The Pronk Pops Show 1353, November 6, 2019, Story 1: House Intelligence Committee Will Begin Public Hearings on Trump  Impeachment Inquiry or Democrat 2016 Cover-up, Coup Attempt, and 2020 Campaign Event — Chaired By Unbelievable Pathological Liar Adam Schiff — Call The Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information Eric Ciaramella as First Republican Witness — Videos — Story 2: Front Channel Deep State Bureaucrats Opinions/Here Say on Trump Phone Call vs. Trump’s Back Channel Rudy Giuliani — Big Lie Media and Democrat Cover-up of Biden and Clinton Corruption in Ukraine — Videos — Story 3: Kentucky goes Republican Except For Governor By Electing Democrat Andy Beshea By A Margin of 5,189 votes Out of 1.4 million Votes — Videos

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Story 1: House Intelligence Committee Will Begin Public Hearings on Trump  Impeachment Inquiry or Democrat 2016 Cover-up, Coup Attempt, and 2020 Campaign Event — Chaired By Unbelievable Pathological Liar Adam Schiff — Call The Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella as First Republican Witness — Videos —

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff’s full opening statement on whistleblower complaint | DNI hearing

Mark Levin Goes Off On “Political Hack” Whistleblower, His Lawyers, Dems & Impeachment Inquiry

Schiff slammed for ‘parody’ of Trump call transcript

The Five’ reacts to House Dems taking impeachment probe public

PBS NewsHour full episode November 6, 2019

Washington Post calls out Schiff over false whistleblower comments

 

Whistleblower Protection Act

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Whistleblower Protection Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to amend title 5, United States Code, to strengthen the protections available to Federal employees against prohibited personnel practices, and for other purposes.
Nicknames Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989
Enacted by the 101st United States Congress
Effective April 10, 1989
Citations
Public law 101-12
Statutes at Large 103 Stat. 16
Codification
Titles amended 5 U.S.C.: Government Organization and Employees
U.S.C. sections amended 5 U.S.C. ch. 12 § 1201 et seq.
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 20 by Carl Levin (DMIon January 25, 1989
  • Passed the Senate on March 16, 1989 (97-0, Roll call vote 24, via Senate.gov)
  • Passed the House on March 21, 1989 (Agreed voice vote)
  • Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush onApril 10, 1989

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9), Pub.L. 101-12 as amended, is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report the possible existence of an activity constituting a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant.[1]

 

Authorized Federal Agencies

  • The Office of Special Counsel investigates federal whistleblower complaints. In October 2008, then-special counsel Scott Bloch resigned amid an FBI investigation into whether he obstructed justice by illegally deleting computer files following complaints that he had retaliated against employees who disagreed with his policies. Then-Senator Barack Obama made a campaign vow to appoint a special counsel committed to whistleblower rights. It was not until April 2011 that President Obama’s appointee Carolyn Lerner was confirmed by the Senate. Today, the primary mission of OSC is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing.
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board, a quasi-judicial agency that adjudicates whistleblower complaints, uses appointed administrative law judges who often back the government. Since 2000, the board has ruled for whistleblowers just three times in 56 cases decided on their merits, according to a Government Accountability Project analysis. Obama appointed a new chairperson and vice chairperson with backgrounds as federal worker advocates, but Tom Devine of GAP says, “It’s likely to take years for them to turn things around.” Currently, this office works to protect the Merit System Principles and promote an effective Federal workforce free of Prohibited Personnel Practices.
  • The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established under Article III of the Constitution on October 1, 1982. It is the only court empowered to hear appeals of whistleblower cases decided by the merit board, has been criticized by Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) and others in Congress for misinterpreting whistleblower laws and setting a precedent that is hostile to claimants. Between 1994 and 2010, the court had ruled for whistleblowers in only three of 203 cases decided on their merits, GAP’s analysis found.[2]

Legal Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 04-473, ruled in 2006 that government employees do not have protection from retaliation by their employers under the First Amendment of the Constitution when they speak pursuant to their official job duties.[3] The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) uses agency lawyers in the place of administrative law judges to decide federal employees’ whistleblower appeals. These lawyers, dubbed “attorney examiners,” deny 98% of whistleblower appeals; the Board and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals give great deference to their initial decisions, resulting in affirmance rates of 97% and 98%, respectively.[4] The most common characteristics for a court claim that are encompassed within the protection of the Act include: that the plaintiff is an employee or person covered under the specific statutory or common law relied upon for action, that the defendant is an employer or person covered under the specific statutory or common law relied upon for the action, that the plaintiff engaged in protected whistleblower activity, that the defendant knew or had knowledge that the plaintiff engaged in such activity, that there was retaliatory action taken against the one doing the whistleblowing and that the unfair treatment would not have occurred if the plaintiff hadn’t brought to attention the activities.[5] Robert MacLean blew the whistle on the fact that the TSA had cut its funding for more air marshals. In 2009 MacLean, represented by the Government Accountability Project, challenged his dismissal at the Merit Systems Protection Board, on the grounds that “his disclosure of the text message was protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, because he ‘reasonably believe[d]’ that the leaked information disclosed ‘a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety’.” MacLean won the case in a ruling of 7–2 in the Supreme Court in January 2015.[6]

Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and Presidential Policy Directive 19

President Barack Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), entitled “Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information”. According to the directive signed by Obama on October 10, 2012, it is written that “this Presidential Policy Directive ensures that employees (1) serving in the Intelligence Community or (2) who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.[7]

However, according to a report that the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs submitted to accompany S. 743, “the federal whistleblowers have seen their protections diminish in recent years, largely as a result of a series of decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has exclusive jurisdiction over many cases brought under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). Specifically, the Federal Circuit has accorded a narrow definition to the type of disclosure that qualifies for whistleblower protection. Additionally, the lack of remedies under current law for most whistleblowers in the intelligence community and for whistleblowers who face retaliation in the form of withdrawal of the employee’s security clearance leaves unprotected those who are in a position to disclose wrongdoing that directly affects our national security.”[8] S. 743 would address these problems by restoring the original congressional intent of the WPA to adequately protect whistleblowers, by strengthening the WPA, and by creating new whistleblower protections for intelligence employees and new protections for employees whose security clearance is withdrawn in retaliation for having made legitimate whistleblower disclosures.[9] S. 743 ultimately became Pub.L. 112-199 (S.Rep. 112-155).

Related legislation

On July 14, 2014, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the All Circuit Review Extension Act (H.R. 4197; 113th Congress), a bill that gives authority to federal employees who want to appeal their judgment to any federal court, and which allows whistleblowers to appeal to any U.S. Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction. The bill would extend from three years after the effective date of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (i.e., December 27, 2012), the period allowed for: (1) filing a petition for judicial review of Merit Systems Protection Board decisions in whistleblower cases, and (2) any review of such a decision by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).[10][11]

See also

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower_Protection_Act

Story 2: Front Channel Deep State Bureaucrats Policy Differences, Opinions/Heresay (Acting Ambassador Bill Taylor and Others) on Trump Phone Call vs. Trump’s Back Channel Rudy Giuliani — Big Lie Media and Democrat Cover-up of Biden and Clinton Corruption in Ukraine — Videos

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Giuliani slams Biden’s new push for networks to stop booking him

Giuliani: Shouldn’t Biden be investigated over Ukraine if Trump can be impeached over it?

Sekulow: Whistleblower complaint form used to require firsthand information

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Trump Impeachment Defense Erodes as Details Emerge on Giuliani’s Role

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How Joe Biden Made His Millions

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An Introduction to The Back Channel

William J. Burns, “The Back Channel”

What Is And What Is Not A Diplomatic Backchannel | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

‘I would quit’: Takeaways from diplomat Taylor’s testimony

 

William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Wednesday.

Taylor last month methodically recounted his conversations with other diplomats and expressed his concerns about the influence of the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukraine policy. Referring to his own detailed notes – he has a notebook in his pocket at all times, he said – he told lawmakers about his efforts to restore the military aid.

House Democrats released a 324-page transcript of Taylor’s interview as part of a rolling release of documents in the new, public phase of the impeachment inquiry. Taylor’s transcript was the fifth released this week, and more are expected. Taylor is also scheduled to testify publicly next week.

Takeaways from the Taylor transcript:

AN ‘IRREGULAR’ DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL

Taylor told investigators he began to realize, after taking the top job in Ukraine in May, that were two diplomatic channels on Ukraine: one regular and an “irregular” one that was “guided by Mr. Giuliani.” The military aid, and a meeting between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was blocked by the second channel, Taylor said.

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo, Ambassador William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats' impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers last month that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country's president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Nov. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo, Ambassador William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats’ impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers last month that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Nov. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The irregular channel included Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Giuliani. Taylor says the two channels eventually began to diverge in their goals as Trump pushed for investigations of political rival Joe Biden’s family and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s calls for those probes, and the delay in military assistance to Ukraine, are the center of the Democrats’ investigation.

___

“A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING”

Taylor told the investigators he understood that the military aid – not just the White House meeting – was conditioned on Ukraine opening the investigations. Sondland had told him that “everything” was dependent on Zelenskiy making such an announcement.

“That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President committed to pursue the investigation,” Taylor told the lawmakers, even though Sondland insisted, after talking to Trump, that there was no “quid pro quo.”

Taylor said he understood the reason for investigating Burisma, a gas company linked to Joe Biden’s son, was “to cast Vice President Biden in a bad light” and that it could help Trump’s reelection.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., asked Taylor in the questioning: “So if they don’t do this, they are not going to get that was your understanding?”

“Yes, sir,” Taylor said.

“Are you aware that quid pro quo literally means this for that?” Schiff asked.

“I am,” Taylor said.

___

WARY OF THE JOB

Taylor recounts his own struggles with the decision to take the job in Ukraine after Trump had ordered the ouster of the previous ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. He said he was worried about “snake pits” in Washington and Kyiv and raised his concerns with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he was offered the job.

Later in the summer, after a few months in Ukraine, he told Volker and Sondland that he would quit if Zelenskiy gave an interview promising the investigations Trump had sought and then the military aid was never released. In a text, he described that scenario as his “nightmare.”

When asked to explain that text, Taylor told lawmakers: “The Russians want to know how much support the Ukrainians are going to get in general, but also what kind of support from the Americans. So the Russians are loving, would love, the humiliation of Zelenskiy at the hand of the Americans, and would give the Russians a freer hand, and I would quit.”

___

WORRIES ABOUT MILITARY AID

Taylor said he decided, at the encouragement of then-national security adviser John Bolton, to write a cable to Pompeo outlining his concerns about the holdup in military aid. He did not get a reply, but he was told that Pompeo had brought the cable with him to at least one White House meeting at which the secretary argued in favor of releasing the aid to Ukraine.

“I know that Secretary Pompeo was working on this issue, that he wanted it resolved,” Taylor said. “I was getting more and more concerned that it wasn’t getting resolved. And so I wanted to add my concern and my arguments, from the perspective of Kyiv and the Ukrainians, about how important this assistance was.”

Taylor told the lawmakers that he wrote the cable in the first person, which he thought would get Pompeo’s attention. He also hinted in the cable that he might resign.

In the deposition, Taylor described the importance of the military aid that Ukraine was receiving from the U.S. to fight the insurgency backed by Russia in the east. “What we can say is that that radar and weapons and sniper rifles, communication, that saves lives. It makes the Ukrainians more effective. It might even shorten the war.”

___

FOCUS ON UKRAINE … OR GREENLAND?

Taylor testified that as he was pushing for the aid to Ukraine to be released, he was hearing from colleagues in Washington that it was difficult to arrange a meeting with Trump on the issue.

He said that may have had to do with travel schedules, but also the president’s keen interest in buying Greenland from Denmark, which the National Security Council was looking into.

“I think this was also about the time of the Greenland question, about purchasing Greenland, which took up a lot of energy in the NSC,” Taylor told the lawmakers.

Schiff responded: “Okay. That’s disturbing for a whole different reason.”

Trump sparked a diplomatic dispute with U.S. ally Denmark in August after he proposed that the U.S. buy Greenland and the Danish government rejected the idea.

___

GOP PUSHBACK

In a preview of the public hearing, Republicans criticized Taylor by arguing that he received none of the information firsthand. Taylor says in the interview that he hadn’t spoken directly to Trump or Giuliani.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., grilled Taylor on whether he had primary knowledge that Trump was demanding that Ukraine investigate the Bidens. Republicans also suggested in the interview that Ukrainians wanted to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Trump in 2016.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-7658395/I-quit-Takeaways-diplomat-Taylors-testimony.html

 

William Joseph Burns

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William Joseph Burns
AmbassadorBurns.jpg
17th United States Deputy Secretary of State
In office
July 28, 2011 – November 3, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Steinberg
Succeeded by Tony Blinken
United States Secretary of State
Acting
In office
January 20, 2009 – January 21, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Condoleezza Rice
Succeeded by Hillary Clinton
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
In office
May 13, 2008 – July 28, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by R. Nicholas Burns
Succeeded by Tom Shannon (Acting)
5th United States Ambassador to Russia
In office
November 8, 2005 – May 13, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Alexander Vershbow
Succeeded by John Beyrle
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
In office
June 4, 2001 – March 2, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Edward S. Walker Jr.
Succeeded by David Welch
United States Ambassador to Jordan
In office
August 9, 1998 – June 4, 2001
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Wesley Egan
Succeeded by Edward Gnehm
Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State
In office
January 16, 1996 – February 27, 1998
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Kenneth C. Brill
Succeeded by Kristie Kenney
Personal details
Born April 4, 1956 (age 63)
Fort BraggNorth Carolina, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lisa Carty
Children 2
Education La Salle University (BA)
St John’s College, Oxford(MPhilDPhil)

William Joseph Burns (born April 11, 1956) is a former career Foreign Service Officer,[1] and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace since February 2015.[2] Previously, he was Ambassador of the United States to the Russian Federation from 2005 until 2008, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, and United States Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 to 2014.

 

Early life and education

Burns was born at Fort BraggNorth Carolina. He earned a B.A. in History from La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and M.Phil and D.Phil degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, United Kingdom, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. His dissertation was expanded and published in 1985 as Economic Aid and American Policy Toward Egypt, 1955–1981.

Career

U.S. Foreign Service

Ambassador Burns entered the Foreign Service in 1982, and served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 until 2014. Previously, he served as Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2008 until 2011. He was U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2005 until 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 until 2005, and U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 until 2001. Before these, he was also Executive Secretary of the State Department and Special Assistant to Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright; Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff; and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

Burns, together with George Tenet was instrumental in forcing through the short-lived Israeli-Palestinian cease fire agreement of June 2001.[3][4] He played a leading role in the elimination of Libya’s illicit weapons program, and the secret bilateral channel with the Iranians that led to a historic interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1.[5] He also played a major role in efforts to re-set relations with Russia early in the Obama Administration and in the strengthening of the strategic partnership with India. Secretary of State John Kerry lauded his “quiet, head-down, get-it-done diplomacy”, stating that it had earned him the trust of both Republican and Democratic administrations; The Atlantic called him a “secret diplomatic weapon” deployed against some of the United States’ thorniest foreign policy challenges.[6]

A cable Burns signed as ambassador and released by WikiLeaks[7] describing “a high society wedding in the Caucasus — complete with massive quantities of alcohol, lumps of gold and revolver-wielding drunkards” attended by President Ramzan Kadyrov,[8] received widespread international coverage, with historian Timothy Garton Ash writing that “Burns’s analyses of Russian politics are astute,” with the “highly entertaining account” of the wedding “almost worthy of Evelyn Waugh.”[9]

Retirement from the Foreign Service

On April 11, the State Department announced Burns would step down as Deputy Secretary of State in October 2014, after he twice delayed his retirement first at the request of Secretary John Kerry and then at the request of President Obama.

In a press statement announcing Ambassador Burns’ decision to retire, Secretary Kerry said that “Bill is a statesman cut from the same cloth, caliber, and contribution as George F. Kennan and Chip Bohlen, and he has more than earned his place on a very short list of American diplomatic legends”.[10] President Obama, in his own statement, said Ambassador Burns “has been a skilled advisor, consummate diplomat, and inspiration to generations of public servants…the country is stronger for Bill’s service”.[11]

On October 29, 2014, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced that Ambassador Burns would begin his tenure as its ninth President on February 4, 2015.

Burns was widely assumed to be on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s shortlist of Secretary of State nominees, had she won.[12]

His memoir of his diplomatic career The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal was published in 2019.

Awards

Burns with CMU President Subra Suresh (middle) and ITU-T Director Malcolm Johnson (left), 2016

Burns is the recipient of three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and a number of Department of State awards, including three Secretary’s Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award, the 2006 Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Ambassadorial Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, the 2005 Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award, and the James Clement Dunn Award. He also received the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service and the U.S. Intelligence Community Medallion. In 1994, he was named to TIME Magazine‘s list of the “50 Most Promising American Leaders Under Age 40”, and its list of “100 Young Global Leaders”. Burns holds four honorary doctoral degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[13] He was also awarded Foreign Policy‘s “Diplomat of the Year” award in 2013;[14] and the Anti-Defamation League‘s “Distinguished Statesman Award” (2014).[15] He is also an Honorary Fellow, St. John’s College, Oxford (from 2012).[16]

Personal life

Burns and his wife Lisa Carty have two daughters.

References

  1. ^ “NNDB Article”. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  2. ^ “Ambassador William J. Burns Named Next Carnegie President”. National Endowment for Democracy (NEFD). 28 October 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  3. ^ Ephron, Dan (13 June 2001). “US rokers a cease-fire in Mid-East 11th hour Deal Spells Out Steps; Disputes Remain”. Boston Globe. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  4. ^ “The Tenet Plan : Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire and Security Plan, Proposed by CIA Director George Tenet; June 13, 2001”Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  5. ^ Gordon, Michael (April 11, 2014). “Diplomat Who Led Secret Talks with Iran Plans to Retire”New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  6. ^ Kralev, Nicholas (April 4, 2013). “The White House’s Secret Diplomatic Weapon”The Atlantic. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  7. ^ “US embassy cables: A wedding feast, the Caucasus way”, 1 Dec 2010, The Guardian
  8. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/wedding-in-the-caucasus-the-us-ambassador-learns-that-cognac-is-like-wine-a-732370.html
  9. ^ Garton Ash, Timothy (November 28, 2010). “US Embassy Cables: A Banquet of Secrets”. The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  10. ^ “Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns’ Decision to Retire in October 2014”http://www.state.gov. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  11. ^ “Statement by President Obama on the Retirement of Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns”. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  12. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/hillary-clinton-john-kerry-secretary-state-226740
  13. ^ http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/1014
  14. ^ “Bill Burns Honored as Diplomat of the Year”foreignpolicy.com. Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  15. ^ “Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns Presented with ADL Award”http://www.adl.org. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  16. ^ “RAI in America”http://www.rai.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2014.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joseph_Burns

 

Story 3: Kentucky goes Republican Except For Governor By Electing Democrat Andy Beshea By A Margin of 5,189 votes Out of 1.4 million Votes  — Videos

 

Kentucky’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andy Beshear, shown with running mate Jacqueline Coleman, held a lead of more than 5,000 votes. PHOTO: BRYAN WOOLSTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory in the Kentucky governor’s race and pressed ahead with transition plans, despite Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s refusal to concede and his request for a formal review of vote totals.

With 100% of counties reporting results, Mr. Beshear led Mr. Bevin by 5,189 votes out of more than 1.4 million cast, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections. The race was too close to call, according to the Associated Press.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, with his wife, Glenna, in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday. PHOTO: TIMOTHY D. EASLEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

“I feel confident in declaring Andy Beshear Gov.-elect Beshear,” said Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, in an interview. But she said she would follow established procedures in response to any petitions from Mr. Bevin.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bevin’s campaign formally requested a recanvass, or review of the vote totals in each county, citing an “election too close to call and multiple reports of voting irregularities.” At a news conference Wednesday, Mr. Bevin said the campaign was seeking to corroborate alleged incidents such as voting machines that didn’t work properly, and he criticized Ms. Grimes for calling the race.

“We want the people of Kentucky to have absolute confidence that their votes were counted,” Mr. Bevin said.

Ms. Grimes said her office hadn’t received substantiated reports of irregularities. She scheduled the recanvass for Nov. 14.

Eric Hyers, Mr. Beshear’s campaign manager, said he hoped Mr. Bevin would honor the results of the recanvass.

Mr. Beshear, Kentucky’s attorney general and son of the state’s most recent Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, said at a news conference Wednesday that he hadn’t spoken with Mr. Bevin and was moving ahead with transition plans.

“We’re confident in the outcome of the election,” he said. “Today is about moving forward. The election is over.”

Mr. Beshear detailed some early priorities: rescind a Medicaid work requirement pursued by Mr. Bevin, appoint a new state Board of Education and restore voting rights for about 140,000 felons who were disenfranchised under state law.

Apart from the recanvass, Mr. Bevin can pursue another option under the state’s election laws: contest the results. He would need to do so within 30 days of their certification by the Board of Elections, and the process would be guided by a committee formed by the state House and Senate.

Contests of elections are rare in the state, and the last time one occurred in a governor’s race was in 1899, said Joshua Douglas, a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Recanvasses are more common, but “the likelihood this would change the numbers materially is extremely low,” he said.

Andy Beshear stands with his wife, Britainy, as he delivers a speech at the Kentucky Democratic Party election night watch party on Tuesday.PHOTO: BRYAN WOOLSTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mr. Bevin, a 52-year-old former businessman who never held elected office before winning in 2015, ran as a staunch ally of President Trump, often invoking national issues like abortion, immigration and the impeachment inquiry into the president.

President Trump, who won Kentucky by 30 points in 2016 and heavily backed Mr. Bevin, pushed for his victory with a rally in the state ahead of the election and a barrage of tweets voicing his support. But, as he acknowledged in a tweet late Tuesday, his efforts didn’t appear to be enough to secure a victory for the Republican.

Mr. Beshear carried a number of counties in eastern Kentucky’s coal country that are bastions of support for Mr. Trump and some that Mr. Bevin won in 2015, including Kenton and Campbell in northern Kentucky, a conservative part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

The Democrat also won by wide margins in the counties that include Louisville and Lexington, far exceeding the totals for the 2015 Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

“In urban and suburban counties, Beshear’s victory was unprecedented,” said Matt Erwin, a Democratic political consultant.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Republicans largely beat their Democratic challengers in other state elections Tuesday—including capturing the attorney general’s seat for the first time in decades. Republican Daniel Cameron will become the first African-American to hold that office in the state. Former elections board member Michael Adams, a Republican, was elected as Kentucky’s next secretary of state.

Mr. Beshear, 41, focused on what he said are the issues Kentuckians care most about: education, jobs, the state’s troubled pension system and health care.

Mr. Beshear had campaigned heavily on rolling back the Medicaid work requirement, and Democrats viewed their gains Tuesday as evidence that they hold an advantage on health care heading into the 2020 elections. A state estimate projected 95,000 people would lose Medicaid coverage under the work rules, which were stalled by a lawsuit. Rescinding the work mandate could end the lawsuit.

While Mr. Bevin held an advantage as a GOP incumbent in a state that Republicans have come to dominate, his tenure at times has been rocky.

Last year, he called teachers who opposed plans to overhaul the pension system “selfish” and “ignorant,” and tangled with state lawmakers over the issue. He was rated the most unpopular governor in the U.S. earlier this year in a survey by polling firm Morning Consult. Mr. Bevin dismissed the poll, saying it wasn’t credible.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Mr. Beshear specifically thanked the state’s teachers for their support.

“To our educators: Your courage to stand up and fight against all the bullying and name-calling helped galvanize our state,” he said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/election-results-2019-tight-kentucky-governor-race-sparks-fight-11573051470

 

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