Judicial Watch: Documents show Iowa officials worked with Big Tech to censor 2020 election posts
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Judicial Watch says the conservative watchdog group has hundreds of pages of documents that show Iowa state officials pressured Big Tech companies to remove Judicial Watch’s social media posts.
The group said Monday that it had received 624 pages of records from the office of the Secretary of State of Iowa showing that on multiple occasions the Iowa Secretary of State officials contacted Facebook and Twitter to remove Judicial Watch posts.
On February 3, 2020, Kevin Hall, the communications director for the department, wrote to a Facebook official asking the person to help remove a Judicial Watch story, according to a June 2020 open records lawsuit the group filed against Iowa State.
“We’ve been playing whack-a-mole with this false story all day. Is there anything you can do to help?” Hall asked the Facebook official in an email that’s part of the document trove. “We’ve told them [Judicial Watch] this is fake. They have it PINNED to the top of their page.”
The Facebook official replied that the platform’s independent fact-checkers found the story to be false, so a warning was placed on it before users could click on the story.
The official then asked Hall to “Please continue to report violating content to us.”
In June Feb. 2020, Judicial Watch, for example, published an article alleging that Iowa had larger voter registration rates than the state had eligible voters. The article claimed there were more than 18,658 extra names on the state’s voter registration rolls.
Arizona lawmakers approve bill vetting voters for citizenship before they can vote
Arizona lawmakers approved new voter restrictions that supporters said ensure only U.S. citizens can cast ballots but opponents said will wipe countless voters off the state’s rolls.
A unanimous Republican caucus approved House Bill 2492 on Wednesday in the Senate, sending the legislation to Gov. Doug Ducey for consideration.
While Arizona is one of the few states that already require proof of citizenship before registering to vote, residents can bypass that by registering for a federal-only ballot under the National Voter Registration Act and can vote on federal contests.
HB 2492 would require counties to check those individuals for citizenship against multiple databases. Counties must reject any federal applications if they find the individual is not a U.S. citizen. Any official knowingly ignoring the requirement could be charged with a Class 6 felony.
Democrats accused Republicans of seeking to purge the voter rolls as revenge for the 2020 general election, where President Joe Biden narrowly defeated former President Donald Trump.
“This is absurd, illogical and discriminatory,” Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson, said.
Constitutional analysts told GOP lawmakers in another hearing the bill presents some issues that could face a legal challenge. Opponents were quick to note that in debate.
“We are voting on a bill that is unconstitutional and has a tremendous impact on the voters of the state of Arizona,” Sen. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix, said. “There are many provisions in this bill that are offensive, and that will have a negative impact on some communities more than others.”
Republicans said their legislation simply ensures U.S. citizens are the only ones voting in U.S. elections.
“The issue is making sure the citizens of this country are voting,” Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, said. “If you’re not a citizen of this country, you’re not allowed to vote. We have over 35,000 people registered to vote where we are not certain whether they’re citizens or not.”
The bill passed along partisan lines. Democrats gathered in Phoenix on Thursday to pressure Ducey to veto the legislation.
US Senators Question Motives of AT&T For Refusing To Renew OAN Contract…Cite AT&T Board Chairman’s Ties To Dominion Voting Machines
Two U.S. Senators, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have written an official letter to AT&T inquiring into its politically-motivated decision to cut One America News Network (OANN) from DirectTV. Cruz and Lee both press the AT&T Board of Directors for answers regarding the “personal financial” influences that may have swayed the company’s decision.
The decision to not renew its contract with OANN was announced by DirecTV in mid-January. DirecTV, which is primarily run by AT&T, has a contract with OANN that is set to expire in early April.
In response to this major decision, President Trump spoke out at an Arizona rally, saying, “This is horrible. This is a great network. These are great people. I watch it all the time and you really get the truth. And they want to cancel them now because of politics – for purely political reasons. It’s a disgrace what’s going on.”
“I don’t think that people are gonna stand for it,” added Trump.”Maybe what we should do is not use AT&T.”
On Tuesday, Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz submitted a letter to the members of the AT&T Board of Directors, expressing “grave concern for the future of journalism and political discourse in America.”
They then listed six specific facts/concerns regarding the issue:
- One American News Network (“OAN”) is being sued for alleged defamation by Dominion Voting Systems.
- Dominion Voting Systems is owned by Staple Street Capital.
- William Kennard is on the executive board of Staple Street Capital
- William Kennard is also the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors
- AT&T owns 70% of DirecTV, and controls two seats on DirecTV’s board of directors
- DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with OANN.
The main concern pointed out by Lee and Cruz is that William Kennard, the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors and executive board member of Staple Street Capital, is pushing to end its contract with OANN to benefit his personal financial interests.
The Senators then request a response to the following question within 10 business days: “Did any employee or agent of AT&T at any time convey or suggest to any employee or agent of DirecTV an instruction or request not to renew OANN?”
Read the full letter below:
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