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Ohio GOP official: We shouldn’t try to accommodate African-American voters

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An Ohio election official who had voted against the weekend voting hours that more than 200,000 Ohioans made use of during the 2008 election suggested on Sunday that he saw the extended hours as an unnecessary “contortion” of the voting process designed to benefit African-Americans.

Doug Priesse, who is the chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party and a member of that county’s Board of Elections, told the Columbus Dispatch, “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine. … Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

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He also described Democratic charges of unfairness as “bullshit” and added, “Quote me!.”

Priesse was described as a close adviser to Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich earlier this year, when he was tapped for then-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s leadership team. He had previously headed Kasich’s inaugural committee.

The dispute over Ohio voting hours erupted earlier this month, after it was learned that Republicans had colluded to maintain extended voting hours in Republican-majority counties while eliminating them in Democratic-majority counties.

The dispute had seemed to be resolved when Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted mandated that voting hours would be uniform in all counties — but still reduced from what they had been in 2008. That did not satisfy African-American leaders, who say that weekend voting is essential because the more limited hours disenfranchise many working people.

Husted also attempted to oust two Democratic members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections who had stated that they would defy his directive and allow weekend voting. That matter is to come up for a hearing on Monday. In addition, a lawsuit brought by Democrats and the Obama campaign to restore voting on the three days before the election is still before the courts.

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Republican officials cite cost and “confusion” as arguments against, weekend voting, but African-Americans remain skeptical. “As a result of historical discrimination against African-American voters, in addition to the recent wave of suppressive voter laws being enacted in statehouses across the country, African-American voters are skeptical of any laws aimed at limiting the opportunity to vote,” one NAACP official explained.

African-American voters in Franklin County, which includes the city of Columbus, plan to march to a special meeting of the Board of Elections on Monday and demand the restoration of the extended voting hours.

Photo of 2008 Ohio early voters Tony the Tiger and Nate Parker by TonyTheTiger at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

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2012

Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’

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On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.

As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.

Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:

1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."

Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR

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2012

British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate

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Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.

The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.

In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.

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2012

Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6

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President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.

Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.

Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.

— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019

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