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On a night when tough-on-crime questions were on ballots, two of the biggest decisions for more policing came in the New York City mayoral race and in a Minneapolis referendum, with most other, similarly pro-police candidates in other cities also doing well.
The Minneapolis referendum to replace the city’s police department and its required minimum of officers with a new Department of Public Safety failed on Tuesday. The ballot question required 51% of the vote to pass but failed 44% to 57% with 133 out of 136 precincts reporting, according to Fox News.
In Cleveland, however, a ballot question on creating a civilian commission to hire and fire police officers is at 58.5% for and 41.5% against, with 83% of precincts reporting, Spectrum News reported.
The city’s Democratic mayoral candidate, Justin Bibb, who supports the initiative, is also in the lead at 61.8%, over his opponent, GOP candidate Kevin Kelley, at 38.2%. Bibb declared victory Tuesday evening, with Kelley conceding at about 10:30 p.m., according to WKYC.
Increasing violent crime over the past two years and who among those up for election this year was on the minds of voters, including those who argued efforts to “defund” police departments in the aftermath of the 2020 social justice protests had made their communities too unsafe.
Also on Tuesday, New York City elected Democratic mayoral candidate and former New York Police Department Capt. Eric Adams, who vowed to be tough on crime. However, the city also elected Alvin Bragg as its first black district attorney. Bragg has promised to not prosecute those who resist arrest and to be generous with bail.
For Boston’s mayoral election, Michelle Wu, who supported cutting the police budget by 10% last year, won against fellow City Council member Annissa Essaibi who accused Wu of wanting to defund the police.
In Buffalo, N.Y., Democratic incumbent Mayor Byron Brown, who lost to democratic socialist India Walton in their party’s primary, appeared to be in the lead as a write-in candidate, with 98% reporting and write-in candidates leading Walton 59%-41%, according to WIVB. The news outlet noted that it could take weeks for all the write-in votes to be counted.
Atlanta’s mayoral race saw Felicia Moore, who promised to hire 250 police officers to her opponent and former Mayor Kasim Reed’s vowed 750 police officers, in the lead and likely to head to a runoff election with over 95% of Fulton County reporting, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Moore was at 40% of the vote and the next two candidates, Reed and Andre Dickens, were tied at 23% of the vote with less than a thousand votes between them, according to Fox 5.
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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