Key Pennsylvania state senator backs Arizona-style election audit · Highlight PA

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HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania state senator, responsible for a key electoral committee, backs a November presidential contest review similar to the Arizona partisan ballot review four days after former President Donald Trump called him out and claimed he was hesitant.

Despite two reviews and assurances from all levels of government that the election was free from widespread fraud, Senator David Argall (R., Schuylkill) told Spotlight PA that he saw no “harm in trying to answer the question again” . Worries people have. “

But such an endeavor, especially when driven by a single political party, is sure to attract criticism and raise critical questions, including the cost of who would pay for it and why it would be more trustworthy than the widely accepted audits already completed .

Argall’s counterpart in the State House declined an additional review, but the Senate can order its own review, and Argall’s committee has the power to summon ballot papers.

“The results are the results,” Argall said during the Spotlight PA Capitol Live event Friday when asked if he recognized the November results as legitimate. “The electoral college has spoken, you know the president was sworn in. I understand that this is the reality.”

District election and state officials, as well as Trump’s own attorney general, have repeatedly said there is no evidence of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania and that the results are accurate and reflect the will of voters across the state.

Still, Pennsylvania was and is the focus of Trump and his most ardent supporters, who falsely claim the 2020 elections were stolen. Many Republican lawmakers, including leadership in the House, signed a letter urging Congress to turn down the state election for President Joe Biden, while prominent senators, including Argall, asked the panel to postpone certification of the electoral college because “inconsistent and questionable activity. “

On Monday, Trump targeted Argall and the President of the Senate of the state Pro Tempore Jake Corman (right, center), requested an examination and asked whether they were “stupid, corrupt or naive”.

“I am sure that if Corman continues on this path of resistance with its lack of transparency, it will be preferred and will lose in large numbers,” the former president said in a statement.

Despite continued efforts by Trump and some US Republicans to question the election results, Argall said, “I don’t know why people are so suspicious of the results.”

“I just know it’s you,” he said.

Argall said he was focused on the process, including rulings by the state Supreme Court and the Wolf Administration, which “completely ignored” the legislature’s intentions when they passed a major election overhaul in 2019, including the universal one Introduced postal voting.

Experts previously informed Spotlight PA and Votebeat that there are State Department guidelines on issues such as “healing” postal ballot papers with issues such as a missing privacy envelope was the result of loopholes in the law. In rulings by the state Supreme Court, including one that allowed postal ballot papers to be received beyond the standard deadline, the pandemic has been identified as a need for exceptional relief.

“Do I have 100 percent confidence … that everything was perfect? No, I really want us to look into this in detail, ”Argall said. “So we’re looking at changing parts of the electoral law, and I also think it wouldn’t hurt to go back, do that check and say, ‘How exactly did that work?'”

These concerns, and how to address them, have been the subject of 10 State House Panel hearings, culminating in one Comprehensive GOP proposal to change voting in Pennsylvania. Argall said he couldn’t be sure what further examination would reveal, if anything.

When asked if he thought the election was fair and safe, he said, “Can’t we take the test and respond so that we can all have a definitive answer?”

“So is that a yes or a no?” answered the interviewer.

“That means let’s do the audit and find out.”

Argall chairs the Senate’s powerful government committee, which is considering redistribution of laws in addition to electoral laws. In an in-depth interview with Spotlight PA, the Senator said there were talks to move forward with an amended version of a bill that would add additional barriers to the ten-year process of drawing new political maps.

The statement, proposed by Senator Lisa Boscola (D., Northampton), would make the process of redistributing laws and conventions more transparent. But Joe Kelly, their chief of staff, told Spotlight PA and Votebeat on Friday that Argall’s proposed change would only focus on the process by which the map of Congress is created.

Kelly said the Senator was disappointed that the bill would not include reforms to the way the State House and Senate maps were drawn up. In contrast to the congress card, only a five-member committee made up of leaders of the General Assembly and an appointed third chairman can approve the legislative cards.

Boscola was not involved in drafting the amendment, Kelly said, and was briefed on Thursday.

Argall declined to provide details on which provisions were included in the change and which could be removed, but said there seemed to be a consensus that the parish, county and school district boundaries should be kept intact. When asked why he has not given priority to laws or similar reallocation reform laws in the past, Argall said he was not interested in postponing actions that will not happen through the House.

This chamber is currently focused on a major overhaul of the elections that includes stricter rules for voter ID, signature verification requirements for postal votes and personal early voting.

Rep. Seth Grove, chairman of the government committee of the House of Representatives, said earlier this month the chamber would “not approve further reviews of previous elections” and instead focus on amending the state’s electoral law.

But Argall said Friday he thinks it would be “not a bad idea to move on to an exam” and hopes to “close” the issue in the next few weeks. He said he wanted the review to be independent, whether through the state audit office or an investigation commissioned by the Senate.

There are also options when it comes to paying for an additional exam, he said.

“One would be to do it with public funds,” he said. “The other would be the Arizona model, where I think they found private donors willing to pay the cost.”

A private option contradicts electoral legislation urging Argall’s GOP colleagues in the House of Representatives, which would prohibit counties from taking private dollars to pay for the voting administration.

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Trudeau winds up Liberal conference with election campaign-style speech


Why some women resist alcohol and the wine-to-relax culture

Allison Garber says from the outside that it looked like she had it all together. The communications company owner and mother of two may not have looked like a problem drinker. But she says she was willing to set the clock to 5 p.m. every day so she could open a bottle of wine and pour a glass. Then “not so patiently” waiting for her kids to go to bed so she can have a few more. Garber decided that she had a drinking problem in 2018 and sought help. She has now been sober for more than two years and grateful that she recovered from the pandemic. “I’m so glad I wasn’t stuck on that train looking at alcohol as a reward for a tough day,” she said. “”[The pandemic] just reinforced everything. It has reinforced the way we use alcohol as a form of self-medication, as a form of self-care. “And that message is reinforced almost everywhere. You had a long day, pour yourself a glass of wine.” CLOCK | Allison Garber says it was hard to realize she had a problem with alcohol: Drinking among women has increased steadily in recent years. In 2018, the Canadian Health Commissioner’s Report on Health Status identified alcohol use among women as one of the most pressing concerns of our time. The report highlighted that from 2011 to 2017, alcohol-related deaths among Canadian women increased by 26 percent, while alcohol-related deaths among men increased by just five percent. The pandemic has spiked alcohol sales, and some Canadians are reporting increased binge drinking. A survey by Statistics Canada published in January shows that many Canadians don’t pour themselves just a single glass. Almost one in five respondents to the survey said they had consumed five or more drinks – the equivalent of one bottle of wine – on the days they drank alcohol in the previous month. The agency says this is higher than it was before the COVID-19 hit. When women drink, the health effects can fluctuate. Drinking three to six alcoholic beverages a week increases the risk of breast cancer in women by 15 percent. Women who drink two glasses of wine a day have a 50 percent higher risk of breast cancer. “What we consider very modest amounts of alcohol is still very important from a health perspective,” said Dr. Jennifer Wyman, assistant director of substance use services at Women’s College Hospital. Currently, Canada’s low-risk, low-alcohol drinking guidelines recommend no more than 10 drinks per week for women and 15 for men. The agency responsible for these guidelines, the Canadian Center for Substance Use and Addiction, is currently considering whether they should be changed. The current guidelines need to be revised to take account of the risks, said Dr. Wyman. CLOCK | Dr. Jennifer Wyman talks about why she thinks the guidelines for low risk alcohol need to change: One drink a day or seven a week would probably be more reasonable, she said, adding that the guidelines should be a maximum, even if this is the case possible is not always to be treated that way. Dr. Wyman says that she believes that some people see the maximum of 10 drinks per week in the guideline and interpret that as what the average person drinks. “And if they drink this, they’re kind of in the middle of the spectrum and they’re fine, by contrast, that’s really the maximum number you should think about,” she said. “And that doesn’t mean you should try to get that every week. That should be the top.” Just as the upper limits on alcohol consumption are different for women and men, so are the reasons why they drink. The pressures put on women to take on different roles have many reasons before they can pour a glass of wine, says Dr. Wyman. “I think women tend to drink as a coping mechanism,” she said. In a report by the Canadian Health Commissioner, alcohol use was identified as one of the most pressing health problems among women. From 2011 to 2017, alcohol-related deaths among Canadian women increased by 26 percent. Since then, the pandemic has led to an increase in alcohol levels () Alcohol is often viewed as the fastest decompression device, says Ann Dowsett Johnston, who wrote the book Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. “If you can’t get to a yoga class, if you can’t figure out how to fit that in, or a long bath, or a walk around the block – you’re making dinner, you’re at the chopping block, you pour a glass of wine. “Alcohol consumption is also strengthened socially. Girls’ nights out, champagne to celebrate, wine in a book club. This is how we celebrate, relax, and reward each other, said Dowsett Johnston. It has also become a social media phenomenon that mothers need wine to deal with. There are wine glasses with “mother’s juice” and “because children”. “I think the whole idea of ​​drinking mom has turned into a meme, and I think there’s way too much humor. I think it’s a serious social problem.” Dowsett Johnston says the pandemic only added to the stresses many women are carrying. CLOCK | Ann Dowsett Johnston shares the challenges women face that can affect their alcohol consumption: Marketing “mom juice” to cope is something life coach Alexis McCalla opposes. “They assume they can’t handle their lives so they have to go out and drink,” said the mother from Whitby, Ontario. “And now you normalize it.” McCalla never drank anything close to the limit of 10 drinks a week, but said she had a glass of wine to relax more often than she normally would during the pandemic. Before that, opened wine bottles were left unfinished. But she says she made frequent trips to the liquor store to numb the fear she had over COVID-19. She says she kept a journal and asked herself difficult questions, and in the end she found she was drinking more because she was concerned that her family would get sick during the pandemic. When McCalla got to the bottom of her fears, she said she decided to stop drinking and have some alcohol-free time with some of her clients. She also works with some of them to address the fears at the core of their alcohol use. McCalla has had a single glass of wine since then and found she wasn’t interested in starting over. When she realized she’d sleep better and train harder the next day if she didn’t open a bottle. “I could have read another book. I could have talked to friends or kept a journal and learned more about myself.” Life coach Alexis McCalla said that when she decided to give up alcohol, she found she could sleep better and exercise more effectively the next day. (Alexis McCalla) McCalla and the women she’s helped aren’t the only ones asking their questions about drinking. Dawn Nickel is based in Victoria, BC. She is the founder of SheRecovers, a program designed for women to recover from addiction problems. Nickel says the number of women who have come forward has skyrocketed over the past year. “Our Facebook group increased from 2,000 to 7,800 last year.” Nickel says that not every woman who turns to the program has an alcohol abuse disorder. For some, abstinence is the goal; for others, it might be a limitation. “We’re just talking about what are your goals? What is your intention? Do you want to slow down? Do you want to stop? You choose it and we will help you get there.” The pandemic may have resulted in more alcohol consumption, but with so many recovery programs online now, according to Nickel, finding help is easier and more convenient than ever. So find a safe place to wonder why they need alcohol to deal with it. “There is so much support for them now,” said Nickel. “We are having these conversations for the first time in society about who we are influenced by and who says we need to have a bottle of wine every night to relax.” For Garber, the restoration involved a more traditional 12-step program. “I knew that if I continued down this path I would have some dire consequences. I could see it clearly. So I made the decision to reach out to a friend I knew was herself in Recovery is in progress. ” Now Garber supports other women who get in touch and need help. She joined a running club and trained for races. She runs by the water every Saturday and on the days when Halifax’s famous clouds part, she takes a moment to stop and photograph the sunrise, grateful for how far she has come. “I stop in the same place every time,” she said. “It’s just this opportunity to say thank you for everything that has helped me stay here.” Watch the full episodes of The National on CBC Gem, the CBC’s streaming service.

Steve Kornacki on Election 2020 Protection and Turning into a Model Icon

Your coverage of the marathon elections was legendary. Are you still recovering

We started at 6pm on Tuesday evening. I slept a couple of hours from Wednesday to Thursday, then went straight back inside. Thursday through Friday we worked around the clock again and I was out all night. That was the night Biden took the lead in Georgia. It was three or four in the morning. There’s a board that I use in the air, and right behind it we had a couple of folding chairs and a table. I would come out of the air and sit down and my eyes would be so heavy I could have fallen asleep. But as soon as we got an update I got an energy boost and had no problem. I didn’t feel tired in the air. The election was finally scheduled on Saturday around 11:30 am and I was out of the studio by noon.

You have suddenly become a style icon for your uniform of gap khakis, white shirt and tie. Did you have to wear a uniform to school as a child?

It was a very strange thing to see the attention my clothes got just because it was so inversely related to the amount of thought I put into them. I went to a public school so we didn’t have to wear a tie. I still couldn’t even tie a tie if you asked me to. When it comes to pants, they say that consumption habits are established at a relatively young age. Well, about 20 years ago I wore these pants and said, ah, this works for me, and out of habit I just keep buying them and never think about them.

Wait, you don’t know how to tie a tie?

I learned that all you need to know is people who know how to tie ties and they will tie them for you and you can put them on and off easily. I have a shelf in my office that has three ties on it right now and they’re all tied so they’re ready to go.

How does it feel to become such a beloved public figure? You have People’s “Sexiest Man Alive!” List, celebrities have your name screaming and have been on all talk shows.

Since this is all happening during the pandemic, I don’t really feel it. It’s not like I’m going anywhere. Seeing some of the stuff online was flattering, but strange. I also think these things come and go.

What’s the strangest thing a fan sent you?

I received a couple of ties. And as I said, I can’t really tie them.

They crack statistics and data. Were you good at math in school?

I was probably the worst calculus student in my high school history. To this day I have stress dreams that I am back to trigonometry or calculus, trying to figure out the volume of a cone or sphere. But for whatever reason, I’m good at computer math, adding and subtracting on the fly. And I actually did statistics for my high school basketball team.

What was it like going from the election to the NFL playoff probability breakdown for Sunday Night Football?

It flowed naturally. I played Road to 270 on the board for two months – “If Biden wins this state but if Trump wins this state” – and it’s the same for playoffs: “See if the Steelers lose this game next week and The Bills.” win this game, it’s going to change the playoff picture so much. ”I’m a huge sports fan and follow this stuff at first so it was a really similar approach.

You wrote a book in 2018, The Red and the Blue, about the birth of tribalism in our political parties. Do you see an episode between sport and politics these days?

The tribalism of sport invades our politics. In sport, if the referee makes a call and goes against the home team, it doesn’t matter if the call is right or wrong, the crowd will make fun of it. And if the call goes in favor of the home team, the crowd will cheer, and again, it has nothing to do with whether the call itself is right or wrong. It has to do with it, did it help or harm the team we’re cheering for? It’s a healthy thing in sport, but I don’t think that’s a healthy thing in politics.

What does the rest of 2021 have in store for you?

I’m as curious as anyone about what American politics will look like in a month, three months, six months from now. There will be mid-term elections next year. There will be some gubernatorial elections this fall. The New York Mayor’s race will take place later this year. I’m sure there will be some high stakes special elections. I know wherever they are, whenever they are, whatever they are, I’ll cover them live when the voices come in.

Laws geared toward transgender folks is an election technique, journalist says

The Republican Party is turning to old tactics to build a new coalition after losing control of the Senate and Presidency in the 2020 elections.

Politico’s national political correspondent Gabby Orr said Friday the GOP’s strategy to pass laws banning transgender female athletes from women’s sports teams was motivated by its goal of overcoming election failures and recovering local voters.

“My sources, who are going behind the scenes on this issue and who want Republicans to talk about it, think this could be something that resonates … not just with non-ideological voters – when labeled a justice issue – but also with the socially conservative grassroots voters that the Republican Party has to bring out, “Orr said.

Mississippi is poised to become the first state against transgender people this year after its legislature passed a law banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports in schools and universities. Republican Governor Tate Reeves tweeted Thursday night that he would sign the bill.

Orr warned, however, that the strategy could “absolutely” shut down moderates.

“We’ve seen some of the loudest voices talking about it in the GOP are Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia Congressman) and Ted Cruz (Senator from Texas). So they’re not exactly popular politicians with moderate voters, let alone suburbanites Women, “Orr said on CNBCs”The news with Shepard Smith. “The GOP risks backfiring at a time when we really saw the country’s trend in support of anti-discrimination laws, including Republicans.”

Orr quoted a Public Religion Research Institute survey 61% of Republicans support non-discrimination protection for LGBTQ Americans in 2020. That was five percentage points more than in 2019.

Idaho passed a law last year banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports, but one federal district suspended the law and it wasn’t enacted. At least 26 states have introduced similar bills across the country.