(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To This Post)
Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where the sun comes rising over that little Minnesota town.
We begin in the Commonwealth (God save it!), where the Boston Police Department suddenly is revealed to have more in common with the Archdiocese of Boston than employing a lot of its parishioners. From the Boston Globe:
Janey’s announcement followed a Globe investigation that revealed the department determined in 1995 that Patrick M. Rose Sr., the onetime president of the city’s powerful patrolmen’s union, had more than likely molested a 12-year-old child. The department had repeatedly refused to release the case files or discuss why Rose, who is now charged with sexually abusing five additional children, continued as a patrolman and had access to children…
“It is baffling that officer Rose was allowed to remain on the force for over two decades and ultimately led the patrolmen’s union,” Janey said. “I was deeply disturbed to learn that there was no effort to prevent Rose from coming into contact with other minors after such serious charges were found to be credible by BPD’s own internal affairs probe of the original allegations in 1995.”
This was a huge scandal dropped into Janey’s lap after she’d been mayor for a little more than a month. And it already is a major issue in the upcoming mayoral free-for-all in which Janey will run for her own full term as the city’s mayor against a good piece of the Boston City Council.
“This continued lack of transparency and accountability is unacceptable,” Councilor Andrea Campbell, one of several councilors currently running for mayor, said Monday. “Every minute of delay further erodes public trust and denies victims justice.” Fellow councilor and mayoral candidate Michelle Wu called the situation “a horrific breach of the public trust, and it continues to this day with the [Janey] administration’s refusal to release internal affairs records.”
Annissa Essaibi George, another councilor running for mayor, said in a social media post: “This cover-up culture must become a thing of the past.”
The parallels in this case to the cover-up of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church are startling and real.
And we leave the sacred shores and ponder the question, “Who’s mucking with the franchise today?” And, like magic, we find ourselves in Arkansas. From CNN:
One of the more controversial bills, dubbed the "no water bottles for voters" bill by opponents, would prohibit people from entering the perimeter of a polling place unless they were voting -- making giving food or water to voters in line a crime in some cases. Another measure would ban clerks from sending unsolicited absentee ballots to voters, while one would put in place strict signature match requirements for mail-in ballots.
Governor Asa Hutchinson is said to be studying these new laws. If his performance on anti-trans legislation is any guide, I suspect he’ll take the now-conventional Reasonable Republican approach whereby he signs bills that suck, but refuses to sign bills that really suck.
Republican state Sen. Kim Hammer, one of the primary sponsors of the measures, told CNN on Wednesday that the bills are about "protecting the integrity of the vote" and were not based on former President Donald Trump's loss in November, which sparked baseless claims of voter fraud that led to the January 6 US Capitol insurrection.
"These were taken from real examples that happened here in the state," said Hammer, who pointed to a contested state race in November in which an incumbent Democratic legislator filed suit arguing that errors in the counting of absentee ballots by local officials led to his loss to a freshman Republican lawmaker. Legal challenges to the loss were eventually dismissed.
Which, of course, is all manner of bollocks. While I have no doubt that Republicans would try to suppress votes no matter who was elected last November, because they’re Republicans and that’s what they do, the idea that these bills are not part of a national strategy based on the lie that the last election was somehow rigged is ludicrous. This is a hive mind at work.
We move along to Georgia, where nothing Brian Kemp can do to suppress votes ever will be enough to atone for his having failed to steal the presidency for El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, at least not in Whitfield County, where they want Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign, and for the legislature to censor both the governor and the lieutenant governor. But they do love Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. Ooh, boy. She makes them shiver right down to their dungboots. But Kemp is not to be forgiven.
Because of Kemp’s betrayal of President Trump and his high unpopularity with the Trump GOP base, Kemp could end up costing the GOP the governor’s mansion because many Trump supporters have pledged not to vote for Kemp under any circumstances.”
These people are threatening to primary Brian Kemp from the right. I don’t let myself think about that much.
We skip on up to Montana, where the Republicans in the state legislature are trying to start something with the state judiciary. From the Independent Record:
Republican officials in recent weeks have raised concerns about an internal poll process in which judges have issued oppose-or-reject responses to pending legislature pertaining to the judiciary. The GOP has also questioned the court administrator deleting those emailed poll results from her account. Montana Supreme Court Administrator Beth McLaughlin has petitioned the high court to quash the subpoena for her emails, arguing it's too broad of a request.
Democrats responded with sharp criticism after the administrative department in the executive branch hustled nearly 2,500 of documents over the weekend from the court's email server to Republican lawmakers in response to their subpoena for the material. The court later quashed the subpoena, but GOP lawmakers have said they will defy the court's order.
Republicans know how to do the whole rule-of-law thing, don’t they? When they rule, they are the law. Simple.
And we conclude, as is our custom, in the great state of Oklahoma, whence Blog Official Stampede Control Officer Friedman of the Plains brings us a sample of high-minded debate on abortion, as well as a nuanced conversation about race. From the Tulsa World:
Olsen said outlawing abortion is even more important than ending slavery because “it deals with ending innocent life.” When pressed on the matter by Rep. Ajay Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, Olsen said, “None of us would like to be killed. None of us would like to be a slave. If I had to choose, I’d rather be a slave.” ...
[Ajay] Pittman, the only person of color on the committee, said Olsen’s remarks illustrate how unaware many House members are.“It was hateful and insensitive, and if (Olsen) doesn’t understand why, that’s a problem,” Pittman said later. “You think being a slave is better than death,” Pittman said when asked her reaction to Olsen’s comment.
“Some of my ancestors might not agree. … You have no experience or context to know what it was like to be a slave.”
Good luck, Ms. Pittman. It’s a long, stony road you’ve chosen.
This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.
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