Georgia Gov.-elect Brian Kemp should not be treated as a “normal head of the state” because of allegations of voter suppression during this month’s election, a former ethics chief for the Obama administration said Sunday.
Norm Eisen, who also served as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014, was responding to allegations about Georgia’s gubernatorial race that were posted on Twitter by Ari Berman, a writer for liberal publications such as Mother Jones and the Nation.
Berman alleged that Kemp, in his role as Georgia’s secretary of state, had purged 1.5 million voters from registration logs, and that the state had placed 53,000 registrations on hold, closed more than 200 polling sites and made voters wait in lines for more than four hours.
Kemp, 55, who asked Georgia’s voters to unite behind him Saturday after the election results were certified, showing he defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams, a 44-year-old attorney, has defended himself against allegations that the election was tainted.
“Look, we have laws on the books that prevent elections from being stolen from anyone,” Kemp said, according to Atlanta’s FOX 5. Those laws “make sure we have secure, accessible, fair elections,” he added.
“Look, we have laws on the books that prevent elections from being stolen from anyone.”
Eisen wrote that if the same conditions Berman described for Georgia had existed in a country to which he was appointed an ambassador, he “would have publicly slammed them & called for economic sanctions.”
“I certainly would not have treated the ‘winning’ candidate as the normal head of the state, & we should not do so here,” Eisen wrote.
Eisen’s tweet linked to Berman’s article in Mother Jones, which accused Kemp of implementing hurdles to the election process while secretary of state.
During the campaign, Democrat Abrams repeatedly accused Kemp of voter suppression. Final tallies showed that Kemp won by about 55,000 votes, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Abrams acknowledged defeat Friday, 10 days after the election, but stopped short of calling it a concession. She vowed to continue fighting in court to prevent voter disenfranchisement, the Hill reported.
“I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified victor in the 2018 gubernatorial elections,” Abrams said. “But to watch an elected official — who claims to represent the people of this state, baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote — has been truly appalling.”
Abrams also told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that she intends to run for public office again in the future.
“I’m going to spend the next year as a private citizen but I do indeed intend to run for office again,” Abrams said, according to the Hill. “I’m not sure for what and I am not exactly certain when.”
“I need to take a nap,” she added. “But once I do, I’m planning to get back into the ring.”
Hillary Clinton slams Trump’s national emergency declaration in tweet
Hillary Clinton took to Twitter on Monday to slam President Trump for declaring a national emergency along the United States southern border.
In her tweet, the former secretary of state said the “real national emergencies” were “Relentless gun violence. Children separated from their families at the border. Climate change” and “Americans dying for lack of health care.”
Clinton, who lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential race, has been one of his harshest critics since his election. On Instagram on Monday, she appeared to troll Trump by posting a photo of the three living former Democratic presidents – Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and, her husband, Bill Clinton – as well former First Lady Michelle Obama alongside the message “Happy Presidents Day.”
Clinton’s national emergency tweet follows Trump declaring a national emergency Friday to shift billions of federal dollars earmarked for military construction to the border after lawmakers in both parties blocked his request for billions of dollars to fulfill his signature campaign pledge for a border wall.
Democrats are planning to introduce a resolution disapproving of the declaration once Congress returns to session and it is likely to pass both chambers. Several Republican senators are already indicating they would vote against Trump — though there do not yet appear to be enough votes to override a veto by the president.
White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told “Fox News Sunday” that “the president is going to protect his national emergency declaration.” Asked if that meant Trump was ready to veto a resolution of disapproval, Miller added, “He’s going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed.”
Miller insisted that Congress granted the president wide berth under the National Emergencies Act to take action. But Trump’s declaration goes beyond previous emergencies in shifting money after Congress blocked his funding request for the wall, which will likely factor in legal challenges.
Trump aides acknowledge that Trump cannot meet his pledge to build the wall by the time voters decide whether to grant him another term next year, but insist his base will remain by his side as long as he is not perceived to have given up the fight on the barrier.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Presidents Day protests decry Trump’s emergency declaration
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Activists in Washington, Chicago and dozens of other U.S. cities protested on Monday’s Presidents Day holiday against President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
A woman holds a sign during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump on President’s Day near the White House in Washington, U.S., February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Calling Trump’s declaration an abuse of power and usurpation of Congress, organizers with the nonprofit advocacy group MoveOn.org and other participants said it was important to let the outrage over the move be heard.
“We disagree with the state of emergency declared by the president and stand with our immigrant colleagues and friends,” said Darcy Regan, executive director of Indivisible Chicago, which co-hosted the protest there.
Trump invoked the emergency powers on Friday after Congress declined to fulfill his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall that was his signature 2016 campaign promise. His move aims to let him spend money appropriated by Congress for other purposes.
The Republican president says a wall is needed to curb illegal immigrants and illicit drugs coming across the border. Democrats and opponents of the wall say it is unnecessary.
The protests in Chicago and Washington each drew a few hundred people on Monday afternoon.
Protesters gathered in Chicago’s Federal Plaza carried signs that read “Dump Trump” and “Fake Emergency” and chanted “No wall, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
Cheryl Krugel-Lee, a 32-year-old student, said she brought her 4-year-old daughter to the protest in freezing weather to set an example for her.
“This was a power grab by the Trump administration, and it’s immoral and illegal,” Krugel-Lee said.
Organizers said 250 events were planned, including in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Democrats have vowed to challenge the national emergency declaration as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. California state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in television interviews that his state and others would sue the Trump administration on Monday.
Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Dan Grebler
Cory Booker calls warnings about Green New Deal price tag a ‘lie’
“This is the lie that’s going on right now,” Booker told Fox News in Nashua, N.H., as he campaigned in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
The New Jersey senator was asked about the costs of the Green New Deal, which is supported by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives and aims to implement a range of big-government programs while pursuing a level of “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” — essentially, a total economic transformation toward clean energy that, among other points, includes building upgrades across the country.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported it cost nearly $2,000 per apartment for the New York City Housing Authority to switch to LED lighting, which lasts longer and consumes less energy than incandescent bulbs. Asked about that report, Booker said it’s possible to “revive your economy, and create a bold green future,” citing his experience as mayor of Newark, N.J.
“We environmentally retrofitted our buildings. Saves taxpayers money, created jobs for our community and lowered our carbon footprint,” Booker said.
He added, “This lie that’s being put out – that somehow being green and responsible with the environment means you have to hurt the economy – a lie.”
The Green New Deal is a sweeping proposal designed to tackle income inequality and climate change at the same time. It’s modeled after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal package of public works programs and projects created to help the economy during the Great Depression — but in many ways goes much further.
The rollout itself was muddled by the release of Ocasio-Cortez documents that, among other things, promised economic security even for those “unwilling” to work.
The plan itself aims to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and agriculture and dramatically expand energy sources to meet 100 percent of power demand through renewable sources. The proposal also calls for a job-guarantee program and universal health care, among other things.
Republican critics have vehemently pushed back against the proposal, pointing in part to the price tag – estimated to be about $7 trillion. Republicans have also decried the job guarantee idea, calling it a “deeply flawed policy” that would be detrimental to small businesses.
Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.
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