Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner posted an excellent and detailed piece, “14 Races LGBT People Will Be Watching Closely On Tuesday,” and we’re sharing some excerpts here, along with some thoughts and background. Head over to Buzzfeed for Geidner’s take, and, of course, photos!
This election is a game-changer for America’s LGBT community, one which will decide if the civil rights that have finally been acknowledged by our elected representatives and our president will continue to be enabled, one that will show America that people from the LGBT community are capable and welcome in all houses of Congress, one that will show LGBTQ children and teens that we’re all people, and that we all deserve the same rights, if these races are decided in our favor.
Overall, in addition to the presidential race, there is one Senate race, one state supreme court justice race, seven House races, and four marriage ballots that are of extra special concern for LGBT people.
1. PRESIDENT: We’re cautiously optimistic that President Obama will win re-election, assuming there’s no funny business going on with voting machines.
2. U.S. Senate â€” Wisconsin: Baldwin v. Thompson: Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is set to become the first openly-gay U.S. Senator. She’s running against a Wisconsin former governor and heavyweight Republican, Tommy Thompson, who benefitted greatly from his time serving in George W. Bush’s administration.
3. U.S. House of Representatives â€” Colorado: Polis v. Lundberg: Openly-gay U.S. Congressman Jared Polis is favored to win re-election.
4. U.S. House of RepresentativesÂ â€” Rhode Island: Cicilline v. Doherty: Openly-gay U.S. Congressman David Cicilline faces a tough re-election race against Republican Brendan Doherty.
5. U.S. House of RepresentativesÂ â€” New York: Hayworth v. Maloney: Openly-gay candidate Sean Patrick Maloney is attempting to unseat GOP Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, whose district lies north of NYC. The ads, which we’ve seen here in NYC, are brutal.
6. U.S. House of RepresentativesÂ â€” Arizona: Parker v. Sinema: “Democratic House candidate, Kyrsten Sinema, a state senator, is facing off against Republican Vernon Parker in Arizona,” Geidner writes. “A Sinema win would make her the first out bi member of Congress â€” and the only out LGBT woman in the House in the 113th Congress.”
7. U.S. House of RepresentativesÂ â€” Massachusetts: Tierney v. Tisei: If Richard Tisei wins he will be the first Republican elected to Congress as an openly-gay man. He’s been endorsed by several LGBT groups, including the Victory Fund, despite the fact that his stance on LGBT issues is to the right of his non-LGBT Democratic opponent.
8. U.S. House of RepresentativesÂ â€” Wisconsin: Lee v. Pocan: Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin gave up her seat to run for the Senate (above) and Mark Pocan, who is also gay, is favored to win.
9. U.S. House of RepresentativesÂ â€” California: Takano v. Tavaglione: Openly-gay Democrat Mark Takano is favored to win election to the U.S House against Republican challenger John Tavaglione. Chris Geidner notes a win for Takano “would make him the first out LGBT person of color in Congress.”
STATE MARRIAGE REFERENDA
10. Washington: Christine Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington, signed into law a same-sex marriage bill that was quickly thrown onto today’s election ballot by anti-gay religious right forces. While polling is favorable for a win, it could be very close.
11. MARYLAND: Also very close, Maryland‘s same-sex marriage bill, (similar story,) in March wasÂ signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley after a contentious debate in the legislature. If the word “cockmonster” means anything to you, you know the Maryland debate has never ended.
12. MAINE: Maine was one of the first states to pass a same-sex marriage law in 2009, only to have voters rescind it at the voting booth later that year, a heartbreaking, crushing defeat. Now, voters seem poised to pass a same-sex marriage equality bill, and the religious right and NOM are pouring money into the state attempting to defeat it — with lies, mistruths, and misdirection, of course.
13. MINNESOTA: Home of Michele Bachmann, Minnesota is the only state this year attempting to further exclude same-sex couples from marrying. The Republicans have managed to place on the ballot an amendment that would add a ban on same-sex marriage into the Minnesota constitution. Does the name Kally Yanta ring a bell? Geidener notes, “Close, though PPP shows it 52-48 for us.”
14. IOWA: Iowa was one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage because their Suupreme Court — in a unanimous decision — ruled their ban on marriage equality violated their constitution. So, of course, NOM and radical right wing Republican “pro-family” haters like Bob Vander Plaatz got to work — on removing supreme court jstices from office, the first time that’s ever happened sucessfully. They were successful in removing three, now they’re back for another. Despicable.
Supreme Court judge David Wiggins is likely to lose his job for correctly interpreting Iowa’s constitution.
Of course, we’re all hoping to see Congressman Allen West, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Congressman Steve King, andÂ Congressman Louie Gohmert get defeated tonight, but we’re not holding our breath.
Image: Obama For America
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Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority
Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.
Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.
The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.
An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.
Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.
Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”
With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.
The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”
The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.
Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”
Guilty on All Counts: Trump Organization Loses Big in Criminal Fraud Case
A jury has found thew crown jewel of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization, guilty on all counts in a state criminal tax fraud case.
Calling it “a remarkable rebuke of the former president’s company and what prosecutors described as its ‘culture of fraud and deception,'” The New York Times reports the details include “conviction on all 17 counts.”
Charges include tax fraud, a scheme to defraud, and conspiracy and falsifying business records, but The Times says it is “hardly a death sentence for the Trump Organization.”
The Times adds the conviction comes “after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan,” which “resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”
Donald Trump was not a defendant in the case, but the case will be front and center during his presidential run.
According to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted of the following charges:
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts
The Trump Corporation was also convicted of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony.
MSNBC reported the verdict on-air:
BREAKING: Trump Org. found guilty on all counts in a 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by top executives at the company. https://t.co/MPjgQRmzjX pic.twitter.com/356LrhuK6u
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 6, 2022
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Image via Shutterstock
Watch: McConnell Refuses to Say He Will Not Support Trump for President Even After ‘Terminate the Constitution’ Demand
Even after Donald Trump called for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution this weekend and demanded he be put back into office or be given a do-over national presidential election, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not support the ex-president’s current run for the White House.
McConnell kicked off his weekly press conference Tuesday by mildly criticizing Trump, although not mentioning him by name.
“First, let me just say that anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of United States,” McConnell told reporters.
But when asked if he “categorically” would refuse to support Trump – personally or in his role as Senate Republican Minority Leader – McConnell refused to go that far.
“This is the second week in a row you’ve come out to begin your press conference criticizing Donald Trump,” a reporter off-camera said. “Can you say categorically that you do not support him if he were the Republican nominee?”
McConnell could not.
“What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in, to the presidency, if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution. That’s what I said, and I just said it again,” McConnell stated.
“How about your personal support?” the reporter shot back.
McConnell ignored the question.
During the 2016 campaign Trump also made clear he did not feel beholden to upholding the Constitution, so it’s unclear why McConnell would suggest he could not be sworn in again should he be elected in 2024.
In fact, Trump’s concerning remarks surrounding the Constitution in 2016 led Brown University political science professor Corey Brettschneider to pen a piece for Politico: “Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide.”
“It may be true that Donald Trump has read the Constitution. But it’s unclear if he understands it,” it begins.
McConnell is not only the second longest serving leader of a party’s caucus in the Senate, nor his he just the Senate Republican Minority Leader.
He wields massive power and influence via his ties to a Super PAC.
According to CNN, the Senate Leadership Fund is “a super PAC affiliated with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
This year alone, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent nearly $300 million to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate. In 2020 it spent over $475 million.
Many have seen their ads, which are almost entirely, according to Open Secrets, against Democrats, not for Republicans.
Watch McConnell below or at this link.
Question: Can you say categorically that you will not support Trump if he were the Republican nominee?
McConnell: What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in to the presidency if you’re not willing to uphold the constitution pic.twitter.com/KOcHOUtpnc
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 6, 2022
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