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Biden Administration Plans for Potential Presidential Transition



Biden Administration Plans for Potential Presidential Transition

On Friday, President Joe Biden’s administration formally began preparations for a prospective presidential transition, with the goal of ensuring government continuity regardless of the outcome of November’s general election.

Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote memorandum to all executive departments and agencies instructing them to designate a focal person for transition preparation by May 3. It’s the standard initial step in congressionally mandated presidential transition planning.

Next week, White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, who also chaired Biden’s 2020 transition effort, will lead the first meeting of the White House Transition Coordinating Council, which is made up of senior White House policy, national security, and management officials as required by the Presidential Transition Act.

The act gives government assistance to major party candidates in preparing to govern so that they can have personnel in place to implement policy initiatives on their first day in office.

Biden’s plan for a handover

Making sure presidential candidates are prepared to take over the federal government became a higher priority following the 9/11 attacks, and the act has been updated several times since then to provide additional resources to candidates and to require incumbents to plan for a handover with even greater intensity.

Young’s letter is remarkably identical to one delivered by Trump administration acting director Russell Vought four years ago, for a transition process that began well but became disrupted when then-President Donald Trump refused to admit defeat to Biden.

It took until November 23, two weeks after the election, for Trump’s General Services Administration to declare Biden the “apparent winner” of the 2020 contest, a necessary step before the transition could begin.

Inauguration Day

The legislation compels presidential contenders and the General Services Administration to strike an agreement on everything from federal office space to access to sensitive information by September 1, but it is frequently accomplished sooner. Before signing the memorandum of understanding, candidates must formally obtain their party’s nomination at their respective conventions.

Transition teams begin assessing applicants for positions in a future administration, including starting the time-consuming security clearance process for potential appointees who must be ready to assume office on Inauguration Day.

Biden launched a separate task force in February to address the “systemic” problem of mishandling classified information during presidential transitions, just days after a Justice Department special counsel’s sharply critical report revealed that he and his aides had done so when he left the vice presidency in 2016.

Source: Yahoo News

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U.K News

UK Conservative Party Candidates Investigated for Illegal Election Betting



Conservative Party members under investigation: Reuters Image

The UK Sunday Times has reported a member of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party is currently under investigation by Britain’s gambling regulator on suspicion of having gambled on the general election date prior to its announcement.

Two Conservative candidates for office and the party’s head of campaigns are reportedly under investigation by Britain’s Gambling Commission for alleged wagers placed on the July 4 election.

The opposition Labour Party is currently polling considerably ahead of Sunak in the lead-up to the election, and the scandal’s expansion has only made matters worse.

The Conservative Party’s top data officer, Nick Mason, was named by the newspaper as the official. When asked for comment, Mason did not immediately answer. Mason disputed the allegations, according to the newspaper’s citation of a spokeswoman for him.

According to a statement from the Conservative Party, Mason has taken a leave of absence, according to the Sunday Times. Reuters reached out to the party, but they declined to corroborate the report.

“We are not permitted to discuss any matters related to any investigation with the subject or any other persons,” a spokesman for the Conservative Party said, following instructions from the Gambling Commission.

Conservative Party Director Takes Leave

No individuals have been named by the Gambling Commission as of yet. Commission officials have refused to comment on the Sunday Times story, citing confidentiality agreements on the investigation’s subjects.

An “incredibly angry” Sunak expressed his dismay at the accusations leveled against his party members on Thursday, describing them as a “really serious matter.”

The director of campaigns for the Conservative Party, Tony Lee, has taken a leave of absence, and one of the candidates implicated in the incident, Craig Williams, has previously expressed regret for a mistake.

Alleged wagers on the election day have led to the arrest of a special protection unit police officer as well.

Election betting in the UK has skyrocketed in popularity. People place wagers on everything from the overall winner to individual constituency results. It’s not just about predicting who’ll take the Prime Minister’s office.

Many bet on voter turnout, party performance, and even whether certain policies will pass. Betting companies provide detailed odds, helping punters make informed choices.

This betting trend reflects the UK public’s engagement with politics, adding an extra layer of excitement to election periods. It’s a fascinating blend of politics and gambling, drawing in seasoned bettors and curious newcomers alike.

Source: Reuters

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Election News

A CNN Analyst “Speechless” as Black Voters Abandoned President Biden.



Black Voters Abandoned President Biden: Fox News Image

CNN statistics reporter Harry Enten was stunned Monday when polls revealed that former President Trump is projected to receive strong support from Black voters.

According to an aggregate of network polls, Black voters’ interest in President Biden is diminishing, dropping from 86% in 2020 to 70% in 2024. Meanwhile, Trump has eroded Biden’s coalition, increasing his support among Black voters over the last four years, from 7% in 2020 to 21% in 2024.

“Look at Black voters under the age of 50, holy cow folks, holy cow, look at this: Joe Biden was ahead by 80 points among this demographic at this stage in 2020. Look at how that advantage has shrunk to just…37 points,” Enten stated. “That lead is down by more than half…I’ve never seen anything like it. “I’m speechless.”

“If this polling is anywhere near correct, we are looking at a historic moment right now where Black voters under the age of 50, which have historically been such a big part of the Democratic coalition, are leaving it in troves,” Enten stated.

“I keep looking for signs that this is going to go back to normal and I don’t see it yet in the polling,” Enten stated. “If anything, right now we’re careening towards historic performance for a Republican presidential candidate, the likes of which we have not seen in six decades.”

Black Americans for Trump

Ahead of the 2024 election, which appears to be a rematch between Biden and former President Donald Trump, both candidates have sought support from Black Americans around the country.

Trump’s campaign established a new alliance, “Black Americans for Trump,” on Saturday, featuring endorsements from elected officials, athletes, artists, community leaders, and Black pastors. The Trump campaign stated that it formed the coalition prior to the Juneteenth celebration, which commemorates the day in 1865 when the last enslaved individuals in the United States learned they were free.

The Biden campaign, on the other hand, hopes to replicate his success with Black voters, a critical demographic that helped him defeat Donald Trump in 2020.

Last Monday, a Maris survey showing Biden losing significant support among Black voters in Pennsylvania, a state he narrowly won in 2020. In 2020, 92 percent of Black people supported him, while only 7 percent chose Trump.

In Wednesday’s poll, 68 percent of Black voters indicated they were supporting or leaning toward Biden in the November election, while 23 percent said they were supporting Trump. The poll was conducted on June 3-6 among 1,277 Pennsylvania people.

Last month, Biden held a rally in Philadelphia to kick off a new campaign to recruit Black votes. There, he thanked Black people for electing him to the White House in 2020 and went over a litany of policy accomplishments that he said enhanced the lives of Black Americans.

He informed them that Trump was “pandering and peddling lies and stereotypes for your vote, so he can win for himself, not you.”

Biden launches video Ad campaign

The most recent Fox News survey showed Biden with 72% support among Black voters. That’s up from 66% in February, but still down from 79% before the 2020 election. Among all voters, Trump has a slim advantage over Biden.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign unveiled a new video Monday morning as part of a $50 million ad blitz ahead of the first presidential debate later this month, emphasizing former President Trump’s conviction and asserting that “character” is the key dynamic of the 2024 presidential contest.

The new ad, titled “Character Matters,” highlights the decision in New York v. Trump, in which a jury convicted the former president and presumptive Republican nominee guilty of all 34 counts of first-degree falsifying company records. Trump pled not guilty to the charges and promised to appeal the verdict.

“This election is between a convicted criminal who is only looking out for himself, and a president who is fighting for your family,” the ad says, highlighting Trump’s legal challenges and claiming the president has been focusing on “lowering health care costs and making big corporations pay their fair share.”

The advertisement airs ahead of next week’s first presidential debate on June 27.

The advertisement is part of the Biden campaign’s June $50 million paid media blitz. According to the campaign, the commercial will air on general market television and Connected TV in all battleground states, as well as national cable.

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Election News

Britain’s Populist Right-Wing Reform UK Party Surges in Popularity



The reemergence of staunch conservative Nigel Farage has given Britain’s populist right-wing Reform UK party a boost, with the latest poll showing it closing in on the ruling Conservatives ahead of the country’s impending general election.

According to the most recent YouGov survey of the election campaign for Sky News, Reform is now only two points behind the Conservatives.

According to online polling, Labour is likely to win 40% of the vote, followed by the Conservatives at 19% and the Reform Party at 17%.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Tory party was already largely projected to lose next month’s election to the opposition Labour Party, ending its long and turbulent 14-year reign.

Nigel Farage’s return

Nigel Farage’s sudden return as Reform leader on Monday dealt a fatal blow to the Tory party, threatening to grab a sizable share of right-wing votes.

The last-minute change would leave the Conservatives with even fewer seats than previously projected in the House of Commons, potentially sparking a reckoning within the weakened party. Some observers believe it would push the party even further to the right, maybe with Farage at the head.

Farage, for his part, has not ruled out ultimately joining a “reset and realign[ed]” Conservative Party, stating last year, “never say never.”

Euroskeptic Farage, who led the Leave campaign in the United Kingdom’s 2016 EU referendum, has announced his candidacy for a parliamentary seat in Clacton-on-Sea, a coastal town in eastern England with strong Brexit support. A previous YouGov poll showed the Conservatives winning that seat.

It is the politician-turned-media personality’s seventh attempt to be a member of Parliament, having never previously succeeded.

A separate Ipsos survey issued Thursday predicted that Reform would receive only 9% of the vote, compared to Labour’s 43% and the Conservatives’ 23%. The survey includes attitudes questioned as of Tuesday, one day after Farage’s return.

Voters rethinking Reform UK party

Just over half of participants (53%) in the poll claimed they had already chosen how they would vote on July 4, with others indicating they would change their minds.

Farage is bitterly opposed to the Conservatives. In the 2019 election, his then-Brexit Party promised not to run candidates in hundreds of seats to ensure a Conservative victory. He has since accused the party of abandoning the political right, declaring Monday that it was time for a “revolt.”

“What I’m really calling for—or intend to lead—is a political revolt,” he said at a so-called emergency news conference in London.

The announcement undermines Sunak’s previous efforts to capture right-wing support by strengthening the Conservatives’ stance on migration and the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Convention on Human Rights. Recent pronouncements regarding the resumption of obligatory national service, tax breaks for elderly, and new gender definitions were also interpreted as an attempt to win potential Reform supporters.

Reform The UK Party is a political group in the United Kingdom that seeks to improve the country’s governance. Their primary focus is on improving the political system to make it more open and accountable. They also want to lower taxes and minimize government waste.

One of their major concerns is Brexit, and they believe the UK should have complete sovereignty over its laws, borders, and trade without intervention from the European Union. They also push for improved public services, such as the NHS, but believe these services should be more efficient.

They say that too much money is squandered on bureaucracy while insufficient funds are allocated to frontline services. Reform UK believes that smaller government results in a better economy and greater freedom for individuals and businesses.

They commit to work for policies that they feel will result in a more equitable, affluent society for all.

Source: CNBC

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