Here are a few topics that caught my eye for this column:
- Voting In Cascade County
- Daines vs Tester
- Clarence Thomas
- Tennessee House
- One More Thing
VOTING IN CASCADE COUNTY:
As my readers are well aware, the MAGA nutjobs have taken over the elected offices in Cascade County and, probably most importantly, they won the race for Cascade Clerk and Recorder, which is the office that oversees elections in the county.
Just a week ago, the Board of Cascade County Commissioners held a special meeting to hear an “Election Process Presentation” by Sandra Merchant, Cascade County Clerk and Recorder. Ms. Merchant crashed and burned and the only reason she did not crash and burn even more was because her MAGA friend, Commissioner Rae Grulkowski, who chaired the event, would not allow several questions to be answered, saying the questions “weren’t relevant to the presentation.”
Now there are reports that private citizens are volunteering in the elections office unsupervised. The Electric is reporting that one of those volunteers was identified as Jan Wenaas, who has been publicly vocal in asking the county to eliminate mail ballots and last summer signed a petition asking the county to do so.
The Electric has tried to get answers about the volunteers, but it seems the MAGA folks have circled the wagons to protect their own.
It seems to me that the MAGA folks are moving quickly to hinder our voting process and there does not appear to be anyone who has the guts to stop them.
You can read the report from The Electric HERE.
DAINES VS TESTER:
Politico has a story posted that is titled,
Montana beef: Bad blood intensifies between Tester and Daines
The opening goes like this:
“Montana is famous for its cattle — and these days, for a sizzling beef between its two senators.
On one side is Jon Tester, one of the Democratic Party’s last red-state incumbents. On the other is Steve Daines, the Senate GOP campaign arm chief who probably needs to beat Tester in order to succeed and win back the majority.“
With the Republican-controlled Montana Legislature trying to tip the scales in favor of whoever runs against Tester with their silly “top two” primary for just Tester’s race, many people are shaking their heads in disbelief that the Montana Republicans would stoop this low. With Donald Trump as their leader, nothing should surprise us.
I think that the “top two” plan may backfire. It’s not a good look for the Montana Republicans. I’ve heard from several independents who say that although Tester has no opponent yet, the silly plan will ensure they vote for Tester.
You can read the Politico report HERE.
I guess U.S. Supreme Court justices don’t feel they need any stinking rules – at least that appears to be what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas thinks.
ProPublica released a report about the vacations taken by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas:
“For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman (Harlan Crow) without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks.”
ProPublica reports that “The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Maybe there are rules? Here is some more reporting from ProPublica:
“These trips appeared nowhere on Thomas’ financial disclosures. His failure to report the flights appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress and federal officials to disclose most gifts, two ethics law experts said. He also should have disclosed his trips on the yacht, these experts said.”
Check out the whole ProPublica story HERE.
It looks like Tennessee took a step back to the 1800s with the expulsion of two Democrats in the Tennessee House of Representatives. They were calling for more gun control in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Nashville.
There were three Democrats brought up for expulsion, but two were expelled. Here is how the Associated Press framed it:
“The split votes drew accusations of racism, with lawmakers ousting Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, who are both Black, while Rep. Gloria Johnson, who is white, survived the vote on her expulsion. Republican leadership denied that race was a factor, however.”
Race was not a factor? Bullshit.
The complete AP story can be found HERE.
ONE MORE THING:
What is more dangerous to children: men who dress up as women, or predators who dress up as priests? – @middleageriot
The Reps in Tennessee who were expelled can turn around and run for re-election in a special election. I have a campaign slogan for them already – “We’re not in Arkansas.” Come to think of it, a similar slogan would be appropriate in Montana – “We’re not in Idaho.”
Voters should be outraged. Last month, a group of citizens offered to assist in the Election Office and their offer declined. Seems Ms. Merchant is only comfortable surrounding herself with election deniers. Commissioner Grulkowski is her obvious “shield.”
L.A. Times says they ran a story on Thomas accepting expensive gifts and trips 20 years ago.
“Thomas refused to comment on the article, but it had an impact: Thomas appears to have continued accepting free trips from his wealthy friend. But he stopped disclosing them.”
Precisely the response of an innocent person doing perfectly legal stuff and nothing to hide.
Justice Roberts your court is going to have a legacy, but probably not exactly what you were hoping for.
One of the greatest skits in Saturday Night Live history dealt with the Clarence Thomas confirmation in the senate:
New info after I posted:
“Thomas did not refer to any individual trips paid for by Crow. But he said, ‘As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter century we have known them.’”
And one guy consistently paid paid for everything, “as friends do”. One very rich guy. And just coincidentally during that quarter century I ruled for Citizens United allowing very rich guys to pour unlimited dark money into politics to tilt the scales even more in favor of them and their wealth. Among many other pro rich guys rulings. Just coincidentally.
Nothing to see here folks.
Can you verify that there is no supervision in the election office as mail ballots are being assembled? Guess I should get down there!
I can’t verify anything.