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Gothmog

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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 03:58 PM
Number of posts: 91,222

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Obama Meets With Wendy Davis

I liked Bill White when he ran for Governor but I was very disappointed when he snubbed President Obama during the 2010 race. Greg Abbott has only surfaced from his hiding place briefly to challenge Wendy Davis to meet with President Obama. That was really very silly on Greg's part because Senator Davis has been scheduled to meet with President Obama for a while. That meeting took place today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/10/obama-wendy-davis_n_5127973.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — President Barack Obama has met with Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor.

The White House says Obama visited briefly with Davis on Thursday at the LBJ Presidential Library in the state capital of Austin. That's where Obama delivered a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

The White House isn't saying what Obama or Davis discussed.

Greg is running a really bad campaign.

Hispanic Republicans are scared of Dan Patrick

I was at a meet and greet for Leticia van de Putte this weekend where she stopped on her bus tour. We had over 100 people at this event and there were some people who I did not know. It turns out that they were three of the top members of the Hispanic Business Division of the Chamber of Commerce in my county who had been talking to one of our Democratic county commissioners. These Hispanic republicans are convinced that Dan Patrick will be the GOP nominee for Lt. Governor and that Patrick is a racist. The county commissioner had attended a meeting of the chamber of commerce and these leaders told him about their fears concerning Dan Patrick. When this meeting opportunity came up, the commissioner invited these Hispanic republicans to our county headquarters and they got to meet Leticia.

Dan Patrick is crazy and is indeed a racist. The fact that members of the Hispanic Business Division of my county's chamber of commerce are worried about Patrick is a good sign.

If Dan Patrick is the GOP nominee for Lt. Governor, then I think that Leticia may have a better chance of winning compared to Wendy Davis.

BridgeGate Hits Next Level As Feds Launch Grand Jury Investigation

This is very interesting news http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bridge-scandal-grand-jury

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have convened a grand jury to investigate the George Washington Bridge lane closures, ABC News reported on Friday.

Twenty-three grand jurors on Friday heard testimony from Michael Drewniak, press secretary to Gov. Chris Christie (R). Drewniak's attorney, Anthony Iacullo, told ABC News his client was not a target of the investigation.

"I'm not going to get into the specifics as to what would be discussed in the grand jury," Iacullo said. "I would say though that Mike is a witness and we have been assured that he continues to be a witness throughout these proceedings and Mike has continued to cooperate as requested by the government into this inquiry."

In January, the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey confirmed that it was looking into the lane closures, which caused a multi-day traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J. in September. But as ABC News reports, the existence of the grand jury confirms that the matter has evolved into a criminal investigation. Last week, a legal team representing Christie's office released a report claiming the governor had no role in the closures, and pinning blame for the plot on two former Christie allies: former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive David Wildstein and former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly.

ABC News on Friday also reported that a team of state prosecutors in New Jersey are monitoring the federal case, and "are prepared to continue the investigation on the state level if the feds turn it over to them."

BridgeGate Hits Next Level As Feds Launch Grand Jury Investigation

Source: Talking Points Memo

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have convened a grand jury to investigate the George Washington Bridge lane closures, ABC News reported on Friday.

Twenty-three grand jurors on Friday heard testimony from Michael Drewniak, press secretary to Gov. Chris Christie (R). Drewniak's attorney, Anthony Iacullo, told ABC News his client was not a target of the investigation.

"I'm not going to get into the specifics as to what would be discussed in the grand jury," Iacullo said. "I would say though that Mike is a witness and we have been assured that he continues to be a witness throughout these proceedings and Mike has continued to cooperate as requested by the government into this inquiry."

In January, the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey confirmed that it was looking into the lane closures, which caused a multi-day traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J. in September. But as ABC News reports, the existence of the grand jury confirms that the matter has evolved into a criminal investigation. Last week, a legal team representing Christie's office released a report claiming the governor had no role in the closures, and pinning blame for the plot on two former Christie allies: former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive David Wildstein and former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly.

ABC News on Friday also reported that a team of state prosecutors in New Jersey are monitoring the federal case, and "are prepared to continue the investigation on the state level if the feds turn it over to them."

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bridge-scandal-grand-jury

Special prosecutor in Perry case says he's “very concerned” about governor's actions

Goodhair is an idiot. The Travis County district attorney would not resign so as to allow Perry the opportunity to appoint her successor. To put pressure on the Travis County DA, Goodhair threatened to cut off the funding for the public integrity unit that investigated and convicted Tom DeLay. Goodhair followed through with his threat and now a grand jury is going to investigate http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Special-prosecutor-in-Perry-case-says-he-s-5375490.php?t=6cabbe13e773fef585

AUSTIN — The special prosecutor looking into Gov. Rick Perry's veto of Public Integrity Unit funding said Thursday the case is proceeding steadily and that he's concerned about Perry's actions.

San Antonio attorney Michael McCrum said, however, that he didn't know yet whether there was criminal wrongdoing on Perry's part.

The case centers on the Republican governor's threat to nix funds for the unit overseen by Democratic Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's office unless she resigned after her drunken-driving arrest.

A group that tracks money in politics filed a complaint alleging improper coercion in the veto promise, which Perry kept when Lehmberg stayed in office.

McCrum, the special prosecutor named to look into the allegations against Perry, said in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News that he was “concerned about different aspects of how all this happened, and that includes the governor's actions.”

This is going to be fun to watch

Legislative Privilege in voter id case

A federal magistrate ordered members of the North Carolina legislature to produce documents as their intent and plans in adopting the North Carolina voter suppression law http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024750435

The North Carolina legislators in this case are appealing the ruling http://linkis.com/ow.ly/wKfrc

The battle over the disclosure of information relating to the passage of controversial voting law changes last summer continues in federal court, as state lawmakers yesterday filed an objection to a magistrate’s order requiring them to produce at least some documents they’d claimed were absolutely protected under the doctrines of legislative immunity and legislative privilege.

In that order, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake adopted a flexible approach, finding that at a minimum, certain documents — communications with constituents or other third-parties, for example – were not protected and should be produced, and that other documents might likewise have to be disclosed if the need for them in the voting rights context outweighed any intrusion on the legislative process.

That’s an approach that courts elsewhere have adopted — in Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin, for example — weighing the need of legislators to be free from harassing questions about their decision-making processes with the needs of citizens suspicious of those lawmakers’ motives – and in the end, ordering the disclosure of at least some information.
- See more at: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/04/03/state-lawmakers-holding-tight-to-their-privilege-in-voting-rights-cases/#sthash.Fu3vI5r6.dpuf

The pleading in this objection is really extraordinary in that these legislators take the position that the legislative immunity or privilege is absolute in all cases except criminal cases http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Lawmaker-objection-to-privilege-argument.pdf I have read all of the rulings in the Texas redistricting and voter id cases and the Florida and Wisconsin opinions on this issue. The prevailing view is that to the extent that there is a privilege, such privilege is qualified and that the Department of Justice has the right to get the documents in question. According to this objection, the Department of Justice is not entitled to take the deposition of any North Carolina legislator and must rely on the legislative history that occurred on the floor of the legislature.

I know that in the Texas redistricting case, the plaintiffs were able to obtain some incriminating e-mails that helped the DC Court find that the Texas redistricting plan was based on an intent to discriminate. As noted on another thread, a Federal judge just ordered the State of Texas to turn over to the Court all e-mails and documents requested by the DOJ in the possession of the State of Texas.

I really think that this objection is bogus and is taking a position that will not stand up in court.

Court rejects Greg Abbot's claim of Legislative Privilege in voter id case

Intent was not an issue in the 2012 case on the Texas voter id law in that the DOJ only had to prove retrogression in voting rights for minorities to win that lawsuit. The court had no problem finding such retrogression. . http://electionlawblog.org/wp-content/uploads/texas-voter-id.pdf In the opinion, the Court noted:

To sum everything up: section 5 prohibits covered states from implementing voting laws that will have a retrogressive effect on racial minorities. See Beer, 425 U.S. at 141. Texas, seeking to implement its voter ID law, bears the burden of proof and must therefore show that SB 14 lacks retrogressive effect. Georgia, 411 U.S. at 538. But as we have found, everything Texas has submitted as affirmative evidence is unpersuasive, invalid, or both. Moreover, uncontested record evidence conclusively shows that the implicit costs of obtaining SB 14-qualifying ID will fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty. We therefore conclude that SB 14 is likely to lead to “retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.” Beer, 425 U.S. at 141. Given this, and given that Texas must show that SB 14 lacks both discriminatory purpose and effect, we have no need to examine whether the law was enacted with discriminatory purpose. Accordingly, we shall deny Texas’s request for declaratory relief.

In reaching this conclusion, we emphasize the narrowness of this opinion. Specifically, we have decided nothing more than that, in this particular litigation and on this particular record, Texas has failed to demonstrate that its particular voter ID law lacks retrogressive effect. Nothing in this opinion remotely suggests that section 5 bars all covered jurisdictions from implementing photo ID laws. To the contrary, under our reasoning today, such laws might well be precleared if they ensure (1) that all prospective voters can easily obtain free photo ID, and (2)
that any underlying documents required to obtain that ID are truly free of charge. Indeed, Georgia’s voter ID law was precleared by the Attorney General—and probably for good reason. Unlike SB 14, the Georgia law requires each county to provide free election IDs, and further allows voters to present a wide range of documents to obtain those IDs. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-417.1(a); Ga. Elec. Code 183-1-20-.01. The contrast with Senate Bill 14 could hardly be more stark.

There was no need to get the documents from the GOP legislators who pushed the Texas voter suppression law in the 2012 case but in the current voter id case due to the Shelby County case, intent is relevant because the DOJ and the plaintiffs are using Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act which requires proof discriminatory intent. In the 2012 redistricting case, the DOJ got some great e-mails from Texas and the DC Court found examples of discriminatory intent on the part of Texas republicans. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-dcd-1_11-cv-01303/pdf/USCOURTS-dcd-1_11-cv-01303-3.pdf

Greg Abbott has been fighting the release of e-mails and documents from GOP members of the legislature on grounds of legislative privilege. The Court has denied such motion and has ordered Greg to produce the e-mails and documents. http://txredistricting.org/post/81529185554/court-rules-on-discovery-issues-in-texas-voter-id-case

After a hearing yesterday in the Texas voter ID case, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos gave Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott seven days to turn over, under seal, emails and other legislative documents that the AG’s office had collected from legislators in 2012 in connection with earlier litigation to try to obtain preclearance of the law under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

The attorney general’s office had contended in the case before Judge Ramos in Corpus Christi that the documents were exempt from discovery on the basis of legislative privilege or, alternatively, could only be sought by a separate subpoena to each legislator.

This lawsuit will be fun to watch.
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