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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 86,925

Journal Archives

Key Arizona election official to step down amid harassment and conspiracy theories

Source: Politico

Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, a high-profile election official who has faced heavy scrutiny and harassment in one of the country’s largest counties over the last two cycles, is stepping down at the end of his term.

Gates, an Arizona Republican, announced his intention on Thursday to not run for reelection in 2024, saying in a statement that he intends to “pursue other interests and opportunities.” His decision was first reported by The Washington Post.

A spokesperson for Gates pointed POLITICO to Gates’ statement when asked for further comment.

Gates, who, along with his family, has been the target of threats and attacks during his tenure from those trumpeting false election claims, previously said that he suffers from PTSD. He is just one of many election administrators choosing not to run again following years of harassment from conspiracy theorists and a widespread lack of support for their work.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/01/key-arizona-election-official-step-down-00099752

Politico: White House set to tap Obama veteran Mandy Cohen to lead CDC

President Joe Biden plans to appoint former North Carolina health secretary Mandy Cohen as the next director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three people with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO.

Cohen, an Obama-era health official well known in Democratic policy circles, would replace outgoing CDC chief Rochelle Walensky, who is slated to leave the agency at the end of the month.

The White House declined to comment, and the people with knowledge of the matter, granted anonymity to discuss personnel moves, cautioned that the decision is not finalized. Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Biden is expected to formally announce Cohen’s selection later this month. She had also met in recent days with White House chief of staff Jeff Zients and Health Secretary Xavier Becerra to discuss the job.


Politico: Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester to launch run for Delaware Senate seat in June

Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Delaware’s lone member of the House, will launch a bid this month for her state’s open Senate seat, according to her advisors.

Her glide path to the nomination in a deep-blue state makes it highly likely she could become the third Black woman to ever serve in the Senate. Blunt Rochester, who joined the House in 2017, has begun hiring campaign staff ahead of an expected announcement. The congresswoman will run for the seat, said her advisors, who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss her plans. But she has delayed a formal kickoff out of respect for her mentor Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who revealed just last week he would retire after four terms in the Senate.

Carper endorsed Blunt Rochester last Monday during his announcement. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also said he believed the congresswoman would make a good senator.

Blunt Rochester was the first woman and person of color to represent Delaware in Congress. In a brief interview last week, she recalled standing on the steps of the Capitol as an intern for Carper thinking she might want to pursue public office one day. But she described her rise as somewhat improbable.


Defense drama hinders Senate sprint toward debt vote

Source: Politico

It wouldn’t be a Senate deal without some last-minute drama, and that’s exactly what negotiations to quickly approve the debt ceiling deal are providing.

Even as some senators push for votes on their amendments, a new wrinkle unfolded midday Thursday: Defense hawks and top appropriations Republicans need a commitment from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to blunt some of the debt limit and budget deal’s effects. They want Schumer to commit to a standalone, supplemental defense spending bill, as well as pledge to take up all 12 annual appropriations bills as a condition for moving forward quickly.

There were some signs of progress on Thursday afternoon after key leaders huddled on the floor with top aides to try to work out a deal to speed things up. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was helping arbitrate the negotiations, said discussions were “ongoing” and paper was being exchanged.

“Sounded like there were a lot of areas of agreement. They are trying to write them down, sometimes that’s a challenge,” said Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who was in some of those huddles.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/01/senate-debt-limit-schumer-mcconnell-00099645

Baseball legend Steve Garvey considering US Senate bid in California, energizing beleaguered GOP

Seattle Times

LOS ANGELES (AP) — You’d have to go back a generation — to 1988 — to find the last time a Republican candidate won a U.S. Senate race in heavily Democratic California. This time, the party might get an MVP on the ballot.

Baseball legend Steve Garvey, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, is meeting with voters and senior GOP officials as he weighs a potential 2024 Senate bid in a race that already has several prominent Democratic contenders. He appeared at a recent fundraiser for Republican Rep. Michelle Steel in Orange County, where he signed baseballs and talked about his potential candidacy.

“He is seriously considering entering the race,” said veteran consultant Andy Gharakhani, who is advising Garvey.

Garvey has flirted with the possibility of entering politics before, including after his retirement from baseball, when he teased a possible U.S. Senate run but never became a candidate.

Abbott taps John Scott, former Texas secretary of state, as interim attorney general

Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday appointed Fort Worth lawyer and former Secretary of State John Scott as interim Texas attorney general, temporarily replacing Ken Paxton, who was suspended as attorney general pending the outcome of an impeachment trial in the state Senate.

Scott previously served as deputy attorney general for civil litigation when Abbott led that office. He has more than 34 years of legal experience and has argued more than 100 cases in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. After leaving the attorney general’s office, he was appointed chief operating officer of the state Health and Human Services Commission, overseeing 56,000 employees and a budget of $50 billion.

“John Scott has the background and experience needed to step in as a short-term interim Attorney General during the time the Attorney General has been suspended from duty,” Abbott said in a statement. “He served under me in the Texas Attorney General’s Office and knows how the Office of the Attorney General operates.”

Scott will take leadership of an agency that has been caught up in the turmoil surrounding Paxton, who faces articles of impeachment accusing him of abusing the powers of office to benefit a friend and political donor.

Republicans are spending millions on turnout operations that are deeply flawed

NBC News

A few weeks before last fall’s midterm elections, a paid canvasser in Nevada did what thousands of door-knockers across the country were doing: They went on an app and marked off the homes they had visited that day.

There was just one problem. This canvasser never went anywhere near those homes in a neighborhood in south Las Vegas. They were 8 miles away, sitting inside Caesars Palace casino, according to geotracking data obtained by NBC News.

The canvasser was working for an outside group backing GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, who was seeking to topple one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents of the 2022 cycle. The canvasser was fired soon after the incident, according to two Republicans who worked on the canvassing effort.

If this were an isolated episode, it’d be a minor nuisance. But it wasn’t.

Democratic "No" votes on the Debt Limit agreement (46)

Barragán Democratic California NO
Bonamici Democratic Oregon NO
Bowman Democratic New York NO
Bush Democratic Missouri NO
Casar Democratic Texas NO
Castro (TX) Democratic Texas NO
Chu Democratic California NO
Clarke (NY) Democratic New York NO
Connolly Democratic Virginia NO
Crockett Democratic Texas NO
DeLauro Democratic Connecticut NO
DeSaulnier Democratic California NO
Espaillat Democratic New York NO
García (IL) Democratic Illinois NO
Garcia (TX) Democratic Texas NO
Goldman (NY) Democratic New York NO
Gomez Democratic California NO
Grijalva Democratic Arizona NO
Hayes Democratic Connecticut NO
Hoyle (OR) Democratic Oregon NO
Huffman Democratic California NO
Jayapal Democratic Washington NO
Kamlager-Dove Democratic California NO
Khanna Democratic California NO
Larson (CT) Democratic Connecticut NO
Lee (CA) Democratic California NO
Lee (PA) Democratic Pennsylvania NO
McGovern Democratic Massachusetts NO
Meng Democratic New York NO
Moore (WI) Democratic Wisconsin NO
Nadler Democratic New York NO
Ocasio-Cortez Democratic New York NO
Pocan Democratic Wisconsin NO
Porter Democratic California NO
Pressley Democratic Massachusetts NO
Ramirez Democratic Illinois NO
Schakowsky Democratic Illinois NO
Scott (VA) Democratic Virginia NO
Stansbury Democratic New Mexico NO
Tlaib Democratic Michigan NO
Torres (CA) Democratic California NO
Torres (NY) Democratic New York NO
Vargas Democratic California NO
Velázquez Democratic New York NO
Williams (GA) Democratic Georgia NO
Wilson (FL) Democratic Florida NO


Former candidate charged in shooting spree at New Mexico officials' homes

Source: Politico

A former GOP candidate for the New Mexico House of Representatives has been indicted for his alleged role in a series of drive-by shootings targeting the homes of four elected officials in the state.

Following his failed bid for the seat in New Mexico’s 14th District during the 2022 midterm elections, Solomon Peña orchestrated shootings at the homes of two Bernalillo County commissioners and two New Mexico state legislators between Dec. 3, 2022, and Jan. 3, according to the Justice Department’s indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday.

Before planning the shooting spree, Peña visited the homes of at least three Bernalillo County commissioners, the DOJ said, in an effort to get them not to certify the results of the election, which he claimed had been “rigged” against him.

Peña allegedly worked with two accomplices — Demetrio Trujillo and Jose Trujillo — to carry out the shootings, and carried out one on his own, according to the indictment. Family members of the officials, including children, were in the homes during at least three of the shootings, though no one was wounded or killed in any of the shootings.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/05/31/shooting-spree-new-mexico-officials-homes-00099577

Former Vice President Mike Pence to Launch Campaign for White House Within 2 Weeks

Former Vice President Mike Pence is set to launch his run for the White House against his old boss, former President Donald Trump, within the coming two weeks, four sources familiar with the planning told The Messenger.

The Georgia Republican Party may have tipped Pence’s hand Wednesday in an email explaining he could no longer deliver the keynote address at a June 9th event. Pence would make “an announcement regarding his future plans” at a televised town hall, the email said. The Georgia GOP did not specify which town hall, but Pence is scheduled to headline a CNN town hall in Des Moines, Iowa on June 7, his 64th birthday.

Four Republicans familiar with the plans say Pence and his team started ramping up their outreach two weeks ago, telling supporters that the launch was imminent and would take place in mid-June.

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