Brandon Waltens of Texas Scorecard reported that Texas Governor Greg Abbott is now giving in to pressure from local government officials.
Originally, Abbott was firmly opposed to a statewide mask mandate. On the other hand, local governments made a fuss about establishing mask mandates by issuing threats of jail time and implementing fines for noncompliance.
However, things changed on June 16, 2020.
Eight mayors sent a letter to Abbott begging him to grant them the power to levy penalties on those who refuse to wear masks.
Waltens offered a list of the mayors who signed the letter:
Among those who signed the letter were:
Houston’s Sylvester Turner, Austin’s Steve Adler, San Antonio’s Ron Nirenberg, Dallas’ Eric Johnson, Fort Worth’s Betsy Price, El Paso’s Dee Margo, Arlington’s Jeff Williams, Plano’s Harry LaRosiliere, and Grand Prairie’s Ron Jensen.
On June 17, Democrat Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff made an attempt to circumvent Abbott’s restriction by issuing an executive order mandating that businesses implement mask-wearing requirements for customers and employees. Not complying with this would be accompanied with a fine of $1,000 for each incident.
“The action I’m taking today may be pushing the legal bounds a little bit, but our attorneys believe they can defend this order in court,” Wolff said after he issued the order.
In light of this, Abbott insists that the loophole doesn’t butt heads with his executive order. He even suggested that the tactic was already meant to be available to governments.
During an interview with KWTX News in Waco, Abbott stated that there had been “a plan in place all along” and that “the county judge in Bexar County had finally figured that out.”
Although Abbott sustained that governments cannot mandate individuals to wear masks, he ended up changing his tune by noting that “local governments can require stores and businesses to require masks.”
“Now local officials are just now realizing that that was authorized,” he continued.
By conceding ground on Bexar County’s mask mandate, countless other cities and counties controlled by Democrats will likely follow suit.
The Attorney General on His Way Out?: Trump Mulls Firing Bill Barr, Advisers Trying to Dissuade Him
Trump is unhappy about more than just Barr’s recent voter fraud comments.
President Donald Trump is considering firing Attorney General William Barr, with the Washington Post reporting Wednesday evening that Trump “remained livid” at him.
On Tuesday Barr said that the Justice Department did not find evidence of “fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
An unnamed senior administration official told the Post that although Trump is upset about Barr’s comments, he’s also unhappy with Barr about other matters, such as his previous lack of action on the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign and his handling of John Durham.
The president is pressuring Barr to release the “Durham report,” which could implicate officials in using the investigation to target Trump for political reasons. Trump also sees Barr’s secret appointment of Durham to DOJ special counsel as a “stall tactic.”
In the wake of Election Day Attorney General Barr authorized federal prosecutors to “investigate substantial allegations” of voter fraud. But in his comments Tuesday, Barr claimed that “most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct.”
“They are not systemic allegations,” said Barr.
Trump may want to fire Barr, but several advisers are trying to persuade him not to, according to the unnamed senior official.
Either way, it’s tough to see how Barr remains attorney general for much longer. If Joe Biden pulls off the steal and gets inaugurated, he will certainly replace Barr with his own AG. And if Trump hangs on for his second and final term, he may very well want to clean house and start afresh.
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