10/18 Weekly Legislative Update

You can make a difference:

Early voting began on Tuesday, October 6th and ends at Noon on Monday, November 2nd,
Find locations for early voting in Lake County: https://www.lakecountyin.org/cms?type=doc&name=/lcportal-cms/voters/IN_PERSON_VOTING_LOCATIONS.pdf
Find locations for early voting in Porter Country: https://porterco.org/1111/Early-Voting

If you are voting by mail, mail your ballot asap. It is due by noon on Election Day, November 3. An earlier court ruling allowing more time has been reversed. 
Court of Appeals reverses district judge’s order for Indiana to count absentee ballots through …Fox 59

You can request an absentee ballot until Oct. 22. See if you qualify and if you do, apply for your ballot

The first of two debates among the candidates for governor takes place Tuesday in Indianapolis, with coronavirus precautions in place. One of the candidates wants more.  (WIBC) 
Locally the two debates will be broadcast on Lakeshore Public radio and TV. (https://lakeshorepublicmedia.org/blog/2020/10/13/lakeshore-to-broadcast-2020-gubernatorial-debates-live-in-october/)

Check out this one-on-one interview with Dr. Woody Myers on Eric On Airhttps://cutt.ly/YgjSWS3

https://protecttheresults.com/ Please check out : www.protecttheresults.com in the event that Donald Trump refuses to accept the results. We will mobilize for action all across the country.

The Payback Project
Help target 11 Republican members of the House and the Senate. It’s a massive awareness campaign to expose the truth of their complicity and enabling of the Trump administration. Use phone or text banking. Training is provided. Check out this important initiative and sign up to volunteer: https://www.paybackproject.org/


Next week in Congress

The House remains in recess, but may come back in session if a vote is necessary on a coronavirus relief package. Senator McConnell has promised a vote on a very scaled down bill as early as Tuesday, although there is no indication that Democrats will support such a move. 
In addition, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Senate floor. (Revell, Eric. “Senate to Vote on $500B COVID-19 Relief Bill, Extension of Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses.” Causes. 18 October 2020: https://www.causes.com/articles/46293-senate-vote-500b-covid-19-relief-bill-extension-paycheck-protection-program-small-businesses)

More on coronavirus relief:

Many GOP senators are objecting to the price tag of the administration’s $1.3 trillion coronavirus relief package while at least one progressive congress person in the House is urging Speaker Pelosi to bring it to a vote and send it to the Senate. (Lillis, Mike and Scott Wong. “Trump faces unusual barrier to COVID aid: GOP allies.” The Hill. 12 October 2020: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/520658-trump-faces-unusual-barrier-to-covid-aid-gop-allies.)

A Trump administration proposal to spend 1.8 trillion in coronavirus relief has been outright rejected by Senator McConnell who will be bringing up a scaled down bill for a vote next week. This is virtually the same bill that was rejected by Senate Democrats in September. (Revell, Eric. “Senate Republicans to Vote on ‘Targeted’ $500B COVID-19 Relief Bill as Pelosi-Mnuchin Talks Stall.” Causes. 15 October 2020: https://www.causes.com/articles/46273-senate-republicans-vote-targeted-500b-covid-19-relief-bill-schools-healthcare-small-businesses-pelosi-mnuchin-talks-stall.)

Speaker Pelosi has not agreed to the administration’s scaled up proposal. A major sticking point is that the House proposal want dollars for a national testing and contact tracing program. In addition, Trump has flatly refused to provide funding to states claiming falsely that they are poorly run democratic entities. Vazque, Maegan, Phil Mattingly and Betsy Klein. “McConnell nixes Trump ‘big’ stimulus proposal.” CNN Politics. 15 October 2020: https://cutt.ly/MggkYRG)

Coronavirus relief helped stall an upward rise in poverty. Now that relief has ended, unemployment claims and poverty are climbing. (Lubhy, Tami. “More Americans fall into poverty after federal stimulus programs end.” CNN Politics. 15 October 2020: https://cutt.ly/dggj7lj)

A first round of eviction protections is winding down, and tenants and landlords alike are at significant financial risk. Numerous state legislatures are chipping away at this dangerous instability.  (GOVERNING)

The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court:
Continue to contact Indiana senators to voice your opposition to this nomination.

Braun, Mike
374 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4814

Young, Todd
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5623 www.young.senate.gov/contact

In 2016 Senator Young voiced opposition to filling a Supreme Court seat in an election year:
“U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-Bloomington, who won the Republican nomination to succeed Coats on Tuesday, agrees a new justice should only be seated after the election.”(Carden, Dan. “Coats OK with Trump nominating Supreme Court justice.” NWI Times. 04 May 2016: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/coats-ok-with-trump-nominating-supreme-court-justice/article_09ffad1e-ffe9-5a1b-939b-11548ff05ee6.html.)

From Todd Young in March, 2016, “Given that this lifetime appointment could reshape the Supreme Court for generations I would prefer that the American people be offered an opportunity to weigh in this fall, and I share Vice President Joe Biden’s reservations about the Senate holding confirmation hearings during a Presidential election year; it’s about principle and process, not the person.” (Blasko, Erin. “Senators, Senate candidates weigh in on nomination.” South Bend Tribune. 17 March 2016: https://cutt.ly/xfJh0ww.)

To find and contact your Members of Congress: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

In Other News

We all know the CDC has been politicized. Read a detailed account of how that happened and what it did. (Bandler, James, Patricia CallahanSebastian Rotella and Kirsten Berg. “Inside the Fall of the CDC.” ProPublica. 15 October 2020: https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-the-fall-of-the-cdc)

And more:
Dearen, Jason, Mike Stobbe and Richard Lardner. “White House puts ‘politicals’ at CDC to try to control info.” AP. 16 October 2020: https://cutt.ly/XgjD28M

In late February members of Trump’s administration and inner circle received and shared information about the pandemic that the public was not given. These elites used that information to their substantial advantage in the stock market. Senator Warren is demanding an investigation. (Egan, Matt. “Elizabeth Warren demands investigation into elite investors accessing Trump briefings.” CNN Business. 15 October 2020: https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/15/investing/elizabeth-warren-insider-trading-investigation/index.html)

By now you have heard about the New York Post’s questionable and likely entirely false report disclosing Joe Biden’s dealings in Ukraine surrounding his son. It’s an old and already debunked story that now has garnered even more discredit.

  • The emails purportedly found have not been verified as authentic.
  • The report asserts there was a meeting; there is no evidence that such a meeting took place.
  • Even more damning are the government’s own warnings and investigations that such efforts to discredit Biden would occur. The information used in this report came from Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer. The Washington Post reported that the White House was warned that Giuliani was being used by Russian operatives to discredit Joe Biden.
  • In addition U.S. Officials have warned that Russian disinformation campaigns are seeking to keep Hunter Biden and his Ukraine business dealings in the public eye.
  • “And NBC is now reporting that the FBI is investigating whether the material in the New York Post story originated in a foreign power’s disinformation campaign.”

    (Folkenflik, David. “Analysis: Questionable ‘N.Y. Post’ Scoop Driven By Ex-Hannity Producer And Giuliani.” NPR. 12 October 2020: https://cutt.ly/BgjDl7q)

Read more:
Business Insider: “An explosive New York Post story that sent Trumpworld into a frenzy is riddled with holes and red flags.” https://www.businessinsider.com/new-york-post-hunter-joe-biden-giuliani-red-flags-disinformation-2020-10


The Census count has been halted by the Supreme Court. The administration has been seeking to end the count by the beginning of October. A district court and then an appeals court had ruled that the Census count should continue through October 31. The Supreme Court has ruled that the count can stop while an appeal to lower court rulings take place. (Kruzel, John. “Supreme Court grants Trump request to halt 2020 census.” The Hill. 13 October 2020: https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/520876-supreme-court-grants-trump-request-to-halt-census?userid=295338.)

The Commerce Department announced that the Census will now conclude on Thursday, October 15, two weeks early. The prospect of the resultant undercounting will disproportionately affect minority communities, low-income populations, the homeless, indigenous groups and any hard-to-reach populations. (Stohr, Greg and Joel Rosenblatt. “Supreme Court Lets Trump Officials End Census Count Early.” Bloomberg. 13 October 2020: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-13/supreme-court-lets-trump-administration-end-census-count-early?sref=a2d7LMhq)

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal to lower court decisions that struck down a lawsuit brought by 215 lawmakers accusing Trump of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. The lower courts ruled that the lawmakers lacked necessary legal standing to bring the lawsuit. Trump faces two other similar lawsuits being brought by an advocacy group and by the Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia. (Wolfe, Jan. U.S. Supreme Court ends Democratic lawmakers’ anti-graft lawsuit against Trump. Reuters. 13 October 2020: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-emoluments-idUSKBN26Y1ZW)

“The court will hear arguments next month to decide whether the president can exclude those without legal status from the count used to apportion congressional districts to the states.” The 14th amendment directs that the count should be of all the whole residing in the United States. The president maintains that the”discretion delegated to the executive branch to determine who qualifies as an ‘inhabitant’ includes authority to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.” .” (Shepard, Steven. “Supreme Court tees up census case over whether Trump can exclude undocumented immigrants.” Politico. 16 October 2020: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/16/supreme-court-undocumented-immigrants-census-429969.)

To find and contact your Members of Congress: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials


See the top search engine results for justices on the ballot for Lake and Porter County.

Indiana governor attacked from both sides over coronavirus actions Chicago Sun-Times
INDIANAPOLIS — Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb hears lots of criticism over how he’s led Indiana during the coronavirus pandemic over the past …
Indiana governor attacked from both sides over virus actions – Associated Press
How Anti-Mask Politics Are Scrambling Indiana’s Governor’s Race – POLITICO Magazine

Holcomb offers consistency in second term bid for governor, opponents say Indiana needs changes pdclarion.com

Indiana sees possible shift in state party power Fox 59
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana voters could create a small shift in power at the statehouse after the 2020 General Election. For years, Republicans have …

Report on Indiana teacher pay on hold until after election Fort Wayne’s NBC
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration is holding off on releasing a report with recommendations on teacher salaries until …
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration is holding off on releasing a report with recommendations on teacher salaries until after the Nov. 3 election.  (AP Indiana)

A new study published by the National Council of State Housing Agencies estimates there will be about 150,000 eviction filings in Indiana by January 2021 after the moratorium set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expires this year.  (Fox 59)

Chicago adds Indiana to quarantine list for COVID-19 cases WRTV
CHICAGO — Indiana’s surge in new COVID-19 cases has prompted the city of Chicago to add Indiana to a list of states where travelers to that state or …

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor landed a $4 million grant to turn a vacant gravel yard into a new multimodal bulk storage facility.  (Times of Northwest Indiana)

To find and contact your Indiana legislators: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/