NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio hinted Friday he’s considering a run for governor next year after weeks of sidestepping questions about what he plans to do once his term in City Hall ends this December. During an appearance on MSNBC Friday morning, de Blasio said he is “absolutely” thinking about “different options” when asked point-blank if he’s mulling a gubernatorial bid. “I want to keep serving in one way or another in the future. So I’m going to look at different options. Absolutely,” he said. In recent days, de Blasio has heaped praise on the current governor, Kathy Hochul, after he spen...
REVEALED: ‘Impartial’ official who’ll examine Arizona election equipment attended pro-Trump ‘Big Lie’ rally
A former GOP congressman who's been appointed to resolve a major dispute concerning Arizona's election audit attended a pro-Donald Trump rally on Nov. 4 where Republicans pushed false claims of election fraud.
On Monday, Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo told the local CBS affiliate he finds it "very troubling" that former Rep. John Shadegg was appointed "special master" as part of an agreement between the county and the GOP-controlled state Senate. The agreement resolved a dispute over access to routers and other election equipment, after the Senate threatened to withhold $700 million in funding for Maricopa County if officials didn't hand over the devices.
Shadegg reportedly will hire his own team of experts to examine the equipment, keeping it out of the hands of Cyber Ninjas, the private firm that conducted the audit.
However, Gallardo, the only member of the board who voted against the agreement, noted that Shadegg was on stage during a Phoenix rally one day after the election where Kelli Ward, the Arizona GOP chair, vowed that Republicans would not allow the election to be "stolen" from Donald Trump.
In fact, in video from the rally aired by the CBS station, Shadegg can be seen whispering in the ear of one of the speakers, former Trump campaign official David Bossie.
"Standing on the same stage as those who were advocating for Trump, now being in charge to have an independent review, an impartial review, it's very problematic and very troubling," Gallardo told the station. "You want someone with the highest impartial degree and John Shadegg just does not fit that role."
Another Maricopa County supervisor, Bill Gates, called the agreement between the county and the state Senate "a business decision," according to local radio station KTAR.
"So if we don't turn over the routers, we lose so much money that it shuts the county down. Or if we do turn the routers over, then that exposes sensitive information," Gates said. "And also, they put the county out of operation without those routers for probably months. So we made a business decision that it was better to waive the $2.8 million claim we had against the state Senate than to basically put the county out of operation."
KTAR added that, "Senate President Karen Fann called the agreement a 'huge win' even though Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based lead contractor of the audit, won't get direct access to the routers."
Watch the CBS station's report below.
Maricopa County vote audit still questioned www.youtube.com
A largely discredited audit of the presidential election in Arizona has become a key piece of Eric Greitens' Senate campaign, with the former governor traveling across the country to witness it and celebrating the endorsement of a legislator who is one of its biggest cheerleaders.
U.S. Reps. Billy Long and Vicky Hartzler — both seeking the GOP Senate nod — joined most Republicans in Congress in January to vote against certifying Biden's electoral college win.
And three days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop that certification vote, Senate hopeful Mark McCloskey tweeted, “there is no question that the election was the result of massive fraud, there is no question that Donald Trump won the legitimate vote…"
The “Big Lie" is alive and well in Missouri politics.
Allegiance to Trump's discredited allegation of a stolen election has become a litmus test for Republican candidates around the country. In Missouri, which overwhelmingly voted for Trump twice, the lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud has done little to dissuade fidelity to that lie.
That dynamic has manifested itself in myriad ways, from election officials forced to fend off wild conspiracies at legislative hearings to Congressional candidates refusing to say whether Biden won legitimately.
But nowhere is it more evident than the GOP primary for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, where the idea of a Trump endorsement is largely seen as a golden ticket for whomever gets it.
“In order to win over the GOP base that will be voting in the primary, and to hopefully snag Trump's endorsement along the way, candidates need to at least appear to believe Trump's version of reality," said Joshua Holzer, assistant professor of political science at Westminster College in Fulton.
Perpetuating the “Big Lie" may have short-term value for GOP candidates, said Luke Campbell, assistant professor of political science at Northwest Missouri State University. In the long term, however, it further undermines voter confidence in democratic institutions.
“It certainly does have the effect of doing damage to our electoral processes in the future," Campbell said.
Of all the candidates running or pondering a run for Missouri's open Senate seat, none have embraced the “Big Lie" quite like Greitens.
On Jan. 6, Trump supporters, incited by the idea that the 2020 election was stolen, stormed the U.S. Capitol determined to stop the certification of Biden's electoral college victory.
The next day, Greitens went on right-wing television to peddle election fraud conspiracies and advance the idea that the violence was actually perpetrated by Antifa.
His enthusiasm for the “Big Lie" continued in the subsequent months, culminating in June when he ducked out of attending the year's biggest gathering of Missouri Republicans to travel 1,200 miles away to witness Arizona's election audit.
Democratic and Republican critics alike — including the GOP-run county board of supervisors and the Republican who is the chief county election officer — dismiss the effort as a dangerous exploitation of grievances that fueled the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Recently, Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers visited Missouri to endorse Greitens and tout his support for the audit.
“When I'm talking to conservatives and I'm talking to patriots, the first question I get asked is, 'does my vote matter,'" Greitens said during a TV appearance earlier this month. “They want to know there are patriots who are fighting to get to the truth of what happened on Nov. 3, 2020."
Schmitt was among a handful of GOP attorneys general who waged an unsuccessful legal fight to overturn results in battleground states won by Biden. The Supreme Court ultimately rejected their efforts.
He later drew criticism for his role as vice chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) when it was revealed it was involved in a robocall encouraging “patriots" to participate in the Jan. 6 march that ended in the violent attack on the Capitol
Schmitt denied knowledge of the robocall or that the Rule of Law Defense Fund, the 501(c)(4) arm of RAGA, helped finance and organize the march. The group also held a special “war games" meeting weeks before the election to discuss its strategies if Trump lost.
“…we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal," the robocall said. “We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections."
Emails between the Rule of Law Defense Fund and one of Schmitt's top aides, Solicitor General John Sauer, were revealed in February through open records requests filed by attorneys Elad Gross and Mark Pedroli.
Unlike Greitens, Schmitt doesn't openly peddle conspiracies of a stolen election, Instead, his rhetoric is typically framed around the idea of election integrity.
But a super PAC supporting Schmitt, called Save Missouri Values, ran a web ad featuring Schmitt declaring he'll defend election integrity sandwiched between footage of Trump claiming “this election was rigged" and television coverage of the lawsuit seeking to overturn the outcome of the presidential election in Pennsylvania.
A CNN poll released last week found that 63% of all respondents correctly believed Biden legitimately won in 2020. Only 21% of Republican respondents believed that, compared to 97% of Democrats and 64% of independents.
Candidates see political gain in peddling debunked conspiracy theories, Holzer said, demonstrating how Missouri politics has become “increasingly defined by division."
“The 'Big Lie' runs the risk of further polarizing our electoral process," Holzer said, “as radical viewpoints become more entrenched and normalized."
Missouri Independent is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Missouri Independent maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jason Hancock for questions: email@example.com. Follow Missouri Independent on Facebook and Twitter.
At the conclusion of a very long interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday morning, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward was asked by the hosts of the program his gut feeling over whether Donald Trump will make another run for the presidency.
The author -- along with Robert Costa -- of the bombshell book "Peril" detailing the last days of the Trump presidency, said he had no doubts the ex-president would -- and for a very specific reason.
"The idea of Trump running again," co-host Willie Geist began. "It's a question that hangs over the country right now. Will he run for president again? What will go into the former president's decision about whether he'll run or not in 2024?"
"The Woodward method of reporting is to sit down with people for five, six even eight hours," co-author Robert Costa replied. "We have been sitting down with people close to President Trump for many months. You start to hear a certain refrain from people who really know him: he wants back, that he feels he has the political capital with his core supporters. He likes playing golf and he jokes that he is off Twitter but this is someone who wants back into the presidency. He believes the Republican Party is still very much in his grip that people are not going to war with him at the highest ranks of the party."
"Once back " Woodward interjected, "and if you get into the question, which is important to do what? And the answer is to be Donald Trump. That's not an agenda. That does not connect to the needs of the people in the country."
"His disconnection from that, the struggle that people are engaged in, he has no idea and again, the power of the presidency is so great," he continued. "Good things can be done and good things have been done to mobilize that power and make sure that it's going to be in the interests of the people and the country. And you know, I think I would argue and I mean -- also, it's true that this book is not a partisan harangue -- it's something where Democrats and Republicans, people on the left and right say what did he do with the presidency?"
"Why were there so many people who held him in disdain?" he added. "They would checkmate him because he would have very bad ideas, even bad ideas for him."
MSNBC 09 21 2021 07 26 23 youtu.be
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