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This Election Isn’t Just About the Presidency: Control of 12 State Governorships Is Also at Stake

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Is Your State One of Them?

This year’s election contests aren’t just going to be a big day for the presidential race. There are numerous state and local officers up for election. Because we know just how important – perhaps even more so – these down-ballot races can be, we here at The New Civil rights Movement are breaking down the other races and what initiatives progressives should be paying attention to as they head to the ballot box on Tuesday. 

In this article we look at the 12 states that have governor races.

Keep in mind, Republican governors currently control 34 states and territories, Democratic governors only 18.

North Carolina 

There’s a good chance you know the names Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper.

McCrory is the incumbent, Republican governor who’s responsible for pushing and signing into law the horribly anti-LGBTQ (and more specifically, anti-trans) “bathroom bill” HB2 in one day. He’s lost his state hundreds of millions of dollars and recent polling puts him at a slight – not not major – disadvantage to his Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper.

Roy Cooper, for his part, has spoken against HB2 numerous times and has refused to defend it in court.  

Indiana

If there’s any good to come from a Donald Trump candidacy, it was his choice of Indiana’s governor as a running mate, which got Mike Pence out of the office. Pence is the guy who helped push through Indiana’s so-called “religious liberty”/RFRA bill that enabled discrimination against LGBTQ people, among others. He also used HIV-research money for converstion therapy programs and more than a few other hits to the LGBTQ community. Suffice it to say he’s no ally.

Running to replace him are Democrat John Gregg and Republican Eric Holcomb. Gregg has branded himself as the LGBTQ-friendly alternative to Holcomb, though even his own record of acceptance is a bit rocky. However, Holcomb has long been branded as a close ally of Pence’s and has aligned himself with Pence’s old conservative allies.

Missouri 

Republican Eric Greitens, a former Navy Seal, is on the ballot against Democrat Chris Koster, the sitting Missouri Attorney General. This past year Missouri debated a very far-reaching “religious freedom”/bathroom bill. Both candidates oppose that bill, but in very different ways. 

Greitens has said “people of faith are under attack in America” but also says bathroom access should be “handled by schools and families.” He has, however, repeated the oft-told lie that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity would allow “grown men into little girls’ bathrooms.”

Koster, for his part, has been very vocal on his support for LGBTQ people and families. 

Delaware

Congressman John Carney (Democrat) and State Senator Colin Bonini (Republican) are vying for the business-centric state’s executive office. Carney endorsed marriage equality as a congressman back in 2013 while Bonini voted against it as a state legislator. The state is expected to remain solidly Democrat.

Montana 

Democrat Steve Bullock is seeking re-election and is challenged by Republican Greg Gianforte. Gianforte hasn’t been very vocal about LGBTQ rights but Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden uncovered past lobby efforts against LGBTQ rights and his foundation has donated more than $1.1 million to organizations that oppose LGBTQ rights. The latest polls have Bullock just about 2 points ahead of Gianforte.

New Hampshire

Colin Van Ostern (Democrat), Chris Sununu (Republican) are joined by a libertarian and two independents in the race for governor. Van Ostern has been vocal in his support for LGBTQ rights while Sununu has been noticeably silent.

North Dakota

Marvin Nelson, the Democratic former state legislator, is one of the few candidates we’ve seen in any governor’s race to explicitly state they are anti-discrimination on their campaign website. His opponent, Republican businessman Doug Burgum, describes himself as a small-government conservative. He’s also made it a point to say he’s not running on social issues.

When discussing the oil pipeline at Standing Rock, Nelson expressed sympathy with the Sioux Tribe while Burgum said the issue has presented a new opportunity for “dialogue.”

Oregon 

Democrats have controlled the state since 1987 and it seems this cylce will be no exception. Kate Brown, the incumbment, became governor about a year ago when her predecessor resigned. She’s the first openly bisexual governor in the US and has put non-discrimination and equality at the center of her campaign. Her opponent, Republican Bud Pierce, has stayed notably silent on LGBTQ rights, but he was forced to apologize after an offensive gaffe during a discussion of domestic violence during a recent debate.

Utah

Republican incumbent Gary Herbert is currently polling at 63% against Democract Mike Weinholtz virtually guaranteeing that only something drastic could endanger his chances of a clear win on Tuesday. For what it’s worth, Weinholtz has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ equality.

Vermont 

Both candidates, Sue Minter (D) and Phil Scott (R), have been noticeably silent on LGBTQ rights, though the state does have a legacy of equality and inclusion.

Washington

Jay Inslee, the current Democractic governor, is endorsed by numerous LGBTQ groups for his history of working for LGBTQ equality. His opponent, Republican Bill Bryant, has said LGBTQ people deserve protection from discrimination but inclusive bathroom laws “put the rights of one group over another.”  Inslee is currently polling at 50% against Bryant’s 40%. 

West Virginia

The race to be the next govenor of West Viriginia may well be the strangest in the nation. Democrat Jim Justice is a billionaire coal baron who “promises to shake up the establishment.” He’s self-funded his campaign to the tune of $2.2 million dollars, but none of that seems to matter as West Virginia is one of Trump’s strongest states. His opponent, Republican Bill Cole, is currently up 44% to Justice’s 33%.

Cole has gone on record saying he’s against marriage equality while Justice says “the Supreme Court’s decision should be respected,” though he’s “for religious freedom without government intervention”.

  

Coming Saturday: A look at some of the key US Senate races to watch.

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News

‘Probably the Biggest Witness Left’: NYT Reporter Explains What Pat Cipollone Can Tell the Jan. 6 Committee

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Pat Cipollone has agreed to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee, and a New York Times reporter explained what the former White House counsel might be able to tell investigators.

Multiple witnesses have placed Cipollone near the center of Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, which the White House counsel repeatedly said were unlawful, and Times correspondent Luke Broadwater told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he would be able to provide valuable testimony even if some topics are protected by executive privilege and the Fifth Amendment.

“Pat Cipollone is an extremely key figure who is there for several of the major moments in this plot to overturn the election, and he may know things we don’t even know about yet that he could reveal to them tomorrow during this interview,” Broadwater said. “I do expect Pat Cipollone’s testimony to be played next week at some of the hearings. There was conversations about whether he should testify live in front of the public, [Rep.] Liz Cheney called for that, but the committee does like to know exactly what a person is going to say before they go up there.”

“They don’t want to turn one of these televised hearings into, you know, a food fight,” he added. “They like to know exactly what a person is going to say before they decide to put them out there, so I think we’ll see Pat Cipollone video clips but not necessarily Pat Cipollone sitting at the witness stand.”

READ MORE: Trump’s ‘full-blown coup’: What was Mike Flynn’s plan? How much did Meadows and Giuliani know? What about Ginni? What happens next?

Congressional investigators understand that Cipollone can’t discuss his private conservations with the former president, due to attorney-client privilege, but he can tell them about discussions with other White House aides and staffers, including Cassidy Hutchinson.

“Everyone concedes that Pat Cipollone does have attorney-client privilege with Donald Trump,” Broadwater said. “He has sort of resisted coming forward and talking about some of those things, so I don’t think we’ll see him necessarily talk about direct conversations with Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean he can’t talk about lots of other material. We heard Cassidy Hutchinson talk about how Pat Cipollone and Mark Meadows were going back and forth into the Oval Office to try to get Donald Trump to call off the mob.”

“Can he talk about the things he said to Cassidy?” Broadwater added. “Can he talk about the things he said to Mark Meadows? You know, we know he was there for meetings about seizing voting machines, he was there when Bill Barr offered his resignation, he was there when they had draft letters to — false draft letters from the Justice Department, and for when he shot down plans from members of Congress, from John Eastman to put forward false slates of electors.”

“There’s so many things that Pat Cipollone knows,” Broadwater added. “I think his testimony could be absolutely crucial for this committee, and he was probably the biggest witness left that they could get, that they hadn’t yet so, you know, I expect this interview to be very important tomorrow.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

Image: Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Congresswoman Saying She Would ‘Do Anything’ to Protect Her Grandchildren, Even ‘Shooting Them’ Sets Internet on Fire

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U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) in a speech denouncing a House bill on gun safety, appears to inadvertently have declared that to protect her five grandchildren, she would “do anything,” even shoot them.

“I rise in opposition to H.R. 2377,” Congresswoman Lesko says in the video. “I have five grandchildren. I would do anything, anything to protect my five grandchildren, including as a last resort shooting them if I had to, to protect the lives of my grandchildren.”

NCRM has verified the video is accurate. Congresswoman Lesko made the remarks on June 9, according to C-SPAN, while she was opposing a red flag law.

The Congresswoman presumably meant she would as a last resort shoot someone threatening her grandchildren.

One Twitter user, Ryan Shead, posted the previously ignored video to Twitter, where it has gone viral and is trending.

Lesko, who some social media users note is running for re-election unopposed, went on to say: “Democrat bills that we have heard this week want to take away my right, my right to protect my grandchildren. they want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect their own children and grandchildren. and wives and brothers and sisters,” which is false.

“This bill takes away due process from law-abiding citizens. Can you imagine if you had a disgruntled ex or somebody who hates you because of your political views and they go to a judge and say, ‘oh, this person is dangerous,’ and that judge would take away your guns?”

Lesko’s hypothetical claims are false. Red flag laws are designed to protect both gun owners and those around them.

Some social media users noted that Congresswoman Lesko reportedly “attended meetings about overturning the election,” while others are having fun with the Arizona Republican’s remarks:

Watch Congresswoman Lesko’s remarks above or at this link.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Separation of Church and State Is a ‘Fabrication’ Says Far Right Activist Charlie Kirk: They Should Be ‘Mixed Together’

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Far-right religious activist, conspiracy theorist, and founder of the right-wing organization Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk has falsely declared that separation of church and state, a bedrock principle on which American society is based, is a “fabrication” not in the Constitution.

Kirk is a member of the secretive theocratic Council for National Policy., a close friend of Donald Trump, Jr., and spent years promoting President Trump – even interviewing him at one point. Turning Point USA has had repeated challenges. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer in 2017 write a piece about TPUSA titled, “A Conservative Nonprofit That Seeks to Transform College Campuses Faces Allegations of Racial Bias and Illegal Campaign Activity.”

Former TPUSA communications director Candace Owens has praised Hitler, saying “the problem” with him was that he wanted to “globalize.”

RELATED: Watch: Charlie Kirk Calls for Texans to Be ‘Deputized’ to Protect ‘White Demographics in America’

On Wednesday Kirk declared, “There is no separation of church and state. It’s a fabrication. It’s a fiction. It’s not in the Constitution. It’s made up by secular humanists.”

That’s false.

The claim separation of church and state is not in the Constitution is a religious right belief that has been debunked by countless legal experts.

“Of course we should have church and state mixed together,” Kirk continued. “Our Founding Fathers believed in that. We can go through the detail of that. They established – literally – a church in Congress.”

That too is false.

RELATED: ‘When Do We Get to Use the Guns?’: TP USA Audience Member Asks Charlie Kirk When Can ‘We Kill’ Democrats? (Video)

“It’s a good thing Charlie Kirk doesn’t go to Wheaton because he would fail my Constitutional Law class,” writes Dr. Miranda Yaver, PhD, a Wheaton College professor.

As most public school students know, Kirk’s claims are belied by the First Amendment to the U.S., Constitution, which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It’s the Establishment Clause, legal experts say, that debunks Kirk’s falsehood.

In reviewing the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, Reuters last month noted: “It was President Thomas Jefferson who famously said in an 1802 letter that the establishment clause should represent a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state. The provision prevents the government from establishing a state religion and prohibits it from favoring one faith over another.”

Jefferson is also considered the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

Watch Charlie Kirk below or at this link.

 

 

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