Betting Odds - Democratic Presidential Nomination

In European Betting Odds on the Republican Nomination, Donald Trump has dropped from -600 to -200 over the past 3 weeks. Paul Ryan has climbed from 50/1 to 20/1 over the same time period

If you listen to the Colin Cowherd Podcast the conversation takes place 1:35:00 (just so there's a source).
RJ Bell, frequent guest on ESPN and FOX Sports, runs the gambling odds website Pregame.com, is the source of the information.
Current odds:
Donald Trump -200 Ted Cruz 4/1 John Kasich 8/1 Paul Ryan 20/1
The move in the lines indicates that professional bookmakers believe the odds of a contested convention have increased dramatically over the past 3 weeks.
submitted by Hyperdrunk to Conservative [link] [comments]

The election isn't tightening, yet. (effortpost)

"THE ELECTION IS TIGHTENING"

A lot of hay has been made over the fact that the election is tightening. This isn't really true to a significant degree, at least not yet.
The 538 national polling average (much better than RCP due to adjusting bad polls like Zogby and Rasmussen)
https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/national/
538 has Biden+8.2 vs Biden+8.3 on July 31st. Almost no change.
We can look at some swing states
Michigan: was +8.0, now +7.1
Florida: was +5.9, now +5.3
Pennsylvania: was +6.6, now +5.6
Wisconsin: was +7.0, now +6.1
Arizona: was +3.9, now +4.1
North Carolina: was +1.9, now +1.5
So on average, these states have swung 0.6 points to Trump. While that's something to pay attention to, it's nothing crazy like a lot of overreactions I've seen.

CONVENTIONS

Conventions are one big infomercial trying to boost your party's chances. How did it play for each side?
Looks like the DNC did well, while the RNC was horrible. Now, one poll is one poll, but this looks really bad for the RNC.

BETTING MARKETS

A lot of people have been fretting over Biden plummeting in betting markets.
Betting markets should only be used to gauge the conventional wisdom, not the actual state of the race. At one point, Biden had a 9% chance to win the Democratic Primary. That was completely indefensible given the empirical state of the race, but the conventional wisdom was very pessimistic on Biden's chances.
A similar story can be seen in 2016. Despite Trump's polling average significantly improving following the comey letter in 2016, his betting odds never really fluctuated. The race went from Clinton+5 to Clinton +2 in 3 days and the betting odds for trump only went up 5%. Again, not empirically defensible. This happened because nobody really thought trump would win.

BUT THE POLLS ARE WRONG!

There is evidence of some minor poll errors in 2016. There was some minor, but systematic, undercount of Trump supporting white working class voters in the rust belt. The good pollsters have all made adjustments, notably adjusting more carefully for education levels in post-Trump polling. But the national average in 2016 was within 1 point of the final result. We can also look at 2018, where the polls were very spot on.

OTHER FACTORS SHOWING BIDEN/DEM LEAD

There is a ton of non presidential polling that doesn't get much attention.
Democrats lead by 7.4 points in the Generic Ballot.
Generally, the polling of both individual congressional as well as extremely local races has all been consistent with Biden having a substantial lead. I don't know where to find a compilation of all those polls, but if you look for them and do the math, you'll see what I'm talking about. I've seen around 50 of these polls and almost all are consistent with a big biden lead of some kind.
Here are a few examples:
FL13, Clinton won by 4, while Biden leads by 14 in this poll. That would be consistent with a Biden +12 national lead.
In PA01, A republican internal shows Biden winning PA-01 by 9, Hillary won by 2. That's a Biden+9 environment, and that's in a GOP poll. (internals are very often biased toward whoever commissioned it)
Texas State House District 65 D internal, Biden +15 when Hillary lost it by 2. That's consistent with Biden +19 nationally, so even if we adjust it 10 points for an internal, it's still Biden well ahead.

THIS MAY NOT LAST

Throw everything out the window. In a few months, the election could be completely different. Right now, the biggest issues are Covid and Race. Who knows, maybe Trump will drag out the scare factor on a caravan again, or Iran. Maybe he'll be successful in convincing people that he's the right man for the economic turnaround. No election model can predict that, and neither can I.
There are reasons to doubt this will happen- The race has been extremely stable so far, (compare the RCP graph of this race compared to the Hillary v Trump race) and most of each side say in polls that there is no possible way they could change their mind.

HOW TO STAY INFORMED

There's a lot of horrible election pundits out there, so I thought I'd drop some good sources to look at, for anyone who's curious.
https://jhkforecasts.com/
http://fivethirtyeight.com/
https://projects.economist.com/us-2020-forecast/president
http://crystalball.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/
https://cookpolitical.com/
@NilesGAPol, @SenhorRaposa, @NateSilver538, @Redistrict, @ForecasterEnten, @kkondik,

WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN?

Absolutely nothing. Everyone needs to get out and vote on November 3rd.
submitted by KronoriumExcerptB to neoliberal [link] [comments]

The election isn't tightening, yet. (effortpost)

"THE ELECTION IS TIGHTENING"

A lot of hay has been made over the fact that the election is tightening. This isn't really true to a significant degree, at least not yet.
The 538 national polling average (much better than RCP due to adjusting bad polls like Zogby and Rasmussen)
https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/national/
538 has Biden+8.2 vs Biden+8.3 on July 31st. Almost no change.
We can look at some swing states
Michigan: was +8.0, now +7.1
Florida: was +5.9, now +5.3
Pennsylvania: was +6.6, now +5.6
Wisconsin: was +7.0, now +6.1
Arizona: was +3.9, now +4.1
North Carolina: was +1.9, now +1.5
So on average, these states have swung 0.6 points to Trump. While that's something to pay attention to, it's nothing crazy like a lot of overreactions I've seen.

CONVENTIONS

Conventions are one big infomercial trying to boost your party's chances. How did it play for each side?
Looks like the DNC did well, while the RNC was horrible. Now, one poll is one poll, but this looks really bad for the RNC.

BETTING MARKETS

A lot of people have been fretting over Biden plummeting in betting markets.
Betting markets should only be used to gauge the conventional wisdom, not the actual state of the race. At one point, Biden had a 9% chance to win the Democratic Primary. That was completely indefensible given the empirical state of the race, but the conventional wisdom was very pessimistic on Biden's chances.
A similar story can be seen in 2016. Despite Trump's polling average significantly improving following the comey letter in 2016, his betting odds never really fluctuated. The race went from Clinton+5 to Clinton +2 in 3 days and the betting odds for trump only went up 5%. Again, not empirically defensible. This happened because nobody really thought trump would win.

BUT THE POLLS ARE WRONG!

There is evidence of some minor poll errors in 2016. There was some minor, but systematic, undercount of Trump supporting white working class voters in the rust belt. The good pollsters have all made adjustments, notably adjusting more carefully for education levels in post-Trump polling. But the national average in 2016 was within 1 point of the final result. We can also look at 2018, where the polls were very spot on.

OTHER FACTORS SHOWING BIDEN/DEM LEAD

There is a ton of non presidential polling that doesn't get much attention.
Democrats lead by 7.4 points in the Generic Ballot.
Generally, the polling of both individual congressional as well as extremely local races has all been consistent with Biden having a substantial lead. I don't know where to find a compilation of all those polls, but if you look for them and do the math, you'll see what I'm talking about. I've seen around 50 of these polls and almost all are consistent with a big biden lead of some kind.
Here are a few examples:
FL13, Clinton won by 4, while Biden leads by 14 in this poll. That would be consistent with a Biden +12 national lead.
In PA01, A republican internal shows Biden winning PA-01 by 9, Hillary won by 2. That's a Biden+9 environment, and that's in a GOP poll. (internals are very often biased toward whoever commissioned it)
Texas State House District 65 D internal, Biden +15 when Hillary lost it by 2. That's consistent with Biden +19 nationally, so even if we adjust it 10 points for an internal, it's still Biden well ahead.

THIS MAY NOT LAST

Throw everything out the window. In a few months, the election could be completely different. Right now, the biggest issues are Covid and Race. Who knows, maybe Trump will drag out the scare factor on a caravan again, or Iran. Maybe he'll be successful in convincing people that he's the right man for the economic turnaround. No election model can predict that, and neither can I.
There are reasons to doubt this will happen- The race has been extremely stable so far, (compare the RCP graph of this race compared to the Hillary v Trump race) and most of each side say in polls that there is no possible way they could change their mind.

HOW TO STAY INFORMED

There's a lot of horrible election pundits out there, so I thought I'd drop some good sources to look at, for anyone who's curious.
https://jhkforecasts.com/
http://fivethirtyeight.com/
https://projects.economist.com/us-2020-forecast/president
http://crystalball.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/
https://cookpolitical.com/
@NilesGAPol, @SenhorRaposa, @NateSilver538, @Redistrict, @ForecasterEnten, @kkondik,

WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN?

Absolutely nothing. Everyone needs to get out and vote on November 3rd.
submitted by KronoriumExcerptB to Destiny [link] [comments]

General Election Polling Discussion Thread (September 2nd, 2020)

Introduction

Welcome to the /politics polling discussion thread for the general election. As the election nears, polling of both the national presidential popular vote and important swing states is ramping up, and with both parties effectively deciding on nominees, pollsters can get in the field to start assessing the state of the presidential race. Please use this thread to discuss polling and the general state of the presidential or congressional election. Below, you'll find some of the most recent polls, but this is by no means exhaustive, as well as some links to prognosticators sharing election models.
As always though, polls don't vote, people do. Regardless of whether your candidate is doing well or poorly, democracy only works when people vote, and there are always at least a couple polling misses every cycle, some of which are pretty high profile. If you haven't yet done so, please take some time to register to vote or check your registration status.

Polls

Below is a collection of recent polling of the US Presidential election. This is likely incomplete and also omits the generic congressional ballot as well as Senate/House/Gubernatorial numbers that may accompany these polls. Please use the discussion space below to discuss any additional polls not covered. Additionally, not all polls are created equal. If this is your first time looking at polls, the FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings page is a helpful tool to assess historic partisan lean in certain pollsters, as well as their past performance.
With the conclusion of both major parties’ nominating conventions, pollsters scrambled into the field to conduct polls of swing states and the national race. The result has been a slew of high quality pollsters releasing their numbers on Wednesday as well as today, which paint a picture of the electorate right after the candidates are expected to have received a temporary convention bounce.
Poll Date Type Biden Trump
Quinnipiac University 9-3 Florida 48 45
Quinnipiac University 9-3 Pennsylvania 52 44
Monmouth University 9-3 North Carolina 48 46
Monmouth University 9-3 North Carolina 47 45
Monmouth University 9-3 North Carolina 48 46
Rasmussen Reports 9-3 Pennsylvania 47 48
Harper Polling 9-3 Minnesota 48 45
USC Dornsife 9-3 National 50 42
USC Dornsife 9-3 National 51 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 52 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 52 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 52 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 53 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 52 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 40
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 40
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 47 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 46
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 51 41
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 40
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 46
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 47 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 47 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 42
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 47 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 49 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 43
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 48 44
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 47 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 47 45
Morning Consult 9-2 Wisconsin 47 45
Fox News 9-2 Wisconsin 49 41
Fox News 9-2 North Carolina 49 45
Fox News 9-2 Wisconsin 50 42
Fox News 9-2 North Carolina 50 46
Fox News 9-2 Arizona 49 40
Fox News 9-2 Arizona 49 39
Ipsos 9-2 National 43 38
SSRS 9-2 National 51 43
Harris Insights & Analytics 9-2 National 46 40
Morning Consult 9-2 National 51 43
Morning Consult 9-2 National 51 43
Morning Consult 9-2 National 50 43
Morning Consult 9-2 National 51 44
Morning Consult 9-2 National 52 42
Morning Consult 9-2 National 51 43
Quinnipiac University 9-2 National 52 42
Qriously 9-2 National 46 41
Opinium 9-2 Florida 50 43
Opinium 9-2 Wisconsin 53 39
IBD 9-2 National 49 41
YouGov 9-2 National 51 40
Rasmussen Reports 9-2 National 48 45
Monmouth University 9-2 Pennsylvania 49 46
Monmouth University 9-2 Pennsylvania 49 45
Monmouth University 9-2 Pennsylvania 48 47
Suffolk University 9-2 National 46 41
Ipsos 9-2 National 47 40
USC Dornsife 9-2 National 51 42
USC Dornsife 9-2 National 51 41
Opinium 9-2 National 53 39
Suffolk University 9-2 National 49 43
Selzer & Co. 9-2 National 49 41
Redfield & Wilton Strategies 9-1 National 49 40
Landmark Communications 9-1 Georgia 40 47
East Carolina University 9-1 North Carolina 46 48
Public Policy Polling 9-1 Michigan 48 44
Expedition Strategies 9-1 Montana 44 48
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 9-1 Nevada 44 38
Morning Consult 9-1 National 52 43
Morning Consult 9-1 National 51 43
Morning Consult 9-1 Texas 47 48
Morning Consult 9-1 Florida 49 47
Morning Consult 9-1 Pennsylvania 49 45
Morning Consult 9-1 National 51 43
Morning Consult 9-1 North Carolina 49 47
Morning Consult 9-1 Ohio 45 50
Morning Consult 9-1 Minnesota 50 43
Morning Consult 9-1 Florida 50 45
Morning Consult 9-1 Georgia 49 46
Morning Consult 9-1 Michigan 50 44
Morning Consult 9-1 Georgia 46 47
Morning Consult 9-1 Colorado 51 41
Morning Consult 9-1 Wisconsin 52 43
Morning Consult 9-1 Michigan 52 42
Morning Consult 9-1 Arizona 52 42
Morning Consult 9-1 Colorado 51 41
Morning Consult 9-1 Texas 46 47
Morning Consult 9-1 Minnesota 50 42
Morning Consult 9-1 Ohio 45 49
Morning Consult 9-1 North Carolina 49 46
Morning Consult 9-1 Pennsylvania 50 44
Morning Consult 9-1 Arizona 45 47
USC Dornsife 9-1 National 51 41
USC Dornsife 9-1 National 51 41
Léger 9-1 National 49 42
AtlasIntel 9-1 National 49 46
Emerson College 8-31 National 51 48
RMG Research 8-31 National 48 44
Global Strategy Group 8-31 Pennsylvania 53 43
Global Strategy Group 8-31 Pennsylvania 50 42
Public Policy Polling 8-31 Georgia 47 46
Harris Insights & Analytics 8-31 National 47 38
GQR Research (GQRR) 8-31 Pennsylvania 52 43
Trafalgar Group 8-31 Missouri 41 51
USC Dornsife 8-31 National 53 40
USC Dornsife 8-31 National 52 40
John Zogby Strategies 8-30 National 45 42
John Zogby Strategies 8-30 National 48 42
USC Dornsife 8-30 National 54 39
USC Dornsife 8-30 National 53 39

Election Predictions

Prognosticators

Prognosticators are folks who make projected electoral maps, often on the strength of educated guesses as well as inside information in some cases from campaigns sharing internals with the teams involved. Below are a few of these prognosticators and their assessment of the state of the race:

Polling Models

Polling models are similar to prognosticators (and often the model authors will act like pundits as well), but tend to be about making "educated guesses" on the state of the election. Generally, the models are structured to take in data such as polls and electoral fundamentals, and make a guess based on research on prior elections as to the state of the race in each state. Below are a few of the more prominent models that are online or expected to be online soon:

Prediction Markets

Prediction markets are betting markets where people put money on the line to estimate the likelihood of one party winning a seat or state. Most of these markets will also tend to move depending on polling and other socioeconomic factors in the same way that prognosticators and models will work. Predictit and Election Betting Odds are prominent in this space, although RealClearPolitics has an aggregate of other betting sites as well.
submitted by TheUnknownStitcher to politics [link] [comments]

Nov 3rd, 2020 Fiscal-Conservative, Social Liberal Ballot walk-through for Washoe County

This post acts as an alternative viewpoint to the extreme-left list here.

Preface - My Bias and Background

I'm not a neutral party - I am decidedly pro Trump. This does not extend to the rest of the Republican Party, however. I'm simply opening with my background so everyone has full disclosure of any potential biases I may have.
I am a former democrat who got disillusioned after Bernie was abused in the 2016 election primaries and decided to #walkaway. I am a furry, LGBTQ, and have lived in Reno for over a year now, having fled the corruption and mismanagement of California for a much free-er state - pretty much the antithesis of a stereotypical "Trump supporter". As a younger voter, I voted Kerry in 04, Obama in 08 and 12, and in 2016 I voted Trump after Bernie was no longer an option - a moot point in California.
I grew up in the Philippines until '91 when Mt. Pinatubo erupted and forced my military family (chair force, woo!) to evacuate Clark AFB. We've lost everything more than once, and I spent years in a trailer park and on the supplemental food programs in elementary school. My parents both worked two jobs - Dad as an Air Force MP (and eventually rose to Lt. Col before retiring and continuing on in civil Service) and security guard, and mother as a maid at the Radisson hotel chain and fast food worker - which allowed us to actually rise out of poverty and own a house, and go to better school programs. Their work ethic is what's taught me the drive and focus that's allowed me to own my own house here in Reno - with my fantastic husband. It hasn't been an easy road, but I very much know what the American dream is about - I've lived it and want nothing more than for others to have the opportunities to do the same.
My recommendations, if any, below are colored through that lens of those experiences. Onto the ballot.

Ballot Summary

This is a quick short summary of how to vote from a Fiscal Conservative perspective. See the long explanations below. I am only going over items that have an actual choice, and am choosing to include all slots on my Ballot (Assembly District 31 and county district 4). For information on all candidates and their statements, links to their websites, etc, please see the official Washoe County voter information page on Candidates.
President: Trump, Donald J & Pence, Michael R. Congress District 2: Amodei, Mark E. State Assembly District 31: Dickman, Jill Or Daly, Skip County Commission District 4: Hartung, Vaughn Supreme Court Seat D: Herndon, Douglas Court of Appeals Dept 3: Bush, Susan District Court Judge Dept 10: Sigurdson, Kathleen A. District Court Judge Dept 11: Shannon, Greg District Court Judge Dept 13: Robb, Bridget
Question 1 - Strip constitutional status of the Board of Regents and allow state legislature to review and change the governing organization of state universities and federal grants:
Yes on Question 1.
Question 2 - Remove constitutional amendment declaring marriage between a man and woman only:
Yes on Question 2.
Question 3 - Require the Board of Pardons to meet more often, and allow the Board of Pardons to issue pardons without the Governor's approval:
Yes on Question 3.
Question 4 - Encodes the voter's bill of rights, a legislative statute since 2002, into a constitutional amendment:
Yes on Question 4.
Question 6 - Amend the constitution to require all electric providers start providing increasing amounts of energy from renewable sources so that 50% are provided by renewable sources by 2030:
No on Question 6.
The below section reviews my reasoning for the above selections.

Candidates

We shall address all people you can vote for in the below sections.

President and Vice President

Biden-Harris - Democrat

Biden's got 47 years of experience in politics, and has almost nothing to show for it. His slogan is a cheap Chinese knockoff of "Make America Great Again" - much like Biden himself; he's unoriginal, having plagiarized many speeches and policy goals. What he does have to show for it isn't good.
He's directly responsible for the crime bill that's put millions of BIPOC behind bars - rocketing the US to the highest incarceration rates in the world per the Human Rights Watch, with 70-80% of those being African Americans. He proudly called it the Biden Crime Bill in his failed 2008 bid. From 1983 to 2000, prison admissions for African Americans grew 2600% directly due to this bill - and no that's not a typo.
He's got a long history of racist behavior that demonstrates this wasn't an "unintended side effect" either - he opposed desegregation. And that's not new news, either - Biden has openly said the N word on the senate floor - twice, though to be fair he was quoting someone else, the double standard is absurd - anyone else that had done so wouldn't have been given a pass.
He also is on record directly praising Grand Cyclops Robert Byrd, who led a 150 person chapter of the KKK, calling him a close friend and mentor.. Don't forget, though, he's not racist because he noted poor kids are just as smart as white kids. Biden's racist past is so damning that he had no other option but to choose a minority, "diverse" VP. His choice of Kamala Harris was not based on actual political qualifications, merely she was one of the candidates most "diverse" to fit the bill. What an achievement - becoming choice for VP based solely on your race and gender.
Biden's abused his power as Vice President to solicit bribes from both China and Russia through his Son, Hunter Biden - an irrefutable fact that has been admitted to in Ukrainian courts by Burisma, noting that they did not refute the allegations that payments to Hunter were bribes to then-VP Joe Biden. The most the general media has done is not to refute the relationship, but to claim that Hunter's millions in payments from Russian Oligarchs are somehow... unrelated to his Father's position. Totally believable, don't you get paid tens of millions in fields you know nothing about as a 'consultant'? You can review the full senate report and supporting evidence here.
Biden, if elected, has pledged to raise taxes. You can see the entire fact check and history associated with this comment here. Now this is a bit dishonest - because the Trump tax cuts raised taxes on the wealthy - substantially - by capping the amount of money they could deduct from their federal taxes to $10,000 for state and local taxes (e.g. property taxes, income taxes). Joe biden's tax bill went up by millions because of the Trump Tax Cuts - as did his wealthy backers. That's why they want to repeal them. And the middle class who can't afford the tax firms and million dollar homes end up footing the bill for it.
Biden's energy platform is one that would significantly raise costs and kill jobs, exposing the rest of the country to the same energy policy goals as California - which we can all see is working so well in a state that can't even provide power for all their electric vehicles. The gross mismanagement under the name of "green" initiatives rejects the simple basics and facts of energy consumption, failing to provide sufficient supply and then blaming the people when the demand is exceeded. With no mention of any renewable or green energy sources actually capable of satisfying demand (e.g. Nuclear), the result is simply that people revert to dirtier, more destructive means of fulfilling their needs (e.g. the mass use of diesel and gas generators as the state fails to provide basic needs, or importing energy from other states at a premium). There's a reason CA's electricity is over $.80 per kw/hr. Do you want ours to increase from the ~ $0.08 kw/hr? CA's infrastructure resembles that of a third world country, not a shining beacon and example for the world to see on how to do things right.
I don't think I really need to go into the war-mongering of Biden, but I will address one extremely offensive ad I've seen recently around here - the MRAP ad. This is straight up bullshit on so many levels it makes me see red. Biden's involvement in the MRAP boils down to awarding a $45bn contract that was funded from stealing from other military funding (like veteran healthcare) to a manufacturer tied to his campaign, after an anti-Bush blitz in 2007. The original program, valued at $15bn, would have uparmored humvees and aligned with the Military's long term goals for versatile, modular equipment; and had just as effective of results as the MRAP. Now for all of you careful readers, you may recognize the term "MRAP" and realize that this was one of the hallmarks of the militarization of the US police. This is a direct result of the wasted money on the MRAP program Joe Biden championed and created. The vehicles serve no purpose in the Military strategy outside of a true wartime scenario, and thus have been a waste of taxpayer dollars. The Pentagon, in an effort to save face, has repurposed these vehicles to domestic law enforcement to offset the cost. Joe Biden is directly responsible for the militarization of our police force. And he claims he can fix it? Please.
Biden's would likely not serve his term if elected, meaning realistically, you're voting for Kamala Harris - a corrupt cop that knowingly withheld exculpatory evidence from thousands of cases (primarily against BIPOC under Biden's bill), and even attempted to block DNA testing for a man on Death Row. Sources Her only qualifications to begin her career was her affair with Willie Brown, through political kickbacks and corruption - a common theme for this ticket.
The rest of the platform is rehashed, failed policies from the past decades - lots of empty promises but demonstrated failures to achieve the stated outcomes time and time again.
Nobody in their right mind could support this ticket. I guess that's why only the left-minded do. *rimshot*

Blankenship-Mohr - Constitution Party

Blankenship is a former CEO of Massey Energy and was convicted of willfully violating mine safety standards, and was sentenced to one year in Prison. He has no experience in politics and very little relevant history to speak to. He was a former Republican, and the party platform is... convoluted and unclear. Near as I can tell, it's very strictly aligned with concepts of states rights, non-intervention, increased bill of rights protections, and minimal government. I agree with the other post that this is generally a spoiler candidate with no actual plan or goals.

Jorgenson-Cohen - Libertarian Party

Jorgenson won the Libertarian primary in one of the most competitive ones in a while, securing the nomination after four rounds of voting and becoming the first female presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party.
Jorgenson advocates for eliminating civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity, ending the war on drugs and abolishing the scheduled substance program, has promised to pardon all non-violent drug offenders if elected, and urges the demilitarization of the police.
Jorgenson's foreign policy platform is one of non-interventionism, going beyond that to stump for a true free market and eliminate foreign aid, embargos, sanctions, and military intervention, bringing our Military back to the homefront only. She's very much in support of open borders and removing national quotas on immigration.
Jorgenson has aggressively criticized government spending and vowed to slash spending and reduce the need for elevated taxes in that manner, vowing to block additional borrowing and spending, but not actually providing any solid strategies to reducing spending.
Jorgenson's open-borders policy may appeal to some voters, as will her fiscal conservationist mantra; however while strong on principle I find she lacks meaningful concrete plans.

Trump-Pence - Republican Party

  • Platform - The Republican party chose not to publish an updated Platform this year and is using the same core principles of 2016.
  • Official Slogan - "Make America Great Again", "Keep America Great", "Promises Made, Promises Kept"
  • Official Website
Donald Trump secured presidency in 2016 and has since been subjected to non-stop negative press and "mistakes" by major media, big tech, and other sources to vilify and demonize his candidacy and presidency. Even the post I'm responding to falsely and incorrectly claims, repeatedly, that Trump's a White Nationalist, making easily disproven claims that he won't denounce white supremacy/nationalists when he has - dozens of times. It's irrefutable at this point, even FactCheck.org begrudgingly has noted the truth - yet the media loves pulling out an easily disproven statement to distract from Biden's racist past by projecting it on Trump. This is a common pattern, as is found by claims being made and widely published, then quietly retracted in a foot note before a defamation suit gains ground.
Unlike Biden, however, Trump has in 4 years done more than Biden has done in over 47. Trump is running on his accomplishments, and has demonstrated how effective he can be even despite 4 years of non-stop interference from now-known to be fabricated Russian Collusion allegations. It's worth noting that we now, officially and publicily, know that the Russian Collusion story was not only fake, it was a Hillary Clinton Campaign ploy to distract the public from the contents of her leaked e-mails. Once Trump Won, it was then used as a grounds to attempt to impeach or remove him from office (see the Mueller Investigation). The DNI Declassification this week seals the deal on the entire saga.
Trump's accomplishments are many, and he's kept a lot of his campaign promises, resulting in a rapid economic recovery once he took office. Obama's handling of the Bush recession was a disaster, with the ~ 11M jobs created under the Obama-Biden administration being low-wage, part time service jobs, not meaningful manufacturing or full time positions. Trump's policies, on the other paw, have seen record full time employment, with rising wages as businesses were forced to compete for scarce labor on an open market. Without needing a federal minimum wage increase that arbitrarily rammed costs down business throats, we achieved even here in Reno a $15 starting wage for many retail positions, with white and blue collar and other work having even higher salaries.
Trump reversed Biden's disastrous crime bill, orchestrating and signing the First Step Act which eliminated the mandatory prison terms that put millions of BIPOC behind bars for non-violent drug offenses.
Trump's championing of the NAFTA repeal and USMCA trade agreement, closing loopholes that have screwed over US small businesses in favor of international corporations like Walmart that have enriched other countries at the expense of our middle class.
Trump's built the wall, significantly cutting illegal immigration and drug flows into the US. Like it or hate it, he's delivered on that promise - and the cuts into illegal immigration and strict enforcement have directly resulted in rising wages and employment for our inner cities where they competed with Americans for jobs. Immediately after ICE raids, minority Americans found tons of economic opportunity taking over those jobs. And he's not just going after the illegals, but the businesses and owners that hire them. That's not about "race", that's about protecting American interests.
Trump, for the first time in decades decreased the Debt to GDP ratio by more than 1.2% - in 2017, reducing it from 105% to 104% in his first year. The last time that occurred by that amount was 1969, though both Reagan and W. Bush also decreased the ratio, it was by far less.
Trump's tax cuts directly helped the middle class by doubling the standard deduction, increasing child credits, and the unemployment decreases and salary increases wildly outpaced projections. We achieved record employment - and not cheap, unreliable service industry jobs. Real jobs that people can build families and lives on.
Trump legalized Hemp production as part of the 2018 Farm bill, tracking to make more efficient, green products the right way - by letting the market select for and produce better products, not arbitrarily enforcing deadlines and penalties to favor donor companies that can't exist on a fair market.
Trump's investment into our minority communities has delivered on what Biden and Democrats have promised, without result, for decades. Trump's Platinum plan slates a half trillion dollars for investment into Black and minority communities. There's a reason that, in four short years under Trump, we've seen 3 million new jobs and 500,000 black-owned small businesses. The opportunity for the American Dream was made real - because that's what Trump cares about. Every American having the opportunity to be great.
Honestly, I really could keep listing all day but I've spoken enough about Trump. If you're better off now than you were four years ago, vote Trump. Trump's running on his accomplishment. Biden's running on "orange man bad." That's not a platform, that's betting that you've been conditioned to hate everything Trump's done without cause or reason. When ever major corporation and media outlet, and tons of multi-decade established politicians all are telling you what to believe, and you believe it, you're not part of any "resistance" - you're the establishment.
And for all the gnashing of teeth... he's been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace prize - for things he actually did.
Nomination for work to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula Nomination for the Serbia-Kosovo peace deal. Nomination for the Isreal-UAE peace deal. Nomination for the diplomatic efforts of ending wars and encouraging peace throughout the world.
Trump's ending wars. Vote against that, if your conscience allows.

Congress District 2

Ackerman - Democrat

Ackerman regurgitates failed Democrat platform policies, a mere carbon copy of the DNC platform. While she claims to oppose Citizens United, of her reported ~ $345k in funding, the corporate SuperPAC front for the DNC, has contributed $292,720 - nearly 85% of her campaign funding. ActBlue has spent almost 2.5 billion dollars in 2020 to push DNC candidates - more than 22% of the overall spending by all PAC's in the country. So it's quite a stretch to claim she's opposed to Citizens United while collecting funding from the single largest Citizens United-enabled SuperPAC in the country.
Calling for an enforced $15 minimum wage rejects the reality of doing business - as California demonstrates, hemorrhaging 400,000+ jobs, businesses fleeing the state, and record unemployment and resulting crime. You can't just declare an arbitrary number and expect it to magically make problems go away because you ignore economic realities. A $15 wage in low skill positions is absolutely possible, and we can see that here in Reno with companies like Best Buy offering it as a starting wage - but that arises out of competition for labor, forcing companies to cut profit margins to remain competitive for tight labor markets; forcing the arbitrary wage doesn't accomplish that - it sets an impossibly high standard for small businesses and allows larger businesses to simply pass the costs onto the consumer.
This isn't news and isn't unexpected behavior. It's well documented and observed, and representative of government officials that think they can ignore the laws of physics and economics to impose their will, while never having to experience the consequences themselves.
Her separation from reality extends into believing somehow that solar energy is a realistic replacement for current sources (if she was serious on green energy, she'd be talking nuclear); or wanting a second disastrous amnesty program for illegals; which is what caused that "wage gap" for native-born minority Americans - the influx and amnesty of low-skilled migrants directly competes with and crushes wages of Americans in the job market - it's not theory, it's fact.).
I found it amusing to review her "Racial Justice" page, which is a combination of things Trump already did, or that directly criticize her party's past achievements. She supports defunding the police, ending the second amendment by proxy and curtailing the rights of Americans, and supports reparations.
She's explicitly anti-gun, claiming that firearms are for hunting, and wants to create a federal registration program and ban semiautomatic firearms (per her "I agree with groups like Moms Demand Action that more is still needed.")
Notably absent from her platform is the concept of self-responsibility - it's all government give-aways from the taxpayer to buy votes. Extremely socially liberal, to the point of pandering, and no sense of fiscal responsibility at all. Printing money won't solve problems.
Hard pass.

Amodei - Republican

Amodei is a pretty unremarkable rank and file Republican. He is generally fiscally conservative, but has indicated support for increased defense spending (not a point in his favor). He's openly pro-life, lower taxes, and has supported legislation for COVID relief.
Amodei's got some accomplishments, including the Northern Nevada Land Act and Conservation Economic Development Act, which enjoyed bipartisan support.
Amodei does support a compromise on illegal immigration, favoring a plan to naturalize DREAMERS, a position that places him more towards center than his Republican colleagues. He also openly supports tax reductions across the board and is a fiscal hawk.
It's worth noting that Amodei has a nuanced approach to nuclear energy and I feel like he would actually support true green initiatives that can actually work, such as investing in nuclear energy and water capture technologies that could work within the framework of the economy, not try (and fail) to dictate to it.
Overall, while I disagree with Mark on some things (like pro life), his centrist positions on things like DREAMERs and lack of overt evidence of corruption earn him my support - he seems reasonably socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

Hansen - Independent American Party

Hansen's platform and history are light. The other post accurately attributed that she believes "Let people who are vulnerable to coronavirus stay home". This candidate is rather extreme in some of their views, though "Lunatic" may be going a little far for my tastes.
Hansen is anti-illegal immigration, pro second amendment, and aligns closely with the "tea party" type republicans. Too far right for my taste, and overall does not earn my vote. She's essentially a spoiler candidate to try to take the far-right vote away from a moderate like Amodei.

State Assembly District 31

Note that you can find information on the other State Assembly Districts and State Senate District at the Washoe County candidate index.

Daly, Richard "Skip" - Democrat

Skip, like Ackerman, regurgitates the Democrat platform talking points, but has no meaningful action or commitments to show for it. His legislative history is, well, pathetic. He literally hasn't done anything of note - just sponsoring bills to "Express appreciation". Really?
His voting record isn't really noteworthy - the big negative being his support for tax increases on property and businesses - he's voted in favor of three major tax hikes that will severely harm job creation in the state. He did indicate that he isn't going to blindly support them on the second round of revisions, noting
“Depending on which version of the three come forward, I’m hoping there’s some consensus that develops after that,” he said. “If there is, then I think all parties are going to be supporting it. But right now that’s in a state of flux.”
He has indicated he does not support defunding the police.
It is worth noting that he surprisingly broke with party lines on the 2nd amendment, voting against restrictions, which earns him a solid "left leaning centrist" position in my book. I have no reason to vote for him, and only light reason to vote against him based on his tax platform - overall, he seems like a fair candidate and I don't fault anyone that would support him. I might, myself. We'll see.

Dickman, Jill - Republican

Dickman seems like a pretty rank and file Republican, regurgitating much of their platform on her issues page. Dickman's legislative prowess is much more significant, however, as can be seen on the bills she's sponsored (oddly enough broken on billtrack50).
Her voting record and positions are pretty clear, pushing education reforms, tax reductions and blocking tax increases, however she does want more "free market" healthcare that I see as a negative. Her 2nd amendment positions and efforts are significant, as is her opposition to sanctuary cities and support for law enforcement.
Overall, I deem her to be solidly right-wing, and if the election were held today, barely, barely earning my support based on her tax platform. We'll see.

County Commission District 4

Note, for all commission seats, you can view the Candidate perspectives and statements here.

Baker, Marie - Democrat

Marie Baker is a newcomer to the political scene and does not appear to have any clear positions or record to refer to. Watching the statements, her positions appear to be typical Democrat/Socialist leanings. Quick notes on her "why should voters vote for you" statements:
  • Anti-special interest
  • Anti-development in flood plains
  • How she will address affordable housing and development concerns
I will note that how she presents herself and her positions is very uncertain and lacking confidence, and unfortunately I don't believe she would be able to hold her own in the political arena.

Hartung, Vaughn

Vaughn is running on his record as a county commissioner, and is his final term attempt - he will not be eligible to run again if successful. In particular, he has noted issues regarding homelessness and touting his success on rehabilitation and homeless work programs. He's also taken a lot of steps and been internationally recognized for his work regarding water conservationism and quality.
Overall, he presents as a much more experienced politician and his record doesn't have anything disqualifying to my view. I feel like he would better serve our community with that experience, hence my support for him.

Judicial Selections

Supreme Court Seat D

This is a hotly contested seat light on details. The RGJ did an article on the topic.

Fumo, Ozzie - Nonpartisan

Ozzie seems well-intentioned, however he is openly and vehemently anti-2A per his own website, and is very much at risk of being an Activist Judge. He's a democratic politician - not a judge, and seeks to abuse the judiciary to further a political agenda.
Pushing to reduce the rule of law is not a position a judge should take, and that's what his position with Cash Bail is. The diversity quota behavior only serves to further highlight differences instead of recognizing that all Americans should be and are equal in the eyes of the law. By pushing anything short of that, he merely preserves a dying legacy of racism.
Hard pass on activist judges - they cannot be impartial.

Herndon, Douglas - Nonpartisan

Herndon is by no means a clean comparison, however he does have significantly more experience as a prosecutor and has significant community involvement. His rulings and history appear to be largely neutral and he received the highest performance score of any district court judge in the Review Journal's 2019 Judging the Judges survey, with an 85% retention rating in said survey and earning their endorsement.
I can't find any disqualifying remarks or positions on him, which is what I would expect of a judge expected to maintain neutrality, hence he gets my vote.

Court of Appeals Dept 3

Bulla, Bonnie

Bonnie's history is pretty lackluster, and she's responded to Ballotpedia's candidate Connection survey. She has pushed for adding additional three judge panels as well as citing that she'd like more opinions out of the court.

Bush, Susan

Bush's history is likewise lackluster, and also responded to the survey. She makes a point about needing someone with experience representing clients in the family and criminal divisions that I find compelling and thus support her over Bulla.

District Court Dept 10

Sattler, Elliot

Sattler published an opinion article at the RGJ making the case for his re-election. I don't know what it is, but it rubs me significantly the wrong way and comes off as sleezy. I really can't justify any rational explanation for it, but I don't what I've seen of his column and website.

Sigurdson, Kathleen

Not really much on her one way or another, which is what I like to see in a Judge. Between her and Sattler, I'll go with her.

District Court Dept 11

This race has comments from both candidates via the RGJ.

Dollinger, Paige

  • Official Website - Note, page appears to have expired with her web host and I reviewed the google cache of it.
Not really any information to be found outside of the Gazette statements. Her embracing of technology is encouraging.

Shannon, Greg

  • Official Website - None found.
Given the lack of information on the candidates, I based my decision on their statements to the Gazette. I don't find anything disqualifying or negative about Paige, I just find Greg's observations a bit more compelling, particularly his comment noting representation for fathers within the family court.

District Court Dept 13

Bushur, Aaron

Nothing of note compelling for or against the candidate.

Robb, Bridget

  • Official Website - None found.
While researching, I did find that Bridget has been involved in addressing corruption with other judges, a serious point in her favor. Otherwise, I don't see much on her. Between the two, Bridget has more points in her favor and earns my support - I'll always value integrity.

Questions

Honestly, not going to be much in terms of explanation on these.

Question 1

I find the arguments in favor more compelling than the arguments opposing it, as the regent's arguments in opposition seem more self-preservationist than anything. I really am not strongly committed on this item - it's a tentative yes vote from me.

Question 2

As a LGTBQ individual, I really gotta say... this question's moot. It's a virtue signal - the US Supreme Court constitutional rulings mooted this. A yes vote will clean up the constitution and eliminate that bigoted stain from Nevada's legislative books, though, so get 'er done Reno. There's not even any documented opposition to it (as is only right.)
Hard yes.

Question 3

More often reviews of our criminal justice system and pardons, and allowing the committee to do so without having to convince the Governor? I really don't see any downsides here.
Hard yes.

Question 4

This is a move to enshrine the voting rights passed in 2002 as an amendment. I see no fuckery afoot and this is a solid addition to our state constitution.
Hard yes.

Question 6

Hoo boy. This is gonna be the shitshow of a question. Besides being a virtue signal and ignoring that we're already tracking to, without such concrete demands, have 25% renewable sources, there's tons of evidence of what such policies will result in. We've seen it in CA - $.80 per kw/hr electricity, rolling blackouts, and other failings because there's simply no non-nuclear renewable source that can fill the consumer demand.
Putting this demand into our constitution is absurd, self-destructive virtue signalling that ignores the harsh realities of living in a desert. We don't need a codified concrete mandate that will fuck over market forces and encouragement. It's impossible to create enough "green" energy in 10 years to provide 50% of our power grid's requirements from it, so we'd have to shut down other sources or outsource the needs, raising costs and killing business investments here. We've got multiple data centers coming to Nevada - bringing high tech, skilled, high paying jobs with them, and such a bill would torpedo those plans fast in favor of states with less absurd requirements like Idaho and Texas.
Hard. Fucking. No. If you have any question of what the results of such a policy would be, just look at CA - they can't even keep their lights on. This question is just a poison pill from California and California transplants to make Nevada a blackout-ridden shithole.
If we want renewable energy, we should be pushing for nuclear reactors to satisfy this need, not making impossible mandates to virtue signal.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk. Given the general liberal echo chamber that is reddit, I'm grateful to the mods for not caving to mob mentality and allowing alternative points of view. I hope people have found this list useful.
submitted by Michichael to Reno [link] [comments]

2020 Presidential Election

We're officially 2 months out from the Iowa caucuses which begin primary voting for 2020. Here are the current odds on Bovada for the most "relevant" candidates:
In my opinion, just as in 2016, Democratic voters will not turn out for a candidate *just* to oppose Trump - so a status quo candidate such as Biden or Buttigieg would struggle against an incumbent with a very strong base and high satisfaction rate amongst Republicans. Warren's flip-flopping on healthcare over the past 1-2 month has cut her support by double-digits in some polls. The highest turnout from the left will likely occur with a candidate with the strongest base, which in 2020 is Sanders (65% of his supporters are fully committed to him, with 47% fully committed to Warren, 40% for Buttigieg and Biden with only 36%, according to Emerson polling).
Incumbents often win elections, and because of Trump's very strong base and high job satisfaction amongst Republicans set him up for a swift victory against any moderate Dem uninspiring to the Dem base. In a battle of populist candidates, I think the move is putting the same amount of money on Trump +125 and Sanders +850. IMO, that's great value for Sanders who is polling second in early primary states just behind Biden. If he were to win the nom, you're in great shape with +850. If someone else grabs the Dem nomination, you should feel pretty safe with a Trump victory.
Thoughts?

TLDR: Bet Sanders +850 and hedge with Trump +125 for same amount
submitted by _ThomYorkesEye to sportsbook [link] [comments]

An Overview of Arizona Primary Races - Part 1: Statewide and Congressional Races

Welcome back to my omnibus compendium of Arizona’s upcoming primary races in the style of my 2018 summaries (that’s just LDs 21-30, links for 1-20, Congressional, and statewide races are in that post). The primary is set to take place August 4th – early voting ballots should be mailed out on or around July 6th.
Arizona’s a really interesting state (I may be a hair biased), since it not only is home to 2-3 swing House seats and a high-profile Senate race, but also tenuous majorities in both state houses that could – theoretically – neuter Ducey’s trifecta this fall. And counties have their races this year as well, and I’ll highlight some of the fireworks ongoing in Maricopa.
If you’re interested about which district you live in, check https://azredistricting.org/districtlocato. If you want to get involved with your local Democratic party, find your legislative district on the previous link (NOT CD), and then search for your LD’s name at this link. Feel free to attend meetings, they’re a great way to get involved with candidates and like-minded individuals. If you wish to donate to a “clean elections” candidate (mentioned in the post as “clean”), you will have to live in that candidate’s legislative district to give qualifying $5 contributions (check here if anyone needs it in your area), but they are allowed to accept a limited amount of “seed money” from people outside of the district. The three CorpComm candidates can take $5’s statewide.
If you do not want to vote at the polls, you will need to request an early ballot using the website of your county’s recorder prior to July 4th. Example links for Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal. Others available if needed.
Race ratings for listed primaries will be listed as Solid/Likely/Leans/Tossup and are not indicative of my own preference for that seat. I’ll denote my personal primary preferences at the end of this series, as well as the best Republican ticket for the Dems if someone here really really wants to pull a GOP ballot in the primary. I do not advise it, but since I can't stop ya, you'll get my best suggestions.
Write-in candidates have yet to file, which could give us an outside chance at getting some Libertarians on the ballot (the Greens have lost their ballot access).
If you have any questions about voting in the primary, which races are the most contested, and how to get involved with other Democrats in Arizona, feel free to PM me.
All fundraising numbers here are as of 12/31/2019 – although Q1 numbers are dropping within a week or so. I’ll probably post a quick update after signature challenges are done and all Q1 numbers are in the books. Candidates who are partially self-funding have how much they’ve given to themselves listed after their COH as an indicator of how much of their own cash they’re pouring into the race. Not all of it, obviously, is still on hand.
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN SOLELY IN MY CAPACITY AS A VOTER IN ARIZONA, AND NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY ORGANIZATIONS I WORK/ED FOR OR AM/WAS A MEMBER OF. THIS POST IS IN NO WAY ENDORSED BY THE ARIZONA DEMOCRATIC PARTY OR ANY SUB-ORGANIZATION THEREOF, OR ANY FILED CANDIDATE.
Statewides
Without further ado, the statewide races! Or more precisely, race. (US Senate is counted as a congressional)
Corporations Commission
I know this is what each and every one of you has been waiting for, the Corporations Commission! (hereafter CorpComm)
Yes, just like Arizona is the only state in the country with an elected mine inspector, it is also only one of 14 which has an elected Public Utilities commission. The AZ Constitution explicitly calls for this because, to quote Wikipedia: “its drafters feared that governors would appoint industry-friendly officials”.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even though the commission is elected, lax-er campaign finance laws permit for public utilities to spend massive amounts of money on pro-utility candidates. The commission then raises utility rates, which means more money going to the utilities, and more money to spend on pro-utility candidates. And so on and so forth. The former chair, Susan Bitter-Smith, was removed due to a corruption complaint in 2017.
Therefore, corruption by the utilities is a big issue in this race, as well as how much to focus on renewable energy policies. An interesting side-effect is that far more candidates for CorpComm are signing up for public funding, which locks them into some pretty strict rules (thanks to the GOP legislature and voters in 2018).
The commission is a five member board, staggered so that three seats are up in presidential years, and two are up in midterm elections. Because of this, incumbents Sandra Kennedy (D) and Justin Olson (R) are safe until 2022.
Moderate Republican Bob Burns did not file run for re-election (he was kinda pro-solar and viciously anti-corruption, I’ll miss the guy), while definitely-not-moderate Andy Tobin was tapped by Ducey to lead the Department of Administration (HR, procurement, accounting, etc. for state agencies and replaced by 2018 AZ-02 GOP nominee Lea Marquez Peterson ($7K COH, clean – hereafter LMP). Boyd Dunn ($39.5K COH) is the one Republican elected in 2016 who is trying to return for another term.
LMP’s decision to run clean – instead of “traditional” (not taking public funds) – is quite odd for established GOP candidates. This could be a sign of changing voter attitudes, pointing to corruption being a larger and larger issue for both GOP and Dem. voters.
There are three Dems running for the three seats. Former commissioner and 2016 and 2018 CorpComm nominee Bill Mundell ($10.6K COH, clean), teacher and education activist Shea Stanfield ($4.7K COH, clean), and Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar ($1.8K COH, clean). All 3 progress automatically to the general election. Tovar in particular is a big get for Dems – she was a former Senate Minority Leader and it’s a great sign that she’s back in the fight and wanting to run statewides
I’d be remiss if I didn’t quickly touch on my dislike of Mundell – the 2018 CorpComm primary was very contentious due to Mundell persuading his runningmate Sandra Kennedy (and not the other way around, as I had wrongly assumed back then) to going very negative against the other Democrat in the race, Kiana Sears. Mundell lost that primary to Sears and Kennedy (2 seats were up then), but his attack campaign was strong enough that Kennedy and Sears were driven from being pleasant acquaintances (both being liberal black women in utility-related politics) to not being on speaking terms. Sears lost that race – it’s anyone’s guess how much of that was due to the ugly primary. The uncontested nature here should help Dems somewhat from cannibalizing one of their own.
On the Republican challenger’s side there are quite a few candidates. Outside of Dunn and LMP, former legislator David Farnsworth ($6.7K COH) is the chief candidate, and seems set to come into this race with a decent amount of legislative connections and backing. But Kim Owens ($2.5K COH) has stronger experience claims – having spent 3 terms on the Salt River Project Council (basically a mini CorpComm), as well as 5 terms on a school board. The SRP connections come at a cost though, as they don’t play well in this political climate. And despite being endorsed by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ, CD8), Owens has been taking some flack from further-right organizations for her past work on the George Bush and John Kasich presidential campaigns.
Other candidates in the Republican race include 2018 failed candidate Eric Sloan - who is making a visible outreach to the Trumpier side of the party and is running in opposition to clean energy mandates ($3.5K COH, clean) and Nick Myers ($1.7K, clean), who ran for HD12 in 2018 on a platform of banning all public schools. It’s again noteworthy that Sloan and Myers – who both eschewed clean funding in 2018 (and as far I can remember one of the two had strong negative words about the program) – are now running clean. Neither is favored in the primary but Sloan could theoretically muscle himself into 3rd place with enough pro-Trump rhetoric.
The general will probably see both groups of candidates more or less match the generic ballot statewide, but the campaign finance rules in Arizona could play an interesting role. Democrats will naturally be at a disadvantage due to locking themselves into rather restrictive campaign finance rules (can’t raise over a certain amount, banned from using specific party resources, etc.) - but so will LMP or Sloan/Myers if they win. And while the Democrats will all be operating alone, LMP (or the two oddballs) wont be able to do the same things GOP candidates running traditional can do – both from a stance of political pragmatism and of legality. That could lead to some disjointedness that the GOP definitely doesn’t want.
The two sides are evenly matched in terms of candidate quality – LMP and Tovar, Dunn and Mundell, and Stanfield and Farnsworth are all roughly comparable – but this may tilt slightly in the Dems’ favor if one of the other GOP candidates makes it on.
hunter15991 Rating: Dems. unopposed. Solid Dunn, Likely LMP, Leans Farnsworth. Leans GOP general.
Congressional Races
Ok, you've had your veggies. Time for the fun stuff.
Congressional District 1
CD1 is one of 2-3 districts that the national parties are probably focusing in on for this cycle (R+2, Trump+1, Sinema+4). On the Democratic side, Representative Tom O’Halleran ($918.8K COH) is running for re-election. Originally a Republican legislator, O’Halleran slowly veered left as the state party veered rightwards, and is now on the liberal end of the Blue Dog Democrats.
O’Halleran faces a tougher primary than he’s used to (not a high bar to clear, though) in the form of Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova ($15.2K), running strongly to O’Halleran’s left. Putzova’s campaign got off to a bit of a rocky start, and while she’s found her footing she still significantly lags behind O’Halleran in COH and in name recognition outside of Flagstaff. While Flagstaff is the largest and most liberal city in the district, it’s still <10% of the total population of this very rural district. Putzova will be able to close the margins O’Halleran set against a similar further-left candidate in 2016, but O’Halleran’s strong connections with the indigenous communities that make up 25% of the district’s population (and therefore close to 50% of the Dem. voting base there) should put him over the line in August. A 3rd big name Dem., former State Senator Barb McGuire, has filed to run for her old Senate seat in SD8 instead and dropped out from the AZ-01 race.
On the Republican side it’s an absolute recruiting nightmare, even worse so than in 2018 when outsider perennial candidate Wendy Rogers beat out theocratic legislative superstar Steve Smith. The current frontrunner for this race is Tiffany Shedd ($112.3K COH), a farmer and shotgun coach who took a distant last place in the GOP primary here in 2018. I’ve linked not to her website but to her announcement video, where she gives the lamest voice-over possible, throws out countless trite references to how horrible it is that “a 29 year-old girl from New York is telling us what to do at the border” (whoever could that possibly be?), and insinuates (but never says) that she once shot at a band of men approaching her farm. It’s worth watching.
I should add at this point that while her video goes on and on with immigrant race-baiting and references to “the wall”, no part of AZ-01 is even in the same county as the US-Mexico border. These are tactics 2018 nominee Wendy Rogers (more on her in the legislative section) loved to use, and she lost to O’Halleran.
Shedd snagged the endorsements of people like Kevin McCarthy and Jon Kyl rather early on, dissuading former baseball star Curt Schilling from running and consolidating the active field of candidates around her (which is good, because one guy who bailed on the race – Safford Vice Mayor and former Army paratrooper Chris Taylor - could have been quite dangerous, especially with his Spanish fluency). Shedd is the only Arizonan in the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program, listed as “On The Radar” (their lowest tier). The two other Republicans who have qualified for the ballot (pending signatures) are businessman Noel Reidhead ($35.4K COH) and Apache County Supervisor Doyel Shamley (no reports yet filed). Reidhead seems to be a hair more charismatic and professional than Shedd, but stands little chance building anti-establishment cred vs. Shedd, especially taking into account whatever infrastructure she has from her 2018 run. Shamley too could theoretically pose Shedd trouble with his past political experience as a Republican in a very Democratic county (although it’s very polarized, and he lives in the blood-red Mormon area), but he is also quite a conspiracy theorist (all 4 links are worth a read). Shamley also has only ~10.3% buffer on his petition signatures (it’s recommended to aim for at least 25% if not far more) and could be knocked off the ballot by a stiff breeze.
In the general it’s looking like it’ll be O’Halleran vs. Shedd, and without significant GOP backup from IE’s and downballot races it looks like Tom may blow the barn, er, shed doors off this next push by the GOP to oust him. This could shift towards Leans if Shedd posts a good quarter or two of fundraising and ups her digital game.
hunter15991 Rating: Likely O’Halleran, Likely Shedd. Likely O’Halleran general.
Congressional District 2
Moving right along to another GOP mess, CD2. Incumbent Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick ($621.1K COH) was admitted into an alcohol rehab program last fall, which sparked some thoughts that this district may end up being close. Republican candidates however have yet to create any sort of spark in this seat this year (well, outside of one vaguely threatening to shoot Kirkpatrick – upstanding citizen whom we’ll get to in a second).
Kirkpatrick is being primaried by former State Department official Peter Quilter (no reports yet filed). His issues page puts him as roughly rank-and-file with the rest of the party, so I’m a bit curious as to why he filed to run against an ideologically similar incumbent – but that’s his prerogative. Quilter started signature collection rather later and is also in danger of getting bounced off if someone challenges them.
On the GOP side it’s another AZ-01. I’m not even entirely sure who the frontrunner is, it’s that chaotic and stupid. Is it Shay Stautz ($65.6K COH), a rather mild-mannered former university administrator and national security expert, but whose $65.6K warchest includes $60K of his own money and who sits awfully close to falling below the signature line? Is it Brandon Martin ($9.2K), 2018 2nd place finisher and Army vet who seems to lead in the endorsement and signature game, but who has an atrocious burn rate and who has a tendency of insinuating people should shoot the Congresswoman currently representing the seat once held by Gabby Giffords? Is it Joseph Morgan ($4.6K COH), who has a respectable enough background as a newspaper columnist and nonprofit assistant and whom Martin considers his chief rival (judging by his press release claiming Morgan “flip flops on sanctuary cities), but who hasn’t tweeted since October and whose fundraising is abysmal? ($22.2K raised despite filing in February) I guess it isn’t Noran Eric Ruden (no reports filed), who filed late, has little online presence, and in general seems to be doing little campaigning – but with how bizarre the other candidates are Ruden could surprise me.
Whoever Kirkpatrick faces in the general is again going to be limping badly without outside GOP support. And this time the turf isn’t a Trump+1 rural district that’s slowly inching left, it’s a Clinton+5 seat situated in the suburbs of Arizona’s 2nd largest (and decidedly liberal) city. For competent state legislators this’d be a rather tall ask, for the motely crew the GOP have assembled above it’s almost a suicide mission.
The alcohol rehab issue with Kirkpatrick and potential fallout stemming from that is the only reason I don’t currently have this at Solid D. I realize the national and state party will get behind one candidate at some point but I don’t know how they could feasibly pull off this one given they triaged a significantly stronger candidate in 2018 – against a non-incumbent Kirkpatrick – who then lost to Ann by 10 points.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Kirkpatrick, Tossup GOP (Statuz/Morgan/Martin). Likely Kirkpatrick general.
Congressional District 3
Bit of a snoozefest here (thankfully for me since it’s then shorter to write). Incumbent Raul Grijalva ($211.2K) is running for another term, although he may retire after this next term which would set off a lot of drama in the district. He has no primary opposition and faces OIF Marine and current “Executive Protection Agent” (looks like a cross between a security consultant and bodyguard) Daniel Wood (no reports filed). Running in a D+13, Clinton+29 minority-majority district when your issues page consists solely of the words “Immigration - Coming Soon” is a bold plan. It’s also an insanely foolhardy one.
hunter15991 Rating: Uncontested primaries. Solid Grijalva general.
Congressional District 4
For every yin there is a yang, and in CD3’s case it’s its neighbor to the north, CD4. The current incumbent is far-right Congressman Paul Gosar ($222.6K), whose greatest hits need no introduction. I sat in on a conservative club’s meeting on campus and heard that, in his words, a “Justice Democrats Deep State Plant” was going to primary him soon, and to not fall for what she was spreading.
Well, sure as anything, he did get a primary challenger mere hours after that meeting ended, former McSally staffer Anne Marie Ward ($13.3K COH – no relation). Ward’s website points to her wanting to tack slightly closer to the center than Gosar (again, low bar to clear), in an effort to attract the youth back to conservatism. Her issues pages seems to possibly be purposefully vague. While I’d love for Gosar to be replaced someone less likely to fly to the UK to meet neo-Nazis or author resolutions thanking Hungarian autocrats for their leadership, Ward doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere in a hurry 6 months after she announced.
The Democratic side also poses no threat to Gosar. The nominal frontrunner is nurse Delina DiSanto ($13.3K COH), who lost to Dr. David Brill last year and was, coincidentally, the GOP nominee in CO-03 back in 2004. DiSanto’s political metamorphosis doesn’t end there, back in 2018 she hammered Brill for not supporting M4A enough, but her issues page this year seems very dialed down. DiSanto is being challenged by perennial candidate Stu Starky (no reports yet filed – though they should have since he declared in June). Starky is most noticeable for his Hail Mary Senate run against John McCain in 2004 (McCain won by 56 points), as well as multiple House runs in the late 90’s and apparently considered filing for President once. When he filed I saw his social media had a lot of pro-Green Party stuff in the past, but oddly enough his issues page now has a strong focus on deficit reduction of all things, and advocates for a public healthcare option.
Regardless, none of the 3 other candidates in the race can stop Gosar at this point, and I highly doubt any will ever be able to.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Gosar, Likely DiSanto. Solid Gosar general.
Congressional District 5
To quote my 2018 writeup: “I promise the fun stuff comes back soon enough. CD5 is something like CD4, except instead of a rural stretch of mountains filled with rednecks, it’s picturesque rows of suburban mansions filled with Mormons. Freedom Caucus nut and former President of the AZ Senate Andy Biggs ($481.8K COH) is the incumbent, having won the seat in a contentious primary in 2016.”
Yeah, not much has changed here. We’ll see what redistricting brings.
The three Dems vying for the seat are businesswoman/animal rights activist and 2018 nominee Joan Greene ($4.2K COH), teacher Jonathan Ireland (no reports filed) running on a standard Bernie-style platform, and attorney Javier Ramos (refusing to take donations, no filings), who’s running a very weird race and seems to be actively avoiding harping on his legal career.
I was impressed when Greene cracked 40% in 2018. There is no way any of these 3 could crack 50% in this district. Biggs’s only threat is in a primary, which he has escaped.
hunter15991 Rating: Biggs uncontested, Likely Greene. Solid Biggs general.
Congressional District 6
Told y’all the fun stuff was coming.
On paper, CD6 isn’t the most flippy of districts. Incumbent GOP Representative David Schweikert ($278.5K) has held the Democrat running below 40% for three straight elections after taking it from former Tempe mayor Harry Mitchell in the 2010 wave election. The candidate endorsements by azCentral for the 2016 Democratic primary bemoaned the lack of strong candidates, calling the eventual nominee “less unqualified for the job”.
But he had his margin cut to just 10 points in 2018 – a sign of swinging suburbs like Scottsdale – and this seat is one of the early few on the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” list this year.
On the Dems. side, 2018 nominee Anita Malik ($46.2K COH), trying to improve on her 10 point loss in 2018. Malik, in my mind, is not the frontrunner in this primary, although I didn’t think she was last year and got stung. Dr. Hiral Vyas Tipirneni ($911.9K COH) is running for CD6 this time round, after two close elections (1 special, 1 general) in neighboring CD8. Hiral has been ribbed somewhat for this district hop, but I buy her justification – her work and community connections are all in CD6, and despite being registered in CD8 her house is so close to the boundary line that I think a small portion of her backyard is in CD6. Joining Malik and Tipirineni are businesswoman and 2x legislative candidate in the 2000’s Stephanie Rimmer ($67.5K COH, $114.5K self-funded), and businessman/former McCain legislative staffer Karl Gentles ($80.3K COH).
Malik and Tipirneni were great friends during the 2018 election, but they’ve rather soured now that they’re running against each other. While Gentles and Rimmer have strong ability for growth, I believe the race will come down to Malik and Tipirneni, and I think Tipirneni ends up taking the win in that regard. Malik enters the race with decent name rec. and has a decent bloc of progressive supporters and volunteers, but Hiral has a massive fundraising advantage (Malik anecdotally hates calling for donations) – far greater than Dr. Heather Ross’s in 2018 when she lost to Malik. Tipirneni is also quite beloved by the AZ Republic (judging by their glowing endorsement of her in the fall of 2018) – this is bad news for Malik because the Republic’s endorsement of her was seen as what pushed her across the line in the 2018 primary (Ross led narrowly in absentees, and Election Day ballots – the only ones post-endorsement – broke to Malik).
In the general, Hiral has all the ingredients going for her. Schweikert is running under the shadow of a House Ethics investigation, is doing atrociously in fundraising, and would be going up against a well-known campaigning and fundraising machine in the form of Tipirneni. Hiral’s drive can be seen by the fact that her first campaign office was opened in last November, a full 51 weeks before the election (typically they’ve opened around here in the spring or early summer). Downballot Dems. in the area are improving sizably in terms of fundraising, and enthusiasm is high. The seat is R+10, but McSally only one it by 3 in 2018, and that’s far too close for comfort if I’m David Schweikert. A private internal (I plied it out of a GOP friend of mine who works in his legislative office) shows Schweikert up by ~7-8, which when adjusting for the fact internals always slant in the commissioning campaign’s favor points to quite the close race. I can definitely see this race entering tossup category, especially if Tipirneni is the nominee.
I’ll close with another anecdote about just how scared Schweikert is of Hiral from the same staffer friend – news broke to Schweikert of Hiral’s announcement back last spring during a staff meeting in his office. Schweikert, on hearing the news she had filed, turned even more pale than he normally is and left the room in a fluster. My friend said he could hear him yelling after he left.
I hope he does the exact same on November 3rd.
hunter15991 Rating: Leans Tipirneni, Schweikert uncontested. Leans Schweikert general.
Congressional District 7
The next two aren’t going to be all that interesting, so due to time constraints I’ll be a hair shallow on them. Incumbent Congressman Ruben Gallego ($859.3K COH) is uncontested on the Democratic side, and faces token GOP opposition in this deep blue district from businessman Josh Barnett ($634.64 COH) and community activist Nina Becker (no reports filed). Neither is particularly far above the signature minimum and if/when Gallego feels cheeky, both could be sued off the ballot.
hunter15991 Rating: Gallego uncontested, Likely Barnett. Solid Gallego general.
Congressional District 8
Once the site of a heated race between Tiprineni and Debbie Lesko ($379.2K COH), the district is on no one’s radar this time around. Lesko faces no GOP opposition in the primary, and the 3 Democratic candidates in the general – former HD22 candidate and businessman Michael Muscato ($14.4K COH), Army veteran Bob Olson ($39K COH, self-funding $50K), and former Litchfield Park City Councilman and City Manager Bob Musselwhite ($844 COH). Olson and Musselwhite ran in past years, with no real success. Musselwhite could theoretically have made a decent enough bid at the nomination either now or in past years, but doesn’t really seem to like campaigning and until recently shied away from his political experience in-district – a bizarre thing to do to say the least.
CD8 has a few intriguing candidates on its Dem. bench – most notably State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman – but for the time being it’s Lesko’s fiefdom to lose. I probably guess the Dem. nomination goes to Muscato, as he’s the only one of the 3 Dems really campaigning.
hunter15991 Rating: Leans Muscato, Lesko uncontested, Solid Lesko general.
Congressional District 9
Home stretch everyone! 1 more district before we fawn over Mark Kelly.
Greg Stanton ($615.8K COH) is the incumbent Democrat in the district. A former Mayor of Phoenix, Stanton was initially considering what is now Sinema’s Senate seat (the two aren’t on the best of terms) before national Democrats persuaded him to instead contest the Congressional seat Sinema had vacated. Stanton easily defeated radiologist Steve “Welfare recipients are like starving pets” Ferrara in 2018, and mostly dissuaded the GOP from fielding a serious candidate this year.
Stanton is facing a primary from the left from “science activist” and quasi-perennial candidate Talia Fuentes-Wolfe (no reports filed). Fuentes ran against Stanton in 2018 (after being the Dem. nominee in CD5 in 2016), but was removed from the ballot over signature validity issues – per friends of mine on the Stanton campaign, massive amounts looked like they were written in the exact same handwriting.
Stanton could be vulnerable to a legitimate challenge from the left (someone like State Rep. Athena Salman or State Sen. Juan Mendez), but Fuentes poses no significant opposition. If she is not removed again for signature validity issues or legal issues with her campaign finance reports that the Stanton campaign offered to ignore in 2018 (that would have led to criminal penalties for Fuentes and her treasurer), she doesn’t have much of a base of support in the district (hell, her website hasn’t been updated since 2018). Talia’s been prone to what I will diplomatically call “eccentric outbursts” at local activists and volunteers (some as young as college sophomores) and hasn’t made many friends in the area. I will leave specific interactions out of this post to avoid dunking on her too much, but feel free to PM me for details.
On the Republican side, 2016 nominee and 2018 candidate Dave Giles ($336 COH) is sticking his head into the meatgrinder again. Giles lost by 20 to Sinema in 2016 and by 27 to Ferrara in the 2018 primary – normally I wouldn’t see him going anywhere again this year. But he has a chance to out-Trump the other two candidates. Pharmacist Nicholas Tutora (no reports filed) is a good equivalent to Ferrara in 2018 – conservative, but not spamming pics of him with Trump everywhere like Giles. He’d be a strong candidate in the primary if he posts a couple good quarters of fundraising, but given that he never filed his Q4 report I doubt things are looking all that rosy for him. Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Huang (no reports filed) is a current Chandler City Councilman also angling to become the CD9 GOP nominee. Huang has by far the best background of the 3 (the only one with political experience) and has both a geographic (Chandler) and demographic (Taiwanese-Americans) base of support, and is probably the most moderate of the 3.
However, both of those advantages are significantly neutered by the layout of CD9. Most of Chandler is in CD5, and the CD9 portion is generally more liberal than the CD5. And while having strong support among the Taiwanese community is a strong plus, it’ll probably be more than cancelled out by the unfortunate racial stigma Asian-Americans are facing during the COVID19 crisis. I would not put it past Giles to racebait about Huang, and I think the GOP primary base here may lap that up.
In the general Stanton could have been slightly spooked by a well-funded Huang campaign, but I just don’t see Huang making it. And even so, the district is simply galloping to the left at too fast of a pace for the GOP to keep up – the one or two candidates who could plausibly do it (Tempe Councilwoman Robin Arredondo-Savage, State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee) are off doing their own thing. Arredondo-Savage could pose a threat in 2022 if she decides to run in a redrawn district, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Stanton, Tossup GOP (Huang/Giles). Solid Stanton general.
US Senate
Thanks for staying with me through this post. Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for.
Martha McSally ($7.66M COH) is the incumbent Senator, having been appointed by Governor Doug Ducey (R) after Sen. Jon Kyl left the seat in the winter of 2018 (who himself had been appointed when Sen. John McCain passed in September 2018). McSally, as you all know, lost the 2018 Senate election to Kyrsten Sinema, and it raised some eyebrows when Ducey appointed her to this spot. The rumor – which has some validity to it – was that Ducey purposefully selected a weak McSally to fill the seat so that she’d lose in 2020, so that he himself could run for it unimpeded in 2022. Ducey was on track to appoint himself when Kyl was going to leave, but due to a come-from-behind win by State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the Secretary of State race (who’d become Governor if Ducey vacated the seat) his plans were dashed.
McSally is despised by the Kelli Ward bloc of the party, and there was a big hubbub when businessman Daniel McCarthy ($34.9K COH, self-funding $149.6K) filed to run against her last fall. While he has the made the ballot – no small feat – he has yet to really turn on the self-funding spigot. Maybe this will change in the coming months, but for the time being it doesn’t really look like he’s ready to go full bore against McSally. She’s currently on track to easily win the primary, although it’ll be interesting to see – if McCarthy never does go all-in – just how many votes his skeleton candidacy will still win. I’d bet at least 1/3rd of the GOP primary base, to be honest.
McSally’s fundraising has been very impressive, leading all competitive GOP Senators nationally and raising the 6th most among all Senate candidates this year. It is therefore a delicious twist of fate that her sole Democratic opponent – astronaut and gun control advocate Mark Kelly ($13.61M COH) has raised the most among any Senate candidate – challenger or incumbent – this cycle. Yes, that’s more money raised and COH than Mitch McConnell or John Cornyn, who have had since 2015 to fundraise. It’s more COH than McSally and Sen. Thom Tillis (R, NC) COMBINED.
It’s a lot.
Kelly also holds strong support among Democratic base by virtue of his past work with Giffords PAC and his marriage to former Rep. Gabby Giffords (who was shot in the head during a 2011 assassination attempt) – beloved by even some Republicans.
McSally has been polling 7-8 points behind Kelly on the RCP average and has been trending ever so slightly downwards since the start of the campaign. The GOP could very well retain this seat in the fall, but polling, fundraising, the national climate, and a non-empty GOP primary are all big thorns in McSally’s side, as well as a fractured base of support (exacerbated by the fact that Kelli Ward is now AZ-GOP chair).
Personally I think Ducey knew exactly what he was doing when he appointed McSally. She’s no longer a rising-star fighter pilot – one of her engines is on fire, she’s taking flak from friendly forces on the ground, and she’s coming in for one hell of a crash landing.
AZ Dems attitude about this race is a simple one. To quote a favorite line of Gabby and Mark’s:
“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
hunter15991 Rating: Likely McSally, Kelly uncontested. Leans Kelly general.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this read! I’m going to try to knock out Maricopa County candidates today (and possibly other large counties like Pima) and get to the legislative ones this weekend. Any update due to signature challenges or fundraising reports dropping should come closer to the end of the month.
I’ll be splitting up my “endorsements” (both Dem. and “best-case R”) on each page and then again all at once at the end of this series. They’ll be listed in the comments, for posterity.
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Lost in the Sauce: Feb. 23 - 29

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater. (the previous edition can be found here if you are super behind).
House-keeping:
  1. How to read: the headings will guide you through this piece. The Main Course covers the “big” stories and The Sides covers the “smaller” stories. IF YOU FOLLOW THE NEWS CLOSELY: you likely know about the stories in the Main Course section, so you will be best served by scrolling down to The Sides portion.
  2. How to support: If you enjoy my work, please consider becoming a patron. I do this to keep track and will never hide behind a paywall, but these projects take a lot of time and effort to create. Even a couple of dollars a month helps. Since someone asked a few weeks ago (thank you!), here's a PayPal option
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Let’s dig in!

MAIN COURSE

Trump’s incompetence, authoritarian patterns continue with coronavirus response

In a standalone piece published yesterday, I go over Trump’s response to the coronavirus, how he made the spread inevitable, and the impact of Trump’s authoritarian impulses.

Nadler launches Barr investigation

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler sent Attorney General Bill Barr a letter last week requesting a slew of interviews and documents in preparation for Barr’s scheduled testimony at the end of March.
Most notably, Nadler requested interviews with the four career prosecutors who withdrew from Roger Stone’s case after Barr intervened to recommend a lower sentence (which Stone received): Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando, and Jonathan Kravis. John Durham, who is leading Barr’s investigation of the origins of the Russia probe, is also on the list, as is Jessie Liu, who supervised not only Stone’s case, but also the attempted prosecution of Andrew McCabe.
“Although you serve at the president’s pleasure, you are also charged with the impartial administration of our laws. In turn, the House Judiciary Committee is charged with holding you to that responsibility.”
While it is likely that Barr won’t comply with many of these requests, Nadler may issue subpoenas directly to individuals of interest. As Democrats learned during the impeachment hearing, career officials are more likely to be forthright and honest about the Trump administration’s crimes and misdeeds.

Court rulings

McGahn’s testimony

A divided three-judge panel of the D.C. Appeals Court dismissed the House Judiciary Committee’s lawsuit against former White House Counsel Don McGahn, ruling that federal courts have no role to play in disputes between the Executive and Legislative branches. The two judges who ruled in favor of the Trump administration - Thomas Griffith and Karen Henderson - were appointed by George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, respectively. The pair write that Congress should use other tools to try to compel McGahn’s testimony:
“Congress (or one of its chambers) may hold officers in contempt, withhold appropriations, refuse to confirm the President’s nominees, harness public opinion, delay or derail the President’s legislative agenda, or impeach recalcitrant officers.”
It should be mentioned that the majority does not mention the fact that during the impeachment trial Trump’s lawyers argued that Congress should pursue its subpoenas to executive branch witnesses in court.
Judge Judith Rogers, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote a lengthy dissent that is worth reading in full (starting on the 58th page of this document)
“The court removes any incentive for the Executive Branch to engage in the negotiation process seeking accommodation, all but assures future Presidential stonewalling of Congress, and further impairs the House’s ability to perform its constitutional duties… Future presidents may direct wide-scale noncompliance with lawful congressional inquiries, secure in the knowledge that Congress can do little to enforce a subpoena dramatically undermining its ability to fulfill its constitutional obligations now and going forward.”

Unfair competition suit

Trump also racked up a win in an “Emoluments-adjacent” lawsuit last week: a three-judge panel of the D.C. Appeals Court united to dismiss a wine bar’s claim that President Trump's D.C. hotel is unfairly undermining the business of other venues in the city. Judge Thomas Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee, and Reagan appointee Judge Stephen Williams joined Judge Merrick Garland in the ruling.
Though it is undisputed that the wine bar has experienced a downturn since Trump took office — his gilded hotel now attracting lobbyists, advocacy groups and diplomats who used to frequent the local business — the appeals court said no evidence suggests that the president or his hotel interfered in Cork’s business.
The lawsuit “boiled down to an assertion that businesses with famous proprietors cannot compete fairly — a proposition alien to unfair-competition law,” Griffith wrote summarizing the 2017 dismissal of the case by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon.

Purge confirmed

As I explained in last Sunday’s post, Trump is seeking to purge any disloyal officials from his administration. Newly-returned staffer John McEntee is leading the search for “Never Trumpers” with the assistance of a network of conservative activists including Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. On Monday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed that the White House is identifying employees seen as disloyal to force out of their positions.
“It’s not a secret that we want people in positions that work with this president, not against him, and too often we have people in this government—I mean the federal government is massive, with millions of people—and there are a lot people out there taking action against this president and when we find them we will take appropriate action,” Gidley said.
“Time and time again we see in the media reports from people in the bowels of the federal government working against this president...The president's been pretty clear about the fact he wants people in this administration who want to forward his agenda. Donald Trump was the only one elected. He was the only one that the American people voted for. They didn't vote for someone at any of these other agencies, any of these other departments.” he said.

Unqualified loyalists

One of those purged from the administration, DNI Joseph Maguire, was fired for allowing his top aide to brief Congress on Russia’s intervention in the 2020 election to Trump’s benefit. Last week, Trump said he will nominate Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe to fill the position - again. Trump previously announced his intent to nominate Ratcliffe in July, but withdrew the nomination five days later after members of both parties questioned his qualifications.
The current acting-DNI, Ric Grenell, can only serve until March 11 unless a permanent replacement is formally submitted to the Senate for confirmation. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act allows Grenell to remain in position throughout the confirmation process and - should Ratcliffe fail - another 210 days after. If a second person is nominated, the clock “resets” again.

The effect of Trump’s grip on intel

The NSA, CIA, and Pentagon have been urged by the White House not to share information about Russia and Ukraine with lawmakers, while the “Gang of Eight” senior members of Congress were bypassed leading up to at least one major intelligence operation. And intelligence community leaders have backed out of the public portion of the annual worldwide threats hearing, fearing Trump’s wrath if their assessments don’t align with his.
“We have an enemy of the United States that is conducting information warfare against us and our executive leadership doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want the Congress to hear it, and doesn’t want the people to hear it,” said former acting DNI David Gompert, who said he was “aghast” at the hiring of Grenell. “We now have a situation where the principal objective, evidently, of this acting DNI is to ensure that information about Russian interference and Russian preference for this particular president does not get out.” (Politico)
Ukrainian officials have noticed Trump’s purge and worry that efforts to force out individuals “would in the short term leave a hollowed out U.S. office in Kyiv and space for Russia to ratchet up its aggressive political influence operations.”
“Russia is getting more ambitious. They are already taking an aggressive position. Putin knows what he wants and he does not need to seek approval for his actions inside Russia let alone outside of Russia,” Danylyuk said. “There are not enough people in the administration—in the U.S. administration—to focus on Ukraine and Russia issues. A lot of people left. It will not be easy to find several counterparts.

THE SIDES

March is SCOTUS month

This month, several highly-charged issues will be heard by the Supreme Court, setting up potentially-massive changes to the legal framework of our country.
This week, Trump’s conservative appointees get their first chance to consider new curbs on abortion rights as the court examines the legality of a Louisiana law that could force two of the state’s three clinics that perform the procedure to shut down.
The case, June Medical Services v. Russo, pertains to a law passed in 2014 that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges to local hospitals. This requirement has proven to be unnecessary for clinics (an abortion rarely results in complications, and if one did, the patient would be admitted to a hospital regardless of the doctor’s privileges). And it’s so difficult to implement that when Texas passed a similar law, it shut down half the state’s clinics. (Buzzfeed News)
While it is overwhelmingly likely that five justices will vote to uphold Louisiana’s law, there is some uncertainty about how they will do so. It is possible that the Court will overrule Roe v. Wade outright. But it is at least as likely that the Court will leave Roe nominally in place while simultaneously watering down the abortion right to such a degree that it loses meaning in red states. The Court often prefers to create the impression that it will not allow the law to swing wildly according to the justices’ whims. (Vox)
Also this week, the court will hear arguments on whether Congress exceeded constitutional boundaries in 2010 when it created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Trump administration believes the independent structure of the CFPB is unconstitutional and wants the president to have more control over the agency. For instance, Trump wants to be able to fire the director at will.
A court ruling on the President's removal power could affect a multitude of independent agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Federal Reserve Board. For more than a century, Congress has been creating such agencies within the executive branch with directors who can only be removed only "for cause." (CNN)
Finally, on March 31, the high court will hear arguments in three cases involving House Democrats’ and New York state prosecutors’ attempts to obtain years of Trump’s financial records and tax returns.
Last week, Trump called for Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse themselves from these three cases. Ginsberg criticized Trump’s character during his 2016 campaign, though she later apologized. Trump did not explain his reasoning for calling for Sotomayor’s recusal, other than her authoring of a dissent critical of the conservative justices on the court.
“Perhaps most troublingly, the Court’s recent behavior on stay applications has benefited one litigant over all others. This Court often permits executions — where the risk of irreparable harm is the loss of life — to proceed, justifying many of those decisions on purported failures ‘to raise any potentially meritorious claims in a timely manner,’” she wrote. “Yet the Court’s concerns over quick decisions wither when prodded by the Government in far less compelling circumstances.”
What she really is saying is that the same justices who have no problem allowing condemned prisoners to be killed before legitimate questions about their cases can be resolved have no compunction in rushing to prematurely protect the Trump administration, and the president’s personal interests, from legitimate legal processes. In other words, Sotomayor is calling her conservative colleagues hypocrites who are willing to bend precedent in the pursuit of ideological goals. (Brennan Center)

Ukraine emails

The latest batch of emails released by the Department of Defense in response to a FOIA suit reveals evidence that the administration withheld from Congress during the impeachment inquiry and trial. Senior members of the Trump administration, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and then–National Security Adviser John Bolton had all advised President Trump to release the military aid to Ukraine, but the final decision was ultimately up to Trump.
The August 26, 2019, email from a senior career Pentagon official states that there was “no ongoing interagency review process with respect to USAI [Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative],” and states clearly: “Final decision rests with POTUS.”
“Critically, the email appears to contradict the White House budget office’s stated rationale for withholding the aid,” American Oversight states. Administration officials had been instructed to tell Congress that the freeze of aid to Ukraine was necessary to allow for an “interagency process to determine the best use of such funds.” The August 26 email clearly states that no such process was in action.
“Tonight’s document release is a reminder that before they lined up parrot the president’s line on Ukraine aid, senior members of the president’s national security team unanimously disagreed with his decision to withhold aid from Ukraine,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight.
An earlier email release revealed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fully coordinated with Rudy Giuliani on Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine and the ouster of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
“We now know Mike Pompeo and his aides encouraged Rudy Giuliani to deliver his bogus 'dossier' smearing Ambassador Yovanovitch during a week in 2019 when Giuliani's henchmen were stalking the ambassador in Kyiv,” American Oversight executive director Austin Evers told Yahoo News.

The House continues Ukraine probe

The Foreign Affairs Committee is reportedly at odds with pro-Trump candidate Robert Hyde, who claimed to have former Ambassador Yovanovitch under surveillance. Chairman Eliot Engel, who is investigating the alleged surveillance and threats to the Ambassador, said in an email to Hyde last month that he was “dismayed to read yesterday that you have made statements to the media which greatly exaggerate the extent of your cooperation with this investigation."
"As you know, we have expressed repeated concern that the records you previously produced contain significant gaps," the House staffers wrote. They added that it was obvious Hyde hadn't turned everything over because his batch of materials was missing records that Congress already knows about because they were turned over by Parnas, who was on the other end of the texts.
Last week, six members of Congress led by Reps. Denny Heck (WA-10) and Jim Himes (CT-04) sent a letter to World Bank Group President David Malpass requesting information about his August meeting with Zelensky in Ukraine. The lawmakers voiced concerns that the meeting could be seen as a part of Trump’s pressure campaign that resulted in his impeachment.
The lawmakers asked Malpass to disclose when he decided to visit Kyiv, whether he coordinated his trip with non-World Bank officials, the “deliverables” of the meeting, the meeting’s impact on the World Bank’s plans in Ukraine and whether they discussed Hunter Biden, Burisma or Viktor Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who was ousted under international pressure from leaders including former Vice President Biden. (The Hill)

Russia, Russia, Russia

Last week:
  • Trump accused House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff of leaking information about Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 election, dismissed the intelligence as “exaggerated,” and refused to acknowledge that Moscow was behind similar efforts in 2016. “Schiff leaked it, in my opinion — and he shouldn’t be leaking things like that,” Mr. Trump said without evidence.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed the public that the Trump administration “failed to provide Congress with a report on the ongoing attacks on America’s elections from foreign governments, which was required by the bipartisan FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act.”
  • It was reported that Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr warned Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley that their probe targeting Biden could aid Russian efforts to sow chaos and distrust in the U.S. political system.
  • The Washington Post reported that “U.S. officials are sitting on test results that may show how the Putin regime twice tried to kill a peaceful opponent whose close ties to the United States, and columns for The Post, are reminiscent of Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered Saudi journalist.”
  • A Russian court ordered former United States Marine Trevor Reed be detained for another six months on accusations he assaulted police officers in Moscow last year, a charge that his defense team has called “fraudulent.” Meanwhile, former Marine Paul Whelan has been in a Russian jail since 2018 on espionage accusations. Their treatment is a stark contrast from that received by celebrity rapper A$AP Rocky - when detained in Sweden, Trump dispatched his hostage envoy (and current National Security Adviser) to oversee the matter and secure Rocky’s release. No such effort has been made for the two former service members in Moscow.
  • Hopping the pond to look at Russia’s interference in the U.K.: The wife of former Russian Finance Minister and Putin-ally Vladimir Chernukhin made a £90,000 donation for a game of tennis with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “The donation comes as Johnson continues to delay publication of a parliamentary report detailing extensive links between his party and donors with links to Russia.”

Alleged Saudi and UAE funding for Trump

Lebanese-American businessman Ahmad "Andy" Khawaja told Spectator Magazine that officials from Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia illegally funneled millions of dollars into Trump’s 2016 campaign. As the CEO of an online payment processing company, Khawaja claims that George Nader obtained his assistance to disguise the money using stolen identities and gift cards as under-$200 campaign contributions that are not required to be reported to the Federal Election Commission.
He remembers Nader explaining why they wanted to fund the Trump campaign. According to Khawaja, Nader said: ‘I’ve been meeting with the Trump campaign people…we have a deal with Trump: my boss, His Highness, made a deal that if we help Trump get elected, he’s going to be harsh on Iran, he’s going to take out the nuclear deal that the Obama administration made. That will cripple the Iranian economy and will sanction Iran from selling oil again. It will make it very difficult for them to compete in the oil market. That’s worth a hundred billion dollars to us. That’s the reason we cannot allow Hillary to win at any cost. She must lose.’
Khawaja says he asked: ‘But you really think he’s going to win? I mean, this is crazy.’ And he says that Nader replied: ‘His Highness is not stupid, he will never bet on a losing horse.’ The money would come from the Saudis. The Emiratis would run the operation, using data bought from the Chinese. Khawaja says that Nader told him: ‘We have all the data already, we have 10 million US consumers’ data. And we have endless money.’ The Russians were ‘on board’ too: ‘He said, “Yes, I have met with Putin already and we have a green light from him. Because Putin is on the same page with us. He wants Hillary to lose.”’
Khawaja and Nader were charged with making false statements, obstruction, and allegedly making illegal contributions to Clinton’s campaign on behalf of an unidentified foreign official. While Nader is currently in jail, Khawaja is a fugitive in the Middle East.

Cuccinelli appointment illegal

A D.C.-based federal judge ruled Sunday that President Donald Trump's appointment of Ken Cuccinelli as acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, a decision that suspends two policies Cuccinelli implemented while leading the agency. (Politico)
Three weeks after assuming his new role, Cuccinelli issued a memorandum announcing a revised policy for scheduling credible-fear interviews, the first step in the asylum process, according to the court ruling. Under the revised policy, the agency reduced the time allotted for asylum seekers to consult with others prior to their interviews.
Under Cuccinelli, USCIS also prohibited granting asylum seekers extensions of time to prepare for their credible-fear interviews, "except in the most extraordinary of circumstances." The asylum directives must be set aside, Moss ruled. (CNN)

Eric Trump’s taxpayer-funded business trip

Eric Trump visited a Trump property in development in Uruguay from January 8 to 9, 2019, a two-day business trip that cost taxpayers at least $80,786. CREW obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act today that add to the massive bill of Secret Service protection related to the Trump family’s management of the president’s business empire. The 2019 trip brings Eric Trump’s total up to at least $178,616 in taxpayer funds to work on development of the Trump Organization’s Punta Del Este property alone.

Scottish leader calls for Trump investigation

Parliamentarian Patrick Harvie, a co-leader of the Scottish Greens party, implored the government to pursue a legal order forcing Trump and the Trump Organization to reveal the funding of its multi-million dollar Scottish land acquisitions, saying there were “reasonable grounds” to suspect the U.S. president has been involved in illegal activity.
Mr Harvie said that the House of Representatives had heard testimony which stated: "We saw patterns of buying and selling that we thought were suggestive of money laundering" - with particular concern expressed about Mr Trump's golf courses in Scotland and Ireland.
He added: "Trump's known sources of income don't explain where the money came from for these huge cash transactions. There are reasonable grounds for suspecting that his lawfully obtained income was insufficient.”
"Scottish ministers can apply via the Court of Session for an unexplained wealth order, a tool designed for precisely these kinds of situations." The orders can be issued by the courts to compel their target to reveal the source of funding, and are often used to tackle suspected international money laundering.

Roger Stone

District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied Stone’s request that she disqualify herself from his case for supposed “bias,” issuing a sharply-worded rebuke of the defense’s allegations: "At bottom, given the absence of any factual or legal support for the motion for disqualification, the pleading appears to be nothing more than an attempt to use the Court’s docket to disseminate a statement for public consumption that has the words 'judge' and 'biased' in it," Jackson wrote. “Judges cannot be ‘biased’ and need not be disqualified if the views they express are based on what they learned while doing the job they were appointed to do.”
Footage of Roger Stone’s interviews with prosecutors last month has been released… and the only word that can sum it up is “wow.” The entire archive can be found here, but if you are short on time Politico’s Andrew Kimmel made a supercut of the must-see moments that illustrate Stone’s true character: a narcissist who can barely control his anger at being questioned.

Stefanik broke fundraising rules

A constituent of Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21) filed an official complaint against her with the Office of Congressional Ethics for using footage of House floor activities to raise funds for her campaign - an express violation of House rules. Stefanik has used clips of her questioning during the impeachment inquiry in fundraising emails, including one with the subject line, that read, “WATCH: I EXPOSED ADAM SCHIFF.”
In a letter sent on June 7, 2018, the House Ethics Committee reminded legislators that “rules specifically prohibit the use of footage of House Floor activities and committee proceedings for any partisan political purpose.”
“I think Rep. Stefanik’s use of video of the House hearing to solicit political contributions is a serious violation of that rule,” says Larry Noble, the former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission. “The rule is clear, and so is the guidance given by the House Ethics Committee.”
Donald K. Sherman, general counsel of the ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — a group that routinely opposes the Trump administration — agrees with that assessment. “House Ethics Committee guidance clearly prohibits Members from using video of committee proceedings for campaign purposes,” said Sherman, who was previously a high-ranking Senate attorney, “which Rep. Stefanik appears to have done nine times in the last six months.

Nunes’ lawsuits

Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit government accountability watchdog, filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics asking for an investigation into how Rep. Devin Nunes is paying for his six separate lawsuits against media companies and critics.
The complaint says Nunes appears to be in “blatant violation of House rules,” because he would have trouble paying for all these lawsuits solely from his congressional salary of $174,000 per year. The group argues he’d only be able to pay if he received legal services for free, at a discounted rate, or based on a contingency fee, meaning the lawyer would get compensated from Nunes’ winnings if he prevails in his lawsuits.
In all of those cases, the complaint says, Nunes must disclose the legal help he is receiving by filing a legal expense fund, otherwise it would represent an illegal gift given to Nunes under congressional ethics rules. Nunes has not filed a legal expense fund with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Immigration news

  • Washington Post: A federal appeals court in California halted the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy on Friday, removing one of the key tools the president has used to curb mass migration across the southern U.S. border. The ruling was in effect for only a few hours, however, as the judges later granted a Trump administration request for an emergency stay “pending further order of this court.” Justice Department lawyers said in court filings that 25,000 migrants have been ­waiting in Mexico and argued that they feared the ruling would lead to an influx on the southern ­border.
  • New York Times: The Justice Department said Wednesday that it had created an official section in its immigration office to strip citizenship rights from naturalized immigrants, a move that gives more heft to the Trump administration’s broad efforts to remove from the country immigrants who have committed crimes… Some Justice Department immigration lawyers have expressed worries that denaturalizations could be broadly used to strip citizenship.
    • The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights: "We reject any denaturalization task force that destroys citizenship as we know it and keeps every naturalized immigrant living in fear. Trump is weaponizing the DOJ to make naturalized immigrants look like second-class citizens."
  • Jurist: The US Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Hernandez v. Mesa on Tuesday, holding that the parents of a Mexican child who was shot and killed by a border official have no right to seek a remedy in American civil court. The child, Jesus Hernandez, had been playing with friends in a dry culvert that straddles the US-Mexico border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez. Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa fired at Hernandez from the US side of the culvert, and the bullet struck the boy on the Mexican side, where he died.
  • CNN: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper faced a bipartisan grilling from lawmakers Wednesday on Capitol Hill for his decision to divert military funding to pay for the US border wall as he testifies before the House Armed Services Committee… The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry, also slammed the move saying it is "substituting the judgment of the administration for the judgment of Congress," adding "I am deeply concerned about where we're headed with the constitutional issue."
  • ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a new lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s transfer of an additional $3.8 billion in military funds for border wall construction. Congress did not authorize the funds. “The president is doubling down on his unlawful scheme to raid taxpayer funds for a xenophobic campaign promise that is destroying national treasures, harming the environment, and desecrating tribal lands.”
  • Associated Press: President Donald Trump may not divert $89 million intended for a military construction project in Washington state to build his border wall… “Congress repeatedly and deliberately declined to appropriate the full funds the President requested for a border wall along the southern border of the United States,” [Judge] Rothstein wrote.
  • Today, Monday March 2, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case involving the Trump administration’s “expedited removal” of asylum seekers without allowing them a chance to take their application before a federal judge. For a detailed discussion of the case, see the ACLU and Lawfare.
  • Mother Jones: Melania Trump Got an “Einstein Visa.” Why Was It So Hard for This Nobel Prize Winner? Immigration attorneys say the Trump administration is rejecting highly qualified applicants for “genius” green cards.
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TRUMP vs. WARREN! - 2020 Election Prediction (Nov. 2019) Odds favor Trump and Clinton in next round of primaries Poker champion reveals his election 2016 betting odds Democratic Candidate Betting Odds Trump vs. Clinton: 2016 Election betting odds - YouTube

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