Newswire: Abrams blasts Trump, McConnell for ‘power grab’ after State of the Union Address

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Stacey Abrams


Stacey Abrams may not be the governor of Georgia, but she did make history on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
After patiently waiting in the wings as President Donald Trump used 90 minutes to deliver what was supposed to be a 45-minute State of the Union Address, Abrams provided a scathing Democratic rebuttal to the president’s highly-scripted speech to Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
In doing so, Abrams became the first Black woman for either party to deliver a formal response to the State of the Union. Speaking firmly and with a fervor that has earned her the national stage, the former Georgia Gubernatorial candidate said the “hopes of American families are being crushed” by Republican political leadership.
“In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security,” Abrams said. “But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it.”
The response is a tradition undertaken by a representative of the president’s opposing party, who gives a speech immediately after the State of the Union to rebut claims made in his address.
According to CBS News, the first rebuttal was delivered by Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen and Rep. Gerald Ford in response to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1966 State of the Union. Since 2011, there have been responses in English and one in Spanish given by a separate speaker.
The address has usually been given by a member of Congress or a sitting governor, making Abrams an intriguing choice given she doesn’t currently hold a political office.
Only one other time has an elected official not holding statewide or federal office given their party’s response: Elizabeth Guzman, a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates, delivered the Spanish-language response for Democrats in 2018, CBS reported. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra gave the Spanish address this year.
However, since losing her gubernatorial bid, Abrams has said she is open to running for political office again. Abrams talked about family values – taught by her parents. In one instance on a cold winter night, her family went looking for her father and when they found him walking along a road, he was shivering and without a coat.
“He had given his coat to a homeless man,” Abrams said. “I knew he would still be alone when I left him, but I knew you were coming for me,” she said, relating her father’s words. “I hold fast to my father’s credo, we are coming for a better America,” Abrams said.
Abrams railed against Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the government shutdown. Abrams noted McConnell’s recent verbal assaults on a House Democratic voting rights and an election bill that he has labeled a Democratic “power grab.”
“Voter suppression is real … we can no longer ignore these threats to Democracy. We cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote,” Abrams said. “This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country,” she said. “We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counter is a ‘power grab.’”
She blasted Trump and McConnell noting the missed paydays and the struggles of more than 800,000 federal workers who could still face another shutdown in just a couple of weeks because Trump wants to build a $5 billion wall on the southern border.
“Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks,” Abrams said. “Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace,” she said.
Further driving home her point, Abrams continued: “The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people, but our values.”
Trump, who continues to garner headlines over a myriad of alleged misdeeds, misstatements, and the division that’s enveloped the country since he took office, called for bipartisanship in his address.
He claimed outstanding records on jobs and the economy and America’s global standing. He also again took credit for low African American and Latino unemployment, saying more people – 157 million – are working now than anytime in the past in America.
The president also talked about the 300 or so judicial nominees that are in the Senate, ignoring that President Barack Obama’s high court choices were blatantly disregarded by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Abrams, who was once the Democratic Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, dismissed those claims. Abrams also firmly rebutted the notion that the Trump administration has the best ideals for the country going forward. “We may come from different sides of the political aisle, but our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable,” she said.
“The Republican tax bill rigged the system against people. Wages struggle to keep pace with the cost of living. We owe more to the folks who keep our country moving.”
“We know bipartisanship can craft a 21stcentury immigration plan, but this administration chooses to cage people. Democrats stand ready to secure our borders, but we must understand America is made stronger by immigrants, not walls.”

Newswire :  Early voting numbers signal big turnout for Midterms as voter suppression looms

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Correspondent

 Stacey Abrams, Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia campaigns for early votes

In Georgia, close to three times the number of people who voted early during the last midterm election have voted early. The numbers went up over the first week of early voting in a state featuring one of the biggest races for governor in the U.S: Democrat Stacey Abrams vs. Republican Brian Kemp. Abrams would be the first African American female governor elected in history if she wins. Over 482,000 people have voted in Georgia in advance which included 92,000 on October 19 alone. According to the New York Times, “vote totals have increased almost 200 percent at the same point since the last gubernatorial election.” Typically high turnout favors the Democratic Party. The news regarding record turnout predictions have collided with the news of voter suppression. Election officials in Kansas closed the only polling place in Dodge City. Latinos currently make up 60 percent of Dodge City’s population. Dodge City has only one polling site for 27,000 residents. In North Dakota, the Republican controlled legislature passed new laws making it harder Native Americans living on reservations to vote. The new laws require an ID with a street address when most voters on reservations have a post office box address. An October 9th Associated Press report found around 53,000 people — nearly 70% of them African-Americans — had their registrations placed in limbo because of some kind of mismatch with driver’s license or social security information. Tellingly, Abrams is running against an opponent who has had a hand in the details in making voting more difficult in the state. Greg Palast, a voter suppression expert who runs the Palast Investigative Fund, asserts that Kemp is responsible for removing over 300,000 voters from Georgia’s voter rolls over two years. Palast’s team of experts includes statisticians and lawyers analyzing changes and removals from voter rolls across America. “What’s happening #GaGovRace right now might be a defining moment in the brief history of our Democracy – it will be the 1st publicized, well understood and quantifiable rigged and stolen election in the deluge. They will point here and say this was the moment and it happened with little fanfare,” tweeted pollster Cornell Belcher about the Georgia race. A coalition of advocacy groups has launched a lawsuit to block Georgia from enforcing the “exact match” requirement that could block over 50,000 votes in the state. The Campaign Legal Center and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law argued in the suit, which was filed in a federal district court on Thursday, that the state’s “exact match” requirement violates the Voting Rights Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The question a little over two weeks from Election Day is: Will high turnout be able to erase attempts at voter suppression.

Newswire: Ben Jealous’ primary win in Maryland moved America closer to having the first Black governor in years.

Written By Bruce C.T. Wright, Newsone
 

Ben Jealous.jpg

                                                                  Ben Jealous

Ben Jealous’ Democratic primary victory in Maryland on Tuesday night meant there were now two African-American nominees for governor in the U.S. If elected, they would equal the same number of Black governors in what will soon be the nation’s 242-year history. Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee in Georgia is the second Black candidate for Governor in the

But there were still three more races to go with Black gubernatorial hopefuls, increasing the chances of both a Black governor being elected and possibly making this year one of the most noteworthy on record for African-Americans in politics. After all, there hasn’t been a Black governor in office since the fateful political year of 2016.

Tuesday’s win advanced Jealous, a former president of the NAACP, to a general election showdown with the incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. And if the past was any indication of the future, Jealous’ chances to become Maryland’s first Black governor were all but guaranteed: not one single governor in the state has been re-elected in 54 years.
Jealous joined Georgia’s Stacey Abrams as the lone two African-American nominees for governor. The duo could become a quintet if three more states vote for the Black candidates in their respective states. Abrams, the first Black woman to ever be nominated for governor, was polling lower than her general election opponent. But she pulled a come-from-behind victory last month, so why not again in November?
Florida voters could push Andrew Gillum through the Democratic primary there in August, and at least one poll has him leading the race. The first Black mayor of Tallahassee has said he’s in favor of bail reform, gun reform and full legalization of marijuana because of the racial disparity of arrests. The Sunshine State’s primary was scheduled for Aug. 28.
It was a bit of a different story in Michigan, though, as neither of the two Black gubernatorial candidates there even registered a blip on the most recent poll. Michigan’s primary was scheduled for Aug. 8.
Perhaps the longest shot of the rest of the Black candidates was Ohio’s Larry Ealy, a former exotic dancer. (Kanye shrug) Ohio goes to the primary polls on Aug. 28.
Illinois’ Tio Hardiman and Maryland’s Rushern Baker each lost their respective gubernatorial bids. Now former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the first Black person elected to that position, decided against running for a third term and left office in 2015.