Pelosi begins mustering Democrats for possible House decision on presidency

Pelosi, in a Sunday letter to House Democrats, urged them to consider whether the House might be pulled into deciding who is president when determining where to focus resources on winning seats in November. This could lead to more concerted efforts by Democrats to win in states such as Montana and Alaska — typically Republican turf but where Democrats have been competitive statewide. In these states, Democratic victories could flip an entire delegation with a single upset House victory.

“The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win,” Pelosi wrote. “We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so.”

Pelosi has also raised the issue repeatedly in recent weeks with her leadership team. Other senior House Democrats told POLITICO they’d heard about these concerns from colleagues in recent weeks.

“We’re trying to win every seat in America, but there are obviously some places where a congressional district is even more important than just getting the member into the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a constitutional lawyer.

Trump, too, has taken notice of the obscure constitutional resolution to a deadlocked Electoral College, both in public and private.

“And I don’t want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress — does everyone understand that?” Trump said at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. “I think it’s 26 to 22 or something because it’s counted one vote per state, so we actually have an advantage. Oh, they’re going to be thrilled to hear that.”

In private, Trump has discussed the possibility of the presidential race being thrown into the House as well, raising the issue with GOP lawmakers, according to Republican sources.

Under the Constitution, the winner of the presidential election isn’t officially chosen until Congress certifies the Electoral College vote total on Jan. 6, 2021. That vote comes several days after the newly elected Congress is sworn in, meaning the delegation totals will change to reflect the winners of House races in November.

If neither Biden nor Trump has secured the 270 electoral votes required to win, the newly seated House delegations will then cast votes to determine a winner. States whose delegations reach a tie vote are not counted.

But it’s more than a math equation. If the House is asked to resolve an Electoral College stalemate, the country will be witnessing one of harshest exercises of raw power in history. If Democrats retain control of the House, they could opt against seating potential members whose elections remain contested, even if state officials say otherwise.

An informal whip count has already begun. Democrats hold a one- or two-vote seat edge in seven states that are expected to feature at least one sharply contested House race: Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and New Hampshire. Republicans hold a similarly tenuous edge in Florida. The

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Garden Cottage ADU Program Begins In City of Danville

August 31, 2020

Beginning Monday, August 31, 2020, the Town of Danville has begun the Garden Cottage Program, which will allow residents access to free, pre-approved, permit-ready, printable, construction plans for the building of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU).

An ADU is a self-contained living unit that is usually smaller than the main home on the same property. It contains a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. ADUs can be attached to an existing home or may be a separate detached building. Under the Garden Cottage Program, residents can select from a range of ADU plans that will include Studio (640 sq ft), 1 bedroom/1 bath (840 sq ft) and 2 bedroom/2 bath (approx. 1000 sq ft). These customizable plans, designed by local architects, will be offered in three architectural styles: Craftsman, Mediterranean, and Contemporary. Applicants will need to consult with appropriate design professionals to prepare a site plan and any necessary grading plans. Each project is unique and may require additional approvals and fees from other agencies. Town staff can provide assistance with the application process and advise if additional approvals are required. For permitting assistance, call (925)-314-3330.More information on the program can be found at: www.danville.ca.gov/gardencottage

For more information, contact Civil Engineering Associate Guillermo Santolaya at (925) 314-3352 or [email protected]


This press release was produced by the City of Danville. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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House GOP super PAC begins $2M TV campaign against Ron Kind

The group’s spot contrasts the military service of Kind’s opponent, Derrick Van Orden, with what it calls the congressman’s dereliction of duty. A narrator notes Kind missed 138 votes in the last 2.5 years. The ad will air in the La Crosse and Wausau markets.

The decision to go into Kind’s district is notable because new offensive targets have proved rare this cycle for Republicans, who face an increasingly narrow path back to the majority. And they have been pushed into a defensive crouch by Democrats, who have recently made buys targeting deep red seats in Montana, Michigan, Alaska and Colorado.

The GOP initially struggled to find a strong contender to take on Kind. Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL-turned-author, did not file to run until mid-March of this year and said he decided to do so after Kind voted for the articles of impeachment against Trump.

“The concerted effort Republicans put into recruiting top-tier candidates has allowed us to push deeper into the offensive opportunities some thought might be out of reach this cycle,” CLF President Dan Conston said in a statement.

The group’s internal data from this summer found Trump is still leading Biden in the district, and that a majority of voters want their member of Congress to back the president’s agenda. The generic congressional ballot favors a Republican candidate

President Barack Obama won the seat, which spans the western and southwestern swaths of the state, by 11 points in 2012. Trump won it by nearly 5 points four years later. It is predominantly white and largely rural.

Van Orden is not well-known but has proved a solid fundraiser, and he outraised the incumbent by a 2 to 1 margin in the second quarter. He is already on TV with an ad that links Kind to Pelosi and warns that Kind supports giving stimulus checks to illegal immigrants.

Still, Kind has a formidable cash-on-hand advantage, having banked nearly $3.1 million by late July, compared to Van Orden’s $288,000. The congressman has booked nearly $1.8 million in the district. His opponent has reserved about $1 million, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

No other outside groups have booked air time in the district.

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Special legislative committee begins rarely used disciplinary proceeding to look into conduct of House Speaker Michael Madigan

The Illinois House kicked off a rarely used disciplinary process Thursday to probe the conduct of Speaker Michael Madigan in light of allegations that Commonwealth Edison undertook a bribery scheme to gain his favor, with Republicans seeking to hear testimony from the powerful Democrat and former utility executives and lobbyists.

House Republican leader Jim Durkin, who petitioned for the probe, asked the six-member panel to decide whether to authorize a charge against Madigan for engaging “in conduct unbecoming to a legislator, or which constitutes a breach of public trust… including engaging in a bribery scheme and extortion scheme, conspiracy to violate federal and state laws, among other misconduct and misuse of the office.”

ComEd this summer agreed to pay a $200 million fine as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors who alleged the utility engaged in a “yearslong bribery scheme” by offering jobs and other inducements to allies of Madigan.

Madigan, the nation’s longest serving speaker and the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.

The special committee is made up of three Democrats and three Republicans, and partisan differences were quickly felt.

Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, a Democrat from Hillside who chairs the committee, said the panel’s first task is to reach out to the U.S. attorney’s office to ensure the legislative committee’s effort doesn’t interfere with ongoing federal probe.

Durkin’s petition to form the committee invoked the House’s rarely used Rule 91, which was most recently triggered last year after then-Democratic state Rep. Luis Arroyo was charged with one count of federal program bribery. Arroyo resigned before that special investigating committee held its first meeting.

In 2012, the process advanced much further in the case of then-state Rep. Derrick Smith. The full House voted overwhelmingly to oust him from his seat after he was indicted on charges he accepted a $7,000 bribe.

That process, which started with a special investigating committee, should set the precedent for the present panel’s work, Welch said.

“We have very little precedent to go by. I have studied the Derrick Smith transcripts all weekend long and we’re going to follow precedent. And we have to make sure we contact the U.S. attorney’s office and get a response before this committee can do any work further,” Welch said.

Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, a Republican from Elmhurst, suggested Welch’s proposal was an effort to bring the proceedings to a halt, and that there’s a “whole host of work” the committee can do independently of the U.S. attorney’s office.

“No one said anything about halting the work of the committee, but we are going to reach out to the U.S. attorney’s office and make contact first,” Welch said. “There will be nothing further until then.”

A majority vote of the committee is needed to authorize a charge against Madigan, meaning it would require the support of at least one Democrat. If a majority was achieved in favor of charges, a 12-member disciplinary panel would decide whether

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NFL Week 1 begins; NBA probes Danuel House violation

The NFL is back.

Thursday night, the league will kick off its season when the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans and about 16,000 fans at Arrowhead Stadium.

NFL kicks off with Chiefs-Texans

Fans attending the first game of Patrick Mahomes’ and the Chiefs’ title defense will only be able to tailgate in the vicinity of their own vehicle before the 7:20 Central Time kickoff. They’ll park and enter in designated zones designed to limit the number of people who interact with each other. Fans will also only be able to access bathrooms and concessions in those zones — but yes, concession stands are open.

Fans in the suite level of Arrowhead Stadium must take a saliva test before the game, which the team sent to them. Inside the stadium, they’ll be required to wear their masks at all times except when eating or drinking.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Chiefs and Jaguars are the only two teams allowing fans into Week 1 games, and they’re both experiencing some trouble selling out even a diminished number of tickets for their games.

Danuel House in bubble limbo

Rockets forward Danuel House was scratched from Houston’s Game 3 loss to the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday evening, but the team did not explain why. He and center Tyson Chandler missed the game for “personal reasons.”

It turns out House is under NBA investigation for a violation of league coronavirus safety rules. Yahoo Sports reports that he let a coronavirus testing official into his hotel room. The report specified that the official in question is female, but offered no further details.

House is currently in quarantine and his availability for the rest of the series, which the Rockets trail 2-1, is in question as the league investigates.

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