Connect with us

News

Ahead of Midterms, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker Activates National Guard

Published

on

Scott Walker at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has taken the unusual step of activating his state’s National Guard, activating their cyber security team prior to the election.

While details are scant, walker’s Executive Order asks the National Guard to, “provide essential services to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.”

Walker is in a difficult race against Tony Evers. Evers, a democrat, is up on Walker by 5 points.

Reid Magney, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, told the Associated Press that he couldn’t recall any previous election with such an order being issued. The National Guard has only had a cyber security tea, since 2016.

Walker has served as Wisconsin’s Governor since 2010, and has faced numerous controversies as well as a recall effort in 2012. Walker is a deeply polarizing figure, known as a staunch opponent of abortion — even in cases of rape or incest — as well as same-sex marriage and immigration.

Russian Hackers did target Wisconsin’s voter registration system in 2016, but were unsuccessful.

Wisconsin also uses paper ballots over hackable electronic voter machines, making some wonder if the activation is more of a political ploy than a needed resource.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

‘Start the Kevin McCarthy Death-Clock’ After Biden Wins Debt Ceiling Battle: Rick Wilson

Published

on

Appearing late Saturday night on MSNBC after it was announced that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had reached an agreement “in principle’ on a budget deal, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson claimed this could be the beginning of the end for McCathy’s speakership.

Sitting in on a panel with guest host Michael Steele, Wilson suggested that McCarthy’s decision to compromise with the president to avoid a default that would spin the economy into chaos will not go over well with far-right members of his House caucus who could make a motion to “vacate the chair” to express their displeasure.

Asked by host Steel about what comes next, Wilson stated it was a win for the White House which will not make conservatives happy.

RELATED: ‘Crazy cuckoo MAGA people’ could sink debt ceiling deal: Dem strategist

“Great night for Joe Biden, great night for the White House even though I think their messaging has been kind of tentative the past few weeks” the Lincoln Project founder began. “I think though we are now going to start the Kevin McCarthy death-clock. He has certainly got a very angry part of his caucus tonight who probably burning up his phone no matter how good it is for the country not to default.”

“It’s not going to please the chaos caucus in the GOP,” he added.

Watch below or at the link:

 

Continue Reading

News

Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats

Published

on

As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.

According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.

As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.

“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump in danger of heightened espionage charges after bombshell report: legal expert

Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.

In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”

With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”

Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”

Continue Reading

News

‘Putinesque Kleptocracy’: DeSantis Slammed Over Bombshell His Administration Officials Are Soliciting Donations From Lobbyists

Published

on

Democratic and Republican political campaign experts, lobbyists, politicians, attorneys, and others are stunned and outraged after learning taxpayer-paid government officials in the administration of Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis have reportedly been soliciting donations for his presidential campaign, in violation of longstanding expectations of a firm wall between a political leader’s work as an elected public servant, and their political campaign machine.

“Whoever is telling these kids to do this has lost their damn mind,” a Florida Republican lobbyist told NBC News, which broke the bombshell story late Thursday night.

The solicitations from DeSantis government officials are in the form of personal text messages to Florida lobbyists, “a breach of traditional norms that has raised ethical and legal questions and left many here in the state capital shocked,” NBC News reports, adding that it was seen as “jaw-dropping.”

“It is walking a very close line to what is ethical and possibly legal,” a Florida lobbyist told NBC News. “It is state employees leveraging their official position to ask people whose livelihood depend on access to state government for money.”

READ MORE: ‘He’s Gonna Get Charged’: Experts Predict Obstruction and Espionage Act Charges for Trump Based on WaPo Report

“Using a bundle code makes it look like certain employees get credit with the campaign,” that same lobbyist added, calling it “very questionable.”

“If any of my clients had legislative staff sending out donation links, we would be having a hard conversation,” a Republican fundraiser who works on federal elections said.

NBC News says the “legality of the solicitations depends on a series of factors, including whether they were sent on state-owned phones, or if they were sent on state property.”

At the federal level, with the exception of the President and Vice President, elected and government officials are banned from soliciting donations or campaigning on government property, including in government buildings, such as Congress or the White House.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was formally admonished in March by the Senate Ethics Committee for violating ethics rules and standards by repeatedly soliciting campaign donations during an interview at the Capitol. It was not the first time he “directly solicited campaign contributions,” the Committee noted.

A longtime Florida election law attorney told NBC News, “At a minimum, even if they are sitting in their home at 9 p.m. using their personal phone and contacting lobbyists that they somehow magically met in their personal capacity and not through their role in the governor’s office, it still smells yucky.”

“There’s a misuse of public position issue here that is obvious to anyone paying attention,” they added.

READ MORE: ‘Manufactured MAGA Madness’: House Dems Slam GOP for ‘Running Out of Town’ to Trigger an ‘Economic Meltdown’

Pay-to-play, as some might call DeSantis’ actions, apparently has been part of the Florida GOP Governor’s playbook for years.

“Since assuming office in 2019,” The Tampa Bay Times reported this past October, “DeSantis has accepted roughly $3.3 million in campaign donations from about 250 people he selected for leadership roles,” referring to government jobs. The Times called it “a 75% increase in the number of donors appointed compared to former Gov. Rick Scott’s first term in office, and over 10 times the amount of money.”

The Miami Herald at the time spoke with Kedric Payne, vice president and general counsel with the Campaign Legal Center, who noted appointing donors is a typical practice.

“The public perceives this to be pay to play,” Payne told The Herald. “It’s perceived to be a contribution given with a wink and a nod to get the appointment.”

Orlando Sentinel Capital bureau reporter Jeffrey Schweers calls the NBC report “huge,” and says “the implications are staggering.”

Matt Dixon, the NBC News reporter and co-author of the bombshell report, observed on Twitter, “The $117b state budget and several bills remain on DeSantis desk.”

“That’s a lot of leverage, and those who got the texts are feeling pressure,” he noted. “Beyond that, it’s just so drastically beyond the norm. Taxpayer funded staff asking lobbyists for political $ isn’t how it usually works.”

Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor at the right-wing National Review, tweeted, “Frankly, I didn’t know this was a matter of ‘norms’; I thought it was a matter of law. Something to keep an eye on.”

Former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s fraud division, Andrew Warren, currently a Florida state attorney who was suspended by DeSantis, had strong words in response to NBC’s reporting.

“Florida government officials on taxpayer salaries are raising money for DeSantis campaign from companies doing business with his administration. This is corruption—plain & simple. But what else should we expect from a Governor who flaunts the rule of law?”

Warren is challenging DeSantis’ suspension in court.

READ MORE: DeSantis Tells Evangelicals He Wants to ‘Improve’ Supreme Court So Justices Reflect ‘Gold Standard’ of Clarence Thomas

Rick Wilson, the well-known political strategist and now-former Republican who has worked in politics since 1988, blasted DeSantis.

“The stories of @RonDeSantis GOVERNMENT staff…not campaign, GOVERNMENT staff soliciting Florida lobbyists for money for his Presidential campaign should draw the immediate attention of the Department of Justice,” he tweeted Friday morning. “This is Putinesque kleptocracy.”

“Here’s why the quid pro quo is so outrageous,” he noted. “DeSantis has yet to sign the state budget.”

Indeed, NBC News “spoke with 10 Republican lobbyists in Florida, all of whom said they couldn’t remember being solicited for donations so overtly by administration officials — especially at a time when the governor still has to act on the state budget.”

“That process that involves DeSantis using his line-item veto pen to slash funding for projects that the same lobbyists whom they are asking for political cash have a professional stake in. Most of the lobbyists said they felt pressure to give to the governor’s campaign.”

Florida Democratic Party chair Nikki Fried, who ran in the 2022 gubernatorial primary but lost to Charlie Crist, responded to Wilson on Twitter, charging, “This is also how he [DeSantis] strong armed the endorsement of members of the legislature.”

“It’s not just the lobbyists they’re extorting,” Democratic former state lawmaker Carlos Guillermo Smith, a current state senate candidate, alleged via Twitter. “Ron DeSantis got 99 Florida Republican lawmakers to sign endorsement agreements before budget vetoes were announced. Using fear, intimidation, and threats of retribution is all they know how to do.”

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.