New Book Tells How Trump’s Pennsylvania Election Lawsuit Lost Key Focus on Equal Protection and Unraveled

A new book by The Federalist editor and Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway details how 2020 Pennsylvania-election litigation by former President Donald Trump lost its focus on equal protection and got dismissed.

In Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections, Hemingway credits Philadelphia attorney Linda Kerns with attempting to keep Trump’s lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s election results focused on Fourteenth-Amendment concerns. The author significantly blames Rudy Giuliani for causing the case to unravel by making superfluous arguments.

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Pennsylvania County Commissioners’ Group Opposes Live-Streaming of Mail-In Vote Counting

Bipartisan enthusiasm for election-reform legislation appeared solid at a Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee hearing on Thursday, save for one part: video live-streaming of mail-in-ballot counting.

Elements of the bill, sponsored by Sen. David Argall (R-PA-Pottsville) and Sen. Sharif Street (D-PA-Philadelphia), have arisen largely from recommendations in a June 2021 report by the Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform. Argall and Street’s proposal excludes some of the ad hoc panel’s more contentious ideas, particularly enhanced voter-identification rules, which Rep. Seth Grove (R-PA-York) is spearheading in separate legislation. (While Gov. Tom Wolf [D] vetoed Grove’s bill in June, the representative has reintroduced it in light of the governor’s subsequent remarks in favor of a strengthened voter-ID requirement.)

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At Pennsylvania Senate Meeting on Elections, Subpoenas Issued, Dem Calls GOPers McCarthyites, Another Has Remarks Curtailed for Breaking Senate Rules

At Wednesday’s meeting concerning the Pennsylvania’s Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee’s election investigation, which saw Republicans winning a vote to subpoena voter records, Democrats fumed.

One angrily compared GOP colleagues to Joe McCarthy, the notoriously zealous anti-communist U.S. senator from Wisconsin who served from 1947 to 1957.

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Lawmaker Gears Up to Grill Pennsylvania Department of State on Voter-Registry Errors Uncovered by Democrat Auditor General

As Pennsylvania Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee Majority Chair Cris Dush (R-Wellsboro) investigates recent elections, Democratic lawmakers against tightening election security must contend with a withering 2019 audit of Pennsylvania’s voter registry.

At his investigation’s initial hearing last Thursday, Dush announced his intention to hold the Department of State (DOS) accountable for the mismanagement identified in the audit by calling the department to testify at the committee’s next hearing to be scheduled soon. 

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Pennsylvania Congressman Lamb Silent on National Archives Labeling Constitution for ‘Harmful Language’

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has slapped “Harmful Language” warnings on online displays of American founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA-17) is keeping quiet about it.

The Star News Network emailed Lamb’s press office Friday to ascertain his view of the matter. Neither the congressman—who recently announced a bid for U.S. Senate—nor his staff have replied.

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Studies Point to Varied Effects of Masking

Crowded street market with people wearing masks

New research published by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Bangladesh, which tracked mask-wearing among 340,000 Bangladeshi adults, indicates mask usage can considerably reduce the spread of symptomatic COVID-19. 

Some medical professionals, however, remain uneasy about mask mandates in schools because of their possible impact on children’s learning and social health.

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Despite Increased Revenue Projections, Michigan Gov. Whitmer Tells State Agencies to Brace for Shutdown

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D-MI) State Budget Director Dave Massaron instructed state department heads to begin preparing for a possible government shutdown, though Michigan taxpayers may have other concerns to expect from current budget negotiations.

Technically, Michigan state lawmakers are supposed to have passed a full budget for the governor’s signature by July 1, although officials have until Sept. 30 to finalize an agreement that would avoid a partial government shutdown.

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Michigan State Senators Introduce Bill to Create Exemptions to College Vaccine Mandates

State Senators Kim LaSata (R-MI-Coloma) and Jim Runestad (R-MI-White Lake) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would allow students in Michigan’s colleges and universities the right to opt out of vaccine mandates imposed by those institutions.

The bill would create a range of medical and non-medical exceptions to requirements for students at any higher-education institution in Michigan to get any kind of vaccine.

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Residents of Democratic Stronghold Genesee County, Michigan Speak to Commissioners Overwhelmingly Against School Mask Mandate

An informal meeting of the Genesee County, Michigan Board of Commissioners on Monday saw residents turn out heavily against a school-mask mandate for students in grades K-6. 

County Medical Health Officer Pamela Hackert told attendees she imposed the requirement only on those lower grades because she wanted to provide protection to students who do not yet have the option of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Plans to Give Businesses Hundreds of Millions in Subsidies, But Similar Programs’ Track Record Has Been Questioned

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

This week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) announced plans to expand her $300-million Michigan Mainstreet Initiative, outlining further business subsidization with taxpayer money from federal COVID-relief legislation.

Originally unveiled in June, Whitmer’s initiative targeted $100 million toward restaurants and other place-based establishments, $125 million for other businesses that could not get federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds and $75 million in grants to startups.

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Parents Demonstrate Against School Mask Mandate and Health Officer in Kent County, Michigan

On Thursday, several Kent County commissioners and a packed room of parents expressed outrage over Health Officer Adam London’s mandate that school children wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

London, who issued the requirement mere days before children in the Grand Rapids area headed back to school this Monday, insisted at a board of commissioners meeting that no negative consequences come to children from wearing masks. 

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Public May Not See Net Benefit of Infrastructure Bill That Could Expand Rail in Northeastern Pennsylvania

Much fanfare surrounding infrastructure legislation in Congress focuses on road and bridge improvements, but the bill’s implications for relatively costly rail transit in northeastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere have gotten far less attention.

The current proposal to spend $66 billion on Amtrak would be the largest federal expenditure on passenger rail since the creation of the transit agency.

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While Pennsylvania Democrats Want to Increase Welfare Payments, Some Experts Urge Focus on Bigger Picture

Democrats in the Pennsylvania General Assembly hope to increase monthly welfare benefits in Pennsylvania, reasoning that payments under the federally funded Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program have stayed flat since the 1990s, falling well behind inflation. 

Legislation being drafted by state Sen. Katie Muth (D-PA-Royersford) and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-PA-Philadelphia) would increase Pennsylvania’s TANF benefits, which average $403 per month for a family of three in most counties.

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Science on Mask Usage Indicates Scant Benefit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that all schools require mask-wearing indoors by teachers and students, vaccinated or unvaccinated against COVID-19. 

And many school districts are adopting that requirement, to the dismay of many parents.

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Joe Biden Mistakenly Calls Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ‘Jennifer’ as She Backs Infrastructure Plan, Mileage-Tax Pilot Program

President Joe Biden mistakenly called Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) “Jennifer” on Wednesday, an apparent reference to a previous Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm, who is now Biden’s energy secretary.

Of course, the two Great Lake State Democrats aren’t that easy to get confused; Granholm finished her tenure as governor eight years before Whitmer took office.

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Former Detroit, Michigan Police Chief and Gubernatorial Hopeful Craig Appoints Team to Generate Anti-Crime Solutions

Former Detroit, Michigan Police Chief James Craig, a Republican who is exploring a run for governor, announced Monday the formation of his Law Enforcement Action Team (LEAT), an advisory panel to craft legislation to strengthen public safety.

The group is made up of lawmakers and law-enforcement officials, including two Democrats: Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham and Gladwin County Sheriff Mike Shea.

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Michigan Congressional Delegation Mum on Van Drew’s Call for Biden, Harris, and Pelosi to Resign

Members of neither party in Michigan’s congressional delegation are yet weighing in on Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s (R-NJ) call for President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) to resign in response to the Taliban’s retaking of Afghanistan.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday night, Van Drew castigated the White House in stark terms.

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U.S. Senators Call for Investigation into Michigan and Other States that Sent COVID Patients to Nursing Homes

Republican members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Friday urged that committee’s chair to commence an investigation into the decisions of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) and several other governors to discharge COVID-19-infected patients into their states’ nursing homes in 2020.

In addition to Whitmer, Tom Wolf (D-PA), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Phil Murphy (D-NJ) are specifically criticized in the letter written to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL).

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‘Voters Not Politicians,’ Which Rebuked Michigan Redistricting Commission for Hiring Republican Firm, Has Its Own Partisan Ties

The nonprofit Voters Not Politicians (VNP) has stridently criticized the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) for hiring a GOP-aligned law firm, but VNP’s own leftist agenda and political ties are getting little media attention.

The Lansing-based “nonpartisan” organization spearheaded the Proposal 2 referendum which created the MICRC to oversee legislative and congressional redistricting free of gerrymandering. 

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Vast Majority of Michigan Restaurants and Hotels Operating Without Full Staffs, Study Says

According to the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA), about nine out of 10 restaurants and hotels are operating with too few employees. 

On June 22, state officials lifted COVID-related restrictions on restaurant capacity.

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Michigan State Rep. Berman First Republican to Officially Announce 2022 Run for Attorney General

Second-term Michigan State Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Township) this week became the first Republican to announce a 2022 run for state attorney general. 

Whoever the GOP nominates at its state convention next year will likely face incumbent Democrat Dana Nessel.

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Parents Launch Effort to Recall Mount Pleasant Public School Board Members Who Imposed Mask Mandates

Michigan voters upset with mask mandates and other school-board actions can organize recall efforts, as Mount Pleasant Public Schools parents are now doing. 

Three directors of that central-Michigan school district could be electorally removed owing to public backlash over a requirement that all students up to the age of 12 wear masks in school.

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Michigan Board of Education Votes to Let Schools Mask or Not Mask

Michigan’s Board of Education passed a resolution Tuesday evening allowing individual school districts to either adopt or reject masking for students and staff to prevent COVID-19’s spread.

The Democrat-run board adopted the resolution instead of another offered by the panel’s two Republican members, Tom McMillin (Oakland Township) and Nikki Snyder (Dexter), who wanted a statewide policy against district mask mandates.

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Fulton County, Pennsylvania Defends Post-2020 Election Audit and Right to Keep Voting Machines

Fulton County, Pennsylvania election officials are defending their decision to conduct an audit of the 2020 election in their jurisdiction and their right to continue use of their voting machines.

Attorneys from Dillon, McCandless, King, Coulter & Graham LLP who are affiliated with an election-integrity nonprofit known as the Amistad Project, will be handling the case for the small county of about 14,500 residents, situated about 90 miles southwest of Harrisburg.

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Citing Vaccine Requirement, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Shirkey to Skip Detroit Regional Chamber’s Conference

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) has indicated he plans to skip the Mackinac Policy Conference, which is hosted annually by the Detroit Regional Chamber, citing the conference’s COVID vaccine requirement. 

The Republican leader reportedly said he is already immune, having gotten COVID-19, and therefore chooses not to get vaccinated.

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Michigan Health Departments Plot New Coronavirus Restrictions as Gretchen Whitmer Complains Her Powers are Curtailed

Michigan’s local health departments are plotting new restrictions as bureaucrats are alarmed by a rise in COVID-19 cases that apparently are not being blunted with vaccinations.

WZZM speculated another lockdown may be “in sight.”

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Michigan Conservative Coalition Holds ‘Trump Won’ Rally in Livonia

Supporters of former President Donald Trump held a “Trump Won” rally in Livonia, Michigan on Tuesday. 

Organizers of the event, affiliated with the Michigan Conservative Coalition (MCC), want the state legislature to commission a forensic audit to verify the reliability of the 2020 presidential-election results in the Great Lake State.

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As Michigan Secretary of State Benson Calls for ‘Educating Voters,’ Questions Surround Zuckerberg-Funded Nonprofit She Founded

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, speaking remotely to the American Bar Association on Monday, called for “educating voters” about supposed GOP efforts underway to “undermine democracy,” but questions remain regarding her role with the “voter education” efforts of a Mark Zuckerberg-funded nonprofit she founded. 

Benson is a former president of the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration (MCELA), an organization that received $12 million in grants from the D.C.-based Center for Election Innovation and Research.

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Treasurer of ‘Nonpartisan’ Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration Verbally Attacked Wayne Co. GOP Election Officials Last November

Ned Staebler

Ned Staebler, the university administrator who notoriously spouted a furious tirade against two Wayne County Republican election officials in a public meeting last November, is also treasurer of an entity promoted by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) for “nonpartisan voter education.”

On November 17, 2020, Staebler, vice president for economic development at Wayne State University and head of the business-development organization TechTown Detroit, blasted county Board of Canvassers’ members Monica Palmer and William Hartmann for initially voting to block the certification of votes in Wayne County. 

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Despite Michigan’s New Status as ‘Substantial’ Center of COVID Spread, Deaths Per Day Remain in Single Digits

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elevated Michigan’s level of COVID-19 spread to “substantial” on Wednesday, daily death totals statewide due to COVID remain in single digits.

According to the widely cited tracking website worldometers.info, the seven-day moving average of COVID deaths per day in Michigan has stayed under double digits since July 1st.

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No Word Yet from Michigan’s GOP Legislative Leaders on Any Potential Investigation of Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration

Republican leaders in either chamber of Michigan’s state legislature, both of which have GOP majorities, have yet to indicate whether they intend to investigate expenditures made by an election-related nonprofit that was founded by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D).

The Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration (MCELA), as The Michigan Star has reported, received a $12 million grant in September 2020 from a national nonprofit, the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR).

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Left-Wing Proposal P Defeated in Detroit, Michigan

Leftists in Detroit, Michigan were dealt a blow at the ballot box Tuesday with the defeat of Proposal P, which received under 33 percent of voters’ support.

Over 69,000 Motor City residents cast ballots in this week’s primary election, of which nearly 47,000 voted to reject the progressive rewriting of the city charter offered by the Detroit Charter Revision Commission.

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Detroit Councilman Spivey Arraigned for Bribery

U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Stafford entered a not-guilty plea for a silent Detroit City Councilman André L. Spivey in U.S. District Court in Detroit Tuesday to accepting over $35,000 in exchange for council votes. 

Spivey was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Stafford reportedly agreed to the release under the conditions that Spivey to give up his enhanced driver’s license, his passport and his expired concealed-carry permit.

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Michigan Nonprofit Alleges Gov. Whitmer’s Campaign Has Illegally Exploited Donation-Limit Loophole

A complaint filed by the nonprofit Michigan Freedom Fund (MFF) last week alleges that that state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has taken illegal advantage of a campaign-finance loophole to raise unlawful amounts of cash. 

Individuals may contribute up to $7,150 according to state law, though a 1984 administrative ruling by then Michigan Secretary of State Richard Austin (D) sought to negate that limit for candidates facing recalls. Whitmer has relied on that ruling in surpassing the contribution limit. 

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Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Vos Expands Election Probe

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said Friday he plans to hire more investigators and anticipates allowing more time for a probe into the 2020 presidential contest for Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral-College votes, the Associated Press has reported.

The official vote count in Wisconsin last November put Joe Biden ahead of Donald Trump by 20,682 votes. The margin was just over 0.6 percent of the nearly 3.3 million votes cast statewide. 

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Detroit, Michigan Voters to Decide on Left-Wing ‘Proposal P’ on Tuesday

When Detroit, Michigan voters head to the polls for next Tuesday’s primary, they will decide on a referendum concerning a major proposed revision of the city charter which would institute numerous left-wing programs and reforms.

The ballot item, known as “Proposal P,” provides for the creation of a new “Task Force on Reparations and African American Justice,” an “Office of Economic Justice and Consumer Empowerment,” a “Department of Environmental Justice and Sustainability” and an “Office of Immigrant Affairs,” among other new government offices. 

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Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate Craig: Leftist Officials Who Use Private Security Should Stop Bashing Police and Gun Owners

Former Detroit, Michigan police chief and Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig, speaking on Fox News on Monday, denounced progressive public officials who retain security professionals while bashing police and firearm owners. 

Craig expressed his reprehension in response to reports of campaign-finance documents showing Representative Cori Bush (D-MO-1) has spent $70,000 on private security professionals.

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Michigan Reading Scholarship Advocates Lament ‘Anti-Voucher’ Rhetoric Used Against Vetoed Program

When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) line-item vetoed a $155 million program for K-5 reading scholarships in the $17 billion school budget she signed earlier this month, teachers’ unions and other school choice opponents likened the scholarships to vouchers. 

Many proponents of the scholarship expenditure are responding that while they would welcome broader choice-oriented education reform, a plain reading of the program does not jibe with unions’ and school administrators stated concerns about impact on public education.

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Opponents of Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf’s COVID Orders Present Case to Third Circuit Court

Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment. 

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It’s Official: Retired Detroit Police Chief Craig to Challenge Michigan Governor Whitmer

James Craig, who served as chief of Police in Detroit, MI, since 2013 and retired this spring, is running for governor of the Great Lake State, he announced to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Wednesday night.

Craig has formed a gubernatorial exploratory committee to begin his run against Democratic incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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