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Harris Wofford, a Martin Luther King ally who played key role in JFK's narrow win, dies at 92
(from: Swing State Project @ January 22, 2019, 06:48 PM)

Former Sen. Harris Wofford, a Pennsylvania Democrat who served from 1991 until he was defeated by Rick Santorum in the 1994 GOP wave, died Monday at the age of 92.

Wofford, whom The New Republic dubbed ?The Man Who Was Everywhere? in a must-read 2014 profile by Jason Zengerle, had a very long career in public service despite only spending a few years in elected office. Among many other things, he was an early supporter of Martin Luther King Jr. and an aide on John F. Kennedy?s 1960 presidential campaign. He even helped convince JFK to defy his campaign advisors and call Coretta Scott King after her husband was arrested, a politically risky move that probably tipped the election towards Kennedy.

Wofford was born in upstate New York into a wealthy family of transplanted Southerners, and at the age of 11, he accompanied his grandmother on a six-month tour around the world. In perhaps the first example of Wofford?s Forrest Gump-like presence at major historical events, he personally witnessed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini declaring that he was withdrawing Italy from the League of Nations, an announcement that Wofford later recounted was followed by ?a fascist torchlight parade.? However, it was his stop in India, where Wofford saw and became fascinated by Mahatma Gandhi and his nonviolence movement, that would most impact his future.

Wofford would later say that he returned from the trip as a ?know-it-all foreign policy expert.? In high school, Wofford founded a group called Student Federalists that called for united world government. The organization would grow to include 30 chapters, and when he was only 18, Newsweek published an article predicting he would be president. The Student Federalists would later transform into the group that is now known as Citizens for Global Solutions.

Wofford went on to serve stateside in the Army Air Corps in World War II and later enrolled in graduate school at the University of Chicago. In 1948, he married marry fellow student Clare Lindgren, and the two traveled throughout India and Pakistan, which had just gained their independence from the British Empire and where Wofford studied the recently murdered Gandhi and civil disobedience. Wofford would later recount that Gandhi?s disciples asked him about the nascent civil rights movement back in America, a movement that he would soon become immersed in.


Tulsi Gabbard, busy seeking the presidency, has earned a primary challenge?if she even runs again
(from: Swing State Project @ January 22, 2019, 06:04 PM)

On Monday, Democratic state Sen. Kai Kahele, a combat pilot with the Air National Guard who's flown missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, announced he would run for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District?but whether or not he'll actually face off against the seat's current occupant, Tulsi Gabbard, is an open question. Gabbard, of course, recently launched a bid for president, and when CNN's Jake Tapper asked her on Saturday whether she'd stay in the House if she doesn't win the Democratic nomination, she would only say, "We'll cross that bridge when we get there."

There is, however, a long time between here and there. Hawaii's congressional primary is not until August of 2020, and under state law, Gabbard can in fact run for both offices simultaneously. She can therefore wait to see how share fares in the presidential race before deciding whether to come home to seek re-election.

But while Gabbard is busy greeting voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, Kahele will be able to campaign aggressively in the 2nd District. And though Gabbard's many apostasies have infuriated progressives, it's her absenteeism that's looks to be central to Kahele's campaign.

In his kickoff announcement, Kahele didn't mention Gabbard by name, but he not-so-subtly threw shade in her direction by saying the state needs "leaders who put the common interests of Hawaii's people ahead of their own." He also quoted famous lines from Barack Obama: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

It's a message that could resonate in Hawaii, where members of the state's congressional delegation have to work particularly hard given the way the remote archipelago is too-often treated as an afterthought on the mainland. (Remember when Jeff Sessions sneered it was a mere "island in the Pacific"?) And by announcing so early, Kahele has given himself a lot of runway (sorry, sorry, but he's also a commercial pilot for Hawaiian Airlines, so we had to) for making this argument.

But even if a defeated Gabbard does tuck tail and return to run for a fifth term in the House, she'll still be difficult to beat. Limited polling has shown her very popular, and she's crushed unheralded primary opponents two cycles in a row, winning with more than 80 percent of the vote both times. Money also will likely not be a problem for her.

Presidential bids, however, always have the potential to tarnish the bidder. Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, for instance, helped alienate voters back home with his failed 2008 run, when he went so far as to enroll his young children in Iowa public schools. Dodd ended up takingliterally zero percent in the Iowa caucuses, and his constituents in Connecticut weren?t especially happy with him, either:Dodd wound up retiring in 2010 in the face of polls showing him losing re-election. If Gabbard winds up similarly damaged, Kahele could have an opening.

Kahele also brings an unusual personal background to the race. He'd be only the second native Hawaiian to win a seat in Congress (after the late Sen. Dan Akaka) and the first elected from the Neighbor Islands?the more rural part of the state that encompasses all of the islands other than Oahu, which is home to Honolulu. Of course, it's very possible that Gabbard decides she's had enough of the House and turns this into an open-seat contest. In that case, what is for the moment a one-on-one contest would undoubtedly turn into a free-for-all, though since Kahele was just re-elected to a four-year term last year, he wouldn't have to give up his seat to stay in the race.


Florida Democratic Party Lawsuit on Ballot Order
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 22, 2019, 11:04 AM)

The Democratic Party’s lawsuit against the Florida law that always puts the party that won the last gubernatorial election first on the ballot is moving along. The experts who will testify that being listed first on the ballot gives candidates an advantage will present their reports on January 29. The state’s experts, who will presumably present evidence that ballot position doesn’t matter, will submit their reports on February 13. The trial will be June 3. The case is now called Jacobson v Ertel. It was formerly Jacobson v Detzner but Florida has a new Secretary of State.


Washington State Supreme Court Hears ?Disobedient Electors? Case at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 22
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 22, 2019, 10:55 AM)

The Washington State Supreme Court will hear In the matter of Guerra, 95347-3, at 9 a.m., Tuesday, January 22. Here is an article about the case, which challenges the Washington state law that fines presidential electors who vote for someone in the electoral college who did not get the most popular votes in the state.


Maryland Libertarian Party Asks U.S. District Court for a Temporary Restraining Order to Prevent State from Removing Party from Voter Registration Forms
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 22, 2019, 10:47 AM)

On January 22, the Maryland Libertarian Party asked a U.S. District Court to prevent the state from printing up new registration cards that omit the Libertarian Party as a choice, at least until the main issue in the party’s lawsuit is settled. Johnston v Lamone, 1:18cv-3988. The party went off the ballot in November 2018 because it didn’t poll 1% for Governor. However, the party has over 20,000 registered members. The lawsuit argues that the ballot retention law, as applied to a party in its position, is unconstitutional. The state says the party needs a petition of 10,000 signatures in order to get back on the ballot, but the party argues that it is not rational for the state to require the party to submit 10,000 signatures, when it is obvious that there are more than 10,000 voters in Maryland who want the party on the ballot. Clearly if a party has over 20,000 registered members, any petition to show that 10,000 voters want the party on the ballot is redundant.


Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/22
(from: Swing State Project @ January 22, 2019, 09:00 AM)

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

Please note: The Live Digest is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free space. It?s also a place to discuss elections, not policy.

Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday.

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 4:34:04 PM +00:00 Jeff Singer

TN-Sen: Republican former Gov. Bill Haslam, who left office over the weekend, told reporters that he would decide on a Senate bid ?probably sometime in March.?

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 4:37:53 PM +00:00 Jeff Singer

CA-50: 2018 Democratic nominee Ammar Campa-Najjar recently unveiled endorsements from Reps. Scott Peters and Mike Levin, who represent neighboring districts. Earlier this month, Campa-Najjar announced he would seek a rematch with indicted GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is scheduled to go on trial in September, and so far, no notable Democrats have made noises about running.

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 4:51:32 PM +00:00 Jeff Singer

NY-11: Here?s a not-so-subtle hint that GOP Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis is looking to challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Max Rose. On Friday, Malliotakis tweeted out a photo of her with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and she added that he?d helped facilitate a call with Donald Trump. This Staten Island seat, which includes a portion of Brooklyn, backed Trump 54-44.


Bill for D.C. Statehood Now Has 182 Co-Sponsors
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 21, 2019, 07:52 PM)

HR 51, the bill in Congress to make the District of Columbia a state, now has 182 co-sponsors. It has gained 27 co-sponsors in the past two weeks. It is by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.


Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Lengthen U.S. House Terms to Four Years
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 21, 2019, 07:48 PM)

Congressmember Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania) has introduced HJRes 26. It would amend the U.S. Constitution so that U.S. House members would be elected to four year terms, instead of two year terms. Thanks to Steve Goodale for this news.


Many Sources Say Businessman Howard Schultz is Thinking of Running for President as an Independent
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 21, 2019, 07:17 PM)

Here is a story from The Guardian, reporting that businessman Howard Schultz is thinking of running for president in 2020 as an independent.


Maine Bill for a Presidential Primary
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 21, 2019, 05:27 PM)

Maine Senator Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) has introduced LD 245, to provide a presidential primary. Maine is one of the few states that has always used caucuses instead of presidential primaries.


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