Saturday, November 18, 2017

Maine member of Trump fraud commission not backing down

For months now I've been covering Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap's participation in President Donald Trump's Commission on Election Integrity for the Portland Press Herald. In that time, Dunlap -- one of four Democrats on the now-11 member panel -- has gone from open-minded and cautiously optimistic that the body would be acting objectively and in good faith to a shock and outrage.

In September Dunlap became openly critical of the actions of Vice Chair Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who is running for governor of that state and has become a paid columnist for Breitbart, Steve Bannon's controversial media outlet. Kobach had declared there to have been widespread fraud in New Hampshire's 2016 election, citing voting by out-of-state college students that is explicitly legal under that state's law. He was additionally upset to learn, shortly thereafter, that two members of the commission had tried, before being appointed, to ensure no Democrats or "moderate Republicans" be appointed to the body.

Matters have escalated since then, as Dunlap and other Democrats on the body stopped receiving any communications from the commission. Dunlap first responded by formally requesting the group's calendar and working documents, then by filing a federal lawsuit to obtain the same. Now, as I reported in Friday's Press Herald, he has asked the judge for an injunction forcing the body to provide him the documents and to treat him equally as other commissioners. Kobach and allied commissioners are firing back, calling him"paranoid."

Details in the story.

[Update, 12/29/17: The judge agreed with Dunlap and issued the injunction.]

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