Tag Archives: Republican

USA Today: Nearly Two Thirds of Americans Have Given Up On Political Parties

(IVN) Many Americans will be staying out of the voting booth for the 2018 elections, disillusioned by the promises of politicians and convinced that the political system is irreparably corrupt.

At least that’s what respondents told poll takers at USA Today and Suffolk University in a recent survey:

“Nearly two-thirds of adult U.S. citizens will stay away from the polls during the coming midterm elections, and they say they have given up on the political parties and a system that they say is beyond reform and repair…

A majority of those non-voters would like to see a third party or multiple parties.”

As the Huffington Post notes: “The poll surveyed Americans who aren’t registered to vote or who are registered but say they’re unlikely to cast a ballot. Combined, the two groups include more than 100 million adults, the pollsters note.”

68 percent of independent voters and party registered voters who say they are unlikely to vote this year agreed with the statement: “I don’t pay much attention to politics because it is so corrupt.” It’s a marked increase over the 54 percent of respondents who agreed to this characterization of politics in the 2012 survey.

And 63 percent of respondents in these categories agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I don’t pay much attention to politics because nothing ever gets done – it’s a bunch of empty promises,” which is also up from the 59 percent who said the same nearly six years ago.

In bad news for political parties like the DNC and RNC, faith in parties is on the wane. Only 22 percent of respondents said the Democratic and Republican parties do a good job of representing Americans’ political views, which is down from 32 percent when the question was asked in 2012.

57 percent of respondents also said a third party or multiple political parties is necessary, up from the 53 percent who said so just before Obama was reelected to his second term.

A light majority, at 55 percent, of those respondents who said they will be sitting out this election hold an unfavorable view of Donald Trump and are dissatisfied with his record in office.

It’s a tale as old as American democracy. Midterm turnout is always lower than in presidential election years. Those who vote are also more likely to be educated and more likely to be white.

Historically the party in the White House usually loses seats to the opposition party in Congress during midterms, a pressure valve for dissatisfaction with the ruling administration.

As NBC News notes: “In every midterm election since the Civil War, the president’s party has lost, on average, 32 seats in the House and two in the Senate.”

With only 24 seats net gain in the House and 2 in the Senate, the Democratic Party could flip both Houses from the red team to the blue team in 2018, which makes it an exciting election to watch.

But with deep disillusionment over politics crossing party lines and an increasing number of anti-Trump voters planning to sit this one out, it’s quite possible a Democratic coup in November may just fizzle out. Trump would call the electorate “low energy.”


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This article was republished with permission from IVN.

Dave Navarro Says He ‘Is a Libertarian,’ Does Not Fit into GOP, Democrat Molds

In an interview that aired Wednesday on Kennedy on Fox Business Network, Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro said that he does not fit into America’s two-party political system and that he identifies as a libertarian.

I did an ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Twitter and someone asked me if I was a Democrat or Republican, and I said that I’m a Libertarian,” Navarro said.


Primarily because I found that there were two paths that I was looking at, and I didn’t really fit into either one of those paths, and so I needed an alternative, because my political viewpoint takes a cue from different parties and different schools of thought. And not all of one applies to me. And I think that there’s a lot of people that that’s true for,” he added.

[RELATED: Jesse Hughes: Bataclan Security ‘Had a Reason Not to Show Up’ on Day of Paris Attacks]

Specifically, he said that his views on social issues are “not necessarily that of the Republican Party” and that his views on financial issues “aren’t the same as the Democratic Party.

I had to find a middle ground, as it were. I feel pretty comfortable where I’m at,” he said.

Navarro praised California’s open primary system for allowing him to weigh in on primary elections despite being a libertarian-leaning independent.

[RELATED: Eagles of Death Metal Vocalist Says Gun Control Did Not Save Lives in Paris Attacks]

Speaking on the 2016 presidential election, Navarro said, “If you look at the frontrunners, I feel like I’m not voting for somebody, I’m voting against somebody, and that’s a really uncomfortable place to be as a voter.

He said that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton “are both polarizing for so many different reasons.

Cautioning that the primary elections are still ongoing and that their outcomes are not set in stone, Navarro explained that a Trump vs. Clinton general election contest presents a difficult decision for him.

I just heard Hillary earlier today speaking in vocabulary that was just as scary on the left as Trump speaks on the right, and I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do,” he said.

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NEFF: The Republican Party’s Delegate Allocation Process Is Totally Bonkers

By Blake Neff – The hotly contested GOP nomination has brought increased attention to the intricacies of primary and caucus rules. While many people are aware of winner-take-all and proportional delegate states, the way Republicans allocate delegates has many bizarre quirks that have largely escaped notice, which could have major consequences in a close election season that could end with a contested convention.

Here’s six of the weirdest quirks about the Republican nomination process, discovered with the help of The Green Papers, an extremely detailed database of primary election information created by Richard Berg-Andersson.

1. The GOP’s rules heavily reward small Republican-controlled states.

Much like the Electoral College itself, the Republican primary process allocates delegates by states, but not in proportion to population. The largest state, California, has 172 delegates, but every state also has a minimum of 16 delegates, meaning the largest state only has about 10 times the delegates of the smallest state, even though California is over 40 times the size of several small states like Wyoming, Vermont and Delaware.

The skew can be even greater because states can receive a fixed number of bonus delegates for electing Republicans to various offices. Having a Republican governor is worth one extra delegate, as is each Republican senator, and having a majority-Republican house delegation. States also get a bonus delegate if one of their state legislative houses is Republican-controlled, and a second bonus delegate if all state legislative houses are Republican-controlled. Since these six bonus delegates are fixed regardless of a state’s size, they boost the relative importance of small states far more than they increase the relevance of large ones.

2. Electoral votes matter, but in an odd way.

In addition to rewarding states that have Republican officeholders, the Republican National Committee also rewards states that voted Republican in the most recent presidential election. But once again, the reward is calculated in an odd way that heavily favors smaller states.

Instead of giving states a delegate boost equal to their electoral vote total, states that voted Republican in 2012 are rewarded a bonus delegate count based on the following formula: 4.5 + (0.6 x [2012 electoral vote total]).

So, for example, Indiana voted Republican in 2012 and had 11 electoral votes, so it receives a bonus of 12 delegates, since 4.5 + (11 x 0.6) = 11.1 (all fractions round up).

This mathematical formula heavily favors small states over large ones. States with only three electoral votes receive a bonus of seven delegates, more than twice their electoral vote count, while Texas’s 38 electoral votes produce just 28 bonus delegates.

The two different sets of bonuses, for elected officials and electoral votes, have the effect of giving small but heavily Republican states a tremendous degree of power compared to large but Democratic ones. Wyoming, for instance, voted Republican in 2012 and is dominated by Republicans at both the state and federal level. Since it received every bonus delegate possible, the state has 29 delegates to the Republican convention. California, the country’s largest state but one that received no bonus delegates, has 172 delegates. In other words, California has only about six times as many delegates as Wyoming, even though California is 70 times the size of Wyoming. Wyoming actually has more delegates than Oregon, a state with seven times as many people.

3. Tiny U.S. territories are ridiculously overrepresented.

While U.S. territories can’t vote in national elections, the Republican and Democratic parties both give them delegates for nominating presidential candidates. Sen. Marco Rubio’s biggest delegate win, in fact, came from picking up all 23 of Puerto Rico’s delegates.

But Puerto Rico isn’t the only U.S. territory. The Republican Party also gives nine delegates each to Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Sure, nine delegates isn’t a lot. But it’s an incredible amount for their population figures, none of which surpass 200,000 people. With 52,000 people, the Northern Mariana Islands (which Donald Trump won March 15) have one delegate for every 5,800 people (Wyoming, by contrast, has a delegate for every 20,000 people), and the others aren’t far behind. In fact, each of the four small territories has more delegates per person than any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.

4. While Republican states are overpowered, at the district level, Democratic districts have an advantage.

Slightly over half of all GOP delegates are allocated based on congressional district, with each of the country’s 435 congressional districts getting three delegates apiece. States are allowed to choose how these delegates are allocated. Some states, like Florida, award all their delegates based on the statewide vote. But in some states like California and South Carolina, the district-level delegates are awarded on a winner-take-all basis to the winner of each congressional district.

This arrangement can have the peculiar effect of reducing the power of Republican voters in heavily Republican districts while increasing the power of those in Democratic districts. For example, California’s 23rd congressional district gave over 60 percent of its vote to Mitt Romney in 2012, the most of any district in the state. The 13th district, on the other hand, is almost devoid of Republicans, with only 9 percent of its voters backing Romney. But both will choose three delegates to the Republican convention, even though the 23rd district has about six times as many Republican voters.

In other words, in at least some states, Republicans stuck in heavily or even overwhelmingly Democratic districts have substantially increased voting power in the Republican race.

5. One state never actually lets people vote for a presidential choice.

While specific rules vary dramatically from state to state, in the vast majority of jurisdictions Republicans hold either a primary or caucuses that let people express support for a particular candidate, either by directly voting for them or by selecting delegates who have pledged to support them if elected.

But one state breaks that mold. North Dakota holds a series of party caucuses but instead of choosing presidential candidates, participants solely select delegates to attend the state party convention, held in early April. At that convention, attendees will select 28 delegates to the national convention, but these delegates stand out because they will be totally unbound from the first ballot and can vote for whomever they want. Potential delegates may promise to vote for a certain candidate, but they are fully empowered to change their minds.

Colorado and Wyoming aren’t quite as freewheeling as North Dakota, but they come close. Both states also choose delegates at a state convention, but potential delegates are required to declare a candidate preference at the convention and are bound by their choices. However, a person can state their choice as “uncommitted,” and if elected they will go to the national convention unbound to anybody.

Pennsylvania and Illinois have the strangest rules of all. In Pennsylvania, its 17 statewide delegates will be bound by its primary result, but its 54 district delegates will be directly elected, and unbound going into the national convention. Illinois will also have directly elected district-level delegates, but will only be unbound if they run as an “unbound” candidate; if they have declared for a candidate they are required to back them.

6. Some Republicans just don’t get to vote at all.

Wyoming, like other states, uses a caucus system to choose some of its delegates. But the state has an unusual set-up, where 12 of its 29 delegates are chosen at various county-level caucuses while the remainder are picked at a statewide convention. Wyoming has 23 counties, so counties are divided up into pairs while Laramie County, the largest in the state, stands alone.

Instead of having each county pair pick a delegate, the state takes a more oddball route. Within each pair, one county’s voters elect the actual delegate to the convention, while the other county selects an alternate (who won’t be able to vote unless the original delegate becomes unavailable). Which county chooses the delegate and which chooses the alternate switches each election cycle, but nevertheless, each election cycle about half the state simply loses its ability to directly choose a delegate.

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Report: GOP Leaders Met With Elon Musk, Tim Cook To Discuss Stopping Trump

By Blake Neff – Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and several other tech titans held a private retreat with GOP leaders over the weekend where the main topic was how to stop Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, the Huffington Post reports.

The meeting was held at Sea Island, Ga., the site of the American Enterprise Institute’s World Forum. GOP figures at the gathering reportedly included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell , House Speaker Paul Ryan , and Karl Rove. Sens. Tom Cotton , Rob Portman , Tim Scott , Cory Gardner and Ben Sasse (who has already said he would not back Trump in the general election) where also present, while House representation included Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers , Tom Price , Kevin Brady , and Fred Upton , among others.

Other tech figures who reportedly attended the meeting included Google co-founder Larry Page and Napster founder Sean Parker.

The whole affair was off the record and closed to the press, so exactly what happened and what viewpoints were expressed is unclear. But according to HuffPo, the primary topic of conversation was Trump’s rise, what caused it and what, if anything, might undermine him. One highlight of the event was a presentation by Rove, who reportedly argued Trump’s biggest political weakness is the public’s difficulty viewing him as a “presidential” figure.

While Silicon Valley is generally known as a liberal place, there may be ample reason for Republicans and tech leaders to form a common cause against Trump. While Republicans fear Trump is hijacking and derailing the party and dooming them in November, tech bosses are menaced by Trump’s rhetoric on trade and his promise to cut down on the number of H-1B visas for skilled immigrant workers.

Sometimes the attendees clashed with one another, though. Notably, Cotton allegedly became “hostile” towards Cook when discussing Apple’s battle with the FBI about decrypting cell phones.

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Johnson: Fiscally Conservative, Socially Tolerant Voters Alienated by Iowa Results

Former two-term New Mexico Republican Governor Gary Johnson, who is seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president in 2016, issued a statement on the results of the Democratic and Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa on Monday.

To no one’s surprise, the Republican who emerged from the Iowa Caucuses did so under a banner of social intolerance and carpet bombing,” said Johnson of GOP winner and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton narrowly beat U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders. “Just as predictably, the Democrats endorsed a candidate who has never seen a federal program, regulation or expenditure she doesn’t like,” added Johnson.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Johnson opined that the outcome of the caucuses show that Democrats and Republicans “are not going to nominate a candidate who represents the real majority in America – independents who are fed up with the partisan dance that has given us a $20 trillion debt, endless war and a government intent on eroding the very liberties it is supposed to be preserving.

The libertarian-leaning candidate on the GOP side in the 2016 race, Sen. Rand Paul, fell short of expectations with his fifth-place finish in Iowa, causing him to suspend his campaign on Wednesday.

The pundits have become fond of talking about ‘lanes’ to electoral success. Where is the lane for the millions of Americans who are fundamentally conservative when it comes to the size and cost of government, but just as fundamentally tolerant when it comes to individual and civil liberties?” asked Johnson.

[RELATED: Gary Johnson Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union Address]

Johnson’s comments come just as pundits are beginning to wonder whether the support base that had been backing Sen. Paul will shift to another GOP primary candidate or an independent.

Where that support will go is hard to predict, because Paul isn’t ideologically aligned with any of the [GOP] frontrunners,wrote The Charlotte Observer’s Peter St. Onge.

According to The Associated Press, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says he plans to attempt to win over Rand Paul’s supporters. Ohio Gov. John Kasich told ABC News on Wednesday that he believes he has a chance to capture some of Paul’s support base.

A July 2015 Truth in Media Consider This video highlights the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Mo. GOP Rep.’s Bill Would Require Lobbyists to Report Sex with Legislators as ‘Gift’

Republican Missouri state Rep. Bart Korman introduced a bill in the Missouri House last Wednesday that would define sex between lawmakers and lobbyists as a “gift” and require such incidents to be reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

House Bill 2059, which sets rules for which expenditures lobbyists must report, states, “The term ‘gift’ shall include sexual relations between a registered lobbyist and a member of the general assembly or his or her staff.

Rep. Korman told KSHB-TV, “From a citizen aspect, if you’re an elected official having a relationship with a lobbyist to that degree, I think that they should know. A citizen should know if that’s going on.

[RELATED: Report: At Least 1,000 Police Officers Fired for ‘Sexual Misconduct’]

The bill contains an exception for “relations between married persons or between persons who entered into a relationship prior to the registration of the lobbyist, the election of the member to the general assembly, or the employment of the staff person,” presumably to exempt elected officials who are already coincidentally in a romantic relationship with someone technically employed as a lobbyist.

The bill’s text adds, “The reporting of sexual relations for purposes of this subdivision shall not require a dollar valuation.

Explaining the purpose of that particular line of legislative text, Rep. Korman said, “Thats been the local discussion, how to price that or how to put a performance on it and I try to address it as a zero price tag to eliminate that discussion if at all possible.

[RELATED: DOJ Report Exposes DEA Agents’ Sex Parties with Prostitutes Funded by Colombian Drug Cartels]

According to The Kansas City Star, the House is working on legislative ethics reform in response to sex scandals that rocked the Missouri General Assembly last year.

KHSB-TV notes that former Missouri House Speaker John J. Diehl Jr. resigned last year after sexually-charged text messages that he sent to an intern were published in The Kansas City Star. Former Senator Paul LeVota resigned last summer amid allegations that he sexually harassed an intern.

Trump: ‘No Choice’ – Mosques Must Be Closed

November 18, 2015– Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says the United States has “no choice” but to close certain mosques around the country.

“Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything, but you know, you understand it,” Trump told Fox News’s “Hannity” on Tuesday. “A lot of people understand it. We’re going to have no choice, there’s absolutely no choice.”

Saying that “some really bad things are happening, and they’re happening fast,” Trump displayed a sense of urgency during the interview.

Tuesday’s statements aren’t a new direction for Trump. In fact, he was simply doubling down on the position.

On Monday, Trump renewed calls for domestic surveillance of mosques in the U.S. after Islamic militants claimed credit for last week’s attacks in Paris.

“You’re going to have to watch and study the mosques, because a lot of talk is going on at the mosques,” Trump said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

In an interview on Fox Business News last month, Stuart Varney asked Trump whether or not, if elected president, he would make similar moves as the British government, which has revoked passports of some people and closed select mosques.

“I would do that, absolutely, I think it’s great,” Trump responded. “If you go out, you go fight for ISIS, you can’t come back. Why can’t you do it? You can do it here.”

“Can you close a mosque? I mean, we do have religious freedom,” asked Varney.

“Well I don’t know,” Trump said. “I mean, I haven’t heard about the closing of the mosque. It depends, if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear, I don’t know. You’re going to have to certainly look at it.”

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Conflict of Interest? Bill Clinton Serves on Presidential Debate Commission

As the 2016 presidential election draws nearer, questions are being raised about Bill Clinton’s role as an honorary co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, a Republican-and-Democrat controlled board that determines the rules and particulars of U.S. general election presidential debates.

According to The Daily Caller, Bill Clinton serves as an honorary co-chair for the organization along with former President Jimmy Carter. The CPD also lists deceased former Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford as honorary co-chairs.

It is unclear, however, how Carter and Clinton function in these roles,” wrote reporter Kerry Picket. “Additionally, considering Jeb Bush’s run for the presidency, if it is an issue of simply lending one’s name to a board and not participating in any process, it is unknown why both former presidents George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush are not included as honorary chairs,” she added.

Hot Air notes that CPD chairman Michael D. McCurry served as press secretary during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

If current Democratic Party presidential primary frontrunner Hillary Clinton ends up winning her party’s nomination, Bill Clinton and Michael McCurry’s roles on the board governing U.S. general election presidential debates could potentially pose a conflict of interest.

The Commission on Presidential Debates recently sparked controversy when it announced that despite the rise of independent voters as a leading portion of the U.S. electorate, it would not change the 15 percent minimum polling rule that effectively blocks most serious third-party candidates who appear on enough ballots to win the presidency from participating in general election presidential debates.

[RELATED: Pollsters Criticize Use of Polling Minimums to Exclude Candidates from Debates]

The Truth in Media Project recently released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Kentucky Elects Matt Bevin as Governor and First African-American as Lt. Governor

KENTUCKY, November 4, 2105– History was made in Kentucky on Tuesday night when two political outsiders, Matt Bevin and Jenean Hampton, were elected in the state’s Gubernatorial race in what was almost a landslide vote.

Hampton, Kentucky’s first African-American Lieutenant Governor, is a Tea Party-aligned firebrand.

Born on Detroit’s west side in 1958, Hampton grew up in a less than ideal financial situation. One of four daughters born to Donald and Marie Hampton, she learned to get by with very little as she watched her parents struggle to support the family.

Hampton has a diverse career. She joined the U.S. Air Force, where she spent seven years writing code and managing software such as the radar used to find enemy planes in Operation Desert Storm, where she was deployed. She then spent 19 years in the corrugated packing industry.

In 2014, Hampton ran for her first political office when she challenged the longest serving state representative in Kentucky history. Her opponent was a Democrat and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) endorsed her in that race, but she lost. That’s all the political experience Hampton had under her belt until she ran for Lt. Governor with Bevin heading the ticket.

Despite being an outsider, Bevin’s name is familiar to many in Republican politics. The wealthy businessman, backed by the Tea Party, took on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Republican primary, but was defeated.

Shortly after his defeat to McConnell, Bevin hit the campaign trail again and announced his intent to run for Governor. Eventually, McConnell was on board to support Bevin in the race.

Taking a note from Donald Trump, Bevin mostly self-funded his campaign.

“I have no favors to pay back. There’s not one person in this state who believes they are going to have a job in my administration… There’s not one person who I’ve promised anything to,” he said last week at a diner, according to The Washington Post’s James Hohmann. “Donald Trump is an interesting fellow… Part of what people appreciate about him is the very same thing. He doesn’t owe anybody anything.”

Still, the Republican Governors Association dumped millions into the race.

For weeks, Kentucky pollsters had been calling the race for Democrat Jack Conway by at least 5-10 percent. Bevin won by 9 points.

With 100 percent of the vote counted, Bevin led Conway with 53 percent of the vote compared to the Democrat’s 44 percent, which means pollsters were off by double digits. Independent, libertarian leaning Drew Curtis received nearly 4 percent.

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Breaking: Rand Paul Wins RLC Convention Straw Poll

Rand Paul has won the 2015 RLC Straw Poll held at the RLC National Convention spanning the weekend of October 8th-11th in Nashua, New Hampshire. The sold out event, with 750 attendees, saw an active presence from multiple campaigns.

Paul garnered 445 votes compared to his nearest competitor Ted Cruz with 399 votes followed by Ben Carson (139), Carly Fiorina (79), Marco Rubio (75), Donald Trump (54) and Bobby Jindal (51).

RLC Chair Matt Nye had this to say about the straw poll results: “This outcome is not surprising, Rand has topped our polls for some time and enjoys some of the support of his father’s activists. Cruz’s strong showing must come as good news to his camp. It’s a great time to be part of the liberty Republican movement. In the past we’ve had only one candidate to choose from, and this cycle we have two solid liberty candidates, both of whom are committed to defending liberty and the constitution.”

National Advisor to Rand Paul, Mike Biundo, put the win in these terms: “This is a great victory for the Paul campaign. A liberty straw poll win like this requires both the strength of the candidate’s message and the candidate’s strength of the ground game. We are very happy to have both.”

For more on the RLC National Convention:

To see how “Approval Voting” facilitates vote totals being greater than physical attendance:

Post-Debate Poll Shows New GOP Frontrunner Has Emerged

CALIFORNIA, September 18, 2015– On Wednesday, 11 Republican presidential primary candidates took their hard-earned places behind their respective podiums on stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The first post-debate poll has been released, and Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of HP, is now a front-runner for the Republican nomination.

A strong performance in the first debate on the under-card stage thrust Fiorina onto the main stage for Wednesday’s CNN debate. Many questioned whether or not she’d continue to impress, or if she would buckle under the pressure.

After the debate, those who underestimated Fiorina were silenced. According to Robert Herring, Sr., CEO of One America News Network, the One America News national post-debate poll conducted by Gravis Marketing, a non-partisan research firm, shows it’s all Fiorina coming out of the second debate.

Taken immediately after the debate, the Gravis poll shows Fiorina jumping to first place at 22 percent, tied with Donald Trump. OAN’s previous national poll, conducted on September 3-4, showed the former HP top executive in seventh place with 2.7 percent.

While 33 percent of those polled felt that former HP CEO Carly Fiorina won the debate, only 21 percent said front-runner Donald Trump won the night.


Fiorina also had the highest showing with GOP national voters having a 78 percent more favorable opinion of the candidate post-debate. The less favorable percent came in at 13 percent with 10 percent unchanged. Thirty-three percent of GOP voters polled believed that Fiorina won the debate, the highest of any GOP Candidate.

The poll sampled a random survey of 1,337 registered Republican voters across the U.S. regarding the performance and opinions of the Republicans that took place in the second Republican Primary debate. The poll has a margin of error of ± 3%. The polls were conducted using IVR technology and weighted by gender.

Although it is only the first post-debate poll, Fiornia proved to be the first Republican candidate capable of knocking Donald Trump off his perch. For now, at least.

Who do you think won the debate? Vote in our online poll HERE.

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Fact Check: Ben Carson Slams Media On Fetal Tissue Study He Participated In

August 14, 2015– In the wake of multiple investigative videos surfacing appearing to show Planned Parenthood selling aborted fetus tissue for profit, Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has been a vocal critic of Planned Parenthood and the practice of using fetal tissue for medical research. However, critics have uncovered a study that researched fetal tissue, which Carson participated in, leading to claims that Carson’s participation contradicts his vocal opposition.

Last month, in an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Carson said that the benefits of fetal tissue research were over-promised and under-delivered. Carson also said that there was nothing that couldn’t be done without using fetal tissue. However, Carson would not completely condemn and call for an end to the use of fetal tissue research.

“Yes, Dr. Ben Carson has done research on fetal tissue and published his findings,” wrote Dr. Jen Gunter, who originally challenged Carson in a blog post. The media took the story and ran the narrative that Carson had studied fetal tissue from aborted fetuses. “Ben Carson Once Did Research On 17-Week Aborted Fetal Tissue,” reads a headline from Huffington Post.

Carson took to Facebook to explain the true circumstances surrounding the study and trade jabs at the media. Carson says that the aborted fetal tissue was from a microscope slide that a separate pathology lab used to compare with the tumors he had removed from his own patients. “Today I was accused by the press as having done research on fetal tissue. It simply is not true… My only involvement in this study was supplying tumors that I had removed from my patients,” declared Carson. “The fetal tissue that was viewed in this study by others was not collected for this study.”

After clarifying his involvement in the study, Carson went on to hit his critics and reassure his supporters.

“I am sickened by the attack that I, after having spent my entire life caring for children, had something to do with aborting a child and harvesting organs. My medical specialty is the human brain and even I am amazed at what it is capable of doing,” wrote Carson. “Please know these attacks are pathetic attempts to blunt our progress.”

In only a few short hours, the post generated almost 150,000 likes and 40,000 shares, making it one of his most successful social media posts of the campaign.

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Hawkish Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to provide ‘very important update’ on 2016 plans Monday

On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham sent out an email (twice) asking his supporters to tune into CBS This Morning at 8am where he plans to give an update on his 2016 plans. Instead of “Peace Through Strength,” Graham’s campaign slogan is, “Security Through Strength” that focuses on foreign policy and national security.

“As an announcement draws near, I need to know you stand with me,” Graham said, and linked to a page where people can donate money to his exploratory committee.

So could Graham go from 91 percent sure he’s running, to 99.9 percent, to officially jumping into the presidential race tomorrow?

Though Graham was never a Desert Shield veteran, nor a Desert Storm veteran, nor a Gulf War veteran, according to FitsNews.com, he is one of the biggest war hawks in the U.S. Senate. 

Graham not only praises Democrats like Hillary Clinton as the “most effective secretary of states,” he also votes like them. Last year Graham was censured by 9 Republican county parties for his liberal voting record.

Despite his progressive voting record in a “red state,” he easily won re-election last year.

But recently Graham has been more focused on “trolling” Sen. Rand Paul rather than focusing on his own campaign.

According to Politico, Graham attacked Paul on his defense of civil liberties.

“I’m not going to call a judge,” said Graham. “I’m going to call a drone and kill you.”

Apparently Americans have no constitutional rights or due process according to Graham. Under a Graham presidency, he will be judge and executioner (kind of like Obama).

Graham has stated multiple times that suspected terrorists, whether they are Americans or not should not get due process or a lawyer.

If I’m President of the United States and you’re thinking about joining Al Qaeda or ISIL—anybody thinking about that?—I’m not going to call a judge, I’m going to call a drone, and we will kill you. *laughs*

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Kansas Governor Brownback Signs Constitutional Carry Bill into Law

On Thursday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a constitutional carry bill into law that, starting July 1, legalizes the concealed carry of firearms by law-abiding individuals age 21 and older, whether or not they have obtained a permit. Effectively, the law lifts the pricey permit requirement that previously prevented some Kansans from lawfully exercising their constitutional right to bear arms in self defense. According to The Kansas City Star, Governor Brownback said, “We’re saying that if you want to [carry a concealed firearm] in this state, then you don’t have to get the permission slip from the government. It is a constitutional right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right.”

The state will continue to provide concealed carry permits for those who are interested in obtaining one in order to carry concealed firearms in one of the other 36 US states that recognize Kansas’ permits. The above-embedded video by KAKE-TV notes that, under the law, Kansas businesses retain the right to post signs prohibiting the concealed carry of firearms on their property.

Critics of the law decried the fact that concealed carriers will no longer be legally required to take an eight hour gun safety class. State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita) told The Kansas City Star, “That’s a major responsibility to carry a gun, whether it’s concealed or not. And it’s scary… I predict from the legislation that — and it’s going to go quick, it’s going to be July 1 — we’re going to see some accidents, possibly deaths.”

Kansas State Rifle Association president Patricia Stoneking said that her group has been working for ten years to pass the legislation. As a next step, she would like to see the age restriction on constitutional carry lowered to 18. Said Stoneking, “Eighteen-year-olds are allowed to open carry, and they go to war and put their lives on the line to protect this country… I believe we can lower the age to 18 at some point in the future. I think after everybody sees that there are not going to be any of the dire predictions coming true, and they relax a little bit, then we can talk about that.”

KAKE-TV reporter Ben Jordan said, “Governor Brownback has signed every major gun rights bill sent to him since he’s taken office.” Kansas is now the sixth US state to allow for the concealed carry of firearms without a permit.

Alabama lawmaker threatens to ‘out’ other lawmakers’ affairs

Alabama’s first openly gay lawmaker has threatened to expose the adulterous behavior of other Alabama lawmakers after some fought the state’s decision to recognize same-sex marriage.

State Rep. Patricia Todd (D) sent out a warning over Facebook telling her colleagues, “I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about ‘family values’ when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have...I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet out.

The post was made in response to other lawmakers in Alabama who spoke out against a federal court’s decision to overturn Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage. Notably, House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R) called the ruling, “outrageous when a single unelected and unaccountable federal judge can overturn the will of millions of Alabamians who stand in firm support of the Sanctity of Marriage Act,” according to AL.

Hubbard also issued a statement following Todd’s Facebook post saying, “I consider Rep. Todd a friend, and we have always enjoyed a good and cordial relationship, so I am sorry that she is upset about my remarks.” The statement continued by saying Hubbard and Todd had a fundamental disagreement on the issue, but Hubbard wrote he wold not back down from his position.

During the weekend though, a request for a two-week stay on the ruling was granted by District Court Judge Callie Granade, according to the Huffington Post. This stay means any same-sex couples who wished to marry in Alabama will have to wait until at least Feb. 9. On that date, the court will have to make a decision whether to continue the stay on the ruling, or to uphold the court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

Todd said according to various reports, her post was not made maliciously, but she “[does] not like hypocrites.” She has said if her colleagues want to defend the sanctity of “family values,” she expects those same colleagues to support those same values.


Disrupt Podcast: John Ramsey Talks About Getting Funding For Liberty Candidates

In this episode of the Disrupt Podcast, Ben Swann interviews John Ramsey from the Liberty for All Action Fund about empowering people to influence political elections by starting at the local level, and then moving up to the national level.

Swann pointed out that with the current state of politics, there is a left/right paradigm present that requires a lot of money, but seems to be “designed to keep anything from actually changing.”

“Getting money out of politics is not an easy thing, and it seems like no matter how much money goes in, nothing changes,” said Swann. “Maybe for some, that’s kind of the point.”

Ramsey, who is currently working to foster liberty on the local level, explained that at Liberty for All, they are trying to “elect the next generation of liberty-leaning candidates,” by focusing on early presidential primary states where they can elect candidates who will have influence in the Republican nominee, and keep the influence away from candidates like Mitt Romney or John McCain, “who have no shot in the general election going forward.”

Swann noted that there was more that needed to be done at the state level, due to the fact that local state legislatures have a great deal of power, and are currently using it to “quash entrepreneurism,” by using regulations and association groups to hinder the ability of individuals to “rise through the system.”

Ramsey agreed, saying that by starting at the state level, they are “crushing two birds with one stone,” due to the fact that at that level, “you can actually get real policy done.”

Ramsey used the example of Arizona, where state legislators are currently working to nullify Obamacare. He pointed out that all over the country, both people and donors are beginning to realize that they can get “more bang for their buck” at the state level.

“People like Justin Amash, Thomas Massey, and Rand Paul, can do some really good stuff from a messaging perspective, and that’s what the national scene should be for, more of a marketing platform,” said Ramsey. “But if we’re serious about legislation, we should be focusing on the state level.”

Swann pointed out that there are states like Ohio, which is “as red as you can be, in terms of a red state,” that have done things such as adopting common core standards, creating multi-levels of taxes, and making trade associations that prevent individuals from starting small businesses.

“Just because the state is red, does not mean that it is embracing liberty,” said Swann. “In fact, many of these state legislatures across the country are simply fighting for who’s going to control the gears of power over people’s lives.”

“Businesses are voting with their feet,” said Ramsey, who explained that a lot of businesses are moving to states like Texas, which offers a “fairly generous climate for entrepreneurs and businesses.” Ramsey added that he works regularly on recruiting businesses from California to Texas, due to the fact that in California, businesses are “paying more than half their income to the government,” and are not about to operate.

Swann noted that the reason Texas is succeeding, is due to the fact that in the United States, there are 50 individual states act as laboratories “to legislate as they see fit,” and that while Texas is “having great success on its own,” it is also “influencing other states to take a look at their policies.”

Ramsey mentioned that Liberty for All is currently focusing states like New Hampshire, where there is a “culture of liberty.” He noted that during the 2014 midterm election cycle, Liberty for All was “successful in about 30 races,” and was a “key component in helping that legislature flip from blue to red,” in a way that promoted what is “good for small businesses, good for families, and good for entrepreneurship.”

Swann pointed out that the state shift in New Hampshire was one of the “untold stories of the 2014 midterms,” due to the fact that mainstream media in the U.S. was not interested in the narrative of it, and did not find it exciting.

Swann said that New Hampshire was also unique, because in addition to liberty-oriented red candidates, it also has “a fair number of liberty-oriented blue candidates.

“We’re about principles, not parties,” said Ramsey, who went on to say that he believes that the two-party paradigm has hurt America by fostering a dangerous philosophy that promotes collectivism.

Swann mentioned the fact that there are two kinds of donors, when it comes to politics: the kind who give lots of money so that nothing changes, because they like they system as it is, and the kind who want to see the country take a different path.

Ramsey agreed, saying that the donors, who are looking for more than just an investment that will benefit only them, are “few and far between.”

“They just want to see liberty for future generations out there,” said Ramsey. “They don’t want to see an environment in which lobbyists are winning, they want to see an environment in which entrepreneurs are winning, and philanthropists are winning.”

TN GOP Governor Announces Plan to Expand Obamacare

On Monday, Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Haslam outlined his plan to expand Obamacare. According to The Tennessean, he has branded the plan Insure Tennessee and dressed it in states’ rights rhetoric, claiming that the plan, which he says qualifies for federal funding under the Affordable Care Act, is an alternative to expanding Medicaid. WATE-TV 6 quoted a press release by Haslam in which he said, “This plan leverages federal dollars to provide health care coverage to more Tennesseans, to give people a choice in their coverage, and to address the cost of health care, better health outcomes and personal responsibility.”

Haslam announced that he would push for the policy in a special legislative session after the 109th General Assembly takes over in January. Tennessee’s legislature features a strong Republican majority.

The Tennessean published an estimate by the Kaiser Family Foundation which predicts that Insure Tennessee could result in over 160,000 additional Tennesseans qualifying for federal funds under Obamacare. Conservative critics in the state have pointed out the fact that federal funds for the program decline in future years, meaning the cost of the expansion could begin to leak into the state budget. Tennessee already has a state-run healthcare program called TennCare, which has been plagued by administrative failures of late, as thousands of Tennesseans found themselves stuck in a back log of applications earlier this year.

Insure Tennessee would expand the Affordable Care Act to low-income Tennesseans through a program called the Healthy Incentives Plan, which would be serviced through TennCare. Haslam’s health care overhaul would also include a program called the Volunteer Plan which would grant a voucher that qualified participants could use to pay for healthcare plans offered by their employers. It is not yet clear whether Haslam’s program would subject Tennesseans to Obamacare’s individual mandate, as low-income individuals in the state can currently claim an exemption to the mandate due to the state’s non-participation in the health care law’s Medicaid expansion.

Tennessee’s Democratic legislators praised the plan, as did Republican senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. Said Corker in comments to The Tennessean, “I’m pleased our state was able to adopt a solution that will build off of the innovative ways we deliver quality health care.”

In Tennessee’s state-level politics, Haslam is widely viewed as an establishment figure within the GOP, along with Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell. Earlier this month, Republican Representative Rick Womick led an unsuccessful conservative challenge against Beth Harwell for speaker. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey told The Tennessean last Thursday, “I think if the governor can truly revamp the way our Medicaid is run and TennCare is run, then I think he may be able to sell that to the legislature.”

For the first time in 20 years, gun rights are favored over gun control

According to a recent Pew Research poll, Americans are now saying protecting the rights of citizen’s to own a firearm is more important than the need to control guns.

The research says about 52 percent of those polled are saying they favor protecting the right to own firearms, while 46 percent say they prefer gun control.  This is a substantial shift in public opinion from the early 90’s when the public was in favor of gun control, polling at 57 percent, while those who wanted to protect the right to own a firearm were polled at 34 percent.

While both sides of the political spectrum have been arguing over healthcare and immigration among other hot topics, this poll found support for gun rights has increased in both Republicans and Democrats by 6 points, while it also increased by 7 points among Independents.  According to RT, support for gun ownership was up in all demographics except for liberal Democrats and Hispanics, but support for gun rights went down only one or two points in these groups.

African-Americans were also found to be more likely to believe owning a firearm does more to protect a person rather than threaten another.  The support from African-Americans has almost doubled since early 2012 when 29 percent of those polled supported gun rights while the new poll found 54 percent of African-Americans back gun ownership.

An October Gallup poll found similar results, showing only 26 percent of people think handguns should be banned from being sold to the public while 73 percent of people think no such law should be considered.

Research also found homicides related to firearms has fallen from 1993 according to NPR.  At the time, seven homicides per 100,000 people were attributed to gun violence, while in recent years, 3.6 homicides have been attributed to firearms.

As deadline nears, $1.1 trillion spending bill is agreed upon

To avoid a government shutdown, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have agreed on a $1.1 trillion spending bill.

The new bill was passed in part to avoid the looming political struggle surrounding President Obama’s new immigration policy.  By agreeing on the new spending bill, this struggle will be delayed for at least another month.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told the AP, “The federal government’s going to run out of money in two days. … We’ve been trying to work with Republican leaders to avoid a shutdown.”

Republicans are responsible for negotiating the new spending bill which implements a number of new policy measures.  Some of the new measures include, according to Reuters, the easing of environmental regulations as well as regulations aimed at financial derivative trading.  The bill is also adding funds to fight the Islamic State militants as well as funds to help fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

According to Politico, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is receiving a $35 million budget increase from the new bill, bringing their total budget to $250 million.  The Securities and Exchanges Commission is also receiving a budget increase of $150 million, putting their budget close to $1.5 billion.

While some measures are added or changed, many of the original policy measures from the fiscal 2015 domestic spending plan are not hampered or hindered.  This means all government agencies are being funded through September 2015, except for the Department of Homeland Security which is only funded to Feb. 27.

One measure which was excluded from the new bill was the federal terrorism insurance measure passed after 9/11.  The insurance was up for a six-year extension, but instead of being included in the spending bill, the extension will be considered on its own at a later date.