The Director of North Carolina based Voter Integrity Project told Big League Politics that President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for Western District of North Caroline U.S. attorney, R. Andrew Murray is unacceptable based on his willful failure to prosecute voter fraud.
“Last week we took this action to ask President Trump to withdraw the nomination because Mr. Murray refused to prosecute interstate double voters that we investigated and that the State Board of Elections referred to him for criminal prosecution. But he said he was too busy to bother with such low-level crimes,” said Jay Delancy, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. Delancy is also president of the national Election Integrity Alliance, a nonprofit established to empower other state-based election integrity organizations.
The VIP has triggered dozens of criminal referrals for vote fraud and has so far secured two convictions: One in Tennessee and one in North Carolina,” the air force veteran said.
Two of the cases that Delancy said are an example of Murray’s refusal to root out voter fraud involved, Janelle R. Jenkins and Sammy K. Nichols of Mecklenburg County, who the VIP determined had voted in Florida and North Carolina.
The Jenkins and Nichols cases were discovered by citizen election reform advocates frustrated at the lack of seriousness their investigations bring. “Imagine what the government could do if they looked,” he said.
Because of Murray’s refusal to prosecute Jenkins, Nichols and others, Delancy, who started working on voter fraud in his state in 2012, said he is calling for a special prosecutor. “If President Trump is serious about fighting vote fraud, then he should withdraw Andrew Murray’s nomination for US Attorney.”
Concerned citizens in voter integrity and reform groups are frustrated by the lack of prosecutions and seriousness their cases see in court, he said.
Megan C. McDonald, a community liaison coordinator in Murray’s office gave Big League Politics a statement on behalf of the Mecklenberg district attorney:
The Voter Integrity Project has asserted that the fact that someone cast two ballots is proof enough of intent. That is not supported by the law. State law says it is unlawful “for any person with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time, or to induce another to do so, in the same primary or election, or to vote illegally at any primary or election.” This means that to prosecute someone for double voting, this office must prove that the person actually intended to fraudulently vote at more than one precinct.
In the Jenkins case, McDonald said the woman, in this case, was surprised and frightened by an agent’s appearance at her door. “She was fully cooperative, and she clearly believed she had acted in accordance with the law. And in fact, her vote in Florida was not counted. After a review of the evidence, this office found she did not commit a crime.”
In the Nichols case, McDonald said:
The other case involves a man, now age 69, who travels between North Carolina and Florida and inadvertently voted in both states in the 2012 election. When he was interviewed by investigators about the incident years later, he acknowledged that he had registered and voted in person in Mecklenburg County. He said his son mailed an absentee ballot to him from Florida. He told investigators that he filled out the ballot, and he may have mailed it in error, but he did not recall whether he personally mailed the ballot or whether someone else mailed it for him. He said he thought obtaining his North Carolina driver’s license would have canceled his Florida voting registration. And in fact, when someone registers to vote in North Carolina, a notification generated by the registration system is supposed to be sent to the state in which he was previously registered. In this case, it appeared the man did not have any intention to commit voter fraud.
“The District Attorney’s Office is charged with enforcing the laws of North Carolina and seeking justice,” McDonald said.
“The decision to prosecute a defendant is based solely on the available evidence,” she said. “This office prosecutes crimes of every level every day. But prosecuting people when sufficient evidence does not exist simply for the sake of media attention to the Voter Integrity Project’s cause, as the Project suggested in a press release that this office should do, is simply wrong and unjust. This office does not – and will not – operate that way”
Delancy said Murray’s response to obvious crimes frustrates him.
“Several other referrals have been blocked by hesitant district attorneys, but one case in Florida is still pending that involves a sworn admission of voter impersonation fraud: the kind of voter fraud that would have been prevented if Florida had a real voter ID law, ” he said.
“While proving vote fraud is hard enough, it’s maddening that we cannot get prosecutors to act on our proof,” he said. “The types of fraud we’ve uncovered is non-citizen voting and interstate double voting, but we’ve also found close to 30,000 dead people on the voter rolls, which proved that state election officials were negligent in their list maintenance practice.”
Delancy said he and the advocates at his organization are thrilled that the president has focused on voter fraud by commissioning the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
One of the senior members of the commission, The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, said about Trump’s effort that the problem is not the magnitude of voter fraud. “In close or disputed elections, and there are many, a small amount of fraud could make the margin of difference.”
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Big League-Gravis Florida poll: Putnam leads DeSantis 23% to 12% for GOP governor nomination
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam leads the field of gubernatorial hopefuls in the race for the GOP nomination for governor, but ties Democrat Andrew D. Gillum head-to-head, according to the poll of 5,778 registered voters conducted Dec. 19 through Dec. 24.
“This is going to be the most competitive Florida primary in many years,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based company that executed the poll. The poll carries a 1.3 percent margin of error.
Kaplan said the number one question is can the Florida Democratic Party can finally get organized.
Both the Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for Aug. 28 and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 6.
“The Democratic field is large, but the race is quickly developing into a two-person race between former congresswoman Gwen Graham at 18 percent and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew D. Gillum at 12 percent,” he said. “The field fills out with businessman Chris King, 3 percent; real estate developer Jeff Greene, 2 percent; and former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, 6 percent.
“Gillum is the wild card,” says Kaplan. “If he can raise money in a five-person and race get overwhelming African American support, he has a path to winning the nomination.”
Standing in Gillum’s path for the African-American community is Graham’s legacy of support from her previous campaigns and her endorsement by civil rights legend Rep. John R. Lewis (D.-Ga.). Graham is also the daughter of former Florida governor and senator D. Robert Graham.
Debemos darles la bienvenida a nuestros compatriotas de Puerto Rico con los brazos abiertos y brindarles un apoyo verdadero. Es hora de hacer algo. https://t.co/qmxDyH8q08
— Gwen Graham (@GwenGraham) December 21, 2017
Kaplan said the Republican side is equally as competitive, he said.
“Putnam has jumped out to an early 23 percent to 12 percent edge over House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ronald D. DeSantis,” he said.
Head-to-head, Graham and Putnam were tied at 32 percent with 37 percent undecided.
In a head-to-head matchup, Gillum tied Putnam at 31 percent each with 39 percent undecided.
DeSantis has not formally announced whether he is running, but President Donald J. Trump endorsed him Dec. 22.
“If DeSantis declares, he will give Putnam a run for his money,” said Kaplan. “DeSantis has the ability to raise money, which will be important in an expensive state such as Florida. Democrats would likely prefer a DeSantis candidacy since Putnam is considered more of a centrist.”
From our family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas. pic.twitter.com/spJceJoQCX
— Adam Putnam (@adamputnam) December 22, 2017
Following Putnam and DeSantis are former state senator Jack Latvala and Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran, both men had the support of 2 percent of the respondents and Bob White, the leader of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, who has the support of 1 percent.
While the poll was still in the field, Latvala resigned from his state Senate seat, after a 33-page report by a retired judge with sworn statements by Latvala and his accuser detailed incidents of sexual misconduct by the Latvala. Among the accusations were groping and the then-senator’s offer to trade support for legislation in exchange for sexual contact. There are at least six women, who have come forward.
Gillum said it was time for Latvala to resign in a Dec. 5 statement: “It’s time for Senator Latvala to resign from the Senate. His intimidation of a sexual harassment victim is repulsive and disgusting, as is his alleged behavior. I believe these women, and we need Florida’s Capitol to be a welcoming place for all people — not a place where sexual harassment victims need police protection.”
Latvala served in the state Senate for 23 years and in his letter of resignation, he said he quit under pressure from state GOP leaders.
“I have maintained that the charges in the original complaint were fabrications and say that still today,” he wrote. He also maintained that he was guilty of not keeping up with political correctness in his language.
Another wildcard in this political cycle in Florida is attorney John B. Morgan, who has championed the political career of Rep. Charles J. Crist Jr. (D.-Fla.) after he left the Republican Party after his term as governor expired in 2011. Morgan has also been a major booster of the state’s Democratic Party, along with causes, such as the legalization of medical marijuana.
During the Thanksgiving weekend, Morgan Tweeted that he was leaving the Democratic Party and that if he did run for governor, he would run as an Independent.
And I can’t muster enthusiasm for any of today’s politicians. They are all the same. Both parties. I plan to register as an Independent and when I vote, vote for the lesser of two evils. And if I ever ran, run as an Independent. #ForThePeople
— John Morgan (@JohnMorganESQ) November 24, 2017
The survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users. The results were weighted to match a proprietary turnout model.
Read the entire poll here:
Big League-Gravis Dec. 19-Dec. 24 Florida poll
Read the crosstabs here:
Crosstabs for Big League-Gravis Dec. 19-Dec. 24 Florida poll
U.S. forces, allies clear out ISIS caves in Syria
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 27, 2017 — In partnership with coalition forces, the Maghawir al-Thawra conducted a series of ground clearance operations Dec. 23 to drive Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists out of the Hamad Desert in southern Syria, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Ongoing successful operations follow previous engagements earlier this month, in which the Maghawir al-Thawra, also known as MaT, killed several ISIS terrorists in the 34-mile de-confliction zone recognized by the coalition, Russia and the Syrian regime, officials said.
“The combined operations are a result of many hours of planning, building trust and close cooperation between coalition Special Operations Forces and the MaT,” said Army Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve’s Special Operations Joint Task Force.
Terrorists lose weapons storage sites
Operations have disrupted ISIS’ freedom of movement by clearing several caves the terrorist organization has historically used to store weapons, explosives and communications equipment, officials said.
The ISIS terrorists were using the area to transit from the Euphrates River Valley, where they have enjoyed relative freedom of movement while fleeing the coalition’s successful Syrian Democratic Forces partners, according to officials.
Recent defeat-ISIS operations conducted by the MaT confirm the de-confliction zone remains inhospitable to the terrorists, officials said.
“ISIS has repeatedly surfaced in the Hamad Desert,” Jarrard said. “However, inside the de-confliction zone, our partner forces have successfully thwarted ISIS’ movements.”
The cave clearing operations highlight the MaT’s professionalism, tactical skill and their overall impact as an effective security force within the de-confliction zone, officials said.
House Budget Chairman to leave post to focus on her Tennesee governor campaign
One of the most powerful women on Capitol Hill announced today that she will step down as the chairman of the House Budget Committee as she ramps up her campaign to become the next governor of Tennessee.
“It has been an honor to serve as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, working alongside members this year to recommend responsible and balanced policies for building a better America,” said Rep. Diane L. Black, who in 2011 succeeded Rep. Barton J. Gordon, a conservative Democrat, who did not seek re-election after his votes for the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and bailouts for the auto industry stirred up his district against him.
“I am very proud of the hard work of our members and all we accomplished, especially offering real reforms for mandatory programs and unlocking pro-growth tax reform,” Black said.
OPINION: Rep. Diane Black: I'm stepping down as chairman of the House Budget Committee after a successful year with Trump https://t.co/o31IBSVK7g
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 27, 2017
“As we enter a new era under a brand new tax law and as members begin crafting a budget for fiscal year 2019, I am confident the focus will remain on addressing unsustainable mandatory programs,” she said. “Without question, it is critical that lawmakers take real action to reverse the trajectory of our nation’s growing debt. While it requires tough decisions in the short-term, the result in the long-term will secure a bright and prosperous future for generations to come.”
Black said she will remain in Congress to finish her term.
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