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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
February 8, 2024

MO-SOS: Missouri Candidate Torches Books in New Ad

Missouri Secretary of State candidate Valentina Gomez (R) took books from a public library and burned them with a flamethrower in a new campaign ad.

She promised to burn more if elected.


February 7, 2024

Complaint alleges 'straw donor' contributed to Burgum presidential bid

A campaign finance watchdog organization on Tuesday filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against a North Dakota business for allegedly being a “straw donor” to a super PAC that backed Gov. Doug Burgum’s bid for U.S. president.

The complaint — filed by Washington, D.C., nonprofit Campaign Legal Center — centers on a $150,000 contribution made by Head East LLC to the Best of America PAC, which supported Burgum’s campaign. The Campaign Legal Center claims that the LLC was created exclusively to hide the original source of the donation, which is illegal under federal campaign finance regulations.

According to filings with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office, Head East was incorporated in North Dakota on July 24, 2023. The center’s announcement states Head East LLC donated to the Best of America PAC 15 days later.

The mailing address for Head East LLC and the address of its registered agent use the same Bismarck address. The complaint alleges that Head East “appears to exist solely on paper,” with no physical or online presence or public record about its activities.


February 7, 2024

Tribal citizens in Nevada can now vote with EASE

Tribal members who reside on a reservation or colony in Nevada can now register and vote from the comfort of their own homes using an electronic ballot system, making 2024 Nevada’s most accessible election year for Native American voters yet.

The 2024 Presidential Preference Primary Election will be the first election where Native voters residing on reservations in Nevada can vote using Nevada’s Effective Absentee System for Elections (EASE) system, which allows Nevada military members, residents living overseas and voters with disabilities to mark their ballots electronically.

Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo signed the bill expanding EASE last summer, which also requires election clerks to meet with all tribes located in their jurisdiction to coordinate voting locations prior to all elections.

“This is the first election where EASE is available to anyone who meets the criteria of being a member of a federally recognized tribe or band and living on a reservation,” said Secretary of State’s Chief Deputy Gabriel Di Chiara, who also serves as the department’s tribal liaison.


February 7, 2024

SD: Switch to primaries for attorney general, secretary of state advances to House

Primary voters would pick their party’s nominees for attorney general and secretary of state under a bill that cleared a state House committee Monday morning.

House Bill 1198 is the third attempt in recent years – and the second in 2024 – to take candidate selection for some offices out of the hands of party conventions.

Rep. Tyler Tordsen, R-Sioux Falls, presented his latest proposal during a House State Affairs Committee hearing less than a month after his resolution with similar aims failed in the same room.

Currently, legislative, federal and gubernatorial candidates are selected by primary voters in South Dakota. The state is one of three that still chooses its candidates for the remaining constitutional offices – lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, commissioner of school and public lands, and public utilities commissioners – at a convention of party delegates.


February 7, 2024

SD: Bill to align school bond votes with primary and general elections passes committee

IERRE – In an effort to increase voter turnout and engagement, lawmakers on the House Local Government Committee passed a bill that would require bond votes for school districts be held the same day as primary or general elections in South Dakota.

The bill passed with a 9-3 vote and now goes to the House of Representatives.

The committee tied 6-6 several times on votes to reject or approve a similar bill that would align school board elections with primary or general elections, finally deferring the bill until its next meeting when the 13th member of the committee will be present.

Opponents argued that the bills erode local control for school districts.


February 7, 2024

AL-02: Alabama Democratic Conference backs Napoleon Bracy in 2nd Congressional District

The Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) endorsed Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Prichard, in the Alabama 2nd Congressional District race.

Joe Reed, the chair of the predominantly Black political caucus, said in an interview Tuesday that there are “a lot of good people running,” but that Bracy is the most electable candidate, citing his connection to the district.

“This man has more knowledge,” Reed said. “He knows the people in this district better,” adding that Mobile is one of the populated counties in Alabama.

The endorsement of the Alabama Democratic Conference can give Democratic campaigns a boost in state primaries.


February 7, 2024

MT: Attorney General tells Supreme Court why abortion initiative should remain legally insufficient

The Montana Attorney General’s Office told the Supreme Court in a filing Monday the court should uphold its legal insufficiency finding for a proposed ballot initiative to further enshrine abortion access in the state constitution because the changes it would make would be too confusing for voters to understand as a single question.

The Attorney General’s Office submitted a 21-page brief Monday afternoon responding to a petition to the Montana Supreme Court from the group Montanans Securing Reproductive Freedom, which late last month asked the court to review the office’s legal insufficiency finding for their proposed Ballot Measure 14.

The proposed constitutional amendment could get a ballot statement and be approved for signature gathering if the court sides with the petitioners, but if it sides with Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s office, the measure would be all but dead for the November ballot as originally written.

The proposal, if it makes the ballot and is passed by voters, would affirm the right for Montanans to make their own decisions about their pregnancy in the state constitution. It would also bar the government from denying or adding burdens to abortion access before a fetus is viable, and would prevent the government from restricting people from getting abortions when it is necessary to protect the mother’s health or keep practitioners safe from punishment.


February 7, 2024

AZ: Republicans, Hobbs on a collision course over how to fix the election recount law

Republican lawmakers are gearing up for a showdown with Gov. Katie Hobbs over creating a fix for an impending election timeline issue created by Republican changes to the state’s recount law which could lead to overseas and military voters becoming disenfranchised and the state’s choice for president not being counted.

The Republican proposal, which also includes provisions aimed at signature verification, the use of school facilities for voting and other changes, has already been deemed dead on arrival by Gov. Katie Hobbs, who said that she would only support a “clean fix.”

Any measure that is passed will also need two-thirds of the legislature to approve of it in order to trigger an emergency measure in the bill, allowing it to go into effect immediately.

On Tuesday, the Senate and House convened a special meeting to hear two bills aimed at addressing issues that Arizona counties and election officials say could disenfranchise military voters. The issue stems from a 2022 bill that greatly expanded when an automatic recount is triggered.


February 7, 2024

NJ-07: Blazakis (D) withdraws, Altman (D) is presumptive nominee vs. Kean (R)

Jason Blazakis is dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th district, clearing the field for Sue Altman to take on freshman Rep. Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) in one of the most closely-watched House races in the nation.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to end my race for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th district, my home district,” he said. “I want to thank my amazing supporters, my staff and my family for their dedication and passion during this race.”

Blazakis joined the race in August and raised $360,218 through the end of last year, including a $71,600 personal loan. He began 2024 with $228,197 cash-on-hand.

“I am so grateful for the contributions from over 2100 donors that helped our efforts to raise just under half a million to defend our democracy. If you have the capacity, I urge my donors to continue to support Democrats across the country. It is incumbent that we win the House, Senate, and White House,” Blazakis said.


February 6, 2024

Ukrainian 'Thrilled' to Run in EU Elections, on Latvia Ballot

A Ukrainian selected to run in EU elections on the ballot in Latvia told AFP on Monday she was “thrilled” to be chosen to represent a country that stands so closely by Kyiv.

“This is really an honour,” Ivanna Volochii, 42, said after Latvia’s centrist Movement For! party selected her to lead its list vying for the nine seats Latvia will have in the next European Parliament.

Volochii, who is registered in Latvia and has an address there, also holds Belgian citizenship, making her eligible to run in the elections, which take place across the European Union between June 6 and June 9. In Latvia, voting will happen on June 8.

She has worked for EU institutions over the past 14 years, and is currently a social media community manager for the Renew grouping in the European Parliament, to which Movement For! belongs.


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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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