2018 Midterm Elections News Briefs; Firsts for Women in Congress; Ballot Measures That Passed; Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns/Fired; Election Results of 4 Deaf Candidates Who Ran For Political Office; Guest #DeafBing: Elevators and Windows
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, November 7. Ready for news? It’ll be mostly about the elections.
2018 Midterm Elections News Briefs
Here are news updates on the midterm elections results.
Democrats have won control of the House with at least 220 Democratic Congressional representatives to at least 196 Republicans. Democrats flipped at least 29 seats from Republican control.
Democrats now have the power to start congressional investigations and subpoena President Trump. Their control will force Trump and Republicans to reach compromises with them on important legislative bills in the future.
California Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said she was confident she would be the next speaker of the House. She had that role from 2007 to 2011.
President Trump said he looks forward to working with House Democrats, but warned them that he would call on the Senate to investigate them on leaks and other things if House Democrats started to investigate him. Trump also warned if he faced opposition, he wouldn’t work with them on deals.
Republicans kept and extended control of the Senate. There are now at least 51 Republican Senators to Democrats’ 44. Democrats have two Independents who will vote with them. So it is 51 to 46. There are other seats still being counted.
A Senate seat in Mississippi is too close to call — it will head to a runoff election, which is a “second round” with only two candidates on the ballot. This will be on November 27.
The second is the Florida Senate race, a close one with Republican Rick Scott ahead by 0.4% to Democrat Bill Nelson. Scott has claimed victory, while Nelson is calling for a recount.
The third Senate seat in Arizona is too close to call. The Republican Martha McSally is ahead of Democrat Kyrsten Sinema by just under 1 percent. There are still thousands of absentee ballots that have to be counted.
Regardless of those three results, Republicans will keep control of the Senate, which gives them the power to appoint picks to the Cabinet and Supreme Court. Republican Senators can move on this.
President Trump said the election results, especially for the Senate races, showed that people liked him and the job he’s done. Trump said he would run for re-election in 2020 with Mike Pence as Vice-President. It’s the same lineup.
Let’s look at some other highly-watched races and their results.
In Florida, Republican Ron DeSantis, who had the support of President Trump, won the race for Florida Governor with 49.7% of the vote to Democrat Andrew Gillum’s 49%.
In Texas, Republican Senator Ted Cruz defeated popular Democratic nominee Beto O’Rourke by about 200,000 votes.
In Georgia, for the governor’s race, Republican Brian Kemp is ahead of Democrat Stacey Abrams by about 65,000 votes. Abrams said she refuses to concede, that she will stay in the race until every vote gets counted.
Firsts for Women in Congress
After the election, people are praising and recognizing several women for being the “first” to represent their upbringing in Congress. I will name them.
The first: two women, at the same time, will be the first Muslim women in Congress. They are Democrat Rashida Tlaib from Michigan and Democrat Ilhan Omar from Minnesota. They are the first Muslim women in Congress.
The next “first” is the youngest woman in Congress, the youngest in history. It is Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York. She is the youngest. [She is 29 years old]
The next is three women who, at the same time, will be the first Native American women in Congress. They are Democrat Sharice Davids from Kansas, Democrat Deb Haaland from New Mexico, and Republican Yvette Herrell from New Mexico. They are the first.
In separate but related news, Iowa elected their first female governor — Republican Kim Reynolds.
Guam, a U.S. territory, also elected their first female governor, Lou Leon Guerrero.
Congratulations to them for their firsts.
Ballot Measures That Passed
Here are some ballot measures that passed during the elections.
The first -- Florida voted to allow former felons, about 1.5 million of them, to be able to vote again. They must complete their sentences, including prison, parole, and probation. Those convicted of murder or felony sexual offense do not qualify to vote, but others can.
Michigan voted to legalize recreational cannabis for residents over 21. It will be legal in early December. Retail sales are projected to start in early 2020, after the state implements regulations and issue licenses. This will take time. When sales start, there will be a 10% sales tax on retail sales.
Utah and Missouri voted to approve medical marijuana.
Washington state voted to increase gun laws — now one has to be 21 years old to buy a semi-automatic rifle, take a training course, and wait for 10 business days before getting it.
In Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah, voters supported a Medicaid expansion that will cover about 325,000 low-income residents.
In Massachusetts, voters supported a bill that protects transgender people’s rights, by prohibiting gender discrimination in public places. People will be allowed to use restrooms or locker rooms that align with their identities.
Alabama and West Virginia, voters approved a proposal that aims to prevent public funding of abortions. Oregon voters opposed a similar proposal.
In San Francisco, voters approved a tax on businesses that make more than $50 million a year, that money will go to housing for the homeless.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns/Fired
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned at President Trump’s request — which means he was fired.
He was often criticized often by President Trump the past year because he recused himself from the Russia investigation. He did this because he was not clear during his Senate confirmation testimony that he met with Russian officials twice before the election. When it was revealed that he did meet with them, he recused himself.
Sessions’ recusal and Trump’s firing of former FBI Director Comey led to the appointment of Special Counsel Mueller to lead the Russia investigation.
President Trump has been irate about this, saying he would have never appointed Sessions if he knew he was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. He has been frustrated about this.
Before Trump was elected, Sessions was a Republican Senator from Alabama and was one of Trump’s earliest and strongest supporters, often appearing with him during his campaign rallies.
But Sessions’ recusal put a rift between him and Trump, and that rift showed itself even more in August after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty plea and former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s guilty conviction — Trump said Sessions never took control of the Justice Department.
Sessions responded in a statement saying he took control of the department when he was sworn in, and that the department would not be improperly influenced by political considerations. This was when the rift was most evident, and now Sessions is removed.
Sessions will be replaced by Matthew Whitaker, who was Sessions’ chief of staff. President Trump said a permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date, and thanked Sessions for his service.
We will see how this affects the Mueller investigation.
Election Results of 4 Deaf Candidates Who Ran For Political Office
Here are news updates on four deaf candidates who ran for public office in various places in the U.S.
The first — Democrat Chris Haulmark, who ran for a Kansas State House seat in District 15, lost to Republican John Toplikar.
Haulmark got 48% of the vote with 3,571 votes, while Toplikar got 52% with 3,822 votes, a difference of 251 votes.
Haulmark posted on his Facebook page thanking his supporters for getting behind a Deaf candidate, saying it was amazing that he was down by only 251 votes. He said even though they lost, they are not defeated and stand tall knowing they fought the good fight.
Haulmark once had the support of the state’s Democratic party and Sharice Davids, who won her race to become a U.S. Congresswoman, but they withdrew their endorsements after several deaf women said he was emotionally abusive. The Kansas City Star editorial board also called for him to step down last month.
Haulmark has acknowledged he has made mistakes, but denied some specific accusations. Did all this affect the race? It probably did.
The second — Democrat Darrin Ryan Smith, who ran with two other Democrats for Frederick, Maryland’s House of Delegates in the 4th District, lost to a Republican candidate who also ran with two other Republicans. The three Republicans won the district.
Smith got about 17,500 votes, but his opponent got almost 27,000 votes.
Smith posted on his Facebook wall thanking his supporters. He said he went in knowing it would be an uphill battle, but he embraced the experience. He said he’s not done, that when this door closes, another one opens.
The third — Democrat Kim Mettache, who ran to get a seat on Dyer (Indiana) Town Council, Ward 4 — is behind 65 votes to the Republican incumbent, Mary Tanis.
Mettache has 3,115 votes to Tanis’ 3,180 votes. A local news article said it is too close to call, that there were still votes coming in, including provisional ballots.
But Mettache conceded in a Facebook post — she said she did not win, that she lost by 56 votes. She said her two running mates won. She thanked her supporters and said it was an honor to run for office as a newcomer.
Now, the fourth person is Robb Dooling, who won a Commissioner seat in Washington, D.C.’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) for areas covering NoMa and Old City, areas that include Gallaudet University.
He easily won with 95% of the vote, 1,791 votes, as he was the only candidate on the ballot. The write-in candidate(s) got only 92 votes.
Robb posted on his Facebook page that voters just elected a disabled and queer commissioner because our neighborhood is stronger by welcoming every human being.
I looked at some information -- ANC Commissioners serve two-year terms without pay. Washington, D.C. have 40 ANCs in total. Their main jobs are to be their neighborhoods’ official voice in advising the DC government on things that affect their neighborhoods.
So, those are the four deaf candidates and their results. It’s good to see more deaf people being involved in the political process, and hopefully there will be more candidates in the 2019 and 2020 elections.
Haulmark Results: https://ent.sos.ks.gov/kssos_ent.html
Haulmark Statement: http://bit.ly/2PhHu8E
Darrin Results: https://results.elections.maryland.gov/elections/2018/results/general/lbe_results/11EL45A.HTM
Darrin Statement: https://www.facebook.com/darrin.r.smith/posts/10219379172736415
Mettache Results: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/election-day-complete-region-results/collection_5baef1a2-fa4c-539e-aa01-92dba4abdedc.html#3
News Article on Mettache Race: http://bit.ly/2RBBMeC
Mettache Statement: http://bit.ly/2PNh8Lg
Dooling Results: https://electionresults.dcboe.org/election_results/2018-General-Election
Dooling Statement: http://bit.ly/2RJpv8b
Article/Photo of Robb Dooling: http://bit.ly/2AScrrn
Info on ANCs: https://anc.dc.gov/page/about-ancs
Guest #DeafBing: Elevators and Windows
Here are two guest Deaf Bing.
The first is from Catrina H.
Catrina: Deaf Bing: I’m chatting and wonder why the elevator is taking so long. Huh? Oops! I forgot to push the button.
Alex: That’s true. Elevators can be tough for deaf people. Catrina has one more Deaf Bing about elevators. Look at this.
Catrina: Also in elevators, when I am chatting… I notice that the elevator is not moving. Is there something wrong? Oh! I forgot to push the button. I was scared, I thought the elevator was broken!
Alex: That’s a relief your elevator is not broken. That’s happened to me many times. Oops, the button.
Ready for the next Deaf Bing from Chris O?
Chris: Deaf Bing what? I’m at a restaurant. I’m chatting with a deaf person. This window is very bright, it doesn’t have blinds on. I tend to cover it, look at this one.
Friend: This one is covered. The other one isn’t. Cars that are parked will reflect very bright light, so I block it.
Chris: That Deaf Bing.
Alex: I always say, “Stay with the light,” but I don’t mean that kind of light. Too bright! That’s true.
Thank you two for sending me the videos.