Stories Chosen For You
Democrats hoping the conservative Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade will help their candidates in the 2022 midterm elections were invigorated by the results of the first congressional election since the ruling.
The rare, summertime special election was held to fill the vacancy created when Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) resigned from Congress after being convicted on three felony charges.
"Nebraska’s first election following the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling offered an eye-opening glimpse of the issue’s power to drive voters and affect political outcomes," the Omaha World Herald reported on Saturday. "True, Republican State Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk won Tuesday’s special election to fill Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District seat, as expected. But Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln came closer than any 1st District Democrat has done in decades. She ended up with nearly 47% of the vote in the two-way race and plenty of optimism about closing the gap to win a general election rematch in November."
The Democratic Party nominee in the district has not received more than 40% of the vote in the district since the 2006 blue wave, when Maxine Moul received 42% of the vote against Fortenberry.
Reporter Martha Stoddard interviewed Kevin Smith, chair of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln political science department.
“The closeness of the election was a genuine surprise to a lot of people,” Smith said. “The 1st District has not been considered competitive before.”
Both campaigns believe the abortion ruling played a large role in the closeness of the race.
Jessica Flanagain of the Flood campaign told the newspaper, “I definitely think the left was upset and fearful."
“That’s a great motivator," she noted.
Pansing Brooks campaign manager Chris Triebsch believes it's the start of a trend.
“We’re still on the front end of that momentum as people become more aware of the full impact” of the ruling, Triebsch said. “I think people are very worried.”
The Nebraska Examiner reported on a study conducted by the Flood campaign.
"Fewer voters in the 1st District’s GOP-leaning counties voted in the special election than participated a month earlier in the May 10 primary election," the newspaper reported. "Voting in each of those counties was down by at least 18%, based on a post-election analysis done for Flood’s campaign. Additionally, 3% more voters showed up for the special election in Democratic-leaning Lancaster County than voted during the primary."
Danielle Conrad, a former Democratic state lawmaker, told the AP it was a "thrilling result."
“Patty far outpaced the conventional wisdom," he said. "I don’t think anybody expected her to perform this well in such a tough district.”
Democratic consultant Adrienne Elrod told the AP Democratic groups are seeing the results as a sign of momentum.
“I think they’re going to look at this as a bellwether, in a very positive way,” Elrod said.
Donald Trump's continued lies about the 2020 presidential election he lost has resulted in the loss of yet another GOP official.
"The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona’s Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump who accept his lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud," the Associated Press reported Saturday. "County Recorder Leslie Hoffman said Friday that she is fed up with the "nastiness" and has accepted a job outside the county. Her last day will be July 22. She said longtime elections director Lynn Constabile is leaving for the same reason, and Friday is her last day."
The news comes less than a week after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) revealed evidence of witness tampering during a public hearing of the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"A lot of it is the nastiness that we have dealt with," Hoffman said. "I’m a Republican recorder living in a Republican county where the candidate that they wanted to win won by 2-to-1 in this county and still getting grief, and so is my staff."
"I’m not sure what they think that we did wrong," she said. "And they’re very nasty. The accusations and the threats are nasty."
Ken Matta, the head of election security at the Arizona Secretary of State's office, quit his job in May, also citing the threats.
Early ballots for the August primary are to be mailed next week.
Trump wanted to ‘neutralize' the presidential chain of succession by seizing power at the Capitol: expert
Fascism expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat provided fascinating insight — and a terrifying prediction about future Republican Party violence — when she was interviewed by CNN's Jim Acosta on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that on Jan. 6, Trump was "irate" when the Secret Service would not drive him to the Capitol and lunged for the steering wheel of his presidential limousine.
Acosta began that interview by noting that weeks before Hutchinson's testimony, Ben-Ghiat had informed his audience that Trump had to go to the Capitol for the phase of a coup where the new order would be announced. Acosta described her analysis as "almost clairvoyant."
"And we have since learned that Trump did try to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6, but his Secret Service stopped him," Acosta said. "Ruth, what is your reaction to everything we learned this week, including this new CNN reporting that seems to back up what Cassidy Hutchison was saying?"
"I'm really disturbed, not surprised, about the role of violence," the New York University professor replied.
"It was very telling to me that Trump said chief of staff Mark Meadows, who seems to have been like the control center of this operation, she said that when the violence broke out, he didn't seem concerned at all, and he didn't seem perturbed, and that's because violence was part of the plan. It has to be in a coup," she explained.
"That's also why Trump wanted the, you know, weapons detectors removed, and so the other thing that stands out is that not only did he want to be driven there to the Capitol and be at the head of this, you know, violent thug march into the Capitol, but Ms. Hutchinson testified that there were conversations about him entering the chamber," she continued. "And what that says to me is first, you know, you've neutralized the presidential chain of succession. They were going to do something to Pence, they were hunting Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi, speaker, and so he was going to also have fixed the problem with the electoral counts because Pence wasn't there, and then he was going to declare himself at the head of this violent mob in the chamber as a legitimate president, and that's where that phase of the coup would have ended."
"It's extraordinary what we're learning from these hearings," she said.
Acosta asked Ben-Ghiat to compare Trump to other leaders she has studied.
She said Trump, "and his party are behaving in a desperate way, and when autocrats think they're going down, they will do anything -- and we've seen Jan. 6 -- to stay in power. What's really extraordinary is how Trump, who came from outside politics, put the GOP in such a state of authoritarian subjection and discipline that the whole party is completely compromised. We're learning from these hearings just how many people were involved," she said.
"And unfortunately, I think we can expect more extremist behavior, aggressive behavior from the party because they are acting out of fear. They're guilty, and their coup failed, and they've been exposed to the world by these hearings, and so they are -- they're in emergency mode," Ben-Bhiat warned.
Ruth Ben Ghiat www.youtube.com