Report: Record number of Republicans file to run for House, Senate seats

File – Voters line up in voting booths to cast their ballots at Robious Elementary School in Chesterfield, Va. on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016. (Shelby Lum/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:14 PM PT — Friday, February 21, 2020

Another surge of candidates are running for Congress in the 2020 elections, but this time it appears to be conservatives. According to reports, a record number of Republicans have filed to run for the House and Senate this election cycle.

The surge mirrors that of the 2018 midterms, where more Democrats were running for office compared to previous elections. The current surge in Republican candidates is an apparent response to the election of more radical progressive and socialist-leaning candidates whom Democrats pushed to victory last election.

“I’m a conservative wife, mother, and businesswoman who 100% stands with President Trump and against the left-wing socialists who want to wreck our country.”

— Marjorie Greene (R), congressional candidate – Ga.’s 14th District

Meanwhile, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced she will be endorsing over a dozen female progressive congressional candidates through her political action committee.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., left, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listen as U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham testifies during a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

On her Twitter Friday, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the move is part of her greater push to elect a “progressive majority” to Congress. The congresswoman said the idea behind the move is to “open the door” for political newcomers and “reward political courage” in Congress.

Among her endorsements, AOC is backing several long-shot candidates who are running against Democrats endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

RELATED: Outdated software could leave 2020 elections vulnerable to hacking

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Sen. Ernst joins other republicans in endorsing bipartisan prescription drug prices bill

FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2018 file photo, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks at EPA headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

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UPDATED 6:23 PM PT — Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) became the latest Republican to sign on to a bipartisan bill aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. According to sources, Ernst announced her endorsement of the legislation Tuesday, which was drafted by fellow Iowan Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Ernst stated it is important to Iowa to have this bill addressed.

“At nearly every town hall or other stop I make on my 99 County Tour and even in discussions around the kitchen table with my family members who depend on life-saving medications, Iowans from every corner of the state have made it clear that they want to see Congress address the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs,” stated the Iowa senator.

Ernst is among a number of Republicans facing a potentially tough re-election, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who also supports the bill.

There are about 12 Republican senators who are currently in favor of the legislation.

While the White House supports the bill, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell admitted there are divisions over some provisions in the bill among the GOP and has declined to say when it will come up for a vote.

RELATED: Sen. Ernst: USMCA, China Trade Deals Benefit Farmers In Long Run

Original Article

Protesters attack UCSC College Republicans club

Photo of the club via College Republicans at UCSC official Facebook page.

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UPDATED 11:05 AM PT — Saturday, February 15, 2020

A group of violent leftists attacked the College Republicans table display at UC Santa Cruz ahead of a conservative event on campus. Video footage showed protesters spitting on the American flag, destroying the club’s setup and accusing the students of being racist.

“This is the flag of white supremacy,” said one attacker.

The club was tabling to promote their event, titled ‘Free Speech and Campus Activism,’ along with headliner and free speech activist Hayden Williams.

Williams, who is not a first-time victim of political violence, said he plans to press charges against the protesters for assault.

While school officials said police are investigating the situation, they have yet to make a statement.

RELATED: Man In Custody After Allegedly Driving Car Into Trump Supporters In Fla.

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Republicans turn their back on Mitt Romney after impeachment vote

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, right, departs after the impeachment acquittal of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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UPDATED 3:40 PM PT — Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is facing extreme blowback for his vote to convict President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Earlier on Wednesday, he alleged President Trump committed abuse of power to stay in office.

“The grave question the Constitution tasked senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor,” stated Romney. “Yes, he did.”

However, he chose to vote against the obstruction charge, the second article of impeachment against President Trump.

The senator announced his decision on the Senate floor ahead of the full chamber vote. He said he feared his place in history, his oath to God and the Constitution more than he feared the wrath of the Republican Party. The failed presidential nominee also acknowledged the possibility of being a GOP pariah after his decision.

“I’m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I’m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath, before God, demanded of me?”

– Mitt Romney, U.S. Senator (R-Utah)

In this image from video, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks on the Senate floor about the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

Sen. Romney was right. Those closest to the president immediately called him out on Twitter.

Donald Trump Jr. said the senator was “forever bitter that he will never be president” and recommended his expulsion from the GOP.

Congressman Lee Zeldin weighed in, saying Romney “absolutely despises that Donald Trump was elected president” and he was not. He went on to say his “sore loser mentality launched this sham impeachment.”

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel criticized Romney’s vote on Twitter. She said this isn’t the first time she has disagreed with Romney and suggested their tensions may deepen going forward.

She added the president did nothing wrong and the GOP was largely united in his defense.

Original Article

House Republicans working on bill to plant more than 3B trees in U.S. annually

This April 3, 2019 photo shows the jungle in Peru’s Tambopata province. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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UPDATED 1:25 PM PT — Sunday, February 2, 2020

Rep. Bruce Westerman is working on a bill which would commit the U.S. to planting nearly 3.5 billion trees every year for the next 30 years. GOP lawmakers are planning to reveal a finished draft of the Trillion Trees Act next week.

Photo of Rep. Bruce Westerman.

“Plant more trees, use more wood, store more carbon,” he said on Twitter. “It’s a simple solution with a huge environmental impact, both domestically and internationally.”

Westerman also wanted to add provisions to offer aid to other countries, who could contribute by planting trees of their own. The representative said planting trees is the most cost-effective way to limit carbon in the air.

President Trump recently touted the nation’s commitment to a worldwide tree planting initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Well, we’re doing the one trillion trees, together with lots of other people and lots of other countries,” he said. “What I want is the cleanest water, the cleanest air, and that’s what we’re going to have.”

The legislation is part of a larger package Republicans have drafted in an answer to the sweeping climate plan proposed by Democrats.

Original Article

Reports: Senate Republicans lack votes to block witnesses from testifying in impeachment trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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UPDATED 11:48 AM PT — Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Senate Republicans have reached a roadblock in their efforts to stop witnesses from testifying in the impeachment trial. According to reports Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fears he does not have enough votes to block witnesses, such as former National Security Advisor John Bolton, from taking the stand.

If allowed to testify, Bolton is expected to say the president froze military aid to Ukraine in order to push Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden’s business ties. With the 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer believes he can attract votes from the other side of the aisle.

“I hope that we have just four Republicans, all we need is four, who rise to the occasion and say we need to find out the truth,” he stated.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to media at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan.28, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is remaining optimistic that Republicans will not vote in favor of witnesses. However, he suggested that he would will call more than just Bolton. Sen. Graham claimed he would also subpoena Hunter Biden and call him to the stand.

The Senate is expected to vote Friday on whether to call witnesses.

RELATED: President Trump’s defense team set up their final defense in the impeachment trial

Original Article

Republicans fume over Dem threat of new impeachment articles: ‘Time to cut them off’

closeHouse Democrats hint at impeaching President Trump againVideo

House Democrats hint at impeaching President Trump again

Reaction and analysis from Trump 2020 campaign adviser Jenna Ellis.

Republicans ratcheted up their accusations that Democrats are overplaying their impeachment hand after court filings from the House Judiciary Committee indicated the two articles of impeachment adopted last week may only be the beginning.

GOP lawmakers already were fuming at Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her surprise decision to delay transmitting the articles to the Senate in a bid to extract favorable terms for President Trump's trial. But in the latest twist, the Democrat-led Judiciary panel referenced the possibility of yet additional impeachment articles in briefs filed Monday related to their quest for testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn and secret grand jury material from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

HOUSE DEMS RAISE PROSPECT OF NEW IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES, IN COURT BATTLE OVER MCGAHN TESTIMONY

If the court allows them to obtain the information they seek, their attorney wrote, "new articles of impeachment" could be considered based on the evidence. GOP lawmakers reacted with stunned disbelief.

"Democrats are treating impeachment as an open bar tab," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted Monday afternoon. "Time to cut them off, take their car keys away (put GOP in control of the House), and end this insanity."

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who sits on the House Judiciary Committee that filed the briefs, reacted by saying, "You've got to be kidding."

He added: "It’s gone from the Kangaroo Court Impeachment… …to the Keystone Cops Impeachment(s).. Will Pelosi send the Articles from the last Impeachment before drafting the next ones?!"

The notion of new articles of impeachment was floated as the committee justified their need to have McGahn testify and acquire Mueller's secret grand jury information. Previously, they had argued that their ongoing impeachment investigation presented an urgent need for both — but with the House already voting to impeach Trump, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gave them until Monday afternoon to explain why the case was still relevant and should not be dismissed as moot.

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"If this material reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles adopted by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly–including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment," committee attorney Douglas Letter wrote in the grand jury material case.

Letter used nearly identical language pertaining to McGahn's testimony in his brief in that case.

Trump last week was impeached on accusations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, related to his efforts to pressure Ukraine to launch politically beneficial investigations, all while withholding military aid (though Trump has maintained there was no "quid pro quo").

The latest filings did not detail what potential additional articles could be considered. Regardless, the briefs stated that even if McGahn’s testimony or the grand jury material do not lead to new articles of impeachment, they could be used in an upcoming Senate trial in relation to the obstruction of Congress allegations that Trump is currently facing.

Original Article

Jeff Flake claims Senate Republicans, not just Trump, are on trial

closePresident Trump takes aim at House Speaker Pelosi for not sending articles of impeachment to the SenateVideo

President Trump takes aim at House Speaker Pelosi for not sending articles of impeachment to the Senate

Trump accuses Nancy Pelosi of 'playing games' with impeachment; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.

Former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is warning his former colleagues in the Senate that they, along with President Trump, will be on trial when the articles of impeachment eventually move from the House to the upper chamber.

“President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong,” Flake writes in an op-ed for The Washington Post Friday.

JEFF FLAKE SAYS 'AT LEAST 35' REPUBLICAN SENATORS WOULD PRIVATELY VOTE TO IMPEACH TRUMP

Flake, who left the Senate this year after having staked out a vocally anti-Trump stance, wrote after the House voted for two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The articles are expected to soon go to the Senate for a trial, although there are indications House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., may delay the articles being transmitted. In the Senate, Trump is almost certain of acquittal unless there is a sudden and dramatic shift of Republicans in favor of impeachment.

Flake urges Republicans to consider the evidence, but at the same time not to repeat House Republican assertions the president hasn’t done anything wrong: “He has.”

“The willingness of House Republicans to bend to the president’s will by attempting to shift blame with the promotion of bizarre and debunked conspiracy theories has been an appalling spectacle,” Flake argues. “It will have long-term ramifications for the country and the party, to say nothing of individual reputations.”

TOP DEMS IN CONTENTION TO PROSECUTE TRUMP IMPEACHMENT CASE — IF IT GOES TO TRIAL

He asks what Republicans would have done if President Barack Obama had engaged in the same behavior, in regards to Ukraine.

Breaking down media coverage of impeachment voteVideo

“I know the answer to that question with certainty, and so do you. You would have understood with striking clarity the threat it posed, and you would have known exactly what to do,” he says.

While Flake says he does not envy Republican senators’ task, he urges them to avoid “an alternate reality that would have us believe in things that obviously are not true, in the service of executive behavior that we never would have encouraged and a theory of executive power that we have always found abhorrent.”

“If there ever was a time to put country over party, it is now,” he writes. “And by putting country over party, you might just save the Grand Old Party before it’s too late.”

There have been no public signs so far of any mass defection against Trump by GOP senators. Despite rumors that a number of Republicans in the House may break off, no GOP members in the lower chamber voted for impeachment — while a few Democrats voted against.

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It isn’t the first time Flake has indicated he believes that a Senate conviction of Trump is in the realm of possibility. He claimed in September that close to three dozen Republican senators would back ousting the president if the vote was held in private.

"I heard someone say if there were a private vote there would be 30 Republican votes. That's not true," Flake said on Slate's "What Next" podcast. "There would be at least 35."

Fox News’ Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Original Article

Anti-Trump Republicans launch PAC to defeat him, as president’s campaign mocks ‘pathetic little club’

closeImpeachment polling trending in Trump's favor: Juan WilliamsVideo

Impeachment polling trending in Trump's favor: Juan Williams

Juan Williams weighs in on new national impeachment polling and discusses if democrats should have gone for censure rather than impeachment

A group of prominent anti-Trump Republicans launched a new super PAC on Tuesday aimed at preventing the GOP incumbent’s 2020 re-election and even defeating some of the president’s top congressional allies at the ballot box next November.

“We are Republicans and we want Trump defeated,” is the title of an op-ed in the New York Times announcing the launch of the group, which is called the Lincoln Project.

TRUMP SAYS HE LOOKS 'FORWARD' TO DEBATING EVENTUAL CHALLENGER BUT MIGHT SKIP COMMISSION DEBATES

“Over these next 11 months, our efforts will be dedicated to defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line. We do not undertake this task lightly, nor from ideological preference,” the GOP strategists behind the effort said.

The president’s re-election campaign quickly fired back, with communications director Tim Murtaugh calling the Lincoln Project a “pathetic little club of irrelevant and faux ‘Republicans,’ who are upset that they’ve lost all of their power and influence inside the Republican Party.”

The ringleaders of the group – which includes vocal anti-Trump critic attorney George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway – said in their op-ed that they've been “broadly conservative … in our politics and outlooks. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain, but our shared fidelity to the Constitution dictates a common effort.”

George Conway's partners in the new anti-Trump effort include Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist who worked for then-President George W. Bush, Sen. John McCain and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; GOP strategist John Weaver, who worked for then-President George H.W. Bush, McCain, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich; and Republican media consultant Rick Wilson, author of “Everything Trump Touches Dies” who frequently tears into Trump on Twitter and during cable appearances.

Murtaugh, in returning fire, described the super PAC’s leaders as “establishment charlatans, who for years enriched themselves off the backs of the conservative movement, were the very swamp he was referring too. Calling any of these people ‘conservative’ or even referring to them as ‘Republicans’ at this point is an insult to conservatives and Republicans everywhere.”

TRUMP JOB APPROVAL TICKS UP IN NEW FOX NEWS POLL

Pointing to a likely record-high turnout in the 2020 general election, the Lincoln Project’s leaders said that their “efforts are aimed at persuading enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that don’t enable or abet Mr. Trump’s violations of the Constitution, even if that means Democratic control of the Senate and an expanded Democratic majority in the House.”

They argue that the president “has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve” and say that Trump’s “actions are possible only with the craven acquiescence of congressional Republicans.”

The group told Fox News about five hours after the launch of their op-ed and website that “we have raised a significant amount of money since the op-ed went live this morning.” Former New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn, who’s serving as an adviser with the Lincoln Project, said that “we’re going to use all the resources that we have available to us to go out to go after President Trump and to also target in particular some of the Senate seats.”

Among those GOP-controlled Senate seats she listed were Arizona, Colorado, and Maine. She said that depending on the fundraising, the group would go up with digital, cable, and broadcast TV ads.

“It’s easy to figure out who our audience is,” Horn shared. “Likeminded disaffected Republicans – independents who are persuadable and lean right.”

Horn said that the group’s energies won’t be directed toward helping either of two remaining long-shot shot presidential primary challengers taking on Trump, who is on the cusp of facing a full House impeachment vote but is likely to be acquitted in the Senate.

One of those two challengers is former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who in April declared his bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

Hours after the announcement of the Lincoln Project, Weld told Fox News he shares the same goal as the group.

“It’s the same message. It’s that the president has misbehaved and deserves to be removed,” Weld said.

Original Article

Democrats’ impeachment manager selection

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

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UPDATED 9:03 AM PT — Monday, December 16, 2019

As the House prepares for its historic impeachment vote, Democrats are already planning ahead for the potential trial in the Senate. At the top of their agenda is who should stand before senators, who will be serving as jurors, and who will argue why President Trump should be removed from office.

That decision will ultimately be made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She’s expected to choose Democrats, likely some in the Judiciary or Intelligence Committee, who have been involved in the impeachment process. However, a group of 30 Democrats is urging her to go a different route — one that ends with naming independent congressman Justin Amash as an impeachment manager. Amash famously left the Republican Party this year to register, instead, as an independent.

“I think people need to stand up for what’s right, stand up for what they believe in, and be independent of these party loyalties that really divide us,” he stated.

FILE – In this June 12, 2019 file photo, independent Rep. Justin Amash listens to debate on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Before this move, however, he was the first Republican congressman to call for the president to be impeached. Some have argued that putting Amash front and center in the trial would send a statement that the impeachment inquiry is bipartisan, which is something Republicans say the investigation hasn’t been.

“What we’ve seen in the House was a partisan show trial,” stated Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “It was one-sided.”

Meanwhile, others say choosing Amash is too much of a risk. The Washington Post reported that Amash is open to the task if he’s asked, but according to CNN it likely won’t be offered to him.

With that pivotal decision coming down to Speaker Pelosi, it’s unclear if she will take the gamble or pick someone safer. Either way, we won’t have to wait very long to find out as Pelosi is likely to announce her picks this week.

RELATED: President Trump: ‘The Impeachment Hoax Is The Greatest Con Job In The History Of American Politics’

Original Article

Republicans boost Trump’s judicial ‘farm team’ after AG elections, set sights on Bloomberg

closeBloomberg on 2020 Democrats: Trump would eat them upVideo

Bloomberg on 2020 Democrats: Trump would eat them up

Bloomberg takes swipe at fellow Democratic candidates; Republican political strategist Ashlee Strong and Democratic strategist Kevin Chavous react.

Republicans have successfully boosted President Trump's "farm team" for the federal judiciary after going undefeated in attorney general (AG) races last month, and are now setting their sights on 2020 presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg.

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Adam Piper told Fox News the GOP's clean sweep of AG races on election night has drawn attention to the group and will help provide future judicial picks for the president to choose from.

"We're starting to get the attention," Piper said Friday. "There are some storylines that haven't been told, though. One of the things is America's farm team. Those Trump [judicial] appointees have spent years of the last decade in state AG offices."

Piper highlighted several key policy issues but said energy remains one of the group's top concerns, while Bloomberg remains one of their top targets.

"When you look at the left… George Soros and Michael Bloomberg have pumped over $10 million into this clandestine project at New York University [NYU] to pay for mercenaries… who go to work in state AG offices on the left," he said.

CLIMATE ACTIVISTS TURN UP THE HEAD ON ELECTED DEMS, CRITICIZE INACTION

Piper referred to the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center, which is headquartered at NYU Law and was created by Bloomberg in 2017. It seeks to hire and place attorneys in Democratic state AG offices in order to fight the Trump administration's energy policies.

Fox News reached out to the center, which denied having any affiliation with Soros. They also claimed their group is non-political and simply serves the public interest.

Piper disagreed and claimed: "Democrats couldn't keep up or play fairly, so they went out to Soros and Bloomberg as special assistant AGs."

TUCKER'S CHALLENGE TO 2020 DEMOCRATS: PLANT A TREE FOR EVERY MILE OF PRIVATE JET TRAVEL

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who serves as RAGA's chairman, accused the center of being politically extreme and said Democratic AGs have ceded control of their offices to Bloomberg's foot soldiers.

“Environmental extremists can’t win at the ballot box or through the legislative process so they’re trying a new tactic: embed climate activists in the offices of Democrat state attorneys general," Paxton wrote in an email to Fox News.

"In their latest scheme, Democrat AGs are literally giving up control and letting Michael Bloomberg-funded staff run their offices," he continued. "Instead of pledging allegiance to the Constitution and rule of law, these 'Special Assistant Attorneys General' have to 'commit to defending environmental values and advancing progressive, clean energy, climate change and environmental legal positions.'"

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Paxton also lamented the ethical implications of the center's involvement and said it serves as a backdoor for climate change activists to push environmental propaganda.

"The ethical problems with this scheme are obvious — Democratic state AG offices are taking on seasoned attorneys being paid by a radical, liberal Democratic presidential primary candidate, and in turn, wield state police power and use the authority of the state attorney general to implement Bloomberg’s progressive climate change agenda across the country," he said.

Original Article