Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Russia In Violation Of New START Nuclear Treaty

Russia has Violated the Landmark New START Treaty, that cut Long-Range Nuclear arms by Refusing to allow On-Site Inspections, the State Department said Jan. 31, 2023..

Despite tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s War in Ukraine, the U.S. had previously said New START was holding up. But without On-Site Inspections, the U.S. cannot precisely Verify the number of Warheads Russia has deployed, which has made assessing Moscow’s Compliance with the Accord more difficult.

The State Department noted, however, that the Number of deployed Warheads was likely under the Treaty ceiling of 1,550 at the end of 2022, and that if Russia had exceeded the Limit in earlier months, the Number was Not militarily significant.

The State Department Report to Congress, marks the First Time that the U.S. has alleged that Russia has Violated the Accord since it took effect in 2011.

The Treaty has been Extended to 2026, and Russia’s Refusal to allow Inspections, and to meet with American Officials to discuss Compliance Issues, has fueled doubts about the possibility of Negotiating a Follow-On Agreement, that would put Guardrails on the Nuclear Competition between Washington and Moscow.

“We have long supported strategic arms control with Russia, voting for New START in 2010 and advocating for the Treaty’s extension during both the Trump and Biden administrations,” said a Statement by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and Mark Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “But to be very clear, compliance with New START treaty obligations will be critical to Senate consideration of any future strategic arms control treaty with Moscow.”

Republican Lawmakers expressed Concern that Russia’s Refusal to allow Inspections under New START, might be followed by more Significant Violations of the Accord, and said the U.S. should be ready to make Upward Adjustments in its own Arsenal.

“We urge President Biden to direct the Department of Defense to prepare for a future where Russia may deploy large numbers of warheads, well in excess of New START Treaty limits,” read a Statement from: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL, 3rd DistrictL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee: Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO, 5th District), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces; and U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Until 2020, Inspections had been carried out routinely. But in March 2020, Inspections were paused by Mutual consent due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. When the U.S. told Russia in the summer of 2022, that it wanted to Resume Inspections, Moscow resisted. Russia continued to argue that the COVID-19 Protocols were still an Obstacle.

Russia’s real reason for denying Inspections, the State Department Report said, “centered on Russian grievances regarding U.S. and other countries’ measures imposed on Russia in response to its unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”

The Absence of Inspections isn’t the only Compliance Issue. The U.S. sought to discuss Compliance Issues in the Treaty’s Bilateral Consultative Commission, which is a Forum for the Countries to Discuss the Treaty’s implementation. Russia initially agreed to a Meeting of the Commission in November, but then balked. The State Department said that is another Issue of Russian “noncompliance.”

Russian Officials have told the U.S. they still Support the Treaty, and U.S. Officials are urging Russia to Correct its Violations so the Treaty can be preserved.

“The United States remains ready to work constructively with Russia to fully implement the New START Treaty,” a State Department Spokesperson said.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

House Dems Discharge Petition On Debt Ceiling

As the Debt Ceiling Fight heats up in the House, House Democrats are eyeing an End-Around Strategy, to avoid a Federal Default later in the year, around July, 2023. Democratic Leaders have already begun talks about tapping a Procedural Tool, known as a Discharge Petition, to force a Debt-Limit Hike to the Floor, without the accompanying Spending Cuts. “We’ve had some preliminary conversations about that, and we’ll do what we have to do to prevent economic catastrophe,” said a Member of Democratic Leadership.

The timing is Crucial, and Complicated, since the Archaic Rules governing Discharge Petitions dictate they can be considered only on certain days of the month, and only after the underlying Legislation has sat in Committee for at least 30 Legislative days. Those eyeing that Calendar expect they’ll have to launch the Process sometime in March, to avoid a later Default, if No Agreement is reached.

The Discharge Petition, an obscure Mechanism empowering 218 Lawmakers to pass Bills the Speaker Refuses to consider, is almost never successful. But in 2023 it requires Five Members of the Ruling Party to defy their own Leadership. Already, some moderate Republicans are signaling a willingness to join Democrats to force a Debt-Limit Vote, if the Speaker pressured by his Right flank, Refuses to do so.

“A discharge petition would only take myself and four of my colleagues on the GOP side to sign with Democrats, if that’s necessary,” Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA, 1st District), a Co-Chairman of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus said.

The Debate launches in earnest this week, with a High-Stakes meeting Today, between President Joe Biden (D) and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA, 20th District) at the White House.

The President has insisted he won’t Negotiate on the Debt Limit, noting that raising it merely allows the Government to make good on Past Obligations. And his House allies are backing him up, particularly when it comes to their Defense of the Major Entitlement programs.

“They have said there are cuts they want to make to Social Security and Medicare,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI, 1st District). “Democrats will never agree to that.”

Heading into the Meeting, McCarthy is insisting Republicans are focused elsewhere: “We take Social Security and Medicare off the table,” he said Sunday, but is also amplifying Demands for Steep Cuts to Unspecified programs. “We cannot continue just to spend more money and leverage the debt of the future of America,” he said. “We’ve got to get to a balanced budget.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

MN Gov. Signs Bill Codifying Right To Abortion Into Law

Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz (D), signed aBbill into Law Tuesday, that enshrines the “Fundamental Right” to access Abortion into State Law.

Abortion is already Legal in Minnesota, but in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the Protect Reproductive Options Act, goes a step further by outlining that every Person has the Fundamental Right to make “Autonomous Decisions” about their own Reproductive Health, as well as the Right to Refuse Reproductive Health Care.

With the Passage of the Bill, Minnesota is now the First State to Codify Abortion via Legislative Action, since Roe v. Wade was Reversed, the Office of the Bill’s Lead Author in Minnesota’s Jen McEwen (D-8th District, Duluth).

“Last November, Minnesotans spoke loud and clear: They want their reproductive rights protected – not stripped away,” Walz said in a News Release. “Today, we are delivering on our promise to put up a firewall against efforts to reverse reproductive freedom. No matter who sits on the Minnesota Supreme Court, this legislation will ensure Minnesotans have access to reproductive health care for generations to come. Here in Minnesota, your access to reproductive health care and your freedom to make your own health care decisions are preserved and protected.”

The Bill states that Local Government cannot Restrict a Person’s ability to exercise the “Fundamental Right” to Reproductive Freedom. It also clarifies that this Right extends to accessing Contraception, Sterilization, Family Planning, Fertility services, and Counseling regarding Reproductive Health Care.

“The Pro Act also goes beyond just granting those rights to abortion, it really says all reproductive healthcare decisions aren’t our business, including access to contraception, including access to really anything that is related to personal and private decisions about your reproductive life,” Megan Peterson, the Executive Director of Pro-Abortion Rights Campaign, UnRestrict Minnesota, said following Walz’s Signing of the Bill.

In a Letter to Walz ahead of the Signing, Republican Legislature Leaders argued, that the Bill went too far and urged the Governor to Veto what they called “an extreme law.”

“As the PRO Act was being rushed through the legislature, Republicans offered reasonable amendments with guardrails to protect women and children,” State Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson (R-1st District) and House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth (R-13A District) wrote, “Sadly, each of these amendments were struck down by a Democrat majority.”

In 1995, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Doe v. Gomez, that Abortion was a Fundamental Right protected under the State’s Constitution. The Protect Reproductive Options Act ensures that even in the event of a New State Supreme Court Reversing the ruling, the right to Abortion will be Protected under State Law.

“By passing this law, Minnesotans will have a second layer of protection for their existing reproductive rights. A future Minnesota Supreme Court could Overturn Doe v. Gomez, but with the PRO Act now in State Law, Minnesotans will still have a Right to Reproductive Healthcare,” Luke Bishop, a Spokesperson for State Sen. Jennifer McEwen (D-8th District), the Bill’s Author in the Senate.

Following the Governor’s signature of the Bill, the White House applauded Minnesota’s efforts, pointing to the Popular support for Women’s Rights to make their own Health Care Decisions.

“Americans overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, as so clearly demonstrated last fall when voters turned out to defend access to abortion – including for ballot initiatives in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a Statement.

“While Congressional Republicans continue their support for extreme policies including a national abortion ban, the President and Vice President are calling on Congress to restore the protections of Roe in federal law,” she wrote. “Until then, the Biden-Harris Administration will continue its work to protect access to abortion and support state leaders in defending women’s reproductive rights.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

Another Santos Treasurer Talks To Federal Regulator

A Campaign Treasurer for embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY, 3rd District), told the Federal Election Commission (FE) Tuesday, she Resigned from his Campaign and Affiliated Committees, last week.

It was Not immediately clear, who is serving as Treasurer for the New York Republican’s Political groups, after Nancy Marks’ Resignation. Marks’ Electronic Signature still appeared on Two Filings for Santos-affiliated Committees dated Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, 2023.

Marks, who had Served as Treasurer for Santos’ 2020 and 2022 Campaigns, as well as Campaigns of other New York Politicians including former Rep. Lee Zeldin, told the FEC she had Resigned from Santos’Ccampaign and Affiliated Committees effective last Wednesday.

That was the same day the groups filed Amended Forms, claiming Tom Datwyler, who has served as Treasurer for many GOP Candidates, was now the Treasurer. But a Lawyer for Datwyler said, he had Not Agreed to serve in the role. The FEC then asked Santos’ Campaign to Clarify the Situation, but the Campaign has Not filed a Response other than Marks clarifying her Resignation.

Campaigns must have Treasurers, in order to accept Donations, make Disbursements, and file Mandated Reports with the FEC. Tuesday is the Deadline for Campaigns to File year-end Reports, which cover the period from late November, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022. Santos’ Campaign had Not yet filed his as of Tuesday afternoon, although his Campaign has until Midnight to do so.

Despite telling the FEC she had Resigned from each of Santos’ Affiliated Committees effective Jan. 25, 2023, Marks was still listed as the Treasurer on the Termination Report, for a Joint Fundraising Committee for Santos and Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX, 24th District), that bore her Electronic Signature dated Jan. 30th. She was also on a year-end Report for a Recount Committee Santos had formed in 2020.

Santos’ Campaign Finances have come under intense Scrutiny in the past month, after the Congressman was caught Faking much of his Biography.

Campaign Finance Complaints with the FEC have Alleged that over $700,000 Santos initially Reported as a Personal Loan to his Campaign, despite a checkered Personal Financial history, may have actually represented an Illegal Straw Donor scheme.

The New York Congressman’s Campaign also Reported a series of improbable Expenses, including dozens supposedly costing $199.99, just One cent below the Threshold that would Require the Campaign to keep Receipts. As Treasurer, Marks signed the Forms Reporting those Expenses, and the Personal Loans, although an amended Filing last week, No longer included a Checked box indicating that Money had come from Santos’ Personal Funds.

Santos faces Enforcement Action from the:

- New York AG
- New York City DA
- Nassue County DA, where his District is located.

Also, Brazil Court where he faces 5 years, for Stolen Check Book, Forged Checks in Mens Cloathing Store, and a signed Agreement to Repay the Store, $1,400.00 so Clerk won't be fired.

Santos voluntarily Removed himself from Committees today.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

List Of Republicans For Presidential Election in 2024

So far, the only Major Republican, filling for 2024 Presidential Election is Trump.

This is a List of 143 Republicans Who filed for President in 2024.

You will have to scroll through the entire List, to find the Republicans.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

AZ Official Seeks Campaign-Violation Probe Of Kari Lake

Arizona’s Top Election Official, has asked the Attorney General to Investigate Kari Lake (R), the Candidate who Lost her bid for Governor in 2022, over potential Campaign Violations involving the Disclosure of Voter Signatures.

The Complaint could set up a Legal Showdown in the battleground State, between a Prominent Conservative Election Denier backed by Trump, and Two Newly Elected Democrats, who campaigned with Messages of strengthening Public Trust in Elections.

The Referral from Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D), to Attorney General Kris Mayes (D), comes as Lake has doubled down on her Unproven Claims, that Administration of the State’s Midterm Elections, resulted in her Loss.

I won Six Two-Year Elections, over 12 years, in New York, as a County and State Committee Member of the Independence Party. For Each Primary, my team would check the Petition Signatures of my Opponents.

This is some of want we found:

- Male address was in a Woman Shelter.

- Address, after checking maps, ended-up in the East River.

- Male address was in a closed Gas Station.

After a number of Elections, my 3,500 Constituents, knew I would be collecting Signature in July and August, would see me on the street and sign, or waited for me on their front steps.

My District, 73rd Assembly District, was from: 32nd Street to 90th Street, from the East River to Central Park.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

New TX Bill Allows RCV Ballots

A New Bill has been Proposed in the Texas Legislature, that would give Local Municipalities and School Districts, the Authority to implement Ranked-Choice-Voting (RCV) for Nonpartisan Elections.

HR 259, introduced by State Rep. Vicki Goodwin (D-47th District), would expand the growth for Voting Reform in Texas. It would also give the State’s Capital, Austin, the green light to use RCV Ballots. which Voters Approved the use of in 2021.

The Bill amends the Texas Election Code, by adding a New Section for RCV as follows:

- Sec. 2.101 (USE OPTIONAL). The governing body of a municipality or independent school district may authorize the use of preferential voting as provided by this subchapter for a nonpartisan election of an officer of the municipality or school district, as appropriate, by majority vote.

Texas Law does Not explicitly Ban alternative Voting methods from being adopted by Local Municipalities, and there is No Court precedent that has Struck-Down, New Voting methods in the State. And yet, Austin faces a potential Legal Roadblock to implement RCV, because of how State Election Officials interpret what a “True Majority” means.

The Texas Election Code requires Cities with a Population of over 200,000, to elect its Officials by Majority Vote. To this day, State Election Officials, hold that Results of a RCV system do Not represent a “traditional” Majority, which they say is intended by State Law.

In 2003, then State Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), now Governor), wrote:

The majority vote requirement in sections 275.002 and 275.003(d) of the Code ‘theoretically could include preferential majority,’ the (secretary of state’s) opinion continues, but ‘the term [“majority”] as it has been used in the [Election] Code does not.’ Id. at 2. Rather, ‘the meaning of the word ‘majority,’ as the Texas Legislature has used it in the Code and as it has been interpreted by the courts, is majority in the ‘classic’ or ‘traditional’ sense, i.e., a majority vote consists of more than half of the original votes, as cast and not re-assigned by the voter’s secondary or tertiary in tent.

HR 259 would cement the “Preferential” Majority obtained from RCV into the Election Code, and allow Communities to try RCV for themselves, and decide if it's right for their Elections.

In its support of HR 259, Ranked Choice Voting for Texas stated: “Texans value the freedom of choice and the right to self-government. It's an idea rooted in the belief that local residents and governments have a better grasp of what is best for their communities and citizens. This bill would enable local governments or school districts the choice to conduct their elections using ranked choice voting (RCV).”

The group re-emphasized that this is a Choice, not a Mandate. It would give Local Municipalities and School Districts, Greater potential to act as Laboratories of Democracy, to determine what type of Elections best serve Voters.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker