WTF Community

🗳 2020 Primary Election

GOP yanks support for congressional candidate after death threat against Ilhan Omar

A Florida Republican congressional hopeful who apparently called for Rep. Ilhan Omar and other Democrats to be hanged in a fundraising email has been removed from a GOP initiative that supports candidates.

George Buck Jr., who is challenging Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, threatens Omar and Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan in an email obtained by CNN that was dated November 26 and includes his signature, though he has denied writing it. The email labels the four minority progressive lawmakers, who call themselves “The Squad,” as “anti-American” and associates them with Crist.

“We should hang these traitors where they stand. I have no tolerance for those who are abusing our system to destroy our country,” says the email, which also includes unsubstantiated allegations that Omar was a foreign agent. Buck has denied he wrote the email, saying, “I would never talk like that,” the Tampa Bay Times reported. CNN has asked Buck to clarify his comment to the Tampa Bay Times.

Buck’s campaign Facebook page on Wednesday posted three links to news stories about Omar, saying in one post, “How come no one is calling out Omar for her rhetoric?” Omar has drawn sharp criticism, including from some in her own party, for comments she’s made about political support for Israel.

Asked for comment Wednesday, Buck said in an email to CNN: “I am a decorated veteran of the 101st Airborne Division. As someone who has taken the oath to defend the Constitution, I take that oath very seriously.”

He went on in the email to outline the Constitution’s reference to treason and Congress’ power to enforce punishment, finally stating: “Anyone who commits treason against the United States should be tried to the full extent of the law.”

CNN reached out to Omar’s office for a response to the fundraising email and was directed to her Twitter page, where she retweeted comments from others, including Tlaib, condemning the message.

“The fact that those who make these violent threats very publicly without hesitation reaffirms just how much white supremacy has spread within the @NRCC,” Tlaib said in a tweet on Wednesday. “They are raising money on a call to hang a Black Muslim member of Congress and too many are silent.”

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Michael McAdams told CNN on Wednesday the committee removed Buck from Young Guns, a recruiting initiative that recognizes candidates who show promise of running a successful campaign.

“(House Minority Leader Kevin) McCarthy made the decision to remove him and Chairman (Tom) Emmer agrees,” he said in an email.

In a statement provided to CNN Wednesday, Crist said, “I’m alarmed and disappointed by the threatening language being used against me and my colleagues.”

“It’s not reflective of the kindness and decency of our district, state, or country. It’s yet another reminder how important it is to restore civility to our politics,” he said in the emailed statement, calling on lawmakers to adhere to a “Commitment to Civility.”

Omar, one of the few Muslim members of Congress, has been repeatedly attacked by President Donald Trump and his supporters. Earlier this year, she said she experienced an increase in death threats after Trump tweeted about a speech in which she said Muslims were faced with greater risk in the United States after the September 11 attacks because “some people did something.”

This is the second threat in a week from a Republican candidate to the Minnesota congresswoman. Twitter permanently suspended the social media account of Danielle Stella, a Republican challenging Omar, for a tweet in which she said the Democrat should be tried for treason and hanged.


Rep Duncan Hunter (R - CA) will resign after pleading guilty to Federal charges leaving a seat open in California.

Embattled California Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) announced on Friday he plans to resign from his seat.

The announcement comes in the wake of the Republican lawmaker’s decision to reverse course and plead guilty to charges of campaign finance violations. The move came months after Hunter’s wife and former campaign treasurer, Margaret Hunter, opted to change her plea to guilty earlier this year.

Shortly after the Holidays, I will resign from Congress. It has been an honor to serve the people of California’s 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years,” he said in a statement.


T is down 14 points in this by-state poll. How he stands within the public eye is important even with the Impeachment push.

In 3 states…T has a 55% disapproval in Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan. :boom:


22nd House Republican announces he will not be running for re-election (and counting…)


Trump gave Russia a platform in the Oval Office to deny attacking our elections (despite the fact they did). At the same time, a Trump ally blocked a bi-partisan bill to deter even more attacks.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to pass legislation meant to prevent Russia and other countries from interfering in elections.

Crapo’s move came after Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) asked for consent to pass the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines, or DETER Act. Van Hollen argued the bill would underscore that there would be a “very tough price to pay” if Moscow meddles in U.S. elections.

“It’s designed to send a very clear and simple message to Russia or any other country that is thinking about interfering in our elections and undermining our democracy that if we catch you, you will suffer a severe penalty,” Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) re-introduced the bill earlier this year. It requires the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine whether there was any foreign interference in federal elections and impose sanctions on any nations found to interfere.


Good. Money well spent…

Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg will donate $10 million Thursday to defend vulnerable Democratic House members against paid Republican attacks on their support for impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

The money, which is meant to even an arms race on the 2020 congressional battlefield,was cheered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has been fielding concerns from some of her members over a costly Republican advertising offensive as the House moves toward an impeachment vote next week.

“In 2018, Mayor Bloomberg was a critical ally in helping House Democrats regain the majority,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Now, the stakes are even higher as we work to make health care more affordable by reducing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, increase wages and root out corruption. We welcome and thank Mayor Bloomberg for his support.”


That is news…one term for Biden.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside the Biden campaign have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term, with Biden himself signaling to aides that he will serve only a single term.

While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicate that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital.


Implications for 2020 abound.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered to answer questions in election lawsuit

The lawsuit accuses the secretary of state and election board members of mismanaging the 2018 election in ways that deprived some citizens, particularly low-income people and minorities, of their right to vote.


Just… listen.

1 Like

Several Democratic candidates call on the DNC to make the debates more diverse

Nine Democratic presidential candidates have called on the Democratic National Committee to relax its debate standards next year, allowing some lower-polling rivals onto the stage.

“While we know this was an unintended consequence of the DNC’s actions, many of the candidates excluded due to these thresholds are the ones who have helped make this year’s primary field historically diverse,” the candidates wrote. “Frankly, that unintended result does not live up to the values of our Democratic Party and it does not serve the best interest of Democratic voters.”

The letter was signed by all seven Democrats who qualified for next week’s debate in Los Angeles: former vice president Joe Biden; Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), investor Tom Steyer; and businessman Andrew Yang.

It was also signed by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who organized his fellow candidates, as well as former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro, who has not appeared in a debate since October. Castro has argued that the debate standards and the structure of the primaries — in which two of the country’s whitest states vote first — were leading to a less diverse Democratic contest.


Here’s that big Buzzfeed Bernie Profile everyone is talking about today. No matter how you feel about Bernie as a candidate, this is an excellent read.

You Don’t Know Bernie

loved this passage,


Here is what Pamela explains to Bernie Sanders: that her family bought this mobile home in the ’90s for a trumped-up price of $114,000; that she lives on $1,000 a month; that she still owes $15,000 on the house; the house she fears will harm her daughter’s health; the house where her mother caught pneumonia and died; the house where, “when a storm comes,” she says, “we have to stay in the mobile home and just pray.” He learns that Pamela’s sister was arrested because she couldn’t afford to pay for the county garbage service. Another sister was arrested because she couldn’t afford to buy into the sanitation system. He turns to a reporter in the Alabama heat. “Really something, isn’t it?” he says. He is frowning, jowls gathered slightly at the neck, but there is no shock or judgment in his face. It will become a familiar expression over the summer and fall. He is not always an obviously comforting presence, but there is never judgment.

“So this is where the waste goes?”

Everyone is outside now, around back. Sanders wants to see where the waste goes.

He learns that Pamela, like many residents in Lowndes County, is also “straight-piping” her untreated sewage from the bathroom to her yard. She is here with Catherine Flowers, an activist who has worked with Congress on the pernicious tangle of issues facing Lowndes County: criminalized poverty, environmental degradation, inadequate infrastructure.

He peers down at a line of dark, matted grass where, a few paces from his feet, inches from the base of the trailer, sewage flows via exposed PVC pipes into a shallow open-air trench. “Is this uncommon in this part of the world?” he asks, steering the conversation for his unseen audience, and the cameras swing back to Pamela and Catherine.

The sun is beating down. Bernie rolls up his sleeves and starts talking gravely about how this is the richest country in the history of the world… “Today we’re in Lowndes County, Alabama, in an African-American community,” he is saying. “Tomorrow we’ll be in California in a Latino community, or in West Virginia in a white community, and the stories will be the same.” You can see his bald head turning shades of pink and red. Everyone is sweating. Pamela is talking about her mother’s death. It is not an easy conversation. “This is America,” he is saying.

Back in his Washington headquarters, the digital team is waiting for the footage.


Republicans George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson have launched the Lincoln Project in an effort to reclaim the GOP from Cult 45.

They certainly have their work cut out for them, but if they sow chaos in the GOP right now, I am for it.

We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated

The president and his enablers have replaced conservatism with an empty faith led by a bogus prophet.

Patriotism and the survival of our nation in the face of the crimes, corruption and corrosive nature of Donald Trump are a higher calling than mere politics. As Americans, we must stem the damage he and his followers are doing to the rule of law, the Constitution and the American character.

That’s why we are announcing the Lincoln Project, an effort to highlight our country’s story and values, and its people’s sacrifices and obligations. This effort transcends partisanship and is dedicated to nothing less than preservation of the principles that so many have fought for, on battlefields far from home and within their own communities.

This effort asks all Americans of all places, creeds and ways of life to join in the seminal task of our generation: restoring to this nation leadership and governance that respects the rule of law, recognizes the dignity of all people and defends the Constitution and American values at home and abroad.

Over these next 11 months, our efforts will be dedicated to defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line. We do not undertake this task lightly, nor from ideological preference. We have been, and remain, broadly conservative (or classically liberal) in our politics and outlooks. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain, but our shared fidelity to the Constitution dictates a common effort.

The 2020 general election, by every indication, will be about persuasion, with turnout expected to be at record highs. Our efforts are aimed at persuading enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that don’t enable or abet Mr. Trump’s violations of the Constitution, even if that means Democratic control of the Senate and an expanded Democratic majority in the House.

The American presidency transcends the individuals who occupy the Oval Office. Their personality becomes part of our national character. Their actions become our actions, for which we all share responsibility. Their willingness to act in accordance with the law and our tradition dictate how current and future leaders will act. Their commitment to order, civility and decency are reflected in American society.

Mr. Trump fails to meet the bar for this commitment. He has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve. His vision is limited to what immediately faces him — the problems and risks he chronically brings upon himself and for which others, from countless contractors and companies to the American people, ultimately bear the heaviest burden.

But this president’s actions are possible only with the craven acquiescence of congressional Republicans. They have done no less than abdicate their Article I responsibilities.

Indeed, national Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope.

Congressional Republicans have embraced and copied Mr. Trump’s cruelty and defended and even adopted his corruption. Mr. Trump and his enablers have abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles and replaced it with Trumpism, an empty faith led by a bogus prophet. In a recent survey, a majority of Republican voters reported that they consider Mr. Trump a better president than Lincoln.

Mr. Trump and his fellow travelers daily undermine the proposition we as a people have a responsibility and an obligation to continually bend the arc of history toward justice. They mock our belief in America as something more meaningful than lines on a map.

Our peril far outstrips any past differences: It has arrived at our collective doorstep, and we believe there is no other choice. We sincerely hope, but are not optimistic, that some of those Republicans charged with sitting as jurors in a likely Senate impeachment trial will do likewise.

American men and women stand ready around the globe to defend us and our way of life. We must do right by them and ensure that the country for which they daily don their uniform deserves their protection and their sacrifice.

We are reminded of Dan Sickles, an incompetent 19th-century New York politician. On July 2, 1863, his blundering nearly ended the United States.

(Sickles’s greatest previous achievement had been fatally shooting his wife’s lover across the street from the White House and getting himself elected to Congress. Even his most fervent admirers could not have imagined that one day, far in the future, another incompetent New York politician, a president, would lay claim to that legacy by saying he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.)
On that day in Pennsylvania, Sickles was a major general commanding the Union Army’s III Corps at the Battle of Gettysburg, and his incompetence wrought chaos and danger. The Confederate Army took advantage, and turned the Union line. Had the rebel soldiers broken through, the continent might have been divided: free and slave, democratic and authoritarian.

Another Union general, Winfield Scott Hancock, had only minutes to reinforce the line. America, the nation, the ideal, hung in the balance. Amid the fury of battle, he found the First Minnesota Volunteers.

They charged, and many of them fell, suffering a staggeringly high casualty rate. They held the line. They saved the Union. Four months later, Lincoln stood on that field of slaughter and said, “It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”

We look to Lincoln as our guide and inspiration. He understood the necessity of not just saving the Union, but also of knitting the nation back together spiritually as well as politically. But those wounds can be bound up only once the threat has been defeated. So, too, will our country have to knit itself back together after the scourge of Trumpism has been overcome.


Also, a number of Dems in delicate situations are voting to impeach, perhaps in response to an anti-impeachment Dem swapping sides to the GOP and Trump gloating over it? They miht also be taking note that Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the moderate Democrat who is turning GOP, has been excoriated at home from both sides, with many in his staff forced to quit right before the holidays to maintain their principles and both of his GOP rivals staying in the race and working to unseat him. He’s being called a weasel.

Praise for Rep. Jeff Van Drew From Trump, Scorn From Those at Home

The New Jersey Democrat has quickly become anathema to people on both sides of the political divide after news spread he planned to switch parties.

TRENTON, N.J. — When Representative Jeff Van Drew, a moderate Democrat who has staunchly opposed impeaching President Trump, decided to jump to the Republican Party, he got Mr. Trump’s encouragement and blessing.

There was even talk of an official announcement at the White House, right before or after the House votes on impeachment.

But back home in New Jersey, Mr. Van Drew, who faces re-election next year, received quite a different reception: He has quickly become anathema to people on both sides of the political divide.

Some Republicans described him as an opportunist who was making a craven bid to protect his seat in a district that Mr. Trump won. At least two Republicans who were already running for the seat said in interviews that they intended to remain in the race and work to defeat him.

“This is the end of his career,” said David Richter, a Republican businessman who has been campaigning for Mr. Van Drew’s seat since August and referred to him as a “weasel.”

Another Republican in the race, Brian Fitzherbert, who works for a defense contractor, was equally critical.

“He’s doing what he’s done for nearly 30 years,” he said. “Political survivorship. It’s desperation.”

Democrats were even more scathing. Nearly all of Mr. Van Drew’s Washington staff abruptly resigned over the weekend.

“Sadly, Congressman Van Drew’s decision to join the ranks of Republican Party led by Donald Trump does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office,’’ according to a letter from five staff members. Two other staff members also resigned.

Mr. Van Drew, who hails from a Republican-leaning district that for 24 years before his election was represented by a Republican, is one of only two Democrats who voted against rules laying out the impeachment process.

Mr. Van Drew has not spoken publicly since reports emerged over the weekend that he was switching parties. But in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News several weeks ago, Mr. Van Drew said Mr. Trump would likely survive an impeachment process given Republican control of the Senate and that voters, not Congress, should decide Mr. Trump’s fate.

“At the end of the day, I’m afraid all we’re going to have is a failed impeachment,” he said, adding: “The bottom line is he’s still going to be the president of the United States, and the bottom line is he is still going to be the candidate of the Republican Party. So why don’t we let the people do the impeachment by voting in the electoral process the way that we usually do.”

Senior advisers to Mr. Trump have assured Mr. Van Drew that he would have the president’s support in the primary.

The Trump campaign declined to comment on Monday. But Mr. Trump praised Mr. Van Drew on Sunday on Twitter. “Always heard Jeff is very smart!” the president wrote.

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, a Republican who is the minority leader said, “I’ll take as many new Republicans as I can get in New Jersey.”

Multiple Republicans in Congress also made it known to Van Drew that once he became a member of the party, he would be supported in his re-election efforts.

“I want to tell Jeff Van Drew that he is welcome in the Republican Party, not just by me, but by our conference,” Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, said in an interview on Fox News on Saturday.

Congressional Republicans have also reached out to Mr. Van Drew in recent days to offer him advice on hiring new staff members.

Mr. Van Drew had been a prime target of congressional Republicans in their quest to take back the House.

His decision is certain to become a dominant issue next year and could energize Democrats in the district who helped elect him last year when a progressive surge flipped four congressional seats across New Jersey. The district stretches from Atlantic City west to the Pennsylvania border.

On Monday, Brigid Harrison, a professor of political science at Montclair State University who had been taking steps toward challenging Mr. Van Drew as a Democrat in a primary, said that she, too, would run to replace him.

“I think he’s a traitor,” said Professor Harrison. “I think it is something that is emblematic of the cynicism of our country.”

Professor Harrison said she had met with Democratic county leaders in the district, who had declined to sign a letter backing Mr. Van Drew for re-election and criticized his anti-impeachment stance.

Mr. Richter, 53, said he had no plans to step aside to clear an easy path to the Republican nomination for Mr. Van Drew.

“I’m in this thing all the way through,” said Mr. Richter, a former chief executive of a publicly traded construction management firm, Hill International, who personally contributed $300,000 of the $413,000 his campaign raised during the first quarter.

“If I have to put $1 million of my own money into this race, to win, I’m prepared to do it,’’ he said.

Mr. Richter added that any support Mr. Trump offered Mr. Van Drew, in exchange for the distraction a high-profile Democratic defection could offer in a week when the president faces impeachment, would quickly fade once Mr. Trump had “gotten what he wanted.”

Mr. Richter added that he had “talked to a lot of Republicans. Nobody is happy about the switch.”

John Farmer Jr., director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, called the contest for the seat a “wide-open race” that would likely depend on how much the president was willing to help Mr. Van Drew.

As for whether Republican voters would embrace Mr. Van Drew after the switch, Mr. Farmer said, “I imagine it’s a difficult adjustment for people to suddenly view him as an ally.”

Other Republicans were reluctant to openly criticize Mr. Van Drew, saying they would defer to Mr. Trump’s views on the representative.

“The eyes of the nation are on this story and it is important that our response and reaction to it, be measured, coordinated, unified and respectful,” said Mike Testa Jr., who was elected in November to Mr. Van Drew’s former State Senate seat and who is a chairman of Mr. Trump’s re-election effort in New Jersey. “After discussions with our municipal leaders and those in Washington, we have mutually agreed to follow President Donald J. Trump’s lead on this issue.”

Mr. Van Drew has long had a difficult relationship with Democrats in New Jersey over some of the positions he took while in the State Senate, including opposing raising the minimum wage.

One of New Jersey’s most powerful Democrats, Stephen M. Sweeney, the Senate president, said the party would mount a major effort to oust Mr. Van Drew. And the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, offered jobs to the members of his congressional staff who had quit “to stand up for their Democratic values.”

It’s right before the holidays and these staffers just quit their jobs to stand up for their Democratic values. We’ll bring them and others who leave on with the @dccc until they land new jobs that align with their values. (1/2)

— Cheri Bustos (@CheriBustos) December 16, 2019

If Professor Harrison, who lives in Mr. Van Drew’s district, wins the support of established Democratic Party leaders there, she may face a primary challenge of her own.

Amy Kennedy, a mental health advocate who is married to former Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, a Democrat, said she was forming an exploratory committee, according to The Press of Atlantic City. Mr. Kennedy is the youngest child of Edward M. Kennedy.

On Monday, constituents at a Wawa convenience store in Vineland, N.J., had mixed reactions to Mr. Van Drew’s move.

“As long as he does what he thinks is the right thing, it doesn’t matter what party he is aligned with,” said Bill Crane, 65, who is not registered to vote with any political party and who did not vote for Mr. Van Drew in the last election.

“I don’t like the idea when they just blindly follow the party line,” added Mr. Crane, a roofing contractor who lives in Vineland.

But David Dunham, 65, who is not registered with either major party but voted for Mr. Van Drew, said he felt “misled” by his representative’s decision.

“He was elected as a Democrat,” Mr. Dunham, of Millville, N.J., said, “and for some reason he seems to have aligned himself with Trump, and he should have advertised that when he was elected.”


Sen Susan Collins (R-ME)announces her bid for the Senate today - day of the Impeachment. Her voting record in her state is problematic, as she will always seem to support T’s positions, and Mainers are really incensed by this. She is NOT a shoo in…or so I believe.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Wednesday she intends to run for reelection, seeking a fifth term in what will likely be the most difficult campaign of her career.

Collins has been raising money and running TV ads as if she was running for reelection for months, but delayed any official announcement, creating widespread speculation about her intentions. In a letter to supporters Wednesday, she made her plans clear.

“The fundamental question I had to ask myself in making my decision was this: in today’s polarized political environment, is there still a role for a centrist who believes in getting things done through compromise, collegiality, and bipartisanship?” Collins said in the letter. "I have concluded that the answer to this question is ‘yes,’ and I will, therefore, seek the honor of continuing to serve as Maine’s United States Senator.”

Maine is a critical state for the GOP’s Senate majority, and Collins’ announcement is a major boost for Republicans. It would have been extremely difficult for the party to hold the seat had Collins decided to retire. Republicans currently have a 53-47 majority.

Democrats argue that Collins has lost her bipartisan credentials in recent years and expect to give her the most difficult challenge of her career. They’re likely to nominate state House Speaker Sara Gideon, who faces a primary but leads the field in fundraising and has been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and a host of Maine Democrats.

“When Sen. Collins took office 22 years ago, she might have been different from other people in Washington, but it doesn’t seem that way anymore,” Gideon said in a statement released after Collins’ announcement. "These days, Sen. Collins seems more focused on serving the special interests that fund her campaigns than the Mainers who elected her."

She is getting a lot of pressure from her constituency to answer for her past votes…
See this full page ad taken out of this Portland Press newspaper

See scathing letter in Tweet.


Meadows, close ally of Trump, to retire from Congress



6th Democratic Debate


I think we’re about to have another GOP Rep retirement.

1 Like

And… maybe another.