Morning Joe‘s Joe Scarborough nailed it last week when he blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for blocking the votes in the senate.
“He is aiding and abetting [Russian President] Vladimir Putin‘s ongoing attempts to subvert American democracy, according to the Republican FBI, CIA, DNI, intel committee. All Republicans are all saying Russia is subverting American democracy and Moscow Mitch won’t even let the Senate take a vote on it. That is un-American.”
McConnell squashed two bills intended to ensure voting security saying he wouldn’t allow a vote on the bills because they were “so partisan”.
Surprise! Earlier this year McConnell got a ton of donations from four of the top voting machine lobbyists in the country. McConnell said on the Senate floor,
“Clearly this request is not a serious effort to make a law. Clearly something so partisan that it only received one single solitary Republican vote in the House is not going to travel through the Senate by unanimous consent,”
As Rachel Maddow likes to remind us,
“Watch what they do, not what they say.”
Newsweek reported the news that,
The plans would likely burden the two largest electronic voting machine vendors in the United States, Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems, with new regulations and financial burdens. Together, the companies make up about 80 percent of all voting machines used in the country and both have far-reaching lobbying arms in Washington D.C. Many of those lobbyists have contributed to the McConnell campaign, reported Sludge last month, an investigative outlet that focuses on money in politics.
Sludge found that Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck lobbyist David Cohen, who has worked on behalf of Dominion Voting Systems this year, donated $2,000 to McConnell during this time. Brian Wild, who works with Cohen and has also lobbied Dominion, gave McConnell $1,000.
Around the same time, on February 19 and March 4 Emily Kirlin and Jen Olson, who have lobbied on behalf of Election Systems & Software over the last year donated $1,000 to McConnell each.
Last week’s first bill, by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, would apply $775 million to bolster election security. And would require states to keep paper trails of all votes cast.
Voting machine companies are not currently subject to any federally-mandated security standards.
The second, by Senator Richard Blumenthal, would require political candidates and their staff and family members to notify the FBI about any offers of assistance from foreign governments. Sounds like logic, no?
The Brennan Center for Justice‘s Lawrence Norden told Sludge last month,
“It’s not surprising to me that Mitch McConnell is receiving these campaign contributions. He seems single-handedly to be standing in the way of anything passing in Congress around election security, and that includes things that the vendors might want, like money for the states to replace antiquated equipment.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee —led by Republicans— released a report last week saying Russians targeted voting systems in ALL 50 STATES in 2016 saying,
“Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data.”
In 2018, there were 14 states that used electronic voting systems with no paper trail. If votes were inaccurately tallied or machines malfunctioned, there’d be NO WAY to recover those votes or investigate the election.
How do you say “I’m a traitor” in Russian, Mitch?
(Photos, Wikimedia Commons, screengrab; via MSN)