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South Dakota lawmakers declare state of ’emergency’ to force repeal of voter-imposed ethics law

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Lawmakers in South Dakota are invoking emergency powers to overturn an anti-corruption law that was passed by a ballot measure during the 2016 election.

The South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act makes it illegal for lawmakers to receive more than a total of $100 annually from lobbyists in the form of “any compensation, reward, employment, gift, honorarium, beverage, meal, food, or other thing of value made or given directly or indirectly.”

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The law, which was passed by a majority of voters in November, immediately incited panic among state officials and lawmakers. Some resigned from their posts while others cancelled meetings with any groups represented by lobbyists.

Lawmakers who are found guilty of violating the act face $1,000 in fines and up to one year in prison.

According to a statement from the advocacy group Represent South Dakota, lawmakers are now trying to use their “emergency powers to bypass normal check and balances, and repeal America’s first statement Anti-Corruption Act.”

“In an unprecedented maneuver, state lawmakers are planning to declare a state of emergency so their repeal of the Anti-Corruption Act would take effect immediately, and deny voters their right to another vote on the measure through a veto referendum,” the statement explained. “The bill guts all of the Act’s provisions, including creation of an independent ethics commission, limits on lobbyists gifts to politicians, tougher penalties for bribery, stronger transparency, and a two-year ban on politicians becoming lobbyists when they leave office.”

Represent South Dakota warned that the repeal measure (HB 1069) was so poorly worded that it “may actually legalize bribery.”

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Doug Kronaizl, a spokesperson for Represent South Dakota, accused the legislature of “brazenly overturning the election result, and declaring a fake emergency to prevent the people of South Dakota from having their say.”

“It’s the same self serving politics that is destroying Washington, DC,” Kronaizl insisted. “By invoking a fake emergency and overturning the election result, the Rushmore State more closely resembles anti-democratic regimes in Ukraine and third-world countries.”

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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2020 Election

Bloomberg and Biden attack Sanders supporters’ ‘Trump-like’ tactics

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On Monday, The New York Times analyzed the state of the Democratic presidential primaries heading into the Nevada caucuses. One of the key new developments is a fresh volley of attacks on the behavior of supporters for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which is being characterized as "Trump-like" by former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, which has largely focused its attacks on President Trump, on Monday mounted a frontal offensive against one of his Democratic rivals for the first time, comparing Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign tactics with those employed by the president," wrote Thomas Kaplan, Kate Conger, and Reid Epstein.

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