Republicans are straight up vowing they will take power permanently in state after state and they are telling you exactly how they will do it.
The Republican members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission are asserting that the Ohio Supreme Court does not have the authority to hold them in contempt of court while their Democratic counterparts on the commission argue otherwise.
The Ohio redistricting commissioners filed their motions in court after petitioners – who are objecting to the latest round of state legislative district maps – asked the court to order members to explain why they should not be held in contempt.
On May 6, the commission resubmitted a plan for Ohio House and Ohio Senate district maps that had already been rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court as unconstitutional in March.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, said in his court filing that he cannot be held in contempt when he is acting “in accordance with his solemn duty to ensure orderly and trustworthy elections and to protect the voting rights of Ohioans.”
LaRose said, through attorneys in his court filing, that he laid out for the commission the “logistical realities” of holding a primary for state legislative races in 2022. During commission meetings, LaRose explained his reasoning for why the commission had to choose what’s become known as Map 3, a plan adopted by the commission in February. LaRose said that was the only plan that gave local elections officials a chance to hold a primary on August 2 given certain deadlines they would have to meet.
“Petitioners cannot ignore realities and the established deadlines (that Secretary LaRose does not have the authority to change) that they acknowledged in the Gonidakis Case and take contrary positions calling for contempt in this action,” wrote attorneys representing LaRose in the filing. The “Gonidakis Case” refers to a federal court case where judges have given Ohio until May 28 to adopt a constitutional plan or the federal court will implement the unconstitutional Map 3.
Rep. Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Twp.) and Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) filed together to echo LaRose’s response and added, “the resubmittal of the plan adopted by the Commission on February 24, 2022 (the “Third Plan”) was not an act of defiance, but an act of necessity under the electoral emergency facing the Secretary of State and Ohio voters.”
The Republican commissioners all made the argument – even Auditor Keith Faber who voted against the maps – that the Ohio Supreme Court does not have the authority to hold the commission in contempt because it is a different branch of government and would result in a separation of powers violation.
Coloradans have elected just one Republican governor in the last 50 years. A current GOP candidate for governor has an idea that could change that: stop counting each vote equally.
Former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, who holds the top line on the 2022 Republican primary ballot, says Colorado should create an electoral college system for electing candidates to statewide office.
The plan, which would be the first of its kind on the state level, would give far more voting power to Coloradans in rural, conservative counties and dilute the voting power of Coloradans in more populous urban and suburban areas. Even as turnout numbers vary over time, the sheer number of rural conservative counties would create a built-in advantage for Republicans.
Lopez outlined his proposal at a May 15 campaign stop in Silverton. An audio recording of the event made by a political tracker was provided to 9NEWS.
“One of the things that I’m going to do, and I’ve already put this plan together, is, as governor, I’m going to introduce a conversation about doing away with the popular vote for statewide elected officials and doing an electoral college vote for statewide elected officials,” Lopez said.
Lopez said his electoral college plan would weight counties’ votes based on their voter turnout percentage to encourage turnout.
“I’ve already got the plan in place,” Lopez said. “The most that any county can get is 11 electoral college votes. The least that a county can get is three.”
More than 80% of Colorado voters live in just 11 of the state's 64 counties, meaning that the other 15% or so would actually decide the races in this complete scam of an election layout. If turnout is even across the state, the state's least populous county, San Juan (pop. 646) would have the same "electoral college votes" as Denver County or El Paso County (both pop. 700,000+). It's a laughable scam that would ensure Republican victories permanently.
As governor, Mastriano would have the opportunity not just to speak, but to act. The Trump-endorsed 58-year-old, who won the Republican nomination for governor on Tuesday, would gain significant influence over the administration of the battleground state’s elections should he prevail in November, worrying experts already fearful of a democratic breakdown around the 2024 presidential contest.
Those concerns are made especially acute in Pennsylvania by the fact that the governor has the unusual authority to directly appoint the secretary of state, who serves as chief elections officer and must sign off on results. If he or she refuses, chaos could follow.
“The biggest risk is a secretary of state just saying, ‘I’m not going to certify the election, despite what the court says and despite what the evidence shows, because I’m concerned about suspicions,’” said Clifford Levine, a Democratic election lawyer in Pennsylvania. “You would start to have a breakdown in the legal system and the whole process.”
Mastriano’s backers appear well aware of the stakes. A video posted to Telegram by election denial activist Ivan Raiklin from Mastriano’s victory party on Tuesday showed the candidate smiling as Raiklin congratulated him on his win and added, with a thumb’s up, “20 electoral votes as well,” a reference to the state’s clout in the electoral college.
“Oh yeahhhh,” Mastriano responded.
Mastriano did not respond to a voice mail or an email sent to a campaign account for media.
But Mastriano told Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to Trump who now hosts a podcast popular on the right, that he had already selected the person he would appoint as secretary of state if elected.
“As far as cleaning up the election, I mean, I’m in a good position as governor,” he said in the April 23 appearance on Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. “I have a voting-reform-minded individual who’s been traveling the nation and knows voting reform extremely well. That individual has agreed to be my secretary of state.”
He added that he planned to decertify voting machines in several Pennsylvania counties, a power given under state law to the secretary of state. “It’s going to be a top issue for me,” he said.