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Republicans in Texas are targeting elderly Latinos with fake voter fraud claims

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Texas Republicans are so fearful of the uprising from the growing Latino population in the state that they’re doing anything they can to suppress the vote. That suppression includes targeting elderly Latino voters with unsubstantiated accusations of voter fraud.

The Intercept reports that right-wing Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted out his crusade to squash the vote last month claiming he would crack down on “illegal voting.” Such “illegal voting” is virtually non-existent, with only .00000013 percent of the 197 million votes cast for federal candidates being fraudulent.

Beginning in late October, Texas’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, began working with investigators that are associated with a vigilante that was attempting to find examples of voter fraud. The efforts, however, quickly began to look more like fearmongering among Latinos.

The United Hispanic Council (UHC) in Tarrant County filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging that Paxton’s investigators interrogated elderly voters in one neighborhood. Leaving them “in fear about voting and whether they may be accused of committing a crime by casting an absentee ballot.”

The Justice Department emailed the UHC that they were reviewing the claim and Paxton refused to comment on what he was doing in Tarrant County. But some did comment. At an Oct. 17 event with the Glenn Beck organization, the 9-12 Project, a GOP consultant at Direct Action named Aaron Harris told those attending that he was the one behind Paxton’s investigation.

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Harris explained that an unnamed political group hired female canvassers and people of color to trick elderly Latinos into voting for whomever the canvasser told them. As a result, two Democrats won seats by what Harris called “stolen votes.”

“Everybody in these communities knows this is happening,” Harris said. “The only people that don’t are us.”

He claimed there will be years of litigation and prosecution of those involved. He also encouraged people to report voter fraud for a $5,000 bounty on any tip that resulted in a felony conviction.

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UHC outlined in their complaint that the attorney general’s office is encouraging law enforcement to work with a partisan vigilante. At the same time, many Donald Trump supporters are taking the law into their own hands when it comes to policing the polls with a “coordinated campaign of vigilante voter intimidation.”

The same thing was happening in North Carolina, where election boards were working with a private individual who challenged voter registration validity. As a result, the local boards were purging voters from the rolls. Last Friday a federal appeals court ordered the voters to be restored to the rolls and to stop working with private citizens or groups claiming to be doing voter purging research.

“Using unofficial, non-trained private officials to conduct ballot security operations or challenging people’s right to vote is very dangerous and it can lead to intimidation, disruption and discrimination,” Brennan Center attorney Jonathan Brater explained. “This is something we’re particularly worried about this year.”

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UHC explains that Spanish-speaking canvassers do get-out-the-vote work and help elderly voters with mail-in ballots. Assistance for seniors is allowed under the law.

Harris alleges that the elected officials are stealing their seats and hopes that the officials sue him for defamation. “I want them to — I beg them to — sue me,” Harris said. “Let’s do it. I’m going to beat their ass.”


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Trump is frustrated with Pence and his team wants to kick him off the 2020 ticket: ‘They threaten Mike every week’

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Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman published a story Monday claiming that President Donald Trump’s team is considering replacing Mike Pence as vice president on the 2020 ticket.

Previous reports have made similar claims, including one from Axios reporter Jonathan Swan who found, like Sherman, that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are driving the discussions to replace Pence.

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White House tells Corey Lewandowski to keep his mouth shut when appearing before Congress

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Corey Lewandowski is slated to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, but President Donald Trump's White House is telling the possible Senate hopeful to keep his mouth shut.

Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey tweeted about the instruction Monday, less than 24 hours before Lewandowski is scheduled to be sworn in.

"White House has instructed Corey Lewandowski not to testify about his conversations with POTUS or other White House officials that are not already delineated in Mueller report, per aide familiar with strategy. He testifies tomorrow," Dawsey tweeted.

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Trump’s California donors are freaking out about the social consequences of attending his fundraisers: report

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President Donald Trump has generated a huge amount of election campaign money from fundraisers in California — a state where he is underwater 30 points and an epicenter of legal and legislative opposition to his agenda.

Fundraisers in California are incredibly lucrative for the president, as the state is home to a number of tech and entertainment millionaires. But its heavily liberal lean has many of his donors scared of social consequences for their support — and according to Politico, that fear is leading the Trump campaign to cloak these events in secrecy.

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