Governor Wolf Denies Trump Administration Request for Voter Information

first_imgGovernor Wolf Denies Trump Administration Request for Voter Information June 30, 2017 Press Release,  Voting & Elections Governor Tom Wolf sent the following letter today to Kris Kobach, the Vice Chair of the Trump Administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.To view the letter in its entirety, click here (Scribd). View a PDF version here.Full text of the letter:June 30, 2017Kris W. KobachVice ChairPresidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500Dear Vice Chair Kobach:We have received your request for the personal information, including partial Social Security Numbers, birth dates and driver license numbers, of every registered voter in the state. The commonwealth cannot share this information.Your request is problematic for several reasons. First, you have suggested that you would make this information public. Wholesale public disclosure of individual voter records would be inappropriate, and it is contrary to Pennsylvania law. Second, you have given no assurances that you will handle such data securely. More broadly, your request implies that your office may undertake a systematic effort to suppress the vote in Pennsylvania.In addition, I have serious reservations about the true intentions of this effort in light of the false statements this administration has made regarding voting integrity, the historical suppression of voting rights, and the way that such data has been used in the past.First, during the campaign, then-candidate Trump repeatedly and falsely suggested, without evidence, that there existed wide-spread voter fraud in Pennsylvania and in particular in certain population centers in our commonwealth. These claims were untrue and unsupported by any credible evidence. Even worse, after the election, then-President-elect Trump suggested that millions of votes across the country had been cast illegally. Again, then President-Elect Trump provided no evidence in support of his claims. These attacks on our most important democratic institution – the right to vote – remain unproven and lack even a scintilla of support.Second, I have grave concerns your request is a mere pretense for pursuing restrictions on the fundamental right of citizens to vote. Here in Pennsylvania, our Courts have already struck down a voter identification program, holding that such program placed unconstitutional and undue burden on this fundamental right. I have no interest in contributing to any effort to suppress the right to vote or create unnecessary or unfair burdens on voters.Lastly, my predecessor sought to participate in your failed Inter-State Crosscheck Program, only to have local election officials explain that the program was useless, and even hurtful to improving the integrity of our election systems. The Crosscheck data was riddled with errors and inaccurate. Even so, the program discovered absolutely no double voting within the commonwealth.Of course, integrity of the vote is of utmost importance to me and my administration. As such, my administration has partnered with the PEW Charitable Trusts’ and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to help ensure the integrity of our voter rolls. ERIC provides a more sophisticated and more reliable matching process than Interstate Crosscheck and consequently delivers a high level of confidence in the data that it provided to Pennsylvania. We are satisfied with ERIC and do not need any further assistance.That said, like any citizen, you are welcome to purchase the publicly available voter file from the Pennsylvania Department of State. It can be purchased at pavoterservices.pa.gov for $20. Of course, in accordance with Pennsylvania law, such data may not be used for commercial or other purposes, except as required by 25 Pa.C.S. sections 1207(b) & 1404(c)(2). Further, such information may not be published on the Internet, as such publication is prohibited by 4 Pa. Code sections 183.13(g) & 183.14(k).At the end of the day, I would be more interested in hearing from the White House how they are protecting our elections from outside, illegal and international influence, including misinformation disseminated on the Internet. Further, I would support any effort to invest more federal funding in protecting our voter systems and improving voting technology.The right to vote is absolute and I have no confidence that you seek to bolster it. Voter suppression is undemocratic and I will not allow Pennsylvania to participate in this process to further the trend of suppression seen across the country.Sincerely,TOM WOLFGovernorGovernor Tom Wolf Letter to Kris Kobach Denying Trump Administration Request for Voter Information by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribdcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Semirural Wamuran offers best of both worlds

first_imgMore from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019The view from the balcony.Ms Ebdon said the seclusion of Wamuran attracted buyers, along with its accessibility.“Wamuran is a good area because we’re only about 45 minutes from the airport, 10 minutes to the Bruce Highway and half an hour to Bribie Island or Caloundra,” Ms Ebdon said.“It’s semirural but not that far from those other places.” The home has a resort-style pool.The agent said there was a range of buyers looking to buy in the area.“It’s usually second or third home buyers and we get a lot of professionals and trades people because of the acreage,” Ms Ebdon said.“There are a lot of retirees that have the money to buy in the area at the $500,000 to $700,000 range, and there are people wanting to bring their children up on land.” The home at 73 Mountaintrack Drive, Wamuran, sold for $655,000.PROFESSIONALS looking for a tree change are heading to Wamuran.The home at 73 Mountaintrack Drive recently sold for $655,000 to a doctor and Tree Change Realty agent Robyn Ebdon said that the new owners liked the privacy the area offered.“They fell in love with the home immediately,” Ms Ebdon said.“They loved the privacy and the big deck overlooking the pool.”last_img read more

The multimillion-dollar sale of a Gold Coast trophy home has set a new street record

first_img252 Pacific Parade, Bilinga.“At that stage, it had an old beach shack on it that had been built in the 1940s and was in a fairly dilapidated state,” Dr Johnson told The Bulletin earlier this month.Renowned Coast architect Paul Uhlmann helped the couple design the five-­bedroom, three bathroom home that stands today, which was built in 2011.It has a seemingly endless list of luxury features and stunning views of the coastline.The sale comes after another beachfront home at Bilinga sold for $3.3 million under the hammer last weekend.Mr Dowker, who also marketed the Short St property, said following the auction beachfront properties between Palm Beach and Bilinga were in high demand lately.He reiterated the beachfront market’s strength last week, explaining many have sold within 30 days of being listed.“There’s been really good momentum in the beachfront market,” he said. 252 Pacific Parade, Bilinga.Like that property, the house at No. 252 attracted prospective buyers in droves before it sold late last week.Ray White Mermaid Beach agent Troy Dowker said more than 40 groups inspected the trophy home throughout the month it was on the market.“We had three offers running on it, two locals and one (from) interstate,” he said.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa15 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“It sold a couple of days before auction.”A local buyer living on the southern Gold Coast was the successful bidder.Mr Dowker said the property’s 16m-wide ocean frontage was a major drawcard, as many beachfront properties were 10m wide.“It’s wider than your standard block, that gives you a really nice expansive footprint,” he said.A traditional beach house once stood on the 506sq m block but sellers Kay and Trevor Johnson bought it in 2007 with the intention of knocking it down and replacing it with their dream home. 252 Pacific Parade, Bilinga.A WAVE of house hunters on the market for beachfront homes continues to sweep across the Gold Coast with a Bilinga property fetching a record price last week.The towering seaside mansion on Pacific Pde sold for $4 million days before its scheduled auction on Saturday.It marks a record sale for the street, which was ­previously set by former Queensland Governor ­Leneen Forde’s property of 25 years.Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey bought the property at No. 248 for $3.1 million at a packed on-site auction in February. 252 Pacific Parade, Bilinga.center_img 252 Pacific Parade, Bilinga. 252 Pacific Parade, Bilinga.last_img read more

Kazakhstan player gets approval to take over Caspian Explorer drilling vessel

first_imgThe Caspian Explorer is a drilling vessel capable drilling exploration wells to depths of up to 6,000 meters in extremely shallow water. Caspian Explorer; Source: Saipem The total costs after fit-out are believed to have been approximately $200 million. The belief that the Caspian Explorer was the only currently operational drilling vessel of its type capable of operating in water as shallow as 2.5 meters in the Caspian Sea led to its acquisition by the company. In an update on Wednesday, Caspian Sunrise said it had received all the required Kazakh regulatory and local shareholder approvals for the acquisition. Further, given the lead times and construction costs, the company did not expect a new competing drilling vessel to enter the market in the next few years. Caspian Sunrise revealed its plan to buy the Caspian Explorer for $25 million back in January 2020. In 2017, the Caspian Explorer was hired out to a KazMunaiGas / Indian state oil company joint venture for $28 million after costs and drilled one exploration well to a depth of 3.5 km. The vessel was conceived of by a consortium of Korean companies including KNOC, Samsung, and Daewoo Shipbuilding. It was assembled in the Ersay shipyard in Kazakhstan between 2010 and 2011 for a construction cost believed to be approximately $170 million. Furthermore, the relevant paperwork has been sent to the UAE to complete the required re-registration of ownership of the Caspian Explorer, following which the acquisition of the asset will complete. In 2018, it was hired out KazMunaiGas for up to $24 million drilling one exploration well to a depth of 1.8 km. The vessel did not operate in 2019. Caspian Sunrise, an oil and gas company with a focus on Kazakhstan, has received regulatory and shareholder approvals for the acquisition of the Caspian Explorer drilling vessel.last_img read more

He who has will be given more, and he shall have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away

first_imgPhoto credit: wendesdaynightservice.comIn today’s parable the seed that God sows is his Word. He sows it everywhere, with scant regard for where it falls, because it can grow anywhere. This is the point of the seed also falling on inhospitable ground. All it needs is careful nurture. Wherever it receives nurture, it grows and blossoms.  Where it does not, for whatever reason(s), it shrivels and dies.Each ground represents a particular kind of person, according to the interpretation in the text itself. Equally possible, perhaps, is the interpretation that the different grounds represent one person at different times or in different seasons. We are all sometimes lax, sometimes distracted, sometimes led astray, sometimes receptive. Becoming fruitful ground requires attentive cultivation no matter what the particular time or season of our life. When the ground is receptive, fruitfulness always follows.In another saying of Jesus what God sows is not the (seed of his) Word but (the seed of) different talents. This is the second important environment of sowing. That parable too includes the cryptic saying that he who has will be given more, and he shall have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  Both parables deal with what one may call the dynamics of increase. In the first, the fruitfulness of the Word depends on our receptivity. The more receptive we are, the Word becomes actual and the more fruit it bears; the less receptive we are, the more de-activated the Word remains, and the more and more diminished becomes its capacity for fruit-bearing.In the second parable the servant who receives five talents from his master, trades with them, and creates five more. The servant who receives two, does the same, and creates two more. The one who receives one talent goes away and does nothing. He buries the talent in the ground, and gets a thorough dressing down for inactivity.Where did the last servant go wrong?  Why was it not prudential to play it safe? Perhaps he distrusted banks, or had no faith in the stock market.  He may have said to himself: putting the money in those places is a risk – who knows if the bank will fail or the market collapse (and of course both have done so): at least this way, I know where the money is; this route is entirely free of risk.The basic import of dynamics of increase lies just here, I think.  The parable is not talking about finances and investment, but about our human potential, the basic endowment God bestows on each of us. Different people receive different things, this here, that there. But how is any potential realized, whatever we receive? It is not by de-activation or playing it safe, but by being open and receptive to possibilities.  This is how human potential is realized.  Consider, for example, the situation of someone feeling called to do something for others, to make some commitment for justice, for example, human rights, or some cause larger than their own interests.  We have had several heroic examples in this century, and we continue to have them in a variety of ways, big and small. It’s a summons to give themselves over to something larger than themselves.  Before embarking on it, perhaps even during the process, they find themselves asking themselves: why am I doing this?  Why should I?  I have no idea what will become of it; I have no idea who will take it on; it may end up being just piece of vanity, and a waste of time.The fact is before you venture forth, you can’t see anything – or better, what you see is only in your heart. So the temptation is to settle for more safety, less risk, for something visible and tangible.  The person who feels called to something beyond self-interest, and backs off is like the servant who buries potential in the ground.  Often such a person remains forever haunted by a road not taken, a possibility unexplored, a life unfinished.  Whatever they had before, the life they had, is taken away. When the summons is obeyed, on the other hand, they find heightened life where they anticipated only frustration and trial.  He who has, in other words, will be given more and he will have an abundance; from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.By: Father Henry Charles Ph. d Share Share Sharing is caring! FaithLifestyleLocalNews He who has will be given more, and he shall have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away by: – July 9, 2011center_img Share Tweet 44 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Hammond signs new Leicester deal

first_img The 32-year-old made just 12 appearances in the club’s Premier League survival battle last season and was out of contract at the end of June but will stay on for another 12 months. “Dean, whose previous deal expired on Tuesday, has agreed terms on a one-year extension and will report for pre-season training with the squad next week,” said a statement on Leicester’s official website. Leicester midfielder Dean Hammond has signed a new contract with the club after his previous deal expired. Press Associationcenter_img Hammond joins Marcin Wasilewski and Jeffrey Schlupp among those players to agree new contracts with the club, who are now searching for a manager after sacking Nigel Pearson earlier this week. last_img read more

Ellsworth swim team earns split against Bangor

first_imgELLSWORTH — Ellsworth took to the pool for the first time in 2018 when it took on Class A Bangor on Tuesday, and the Eagles earned an impressive split with the visiting Rams.The boys’ team defeated Bangor 100-70 for one of its biggest victories of the season. The girls’ team came close but fell to the Rams 90-78.“Bangor has great swimmers, and competition was keen for many races — even down to the third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes,” Ellsworth head coach Jim Goodman said. “The spirit and cheers were deafening throughout the meet. We had a lot of our swimmers make best times, and several made the cut times for the state championships.”Ellsworth’s next meet is at home against Foxcroft at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img

Defense plays well in spring season finale

first_imgSenior defensive lineman O\’Brien Schofield led the Badgers with 2 sacks during the spring game.[/media-credit]Although the Wisconsin defensive unit features several new faces in starting positions, it certainly didn’t look that way in Saturday’s spring football game.Both the Cardinal and White squads impressed, even if the combined 70 points allowed doesn’t make it appear that way.The two Badger squads combined for 10 tackles for loss, including seven sacks for a loss of 53 yards. Redshirt senior O’Brien Schofield led the way with a pair of sacks for the No. 1 defense on quarterbacks Scott Tolzien and Jon Budmayr.Schofield did not start the game with the first string defense, however, due to disciplinary action taken by head coach Bret Bielema.“O’Brien did that to himself; he was two minutes late to the team meeting yesterday afternoon, so he was moved down to the twos,” Bielema said. “One of our things we really talked about was being on time, and he wasn’t able to do that for yesterday’s meeting. … We have to set the example at the top and he understands that now.”Following the game, Schofield echoed Bielema’s sentiments, saying he needs to be a leader of the defensive corps. He believes the move down to the No. 2 defense was a test from his head coach.“He just wanted to see how I was going to respond, if I was going to still be able to play ball and focus,” Schofield said. “At first I really didn’t like it, but you know, as a football player in general I love the game and it was still a privilege to be out there in general.”The highlight of the day for the white defense came in the first quarter when linebacker Tony Megna intercepted a Dustin Sherer pass at the 24-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. With points worth double for second-stringers, Megna’s interception gave the White squad a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.Megna had been in the secondary for the Wisconsin defense, but Bielema opted to switch him to the linebacking corps after seeing him play a few times.“I just saw him making plays. … Tony is a scrappy kid,” Bielema said. “He’s got a great energy, great attitude (and is) probably one of the more enjoyable kids to be around on the team just because of what he feels is important and how he kind of handles himself.”For the Cardinal defense, the game went according to plan.With Budmayr and Tolzien behind center for the White squad, the Cardinal defense did not allow an offensive touchdown to the No. 2 offense. On eight drives Saturday the white offense managed just 21 yards, punting five times and giving the ball away once on a Devin Smith interception.Still, the No. 1 defense knows it needs to continue to improve before the start of fall camp and the regular season.“We know we’re going to play against some better teams out there in the Big Ten and other conferences,” linebacker Jaevery McFadden said. “At the same time it is a good feeling to be able to say we shut them out in the spring game.”Maragos, Watt receive scholarshipsAfter transferring to Wisconsin and proving their worth, safety Chris Maragos and defensive end J.J. Watt got some big news at Friday’s team meeting.Bielema announced the two defensive starters would be receiving scholarships in the fall as a reward for their hard work and dedication to the team.It was an exciting moment for Maragos and Watt, as well as the rest of their teammates.“To have all those players react in a certain way when I announced that last night to the team, that gets me excited,” Bielema said.For Watt, being a scholarship player is nothing new, as he had previously been under scholarship at Central Michigan before transferring to Wisconsin.After giving up a scholarship and sitting out a year, getting a scholarship from the Badgers proved the decision was the right one for Watt.“It’s a great feeling to get a scholarship, especially after working hard for a year and giving up a scholarship at Central Michigan to come here,” Watt said. “I’m very grateful that Coach B gave me the opportunity to come here, and I’m very, very grateful that he gave me the scholarship now.”Maragos, on the other hand, was never offered a scholarship from Western Michigan before transferring to Wisconsin. To finally earn one from the University of Wisconsin means a great deal to the Racine native.“My first reaction was, you know, thinking back on just what the Lord had brought me through and just kind of how he had been working in kind of the hard times,” Maragos said. “Now just to see the end result of his work and his hand in everything I was flooded with a lot of different emotions.”last_img read more

Author explains rise of alibaba, world’s top ipo

first_imgThe US-China Institute hosted a talk by author Duncan Clark about his new book Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built at the Annenberg Auditorium on Thursday afternoon.The book covers the rise of e-commerce website Alibaba and its founder, Jack Ma, from Ma’s humble origins as an English teacher to the website’s meteoric rise into an e-commerce behemoth that boasted of largest IPO in 2014 at $25 billion. Clark, who met Ma in 1999, provides an insider’s perspective into the last decade and a half of Alibaba. He pulls from personal experience as an advisor at Alibaba as well as his insider access to Ma for a number of exclusive interviews to discuss the impact of Alibaba and the rise of the internet in China over the last two decades.During the talk, Clark explored the history of the company and how it rose from humble beginnings in a small apartment in the Wenzhou province to one of the world’s most powerful businesses. At a young age, Ma ran a business showing tourists around his home province for free in return for lessons in English. Soon enough, Ma began building a following of similarly minded entrepreneurs, in part due to the fact that Wenzhou Province was one of the leading areas for entrepreneurs in the early 1990s. The group eventually co-founded Alibaba with Ma.“I think he’s the team. It’s not just Jack,” Clark said.  “It’s always been about the people around him as well.”Clark shared anecdotes about Ma’s personality and personal ambition, but emphasized his humble outlook on life and self-deprecating humor as important qualities of the man who built the empire of e-commerce in China. It’s estimated that Alibaba controls about 80 percent of China’s e-commerce through apps including popular payment method Alipay and website and app TaoBao.Natalie Zhao, a freshman studying business administration, explained the popularity and appeal of popular Alibaba platform TaoBao. “Apps like TaoBao are so commonly used by people around the world, and especially in China — all my relatives have bought things on there. The delivery and quality of the products are what make Alibaba very convenient and efficient for the users,” Zhao said.Clark attributed the success of Alibaba in reaching the notoriously fickle Chinese markets — in which many e-commerce companies such as Ebay and Chinese-native 848 had previously failed — to its ability to reach customers and create a sense of trust with them. For the first time ever, he explained, an e-commerce business combined with a financial and logistics business to provide a one-stop shop for consumers.Furthermore, Alibaba built in measures that gave customers what they wanted, such as seven-day free returns and the ability to rate merchants directly on the platform, according to Clark. The biggest feature to inspire trust in the Chinese market, however, was the innovation of keeping payments in escrow until the product was actually received by the customer, easing the most pressing fear of the Chinese market and opening it up to e-commerce.Clark also talked about Alibaba’s expansion beyond China and its strategy in the coming years. Despite already being a powerful e-commerce force in rapidly expanding economies such as Russia and Brazil, Alibaba hasn’t quite resonated with the middle class of Western Europe and the United States, where it faces big competition from old stalwarts like Amazon and Ebay, as well as PayPal in the financial sector. Alibaba’s focus right now, however, isn’t necessarily on expanding to the United States and Europe, but rather on bringing high-quality and brand products from the United States and Europe to Chinese customers who can now afford them after China’s economic boom, due in part to Alibaba itself.“It is interesting that Jack has become a transcendent figure in these places,” Clark said of Alibaba’s now-worldwide business. “He is effectively the American Dream set in China.”last_img read more

USC produces 22 Fulbright scholars for 2017-18 year

first_imgThe U.S. State Department of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced Sunday that USC was one of the top producers of Fulbright scholars for the 2017-18 year. According to Erica Lovano McCann, the  director of Academic Honors and Fellowships in the Office of Undergraduate Programs, this is the sixth year that USC has received this title. With 22 Fulbright students, USC has the most Fulbright participants out of any institution on the West Coast, according to the data released by The Chronicle of Higher Education. In comparison, only seven other colleges in the United States have contributed more students than USC has. “USC is ranked 8th of all research institutions nationally, and the highest ranked west-coast school,” McCann said in an email sent to the Daily Trojan. “With 22 recipients, this was USC’s largest award year to date … More so, USC has one of the highest yields among other top producing institutions.” The high number of Fulbright scholars at USC is a display of student achievement at all educational levels, from undergraduate students to faculty members, according to McCann.“Trojans are not only talented academically but they are globally aware and invested,” McCann said. “They are seeking to find ways, through research, study, or teaching, to make the world a better place and to promote cultural exchange to a greater degree.”According to a State Department press release, the Fulbright Program has selected more than 380,000 students for their academic merit and leadership skills. These participants have been given the chance to apply their knowledge by exchanging and creating solutions to international issues. “The Fulbright U.S. Student Program encourages bilateral relationships that support mutual understanding and cultural exchange,” McCann said. “USC students have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a research, study or teaching setting entirely different from their experience at USC or in the U.S. In turn, they share their own experiences and introduce U.S. culture to those who may be entirely unfamiliar with it.”In addition to the opportunities that the program provides for students, they also grant awards to U.S. students, teachers and faculty to start individual research and to lecture abroad.last_img read more