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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
May 17, 2024

An abortion rights initiative makes the ballot in conservative South Dakota

South Dakota voters will decide on abortion rights this fall, getting a chance at direct democracy on the contentious issue in a conservative state where a trigger law banning nearly all abortions went into effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

The state's top election official announced Thursday that about 85% of the more than 55,000 signatures submitted in support of the ballot initiative are valid, exceeding the required 35,017 signatures.

Voters will vote up or down on prohibiting the state from regulating abortion before the end of the first trimester and allowing the state to regulate abortion after the second trimester, except when necessary to preserve the life or physical or emotional health of a pregnant woman.

Dakotans for Health, which sponsored the amendment, said in a statement Thursday that the signatures' validation “certified that the people of South Dakota, not the politicians in Pierre, will be the ones to decide whether to restore Roe v. Wade as the law of South Dakota.”


May 17, 2024

WI: Voter ID system is secure despite conspiracy theories, officials say

Wisconsin agencies have extensive protocols to verify that non-citizens are unable to get state-issued identification to vote, despite social media posts to the contrary.

Still, Republican legislators are pressing for more data sharing between the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and state election officials to further prevent non-citizens from registering to vote.

Since 2011, Wisconsin has had a law requiring residents to present a photo ID to vote. As part of that effort the DOT will issue a free identification card that can be used to cast a ballot.

A video that racked up millions of views on X, formerly known as Twitter, and TikTok alleged the DOT was granting voting IDs to people who are in the United States illegally, without those people having to present hardly any documentation.


May 17, 2024

WI: Assembly Democratic leader says party can win majority in November

Democrats can win control of the state Assembly this fall with the benefit of new legislative maps and with messages tailored to competitive districts, the party’s minority leader said Thursday.

“The path is there,” said Rep. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, at a WisPolitics luncheon in Madison. “We all know this.”

Neubauer said if election results this November mirrored President Joe Biden’s performance in the 2020 presidential race, Democrats would win 49 seats under new maps drawn by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and passed by Republican lawmakers.

If this November’s results were to match Evers’ 2022 victory, Democrats would win 52 seats, she said.


May 17, 2024

GOP Lawmaker Confirms Affair

Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) broke her silence on love affair with married Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA), confirming that they are “happily engaged in a relationship,” the Daily Mail reports.


May 17, 2024

Prosecutor: U-M protesters charged for alleged police assaults at sit-in

Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit is charging four individuals for allegedly assaulting or attempting to disarm police officers during a November sit-in protest at the University of Michigan, his office said Thursday.

Those charged include a 59-year-old male accused of grabbing an officer’s baton to pull it away, two 22-year-old males accused of pushing officers and a 25-year-old accused of lowering his shoulder to charge an officer.

The prosecutor’s office estimates that more than 250 people entered the Ruthven Administration Building on Nov. 17 as part of a protest over Israel's actions during an ongoing war with Hamas.

Protesters allegedly entered the locked building by “pushing past officers.” Some were arrested after refusing orders to leave U-M President Santa Ono’s office suite, according to the prosecutor.

Assaulting a police officer in Michigan is considered a felony punishable by two years in prison and/or fines. Charges are merely allegations and must be proven in a court of law.


May 17, 2024

NH: Senate GOP halts effort to add mental health records to gun background checks

Senate Republicans united late Thursday night in almost certainly defeating legislation that would have added New Hampshire to the list of 47 states that provide records of psychiatric hospitalization commitments for gun background checks.

Republicans voted, 13-10, to table House Bill 1711, meaning it will fail unless a majority of senators votes to take it off the table by May 23 or two-thirds of senators do so after May 23.

The vote was in contrast to March’s House vote, where 25 Republicans joined Democrats in passing the legislation, 204-149. Gov. Chris Sununu made clear Wednesday that had the bill reached his desk, he would have signed it.

“This is clearly a loophole that has to be closed, and I’m supportive of the bill,” Sununu told reporters. He said gun rights groups, which lobbied lawmakers to reject the bill, were trying to “scare people” into voting against it.


May 17, 2024

Challenge expected on abortion-rights measure validated for South Dakota ballot

A South Dakota state office said Thursday that a petition seeking to reinstate abortion rights has enough valid signatures to make the Nov. 5 ballot, but opponents have already promised a legal challenge.

Based on a random sample of signatures, the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office estimated that 85% percent of the nearly 55,000 signatures on the petition are from South Dakota registered voters, which means the estimated number of valid signatures is 46,098. The petition needed 35,017 to qualify for the election.

The proposed state constitutional amendment would legalize abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy but allow the state to impose limited regulations in the second trimester and a ban in the third trimester, with exceptions for the life and health of the mother. Abortions are currently banned in the state, except to “preserve the life of the pregnant female.”

Opponents have 30 days to challenge the validity of the petition. Leslee Unruh, co-chair of the Life Defense Fund, said earlier this month that the group “can’t wait to get to court.” The Life Defense Fund is a ballot question committee organized to oppose the ballot measure.


May 17, 2024

NH: Bills limiting transgender rights, boosting parental rights head to Sununu's desk

As a transgender girl, Sarah Huckman’s experience joining girls’ sports in high school wasn’t automatic, her father Tom Huckman recalled. Because she had not undergone gender reassignment surgery, she needed to appeal to the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association for an exception, a process that involved writing letters with the help of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.

But once Sarah started participating in cross-country running, Nordic skiing, and track, she was quickly accepted by her friends and peers, Tom Huckman, of Ossipee, said at a press conference earlier this week.

“She’s a very social, gregarious person, and sports was absolutely one of the best things for her for her mental well-being,” Huckman said.

On Thursday, the New Hampshire Senate passed a measure that would prohibit such participation and sent the legislation to Gov. Chris Sununu’s desk.


May 17, 2024

Missouri Senate Democrats score a huge legislative win.


Daily Kos Elections
The MO legislative session wasn't set to end until 6 PM CT tonight, but the GOP-run Senate just gave up early on its attempt to pass a ballot measure that would make amendments—including one on abortion rights—harder to pass

MASSIVE Dem win. Listen to how they did it -->
May 17, 2024

Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon concedes to Brandon Scott, ending her third attempt at political comeback

Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon conceded the race to win back her former seat Friday morning, several days after Mayor Brandon Scott claimed victory in the contest.

In a news release, Dixon officially bowed out, closing the door on the contest which was her third attempt at a political comeback since she was forced to resign the mayoral post in 2010 following an embezzlement conviction.

Dixon said she spoke with Scott Friday morning. “His success leading our city is success for all of us, so I sincerely wish him all the best,” she said.

“While this isn’t the outcome we hoped for, I’m so profoundly grateful for each and every one of the Baltimoreans who stood with me in this race,” Dixon added. “Serving as your candidate has truly been one of the greatest honors of my life.”


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 60,053

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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