Texas GOP can’t kick 44 Libertarians off the ballot, Supreme Court rules – The Texas Tribune

The Texas Supreme Court on Saturday rejected an attempt by Republicans to kick 44 Libertarians off the ballot in the November elections.

Several Republican Party candidates and organizations had sued to remove the Libertarians, arguing they did not pay filing fees a new requirement for third parties under a law passed by the Legislature last year. But the Supreme Court dismissed the suit, finding that the Republicans missed the Aug. 21 deadline to successfully boot people from the ballot.

The available mechanism for seeking the Libertarians removal from the ballot for failure to pay the filing fee was a declaration of ineligibility, the court wrote in a per curiam opinion. But the deadline by which such a declaration can achieve the removal of candidates from the ballot has passed.

Groups affiliated with both major parties have gone to court in recent weeks to remove from the ballot non-major-party candidates perceived to be a threat. In general, Libertarians are believed to peel votes away from Republicans, while the Green Party is thought to siphon votes from Democrats.

In multiple cases citing the same lack of a filing fee paid, state and national Democrats were successful in removing some Green Party candidates. The Supreme Court suggested that at least some Libertarians may have made the same mistake, but said the GOP was too late in bringing its legal challenge forward.

Although the result in this instance may be that candidates who failed to pay the required filing fee will nevertheless appear on the ballot, this Court cannot deviate from the text of the law by subjecting the Libertarian candidates applications to challenges not authorized by the Election Code, the court wrote.

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Texas GOP can't kick 44 Libertarians off the ballot, Supreme Court rules - The Texas Tribune

In close elections, third-party candidates can tilt the results – The Texas Tribune

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While many of us were relaxing over the long Labor Day weekend, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling that could decide some of the closest races on this years general election ballot.

The all-Republican court rejected a Republican effort to erase 44 Libertarian candidates from the ballot. The GOP candidates and organizations that sued to remove the Libertarians missed their deadline for taking people off the ballot, so the third-party folks will stay. Democrats, who filed their challenges on time, earlier got the courts to knock several Green Party candidates off the ballot.

The theory operating here is that Libertarian candidates siphon more votes from Republicans than from Democrats. A related bit of political folklore is that Green Party candidates take votes that would otherwise go to Democrats.

Sometimes, the minor-party candidate gets a share of the vote that is larger than the distance between the two leading candidates. In 2018, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, beat Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones by 926 votes, or by 0.44 of a percentage point. Ruben Corvalan, a Libertarian, got 4,425 votes, or 2.11%. The folklorists in politics would have you believe those votes would otherwise have gone to the Republican, but whos to say for sure? Without Corvalan in the race, somebody would have broken 50% and put the might-have-beens to rest.

State Rep. Gina Calanni, a Democrat, beat a Republican incumbent by 113 votes in a 2018 race in which a Libertarian got 1,106 votes. Former state Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Houston, will probably never forget Daniel Arevalos name.

Neither the Libertarian Party nor the Green Party has ever won a statewide or legislative race in Texas. But third-party candidates sometimes get enough votes to keep winners below the 50% mark. That can still be enough in a general election; all the winner has to do is get more votes than everyone else like Hurd did against Ortiz Jones.

Sometimes, a third-party candidate racks up a relatively large number, usually as a kind of protest against a major-party candidate. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, easily won reelection in 2018, with 80.9% of the vote. The rest went to the only other candidate: Jeffrey Blunt, a Libertarian.

The Texas House elections in 2018 got attention because of the 12 seats Democrats took away from Republicans, but there were a number of close finishes in which a third candidate might have changed the outcome, making those races targets this year. For instance, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, won reelection by 1,428 votes; the Libertarian in his race got 1,644 votes. Stickland decided not to run for reelection this year.

Perhaps more interesting, especially in light of the weekends Texas Supreme Court decision, were the close House races where only two candidates were in competition in 2018. Adding a third candidate to the mix could mix things up in 2020. Some were Republicans, like Collin Countys Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leach, who won with 50.3% and 51.2%, respectively. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, got back to Austin with 50.1%; if 111 people had decided to vote for his opponent instead of him, Joanna Cattanach would have gone to Austin.

Dwayne Bohac won by 0.1 of a percentage point, in a race where a write-in candidate got 20 votes. A third party whose name actually was printed on the ballot would almost certainly have done better. Maybe that wouldnt have changed the winner, but it would have changed the vote counts.

Thats just foreshadowing. This year, the Democrats are trying to win 9 more seats, and their first House majority in almost two decades. Republicans are trying to reverse four or five of their 2018 losses, because that many of the Democratic victors prevailed by very narrow margins.

Every year sees some close races. Candidates do everything they can to get an edge in those close races. And sometimes, the most effective way to do that is to have a third-party candidate in the race.

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In close elections, third-party candidates can tilt the results - The Texas Tribune

The obliteration of the Republican-libertarian alliance – The Week

In the midst of denying the reality of his 2016 loss of the popular vote in an interview segment that aired Tuesday night, President Trump declared himself "somewhat libertarian."

"They always talk about [2016 Green Party candidate] Jill Stein," he told Fox News host Laura Ingraham, referring to claims that Stein sapped votes from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. "Jill Stein took, what? Half a percent?" Trump continued (wrongly). "Well, I have a Libertarian [candidate Gary Johnson] I'm somewhat libertarian; I have to be honest with you; [Kentucky GOP Sen.] Rand Paul will tell you that I have a Libertarian candidate on last time that got, what? Four and a half or so percent? [Also wrong.] Those are all Republican voters. They're wasting their vote, because they have to vote for us."

As a libertarian, no. No to all of this. No, in fact, to the self-serving claims of "libertarianism" by Republicans who just want to use weed or get our votes. No to the assumption that the Republican Party is automatically the lesser of two evils from the libertarian perspective. Whatever case there used to be for that alliance rested on the GOP at least pretending to share libertarians' fiscal conservatism. With Trump, that pretense is gone. We do not "have to" vote for Republican candidates generally, and we certainly don't have to vote for this Republican.

"If you analyze it," then-GOP candidate Ronald Reagan told the libertarian Reason magazine in 1975, "I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." The "basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom," Reagan continued, "and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is." He went on to reject the anarchist wing of the libertarian movement to explain his lack of affiliation with the Libertarian Party, making a Hobbesian argument for the necessity of government. Still, Reagan concluded, "libertarianism and conservatism are traveling the same path."

The "heart and soul" line became a well-worn slogan of conservative-libertarian fusionism, Reagan's three-legged stool of traditionalist social conservatives, defense hawks, and limited government types (some libertarians included) who sought a free market, fiscal discipline, low taxes, and a minimal regulatory bureaucracy. Libertarians quoted Reagan to try to hold the GOP to small-government principles; Republicans quoted him to try to keep libertarian votes in-house.

Actual libertarians weren't deluded enough to ignore the distance between them and their GOP allies on social issues and foreign policy. (Read that Reagan interview and the divergence is obvious when subjects are raised like gambling, prostitution, the Vietnam War, and the draft.) But the common libertarian thinking was that if you must choose between working with the Democrats or the Republicans, the GOP was closer to the libertarian perspective on the meta-issue of the size and scope of government. The Democratic Party might be a better ally on many specific issues, but it lacked the fundamental skepticism of the state the "desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom" Reagan had expressed.

Thus did many libertarians consent to be grafted, however uncomfortably, into the third leg of the stool. That relationship is why libertarians are widely considered part of the American right despite our insistence we're nothing of the kind. It's why what we might call "pop libertarianism" or "folk libertarianism" in America tends to be whatever the Republican Party is currently doing plus a few vague ideas about government overreach being bad when it inhibits what you, personally, would like to do.

Once there were libertarians in the GOP fold, the GOP fold realized it could claim the libertarian label. The joke that a libertarian is just a "Republican who likes to smoke pot" is not without basis there are plenty of Republicans who like to smoke pot and believe that makes them libertarians. Your Republican uncle might say he's "somewhat libertarian" because he's mad on Tax Day or irked with his city's housing code, but he doesn't subscribe to any cogent libertarian conception of government and rejects large portions of the Libertarian Party platform.

Trump's comment to Ingraham is exactly this behavior. He is not libertarian by any measure. He is a nationalist, militarist, and protectionist perfectly happy to meddle in our personal lives in libertarian parlance, a statist through and through. The occasional policy overlap between Trump and libertarianism is often a product of his self-protection (as in his sudden interest in privacy when he thought his own was invaded) or his utter incoherence (as in parts of his foreign policy, and there more the rhetoric than the policy itself).

Unfounded Republican claims of libertarianism were incorrect in the heyday of fusionism, but they're downright absurd now. "Today, many leaders of the Republican Party have coalesced around a desire to purge libertarians, with our pesky commitments to economic liberty and international trade, from their midst," Reason's Stephanie Slade recently wrote at The New York Times. They hope the free market, limited government leg of Reagan's stool "can be reduced to sawdust and scattered to the winds," she said, warning that "Republicans may be tearing out their movement's heart and soul."

I'm unconvinced Reagan's assessment was ever an accurate description of the GOP. The Republican Party of 1980 to 2015 often let fall its limited government ideas outside the economic realm; the drug war, mass surveillance, and the Pentagon playing world police are all big government, too. But even if Reagan was right then, libertarianism is emphatically not the heart and soul of the Republican Party today. The tear is complete. If the alliance ever made sense, it does not anymore.

Some individual Republicans may still practice a conservatism of which Reagan's characterization is apt, but if we're speaking of the GOP as a whole the GOP that just spent four days at its national convention backing Trump to the hilt, lying about his foreign policy record and protesting that he is very nice in private and has lots of Black friends then I repeat: no.

Libertarians are not properly part of the GOP coalition, if indeed we ever were. There is no libertarianism in the soul of the Trumpian Republican Party, and Republican partisans today are not libertarians. The limited government leg of the stool is broken. If libertarians accede Trump's demand of our permanent loyalty at the polls, the best we can expect is splinters.

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The obliteration of the Republican-libertarian alliance - The Week

Trump’s Struggle To Win the Gary Johnson Vote – Reason

President Donald Trump has been making some libertarian noises lately, and also some noises about libertarians. In the latter category, POTUS declared himself in an interview last week to be "somewhat libertarian," and a likely recipient of ex-Libertarian votes.

"Jill Stein took, what? Half a percent?" Trumped mused innumerately to Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham. "Well, I have a LibertarianI'm somewhat libertarian; I have to be honest with you; Rand Paul will tell you thatI have a Libertarian candidate on last time that got, what? Four and a half or so percent? Those are all Republican voters. They're wasting their vote, becausethey have to vote for us."

Well, no, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about some of Trump's most libertarian noises, such as calling out military brass and their enablers for backing "endless wars." On today's Reason Roundtable podcast, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward discuss the president's actual record on policies dear to libertarian hearts; critique Joe Biden on same, and also spend time on school reopening, teachers unions, Christopher Nolan's filmography, and the true meaning of Labor Day.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: "Noisey" by ELPHNT.

Relevant links from the show:

"Bridget Phetasy Is Politically Homeless. You Probably Are Too." By Nick Gillespie

"Will-to-Power Conservatism and the Great Liberalism Schism," by Stephanie Slade

"You Have Libertarian Alternatives to Biden and Trump This November," by John Stossel

"This Labor Day, Police and Teachers Unions Are Making a Bad Year Worse," by J.D. Tuccille

"Teachers Unions Push Families Out of Public Schools," by J.D. Tuccille

"Hispanic Parents Want More Choices for School," by Daniel Raisbeck

"California's Job-Killing A.B. 5 Scaled Back, but Only for Some Professions," by Scott Shackford

"California Police Unions Once Again Side With Bad Cops To Kill a Good Bill," by Scott Shackford

"School Calls Cops on 12-Year-Old Boy Who Held Toy Gun During Zoom Class," by Robby Soave

"Be Skeptical of Stories About TikTok 'Benadryl Challenge' Overdoses," by Scott Shackford

"Disney Thanks Chinese Labor Camp Authorities in Mulan Credits," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Time May Not Exist Anymore, butTenetDoes, and It's in Theaters Now," by Peter Suderman

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Trump's Struggle To Win the Gary Johnson Vote - Reason

NH Primary Source: Its official: Libertarian Party candidates to be on general election ballot – WMUR Manchester

NH Primary Source: Its official: Libertarian Party candidates to be on general election ballot

Updated: 4:09 AM EDT Sep 3, 2020

BALLOT ACCESS CONFIRMED. The Secretary of States Office on Wednesday certified that nine Libertarian Party of New Hampshire candidates will appear on the general election ballot on Nov. 3.>> Download the FREE WMUR appIt was the final step in the LPNH effort that began in the spring to relax the thresholds for nomination papers needing to be collected, due to the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, to have the candidates appear on the ballot.The party last week said it collected enough nomination papers in each congressional district to meet lower thresholds ordered into place by a federal judge.This closes this cycles ballot access saga, said LPNH vice chair Richard Manzo.Appearing on the ballot will be candidates for president Jo Jorgensen; for U.S. Senate, Justin ODonnell; for 1st Congressional District, Zachary Dumont; for 2nd Congressional District, Andrew Olding; for governor, Darryl W. Perry; for Hillsborough County Attorney, Nicholas Sarwark; for Hillsborough County Treasurer, Richard Manzo; for Hillsborough District 14 state representative, Robert Daniel; and for Sullivan County District 9 state representative, Tobin Menard.

BALLOT ACCESS CONFIRMED. The Secretary of States Office on Wednesday certified that nine Libertarian Party of New Hampshire candidates will appear on the general election ballot on Nov. 3.

>> Download the FREE WMUR app

It was the final step in the LPNH effort that began in the spring to relax the thresholds for nomination papers needing to be collected, due to the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, to have the candidates appear on the ballot.

The party last week said it collected enough nomination papers in each congressional district to meet lower thresholds ordered into place by a federal judge.

This closes this cycles ballot access saga, said LPNH vice chair Richard Manzo.

Appearing on the ballot will be candidates for president Jo Jorgensen; for U.S. Senate, Justin ODonnell; for 1st Congressional District, Zachary Dumont; for 2nd Congressional District, Andrew Olding; for governor, Darryl W. Perry; for Hillsborough County Attorney, Nicholas Sarwark; for Hillsborough County Treasurer, Richard Manzo; for Hillsborough District 14 state representative, Robert Daniel; and for Sullivan County District 9 state representative, Tobin Menard.

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NH Primary Source: Its official: Libertarian Party candidates to be on general election ballot - WMUR Manchester

Election, early voting sites set – The Herald

By CANDY NEALcneal@dcherald.com

The General Election ballot and early voting locations are set.

There are a few contested races for local government seats, but none for the school board positions.

The roster of candidates on the ballot are:

U.S. President/Vice President: Democrat Joseph Biden/Kamala Harris, Libertarian Jo Jorgensen/Spike Cohen, Republican Donald Trump/Mike Pence, and write-in candidates Brian Carroll, Howie Hawkins, Randall F, Shawn Howard, Abram Loeb, Valerie McCray, Deborah Rouse/Sheila Marie Cannon, Joe Schriner, Christopher Stried, Kasey Wells, Mitchell Williams and James Johnson Jr.

U.S. Representative District 8: Democrat E. Thomasina Marsili, Libertarian James Rodenberger and Republican Larry Bucshon

Indiana Governor/Lt. Governor: Democrat Woodrow Myers/Linda Lawson, Libertarian Donald Rainwater II/William Henry and Republican Eric Holcomb/Suzanne Crouch

Attorney General: Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel and Republican Todd Rokita

State Representative District 63: Democrat Teresa Kendall and Republican Shane Lindauer

State Representative District 74: Republican Stephen Bartels

County Commissioner District 1: Republican Chad Blessinger

County Commissioner District 3: Republican Nickolas Hostetter

County Council At-Large (three seats): Democrats Matt Brosmer, Todd Cassidy and Atalie Schroering, and Republicans Sonya Haas, Mike Kluesner and Doug Uebelhor

County Coroner: Republican Katie Schuck

County Surveyor: Republican Kenneth Brosmer

County Treasurer: Republican Kitty Merkley

Circuit Judge: Democrat Nathan Verkamp and Republican Kevin Crouse

Greater Jasper School Board District 2: Arlet Jackle

Greater Jasper School Board District 3: Greg Eckerle

Greater Jasper School Board District 4: Tim Demotte

Southeast Dubois School Board At Large: Cecelia Hamilton

Southeast Dubois School Board District A: Nathan Schuler

Southeast Dubois School Board District C: Matt Eckert

Southwest Dubois School Board District 1: Courtney Schwartz

Southwest Dubois School Board District 3: Jonathon Menke

School board positions are non partisan.

Early voting locations have also been set. Early voting will be held from Tuesday, Oct. 6, to noon Monday, Nov. 2. The locations and times are:

Dubois County Courthouse Annex: Oct. 6 to Nov. 2

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesdays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturdays, Oct. 24 and 31: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 2: 8 a.m. to noon

35th Street Fire Station, Jasper

Monday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Oct. 30: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturdays, Oct. 24 and 31: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Huntingburg Event Center

Thursday, Oct. 29 and Friday, Oct. 30: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ferdinand Library

Saturdays, Oct. 24 and 31: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dubois Library

Thursday, Oct. 29: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

St. Henry Fire Station: Monday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Haysville Fire Station: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Schnellville Fire Station: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Birdseye Fire Station: Friday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

General Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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Election, early voting sites set - The Herald

Third-Party Candidates Played A Major Role In 2016, But 2020 Is A Two-Man Race – Forbes


Third-party candidates helped determine the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, but this go-round the mostly obscure slate of alternative hopefuls appear far less viable, making 2020 more of a two-party election.

ORLANDO, UNITED STATES - 2020/07/10: Jo Jorgensen, the 2020 presidential nominee of the Libertarian ... [+] Party, gives her acceptance speech during the 2020 Libertarian National Convention at the Orange County Convention Center. Jorgensen is the first woman to receive the Libertarian presidential nomination. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Third-party candidates collectively won around 4% of the vote in Pennsylvania and 6% of the vote in Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016,enough to sway those races, which were decided by less than a point, and hand President Trump an electoral college victory despite Hillary Clintons 2 percentage point lead in the national popular vote.

At least one 2020 candidate has gotten considerable national attention Kanye West, whose bid appears to be backed by GOP operatives aimed at hurting Democratic nominee Joe Bidens chances but hes unlikely to approach the impact of 2016 Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein because he is struggling to get on the ballot in pivotal battleground states.

Other third-party challengers include the Libertarian Partys Jo Jorgensen, a Clemson University lecturer; Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins, a retired teamster and self-described eco-socialist; and Constitution Party candidate Don Blankenship, a former coal mine executive who went to prison over the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion.

Only 1.8% of voters said they back a candidate besides Biden or Trump in a Suffolk University poll of 1,000 registered in late August, a significant drop from the more than 5% who voted third party in 2016, which could have a significant impact on how the race plays out in states where third-party candidates helped shape the race in 2016.

Biden is also far more popular than Clinton was, and Trump has galvanized Republicans behind him and boosted his favorability rating since 2016, meaning the bloc of voters who view both candidates unfavorably the primary source of votes for third-party candidatesis much smaller.

The major impact third parties had in 2016 may be the primary driver behind the low support for marginal candidates this year. There is fear that this election is both very important and might be very close, making it dangerous or irresponsible to squander one's vote on a third party, Columbia University political science professor Robert Erikson told Forbes.

J. Miles Coleman and Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginias Center for Politics argue there are far fewer divisions within the two parties than there were in 2016, with Trump having faced no real opposition in his GOP primary and Biden wrapping up the Democratic nomination relatively quickly. This naturally removes some of the oxygen for third party candidates, and the lack of major intra party strife makes this election, to us, more reminiscent of 2004 and 2012, when George W. Bush and Barack Obama won second terms in competitive elections that featured very low levels of third party voting, they write.

With just two months until Election Day, third-party candidates are unlikely to get much more national exposure. While Jorgensen and Hawkins meet the Commission on Presidential Debates requirement that they be on enough ballots to secure an electoral college victory, neither has come close to the necessary 15% threshold in at least five national public polls to participate.

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Third-Party Candidates Played A Major Role In 2016, But 2020 Is A Two-Man Race - Forbes

Early voting starts Tuesday to fill the remainder of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis’ term – ABC17News.com

Click here for updates on this story

ATLANTA, GA (WGCL) Some residents in Fulton County can head to the polls on Tuesday to cast their early ballot to fill the seat of a congressional icon.

Early voters will be able to cast their ballot to fill the U.S. House seat left vacant after the death of Congressman John Lewis.

Lewis died in July after a battle with pancreatic cancer bit.ly/2FhBSHG. He represented the district since 1987.

The candidates vying to fill the remainder of Lewis term are:

Robert Franklin (Democrat)-Former president of Morehouse College: franklinforcongress2020.com

Kwanza Hall (Democrat)-Former Atlanta city council member: kwanzahall.com

Barrington Martin II (Democrat)-Educator: votethedream.com

Steven Muhammad (Independent)-Business Leader: muhammadforcongress.org

Chase Oliver (Libertarian)-Chairman of Libertarian Party of Atlanta: chaseforhouse.com

Abe Mable Thomas (Democrat)-Ga. State Representative: ablemable.com

Keisha Waites (Democrat)-Former Ga. State Representative: keishawaites.com

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an Executive Order at the end of July announcing the Special Election to fill the term for Lewis District 5 seat.

The winner of this race will only serve the remainder of Lewis Congressional term through January 3, 2021.

If no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote, the top two contenders will advance to a December 1st runoff.

If a candidate wins the Special Election outright, he or she will serve 96 days in congress, and if the election advances to a runoff, their tenure in congress will be 33 days.

The Georgia Democratic Party selected State Sen. Nikema Williams to represent the democratic party on the ballot in November for the district bit.ly/35g2Xps. The winner in the November race will serve a full two year term.

Early voting for the Special Election runs from Tuesday, September 8 to Friday, September 25 from 8:30 a.m. 6 p.m., and Saturday, September 19, from 8:30 a.m. 6 p.m.

Residents will be able to vote at the following Early Voting locations:

Buckhead Library

269 Buckhead Avenue

Atlanta, GA 30305

C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center

3201 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SW

Atlanta, GA 30311

College Park Library

3647 Main Street

College Park, GA 30337

Evelyn G. Lowery Library at Cascade

3665 Cascade Road

Atlanta, GA 30311

Metropolitan Library

1332 Metropolitan Parkway

Atlanta, GA 30320

Northwest Branch at Scotts Crossing Library

489 Perry Boulevard, NW

Atlanta, GA 30318

Ponce De Leon Library

980 Ponce De Leon Avenue, NW

Atlanta, GA 30306

For more information, please click: bit.ly/2ZhXSJk.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

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Early voting starts Tuesday to fill the remainder of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis' term - ABC17News.com

What do anarchists believe? | TheHill – The Hill

Earlier this year, Trump announced that the federal government would take steps to designate antifa a loosely-affiliated network of antifascist activists, many of whom self-identify as anarchists a terrorist organization.Recently,Trump signed a memorandum that aims to withhold federal funds from what it terms "anarchist jurisdictions," to be identified using several factors set out in the memo (e.g., "whether a jurisdiction unreasonably refuses to accept offers of law enforcement assistance from the federal government").

Anarchism as a set of philosophical values favors relationships and organizations based upon the freely-given consent of all participants; as a body of ideas, it resists violence, oppression, and domination by definition. Historically and traditionally, to be an anarchist is to be a critic and opponent of the capitalist system.

However, it turns out that this, on its own, can accommodate a diverse range of libertarian visions for a future stateless society: Anarchists may be communists who look forward to the abolition of private property and market competition, or primitivists who oppose civilization itself, or even free-market individualists who recognize a difference between capitalism as it exists (and has existed) and a genuine free market absent the kind of coercive special privilege and monopolism anarchists oppose.

The divisions within anarchism don't stop there. Anarchists have disagreed amongst ourselves as to when, for example, state violence may be met with violence, or when it is permissible to attack fascists, white supremacists, and Nazis physically. For well over a century, anarchists have engaged in arguments as to the merits of violent action, the propaganda of the deed, sabotage, terrorism, and assassinations.

This debate roughly tracks the historical divide between those classed as individualist anarchists (variously phrased "philosophical anarchists" and "Boston anarchists") and those called social anarchists (frequently associated with anarchist communism or anarchist collectivism, for example).

The individualist wing of the anarchism movement largely favored an incremental, evolutionary approach, in which libertarian and mutualistic institutions would gradually and peacefully replace today's authoritarian institutions, transforming society.

At its best, anarchism represents both a philosophy of mutual respect, contract, and cooperation and a set of strategies for building right now, both within and outside of the existing order the infrastructures of mutual aid and a better world. Over one100 years ago, introducing his biography of the pioneering American inventor, musician, businessman, and anarchist Josiah Warren,

William Bailie explained that anarchism "teaches not violence, nor does it inculcate insurrection. Neither is it an incipient revolution." Bailie went so far as to argue that anarchism "is not even a menace to the social order, nor yet a plotting for the destruction of kings and rulers." For Bailie, following leading anarchist lights like Warren and Benjamin Tucker, anarchism was about principled opposition to systemic violence and hence chaos. Anarchism's wholejustification for existencewas to prosecute the argument that the existing order is founded up violence, oppression, and exploitation that a freer and more just world, without ruling classes or ruled classes, is both desirable and possible.

Anarchist infighting has been a venerable tradition. For his part, Tucker insisted that anarchist communism was a contradiction in terms (a term that "has no sense"), even remarking that the anarchists fighting in the Spanish Civil War were "a crazy bunch", adding, "'Anarchism' in Spain is a misnomer." He frequently criticized anarchist communists for making appeals to violence and revolutionary action. "There is not a tyrant in the civilized world today," he wrote, "who would not do anything in his power to precipitate a bloody revolution rather than see himself confronted by any large fraction of his subjects determined not to obey." He argued that any revolution that "comes by violence and in advance of light" is foredoomed, built upon a foundation of sand. The whole hope of humanity, Tucker said, is bound up in avoiding just the kind of "revolution by force" that so many anarchists were attempting to touch off.

Attempts to police the label or excommunicate certain elements are exercises in futility, usually self-serving and tendentious notably because anarchist history does include episodes of violence. And anarchist violence, even at its very worst, has always paled next to the systematic, institutional violence of the state, the crimes of which are especially dangerous in that they're never called what they are. Paraphrasing Max Stirner, the state calls its violence law the violence of all other crimes.

But even if particular self-identified anarchists believe that violence and destruction are somehow excusable or justifiable given the situation or the historical context, they are strategically unsound as tactics for positive, liberatory social change. Depending in large part on how anarchists proceed from here, anarchism could be poised to become a vital source of new ideas at a point of apparent crisis in our history. But to fulfill that function, it will have to be anarchism of Tucker's "philosophical" variety certainly not without direct action, but embracing direct action only of the nonviolent kind.

David S. D'Amato is an attorney, a columnist at the Cato Institute's Libertarianism.org, and a policy advisor at both the Future of Freedom Foundation and the Heartland Institute.

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What do anarchists believe? | TheHill - The Hill

More immigrants in Trump’s US are job creators than job takers – Quartz India

The Donald Trump administration has been cracking down on the coveted H-1Bwork visa by portraying that immigrants steal American jobs. New research, however, debunks that perception.

Immigrants in the US act more as job creators than as job takers.

Immigrants are 80% more likely to be entrepreneurs than nativesin the US, according to a July 2020 study. This is not just small businesses like restaurants and laundromats, but also high-growth ventures like Tesla and Google that go on to create thousands of jobs, Daniel Kim, study author and assistant professor of management at the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School, told Quartz.

The study, authored by Kim and Pierre Azoulay (professor at MIT), Benjamin Jones (professor at Northwestern Kellogg), and Javier Miranda (economist at US Census), was published in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

In the US, companies founded by immigrants create 42% more jobs than firms set up by natives, the study said. This holds true for companies of all sizes.

[T]he impulse to close immigration to protect jobs for American citizens is known as the lump of labour fallacy, which is a fundamental misconception that there is a fixed amount of work in a society, Washington DC-based libertarian think tank CATO institute explained. Believers in this fallacy apply it to immigration by arguing that any job held by an immigrant could be held by an American citizen, but this just simply isnt true. The number of jobs available depend on myriad economic factors and is never stable.

Especially with immigrants creating jobs, the scales actually tilt in their favour.

Immigration is a two-pronged input to our economy; we cannot have the successful immigrant entrepreneurs without taking on the immigrant workers, said Kim. Thankfully, by the numbers, the first seems to far exceed the latter.

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More immigrants in Trump's US are job creators than job takers - Quartz India

Here’s what you need to know about the 2020 vote in Chatham – The Chatham News + Record

BY HANNAH MCCLELLAN, News + Record Staff

Election Day is less than eight weeks away and ballots in Chatham County which will include, of course, the 2020 presidential candidates will be lengthy.

In addition to the presidential and N.C. gubernatorial and congressional seats, voters across Chatham County will cast ballots in three contested Chatham Commissioner races and two contested Chatham Board of Education races, as well as in the N.C. House Dist. 54 and N.C. Senate Dist. 23 races.

Heres an overview about voting and a birds-eye view of the local, state and national races on this years ballot. The News + Records formal coverage of the elections will begin in next weeks edition with a deeper look at the candidates vying for the three contested Chatham County Board of Commissioners seats.

Election Day is Nov. 3, and early voting begins Oct. 15 and runs through Oct. 31. Elections officials are expecting a strong surge in the request for absentee voting already about 8,000 ballots have been requested, according to the Chatham County Board of Elections office.

Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot in North Carolina by submitting a request by mail, email or fax to the Chatham County BOE using a downloadable form available at both the state and county websites. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27, but those already requested will begin being mailed out as soon at Sept. 19 in Chatham. Ballots must be received to be counted by 5 p.m. on election day, Nov. 3.

The registration deadline in North Carolina is Oct. 9, but voters can register before voting a process known as same-day registration during the early voting period, Oct. 15-31.

Three of the boards five seats will be contested this election, with all three incumbents Democrats Karen Howard (Dist. 1) and Mike Dasher (Dist. 2) and Republican Andy Wilkie (Dist. 5) facing opposition. Commissioners Diana Hales (Dist. 3) and Jim Crawford (Dist. 4) arent on the ballot this year.

In the District 1 race, Howard, 55, who currently serves as the boards chairperson, has served on the commission board since 2014. Shes a retired attorney and former member of the Chatham County Board of Education. Her primary goals for another term would be to work on county-wide access to affordable, reliable broadband service and increased options for affordable housing.

She faces Republican Jay Stobbs, who didnt provide his age in response to a News + Record election questionnaire. Stobbs is an engineer and financial advisor whos managed large-scale projects as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His objectives as a commissioner would be to reduce county spending and create a tax structure that would meet the countys needs and incentivize business growth.

In District 2, Dasher, 43, has served as a commissioner since 2016 and works in construction and building. If re-elected, he hopes to continue to build on work hes done as a board member, with primary goals being to adopt a unified development ordinance and ensure broadband access in the county.

Running against Dasher is Republican Jimmy Pharr, 71, who has lived in Chatham County for 45 years and works as a college Bible professor. He has not held any previous elected offices. If elected, Pharrs main goals would be to respect citizens personal liberty and property rights through common sense zoning and taxes, and creating jobs with a competitive tax structure and reasonable regulations.

In the final contested commissioner race, Republican Andy Wilkie, who did not return a News + Record questionnaire emailed to him, has served on the board since being appointed to fill a vacancy in May 2019, is seeking a full four-year term. He is a Chatham County native, served six years as a paratrooper in the Army Reserves and operated a business and non-profit in Sanford.

He faces Franklin Gomez Flores, a registered Democrat who is seeking office as an unaffiliated candidate. A Siler City resident, Gomez Flores serves on the Chatham County Planning Board. He hopes to represent Latin Americans in Siler City, prevent overcrowded and underfunded schools and keep water quality within its range. According to his campaign biography on the Chatham County Democratic Partys website, his main goals include increasing affordable housing, protecting immigrants rights and supporting quality education for all.

Even though all three races are considered district seats, the candidates serve at-large.

Two of the Board of Educations five non-partisan seats will be up for re-election this year, with incumbents Melissa Hlavac (Dist. 1) and David Hamm (Dist. 2) facing opposition.

In District 1, Hlavac, who has served on the board since 2016, works as an associate dean of MBA programs at UNCs Kenan-Flagler Business School. Two of her main objectives if re-elected would be to reduce the student achievement gap to address equity and raise the school state rankings, as well as improving the quality and safety in county school buildings and facilities.

She faces Timothy Winters, who works as an engineer and has two children in Chatham County Schools. If elected, Winters main objectives are to work with county leaders to obtain a larger share of incremental county revenue for education, implement maximum class sizes of 18 students in K-5 classes, and in math, science and English classes for students in 6th through 8th grade.

Also on the ballot in Dist. 1 is Ryan Armstrong, who works as an operation manager at Intrepid-Bid. His primary goals if elected include developing a better road map for growth and expansion in the district and bringing more middle school sports and (Career and Technical Education) CTE programs to the county.

In District 2, David Hamm, a retired educator in Chatham, has served on the board since 2008. Hes not faced opposition his last two terms. If re-elected, his two primary goals are to lower the countys teacher attrition rate and continue to increase the local pay supplement by 1% annually. He also will prioritize making high speed broadband accessible to all county residents, a need he said has been highlighted by COVID-19 and remote learning.

He faces Dennis Lewis, who currently works as the director at the North Carolina Defense Technology Transition Office and as a defense industry consultant for the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. If elected, he hopes to be the voice of the parents by re-assessing the Seaforth attendance zone decision and put strategies in place to plan ahead for the next contingency.

Democrat incumbent Roy Cooper is on the ballot with three opponents: Republican Dan Forest (whos currently N.C.s Lieutenant Governor), Libertarian Steven DiFiore and Constitution Party candidate Al Pisano. Cooper has served has the governor since 2017 after beating then-incumbent Pat McCrory in a tight gubernatiorial election. Before becoming governor, Cooper served in the N.C. House and Senate and was N.C.s Attorney General. Since being elected, he has worked to expand Medicaid to increase health care access, increase teacher pay and public school equity and added jobs in the state. He has also responded to hurricane and disaster recovery in N.C. His response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included mandates for mask-wearing, closure of non-essential businesses and a phased-in approach to returning to school.

Forest, elected Lieutenant Governor in 2012, worked as an architect and businessman before seeking office. He has been a vocal critic of Coopers policies, particularly when it comes the handling of the the coronavirus pandemic. His website lists defending the 2nd Amendment, pro-life legislation and combating illegal immigration as three of the main issues his campaign addresses.

Libertarian candidate DiFiore hopes to improve efficiency, remove barriers for teachers, and give parents more choice in K-12 public education if elected. He also wants to improve access to healthcare, reform N.C.s Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and decrease housing costs in the state. Consitution candidate Pisano worked in the Charlotte Police Department for 28 years before retiring in April 2018; his platform emphasizes parent choice in public education, elimination of personal income taxes and less government involvement in healthcare.

Republican Mark Robinson and Democrat Yvonne Lewis Holley are running for N.C. Lieutenant Governor.

Robinson does not have a long career in politics, but has served on the NRA National Outreach Board and been a frequent guest on political talk shows since a speech he gave in 2018 at the Greensboro City Council went viral. If elected, he plans to defend the 2nd Amendment, honor the sanctity of life, support school choice and increase jobs within the state.

Holley currently serves as the representative for the 38th district of the N.C. House. As a legislator, Holley has worked to relieve food deserts across the state, and if elected at lieutenant governor, she plans to reform the states criminal justice system, work to ban assault weapons, support womens access to abortions and advocate for living wages.

In District 54 which serves constituents in portions of Durham and all of Chatham County Democrat incumbent Robert Reives II faces Republican George Gilson Jr. for the N.C. House of Representatives seat. Reives, who has served in the state legislature since 2014, also serves as freshman caucus co-chairperson and treasure of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus. Currently the deputy democratic leader of the House, he has sponsored legislation to strengthen public schools and protect children, the disabled, the environment and property rights.

He faces Gilson, who moved from Iowa to Chatham County in 2016 and works in the waterworks and infrastructure industry. If elected, his core goals are smaller government policies, lower taxes and excessive spending, support of the 2nd Amendment and a sensible voter ID law.

In the N.C. State Senate, Democratic incumbent Valerie Foushee faces Republican Tom Glendinning. She first joined the Senate in 2013, following Senator Ellie Kinnairds retirement from District 23. A life-long resident of Orange County, Foushee worked in the Chapel Hill Police Department for 21 years and served on the board of education for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools. Foushees primary goals include investing in quality education, strengthening the economy, protecting the environment and ensuring equality.

Challenger Glendinning is a Pittsboro resident who has worked in business and as an environmental consultant. His website lists serving the community and being connected as his primary platform items. He did not complete the News + Records candidate questionnaire.

U.S. Senate: Republican incumbent Thom Tillis faces Libertarian Shannon Bray, Democrat Cal Cunningham and Constitution party candidate Kevin Hayes

U.S. House of Representatives: Republican incumbent Ted Budd faces Scott Huffman

N.C. Attorney General: Democrat incumbent Josh Stein faces Republican Jim ONeill

N.C. Auditor: Democrat incumbent Beth Wood faces Republican Anthony Wayne Street

N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture: Republican incumbent Steve Troxler faces Democrat Jenna Wadsworth

N.C. Commissioner of Insurance: Republican incumbent Mike Causey faces Democrat Wayne Goodwin

N.C. Commissioner of Labor: Republican Josh Dobson faces Democrat Jessica Holmes. Incumbent Cherie Berry is not on the ballot.

N.C. Secretary of State: Democrat incumbent Elaine Marshall faces Republican E.C. Sykes

N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction: Republican Catherine Truitt faces Democrat Jen Mangrum. Incumbent Mark Johnson is not on the ballot after a failed gubernatorial effort.

N.C. Treasurer: Republican incumbent Dale Folwell faces Democrat Ronnie Chatterji

In addition, voters will cast ballots on three N.C. Supreme Court races and five N.C. Court of Appeals races, as well as N.C. Court Judge seats (District 15B Seats 2, 3, 4 and 5). In Chatham County, both Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor J. Lynn Mann and Register of Deeds Lunday Riggsbee are running uncontested.

For more election information, contact the Chatham County Board of Elections.

State Board of Elections information:

Dates to know:

Reporter Hannah McClellan can be reached at hannah@chathamnr.com.

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Here's what you need to know about the 2020 vote in Chatham - The Chatham News + Record

Solidarity is key to organized labor and the revival of community – National Catholic Reporter

Solidarity. The word conjures images of Polish workers in Gdask in 1981, forming the first union independent of the government in the Soviet bloc, going underground during martial law and emerging to form the nucleus of the first post-Soviet Polish government.

Solidarity. The word brings me back to the first national protest march against Reaganism, organized by the AFL-CIO, which I happily attended in that same 1981. Little did I know that 40 years on, I would still be opposed to Reaganism and (almost) all it stood for. I still have the poster from that day and it has emblazoned across it the word "Solidarity."

Solidarity. The word brings to mind St. John University's theology professor Meghan Clark's wonderful book The Vision of Catholic Social Thought: The Virtue of Solidarity and the Praxis of Human Rights, which I reviewed here. Clark also penned an excellent essay on solidarity for Distinctly Catholic back in 2014. It still reads very well.

Most of all, however, when I think of the word solidarity, I think of the three conferences on erroneous autonomy that I helped Stephen Schneck organize. Schneck was then the director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, and we worked hand-in-glove with the AFL-CIO on all three of the conferences. The second was held at the AFL-CIO headquarters and was a most memorable day, as two western Pennsylvania natives, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, delivered the keynote addresses. On that day, I came to understand how the word solidarity informed the entire culture of organized labor.

I also came to understand that the opposite of solidarity is libertarianism, and while I often fall short of the demands of solidarity, there is not a libertarian bone in my body. Even on freedom of speech, where I am closest to a libertarian position, I recognize there are limits, that the Constitution protects language meant to persuade, not language meant to incite, while recognizing that who gets to define the difference between the two is a tricky matter.

If the pandemic has taught us anything as a culture, it has taught us the limits of libertarianism and the hypocrisy of those who invoke it in one area of life but ignore it in others. Here, in rural America where I live, it is not uncommon to encounter people who refuse to wear a mask. "It is my choice," they say, although the mask is not intended to help them but to help the rest of us. People say, casually, "Well, I am not worried about keeping protocols like self-quarantining, because my visitor is healthy," forgetting that the protocols do not guarantee any one individual's health, but the public health of us all.

Public health measures aim to limit the spread of a disease so that the system is not overwhelmed. Libertarianism has no place in a pandemic. When I pass a house flying a Gadsden "Don't tread on me!" flag, I want to stop and say, "OK, I won't tread on you if you won't infect the rest of us with a virus."

In American culture, however, the most destructive libertarian arguments manifest themselves in discussions of economic policy. Over dinner this summer, dear friends of mine who own a small business expressed the typical Republican talking point that it does not make sense to punish someone for being successful by taxing them more. I asked why they saw it as a punishment, rather than as an investment in the roads that bring the goods they sell to their store, in education to the population from which they draw their employees, in protection of the water that supplies their breweries. They are responsible for improvements within the walls of their store, but taxes take care of the improvements needed outside those walls, but no less necessary to the success of their business. My friends said they had never thought of it that way.

The fables of rugged individualism that condition so much of the culture's core beliefs, combined with the dominance of neoliberal economic ideas and globalization have brought us to where we are: incapable of mounting an effective defense against a pandemic. It is not only the acids of modernity of which Walter Lippmann warned in 1929 that have eaten away at the fabric of our culture, it is the stuff we are sold, and sold cheap, the entertainments that come into our living rooms, the propaganda of material happiness, all of it.

It has been 20 years since sociologist Robert Putnam published his book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. You cannot understand the appeal of Trump, and the sense of belonging his racism is designed to foment, unless you see how correct Putnam was and is. When I left my hometown in 1980, the two churches were mostly full every Sunday, and there was an active Grange and 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, a community players troupe that performed two plays a year. When I moved back in 2017, the churches are both open but are a quarter full, the Grange has become a "community center" that is rarely used, the Scouts are still active, and there has not been a community play in 30 years. If I did not meet my neighbors walking my dog each morning and evening, where would I meet them?

Politics alone will not restore the sense of community we need to rekindle in this country. Indeed, in its current form, it further polarizes us. Our churches, like our unions, must become places where community is formed and nurtured. This is especially important for us Catholics.

The word "catholic" means universal, that is, the church can bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ anywhere on the globe, into any culture and into every human heart. The Gospel must be able to find a place in a liberal heart and in a conservative heart, in a rich town and a poor one, in a European country and in an African one, on both sides of every division that separates humankind one from another. That is what it means to be Catholic, and never in the history of this nation has the culture needed to be more Catholic!

I learned and am still learning what solidarity means, what it looks like, and what policies it requires, by talking with my friends in organized labor. When word spread that Pope Francis is planning to release a new encyclical and that the topic is solidarity, my non-Catholic union friends were more excited than my Catholic friends!

On this Labor Day, I am so grateful for the contribution organized labor makes every day to off-setting the dominant libertarianism of the culture. If I could wish one thing, and one thing only, for U.S. culture, it would be a resurgence of the labor movement. Perhaps, after this horrible pandemic, that culture will be ready to hear the message organized labor and now Francis has to impart: We human beings can only thrive in a culture that builds and rewards solidarity.

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.]

Editor's note:Don't miss out on Michael Sean Winters' latest.Sign upand we'll let you know when he publishes newDistinctly Catholiccolumns.

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Solidarity is key to organized labor and the revival of community - National Catholic Reporter

Host of energy issues hang in the balance in down-ticket races – S&P Global

The 2020 election cycle has the potential to reshape energy and environmental issues across the federal landscape and state lines. Much of the national discussion has focused on the presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but voters will face a host of ballot choices that will influence the power, gas and oil markets for years to come.

At the federal level, control of the U.S. Congress is up for grabs. Democratic control could usher in a new era of clean energy policymaking, while a split could cement political gridlock and disrupt presidential ambitions.

At the state level, high-impact ballot measures face voter review on Nov. 3, including proposals to mandate a 50% renewable portfolio standard by 2030 in Nevada; to shake up the utility regulator in New Mexico by reducing commissioners, making them appointed positions and elongating their tenure; and to change energy tax-related issues in Alaska and Louisiana. Energy and environmental issues also play heavily into several high-profile races for governor, state legislatures and key state commissions.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly election newsletter here, and read our latest coverage here.

Hanging over it all will be the fundamentals of the U.S. economy and energy markets, already roiled by the coronavirus pandemic. An already volatile 2020 could temper regulatory policy pendulum swings, as policymakers and elected officials remain mindful of the damage already inflicted on the energy sector by the pandemic and associated economic downturn.

The following is an overview of key races and ballot measures:

Congressional balance of power

Overview: Republicans hold a three-seat majority in the Senate, which has given them control over nominees and chairmanships on committees vital to energy legislation. But if Democrats were to sweep at the federal level, it would have long-term implications for the energy sector should Congress pass climate and clean energy legislation.

Most polls predict: Toss-up for Senate; Democrats strongly favored to hold the House.

Energy impact: A blue Congress could eliminate the Senate's filibuster, which in turn could ensure more progressive legislation passes. Democrats running both chambers could use the Congressional Review Act to overturn some of the Trump administration's rulemakings. The left could also pack climate-focused provisions and clean energy funding into economic recovery legislation in the near- to mid-term, should Democrats maintain control of the House and retake the Senate.

While Biden has proposed to completely decarbonize the U.S. power sector by 2035, even a Democrat-led Congress would likely pass a more watered-down, though still "historically ambitious," version of that emissions-reduction plan given headwinds from congressional Republicans, states and market constraints, according to David Livingston, a senior analyst with the Eurasia Group.

"It's not unusual for a policy as ambitious as the power sector one to go through the congressional process ... and perhaps arrive at a compromise outcome," Livingston said.

But if a Democrat-led Congress deferred to the executive branch to govern through executive orders and regulations in the energy sector as has been the case in recent years those changes and policies may not be as long-lasting, according to Sasha Mackler, director of the Energy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. A Democratic majority may also include more moderate lawmakers from purple states, requiring climate policy to remain "pragmatic and bipartisan in nature," the director said.

Democratic Senators representing carbon-intensive states, such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia, might be more reluctant to support legislation providing incentives for clean energy over traditional fossil fuels, according to Matt Williams, emissions and clean energy analyst with S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Unlike when the White House changes hands between political parties, congressional power shifts are less likely to yield dramatic effects, according to William Yeatman, a research fellow with the Cato Institute. "Why would Congress lift a finger in this arena when the president can do it all for them, essentially?" Yeatman asked.

A possible Biden presidency with a divided Senate may resort to more executive action. But just as the Obama administration which relied on the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act authority to implement the Clean Power Plan found one of its major climate efforts stymied by a Supreme Court stay, a Biden administration could face similar obstacles without a strong Democratic majority in Congress, Williams noted.

Democrats' chances of retaking the Senate are unclear, and there are several toss-up races featuring significant energy issues including in Colorado, Iowa and Montana where a Republican incumbent faces a difficult reelection bid.

Republicans appear less likely to flip the House, but doing so would limit climate policy advancements, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center's Mackler. A split Congress would be unlikely to pass partisan energy or climate legislation, continuing the current political gridlock in the Capitol.

Gubernatorial races


Overview: Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee holds a sizable lead in the polls against Republican Loren Culp, the current police chief for the city of Republic.

Polls predict: The latest poll shows Inslee leading 61% to 32%. During a primary that featured 36 candidates, Culp earned a spot in the general election by receiving 18% of the vote compared to Inslee's 51%.

Energy impact: Dubbed "the greenest governor in the country" when he won the governorship eight years ago, Inslee in 2019 signed legislation placing Washington on the path to have a carbon-neutral electrical grid by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2045. Culp has said little regarding energy policy for the state, but he generally favors less government regulation and supports free-market solutions. If elected, Culp has said he intends to immediately end coronavirus restrictions and fully reopen all schools and businesses.

New Hampshire

Overview: Incumbent Chris Sununu serves as governor of one of only three states with Republican governors where the majority voted for Democrat Hilary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Polls predict: Sununu won the general election in 2016 by a margin of 49% to 47% and in 2018 by 53% to 46%.

Energy impact: Sununu has opposed various renewable energy proposals from lawmakers. One of the leading primary Democratic candidates, state Sen. Dan Feltes, has pushed pro-solar and net metering legislation. The primary election is taking place Sept. 8.


Overview: Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb is running against Woody Myers, a millionaire venture capitalist and former Indiana health commissioner. If Myers wins, he would become the state's first Black governor.

Polls predict: Myers faces a difficult election as the latest polls have Holcomb leading by 43 points.

Energy impact: Holcomb supports the fossil fuel industry, while Myers has called for moving to renewables. Indiana is seventh among U.S. states in coal production and second in coal consumption. In 2019, more than 59% of Indiana's net power generation came from coal. Renewable energy accounted for under 7% of the state's generation in 2019.

North Dakota

Overview: Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, a former technology company investor, is seeking his second term against veterinarian Shelley Lenz, a Democrat, in a state whose economy is dominated by fossil fuel production and consumption.

Polls predict: Burgum holds a decisive edge in early polls, leading Lenz 62% to 32%.

Energy impact: Lenz's energy platform includes a North Dakota Energy Co-op and improving energy infrastructure for both the fossil fuel and renewable sectors. Burgum supported the Dakota Access Pipeline and said he is open to finding ways to keep a large coal-fired plant open even after operator Great River Energy announced plans to close it. Oil and gas production remains integral to North Dakota's economy. The state trails only Texas in crude production and proved U.S. crude oil reserves, and holds 2% of domestic natural gas reserves. Due to a lack of adequate gathering and processing facilities, producers flared more than 200 MMcf/d of associated natural gas produced in June. The state generates more than 60% of its power through coal.

North Carolina

Overview: Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, is up for reelection in the state, where he has helped to transform the North Carolina Utilities Commission into a more proactive player when it comes to tackling clean energy goals.

Polls predict: Cooper leads in the polls 50% to 40% in a race that also features the state's Republican Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest, along with libertarian Steven DiFiore and Constitutional Party candidate Al Pisano on the ballot.

Energy impact: State leadership could prove important for gas pipelines. After a controversy involving Cooper over a multimillion-dollar fund for the state related to Duke Energy Corp.'s and Dominion Energy Inc.'s now-canceled Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality recently denied a water quality certificate for Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate.

Ballot initiatives


Overview: Voters will decide whether to give a second and final approval to amending Nevada's constitution to include a 50%-by-2030 renewable portfolio standard.

Energy impact: NV Energy Inc., whose utility subsidiaries serve about 1.2 million electric customers in Nevada, is already pursuing large-scale transmission and solar-plus-storage projects to meet the state's green energy goals, which include a renewable portfolio standard of 50% by 2030. Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the requirement into law in 2019.

But Nevadans are being asked whether to approve Question 6 and amend the state constitution to include the standard, which would prevent a future legislature from changing the requirement without the say-so of voters. Amending the Nevada constitution requires two rounds of voter approval. Question 6 passed the first round in November 2018, getting nearly 60% of voters' approval and setting the measure up for a vote again in 2020.

New Mexico

Overview: New Mexicans will decide whether to change how the state Public Regulation Commission is set.

Energy Impact: Constitutional Amendment 1 would reduce the number of commissioners from five to three and bring an end to elections determining the makeup of the regulatory body.

The utility regulator currently has five commissioners, each representing a district of the state and serving staggered four-year terms. Under the measure, starting Jan. 1, 2023, the New Mexico governor would appoint three commissioners chosen from a list of nominees put together by a committee. The appointments for six-year terms would also need the consent by the Senate. Approval of the measure would make future gubernatorial elections more important for utility oversight, as governors would gain greater control over the regulating body.

Public Regulation Commission incumbent Cynthia Hall, a Democrat, is facing off against Republican Janice Arnold-Jones for the District 1 seat. Democrat Joseph Maestas and Libertarian Chris Luchini are vying for the District 3 seat now held by Democrat Valerie Espinoza. Term limits prevent her from running again.


Overview: Alaskans will vote on whether to increase taxes on certain oil production in the North Slope.

Energy Impact: The increase called for in Ballot Measure 1 would apply to North Slope fields that produced at least 40,000 barrels per day in the last calendar year and have a cumulative output of at least 400 million barrels of oil.

BP PLC, ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. are part of the OneAlaksa coalition urging voters to reject the measure, arguing it will increase taxes by at least 300% at $60/b oil prices and threaten oil development and jobs.

Vote Yes for Alaska's Fair Share, which is spearheading the initiative, said the increase would apply only to Alaska's largest and most profitable fields posing no threat to new development and would give the state more money to pay for things like education, healthcare and capital projects.


Overview: Voters in the Pelican State will decide whether to amend the state constitution to allow the presence or production of oil or gas to be taken into account when assessing the fair market value of an oil or gas well for ad valorem property tax purposes.

Energy Impact: Constitutional Amendment 2 was referred to voters in May, when both the state House of Representatives and Senate unanimously backed a related House bill. The measure has the support of the Louisiana Tax Committee, Louisiana Tax Assessor's Association, Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association and is seen as putting the value of wells in the right place. Approval by voters would mean that when wells are more valuable, they will pay a little more tax and when less valuable, pay less tax, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association said.


Overview: A long-standing conflict over oil and gas in the state, fought via ballot initiatives in the past, is on hold.

Energy impact: Protect Colorado, a pro-drilling group, had planned to put before voters a measure to prohibit local governments from banning gas infrastructure in new buildings.

But Governor Jared Polis in July reached a deal with industry and environmental groups that could keep oil and gas issues off the ballot through 2022. As part of the bargain, Protect Colorado dropped the measure, and environmentalists agreed to stop pursuing stricter setback requirements for oil and gas developments.

The deal is meant to give the state more time to implement Senate Bill 181, a law passed in 2019 that changed the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and gave local governments a bigger say in drilling.

State commissions, legislatures

Texas Railroad Commission

Overview: One of three Texas Railroad Commission seats is in play in November, with three candidates in the running. The RRC regulates oil and gas drillers.

Energy Impact: Republican Jim Wright, owner of several South Texas oilfield services firms, opposes tighter restrictions on natural gas flaring, which surged in 2019 as oil producers wanted to keep producing but lacked access to pipelines to move associated gas volumes. He beat high-profile incumbent Ryan Sitton by more than 10 points in a primary runoff but has since come under fire from a Houston Chronicle investigation alleging his company, Dewitt Recyclable Products, violated commission rules more than 200 times.

Democrat Chrysta Castaeda, a Dallas energy lawyer, has promised to clamp down on flaring, which could limit future oil production. She also favors stricter water reclamation rules. "Texans deserve someone who will enforce the law and work for all of us. Let's stop wasting energy," she said in a campaign video. Castaeda supports the RRC retaining a supply coordinating role a function that came up during the spring oil price crash under a proposed proration policy.

Libertarian Matt Sterett also has come out against flaring but favors fracking generally. He wants to reduce oil and gas industry administrative burdens by cutting regulations and paperwork. The Railroad Commission "has the ability to restrict gas flaring by simply denying permits," he said in a 2020 Ballotpedia survey.

Arizona Corporation Commission

Overview: The Arizona utility regulator has three seats out of five up for election, with the field of candidates split between three Republicans and three Democrats.

Energy Impact: The outcome could affect utility Arizona Public Service Co.'s pathway to achieving its recently declared 100% clean energy goal and determining what resources are included. Multiple candidates from both parties are pushing clean energy targets, and incumbent Republican Lea Marquez Peterson and Democrat Shea Stanfield have said they are in favor of 100% clean power policies. Arizona ranks third in the U.S. in solar power capacity but generates most of its electricity from natural gas, nuclear and coal.

Texas Legislature

Overview: After more than dozen years in the minority in the state House of Representatives, Democrats are aiming to take back the chamber, where all 150 seats are up for grabs. Republicans hold 83 House seats to Democrats' 67. A total of 16 seats out of the Senate's 31 are up for election. Presently, Democrats hold 12 Senate seats and Republicans hold 19.

Energy Impact: Clean energy advocates say that a blue state House could alter energy conversation especially after years of playing defense on tax incentives for wind energy and create openings for bipartisan support for electric vehicles, distributed resources and energy storage. A Democratic majority could also draft legislation to address oil and gas industry methane leakage and flaring, but without support from the Senate and/or governor's office, the impacts may be limited.

Michigan Legislature

Overview: The state House of Representatives could flip to Democratic control with all 110 seats up for election. Heading into the election, Republicans held 58 seats, while Democrats held 51.

Energy Impact: Democratic control of the House would potentially bolster initiatives Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has sought to pursue through the executive branch toward her goal of 100% clean energy. Michigan remains heavily coal-dependent for power generation, with more than 30% of the state's net generation in 2019 coming from coal. Still, renewable capacity grew to supply 8% of Michigan's power in 2019. A Democrat-controlled House could support additional renewable-energy-friendly policies.

Pennsylvania General Assembly

Overview: Both the state House and Senate look to be close races. All 203 seats up for election in the House where Republicans currently have control, 109 to 93. In the Senate, 25 seats out of the chamber's 50 are up for grabs. There, Republicans have control 28 to 21, with one Independent.

Energy Impact: The red House has put the brakes on some clean energy items, such as a bill on energy efficiency that advanced in the Senate, indicating that a shift to blue could enable more climate-friendly energy policy. Gov. Tom Wolf may also tighten gas industry regulations, and on the power side, efforts remain underway for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an emissions cap-and-trade program.

Minnesota Legislature

Overview: The Senate may flip to Democratic control in a tight race where all 67 seats are up for grabs; Republicans currently control the chamber 35 to 32. All 134 House seats are up for election, where Democrats control the majority 75 to 59.

Energy Impact: The state may be positioned to join states with 100% clean energy goals if the Senate goes blue. Governor Tim Walz strongly supported the measure in 2019, a year in which more than 30% of Minnesota's net generation came from coal. Minnesota is also among the nation's top-five ethanol producers, and about 30% of all U.S. crude oil imports flow through the state.

Jared Anderson and Brandon Evans are reporters for S&P Global Platts. S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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Host of energy issues hang in the balance in down-ticket races - S&P Global

Letter: Libertarianism is the peaceful way out | Letters To The Editor – Eagle-Tribune

To the editor:

Its been 36 years since a Republican candidate for president won Massachusetts. This year the incumbent will not win this state. Joe Biden will but without my vote.

I will cast mine for the other "Jo" -- Jo Jorgensen and her running mate, Jeremy "Spike" Cohen, and hope you will too.

In the 21st century it is easy to find her website and videos of her and Cohen's media appearances. They set out a bold, practical, Libertarian vision for Americas future to address the awful legacy left by generations of Republican and Democrat politicians.

It is a legacy of national debt too large to comprehend; endless wars; skyrocketing health care costs; the worlds leading incarceration rate (even higher among racial minorities and the poor); a broken retirement system that soon will be unable to pay promised benefits; an endless immigration crisis; cronyism; and a truly uncivil political discourse.

Libertarianism is the classic liberalism of John and Abigail Adams. Condemned by partisans on the left and right as preventing their party from seizing state power to crush the enemy, it remains the only peaceful way out.

Steven Epstein


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Letter: Libertarianism is the peaceful way out | Letters To The Editor - Eagle-Tribune

ELECTION 2020: Campaigns in Martinsville area have to go viral after pandemic takes away door-to-door – Martinsville Bulletin

Also, Jim McKelvey of Franklin County will bring his bus, which is covered in a Trump-Pence wrap to support the president's re-election effort.

The headliner of their campaigning is of course the presidential race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. And the Libertarian Party candidate, Jo Jorgensen, has qualified for the ballot in Virginia, too.

The 5th Congressional District, which serves an eastern sliver of Henry County and currently is a seat held by Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Charlottesville), is race between Republican Bob Good and Democrat Cameron Webb.

The 9th Congressional District incumbent, Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem), who represents Martinsville and western Henry County and Patrick County, is unopposed.

At the GOP headquarters, we have as many as 30 people come in and out of there on any given day, Phillips said. Obviously, theyre not all in there at any given time, and those people are wearing masks.

We register voters that way, give out campaign literature that way, distribute signage, he said.

Some residents have given the Republicans space to put up 8-by-4-foot and 4-by-4 signs in high traffic areas, he said.

Henry County is covered by the 9th and 5th Congressional Districts, he said, and in addition to the center in Collinsville, calls to fifth-district voters are made out of a victory center in Danville.

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ELECTION 2020: Campaigns in Martinsville area have to go viral after pandemic takes away door-to-door - Martinsville Bulletin

One of Trump’s biggest detractors is as conservative as they come – Public Opinion

Bill Gindlesperger, Columnist Published 7:00 a.m. ET Sept. 2, 2020

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway leaves position to focus on family, and her husband will also be stepping away from the Lincoln Project. USA TODAY

So who is George Conway, and why should you care?

George Conway is a 57-year-old American attorney and ultra-conservative Republican. Not a RINO (Republican in name only). He is dyed in the wool.

Conway knows Donald Trump. He was on the shortlist for appointment to U.S. solicitor general. He was also recruited for assistant attorney general heading Civil Division in U.S. Department of Justice.

Trump wanted him, because Conway is a star. Conway argued Morrison v. National Australia Bank before the U.S. Supreme Court. He won unanimously with the opinion authored by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Twenty years ago Conway dated conservative Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham. Then he saw Kellyanne Fitzpatrick on the cover of a society magazine and was stunned. He called another friend, Ann Coulter, for an introduction.

Bill Gindlesperger(Photo: Bill Gindlesperger)

More: Social Security issue shows that Trump's words mean nothing

More: Political trial balloons are soaring all around, testing the atmosphere for Trump

George and Kellyanne were married in 2001, and Kellyanne Fitzgerald became Kellyanne Conway. Today they have four children and live in Washington, DC.

Kellyanne turned out to be no slouch. She is a pollster, political consultant and pundit. She worked as campaign manager and strategist in the Republican Party and was CEO of The Polling Company / Woman Trend. She became Trump's campaign manager when he ran for president.

Up until recently Kellyanne was Trumps counselor and spokesperson. She appeared regularly on Fox News. Thats why you may recognize the Conway name.

Meanwhile George Conway and Neal Katyal, another high-powered lawyer, wrote an op-ed in New York Times challenging the constitutionality of Trump's appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general after Trump fired conservative Jeff Sessions. Conway and Katyal argued Trump was overriding explicit wording in the Constitution.

George Conway sought support from members of the ultra-conservative and libertarian Federalist Society. Members were influential in selecting candidates for Trump to appoint to federal courts. They concluded Trump was betraying well-established legal norms and conservative values.

None of this went down well with Trump.

With Trump suffering from narcissism to the detriment of the country and its Constitution,George Conway founded the Lincoln Project.

This conservative Super PAC wants to Defeat President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box. In fact the Lincoln Project is dedicated to "persuading enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that dont enable or abet Mr. Trumps violations of the Constitution".

Contrary to what Trump has tweeted, the Lincoln Project is hard right, conservative, libertarian, rule-of-law, and Constitution-based.

Trump has called George Conway a "stone cold LOSER & husband from hell".

Trump has publicly called George Conway Moonface. This racial slur is based on George Conway being half Filipino. His mother was a well-respected organic chemist from the Philippines.

George Conway grew up near Boston, graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude, and obtained a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. Thats where he was editor of Yale Law Journal and president of Yale Law Schools chapter of the ultra-conservative Federalist Society.

More: Trump is pulling the ultimate con on the American people

More: Political posturing will not change the facts about COVID-19

Several weeks ago, conservative Republican George Conway made a statement regarding COVID-19 and Trumps responsibility to the American people. Here it is:

"For Trump supporters, let me make one thing VERY clear!

For the record NO ONE is blaming the President for the virus. Let me repeat. Coronavirus is not Trumps fault.

Heres a detailed list of what we are blaming him for:

* Trump declined to use the World Health Organizations test like other nations. Back in January, over a month before the first Covid-19 case, the Chinese posted a new mysterious virus and within a week, Berlin virologists had produced the first diagnostic test. By the end of February, the WHO had shipped out tests to 60 countries. Oh, but not our government. We declined the test even as a temporary bridge until the CDC could create its own test. The question is why? We dont know but what to look for is which pharmaceutical company eventually manufactures the test and who owns the stock. Keep tuned.

* In 2018 Trump fired Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossart, whose job was to coordinate a response to global pandemics. He was not replaced.

* In 2018 Dr. Luciana Borio, the NSC director for medical and bio-defense preparedness left the job. Trump did not replace Dr. Borio.

* In 2019 the NSCs Senior Director for Global Health Security and bio-defense, Tim Ziemer, left the position and Trump did not replace the Rear Admiral.

* Trump shut down the entire Global Health Security and Bio-defense agency. Yes, he did.

* Amid the explosive worldwide outbreak of the virus Trump proposed a 19% cut to the budget of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention plus a 10% cut to Public Health Services and a 7% cut to Global Health Services. Those happen to be the organizations that respond to public health threats.

* In 2018, at Trumps direction, the CDC stopped funding epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries including China.

* Trump didnt appoint a doctor to oversee the US response to the pandemic. He appointed Mike Pence.

* Trump has on multiple occasions sowed doubt about the severity of the virus even using the word hoax at events and rallies. He even did it at an event where the virus was being spread. Trump has put out zero useful information concerning the health risks of the virus.

* Trump pretended the virus had been contained.

* Trump left a cruise ship at sea for days, denying them proper hospital care, rather than increase his numbers in America.

Repeat. We do not blame Trump for the virus. We blame him for gutting the nations preparations to deal with it. We blame him for bungling testing and allowing it to spread uninhibited. We blame him for wasting taxpayer money on applause lines at his rallies (like The Wall). We blame him for putting his own political life over American human life. I hope this clears things up."

This is not a liberal speaking. These are the words of George Conway and members of the ultra-conservative libertarian Federalist Society.

Bill Gindlesperger is a central Pennsylvanian, Shippensburg University trustee and founder of eLynxx Solutions that provides Print Buyers Software for procuring and managing direct mail, marketing, promo and print. He is a board member, campaign advisor, published author and commentator. He can be reached at Bill.Gindlesperger@eLynxx.com

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One of Trump's biggest detractors is as conservative as they come - Public Opinion

Another Libertarian candidate makes it on the ballot – week.com

Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) -- A rare event in local election history as nine Libertarians have made it onto the November ballots.

After a court battle over verifying signatures, Chad Grimm joins the rest of the third party candidates already on there.

"I understand the political logic if you are a Republican or Democrat and have a race and it's a close race you might not want someone on there that could throw the vote. Do I philosophically agree with that? No. I think that everybody who wants to be on a ballot should be heard," said Grimm.

Chad Grimm is running against Jehan Gordon-Booth for the 92nd District in the House of Representatives.

"I'm extraordinary in support of the small business owner. I'm absolutely for lower taxes, less government. I'm also to the left of her on criminal justice which she pretends to champion," explained Grimm.

Libertarians are also seeking seats like, coroner, auditor, board members in both Peoria and Tazewell County.

Peoria County Election Commission's Executive Director, Thomas Bride calls this local election history in the making.

"We've only had one independent or third-party candidate in the last 10-12 years that I've been doing this. So it's extremely rare. It's not as rare at the state level, but on a local level it's more rare," said Bride.

Bride thinks the state lowering the required signature number is a reason behind the change.

"In Peoria County you needed a little over 3,000 and it was down to about 330 signatures needed for the county wide race. They were allowed to collect signatures online which they haven't been able to do before. It dramatically lowered the bar than it has been in the past," said Bride.

Bride said more people on the ballot means more choices for the voters.

Grimm hopes he and the Libertarian party is the choice people are looking for.

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Another Libertarian candidate makes it on the ballot - week.com

A Voice of Reason: #LetHerSpeak – Hanford Sentinel

On Aug. 8, 2020, Libertarians in every state, across the country, gathered in cities to protest the exclusion of the Libertarian Party presidential candidate, Jo Jorgensen, from the media and the presidential debates. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and worries across the country, the form of protest used was a vehicular caravan, where protesters traveled around the city in cars decked out in Jo Jorgensen campaign signs and covered with the hashtag #LetHerSpeak. These caravans would stop in front of local media outlets, especially television stations and the protesters would honk their horns, get out of their cars, and chant Let her speak!, Let Jo Jorgensen into the debates!, etc.

The protests on Aug. 8, 2020, were posted on social media by the protesters using the hashtag #LetHerSpeak. That hashtag became one of the top trending Twitter hashtags that day, hitting at least as high as number 6 at one point during the day.

It is obvious why Libertarians would protest the exclusion of their candidate from the debates. But the protesters were not just made up of Libertarians. People from all political persuasions were protesting alongside the Libertarians. The caravan I participated in which was held in Bakersfield, California, included at least one Republican. In a Gallup poll in 2018, 57% of Americans said that the United States would benefit from the inclusion of a third political party. Yet, the Commission on Presidential Debates, their sponsors, the media and the courts continuously deny the American people the right to hear from more than two choices.

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A Voice of Reason: #LetHerSpeak - Hanford Sentinel

Texas Democrats suing to kick Green Party candidates off November ballot – The Texas Tribune

State and national Democrats are waging a legal offensive to kick Green Party candidates off the ballot in some of Texas' highest-profile races this fall and they are seeing success.

On Wednesday, both a Travis County district judge and a state appeals court blocked the Green Party nominees for U.S. Senate and the 21st Congressional District from appearing on the ballot. The Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals additionally forced the Green Party nominee for railroad commissioner off the ballot.

Earlier this week, it surfaced that a Green Party contender for chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court had withdrawn after the Democratic nominee questioned his eligibility.

The Democrats are largely targeting Green Party candidates because they have not paid filing fees a new requirement for third parties under a law passed by the Legislature last year. The filing fees were already required of Democratic and Republican candidates. Multiple lawsuits that remain pending are challenging the new law, and the Green Party of Texas has been upfront that most of its candidates are not paying the fees while they await a resolution to the litigation.

The Green Party argues that the filing fees, which go up to $5,000 for a U.S. Senate race, are an unconstitutional burden. It has also pointed out that the fees normally go toward primaries, something neither the Green nor Libertarian parties conducts because both nominate their candidates at conventions. Only two of the Green Party's eight nominees for November have submitted the fees, according to the secretary of state.

Responding to Wednesday's rulings, the Texas Green Party said the legal challenges were suspiciously timed, coming after the Monday deadline for write-in candidates to file with the state and days before a series of deadlines finalizing the November ballot.

"The timing of these actions is an obvious attempt to remove voter choices from the ballot and lessen the work Democrats have to do to earn votes," the party said in a statement. "It is disappointing to have the legal system weaponized to suppress voters in this way."

The major deadline looming over the process is Aug. 28, when the secretary of state has to certify to counties the names of party nominees to appear on the November ballot. The Green Party confirmed its nominees at its state convention in April.

The party focuses on issues such as climate change and social justice, regularly leading to complaints that it siphons votes away from Democrats.

The rulings Wednesday came in response to lawsuits in two courts that involved some of the same candidates. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, MJ Hegar, sued to disqualify David Collins, the Green Party nominee for U.S. Senate, and Tom Wakely, Green Party nominee for the 21st Congressional District. Meanwhile, Hegar joined the Democratic nominee for the 21st District, Wendy Davis, and candidate for railroad commissioner, Chrysta Castaeda, to seek an ineligibility ruling for three respective Green Party candidates before the 3rd Court of Appeals.

In the appeals court's opinion, Justice Thomas Baker ordered the Green Party of Texas to declare its three candidates ineligible and do all it could to make sure they do not appear on the ballot. Baker said the court would not accept motions for rehearing, citing the "time-sensitive nature of this matter." It was party-line vote from a three-judge panel, with the one Republican in the group, Chief Justice Jeff Rose, dissenting.

In the Travis County district court decision, Judge Jan Soifer said her order is in effect for the next two weeks. However, she scheduled a hearing for Aug. 26 two days before the state's ballot certification deadline where she could reevaluate the decision.

Wakely is probably the best known of the three Green Party candidates whom the courts ruled against Wednesday. He was the Democratic nominee for the 21st District in 2016, when he lost by 21 percentage points to then-U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio. He also unsuccessfully ran in the 2018 Democratic primary for governor.

Wakely said Wednesday he thought the parties should be focused on "discussing ideas, debating policy," rather than working to take options away from voters.

"Im dismayed that while the Democrats are complaining about [how] the Republicans and Donald Trump are trying to suppress the vote, theyre doing exactly the same," Wakely said.

The 21st District is now held by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, and he is on the DCCC's seven-seat target list this cycle in Texas. His Democratic opponent, Davis, is the former state senator from Fort Worth and 2014 Democratic nominee for governor.

Not paying filing fees is not the only way a third-party candidate could be knocked out of contention, though. In the state Supreme Court race, Green Party candidate Charles Waterbury abandoned his bid last week after Democratic nominee Amy Clark Meachum asked the court to declare him ineligible because he voted in this year's Democratic primary, according to the Austin American-Statesman. State law says such candidates cannot represent one party in the general election if they voted in another party's primary earlier in the same election cycle.

Third parties could have a sizable impact in Texas this fall, when ascendant Democrats are anticipating numerous close races up and down the ballot.

There were already a number of examples last cycle where third-party candidates drew a not-insignificant amount of votes. In the 23rd Congressional District, a perennial battleground, Libertarian nominee Ruben Corvalan took 4,425 votes, while U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, defeated Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones by just 926 votes.

In the 21st District last cycle, the Libertarian candidate, Lee Santos, garnered 7,542 votes. That was not far off from Roy's margin of victory over Democratic opponent Joseph Kopser: 9,233 votes.

Disclosure: The Texas secretary of state has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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Texas Democrats suing to kick Green Party candidates off November ballot - The Texas Tribune

Trump and Biden tied in Minnesota: poll | TheHill – The Hill

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic National Convention What we'll remember from the 2020 Biden convention Chris Wallace labels Biden's acceptance speech 'enormously effective' MORE and Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Democratic National Convention What we'll remember from the 2020 Biden convention Chris Wallace labels Biden's acceptance speech 'enormously effective' MORE are statistically tied in Minnesota, according to a new poll.

The latest survey from the Trafalgar Groupfinds Biden at 46.9 percent and Trump at 46.5 percent. Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen gets 3.7 percent support, while 1.7 percent are undecided and 1.2 percent said theyd support someone else.

The Trafalgar Groups surveys have been showing a tighter race in the battlegrounds than other pollsters have found.

The outlet weights its polls to account for a social desirability bias, or the so-called shy Trump voters who are embarrassed to tell pollsters they support his candidacy. In 2016, Trafalgar was the only polling outlet to show Trump leading in Michigan heading into Election Day.

Pollster Robert Cahaly has told The Hill he believes there are more quiet Trump voters in the U.S. than there were in 2016.

The survey is the latest to find Trump closing the gap in Minnesota, which Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from the Democratic National Convention What we'll remember from the 2020 Biden convention Overnight Energy: Michigan agrees to 0M Flint settlement | Sierra Club knocks DNC over dropped fossil fuel subsidies language MORE carried by only 1.5 points in 2016.

An Emerson College survey, the only other poll of Minnesota released this month, found Biden with a 3-point advantage over Trump, which was also within the surveys margin of error.

The Trump campaign has circled Minnesota as one of the few states Clinton won in 2016 that it intends to contest. In addition, the Trump campaign says it will try to flip New Hampshire and Maine.

The Trafalgar Group survey of 1,141 likely general election voters was conducted between Aug. 15 and Aug. 18 and has a 2.98-percentage-point margin of error.

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Trump and Biden tied in Minnesota: poll | TheHill - The Hill