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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
July 1, 2020

CO-03: Who is Lauren Boebert, the QAnon sympathizer who won a Republican primary?

Lauren Boebert isn’t the only pistol-packing-on-the-job restaurant owner in America, and she isn’t the first fan of the conspiracy theory QAnon to run for office, but she may be the first woman to combine those unusual elements – and they may have helped propel her to a primary win over a five-term congressman late on Tuesday.

Donald Trump congratulated Boebert on her surprise victory in a Colorado Republican primary, even after first endorsing her opponent, longstanding congressman Scott Tipton.

Boebert makes much of the fact that she “believes in personal freedom, citizen rights, and upholding the constitution of the United States”, which should normally be seen as typical, patriotic American values of a nonpartisan nature but are increasingly being given proprietorial spin by ultra-conservatives as a definitive part of their political platform.

Boebert will run in November’s general election against Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush.

Her claim to fame locally is that waiters in her restaurant openly carry guns. It is named Shooter’s Grill and is located in a town called Rifle, in a rural part of Colorado west of Denver and the state’s leading Rockies ski resorts such as Vail and Aspen.

“Our freedom and our constitutional rights are on the ballot this November and Republicans just sent a loud and clear message that they want me there to fight for them,” Boebert said in a statement, issued from her campaign watch party in Grand Junction, the Aspen Times reported on Tuesday night.


July 1, 2020

Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic

Nationwide, federal and local officials are reporting alarming spikes in drug overdoses — a hidden epidemic within the coronavirus pandemic. Emerging evidence suggests that the continued isolation, economic devastation and disruptions to the drug trade in recent months are fueling the surge.

Because of how slowly the government collects data, it could be five to six months before definitive numbers exist on the change in overdoses during the pandemic. But data obtained by The Washington Post from a real-time tracker of drug-related emergency calls and interviews with coroners suggest that overdoses have not just increased since the pandemic began but are accelerating as it persists.

Suspected overdoses nationally — not all of them fatal — jumped 18 percent in March compared with last year, 29 percent in April and 42 percent in May, according to the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, a federal initiative that collects data from ambulance teams, hospitals and police. In some jurisdictions, such as Milwaukee County, dispatch calls for overdoses have increased more than 50 percent.

When the pandemic hit, some authorities hoped it might lead to a decrease in overdoses by disrupting drug traffic as borders closed and cities shut down. The opposite seems to be happening.


July 1, 2020

NJ-02: House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer Endorses Amy Kennedy for Congress

Today, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05), Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, endorsed Amy Kennedy for New Jersey’s second Congressional district.

“Amy Kennedy is the kind of leader we need in Washington, a leader with integrity who will push for change. She is the best candidate to beat Jeff Van Drew and turn this seat blue again,” Congressman Hoyer said. “Amy is committed to improving our health care system, creating good jobs, and building our economy back better and stronger after the COVID pandemic. As a community leader who’s built an impressive coalition of support across the entire district, I know that Amy will make a fantastic Member of Congress, and she will continue the Kennedy legacy of putting her constituents first.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to be endorsed by the House Majority Leader. Congressman Hoyer has dedicated his life to public service and has played a key role in nearly every piece of major progressive legislation for the past 40 years,” said Amy Kennedy. “Whether it’s strengthening our health care system through Obamacare, leading the effort to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act in the House, or fighting for good jobs and promoting domestic manufacturing, Steny Hoyer never stops fighting to make our communities and our country stronger. As a member of Congress, I will fight every day for all the people of South Jersey and I will never pledge my ‘undying support’ to anyone other than the people I am elected to represent.”

Amy Kennedy has also been endorsed by: Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, Martin Luther King III, Tanzie Youngblood, End Citizens United, Communication Workers of America, New Jersey Education Association, NJ CD 2 Progressive Democrats, South Jersey Progressive Democrats, NJ Working Families Alliance, Equality PAC and Taking the Hill PAC, among many others.


July 1, 2020

NJ-05: How one Josh Gottheimer vote led to his primary challenge by Arati Kreibich

When Josh Gottheimer won election to Congress in 2016, his victory was a bright spot on an otherwise dismal Election Day for the Democratic Party.

Not only did Gottheimer become the first Democrat to win the 5th Congressional District since the 1980s, he captured the seat away from Scott Garrett, an arch conservative loathed by liberals. Democratic voters in the district cheered.

Four years later, some of the same Democrats who once backed Gottheimer are calling him “Trump’s favorite Democrat” and praying he doesn’t make it onto November’s ballot. They are backing Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich’s bid to win the Democratic nomination over Gottheimer on July 7.

The choice for Democrats in this district is not unlike the one facing them in primaries around the nation: progressive challengers argue their opponents are too conservative and not sufficiently anti-Trump, while incumbents say their challengers are out of step with mainstream voters.

Micah Rasmussen, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, said 2020 elections have largely not produced the kinds of insurgent victories that brought Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress last year. Democrats are heavily invested in incumbent protection “and nowhere is that more true than New Jersey's 5th Congressional District,” he said.


July 1, 2020

TX-23: Ted Cruz intervenes in Republican runoff for Will Hurd's seat

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is jumping into the Republican primary runoff for Texas' most competitive congressional seat this fall, going against the candidate favored by retiring U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, and national GOP leaders.

Saying the district "deserves strong conservative representation," Cruz is endorsing Raul Reyes over Tony Gonzales for Hurd's seat — and launching a six-figure TV ad buy backing Reyes, according to details first shared with The Texas Tribune.

Cruz’s TV spot for Reyes is being paid for by the senator's leadership political action committee, the Jobs, Freedom and Security PAC. The 30-second commercial features Cruz speaking to the camera, saying Texas needs to elect "conservative warriors to defeat [Democratic House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi's agenda and show some of our Republicans what a backbone is."

"That’s why I’m supporting retired Col. Raul Reyes for Congress," Cruz says. "President Trump needs more congressmen like Col. Reyes, leaders who won’t surrender our border, our sovereignty, our way of life."

The TV buy starts Wednesday and goes through the July 14 election. Early voting started Monday.

The intervention by Cruz, who has been known to buck his party, puts him opposite a cast of powerful Republicans. In addition to Hurd, Gonzales has also been endorsed by the top two Republicans in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise. Also, Gonzales has been publicly praised by Tom Emmer, the chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.


July 1, 2020

Texas Republican Party has contingency plan to move convention online if necessary.

The Texas GOP’s plan for an in-person convention next month in Houston is looking increasingly uncertain as criticism mounts over plans to host thousands of people indoors as the new coronavirus surges across the state.

Party Chair James Dickey said Tuesday that the State Republican Executive Committee will meet Thursday to consider options for the future of the event, which he assured includes an “ultimate contingency plan” to move the event online.

"We have prepared for an online convention as the ultimate contingency plan if we are forced by a government order at any level and not able to hold our convention in person,” Dickey said during a livestreamed announcement Tuesday evening. “We’ve had that plan in place since the beginning of the pandemic so that we can be fully prepared for any turn of events.”

The State Republican Executive Committee, a 64-member body including Dickey and Vice Chair Alma Jackson, could take action ranging from mandating masks at what is expected to be a roughly 6,000-person event to relocating it to another city or moving the convention online.


July 1, 2020

CO-03: Scott Tipton ousted in primary by gun rights activist

Colorado Republican Rep. Scott Tipton lost his primary Tuesday to Lauren Boebert, a gun rights activist who has also been associated with the far-right conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

He’s the fourth House member, and third Republican, to lose his party’s support for another term this cycle.

Tipton conceded shortly after 9 p.m. Mountain time Tuesday, according to multiple Colorado news reports. With 86 percent of precincts reporting, Boebert was leading 54 percent to 46 percent in the 3rd District GOP primary when The Associated Press called the race at 9:30 p.m..

Awaiting Boebert in November is former state Rep. Diane Mitsch, who won the Democratic nomination for the second straight cycle. Mitsch Bush was leading businessman James Iacino 61 percent to 39 percent when the AP called the primary at 7:50 p.m.

Unlike Tipton, Boebert ran television ads during the primary. A spot released at the beginning of June urged voters to reject the incumbent and tried to connect him to New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


July 1, 2020

CO-03: Tipton is gone.


Dave Wasserman
I've seen enough: Lauren Boebert (R) has defeated Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in the #CO03 primary. Tipton becomes the fifth House incumbent to lose renomination in 2020.

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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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