The last Bush gets ready for Texas-sized political showdown
George P. Bush is launching a campaign kickoff this week. But the last member of the Bush political dynasty – which over four generations has produced two presidents, a vice president, a senator, two governors and a congressman – has yet to specify which office he’s seeking. GEORGE P BUSH TELLS FOX NEWS HE'S TAKING ‘A VERY SERIOUS LOOK’ AT ATTORNEY GENERAL Bush, the two-term Texas land commissioner, is likely to announce Wednesday that he’s primary challenging another statewide officeholder and fellow Republican – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. In a tweet Saturday, Bush touted that he "will NEVER stop fighting" for law enforcement.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said former President Donald Trump would have lost in Texas in the 2020 election if his office had not successfully blocked counties from mailing out applications for mail-in ballots to all registered voters. © Joe Raedle/Getty Images Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said Friday that former President Donald Trump would have lost in the southwestern state if his office hadn't blocked counties from sending mail-in ballot applications to registered voters. In this photo, Paxton speaks during a panel discussion during the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27 in Orlando, Florida.
Harris County, home to the city of Houston, wanted to mail out applications for mail-in ballots to its approximately 2.4 million registered voters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the conservative Texas Supreme Court blocked the county from doing so after it faced litigation from Paxton's office.
Texas Democratic Lawmakers 'Determined to Kill' GOP Election Bill After Walking Out of Session
"When you're pushed to the extreme, you respond to that with extreme," Texas state Representative Joe Moody said.Voting rights advocates and Democratic leaders have blasted the GOP-backed election reform bill, which analysts have said will make Texas the most difficult state to cast a ballot in the country. Some previous analyses—such as an October 2020 study from Northern Illinois University—have already ranked Texas as the most difficult state for voting.
"If we'd lost Harris County—Trump won by 620,000 votes in Texas. Harris County mail-in ballots that they wanted to send out were 2.5 million, those were all illegal and we were able to stop every one of them," Paxton told former Trump adviser Steve Bannon during the latter's War Room podcast on Friday.
"Had we not done that, we would have been in the very same situation—we would've been on Election Day, I was watching on election night and I knew, when I saw what was happening in these other states, that that would've been Texas. We would've been in the same boat. We would've been one of those battleground states that they were counting votes in Harris County for three days and Donald Trump would've lost the election," the Republican official said.
MyPillow Guy Says He ‘Probably’ Inspired Trump’s Idea of an August Restoration
Donald Trump now has the notion in his head that he could return to the White House in August. But the twice-impeached former president isn’t getting that idea from constitutional scholars or his attorneys. Instead, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell apparently inspired him. “If Trump is saying August, that is probably because he heard me say it publicly,” Lindell told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. On Monday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted that former President Trump has been telling associates that he expects to be restored to the presidency by August, after Joe Biden’s election is overturned. President Biden, of course, legitimately won the 2020 U.S.
Notably, the Texas attorney general conflated mail-in ballots with applications for mail-in ballots in his remarks to Bannon. Harris County did not attempt to mail actual ballots to registered voters—just applications to request them if the individual voter wanted one.
As Paxton pointed out, Trump carried the traditionally conservative southwestern state by more than 600,000 votes. While President Joe Biden won 46.5 percent of the state's more than 11.3 million votes, Trump won about 52.1 percent. Polling ahead of the election had suggested that Biden had a shot at flipping the red state, which last went for a Democratic presidential candidate in 1976.
A 2020 analysis of U.S. election laws by Northern Illinois University ranked Texas as the most difficult state for voting. While absentee voting is allowed in the state for anyone over the age of 65 without an excuse, the state requires those younger to have a valid reason for requesting an absentee ballot. While Democrats believed the COVID-19 pandemic should be an acceptable excuse for any registered voter to cast their ballots by mail, Paxton and other Texas Republicans disagreed.
Watch What’s Happening in Red States
In states where Republicans control the legislature, American life is rapidly changing.Though this year’s proliferation of bills restricting ballot access in red states has commanded national attention, it represents just one stream in a torrent of conservative legislation poised to remake the country. GOP-controlled states—including Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Iowa, and Montana—have advanced their most conservative agenda in years, and one that reflects Donald Trump’s present stamp on the Republican Party.
Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers in Texas want to make it more difficult to vote in the state. Their efforts have been largely animated by Trump's baseless claims that Biden won the 2020 election through widespread voter fraud. These false allegations have already been thoroughly litigated and wholly debunked, while the former president and his allies have failed to provide evidence to substantiate them.
Democratic lawmakers in the Texas state House blocked what they viewed as a voter suppression bill from moving forward at the end of May. The Democrats walked out of the late evening legislative session on May 30, denying Republican lawmakers quorum to pass the legislation. Although that successfully prevented the bill from moving forward, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, has vowed to call a special session in a further effort to pass changes to the state's election laws.
Newsweek reached out to Paxton's office for further comment but did not immediately receive a response.
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Republicans Now Want to ‘Audit’ Election Results in States That Trump Won .
The Arizona state senate’s haphazard, controversial audit of 2020 ballots has become a popular destination for Republican lawmakers looking to undermine the results in battleground states that Joe Biden won. And now, audit-mania has spread even to the states that Biden lost. In the wake of the Arizona audit’s success at grabbing publicity across right-wing media, Republican lawmakers in states that Trump won are demanding Arizona-style audits or other election inspections of their own. The Republican hunt for voter-fraud evidence even in states that voted for Trump reveals how far inside the party the idea has spread that the election was stolen.