Voter fraud panel is gone, but threat isn’t

first_imgPresident Donald Trump has dissolved a commission he established that was predicated on the fabrication that American elections are rife with corruption.As the institutional embodiment of one of the president’s more outlandish lies — that voter fraud accounted for Hillary Clinton having received 2.9 million more votes in the 2016 presidential election — the panel, known as the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, convened just twice.It was sued repeatedly, met with contempt from state election officials of both parties, had no impact on the conduct of elections and will be little missed.It would be comforting to say that’s the end of the story, and that the absence of evidence of significant voter fraud discredits the entire issue.In fact, even though his voter-fraud panel was exposed as a fraud itself, Trump and some others in his party show no signs of dropping their unfounded contentions, for one big reason.They provide a pretext to rationalize voter suppression.Restrictive voter-ID laws and other such stratagems are the GOP’s main means of fighting the electoral consequences of long-term demographic trends empowering minorities and other constituencies that tend to favor Democrats.By mid-century, whites are projected to make up less than half the U.S. population, a chilling prospect for Republicans. Most prominent Republicans have tiptoed around Trump’s vitriolic crusade to delegitimize the nation’s electoral system.Even Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the voter-fraud commission, seemed content to keep it at arm’s length and firmly in the hands of the vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.Kobach is a Republican notorious for his rabid voting fraud conspiracy theories and immigrant-bashing.Nonetheless, phony fears of voting fraud have had a very real effect on Republican state officials, candidates and especially lawmakers across the country.Emboldened by the president’s hyperbole, they have continued to press for more exclusionary voting laws and to lend credence to nonsense about corrupt elections.That’s just one example, but a particularly toxic one, of how Trump debases his own party. Trump himself made no bones about the pretext he hopes his baseless assertions will provide.“Push hard for Voter Identification!” he tweeted Thursday after he dissolved the commission, while also repeating the falsehood that U.S. voting is “rigged.”In service of perpetuating that fallacy, the president announced he had instructed the Department of Homeland Security “to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action.”Thus did Trump make clear his intention to politicize an executive agency with 240,000 employees.The test for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, sworn into office a month ago as the sixth person to hold that job, is whether she’ll permit it to happen.If Homeland Security officials are deployed to comb through voter registries, they may find minor, statistically insignificant cases of illegal voting.In the process, they also will do grave damage to their department, giving Americans ample reason to believe they have been coerced into running an overtly partisan errand.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post: More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

America has a history of backing despots

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIn Vice President Pence’s address to one of the most right leaning organizations in this country, CPAC, one of the others being the NRA, he claimed, rightfully so, that the United States doesn’t stand with murderous dictatorships; we stand up to them, referring to North Korea. That’s certainly an admirable position. But by feeding these organizations the “red meat,” the Trump administration feels it needs to placate the base. We have neglected our history in dealing with and supporting despotic, tyrannical and murderous regimes. I don’t expect Donald Trump to have much interest or knowledge of history, so let me give a few examples of the rogue nations we have supported or turned a blind eye to because it suited our needs. First and foremost is Russia under Stalin, who had millions of his citizens sent to the gulag. How about Chile, where we had a democratically elected leader, Salvador Allende, removed in favor of a military dictator, Gen. Pinochet? Next, I might mention Iran, where we and the British installed Shah Pahlavi in support of our and their oil needs. We all know how that turned out. I could go on, but on the chance Mr. Trump reads The Gazette, I wanted to keep this within his intellectual capacity to absorb.James BrodieSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musiclast_img read more

Look at how society supports the sex trade

first_imgIn response to Bob Belive’s April 15 letter, “Consider what Stormy does”: It’s beyond ironic that he urges us to completely disregard her because of how she earns her pay, yet he admits to having made a living off her trade by renting “adult” films from his video store. Does the same standard apply to him, then? Is he not worthy because he, too, profited from sex?It’s time, folks, to stop the holier-than-thou rants and look inward to see how our society supports sex trade in all its forms; porn, jobs in return for sexual favors, hush money paid for silence. As long as women can make money off sex, and men in powerful positions pay for it, the sex industry will thrive. As long as men denigrate women in the sex industry and those women who enjoy or promote their own sexuality, men will claim innocence and misogyny, and sexism will reign.Time’s up. The lens has found a new focus.CINDY BUKOFF FLEISCHERDuanesburgMore from The Daily Gazette:Local movie theater operators react to green lightSchenectady County warns of possible COVID-19 exposure at Schenectady restaurant, Rotterdam barEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Spectrum not living up to its ad hype

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Spectrum should be embarrassed for airing commercials boasting how fantastic their service is while managing to meet customers’ needs with low rates.The truth is since taking over for Time Warner, the only thing they have managed to do is force you to purchase more equipment, raise your monthly bill and disrupt reception on many stations. When you try in vain to achieve some answers, you are quickly dismissed by robotic receptionists reading off scripts that frustrate you more and make you realize that Spectrum has us all in a stranglehold and will continue to monopolize our TV viewing.They do nothing positive for longtime, loyal customers while promising new victims a great bundle price to reel you in. They’re hoping you do not look too close at the details that will raise your bill, and after a year you have found yourself in the swirling Spectrum pool like the rest of us with no way out.Doug WallaceScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, June 19

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCats get justice, but unborn babies don’tRegarding the Daily Gazette June 12 headline: “Man guilty of stomping death of cat: Defendant faces 2 years in jail.” Un-headlined: The cat had been hit by a car.I have a confession. Seventy years ago, I shot and killed a healthy unwanted dog. Later that year, I graduated from college and went on to a 69-year engineering career. Question: Rather than graduating from college, should I have spent two years in Idaho state prison for killing a young nuisance dog?Meanwhile, in the United States, we kill more than 600,000 unborn babies a year, with government sanction. Question: Have we, as a nation, gone insane?Clyde MaughanSchenectady More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Tax extortion drives New Yorkers awayWe recently sold our home in Lake George and at closing had to pay a transfer tax to New York state of over $2,300 just for selling our home. In addition, we were also charged a $5 filing fee. It is any wonder why people are leaving this state in record numbers when this type of tax extortion is allowed.We lived on a private road and received no benefits from the state, such as plowing, road repair, water and sewer. The most dysfunctional corrupt legislature in the country votes itself a pay raise and King Andrew(Gov. Cuomo) wants to provide free services to undocumented immigrants and convicted criminals and sends our money to other parts of the country and Puerto Rico, while legal residents struggle to live in this state to meet the greedy whims of New York state government.Jim FosterLake Georgecenter_img VanDeusen best for Fulton Co. sheriffI’m writing to endorse Donald VanDeusen for sheriff of Fulton County.I retired as captain of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department in 2016 after 35-plus years and am currently a patrolman for the village of Northville.Don is my brother-in-law of 34 years. I have seen his career in law enforcement progress from Basic School to chief of police for the city of Gloversville. I personally believe that Don’s resume and extensive knowledge of law enforcement make him the best candidate for sheriff of Fulton County.Throughout both of our careers, Don and I have worked closely with our respective departments on various investigations. I have known him to do his job in a professional and dedicated manner to his department and the citizens of Gloversville.Don has proven his knowledge of the law and has shown he is an effective leader with great integrity who has worked to earn the respect of those around him. I know that Don would serve all of Fulton County with as much pride and integrity as he served the city of Gloversville. Please join me in voting for Donald VanDeusen for sheriff of Fulton County on Tuesday, June 25.Brian E. VanNostrand, Sr.Mayfieldlast_img read more

Huntingdon & district

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Prescott admits his block on Brent Cross was a mistake

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Analyst dream team quits CSFB for rival

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German index upholds trend

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Planners back conservation campaign

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