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Thursday Trump Dump: The alt-right says the alt-right is racist, so what's the problem?
(from: Swing State Project @ August 25, 2016, 07:28 PM)

Welcome back to your daily tour of the tire fire known as the Donald Trump presidential campaign. On the agenda for today: Donald Trump being very, very mad that people are calling him racist. His alt-right supporters being very, very mad that people are calling them racist. And the opposing presidential candidate gives a 30 minute speech giving example after example of Donald Trump and his "alt-right" supporters promoting racism.

By plan or accident, Clinton's speech tying Donald Trump to the racist far-right couldn't have come at a worse time for the candidate. Trump is still reeling from his latest, largest screw-up, a supposed "softening" of his immigration position that doesn't seem to contain much actual softening but still has the far-right in an uproar over the thought that the candidate might.

This is the scene, then: Donald Trump, caught between an attempt to moderate his rhetoric in order to salvage his collapsing poll numbers and a base that selected him as being the farthest thing from moderate, muddling through another day trying to avoid spelling out just what his "policies" might actually be. If he chooses to moderate, he drives a wedge between himself and the far-right that they will likely see as abandonment, and dishonest, and the sign that this new candidate has been captured by the same forces that have "moderated" all the others. If he hugs them tight, he can kiss most of the rest of the American electorate goodbye for good.

This is the precise campaign moment Hillary Clinton chose to walk to a podium and give a speech tying Trump as tightly as possible to the racist far-right that so easily propelled him through the Republican primaries, making it front-page news across the country come tomorrow.

Politics ain't beanbag. On with the rest of it.

Texas Republican Presidential Elector Candidate Says, if Elected, He May Not Vote for Donald Trump
(from: Ballot Access News @ August 25, 2016, 07:10 PM)

Chris Suprun, a Texas Republican candidate for presidential elector, says if elected in November, he may not vote for Donald Trump in December. See this Politico story. Thanks to PoliticalWire for the link.

This story, and similar stories, often point out that some states have laws telling presidential electors that they must vote for the presidential candidate they had said they would vote for. These stories never point out that these laws are unenforceable. A presidential elector has the constitutional right to help choose the President, regardless of any state law. A state may punish such an elector, but a state can’t tell him or her how to vote.

Three states say that presidential electors who are “faithless” are deemed to have resigned, and are instantly replaced by the other electors from that state. But if the entire state delegation casts “faithless” votes, that law won’t work, because then that state wouldn’t have any electors.

Tennessee Accepts Five Independent Presidential Petitions
(from: Ballot Access News @ August 25, 2016, 06:24 PM)

The Tennessee Secretary of State says that five independent presidential petitions have enough valid signatures:

1. Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party)
2. Jill Stein (Green Party)
3. Rocky De La Fuente (independent)
4. Alyson Kennedy (Socialist Workers Party)
5. Mike Smith (independent)

The Secretary of State seems to have rejected these six petitions:

1. Darrell Castle (Constitution Party)
2. James Germalic (independent)
3. Kyle Kopitke (independent)
4. David Limbaugh (independent)
5. Evan McMullin (Better for America)
6. Emidio Soltysik (Socialist Party)

Some of these results had already been announced. It is very surprising that Darrell Castle’s petition was rejected. It contained 500 signatures, and was circulated by motivated volunteers. Castle lives in Tennessee. He will be seeking to re-validate signatures. The Secretary of State has not yet released the data on the number of valid signatures for each of the rejected petitions.

Mike Smith lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here is his web page.

Jim Hedges petitioned in Tennessee, and probably had enough valid signatures, but just before he submitted his petition, two of his presidential elector candidates changed their mind and said they would not serve, and they refused to sign the candidacy document.

Montana Says Both Presidential Petitions are Valid
(from: Ballot Access News @ August 25, 2016, 06:01 PM)

On August 25, the Montana Secretary of State said both presidential petitions submitted this year are valid. They are for Jill Stein and Rocky De La Fuente. The law requires 5,000 signatures due August 17. Stein will have the “Green” label next to her name.

The qualified parties in Montana are Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican.

Sen. Joe Manchin, Father of Mylan?s CEO, Airs ?Concerns? About Drug Costs
(from: Washington Wire @ August 25, 2016, 04:18 PM)

In a statement more remarkable for who said it than for what he said, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) said he shares the concerns of other senators and the public about "skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs."

Donald Trump, Wavering on Immigration, Finds Anger in All Corners
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ August 25, 2016, 04:02 PM)

After Mr. Trump indicated he might retreat from his vow to deport all immigrants in the United States illegally, disgust poured in from all sides, if for different reasons.

Democrats? Weak Bench Undermines Hope of Taking Back Senate
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ August 25, 2016, 03:55 PM)

Various flaws mar many of the party?s candidates, despite a year when the Republicans have chosen a contentious presidential candidate.

Trump Backers Seek Donations to Fund Transition Process
(from: Washington Wire @ August 25, 2016, 03:42 PM)

Donald Trump?s supporters aim to raise $2.5 million to finance the Republican presidential nominee?s potential transition into the White House, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday on a private call.

Christina Hartman's opponent warns the 'ultra progressive' Daily Kos is supporting her. We are.
(from: Swing State Project @ August 25, 2016, 03:19 PM)

Goal Thermometer

Earlier this month Daily Kos endorsed Christina Hartman for Pennsylvania's open 16th Congressional District, part of our effort to identify strong Democratic candidates targeting GOP-held seats this year who could benefit from your support.

Hartman's Republican opponent Lloyd Smucker has noticed, and in a new fundraising email his campaign is sounding the alarm bells to supporters. Oh noes! The radical ultra progressives are on the move!

Recently, the Daily Kos, a liberal, left wing but influential website endorsed our opponent. They only support candidates who believe the same ultra progressive agenda that they do. Their agenda is bad for America and bad for the residents of the 16th district.This endorsement will open the floodgates of financial support for her.

We are not taking anything for granted in this election. That is why we need your help today.

Would you be willing to contribute $10, $25 or $100 today? to help us fight back against their liberal message?

Lloyd is running for Congress to protect the American dream. To keep our families safe and get our great nation back on track. [...]

Well golly, doesn't that sound alarming. Smucker is a tea partyesque would-be House member, as is fitting in the era of Trump, whose own terse "issues" page is devoted to promising his base that he will repeal Obamacare, punish states that don't appropriately despise "illegal aliens," and so forth. But he can't do those things if the left-wing ultra progressives gum up the works by supporting a candidate who thinks we have better things to spend our time on than holding still more votes to repeal the only substantive healthcare reform the nation has had in many years or making sure undocumented kids aren?t getting vaccinated or educated if it would cost the rest of us a few thin dimes.

All right, so we've got his attention. Now let's make it hurt. If Smucker can use his mailing list to warn that the Daily Kos "ultra progressives" have endorsed his opponent, let's use this opportunity to show just what a Daily Kos endorsement is worth. Let's send another round of donations to Christina Hartman, and help the Democratic voters in Pennsylvania?s 16th District send not another House Republican into the next Congress, but a Rep. Christina Hartman instead.

Click here and donate $3 to Christina Hartman's campaign.

Minnesota Republican Party Files Alternate Presidential Election Candidates Timely, but Broke its Own Bylaws in the Process
(from: Ballot Access News @ August 25, 2016, 03:04 PM)

Minnesota election law requires qualified parties to file their presidential elector candidates, and an equal number of alternates, by August 29. The Republican Party has complied with this law. However, when it first nominated presidential elector candidates earlier this year, it forgot it was supposed to also nominate alternates. See this story.

When the party realized this, it called a meeting of the state committee, nominated alternates, and forwarded them to the Secretary of State by the legal deadline. However, the meeting that was called to choose alternates was in violation of the party bylaws, which say a 10-day notice is required for meetings. The party ignored that bylaw because of the time emergency. Thanks to Jeff Becker for the link.

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