Party Chair Opposes Push To Hold Convention In Less LGBT-Friendly City â€“Â Leaders Aim To Revive Indiana-Style Religious Freedom Bills
Social conservatives in the Republican Party of Texas are calling for the state GOP to move its 2016 convention out of Dallas over the City Council’s recent decision to strengthen transgender protections.Â
However, state party chair Tom Mechler opposes the idea, saying it would be too expensive to find a new site at this late juncture.Â
Former Harris County GOP chair Jared Woodfill, a veteran anti-LGBT activist who served as spokesman for the campaign to repeal Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, was the first to call for the party’s 2016 state convention to be moved. Others, including former state GOP chair Cathie Adams, who now serves as president of the anti-LGBT Texas Eagle Forum, have since joined the effort.
But Tom Mechler, current chair of the Texas GOP, said it would cost the party $800,000 to break its contract in Dallas, money he says would be better spent supporting Republican candidates. Mechler said although the decision ultimately rests with the State Republican Executive Committee, moving the convention would also diminish the party’s say in electing the next president.Â
“I share the concerns of a vast majority of Republicans who oppose the ordinance which the Dallas City Council voted on, but I am concerned about proposals that will toy with the health and fiscal stability of the Republican Party of Texas,” Mechler said in a statement provided to the conservative news site Push Junction. “The Dallas City Council has taken an action which many find offensive, but we need to stand united with the Dallas County GOP in their fight to turn the county Republican. We cannot allow the liberals to push us out of a city that is important to the RPT by passing an ordinance that we oppose. Their recent action should strengthen our resolve to move forward. We will stand by the women in our party to ensure their safety and will do so at the convention. And, we will come to Dallas with a Republican grassroots army that is so large and determined to win, the liberals will rue the day they picked a fight with our party.”Â
Contrary to Mechler’s statement, the Dallas City Council is nonpartisan, and the proposal to strengthen transgender protections passed unanimously with support from several conservative members (including Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, the daughter of Dallas Cowboys Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubauch, a prominent GOP donor). Nevertheless, it’s hardly surprising that Mechler would advocate using LGBT rights as a wedge issue. After all, he once wrote a letter to the editor of The Amarillo Globe-NewsÂ threatening to cancel his subscription if his hometown newspaper published a photo of a same-sex couple kissing.
At the 2016 convention, Mechler is expected to face a challenge for state party chair from Woodfill, who finished third when Mechler was elected to the position last year. Woodfill wants the convention to be moved to Houston, where voters overwhelmingly defeated an Equal Rights Ordinance last month based on opponents’ fear-mongering lie that it would allow men to enter women’s restrooms and prey on victims.Â
A week after the Houston vote, the Dallas council thumbed its nose at anti-LGBT bigots by strengthening the city’s transgender protections, which have been in place since 2002. Not surprisingly, hate groups including Texas Values and the Texas Pastor Council were outraged, and they’ve pledged to try to repeal the Dallas ordinance. But those groups face a much higher bar for getting a referendum on the ballot in Dallas, even if they were to commit rampant forgery like they did in Houston. And that could explain why anti-LGBT activists are focusing their efforts on moving the convention.
Earlier this week, Woodfill sent out a missive from the Eagle Forum’s Adams.Â
“The Republican Party of Texas should take a principled stand concerning a recent immoral decision by the Dallas Mayor and City Council Members to allow men in women’s bathrooms,” Adams wrote.Â “We the people cannot acquiesce to this cruel hoax. It will take time, but the citizens of Dallas will strive to overturn this draconian action perpetrated upon our families.”
Bonnie Lugo, aÂ member of the State RepublicanÂ Executive Committee, also wants the convention moved,Â andÂ she’s accusing Mechler of refusing to release details of the party’s contract with Dallas. Adams and Lugo have also said they believe the City Council’s decision to strengthen transgender protections somehow voided the state GOP’s convention contract.Â
Mechler responded that the contract is available for any SREC member to view, and he notes that the Harris County GOP â€” which Woodfill led until he was defeated for re-election in 2014 â€” overwhelmingly rejected a resolution to move the convention.Â
Needless to say, many LGBT Democrats in Dallas likely would be thrilled to see the GOP convention moved. In 2014, the Republican Party of Texas endorsed “ex-gay” therapy in its platform, which also states:Â “Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nationâ€™s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples.”Â
Ultimately, though, the transgender convention controversy isn’t even the most embarrassing issue the Texas GOP is facing.Â
TheÂ Houston Chronicle reports that one SREC member plans to introduce a resolution that would place a non-binding measure on the Republican Primary ballot in support of Texas seceding from the union.Â Â
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Trump Has Choosen Right Wing Extremist Amy Coney Barrett for SCOTUS – Did Not Interview Any Other Candidates: NYT
President Donald Trump has reportedly chosen a far right wing religious extremist, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, to be his third Supreme Court pick, according to The New York Times.
The Times is reporting, and contrary to Trump’s claims, that he did not interview any other candidates. Barrett was vetted, as much as any Trump White House candidates are, when he ultimately chose Brett Kavanaugh as his second SCOTUS choice.
Judge Barrett is anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, and would vote to strike down Roe v. Wade and same-sex marriage.
She has made clear she does not respect stare decisis, the legal tenet that says Supreme Court decisions are settled law.
Barrett is just 48 years old, and could sit on the bench for four decades should she be confirmed.
Trump is slated to make his announcement Saturday at 5 PM.
The 9 Discarded Ballots Were Tossed Because Republicans Won Their Lawsuit Requiring Them to Not Be Counted: Report
Major news is coming in over the “case” of the nine “discarded” ballots from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania that President Donald Trump revealed to Fox News Radio on Thursday.
Here’s what appears to have happened, and we’re going to bullet point this so it’s easy to follow.
- The ballots were discarded by a temporary, or “contract” worker assigned to sort the mail who appears to have been following direction.
- They ballots were military ballots, not absentee or other by-mail ballots.
- The county immediately reported what happened to federal officials, who appear to have immediately politicized the issue.
- “Because these ballots were returned in envelopes similar to absentee ballot requests, elections officials opened them,” The Washington Post reports. “If the ballots weren’t then enclosed in another envelope which shielded the actual vote being cast, they may have been considered ‘naked ballots,’ a term used to describe mail ballots returned without the voter’s intent being protected.
- The Trump campaign and the Pennsylvania GOP in a lawsuit argued that “naked ballots” should not be counted. They won that lawsuit. These nine ballots appear to be “naked ballots,” and that appears to be the reason they were thrown out.
Here’s how MSNBC’s Chris Hayes sums it up: It’s the GOP’s fault.
TL:DR the discarded Trump ballots were discarded because…Trump and GOP lawyers won a lawsuit requiring them to not be counted!!! https://t.co/NE5s90GJDq
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 25, 2020
- The contract worker has been told to not return.
- Buzzfeed adds it appears the DOJ violated its own policy by issuing a press release about the “discarded” ballots, and even worse, suggesting this is a case of election fraud, and even worse than that, suggesting one candidate over another was favored.
- MSNBC adds that county officials were not aware of who the ballots were for until the DOJ’s press release was issued.
- Attorney General Bill Barr personally briefed President Trump about the discarded ballots. Trump and his White House press secretary then politicized the event.
- The county elections supervisor was exceedingly thorough. “Garbage from the Elections Bureau from September 14 through September 16, the time the independent contractor was on County property, was put in a dumpster and secured by County staff,” a local Pennsylvania news report states. “The trash was then searched by the FBI, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police and county staff. All contents relating to the matter were taken by the FBI.”
Busted: Barr Personally Briefed Trump on DOJ Investigation Into 9 Discarded Ballots
Attorney General Bill Barr personally briefed President Donald Trump about nine ballots that were found discarded in Pennsylvania.
President Trump first revealed the investigation onto the small number of discarded ballots in an interview with Fox News Radio on Thursday. He later repeated and embellished his claims when talking with reporters later that day.
ABC News, which first reported Barr’s extreme involvement with the case and briefing the president, noted that Trump, “without evidence, argued that it bolsters his baseless claims of widespread fraud in mail-in voting.”
Trump used the information from the attorney general to spread more false allegations about by-mail voting being unsafe.
The Justice Dept. Thursday afternoon issued a press release claiming all nine were ballots cast for Trump. It later deleted that document and published a new one stating 7 of the 9 indicated votes for the president, and two were sealed and the contents unknown.
It is generally not regular practice for an attorney general to brief a president about a small situation. It is almost unheard of for the DOJ to issue a press release or comment on an investigation in progress, especially to reveal major details about the case.
“They were Trump ballots — eight ballots in an office yesterday in — but in a certain state and they were — they had Trump written on it, and they were thrown in a garbage can. This is what’s going to happen,” Trump told Fox News Radio. “This is what’s going to happen, and we’re investigating that.”
He later told reporters, “You know they found I understand eight ballots in a wastepaper basket in some location, they found it was reported in one of the newspapers that they found a lot of ballots in a river. They throw them out if they have the name ‘Trump’ on it I guess,” the President claimed.
“Okay, well they still found them in a river whether they had a name on it or not but the other ones had the Trump name on it. And they were thrown into a wastepaper basket.
NCRM found no reports of ballots being found in a river.
NBC News on Thursday noted that “the White House appeared to have a coordinated rollout of the information coming from the Justice Department.”
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