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Smite The Vote – A Chance For Change?



The Republican party of Virginia hid behind a ridiculously tedious law has only permitted two names onto the March Presidential Primary Ballot.
In recent months, America has been kept spellbound by the GOP primary race. With ever changing polls, candidates, scandals and attacks — alongside the emergence of the Super PAC — it is no wonder that many Americans are wondering if they are not being left with the choices of the rich and influential rather than with choices based on a system of democracy.One such example is what happened in Virginia, where arbitrary electoral law saw party heads choose only two candidates to be named on the ballot. In having the party heads ultimately able to decide who is on the ballot with an ever changing process, this leads to a lot of questions as to the fairness that would be shown to minorities, including the LGBT community.

The law of the Commonwealth clearly lay out the requirements and procedures necessary for a presidential candidate to obtain ballot access in the Virginia. Failure to understand, meet or comply with the code is simply poor practice on behalf of a candidate and campaign.

While upholding the current law and maintaining a code of ethics is vitally important, the law does need to be changed.  The responsibility for validating the signatures of the petition signers rests with the state parties and it raises the questions of impartiality and accuracy.

During the 2008 primary, both the Republican and Democratic Parties of Virginia claimed to have validated over 120,000 signatures for the 12 candidates running for office that year. For this election, the Republican Party has admitted to scrutinizing the signatures more closely than they had in past elections. Further the RPV Chairman, Pat Mullins, publicly stated that if any candidate secured 15,000 signatures with 600 from each Congressional district, that he would waive the certification process and automatically validate that candidate and place their name directly on the ballot.  Reliance and understanding of past practices is a terrible precedent, but perhaps the campaigns were prepared for the lack of scrutiny that was used in the past three presidential primary elections. This belief of how the system worked before the implementation of increased scrutiny led to challenges in court by Governor Rick Perry and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The courts ultimately sided with the law over the plaintiffs and the ballots were left unchanged.

For many in Virginia, this was seen as a final blow to efforts across the state to have a full slate of names included on the ballot and to allow a comprehensive voice of democracy to be heard.

“The Commonwealth of Virginia has imposed one of the greatest injustices American voters have ever seen. The Republican party of Virginia, hid behind a ridiculously tedious law has only permitted two names onto the March Presidential Primary Ballot. The government and party officials in Virginia have failed to adhere to the true meaning of democracy by hiding behind complex and convoluted laws,” said Cameron Sasnett, CEO and founder of Elect-Logic.

Sasnett, who founded Elect-Logic early last year, has worked as a consultant with the Virginia State Board of Elections, is a board member with the Victory Fund and worked with the Stonewall Democrats, has come up with an idea to change the future and hopefully create a conversation in this country. He is calling this effort “Smite the Vote” which was developed in response to a democratic system that has disenfranchised voters through an immense amount of bureaucracy and red-tape created by those who should have been the stewards of an open democracy.

“While it has been demonstrated that the Commonwealth’s government is strong, it has become obvious that the strength has come at the expense of fair and adequate elections for primary voters. This election is the perfect opportunity to take back democracy from the tyrannical clutches of a system that has bypassed what is most important: the voters,” he continued.

With close to 200 “pop-up” locations throughout Virginia on primary day, Smite the Vote will be a way to engage nearly 750,000 voters in Virginia and give them a ballot they’re party and government wouldn’t. Working with nearly 3,000 volunteers dedicated to the cause of re-empowering the true meaning of democracy this action will give voice those who feel tossed aside.

“In the spirit of the principles for which our country was founded and to reinforce the that “governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” it is important to ensure that the idea democracy is preserved far above the structures of government for which it is intended,” said a source close to Virginia party politics.

We must keep in mind that this is a unique circumstance.  Clearly the law is the law. However, there is substantial reasoning and evidence that the voters and tax-payers of the Commonwealth would be better served by the inclusion of more than two candidates on their primary ballot in March. If the law is left the way that it is, it ultimately reduces Virginia’s strength in the national political process.  In the future, candidates may not even bother to spend time and money in the Virginia, which will limit voters from a representative standpoint, and in particular LGBT candidates such as Fred Karger who skipped the state altogether.

Virginia has been the home to eight former US Presidents, elected its first gay man to State Senate, has fought to protect core values of American principles and continues to be a voice on the national scene. It is important that Virginia continues to be a pillar of democracy.  To be an advocate of such democracy Virginia must practice the fundamentals of such democracy and shed the onerous rules that prevent anyone from standing up and fighting for such inequalities.



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‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’



Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.

Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.

Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”

When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”

“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.

“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.

He refused to answer.

Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.

“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”

At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.

Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.

But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”

The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.

At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


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Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




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