New York City Poised to Give Voting Rights to Noncitizens

New York City, long a beacon for immigrants, is on the cusp of becoming the largest place in the country to give noncitizens the right to vote in local elections. 

Legally documented, voting-age noncitizens comprise nearly one in nine of the city’s 7 million voting-age inhabitants. Under a bill nearing approval, some 800,000 noncitizens would be allowed to cast ballots in elections to pick the mayor, City Council members and other municipal officeholders. 

Noncitizens still wouldn’t be able to vote for president or members of Congress in federal races, or in the state elections that pick the governor, judges and legislators. 

Little stands in the way of the effort becoming law. The measure has broad support within the City Council, which is expected to ratify the proposal Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio has raised concerns about the wisdom and legality of the legislation but said he won’t veto it. 

The law would give an electoral voice to the many New Yorkers who love the city and have made it their permanent home but can’t easily become U.S. citizens or would rather remain citizens of their home nations for various reasons. 

It would also cover “Dreamers” like Eva Santos, 32, who was brought to the U.S. by her parents at age 11 as an unauthorized immigrant but wasn’t able to vote like her friends or go to college when she turned 18. 

“It was really hard for me to see how my other friends were able to make decisions for their future, and I couldn’t,” said Santos, now a community organizer. 

More than a dozen communities across the United States currently allow noncitizens to vote, including 11 towns in Maryland and two in Vermont. 

San Francisco, through a ballot initiative ratified by voters in 2016, began allowing noncitizens to vote in school board elections — which was also true in New York City until it abolished its boards in 2002 and gave control of schools to the mayor. 

The move in Democrat-controlled New York City is a counterpoint to restrictions being enacted in some states, where Republicans have espoused unsupported claims of rampant fraud by noncitizens in federal elections. 

Last year, voters in Alabama, Colorado and Florida ratified measures specifying that only U.S. citizens can vote, joining Arizona and North Dakota in adopting rules that would preempt any attempts to pass laws like the one being considered in New York City. 

“I think that there’s people in our society that go to sleep with so much fear of immigrants that they try to make an argument to disqualify their right to elect their local leaders,” said New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who is originally from the Dominican Republic and was unable to vote until he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. 

“This is about whether we are living in New York City, we are contributing to New York City and paying taxes in New York City,” said Rodriguez, a Democrat. 

De Blasio, though, has questioned whether the measure would survive a legal challenge. Federal law allows states and local governments to decide who can vote in their elections, but some, including the mayor, have raised concerns about whether state lawmakers must first act to grant the city the authority to extend voting rights to noncitizens. 

“Look, there’s obviously an argument: We want people involved, we want to hear people’s voices,” de Blasio recently said on the television news program “Inside City Hall.” 

“I still have a concern about it. Citizenship has an extraordinary value. People work so hard for it,” he said. “We need people in every good way to want to be citizens.” 

The minority leader of the City Council, Joseph Borelli, a Republican from Staten Island, said the measure will undoubtedly end up in court. 

“It devalues citizenship, and citizenship is the standard by which the state constitution issues or allows for suffrage in New York state elections at all levels,” Borelli said. 

The proposal would allow noncitizens who have been lawful permanent residents of the city for at least 30 days, as well as those authorized to work in the U.S., including so-called “Dreamers,” to help select the city’s mayor, city council members, borough presidents, comptroller and public advocate. 

The law would direct the Board of Elections to draw up an implementation plan by July, including voter registration rules and provisions that would create separate ballots for municipal races to prevent noncitizens from casting ballots in federal and state contests. Noncitizens wouldn’t be allowed to vote until elections in 2023. 

Giving nonresidents the right to vote could empower them to become a political force that can’t be easily ignored, said Anu Joshi, the vice president of policy of the New York Immigration Coalition. 

New York City, with more than 3 million foreign-born residents, would be a fitting place to anchor a national movement to expand immigrant voting rights, said Ron Hayduk, now a professor of political science at San Francisco State University who spent years in New York steeped in the movement for noncitizen voting rights. 

“New York, the home of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, prides itself on being the place of immigration,” he noted. “So there’s this question of what’s the place of immigrants in our city — are they really New Yorkers, are they full New Yorkers in the sense of qualifying and deserving the power of the vote and to shape its political future?” 

The answer should be a “resounding yes,” he said. 

 

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US Defense Bill Includes $300 Million for Ukraine, Support for Taiwan

U.S. lawmakers included efforts to push back against Russia and China in a massive annual defense bill released on Tuesday, proposing $300 million for Ukraine’s military and a statement of support for the defense of Taiwan. 

But they omitted some measures that had strong support in Congress, including a proposal to impose mandatory sanctions over the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and a plan to subject women to the military draft for the first time. 

The compromise version of the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, authorizes $770 billion in military spending, $25 billion more than requested by President Joe Biden and about 5% more than last year’s budget. 

The plan includes a 2.7% pay increase for the troops, and more aircraft and Navy ship purchases to send a signal to Russia and China, in addition to strategies for dealing with geopolitical threats. 

Money for Ukraine 

The NDAA normally passes with strong bipartisan support. It is closely watched by a broad swath of industry and other interests because of its wide scope and because it is one of the only major pieces of legislation that becomes law every year. 

This year’s bill was released shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held two hours of virtual talks on Ukraine and other disputes. 

The 2022 NDAA includes $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which provides support to Ukraine’s armed forces, includes $4 billion for the European Defense Initiative and proposes $150 million for Baltic security cooperation. 

It does not include a provision that would force Biden to impose sanctions over the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring Russian gas directly to Germany. The measure’s supporters argue that the pipeline would be harmful to European allies. 

Lawmakers also omitted an amendment that would have banned Americans from purchasing Russian sovereign debt. 

Biden’s fellow Democrats control both the House of Representatives and Senate. The White House has said administration officials support sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine, but not provisions that could threaten trans-Atlantic ties. 

Eyes on China 

On China, the bill includes $7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and a statement of congressional support for the defense of Taiwan, as well as a ban on the Department of Defense procuring products produced with forced labor from China’s Xinjiang region. 

The United States has labeled China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang as genocide, and lawmakers have been pushing a ban on imports of products made with forced labor from Uyghurs. China dismisses the genocide charge as a slanderous assertion about conditions in Xinjiang. 

Compromises 

The compromise text omits a proposal to require women to register for the military draft that was included in earlier versions. The proposal faced stiff opposition from socially conservative lawmakers who thought it would erode traditional gender roles, threatening to stymie the entire NDAA. 

The compromise bill includes an overhaul of the military justice system to take decisions on whether to prosecute cases of rape, sexual assault and some other major crimes out of the hands of military commanders. 

The change was a partial victory for activists because it did not strip military commanders of the authority to prosecute all felonies. It came after advocates led by Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand waged a yearslong effort to change the system in response to the thousands of cases of sexual assault among service members, many of which are never prosecuted. 

Gillibrand said she still wanted a separate vote on her full proposal. 

To become law for the 61st straight year, the NDAA must pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by Biden. 

 

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Congress Reaches Agreement to Avert Calamitous US Debt Default

U.S. senators struck a deal Tuesday to create a one-time law allowing Democrats to lift the nation’s borrowing authority and avoid a credit default without requiring votes from the opposition Republicans. 

The House of Representatives approved the fix in an evening vote. It is expected to be approved by the Senate in the coming days, allowing lawmakers to avert the crisis with a simple 51-vote majority in the upper chamber. 

The Bipartisan Policy Center said last week it expected the United States would no longer be able to meet its debt repayment obligations between December 21 and January 28. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has put the deadline even earlier: next Wednesday. 

“Nobody wants to see the U.S. default on its debts. As Secretary Yellen has warned, a default could eviscerate everything we’ve done to recover from the COVID crisis,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor of the chamber. 

“We don’t want to see that, I don’t believe we will see that, and I continue to thank all my colleagues for cooperating in good faith to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States,” he said. 

America spends more money than it collects through taxation so it borrows money via the issuing of government bonds, seen as among the world’s most reliable investments. 

Around 80 years ago lawmakers introduced a limit on how much federal debt could be accrued. 

The ceiling has been lifted dozens of times to allow the government to meet its spending commitments, usually without drama and with the support of both parties, and stands around $29 trillion. 

Democratic leaders have spent weeks underlining the havoc that a default would have wrought, including the loss of an estimated 6 million jobs and $15 trillion in household wealth, as well as increased costs for mortgages and other borrowing. 

But Republicans in both chambers of Congress initially objected to helping raise the limit, saying they refused to support what they called President Joe Biden’s reckless taxing and spending plans. 

In reality, both parties see raising the borrowing cap as politically toxic, and Republicans hope to make it an issue in the 2022 midterm election campaign. 

Under the complex, multistep compromise proposed Tuesday, the Republicans can essentially stand on the sidelines, offering help to create the new law but offering no votes to increase the limit.

Congress would have to specify the exact dollar amount of a new borrowing cap — likely upwards of $30 trillion.

After the Senate has followed the House in approving the new process, both chambers are expected to pass the extension by simple majority votes ahead of the deadline. 

Crucially, Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, is backing the process. 

“I think this is in the best interest of the country, by avoiding default,” he told reporters when questioned about the convoluted approach. 

 

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Congress Reaches Deal to Avoid Defaulting on US Debt

U.S. senators struck a deal Tuesday to create a one-time law allowing Democrats to lift the nation’s borrowing authority and avert a credit default without requiring votes from the opposition Republicans. 

The House of Representatives will vote on the fix as early as Tuesday evening and it is expected to be approved by Congress in the coming days, allowing lawmakers to avert the crisis with a simple 51-vote majority in the upper chamber. 

The Bipartisan Policy Center said last week it expected the United States would no longer be able to meet its debt repayment obligations between December 21 and January 28. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has put deadline even earlier: next Wednesday. 

“Nobody wants to see the U.S. default on its debts. As Secretary Yellen has warned, a default could eviscerate everything we’ve done to recover from the COVID crisis,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor of the chamber. 

“We don’t want to see that, I don’t believe we will see that, and I continue to thank all my colleagues for cooperating in good faith to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States,” he said. 

America spends more money than it collects through taxation so it borrows money via the issuing of government bonds, seen as among the world’s most reliable investments. 

Around 80 years ago, lawmakers introduced a limit on how much federal debt could be accrued. 

The ceiling has been lifted dozens of times to allow the government to meet its spending commitments, usually without drama and with the support of both parties, and it stands at about $29 trillion. 

Democratic leaders have spent weeks underlining the havoc that a default would have wrought, including the loss of an estimated 6 million jobs and $15 trillion in household wealth, as well as increased costs for mortgages and other borrowing. 

But Republicans in both chambers of Congress initially objected to helping raise the limit this time, saying they refused to support President Joe Biden’s taxing and spending plans. 

In reality, both parties see raising the borrowing cap as politically toxic, and Republicans hope to make it an issue in the 2022 midterm election campaign. 

Under the complex, multistep compromise proposed Tuesday, the Republicans can essentially stand on the sidelines, offering help to create the new law but offering no votes to increase the limit.

Congress would have to specify the exact dollar amount of a new borrowing cap, likely upward of $30 trillion.

Both chambers would have to approve the new process first, and then the Senate, followed by the House, would pass the extension by simple majority votes. 

Crucially, Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, is backing the process. 

“I think this is in the best interest of the country, by avoiding default,” he told reporters when questioned about the convoluted approach. 

 

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Attorney Says Meadows Won’t Cooperate with Jan. 6 Panel

In an abrupt reversal, an attorney for former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said his client will not cooperate with a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing a breakdown in negotiations with the panel.  

Attorney George Terwilliger said in a letter Tuesday that a deposition would be “untenable” because the Jan. 6 panel “has no intention of respecting boundaries” concerning questions that former President Donald Trump has claimed are off-limits because of executive privilege. Terwilliger also said that he learned over the weekend that the committee had issued a subpoena to a third-party communications provider that he said would include “intensely personal” information.  

Terwilliger said in a statement last week that he was continuing to work with the committee and its staff on a potential accommodation that would not require Meadows to waive the executive privileges claimed by Trump or “forfeit the long-standing position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify” before Congress.  

“We appreciate the Select Committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses on non-privileged topics,” he said then.  

A spokesperson for the panel did not have immediate comment on Terwilliger’s letter. The committee’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, said last week that Meadows had been engaging with the panel through his attorney, producing records and agreeing to appear for an initial deposition.  

Thompson said the committee would “continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition.” He has said that any witnesses who don’t comply will be held in contempt of Congress.

In halting cooperation, Terwilliger also cited comments from Thompson that he said unfairly cast aspersions on witnesses who invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. A separate witness, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, has said he will invoke those Fifth Amendment rights.  

“As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we now must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition,” Terwilliger wrote in the letter.

The reversal comes as Meadows has been receiving attention for a new book, released Tuesday, which revealed that Trump received a positive COVID-19 test before a presidential debate and was far sicker than the White House revealed at the time.

Trump — who told his supporters to “fight like hell” before hundreds of his supporters broke into the Capitol and stopped the presidential electoral count — has attempted to hinder much of the committee’s work, including in an ongoing court case, by arguing that Congress cannot obtain information about his private White House conversations.

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Вітер та мокрий сніг знеструмили 75 населених пунктів у трьох областях

Через мокрий сніг та вітер в Україні знеструмлена низка населених пунктів, повідомляє Державна служба з надзвичайних ситуацій.

«Через спрацювання систем автоматичного захисту ЛЕП знеструмлено 75 населених пунктів у 3 областях (Чернігівська – 46, Львівська – 21 та Київська – 8)», – йдеться в заяві рятувальників.

Повідомляється, що до відновлення електропостачання залучені бригади обленерго.

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Body of Late Senator Bob Dole to Lie in State at Capitol

Senator Bob Dole’s body will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday as congressional leaders honor the former Republican presidential candidate and World War II veteran who served in Congress for 36 years. 

Dole died Sunday at the age of 98. He was a leader known for his caustic wit, which he often turned on himself but didn’t hesitate to turn on others, too. He shaped tax and foreign policy and worked vigorously to help the disabled, enshrining protections against discrimination in employment, education and public services in the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The U.S. Capitol has been considered the most suitable place for the nation to pay final tribute to its most eminent citizens by having their remains lie in state. 

Dole, from Kansas, won the Republican nomination in 1996 but was defeated when President Bill Clinton won a second term. He was also 1976 GOP vice presidential candidate on the losing ticket with President Gerald Ford. 

Throughout his political career, he carried the mark of war. Charging a German position in northern Italy in 1945, Dole was hit by a shell fragment that crushed two vertebrae and paralyzed his arms and legs. The young Army platoon leader spent three years recovering in a hospital and never regained use of his right hand. 

 

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US Sues Texas Over Legislative Redistricting

The U.S. Justice Department sued the southwestern state of Texas on Monday, alleging that Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Latinos and other minorities by redrawing new congressional and state legislative districts to increase the voting power of white Texans. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the lawsuit, the Justice Department’s first major legal action since states throughout the country started reshaping their voting districts after the conclusion of the 2020 census. 

Texas, the second-biggest U.S. state, with nearly 30 million people, grew dramatically since the last census in 2010, adding nearly 4 million residents. As a result, the state gained two more seats in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives. 

Most of that population growth was among minorities; white Texans accounted for about 5% of the growth. 

But the Justice Department alleged in the lawsuit that the Republican lawmakers had redrawn the congressional boundaries in a way that would disadvantage minority voters, who generally have voted for Democrats.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not blocked politically partisan drawing of legislative districts, but shaping them in a way that unfairly puts racial and ethnic minorities at a disadvantage is illegal. 

“This is not the first time Texas has acted to minimize the voting rights of its minority citizens,” the lawsuit contended. “Decade after decade, Texas has enacted redistricting plans that violate the Voting Rights Act.” 

On Twitter, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the lawsuit “absurd.” 

“I am confident that our legislature’s redistricting decisions will be proven lawful, and this preposterous attempt to sway democracy will fail,” he wrote. 

The lawsuit is the second time in a little over a month that the Justice Department has sued Texas in a voting-related case. The federal government earlier claimed that a new state law would disenfranchise eligible voters, including older Americans and people with disabilities, by banning 24-hour and drive-thru voting. 

 

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US Senate Plans Vote on Safety Net Legislation Before Christmas

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer laid out a tight timetable Monday for his Democratic colleagues to vote on and approve a roughly $2 trillion package to revamp U.S. health care, education, climate, immigration and tax laws before Christmas.

The House of Representatives has already narrowly approved a version of the measure, but Senate Democrats are planning to make some changes. If they reach agreement, Democrats then will need all 50 of their votes in the 100-member chamber, plus the tiebreaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, to pass the legislation because the 50-member Republican caucus uniformly opposes it.

If the package, proposed by President Joe Biden as his Build Back Better plan, clears the Senate with changes, the House would need to vote again on it before sending it to Biden for his signature.

Schumer warned his Democratic colleagues that for the measure to be approved by the Senate before the Christmas holiday on December 25, along with other must-pass legislation, they will have to work “more long days and nights and potentially weekends.”

If approved, the $2 trillion proposal would greatly expand the role of the national government in the lives of Americans by perhaps the most in five decades.

The measure would expand health care insurance benefits for older Americans, add new money to fight climate change, establish universal prekindergarten instruction and offer new assistance for low-income families, all financed through higher taxes for wealthy Americans and corporations.

But two centrist Democratic lawmakers, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, have balked at some of the House-passed provisions, forcing Democratic leaders to engage in protracted negotiations with them to win an agreement.

Manchin has said the additional government spending could add to higher costs for consumers, fueling the biggest surge in U.S. inflation in three decades. Biden has contended that with the additional tax revenue and tighter tax collection measures to catch tax cheaters, the measure will be fully paid for.

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China Evergrande Braces for Debt Deadline after Doubting Ability to Pay

After lurching from deadline to deadline, China Evergrande Group is again on the brink of default, with pessimistic comments from the property developer raising expectations of direct state involvement and a managed debt restructuring.

Having made three 11th-hour coupon payments in the past two months, Evergrande will again face the end of a 30-day grace period on Monday, with dues this time at $82.5 million. 

But a statement late on Friday saying creditors had demanded $260 million and that it could not guarantee enough funds for coupon repayment prompted authorities to summon its chairman – and wiped over a sixth off its stock’s market value on Monday.

Evergrande was once China’s top-selling developer but is nowgrappling with more than $300 billion in liabilities, meaning a collapse could ripple through the property sector and beyond.

Its statement on Friday was followed by one from authorities in its home province of Guangdong, saying they would send a team to Evergrande at the developer’s request to oversee risk management, strengthen internal control and maintain operations.

The central bank, banking and insurance regulator and securities regulator also released statements, saying risk to the broader property sector could be contained.

Short-term risk from a single real estate firm will not undermine market funding in the medium or long term, said the People’s Bank of China. Housing sales, land purchases and financing “have already returned to normal in China”, it said.

Analysts said authorities’ concerted effort signaled Evergrande has likely already entered a managed debt-asset restructuring process to reduce systemic risk.

Morgan Stanley in a report said such a process would involve coordination between authorities to maintain normal operation of property projects, and negotiation with onshore creditors to ensure financing for projects’ development and completion.

Regulators would also likely facilitate debt restructuring discussion with offshore creditors after business operations start to stabilize, the U.S. investment bank said. 

After the flurry of statements, Evergrande’s stock slid as much as 15% on Monday to HK$1.92 – its lowest since May 2010.

Its November 2022 bond – one of two bonds that could go into default on non-payment on Monday – was trading at the distressed price of 20.787 U.S. cents on the dollar, compared with 20.083 cents at the end of Friday.

Liquidity squeeze

Evergrande has been struggling to raise capital by disposing of assets, and the government has asked Chairman Hui Ka Yan to use his wealth to repay company debt.

The firm is just one of a number of developers facing an unprecedented liquidity squeeze due to regulatory curbs on borrowing, causing a string of offshore debt defaults, credit-rating downgrades and sell-offs in developers’ shares and bonds.

To prevent further turmoil, regulators since October have urged banks to relax lending for developers’ normal financing needs and allowed more real estate firms to sell domestic bonds.

To free up funds at banks, Premier Li Keqiang on Friday said China will cut the bank reserve requirement ratio (RRR) “in a timely way” to increase support for the real economy.

Still, the government may have to significantly step up policy-easing measures in the spring to prevent a sharp downturn in the property sector, Japanese investment bank Nomura said in a report published on Sunday. 

Contagion

Smaller developer Sunshine 100 China Holdings Ltd on Monday said it had defaulted on a $170 million U.S. dollar bond due Dec. 5 “owing to liquidity issues arising from the 

adverse impact of a number of factors including the macroeconomic environment and the real estate industry.”

The delinquency will trigger cross-default provisions under certain other debt instruments, the developer said.

Its shares fell nearly 3%.

Last week, Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd – the largest offshore debtor among Chinese developers after Evergrande – said it had failed to secure approval from offshore bondholders to carry out an exchange offer of its 6.5% offshore bonds due Dec. 7, without which it said it would risk default.

The developer has begun talks with some of the offshore bondholders to extend the deadline for the $400 million debt repayment, sources have told Reuters.

Smaller rival China Aoyuan Property Group Ltd last week also said creditors have demanded repayment of $651.2 million due to a slew of credit-rating downgrades, and that it may be unable to pay due to a lack of liquidity.

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Trump-Backed Perdue Challenges Kemp in Georgia Republican Primary

Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue will challenge Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for governor, he announced Monday, setting up a bitter 2022 Republican primary fight while Democrat Stacey Abrams is likely to await the winner.

Perdue had been flirting with the bid for months, encouraged publicly by former President Donald Trump. The 71-year-old former senator said he was running to stop Abrams from becoming governor and claimed Kemp would lose to her in November because some hard-core Trump Republicans oppose Kemp.

“To fight back, we simply have to be united,” Perdue said. “Look, I like Brian. This isn’t personal. It’s simple: He has failed all of us and cannot win in November.” 

Kemp is promising an all-out brawl as he tries to win a second term, with Kemp spokesperson Cody Hall saying Perdue is running only to “soothe his own bruised ego” over losing his Senate seat.

“The man who lost Republicans the United States Senate and brought the last year of skyrocketing inflation, open borders, runaway government spending, and woke cancel culture upon the American people now wants to lose the Georgia governor’s office to the national face of the radical left movement,” Hall said.

Perdue, though, said Kemp was to blame for January Senate losses by Perdue and to Democrat Jon Ossoff and by Republican Kelly Loeffler to Democrat Raphael Warnock.

“Kemp caved before the election and the country is paying the price today,” Perdue said.

Perdue was supporting Kemp as recently as June, introducing him at the state Republican Party convention. Kemp said Thursday that he couldn’t control whether Perdue would be “a man of his word.”

Perdue’s entry could drag Kemp to the right as he vies for primary support. Kemp had hoped to use Abrams’ Wednesday entry to the governor’s race to rally Republicans to his side, but Trump issued a statement after Abrams announced claiming that his strongest supporters would never vote for Kemp. Trump has repeatedly targeted Kemp, saying Kemp didn’t do enough to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral victory in Georgia.

“The MAGA base will just not vote for him after what he did with respect to election integrity and two horribly run elections, for President and then two Senate seats,” Trump said. “But some good Republican will run, and some good Republican will get my endorsement, and some good Republican will WIN!”

Trump’s political action committee commissioned a poll claiming that with Trump’s endorsement, Perdue could beat Kemp in a Republican primary. The former president added fuel to that fire at a Sept. 25 rally in Perry, Georgia, when he pointed out Perdue among a clutch of party leaders.

“Are you running for governor, David?” Trump asked. “Did I hear he’s running?”

Born in Macon, Perdue was a business consultant and then an executive at companies shifting clothing production to Asia. He became CEO of Reebok, textile firm PillowTex and discount retailer Dollar General. The cousin of former governor and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, David Perdue was elected to the Senate in 2014, beating Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Aside from Trump’s displeasure with Kemp, it’s unclear what Perdue’s platform will be. In an interview last month with Gainesville radio station WDUN-AM, he talked about education as a possible issue, and contrasted Trump economy to Biden’s “maniacal spending.” But he seemed to circle back to hard feelings over Trump’s electoral loss, saying Biden won in a “questioned election.”

“We have a divided party in Georgia right now. Forget about me, it’s divided,” Perdue said. “And a lot of people feel like that the people in power haven’t fought for them, and caved in to a lot of things back in 2020 that didn’t have to be done.”

Perdue joins a slate of Trump-backed candidates in Georgia Republican primaries, including Herschel Walker running against Warnock, state Sen. Burt Jones running for lieutenant governor and Rep. Jody Hice running for secretary of state.

Other Republicans have already been trying to challenge Kemp, including former Democrat Vernon Jones and GOP activist Kandiss Taylor. Jones, who had courted Trump’s endorsement, called Kemp and Perdue “two peas in a pod” on Sunday.

Abrams, whose narrow loss to Kemp in 2018 vaulted her to national fame as a voting rights activist and party leader, has no declared opponents on the Democratic side.

“While David Perdue and Brian Kemp fight each other, Stacey Abrams will be fighting for the people of Georgia,” Abrams top aid Lauren Groh-Wargo wrote on Twitter.

Some Republicans fear a bitter Perdue-Kemp primary will enable Abrams to win. State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler of Rome tweeted Perdue’s entry is “Good news for Stacey Abrams. Bad news for Republicans.”

Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie said that it’s unclear if a Kemp-Perdue primary would be “demobilizing or demoralizing in a general election” for Republican voters, with some staying home. The national environment in 2022 appears likely to be strong for the GOP, and Gillespie said “Republican voters are going to go vote for a Republican candidate, and they’ll put whatever differences they have aside to support that Republican candidate.”

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Зеленський вніс до парламенту законопроєкти про економічний паспорт українця

Раніше Зеленський анонсував запровадження «економічного паспорта українця» – рахунків для дітей, на яких накопичуватимуться кошти від сплати за використання надр

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Прикордонники затримали партію незаконно зрубаних ялинок і сосен

Торік у Держприкордонслужбі фіксували перші нелегальні оборудки з новорічними деревами наприкінці листопада, за тиждень до початку календарної зими

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