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As Florida Goes Tuesday, So Goes the Nation

As Florida Goes Tuesday, So Goes the Nation

Postby smix » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:51 pm

As Florida Goes Tuesday, So Goes the Nation
Townhall

URL: https://townhall.com/columnists/bobmccl ... n-n2534394
Category: Politics
Published: November 3, 2018

Description: A Republican Governor would confirm the path of the last eight years led by Governor Rick Scott with eight annual tax cuts totaling more than $10 billion. The state has no personal income tax and between 1992 and 2016 attracted almost two million new citizens with a combined annual income of $156 billion from the other 49 states in search of low taxes, jobs, and sun. Florida would remain red confirming through redistricting 15 Republican and 11 Democrat congressmen -- a huge GOP advantage in all future battles for control of a House majority and speaker. A Democrat win could rewrite the redistricting to Democrat advantage and make a House Democrat majority more likely and more long lasting. Florida’s governor’s race may well decide, through redistricting, who runs the House of Representatives for the next decade. And Florida which had three electoral votes when it became a state in 1845, now commands 29 electoral votes. Its vote elected Bush in 2000 and will be a large part of every electoral vote contest for the next generation. Florida stands athwart any candidate’s road to the presidency. The choice is stark between two candidates and two paths promising to head in fully opposite directions: not simply partisan affiliation, but on all the key policy questions facing a state. Democrat candidate Andrew Gillum proudly carries the banner of Bernie Sanders. He has endorsed Medicare for All, the $32 trillion (over a decade) expansion of the entitlement state, a job-killing $15 “minimum wage” in a state with a low cost of living, and a 40% increase in the corporate tax rate to 7.75%. Florida now bans a personal income tax by constitution and the spending and tax hikes proposed by Gillum will demand higher sales taxes and tax hikes on businesses. A recent analysis from the Florida-based James Madison Institute done in conjunction with The Washington Economics Group and Arduin, Laffer, and Moore shows Gillum’s tax and spending proposals would result in the loss of more than 260,000 jobs and $28 billion in economic activity every year. Tax hikes have consequences. Republican candidate Ron DeSantis, a congressman first elected in 2012 and a former Navy Seal who served in Iraq, has signed the Taxpayer Protection pledge promising to oppose and veto any net tax hike, voted for the Republican/Trump tax cut of 2017 and for the repeal of Obamacare. DeSantis has committed to reducing the 5.5 percent corporate income tax as well as the Communications Services Tax and the Business Lease Tax. Contrasted with Florida’s usual low tax policies, the Communications Services Tax is one of the highest in the nation and Florida is the only state in the nation that imposes a tax on business rental costs. The James Madison Institute study shows that the DeSantis proposals will create more than 200,000 jobs and produce an additional $26 billion in new household income and GDP in Florida. America and Florida are at a tipping point with the left and right, advocates of more vs. less government spending, control and taxation evenly balanced. The next governor of Florida will continue or reverse the direction of the Jeb Bush and Rick Scott Republican leadership or go the full monty leftward. Florida, the third largest state economy in the nation and the 17th largest economy in the world, a state composed of men and women from every nation in the world, and comprised of large cities, expansive suburbs and rural agriculture is a testing ground, a source of bragging rights about the future and the fulcrum of an evenly balanced nation.
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Study: $2.6 billion in tax hikes needed to implement Gillum’s progressive plan

Postby smix » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:05 pm

Study: $2.6 billion in tax hikes needed to implement Gillum’s progressive plan
Florida Watchdog

URL: https://www.watchdog.org/florida/study- ... ba08c.html
Category: Politics
Published: October 23, 2018

Description: Progressive Democrat Andrew Gillum’s tax plan proposals “would adversely impact the business climate of the state” if he is elected governor, costing Florida 155,000 jobs and $28.2 billion in economic loses per year, according to the James Madison Institute (JMI), a Tallahassee-based conservative think-tank. Conversely, JMI maintains, conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis’ tax plan proposals, which include eliminating the state’s Business Rental Tax, would “lead to the creation of 215,000 jobs annually and $26.6 billion in annual economic output.” “DeSantis has pledged to continue to cut taxes,” JMI VP President for Policy and Director of its Center For Economic Prosperity Sal Nuzzo told Watchdog News. “We think his proposals are more favorable for economic growth.” JMI analyzed Gillum’s and DeSantis’ tax plans with the assistance of two financial consulting firms, the Washington Economics Group of Coral Gables and Arduin, Laffer & Moore of Tallahassee. Gillum unveiled his “Fair Share for Florida’s Future” economic plan before his surprise victory over four other Democratic candidates in the Aug. 28 primary. His plan calls for increasing the state corporate tax level to what he calls "a modest 7.75 percent,” paying teachers a minimum starting salary of $50,000, raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour and an adoption of Bernie Sanders’ free college education policy to “make college debt-free” for students. Gillum’s plan to raise the rate to 7.75 percent retains the exemption from paying any tax on a corporation’s first $50,000 in taxable income. C-Corporations with less than $50,000 income annually would be exempt, as would all S-Corporations and limited liability corporations. According to the state’s Department of Revenue, there are more than 200,000 businesses that pay Florida’s 5.5 percent corporate tax rate, collecting about $2.2 billion annually. It’s the state’s second biggest source of general revenue dollars, other than the $25 billion raised by the sales tax. This means “98 percent of businesses would still pay no corporate income tax, and that 2-3 percent of C-Corporations that would be subject to any new tax would still pay 83.9 percent less overall in corporate taxes than they were charged in the last eight years under Republican Gov. Rick Scott,” Gillum’s campaign maintains. Gillum’s tax proposal has drawn fire from a wide range of business groups, as well as the Republican Governors Association and Americans for Tax Reform. JMI’s study shows there is merit beyond partisanship with those concerns. The primary concern being Gillum’s plan widely underestimates the costs of doing what he says a 40 percent hike in the corporate tax would pay for, Nuzzo said. “Our analysis is it would require $2.6 billion” to accomplish the things Gillum wants to do, he said. “The $1 billion wouldn’t even cover” paying teachers a base $50,000 salary. The institute estimates Gillum would have to raise the tax rate to 11 percent to raise the kind of revenue necessary to pay for his “Fair Share for Florida’s Future” plan. JMI predicts businesses will leave Florida to avoid paying the higher tax rate. “Businesses can, and do, change their behavior based on tax changes, and now more than ever businesses are able to readily take their enterprises elsewhere. Consequently, the proposed corporate income tax rate hike cannot be expected to raise $1 billion in tax revenue,” it reported. According to JMI, research shows that workers bear anywhere from 35 to 60 percent of the corporate income tax in the form of lower wages, so raising it would decrease wages by imposing that share of the burden on workers. “Corporate income taxes are often viewed as a way to reduce income inequality, but depending on how the burden is distributed, that may not always be the case,” the report states. JMI identified two components in Gillum’s plan that it liked – his proposal to legalize marijuana and reduce prison sentences for non-violent offenders. Both proposals, the study concludes, would save taxpayer money – and raise some, since marijuana would be taxed – and reduce costs in a criminal justice system that would emphasize prison as a place for violent criminals, not drug offenders. “DeSantis would be wise to copy and build on both proposals,” JMI maintains. Meanwhile, DeSantis is proposing to lower the corporate tax rate from 5.5 to 5 percent which, according to JMI, will actually help raise wages for workers. “Ron DeSantis is committed to putting more money back into the pockets of Floridians because he knows they can spend their money better than government,” the study maintains. DeSantis’ proposal to continue the phase-out of the business rent tax (BRT), a sales tax on commercial rent, is also widely lauded by state business leaders. Florida is the only state in the country that levies a BRT. Last year, the legislature agreed to lower the BRT from 6 to 5.8 percent with the expectation that the BRT would continue to be whittled down year-by-year until it is gone. DeSantis says he would accelerate that phase-out but does not indicate by how much. DeSantis said he supports Amendment 5, which would require a two-thirds super-majority of the Florida Legislature to raise any taxes or fees, but said it doesn’t matter if it passes or not because he would veto any bill that raises taxes. DeSantis’ plan is “to largely maintain the pro-growth-oriented strategy of Florida through low and stable taxes” and would be a more viable economic blueprint than what Gillum is proposing, JMI maintains. DeSantis’ “proposed economic policy agenda is conducive to maintaining and likely increasing the growth trajectory that Florida has experienced over the last two decades,” the study concludes.
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George Soros and Tom Steyer Invest in the Left-Wing of the Democratic Party

Postby smix » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:32 pm

George Soros and Tom Steyer Invest in the Left-Wing of the Democratic Party
Capital Research Center

URL: https://capitalresearch.org/article/geo ... tic-party/
Category: Politics
Published: October 18, 2018

Description: The midterm elections serve as an opportunity for both the Democratic and Republican parties to take stock of what they stand for in the coming years—or at least what they need to do to win elections. One useful indicator of intra-party dynamics is the ebb and flow of political donations. By this measurement, the far Left seems to be enjoying a resurgence in 2018. This time around, leftist billionaire donors such as George Soros and Tom Steyer are funding the more extreme elements of the Democratic Party in competitive primary races. George Soros, the hedge-fund billionaire with a passion for left-wing activism has a long history of funding the professional Left through his Open Society Foundations. Soros tries to work his will throughout international politics, funding left-liberal causes in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. The scale of his interventions (Soros recently announced an $18 billion bequest to OSF, on top of his existing and non-foundation left-wing financing) has made use of his name a rallying cry of the Right. Environmentalist Tom Steyer was already the highest U.S. political spender in both the 2014 and 2016 election cycles. Using his Super PAC, the NextGen Climate Action Committee, Steyer contributes millions of dollars to support candidates pushing regulatory policies aimed at restricting energy use to combat climate change. The PAC has a long history of using Steyer’s financial weight to prop up political candidates and ballot measures, despite his fellow Democrats railing against Citizens United v. FEC (which affirmed the First Amendment Rights of organizations to engage in the political process). More recently, Steyer has targeted President Donald Trump, hoping to have him impeached, something some members of the Democratic Party leadership are trying to avoid. Competitive swing states such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Maine, and Minnesota have been the focus of the hedge fund giants’ political spending this year. On the whole, Soros and Steyer seem to favor the less moderate and more radical candidates in the Democratic primaries. Steyer in particular took an interest in Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida. Defying his usual no-interference policy during primary elections, Steyer spent over $800,000 in order to push Gillum, who he believes, “would represent a real step forward for Florida.” The Democratic Party has steadily veered toward the political left due to the intense enthusiasm of young Democratic voters hostile toward the Republican-controlled Congress and President Trump. The popularity of Bernie Sanders and the unexpected successes of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are indicative of this phenomenon. Gillum tailored his platform to this far-left base, despite Florida’s traditional position as a “swing state.” He pushes Medicare for All, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and a massive increase in public education spending through a $1 billion tax on the private sector. Since Gillum’s primary victory, Steyer has already directed another $5 million into the general election and has been hastily registering students on University campuses through NextGen PAC. Already, it reports that more than 230,000 millennials have registered, indicating that capitalizing on this left-wing enthusiasm has real potential. Steyer himself has vocally adopted the rhetoric of the far-Left, recently stating that Republicans who supported Judge Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court nomination were “a group of very rich, very entitled white men,” which while a demonstration of little self-reflection, certainly shows Steyer’s adept appropriation of leftist talking points. While the elections in Florida are particularly indicative of this ideological shift in the Democratic Party, Florida is only a proxy war for the reinvented political parties. For that reason, Soros and Steyer have invested heavily in Gillum, but the trend-setting donors certainly are diversifying their campaign portfolios. The two have come together to jointly fund a Super PAC that funds left-wing candidates in vulnerable states, State Victory Action. This well-known organization in Democratic circles, receives more than 70 percent of its multi-million-dollar budget from the two megadonors. As of October, Soros and Steyer have so far contributed $1.7 million through State Victory Action alone. But the IRS shows that the Super PAC has a war chest of over $14 million, a massive sum waiting to be spent in this election or in future campaigns. Already, State Victory Action has donated $500,000 to support the Colorado Democratic nominee for Governor Jared Polis through a “527” independent expenditure committee, Good Jobs Colorado. KUSA, a local Colorado television station criticized the Super PAC for running a negative ad that falsely suggested that the Republican candidate Walker Stapleton missed crucial board meetings for the state public employees’ pension system to go golfing. The two megadonors also contributed $1.4 million to advertise against former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R), during the state’s Republican primary, which he lost by just over 28,000 votes. Outside of Minnesota, the State Victory Action Super PAC has already made contributions to elections in Maine, New Mexico, and Nevada. Complaining about money in politics in many ways resembles complaining about the weather, it only really matters in extreme cases. Soros, Steyer, and other extremely wealthy donors keep the wheels of the Democratic political machine spinning. As The New Yorker writer Benjamin Wallace-Wells said about the mindset of Democratic candidates like Gillum: “The dream was that one meeting with Tom Steyer might get you a million dollars and spare you a hundred conversations with orthodontists, who each had a few thousand to give.” During this transition time within the Democratic Party, the fact that the party’s biggest donors have shifted to the left is an indication of what may come in the next political party alignment.
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Andrew Gillum's terrible, contradictory corporate tax plan

Postby smix » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:06 pm

Andrew Gillum's terrible, contradictory corporate tax plan
Washington Examiner

URL: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opin ... e-tax-plan
Category: Politics
Published: October 26, 2018

Description: Florida's Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Andrew Gillum, wants to increase the state's corporate tax rate in order to fund his own pet projects. It's classic left-liberalism: the belief that government knows best how to invest money productively.

gillum-will-increase-taxes.jpg

Today, Florida's effective corporate tax rate is between 3.3 percent and 5.5 percent. But Gillum wants to raise that rate to what he says is a "modest 7.75 percent" corporate tax rate. But while an effective rise of 2.25 points might not sound like much, that's actually a 41 percent increase! Gillum's rationale for why his tax plan is a good idea is also absurd. The former mayor says that his proposed hike is okay because Florida's corporate tax rate will still be "more than 1 percent lower than California." Seeing as California is one of the highest-taxed states and Florida one of the lowest, Gillum's words offer little comfort. Yet the real problem here is that Gillum's plan undercuts that which makes Florida so attractive to business creation: allowing entrepreneurs to achieve prospectively higher returns on investment. At the margin, Gillum's plan will reduce Florida's ability to attract high-skilled, high-earners who would otherwise invest in the state's economy. It gets worse, though, because Gillum's plan is also defined by its contradiction and hypocrisy. After all, on the same page of his campaign website, where Gillum lauds his plan to raise taxes, he also praises himself for leading "Tallahassee’s successful push to become one of the only cities in Florida to eliminate the local business tax." Gillum then proudly notes that this saved "businesses over $2 million per year, and inserted over $5 million back into local businesses through a utility rebate program." Someone please explain to me how Gillum's Tallahassee approach and state-level approach are compatible? Oh, and someone please explain to me why so many Democrats ignore the abundant evidence that corporate tax cuts are the best tax policy?
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Socialism Now, Socialism Tomorrow, Socialism Forever — The Ruin Of Nations

Postby smix » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:47 pm

Socialism Now, Socialism Tomorrow, Socialism Forever — The Ruin Of Nations
Investor's Business Daily

URL: https://www.investors.com/politics/comm ... n-nations/
Category: Politics
Published: September 7, 2018

Description: Socialism in America got yet another boost last week when Florida Democrats chose "progressive" Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum to be their candidate in the fall gubernatorial election. Gillum's primary win comes a little more than three months after The Nation gleefully declared that "Socialism Is on a Winning Streak." "Four candidates backed by Democratic Socialists of America won Pennsylvania primaries Tuesday, and come November they could all be legislators," The Nation said on May 18, two days after socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also won a New York City congressional Democratic primary. The socialist momentum continued last month when U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., unloaded a bill called the Accountable Capitalism Act. It would place the boot of government squarely on the economy's throat, should it become law. Given socialism's upswing, shouldn't Warren, socialist U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ocasio-Cortez, Gillum, and others come clean and adopt the motto "Socialism Now, Socialism Tomorrow, Socialism Forever"? After all, socialists have taken over the Democratic Party.

bernie-gillum.jpg

Yet Sanders, who has endorsed Gillum for governor, and fellow travelers tend to qualify their socialist agenda. They insist it's "democratic socialism" rather than "socialism." Publicly, they say they merely yearn for the "democratic socialism" found in Scandinavian countries. But what's found in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark is not socialism or even democratic socialism. Those nations are more accurately defined as welfare states subsidized by market economies. They need capitalism to survive, and to fund their welfare programs. Even more so, they need the power of America's capitalist engine to keep their economies moving forward. This isn't to say these nations haven't dabbled in socialism or taken their welfare states too far. They did. And it was a hard lesson that was learned. Before it built its big-government framework, Sweden "got rich first with free trade and an open economy," says Swedish economist Johan Norberg. "In the 1950s, Sweden was already one of the world's richest countries, and back then, taxes were lower in Sweden than in the United States," he says. Only later "did we start expanding the government dramatically." In 1970, Sweden was the fourth-richest country in the world. By 1995, it had fallen to 14th. During this period, no new jobs were created in the private sector. Its error acknowledged, the country quietly and gradually walked away from much of its welfare state agenda. It did so by deregulating, freeing trade, cutting taxes, partially privatizing the nation's pension system, and issuing school vouchers. "Since then," says Norberg, "Sweden has become successful again." So what about Denmark, another nation Sanders has held as the model the U.S. should follow? Turns out he was wrong there, too. Three years ago, Denmark Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen scolded those in the U.S. who would "associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism." "Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy," he said while speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. While "the Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security to its citizens," Rasmussen said, it is also "a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish." Does Sanders want a Danish-style market economy or a centrally planned economy? Does he want Americans to have the freedom to pursue their dreams and live as they wish? No, Denmark isn't what Sanders is looking for either. He wants the economy to be planned and controlled by a central power. Socialism, democratic or otherwise, is what is/was found in the Soviet Union (where Sanders honeymooned), Cuba, East Germany, North Korea, and Nicaragua. Those regimes have been the most brutal, impoverishing, bleak, and inhumane in history. Obviously, Democratic Socialists in America don't want to be publicly associated with these tyrannies. Embracing them would hurt their cause. But those aren't the only nations that have been ruined by a "for the people" socialism. Consider the devastation that system has left on the following nations:
Venezuela: Hugo Chavez, friend and imitator of Fidel Castro, was praised by U.S. elitists for seizing the nation's oil to eliminate poverty and provide free health care and education for the people. What he did was murder a nation. Chavez died in 2013, leaving the country in the hand of Nicolas Maduro, who made things worse. There have been food and drug shortages. And staples of the modern world, such as toilet paper and toothpaste, have become as scarce as precious jewels. The economy is a shambles, store shelves are empty, and "its citizens impoverished, malnourished, sick and desperate," says economist Mark Perry. This disaster occurred in a country with the most proved oil reserves on this petroleum-thirsty planet. Conditions have become so rotten that the U.N. estimates that since 2014, 2.3 million Venezuelans — roughly 7% of the population — have fled the workers' paradise. Another 800,000 to 1 million might leave by the end of the year. It's not that they don't want to live under socialism. It's that they can't. Only those in control of the government live well in socialist regimes.
Greece: This country remains in the midst of a true, not theatrical, Greek tragedy. The people have made bank runs, and hoarded food, money and medicine. Overwhelming debt nearly swallowed a government that needed three international bailouts to avoid default. Investment, innovation and entrepreneurship have been stymied by policies enacted by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), which was "founded in 1974 as a radical Marxist-inspired party" and played a large role in the crisis. "Greece is socialism on steroids," economist and IBD contributor Stephen Moore wrote in the Washington Times. It's "a place where the government gives a lot of things away for free, few people work, and millions receive government pensions, paychecks or welfare benefits." As of three years ago, half of the young were unemployed. Meanwhile, more than half of the country seemed to have no choice but to retire before 60. After all, where were the retirees going to work? "The classic weaknesses of socialism are playing out in as clear a way as you can possibly see them in Greece right now," Jake Novak wrote in a 2015 CNBC commentary. And it's still playing out today. A member of Parliament told The Guardian in July that "economically speaking we are still sputtering and there is still a lot to be done. Our creditors are not going away." A few months earlier, Marxist economist Costas Lapavitsas said that "there is no evidence at all that the country has 'turned the corner.' Practically all the macroeconomic data show an economy lodged in stagnation."
Socialism: The Pain In Spain
Spain: The Atlantic reported in 2013 that in just "a few years, Spain had gone from budget surpluses, a growing middle class, and generous social supports to wrenching austerity policies and collapsing wages, triggered by the massive failure of Spanish banks." At that time, "Spain's decades-long economic model was coming undone." Spain had been a "modern, wealthy, technologically advanced European social democracy." But then, wrote Steven Hill in The Atlantic, "the Socialists launched the largest stimulus package in the European Union, as a share of the economy. But despite this intervention, the Spanish economy was still stagnant by 2010 and the deficits were staggering." The national debt doubled "practically overnight." Banks and governments failed, taxes were raised, unemployment reached Depression-era levels, and the economy became a wreck. Spain, says Moore, is just another one of those countries that "experimented with quasi-socialist governments" and has had to pay "the bitter price" for indulging in the exercise.

sanders-gillum-socialism.jpg

Don't think that the American Democratic Party's attachment to socialism is only at the extreme fringe. A recent Gallup Poll found that 57% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents hold a positive view of socialism, while just 47% favorably view capitalism. It seems impossible that America could ever become one of the countries that has been ruined by socialism. But these numbers don't inspire confidence.
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The Bernie Sanders Socialist Wave Didn’t Extend to Florida and Georgia

Postby smix » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:34 pm

The Bernie Sanders Socialist Wave Didn’t Extend to Florida and Georgia
Panam Post

URL: https://panampost.com/david-unsworth/20 ... d-georgia/
Category: Politics
Published: November 16, 2018

Description: Bernie Sanders-backed candidates, won Democratic primaries in both Florida and Georgia, but they came up short in the general election.

gillum-embraces-bernie.jpg

Florida is arguably the most pivotal state in American electoral politics this decade. In the bitterly contested 2016 presidential election, things looked hopeless for Trump, until suddenly he had pulled even with Clinton in Florida, and then took an insurmountable lead of over 110,000 votes, winning the state by 1.2%. In 2000, the entire election hung on the state of Florida, and its critical electoral votes, as George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the state by the narrowest of margins. For observers of American electoral politics, one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 midterm elections was the rise of two Bernie Sanders-backed socialist gubernatorial candidates in the Southeast: Andrew Gillum in Florida, and Stacey Abrams in Georgia. Fortunately, it now appears that Bernie’s brand of big government socialism and fiscal irresponsibility will not triumph here. Nonetheless, the very fact that Bernie-backed candidates won the primaries in such moderate states should be sufficient cause for alarm. In the case of Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, he came out of nowhere to defeat a much more moderate candidate: US Representative Gwen Graham, the daughter of a popular former US Senator and governor. Indeed, polls leading right up to primary day showed Graham with a respectable lead: only two of the several dozen polls taken through the course of the race showed Gillum in the lead. Gillum’s victory illustrates how politics, from the United States, to Europe, to Latin America, has swung to the extremes. The voting public is no longer craving moderate candidates…praised for their sensibility and pragmatism. That leaves independent and moderate voters who must pick one side or the other…or choose the lesser of two evils. The situation facing American voters in 2016, for example, is not that unlike the situation facing Brazilian voters just weeks ago…where right-wing Jair Bolsonaro came out of nowhere to hand the entire Brazilian political establishment the defeat of a lifetime. In Georgia, it appears all but certain that state officials will certify Republican Brian Kemp as the winner tonight. He won by a margin of slightly over 1%. But that does not sit well with the far-left activists who nearly propelled Stacey Abrams to the governor’s mansion in Atlanta. Now, backed by a boatload of money and the enthusiastic endorsements of the party’s hard left, Abrams is preparing to launch an unprecedented legal challenge calling for a new election, claiming reports of “disenfranchised” voters. Such a desperate ploy is unlikely to work, and Kemp’s margin of 18,000 votes is virtually insurmountable, but Abrams may proceed with a legal challenge anyway, having already assembled a team of three dozen attorneys. Even Abrams’ supporters concede that it is a longshot bid…and indeed, it’s a novel legal theory that has never been used in an election of this prominence. “Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Abrams’ campaign chairwoman, is overseeing a team of almost three-dozen lawyers who in the coming days will draft the petition, along with a ream of affidavits from voters and would-be voters who say they were disenfranchised. Abrams would then decide whether to go to court under a provision of Georgia election law that allows losing candidates to challenge results based on “misconduct, fraud or irregularities … sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.” Of course, the problem is that Abrams does not have 18,000 such cases of “disenfranchisement” and has little to no factual basis for any of her claims. Long polling lines are a perennial problem. Voters have a choice: either wait in the lines, come back and vote at a later occasion, or go home. All in all, Abrams and Gillum are all but certain to come up short in the Southeast. And that is good news for the 31 million people who live in these states: states, by the way, which are ranked as among the best in the country for doing business. Sanders may hold considerably sway with the hard-core leftists in the Democratic Party. But his influence, such as it may be, was insufficient to turn Florida and Georgia into socialist states.
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