Dem Harris County Clerk Should Push For Paper Ballots In 2020

Harris County Clerk elect Diane Trautman(D)

As Yours Truly has repeatedly stated, the humongous Harris County Texas(Houston and suburbs), with some 2 million registered voters is crucial to any Democrat winning statewide. The problem for Democrats has been that GOP election officials have stuffed unverifiable voting machines like eSlates in Harris County and other big Texas counties which overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. As long as Harris County and other big Texas counties continue using these paperless and unverifiable voting machines like eSlates, there will always be questions about the legitimacy of election results, especially Ted Cruz’s narrow “win” over Democrat Beto O’Rourke.

The very good news is that a Democrat Diane Trautman will be taking over as Harris County Clerk meaning she will be in charge of election machines in Harris County. This is huge for Democrats in 2020 because with Trautman as the Harris County election boss, there’s a very good chance we may see paper ballots in 2020, something election integrity advocates like Jennifer Cohn have long advocated for. Given her very encouraging campaign pledge, we have every reason to believe that Diane Trautman will work with Jennifer Cohn and others to restore the public’s confidence in our election systems.




Bottom line, although there is general disaffection among Texas Dems over the Beto O’Rourke “loss”, the reality is that Dems won big in the crucial Harris County which should serve as a springboard for further gains in 2020.

More importantly with Diane Trautman as the elections boss in Harris County, there is a very good chance we may see paper ballots in 2020, taking away the GOP’s key weapon in Texas elections—voting machine cheating!!. As for GOP using voting machines to cheat, you don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, just check out the latest evidence below.

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Democrats Poised To Pick Up Congressional Seats In North Carolina

A special panel of three federal district court judges has struck down North Carolina’s congressional map as unconstitutionally gerrymandered with less than three months to the 2018 midterms elections. This means  a new North Carolina congressional map will have to be hastily drawn before the midterms.




Republicans currently hold 10 of the 13 U.S. House seats from North Carolina thanks in large part to the gerrymandered congressional districts which favored the GOP. If a “fair” congressional map is adopted before the 2018 midterms, political pundits expect a net gain in seats for Dems and a loss for Republicans. Simply put, with a fair North Carolina congressional district map, the GOP will not win 10 of the 13 seats.

There is also a chance that this gerrymandering fight might end up in the Roberts Supreme Court which currently has only 8 justices after Kennedy’s retirement. Without a ninth justice to tip the scales, it is highly likely that the Roberts Supreme Court will either punt on this case or be deadlocked(4-4 decision) in which case the decision by the district court would stand–new congressional map for North Carolina.

Bottom line Dems must take advantage of this great opportunity to pick up as many congressional seats in North Carolina as possible. Put another way, Dems must flip NC blue!!

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GA GOP County Officials Plan To Close 75% Of Polling Stations In Black Area


According to a New York Times piece GOP election officials in Georgia plan to close 7 out of 9 polling stations in Randolph county, a predominantly black county that votes overwhwlmingly for Democrats.

The New York Times piece points out that the majority of residents in this majority black county are poor and therefore lack reliable transportation. Closing down more than 75% of the polling stations would require them to travel more than 10 miles to vote–a move that will almost certainly depress voter turnout.


It cannot also be left unsaid(and the NYT article catches it) that this shameful move by Randolph county GOP election officials is a direct result of decisions by the the Roberts Supreme Court which have rolled back Voting Rights Act provisions that required state election officials to get permission before making changes that affect how people vote. In essence the Roberts Supreme Court has literally given local state officials total control in election related issues, the result of which is this shameful episode in Randolph county, Georgia.

It also bears pointing out that Georgia, and its GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp in particular, has long been in the crosshairs of election integrity advocates and this latest incident in Randolph county will only make things worse.

This kind of chicanery by state GOP election officials is quite common in southern states and Yours Truly has repeatedly called on the DNC to take action against GOP election officials in Texas who have packed unverifiable voting machines in Dem strongholds. The DNC is yet to move a finger.


Bottom line even though the article points out that the Geoegia ACLU is going after Randolph county GOP election officials, grassroots Democrats would prefer the DNC to be on the forefront of these fights. There’s no earthly reason why the DNC continues to stay in the sidelines while local GOP election officials are actively scheming on how to steal the Dem vote!!

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Is Russia Helping Trump In GOP Primaries?

The mainstream media is fawning over Trump with stories about how the GOP has become “the party of Trump”. To prove this, they point to the GOP candidates that have won their primaries as a result of Trump’s endorsement–the latest one being Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

What is missing from the mainstream media’s narrative on this so called ” Trump effect” is the yet unanswered question–are the Russians helping Trump?


Think about that folks, from a purely logical standpoint–If Russians were accused of helping Trump against his GOP opponents in the 2016 presidential primaries(especially Ted Cruz), and Russians helped Trump beat Hillary Clinton, is it a stretch to assume that the same Russians who are interfering in 2018 would be pushing for a Trump-friendly congress? A Congress full of people who “owe” Trump/Putin for their election would be more inclined to say, vote to lift Russia sanctions.

The mainstream media needs to stop fawning over the so-called”Trump-effect” and start asking whether this is really “Putin effect”. If the mainstream mefia was curious enough to pursue this valid line of questioning, it may encourage the Republicans being “upset” in the primaries by Trump endorsees to challenge the election results.

Bottom line the mainstream media should develop a little skepticism surrounding the so-called ” Trump effect” in the GOP primaries. If Russians helped Trump in the GOP presidential primaries, then in the 2016 general election against Clinton, it is not too far fetched to assume they would be tinkering with the GOP primaries now. A Trump-compliant congress is key to Putin’s central mission–lifting of the crushing Russia sanctions

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Dems Must Remain Vigilant On Russia’s Attempt To Interfere In Midterms

After almost two years of ignoring calls from the public for a more aggressive stance towards Russia over election interference, the Trump administration has announced today, less than 4 months to the midterm elections, that they plan to counter efforts by Russia to interfere in the upcoming elections


After doing nothing about this serious issue for almost two years, coupled with the recent Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki where Trump chose to believe Putin over U.S. Intel assessments, no reasonable person should take seriously the Trump administration’s new found “concern” over Russian election meddling, especially congressional Dems. Dems must remain vigilant on all issues related to election security.

Yours Truly suggests Dems enlist the services of election integrity advocates like Jennifer Cohn and others who are coming up with brilliant suggestions to combat voting machine hacking.


Bottom line the decision by the Trump administration to all of a sudden get tough on Russia should provide no comfort to Dems less than 4 months to the midterms. Dems must remain vigilant and push local election officials to enact the brilliant election security suggestions proposed by Jennifer Cohn and others.

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As Speaker Ryan Dithers, Russia Has Already Targeted 3 2018 Campaigns

This week in one of the most disappointing episodes in U.S. Congressional history, GOP House Republicans, fully cognizant of the Russian threat to the 2018 midterm elections, voted down a measure that would have helped states bolster their election machine security. Under any other previous U.S. administration this callous disregard for such a serious threat would have been cause for mass resignations for the members of congress involved, especially given the fact that this involves national security. In the Trump era however, this is just another scandal to be explained away by the GOP as not important because “the base loves Trump”–a sad state of affairs indeed.


In the same week, we now find out according to Microsoft that Russians have already targeted three 2018 campaigns. This means that  while Speaker Paul Ryan and his House GOP members of congress keep dithering over whether to shore up election machine security, the Russians are already on the attack.


Bottomline Dems must not accept this dithering on election security by Speaker Ryan and his House GOP goons. If possible, they should push for another vote given the fact that Russia has targeted 3 2018 congressional campaigns already. Force Speaker Ryan and his GOP to vote down election security measures even after learning of the latest Russian attack. Now that will be the quintessential treason!!

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What Did Russian Military Intel Do With Stolen Info Of 500,000 Voters?

This week’s bombshell indictments by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of specific members of the Russian Military Intelligence should be cause for Congressional Democrats to get off the TrumpRussia sidelines and begin asking a series of very important questions beginning with this–What did Russian military intelligence do with the information they stole from 500,000 U.S. voters? It is foolhardy to suggest that Russians amassed such a large quantity of data on U.S. voters only to turn around and sit on it. Every reasonable person would conclude that they put such data to use against Dems in the 2016 elections. Dems therefore have every right to question who in the GOP sought or was the beneficiary of such illegally acquired info beginning with the head honcho himself House Speaker Paul Ryan.


There have been media reports that a Ryan-allied political action commitee(PAC) used this illegally obtained information to attack Dems in the 2016 election cycle.


Given Mueller’s indictment, this is the perfect time for Dems to confront Speaker Ryan using the popular watergate question, “What did Speaker Ryan know about the Russian hack and when did he know it?” This is a particularly important question when considering the fact that a lot of Americans find Speaker Ryan’s strange silence even in the face of obvious TrumpRussia obstruction by his House GOP colleagues quite suspect. Is he afraid because he is implicated(complicit) or that he knows a lot of his GOP colleagues are?

Beyond House Speaker Ryan, the possibilities as to what Russian military intelligence could have accomplished with such a treasure trove of voter data should be very concerning to Dems. Remember Trump “beat” Hillary Clinton by a combined total of only 88,000 votes in the key swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Yours Truly has always maintained, even when the mainstream media considered it a radical left-wing conspiracy theory, that Clinton won these three crucial swing states but more importantly, that the pre-election polls that showed her leading were never wrong


Dems need to ask serious questions about MI, WI & PA given this bombshell revelation that Russian military intel stole information of 500,000 voters. Specifically, were Trump’s poll-defying “wins” in MI, WI & PA made up of real voters or fictitious #GucciferVoters? Remember folks we are talking here about the highly sophisticated and well financed Russian military intelligence not the imaginary “400 pound guy in the basement” Trump referred to when confronted about Russian election meddling.

As for the unnamed GOP politician referenced in the Mueller indictments as having sought Dem dirt from the Russians and later used it in his campaign, Dems must demand his immediate resignation if he is currently a member of Congress. The highly informed grassroots Dems who follow Yours Truly on twitter strongly suggest it is Rep Matt Gaetz representing Florida’s 1st congressional district. If he turns out to be the one, Dems must demand his immediate resignation.


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Medicaid Expansion Key To Dems Winning State Houses

Folks Yours Truly readily admits that this week the Mainstream Media has done very well highlighting two issues that are very important to grassroots democrats across the country–voting machine security and the fight to save Medicare/Medicaid in the states


After bashing the Mainstream Media for weeks on end about their inexplicable silence regarding voting machine security in an election year, it was a pleasant surprise to see a report on Reuters addressing similar concerns. Hopefully MSM will continue reporting on this issue of great concern especially in Texas, where Dems are finally poised to make Historic electoral gains but are confronted with the sad reality of unverifiable voting machines in the Trump-Putin era. In years past fears about unverifiable voting machines would be shunned as conspiracy theorist talk. Grassroots Dems however are aware of just how real these fears are in the age of Trump and are desperate for more media coverage on this issue, not less.

Another big grassroots Dem story by the MSM this week was the Medicare expandion vote by the Virginia legislature that was largely pushed by the newly elected state Democrats. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hosted one of the Virginia state Democrats, Danica Roem, who was instrumental in the Medicare expansion push


The Virginia case is a classic example of why Dems need to wage the Medicare/Medicaid war in the states. As Maddow pointed out in the segment, the Dem electoral sweep in Virginia was largely because they campaigned on restoring healthcare to a public that is increasingly witnessing GOP efforts to take away their healthcare. In other words Medicare/Medicaid is a winning issue for Dems in the states

As Yours Truly has repeatedly stated, the fight for Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security are very important to grassroots Dems and could reap huge harvests in state legislatures. Democrats could literally recapture a huge chunk of the state legislatures they have lost to the GOP in recent years if they campaign hard on the theme that Republicans are out to take away people’s Medicare/Medicaid.

To be clear, Yours Truly’s argument has been that the Koch Brothers/ALEC funded clamor for a Constitutional Convention(ConCon) by state GOP politicians is aimed ultimately at the elimination of Medicare/Medicaid because they are the biggest driver of the national debt.


There is a lot of proof out there supporting this argument but you’ll never hear that from the Mainstream Media probably because it is still considered a “radical” argument because its main pusher, Yours Truly is regarded by the MSM as a “radical leftist”. But the proof is staring the Mainstream Media in their faces if they cared to look. Consider for instance, Virginia GOP’s pushback argument to the Medicare expansion move by the Democrats. Virginia’s GOP Senate Majority Leader opposed the Medicare expansion move because it “abandons Virginia’s long-standing reputation for fiscal responsibility.”–the quintessential balanced budget amendment argument behind GOP’s Constitutional Convention effort.

Bottom line folks we still have a lot of pushing to do to get the Mainstream Media to talk about issues near and dear to grassroots Dems. However where, as here, they show a slight improvement we have to give them partial credit. The ideal situation(worthy of full credit) would be for Mainstream Media to “go there” and say boldly like Yours Truly that the ultimate goal of the Constitutional Convention push by state Republicans is the elimination of Medicare/Medicaid because they believe these programs are huge drivers of both the national and state government debt. Let us hope from now until midterms 2018 the Mainstream Media sticks with issues important to grassroots Dems like voting machine security and the NoConCon war as opposed to say, “c*unt” talk

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Did Russia Funnel Money To TeamTrump Through The NRA?

One of the biggest obstacles for Democrats, especially in the battle for control of State Legislatures has been the powerful gun lobby group National Rifle Association(NRA). Unlike other powerful lobby groups that influence both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the NRA literally has a stranglehold on the Republican party. NRA’s stranglehold on the GOP is so bad, even President Trump recently had to ask GOP Members of Congress not to be “afraid of” the gun lobby group when discussing sensible gun control proposals. Marion Hammer, a powerful NRA lobbyist in Florida for example is so feared by Florida State GOPers, that she’s dubbed “The Real Gov of Florida.” Such is the power the NRA wields over the GOP

https://youtu.be/L6I0zp-lAeo

The troubling news therefore that the FBI is investigating the NRA as a possible vehicle for funnelling Russian money to help Trump in the 2016 elections should be of great concern to Democrats. New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni said on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett that the NRA spent a whopping $30M to help Trump get elected, which is more than they spent the last two Presidential cycles combined. A Russian banker Alexander Torshin who has ties to Putin is an NRA life member and the key suspect in the alleged funnelling scheme. Torshin apparently wanted to create a “back channel” between the Trump Campaign and Russia and one of his associates reportedly told a Trump campaign staffer that “Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump.”(see YouTube video from 14:00 onwards)

Under normal circumstances this would be just another questionable daliance between a powerful U.S. gun lobby group and a foreign financier. However against the backdrop of an ongoing Special Counsel investigation into U.S. election meddling by the Russians, this strange relationship between the NRA and the Putin-allied Russian financier has become a much more serious issue, one that Americans trust Mueller and Co. will get to the bottom of.


It also bears pointing out, as New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni did that Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr, is a major NRA supporter and activist. Trump Jr you’ll remember is already in the middle of a very questionable meeting with Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya has since confessed that she’s an informant for Putin’s Kremlin

Simply put, the NRA-Russia story is a major story that could affect the Dem political fortunes from here on out. According to CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray, the NRA is privately, very concerned about the FBI’s investigation into its ties to the Russian Banker(vid at 14:00). Obviously we Dems have to be patient and allow the feds to conduct their investigation into the NRA but just like Trump used the ongoing Clinton email probe to hamstring her 2016 campaign, there is no reason why the DNC should not pummel NRA-allied GOP candidates over Russian money as we head to Midterms 2018, the perfect target being Sen Ted Cruz

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Dems Must Weaponize #TrumpSwamp

One of the biggest promises then candidate Donald Trump made leading up to the 2016 elections was that because he was an outsider, he was the only one capable of taking corruption out of Washington–we all remember the constant “Drain the Swamp” chants at Trump rallies. The reality however has turned out to be the complete opposite. We are only in the second year of the Trump Admin yet Americans are already very alarmed at the shocking levels of government corruption reported in the media. Some are even wondering whether at this level of plunder and pillage, the country can survive 4 years of Trump. Corruption in the Trump Admin has become so prevalent, it has spawned the popular Twitter hashtag #TrumpSwamp.



Americans were initially concerned about Trump's conflicts of interest and violations of the U.S. Constitution's Emoluments Clause because of the fact that despite promising to do so during the campaign, Trump never fully divested from his vast global business empire upon assuming the presidency.

Concerns about the president's violations of the Emoluments Clause persist to this day and are the subject of several lawsuits. The problem however is that in addition to conflict of interest questions surrounding the president himself, it appears members of his administration are also caught up in all kinds of corrupt schemes. Some of the notable corruption scandals involve EPA Administrator Scott Pruit, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, just to mention but a few.

Message for DNC? Corruption in the Trump Admin has to be a central theme in campaign ads for the various Dems running for office this November. Dems must not only call out these egregious levels of corruption in the Trump Admin but also propose solutions to prevent them from happening again in the future. Even though it is well known that the GOP has its "mandatory voters" on the right and Dems have theirs on the left, there is a huge swath of independent voters who are longing to see these alarming levels of government corruption dealt with. Dems need to win these independent anti-corruption voters.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com