Ohio and Republican groups including the Trump campaign are defending a GOP election chief’s directive limiting ballot drop boxes in the critical presidential battleground to one per county
JULIE CARR SMYTH Associated Press
September 21, 2020, 9:13 PM
• 2 min read
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio and Republican groups including the Trump campaign are fighting to uphold a GOP election chief’s directive limiting ballot drop boxes in the presidential battleground to one per county.
They told a state appellate court in filings Monday that a county judge overstepped his authority when he blocked it. The Ohio Republican Party said Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Frye “relied on anecdotal evidence and ‘sound public policy,’” when the case “presents a pure question of law.”
In the crosshairs of the legal battle is Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s Aug. 12 directive restricting counties to one drop box each, located at the county board of elections.
Cuyahoga County, home to populous and Democratic-leaning Cleveland, said it would like to allow ballots to be collected at six public libraries last week, but that action has been halted because of the lawsuit.
LaRose argued that the number of drop boxes per county must be uniform to be fair, and that lawmakers had made clear in a law passed this spring that ballots had to be mailed or personally delivered to county board directors.
The cities of Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus have jumped into the lawsuit brought by the Ohio Democratic Party, as has the labor umbrella group AFL-CIO.
Siding with LaRose in the case are the state GOP, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Trump for America campaign.
They have asked the state’s 10th District Court of Appeals to toss Frye’s Tuesday decision, declaring the directive arbitrary and unreasonable, particularly given the coronavirus pandemic. Frye blocked the directive Wednesday.
Interest in access to ballot drop boxes has increased nationally since spring primary voting was hampered by virus concerns, the U.S. Postal Service has faced cutbacks and Trump has urged against mail-in voting, alleging without evidence that the process is rigged. It is often the more urban, Democrat-heavy counties that lean toward drop boxes.
Oral arguments in the Ohio case are scheduled for Friday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a joint statement on Tuesday that the Senate Republican coronavirus aid bill is going “nowhere.”
As many coronavirus aid programs have expired, Schumer and Pelosi said that they would shoot down Senate Republicans’ targeted coronavirus relief bill. Pelosi has pushed her $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill. In comparison, Republicans hope to pass a slimmed-down version costing less than $1 trillion. The Democrat leaders said:
As they scramble to make up for this historic mistake, Senate Republicans appear dead-set on another bill which doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere. If anyone doubts McConnell’s true intent is anything but political, just look at the bill. This proposal is laden with poison pills Republicans know Democrats would never support.
Instead, the Democrat leaders contended that the GOP bill serves only to help vulnerable Senate Republicans up for reelection in November, saying:
… this emaciated bill is only intended to help vulnerable Republican Senators by giving them a ‘check the box’ vote to maintain the appearance that they’re not held hostage by their extreme right-wing that doesn’t want to spend a nickel to help people. Even Leader McConnell has repeatedly stressed that twenty Republican Senators intend to do nothing in the face of this historic crisis.
In contrast to the Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement on Tuesday that Pelosi and Schumer believe that the American people’s “pain” will help their electoral chances in November.
Pelosi and Schumer concluded in their statement, “Democrats want to work on bipartisan legislation that will meet the urgent needs of the American people but Republicans continue to move in the wrong direction.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
The Michigan Republican Party says its headquarters in Lansing was vandalized over the Labor Day weekend “with radical anti-police statements,” and it shared photos of graffiti on the building.
“Sunday night our building was vandalized with radical anti-police statements,” the party tweeted Monday. “We will not be intimidated, and we will continue to work hard to ensure President @realDonaldTrump is re-elected!”
The photos showed spray-painted graffiti that said “abolish police,” “f–k police,” “f–k 12” and “f–k you.” It’s not clear who is responsible for the graffiti, though the state party said they filed a report with the City of Lansing Police Department.
It comes amid nationwide protests against police brutality and the far-left “defund the police” movement.
The graffiti also said “f–k ICE.” In a statement, the party said they believe it to be a reference to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency where its chairwoman, Laura Cox, once served as an agent.
“This vandalism is emblematic of the chaos sweeping through our nation’s Democrat-run cities, as the radical left uses criminal tactics to try and extort weak politicians into defunding the men and woman who keep us safe,” Cox said in the statement. “Republicans will not be intimidated. President Trump will not be intimidated. And this November, the American people will show the world they will not be intimidated when they reelect President Donald Trump.”
Michigan is considered a swing state in the 2020 presidential race between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Biden’s campaign announced last week that the former vice president will be traveling to Michigan on Wednesday.
While Trump won the state in 2016, the Real Clear Politics polling average shows Biden up by 5 points in Michigan. Still, Republicans in the state insist Trump can win again.
“Democrats should be scared about Michigan,” the state’s Republican House speaker, Lee Chatfield, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday, adding that “it went red in 2016” and he thinks “it will go red again” this year.
Fox News’ Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.
For four days, the Republican National Convention projected the image of a nation that had beaten the coronavirus, with maskless supporters packed close together and free to carry on with their lives thanks to the quick, powerful and effective response of President Donald Trump, who crushed a pandemic when it reached American shores.
The truth is another story.
With more than 180,000 Americans dead and the economy still mired in recession, no issue threatens Trump’s reelection like the coronavirus. To make the post-pandemic imagery stick, speaker after speaker — especially the president — had to paint a narrative that rewrote history and was resplendent with distortions, exaggerations and outright falsehoods.
From the start of the pandemic, Trump played down the coronavirus, saying in an interview in January that “we have it totally under control” and speculating in February that it “could maybe go away.” Far from condemning Beijing’s handling of what he would later refer to as the “China virus” or the “Chinese virus,” Trump initially praised President Xi Jinping’s handling of it.
By March 15, as daily cases continued to increase, Trump said the virus was “something we have tremendous control of.”
These dismissals, however, did not stop one speaker, a nurse named Amy Ford, from declaring on Monday that “President Trump recognized the threat this virus presented for all Americans early on and made rapid policy changes,” or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from claiming that “the president has held China accountable for covering up the China virus.”
Trump did place restrictions on travel from China on Jan. 31, effective Feb. 2, but they only applied to foreign nationals and exceptions were granted. The porous “ban” ultimately allowed 40,000 to travel from China to the United States from the end of January to April. It wasn’t until March 13 that similar restrictions were placed on travel from Europe, and by then, a strain of the virus that was circulating in Europe had already become widespread in New York City.
In fact, Trump’s botched announcement of the European travel ban set off a chaotic exodus of Americans from the Continent that overwhelmed U.S. airports and most likely let in thousands of cases.
Addressing the convention Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence proclaimed that “before the first case of the coronavirus spread in the United States, the president took unprecedented action and suspended all travel from China, the second largest economy in the world.” That is not true.
And in the telling of Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, “President Trump saved lives by shutting down flights from China and Europe.” Another speaker, Natalie Harp, put it more hyperbolically: “Millions would have died” had it not been for the restrictions.
As the virus began to spread in the United States and around the world, the federal government was slow to develop testing at the scale necessary to monitor the pandemic. Myriad failures in testing in the critical early days of the pandemic — a botched kit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, restrictions on who could be tested and delays in monitoring — left the country blind. By the end of March, testing in the United States still lagged behind many other countries as measured by population.
Still, Trump and Pence celebrated the United States’ testing record, with Trump boasting that “America has tested more than every country in Europe put together.”
The president was similarly hesitant to use the full powers of the Defense Production Act, a federal law that gives him the authority to mobilize industry in the interest of national security. He signed an executive order on March 18 invoking portions of the law, including the power to essentially direct private businesses to make certain supplies and products.
From March 23 to March 27, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services surveyed hospitals and found serious supply shortages. Some hospitals, the inspector general wrote, “had not received supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, or that the supplies that they had received were not sufficient in quantity or quality.”
Yet the president asserted that the government “shipped hundreds of millions of masks, gloves and gowns to our front line health care workers,” without mention of the shortages.
On March 27, amid a torrent of criticism from governors and public health officials over shortages in ventilators and personal protective equipment, the president finally invoked the Defense Production Act to force General Motors to make ventilators. Still, he maintained that “nationalizing our business is not a good concept.” By July, there was still no widespread use of the law to combat the virus.
Yet according to Pence, Trump “marshaled the full resources of our federal government from the outset.” The president also echoed this when he claimed credit for the “largest national mobilization since World War II,” citing his invocation of the Defense Production Act.
The way Trump cited the data on virus deaths in the country also presented a false picture. In April, the number of average daily deaths peaked at between 2,000 and 2,200. Cases and deaths fell and plateaued as spring turned into summer, before roaring back as a number of states relaxed social distancing rules and began reopening their economies. Average daily deaths increased from 400 to 500 in July to over 900 today.
Despite the uptick, Trump celebrated the 80% decline in the number of deaths since April — cherry-picking the peak and comparing it to a low point that has since passed — and falsely claimed again that the United States had “among the lowest case fatality rates of any major country anywhere in the world.” (It ranks in the top third around the world.)
As states began issuing stay-at-home and social distancing orders to contain the spread, Trump resisted, worrying that a shutdown would imperil the economy, the focal point of his reelection effort. Even after the federal government recommended social distancing on March 16, Trump continued to sound skeptical of the measures that experts said were necessary to save lives, at times urging reopening and arguing that a recession would be deadly as well.
That was not how Ivanka Trump portrayed it Thursday night, when she declared of her father: “I watched him take the strongest, most inclusive economy in our lifetime, the lowest unemployment in half a century, and the highest wage increase for working families in decades — and close it down to save American lives.”
While other countries began to flatten their curves and reopen their economies, the outbreak continued to rampage through the United States. The unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7% in April — the highest rate since the Great Depression — before declining to 10.2% last month. From February to April, the economy lost 20 million jobs before regaining 9 million. Gross domestic product fell 9.5% in the second quarter.
In his acceptance speech, the president focused on the gain of “9 million jobs, and that’s a record in the history of our country” and misleadingly claimed to have “the smallest economic contraction of any major Western nation.” (The 9.5% was lower than the average of countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, but still above more than a dozen other OECD countries.)
Although scientists are racing to develop treatments that will fight the coronavirus, only a handful are considered promising, and all need further study. No drugs have been found to be safe and effective treatments for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by the Food and Drug Administration.
The president declared, “We developed a wide array of effective treatments, including a powerful antibody treatment known as convalescent plasma,” which he claimed “will save thousands and thousands of lives.”
In fact, convalescent plasma has been used by doctors for decades, and with coronavirus patients since the early days of the outbreak. Its effectiveness, however, is still in question and has most likely been exaggerated by the administration, and because it must be made from blood donations from COVID-19 survivors, its availability is expected to be limited.
As for a vaccine, it is impossible to predict when one will become availability with certainty. A few drugmakers are far along in testing their vaccines, but the process then includes securing FDA approval, ramping up manufacturing and setting up a distribution system — an awful lot to pack into the next four months.
Paul Mango, an official at the federal Department of Health and Human Services who is helping to lead the vaccine effort, told reporters Friday that while hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine will indeed be manufactured by the end of the year, “what is uncertain is whether or not they will be FDA approved.”
Nevertheless, Trump sounded an optimistic note, saying that there would be “a vaccine before the end of the year or maybe even sooner.”
The coronavirus pandemic shows little sign of abating in the United States, with nearly 6 million total cases and an average of 42,000 new daily cases. The campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden noted Friday that at least 3,525 Americans had lost their lives to the coronavirus since the Republican convention began on Monday. (The New York Times counted 4,037.)
“Instead of a strategy to overcome the pandemic, or any concern for the unbearable suffering in our country right now as a result of his ongoing failures, what we heard was a delusional vision completely divorced from the crushing reality that ordinary Americans face,” said Kate Bedingfield, a Biden deputy campaign manager.
Such numbers did not stop Trump from declaring the country’s response to the pandemic a great success.
“Joe Biden’s plan is not a solution to the virus, but rather it is a surrender to the virus,” he said. “My administration has a very different approach. To save as many lives as possible, we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data.”
PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor ripped into paralyzed Republican congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn for standing up during Wednesday night’s Republican National Convention.
Cawthorn is paralyzed.
He stood for the flag.
This made Alcindor want to lash out.
Cawthorn was paralyzed in a car accident at age 18. During his speech he said, “Instantly, my hopes and dreams were seemingly destroyed. I was given a 1% chance of surviving. But thanks to the power of prayer, a very loving community, and many skilled doctors, I made it.”
Confined to a wheelchair, he’s now running for congress in North Carolina.
His speech was unforgettably moving, one of the most memorable of the night, or the whole convention so far, even. See for yourself at the top of this page.
My accident has given me new eyes to see and new ears to hear; God protected my mind and my ability to speak, so I say to people who feel forgotten, ignored and invisible: I see you. I hear you.
In times of peril, young people have stepped up and saved this country, abroad and at home. We held the line, scaled the cliffs, crossed oceans, liberated camps, and cracked codes. Yet today, political forces want to usher in the digital dark ages. A time of information without wisdom and tribalism without truth. National leaders on the left have normalized emotion-based voting and a radicalized identity politics that rejects Martin Luther King’s dream. MLK’s dream is our dream: for all Americans to be judged solely on their character.
I say to Americans across the country, young and old: be a radical for freedom. Be a radical for liberty.
And then it got better: with the help of two men and a walker, Cawthorn struggled to his feet and said, “And be a radical for our Republic, for which I stand; one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
Alcindor, the stupidest and most bitter person in the media not named Chris Cuomo, was deeply triggered by the moment and heard one of those racial dog whistles the dogs in our media (sorry dogs!) only ever hear.
Using her verified Twitter account — and in an effort to sound, like, smart — she vomited up this wordy hunk of bile: “Madison Cawthorn made it a point to stand, suggesting that all Americans to should stand during the pledge of allegiance & national anthem. It was a direct rebuke of actions by ppl — including black athletes who are currently sitting out games — protesting police brutality.”
Madison Cawthorn made it a point to stand, suggesting that all Americans to should stand during the pledge of allegiance & national anthem.
It was a direct rebuke of actions by ppl — including black athletes who are currently sitting out games — protesting police brutality.
This is my favorite part of her tweet: “It was a direct rebuke of actions by ppl — including black athletes who are currently sitting out games — protesting police brutality.”
Gee, ya think?
The most pampered and wealthy crybullies in the world — crybullies who can never smooch enough China ass — are sitting around getting paid millions to not play baseball and basketball, and The Dumbest Woman In The World With A White House Press is all wound up because a guy in a wheelchair who is not paid millions to not play sports has a problem with that.
Evil and stupid is no way to go through like, pumpkin.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.
Ernst, R-Iowa, claimed that should Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., are elected, they would “essentially ban animal agriculture and eliminate gas-powered cars.”
She added that a Biden-Harris administration was one that was for “liberal coastal elites and radical environmentalists,” and she praised President Trump, and said farmers “have an ally in the White House.”
Ernst, in her short speech Wednesday night, touched on Biden’s support of the Green New Deal, a sweeping proposal introduced in Congress last year that aims to transform the country’s economy to combat climate change while enacting a host of new welfare programs.
Biden, last year, unveiled a wide-ranging plan to combat climate change, which used the Green New Deal as a framework.
‘The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice’ is $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years. Biden’s campaign said last year this would be supplemented by leveraging more than $5 trillion in additional private sector and state and local government investments. Biden’s plan is considerably less expensive than the Green New Deal itself, for which cost estimates range as high as $93 trillion.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday got emotional when urging his residents to wear a face mask and avoid turning the act into a political battle.
“I would really love to see in North Dakota that we could just skip this thing that other parts of the nation are going through where they’re creating a divide – either it’s ideological or political or something – around mask versus no mask,” Burgum, a Republican, said at a press conference Friday.
Burgum called the political debate over whether to wear a facial covering in public a “senseless dividing line,” and he said he was asking his citizens “to try to dial up [their] empathy and understanding.”
“If someone is wearing a mask they’re not doing it to represent what political party they’re in or what candidates they support. They might be doing it because they have got a 5-year-old child who’s going through cancer treatments,” Burgum said, as his voice began to shake and he took a brief pause.
“They might have vulnerable adults who currently have COVID and are fighting,” he added. “So again I would love to see our state as part of being ‘North Dakota Smart‘ also be North Dakota kind, North Dakota empathetic.”
The power and pageantry of the presidency was showcased in unique and unprecedented ways Tuesday night — with a few detours into conspiracy theories and possible illegalities, and a whole lot of the First Family.
What unites those strands, of course, is President Donald Trump and the Republican National Convention he has programmed to restart his campaign for reelection.
It’s a world only Trump could design. The second night of his mostly virtual and almost entirely mask-free convention again sought to rewrite recent history to place Trump as a national savior in a pandemic mainly referenced in the past tense.
The president was again described as the only thing standing in the way of a radical takeover of America.
“This is a fight for freedom versus oppression,” said Tiffany Trump, one of the president’s daughters, who said she was speaking from the perspective of someone who graduated law school in the midst of a pandemic.
“They want to disrespect our flag — burn the stars and stripes that represent patriotism and the American dream,” Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, said of Democrats.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo beamed in from Jerusalem, shattering precedents that have long shielded his post from overt politics to praise the president’s foreign-policy successes.
Closing out the night was first lady Melania Trump — speaking, in another major break with tradition, from the redesigned and rain-soaked White House Rose Garden. She was one of the few speakers to address recent racial unrest and the crisis of the pandemic that has gripped the nation for half a year now.
“I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you are not alone,” she said.
Then there was also the president himself, popping up in convention programming to walk down a White House hallway to congratulate five new Americans taking citizenship oaths — an extraordinary mixing of official and political acts. Trump praised immigrants who “obeyed the laws” after a presidential term defined by crackdowns on immigration, both legal and illegal.
Trump even used his presidential pardon power in a prime-time political event to clear the name of a convicted bank robber who founded a group helping former prisoners return to society.
While so many Trumpian positions defy political categorization, the convention dwelled on familiar culture wars. Speakers talked about transgender bathrooms, abortion, illegal immigration, “defund the police,” urban violence, environmental restrictions and — repeatedly — media bias and so-called “cancel culture.”
Nicholas Sandmann, the Kentucky student whose confrontation with protesters at the Lincoln Memorial last year went viral, recounted what he said was an attack “by the media” based on his decision to wear a “Make America Great Again” hat and stand his ground.
“How could I possibly have imagined that the simple act of putting on that red hat would unleash the hate from the left and make myself the target of network and cable news networks nationwide?” Sandmann said. “But I wouldn’t be cancelled.”
Yet the Trump campaign had to cancel one of its own scheduled speakers just moments before Tuesday’s program started. Convention organizers abruptly pulled a speaker — the mother of a police officer killed by an undocumented immigrant — after she tweeted out an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory on the day of her scheduled speech.
Perhaps the most powerful theme of the night: Trump as the vehicle for what his son, Eric, called “the forgotten men and women — who are finally forgotten no more.” Melania Trump expanded on that appeal, noting that her husband was underestimated in 2016.
“We have not forgotten the incredible people who were willing to take a chance on the businessman who had never worked in politics,” she said.
Yet any such appeals are asking for selective memories, at least to some degree. Trump’s America is still struggling through a pandemic, a summer of racial tensions and economic struggles.
The president and his supporters describe him as a man of action, in a theme that’s been a constant through the first days of the convention. Now, at the halfway point, Trump’s actions will continue to drive this week and what comes next in the campaign.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. The House is set for a rare Saturday session to pass legislation to halt changes in the Postal Service and provide $25 billion in emergency funds. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
OAN Newsroom UPDATED 7:05 AM PT – Tuesday, August 25, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is under fire for labeling President Trump and congressional Republicans as “domestic enemies” of the state.
“The domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the U.S.,” she stated during an interview.
During that same interview, Pelosi accused Republicans of suppressing the vote due to their attempts to ensure the election is free of voter fraud. The House speaker reiterated calls for increased U.S. Postal Service funding and universal mail-in voting.
“Let’s just get out there and mobilize, organize and not let the President deter anybody from voting, and again support the postal system which is election central,” said the House speaker. “Diminish the role of the postal system and all of this, it’s really actually shameful…enemies of the state.”
In response to Pelosi’s comments, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took to Twitter to tell his constituents to never forget that Democrats despise GOP voters.
In 2016, they called you “Deplorables.”
Now, Nancy Pelosi calls all Republicans “domestic enemies.”