The Texas Secretary of State’s Office announced the state will conduct a forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election in four counties.
The audit will focus on Houston, Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin counties — the two largest Democrat and two largest Republican counties in the state.
“Under existing Texas laws, the Secretary of State has the authority to conduct a full and comprehensive forensic audit of any election and has already begun the process in Texas’ two largest Democrat counties and two largest Republican counties—Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin—for the 2020 election. We anticipate the Legislature will provide funds for this purpose,” the Office said in a statement.
Though Donald Trump won Texas last year by 5.5 percentage points, the former president wrote a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday requesting a statewide audit to “answer big questions” about the 2020 election.
“Despite my big win in Texas, I hear Texans want an election audit! You know your fellow Texans have big questions about the November 2020 Election,” Trump said in a statement.
“Let’s get to the bottom of the 2020 Presidential Election Scam!”
Texas Democrats melted down over the development.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo called the audit a “scam” and a “dangerous assault” on democracy.
“This does not deserve to be treated as a serious matter or serious audit,” Hidalgo said. “It is an irresponsible political trick. It is a sham. It is a cavalier and dangerous assault on voters and democracy.”
Likewise, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins accused Abbott of appeasing his “puppeteer” Trump.
“This is a weak Governor openly and shamelessly taking his orders from a disgraced former President. Governor Abbott is wasting taxpayer funds to trample on Texans’ freedom to vote, all in order to appease his puppeteer,” Jenkins told the Texas Tribune.
Former U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke called the election audit an “extreme rightward lurch” done at Trump’s bidding.
“Looks like the extreme rightward lurch in Texas has entered a new phase. Abbott and the GOP now openly allow a disgraced, twice-impeached president to write Texas policy,” O’Rourke tweeted.
Biden won Dallas County with 65% of the vote and Harris County with 56%, according to the official results.
Biden also flipped Tarrant County, winning 49.3% to Trump’s 49.1%. Trump won Collin County with over 51% of the vote.
Texas’ audit announcement came a day before the Arizona Senate released the results of its months-long audit of the 2020 election which found tens of thousands of duplicate ballots in addition to thousands of other discrepancies with ballot envelopes, signatures, voter rolls, and more.
Donna Brazile: Biden ‘Has A Lot to Brag About’ — ‘I Give Him High Marks for the First Year’
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that President Joe Biden had “a lot to brag about” after his first year in office.
Partial transcript as follows:
RADDATZ: Donna, I want to — I want to start with you: unity, unity, unity. That is what Joe Biden talked about in his inaugural address just over a year ago. That is not what he has gotten. And this week it’s clear he’s changing course.
DONNA BRAZILE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: There’s no question that what the president called for last year is something that we should all aspire to. We want to be a united country, especially now, given the threats that we see abroad. He also said that he wanted to reach out. He has tried and, of course, we got — the result is the bipartisan infrastructure bill. But this is an opportunity for all Americans to really rally behind the president as we try to get this virus under control, keep this economy growing, keep our schools re-opened.
Look, I think the president has a lot to brag about. And, yes, I say ‘brag,’ because for the first time in my lifetime, we have a president who is going to eliminate lead pipes, a president that is going to ensure that every child gets a head start and a healthy start. But while we’re not celebrating all of his successes, we are basically focused on the next election. And we know that that’s 289 days away. So I give him high marks for the first year. He hasn’t accomplished everything he wanted to, but by the way he’s only in the first year of a four-year term. So this is going to be a key year for President Biden.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
Singer Chris Daughtry Reveals Daughter Committed Suicide Months After Criminal Shot Her in the Face
Singer Chris Daughtry and his wife Deanna Daughtry shared the cause of daughter Hannah Price’s sudden death late last year, stating that after a full investigation, officials have determined that the 25-year-old died by suicide November 12.
“After a thorough investigation by Fentress County DA, Fentress County Sheriff Office and the Knoxville Medical Examiners Office, they have determined her official cause of death as suicide by hanging while under the influence of Narcotics,” the Daughtrys said in a joint statement shared with E! News.
“It has been determined that there is no evidence of foul play,” they added.
The Daughtrys went on to say that Price had told her family members the morning of her death that she was in “fear for her life.”
“She needed help after her current boyfriend allegedly physically abused her and had taken her car,” they said, adding that police were called to perform a wellness check at Price’s Tennessee home, but that officers had determined she “was OK” and left without incident.
“From a young age, Hannah struggled with mental illness and was in and out of therapy and treatment centers,” the statement continued. “As Hannah got older, she struggled to find her footing and began using drugs and often found herself abusive relationships.”
The Daughtrys went on to say that Price had also been “the victim of a crime and was shot in the face” just months after losing her biological father to suicide.
“Just months after losing her biological father to suicide, Hannah was the victim of a crime and was shot in the face,” the statement said. “We did everything we could to support her and get her the help she needed to recover from these tragedies and get her life back on track.”
“We had just recently made plans with Hannah for her to seek further treatment and move closer to the family,” they added.
Price’s body was found hanging by her boyfriend, who called 911, according to the statement, which added that she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The day after Price’s death, Chris Daughtry shared an image of his step-daughter to Instagram, writing, “I am absolutely devastated and heartbroken.”
“I just recently lost my mother to cancer but I was blessed with the chance to say goodbye and I was processing it privately,” he added at the time. “We never got to say goodbye to our precious Hannah and it’s another huge hit to our family.”
Arizona Sues Biden Admin After They Threaten State Over Funding For Schools Without Mask Mandates
President Joe Biden’s Treasury Department wants COVID-19 funding back from Arizona because the state is sending money to districts that don’t have mask mandates — and the state’s Republican governor is taking them to court over it.
According to The Arizona Republic, Gov. Doug Ducey filed a lawsuit against the administration on Friday, alleging it was trying to “bully Arizona” into adopting Democrat-endorsed COVID policies by threatening to withhold or claw back money allocated under the American Rescue Plan.
The Biden administration using the power of the purse to punish states over masking in schools is a new low in the social tug-of-war over COVID policy, particularly since there’s little demonstrated benefit to the policies and considerable psychological costs. (Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been making readers aware of these facts since the beginning of the pandemic. You can help us continue to bring readers the truth by subscribing.)
In a Jan. 14 letter, the Treasury Department said Arizona’s $163 million Education Plus-Up Grant Program and its COVID-19 Educational Recovery Benefit Program undermined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on reducing COVID transmission, according to The Hill.
The former program only funnels funds to schools without mask mandates, while the Educational Recovery Benefit Program provides up to $7,000-a-student payouts to parents whose children are in schools that have imposed “unnecessary closures and school mandates.”
The Treasury Department said in the letter that the funds allocated to Arizona under the American Rescue Plan were intended “to mitigate the fiscal effects stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency, including by supporting efforts to stop the spread of the virus” and that the money must be used for programs that, in the administration’s view, don’t undermine efforts to prevent COVID transmission.
The Treasury Department gave Arizona 60 days to come into compliance and redirect the funds, warning that if they didn’t do so, they’d try to claw back the money and withhold further aid.
Ducey blasted the move on Twitter, calling it “the latest example of a President that is completely out of touch with the American people” and saying the administration was “attempting to rewrite rules around public dollars that will result in LESS funding to schools and kids — particularly in low-income communities.”
Do you support Arizona’s lawsuit?
“When it comes to education, President Biden wants to continue focusing on masks. In Arizona, we’re going to focus on math and getting kids caught up after a year of learning loss,” Ducey said. “We will respond to this letter, and we will continue to focus on things that matter to Arizonans.”
That response came Friday, when Arizona filed suit against the Biden administration over the threat to revoke funding.
This letter is the latest example of a President that is completely out of touch with the American people. 1/ https://t.co/Vx243HBKam
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 14, 2022
When it comes to education, President Biden wants to continue focusing on masks. In Arizona, we’re going to focus on math and getting kids caught up after a year of learning loss. 4/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 14, 2022
We will respond to this letter, and we will continue to focus on things that matter to Arizonans. President Biden should do the same, and he can start by addressing the crisis at the border. 5/5
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 14, 2022
“Treasury’s actions far exceed the statutory authority granted to it under” the American Rescue Plan Act, the lawsuit read, according to The Hill.
The lawsuit states Ducey used money from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, or SLFRF, “to create two grant programs that addressed the long-term, negative economic impacts on disadvantaged communities from school closures and overbearing mask mandates. The programs empower parents and students to exercise their freedom to make informed decisions regarding their health and educational needs.”
Furthermore, the Treasury Department had previously noted states had, to quote their own guidance, “broad latitude to choose whether and how to use the [SLFRF funds] to respond to and address the negative economic impact” caused by COVID-19.
Ducey’s lawsuit said, “Treasury arbitrarily changed its guidance, and through a clear abuse of discretion, is seeking to unilaterally amend [the American Rescue Plan] by adding new health conditions on how SLFRF monies may be used.
“In particular, and even though Treasury has no background expertise in public health, Treasury recently issued a Final Rule that purports to prohibit SLFRF monies from being used in a manner that, in the subjective and ill-informed opinion of Treasury, would undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Furthermore, even if the Treasury were in a position to make bad public health judgments, the American Rescue Plan doesn’t authorize that, the suit alleges: “Nothing in that underlying statute authorizes Treasury to condition the use of SLFRF monies on following measures that, in the view of Treasury, stop the spread of COVID-19.”
“If Congress had truly intended to give Treasury the power to dictate public health edicts to the States, and recoup or withhold SLFRF monies based on an alleged lack of compliance with such edicts, it would have spoken clearly on the matter. It did not.”
Ducey, meanwhile, said in a statement that, “The Biden administration is attempting to hold congressionally-appropriated funds hostage and is trying to bully Arizona into complying with this power-grabbing move.”
A Treasury Department spokeswoman said the administration “believes the rule is correct and allowed by the statute and Constitution,” setting up a battle in court, according to The New York Times.
No matter how that ends legally, it’ll put the Biden administration in the uncomfortable position of defending policies that don’t “follow the science,” to use an execrable idiom.
Masking in schools hasn’t proved efficacious, no matter what the administration chooses to believe.
Gov. Ducey introduced two programs to combat it — and, because it doesn’t follow the administration’s dogmatic views regarding COVID, they want to take money away from Arizona. If this doesn’t tell you the battle is about politics and not public health, I don’t know what will.
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