Pa.’s Shapiro, 21 AGs tell Congress to guard against voter suppression | Monday Morning Coffee

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined attorneys general in 21 other states to send a a letter to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, urging them to pass legislation protecting against voter suppression and election subversion. And, while they’re at it, maybe reform the filibuster too.

“Following the 2020 presidential election, we witnessed something many of us considered unthinkable: an attempt by the then-sitting President of the United States [Donald Trump], assisted by certain state elected officials, to steal a presidential election,” the AGs wrote in their Aug 2 letter, according to our sibling site, the Michigan Advance.

Shapiro and his fellow lawyers said they were writing to “emphasize that the peril to our democracy did not end on Inauguration Day, with the transfer of power from one administration to another. To safeguard our democracy, it is vital that Congress act promptly —including, if necessary, to reform the filibuster — to pass legislation protecting against both voter suppression and election subversion.”

The coalition is led by Michigan Attorney General Dana NesselWisconsin Attorney General Josh KaulNevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

In addition to Shapiro, other state AGs who signed on are from: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, the Advance reported.

Voters line up at a polling place on Election Day (Source: Wikimedia Commons).

“Each of our offices worked to ensure that the 2020 general election was conducted freely, fairly, and with integrity. Our offices challenged changes made by the United States Postal Service that slowed mail delivery and increased the risk that some votes cast by mail would not be counted,” the letter continues. “Some of our offices also defended modifications made by our internal elections administrators to ensure that voters had a fair opportunity to vote and that their votes were properly counted during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. We made clear that voter intimidation at the polls would not be tolerated. And our offices successfully defended democracy by opposing the effort of 18 states to overthrow the presidential election results.”

The prosecutors noted that Trump did not succeed in his efforts to overturn the election because “the legal arguments …were generally so extraordinarily weak that they did not have even the veneer of legitimacy.” And some Democratic and GOP election officials, including those in Pennsylvania, “refused to buckle under pressure at critical points,” the Advance reported.

However, the coalition argues that federal legislation is necessary to strengthen voting protections and prevent election subversion. Republican lawmakers in 48 states, including Pennsylvania, have bills clamping down on voting rights.

The AGs also note the growing right-wing push for partisan election probes, including in Pennsylvania, that seek to undermine public faith in the process.

“The truths upon which this nation was founded are self-evident. They are not self-executing, however. The profound challenges confronting our democracy demand that Congress act to prevent voter suppression and election subversion. Irrespective of one’s views on the value of the filibuster in general, it must not be allowed to stop Congress from addressing these issues so fundamental to our Constitution and democracy,” the letter concludes.

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.
With the U.S-Canada border set to reopen today after a 17-month shutdown, Cassie Miller takes a look at how residents on either side of the border view the two nations’ handling of the pandemic. That’s this week’s edition of The Numbers Racket.

Redistricting reform advocates want to end prison-based gerrymandering. Experts say it’s possible, Marley Parish reports.

Lingering election probes pushed by allies of former president Donald Trump have sparked public skepticism, and concerns in CongressCapital-Star Washington Reporter Laura Olson writes.

The NAACP of Pa. has criticized the firing of Black leadership and faculty at a W.Pa private school, our partners at Pittsburgh City Paper report. A parents group opposed to critical race theory has been linked to the incident.

On our Commentary Page this morning, frequent contributor Charles D. Allen, a faculty member at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., says the incoming fall class must meet the challenges of a changing world. And can U.S. Rep. Julia Letlow, of Louisiana, who lost her husband to the pandemic, convince vaccine skeptics to get the jab? Opinion regular Dick Polman is cautiously optimistic.

En la Estrella-CapitalGov. Tom Wolf le pide al gobernador de Nueva York Cuomo que renuncie por acoso sexual. Y legisladores Republicanos dicen que no extenderán la declaración de emergencia de opioides del Gov. Tom Wolf.

moratorium Housing advocates stage a demonstration outside a press conference held by Gov. Tom Wolf. (Capital-Star photo by Elizabeth Hardison).

Elsewhere.
More than 450,000 Philly residents have asked for help with their rent. The city can only help less than half of them, the Inquirer reports.

In the pages of the Post-Gazette, experts explain how climate change has affected the city’s infrastructure.

Restaurant owners tell PennLive they’ll have problems if they require proof of vaccination (paywall).

LancasterOnline considers whether area school districts are abandoning such key pandemic prevention measures as masks too soon.

A shooting outside a Target store in Lower Nazareth Township has left one person dead, another injured, the Morning Call reports.

Newly declared Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Conor Lamb, a congressman from western Pennsylvania, visited Wilkes-Barre over the weekendThe Citizens’ Voice has the story.

Philadelphia’s animal shelters are at full capacity, WHYY-FM reports. And efforts are underway to find 500 fosters.

The demolition of two cooling towers at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant have been put off until next yearStateImpact Pennsylvania reports.

City & State Paruns down all the candidates running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania in 2022.

You can count Republican 8th Congressional District candidate Teddy Daniels among the GOP hopefuls looking to occupy a pro-Trump lane by criticizing cops who stood up to the insurrectionists on Jan. 6, PolitcsPA reports.

NYMag’s Intelligencer runs down the needless surge in hospitalizations and deaths brought on by the Delta variant and the stubborn refusal of too many to get vaccinated.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
2 p.m., Temple Health Juniata Park Campus, Philadelphia: House Democratic Policy Committee.
Until 6 p.m.: The LG’s balcony lit up green for muscular dystrophy

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
10:30 a.m.: Golf outing for Sen. Joe Pittman
11:30 a.m.: Event for Rep. Chris Quinn
12 p.m.: Golf outing for Rep. Todd Polinchock
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out an utterly mind-numbing $21,000 today.

WolfWatch
Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Belated best wishes go out this morning to PennLive Circulation Czar Dan Christ, and to Katie Weidenboerner Deppen, who’s the comms director for Pitt’s Graduate School of Public & International Affairs — both of whom celebrated Sunday. Congratulations all around, folks.

Heavy Rotation
We’ll rewind this morning with a ’90s dancefloor banger. Here’s ‘Everybody, Everybody,’ by Black Box Recorder. It’s just the thing to get the new work week rolling.

Monday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
Baltimore’s run of terrible luck against, well, everyone, continued on Sunday with a 9-6 loss to TampaThe Os are a mind-boggling 25 games out of first place.

And now you’re up to date.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by John L. Micek

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