Donald Trump Jr. Rips Liz Cheney For Palling Around With Biden Before His Big ‘Socialist’ Speech

On Thursday, Donald Trump, Jr. criticized Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney on Twitter for warmly greeting President Joe Biden with a fist bump after his address to Congress, in which he laid out a “radical socialist vision.”

Trump Jr. joined his father in calling the anti-Trump Cheney a warmonger.

“‘Republican’ warmonger Liz Cheney gives Sleepy Joe a fist bump after he delivered a radical socialist vision for the future of America,” Trump Jr. tweeted.

“So glad she’s in the GOP leadership, I guess they wanted to be more inclusive and put Democrats in there too?!?”

RELATED: Meghan McCain Calls Out ‘The View’ For ‘Liberal Bias’ – ‘There’s A Reason Why Fox Is Killing It In The Ratings’

Cheney Defends Warm Greeting To Biden

Hours later, Cheney responded.

“I disagree strongly w/@JoeBiden policies, but when the President reaches out to greet me in the chamber of the US House of Representatives, I will always respond in a civil, respectful & dignified way,” Cheney tweeted.

“We’re different political parties. We’re not sworn enemies. We’re Americans,” she finished.

Cheney Explains Her Differences With Biden Administration

In another tweet, Cheney discussed her disagreement with the Biden administration’s policies.

Cheney wrote, “Biden, Pelosi and Democrats are set on abusing their power and infringing on our freedoms as they try to pass their radical agenda into law.”

RELATED: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Claims Tim Scott Lied In Rebuttal To Biden Address – ‘Reprehensible’

Cheney And Trump Sworn Enemies?

While Cheney says we’re all Americans and not sworn enemies, she has been aggressive in her condemnation of former President Donald Trump.

Cheney has been at odds with the Trump forces within the Republican Party for some time, including working with Democrats to block Trump’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

But things really became heated after she voted for the second impeachment of the former president for alleged incitement of insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.

After Cheney said earlier this week that she would not rule out a 2024 presidential run, Donald Trump issued a statement denouncing the Republican congresswoman using the same “warmonger” rhetoric his son did in his tweet.

“She’ll either be yet another lobbyist or maybe embarrass her family by running for President, in order to save face,” wrote Trump.

“This warmongering fool wants to stay in the Middle East and Afghanistan for another 19 years, but doesn’t consider the big picture — Russia and China!” Trump said..


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Morning Digest: The year’s biggest special election so far is on Saturday

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

TX-06: Texas' 6th Congressional District will kick off this year's first competitive special election for the House on Saturday, though we'll almost certainly have to wait until an as-yet-unscheduled runoff before we know the winner. That's because, under state law, all candidates from all parties are running together on a single ballot. In the event that no one captures a majority—which is all but certain, given the enormous 23-person field—the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will advance to a second round.

Exactly who that lucky twosome might be is difficult to say, given the paucity of recent polling and, in any event, the difficulty of accurately surveying the electorate in a special election like this one. The few polls we have seen have all found the same two contenders at the top of the heap: Republican Susan Wright, the widow of the late Rep. Ron Wright (whose death in February triggered this election), and Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez, the party's 2018 nominee who lost to the former congressman by a closer-than-expected 53-45 margin.

The numbers have all been extremely tight, however, and "undecided" has always remained the most popular choice, while several other candidates have trailed closely behind the frontrunners. On the Republican side, the more notable names include state Rep. Jake Ellzey, former Trump administration official Brian Harrison, and former WWE wrestler Dan Rodimer (who lost a bid for Congress in Nevada last year). For Democrats, also in the mix are educator Shawn Lassiter and businesswoman Lydia Bean, who unsuccessfully ran for a nearby state House district in 2020.

Campaign Action

Wright earned what's typically the most important endorsement in GOP circles these days when Donald Trump gave her his blessing on Monday, which could be enough to propel her to the runoff on its own. However, early voting had already been underway for a week, potentially blunting the announcement's effectiveness. What's more, Wright's top Republican rivals, led by Ellzey, have all outraised her. The top outside spender in the race, the Club for Growth, also seems to view Ellzey as a threat, since it's put at least $260,000 into TV ads attacking him. Two other super PACs, meanwhile, have spent $350,000 to boost Ellzey.

There's been less third-party activity on the Democratic side, with two groups spending about $100,000 on behalf of Sanchez, who raised $299,000 in the first quarter, compared to $322,000 for Lassiter and $214,000 for Bean. The biggest concern for Democrats right now may be making the runoff altogether, since there's a chance two Republicans could advance. It's theoretically possible the reverse could happen, but overall, Republicans have dominated in fundraising, collectively taking in $1.7 million to just $915,000 for Democrats.

That disparity may reflect the traditionally conservative lean of the 6th District, which covers much of the city of Arlington but juts out to take in rural areas south of Dallas. The area has always voted Republican, though in 2020, Trump's 51-48 win was by far the closest result the district has produced in a presidential race in many years. Ron Wright, however, ran well ahead of the top of the ticket, defeating Democrat Stephen Daniel 53-44.

To have a chance at flipping this seat, Democrats will need the district's overall trend to the left to continue, though first, of course, they'll need to make sure one of their candidates gets to the runoff. Exactly when that second round might happen is unknown, though, because Texas law only permits runoffs to be scheduled after an initial election takes place.


FL-Gov, FL-Sen: An unnamed source tells Politico that Democratic Rep. Val Demings is "more likely than not" to seek statewide office next year, adding that "if she does, it's almost definitely running for governor" against Republican Ron DeSantis rather than for Senate against Marco Rubio.

MD-Gov: Nonprofit head Wes Moore, who said in February that he was considering seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, has filed paperwork with state election officials to create a fundraising committee. Maryland Matters reports that Moore is likely to make an announcement "within the next few weeks."

NJ-Gov: Though New Jersey's primary is not until June, former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is acting as though he already has the nomination in the bag, judging by his TV ads attacking Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. His latest slams Murphy for ordering a shutdown of businesses at the start of the coronavirus pandemic—without actually mentioning the pandemic, making it sound like Murphy just arbitrarily forced pizza places to close their doors. Perhaps this kind of messaging will work as the worst of the pandemic begins to fade, but voters are apt to recall just how terrifying the virus' devastation was.

One person trying to remind voters of precisely this is none other than … Jack Ciattarelli. In an ad he released last month, he berated Murphy for nursing home deaths that happened on his watch, saying that 8,000 seniors and veterans died "scared and alone."

VA-Gov: Former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy's campaign has announced that it's spending $450,000 on a new TV buy in the Washington, D.C. media market, which is home to a little more than a third of the state's residents, ahead of the June 8 Democratic primary.

Carroll Foy also has a new spot where she talks about how, after her grandmother had a stroke, "we were forced to choose between her mortgage and medicine." She continues, "So when my babies were born early, I was grateful to have healthcare that saved their lives and mine." Carroll Foy concludes, "I've been a foster mom, public defender, and delegate who expanded Medicaid. Now, I'm running for governor to bring affordable healthcare to all of us."


MT-02: Former Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke has filed paperwork with the FEC to create a campaign committee that would allow him to run in Montana's as-yet-undrawn—and entirely new—2nd Congressional District. (Yes, that was weird to type. We're still writing "MT-AL" on our checks.) Zinke previously served as the state's lone member of the House after winning an open-seat race in 2014 but resigned not long after securing a second term to serve as Donald Trump's interior secretary.

It was a promotion that worked out very poorly. Like many Trump officials, Zinke was beset by corruption allegations, including charges that he'd spent tens of thousands in taxpayer funds on personal travel and used public resources to advance a private land deal with the chair of the oil services company Halliburton.

In all, he was the subject of at least 15 investigations, but what appears to have finally done him in was Democrats' victory in the 2018 midterms, which would have exposed him to congressional subpoenas. The White House, the Washington Post reported, told Zinke "he had until the end of the year to leave or be fired." He resigned in mid-December.

Zinke's old seat is now occupied by Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale, who won his first term last year after Zinke's successor, Greg Gianforte, decided to run for governor. Fortunately for Zinke, he and Rosendale are from opposite ends of the state: Rosendale lives in the small town of Glendive, not far from the North Dakota border, while Zinke's from Whitefish, another small town located in Montana's northwestern corner. It's impossible to say, of course, when the next map will look like, but these two burghs almost certainly won't wind up in the same district.

We also don't know if Zinke will in fact seek a comeback, since he hasn't yet spoken publicly about his intentions (and as we like to remind folks, it's easy to file some forms with the FEC—it's a lot harder to actually run a campaign). But whether or not he does, it's very likely that other ambitious Montana pols will also want to kick the tires on this brand-new district.

NC-13: The conservative site Carolina Journal reports that some Republicans have already begun to express interest in running for North Carolina's 13th District, just a day after GOP Rep. Ted Budd kicked off a bid for Senate.

Former Davidson County Commissioner Zak Crotts, who's also treasurer of the state Republican Party, says he's "thinking about" the race, though he cautioned that "we have to see what the district looks like" following redistricting. Meanwhile, law student Bo Hines, who's been challenging Rep. Virginia Foxx in the GOP primary in the 5th District (which doesn't currently neighbor the 13th), didn't rule out the possibility of switching races, saying he's keeping "all options open."


Three of Texas' 10 largest cities, Arlington, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, are holding mayoral races on Saturday, and we preview each of them below. All races are officially nonpartisan and all candidates compete on one ballot. In any contest where one candidate does not win a majority of the vote, a runoff will be held at a later date that has yet to be determined.

Arlington, TX Mayor: Arlington, home to Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers and the iconic Dallas Cowboys football team, is hosting an open-seat contest to replace termed-out Republican incumbent Jeff Williams. Business owner and former police officer Jim Ross has raised by far the most money of any candidate, having spent $311,000 so far, and has the support of Williams and former Mayor Richard Greene. Other prominent candidates include City Councilman Marvin Sutton and former City Councilman Michael Glaspie. Sutton is backed by former Mayor Elzie Odom, who was the first (and so far only) Black mayor in Arlington history.

Five other candidates are also on the ballot. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that most of the contenders are people of color, with one longtime observer, local columnist O.K. Carter, calling it the most diverse field he's ever seen in the city.

One of the lesser-known candidates, talent purchasing agent Jerry Warden, was declared ineligible to run because of his status as a convicted sex offender. Due to Texas' election laws, however, Warden will still appear on the ballot, which could have an unpredictable impact as his name will be listed first.

Economic issues, particularly those affecting small businesses, have dominated this contest. Ross has spoken about the need to focus on Black businesses, saying, "When we have a 23% African American community and 1% of our businesses are owned by African Americans, there's a disparity there." Sutton has also discussed equity issues and the need to address economic disparities, while Glaspie has focused on helping Arlington businesses recover from the pandemic.

Fort Worth, TX Mayor: This is another open-seat contest to replace outgoing Republican Mayor Betsy Price, who is retiring as the longest-serving mayor in the city's history.

Eleven candidates have lined up to succeed Price, including her chief of staff, Mattie Parker, who has received the mayor's backing along with the support of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. Parker also sports the biggest fundraising haul in the field, with $1 million raised. Also on the GOP side is City Councilman Brian Byrd, who is endorsed by Rep. Kay Granger. Byrd has raised $324,00 for this race and injected an additional $310,000 into his campaign via a personal loan.

Fort Worth is one of the country's largest cities with a Republican mayor, but Democrats are making a strong push to change that this year. Tarrant County Democratic Party Chairwoman Deborah Peoples and City Councilwoman Ann Zadeh are Team Blue's top contenders. Peoples has been endorsed by Dallas-area Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks, and state Sen. Royce West. Additionally, Rep. Marc Veasey, whose district takes in part of Fort Worth, reportedly will endorse one of these two progressives if either wins a spot in the runoff. Neither Peoples nor Zadeh have been as prolific fundraisers as their GOP counterparts, with the candidates reporting hauls of $286,000 and $128,000, respectively.

Diversity and equality has also emerged as a top issue in this campaign, even among Republicans. Peoples has made focusing on the needs of people of color and improving relations between police and communities of color a central focus of her campaign. There have been multiple incidents of police violence targeting Black residents of Fort Worth in recent years, and even Price acknowledged this issue was among the most challenging to deal with during her time in office.

Byrd has also spoken on racial issues, kicking off his campaign in a historically Black neighborhood in the city. However, Byrd, who is white, has sent out mailers with racial overtones that emphasized his support for police and commitment to "public safety," while another specifically targeted Peoples, who is Black.

San Antonio, TX Mayor: Incumbent Ron Nirenberg is seeking a second term as mayor of Texas' second-largest city and faces a rematch against a familiar foe. Nirenberg, a progressive independent, won a 51-49 contest over conservative Greg Brockhouse in 2019. Brockhouse is back again, and the pair are the top contenders in a wide field of 15 candidates.

Nirenberg, who has been endorsed by former Mayor Julián Castro, has a wide advantage in fundraising over Brockhouse, beating him $218,000 to $14,000 in the last fundraising period. Additionally, local pollster Bexar Facts, polling on behalf of KSAT and San Antonio Report, released a survey earlier this month that showed Nirenberg leading Brockhouse 56-21. Nirenberg's underlying numbers appeared strong in this poll as well, as he boasted a 67% approval rating.

Observers have noted this race has been a departure from the intense tone of 2019's contest, though issues surrounding police and firefighters unions have remained contentious. Brockhouse, a former consultant for both the city's police and firefighter unions, received strong support in his last bid from both labor groups, which deployed a combined $530,000 on Brockhouse' behalf—more than twice what the candidate himself spent.

This time around, though, the two unions have stayed neutral, as Nirenberg has successfully managed to navigate thorny issues with them. Nirenberg and the city negotiated a new deal with the firefighters union while also sidestepping questions about Proposition B, a measure that would repeal the right of the police union to engage in collective bargaining. Nirenberg has not taken a stance on the proposition and claims his focus is on the current round of negotiations with the union.

Other Races

KS-AG: We thought we were done with Kris Kobach, but we thought wrong. The notorious voter suppression zealot and former Kansas secretary of state kicked off a campaign for state attorney general on Thursday, following a failed bid for the Republican nomination for Senate in 2020 and a disastrous turn as the GOP's gubernatorial nominee two years earlier that handed the governorship to the Democrats.

Team Blue would certainly love another shot at Kobach, since his too-many-to-mention failings could once again put a statewide race in play. There's one we certainly have to note, though, since it directly impacts his qualifications to serve as Kansas' top law enforcement official: that time three years ago when a federal judge found Kobach in contempt for failing to comply with her orders in a suit that struck down a law he championed requiring new voters to provide proof of citizenship, then made him take a remedial legal education class titled "Civil Trial: Everything You Need to Know."

Of course, Republicans would like to avoid one more go-round with Kobach as much as Democrats would enjoy one. The GOP successfully kept Kobach at bay in last year's Senate race (which Republican Roger Marshall went on to win), though so far, he's the only notable candidate to announce a bid for the attorney general's post, which is open because Republican incumbent Derek Schmidt is running for governor. The Kansas City Star says that state House Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch and state Sen. Kellie Warren could run for Republicans, while no Democratic names have surfaced yet. With Kobach now in the mix, that will likely change.

VA-LG: EMILY's List has endorsed Del. Hala Ayala, who also recently earned the backing of Gov. Ralph Northam, in the June 8 Democratic primary. The six-person field also includes another pro-choice woman, Norfolk City Council member Andria McClellan.

This Week in Statehouse Action: State of Mind edition

So the weather is getting warmer, we’re getting vaccinated, and … is this hope?

Nah, that’s indigestion.

Because even as federal politics is boring again, state-level political action remains a shitshow, and this week brought a reminder of the disaster to come next year.

Specifically, redistricting.

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its congressional reapportionment numbers, which is when decennial Census results are used to recalculate the number of congressional seats each state gets.

Because we’re stuck at 435 seats but our population keeps growing at different rates in different places, it’s a zero-sum game. More congressional seats for a state = more power for that state in Congress and in the Electoral College (which is bad and should go away but that’s a rant for another time).

The biggest winner among states was Texas, which picked up two U.S. House seats and will have 38 in the next Congress.

Campaign Action

Five states gained one seat: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Seven states lost one seat: California (the first time that’s ever happened in the history of California being a state), Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Courtesy of the amazing Daily Kos Elections squad, here’s a handy map of the changes: 

Obviously, the size of various state legislatures isn’t changing, but this is still very much a statehouse action issue because state lawmakers are tasked with drawing new congressional maps in the majority of states.

… which is why the fact that Democrats failed to flip a single chamber in November 2020 is so devastating for Team Blue at every level of government.

GOP lawmakers in the states will be able to draw new maps for anywhere from 38% to 46% of all congressional districts.

Meanwhile, Democrats will control the process for just 16% of seats.

The remainder will likely be drawn by nonpartisan entities or through bipartisan compromise.

Five of the seven seats being added were picked up by states where the GOP has complete control of redistricting: Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Texas.

Three of those seven seats were lost by states where Democrats have some measure of control or influence over redistricting: Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania (Democratic governor, hooray!).

But it’s not enough for Republicans to control most of the next round of redistricting.

The GOP wants to have its way on pretty much everything.

And if you have the temerity to try to use things like “checks and balances” or “the rule of law” to hold them to account, good luck with that.

Because Republican lawmakers have no reservations about replacing judges who don’t agree with them with judges who do.

Take, for instance, Montana.

It’s easy to forget that the last two governors of the Treasure State were Democrats, but the GOP is fulling running the show in Helena these days.

… except not fully enough for Republicans’ liking.

High on that sweet trifecta control of state government for the first time since 2004, the GOP is thirstily passing a whole passel of bills of dubious constitutionality.

But what to do about that pesky state Supreme Court that might tell the GOP-controlled legislature that they can’t just do any old thing they want?

You fuck around and hope you don’t find out, that’s what.

Since this year’s legislative session began, lawmakers have proposed numerous bills seeking changes to the judicial branch.

This resulted in a progressive escalation of tensions between the two branches of government as the GOP-controlled legislature passed bills designed to reduce the independence of Montana’s highest court.

The cherry on top of the Republicans’ anti-separation-of-powers sundae is HB 325.

This measure—if approved by voters at the ballot box in 2022—would effectively gerrymander the state judiciary by forcing candidates for the state Supreme Court to run in seven pre-carved districts (yes, I know they don’t have the Census data yet that they’d need to make sure these districts have equal population, that’s part of the fun here).

According to DKE’s Stephen Wolf, if those districts had been used in 2020 to elect the state’s Supreme Court justices, GOP candidates would have won a majority of the seven seats despite losing the statewide vote by 7%.

But wait, it gets better! A justice running for reelection doesn’t have to actually live in the district—they’re just stuck running in the district with the number corresponding to the order in which they’re next up for election.

It’s totally arbitrary and very obviously designed to dilute the voting power of Montana’s (few as it is) Democratic-leaning urban centers.

But if you think this is the only place that GOP-controlled state governments are screwing around with the judiciary, I’ve got some bad news for you.

In Tennessee, GOP lawmakers get pretty sore when the state Supreme Court strikes down laws as unconstitutional.

Their solution?

Create a new court (that will conveniently be stacked with GOP appointees)!

A sort of “super court” would be established under legislation moving through the Tennessee statehouse to hear constitutional challenges to state laws.

Tennessee's new court would initially be staffed by three judges appointed by Republican Gov. Bill Lee. Starting in 2022, the judges would run in the state's first partisan statewide judicial races.

Currently, Tennessee Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor and then subject to statewide retention elections every eight years—which means there are still two holdovers the state’s last Democratic governor.

Meanwhile, Texas Republicans are getting nervous about the inroads Democrats are making in judicial elections.

They’ve considered a number of shady options to “remedy” this, and they seem to have settled on one.

A bill that has already cleared the state Senate and is being considered by the House would create a new appellate court to hear a range of appeals, including lawsuits that challenge state laws or government action.

Currently, most cases challenging Texas laws are appealed to the court in Austin, which happens to be a Democratic bastion in the state.

But the new court would be chosen in statewide partisan elections, where Republicans still have a very real leg up.

It’s almost hilarious that, while the national GOP is screaming about Democrats’ proposal to expand the U.S. Supreme Court, state-level counterparts are openly screwing with actual separation of powers and actual court-packing.

And this is nothing new.

Republicans in states have a consistent and extensive history of messing with state judiciaries or other independent institutions as means of revenge for decisions perceived as adverse to the GOP’s interests. A look back at just the past decade provides myriad examples.

First, let’s set the wayback machine to 2011, when Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC), created in 2000 via a voter-initiated ballot measure that removed the drawing of state legislative and congressional district maps from lawmakers’ hands, drew new congressional maps that failed to give sufficient advantage to Republicans. Brewer proceeded to fire the head of the IRC for this affront.

The Arizona Supreme Court found that Brewer had insufficient reason to remove the commission’s chief and reinstated her. The “offending” maps were approved by the IRC and went into effect for the 2012 elections.

But Arizona’s Republicans weren’t done messing with the IRC. If we can’t control it, they decided, let’s get rid of it. So the legislature’s GOP majority sued to have the IRC declared unconstitutional, saying it unlawfully removed power over redistricting from the lawmakers themselves. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, and Arizona Republicans were forced to let the IRC remain in existence. Arizona Republicans then tried to get the maps themselves declared unconstitutional, but that didn’t go their way, either.

Yet, years later, Arizona Republicans kept trying to twist the IRC into something they can control. The commission is set now, though, so further shenanigans will keep until after the GOP decides if it likes the map it gets or not.

But courts remain Republicans’ favorite target. In 2015, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling finding the state’s method of funding public schools both inadequate and unfairly distributed. This upset the Republican-controlled legislature, which responded with a pair of retaliatory laws that created a catch-22 of sorts for state courts. The first law stripped the state Supreme Court of administrative power over lower courts; the second stripped the state’s entire court system of funding if a court struck down any part of the previous law.

(In other words: If you don’t rule exactly the way we demand, we’re going to take away every penny that funds your operations—from the copy machines to the clerks to the judges themselves.)

That first law removing the court’s authority was at least pretty straightforwardly unconstitutional, and the Kansas Supreme Court ruled thusly. But that triggered the law that eliminated the state court system’s financing. This didn’t last too long, though; it’s hard to run for re-election after you’ve destroyed the judicial system and your state’s become a lawless hellscape, after all. A few weeks later, the legislature blinked and passed a bill restoring the courts’ funding.

But Republicans weren’t going to let this perceived affront go without a further fight. Proposals surfaced to broaden the grounds for judicial impeachment, to give the governor and the legislature complete power over judicial selection, and to begin electing judges to state courts. The efforts stalled in 2016, but there’s no reason to think Republicans are giving up. Already this year, they’ve denied the state judicial branch’s request for a budget increase.

By the way, all five of the Kansas Supreme Court justices facing retention elections in 2016 kept their seats on the bench.

Speaking of 2016 elections, that was the year Democrat Roy Cooper ousted Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in North Carolina’s gubernatorial election. The state’s Republican legislators, occupying comfortable, veto-proof supermajorities in both the state House and Senate—obtained through gerrymanders that have since been ruled unconstitutional by the courts—were positively incensed that a Democrat had the temerity to win this race. So the GOP set about removing as much power from the executive branch as they conceivably could.

In December special sessions, with McCrory still in office but content to go out in a blaze of sour grapesRepublican legislators passed measures that fundamentally altered the state’s election oversight boards and forced the governor’s cabinet appointees to submit to state Senate approval. They also slashed the number of gubernatorial appointees from 1,500 to 425.

The North Carolina Supreme Court ended up blocking most of this Republican legislative power grab and restored much of this authority to Cooper shortly thereafter. But then Republicans used their veto-proof majorities to basically pass the same thing again—and again a state court swatted them down.

So, presented with some judicial rulings they didn’t like, Republican lawmakers set about messing with North Carolina’s court system itself. They started by ending public campaign financing, transforming the state’s previously nonpartisan judicial elections into partisan contests, and then they canceled judicial primaries. When three Republican judges on the state’s Court of Appeals hit mandatory retirement age, GOP lawmakers reduced the size of the court from 15 to 12, just to prevent the Democratic governor from appointing replacements.

Republican lawmakers also dislike being watched and investigated by agencies they can’t control. In 2015, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature disbanded the state’s nonpartisan elections and ethics oversight agency, the Government Accountability Board (GAB). The GAB was created by a near-unanimous vote of the legislature back in 2007, and it had been hailed as “a national model for ethics and elections.” But after facing eight years of investigations of possible campaign violations, Republicans decided it was time to go back to the bad old days of partisan oversight.

Almost all of the GAB's critics were Republicans, and their ire was largely motivated by a GAB investigation into possible (and illegal) coordination between GOP Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and conservative groups during the 2012 recall election. Democrats lacked the numbers in the legislature to halt the GOP’s bill to dismantle the GAB, and in 2016, the board was officially dissolved and split into a separate ethics commission and an elections oversight commission. Commission members are now selected by legislative leaders or the governor—the very same partisan officeholders the commissioners are supposed to oversee. Critics called the move “a deliberate attempt to doom effective enforcement of Wisconsin election laws.”

And let’s not forget the ongoing threat from Pennsylvania Republicans to gerrymander that state’s Supreme Court after it ruled in 2018 ruling that their gerrymandered congressional map violated the state constitution. The GOP responded with defiance, lashing out publicly. They even threatened to evict the offending justices from the bench through impeachment.

And this fight isn’t over! The bill that could have put that constitutional amendment gerrymandering Pennsylvania’s highest court on the ballot this spring is in limbo for the moment, but it’s by no means dead, and if history is any guide, Republicans will try to pass it when they think no one is paying attention.

This is just a small sampling of the most egregious attacks Republicans have leveled at the judiciary and other independent agencies and branches of government, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list (though the nonpartisan Brennan Center has a catalog of plenty more).

The bottom line: The GOP’s contempt for courts and other government branches and agencies they lack power over burns intensely. Progressives must be girded for these ongoing assaults and fight back with even greater passion.

Gaetz, Greene plan national tour to call out RINOs

Matt Gaetz is going on tour. With Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Rocked by a steady stream of leaks about a federal investigation into alleged sex crimes, the Florida congressman is planning to take his case on the road by holding rallies across the nation with Greene, another lightning rod member of Congress.

Their targets? So-called RINOs and “the radical left.“

Together, they plan to attack Democrats and call out Republicans they deem as insufficiently loyal to former President Donald Trump, such as the 10 GOP House members who voted for his second impeachment after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Gaetz and Greene will kick off their barnstorming “America First Tour” on May 7 in the mega-conservative Florida retirement community known as The Villages, a must-stop for any Republican candidate hoping to win the state or generate grassroots excitement. The idea is to send a message from the two controversial Republicans: They’re not canceled, they’re not going to be quiet and the infamy their critics attribute to them is translatable as fame and power in the conservative movement.

“The radical left is coming for you. And they know I'm in the way. Come stand with me as we fight back together against this radical president and his far left agenda,” Gaetz says in a new radio ad rallying conservatives to The Villages event.

Gaetz’s decision to step forward comes after weeks of national headlines and top-of-the-news-hour TV coverage related to the revelation that he is the subject of a federal sex-crimes investigation.

Gaetz, who has not been charged, has consistently denied the two anonymous claims against him: that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid for prostitutes. The accusations are linked to former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, a former friend who is thought to be trying to cut a deal with federal prosecutors on a 33-count indictment.

Greene, a first-term Republican from Georgia, in February was stripped of her House committee assignments due to her promotion of conspiracy theories and incendiary rhetoric preceding the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Normally voluble and ever-present on cable news as a Trump loyalist, Gaetz was off air for weeks recently as the news cycle took its toll on him.

Now, one of his biggest allies in the conservative news media, Fox’s Tucker Carlson, has begun publicly questioning whether Gaetz is the target of overzealous prosecutors under a Democratic administration that wants to silence conservative voices by smearing Republicans like Gaetz with allegations of sexual impropriety.

“That story essentially destroyed Gaetz, took him off the map completely as a rhetorical force,” Carlson said on his eponymous show. “Whatever his flaws, Gaetz is smart, articulate and brave. Matt Gaetz was one of the very few members of Congress who bothered to stand up against permanent Washington on behalf of his constituents. Now he’s a sex trafficker. So the question is, who exactly did Matt Gaetz sex traffic? We can’t answer that question because no charges have been filed. All that remains is the stigma.”

Gaetz is planning to reemerge publicly on television soon and is likely to appear on Carlson’s show, according to an adviser, who couldn’t give more information on what other cities Gaetz and Greene plan to visit as part of their tour.

One fellow Republican is sure to get a visit from Gaetz: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

Cheney was a leading voice who criticized Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and voted for his impeachment. Gaetz responded by flying from Florida to Wyoming for an anti-Cheney rally.

"Defeat Liz Cheney in this upcoming election, and Wyoming will bring Washington to its knees," Gaetz said on Jan. 28. The Wyoming GOP later censured her.

Two months later, the news of the investigation into Gaetz dropped like a bomb. Cheney got a measure of revenge by calling the allegations against him “sickening” but refused to call on him to resign.

In batting the allegations against him, Gaetz said he was being targeted for his decision “to take on the most powerful institutions in the Beltway: the establishment; the FBI; the Biden Justice Department; the Cheney political dynasty; even the Justice Department under Trump.”

Gaetz refrained from calling out any Republicans in his initial announcement for “The America First Tour.”

“There are millions of Americans who need to know they still have advocates in Washington D.C., and the America First movement is consistently growing and fighting,” Gaetz said in a written statement provided to POLITICO. “The issues that motivate us include ending America's forever-wars, fixing the border Joe Biden broke on day one, prioritizing Americans, not illegal migrants, reshoring industries sold to foreign adversaries, ensuring real election integrity, and taking on the threat of the Chinese Communist Party. These issues are bigger than any one election and we remain ready to take our party and our country back.”

Alex Andrade, a Republican state representative who holds Gaetz’s old seat in the Florida House, said he’s not surprised with the congressman’s reemergence.

“Of course Congressman Gaetz is going about business as usual,” Andrade said. “He committed to fighting entrenched corruption when he first ran for Congress, and he’s not going to be deterred by anything we’ve seen to date. I know I wouldn’t have expected anything else from him.”

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FNC’s Janice Dean Calls For Cuomo To Be Impeached Immediately – Says He Covered Up Nursing Home Deaths To Sell His Book

Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean called for Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) to be impeached today, claiming that he covered up the death toll in nursing homes because “he had a book to sell, a $4 million book.”

Dean Blasts Cuomo

While appearing on “Fox & Friends,” Dean said that Cuomo “would go on these interviews on television, when they would finally ask him the question about the nursing homes, he would give false information and he knew all along he was lying. So why did he and his top aides, including Melissa DeRosa, go to such great lengths to make sure that no one would find out the real total of the deaths? I think it’s because it’s criminal and he had a book to sell, a $4 million book.”

Related: Cuomo Now Being Investigated Over $4 Million Book Deal Celebrating His Pandemic Leadership, Janice Dean Calls It ‘Disgusting’

Not stopping there, Dean called on lawmakers to take action.

“Our lawmakers in Albany need to do something,” she added. “This whitewash of an impeachment is ridiculous. Go in there today and get it done. There are at least four investigations into this governor. How much more do you need to get him out?”

Dean Feels Relief 

This comes a day after Dean said she feels relief to see the tide finally start to turn against Cuomo after she spent nearly a year being “beaten down” as she desperately fought against him.

“I feel like all of these months, close to a year now, it feels like it finally is happening, that all of the things we’ve been yelling about and trying to shine a light on, it’s finally happening,” Dean told Fox News. “I really feel like he should go to jail. And all these people surrounding him that covered this up for so many months, they should go to jail.”

Dean has been fighting to get justice for her in-laws, who both died in New York nursing homes.

Related: Cuomo Admin Accused Of ‘Criminal Conspiracy’ Following Bombshell Report They ‘Stripped’ Data From Report On Nursing Home Deaths

‘We’re On The Side Of The Angels’

“It’s like I just have to think that my in-laws had a purpose. I always say, like, we’re on the side of the angels and you can’t deny that,” she said. “I feel like they’ve always helped me this whole year… just to give me the strength to continue to go on.”

“And, you know, people made fun of me in the beginning, even the Cuomo administration… like she’s nothing but the weather girl and what does she know?” Dean continued. “You know, sometimes the weather girl gets it right. And I do want justice for them. They deserve it.”

This piece was written by James Samson on April 29, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Obama’s Former White House Advisor Seth Andrew Arrested – Hit With Major Charges
Tara Reade Fires Back After Pelosi Says Congress ‘Stands With Survivors’ During Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Director Tyler Perry Bravely Stands Up For America At Oscars

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