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Last week, Judge Michael Toomin ruled that Kim Foxx’s ‘recusal’ in the Jussie Smollett case was “sophistry.” Then he ruled in favor of appointing a special prosecutor to examine Foxx’s office’s work in dismissing Smollett’s charges.

Judge Toomin then compared Foxx’s investigation to a ship at sea without a captain, saying that “Here the ship of State ventured from its protected harbor without the guiding hand of its captain. There was no master on the bridge to guide the ship as it floundered through uncharted waters. And it ultimately lost its bearings.”

It isn’t surprising that this investigation failed to produce justice. Consider the fact that Tina Tchen, who was once chief of staff for former first lady Michelle Obama, spoke to Foxx after Foxx’s faux recusal.

In his ruling, Judge Toomin said this:

“Curiously, public announcements that flowed from the State’s Attorney’s Office offered the rather novel view that the recusal was not actually a recusal,” Toomin wrote. “Rather, in an exercise of creative lawyering, staff opined that Foxx did not formally recuse herself in a legal sense, that the recusal was only in a colloquial sense … However, discerning members of the public have come to realize that the ‘recusal that really wasn’t’ was purely an exercise in sophistry.”

Then Judge Toomin lowered the boom:

A true recusal would have put the case under the control of a prosecutor from another county. But Foxx kept the case in the hands of her deputy the Chicago Way. That, Toomin wrote, created a “fictitious office having no legal existence.”

Since the faux recusal really just created a void in the State’s Attorney’s office, the decision to drop the charges against Smollett didn’t really happen. Double jeopardy didn’t attach because the person making the decision didn’t have the authority to make decisions.

Judge Toomin is one of the heroes in this fiasco. The other hero is retired appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien. Judge O’Brien “figured…that Foxx’s handling of the Smollett case and her office’s decision to drop the charges against him smelled like the gutters in an alley off the Chicago Way.” In an interview with John Kass of the Chicago Tribune, Judge O’Brien told him:

Thanks to Judge Toomin’s ruling, we’ll get the truth,” O’Brien told me over the phone Friday. “We’ll get the whole truth, all of it, everything and it will be under oath.” Are you happy? “Yes,” O’Brien said. “Because now we’ll have testimony under oath.”

It’s apparent that under oath is what Judge O’Brien wanted most. That eliminates political wiggle room. A Chicago lawyer can turn political wiggle room into Swiss cheese in a New York minute.

Once this fiasco legitimately makes it into the courts, political influence shrinks quickly. That’s what’s apparently happening, much to Kim Foxx’s displeasure. She’s counted on her political connections to keep her out of trouble. The judiciary has tighter controls. Spin doesn’t hold up against verifiable proof.

From this point forward, it’s clear that Mark Geragos has his work cut out for him. This isn’t a political fight anymore. It’s a legal fight, something I doubt he thought he was signing on for.

In this post last night, I wrote about the untold story behind the immigration crisis. It’s called the health epidemic crisis. This article highlights what’s happening at the border.

What’s frightening is that diseases not seen in the US in literally decades are showing up at our southern border. What’s more frightening is that it isn’t likely that these diseases will be contained at the border.

Thus far, Democrats have insisted that the border crisis was a “manufactured crisis.” After it became obvious that this wasn’t a manufactured crisis, Democrats switched to saying it was a “humanitarian crisis.” Now that contagious diseases are getting detected, will Democrats, led by Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer, continue to put Americans’ lives at risk? Will they ignore this crisis, too?

Jon Anfinsen is a National Border Patrol Council vice president and based in Del Rio, which includes Eagle Pass, where most Congolese are arriving. Anfinsen represents approximately 1,000 agents who are based out of 10 regional holding stations. Anfinsen has been an agent 12 years and said the number of people in custody and subsequent illnesses among that population is “unprecedented.”

“Scabies, chickenpox, we had one case of the mumps here in Uvalde. I wanna say we had measles, plenty of the flu, plenty of colds, body lice, just assorted. And some of these things, they spread like wildfires when you get into a cramped holding cell. It happens,” Anfinsen said.

The continuous breakouts — in part caused by the overcrowded conditions in facilities and difficulty quarantining each sick person — are taking both a physical and mental toll on agents.

This wasn’t unforeseen or unpredicted, either:

That interview happened 3 months ago. The CDC said then that they were “playing catch-up” with vaccinations. Since then, it’s quite possible that things have gotten worse.

What’s particularly upsetting is the fact that Democrats haven’t lifted a finger to fix the immigration problem. What’s worst is that they don’t seem at all interested in fixing the problem because they see it as a partisan political issue. How sad is that?

In 2020, voters have a decision. They can vote for the party that puts partisanship ahead of patriotism and doing what’s right. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for this type of malfeasance. It’s a vote for the failing status quo.

If you’re satisfied with communicable diseases spreading nationwide, then you need to rethink things ASAP.

Perhaps, it’s more fitting to title this article “The Swamp lives in Minnesota. After writing about the IRRRB’s corruption in this post a month ago, I can’t say that I’m surprised by this information:

This week, it was revealed that the [IRRRB] paid a long-time staffer $166,000 to retire early and then hired him back as a consultant just one month later for up to $43,000 per year. The retirement payoff consisted in $66,000 in unused vacation and sick days as well as nearly $100,000 in cash!

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that the DFL, starting with Tom Bakk and Tim Walz, have turned a blind eye to the IRRRB’s corruption. How can anyone watch what’s happening there think that the DFL is interested in good governance? Further, what type of law permits a government employee to retire early, cash a huge check ($166,000 is a big chunk of money), then allow the ‘retired’ employee to get rehired as a ‘consultant’? That’s stupidity and then some.

If an employee wants to retire early, they should be forced to sign an agreement that forbids them from being hired as a consultant anywhere. At minimum, if the ‘retired’ employee is rehired as a consultant, then their pension should be immediately stopped and they should be penalized.

That shouldn’t apply just to IRRRB employees, either. That should apply to all government employees, whether they’re school board employees, municipal employees or all the way up through state employees. In fact, the cleanest way to deal with this is to prohibit people from retiring early. If a person wants to retire at age 55, let them foot the bill for their retirement until they get to age 62.

The IRRRB needs a major overhaul. It’s been corrupt essentially since its creation.

Each budget year, the DFL insists on ‘investing’ more on ‘education’. Each year, the DFL ignores the massive amounts of money essentially thrown into a dumpster by education bureaucrats.

Harold Hamilton’s commentary (If you haven’t subscribed, you should) highlights that waste, citing a St. Paul Pioneer Press article:

A recent article in the Pioneer Press explains that capital improvement projects in the district are experiencing massive cost overruns, even by government standards. There are 18 such projects that are running a collective $180 million over the projected budget of just two years ago.

In what could have been the quote of the week, a former school district official observed, “Every contractor wants to come work for St. Paul Public Schools because it’s frickin’ open checkbook.”

As is so typical in government, it appears that oversight and expertise were woefully lacking in this case.

Then Hamilton cites an example:

Perhaps the most egregious example of the waste is at Humboldt High School, where a $14.4 million project estimate now sits at $48 million, just two years later.

And what are taxpayers getting for their considerable investment in these schools and the district?

  1. At Humboldt, 28% of their students don’t graduate.
  2. Only 19% are proficient in reading.
  3. Only 10% are proficient in math.
  4. A dismal 6.5% are proficient in science.

The legislature should refuse to subsidize this failure and demand strict accountability for both spending and results in the classroom.

That’s theft. The people ‘teaching’ these students are stealing these students’ futures. When 1 out of 20 students are proficient in science, that’s theft. When 9 of 10 students fail at math, that’s theft. That must end ASAP.

Further, Education Minnesota must be made to pay for this theft. Ditto with the administrators who apparently don’t care whether students learn or not. Ditto with the DFL, who keep feeding the broken beast. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this crisis hasn’t been turned around.

The DFL is owned by Education Minnesota. Education Minnesota is anti-competition. That means it’s anti-accountability, too. As long as there’s a DFL governor or a DFL majority in the Minnesota House or Senate, they’ll fight to maintain the status quo even if taxpayers are getting screwed. Education Minnesota’s primary mission is helping raise teachers’ salaries. It isn’t about helping students.

What type of system allows a $14,400,000 project to turn into a $48,000,000 project? You’d have to essentially be comatose to miss that. Whoever missed it should’ve been fired instantly, then ordered to spend time in prison for defrauding taxpayers. Further, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the subcontractors are friends of the person who didn’t detect the massive overruns. It’s difficult to believe that anyone’s that incompetent. It isn’t difficult to think that someone associated with a school district is that corrupt.

The DFL won’t hold these thieves accountable. That’s how the DFL buys votes. The only way to hold the DFL accountable is to restore the Republican majority in the House and maintain the GOP majority in the Senate, then force reforms that would eliminate this type of corruption. That means putting stiff criminal penalties on people who commit this type of graft.

Saying that the IRRRB is corrupt is understatement. Thanks to this investigation, that corruption has gotten exposed.

The article starts by saying “For more than 20 years, Sandy Layman, of Grand Rapids, has worked to convince lawmakers in St. Paul that the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation is more than a revolving door of political patronage for Iron Range DFLers. Layman, now a Republican House member, first served on the IRRR board in the 1990s and later became commissioner of the agency under Gov. Tim Pawlenty. ‘One of my goals has always been to depoliticize the agency,’ said Layman during a recent interview with the Timberjay. ‘It has a highly partisan reputation in St. Paul.'”

It goes further:

Which is why Layman says she is so frustrated with the agency’s recent hiring of Joe Radinovich, the unsuccessful 2018 DFL candidate for the U.S. House in Minnesota’s Eighth District. Radinovich was hired in early March to a highly-paid, permanent position that IRRR officials appear to have created specifically for him. While political appointments are not unusual in state government, and are typically temporary, the kind of job created for Radinovich, known as a “permanent classified” position, is supposed to be nonpolitical and is subject to state hiring guidelines designed to ensure a fair and competitive process in which state workers are hired on merit rather than politics.

Yet an investigation by the Timberjay found substantial evidence that the IRRR’s process, in this instance, fell short of that goal, and that top agency officials sought from the beginning to offer Radinovich a plum new position, with a salary of $100,000 per year in addition to the state’s handsome benefits package. In so doing, the agency sought exemption to sharply limit the posting of the position and appeared to pass over a female candidate for the position with far more relevant experience and education than Radinovich brings to the job.

Radinovich’s hiring comes on the heels of the appointment of Jason Metsa as the agency’s deputy commissioner, which is considered a political appointment and was not subject to the typical state hiring process. Metsa is an Iron Range DFLer who ran unsuccessfully for his party’s nomination for the Eighth District seat.

If that sounds like it’s on the up-and-up, then you’re likely from Chicago. This definitely doesn’t sound like everything was on the up-and-up:

IRRR Commissioner Mark Phillips acknowledges that he sought early on to hire Radinovich at his agency and initially considered hiring the Crosby native as deputy commissioner. “It really was down to Jason or Joe to be deputy,” he said. When the job went to Metsa, Phillips began exploring options to offer Radinovich a different position.

Gov. Walz, what’s your reaction to this? Will you fire Commissioner Phillips? Will you excoriate Rep. Radinovich for being that corrupt? As a former DFL state legislator, Rep. Radinovich knew civil service laws and the IRRRB. Hell, he was a member of the IRRRB board as a member of the Iron Range legislative delegation.

Politically speaking, Radinovich is damaged goods now that he’s identified as gaming the system. He’s bounced around from being a DFL legislator to being the chief of staff for one of the Twin Cities mayors to running Rick Nolan’s congressional campaigns to running for Nolan’s seat before losing to Pete Stauber.

Saying that Jim Comey’s reputation is tarnished is understatement. Still, he’s been tarnishing his reputation since July 5, 2016. That’s when Mr. Comey pitched aside the Constitution and decided that the FBI Director had the authority to decide whether he could ignore the fact that the Attorney General could authorize the prosecution of a person.

It wasn’t Mr. Comey’s responsibility to decide whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton for illegally storing confidential information on her private email server. That was Loretta Lynch’s call. Instead, Dir. Comey decided against prosecuting Hillary. Monday, Comey denied that he had anything to do with the FBI’s sullied reputation, saying “as far as hurting the FBI’s replication, I hope not. We had to make very hard decisions in 2016. I knew we would get hurt by it. The question is, how do we reduce the damage? What I’m doing now is not what I love to do. I’d rather not be talking to you all. But somebody has to stand up and speak for the FBI and the rule of law. And I hope there’s a whole lot more somebodies out there than just me.”

That’s a steaming pile of BS. First, President Trump is right in criticizing the FBI’s political thugs, aka Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. He’s right in firing Andrew McCabe for subversion of President Trump’s administration both before and during his administration. Next, President Trump and people like Trey Gowdy are right in ridiculing him for telling Congress that he either didn’t know, didn’t recall or didn’t remember key parts of the FBI’s investigation 245 times during his first day of testimony. Greg Gutfeld got it right in this segment of The Five:

Finally, it’s stunning to see how arrogant Comey is. Nothing is his fault. In Comey’s mind, it’s President Trump’s fault for calling out Page’s, Strzok’s and McCabe’s corruption.

The FBI’s responsibility is to investigate. It isn’t the FBI’s responsibility to determine whether to prosecute. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the FBI director know that sort of thing.

I’ve long agreed with the things that Kurt Schlichter said in this article:

Let’s stop pretending that America in 2018 has a “justice system.” It’s not a justice system. It’s a set of elite institutions that swing the law like a sledgehammer to crush threats to the ruling class’s monopoly on power. You know, threats like the people we elect to represent our interests against the elite. And we are under no moral obligation to pretend it is anything else.

This painful to admit it, but we need to grow up. There are two sets of law in America today, meaning there is no rule of law in America today. Oh, there are statutes, and there are courts, and there are agencies full of people with guns willing to enforce the will of aspiring tyrants, but there is not rule of law. There is only power, theirs and ours. Time to get woke to the undeniable fact what the Fredocons deny up and down. Justice is no longer blind. Her blindfold is off and she’s picking favorites.

Anyone looking at what happened during the Clinton ‘investigation’ knows that she got treated differently than Gen. Flynn got treated, even though she did far worse things than Gen. Flynn.

It isn’t difficult to find incompetence within the Dayton administration. The first high-profile example of incompetence, of course, was the MNsure disaster. This year, we’ve dealt with the MNLARS crisis, which is definitely a major case of incompetence.

State Sen. Karin Housley’s investigation into the nursing home abuse crisis is a case of both incompetence and corruption since the caretakers who abused their patients weren’t investigated. Only a portion of these cases were investigated.

The daycare scandal is both a matter of incompetence and corruption. It dwarfs the nursing home scandal. This morning, we learned through Fox9’s excellent reporting that “Scott Stillman spent eight years managing the state’s digital forensics lab, meaning he mined data from computers and smart phones. ‘I have never seen anything like this level or scope in my 27-year career as an investigator,’ he told Fox 9.” Later in the interview, Stillman “was so alarmed by what he found that in March of 2017 he fired off a series of emails to his supervisors at DHS. ‘We are working on and overwhelmed by a significant amount of fraud cases involving organized crime, defrauding hundreds of millions of dollars annually in taxpayer monies,’ he wrote.”

That means that the Dayton administration knew about this ripoff and did nothing. Let that sink it. The Dayton administration knew about this ripoff and did nothing. Now they’re denying hearing about it:

According to Stillman, he alerted a number of people in DHS including the Commissioner’s Chief of Staff with the following message: “Significant amount of these defrauded dollars are being sent overseas to countries and organizations connected to entities known to fund terrorists and terrorism.”

At a Monday press briefing, the governor told Fox 9 his office was not told about the warnings. Sources tell the Fox 9 Investigators people within the governor’s office were told about the concerns a couple of years ago. “My chief of staff, current and previous staff, from what I’m told, did not get any information alleging there was that kind of theft,” Dayton said.

The Dayton administration finished with this gem:

DHS responded with a statement: “The Deputy Commissioner, communications and legal staff learned there may be emails on this subject when Fox 9 made its data request in March. The then-chief compliance officer was informed at the time the emails were originally sent.”

What type of communications team did they establish in the Dayton administration? Or didn’t they bother with that whatsoever? Or are they just lying?

Think about this: hundreds of millions of dollars left in suitcases via MSP. An inspector notices this & reports it to the Department of Human Services. Nothing happens until this Fox9 investigation. Then Gov. Dayton insists that he never heard about these whistleblower reports.

This isn’t uncommon with Democrats. The Obama administration didn’t admit that news about Fast and Furious made it to Eric Holder’s desk. President Obama still insists that he found out about Hillary’s private email address through a news report even after he sent her emails at her private email address. Why should anyone think that Democrats care one iota about accountability and honesty?

Saying that Mayor Kleis made a major mistake in selling city park land to Costco is understatement. The city councilmembers who voted to approve the sale should be terminated the next time they’re up for re-election. Ditto with Kleis. George Hontos’ op-ed explains things perfectly.

Hontos writes “First, the sale of 18.56 acres of city park land for Costco for $3.5 million was a give away that the mayor could have prevented. The city had an independent professional appraiser determine the land had a value of over $5 million. Back in Jan. 2018, before any purchase agreement was signed with Costco, a local developer offered the city $6.5 million, but the Mayor rejected this offer, saying it was too late in the process.”

Mayor Kleis isn’t the only person who should get criticized. Later, Hontos wrote “There was nothing stopping the Mayor from calling for a bidding process. Just as disappointing were the actions of my cohorts on the city council, there was nothing stopping them from voting the Costco offer down and calling for a bidding process. But they did not do so. Why? What happened to the mayor and city council’s fiduciary responsibilities to the taxpayers? Now they have given a deep discount on some of the most valuable commercial property left in our city.”

Mayor Kleis has touted himself as fiscally conservative. This transaction proves that he isn’t. This transaction proves that he isn’t that good of a negotiator. Then there’s this:

Second, a highly taxpayer-subsidized “affordable” housing project was approved and again I voted against this. Not that I am against affordable housing, but because of the way this project was billed as helping the affordable housing needs of our community. The developer and city staff billed this project to be one of the nicest apartment buildings in the area. The rents are so out of sync with market rate units. This project has a one bedroom apartment starting at $950 per month. After going on apartments.com I canvassed 30 local apartment buildings with one bedrooms. The average rent as advertised was $699.33 and not one was listed at $950. The majority of the city council, along with the support of city staff, has allowed a private developer to extract significant public assistance from taxpayers all in the name of affordable housing.

Providing affordable housing isn’t a core function of city, county or state government. Period. The government should keep its nose out of this stuff.

PS- The people that voted for the Costco transaction and the affordable housing need to be run off the City Council ASAP.

Apparently, Tina Smith thinks that she can win her special election by peddling the latest DFL BS about the Trump-Russia nothing burger. She might be able to gin up enthusiasm with the DFL’s far-left base with that but I’d doubt that thoughtful people care a whit about the investigation. I’m betting that people will be more interested in interrogating Ms. Smith over why she voted for shutting down the government on Friday night, then voting to reopen the government on Monday, especially considering that the votes were literally on the identical bill.

Further, I’m betting that voters will want to know whether she supports President Trump’s immigration framework that would give 1,800,000 illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship in exchange for the appropriation of money to built President Trump’s border wall and ending chain migration. Will Ms. Smith represent the DACA recipients she claims to care about or will she vote to keep the issue alive for this year’s campaign? In other words, will she represent her constituents? Or the special interests that fund her campaign?

“The report that President Trump sought to fire Robert Mueller—the man leading the Trump-Russia investigation—is profoundly disturbing, to say the least,” Smith’s statement continued. “I plan to support measures that would help protect this investigation from further political interference.”

First, the firing didn’t happen. Why be worried about something that didn’t happen? It isn’t like Smith doesn’t have truly important things to do. She’s got immigration reform to think through. She’s got to decide whether she’ll support lifting the spending caps on the military. BTW, the military got hollowed out thanks to Sen. Franken’s votes. Will she fix what he broke?

The New York Times reported Thursday night that Trump had ordered a White House lawyer to fire Mueller, but backed down after the attorney, Don McGahn, threatened to resign. If carried out, the firing would likely have created an extraordinary political crisis.

A significantly different version of the story is now making the rounds. In that newer article, it’s being reported that President Trump asked McGahn what would happen if he fired Mueller. McGahn replied that it would create more headaches for the President. McGahn then recommended that President Trump drop the idea, which apparently happened.

It isn’t a big deal for the President to have expressed frustration with the Mueller investigation. Mueller’s team is filled with biased ‘investigators’ who wanted Hillary Clinton to be president. It’d be a miracle if a person wasn’t upset with the team Mueller picked.

Here’s a point worth considering: Smith is more upset with something that didn’t happen than she’s been about the abuse of residents in Minnesota’s elder care facilities. Forgive me but why isn’t Smith upset about something that’s actually happened? Why isn’t she upset about that crisis? When you watch this video, I want you to think about the questions you’d ask if your parents were subject to this abuse:

Ponder what Sen. Housley said:

It snowballed over the Dayton administration and was completely ignored and was brushed completely under the table so I think there needs to be some apologies made and some accountability taken.

I’ll be clear. Much of this happened while Tina Smith was Lieutenant Governor, a time when she paraded around the state doing ribbon cuttings, etc. Why didn’t Smith dig into this crisis rather than be Gov. Dayton’s PR person? Is it because Smith prefers the role of PR spokesperson over the responsibility of fixing things?

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The DFL hasn’t hidden their support for public employee unions like AFSCME, SEIU and MAPE. That means they’ve supported the things described in this article. What’s outlined in this article, though, seems more like highway robbery than representation.

For instance, “Labor unions in a handful of states have been able to take a portion of [Medicaid payments paid to PCAs] by organizing all the personal caregivers as one bargaining unit. Lawmakers in those states have allowed the practice by implementing policies that classify the caregivers as public employees – but only for the purpose of collective bargaining.”

The previous paragraph describes who these PCAs are, saying “Medicaid funds can be provided to personal caregivers who care for an elderly and disabled individual. The caregiver in most cases is related to their client. It’s a system that allows for personalized treatment and oftentimes it allows families to care for loved ones. But it’s also a system that has enriched unions.”

The unions have enriched themselves to the tune of “$200 million annually from Medicaid funds through personal caregivers.” These aren’t public employees. They’re relatives. The union collects their dues but the relatives don’t get the benefits that the unions bargain for. What part of that sounds justifiable?

Here’s what happened in Minnesota:

The union practice exists in states like California, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, and Connecticut Minnesota lawmakers, for instance, allowed a state union to organize Personal Care Providers (PCA) as a single bargaining unit by passing a law dictating they are state employees simply because they collect Medicaid funds. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton tried to do the same in 2011 through an executive order, but it failed in the courts.

The same bill that allowed unionization of in-home child care providers also authorized the unionization of family-based PCAs. Here’s part of the committee debate on that legislation:

Rep. Mahoney didn’t tell the truth. The union dues get taken out of money paid by government to in-home child care providers and PCAs. With PCAs, that money comes from Medicaid. These aren’t wages. They’re support payments paid to help families provide care for family members who otherwise might be housed in nursing homes or mental institutions. The state is actually saving money as a direct result of this program.

The family member is subsidized to care for family members because they’ve given up their jobs. That’s essentially a reimbursement paid in exchange for helping the state save money. That isn’t a wage.

“Medicaid will pay for homecare services for the elderly and disabled,” Nelsen told InsideSources. “The SEIU and AFSCME, back in the late 90s, when union membership was generally declining saw these workers, and this pool of Medicaid dollars, as a potential organizing opportunity.”

The U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue to an extent during the 2014 case, Harris v. Quinn. The justices ruled that Illinois home care providers couldn’t be forced to pay dues because they weren’t technically state employees. Nelsen argues that unions and state leaders have found ways around those restrictions. “The states and unions have worked hand and glove to design a series of workarounds to the Harris v. Quinn decision, and to keep people paying dues whether they want to or not,” Nelsen said. “There are literally hundreds and thousands of these care providers around the country paying union dues to the SEIU and AFSCME against their will.”

In Minnesota, PCAs have petitioned the government to hold a decertification vote. If it’s held, the largest unionized bargaining unit will be decertified. The vote won’t be close.

When the unionization vote happened for in-home child care providers, it was rejected by a 1,014-392 margin. There’s no reason to think this vote won’t be similarly lopsided.