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Posts tagged "2016 Elections"

princeowl:

usatoday:

A proposal to divide California into six states has received enough signatures to make the November 2016 ballot. Here’s how.

six californias

(via thepoliticalfreakshow)

H/T: Catherine Thompson at TPM

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

Embedded image permalink

The RNC’s coming to Cleveland in 2016. Cue up The Drew Carey Show's theme song Cleveland Rocks!

A secret criminal investigation made national news with the disclosure that prosecutors had alleged Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and others.

But the next day, the Republican governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate said the John Doe probe had been resolved and that two judges had said it was “over.”

Here is part of the June 20, 2014 interview of Walker by Steve Doocy, host of the network TV talk show “Fox & Friends”:

Doocy: ”So, over the last couple of years, there’s been some legal action out in Wisconsin. And some of the documents were unsealed yesterday. We’ve got to point out, you were never charged with anything. But at one point, they allege that you had a central role in a criminal fund-raising scheme. OK, tell us what you did.”

Walker: ”Well, don’t just take my word for it. Look at the facts. The facts are pretty clear.

"You’ve had not one but two judges — a state judge and a federal judge; a state judge (who is) a well-respected court of appeals judge, and a federal judge more recently — have both looked at this argument. And in the past, not just recently — remember this is not new news, it’s just newly released yesterday because documents were opened — but no charges, case over.

"Both judges said they didn’t buy the argument. They didn’t think that anything was done that was illegal, and so they’ve gone forward and not only said, we don’t buy it, they actually shut the case down, both at the state and at the federal level.

"So, many in the national media and even some here in Wisconsin are looking at this (case) backwards. This is a case that’s been resolved, that not one but two judges have said is over. And we’re just learning about it because it became open in a document yesterday. But there is no argument there."

Is that it?

Is Walker right that the Doe case has been “resolved” and two judges have said it is “over”?

Experts say no. After all, one of the key court rulings that has stalled the investigation is a “preliminary injunction.” And that is on appeal.

What’s the case about?

Under Wisconsin law, a John Doe is “intended as an independent, investigatory tool to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and, if so, by whom.”

Unlike standard criminal investigations, law enforcement officials in a John Doe have special powers, including the power to compel the testimony of reluctant witnesses under oath and to issue subpoenas requiring witnesses to turn over documents.

Another key difference is that the judge overseeing a Doe can — and typically does — order that the proceedings be done in secret, unlike the vast majority of court proceedings.

Walker has been connected to two John Doe investigations.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, conducted a wide-ranging probe of aides and associates to Walker going back to Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive. That investigation, sometimes known as John Doe I, led to six convictions, ranging from misconduct in office for campaigning on county time to stealing from a veterans fund.Walker was not charged, and that investigation was shut down in March 2013.

Before closing that probe, however, Chisholm launched a separate investigation in the summer of 2012 based on information learned in the first one. To get what has been termed John Doe II off the ground, Chisholm worked with district attorneys from four counties — members of both parties — and the state Government Accountability Board, which administers the state’s elections and ethics laws. Francis Schmitz, a former assistant U.S. attorney and self-described Republican, was named special prosecutor in the case.

Walker’s evidence

Alleigh Marre, spokeswoman for Walker’s campaign, cited two court documents to back Walker’s claim. It’s not clear what she was referring to in the first document, a December 2013 court filing by Schmitz, and she didn’t respond to our request to elaborate.

The second document was a court order that John Doe Judge Gregory Peterson issued on Jan. 10, 2014. It quashed subpoenas that had been issued to Walker’s campaign and several conservative groups. And it ordered the return of any property seized with those subpoenas or with search warrants served on two officials of the groups.

But the order did not resolve the case.

Indeed, in his order, Peterson made reference to the possibility of his ruling be appealed. And the order has been challenged and is awaiting a ruling from the state Court of Appeals.

Other legal action

Another key ruling was made in federal court, by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa.

In February 2014, the conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth and one of its directors, Eric O’Keefe sued in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee in an attempt to stop the Doe investigation, saying it violated their rights to free speech, free association and equal protection under the law.

Three months later, Randa issued a preliminary injunction halting the probe while he considered the lawsuit. He said it appeared prosecutors were violating the First Amendment rights of Club for Growth and O’Keefe. And he ordered prosecutors to return any material they had gathered in the investigation and destroy whatever copies of it they had made.

But as the term “preliminary injunction” would indicate, that did not mean the case had been resolved or was over.

Indeed, Randa’s ruling has been appealed and the parties are awaiting a decision from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Experts weigh in

We consulted five attorneys who have represented multiple clients in criminal John Doe investigations — Madison defense attorneys Marcus Berghahn and Stephen Morgan (Morgan is a former state and federal prosecutor); Milwaukee defense attorneys Jeremy Levinson, who also handles campaign finance cases for Democrats, and Raymond Dall’Osto; and Marquette University Law School professor and former state prosecutor Daniel Blinka.

Bottom line: The John Doe investigation case has been stopped for the time being, but it has not been resolved. The rulings by judges Peterson and Randa are not final and are being appealed. The appellate rulings could also be appealed.

And if the Chicago appeals panel overrules Randa, the investigation can resume.

"Once the Court of Appeals decides the merits of the case and if no party appeals the Court of Appeals’ decision, then it may be possible to say that the cases are over — unless the case is returned to the trial court or John Doe Judge for further litigation," said Berghahn.

Said Blinka: “The governor’s remark overlooks the role of the appellate courts. The final resolution is up to the appellate courts, and only when the appellate process has run its course will we have a final resolution.”

It’s notable that at times during his governorship, Walker has been in the position of supporting appeals when a lower-court ruling has gone against him.

In 2012, when judges struck down parts of Walker’s Act 10 — the law ending most collective bargaining for most public employees — the state appealed, and higher courts so far have upheld the law.

And on same-sex marriage, which Walker opposes, he didn’t concede that a ban on gay marriages was dead when a federal judge found Wisconsin’s ban unconstitutional. Indeed, he’s backing the state’s appeal of the judge’s ruling.

Similarly, the status of the Doe case is being hammered out in the appeals process.

Our rating

Walker said the secret John Doe criminal investigation of his campaign has been “resolved” and two judges have said it is “over.”

His characterization is misleading at best. The investigation has been stopped, for now, under one judge’s ruling.

But the second ruling, while a serious blow, did not end the probe, and in any event prosecutors have appealed the two rulings Walker mentioned.

We rate Walker’s statement False.

h/t: PolitiFact Wisconsin

Hopefully he gets his ass voted out of office in November. Vote for Mary Burke (D)!!! 
h/t: :Philip Bump at WaPo’s The Fix

I’ve just lost any respect I had left for Terry Bradshaw. 
=

It’s come to this: Fox News brings on NFL’s Terry Bradshaw for Benghazi analysis (via Raw Story )

Fox News on Wednesday continued its multi-year obsession with the terrorist attack in Benghazi by inviting NFL football analyst and former quarterback Terry Bradshaw to weigh in. Out Numbered host Andrea Tantaros began the segment by highlighting a…



 

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM

Brent Bozell

The Media Research Center (MRC) produced a video attacking Hillary Clinton for evolving on marriage equality, but that organization has no credibility on the issue, having promoted anti-LGBT messages for over two decades.

MRC released a video hosted by Dan Joseph in which he asked people on the campus of George Mason University to identify quotes out of context from someone opposed to marriage equality. When most of the people identified the unnamed speaker as a conservative or Republican, Joseph revealed that the quotes came from Hillary Clinton. The video portrayed Clinton’s evolution on the issue - she announced support for marriage equality in a 2013 video produced by the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group - as politically cynical.

The video was recently revived  after a discussion of Clinton’s position came up during the promotional tour for her book, Hard Choices.

But MRC has no room to criticize Clinton. The conservative group, which was founded in 1987, has been staunchly opposed to LGBT rights for over two decades, and has taken multiple opportunities to attack any outlet that portray LGBT people as anything other than freaks and outcasts.

MRC figures have complained about Hollywood’s “agenda” to “advance the cause of homosexuality,” attacked comic books with gay characters, and bemoaned the failure of television networks to tell their viewers “that homosexuality is morally wrong.”

Recent headlines on Newsbusters, the MRC blog devoted to “combating liberal media bias,” include: ”WashPost Promotes Gay Marriage in Virginia With ‘Aggressively Normal’ Lesbian Tableau; Opponents Ignored”; ”Media Go Ga-Ga for Gay Christians”; and “Twice in 24 Hours, ABC Touts Pro-Gay Cracker Ad; Network Assailed Mozilla Exec.”

MRC has done this for decades, without bringing its position into the modern era, while Clinton has noted she “constantly reevaluated” where she stood on the issue, eventually arriving at her current pro-equality position.

Here are some of the lowlights from MRC’s decades-long drumbeat against LGBT equality:

MRC’s Tim Graham: Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony At Grammys Was “Musical Agitprop To Mock … Traditional Values.” MRC’s Tim Graham said that a ceremony during the 2014 Grammys where 34 same-sex and opposite sex couples were married was “a piece of musical agitprop to mock the traditional values of conservative American Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others.” 

They can say this is not a stunt, but that’s exactly what it is, a piece of musical agitprop to mock the traditional values of conservative American Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others. Entertainers never want to have a debate, just a series of arrogant “statements” with no opportunity for a conversation as they flush the Bible on national TV. [Media Research Center, 1/26/14]

Gainor Complained: “We Live In A PC Era” Where Anti-LGBT Discrimination Is Shunned. During the same appearance on the Janet Mefferd Show, Gainor complained that “we live in a PC era where people are bombarded 24/7 with media preaching what the left defines as tolerance, which is intolerance.” He added, “If you think that I should have some sort of special right that’s never existed in our country’s history, but we’re gonna create it out of whole cloth, then you’re tolerant. If you think that we’re should continue to do what we’ve done for hundreds of years. Oh, you’re intolerant. You’re a bigot. You’re an ‘ist’ of some sort.”  [Salem Radio Network, The Janet Mefferd Show11/6/13]

MRC’s Dan Gainor Warned Of Satanic Gay Orgies In Church Halls. Appearing on the Janet Mefferd Show, MRC’s Dan Gainor warned that churches could be forced to rent out church halls to gay groups, who “could have a satantic orgy in your church hall.” He also worried that, “if you’re a photographer, and you’re a Christian, you could be forced to photograph it, or you will go to jail or be fined.” [Salem Radio Network, The Janet Mefferd Show11/6/13]

Bozell: Gay Characters On Children’s Television Are “Propaganda.” In his October 25, 2013 column, Bozell protested that the existence of gay characters on channels like “Teen Nick, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel” was “propaganda” and said that LGBT advocacy group GLAAD’s push for more inclusive television was proof “they want children indoctrinated as well”:

They want children indoctrinated as well. GLAAD is also not shy when it comes to Teen Nick, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel. Apparently, children also desperately need the propaganda of gay characters in 42 percent of programming hours. They’re extremely happy with the liberalism of “ABC Family” and have relayed that Disney Channel executives promised GLAAD they will “introduce LGBT characters in an episode of its original series ‘Good Luck Charlie’ set to air in 2014, a first for the network.” The first of many, they expect. [Townhall.com,10/25/13]

MRC’s Graham Asked If Bullying Claims By Gay Teen Were “Overwrought.” In 2011, MRC’s Tim Graham complained that the media was being too sympathetic to a 14-year-old whose YouTube video about bullying had gone viral. After the child appeared on Good Morning America, Graham wrote, “No one wondered if perhaps Mowry’s accusation of constant daily bullying since first grade was overwrought. But the networks can’t even show any skepticism or neutrality or nuance. ” [Media Research Center, 12/15/11, via Equality Matters]

MRC Report Attacked CNN For “Supporting Homosexual Causes.” A 2011 report released by MRC criticized CNN for failing to “represent both sides” in the debate over same sex marriage and accused the network of showing “clear advocacy for homosexual causes” in its coverage. Among their examples, MRC cited CNN reporting on Atlanta being named the “Nation’s Gayest City” and challenging the effectiveness of “ex-gay” therapy. [Media Research Center, 7/28/11, via Equality Matters]

Bozell: “Why Can’t A Single Primetime Show Say - With No Strings Attached - That Homosexuality Is Morally Wrong?” In a 1992 article in The Hollywood Reporter, Bozell was quoted saying Hollywood demonstrates “liberal bias” by failing to portray gay people as “morally wrong.” He asked, “Why can’t a single primetime show say — with no strings attached — that homosexuality is morally wrong?” [Media Matters, 6/23/10]

Bozell: “The Only Characters On [Glee] Disapproving Of Homosexuality Are Vicious School Bullies.” In a 2010 column, Bozell attacked the Fox TV drama Glee. He argued that “The only characters on the show disapproving of homosexuality are vicious school bullies,” and that “Everyone else in this series approves, endorses or participates in the homosexual lifestyle.”

The only characters on the show disapproving of homosexuality are vicious school bullies. In the May 25 episode, two brutish football players threatened to pummel the openly gay and riotously effeminate character Kurt for dressing up like a girl. Everyone else in this series approves, endorses or participates in the homosexual lifestyle. [Townhall.com, 6/4/10]

Bozell: Comic Books With Gay Characters Are “A Red Light Neighborhood” With “Sexually Perverted Superheroes.” In a 2006 column, Bozell complained about gay characters in comic books and asked, “Who would have predicted, ten years ago, that the comics would become a red-light neighborhood where sexually perverted superheroes would be packaged to elicit from children fascination and sympathy?” [Media Research Center, 6/9/06

h/t:Oliver Willis at MMFA

MRC’s Brent Bozell: Hollywood Has An “Agenda” To “Advance The Cause Of Homosexuality As Normal Behavior.” In a 1999 New York Daily News article about a character on the show Dawson’s Creek coming out, MRC founder Brent Bozell is quoted lamenting the ”agenda in Hollywood to advance the cause of homosexuality as normal behavior by making those who think otherwise the deviants. A character can put forward an argument, but you can be sure it’s a character who moonlights as a troglodyte.” [New York Daily News2/24/99

Bozell: “If You Are Trying To Teach [Children] That The Homosexual Lifestyle Is Decadent And Immoral, Understand That Television Is Telling Them Just The Opposite.” In a 1996 column Bozell wrote that “during its 1995-‘96 season, prime time television tried as never before to legitimize the homosexual lifestyle” and “If you are trying to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is decadent and immoral, understand that television is telling them just the opposite.” [Media Research Center, 9/25/96]

MRC On Philadelphia: “Anybody Who Was Morally Opposed To The Gay Lifestyle Was Presented As A Total Bigot.” In 1996, MRC’s Sandy Crawford criticized Philadelphia, the Oscar-winning film about a gay man who sued a law firm for discriminating against him for having AIDS: ”Philadelphia’ was a good film — beautifully acted and very compelling. But anybody who was morally opposed to the gay lifestyle was presented as a total bigot. You either were 100 percent for Tom Hanks or you were a villain.” [Kansas City Star3/96, via Media Matters]

H/T: Oliver Willis at MMFA

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Tim Murphy at Mother Jones

h/t: Ken Thomas at TPM

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Are you there, God? It’s Herman Cain—and the rest of The GOP is likely coming, too.

The Tea Party’s favorite pizza-preneur hit the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Saturday with a message for conservatives, but more importantly, for Jesus Christ: If called, he’s ready for another run at the presidency in 2016.

“I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future, and that’s God Almighty,” Cain said. “And in case someone is wondering, I don’t trust in government, I trust in God.”

He’s not the only one waiting for God’s go-ahead. “I believe God will make it clear to me if that’s something I’m supposed to do,” said Ben Carson on Fox News in August. The neurosurgeon earned plaudits from conservatives last year (the Wall Street Journal ran a “Ben Carson for President” editorial) following his scalding speech at the White House prayer breakfast.

But sadly for both, God has been known to endorse multiple candidates, and a push from the man upstairs doesn’t always add up to votes.

It’s no surprise that many GOP candidates invoke God in stump speeches; after Mormons, evangelicals are the most Republican religion and just one in 10 consider themselves liberal. But only a select few belong to the divine endorsement club.

Members include former Indiana State Sen. William Costas, who credited a “message from God” delivered by his wife for his ultimately unsuccessful 1986 Congressional run. That same year Richard Stokes lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, along with his wife, when he quit his job as a middle school teacher after hearing the “very deep, very plain” voice of God at 3 a.m. telling him to launch a campaign that focused on abortion, homosexuality and Communism. And Jim Bob Duggar—hero of the Quiverfull movement and star of the reality series 19 Kids and Counting—said he was “called by God,” but didn’t make it past the Republican primary in his 2002 U.S. Senate attempt. Even Ronald Reagan heard the voice of God, according to his son, Michael, who wrote in his book, Hand of Providence, “He believed God had called him to run for president. He believed God had things for him to do.”

God has been known to endorse multiple candidates, and a push from the man upstairs doesn’t always add up to votes.

In 2012, at least five candidates claimed God had called them all the run.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity it would be “up to God and the American people,” whether he would seek the nomination.

Herman Cain is just awaiting a sign like the one handed down to him in 2011. Before throwing his hat in the ring, he said, “I felt like Moses when God said, ‘I want you to go into Egypt and lead my people out.’ Moses resisted. I resisted.… But you shouldn’t question God.”

Though Rick Santorum’s wife, Karen, told him, “God cannot possibly want you to do this,” he ultimately convinced her with prayer that God was leading him onto the presidential path.  “After a while she saw the same thing I did.”

In 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a reporter, “I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.” And after a string of bad luck pushed him into third place—offensive campaign ads, and laughable debate performances helped—his wife, Anita, likened him to Moses, and described his decision to run as heeding signs from above, relayed by her to her chosen husband. “He didn’t want to hear a thing about running for president,” she said. “He felt like he needed to see the burning bush. I said ‘Look, let me tell you something. You may not see that burning bush, but there are people seeing that burning bush for you.’”

And you can thank God for Michele Bachmann, too. In 2006, the Almighty ordered the mother of five to run for Congress. But He wasn’t finished, so in 2011 God urged her to run for the highest office. “Every decision that I make I pray about, as does my husband,” the Congresswoman explained.  “And I can tell you, yes, I’ve had that calling and that tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do…”

These candidates all claimed that God was the impetus and continuing force behind their campaigns. And every one, save Rick Santorum, claims they never wanted to do it in the first place. According to their own admissions, they had to be convinced by God to do his will.

And they all lost.

But then again, God never mentioned anything about winning.

God’s favorite candidates can all take heart in the words of another famous loser, Pat Robertson, who claimed the White House was as good as his in the 1988 election. The televangelist was another who initially resisted God’s call to run, but eventually relented. “I heard the Lord,” Robertson whispered in front of a New Hampshire church congregation along the campaign trail, “saying ‘I have something else for you to do. I want you to run for president of the United States.’” He went on, “I assure you that I am going to be the next president of the United States.”

After finishing a distant third, Robertson says in his book, The Plan, that he questioned his faith. “I’ve been asked the question a hundred times: ‘Did you miss God?’ I asked over and over, ‘Did I miss Your leading, Father? … Did I hear You? … Why didn’t I win?’”

Robertson’s soul searching led him to draw a comparison between his loss and Jesus Christ himself, whom, he writes, “failed by human standards but was part of God’s perfect plan. Was He hurt? Of course he was. Will He be vindicated? Gloriously so.”

“I followed God’s plan for me, so in His eyes I did win.”

Amen.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

HIAWATHA, Iowa (AP) — Behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s visit to Iowa this week to campaign for local politicians is a careful effort to remake his image from the 2012 Republican presidential candidate who couldn’t remember a key message during a debate, to a more polished and prepared contender.

While he denies it is a dress rehearsal for a second presidential run, Perry is studying policy, traveling and meeting with key activists as he campaigns for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and U.S. Senate candidate Matt Whitaker in the state expected to host the first presidential caucus of 2016.

"This hasn’t got anything to do with preparation. This has everything do to with Matt Whitaker," Perry told reporters Wednesday after touring a Cedar Rapids-area manufacturer.

But the appearance with Whitaker, among five candidates for U.S. Senate, was the start of Perry’s third trip to Iowa since last year. It also includes a fundraiser for Branstad in Ames and three stops in Republican-heavy northwest Iowa on Thursday.

Aides say Perry, who dropped from the 2012 race after finishing fourth in Iowa, was not ready then.

"He’s been brutally honest that he was unprepared," said senior adviser Jeff Miller. "Now, he spends every week talking with people."

He is tapping policy experts and influential political activists, such as the New Hampshire Republicans he entertained in Austin Tuesday, Miller said. New Hampshire hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Perry plans to visit Eastern Europe in late summer or early fall, aides said, all with the aim of being in a better position to decide to run than he was in 2011.

Three years ago, Perry was simultaneously wrapping up a Texas legislative session, undergoing back surgery and preparing to enter a Republican race already underway. The combination, they say, was responsible for the gaffe that badly damaged his campaign and became the subject of late night television ridicule. At a November, 2011 Republican debate Perry could not remember one government agency he would abolish as president.

Wednesday, he seemed every bit the gregarious politician who entered the 2012 race to great fanfare, only to fall short of expectations.

The message Wednesday was the same: Promoting Texas’ rapid job growth as the national model, and castigating the Obama administration as “micromanaging.”

"Get out of the way and let the private sector do what the private sector does best, which is create some of the most innovative products in the world," he told the plants employees.

The words rang true to Mike Bitterman, vice president and co-owner of Master Tool and Manufacturing Inc. The plant makes a range of products from car parts to toothbrush molds.

"Thank you for making conservatism work," Bitterman said, shaking Perry’s hand.

Perry said he’ll decide about 2016 after he leaves office in Texas next year. But he said he’d return to Iowa this year.

"I will be coming up here, I would suggest to you, multiple times between now and the 4th of November," he said. "After that, I’ll let you know."