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‘Brazen’: WI GOP tried to retroactively legalize campaign abuses after Scott Walker scandal

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Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin quietly tried to slip through a bill that was “designed” to decriminalize campaign abuses after prosecutors began investigating Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) associates over illegal issue ads during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections, a report suggested this week.

For several years, prosecutors have been investigating the possibility that Walker’s campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups, like the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity, and the Wisconsin Club for Growth. In October of 2013, the so-called John Doe investigation executed search warrants on two of Walker’s top associates, and subpoenaed the director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth.

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The Center for Media and Democracy revealed on Tuesday that just weeks after those search warrants were executed, Senators Mary Lazich (R) and Zach Bemis (R) began working on a bill that “would have had the effect of legalizing the issue ad coordination under investigation.”

When Republicans in the state Senate tried — and failed — to push through Senate Bill 654 in March of 2014, most experts thought it was simply an effort to limit disclosures in political campaigns. No mention was made of the Walker scandal, but the manner in which the bill was fast-tracked for a vote was puzzling.

“Forget, for a moment, the troubling provisions in these bills,” the Wisconsin State Journal wrote at the time. “What’s most offensive is their late unveiling and speedy hearings that are designed to dodge public scrutiny.”

Lazich and Bemis also failed to disclose that three groups that were registered to lobby for SB 654 had been linked to the Walker scandal.

Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck told the Center for Media and Democracy that it seemed “inconceivable” at the time that Republicans would try to change the law to influence an ongoing investigation.

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“I’m just in disbelief at how brazen this is,” he said.


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Morning Joe’s Mika: Thousands are dying of COVID-19 because Trump is ‘surrounded by inexperienced suck-ups’

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MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski got right to the point on Tuesday morning by saying people are getting sick and dying in the U.S. because Donald Trump is surrounded by a collection of "suck-ups" who won't tell him the brutal truth about what is happening in the country.

As part of a "Morning Joe" panel discussion on the failings of the Trump administration to head off of the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the country -- despite ample warnings it was on the way -- Brzezinski, as well as co-host Willie Geist, levied some hard accusations against the president and his team.

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MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika reveal why Trump likely ignored startlingly accurate COVID-19 memos

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski rebuked President Donald Trump for apparently ignoring startlingly accurate warnings from trade adviser Peter Navarro about the coronavirus pandemic.

Navarro's memos were circulated at the highest levels of government in January and February, but the president downplayed the virus until early March, when statewide lockdowns started wrecking the U.S. economy.

"In one worst-case scenario cited in the memo, Navarro warned that more than half a million Americans could die, and, yet, weeks after that, you had Donald Trump at rallies saying that in April when it warms up, this will miraculously go away," Scarborough said. "Put this in context with, I suppose you could say with 9/11, the memos warning of al-Qaeda attacks using airplanes, maybe missed signals FDR didn't pick up on before Pearl Harbor. I really don't know, though, what parallel there can be, because so many more people are going to die because of these missed signals."

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‘One failure after another’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe busts tragic COVID-19 mistakes Trump keeps trying to deny

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough lamented the repeated failures and missed opportunities by President Donald Trump as he faced the coronavirus outbreak.

The "Morning Joe" host criticized the president for claiming it was not the federal government's job to test Americans for the virus, and instead shifted responsibility to the states and their governors.

"This is a perfect 'the buck stops here' contrast with Donald Trump, saying, 'I am not responsible,'" Scarborough said. "What we can talk about is ventilators, the national Defense Production Act. We could talk about all the ways that Donald Trump keeps trying to pass the buck, keeps trying to say, 'I'm not responsible.'"

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