Gay parents shouldn’t both be on child’s birth certificate, Indiana AG argues

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/gay-parents-shouldn-t-both-be-child-s-birth-certificate-n1249358

The state’s attorney general wants the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that found Indiana laws limiting who can be called a parent were unconstitutional.

 

Image: Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill

Indiana’s attorney general submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that it should reverse a federal appeals court’s ruling that allowed both members of same-sex couples in Indiana to be listed as parents on the birth certificates of their children.

The petition from Attorney General Curtis Hill follows a January decision by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that affirmed a decision by judges in Indiana’s federal southern district court who found that Indiana laws limiting who can be called the parent of a child were unconstitutional.

 

Hill filed also filed a request in June asking the court to review the appellate court’s decision.

The original case involved Ashlee and Ruby Henderson, a gay married couple from Lafayette who filed a federal lawsuit in 2015 challenging Indiana’s birth records law. They sued the state health commissioner and Tippecanoe County officials because county officials would not list both of them as parents on the birth certificate of their son, who Ruby conceived through artificial insemination.

The case is among the first dealing with same-sex marriage for the Supreme Court since the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the Journal & Courier and The Indianapolis Star reported.

Karen Celestino-Horseman, the Hendersons’ Indianapolis-based attorney, said Wednesday that she expects Hill’s brief will be discussed during a Dec. 11 conference the high court has set on the matter.

“We are hopeful the court will follow the precedent in ‘Pavan,’” Celestino-Horseman said, referring to the high court’s 2017 ruling in the Pavan v. Smith case, which involved Arkansas married couples who conceive through artificial insemination. In that case, the court ruled that the “constellation of benefits that the states have linked to marriage” extended to having the names of same-sex parents on a birth certificate.

In their federal suit, the Hendersons contended that leaving one mother’s name off the birth certificate presented legal issues when it came to health insurance coverage, who could speak for a child at a doctor’s appointment and enrolling in school. They argued that it was unfair to force one mother from a same-sex marriage to spend $4,000 to $5,000 to legally adopt the couple’s child.

The Hendersons won their initial case in 2016. Seven additional couples joined the suit as plaintiffs after Indiana appealed up to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit, which ruled in January that under Indiana law, “a husband is presumed to be a child’s biological father, so that both spouses are listed as parents on the birth certificate and the child is deemed to be born in wedlock.”

“There’s no similar presumption with respect to an all-female married couple — or for that matter an all-male married couple,” the judges wrote, adding that requiring both women in a same-sex marriage to be listed as parents would prevent any discrimination.

In his petition to the court, Hill argues that upholding that decision would violate common sense and throw into jeopardy parental rights based on biology.

“A birth mother’s wife will never be the biological father of the child, meaning that, whenever a birth-mother’s wife gains presumptive ‘parentage’ status, a biological father’s rights and obligations to the child have necessarily been undermined without proper adjudication,” Hill wrote.

Again bigotry on display.  Why does this man so desperately want to take a parent from a child?  He clearly has a ax to grind, as this affects him personally  in no way.  Could he be someone with deeply held religious beliefs that to people of the same gender on a child’s birth certificate makes his god sad.  Makes his god cry?  Is he on a religious crusade to earn his place in his gods afterlife by making the icky gays lives harder?    Please read the next story on this he has an issue with consent also.   Hugs

Indiana AG Asks SCOTUS To Reverse Ruling Allowing Same-Sex Parents To Be Listed On Birth Certificates

Read the full article. Curtis Hill last appeared on JMG earlier this year when he temporarily lost his law license over allegations that he had drunkenly groped several women at a party. Since then Hill has fought against COVID-related restrictions in his state.

 

Perdue traded hundreds of thousands worth of bank stocks while on Senate Banking Committee

https://www.salon.com/2020/11/27/perdue-traded-hundreds-of-thousands-worth-of-bank-stocks-while-on-senate-banking-committee/?scrolla=5eb6d68b7fedc32c19ef33b4

Georgia senator co-sponsored 14 bills benefiting finance industry, and got millions in campaign contributions

 

David Perdue, one of two multimillionaire Georgia Republican senators facing insider-trading scrutiny ahead of runoff elections in January, traded hundreds of thousands of dollars in bank stock while passing pro-bank legislation on the Senate Banking Committee, financial disclosures show.

Between 2017 and 2020, while on the committee, Perdue co-sponsored 14 bills that benefited the financial industry, including through deregulation and extended liability protection. In that time he also accepted more than $1 million in political contributions from financial interests, federal filings show.

This spring Perdue, one of the most active traders in Congress, pushed back against allegations of insider trading in advance of the coronavirus, claiming that outside advisers made the calls without his input.

A bombshell New York Times report on Wednesday has made clear that was a lie: This summer, Justice Department investigators found that Perdue had instructed one of his brokers to offload more than $1 million in a company after the CEO tipped off the senator in a personal email.

This news comes as Perdue faces a Jan. 5 runoff against Democratic rival Jon Ossoff, who battered Perdue on the insider-trading allegations throughout the year. The runoff, along with Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s runoff election held on the same day — Loeffler faces the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat — will determine which party controls the Senate.

The latest stock news also creates a new context for assessing Perdue’s personal involvement in prior trades, such as millions of dollars in transactions while he served on the Banking Committee.

Perdue, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, built his fortune in the style of Mitt Romney — “a turnaround specialist who helps revive brands and reap rewards for investors,” as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it in a review of his business record.

The AJC ruled that his record was “mixed,” in part because of a buyout Perdue helped structure as the CEO of Dollar General, which landed him a $42 million windfall when he stepped down in 2008. The next year, the company had to pay that same amount to settle shareholder claims that Perdue and other execs had shortchanged them in the deal.

Perdue, who was elected to the Senate in 2014, has invested millions. A portion of it rests in a Wells Fargo brokerage account and a Georgia holding company called DBP Enterprises, where Perdue has held an ownership stake since 2011.

That DBP stake comprises 130 assets valued anywhere between $12 million and $29 million, according to 2018 Senate financial disclosures. His Wells Fargo account lists 60 assets valued at up to $1.2 million.

Disclosures only provide ranges of value, so we cannot know precisely how much money Perdue has moved in stock trades, or the extent of his profits. But the forms do show that between 2017 and 2020, while he sat on the Banking Committee, Perdue traded at a minimum hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly millions.

According to the disclosures, Perdue held up to $910,000 in bank stocks alone from 2017 to 2019, through DBP and Wells Fargo. The shares earned him up to $204,000 in capital gains and dividends payouts.

But Perdue does not let his stocks sit idle. Between 2017 and 2018, disclosures show, the senator not only sold as much as $135,000 in bank stock, but scooped up as much as $600,000. Over the next two years he cranked up the volume, unloading as much as $1,110,000 in banking shares and buying as much as $480,000.

In April of this year, Perdue was swept up in the same insider trading scandal that has also damaged Loeffler, when it was revealed that earlier in the year he had bought and sold shares in several companies that were eventually directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The scandal, which included Senate veterans Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., shook public confidence, raising concerns that elected officials had abused their access to privileged information in order to capitalize personally on the spread of the disease.

The next month, under scrutiny from the public and government investigators, and with the election on the horizon, Perdue pledged to stop trading individual stocks.

In September he announced that the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee had all cleared him of wrongdoing. He marked the occasion with a new campaign ad, which accused Ossoff of lying to voters about Perdue’s involvement.

The Times gave the lie to that defense on Wednesday, indicating that Perdue had acted on a personal tip. The report recalls a moment from an October 2017 hearing, where senators on the Banking Committee grilled Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan about the account fraud scandal that had wracked the bank the year before.

The scandal earned the bank a $150 million fine from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, an agency Perdue had sought to defang earlier that same year with a bill that the American Bankers Association called “an effective check and balance on the Bureau’s authority.”

Perdue, whose Wells Fargo account at the time held up to $1.2 million, teed Sloan up to defend his company, but Sloan, contrite in the face of multiple bareknuckled government investigations, repeatedly declined the exit ramp. Perdue then let slip a reference to a private conversation, before reluctantly admitting that the decade-long scandal — which resulted in a $3 billion federal fine — was a “serious issue.”

“I think you would agree, we in a private conversation — there is no way to sugarcoat this as a serious issue, and I appreciate your handling it the way that you are,” Perdue said.

Over the next three years, Perdue continued to throw softballs to big banks. As he was slinging stock, he cosponsored 14 bills that benefited the financial industry, the majority earning the blessing of the ABA. Five of them were lobbied on by financial institutions where Perdue held hundreds of thousands in stock, including Regions Financial, US Bancorp and JP Morgan.

For instance, in 2017, Perdue cosponsored a bill called the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act, which was geared to loosen Dodd-Frank regulations on mid-sized banks. The bill never made it out of committee, but Regional Financial and US Bancorp, where Perdue had stashed $300,000, both lobbied heavily on it.

Perdue went after Dodd-Frank again that year, cosponsoring the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which the New York Times reported “frees banks from a variety of regulations that were imposed after the financial crisis of 2008,” including “innovative measures” that targeted large institutions. That bill never made it out of committee, but was lobbied on by banks where Perdue held up to $465,000 of stock at the time, including Wells Fargo.

In two instances, Perdue received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from financial institutions on the same day he introduced legislation.

On May 21, 2019, Perdue signed on as an original co-sponsor of a bill that postponed compliance with a new accounting standard that some in the financial industry believed would impede lending during an economic downturn. FEC records show that in the days before Perdue co-sponsored the bill and the two weeks immediately afterward, he received nearly $50,000 from employees at the Capital Group, a financial services company, including $5,400 from the CEO.

In October 2017, a few weeks after Sloan’s testimony, Perdue co-sponsored legislation that eased regulations on mortgage transfers that cross state lines. That bill was first introduced in August, and in the month before Perdue added his name on Oct. 25, his campaign received $24,000 from employees of the wealth management company SEI Investments, according to FEC filings.

Fourteen of those SEI employees gave $1,000 on Oct. 19, but only one employee donated the same day that Perdue committed to the bill: a maximum donation of $5,400, from CEO Alfred West.

This September, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was hit with FEC criminal complaints for an alleged “straw donor” scheme, in which he reimbursed employees for political donations to his favored candidates.

Over the course of his career, Perdue has accepted more than $2 million in donations from the investment and securities industry, and half a million from commercial banks. But considering that so few of those bills made it past the committee, and only two became law, it is not clear who got the most out of their investment.

A Perdue campaign spokesperson did not reply to questions for this article.

 

ROGER SOLLENBERGER

Roger Sollenberger is a staff writer at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @SollenbergerRC.

U.S. citizens detained for speaking Spanish at Montana grocery store settle suit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-women-detained-spanish-monetary-settlement-grocery-store-20201125-s2ylybkplncdlofwfngnlfyejm-story.html

A pair of American women detained by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent after they were overheard speaking in Spanish at a Montana convenience store have reached an undisclosed settlement in their lawsuit against agency, the ACLU announced.

Ana Suda and Martha “Mimi” Hernandez were out buying groceries in the city of Havre, a small town about 35 miles from the Canadian border, when they were approached by Agent Paul O’Neal the night of May 16, 2018. He asked both women for their IDs and then admitted to doing so because he heard them chatting in another language.

The incident sparked widespread backlash after video of the interaction, recorded by Suda, went viral online.

“Ma’am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here,” O’Neal can be heard saying in the clip.

When asked whether he was racially profiling them, the agent denied it.

“It has nothing to do with that,” he says. “It’s the fact that it has to do with you guys speaking Spanish in the store, in a state where it’s predominantly English-speaking.”

Suda was born in Texas and moved to Montana with her husband in 2014. Hernandez was born in California and moved to Montana in 2010. Both are certified nursing assistants and worked at an assisted-living center in the state.

The pair also had valid Montana driver’s licenses and showed them to O’Neal and a supervisor, who arrived later on the scene. According to the lawsuit, the agents made it clear through words and actions that the women were not free to leave the convenience store parking lot for nearly an hour.

Their lawsuit contended O’Neal violated their Fourth Amendment right “because there was no legitimate reason to seize the women; and of equal protection, because the agent singled the women out based on race, relying on their use of Spanish as justification and proxy for race.”

The court documents additionally noted that “America is a multi-lingual, multi-racial and multi-ethnic country” with “no official language.”

In settling the case, U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not admit liability and added in a statement that “the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe.”

It’s unclear whether O’Neal still works for the agency or if he faced any disciplinary action in the case.

In wake of filing their complaint against the agency, both Suda and Hernandez moved out of Havre due to the backlash they faced over the viral incident.

The city of nearly 10,000 people, located about about 30 miles from the U.S.-Canada border and near two Native American reservations, is mostly white, with about 15% Native American and about 4% Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census.

“We stood up to the government because speaking Spanish is not a reason to be racially profile and harassed,” Suda said in a statement provided by the ACLU.

“I am proud to be bilingual, and I hope that as a result of this case CBP takes a hard look at its policies and practices. No one else should ever have to go through this again.”

DeSantis Extends Order Banning Mask Enforcement

DeSantis Extends Order Banning Mask Enforcement

Click Orlando reports:

Gov. Ron DeSantis today extended his executive order that bans local governments from enforcing mask mandate violations.

The order, first signed in September, prevents cities from fining people for not adhering to mask mandates. It also prevents cities and counties from ordering restaurants to close without economic or health reasons being justified.

The order signaled Florida’s move to phase 3 during the pandemic, meaning restaurants, bars and salons will be allowed to reopen at full capacity. Many other states have added rules and restrictions in recent weeks due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Thumbnail

Thumbnail

Thumbnail

Thumbnail

Man caught ‘exhaling forcefully’ onto two women outside Trump’s Virginia golf course

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ny-man-exhale-onto-women-trump-virginia-golf-course-arrested-20201123-ojr4ld5oazfuvjcz772nvqxdru-story.html

This Trump supporter was not waiting to exhale.

Lending a whole new meaning to the term “heavy breather,” a man was arrested Sunday for exhaling onto women at Trump’s Virginia golf course.

Raymond Deskins, 61, was charged with misdemeanor assault after a private citizen obtained a warrant through a county magistrate, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday.

Clad in a “Trump: Make America Great Again” T-shirt and wearing an inflatable pool tube with a Trump head on it around his waist, he was caught on video grinning as he huffed in the direction of two women.

“That’s assault,” one of them said, according to the Associated Press.

“I breathed on you,” Deskins replied.

 

 

Trump supporter forcefully exhaling without a mask on a protester outside the Trump National Golf Club, Nov. 21, 2020

I discussed this with friend of mine (and neighbor) who was a dean at Harvard Medical School, and he definitely said this was assault.

As a reminder, the poetry that inspired an assault:

trump haiku

trump will not be here 
to murder our grandchildren 
This makes me happy.

Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors Chair’s response to this alleged assault:

@dadancingqueeen tweeted this Fox News story:

Loudoun County charged the man with a misdemeanor:

Loudoun County’s tweets:

Part 2 of the County’s response:

Turns out Raymond Deskins, a fierce anti-socialist and pro-Trumper, defrauded the govt. falsely claiming disability benefits:

https://www.oig.dot.gov/library-item/29506

Originally tweeted by Douglas Christian (@DougChristianDC) on November 21, 2020.

Secret plans helped Brooklyn synagogue pull off massive, maskless wedding

https://nypost.com/2020/11/21/secret-plans-helped-synagogue-pull-off-massive-maskless-wedding/

A Hasidic synagogue in Brooklyn planned the wedding of a chief rabbi’s grandson with such secrecy it was able to host thousands of maskless celebrants without the city catching on.

Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, guests crammed shoulder-to-shoulder inside the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg for the Nov. 8 nuptials — stomping, dancing and singing at the top of their lungs without a mask in sight, videos obtained by The Post show.

Organizers schemed to hide the wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman, from “the ravenous press and government officials,” says a detailed account in the Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, the publication of the Satmar sect.

“Due to the ongoing situation with government restrictions, preparations were made secretly and discreetly, so as not to draw attention from strangers,” the paper reported in its Nov. 13 edition.

“In recent weeks, organizers worked tirelessly to arrange everything in the best way possible. All notices about upcoming celebrations were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper.”

The Satmar synagogue, which has a maximum capacity of 7,000, jammed men onto bleachers filled to the rafters, the videos show. Women sat in the balcony behind a barricade.

Last month, the state ordered the cancellation of another Williamsburg wedding planned for a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, a brother and rival of Aaron, after that publicized event was expected to draw 10,000 people. The congregation called it “an unwarranted attack.”

 

That crackdown led to a determination to keep plans for the Nov. 8 affair under wraps. The stealthy arrangements continued amid a fear that someone would blow their cover.

“The days leading up to the wedding were filled with tension, not knowing what the next day, or the next moment, will bring; which disgruntled outcast might seize this opportunity to exploit even what hasn’t been written or publicized, to create an unnecessary uproar, and to disrupt the simcha, God forbid,” Der Blatt reported.

The synagogue’s stunning willingness to host a potential super-spreader event underscores what critics call the Hasidic community’s ongoing disregard and outright defiance of efforts to control the deadly coronavirus, which has killed nearly 25,000 people in New York City.

Ironically, the synagogue’s own president, R’Mayer Zelig Rispler, who openly urged Brooklyn’s Orthodox community to abide by coronavirus safety measures, died of COVID-19 last month at age 70.

New COVID-19 cases in New York City rose to 3.11% Saturday, according to City Hall. There were 1,345 new COVID-19 cases and 118 patients admitted to the hospital with the potentially deadly virus, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Saturday.

“This weekend is critical to fighting back #COVID19,” the mayor warned.

“A second wave is bearing down on us,” Hizzoner told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer on Friday. “We need restrictions. It’s just clear that restrictions are the only way to turn back this kind of a surge.”

De Blasio and Gov. Cuomo have both talked tough about repeated violations in the ultra-Orthodox communities, but ultimately have avoided curbing the mass gatherings of Hasidic leaders with whom they’ve had longstanding relationships.

“The ability of Hasidic leaders to compel their followers to so brazenly violate the rules and norms extends well beyond the pandemic, and is enabled by government officials turning a blind eye for political reasons,” said Naftuli Moster, executive director of YAFFED, a nonprofit that advocates for improved secular education in yeshivas.

Enlarge ImageA sign promoting face masks and social distancing is seen on the door to Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar.
A sign promoting face masks and social distancing is seen on the door to Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar.J.C. Rice

Mitch Schwartz, the mayor’s Director of Rapid Response, could not explain why the city failed to detect the enormous Nov. 8 celebration — and let it go off without a hitch.

Next door to the synagogue at 14 Hooper St. is the firehouse of Engine and Ladder Cos. 211 and 119, but the FDNY said it wasn’t called to inspect the synagogue. The FDNY is one of a host of city agencies that inspect sites for COVID-19 violations, along with the NYPD, the Sheriff and the Health Department.

The event “clearly violated” Covid restrictions on indoor occupancy, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer said.

Under current rules posted by the city, houses of worship may hold indoor religious services in one room with occupancy limited to 50 percent capacity. Also, attendees from different households must maintain six feet of social distancing, or wear face coverings.

Asked whether the firefighters noticed anything amiss next door, Dywer said, “Firehouses don’t conduct surveillance on their neighbors.”

Schwartz said, “The city performs a tremendous number of inspections daily, and our community outreach team is dedicated to relaying the latest happenings across the city.

“But let’s be clear: indoor gatherings of this size aren’t acceptable, and they’re offensive to all the sacrifices New Yorkers have made to keep their families and neighbors safe from COVID-19.”

Asked whether the Satmar synagogue would face any consequences for violating the restrictions, Schwartz gave no answer.

Enlarge ImageCongregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar
Congregation Yetev Lev D’SatmarJ.C. Rice

It wasn’t the sect’s only recent event. Aaron Teitelbaum led a Chumash, a celebration of the Torah, on Oct. 27 at its Borough Park synagogue — when it was in a state-designated, high-risk “red zone.”

Religious leaders have blasted what they consider a double standard, saying city and state officials have condoned the gathering of thousands in the streets to protest police brutality and to celebrate Joe Biden’s election victory.

But some members of the Orthodox community are mortified by the recklessness of their own lifestyles.

“We can have our misgivings about total shutdowns, and other extreme measures, but there’s zero excuse to completely ignore anything that might help reduce the virus a bit,” one told The Post.

“We don’t wear masks anywhere, we don’t soap our hands, we have huge packed gatherings, we shake hands – there’s zero indication that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and that people in this country and in our community are still getting the virus and dying. And it’s not just the lay people doing all this; it’s the rabbis themselves not caring one bit.”

Messages sent to Satmar officials requesting comment were not returned.

The Sunday night wedding capped a three-day affair, which began on Friday night with four hours of festivities, and continued on Saturday with Sabbath services, including a bris of an 8-day-old boy.

The white-gowned bride was not named by Der Blatt, but a relative said her name is Miriam.

The Der Blatt account reveled in the success of the covert operation: “Now that the wedding has passed, thank God, after being held with great splendor and fanfare, the sentiment expressed by all is: how privileged we are, how good our portion, how fortunate our lot, to have merited the experience of such a glorious night.”

This clearly shows how these religious people see themselves.   Above the laws and having no responsibility for the rest of the people.   They know the virus is deadly their own leaders have died from it, but they don’t care.   The put a 8 day year old boy at great risk.   Everyone of those 7 thousand people are going to mix in with the rest of New Yorkers not wearing masks and they will spread this virus.   I would say the Rabbi’s are pushing these events for the same reason Christian church leaders are, the money.  The money for the event, the money for donations, the prestige also.  However religion is not a pass to not follow laws you do not like even though that is what many believe, at least not yet.   If these groups are not punished then New York might as well throw out the rules as they mean nothing.   Hugs
 

WATCH: Maskless Trump Fan Deliberately Spews Droplets on Woman Outside Trump Golf Course

WATCH: Maskless Trump Fan Deliberately Spews Droplets on Woman Outside Trump Golf Course

 

A maskless Trump supporter deliberately exhaled droplets at a woman outside President Donald Trump’s golf resort after the woman asked him to back away from her and observe proper social distancing.

Video of the incident was filmed and posted by Reel Political News White House correspondent Douglas Christian, who wrote “Trump supporter forcefully exhaling without a mask on a protester outside the Trump National Golf Club, Nov. 21, 2020”.

In the clip, the woman can be heard telling a man wearing a Trump shirt and carrying a mylar Trump balloon to “Get away from me, get away, you are in my face and you don’t have a mask so you need to back off.”

The man tells her “Do what you want, sweetheart, I’m not in anybody’s face,” then inhales deeply and forcefully, audibly exhales in the woman’s direction.

“That’s assault!” the horrified woman exclaims.

“Call the cops and ask them to come get me,” the man responds, sarcastically.

So here we have a clear view of what the cult supporters of the Dear Leader are.   They are thugs with no concern for anyone else, no sense of common decency, no acceptable societal behaviors.   Just raw emotions, I want, I want, I should have what I want.  Normally the run in gangs.   Sadly they seem backed up by the police, which is a very bad sign for democracy.   Hugs

Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount

https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-joe-biden-donald-trump-wisconsin-elections-dcb7da95578fc7289122c6d372575a9b?utm_medium=AP&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow

Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count.

Trump requested the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both heavily liberal, in hopes of undoing Democrat Joe Biden’s victory by about 20,600 votes. With no precedent for a recount reversing such a large margin, Trump’s strategy is widely seen as aimed at an eventual court challenge, part of a push in key states to undo his election loss.

 

A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee was putting the recount far behind schedule, county clerk George Christenson said. He said many Trump observers were breaking rules by constantly interrupting vote counters with questions and comments.

“That’s unacceptable,” he said. He said some of the Trump observers “clearly don’t know what they are doing.”

Tim Posnanski, a county election commissioner, told his fellow commissioners there appeared to be two Trump representatives at some tables where tabulators were counting ballots, violating rules that call for one observer from each campaign per table. Posnanski said some Trump representatives seemed to be posing as independents.

At one recount table, a Trump observer objected to every ballot that tabulators pulled from a bag simply because they were folded, election officials told the panel.

Posnanski called it “prima facie evidence of bad faith by the Trump campaign.” He added later: “I want to know what is going on and why there continues to be obstruction.”

Joe Voiland, a lawyer speaking to commission members on behalf of the Trump campaign, denied his side was acting in bad faith.

“I want to get to the point of dialing everything down … and not yelling at each other,” Voiland said.

At least one Trump observer was escorted out of the building by sheriff’s deputies Saturday after pushing an election official who had lifted her coat from an observer chair. Another Trump observer was removed Friday for not wearing a face mask properly as required.

Trump paid $3 million, as required by state law, for the partial recount that began Friday and must conclude by Dec. 1.

His team is seeking to disqualify ballots where election clerks filled in missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted, even though the practice has long been accepted in Wisconsin.

 

The campaign also alleges thousands of absentee ballots don’t have proper written paperwork, and that some absentee voters improperly declared themselves “indefinitely confined,” a status that allows them to receive a ballot without photo ID. Those challenges were being rejected.

There have been at least 31 recounts in statewide elections in the U.S. since the most famous one in Florida’s presidential election in 2000. The recounts changed the outcome of three races. All three were decided by hundreds of votes, not thousands.

Thumbnail