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Smite The Vote – A Chance For Change?

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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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‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’: RNC’s ‘Chilling’ MAGA Chant Echoes Trump – and ‘1930’s Germany’

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Echoing Donald Trump’s fist-pumping and shout immediately after his ear was nicked by a would-be assassin who killed an innocent bystander Saturday, attendees on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Monday broke out into chants, yelling, “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

“Having finished the prayer and pledge, and rendition of ‘God Bless America,'” LaPolitics Weekly editor and publisher Jeremy Alford reported, “RNC delegates almost immediately begin chanting the same war cry @realDonaldTrump emitted upon being shot: ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’ ”

Baptist minister Brian Kaylor, who has a PhD in political communication, is the author or co-author of five books, including “Sacramental Politics: Religious Worship as Political Action,” and “Baptizing America: How Mainline Protestants Helped Build Christian Nationalism.”

He writes: “Delegates yelling ‘fight!’ during RNC shows the danger of what Trump’s instinct was on Saturday.”

READ MORE: Was Trump Hit by a Bullet or Not? Calls Mount for Campaign to Release Medical Records

Attorney and SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah posted a short clip of the moment, remarking: “Bone chilling to see at #RNCConvention people chanting ‘Fight’ in unison with one arm punching in the air. Instantly conjures up rallies from 1930’s Germany. There is no other way to put it.”

The fist-pumping is very visible in the bottom portion of the frame:

Author Stephen Beschloss responded: “Here’s the Trump Republican Party’s ‘unity’ message: Fight.”

Professor of history and fascism and authoritarianism expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat also responded, writing: “You know what to do, Americans. We can avoid this nightmare. Never become resigned or fatalistic. That’s what they want.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein, also an NBC News/MSNBC contributor, also posted a clip, and remarked: “Expect to hear this a lot this week.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Biden Channels Lincoln in Address on Trump Assassination Attempt: ‘We Are Not Enemies’

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Was Trump Hit by a Bullet or Not? Calls Mount for Campaign to Release Medical Records

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Critics are calling for Donald Trump’s campaign to release his medical records in the wake of Saturday’s attempted assassination, noting that no physician has gone on record to give the American people any information, which some are saying is a lack of transparency.

Trump has stated he was wounded by the shooter’s bullet, but reports have also stated the bleeding on his right ear was from shards of glass from his teleprompter.

“Trump has posted that his ear was pierced by a bullet, but the sad fact is that he’s an unreliable source. News organizations need to wait for more credible confirmation of what happened,” wrote journalist Steven Beschloss on Saturday.

“Why haven’t we heard from the medical staff or others confirming whether Trump was or wasn’t hit by a bullet?” he asked Monday, adding, “If indeed Trump was cut by a piece of glass, then all the talk that he was shot is factually wrong. This needs to be clarified by the authorities involved, no matter whether it contradicts the Trump narrative.”

Investigative journalist Jonathan Greenberg on Monday asked, “What is Trump hiding?”

READ MORE: ‘Just the First Step’: Trump Declares ‘Uniting Our Nation’ Means Ending All Cases Against Him

“Did Trump actually get shot in the ear? If that’s the case, why has he not released the medical report & images of the wound? Why should we trust the most successful liar & con man of all time, who has lied about all his medical records so far?”

Professor of journalism Jeff Jarvis on Monday also asked, “why have we not seen a medical report from the hospital that treated Trump? Why have we not seen reporters vocally demanding it?”

He added: “Let’s at least try to demand transparency from the campaign and doctors. I don’t see anyone trying.”

“Trump was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital close to where the attack happened, but no details have been officially released,” The Daily Beast reported Monday.

Calling it a “Mystery,”  The Beast reports, “the Trump camp has not disclosed what kinds of tests the former president underwent, how he was treated and for what types of injuries, and if there will be follow-ups. While such details may seem insignificant, the American public tends to expect maximum clarity about presidential health, as the public storm over President Joe Biden’s mental acuity, one led by members of his own party, demonstrated.”

The lack of transparency into Trump’s health after the assassination attempt is in line with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s refusal to release full information surrounding his overall health in general.

While President Joe Biden has released a good deal of data from his doctors on his health, Trump has released very little.

READ MORE: As Cannon Dismisses Trump Classified Docs Case Experts Pin Blame on Clarence Thomas

In 2020, when then-President Trump contracted COVID, reporters demanded information from doctors, which was very limited at first, and, as CNN reported, “created confusion.” Part of that confusion was in the timeline of events. It has been reported that Trump, according to at least three of his close aides, had tested positive for the deadly coronavirus just days before one of the 2020 presidential debates, and appeared just feet way from his opponent, now President Joe Biden without announcing his status.

Trump has a history of hiding his medical status.

Even before he was elected, in 2015, Trump only a provided a short letter from Dr. Harold N. Bornstein, who later revealed Trump had dictated to the doctor what to write.

“He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter,” Bornstein told CNN in 2018. “I just made it up as I went along.”

NBC News in 2018 reported that Bornstein also revealed Trump’s team had “raided” his office and removed all his medical records.

“Bornstein told NBC News that he felt ‘raped, frightened and sad’ when Keith Schiller and another ‘large man’ came to his office to collect the president’s records on the morning of Feb. 3, 2017. At the time, Schiller, who had long worked as Trump’s bodyguard, was serving as director of Oval Office operations at the White House.”

READ MORE: Biden Channels Lincoln in Address on Trump Assassination Attempt: ‘We Are Not Enemies’

 

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‘Just the First Step’: Trump Declares ‘Uniting Our Nation’ Means Ending All Cases Against Him

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Donald Trump, declaring his surviving Saturday’s attempted assassination a “miracle,” reportedly has changed his upcoming address to this week’s Republican National Convention to promoting “unity.” But unlike President Joe Biden’s Oval Office speech Sunday night urging America come together, the ex-president is defining national unity as everyone agreeing all legal and civil cases against him are baseless “Witch Hunts.”

Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after a 20-year old registered Republican with an AR-15 style rifle unloaded eight bullets in the ex-president’s direction, causing his ear to be grazed, possibly by schraptnal or glass, while killing a 50-year old supporter at a rally in the stands behind him, Trump posted just two words to his Truth Social account: “UNITE AMERICA!”

“The former president has told multiple outlets he wants to focus on unifying the country after surviving an assassination attempt,” Rolling Stone reports. “As Trump’s allies and other prominent Republican commentators attempt to weaponize the shooting into a political cudgel against Democrats to silence criticism of Trump and his track record endorsing political violence, it may only be a matter of time before the former president slips back into his old habits.”

Monday morning, barely one hour after U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee in Florida, handed down her ruling entirely dismissing the Espionage Act/classified documents case against the ex-president, Trump expanded on his definition of unity: ending “ALL the Witch Hunts.”

RELATED: As Cannon Dismisses Trump Classified Docs Case Experts Pin Blame on Clarence Thomas

“As we move forward in Uniting our Nation after the horrific events on Saturday, this dismissal of the Lawless Indictment in Florida should be just the first step, followed quickly by the dismissal of ALL the Witch Hunts — The January 6th Hoax in Washington, D.C., the Manhattan D.A.’s Zombie Case, the New York A.G. Scam, Fake Claims about a woman I never met (a decades old photo in a line with her then husband does not count), and the Georgia ‘Perfect’ Phone Call charges. The Democrat Justice Department coordinated ALL of these Political Attacks, which are an Election Interference conspiracy against Joe Biden’s Political Opponent, ME. Let us come together to END all Weaponization of our Justice System, and Make America Great Again!”

Veteran journalist Brian J. Karem responded to Trump’s post, writing: “So much for uniting people. That didn’t last a single day.”

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) added, “I knew this mad man would soon be back. He’s incapable of unifying peanut butter and jelly. For Trump it’s always been me, me, me first (& only).”

Media columnist Justin Baragona noted, “The new Trump tone lasted a record 36 hours.”

READ MORE: Biden Channels Lincoln in Address on Trump Assassination Attempt: ‘We Are Not Enemies’

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