Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How the Democratic Primaries Were Rigged

A person asked me on Facebook "How is it that the democratic primary was rigged?" The answer got rather lengthy so I placed it here in my blog.
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Deb Johnson thanks for asking this question. I'll tell you how they were rigged, and hope you tell other people. Please bare with me because this will take some time.

I was a delegate in New Mexico. I became a delegate by an odd process. I stumbled onto a thing called a "ward meeting". I forget how I learned of the time and place. I can not forget what happened when I got there. I was going to vote for someone to be a delegate at the ward meeting and take video for my James Parks Youtube channel. When I walked into the building I was surprised at how few people were there.

There were 4 people from my ward in attendance and I was one of them. There were 4 spots open for delegate. Because of that I ended up nominating myself and voting for myself. Thus I became a delegate in the Democratic party.

In New Mexico there were several superdelegates in powerful positions in the Democratic party. They had planned on backing Clinton years before the election. In fact at the Democratic Party of New Mexico SCC Meeting 4-25-2015 ( https://youtu.be/zMHM7yJXSgo ) Tom Udall endorsed Hillary Clinton to be the party nominee. Everyone cheered. The party was all in for Hillary at that point, including the superdelegates. I figure because of things I heard from delegates in other states that something like that was repeated in most states, if not all of them.

Democratic Party of New Mexico SCC Meeting 4-25-2015

Remember what Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who at the time was the DNC Chairperson, said that Superdelegates exist to protect party leaders. https://youtu.be/w5llLIKM9Yc There were restrictions placed on how many debates there would be, with a much lower number of them than last election. She ended up being removed from the DNC Chair because of the charges of bias towards Clinton.

DNC Chair Says Superdelegates Exist to Protect Party Leaders

Getting back to New Mexico, at every single party meeting or convention during the primaries there were always more Sanders supporters than Hillary supporters. At all DPNM conventions and meetings hostility was directed at Sanders supporters. There was the apparent attempt to manipulate public perception about this lack of Hillary support. A prime example would be at the convention at the Isleta Casino. There was to be a straw poll to see who had greater support. They handed out a playing card to each delegate who attended. At the end of the meeting all the delegates were supposed to place their playing card in a box marked either Clinton or Sanders. It was plain to see that the Sanders supporters outnumbered the Clinton supporters by at least a 2 to 1 margen. The straw poll was canceled by the party leadership. I still have my card, an 8 of Clubs. The Clinton supporters were pleased that the poll was canceled. The Sanders supporters figured that it was an attempt to hide the fact that more people were supporting Sanders. The DPNM didn't want it on the evening news that Sanders beat Hillary in a straw poll of delegates.

James Parks Jr at the April 2016 DPNM SCC Meeting

Then the party done something never done. They called for a 2nd election of delegates in New Mexico. Ward meetings were scheduled and meeting places were picked. The place for the meeting of my ward was in a rather odd place. The meeting was not held within the boundaries of my ward. My ward's meeting was held at a high school on the southwest side of town. The ward meeting was 1 mile from the nearest bus stop, and it was all uphill from that bus stop. This was an attempt to limit the number of people who would attend. The word was getting out about ward meetings and the party knew that more people would show up at this 2nd ward meeting than the 1st. They were hoping that more Clinton supporting delegates would be elected this second time around. So a meeting place 1 mile away from a bus stop, and all uphill would have been an extreme burden on someone who relied on public transportation and/or who were disabled. Going that distance uphill under the hot New Mexico sun would have placed a person in a wheelchair in danger. It would have been impossible for some elderly folk who rely on public transport to go that mile. I called the DPNM Albuquerque headquarters and complained about this arrangement. Only after that did the County Chairperson assure me that if anyone need transport, they would provide it.

Second Ward Meeting to Elect Delegates
Furthermore at that 2nd meeting the Ward Chairperson tried to influence them in attendance to allow him to cast their vote for them. He was a diehard Hillary supporter, and wanted to use the proxy vote to vote for people who were not even at the meeting. When I and other persons objected to it, the proxy voting was not allowed. The Ward Chair became very angry about it and was fuming. Then he proceeded to try to convince the newcomers in the group of about 8 people to cast their vote for these absentees. I and other persons in the know advised the newcomers about the rules, and that they could nominate anyone they felt was a good choice, including themselves. The Ward Chair was visibly angry about our interference in his plan to rig that delegate vote. He and I never got along after that. I made darn sure to inform people of how to remove the biased ward, precinct chairpersons. He lost his position even though he said it would never happen.

This issue with the wards and elections for delegates is very important. It is these delegates who are the real base of the party. They are the ones who write the party rules. They are the ones who elect the party nominee. Even though these delegate election ward meetings are a vital part, and a basic function of the party, very few people have ever heard of them. I spent months riding the public transport asking 100's of people "Have you ever heard of a ward meeting?" 99% of the time the answer was something like "No, what's a ward meeting?" Even people who had been Democrats all their life never heard of them. So why the big secret? Why didn't the party put out as much effort to inform party members of these ward meetings as they did getting out the vote for a candidate?

Have you ever been in a party phone bank? A candidate will form phone banks to get up the vote. The party encourages phone banking, and supports that effort when getting out the vote for the party candidate. Not so when ward meetings come up. The way the party informs people of these important meetings is with an ad on the party website or in the paper. If the party really wanted the people to participate in the party business they might do some phone banking and canvassing to get out the word on ward meetings. One might think a proper political party would want every member of their party in attendance, but that's not what happens. What happens is you get nothing but party insiders who have been at many of these ward meetings, and vote for the same delegates as they always do. Delegates who will tow the party line and vote the way the party tells them too. Just by the very nature of the delegate election process the vote gets rigged, and it has always been that way.

There were stories coming out of other states, by delegates, who told of other things the party did in order to try to assure Clinton got the nomination. I am not going to try to verify the veracity of their stories because I wasn't in their state. Because of what I personally witnessed in New Mexico, I am inclined to believe them.

The Establishment Admits DNC Rigged The Primary...Then Backpedals

I hopes this enlightens people as to some of the ways the DNC tried successfully to rig the primaries. As far as the presidential election and the Russian's involvement, that is an entirely different matter. Regardless, I am no longer a member of the Democratic party. I re registered as "No Party" the day after Sanders caved in Philly. All of the happenings in the 2016 election cycle has caused me to disapprove of party politics and favor game changing reforms. Every congressperson or diehard Democrat I've mentioned these reforms has vehemently opposed them. The following are the reforms I believe are necessary to place the power into the hands of the people, not return it. No indeed not return because the people never really had the power in the first place. The parties have used the people as a pawns in their chess game. The rank and file of the party has only two functions as far as the DNC is concerned. Register and vote is the only thing they care about you doing. After that your roll is over.

REFORMS:

1. Overturn Citizens United.
2. All political donors identities must be publicly disclosed.
3. All states must use a federal system of uniform voting laws.
4. Grant the FEC the power to enforce a federal Uniform Voting System.
5. Form impartial committees to draw unbiased voter districts.
6. Elections must be federally funded.
7. All political debates must be hosted by C-Span, who will assign unbiased inquisitors.
8. All political commercials must be produced by C-Span.
9. Unlimited donations may be made to the Federal Campaign Finance System.
10. Donations to individual political campaigns shall not exceed an amount set by the FEC.
11. All political parties are dissolved.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Reading Comprehension is a Big Problem in the United States

I get pretty amazed at people sometimes. They can do some awesome things! They can do some pretty silly things too. That gets me amazed at them going both ways on the amazement scale.

One thing that amazes me is when people read and interpret what they read. One person can read something and get one meaning, while someone else can read the exact same words and get an entirely different meaning. I wager that even now there are people who are getting totally different meanings from what I am writing right this very minute. That is even while I sit here and think what I am writing is pretty easy to understand.

The writer produces a piece while thinking a thought. The writer knows what they are attempting to convey with the written word. The writer has a responsibility to write their thoughts in a way that can be understood. The reader also has a responsibility when reading to try to comprehend what is being conveyed by the writer.

All too often though I see people take things out of context, put things in that are not even there or fail to understand the writer's meaning. I am beginning to believe that a lot of people need to develop their reading comprehension skills. It is very important to understand the meaning of a text if one wants to have a conversation about the merits of the text, or idea being conveyed. Otherwise we may as well go outside and howl at the moon. At least everyone can understand that.

Reading comprehension is the ability to read text, process it, and understand its meaning. The definition of comprehension refers to your ability to understand something, or your actual understanding of something. An example of comprehension is how well you understand a difficult math problem.

I think one of the things that get in the way of comprehension is the internal voice. You know the little voice in your head. The conversation you have with yourself almost constantly. You probably having the conversation in your head as you read this. How can anyone understand anything if they are being distracted by the little voice.

You should try an experiment. Pick up a book and start reading it. At the same time, have a person stand behind you and read aloud the news paper. I think anyone would have a real hard time remembering or comprehending anything about what they are reading unless they are a master at shutting everything out. That is what it is like when you read and that little voice is going over the script.

I chose the word script because that is what the vast majority of the people have. They have a script of things going through their mind that seldom changes. Most people think the same thoughts every day. Most people have built up a script of thoughts they use to understand the world. When someone utters a sentence, or when someone reads a sentence, the listener or reader is attempting to match up what is being conveyed with the script in their head. When it doesn't match up with the script, the comprehension starts to suffer. The little voice starts running through the script.

I've done it myself, and battle it all the time. I can be reading something and thinking about something else at the same time. I have to backtrack and reread sometimes because of it. That little voice in my head will be going on about something, and sometimes something unrelated, while my eyes are scanning the words of text. Focus is key. I have to focus and not allow myself to become distracted by the little voice. The script.

Take an article I wrote the other day. I tried to explain why a person is wrong about something. The title said so. I think the title is the place that some people allowed the little voice to take over. That beginning was where the script started being played out in the reader's head. They read "They are Wrong" while the little voice played out the script of "They are Right". I think from that point on the script was running. Instead of reading and attempting to comprehend or understand the writer's meaning, they instead while reading were going through the script in their head telling them why everything they read was wrong.

The problem come in with the person standing behind you reading the newspaper aloud while you try to read a book. Your eyes are scanning the words, but your mind is not focused on them. Your mind focuses on only a few hot button words. Then your little voice with the script fills in the blanks created by distraction with misunderstanding. When people have a lack of information, they fill in the blanks with their imagination. When people are only getting pieces of an article because they are being distracted by the voice going through the script, they have a lack of information.

That's why I believe people can read the exact same words, but walk away with two completely different meanings. In the Christian Bible there is a passage that might be of use here.

Jeremiah 15:16 "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy ..."

That is what we need to do every time we read. Not necessarily the "joy" part, but the "I ate them" part. That means paying attention to what we are reading. Shutting down the script and quiet the little voice. Focus on what you're reading so you can understand the author's meaning. Then after you have finished reading the thought, you can do your critique from a position of understanding.

Reading is truly fundamental, but without comprehension it is an exercise in futility. Without comprehension we may as well howl at the moon.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Logic and Reason is Winning Out for Cannabis

If alcohol, tobacco and some OTC drugs were given the scrutiny that cannabis is, they would be illegal. That tells me the legality or illegality of a substance isn't entirely determined by its safety when consumed. It is partially determined by something else, like morality.

There are taboos that are grounded in real danger, but others are grounded in personal preference. The thought processes may go something like this, "I tried it and don't like it. Because I don't like it, it must be bad. If it is bad, no one should use it." The problem is, the same logic could be used to ban chocolate cake or rocky road ice cream.

That's the kind of thought processes some of our legislators have. Some of our government officials are totally ignorant about any aspect of cannabis use. One time in the Indiana state house they were in committee discussing the possibility of wider availability of naloxone. One of the gentlemen on the council asked the witness if naloxone could reverse a cannabis overdose. In my opinion that question showed a total lack of knowledge of the subject matter. It is illogical to depend on lawmakers to make good and proper laws when they are ignorant of the subject of the law.

With cannabis that ignorance was fostered by lies and racism. The United States during WWII was all into people growing hemp for the war effort. Then the tide turned and hemp was supplanted by manmade materials in rope making. Illegal immigration was seen as something taking away jobs from Americans. So marijuana was used as a tool in the enforcement of immigration laws. It was made illegal so people who liked it, mostly Mexicans and black folk, could be charged with its possession, jailed then deported.

The USA went totally overboard thanks to a man named Anslinger. All cannabis in all its forms were banned. Instead of cannabis being used as something good, it turned into a hammer to beat minorities over the head with. Nixon was notorious in using cannabis against black people. He even said as much and the conversation was recorded onto the famous Nixon tapes.

The tide is finally turning again and thanks to knowledge. All the old myths and lies about cannabis are being exposed showing what they really are. Logic and reason are finally winning. Now we have states where cannabis is perfectly legal for consenting adults as it should be. The states who have legalized cannabis are reaping the rewards in fuller state coffers too! That motive of gaining more tax dollars is an improper motive, but I'll take it. The motive should have to do primarily with human liberties and truth. The tax dollars will follow.

Have no fear of cannabis. Do have a fear of the person who over indulged in other legal substances, like alcohol.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Universal Maximum Income & Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

In the article "UMI for the Wealthy" by tinorozzo August 26, 2017 he states "Without the estate tax, super-wealthy families would be able to hoard that wealth in perpetuity, becoming ever more powerful in the process." He has shown a basic reason we all need to explore a Universal Maximum Income, and why it should be considered a real and viable option.

People have become "...ever more powerful..." regardless of an estate tax. How much money was the estate tax supposed to prevent families from amassing? Exactly how much power was this tax intended to curtail? I know of a few families who have the wealth and power of a small nation. Because of those observations I would say that the estate tax is totally ineffective in its intended purpose. The Bill Gates: $75 billion, Amancio Ortega: $67 billion, Warren Buffett: $60.8 billion, Carlos Slim Helu: $50 billion, Jeff Bezos: $45.2 billion,
Mark Zuckerberg: $44.6 billion, Larry Ellison: $43.6 billion, Michael Bloomberg: $40 billion are all examples of people with the wealth of nations.

All of these people affect government policy in one way or the other, and in ways that are not available to people without such wealth. In effect that situation is a de facto overlordship by the wealthy over the poor. Indeed this control exerted over government policy by super wealthy persons has set up a system of "welfare for the rich" and "rugged individualism for the poor". The ever shrinking middle class gets stuck with paying for it all. Then by the time the middle class die they have nothing left to pass down because the cost of their final days eats up their wealth. All the money they saved for a lifetime gets soaked up by medical expenses and/or nursing home costs. What's more is that by the time the middle class person is put in the ground, their final expenses put them into so much debt that the debt collectors start putting liens on the family home and other assets. The middle class and poor don't get the luxury of passing down anything because the richest persons have figured out how to influence government to make policy that transfers the wealth from the poor to the wealthy.

I have thought about the concept of a basic minimum level of sustenance, or Universal Basic Income (UBI) for our people. I like the idea and think it would solve a lot of problems. One problem it don't solve is the massive power over everyone else the super rich maintain. It occurred to me about the idea of a Universal Maximum Income (UMI), but not until now did I ever see the mention of it anywhere else. I'm starting to like the idea of a UMI even more all the time. I think it is the implementation that is problematic.

For starters, there is the problem of lobbyists and influence peddling by the very people that a UMI would affect. They would not want their wealth or power limited in any way. They are going to fight any such UMI policy tooth and nail. They are going to use their wealth in an attempt to crush any such ideas. They would use force of arms, lies, murder, payola or any other means to maintain the status quo. Even if such a policy as UMI were implemented there would be a massive outflux of super wealthy persons to other countries which didn't have a UMI policy.

We already have a problem with people stashing their wealth in places like the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes. I doubt the same persons would be hesitant in pledging allegiance to some flag that catered to their wealth building desires. In order to prevent that option the implementation of a Universal Maximum Income would have to be global in scale. To get other nations to implement a UMI policy of their own severe economic sanctions would have to be levied against any country who didn't follow suite.


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
How much is too much? How much is not enough? On the low economic end the basic should allow for proper shelter, water, food, healthcare, transport and clothing.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs can be useful in figuring this out. It is all about motivation. When people are having a hard time providing for basic needs, that is all they are going to think about. Their only motivation becomes fulfilling these basic needs. If they have these basic needs guaranteed, their motivation suddenly turns to fulfilling other needs higher up the hierarchy. They are going to see other people who have moved beyond the basic needs level, and are not going to be satisfied being left behind. Because their basic needs are taken care of, they are going to have the resources and time to better themselves. All their time and motivation moves away from scratching out bare sustenance.

On the upper end of the economic scale, what limit should be placed there? Our Constitution proclaims that we all should have "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". There is nothing there in the Constitution that also proclaims that each person is entitled to amass so much power and wealth that they can dictate policy in government. That particular power is reserved for all the citizens and is supposed to be without regard for wealth. Taking the hierarchy of needs into account again we see that self actualization is the goal of fulfilling these graduated needs. What is self actualization?

self-ac·tu·al·i·za·tion; noun

the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.

Money is a poor replacement for, or measure of, the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities unless that fulfillment means amassing power only. A person "Amassing power for what?" then becomes a real concern for everyone else. So the Universal Maximum income would have to strike a balance between realizing one's talents and potentialities and doing so without harming the efforts of everyone else in their own efforts at self actualization. At what level should the amassed wealth be capped in order to allow for that?

I would think that level of maximum wealth/income should be something that would maintain a luxurious lifestyle. Not the lifestyle of royalty because we fled from monarchies and had a revolution in order to remove ourselves from such vices. The UMI would be something which is desirable enough to cause people to reach for that, but not so much as to cause a family to wield undue influence over our democratic system of government. When a person has a bank account they've managed to bring up to $10 billion dollars, what is the point of a goal to raise it to $20 billion? How is that a real measure of one's talents and potentialities? Even a criminal can do that. More often than not it is the honest person who doesn't care much for all that wealth and the criminal at heart that does.

A further question would be, what to do with the excess wealth produced by the people on the high end of the economy? What other ways can these super wealthy persons be motivated other than the amassing of unreasonable levels of wealth and power. If their focus can be moved away from one-ups-manship on numbers of dollars to philanthropy, or numbers of people lifted up, everyone can get lifted up on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Neck Cancer 4 Years later

Sometimes it is hard for me to believe I went down to 128 pounds when I was on cancer treatment. A few times I thought I wasn't going to make it, like when I ended up in the cardiac ward. I'm not going to preach to you about it. You know what it can do to your health.

That was 4 years ago and I am now up to 180 pounds. I was one of the lucky ones so far. A lot of people who had neck cancer don't make it this long after diagnosis. A lot of people don't make it without radical surgery that leaves them deformed for life. I was lucky alright. I was lucky the chemo and radiation only left me with severe neuropathy, a paralyzed bicep, and several numb spots here and there.

Lucky for me that the young me went and joined the Navy 42 years ago. Because of that one move I was covered with Veterans Health Benefits. Without that I might be dead now.

One has to learn something from that, or waste a perfectly good learning opportunity. I learned a couple things from my time fighting cancer. One thing is that no matter how much you like to smoke tobacco now, you might just end up hating yourself later for it. You may as well stop smoking right now. It makes you look like a dumbass.

The other thing I learned is, no matter how you served our nation, that being in the military or just working 40 hours a week as a civilian, no one deserves to be left out in the cold with no help when they are in trouble with some deadly disease. I don't care if you only have two nickels to rub together, we are one tribe and we must help each other.

Please give up tobacco. Then you may not have to go through the misery I went through. You got any kids? Don't make them suffer the other way cancer caused me to suffer. I had the undesirable task of caring for my mother when she was dying of stage 4 lung cancer. I listened to her last words as she struggled for air as I held her. "Let me breath!" she begged. My tearful reply, "I just don't know what to do." Let me tell you something! You don't want to go through that. You don't want to force your children to go through that. I say force because they love you. They don't want to see you die in their arms, but they love you so much, they will care for you until the very end. It would be much easier on them if you died a sudden death, like in a auto accident, then to watch you slowly and painfully die.

Take it from me, a cancer survivor, and a man who has lost a lot of relatives to the ravages of tobacco, stop any way you can and stop real soon. Don't allow your future self to suffer the agony of cancer. Imagine yourself way underwater trying to breath. Don't allow your children to suffer watching as they watch you die a slow agonizing death. It isn't fair to them one little bit. It's cruel.







Corrupt U.S. Political System Badly Broken, Needs Reform

Our entire political system is broken and is badly in need of major reforms.

REFORMS:

1. Overturn Citizens United.
2. All political donors identities must be publicly disclosed.
3. All states must use a federal system of uniform voting laws.
4. Grant the FEC the power to enforce a federal Uniform Voting System.
5. Form impartial committees to draw unbiased voter districts.
6. Elections must be federally funded.
7. All political debates must be hosted by C-Span, who will assign unbiased inquisitors.
8. All political commercials must be produced by C-Span.
9. Unlimited donations may be made to the Federal Campaign Finance System.
10. Donations to individual political campaigns shall not exceed an amount set by the FEC.
11. All political parties are dissolved.

If a qualified candidate organization wanted to produce a political commercial they would have to apply with C-Span for resources like studio access and other necessities for production. The commercial produced would be made available to the various media outlets, who then could air them and make commentary.

As things stand now with political debate and commercials, there is too much of a profit motive there for the media outlets. Perfectly qualified candidates are priced out of the market for commercial airtime. The debates have become a commercial extravaganza, whose political motives are entirely secondary to the profit motive. I believe the C-Span hosted debates should be made available in real time to all media networks, and they must be aired without modification.

Political debates for the public's consumption, and political commercials should have their freedom of speech restricted. NO LYING TO THE PUBLIC!

False statements uttered to the public by political candidates in campaign commercials, political interviews and debates should not have 1st Amendment protections.

Any lie uttered to the public with the purpose of swaying the public's opinion must not be tolerated. The public deserves to have nothing but the most accurate information so that they may make a truly informed decision when voting. The public must have nothing but the truth.

When a political candidate purposefully lies to the public, or otherwise makes a false statement, they have betrayed the public trust and are not fit to serve.

Senator Durbin D-Il Responds Trump Russia

Senator Richard J. Durbin 

August 28, 2017

Dear Mr. Parks:

          Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about Trump Administration's relationship with Russia.  I appreciate hearing from you and share your concerns.
          On October 7, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security released a joint statement saying the our U.S. intelligence community (IC) was confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromise of emails from Americans and U.S. institutions, including political organizations.  Then in January 2017, the IC released an assessment of Russia's cyberattack on the 2016 presidential election.  We learned that President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a campaign to sow mistrust in our democracy and influence the outcome of the election in President-elect Trump's favor.  Most troubling is that instead of criticizing President Putin after receiving the evidence that he interfered in our election, President Trump attacked the integrity of the men and women of our IC.
          On February 13, 2017, General Michael Flynn resigned from the position of President Trump's national security advisor after misleading top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.  Since he resigned, we learned that General Flynn did not disclose his communications with Russia in the correct Department of Justice paperwork prior to assuming his White House role.  He worked as a foreign agent in 2016, representing the interests of the Turkish government as a lobbyist. He also was paid nearly $34,000 to speak at a 2015 gala in Moscow honoring the Russian state-run media outlet RT.
          On May 9, 2017, President Trump fired James Comey from his position as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)–a surprise to many as he was only three years into his ten-year term.  At the time of his firing, Mr. Comey was leading an investigation into the possible communications between the Russian government and the Trump campaign prior to the 2016 Presidential election.  Mr. Comey has since indicated he was pressured by President Trump to back off of aspects of the FBI's Russia investigation.

          On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Bob Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian interference into the election and related matters.  Mr. Mueller has my full confidence and I look forward to his findings in this matter. 
          In June 2017, reports revealed that Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law and White House advisor, attended a June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr., the President's son, and a Russian government attorney who promised sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. There are increasing calls for Mr. Kushner to step down from his role with the Trump Administration, who continues to face growing pressure after denying its officials had contacts with Russians.
          In addition to the FBI, the Senate and House of Representatives Intelligence committees are investigating this matter.  Following a House Ethics Committee investigation into his possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has recused himself from the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation.

          I have called for a bipartisan, independent commission to look into this attack with the end-goal of preventing future attacks on our election and our democracy.  The American people deserve to know the extent of Russian influence into our election and if there was any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  This is bigger than one election or one person.  This is about our national security and the integrity of our democracy.
          The failure of President Trump and Congress to address the security threat of the hack on our election is a stunning abdication of responsibility to protect the United States and our democratic values.
          In light of these pressing concerns, I cosponsored the Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017 (S. 94), which includes comprehensive sanctions on Russia for their cyber intrusions and destabilizing activities here and around the world.  I also am a cosponsor of S. 27, a bill to establish an independent commission to examine Russian attempts to interfere in our election.  Lastly, I am a cosponsor of the Russian Sanctions Review Act (S. 341), which would require congressional oversight of any decision to provide sanctions relief to the Russian Government.  Each of these bills was referred to the committee that has jurisdiction over the issues within them.
          I will keep your thoughts in mind as these issues are considered in the Senate.
          Thank you again for contacting me.  Please feel free to keep in touch.
 
      Sincerely,

      Richard J. Durbin
      United States Senator