“Each of the four battleground states targeted by a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn President Trump’s election defeat issued blistering briefs at the Supreme Court on Thursday, with Pennsylvania officials going so far as to call the effort a ‘seditious abuse of the judicial process,’” CNN reports.
“The court filings from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin come a day after Trump asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) seeking to invalidate millions of votes in their states.”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) filed a legal brief with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing a Texas lawsuit seeking to effectively delay the Electoral College from voting Joe Biden the next U.S. president, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
“Yost stated in the brief that the Supreme Court lacks authority to order state legislatures in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to appoint presidential electors.”
Jonathan Last: “Everyone laughs at how stupid the Trump lawsuits are. Can you believe these morons? They lose everywhere! Even Republican judges keep slapping them down! How embarrassing for Trump!”
“But that’s the wrong way to think about Trump’s actions since November 3. Because his goal hasn’t been to keep the office of the president. It’s been to keep the Republican party.”
“Now, owning a major political party isn’t as useful as being president. But it’s not nothing, either. In a two-party system, you can exert a great deal of power by being the head of a party. You have businesses and foreign governments that will pay tribute to you. You have capos spread across the country, ready to do your bidding. You have an audience of something like 40 million partisans who can be mined for contributions and mobilized as a flash mob whenever you need them.”
“A political party is, to paraphrase El Blago, a valuable forking thing. Why would anyone willingly let go of it?”
“Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) sold his Washington, D.C., home last year to a brokerage industry official whose organization is under the purview of a committee Perdue sits on,” ProPublica reports.
“The deal was made off market, without the home being listed for sale publicly.”
“Though an appraisal provided to ProPublica by the buyer found that Perdue sold for slightly under market value, four local real estate experts disagreed, telling ProPublica that the almost $1.8 million sale price Perdue garnered seemed high. Their estimates of the premium ranged from a few thousand dollars to as much as about $140,000. A fifth expert said the price was squarely fair market value.”
“A growing number of Senate Republicans are ready to publicly acknowledge what’s been widely known for weeks but what they’ve refused to say: Joe Biden won the presidency and will be sworn in on January 20,” CNN reports.
“What they’re less certain about: What President Donald Trump will do after the Electoral College votes on Monday and how they plan to respond if he won’t concede after Biden is the official winner.”
Cranston Mayor Alan Fung, who was the GOP’s nominee for Rhode Island governor in both 2014 and 2018, is considering a third try, though there’s no quote from Fung or anyone connected to him. Fung lost a three-way open-seat race to Democrat Gina Raimondo 41-36 in 2014 (a third-party candidate took 21%), then got smoked 53-37 in a more traditional rematch four years later. Raimondo is term-limited in 2022 (as Fung himself was this year), and a whole host of top-shelf Democrats could try to succeed her.
Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who has soared to prominence of late thanks to his bellicose support for Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of Pennsylvania’s presidential election, gets mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2022 in a new profile from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
While Mastriano wouldn’t speak to Seidman, when asked recently by conservative radio host Charlie Kirk if he’d run, he said, “If we get the call from God, we’re not gonna stand away from our Esther moment”—exploiting the biblical story of Queen Esther, who is credited with putting her life at risk to save the Jews of Persia from destruction, to describe his own interest in seeking a political promotion.
While his loving embrace of Trump ought to be a boon in a primary, Mastriano could spell danger for the GOP in the general election. “We had a super Trumpy older white guy state senator from central Pennsylvania as our 2018 gubernatorial nominee,” said one local GOP operative to Seidman, referring to former state Sen. Scott Wagner, who ran against term-limited Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf two years ago. “And he got 40% of the vote.” In total fairness, Wagner won 40.7%, which rounds up to 41.
Associated Press: “Biden’s victory was essentially locked in Tuesday by the so-called safe harbor deadline set by federal law for states to finish their certifications and resolve legal disputes. It’s an insurance policy to guard against Congress trying to manipulate the electoral votes that will be cast next week and sent to the Capitol for counting on Jan. 6.”
New York Times: “Election results have now been certified in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., moving Joseph R. Biden Jr. one step closer to the White House. Electors will meet in each state on Monday to cast their votes.”
USA Today notes New York’s electors will meet in person at the State Capitol — despite a raging pandemic — because of a strict interpretation of a section of state Election Law that says in part: “The electors shall convene at the state capitol.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that if the state were to allow remote votes from outside the Capitol building, it could open the state to a legal challenge from Trump and his supporters who have already proven to be litigious.
John Harris: “For now, Trump dominates conversations about both present and future. His outlandish claims that he won the election except for comprehensive fraud have helped raise more than $200 million since Election Day. Many of his partisans share his dream of recapturing the presidency in 2024. For those who despise him, to paraphrase a famous Democratic speech, it seems clear the work goes on, the cause endures, the fear still lives, and the nightmare shall never die. Except it will die — most likely with more speed and force than looks possible today.”
President-elect Joe Biden will campaign in Georgia on Tuesday for Senate runoff candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that President-elect Joe Biden won the state of Georgia because, somehow, Democrat Stacey Abrams tricked Republicans into abetting voter fraud by helping more people legally vote, the HuffPost reports.
Said Graham: “Stacey Abrams conned the Republican leadership in Georgia into a consent decree that basically adulterated the signature verification system, so that you’re comparing the ballot signatures to the application signature. They’re the same person who did the fraud.”
He added: “You should be comparing the ballot signature, the envelope signature on the ballot, to a signature that existed before the application was made. She changed that.”
A new Gallup poll finds Americans’ support for the 2010 Affordable Care Act has increased to a record-tying high of 55% after averaging 51% from 2017 through 2019.
A new NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll finds 60% of voters don’t want Donald Trump to run for president again in 2024, while 32% think he should.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds 60% of voters say they think President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election is legitimate and 34% think his win is not.
“There are large partisan gaps. Democrats say 98% to 2 % they think Biden’s election victory is legitimate and independents say 62 % to 30% his victory is legitimate. Republicans, however, say 70% to 23% that they think Biden’s victory is not legitimate.”
A new Morning Consult/Politico poll finds 71% of Republicans think Trump will run for president in 2024.
A new AP/NORC poll finds that 47% of Americans want the coronavirus vaccine, while 26% do not and 27% are not sure.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds 61% are willing to get vaccinated, while 37% are not.
President-elect Joe Biden appeared to blame the “Defund the Police” movement for contributing to surprising Democratic downballot losses in the November election, telling civil rights leaders this week that they should proceed carefully on criminal justice issues, NBC News reports.
Said Biden, in leaked audio: “That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police. We’re not. We’re talking about holding them accountable.”
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has already survived five long-shot recall attempts in his two years in office, but those close to him are reportedly worried that the current recall effort amidst frustration over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic could prove successful,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.