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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 03:58 PM
Number of posts: 91,027

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Open Door to Moscow? New Facts in the Potential Criminal Case of Trump Campaign Coordination with Ru

Open Door to Moscow? New Facts in the Potential Criminal Case of Trump Campaign Coordination with Russia-Bob Bauer is President Obama's outside counsel. Bauer lays out why Don Jr/s contact with a Russian agent may be a crime. Here is one of two main theories that could land Don Jr. in prison https://www.justsecurity.org/42956/open-door-moscow-facts-potential-criminal-case-trump-campaign-coordination-russia/


A charge of illegal coordination is consistent with a conspiracy, aiding or abetting, or “substantial assistance” source of liability. It is the campaign finance law equivalent to what has been referred to in the public debate as “collusion.” In other words coordination is a legally prohibited form of collusion: spending by Russia, if coordinated with the campaign, is a contribution to the campaign. The contribution, of course, would be illegal. It is important to underscore here that this area of law applies to any and all coordinated spending beneficial to the campaign, not only to coordination with Russians, the Russian government, or other foreign nationals (think: Wikileaks).

Under the campaign finance laws, spending of all kinds to influence an election can be subject to a finding of coordination resulting in an illegal contribution. 52 U.S.C. §30116(a)(7)(B)(i); 11 C.F.R. §109.20. The coordination rules are designed to enforce contribution limits, by treating as a contribution an expenditure from any source “in cooperation, consultation, or concert, with, or at the request or suggestion of” a candidate or agent of the candidate. If R is the organization spending the money, and T is the candidate who is coordinating the spending with R, then T has received a contribution from R. The contribution must comply, like all other contributions, with source restrictions, dollar limits, and public reporting. (And under no circumstance may a candidate coordinate campaign spending, which includes any “thing of value” to influence an election, with a foreign national.)

There are special coordination rules that apply to expenditures for public communications, such as a group’s spending coordinated with a candidate for television campaign advertising. 11 C.F.R. §109.21. There are also general coordination rules, which simply treat as a contribution any spending made “in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of” a candidate.

A question clearly raised by the new information is whether the Trump campaign’s communications about the hacked emails–through both public statements and private contacts–constituted in effect, for legal purposes, a request or suggestion that funds be spent to acquire the stolen emails. The candidate certainly requested this assistance in his public remarks. Now, in a meeting scheduled with a Russian national with ties to the Putin regime, the campaign made clear that it was actively interested in having this kind of information.

Investigators will presumably explore whether the campaign was interested specifically in the stolen emails. Press reporting suggests that a) the campaign was interested in the emails, because the candidate had said so, and supporters like Mr. Smith was engaged in a concerted effort to find them; and b) both the campaign and Mr. Smith were dealing with Russian nationals in the search for negative information on Mrs. Clinton. At any rate, any support coordinated with the Russians constitutes an illegal contribution from a foreign source.

It is critical to bear in mind that for campaign finance law purposes, a “suggestion” is just that: it need not for coordination purposes be a clearly articulated and documented request. In fact, the regulations of the FEC define a “suggestion” to include campaign “assent” to the offer of another, like the Russian government or its agents, to provide something of value to the campaign.

Consider, then, the view that Russians could reasonably take of the Trump campaign’s wishes. The President stated publicly that he would like to have the Russians locate the stolen emails. Mr. Smith, indicating in various ways association with General Flynn, launches an initiative focused on finding these communications. A Russian national with government connections is able to schedule a meeting with the most senior circle of the campaign by pledging that she had negative information about Mrs. Clinton. In various ways, public and private, the campaign is making its interest clear, and, at a minimum, it is “assenting” to Russian plans to unearth information that constitutes a clear “thing of value” from a foreign source to influence an election.

Texas Redistricting Back in Court

This is from Michael Li of the Brennan Center https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/texas-redistricting-back-court


Then, in the fall of 2014, a three-judge panel in San Antonio held trial on separate claims that the maps enacted by the Texas Legislature in 2011 failed to create sufficient additional new minority opportunities and otherwise violated the Voting Rights Act and/or Constitution. This trial resulted in a pair of 2-1 decisions in March and April of this year holding, among other things, that the 2011 plans:

were intentionally discriminatory,
unconstitutionally drew a number of congressional and state house districts predominantly on the basis of race (i.e., were racial gerrymanders),
failed to create a sufficient number of Latino congressional districts in South and West Texas as required by the Voting Rights Act, including a district that takes in the Latino population of Nueces County, and
diluted the vote of minority communities in the drawing of state house districts in Bell, Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Nueces, and Tarrant counties, in the Rio Grande Valley, and in the state as a whole.

More Than 100 Groups Call on Secretaries of State to Protect Voter Rights by Rejecting Pence-Kobach

More Than 100 Groups Call on Secretaries of State to Protect Voter Rights by Rejecting Pence-Kobach Request for Sensitive Voter Data http://civilrights.org/100-groups-call-secretaries-state-protect-voter-rights-rejecting-pence-kobach-request-sensitive-voter-data/

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with more than 100 groups, today sent a letter to state elections officials, including 51 Secretaries of State and 13 election administrators, applauding those who have resisted Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s recent request for sensitive voter information, and urging those who have not yet responded to protect voters’ rights by rejecting the request.

“This letter is a clear example of the intense resolve of the civil rights coalition and allied organizations to fight back against any attempt to undermine the fundamental principles of our democracy,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference. “Our Secretaries of State and election officials must reject the Pence-Kobach Commission’s unprecedented overreach and instead work together to fix the serious obstacles eligible voters continue to face across the country.”

More than 100 organizations signed the letter sent ahead of the National Association of Secretaries of States summer conference in Indianapolis. The letter condemned Pence and Kobach’s request for American citizens’ personal information, including names, addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliation, voter history and even partial Social Security numbers, as “an unprecedented overreach and a brazen assault on the founding principles of our democracy.”

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus on the Texas bathroom bill

I am so happy that Texas House Speaker Joe Strauss is taking this position on the Texas bathroom bill. Speaker Strauss is correct here and I hope that this kills the bathroom bill in the special session http://www.houstonchronicle.com/politics/texas-take/texas-take-podcast/article/Listen-Pushing-the-reset-button-on-Texas-11268467.php

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was rocked back on his heels and clearly on defense early in the week after Texas House Speaker Joe Straus opened a new line of attack on Patrick's push to restrict restroom access based on gender. In short, Straus said he is concerned that the legislation will cause some vulnerable transgender Texans to take their own lives; it is a population that already has a high suicide rate.

In an interview with the New Yorker, Straus said he rejected overtures from Patrick to resolve the issue because Straus was "disgusted by all this" and "I don't want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands."

Patrick's office pushed back, saying the Lt. Governor certainly doesn't want anyone to do harm to themselves and again argued he wants to protect women in public restrooms.

Dems new pitch to voters: A Better Deal

This is not Gingrich's contract against or for America but it is a good start. Pelosi and Schumer are developing a message for the 2018 midterms and I like the concepts being discussed http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/05/democrats-trump-congress-better-deal-240150

Democratic leaders are zeroing in on a new mantra for their long-promised economic agenda: the “Better Deal.”

The rebranding attempt comes as Democrats acknowledge that simply running against President Donald Trump wasn’t a winning strategy in 2016 and probably won’t work in 2018 either. The slogan, which is still being polled in battleground House districts, aims to convince voters that Democrats have more to offer than the GOP and the self-proclaimed deal-maker in the White House.

But even as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi prepare a jobs package centered on infrastructure, trade and the minimum wage, some of their most vulnerable members are making other plans.

Several moderate Democrats facing reelection next year told POLITICO that no matter what leadership does, they’re preparing to craft their own pitch to voters. The ideological and political divides that gripped the party during the Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders primary wars are far from healed, and leadership may not find universal support for the left-leaning platform, particularly from those trying to defend seats in Trump-friendly states.....

Several lawmakers interviewed by POLITICO said the overarching lesson they learned from the 2016 election is not that Democrats need a more cohesive economic message. Instead, they say, they need to be able to run a strong campaign in spite of the national Democratic platform.

That’s not to say they won’t accept a new party plank if it materializes and fits their districts. But they’re not counting on it either.

How to file a complaint with Texas Secretary of State

Texas is prohibited from providing all of the information. Glen Maxey works for the Texas Democratic Party and has posted on face book the procedure for filing a complaint with the Texas Secretary of State. Glen is the Texas Democratic Party expert on election law issues and I think that it makes sense to file complaints. Here is Glen's face book post

Two sessions ago, the Republicans passed "Crosscheck" through the Texas legislature. This was a program to send all our voter data to the state of Kansas who ran a program to cross check it to other participating states to find "duplicates". I fought it vigorously, but it passed. That program is run by Mr. Korbach, Kansas Sec. of State.

Our SOS didn't implement the program because there was another statute in the Goverment code that prohibited sending dates of birth and social security and driver's license numbers to others.

In this past session, the Republicans tried to allow our data to be shared, but that failed. So it's still against the law.

Mr. Korbach, the Kansas SOS, is well known for writing the Arizona anti-immigrant "Papers Please" law. He has a long record of removing voters from voter rolls in Kansas who should be legal voters. He gets passed the most restrictive voter registration law in Kansas where you have to present proof of citizenship to register to vote (passport or birth certificate). He's just a general right wing bigot ass wipe.

So Trump puts this SOB in charge of his "voter protection" commission with a mission of proving that the three million undocument folks voted (NOT). And that dead people voted (NOT. Yes, there are dead people on voter roles because people die daily and there is a process for removing them that takes a while to make sure the correct person is being removed. Clerks have to wait until the death to be listed on the state Death Index). And that people are registered in multiple states (True, because there is no mechanism to remove a voter when the register in another state. But that doesn't mean they are voting in two states).

Korbach has ordered each state to turn over all their voter data. For what purpose? Who knows? The problem is there is no federal law in place for how to warehouse this data, how to protect it, etc. He had even asked them to just upload it to an unsecure website. HACK!

Well, the reaction is been pretty harsh. Over half of the states have refused. My favorite was Mississippi who said "Jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great place to jump from" (I paraphrase, but pretty close).

Our great state of Texas, of course, says we'll send our public data. Positive: they aren't going to break Texas law and send TDL, DOB and phone numbers. Negative: the public data without those identifiers means you can't do any data matches with security that you're actually getting the right person. Just know that in Texas there are over 500 John Smith's with the same date of birth.

This is a fuck up of royal proportions and the Texas SOS should just say NO like these other states (lots of red states included).

Texas Secretary of State
P.O. Box 12887
Austin, Texas 78711-2887

(512) 463-5650

Formal way to file a complaint:

Complaint Form


Texas won't release private voter info to Trump administration

I am pleased but surprised by this https://www.dallasnews.com/news/elections/2017/06/30/texas-will-releasevoters-private-info-trump-election-commission

"The Secretary of State's office will provide the Election Integrity Commission with public information and will protect the private information of Texas citizens while working to maintain the security and integrity of our state's elections system," Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said in an emailed statement. "As always, my office will continue to exercise the utmost care whenever sensitive voter information is required to be released by state or federal law."

Information such as name, address and political party are public information in Texas, as is voting method (absentee, provisional, early) and registration effective date. Social Security numbers are not public, according to Pablos' office, and therefore will not be released.

President Donald Trump formed the election commission after claiming million of people voted illegally in last year's election; the claim, as well as his insistence that he lost the popular vote due to this alleged voter fraud, have been repeatedly debunked.

Why we should be very afraid of Trumps vote suppression commission

Kobach is a nasty person who does not believe that non-whites should be allowed to vote. Putting Kobach on Trump's voter suppression commission means that we need to worry. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/06/30/why-we-should-be-very-afraid-of-trumps-vote-suppression-commission/?utm_term=.dd78ecb60286

Most presidential commissions don’t accomplish very much — they meet a few times, do some research and produce a report, which then gets filed away and few people ever read, the list of recommendations seldom acted on. But President Trump’s Presidential Commission on Election Integrity is different.

Its goal is nothing less than the supercharging of recent Republican efforts to disenfranchise Democratic voters and permanently tip the scales of elections in the GOP’s favor. Its true name should be the Commission on Vote Suppression, and it’s getting right to work.

This commission is led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is the country’s premier advocate of vote suppression (Vice President Pence is the nominal chair, but as vice chair, Kobach is obviously running things). We’ll get more into Kobach’s agenda in a moment, but first, the latest news. This week the commission sent a letter to all 50 state governments demanding that they send the commission their full voter files, including names, addresses, birth dates, party affiliation, voting history and Social Security numbers for every voter in America.....

So what is Kobach’s commission going to do with the data it gets? We don’t know for sure, but it appears that it has two broad goals. The first is essentially a PR effort aimed at public opinion and state legislatures: Foster the impression that fraud is widespread, which then makes it easier for Republican-run states to impose draconian laws making it as hard as possible for people to register and vote. The second apparent goal is more direct: Create lists of allegedly questionable voters that they’ll give to states in order to convince them to purge those people from the rolls, by showing that they might be registered in more than one place.....

These people are not trying to determine whether there are problems with our voting system and find the best solutions to those problems. They have come together to promote the myth of voter fraud and enable vote suppression in order to advantage the Republican Party. No one should be fooled into thinking this enterprise is anything other than that.

What will happen to Ari Melber's weekend show?

I love that show. Ari is a good lawyer and I love it when legal issues are discussed

Following Trump voter fraud allegations, claim that 5.7 million noncitizens voted is wrong

There is a bogus study being cited by the idiots who believe in trump's lies http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2017/jun/22/ainsley-earhardt/following-trump-voter-fraud-allegations-claim-57-m/

The researchers at CCES (including Schaffner; Stephen Ansolabehere, a Harvard political scientist; and Samantha Luks, a statistician at YouGov) have criticized the methodology used by Old Dominion.

They said it didn’t fully consider the possibility that people responded to the survey inaccurately.

"You are ignoring the measurement error in a very small group which is going to inflate those numbers," Schaffner said, "then you assume this is a random sample of all noncitizens in the country, which it probably isn’t."

More than 100 political scientists from universities and colleges wrote an open letter in January disputing the Old Dominion paper as evidence for Trump’s claim that millions of noncitizens voted.

"In a survey as large as the CCES, even a small rate of response error (where people incorrectly mark the wrong item on a survey) can lead to incorrect conclusions," they wrote. "The scholarly political science community has generally rejected the findings in the Richman et al. study and we believe it should not be cited or used in any debate over fraudulent voting."

Jesse Richman, one of the Old Dominion researchers and a political science professor, told PolitiFact he still stands by his research and responded to the criticisms by CCES researchers in a working paper in February.
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