance requirements, which demanded the approval of the Justice Department or a panel of federal judges in Washington.

Texas has called the recent rulings unreasonable, saying that both in adopting the electoral maps and in changing the voting law the legislature was trying to satisfy judicial demands.

“Simply put, the same map cannot be perfectly permissible when imposed by a court, but become intentionally discriminatory when adopted by the branch of government actually tasked with drawing maps,” the state says in its petition to the Supreme Court.

In the initial challenges to the law in North Carolina and Texas, civil rights activists had an active partner in the Obama administration’s Justice Department. But the department switched sides in the Texas voter-ID law when President Trump took office, saying Texas’s changes were satisfactory.

And, of course, the Supreme Court has changed, too. It declined to get involved in the Texas voting case when the court had only eight justices, before the recent appointment of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch; Roberts said earlier this year there was still work for the lower courts to do.

Texas’s emergency request in the redistricting case will force the court’s hand.

 

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I have been in a state of anger and just despair for our country over this whole thing, I don't have the words. But that in this country sedition is something people are asked to resign for (Trum

I love this tweet!  

Good has prevailed over evil in Texas today.  

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onekidanddone
2 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Because they have to keep trying to suppress votes: "After losses on voting laws and districting, Texas turns to Supreme Court"

Wait. Trump will step in and sign some paper to let Texas do what they want.

Yes I am bitter and negative.

Edited by onekidanddone
cleaning up blank space
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fraurosena

While everyone is so focused on Congress, and next year's elections, things have been going remarkably well in the state houses. Flip. Flip. Flipflipflip.

Details on bigly wins in quite a number of different states in the embedded article.

 

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GreyhoundFan

I hope this creep gets voted out. It's about darned time: "This lawmaker won’t debate his Democratic challenger. He says her supporters would call him a bigot."

Spoiler

Longtime Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall is refusing to participate in debates or candidate forums in his hotly contested election against Democrat Danica Roem, citing what he calls a divisive political climate in Prince William County.

“In the last few elections, there’s been a distinct lack of civility,” said Marshall (R), a 13-term incumbent who has participated in candidate forums in the past. “Prior to that, it wasn’t so bad. You weren’t automatically identified as a bigot, or a hatemonger or anything like this. That has changed.”

Marshall, 73, is facing an aggressive challenge by Roem, 32, who would be the first openly transgender person to win elective office in Virginia. So far, Roem has outraised the outspoken conservative by a 5-to-1 margin, collecting nearly $568,000 as of last month from both local and national donors, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Marshall had raised nearly $97,000, VPAP reported.

Some of Roem’s supporters have added their voices to a chorus of derogatory remarks about Marshall on social media websites, where LGBT advocates refer to him as “Bigot Bob” because of his sponsorship of a “bathroom bill” that would have regulated transgender people’s use of restrooms in government buildings. That measure was unsuccessful. Marshall also sponsored Virginia’s constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage — which stood until the U.S. Supreme Court declared such prohibitions unconstitutional.

The delegate, wary of providing more ammunition to his opponent, has limited his public exposure during his reelection bid, preferring to interact with voters in small, private settings or through phone calls. He won’t allow reporters to accompany him while canvassing for votes and, frequently, asks that questions be emailed to him so he can reply with prepared remarks.

Roem, on the other hand, has received national media attention, including a flattering feature in Cosmopolitan magazine this week.

Earlier this month, the Prince William County chapter of the NAACP invited Marshall, Roem and the candidates in two other local House of Delegates races to participate in a Sept. 21 candidates forum.

The Democrats all replied yes, said Elle “E.J.” Scott, vice president of the NAACP chapter. Marshall and the two other Republican incumbents said no, though Dels. Jackson Miller and Tim Hugo cited scheduling conflicts.

Marshall told the group that he would respond only to emailed questions, Scott said.

She said the event was supposed to feature a moderator asking questions about issues affecting Prince William County, some of which would be submitted in writing from audience members and pre-screened for appropriateness.

The organization has offered alternative dates to Miller and Hugo, but Hugo again had a conflict and Miller has not responded, Scott said. Neither of those two officials returned messages for comment.

“We just feel it’s important that they get their views out to the African American community,” Scott said.

Marshall’s Republican allies say it’s smart for an incumbent to avoid engaging with a challenger in a public forum, especially if that opponent is capable of drawing a crowd of supporters eager to focus on issues they think will benefit their candidate.

“It would totally turn into Danica Roem supporters making it about their sexuality and gender identity,” said Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine M. Lawson (R-Brentsville.) “They’re so fixated that they cannot help but make it about it that.”

Bill Card, the former chair of the Prince William County Republican Committee, had a more tactical view.

“I think the general rule of thumb is, if you’re way ahead, there’s no reason to give the other guy a chance to hit a long ball in one of those things,” he said.

Roem, who when campaigning focuses strictly on traffic and other local issues, said she thinks Marshall is afraid to take her on in a one-on-one debate over how to alleviate congestion along Route 28 and bring more jobs to Prince William County.

“He’s trying to control the narrative instead of answering the questions that are most important to the people in his district,” Roem said.

Stephen J. Farnsworth, a ­political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, said Marshall’s aversion to public forums could backfire if the election is close.

“You generally see more people at these meetings than you do at their doors,” Farnsworth said. “It seems like a good way to lose swing voters.”

It's priceless that he's whining about a lack of civility. He's one of the most hateful people out there.

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Cartmann99

Dammit to hell!

Speaker Strauss is a Republican, but he's a business oriented Republican who understands what crap like that stupid bathroom bill would do to the Texas economy. He used his power as Speaker to prevent that bill from ever reaching the House floor for a vote.

My fear is that the next Speaker is going to be someone like Judge Roy Moore in Alabama.  :pb_sad:

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GreyhoundFan

"Kentucky lawmakers allegedly settled a sexual harassment claim. The governor wants them to resign."

Spoiler

Kentucky’s governor demanded the resignation of fellow Republican lawmakers accused of quietly settling a sexual harassment claim, saying their actions in the metastasizing scandal were “indefensible” and “reprehensible.”

The controversy adds Kentucky’s legislature to a growing list of institutions struggling under the crush of sexual harassment accusations.

Solving the problem, Gov. Matt Bevin said, begins with the culpable elected officials and government employees giving up their positions.

“These allegations are serious,” Bevin said in a speech outside the statehouse on Saturday. “These allegations are specific. These allegations are reprehensible. These allegations have not been denied by anyone.

“Any elected official or state employee who has settled a sexual harassment claim should resign immediately. The people of Kentucky deserve better. We appropriately demand a high level of integrity from our leaders and will tolerate nothing less in our state . . . They should not be in government employ. They should not be representing the people of Kentucky.”

In Kentucky’s case, the problem has been growing for months. Daisy Olivo, the communications director for the House Republican caucus, said she approached House Speaker Jeff Hoover on Sept. 5 about a female employee who was in “emotional duress” after allegedly being physically and verbally harassed for some time, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The details of the alleged harassment have not been made public by Olivo or lawmakers. The woman involved has not been identified and has not made any statements about the allegations or the settled claim, which was reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal.

What is clear is that the complaints were against some top Republican lawmakers, including Hoover. They also included Reps. Brian Linder (Dry Ridge), Michael Meredith (Oakland) and Jim DeCesare (Bowling Green), according to the Herald-Leader. A complaint was also made against House Republican Caucus Chief of Staff Ginger Wills, who is accused of creating a hostile work environment.

The employee said she was worried about coming back to work because of what she described as a hostile environment. She confided in Olivo, who said she feared for the employee’s well-being and brought the matter up with Hoover, the top lawmaker in the Republican-dominated statehouse.

Olivo said Hoover told her that he would consider the matter. Instead, she told the Herald Leader, “he did nothing.”

The same happened when she approached Wills and House Republican general counsel Laura Hendrix. “They denied that a cultural issue existed,” Olivo said.

At the same time, Olivo says, the legislators also sought to silence her.

“Since I reported this to Jeff Hoover I have become effectively isolated,” Olivo told the Herald-Leader. She said she had been stripped of her primary job: talking to the news media. “We have been shut out of everything.”

While she hasn’t been speaking to the media, Olivo said she has been talking to the FBI, which is apparently investigating the allegations.

A defiant Hoover said he was disappointed that the governor didn’t talk to him before publicly calling for his resignation.

Hoover has no plans to tender it, instead telling the Associated Press that he is “more resolved than ever” to continue in his leadership.

“The governor has yet to ask our side of the story, he and I have not spoken since the story broke, and I did not receive a courtesy call from him before his grandstanding today,” Hoover said. “In effect, the governor seeks to be judge, jury and executioner without hearing the evidence.”

House Republicans said they were still supporting Hoover — for now.

“Speaker Hoover, as of now, has the support of the Republican caucus to remain in his leadership position,” according to a statement attributed to Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne, Majority Leader Jonathan Shell, Majority Whip Kevin Bratcher and Majority Caucus Chair David Meade obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “And we reserve the right, based on the results of the investigation, to revisit the status of anyone involved, including Speaker Hoover.”

Women across the world have shared stories about being groped, harassed or even assaulted — in Harvey Weinstein’s office, at the Fox News studios, on the subway, while out with members of the British Parliament. All the stories have similar stock characters: men in positions of power, and women who feel their institutions didn’t do enough to protect them.

In California, Florida, Illinois and Massachusetts, those who work in and around politics have recently come out against the inappropriate culture inside state government, outlined in a report by Politico.

Nearly 150 California women went public in October with details of the inappropriate atmosphere fostered by men holding political power, and more than 200 signed a similar “Say No More” open letter in Illinois.

The Boston Globe recently published the stories of a dozen women who “described a climate of harassment and sexual misconduct” in the Massachusetts State House. In Florida, Politico reported that six women have accused the state Senate budget chairman and gubernatorial candidate Jack Latvala of inappropriate touching and comments.

The movement is still nascent, so the ultimate effects of the effort are yet to be seen. But in Kentucky, the governor believes the accused should make a swift exit from their public positions.

“For the sake of themselves, for the sake of their families, for the sake of Kentucky, they should resign, period,” he said Saturday. “For every elected official in Kentucky, you either publicly condemn or you publicly condone this type of behavior, period. These are hallowed halls.”

 

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GreyhoundFan

I mentioned this last night in the governor thread, but the Dems did far better than expected in the Virginia statehouse elections. "Dems unseat GOP in slew of Va. delegate races; Roem will become 1st transgender House member"

Spoiler

Democratic gains went beyond even their most optimistic scenarios for Election Day, and a handful of additional races were still too close to call and likely headed for recounts.

WASHINGTON — Democrats surged to victory in more than a dozen Virginia House of Delegates races Tuesday, unseating several longtime Republican incumbents and coming within striking distance of retaking control of the House for the first time in 17 years.

As of 10:30 p.m. on Election Day, Democrats had flipped seats in at least 14 districts, according to vote tallies from the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project. The gains bested Democrats’ most optimistic scenarios for Election Day, and a handful of additional races were still too close to call and likely headed for recounts.

Republicans currently outnumber Democrats in the House 66 to 34.

In one of the most closely watched races, Democrat Danica Roem, a local journalist, defeated Republican Del. Bob Marshall in Virginia’s 13th District, which includes parts of Prince William County and Manassas Park.

Roem, who carried 54 percent of the vote, made history as the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia history.

Roem made transportation improvements, including widening lanes and removing stoplights on Route 28 in Centreville, a key part of her campaign. But her gender identity drew national attention to the race.

Marshall, who introduced Virginia’s version of the so-called “bathroom bill,” refused to debate Roem and referred to her using male pronouns.

In another upset, Lee Carter, a Navy veteran and self-described Democratic socialist, unseated Republican Del. Jackson Miller, a member of GOP leadership in Richmond, in the 51st District, which also includes parts of Prince William County.

“People are talking about this as a wave. Well, let me tell you, this is a tsunami,” said House Democratic Caucus Leader David Toscano about Democratic victories Tuesday during remarks at a rally for Democratic Gov.-elect Ralph Northam. “And people all across this country are looking at Virginia to see what we did here.”

Toscano told The Associated Press the last time Democrats picked up more than five seats in an election was 1975.

Two years ago, Democrats picked up just a single seat.

This year saw the highest number of House of Delegates races contested by both major political parties in two decades, energized by Democratic opposition to Trump and an increasingly polarized national political climate.

Democrats also triumphed in the three statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

“Obviously, tonight was a difficult night and the outcome is not what anyone expected,” Matt Moran, spokesman for the House Republican Caucus, said in a statement.

In Northern Virginia, Democrats knocked off Republican incumbents in a total of seven races and snatched up two open seats currently held by the GOP.

In the 32nd District, Republican incumbent Tag Greason, who was first elected to the Loudoun County seat in 2009, was defeated by Democrat David Reid, a retired Naval intelligence officer and defense consultant.

In the 51st District, which covers parts of Prince William County, Democratic challenger Hala Ayala, a former cybersecurity specialist at the Department of Homeland Security, defeated Republican incumbent Rich Anderson.

In the 67th District, which covers parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, Republican incumbent Jim LeMunyon was defeated by Democratic challenger Karrie Delaney.

In the 10th District, Republican incumbent Randy Minchew was defeated by Democratic candidate Wendy Gooditis, a Clarke County realtor and former schoolteacher.

And in the 31st District, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Guzman bested Republican Scott Lingamfelter, who was elected to the seat in 2001.

In two seats currently held by Republicans who had opted not to run for re-election, Democrats defeated their Republican challengers.

Democrat Kathy Tran carried Virginia’s 42nd District, picking up a seat that’s currently held by the GOP. Republican Del. David Albo, who served for 24 years chose not to run for re-election this year. Tran, who becomes the first Asian-American woman elected to the House, defeated Republican Lolita Mancheno-Smoak.

In the 2nd District, Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy, a former public defender, defeated Republican Mike Makee, a Navy veteran and member of the Stafford County Utilities Commission.

Democrats also claimed victory in the 40th District, where Donte Tanner, an Air Force veteran and government contractor, had challenged Republican Del. Tim Hugo, who has held the seat since 2002. However, with all precincts reporting, Tanner’s margin of victory was just 68 votes — a razor-thin margin sure to trigger a recount.

Overall, there were 60 contested House of Delegates races this year — more than double the number in 2015.

The AP will not call Virginia House Districts 27, 28, 40, 68 or 94 Tuesday night because the races are too close to call.

Some analysts have said the delegate races offer a glimpse into the national political climate. The races, which are less personality-driven than the gubernatorial race, act as a barometer of how well Democrats are able to turn anti-Trump fervor into electoral success heading into the 2018 congressional elections, Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman has hypothesized.

He said a net gain of at least 10 Democratic pickups would be seen as a harbinger of Democratic enthusiasm ahead of the midterms.

Please, Rufus, make this be a harbinger of 2018 congressional midterms.

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GreyhoundFan

This is a great review of the gains in the Virginia General Assembly, which were not just great for Dems, but for women: "Democrats make significant gains in Virginia legislature; control of House in play"

Spoiler

The Democratic wave in Virginia on Tuesday wiped out the Republican majority in the state House of Delegates, throwing control of the chamber in play for the first time since 2000 and putting Republicans in blue-tinged districts across the country on alert for next year’s elections.

Democrats snared at least 15 seats in an upset that stunned members of both parties and arrived with national implications.

Unofficial returns showed Democrats unseating at least a dozen Republicans and flipping three seats that had been occupied by GOP incumbents who did not seek reelection. Four other races were so close that they qualify for a recount, and the outcome will determine control of the chamber. The results marked the most sweeping shift in control of the legislature since Reconstruction.

Republicans, who have controlled the chamber since 2000, went into Tuesday holding 66 of 100 seats. Democrats fielded the most candidates in recent memory, including a record number of women.

Control of the chamber may not be determined for days as provisional ballots are counted in narrow races.

Democrats need to hold one seat where they are narrowly leading to ensure a 50-50 split where power sharing would be necessary, and to pick up an additional seat in a race eligible for a recount to take full control of the chamber.

The election signaled a major shift in the gender of a body long dominated by men: Of the 15 seats Democrats flipped, all were held by men and 11 were won by women. Several of those women made history.

One became Virginia’s first openly transgender person to win elective office, unseating an opponent of LGBT rights. Another became the first open lesbian elected to the House of Delegates, another the first Asian American woman and two, both from diverse Prince William County, are set to be the first Latinas elected to the General Assembly.

“This is an unbelievable night,” said House Minority Leader David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) in an interview an hour after polls closed. “There were districts we didn’t think we had much of a shot in.”

Democrats benefited from gubernatorial contender Ralph Northam’s coattails: He won by nine percentage points.

“Obviously, tonight was a difficult night, and the outcome is not what anyone expected,” said Matt Moran, spokesman for the House Republican Caucus. “We also want to thank our colleagues and fellow Republican candidates who ran principled campaigns based on positive ideas in a difficult political environment. Our team is closely monitoring the canvasses that will take place tomorrow as we await the official results.”

Although House races are normally seen as the sleepy backwater to the gubernatorial contest, they generated a surge of interest this year from activists energized by President Trump’s election and new groups that see the legislative contests as an opportunity to test strategies and technologies ahead of next year’s elections.

Strategists said the results suggest trouble for Republicans.

“This is a tidal wave,” said David Wasserman, an analyst who tracks U.S. House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “It’s hard to look at tonight’s results and to conclude anything other than that Democrats are the current favorite for control of the House in 2018.”

The highest-spending House of Delegates race was in southwest Virginia, where former television news anchor Chris Hurst, whose girlfriend was fatally shot during a live broadcast in 2015, challenged Republican incumbent Joseph Yost.

Both raised more than $1 million for their bids, and Hurst won.

A pair of Democratic incumbents easily fended off well-financed challenges by Republicans. Subba Kolla, who would have been the body’s first Indian American lawmaker, lost to Del. John J. Bell in Loudoun County, and Heather Cordasco fell to Del. Michael P. Mullin in Hampton Roads.

Democrats flipped the most seats in Northern Virginia as Northam posted a strong showing in the populous region. If results hold, Democrats will hold every delegate seat in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William counties — and all but one in Loudoun County.

The biggest battleground for the House was Prince William, a Washington exurb where people of color constitute a majority of the population. A diverse group of five Democratic challengers hoped to channel demographic changes and Democratic energy to take seats held by white men — and all won.

Danica Roem, who will be Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official, defeated Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), a culture warrior who opposes LGBT rights. Elizabeth Guzman, who raised more money than any Democratic candidate except for Hurst, unseated Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge).

Republican Dels. Richard L. Anderson (Prince William) and Jackson H. Miller (Manassas) lost to their Democratic challengers, Hala Ayala and Lee Carter. Ayala and Guzman are Latina, and Carter is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

In an open seat vacated by a retiring Republican, Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy easily defeated Republican Michael Makee.

In Fairfax County, Democrat Kathy Tran, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, beat Republican Lolita Mancheno-Smoak for an open seat vacated by retiring Del. David B. Albo (R), while Democrat Karrie Delaney handily defeated Del. James M. LeMunyon (R). Del. Timothy D. Hugo, the Republican caucus chairman, was narrowly trailing Democratic challenger Donte Tanner, and the results were within the margin for a state-funded recount. Hugo picked up 100 votes during a Fairfax County canvass on Wednesday morning.

With nearly all precincts reporting in Loudoun County, Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R) was set to lose to Democratic challenger David Reid in that county’s most competitive race in a district that Hillary Clinton carried by 19 points a year ago.

Greason’s fellow Loudoun County lawmaker, Del. J. Randall Minchew, lost his seat to Democratic challenger Wendy Gooditis. Another Loudoun County Republican lawmaker, David A. LaRock, defeated his Democratic challenger, Tia Walbridge — and may be the lone Republican left representing Northern Virginia in the House.

In the Richmond suburbs, Dels. John M. O’Bannon III and G. Manoli Loupassi lost their seats to Debra Rodman and Dawn Adams, who is openly lesbian. Democrat Schuyler T. VanValkenburg won an open seat vacated by Republican Jimmie Massie III.

In the Virginia Beach area, Del. Ronald A. Villanueva lost to Democrat Kelly Fowler, while N.D. “Rocky” Holcomb III lost to Cheryl Turpin in a squeaker. Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr. narrowly pulled out a win for reelection.

Republicans were barely leading in three contests that were in the margin for a recount, including in the race to succeed retiring Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News) led Shelly Simonds by only 12 votes.

Even if Democrats fall short of taking control of the chamber this year, they see a potential for additional pickups next year, if a court challenge of legislative district maps forces special elections, and in 2019 when all 100 seats are on the ballot again.

Republicans have a narrow 21-to-19 majority in the state Senate, where all seats are up in 2019.

Control of the governor’s mansion and legislature in Virginia has national implications. The General Assembly will draw congressional and state legislative district maps after the 2020 Census, and the governor has the power to veto those maps.

I so hope this bodes well for the next few years.

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AmazonGrace

This article is uplifting and depressing at the same time. 

It cheers my spirits because so many historic victories for the first ever AA, female, transgender eg. elected to elected positions. 

But  at the same time it's also gloomy af because it's 2017, how the heck can an election of a female still be "historic"? 

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GrumpyGran
5 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

This is a great review of the gains in the Virginia General Assembly, which were not just great for Dems, but for women: "Democrats make significant gains in Virginia legislature; control of House in play"

  Reveal hidden contents

The Democratic wave in Virginia on Tuesday wiped out the Republican majority in the state House of Delegates, throwing control of the chamber in play for the first time since 2000 and putting Republicans in blue-tinged districts across the country on alert for next year’s elections.

Democrats snared at least 15 seats in an upset that stunned members of both parties and arrived with national implications.

Unofficial returns showed Democrats unseating at least a dozen Republicans and flipping three seats that had been occupied by GOP incumbents who did not seek reelection. Four other races were so close that they qualify for a recount, and the outcome will determine control of the chamber. The results marked the most sweeping shift in control of the legislature since Reconstruction.

Republicans, who have controlled the chamber since 2000, went into Tuesday holding 66 of 100 seats. Democrats fielded the most candidates in recent memory, including a record number of women.

Control of the chamber may not be determined for days as provisional ballots are counted in narrow races.

Democrats need to hold one seat where they are narrowly leading to ensure a 50-50 split where power sharing would be necessary, and to pick up an additional seat in a race eligible for a recount to take full control of the chamber.

The election signaled a major shift in the gender of a body long dominated by men: Of the 15 seats Democrats flipped, all were held by men and 11 were won by women. Several of those women made history.

One became Virginia’s first openly transgender person to win elective office, unseating an opponent of LGBT rights. Another became the first open lesbian elected to the House of Delegates, another the first Asian American woman and two, both from diverse Prince William County, are set to be the first Latinas elected to the General Assembly.

“This is an unbelievable night,” said House Minority Leader David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) in an interview an hour after polls closed. “There were districts we didn’t think we had much of a shot in.”

Democrats benefited from gubernatorial contender Ralph Northam’s coattails: He won by nine percentage points.

“Obviously, tonight was a difficult night, and the outcome is not what anyone expected,” said Matt Moran, spokesman for the House Republican Caucus. “We also want to thank our colleagues and fellow Republican candidates who ran principled campaigns based on positive ideas in a difficult political environment. Our team is closely monitoring the canvasses that will take place tomorrow as we await the official results.”

Although House races are normally seen as the sleepy backwater to the gubernatorial contest, they generated a surge of interest this year from activists energized by President Trump’s election and new groups that see the legislative contests as an opportunity to test strategies and technologies ahead of next year’s elections.

Strategists said the results suggest trouble for Republicans.

“This is a tidal wave,” said David Wasserman, an analyst who tracks U.S. House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “It’s hard to look at tonight’s results and to conclude anything other than that Democrats are the current favorite for control of the House in 2018.”

The highest-spending House of Delegates race was in southwest Virginia, where former television news anchor Chris Hurst, whose girlfriend was fatally shot during a live broadcast in 2015, challenged Republican incumbent Joseph Yost.

Both raised more than $1 million for their bids, and Hurst won.

A pair of Democratic incumbents easily fended off well-financed challenges by Republicans. Subba Kolla, who would have been the body’s first Indian American lawmaker, lost to Del. John J. Bell in Loudoun County, and Heather Cordasco fell to Del. Michael P. Mullin in Hampton Roads.

Democrats flipped the most seats in Northern Virginia as Northam posted a strong showing in the populous region. If results hold, Democrats will hold every delegate seat in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William counties — and all but one in Loudoun County.

The biggest battleground for the House was Prince William, a Washington exurb where people of color constitute a majority of the population. A diverse group of five Democratic challengers hoped to channel demographic changes and Democratic energy to take seats held by white men — and all won.

Danica Roem, who will be Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official, defeated Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), a culture warrior who opposes LGBT rights. Elizabeth Guzman, who raised more money than any Democratic candidate except for Hurst, unseated Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge).

Republican Dels. Richard L. Anderson (Prince William) and Jackson H. Miller (Manassas) lost to their Democratic challengers, Hala Ayala and Lee Carter. Ayala and Guzman are Latina, and Carter is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

In an open seat vacated by a retiring Republican, Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy easily defeated Republican Michael Makee.

In Fairfax County, Democrat Kathy Tran, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, beat Republican Lolita Mancheno-Smoak for an open seat vacated by retiring Del. David B. Albo (R), while Democrat Karrie Delaney handily defeated Del. James M. LeMunyon (R). Del. Timothy D. Hugo, the Republican caucus chairman, was narrowly trailing Democratic challenger Donte Tanner, and the results were within the margin for a state-funded recount. Hugo picked up 100 votes during a Fairfax County canvass on Wednesday morning.

With nearly all precincts reporting in Loudoun County, Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R) was set to lose to Democratic challenger David Reid in that county’s most competitive race in a district that Hillary Clinton carried by 19 points a year ago.

Greason’s fellow Loudoun County lawmaker, Del. J. Randall Minchew, lost his seat to Democratic challenger Wendy Gooditis. Another Loudoun County Republican lawmaker, David A. LaRock, defeated his Democratic challenger, Tia Walbridge — and may be the lone Republican left representing Northern Virginia in the House.

In the Richmond suburbs, Dels. John M. O’Bannon III and G. Manoli Loupassi lost their seats to Debra Rodman and Dawn Adams, who is openly lesbian. Democrat Schuyler T. VanValkenburg won an open seat vacated by Republican Jimmie Massie III.

In the Virginia Beach area, Del. Ronald A. Villanueva lost to Democrat Kelly Fowler, while N.D. “Rocky” Holcomb III lost to Cheryl Turpin in a squeaker. Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr. narrowly pulled out a win for reelection.

Republicans were barely leading in three contests that were in the margin for a recount, including in the race to succeed retiring Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News) led Shelly Simonds by only 12 votes.

Even if Democrats fall short of taking control of the chamber this year, they see a potential for additional pickups next year, if a court challenge of legislative district maps forces special elections, and in 2019 when all 100 seats are on the ballot again.

Republicans have a narrow 21-to-19 majority in the state Senate, where all seats are up in 2019.

Control of the governor’s mansion and legislature in Virginia has national implications. The General Assembly will draw congressional and state legislative district maps after the 2020 Census, and the governor has the power to veto those maps.

I so hope this bodes well for the next few years.

Rufus has blessed your state. Praise Rufus!

So much good, I have to say I was particularly taken by Hurst's win. I have to admit that when his fiance died, I thought his immediate reaction was a bit odd, but, from what I have seen, he ran a campaign that should be the template for national campaigns in 2018.

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On 10/25/2017 at 12:47 PM, Cartmann99 said:

Speaker Strauss is a Republican, but he's a business oriented Republican who understands what crap like that stupid bathroom bill would do to the Texas economy. He used his power as Speaker to prevent that bill from ever reaching the House floor for a vote.

My fear is that the next Speaker is going to be someone like Judge Roy Moore in Alabama.  :pb_sad:

Dan Patrick is still raging over the bathroom bill being in the toilet and will relentlessly attempt to destroy the public school system and stealth support religious schools through vouchers.  Yes, there are endless possibilities for crazy in the Texas Lege.   

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GreyhoundFan

"Virginia voter: “It could have been Dr. Seuss or Berenstain Bears on the ballot - I would voted for them if they were a Democrat”"

Spoiler

Michael Ross has been a loyal Republican for as long as he can remember. But voting in Virginia’s gubernatorial election Tuesday, the retired advertising man said he rejected every Republican on the ballot and chose Democrats — whether he knew anything about them or not.

His reasons were not rooted in any particular candidate, issue or a change in political philosophy, but in an ever-expanding antipathy toward President Trump and the party that propelled him to the White House.

“I’ve been with the Republicans my whole life, but what the party has been doing is appalling,” said Ross, 72, as he was about to get a haircut Wednesday in Lorton, a suburb about 20 miles south of Washington. “It’s completely divisive and the politics of this country has gone berserk. Trump has demonstrated that he doesn’t deserve to be president.”

On the ballot, Virginia’s election was about the state’s future and who would assume a slew of elective offices, from governor to attorney general to seats in the House of Delegates. Yet a year after Trump won the White House, voters in Virginia said in post-election interviews that their choices were shaped more by their attitude toward the president than any candidate close to home.

Ask them to identify an issue championed by Governor-elect Ralph Northam (D) and they may fumble for an answer. Ask them the name of the man who was elected lieutenant governor and they might have to think for a moment. Ask them to identify who they chose for the House of Delegates, and they were likely to reply with a blank stare.

But ask them why they voted Democratic, and their answers were precise and infused with anger.

“I don’t like Trump and I don’t like where our politics are going,” said Patty Potts, 48, an education programmer who lives in Lorton. Her husband, Mike Potts, 51, a software process engineer, regards himself as a fiscal conservative and a loyal Republican who researches candidates before voting. But he chose all Democrats on Tuesday, and said he didn’t need to study the candidates’ biographies or positions.

The fact that they weren’t Republicans was all he needed to know.

“The Republicans are just so negative,” Mike Potts said. “We have kids — 10 and 7 — and we need a little hope. The Republicans aren’t giving us any. I’m protesting and it feels good in the sense that I’m registering my concerns about it. Normally, I would like to know a little more about whom I’m voting for but right now I’m overwhelmed by the protest aspect of it.”

His sentiment was shared by Democrats, who said they were focused more on who they were opposing than who they were supporting.

“It could have been Dr. Seuss or the Berenstain Bears on the ballot and I would have voted for them if they were a Democrat,” said Toren Beasley, 60, a marketing executive, as he left a Starbucks in Lorton. “I might do more analyses in other years. But in this case, no. No one else gets any consideration because what’s going on with the Republicans — I’m talking about Trump and his cast of characters — is stupid, stupid, stupid. I can’t say stupid enough times.”

Northam is a soft-spoken man who twice voted for President George W. Bush and was little known before his bid to succeed Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). Yet the governor-elect was the recipient of more votes than any candidate in the commonwealth’s history of gubernatorial campaigns, and he got more votes than any Virginia Democrat in the last 32 years.

The outpouring is rooted in the state’s population growth, as well the fury provoked by Trump’s presidency. But it’s less certain whether Northam’s nine percentage point victory over Republican Ed Gillespie — and Democrats picking up 15 seats in the state legislature — is evidence that voters are embracing Democratic policies.

“The danger is that the party misreads the election as a mandate — winners do this all the time,” said Mark Rozell, a political-science professor at George Mason University. “They take a landslide victory and make it an affirmation of everything that they campaigned on, their policy positions, and themselves personally, when, in reality, it’s that the other candidate is worse or unacceptable. Or it’s about a national political climate that was driving the Democratic mobilization.”

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), whose district includes Northern Virginia, said he was reluctant to interpret Tuesday’s results as a mandate if only because “anyone who claims it almost always overreaches.”

But Connolly said Democratic victories in the legislative races, as well as the top statewide contests, represents a “consolidation” of Democratic power, particularly in Northern Virginia, where Republicans were trounced.

“It was an affirmation of a Democratic approach,” he said. “Trump fueled what happened and the fuel was red hot and intense. But it wasn’t a mindless reaction to Trump. It was a cognizant choice to switch course to a more open, inclusive and welcoming agenda.”

Not in all cases. Even if they reject Trump, several voters said they remain open to Republican candidates.

Kathryn Shaw, 57, a homemaker who lives in Stafford, believes Trump is a “megalomaniac — everything is about him, it’s not about the country. It’s about his ego and how he’s being perceived.” But Shaw said she voted for Gillespie because “I didn’t like what Northam stood for,” citing his abortion rights stance.

“As long as the Republican doesn’t seem crazy, I will vote for them,” Shaw said. “Trump is the exception, not the rule. It’s his personality, not what he’s doing. He just doesn’t seem stable.”

Paul Gallagher, 51, a consultant who lives in Lorton, also voted for Gillespie even though he dislikes Trump, and prefers to support candidates on a case-by-case basis. Gallagher said that the 2016 presidential election was when he used his vote to send a message. He rejected both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton and supported Gary Johnson, the Independent candidate.

“Both parties can be effective or ineffective,” he said. “The country is polarized. We need people to go down the middle.”

But other voters said they are sufficiently repelled by Trump’s conduct as president — the tone of his rhetoric, his use of Twitter — that they saw the election as a chance to rebuke the Republican Party as a whole.

“Trump is very rude, he has no heart, and I believe, as a Christian, you have to give respect in order to get it,” said Dawn Smith, 55, a cashier at Giant who lives in Woodbridge and who voted for the Democratic ticket. “He’s always trying to destroy people, send people back to their countries. I just don’t like the guy.”

Martin Andrews, 66, a retired contracting purchaser who lives in Fairfax Station, said he voted for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, but that he said he used his vote for Northam to convey his unhappiness with how Trump comports himself.

“I just think we’ve become less civil in our discourse and that Trump is setting the tone,” he said. “He’s coming from a place where it’s impossible to interface with the other party — and we just don’t need that.”

Dave Hughes, 59, a Web designer who lives in Springfield, said he was more focused on Washington than Virginia as he voted for Northam Tuesday. His mission, he said as he sat outside a Panera, was “sending Trump a message that we’re not going to sit back anymore.”

That neither Northam or Gillespie impressed him was of no significance, he said. What mattered more was that “Trump would take credit if Gillespie won,” Hughes said. “That was his thing and that could not happen.”

Sitting with her cup of soup inside the Panera, Sandra Kilburn, a retired pediatric physical therapist, recounted having voted for George H.W. Bush and other Republicans in previous elections.

But Democrats were her choice Tuesday, up and down the ballot.

“Our nonpresidential president,” she said, citing her reason. “I’m appalled.”

 

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GrumpyGran
2 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

"Virginia voter: “It could have been Dr. Seuss or Berenstain Bears on the ballot - I would voted for them if they were a Democrat”"

  Reveal hidden contents

Michael Ross has been a loyal Republican for as long as he can remember. But voting in Virginia’s gubernatorial election Tuesday, the retired advertising man said he rejected every Republican on the ballot and chose Democrats — whether he knew anything about them or not.

His reasons were not rooted in any particular candidate, issue or a change in political philosophy, but in an ever-expanding antipathy toward President Trump and the party that propelled him to the White House.

“I’ve been with the Republicans my whole life, but what the party has been doing is appalling,” said Ross, 72, as he was about to get a haircut Wednesday in Lorton, a suburb about 20 miles south of Washington. “It’s completely divisive and the politics of this country has gone berserk. Trump has demonstrated that he doesn’t deserve to be president.”

On the ballot, Virginia’s election was about the state’s future and who would assume a slew of elective offices, from governor to attorney general to seats in the House of Delegates. Yet a year after Trump won the White House, voters in Virginia said in post-election interviews that their choices were shaped more by their attitude toward the president than any candidate close to home.

Ask them to identify an issue championed by Governor-elect Ralph Northam (D) and they may fumble for an answer. Ask them the name of the man who was elected lieutenant governor and they might have to think for a moment. Ask them to identify who they chose for the House of Delegates, and they were likely to reply with a blank stare.

But ask them why they voted Democratic, and their answers were precise and infused with anger.

“I don’t like Trump and I don’t like where our politics are going,” said Patty Potts, 48, an education programmer who lives in Lorton. Her husband, Mike Potts, 51, a software process engineer, regards himself as a fiscal conservative and a loyal Republican who researches candidates before voting. But he chose all Democrats on Tuesday, and said he didn’t need to study the candidates’ biographies or positions.

The fact that they weren’t Republicans was all he needed to know.

“The Republicans are just so negative,” Mike Potts said. “We have kids — 10 and 7 — and we need a little hope. The Republicans aren’t giving us any. I’m protesting and it feels good in the sense that I’m registering my concerns about it. Normally, I would like to know a little more about whom I’m voting for but right now I’m overwhelmed by the protest aspect of it.”

His sentiment was shared by Democrats, who said they were focused more on who they were opposing than who they were supporting.

“It could have been Dr. Seuss or the Berenstain Bears on the ballot and I would have voted for them if they were a Democrat,” said Toren Beasley, 60, a marketing executive, as he left a Starbucks in Lorton. “I might do more analyses in other years. But in this case, no. No one else gets any consideration because what’s going on with the Republicans — I’m talking about Trump and his cast of characters — is stupid, stupid, stupid. I can’t say stupid enough times.”

Northam is a soft-spoken man who twice voted for President George W. Bush and was little known before his bid to succeed Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). Yet the governor-elect was the recipient of more votes than any candidate in the commonwealth’s history of gubernatorial campaigns, and he got more votes than any Virginia Democrat in the last 32 years.

The outpouring is rooted in the state’s population growth, as well the fury provoked by Trump’s presidency. But it’s less certain whether Northam’s nine percentage point victory over Republican Ed Gillespie — and Democrats picking up 15 seats in the state legislature — is evidence that voters are embracing Democratic policies.

“The danger is that the party misreads the election as a mandate — winners do this all the time,” said Mark Rozell, a political-science professor at George Mason University. “They take a landslide victory and make it an affirmation of everything that they campaigned on, their policy positions, and themselves personally, when, in reality, it’s that the other candidate is worse or unacceptable. Or it’s about a national political climate that was driving the Democratic mobilization.”

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), whose district includes Northern Virginia, said he was reluctant to interpret Tuesday’s results as a mandate if only because “anyone who claims it almost always overreaches.”

But Connolly said Democratic victories in the legislative races, as well as the top statewide contests, represents a “consolidation” of Democratic power, particularly in Northern Virginia, where Republicans were trounced.

“It was an affirmation of a Democratic approach,” he said. “Trump fueled what happened and the fuel was red hot and intense. But it wasn’t a mindless reaction to Trump. It was a cognizant choice to switch course to a more open, inclusive and welcoming agenda.”

Not in all cases. Even if they reject Trump, several voters said they remain open to Republican candidates.

Kathryn Shaw, 57, a homemaker who lives in Stafford, believes Trump is a “megalomaniac — everything is about him, it’s not about the country. It’s about his ego and how he’s being perceived.” But Shaw said she voted for Gillespie because “I didn’t like what Northam stood for,” citing his abortion rights stance.

“As long as the Republican doesn’t seem crazy, I will vote for them,” Shaw said. “Trump is the exception, not the rule. It’s his personality, not what he’s doing. He just doesn’t seem stable.”

Paul Gallagher, 51, a consultant who lives in Lorton, also voted for Gillespie even though he dislikes Trump, and prefers to support candidates on a case-by-case basis. Gallagher said that the 2016 presidential election was when he used his vote to send a message. He rejected both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton and supported Gary Johnson, the Independent candidate.

“Both parties can be effective or ineffective,” he said. “The country is polarized. We need people to go down the middle.”

But other voters said they are sufficiently repelled by Trump’s conduct as president — the tone of his rhetoric, his use of Twitter — that they saw the election as a chance to rebuke the Republican Party as a whole.

“Trump is very rude, he has no heart, and I believe, as a Christian, you have to give respect in order to get it,” said Dawn Smith, 55, a cashier at Giant who lives in Woodbridge and who voted for the Democratic ticket. “He’s always trying to destroy people, send people back to their countries. I just don’t like the guy.”

Martin Andrews, 66, a retired contracting purchaser who lives in Fairfax Station, said he voted for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, but that he said he used his vote for Northam to convey his unhappiness with how Trump comports himself.

“I just think we’ve become less civil in our discourse and that Trump is setting the tone,” he said. “He’s coming from a place where it’s impossible to interface with the other party — and we just don’t need that.”

Dave Hughes, 59, a Web designer who lives in Springfield, said he was more focused on Washington than Virginia as he voted for Northam Tuesday. His mission, he said as he sat outside a Panera, was “sending Trump a message that we’re not going to sit back anymore.”

That neither Northam or Gillespie impressed him was of no significance, he said. What mattered more was that “Trump would take credit if Gillespie won,” Hughes said. “That was his thing and that could not happen.”

Sitting with her cup of soup inside the Panera, Sandra Kilburn, a retired pediatric physical therapist, recounted having voted for George H.W. Bush and other Republicans in previous elections.

But Democrats were her choice Tuesday, up and down the ballot.

“Our nonpresidential president,” she said, citing her reason. “I’m appalled.”

 

Pleasepleaseplease all deities in heaven and on earth let this be a trend.

No, a tsunami.

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fraurosena

Oh dear. I believe I'm going to say something incredibly unpopular right now. Maybe it's because I'm a foreigner on the outside looking in. But something is bothering me greatly about the statement, 'It could have been Dr. Seuss or Berenstain Bears - I would have voted for them if they were a Democrat'. 

First off, let me say that I completely agree with the sentiment behind the statement. Anything is better than the presidunce. I get that. I really do. You all know how much I dislike the maniacal moron and his sychophantic entourage of Repugliklans. (And let me be perfectly clear, I rejoice at the dems win over the repugs, I truly do.)

However.

What I find disturbing, is that apparently (some) American voters have NOT learned their lesson after last year's debacle of an election. How many people voted for the current presidunce only because he was not Hillary? I think we can all agree that it was a great many. Maybe even so many, that he managed to grab that Electoral vote win. 

But how is that any different from people saying, I don't care who I'm voting for as long as it's not an R, because I hate the presidunce?

Is that how American politics should work? Is that how democracy works? By voting for the one because you don't want it to be the other? And totally disregarding the merits (or lack of merits) of the person you are voting for?

I'm sorry, but that to me is dumbfounding. People are making sentimental choices, again. And look what it got you last time.

So there you have it. Some of you may not agree with me. But I really believe that one should vote for the person who is best capable for the job. It should not be because you happen to dislike the other candidate. At the very least, it should not be your only reason.

Edited by fraurosena
I should proof read before hitting submit
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WiseGirl

IMO, American politics are a hot mess for so many reasons. That we continue to have only two parties irritates me. I don't think either one represents a lot of Americans.  I also don't think we had the best candidates from either party.

I also fear that you hit on a bit of truth, people not voting for people on merit, experience, or skill, but only because they are not the other person. If it continues,  we're fucked.

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onekidanddone
32 minutes ago, LeftCoastLurker said:

Can't find the state senate thread, so....

Lesbian married to an African American just won in <drumroll> OKLAHOMA!

Heavens to Murgatroyd! Time to order more fainting couches.

ETA: 31 votes is really close. Wondering if there will be a recount. Please Rufus watch over and guard us. 

Edited by onekidanddone
cleaning up blank space and adding more thoughts.
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GrumpyGran
On 11/10/2017 at 5:32 PM, fraurosena said:

At the very least, it should not be your only reason.

Sorry it took me so long to respond to this but life sometimes dares to get in the way of my FJ time.

You know I respect your opinion and am grateful that you hang in with all of us living through this nightmare. It's great to have an opinion from the outside looking in.

That said I can very much understand this mind set. If this administration had for one minute indicated that they could be trusted to do things that are good for the average American or for the majority of Americans we might be able to consider examining the issues more closely before choosing who to vote for.

But this administration from the top all the way to the bottom has indicated, gleefully, that their loyalty is to a foreign government and ultra-wealthy donors. No one else.

So, yes, people will vote against them. They will vote against anyone who has not spoken out about Trump's behavior and policy. His administration is actively trying to raise taxes and cut health care while destroying our environment.

We don't have many options. With the control of elections in the hands of Republican officials in many states, you are lucky if you even have a Democrat to vote for. It would be nice to have the luxury of several people with varying degrees of left-to-right policy but Trump and his henchmen are forcing this issue with their loyalty tests. And Republican lawmakers don't seem to want to find their ethics or morals.

These are desperate times, if the balance of power isn't restored then this country will go into a free fall and I, like many others, will have to find another place to live. We have to have more Democrats in Congress and if having the Republicans continue to rule causes you to lose your health care, pay more in taxes and have to start contributing to your parents' finances while you struggle with that student loan, you may just choose whoever has a D by their name.

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fraurosena
2 hours ago, GrumpyGran said:

So, yes, people will vote against them. They will vote against anyone who has not spoken out about Trump's behavior and policy. His administration is actively trying to raise taxes and cut health care while destroying our environment.

Ah! But this is exactly what I meant in my post, @GrumpyGran. Here you are stating people have thought about why you are voting for someone. The point I was attempting to make is that people should have a reason to vote for someone, and that it should not be because they are not someone else, but because they stand for something you agree with. You (general you) are voting because you disagree with current policies, with the administration's actions, and the person you are voting for is a much better option.  

The thing I found worrisome in that article I was citing, is that it seemed (to me at least) there were some people voting without thinking, simply going for 'not R'. Voting so blindly should not be the way. I think I may not have explained myself too clearly, and maybe didn't take all your frustrations and fear and angst into account as much as I could have. But when I saw that comment that they would have voted for Dr. Seuss if he was a Democrat, the first thing I thought was "But Dr. Seuss would suck at the job, don't vote for him, that's a terrible idea". And it was an echo of the thoughts I had when I heard the TT was running in the elections last year. "No, don't vote for him, he's a terrible candidate, he's a horrible person and would suck at the job." And these thoughts lead to my post. 

But I have to say this too: I am not in your shoes. I do not have to lie awake at night worrying about healthcare, or taxes, or if my (grand)kids will be able to get an education*. I may be able to imagine what that might be like, but I don't really know. I'm sitting here comfortable in the knowledge that all those things are taken care of for me and mine. It gives me a different perspective, which can sometimes lead to alternative insights, but these insights can also be flawed precisely because I am on the outside looking in. And I very much value people pointing those flaws out to me. I live to learn.

You are right when you say it's a desperate situation. And desperate situations call for desperate measures. My post is more appropriate for less desperate times, I suppose. But even so, I hope people do not fall for the same mistake that lead to the presidunce being elected, and make a truly rational choice. In the current times, the logical choice is to vote Democrat, because things certainly need to change and a balance of power is necessary. In your current two-party system, it means more Dems are needed. And even more than that balance of power, a willingness to work together for the good of the country is needed.

Seeing voter turnout at the last elections, I am hopeful. And thankful, that Dr. Seuss is not running for office. :pb_wink:

 

*Though I do worry about the destruction of the environment, and climate change, and the possibility of nuclear war.

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GreyhoundFan

Before this month's election, Reps had a 66-34 majority in the Virginia House of Delegates. Turnout this year was huge for an off-year election, and the Dems made major inroads. There are still a few races that are likely to have recounts -- one has a margin of victory of just 10 votes -- but there is a huge outcry because in one of the close races, many voters were mistakenly assigned to the wrong district, which could have skewed the results. It's going to be interesting to see how this all shakes out. "With uncanny twists and an allegedly rogue registrar, Virginia House left in limbo"

Spoiler

RICHMOND — It has all the elements of a political whodunit, even if the “who” part is no mystery. Nearly everyone agrees: The registrar did it.

But why she moved 83 voters from one Virginia House of Delegates district to another, no one seems to know. Former Fredericksburg registrar Juanita Pitchford cannot say. She died in April.

But the adjustments she made in the 28th and 88th districts live on, throwing two House seats and control of the entire chamber into highly litigated limbo nearly three weeks after Election Day.

Adding to the drama are few uncanny twists. Precisely 83 voters were initially said to have been moved out of a district won by a margin of 82 votes, although after a few days’ investigation, election officials said they had uncovered hundreds of misassigned voters between the two districts. They say 147 of them voted in the wrong district.

Perhaps adding to the confusion: The 28th and the 88th races each had a candidate with the last name Cole, one a Democrat, the other a Republican.

“It’s like a Wes Anderson movie about elections,” said Brian Cannon, executive director of the redistricting revision group OneVirginia2021. “The whole thing is just crazy coincidences.”

Said Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax): “This whole election reminds me of the old Abbott and Costello routine: ‘Who’s on first?’ Nobody knows what’s going on.”

It would all be one, big knee-slapper if the stakes weren’t so high. Control of the state’s lower chamber hangs in the balance.

Republicans boasted a 66-to-34 majority going into this month’s elections. Now the count is 49 Democrats and 51 Republicans, including the two uncertified races. If those two delegates are not seated, the parties would be tied at 49 apiece.

Voter confidence could be especially tested if a losing candidate files a challenge with the state legislature, with the winner decided by a House vote, observers say.

Voters who turned out in historic numbers for an off-year election could be turned off if contests end up decided by the House of Delegates, currently controlled by Republicans, or a judge, said Cameron Glenn Sasnett, Fairfax County’s general registrar.

“We have this election with phenomenal turnout. And we have people that participated for the first time in a gubernatorial election that are going to now have whatever decision was made by the voters potentially being overturned or challenged or questioned,” Sasnett said. “I think that will impact voter psyches when they go to vote again.”

An election challenge in the legislature would be a rare but not unprecedented means of settling a Virginia General Assembly race.

Democrats and their allies have filed three lawsuits to try to block the state Board of Elections from certifying the 28th and 88th District races. Two of the suits were promptly dismissed. In the third case, a federal judge rejected Democrats’ request for a temporary restraining order to block the state board of elections from certifying the 28th District election when it meets Monday. But he left open the possibility of a special election.

At that hearing in federal court, state officials said, they had discovered a total of 384 misassigned voters between the two House districts. But over the weekend, state elections officials indicated that 147 of the misassigned voters cast ballots.

Elections officials said the trouble began on Charles Street, in a heavily Democratic precinct where in 2016, 68 percent voters went for Hillary Clinton and 27 percent went for now-President Trump.

The whole street should be in the 28th District. But for some reason, voters living in odd-numbered houses were reassigned to the 88th — an error affecting 83 registered voters. Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortés disclosed the problem at a public meeting last Monday, saying Pitchford reassigned them in April 2016. He was at a loss to explain why.

There has been some pushback on the rogue registrar theory, with several people suggesting Pitchford could not have acted alone. Her daughter, Aliya Wong, said the registrar had plenty of supervision.

“Blaming my mother seems entirely based on the word of Commissioner Edgardo Cortés,” she wrote in a letter to the editor submitted to The Washington Post. “Why are these ‘errors’ just coming to light now? We know that dead (wo)men tell no tales, but apparently, they make great scapegoats.”

Sasnett, the Fairfax registrar, vouched for Pitchford’s professionalism at last week’s state board of elections meeting, saying he found it too convenient to lay the problem at the feet of someone who cannot speak for herself.

The assignment errors would affect both races, but the focus has been on the 28th because it is a squeaker — one of three tight races that are likely headed for recounts and could tip the balance of power in the House after a wave of Democratic wins.

In the 28th, Republican Robert Thomas leads Democrat Joshua Cole by 82 votes in the contest to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).

In the 88th District, Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) — no relation to Joshua Cole — beat Democrat Steve Aycock by more than 4,000 votes. But if Mark Cole’s race remains uncertified, and he is not seated when the legislature convenes in January, Democrats could use the vacancy to help them gain control of a chamber that the GOP has long dominated.

Democrats could take power if recounts produce a win in two other close races. Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) has a 106-vote lead over Democrat Donte Tanner, while Del. David E. Yancey (R-Newport News) is up just 10 votes over Democrat Shelly Simonds.

A losing candidate could contest the results in the House, something Saslaw, one of Virginia’s longest-serving legislators, recalls happening just once before.

In 1979, Republican Meyera Oberndorf challenged her loss in a Senate race, which she blamed on malfunctioning voting machines. With the Senate under Democratic control, she got nowhere.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
fraurosena

Wowsers. Time for a happy dance! :dance:

 

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GreyhoundFan

What a prince... "Cyclist claims Sen. Martin Golden impersonated a cop and threatened him"

Spoiler

ALBANY — Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Golden impersonated a cop and threatened to haul a bicycle rider into a precinct while his driver ran several red lights and drove into oncoming traffic, the cyclist said Tuesday.

Brian Howald said he was riding to a community board meeting in Sunset Park Monday night when a Cadillac SUV registered to the Republican came up on him in the bike lane on Third Ave.

The passenger, who Howald later said he learned was Golden, told him to move over.

“I told him I was legally in the bike lane and wasn’t going to move,” Howald told the Daily News. “The passenger then told me he was a police officer. He repeated his demand that I pull over and waved what appeared to be a laminated placard out the window at me.”

When Howald realized the placard was not from the NYPD, he again refused to move. That’s when Golden, a retired NYPD cop, told him “he was going to take me to the precinct,” he said.

From there, Howald began to take video and pictures with his phone, even asking the passenger who he was. “Wouldn’t you like to know,” he said Golden told him.

Golden — who has sponsored a bill that would add bicycle and pedestrian safety to driver’s education courses — covered up his face as Howald took photos, though the cyclist said he did capture one of the senator in his car. He posted the photos on Twitter.

Howald said once he took a picture of the car’s license plate, the driver moved forward though a red light. As he continued to follow the vehicle, the driver ran other red lights and even steered into a lane of oncoming traffic, he said.

According to city records, the vehicle Golden was traveling in has 33 violations associated with it, including parking in a bus stop, running red lights, double parking and speeding in a school zone.

“It’s disheartening,” Howald said.

Senate insiders called it “hypocrisy” given Golden has sponsored a number of red-light camera and school zone bills, though he killed one last year.

Golden did not respond to a request for comment.

He denied to NY1 that he identified himself as a police officer.

"I was seeing what I thought was an escalating situation for road rage — cyclist road rage,” he told the station. “This man is wrong."

Andrew Gounardes, one of two Democrats looking to challenge Golden next year, said Golden may have committed a felony if he impersonated an officer. At a minimum, he called for a state ethics investigation since misusing the parking placard would be an abuse of power.

“Golden’s constituents deserve nothing less than to know what happened,” Gounardes said.

The second Democrat looking to take on Golden, journalist Ross Barkan, said Wednesday morning that “"Marty Golden's actions proved, once again, he is unfit to be a state senator. He pretended to be a police officer and menaced a cyclist. This is a disgrace." 

I hope he gets booted out of the legislature.

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Cartmann99
11 hours ago, AmazonGrace said:

 

So, is the state of Ohio planning to help these people care for their family members with Down Syndrome, or will they be presented with a pair of beautifully wrapped bootstraps and some thoughts and prayers? 

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