Two-time U.S Senate candidate and former state legislator Kelli Ward won the Chair position of the Arizona Republican Party Saturday, in an upset victory over incumbent chairman Jonathan Lines.
The election for the position was held at a state party meeting at Church for the Nations in Phoenix, with votes cast by Arizona precinct committeemen and women. A final tally of votes was said to break for Ward, with 636 in her favor and 524 for Lines.
2018 had been a difficult statewide election for Republicans in Arizona, with congresswoman and party nominee Martha McSally losing a bitterly contested U.S Senate election to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Ward had run against McSally for the nomination and lost, after challenging John McCain in a primary election in 2016. The deceased former Senator’s daughter expressed her disappointment with the outcome of the party chair election.
Conservative Precinct Committeemen expressed a desire for a fresh face as the leader of Arizona Republicans after a disappointing midterm election. Arizona, formerly reliably red, now more closely resembles a purple state in great part because of population growth, both in the form of Americans moving to the state from other parts of the country and immigration from outside the country.
It’s possible that the state could serve as one the most pivotal battleground states in 2020, likely being essential to President Trump’s re-election prospects.
Chairman Lines expressed his congratulations to Ward after her victory, exhorting his supporters to remain engaged in supporting the party.
Dr. Ward pledged to work to unify the Arizona Republican Party in order to bring about a resounding victory for President Trump and down-ballot Republicans in 2020.
Billionaire Mike Bloomberg Pays $16 Million in Fines of Black and Hispanic Felons to Enable Them to Vote
Billionaire and former New York City Mayor has raised $16 million dollars to pay off outstanding fines of Black and Hispanic felons in Florida, according to reporting from Axios on Tuesday. Florida restricts the voting rights of convicted criminals until they’ve paid off fines levied for their crimes by the criminal justice system.
It appears that Bloomberg’s fine repayment initative was only available to Black and Hispanic felons. Axios reported that to qualify for Bloomberg’s money, applicants had to have outstanding fines of less than $1,500, be already registered to vote, and to be Black or Latino.
White felons need not apply.
The program has reportedly already cleared the fines of 32,000 felons in the state, enabling them to vote in the election. It erases the punitive aspect of the court system’s fines, which were levied in the first place in order to require convicted criminals to personally make amends for their actions.
Bloomberg’s felon bailout giveaway is legally questionable, and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has requested that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody investigate what he’s doing. If he’s paying felons to vote for any one specific candidate, Bloomberg is in violation of campaign finance rules and could be liable to serve jail time .
#BREAKING: I'm calling on the Florida Attorney General to launch an investigation into @MikeBloomberg for potentially engaging in bribery and vote buying in the state of Florida. pic.twitter.com/2pAjZlAwSh
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 22, 2020
“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” said a Bloomberg spokesperson when asked about the fine repayment initiative. But it doesn’t seem as if the failed Democratic primary candidate is willing to buy back the voting rights of individuals who might be less inclined to vote for Joe Biden in November.
Bloomberg already tried and failed to buy the nomination in the Democratic primary, and now he’s trying to buy the crucial swing state of Florida for Joe Biden. Corrupt oligarchs should not be allowed to abuse the political system with impunity.
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