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Election 2020

Bloomberg to Spend At Least $100M to Help Biden Win Florida

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Former New York City mayor and presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg, announced on Sunday that he plans to spend $100 million in Florida over the next few weeks to support Joe Biden‘s presidential candidacy.

What We Know:

  • The announcement comes as new polls show a particularly tight race between Biden and President Trump in Florida, a key battleground state in the election due to its 29 electoral votes. The announcement also follows criticism from within the Democratic Party that Bloomberg did not deliver on his promise to put the full weight of his fortune behind the Democratic nominee in the general-election effort to defeat Trump.
  • Florida is seen as a must-win state for Trump’s campaign in order for him to reach the needed 270 electoral votes to win re-election as it has been nearly 100 years since a Republican won a presidential election without Florida. For Biden it’s a different story, he is seen as having several routes to reach the 270, without winning Florida’s votes. Bloomberg’s big investment would likely force Republicans to spend more time and money in Florida and allow the Biden campaign to focus its resources on other key battleground states.
  • While the commitment in Florida is massive for a one-state program, it is a significant reduction and pullback from some of the promises Bloomberg and his advisors made during the primary season. Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, had privately shared that if Bloomberg did not win the nominee, he would form a super PAC and fund a massive effort against Trump in all of the country’s biggest swing states. But after his candidacy ended, and he spent almost $1 billion on his own unsuccessful run, Bloomberg went back on his plans. For months, his aides said he had not yet approved any spending in the presidential race.
  • According to a spokeswoman, the new $100 million commitment in Florida will be routed through one of Bloomberg’s super PACs, Independence USA, as well as other Democratic groups, and the effort is expected to emphasize communications with Hispanic voters, a demographic Biden is struggling with. In a statement, Sheekey said Bloomberg’s latest commitments “will mean Democrats and the Biden campaign can invest even more heavily in other key states like Pennsylvania, which will be critical to a Biden victory.”
  • In response to the news on Sunday, Trump ridiculed Bloomberg on Twitter, calling his participation in the Democratic primary debates “the most inept debate performance in the history of presidential politics”.

  • According to Florida Democratic strategist Steve Schale, the Bloomberg investment is a big deal because Florida has not gotten the same level of outside spending as other swing states. Schale added, “It’s early enough that it can really help.” Sheekey agreed with Schale, telling reporters, “If Joe Biden can win Florida on election night, it destroys the lie that the president is trying to propagate — that mail-in ballots will be an attempt to steal the election.”

Voting begins in Florida with the distribution of absentee ballots on September 24th.

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Election 2020

Georgia Sets New Early Voting Record for Senate Runoffs

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Early voting for the two Georgia Senate races began on December 14th. So far, the turnout has been unbelievable and record-breaking.

What We Know:

  • As of Dec. 18th, over 1.1 million ballots have been cast in early voting for this Senate runoff election. These twin U.S. Senate runoff elections, as Reuters calls it, will determine which party controls that chamber of Congress. Voting in the Senate runoffs, which are taking place because no candidate won 50% support on Nov. 3rd. State data published on Friday showed the number of accepted ballots was just below the level seen at the same point in early voting for November’s election.
  • According to MSN, roughly 168,000 Georgians went to the polls on Monday, the first day to vote early in-person in the state’s two critical Senate runoff elections, according to numbers provided by the Georgia secretary of state’s office. By comparison, some 128,000 voted on the first day of early voting for the November general election. Another 314,000 people cast absentee ballots on the first day of the early-voting period. The first-day early in-person turnout broke a record previously set in October when early in-person voting began for the 2020 general election.
  • The runoff’s Democratic challengers are Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff against Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively. Perdue won more votes than Ossoff in November, while Warnock won more than Loeffler in a 20-candidate field that also included Republican Congressman Doug Collins. Loeffler and Collins together drew nearly 46% of the vote, according to Reuters.
  • The party control of the Senate is at stake in this runoff election. Republicans currently hold a 50-48 seat edge in the upper chamber. If Democrats win in the Georgia runoffs, this will hand them an evenly divided chamber, in which Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote. If both Democrats lose, President-elect Joe Biden will be forced to work with a divided Congress and may not be able to implement his agenda.

Early voting will take place up until December 31st, and election day will be held on January 5th. Georgians still have a few more days to get out and cast their in-person votes. In addition, absentee ballots may still be mailed in before December 31st. To view your sample ballot, find your polling place, or verify that you’re properly registered to vote, log in to the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

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Election 2020

WSJ Columnist Writes Misogynistic Op-Ed About Dr. Jill Biden

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The Wall Street Journal was widely criticized over the weekend for publishing a column by Joseph Epstein where he wrote “misogynistic views,” suggesting soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden should stop using her doctorate title.

What We Know:

  • Epstein begins the article by writing, “Madame First Lady–Mrs. Biden–Jill–kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name? ‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.”
  • Jill Biden has spent most of her life educating and holds multiple degrees, including a doctoral degree from the University of Delaware. Her “Dr.” title is noted in all of her public profiles and usually what she is referred to in the media. In the article, Epstein regarded this as “fraudulent, even comic.”
  • In attempts to discredit and undermine the numerous achievements Dr. Biden has received, Epstein writes to the WSJ to argue that the prestige of post-graduate titles has been diminished by lack of academic rigor.

“Such degrees were once given exclusively to scholars, statesmen, artists, and scientists. Then rich men entered the lists, usually hoping that they would donate money to the schools that had granted them their honorary degrees … Famous television journalists, who passed themselves off as intelligent, followed. Entertainers, who didn’t bother feigning intelligence, were next,” he wrote.

  • In response to the column, Jill Biden tweeted, “Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.” Her response is among several across social media from icons such as Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Meghan McCain, the daughter of late Republican senator John McCain and a commentator on the morning talk show “The View.”
  • Paul A. Gigot, the top editor for The Journal’s opinion section for nearly two decades, deemed the media’s response to the column as a political strategy, stating, “There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism,” as he accused Democrats of coordinated the mass of responses following the publication.
  • This is not the first wave of criticism received by the WSJ over their op-eds. According to The Washington Post, members of The Journal’s newsroom have sent letters criticizing Journal columns at least three times this year.

In just one month, nearly 300 employees sent a letter to The Journal’s publisher, Almar Latour, identifying a “lack of fact-checking and transparency” on the opinion desk.

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Crime

Black Lives Matter Signs Burned at D.C. Churches; Police Investigate as Possible Hate Crimes

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Courtesy of The New York Times

An investigation has begun into the burning of Black lives Matter signs at historic Black churches in Washington, D.C., during a pro-Trump rally this weekend.

What We Know:

  • The incident will be investigated as a hate crime, and the police are looking for information on the events that occurred on Saturday. The burning of signs occurred at Asbury United Methodist Church, founded in 1836, and Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, where Frederick Douglass’ funeral was held in 1895.
  • The protest is in reaction to the Supreme court tossing a Texas lawsuit and pushing for the changing election results n five swing states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nevada.
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted on Sunday, “This weekend, we saw forces of hate seeking to use destruction and intimidation to tear us apart… We will not let that happen, and continue to stand together strong and United to Love.”
  • According to NBC News, Asbury’s senior pastor, the Reverend Lanther Mills, stated the pro-Trump supporters removed a Black Lives Matter and literally burned it in the street. Mills compares the incident to that of the burning of crosses during the days of Jim Crow.

“We are as people of faith. As horrible and disturbing as this is for us now, it doesn’t compare with the challenges and fears the men and women who started Ashbury faced 184 years ago faced,” stated Mills.

  • “So we will move forward, undaunted in our assurance that Black Lives Matter, and we are obligated to continue to shout that truth. We are assured that our church is surrounded by God’s grace and mercy,” he added.

During the protest in Olympia, Washington, 4 people were stabbed, and one person was shot in the clash between Trump supporters and counterprotesters.

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