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This week in Statehouse Motion: The Finish is the Starting is the Finish


There's a light: the possibility remains that GOP leaders in Pennsylvania may attempt to declare the election "failed" if the US Supreme Court invalidates thousands of legitimately cast postal ballot papers received after November 3rd (which Conservative judges did).

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If SCOTUS overturns the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling to count postal ballots received by November 6th, tons of (likely mostly Democratic) votes will be invalidated.
Conservatives hope this move will throw the highly competitive state into Trump's column and give it Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes.

If it doesn't, that may not be the end of the ball game.

Remember, Pennsylvania cannot begin counting its postal ballot papers until the polls begin on Tuesday.
And remember, the vast majority of these postal ballot papers were cast by registered Democrats.
Personal votes that are counted faster will skew Republicans.
It may even look like Republicans are winning for a while …
… Until these mail-in voting totals are reported.

If Republicans have a head start in the hours after the polls end, it will definitely shrink.
If the poll is accurate from a distance, all leading Republicans are likely to disappear entirely by the wee hours of the night as more postal ballot papers are counted.

That gives GOP legislators three full days to … well, do all kinds of things.

You could call a special meeting to bring the so-called "Electoral Integrity Selected Commission" back to life.

Remember this would be commission instructed to investigate and review "the regulation and conduct of the 2020 parliamentary elections".

The committee will consist of three Republicans and two Democrats, has subpoena powers, and is empowered to “prepare and submit briefs and other legal documents ”(focus on mine).

… such as a statement for Trump's voters …?

The subpoena and investigative powers contained in the resolution give this “selection committee” the power to find alleged “facts” to show that the elections were not conducted properly or fairly.
… What could be the reason for an allegedly "failed" election.

Or they could use the meeting as a bullying pulpit to instill public discord and distrust of mail-in ballots counted after November 3rd and use a SCOTUS-ordered invalidation of ballots received after November 3rd to propose that the votes counted after November 3rd should also be kicked out.
Or they could sit around and wait for the new conservative 6-3-SCOTUS to come to a freshly disastrous, constitutionally and legally dubious decision by Bush versus Gore that happens to benefit Trump.


If the Democrats can turn the State House or Senate around on Tuesday and democracy itself can hold out for a few weeks, the GOP gimmicks, which are still in the process of dissolution, can be slowed down.
In Pennsylvania, legal regulations technically begin on December 1st.

Traditionally, the new group of lawmakers is sworn in when the session resumes in January.
However, if majority control over one of these chambers changes and there are GOP antics to be stopped, the Democrats will break tradition and be sworn in when their term begins in early December.

The danger of an arch-conservative SCOTUS casting thousands of statutory ballots isn't just in Pennsylvania (see also: North Carolina), but is an integral part of a scenario where GOP lawmakers are reaching unprecedented extremes to steal their state for Trump.

But that's just one of the many things that keep me up at night.

The Bug: Remember, the whole reason an unprecedented number of ballots are being cast in the mail this year is because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent outbreak in the Arkansas statehouse has resulted in a total of 10 (and counting) legislators testing positive for COVID-19 there.

This is the state house's second worst outbreak to date.

Nationwide, at least 162 state legislators have tested positive for the corona virus. It is known that three lawmakers died from it.

But back to the elections.

Hold me, excite me, vote for me … I shared (and explained in detail) my chamber reviews on this area a couple of weeks ago, but that was three months ago during Trump / Pandemic period so I will drop them again here.

To save you a click, they are

Arizona House: Tossup.
Arizona Senate: Tossup.
Michigan House: Tossup.
Minnesota Senate: Likely D.
North Carolina home: Lean R.
North Carolina Senate: Likely R.
Pennsylvania House: Lean R.
Texas House: Tossup.

I have a late addition to the list.

Iowa House: Tossup.

I move too Texas House to Lean R.

GOP groups at the national level have thrown a lot of late money here to keep this chamber in Republican hands.

In a chamber where Democrats have to move nine seats to win a majority, no fewer than 12 Republican candidates raised over $ 1 million each last month.

Five of these 12 candidates are running in the nine most important districts of the House of Representatives, which Beto O’Rourke won in its landmark bid for the US Senate two years ago.

Two Democratic candidates (both in Beto-winning districts) have also raised over $ 1 million during this period.

It should come as no surprise to you that a major source of this late money is Karl Rove, who was not only George W. Bush's political axman but also helped orchestrate the GOP's 2010 efforts, in time for the final round of state houses restructuring to win .

Because he knows – and as he said himself in 2010 – "whoever controls redistribution can control Congress."

And a few million dollars invested now to keep Texas House – and complete control of the redistribution in the state – in GOP hands is many, many millions to be drawn up by drawing nicer, safer Republican over the next decade Districts Saved That The Party Doesn't Have to Spend a lot of money on defense in otherwise competitive (read: expensive) congressional elections.

Does money win elections? Absolutely not. The fact that Republicans overtake Democratic candidates does not mean that Republicans will actually overtake Democratic candidates.

But money sure helps.

OK. Take a deep breath.

We have a lot more than five working days ahead of us.

Because after all the election campaign is it over?

Then it becomes difficult.

Winning is just the starting block. Governing is the marathon.

And if Democrats switch chambers in these elections, they'll be in charge.

And they'll have all sorts of Republican troubles to clean up.

Like coronavirus stuff.

Not only is the virus actually contained and responding to it, but also states due to the absolute lack of federal leadership, but states will deal with most of the fallout from COVID-19 in the years to come.

Even if states contend whether and / or how children should be sent back to public schools, the state budgets that will fund this school in the coming years have blown massive holes in the coronavirus.

The economy is struggling, which means less tax revenue for states. This tax revenue forms the basis for the budgets of the states (and municipalities).

These state and local budgets fund schools.

The budget gaps resulting from the economic impact of COVID-19 must be closed.

Where does the money come from? Social services? Road and Infrastructure Finance? Increased taxes on the rich?

When Democrats win majorities, they have to make these tough decisions.

And then it's about actually getting things done.

Even if Democrats flipped the U.S. Senate and took unified control of the federal government, the U.S. Supreme Court would be piled right up against any kind of progressive reform or policy.

Democrats could pass some landmark laws that will improve the lives of millions of Americans, but if five of the six Conservative judges don't like it, you can get that bill passed in just a few years.

And if this conservative majority of the courts Roe v. Wade eviscerates, then how can women exercise control over their bodies and protect their reproductive rights?

By ensuring that their states adopt and support safeguards that no longer exist at the federal level.

And that just scratches the surface.

Even if the Democrats are in charge in DC, the actual work of implementing federal policy will be left to the states.

Let's hope that after next week there will still be some democratic majorities to achieve this.

Good luck and stay safe.

See you on the other side.

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