County responds to allegations of bias during Nov. 2020 election

The County Clerk-Recorder’s office today released this statement:

The Nevada County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters has received increased questions and concerns around the elections observation process during the November 2020 election. In fact, one of our citizens has said, “Even right here in Nevada County, Republican poll watchers were denied entry and access to view the count on election night.”

Our office would like to address any confusion and ensure the public that our policies on election observation were administered uniformly.

Our office makes a concerted effort to operate in an open and transparent manner in order to inspire public confidence in the integrity of elections in Nevada County. For every election cycle, we invite interested members of the local community to observe elections processes in the legal and logistical context of safeguarding voting system security and preserving voter privacy.

During the election, our office provided all those who wanted to observe with strict guidelines on election observation. Those guidelines were based on state law, state elections and public health directives, and were created in collaboration with County Counsel. Observers were permitted to view any part of the process, no matter what their affiliation, as long as they followed the rules. Those rules were presented openly and transparently, and are still available on our website: https://www.mynevadacounty.com/3121/Guidance-for-Observers.

To summarize the guidelines: as long as observers signed in, agreed to a temperature check, wore masks that completely covered their nose and mouth, and remained in designated areas of our office, they were welcomed in. At times, our office may have imposed time limits if there were lots of requests at once, so that staff could adhere to COVID-19 protocols and give everyone a chance to observe.

Furthermore, the County set up cameras in the tabulation room, ballot rooms, and processing areas during the election, so anyone who was waiting who wanted to view in the hallway outside our office, board chambers, or on the County YouTube channel were free to do so. The Clerk-Recorder/Registrar did limit the ability for media to be in the back of our office in order to prioritize observers and help keep our staff healthy, as the office is quite small.

Only one observer was turned away from our office during the election. This person was turned away because they did not follow our guidelines on masks and refused to put a properly fitted mask on, even after staff explained the guidelines to them and to their organization, which is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3). All other observers complied with our rules and were welcomed into our office.

As of this date, no elected official or candidate on the November ballot has approached our office with any allegations of election fraud from this past election.

The Office of the Nevada County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters recognizes the important role that election observers play in the process and welcomed in observers during this November election and in past elections, in our office and in our vote centers, regardless of political affiliation.

Any questions around this matter may be directed to our office by calling 530-265-1298 or by emailing Elections.Mail@co.nevada.ca.us. Media may email Natalie.Adona@co.nevada.ca.us.

PGA strips Trump Bedminster of 2022 golf championship

“The 2022 PGA Championship will not be played at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.,” as the Golf Channel and others are reporting.

“The PGA of America announced Sunday night that it is canceling its contract with the Donald Trump-owned course, just days after a large group of Trump supporters illegally and forcibly stormed the U.S. Capitol in protest of the recent presidential election.

“‘The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster,’ Jim Richerson, PGA of America president, said in a statement.

“Richerson also added in the video below, which was posted the PGA of America’s website, ‘It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver our many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission.’



“Added PGA CEO Seth Waugh in an interview with The Associated Press: ‘We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making. We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.’

In a statement obtained by ABC News, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said that they are “incredibly disappointed.”

“‘This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement,” the spokesperson said. ‘As an organization we have invested many, many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster. We will continue to promote the game of golf on every level and remain focused on operating the finest golf courses anywhere in the world.’

“No replacement options for the 2022 PGA were provided by the PGA. Trump Bedminster, which Trump opened in 2004, hosted the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open. That week, Trump attended the women’s major championship while several protests took place outside the club’s gates.”

The article is here.

The Union lets a “few dozen” people guide its front-page news judgment. Argh.

A few dozen people gathered Wednesday at the intersection of Brunswick Road and Sutton Way in Grass Valley to take part in a “Stop the Steal” pro-Trump protest while the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C., was stormed by rioters opposing the election of President-elect Joe Biden,” The Union reported in a Page One, above-the-fold news article.

How’s that for sending “A Clear Message” about editorial bias?

Twitter, Facebook lock President Trump’s accounts amid D.C. riots

“Twitter locked President Trump out of his account for the first time, the most punitive step the social media giant has taken against the president, on a day of social unrest and violence in Washington,” as The Washington Post is reporting.

“The lockout, which will last for 12 hours, also included the removal of three tweets and a warning that Trump could be subject to a permanent suspension if he continues tweeting baseless conspiracy theories about the election and inciting violence.

Facebook followed, blocking the president’s account for the first time for 24 hours for what it said were two policy violations, although it didn’t threaten permanent suspension. It also said it was blocking his Facebook-owned Instagram account.

“The social media giants’ actions were the strongest volleys after a year of heightened tension between Silicon Valley and Trump. They came after months of struggling to combat baseless allegations of a stolen election long stoked by Trump and his allies.”

The rest of the article is here.

USA Today: Trump triggers the carnage he vowed to stop

“In a divided America, the events that unfolded on Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon should unite us all. In a universal sense of national shame and embarrassment,” according to the editorial board of USA Today.

“Under President Donald Trump, the United States — historically a beacon of freedom and citadel of liberty — has devolved into a shocking exemplar of dysfunction. Democracies around the world, those established and those fledgling, could only look on in horror at the televised images of a pro-Trump mob storming the august American center of government, crowding its balustrades, smashing windows, flooding into its statuary hall.

“Congratulations, Mr. Trump. Our Shining City on the Hill is now a tarnished emblem of national disgrace. The American carnage you promised to eradicate at the beginning of your term has turned to reality at the end of it.”

“The scenes looked like something out of a bad action movie: Rioters descending on the Capitol. Armed but outnumbered security forces barricading themselves with weapons drawn, firing teargas and hustling members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to safety. A woman shot at the Capitol, later pronounced dead. And, in an iconic image of pure insurrection, a smug protester sitting in the president’s chair in the evacuated Senate Chamber.

“But there’s little question about what triggered it.

“Just before Congress gathered in a joint session for the ministerial task of counting the electoral votes showing that Joe Biden was elected the next president of the United States, Trump spouted his rancid conspiracy theories about a stolen election at a rally on the White House Ellipse.

“He closed his remarks by egging his followers to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol and make their grievances known. “We’re just going to try and give (Republicans in Congress) the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country,” Trump exhorted them.

“And they followed his every word.”

The rest of the editorial is here.

NYT: Trump is to blame for Capitol attack

“President Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress incited a violent attack Wednesday against the government they lead and the nation they profess to love. This cannot be allowed to stand,” The New York Times is reporting in an editorial.

“Mr. Trump’s seditious rhetoric prompted a mob of thousands of people to storm the U.S. Capitol building, some breaking onto the House and Senate floors, where the nation’s elected representatives had gathered to perform their constitutional duty of counting electoral votes and confirming the election of Joe Biden as president.

“It is fitting that some carried the Confederate flag as they attacked the seat of American government and forced the suspension of congressional debate. They shattered windows and broke doors, clashing with overwhelmed security forces as they shouted their support for Mr. Trump and their defiance of the lawful results of the 2020 election. One woman was killed. The nation’s leaders were sent scurrying for shelter.

“Explosives were found in the Capitol and multiple locations around Washington. Pro-Trump protests also shut down statehouses around the country.

“Mr. Trump sparked these assaults. He has railed for months against the verdict rendered by voters in November. He summoned his supporters to gather in Washington on this day, and encouraged them to march on the Capitol. He told them that the election was being stolen. He told them to fight. He told them he might join them and, even as they stormed the building, he declined for long hours to tell them to stop, to condemn their actions, to raise a finger in defense of the Constitution that he swore to preserve and protect. When he finally spoke, late in the day, he affirmed the protesters’ anger, telling them again that the election was stolen, but asking them to go home anyway. It was the performance of a man unwilling to fulfill his duties as president or to confront the consequences of his own behavior.

“The president needs to be held accountable — through impeachment proceedings or criminal prosecution — and the same goes for his supporters who carried out the violence. In time, there should be an investigation of the failure of the Capitol Police to prepare for an attack that was announced and planned in public.

“The Constitution requires Congress to count and announce the results of a presidential election on Jan. 6 of the following year. While the mob was able to put that process on hold, it will not be able to prevent it, or Mr. Biden’s inauguration in two weeks.

“But the attack is a reminder of the fragility of self-government.

“Jan. 6, 2021, will go down as a dark day. The question is whether, even as Mr. Trump’s time in office ends, America is at the beginning of a descent into an even darker and more divided epoch or the end of one. The danger is real, but the answer is not foreordained. Republican politicians have the power, and the responsibility, to chart a different course by ending their rhetorical assaults on American democracy and rising in defense of the nation they swore oaths to serve.”

The rest of the editorial is here.

Capitol on lockdown as pro-Trump protestors try to break into the building

“Supporters of President Donald Trump have breached the US Capitol, according to Capitol police officers, as lawmakers count the Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win,” as CNN is reporting.

“Pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers ‘traitors’ for doing their jobs.

“Police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Video from inside the Capitol showed Trump supporters marching through Statuary Hall.

“The US Capitol Police is asking for additional law enforcement for assistance, including federal authorities, per a source familiar.

“The source says there are several suspicious devices outside the Capitol building. The protesters have breached exterior security barriers, and video footage shows protesters gathering and some clashing with police near the Capitol building. CNN’s team on the ground saw a number of protestors trying to go up the side of the Capitol building. Several loud flash bangs have been heard.

More details from The Hill including, “(Congress) Members, and those present currently have tear gas masks in their laps.” And “Vice President Pence was removed from the Senate chamber.”