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ANALYSIS

Critics Blast Manchin Over Two Facts That Decimate Why He Says He Opposes the ‘For the People’ Voting Rights Bill

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U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is working hard to make sure everyone know he opposes the “For the People Act,” a large piece of legislation that protects the rights of voters, makes it easier to vote, reduces the influence of dark money in political campaigns, limits partisan gerrymandering, and installs rules of ethics for elected officials. But two critical data points make his arguments useless.

“I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act,” Manchin said in a now-infamous op-ed in a West Virginia newspaper.

He offered zero criticisms of the legislation itself, just that no Republican supports it. And that it is 800 pages, if that is even a criticism.

That’s it.

But as Business Insider reports, “Joe Manchin cosponsored the voting-rights bill in 2019 that he’s now blocking on the grounds that the GOP doesn’t like it.”

That’s one problem. Here’s the second, or, as MSNBC Opinion Columnist Hayes Brown writes, “the real kicker“:

“Unless the senator’s office has some private polling that they’d like to share, Manchin’s assumptions about what West Virginians want are wrong. According to a poll released last month — commissioned by End Citizens United and Let America Vote Action Fund and conducted by Global Strategy Group and ALG Research — the For the People Act is wildly popular among likely voters in West Virginia. Like ’76 percent of Republicans are in favor’ levels of popularity, to say nothing of the 79 percent of independents and 81 percent of Democrats.”

Here’s MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Monday night explaining this second critical fact. She says the “For the People Act” legislation “is more popular than the infrastructure bill, it is more popular than COVID relief.”

So why is Senator Manchin really against legislation that he supported two years ago and that eight in 10 of his constituents support?

Judd Legum, the ThinkProgress co-founder and the founder of Popular Information calls Manchin’s publicly-stated reasons for opposing the For the People Act “very strange.”

“On an entirely partisan basis, Republicans in the states are taking steps that Manchin himself acknowledges ‘needlessly restrict voting.’ But Manchin says he will only agree to stop this partisan power grab if Republicans agree to join him.”

“This is the exact same argument the Chamber used in talking points it sent to Senators in April opposing the legislation,” Legum writes, offering up the Chamber of Commerce’s own words (bolding his):

The Chamber believes the ability of Americans to exercise their right to vote in accessible and secure elections and to be able to trust in a free and fair outcome is fundamental to who we are as a nation. The Chamber is deeply troubled by efforts at the state and federal level to enact election law changes on a partisan basis. Changes enacted on a partisan basis are the most likely to erode access and security and undermine public confidence and the willingness of the American people to trust and accept future election outcomes.

 

 

 

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ANALYSIS

Betsy DeVos and Anti-LGBTQ Groups Mobilize to Support Trump-Endorsed Glenn Youngkin’s Bid for Virginia Governor

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Anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice religious-right groups and leaders are mobilizing to help Republican Glenn Youngkin win this year’s Virginia gubernatorial election in which voting is already underway.

Youngkin has bragged about endorsements from national religious-right groups, including the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List and National Right to Life. Another right-wing anti-choice group, CatholicVote, told supporters in an email on the first day of early voting that the group had been “planning for this race for months.” The group slammed Catholic Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe’s support for Roe v. Wade and told its followers that the race has “national importance” and “the first big high-profile referendum on the Biden presidency.” The group claimed that it had recruited more than 100 volunteers for its voter outreach efforts.

Another religious-right political operation, My Faith Votes, is mobilizing to maximize turnout of conservative Christian voters in the Virginia election. In an email sent to supporters Tuesday, My Faith Votes’ Jason Yates said, “What happens in Virginia will send a loud signal to the rest of the nation.” He asked activists to join an operation to send letters to “Christians who are unlikely to vote unless encouraged to go to the polls and stand for biblical values.”

“Impact the elections in Virginia for the Lord,” says a My Faith Votes webpage recruiting volunteers. “He promises blessings from our obedience and so we do as He instructs and trust the results to him.”

My Faith Votes invested heavily in an unsuccessful effort to elect Republicans in the 2021 Georgia U.S. Senate races won by Sens. Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff and in the failed campaign to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom. My Faith Votes’ page for Virginia voters promotes a video in which Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson urges people to vote for “godly” candidates and against  people who “practice perversion.”

Youngkin has said he believes “life begins at conception” and will “proudly stand up for the unborn and their mothers.” Already, ]he has backed new restrictions on access to abortion. Youngkin has admitted to downplaying his anti-choice positions in order to attract votes in the general election, telling a questioner on the campaign trail that he could “start going on offense” once he was elected.

Youngkin has also been endorsed by FRC Action, a political arm of the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council. Youngkin has publicly supported right-wing activists campaigning against LGBTQ-inclusive policies in Loudoun County schools, and he has promised religious-right activists to fight for policies that would allow anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the name of religious freedom. While some conservative gay activists have claimed that Youngkin is “inclusive,” the candidate has refused to say whether he supports marriage equality.

The GOP ticket includes Winsome Sears, a candidate for lieutenant governor who the Human Rights Campaign says “ran on her staunch opposition to LGBTQ rights” in previous runs for office.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that Youngkin had received $87,500 from former Trump cabinet member and anti-public education activist Betsy DeVos and her family. It also reported that Youngkin’s campaign had given $20,000 to the political arm of the anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice Family Foundation of Virginia. The extraordinarily wealthy Youngkin, who made his fortune in private equity, has also loaned his campaign more than $16 million.

According to the Washington Post, the Youngkin campaign has enlisted one of his former Republican competitors, hard-right state Sen. Amanda Chase, as a campaign surrogate. Chase, who advocated for martial law last winter, and former President Donald Trump have claimed that Democrats might try to win the election by cheating. For his part, Youngkin refused to acknowledge that President Joe Biden’s election was legitimate until after he secured the Republican nomination, and he has helped promote Trump’s bogus “stolen election” narratives by speaking at an “election integrity” rally at Liberty University.

As The Atlantic recently noted, “Youngkin has said he’s ‘honored’ to have Trump’s support, and that Trump ‘represents so much of why I’m running.’”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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ANALYSIS

Kavanaugh Probe Must Be Reopened After FBI Allegedly Ignored Thousands of Tips About Him: Ex-Federal Prosecutor

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Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner is demanding an investigation into the FBI after it was revealed that there were 4500 complaints filed against then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh that went ignored and were merely handed over to the White House.

The Guardian reported that the FBI claimed they didn’t have the authority to investigate Kavanaugh during his nomination process. It comes while the FBI is facing demands of a probe into how it mishandled allegations that Dr. Larry Nasser was molesting and raping Olympic gymnasts.

In 2018, when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with her allegations of sexual assault when they were in high school. A Yale classmate also accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her when they were in college. The FBI has been accused of not thoroughly investigating those allegations, as well as flat-out ignoring thousands of others while doing a background check into Kavanaugh.

The FBI closed their background check after just four days, handing over all 4500 allegations against him to President Donald Trump’s White House officials.

“The very person — the very office that was trying to cram Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court down America’s throat,” said Kirschner.

It was only this week that the FBI revealed to the Senate Judiciary Committee how many tips they got about Kavanaugh that went ignored.

“At the heart of the new questions that [Christopher] Wray will face later this week, when he testifies before the Senate judiciary committee, is a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding that the FBI has recently said constrained the agency’s ability to conduct any further investigations of allegations of misconduct,” said the report.

Kirschner explained that presumably the new administration has those 4500 accusations and could conduct an investigation into them. He went on to call for the 4500 citizen tips to be subpoenaed by Congress so that they can see the accusations that were ignored.

“Let’s start doing some damn justice,” he said, noting that women in Texas deserve it as do the rest of America.

“In its years-late response to our questions, the FBI leaned hard on the notion that this MOU limited its authority to be the FBI and investigate wrongdoing. Now that we have the MOU, it’s even harder to understand the Bureau’s excuses for ignoring credible information it received. Director Wray ought to be ready to answer my questions about this episode — I won’t stop asking until he does,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

See the analysis below:

 

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ANALYSIS

MSNBC’s Morning Joe Breaks Down Why GOP’s California Recall Failure Spells Great News for Dems in 2022

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said the results of California’s failed recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom should be seen as good news for Democrats heading into next year’s congressional midterm elections.

The county-by-county results largely mirrored Democratic wins in last year’s presidential election, and the “Morning Joe” host said they should take comfort in those numbers ahead of the 2022 voting.

“Here we have an off-year election in September, when kids are going back to school,” Scarborough said. “This is a race that is set up for a surprise like we saw in 2009, when the race for [Sen.] Ted Kennedy’s replacement shocked the world and went Republican. If i’m a Democrat and looking at this map, and it’s basically an overlay of the 2020 election, a presidential year election where Democrats usually do better, where the turnout expands where you’re running against Donald Trump, I’m liking, if I’m a Democrat, I’m liking very much what I’m seeing this morning.”

“I would wait to see how the numbers were in Orange County, and look at the swing districts the Democrats could pick up in 2022 and overlay those numbers,” he added. “For me, I’m sure Republicans may look at this differently. For me, this is a really big win for Democrats in terms of a report card nine months in. A lot of bad things happening on the national level, you look at right now with Afghanistan, you look at Joe Biden’s numbers down, again, the fact that when people went to polls and this sort of race, and the fact that Democrats held their own, I would mark that down as a really big win were I a Democrat trying to plan ahead for 2022.”

Some of the dynamics that broke Democratic in the recall effort will likely play a major role in the midterms, as well.

“I also want to look at some of the things that drove the election Newsom’s way, and let’s see on that point, let’s talk about the exit poll and COVID,” Scarborough said. “My theory of the case has been run over the 33 percent politically, run over the 30 percent politically, like Republicans did in Texas on the abortion law, running over the 70 percent, actually. If you’re Gavin Newsom, and you want to win then go where most people go on COVID, on whether it’s the vaccination or masks, do what is right and don’t listen to the 30 percent that are getting their news from Facebook.”

 

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