Saturday News: Canceled fishing expedition


AG JOSH STEIN STANDS UP TO U.S. ATTORNEY'S OVERREACH ON VOTING RECORDS SUBPOENA: Stein, in a letter to the U.S. attorney’s office, asked the office to withdraw the subpoenas and issue new ones “that are appropriately tailored to documents relevant to your inquiry.” Stein said if the matter is not resolved by Monday, Sept. 10, “we will have no option but to request judicial relief.” The subpoena requested from the state board all voter registration applications, federal write-in absentee ballots, federal post card applications, early-voting application forms, provisional voting forms, absentee ballot request forms, all “admission or denial of non-citizen return forms,” and all voter registration cancellation or revocation forms from Jan. 1, 2010 through Aug. 30, 2018. More than 15 million documents would have to be turned over, said Andy Penry, the chairman of the state board.

ANOTHER SILENT SAM PROTEST MAY BE IN THE WORKS FOR LATER TODAY: Officials with the Town of Chapel Hill and the university on Friday released statements saying they are preparing for the possibility of demonstrations near McCorkle Place and in the downtown area during the late afternoon hours on Saturday. UNC officials said they are working closely with police, but are urging students not to attend. “We do not know for sure what groups may attend, but we are mindful that the current atmosphere is highly charged, and protests that begin peacefully do not always remain that way,” UNC officials said in an email. “For this reason, we urge you not to attend. For those who do attend, please know that we will do all we can to protect and keep everyone safe.”

NC'S VIRTUAL CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE FAILING, DESPITE REPUBLICAN HOPES: North Carolina’s two online charter schools have been open since 2015, but both schools have been unable to shed their state status as low performing. Statewide test results released this week show that N.C. Connections Academy and N.C. Virtual Academy received D grades for their academic performance for the 2017-18 school year. It’s the third year in a row that both public schools have gotten a D and also failed to meet academic growth expectations on state tests, putting them on the state’s list of “continually low-performing schools.” But critics say the results confirm that lawmakers were too hasty in giving both schools a four-year extension. The two schools were initially only guaranteed to be open until 2019. “They’ve failed in every other state they’ve been tried in,” said Kris Nordstrom, education finance and policy consultant for the left-leaning N.C. Justice Center’s Education and Law Project. “It’s no surprise that they’re failing here.”

DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT RNC FINANCE GURU ELLIOT BROIDY'S AFFAIR WITH PLAYBOY MODEL: Broidy resigned in April as deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee after the affair was reported by the Wall Street Journal. Broidy had fought to keep the salacious details in Bechard's suit under wraps because he said they were false, maligned his reputation, invaded his right to privacy and were irrelevant to the case. Bechard said Broidy, who refused to wear a condom, didn't disclose for years that he had genital herpes. She said he pushed her to drink heavily so she was more compliant and that ultimately led to her letting her guard down and becoming pregnant. She said Broidy initially supported her keeping the baby, but later demanded she get an abortion and insisted "nobody can know." She said she feared Broidy because he had a gun and told her he could make people disappear, the suit said.

TRUMP AIDE PAPADOPOULOS SENTENCED TO 14 DAYS IN JAIL FOR LYING TO FBI: According to a sweeping indictment handed up this summer, Russian intelligence had stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other Democratic groups by April 2016, the same month Papadopoulos was told by a professor that Russian officials had told him they had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Papadopoulos later used his connections with the Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, and other Russian nationals in an attempt to broker a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He admitted last year to lying to the FBI about those contacts. In court papers filed ahead of the sentencing, prosecutors say those lies caused irreparable harm to the investigation during its early months. Prosecutors wrote that those false statements, made during a January 2017 interview with federal investigators, caused the FBI to miss an opportunity to interview Mifsud while he was in the United States.



Some may find these sexual affairs

either inconsequential or an unnecessary "distraction." Honestly, I'm getting a little tired of Democrats accusing other Democrats of being foolishly distracted by this or that, when this other thing is more important. You might think you're being clever, but it's a lot closer to "arrogance" than cleverness. But that's an argument for another day.

The reason I (sometimes) choose to highlight these stories is to demonstrate the moral hypocrisy that permeates the ranks of Republican leadership. The GOP has falsely claimed the moral high ground on a wide range of issues, but thy are (in practice) completely out of step with the majority of their voters. And ignoring stories like this merely helps them hide that truth.