The Governor rejects a sensible request to help safeguard our elections.
August 27, 2020
ITEM #1: Another day, another example of Nevada Democrats’ determination to undermine our November election.
Among the more odious elements of the “election reform” measure that Gov. Steve Sisolak and his legislative allies rushed through a recent special session was the allowance for California-style “ballot harvesting,” under which third-party individuals are recklessly allowed to collect and return mail ballots on the behalf of others.
As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, last week Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske “asked Sisolak for an emergency rule to require anyone who gathers 10 or more ballots to report to her office and disclose any political, corporate or advocacy group affiliation. She said the information was necessary to ‘investigate and stop illegal activity associated with ballot harvesting.’”
Given the grave threat of fraud that comes with ballot harvesting, it was an entirely sensible request. Naturally, the Governor rejected it. As 8 News Now reports:
“Gov. Steve Sisolak ratcheted up tensions in Nevada’s increasingly partisan battle over election management when he rejected a request from its Republican secretary of state that would require so-called ‘ballot harvesters’ to register with her office.”
The Governor accused Cegavske of partisanship and called her out for her supposed unwillingness to work with his administration on election security. This from a man whose party pushed the “election reforms” through on party-line, weekend votes, under the cover of night and without members of the public present.
In response, Cegavske expressed “disappointment” in the Governor’s decision, noting his hypocrisy in exercising his emergency powers only when politically convenient, and pointing out that it was Democrats who shut her office out of the process of crafting the special-session legislation.
We’ve been critical of Secretary Cegavske on this issue. She erred in converting our voting system to all-mail balloting for Nevada’s June primary elections, and we continue to urge her to speak out and publicly admit that our state lacks the tools and infrastructure to conduct a universal mail-in election securely in November.
That said, it must be acknowledged that the Secretary was right to push back on Democrats’ ballot-harvesting scheme. And the Governor was wrong — all too predictably — to once again subvert election integrity to his partisan political interests.
ITEM #2: For a deeper dive into how Nevada is woefully ill-equipped to handle a universal mail-in election this fall, check out the latest op-ed from Morning in Nevada PAC President Adam Laxalt.
Writing for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Laxalt explains how the Democrats’ new “election reforms” have left our November elections susceptible to widespread error:
“[T]he new law drastically weakens existing safeguards by loosening the signature verification requirements. Section 23, for example, provides that, “There is a reasonable question of fact as to whether the signature used for the mail ballot matches the signature of the voter if the signature used for the mail ballot differs in multiple, significant and obvious respects from the signatures of the voter available in the records of the clerk.'
“This standard of requiring 'multiple, significant and obvious' differences to raise the possibility of a mismatch departs greatly from the old standard… The signature verification safeguards are further eroded by the law’s allowance for multiple ballots to be submitted in a single envelope, with just a single signature required on the envelope — and no signature requirement for the enclosed individual ballots…
“Then there’s the difficulty of addressing errors once they occur. As Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske recently testified, we have only one full-time investigator to look into election irregularities....
“These are hardly the hallmarks of a secure voting system. Yet this is the framework Democrats have forced onto our state with fewer than 100 days to go before one of the most important elections in our history.”
Read the full op-ed here.
ITEM #3: The State of California is in the spotlight nowadays, with Joe Biden having tapped Golden State Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on the Democrats’ presidential ticket.
California of course is a bastion of far-left policies and politics, and it therefore serves as a useful example to the rest of the nation. As we debate the merits of conservative vs. progressive ideas, we need only turn to California to see how the latter play out in practice.
Not so well, as it turns out.
The latest evidence of left-wing ideas gone bad involves California’s approach to energy policy. Writing for National Review, David Harsanyi has the ugly details:
“Gotta say, it was bold of Democratic Party convention organizers to let voters know they plan on passing federal energy policies that would transform the rest of the country into California. The Golden State is experiencing rolling blackouts even as the Democrats speak. Millions of people are having their electrical power turned off in the middle of a heat wave — more specifically, their air conditioners. Blackouts aren’t merely an inconvenience, it is an economic drag and dangerous to vulnerable populations.”
He then gets at the blackouts' root cause:
“California doesn’t have enough reliable power — which is to say fossil-fuel and nuclear energy — because it depends on intermittent sources like solar and windmills. California is what happens when quixotic political aspirations smother economic reality. …
“California governor Gavin Newsom was forced to admit the state’s ‘transition’ away from fossil fuels was one of the contributing factors in rolling blackouts, so you can imagine how serious it is. For context, renewable energy is now responsible for approximately 36 percent of the state’s energy generation, and it’s already putting a tremendous strain on the state. It has to nearly double that number within a decade, and go 100 percent fossil-fuel free by 2045.”
Forbes contributor Michael Shellenberger points out:
“The immediate cause of California’s blackouts is a mismatch between electricity supply and demand. Higher temperatures have led to greater demand for air conditioning. And California has less electricity, including from wind energy, available. … The underlying reason blackouts are occurring is because California lacks reliable, in-state supply. And the reason for that is California has been closing both natural gas and nuclear power plants.”
This matters greatly because, as Shellenberger notes, Biden and Harris argued at their party’s convention for “spending $2 trillion, or $500 billion per year, to transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels toward renewables like solar and wind.”
In other words, California’s failed state-level energy-policy model may soon be coming to the entire country, if Democrats get their way.
ITEM #4: Care for some more California crazy? Here’s Brad Polumbo on the latest effort by California’s politicians to chase people out of their state:
“[Governor Gavin Newsom] has already witnessed a mass exodus from his state in recent years, as tax-weary citizens move on to new pastures. The exodus may turn into a stampede if California lawmakers’ latest ‘soak the rich’ legislative push is successful.
“Democratic state legislators have introduced a new Assembly bill that would raise the state income tax on California’s highest earners from the current rate of 13.3 percent to 16.8 percent. This would mean that, after factoring in federal income taxes, California millionaires would face a top tax rate of 53.8 percent. The proposal would even apply this tax retroactively, applying the levies to income dating back to January 2020.
“Meanwhile, progressive state legislators have introduced a wealth tax that would fall on Californians with a net worth of $30 million or more.”
Polumbo notes that neighboring states with lower tax burdens, such as Nevada, are natural destinations for those wishing to flee California’s onerous economic and fiscal policies. But of course, that will only remain the case so long as those other states do in fact remain low-tax places.
Sadly, Nevada’s Democrats — with their agenda of higher taxes, over-regulation, and an erosion of economic and individual liberties — are doing all they can to make the Silver State every bit as hostile to prosperity and opportunity as our neighbor to the West.
ITEM #5: The press has been pummeling President Trump over his response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we’ve covered extensively the biased and unfair “reporting” that’s been deployed in the endless attempt to smear him.
But in a trip down memory lane, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel recalls how the media’s standards for presidential virus-response effectiveness were a bit different when Democrats held the White House.
Strassel notes how Democrats and their media cheerleaders have tried to contrast Trump’s supposedly failed COVID response with what they claim was Barack Obama’s (and Joe Biden’s) much more effective way of dealing with the Ebola outbreak in 2014. The comparison falls flat, Strassel argues, because the chances for an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. were always exceedingly low. “Ebola is a terrifying disease, but outbreaks tend to happen only in very poor nations, and if caught early the virus is difficult to transmit outside hospitals,” she notes.
But the Democrat-media duplicity here goes even further. More from Strassel:
“The Ebola example is designed to divert attention from a more relevant comparison: the H1N1 swine-flu outbreak of 2009-10. Democrats don’t like to talk about H1N1, because it didn’t go well. If it had been as deadly as Covid-19, the toll would have been catastrophic. The history is a powerful reminder that governments can’t stop a virus — although they can make epidemics worse.”
The piece includes much more about Obama-Biden’s bungled, muddled response to H1N1, and is well worth reading in full (you can do so here).
But we wanted to make sure to share this quote from Ron Klain, Biden’s former Chief of Staff, on the episode: “We did every possible thing wrong. Sixty million Americans got H1N1 in that period of time, and it is just purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass-casualty events in American history. [It] had nothing to do with us doing anything right; just had to do with luck.”
Strange — we don’t recall hearing Democrats brag about that particular history at their convention last week.
ITEM #6: Speaking of the Democrats’ convention, Byron York notices how they touched on a lot of topics during last week’s virtual gathering — but there was one rather pressing current issue that went unmentioned.
Here’s York, writing for the Washington Examiner:
"[D]id viewers hear a word from Democrats about the crisis of violent crime and unrest plaguing some of the nation's major cities? No. Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, and other cities have experienced alarming spikes in violent crime, as well as, in some cases, general civic disorder.
"The Democratic convention took place on Nights 82, 83, 84, and 85 of rioting in Portland. On Thursday night, as Biden spoke, a crowd returned to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building where a riot had been declared the night before. A confrontation ensued that ended in tear gas fired by Federal Protective Services officers, whose job it is to safeguard federal buildings around the country. Also in Portland, the disorder has moved from the central location — the federal courthouse — where it took place for so many nights out to various neighborhoods around the city.
"In Chicago during the convention, the city council called a special meeting to consider declaring a state of emergency over the violent crime problem. ...
"In New York, the spike in shootings continued during Democratic convention week. Shootings in July were up more than 200 percent from the last year, and homicides up 50 percent — all after Mayor Bill de Blasio slashed the police budget, weakened police crime-investigating abilities, and freed prisoners across the city."
Yet not a word from Democrats on an ongoing crisis that continues to have a devastating impact on many, many Americans.
York points out the obvious reason for this:
"Of course, all the cities involved — Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, and others — are controlled by progressive Democrats. Indeed, the breakdown of order in those cities can be seen as a glaring failure of progressive governance on the issue of public safety. And the most energetic voices in the Democratic Party are not calling for the restoration of order — they're calling to defund the police."
We guess it’s probably too much to ask for Democrats to bring attention to their own chronic failures at their national convention, with so many voters watching around the country. But there’s no excuse for the mainstream “news” media’s shameless refusal to hold them accountable.
“A radically new, untested and risky election system is coming our way for November. Nevada is simply not ready for it.” ― Morning in Nevada PAC President Adam Laxalt
“Joe Biden and the radical left are now coming for our freedom of speech. They want to bully us into submission. If they get their way, it will no longer be the silent majority. It will be the silenced majority." ― Donald Trump, Jr.
“Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime. And that’s why I believe the next American century can be better than the last.” ― U.S. Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C.