TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas lawmakers, following a trend in Republican-controlled statehouses nationwide, gave initial approval Wednesday to bills that would strip the executive and judicial branches of some authority over elections and make it more difficult to cast a ballot by mail. One of the measures would bar the Governor and courts from altering election laws. The other limits who is permitted to return a mail-in ballot on behalf of another person and makes it a felony for an individual to return more than five mail-in ballots. The changes were approved on a 28-12 vote, despite reports from Se...
Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was often criticized for lying to the press so many times that PolitiFact lists her false claim rate at 66 percent. After her tenure in the White House, Vanity Fair also crafted a list of some of her most egregious lies.
So it isn't surprising that in her latest op-ed, she continued the trend. Writing for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Sanders falsely claimed that Vice President Kamala Harris said that she would never take a vaccine that former President Donald Trump created. She sang the praises of the vaccine that many Trump supporters have refused to get and complained that Trump isn't getting enough credit for fast-tracking the vaccine people complain they won't take because it was fast-tracked.
CNN White House correspondent John Harwood explained that Sanders was mischaracterizing what Harris said. In fact, Harris said that she wouldn't take a vaccine on just Trump's word. She explained that she trusted Dr. Anthony Fauci to sign off on the vaccine. He did. So, Harris took the vaccine.
It's in the video below Harwood's tweet.
@gtconway3d Sanders writes: "Harris said in debate she wouldn't take any vaccine the Trump administration had a han… https://t.co/r1zfTveUsB— John Harwood (@John Harwood) 1627245845.0
Conservative Michigan Republicans who gave themselves bonuses out of COVID funds now forced to return it
Among the many that were allowed to use COVID-19 funds without much oversight was a conservative Michigan town where county commissioners used the allotted money to pay themselves bonuses.
According to The Guardian, called out Shiawassee County commissioners were told by prosecutors that the payments were illegal and that they had to be paid back. The Argus Press reported the incident to the local community, explaining that the Michigan state constitution doesn't allow such compensation "after services had already been rendered," prosecutor Scott Koerner explained.
It was July 15 when commissioners voted 6 to 0 to give themselves all $65,000 out of the $557,000 they voted to give to 250 county staffers as "hazard pay" during the COVID disaster.
"The smallest amounts for recipients were $1,000 to $2,000. But the chairman of the county board, Jeremy Root, got $25,000. Two commissioners received $10,000 each, while four received $5,000 each," said the report.
They gave money to elected officials, the prosecutor included a sheriff and the county clerk.
"Since these payments were made, confusion about the nature of these funds has run rampant," a statement said.
Michigan Live reported commissioner Marlene Webster being "mortified" and claimed that she had no idea that she voted to pay herself.
One commissioner, Marlene Webster, insisted she had no idea she had voted to pay herself. She returned the money last week.
"It's a sad day ... I feel badly," the Republican said. "It's a blow to county workers' morale at a time when it's difficult to keep good workers ... I think (it shows) a serious lack of acknowledgment of what people did (during the pandemic)."
She went on to claim that she would never have voted to give herself that much money, if at all.
Another report over the weekend revealed that the commissioners violated the Open Meetings Act as well, by doing the vote in a closed session. Webster also noted that she wasn't surprised by that because "it's not the first time Shiawassee County has been sued over this." Its not clear why the commissioners continue then to do closed sessions like these.
GOP lawmaker under fire for employing analyst advocating 'hunting down' cops and federal agents: report
According to a report for the Daily Beast by William Bredderman, Idaho's Republican Lt. Governor is facing scrutiny over an analyst she has been employing who has written about "hunting down" and killing law enforcement officers he believes are interfering with citizens' rights.
Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin (R) is facing new scrutiny as she makes a run to become Idaho's next governor and her relationship with rightwing extremist Parrish Miller -- who she has paid $26,785 for "professional services" since she assumed office in 2019.
According to Bredderman's research, Miller has also served as analyst for the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank involved "in an illegal lobbying scandal," during that time.
The Daily Beast report states, "What has received less attention is Miller's frothing animosity toward government in general and toward police officers and federal agents in particular," noting that he wrote two opinion pieces in 2020 that, "...urged confronting police who arrested a pandemic lockdown protester in Meridia, Idaho," with Miller asserting there is "an army of heavily armed citizens who won't tolerate their tyranny any longer."
Bredderman reports, "The articles also noted Miller frequently equates arrest with kidnapping on his page, and has written that 'shooting someone who is attempting to kidnap you is always justified,' that 'there is nothing wrong with hunting down active kidnappers to bring them to justice.'"
In May of 2016, Miller wrote on Facebook, "Each and every day innocent people are murdered, kidnapped, and caged by government functionaries. Voting has never and will never change these facts. Shooting the offending government functionaries might."
He later said any attempt to take away his guns would be met with "lethal force," writing to a friend and proclaiming, "ANY person—including politicians and cops—who EVER attempts to disarm ANYONE who is not actively involved in harming another person is the true criminal and thus defensive force—up to and including lethal force—is fully justified to prevent their attempted confiscation."
As for McGeachin, she has sidestepped queries about Miller's employment -- calling them "a ridiculous line of questioning" -- while issuing a statement to the Beast claiming, "I have been a strong and consistent supporter of law enforcement throughout my life and my political career."
Bredderman's report goes on to note that McGeachin's relationship with Miller has not gone unnoticed by law enforcement officials.
"We are not privy to the exact nature of that relationship or what boundaries are set between Mr. Miller and the Lt. Governor, but what I can tell you is when any elected official has ties to someone who is clearly anti-law enforcement and who openly advocates for the killing of cops it naturally raises concerns and questions from our membership," said Sgt. Bryan Lovell of the Idaho State Fraternal Order of Police.
You can read more here.
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