Agreeing with President Trump on voter fraud
President Trump continues to claim that three to five million ballots were illegally cast and he wants an investigation. No evidence has yet been supplied and on this issue most Republicans appear to be distancing themselves from the president. Not all Republicans however -- in West Virginia there's Mac Warner, the state's brand new Secretary of State. As Andrew Brown reported on the Charleston Gazette-Mail site earlier today:
Mac Warner, West Virginia’s new Secretary of State, is cheering President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim of mass voter fraud during the 2016 election and the Republican’s call for a “major investigation” into the issue.
After the president complained Wednesday of millions of unsubstantiated cases of voter fraud that he believes cost him the popular vote, Warner sent out a press release championing Trump’s string of Tweets and seconding the call to “clean up voter registration files.”
Warner, who as a candidate suggested open voter registration was a conspiracy of billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, announced that he would “encourage the President to consider federal funding to assist West Virginia and other states demonstrating a sincere willingness to clean up voter registration.”
“Secretary Warner welcomes President Trump’s interest in shining a bright light on the registration and voting process, particularly in places that have had a history of election fraud and irregularities,” the press release said.
As the Gazette-Mail noted:
The press release did not cite any instances of voter fraud in West Virginia.
Apparently, that doesn't matter.
Picking a fight with the previous secretary of state
Curious about Warner, I googled him to see what else he has been doing. I don't know how I missed this but apparently last week he got into a feud with his predecessor, Natalie Tennant. As MetroNews picks up the story:
“I’m sorry it’s happened. But, when there is purposeful sabotage or an intention to disrupt a new administration it’s not healthy and people need to know there are two sides to the story,” Warner said on WAJR’s Morgantown AM with Dave Wilson and Sunshine Wiles.
And what horrific acts of sabotage did Tennant's office do?
Warner claimed former Secretary of State Natalie Tennant delayed the purchase of stationery and other office supplies, disposed of supplies and had the business and licensing portal on the Secretary of State’s website stop functioning at midnight on the night of the transition.
Warner’s office released photos of a recycling can full of papers and indicated the media was invited to photograph the supplies.
I'm shocked. And where are the pictures? Sadly, I could not find any to share with you.
And how have our local "newspapers" covered the new Secretary of State?
In addition to coverage of Warner attending a meeting of state Republicans (you know how important that is), the locals also featured him in a story and picture earlier this month that featured his son receiving the Purple Heart. (As is required of any local picture that features military personnel, Representative David McKinley was also in the picture.)
Finally, from "The Reporter's Notebook" on January 15:
Better Late Than Never
Those on the Christmas card list of West Virginia Secretary of State-elect Mac Warner received a very late and well-traveled holiday greeting this week.
A note attached to the greeting by Warner explained he attempted to mail it out three times while he was stationed as an attorney with the U.S. Army in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2015. Warner said as attacks there increased, the base was locked down and no mail was sent out for months. The greetings found themselves in storage.
After Christmas 2015, Warner returned to West Virginia and began his successful campaign to become secretary of state. It wasn’t until recent days — more than a year later — the holiday mail was returned to him.
The greeting features a photo of the Warner family, including all five of his adult children — Scott, Krista, Lisa, Korey and Steven — who are members of the U.S. Army.
And how is this news? This is the kind of story reserved for the papers' favorites and it reminded me of the locals' front page coverage of Representative McKinley's family going shopping the day after Christmas. Given this fluff coverage, is Mac Warner wasn't moving toward Ogden "favorite" status?