2018 Presidential Election

Hey folks, I don't mean to bother you but I just wanted to say that I've been reading this timeline for years now and I love what you all do, I hope I can involved sometime.
 
theedge.com,

Thursday November 12th

Seaborn Expected To Make Changes to West Wing Staff


In the aftermath of disappointing midterm results and mounting criticism over the effectiveness of the White House operations, rumours across The Beltway suggest that a restructure of the West Wing staff is underway in an attempt to revitalize the operation.

Andrew Delaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, is believed to have tendered his resignation and will leave the post at the end of the year. There is some suggestion that Damon Matteo, the former Indiana Senator and current Administrator for Small Business is Seaborn's preferred choice to replace him.

There are also strong suggestions that White House Communications Director Mark Sterns will leave his post and intends to return to his home state of Connecticut to run for Governor. His deputy John Edwards will be heavily favored to take over but there are suggestions that the President wants to look outside his immediate team.

All indications are that current Chief of Staff Will Bailey will remain in situ, but there is a growing belief in Washington that a path is being laid for him to leave by the end of 2021. It's expected that Bryce Connolly, former Chief of Staff to Minority Leader Jimmy Fitzsimmons, and the current liason to the Vice-President, will take on the role of Political Director and Deputy Chief of Staff. With some suggestions that he is already seen as Bailey's anointed successor.

Seaborn's long time advisor Daniel Mallin, who ran Seaborn's Senate office in California and served as his legislative Director, is to join the staff as a Senior Advisor. Mallin has worked with Seaborn for many years but declined an offer to join the White House Staff to become Chief of Staff to Seaborn's replacement Gabe Tillman.

As well as Connolly and Mallin, Oliver Babbish, the former Attorney General is expected to take on a more prominent Senior Advisor position - he has been unofficially advising the President for some time and led efforts to confirm Justice Franklin to the Supreme Court.
 
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Last "who are the representatives for X" that I'll answer before directing people to the roster of the current Congress I made back in 2018. It's outdated because of resignations, deaths & replacements in special elections, but it's 524/535ths accurate.

Who are the Representatives for WV-01, WV-02 and WV-03?

West Virginia had quite a bit of House changes this year.

WV-01 is represented by Mac Walters (R) who is currently Senator-elect, having defeated Rachel Mears (D). He will be replaced by John Cleveland (R) in January.

WV-02 is represented by Pat Smigel (D) who is retiring after representing the district since 2011. Jason McCloud (R) will replace him.

WV-03 is the only House seat in the state to not elect someone new this year. It's represented by Charles Hacker (R) who has been in Congress since 1989.
 
I have liked the election stuff. You all did well.

It tempts me to return but I am on other stuff now. I think I'll just watch.
 
Actually, here's a better solution:

The roster of the current Congress linked in my last post.

And the list of changes that occurred in the current Congress:



The seat for Utah's first district is the only vacancy in Congress at the moment. It has a representative-elect (Rulon Carrington), but Utah state law didn't allow for a special election to be held concurrently with the regular election, so the seat will remain vacant until the next Congress is sworn in on January 3rd.
 
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Friday November 13th 2020

Breaking News:
Jeff Haffley will not seek re-election as RNC Chair

Jeff Haffley, the former Speaker of the House, who has been Chairman of the RNC since 2013 has announced today that he will not seek another term when the current one expires in January.

"It is with a heavy heart, I announce that I will not seek re-election as RNC Chair, in January. It is time for new blood to move us forward, building on our election success last week, in which we gained back control of the House and made five gains in the Senate. We now need to be ready to win the back the White House in two years time".

Haffley told Mitchell Harris (Speaker of the House-elect), Cody Riley (Senate Majority Leader) and Adam De Haan (Chair of the Republican Governors) of his decision at a meeting on Thursday.

As for who could replace Haffley, former North Carolina Governor Andrew Wu, seems to be the favourite, along with former New Jersey Congressman Jack Fowler.
 
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Friday, November 13th, 2020

Supreme Court rules states can curb "faithless electors"

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the 538 electors who select the president and vice president in the Electoral College must follow the laws of their respective states, upholding state laws that remove or penalize "faithless electors".

The Court ruled in a unanimous 8-0 decision in the case of Leach-Simmons v. Michigan that the state of Michigan's law that invalidated and removed an elector who attempted to vote against the ticket that had won the most votes in the state was constitutional. Justice Edward Appleton, who wrote the decision, said that "The Constitution's text and the Nation's history both support allowing a State to enforce an elector's pledge to support her party's nominees — and the state voters' choices — for President and Vice President."

Presidential elections are decided via the Electoral College, with the winner of the popular vote in each state (and the District of Columbia) being awarded all of that state's electors, who then cast their votes for president and vice president. Typically, electors are all party loyalists and almost always vote as directed, or "pledged". But "faithless" electors who fail to vote as directed have occurred, often as a protest vote. In the 2018 election, 118 Democratic electors revolted and picked someone other than the party's vice presidential nominee, businessman Franklin Hollis, denying any candidate the 270 electoral votes needed to be elected vice president. The Republican-controlled Senate then chose Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Hunter to be vice president instead of Hollis in a contingent election.

In the 2018 election, elector Paula Leach-Simmons attempted to vote for Sam Seaborn for president as pledged, but vote for New York senator Andrew Thorn for vice president instead of Hollis. Per state law, her vote was invalidated and Leach-Simmons was replaced by a new elector, who then voted as pledged. Leach-Simmons sued, alleging that the state law was unconstitutional and that electors cannot be bound to choose a party's nominee after being selected.

Election legal experts and officials in both the Democratic and Republican parties expressed relief at the decision, fearing an opposite ruling could lead to a second explosion of "faithless electors" that would have the potential to jeopardize the outcome of a presidential election after the votes have already been counted and a winner declared. Justice Olivia Emmett Franklin was not on the court for the case's oral arguments and did not participate in the case.
 
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Friday, November 13th, 2020

Supreme Court rules states can curb "faithless electors"

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the 538 electors who select the president and vice president in the Electoral College must follow the laws of their respective states, upholding state laws that remove or penalize "faithless electors".

The Court ruled in a unanimous 8-0 decision in the case of Leach-Simmons v. Michigan that the state of Michigan's law that invalidated and removed an elector who attempted to vote against the ticket that had won the most votes in the state was constitutional. Justice Edward Appleton, who wrote the decision, said that "The Constitution's text and the Nation's history both support allowing a State to enforce an elector's pledge to support her party's nominees — and the state voters' choices — for President and Vice President."

Presidential elections are decided via the Electoral College, with the winner of the popular vote in each state (and the District of Columbia) being awarded all of that state's electors, who then cast their votes for president and vice president. Typically, electors are all party loyalists and almost always vote as directed, or "pledged". But "faithless" electors who fail to vote as directed have occurred, often as a protest vote. In the 2018 election, 118 Democratic electors revolted and picked someone other than the party's vice presidential nominee, businessman Franklin Hollis, denying any candidate the 270 electoral votes needed to be elected vice president. The Republican-controlled Senate then chose Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Hunter to be vice president instead of Hollis in a contingent election.

In the 2018 election, elector Paula Leach-Simmons attempted to vote for Sam Seaborn for president as pledged, but vote for New York senator Andrew Thorn for vice president instead of Hollis. Per state law, her vote was invalidated and Leach-Simmons was replaced by a new elector, who then voted as pledged. Leach-Simmons sued, alleging that the state law was unconstitutional and that electors cannot be bound to choose a party's nominee after being selected.

Election legal experts and officials in both the Democratic and Republican parties expressed relief at the decision, fearing an opposite ruling could lead to a second explosion of "faithless electors" that would have the potential to jeopardize the outcome of a presidential election after the votes have already been counted and a winner declared. Justice Olivia Emmett Franklin was not on the court for the case's oral arguments and did not participate in the deliberations for this case.
If its an unanimous decisions shouldn't it be a 9-0 decision?
 


Friday, November 13th, 2020

GOP confirm Riley & Harris as leaders, Democrats reelect Fitzsimmons to head Senate leadership

Congressional Republicans unanimously reelected Cody Riley to head the Senate caucus and Mitchell Harris as the party's nominee for Speaker of the House, while Democrats reelected Jimmy Fitzsimmons to lead their Senate caucus despite criticism over his leadership and relationship with the White House.

In closed meetings of the party's caucus for the incoming Congress, Republicans quickly reelected the top leaders in both chambers as the party is set to gain control of Congress for the first time since 2007. In addition to Harris for Speaker, the party unanimously chose party whip Andrew Casey to be the new House majority leader, but backed conservative Daniel Abend to become House majority whip over Riley Church, the most prominent moderate Republican in the leadership, who will remain as conference chair. Senators Max Lobell III of Georgia and Mark Cumberland of Texas will remain the party's whip and conference chair in that chamber.

Democrats reelected Jimmy Fitzsimmons to lead their Senate caucus, but reportedly the vote was not unanimous, and "a handful" of senators and senators-elect abstaining or choosing another senator, according to a source with knowledge of the debates held in the closed-door meeting. Some have criticized Fitzsimmons for what they perceive to be his poor leadership and blame him for the party's loss of several Senate seats earlier this month, and blame his strained relationship with the White House. Fitzsimmons' deputy Sarah O'Brien of Vermont was unanimously chosen to return as minority whip, as was Vic Huntington of Nevada to the role of conference chair.

House Democrats will convene their caucus meeting shortly before Congress leaves for its Thanksgiving holiday. It is expected that Speaker Daniel Maddox will be reelected as head of the caucus with Eve Howard as the party's whip.
 
How about some international infoboxes to break up the stories about American political squabbling? Hat tip to @Excelsior for the photo of Radebe.


Cast (all previously established)
Nikki Amuka-Bird as Andrea Benn
Vera Farmiga as Nastia Konanova
Fred Amugi as Calvin Radebe
Sebastian Shaw as Paul VII

Benn's biography was done here.

The only real thing I've added his her predecessor as MP for Darlington.
Konanova was established as "Nastia Konanov", which isn't how patronymic names work in Ukrainian. I even referred to her as such in the infobox for her election, before realizing later that that was incorrect. No, I'm not editing the election infobox to add a single letter to Konanova's name, don't even ask.

I've constructed most of Konanova's career trajectory based off of Excelsior's post on post-Soviet Ukraine. Basically, she got elected to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) in the first election after her father became president, then replaced Petrenko as justice minister after the Independence Day attacks mentioned in the write-up both as a show of defiance to the attackers who had killed her mother/Konanov's wife, but also because he needed someone he could rely on. From there, it dovetails with the write-up: she's sacked by Sobolevsky, starts her own party and then defeats him to become president.

I figured that she would have been married at some point, but reverted to her own name after divorcing her husband.
Most of the information for South Africa was established here. Parts of Radebe's biography are inspired by OTL president Cyril Rampahosa's, including being on his third wife and graduating from the University of South Africa. Similarly, he was detained by the government during the uprisings in his home town of Soweto in 1976 despite not being involved, and was a trade union activist that led unions who fought against apartheid.

Unlike Ramaphosa, Radebe does not leave politics for the private sector, remaining an MP for the ANC until 2007, when he is elected to the party's National Executive Committee. From there, his career largely synchs up with Ramaphosa: he becomes deputy president of the ANC in 2012 and then becomes vice president in 2014 after new elections. He becomes president of both South Africa and the ANC when Tambo resigns.
Yes, we decided making Darth Vader into a cabinet secretary and senator wasn't enough. He needed to be a pope.

Shaw was established as Victor IV (Sidney Poitier)'s predecessor way back in 2011 by Prometheus_2300 during his write-up of the Vatican, which I've relied on. Most of what I've added are basically his previous roles, with his role as Archbishop of Westminster taken from two of the English Catholic cardinals (John Heenan and Basil Hume) who were around IOTL when Whittaker/Paul VII would have been IOTL, with Whittaker/Paul VII replacing Hume as Heenan's successor in the role ITTL.

I established Paul VII's arms and explanation for his sainthood in this post (and notes). Paul VII's patronage of trachea and lung ailments is my reference to Prometheus establishing Paul VII having to rely on a device hooked up to his trachea to speak after a tracheotomy. Which, of course, is itself an allusion to Vader.
 
What was the rationale for altering the papacy but keeping other things like the royal family the same?
Fair question, but it was the show itself, it mentioned Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh on a couple of occasions (Lionel Tribbey mentioned his cricket batwas given to him by the Queen & both the Queen and the Duke where mentioned during the "Wedding" episode). The Pope is mentioned during the show but not by name.
 
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How about some international infoboxes to break up the stories about American political squabbling? Hat tip to @Excelsior for the photo of Radebe.


Cast (all previously established)
Nikki Amuka-Bird as Andrea Benn
Vera Farmiga as Nastia Konanova
Fred Amugi as Calvin Radebe
Sebastian Shaw as Paul VII

Benn's biography was done here.

The only real thing I've added his her predecessor as MP for Darlington.
Konanova was established as "Nastia Konanov", which isn't how patronymic names work in Ukrainian. I even referred to her as such in the infobox for her election, before realizing later that that was incorrect. No, I'm not editing the election infobox to add a single letter to Konanova's name, don't even ask.

I've constructed most of Konanova's career trajectory based off of Excelsior's post on post-Soviet Ukraine. Basically, she got elected to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) in the first election after her father became president, then replaced Petrenko as justice minister after the Independence Day attacks mentioned in the write-up both as a show of defiance to the attackers who had killed her mother/Konanov's wife, but also because he needed someone he could rely on. From there, it dovetails with the write-up: she's sacked by Sobolevsky, starts her own party and then defeats him to become president.

I figured that she would have been married at some point, but reverted to her own name after divorcing her husband.
Most of the information for South Africa was established here. Parts of Radebe's biography are inspired by OTL president Cyril Rampahosa's, including being on his third wife and graduating from the University of South Africa. Similarly, he was detained by the government during the uprisings in his home town of Soweto in 1976 despite not being involved, and was a trade union activist that led unions who fought against apartheid.

Unlike Ramaphosa, Radebe does not leave politics for the private sector, remaining an MP for the ANC until 2007, when he is elected to the party's National Executive Committee. From there, his career largely synchs up with Ramaphosa: he becomes deputy president of the ANC in 2012 and then becomes vice president in 2014 after new elections. He becomes president of both South Africa and the ANC when Tambo resigns.
Yes, we decided making Darth Vader into a cabinet secretary and senator wasn't enough. He needed to be a pope.

Shaw was established as Victor IV (Sidney Poitier)'s predecessor way back in 2011 by Prometheus_2300 during his write-up of the Vatican, which I've relied on. Most of what I've added are basically his previous roles, with his role as Archbishop of Westminster taken from two of the English Catholic cardinals (John Heenan and Basil Hume) who were around IOTL when Whittaker/Paul VII would have been IOTL, with Whittaker/Paul VII replacing Hume as Heenan's successor in the role ITTL.

I established Paul VII's arms and explanation for his sainthood in this post (and notes). Paul VII's patronage of trachea and lung ailments is my reference to Prometheus establishing Paul VII having to rely on a device hooked up to his trachea to speak after a tracheotomy. Which, of course, is itself an allusion to Vader.
From a meta perspective the rationale I had for Paul VII was that Victor IV was already established, and so was Paul’s name but very little about him. If Victor IV was a liberal reformer, and so was the John Paul II expy (As I didn’t like the implications of having JP2’s just never happening so an expy was needed in the immediate post-Vatican II period) then the pope between the two must have been very conservative. At the time Benedict XVI was pope and some labeled him Pope Palpatine, and I just leaned into that. My originally idea for casting of Ian McDiarmind was already taken so thus Pope Vader.
 
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