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Moms for Liberty Falls Flat on Its Face in School Board Races

In Iowa, Moms for Liberty endorsed 13 candidates for school board. Guess how many actually won?

Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Iowa chapters of the far-right group Moms for Liberty endorsed 13 candidates in school board races across the state. Only one was elected.

The Tuesday loss is a stinging rebuke of Moms for Liberty, a “parental rights” organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as an extremist group. What happened in Iowa mimics similar defeats suffered by the group and by Republicans in general throughout the U.S.

In Iowa, the only Moms for Liberty candidate who won was Nathan Gibson. He was elected school director for the Interstate 35 district, a rural district with fewer than 1,000 students.

Moms for Liberty was founded in 2021 to push back against Covid-19 restrictions in schools. It has since expanded to opposing classes on diversity, curbing the rights of LGBTQ students, and banning books.

But on Tuesday, voters across the country pushed back on the Moms for Liberty agenda. The organization endorsed more than 130 candidates across the country, and the vast majority of them lost—with some failing to get more than single-digit support.

All four Moms for Liberty-backed candidates in Minnesota lost, as did all four in Washington state. The group endorsed 19 candidates for school boards in New Jersey, but only four won.

Moms for Liberty backed 25 candidates throughout Ohio, but just five were elected. And of the six candidates the group endorsed in Virginia, only one won her race.

Voters issued similar rebukes to the Republican Party in general. Ohioans also voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution, despite the state GOP making multiple desperate attempts to prevent such an outcome. In Virginia, Democrats took control of both the state House and Senate in a stunning upset.

This story has been updated.

Kayleigh McEnany Says Tuesday-Night Bloodbath Was All the Pollsters’ Fault!

The former Trump press secretary is upset the polls didn’t predict this.

John Lamparski/Getty Images

Conservatives reeled in shock and awe Tuesday night as traditionally red states voted blue in their off-year elections, defying polls over one key issue: abortion rights.

Abortion was a linchpin issue in states like Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia, where voters showed up en masse to steer their options toward access. Yet for many Republicans, the results came as a surprise. Despite a swath of polling results that indicated Americans increasingly view abortion access as an essential right, Republicans geared their hopes on polls hinting at sinking morale among Democrats under President Joe Biden’s leadership.

“Kentucky is a red state. Ohio is a red state,” Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News’s Hannity. “Tonight, the midterm elections, the last few elections, we must recognize as a party, good polling does not always translate into resounding victory.”

“On the issue of abortion, in Ohio tonight, we continue a losing streak in the pro-life movement. Every ballot initiative has been lost post-Dobbs for the pro-life movement,” McEnany said.

McEnany also pointed out that conservatives won’t win women back on this issue until conservatives get behind initiatives to bolster young mothers.

“As a party, Sean, we must not just be a pro-baby party. That’s a great thing. We must be a pro-mother party,” McEnany said.

“There’s legislation we must put forward as a party to support women,” McEnany added. “We’ve got to get Trump behind it, the speaker of the House behind it, and have a national strategy to help vulnerable women because the results of next year’s election could be determined by that.”

Sean Hannity himself conceded that although he’s pro-life, he “recognize[s] that’s not where the country is.”

“Voters vote, polls don’t,” a Biden-Harris fundraising email noted after the results began to roll in.

Rick Santorum Says Quiet Part Out Loud After Republican Election Losses

Republicans are annoyed that democracy is working.

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Former Senator Rick Santorum complained that the major election losses Republicans suffered are actually a sign of how “pure democracies” are a bad form of government.

Republicans faced devastating losses on Tuesday, as voters in Ohio overwhelmingly chose to legalize marijuana and enshrine abortion rights in the state Constitution. In Virginia, Democrats flipped the state House of Representatives, taking control of the entire legislature. While abortion was not explicitly on the ballot, the future of reproductive rights in Virginia hinged on which party controlled the government.

“You put very sexy things like abortion and marijuana on the ballot, and a lot of young people come out and vote. It was a secret sauce for disaster in Ohio,” Santorum whined Tuesday night on Newsmax.

“Thank goodness that most of the states in this country don’t allow you to put everything on the ballot, because pure democracies are not the way to run a country.”

Putting aside Santorum’s weird choice of descriptor (sexy, really?), his actual complaint is laughable. Santorum is upset that democracy is working.

As Republicans across the country try to push more extreme agendas, many issues such as protecting abortion, legalizing marijuana, and raising the minimum wage are being put forward for ballot referendums. Republicans lose those votes every time.

But rather than take the actual lesson here and start proposing policies that voters like, Republicans are digging their heels in. Take, for instance, Santorum’s other gripe, that young voters turned out because the issues were “sexy” (again, ugh).

Maybe young voters didn’t want to just hop on some social trend. Maybe young voters actually care about protecting their rights.

Abortion Rights Supporters Claim Massive Victory in Ohio Election

Voters have overwhelmingly passed Issue 1, protecting the right to abortion.

Lorie McLain, 61, looks at a map on her phone while canvassing for abortion rights ahead of the general election, in Columbus, Ohio, on November 5.

Abortion is officially enshrined in Ohio’s state Constitution, with residents voting overwhelmingly Tuesday to increase protections despite Republicans’ last-ditch attempt to thwart them.

The Associated Press projected the victory of the Issue 1 ballot measure at 9:02 p.m. As of 9:14 p.m., the “yes” vote was leading at 57 percent.

Issue 1 will create a new amendment allowing people to decide for themselves about all reproductive health. The state can restrict abortion access only after a doctor determines the fetus is viable or could survive outside the uterus. And even then, abortions can be performed if the patient’s health or life is at risk.

State Republicans tried multiple times to block the measure. In August, they tried to raise the threshold for constitutional amendments to a 60 percent vote instead of a simple majority. Although they insisted the move was to protect Ohio’s Constitution from special-interest groups, Secretary of State Frank LaRose later admitted the measure was “100 percent” about blocking the abortion referendum.

An overwhelming 57 percent of Ohioans rejected that change, so Republicans tried again. The Ohio Ballot Board voted 32, along party lines, to change the text of the amendment on Tuesday’s ballot. Instead of the full text, the ballot displayed a summary written by LaRose. LaRose’s version was littered with inflammatory and fearmongering language, such as using “unborn child” instead of “fetus,” likening abortion to infanticide, and making it appear as if state officials could still intervene.

Finally, LaRose ordered that 26,666 voter registrations be purged in late September. He did not publicly announce his decision at the time and only acknowledged it when local outlets began reporting it.

But even with all of their desperate attempts, Republicans could not prevent Ohioans from choosing abortion rights.

“Palestinians Are Not Disposable”: Rashida Tlaib Chokes Up on House Floor

The Michigan representative delivered a moving speech as the rest of the House moved to censure her.

Rashida Tlaib
Celal Gunes/Anadolu/Getty Images

Representative Rashida Tlaib teared up while defending herself on the House floor in the face of numerous GOP attempts to censure and even expel her from the legislative body.

“I can’t believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable,” Tlaib said Tuesday, gripping the lectern as her voice cracked.

“We are human beings, just like anyone else,” she said.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, has been the subject of intense debate since she spoke at a peaceful Jewish-led protest in D.C. last month that called for a cease-fire in Gaza. Since then, the Michigan Democrat has used her platform to amplify the plight and suffering of Palestine, where more than 10,000 people have perished while Israel’s military hunts for Hamas militants behind the October 7 massacre in which 1,400 civilians were killed.

In her speech, Tlaib argued that “no government is beyond criticism” and that the notion that criticizing a government could be antisemitic “sets a very dangerous precedent,” which is being used to “silence many diverse voices.”

“Speaking up to save lives, Mr. Chair, no matter faith, no matter ethnicity, should not be controversial in this chamber,” Tlaib added. “The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinians sound different to you all.”

New Book: Tucker Carlson and Trump Plotted in 2020 to Spread “Dead Voters” Theory

A new book reveals how the Fox News host worked closely with Donald Trump to spread the big lie.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Tucker Carlson, and Donald Trump laugh while standing on a balcony. Don Jr stands beside them.
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

In the waning months of 2020, Fox was in a bind. It had helped peddle Donald Trump’s election lies and built a hungry audience for the unfounded conspiracy. Ultimately, though, the news network needed to concede that Joe Biden had won the presidency—so, how were they supposed to feed their frenzied audience?

While parts of the network reversed course on the Trump train, Tucker Carlson decided to feed into the mystery around Trump’s stolen election by promoting a list of dead voters touted by the Trump campaign, according to Brian Stelter’s latest book, Network of Lies, a dissection of thousands of pages of texts and emails obtained from the Dominion v. Fox lawsuit.

With show producers, Carlson privately complained that Trump’s lies were “disgusting,” but in order to maintain competitive ratings he knew he needed to extend the yarn.

“Obviously [the Trump campaign needs] to do whatever they can to help us,” Carlson messaged producer Alex Pfeiffer on the eve of announcing the dead voter conspiracy, according to Stelter’s book.

“Do we have enough dead people for tonight?” Carlson asked in another text.

When Carlson went on air that night, he announced several names of voters that he claimed to be dead but who were, in fact, alive—they simply shared names with the deceased.

“What we’re about to tell you is accurate. It’s not a theory. It happened, and we can prove it. Other news organizations could prove it, too. They’ve simply chosen not to,” Carlson told his hungry audience on a segment bannered, “Yes, Dead People Did Vote In The Election.”

Years later and long after other news organizations had knocked on doors and debunked the lie, Carlson would recall that moment as a turning point in his relationship with Trump, whom he later called a “demonic force.”

“And so I said to the Trump people, you know, ‘You’re saying the election was rigged. Send me some examples of it and I’ll put it on the air,’” Carlson told WABC’s Bo Snerdley’s Rush Hour.

“And one of them was these dead voters. Well, it turned out some of them were still alive. And I was so mad by the incompetence of that campaign, which was completely incompetent. I mean, completely, you know, I’m like the one guy who’s open minded about the election being unfair. And—and that’s what they send me? Anyway. Whatever. I was mad. That was a moment in time,” he added.

American Nurse Describes Searing Experience of Working in Gaza for 26 Days

“My heart is in Gaza,” Emily Callahan told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Emily Callahan on CNN. Chyron reads: American nurse who got out of Gaza shares what she witnessed
Screenshot via CNN

An American nurse who worked in Gaza for nearly a month is speaking out about the horrific circumstances in which Palestinian civilians are living.

Emily Callahan, a nurse activity manager for Doctors Without Borders, had been in Gaza since August. She was evacuated back to the United States last week.

“I obviously have a sense of relief that I’m home and I’m with my family and feel safe for the first time in 26 days. And I’m having a really hard time finding any joy in any of it,” she told CNN on Monday.

“Because me being safe is the result of having to leave people behind.”

Callahan described having to relocate with her team to a refugee camp in the south, which was already packed with 35,000 internally displaced people. The camp, which now has 50,000 people living there, was so short on resources that people only had access to water for two hours out of every 12.

Hospitals were so full that they were having to discharge people immediately after treating them, Callahan said, resulting in people, particularly children, walking around the camp with unhealed burns or fresh amputations.

Callahan also described the sacrifices that her Palestinian teammates made to make sure she and other foreign doctors and nurses survived. This included finding them food and water when supplies ran out, and working to get them on the evacuation buses.

“We would have died within a week without them,” she said.

Some of Callahan’s Palestinian colleagues chose to stay in Gaza rather than evacuate. She said when they got the evacuation orders, Callahan texted to ask if they would move south.

“The only answer I got was, ‘This is our community. This is our family. These are our friends. If they’re going to kill us, we’re going to die saving as many people as we can,’” she said.

Asked if she would return to Gaza, Callahan replied, “In a heartbeat. My heart is in Gaza. It will stay in Gaza.”

More than 10,000 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s ongoing retaliation to Hamas’s October 7 attack.

Glenn Youngkin Issues Clear Threat on What He’ll Do First if Republicans Win Virginia

The Republican governor wants control of the state legislature so he can implement his right-wing agenda.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s first item on the menu should Republicans win control of the state: nixing abortion.

“To many voters, the topic of abortion is so important, so we have been completely straightforward and clear. I will back a bill to protect life,” Youngkin told Fox News on Tuesday.

Youngkin’s proposal will cut off access to abortion at 15 weeks, with exceptions for victims of rape and incest as well as people whose pregnancies put them at risk of death. Should that happen, Virginia would join 21 states that passed extreme abortion bans after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year.

Current Virginia law bans abortion at 26 weeks.

“It’s one of the most divisive topics across Virginia,” Youngkin told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this week.

“I think this is a choice between no limits and reasonable limits, and I think this is one where Virginians come together around reasonableness,” Youngkin said.

Virginia is a hotly contested battleground at the moment, with both Republicans and Democrats fighting for a total takeover of the state legislature in Tuesday’s election. Currently, Republicans hold a very narrow, two-member majority in the House of Delegates, while Democrats hold the Senate. Should Republicans win, Youngkin will gain the power to enact a completely conservative agenda that would almost definitely raise his national profile and even open up a long-shot bid at the White House.

Other prospective policies under the conservative governor’s belt include tax cuts, climate deregulation, stricter criminal justice laws, and the rollback of gender-affirming policies in schools.

All 140 seats in the general assembly are on Tuesday’s ballot.

Family Values: Republican Candidate Arrested for Child Porn Hours Before Election

Brad Benson is still on the ballot in Texas in Tuesday’s election.

Hood County Sheriff’s Office

The Republican candidate for a Texas city council was arrested just hours before Election Day on federal child pornography charges.

Brad Benson, who was running for the Granbury City Council, was arrested at his home Monday morning. Benson was a small-business owner and the deputy fire marshal for the town, which is southwest of Fort Worth.

“I can confirm he was arrested by the District Attorney’s Office yesterday and charged with two felony child pornography charges,” Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds told Newsweek on Tuesday.

The Republican Party of Hood County was forced to withdraw its support for Benson one day before his name appeared on the ballot. “The Republican Party stands for conservative, family values and the protection of children,” the RPHC said in a statement on social media condemning Benson’s actions.

“These heinous acts are antithetical to what Republicans stand for.”

Republicans have repeatedly stated that they want to protect children from violent crime and sexual predators. In many GOP-led states, this has resulted in bans on drag performances in public.

Meanwhile, Republicans across the country have worked to ease child labor laws, take away life-saving health care for transgender and nonbinary children, and even ban free school lunches. None of that sounds particularly in the best interests of children.

Republicans Float Idea of Expelling Rashida Tlaib From Congress Entirely

Some Republican lawmakers want the Michigan representative completely out of Congress.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Representative Rashida Tlaib

Republicans are working overtime to punish Representative Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, for her objections to Israel’s military bombardment of Gaza.

So far, Tlaib is facing three separate censure efforts in the House with another backup in tow, but some Republicans are looking to skip the disciplinary measure and go straight to expelling the Michigan Democrat.

“Rashida Tlaib is a sitting member of Congress with alleged ties to Hamas terrorists. This should be investigated immediately, and if true, the House should move to expel her,” tweeted Senator Marsha Blackburn on Tuesday.

Should all the censure bills against Tlaib fail, Representative Derrick Van Orden also hinted at potential expulsion. Van Orden said he will move to introduce yet another against Tlaib, who he believes no longer “belongs in this body,” reported Punchbowl News’s Mica Soellner.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene tried to censure Tlaib last week but failed after 23 of her Republican peers voted to table it, criticizing the resolution as “feckless” and filled with “legally and factually unverified claims.”

But then, on Thursday, Representative Max Miller, one of the House’s two Jewish Republicans, threw his hat into the ring, filing his own censure resolution against Tlaib.

Greene has also returned with another censure resolution using retooled language to go after the Michigan representative.

By now she’s not the only one drafting censure efforts against Tlaib. Representative Rich McCormick introduced a “privileged” censure on Monday, which forces a vote within two legislative days.

While introducing the new censure resolution, McCormick railed against Tlaib for describing the chant “from the river to the sea” as an “aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence,” and lambasted her for allegedly promoting the destruction of Israel. McCormick’s effort has faced more support from the Republican caucus than Greene’s, winning over the votes of several members who voted to table hers, including Miller, Van Orden and Representatives Darrell Issa and Austin Scott.

In a statement issued last month, Tlaib called the efforts to silence her “unhinged” and “deeply Islamophobic,” adding that she will not be bullied or dehumanized.

“It’s a shame my colleagues are more focused on silencing me than they are on saving lives, as the death toll in Gaza surpasses 10,000,” Tlaib wrote in another statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Many of them have shown me that Palestinian lives simply do not matter to them, but I still do not police their rhetoric or actions. Rather than acknowledge the voice and perspective of the only Palestinian American in Congress, my colleagues have resorted to distorting my positions in resolutions filled with obvious lies,” Tlaib added.