Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Vax Of Life, Kentucky Carnage Edition

Kentucky's Supreme Court ruled unanimously today against Gov. Andy Beshear, finding that he has no legal challenge to the laws that the KY legislature passed earlier this year stripping him of nearly all emergency powers, and that Republican lawmakers can now end the state's school mask mandate immediately.

In a momentous legal defeat for Gov. Andy Beshear, the Kentucky Supreme Court in a rare Saturday decision ruled on the Democratic governor’s challenge of Republican-backed laws that limit his authority to enact emergency orders to help control the coronavirus pandemic.

In a 34-page order, the state’s highest court unanimously said Franklin Circuit Court abused its discretion in blocking the new laws from taking effect and sent the case back to the lower court to dissolve the injunction.

The challenged legislation was lawfully passed and the governor’s complaint “does not present a substantial legal question that would necessitate staying the effectiveness of the legislation,” the seven-member court ruled.

The Supreme Court had heard nearly two hours of arguments in the case on June 11, a day before Beshear repealed many of his emergency regulations.

The most prominent he has in place now is his Aug. 10 executive order requiring almost all teachers, staff and students in K-12 schools, child care and pre-kindergarten programs across Kentucky to wear a mask indoors. It applies for 30 days and leaves open the indefinite possibility for renewal. A U.S. district judge’s ruling Thursday temporarily blocked that order. Beshear has asked that it be dissolved.

The state Board of Education on Aug. 12 implemented its own emergency regulations requiring a mask mandate for students for most of this school year, and the Department for Public Health did the same for child care facilities. A legislative panel has since found those regulations deficient, but Beshear overrode that decision. One of the new laws in question would eliminate Beshear’s ability to override such decisions.

Saturday’s Supreme Court ruling came as the Delta variant of COVID-19 is raging across the state.

The state Supreme Court last year unanimously ruled that Beshear’s orders were legal, but that was before the legislature passed laws earlier this year restricting the governor’s powers.

They were Senate Bill 1, which limits Beshear’s ability to issue orders during a state of emergency to 30 days unless extended by the General Assembly; House Bill 1, which allows businesses, schools, nonprofits and churches to stay open if they meet COVID-19 guidelines set by either the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Kentucky’s executive branch, whichever is least restrictive; and Senate Bill 2, a companion bill to SB 1 to give the legislature more power over administrative regulations issued during an emergency.

So, unless the CDC issues masking guidelines in schools, Kentucky schools will be maskless. Individual school districts have already been stripped of the power to enforce mask rules and now so has Beshear's office. Religious schools have already been exempted from mask mandates, now all schools will be.

I expect that with tens of thousands of kids sick across the state this fall and winter, the state legislature may let Beshear do something. Sadly, I expect the only thing they will do is consider impeachment again.

Thousands of Kentuckians are going to die from a preventable disease in the next several months.

You can thank Kentucky Republicans for that.

Retribution Execution, Con't

All Republicans want to be The Former Guy™ and to get away with as much criminality, grifting, and proto-fascist overlording as possible, especially in states they are trying to steal from the Democrats, states like Minnesota.
Minnesota Republican leaders forced Jennifer Carnahan out as head of the state party on Thursday, turning a page on a scandal that threatened to consume GOP politics ahead of a pivotal election year.

Carnahan leaves as chair of the party amid allegations that she created a toxic workplace environment, one that blurred personal and professional lines, ignored concerns about sexual harassment and retaliated against employees who didn't fall in line.

The party's 15-member executive board voted 8-7 to give Carnahan a severance of three months salary, roughly $38,000, to leave her role. Carnahan, who attended the meeting virtually, was the deciding vote to give herself severance on the way out. The board also approved investigations into the party's finances and human resources protocols.

"It hs been the honor of a lifetime to serve as chairwoman for the Republican Party of Minnesota," Carnahan said in a statement after the vote. "However, I signed up for this party to help us elect Republicans and I want to ensure that we can continue to do that."

The drumbeat for Carnahan to step down began a week ago over her close relationship with GOP donor Anton "Tony" Lazzaro, who was arrested on federal sex-trafficking charges. But allegations against her quickly expanded, prompting nearly 20 legislators and three Republican gubernatorial candidates to call for investigations and her immediate resignation.

Carnahan initially resisted the calls to resign, saying the allegations were part of a "coup" by her detractors. On Thursday, she continued to push back on the claims, saying she had no knowledge of sexual harassment accusations and a "mob mentality came out in this way to defame, tarnish and attempt to ruin my personal and professional reputation."

The stream of allegations against Carnahan intensified by Wednesday, after multiple women detailed in social media posts experiences where they said they were sexually harassed or spoken to inappropriately by staff in the party.

The same day, four former executive directors of the party released a statement saying Carnahan "ruled by grudges, retaliation, and intimidation" in the party, aiding candidates she preferred and lashing out against those who spoke out against her.

Those staffers — Becky Alery, Andy Aplikowski, Christine Snell and Kevin Poindexter — said they were able to speak out after the party's Executive Board voided nondisclosure agreements that Carnahan allegedly used to silence staff.

Carnahan's ouster comes a year ahead of the pivotal 2022 midterm election, in which the governor's office, all 201 legislative seats and Minnesota's eight congressional seats are on the ballot. Republicans are trying to end a 15-year losing streak in statewide races, but campaign finance reports show the party has a major financial disadvantage to the state DFL Party.

It also abruptly halts the rapid rise of Carnahan, a small-business owner who attended her first-ever GOP caucus meeting in 2016 and ran for a Minneapolis state Senate seat that fall. By 2017, she unexpectedly vaulted to the helm of the state party, the first person of color to lead the party's grassroots activists.
The rotten, Trump-like behavior is all there: staff intimidation, up to and including non-disclosure agreements, taking public money for their own, and blaming a "coup" when caught. The problem was never Trump, the problem was that the GOP made acting like Trump acceptable. Jennifer Carnahan was part of that result, a monster elevated to state party chair precisely because she was a vicious Trump acolyte in a Trump party.


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