2018 Presidential Election

Are there any signs of the PM calling an election, given it needs to be held by September?
It is actually October, it isn't a straight five years from election, if you look at OTL. It was April 9th 1992 with the next election on May 1st 1997. The last date the PM could call an election is Thursday October 5th.

As for calling a General Election, at this stage, no point, although the Tories have edged themselves level, Labour would still have a small advantage in terms of seats, if the current polling reflected the actual result, it would produce the Hung Parliament from hell, and almost certainly another election within a few months. Duggan will see how the local elections go on May 4th, and hope for a "feel good factor" from the Kings Coronation on May 6th.
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Senate confirms Gomez as Energy Secretary

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

The Senate today ratified President Seaborn's choice of former Texas lieutenant governor Ralph Gomez (D) to be the nation's next Secretary of Energy. Gomez, who served under former vice president John Hoynes during the disgraced former vice president's brief political comeback, was confirmed by a large 65 to 33 margin, replacing former secretary Joan Tanner, who left office in early January.

Gomez, the first Latino to serve as Secretary of Energy, was opposed by several environmentalist organizations, including the Sierra Club, for his past association with several Texas-based oil companies and his statements during his confirmation hearing that he did not oppose further drilling for natural gas to meet America's energy needs, although he declined to answer questions about drilling in specific federal lands or protected lands. Gomez also reiterated his support for more robust energy and power grid standards, and said he was "enraged" by the Texas power grid's failures due to cold weather in February 2021, a problem exacerbated by most of Texas' power being outside the purview of federal regulations.

"If I am confirmed, I will work with elected officials at all levels of government to try and prevent something like [the 2021 Texas power crisis] from ever happening again." Gomez said in his confirmation testimony.

With Gomez's confirmation, only two Cabinet agencies, the Department of Commerce and Department of Transportation do not yet have permanent secretaries confirmed by the Senate. Two other Cabinet-level positions (Ambassador to the United Nations and administrator of the Small Business Administration) also have nominees that are yet to be confirmed or rejected by the Senate.
Haven't done one of these in a while. Some infobox of some new (and one returning) characters:


Sterling K. Brown as Bobby Tyler
Francis Jue as Shi Xinling (new casting)
Nat Faxon as Mark Gilmore (new casting)
Jorja Fox as Gina Toscano

Most of this is just from Tyler's biography. His predecessor as Richmond mayor was a person established in the old thread.

Tyler is the highest-ranking African-American in US history ITTL and the second vice president with non-white ancestry after Charles Curtis. He's also continuign the trend of every Democratic president since D. Wire Newman having two vice presidents (Bartlet had Hoynes & Russell, Santos had Baker & Tripplehorn, Seaborn of course had Hunter before Tyler).

An interesting fact is that since the last election where all major party candidates were OTL politicians (1976), TTL has seen four current and former governors become vice president (George P. Bush, Roland Pierce, Eric Baker & Bobby Tyler) while IOTL Mike Pence was the only vice president in the past 46 years to have gubernatorial experience.
Shi is the new leader of China, so probably the second or third most powerful person in the world. He has already assumed the Chinese Communist Party roles that every paramount leader has and will take over the official state roles (including becoming president) from Qian Min, the man he replaced.
Gilmore is the new RNC chair who is tasked with picking up the pieces after 2022 and re-taking Congress from the Democrats. His backstory as a Walken WH staffer & former Florida GOP chair were previously established.

His position of WH Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations is a slight retcon to explain why there were multiple deputy COS in the (especially early) Walken White House when the show seemed to imply it was normal for the White House Chief of Staff to have only one deputy at a time, with no ones tasked with specific functions. This way there aren't any major retcons of the Walken White House's stable of "main characters" during the Walken era. As you can tell, this position wasn't retained in the current administration.
After a 21 year absence (her last show appearance was in October 2000), Jorja Fox returns to TWWverse. Her infobox doesn't give away what she's been up to since Rosslyn (I covered this briefly in the article announcing her return), but does show the fact (unmentioned in the article) that she married a few years into the Santos era. Her introduction scene (link) established some details about her biography, including her age (27 as of early 2000) alma mater and having become an Army officer thanks to the ROTC.

I chose to have her be a native-born Virginian because of her attendance at UVA and also given her actor's name is a homonym for "Georgia", her being a southerner just felt right. Officers commissioned via ROTC are required to serve eight years, so Gina still had her commission while working in the Secret Service until 2003, although given her statement that she prepared for her Secret Service assignment for "a year and a half" before early 2000, she probably only spent about three years on active duty before being moved to the reserves. While she was confirmed to be a second lieutenant (the rank all Army officers start out at upon commission), I figured that eight years plus her being one of the agents that came out of Rosslyn as an undisputed hero (noticing the spotter & shooters giving her colleagues a split-second warning before the gunmen opened fire, saving Zoey's life & possibly Charlie's by pushing past him to cover Zoey as the gunmen opened fire), I figure that she would get at least one promotion above lieutenant by the time she left the service.
Francis Jue as Shi Xinling
I approve of the casting, Jue was great in Madam Secretary.

Though with Qian I am amazed that the CCP has not yet announce his sad passing due to an "undisclosed health issue". I always figure if Qian ousted he would be killed.

I keep forgeting people who had smaller parts in the West Wing before they got famous or more famous, Jorja Fox and Nick Offerman as examples.

Monday February 27th, 2023

2023 Gubernatorial Elections

On November 7th, five states will go to the polls to elect governors. Two of the term limited governors Oregon's Walter Collins and South Carolina's Ethan Butler are among those already seen as the probable front-runners for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2026.

Here we preview each election:

Governor Mark Hampton (R) (Running for re-election)
Primary election: May 16th
Governor Hampton who is running for re-election in his own right after taking over from disgraced former Governor Ed Barrie in March last year, has attempted to distance himself from his former boss. With former Democratic Governor Chris Mannix declining to run for his old job and instead running and winning the election for the Senate last November, the Democrats are likely to turn to a candidate with vast pulling power in the state, businessman Kyle Bowles, the son of popular now retired Senator Calvin Bowles. Bowles will have high name recognition, and the likely support of his Father's donors and has no serious opponents for the nomination. Independent Leo George has already announced that he will be running for the governorship for a third time as an independent progressive .
Governor Alan Fisk (D) (Term-Limited)
Primary election: August 8th
Former Bartlet administration Attorney General Alan Fisk was the probably the only Democrat able to win in these traditionally Republican state , but once he's gone, there's no one who can keep his coalition together, much less in an off-year election. Fisk's lieutenant governor is Jonas Watts. Mississippi is a state where the lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor, so his deputy is a Conservative Republican. The likely Democratic nominee is the little known State Rep Terrance Potter.
Governor Walter Collins (R) (Term-Limited)
Primary election: May 16th
Governor Collins is one of those almost certainly going to run for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2026. He has won twice in a state that leans Democrat, and can clearly keep Conservatives, "Vinick Republicans" and independents happy. As whom is to replace him in Mahonia Hall we are very likely to have an interesting primary fight in both parties. The Republican lieutenant governor Cliff Connell, is a former Democrat who only split with his former party over criminal justice issues. He has already declared that he is running, along with someone with no previous political experience, former TV News anchor Amber Noble. Noble who worked for Kaew-TV in the state, before leaving last year, citing "editorial differences" and her open support for Patty King in Georgia. She has grown very vocal in support of the views given by the likes of Rep King declaring that "George Soros was the head of a vast plot to turn the United States into a Communist State" and that the United States should have "nuked Vietnam" during the Vietnam war. On the Democratic side, the front runner is State Senate Majority Leader, Kristin Pullman, who is openly gay, although she has been joined by Kate Lindsay, the Speaker of the Oregon House of Reps, who narrowly failed to unseat Republican Senator Curtis Ryan in 2020. Debbie Kelly has already declared for the Socialist Party and received the support of the state Green party who have agreed not to run a candidate.
South Carolina
Ethan Butler (R) (Term-Limited)
Primary election: June 13th
Governor Butler is the other Governor that is appearing on top or near the top of the probable front runners for the Republican presidential nomination in 2026. Butler has built a name for himself as Conservative Republican, but has focused on many issues traditionally seen as Democratic ones, such as homelessness and domestic violence against women. Congressman Todd Winters is the likely Republican candidate with State Rep Lewis Brunden for the Democrats who is regarded as the best of a poor bunch candidates for the Democrats.
Janet Lorton (D) (No term limits)
Primary election: August 8th
Governor Lorton basically has a job for life if she wants it, with the state having no term limits for Governor. She is running for a fifth term, and would need just to serve a further year to beat George Clinton to become the longest-serving state governor in the nations history. One only Republican so far has shown any interest of running against her, state Senator Brandon Teller.

(With thanks to @lord caedus & @MountainDew17 )
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I know New Hampshire and Vermont extended their governors' term to four years at some point ITTL but why does the latter hold their elections in odd-numbered years?
I know New Hampshire and Vermont extended their governors' term to four years at some point ITTL but why does the latter hold their elections in odd-numbered years?
I guess the writers just want to even out the gubernatorial races and not have too many races in one cycle.

Friday March 3rd, 2023

Labour leader Jack Coll to return work on Monday

Labour leader Jack Coll will return to work on Monday having absent from his role during February since after having surgery to remove his gallbladder.

There been increasing worries within the parliamentary Labour party with the continued absence of the leader just over two months to the local elections on May 4th, which will be followed by the General Election which has to held by October 5th. His deputy, Victoria Thorpe had stood in for him at PMQ's and with media appearances, including an appearance on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg last weekend in which she gave an performance described by many as a "car crash".

In a press statement Coll said that he was "fully recovered" and that he now felt "fantastic" before thanking the NHS and it's staff for his treatment.
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Top Stories This Week

Senate votes to raise federal minimum wage to $10.50 by 2025

Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

After weeks of behind-the-scenes wrangling, a Republican filibuster over an increase in the federal minimum wage was stopped soon after it began on Wednesday with ten Republicans joining all 51 Democrats to end debate on a proposed increase to the federal minimum wage, the first time both chambers of Congress have passed an increase since 2007. Republicans threatened a filibuster over the legislation to raise the federal minimum wage, currently set at $7.25 per hour, to $12.00 by 2025, which Senate Minority Leader Cody Riley (R-AL) said would "lead to runaway inflation" and harm economic growth. The Democratic majority, after discussions with Republicans from states with minimum wages higher than the federal minimum, amended the proposal to raise the federal minimum to $10.50 per hour by 2025, securing enough votes to short-circuit an attempted filibuster begun by senator Jim Doldier (R-AL) over the legislation by passing the 60-vote threshold for cloture.

After the filibuster was stopped, the Senate voted 56-33 to raise the minimum wage, with five Republicans who voted to end debate voting against the bill as proposed. The amended bill will need to be passed by the Democratic-controlled House before it goes to President Seaborn's desk, where the president has signaled his intent to sign it. Currently, 20 states have a minimum wage rate at the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. The District of Columbia currently has the highest minimum wage in the nation ($16.10 per hour), although Hawaii's minimum wage will rise to $18 per hour in 2028.

Messina to face Rodriguez in Chicago run-off
Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Incumbent mayor Hank Messina will face congressman Pedro Rodriguez (D) in Chicago's mayoral runoff election in April after the two emerged as the top vote-getters in Tuesday's first round of voting. Messina, who was elected mayor in 2019, emerged as the top candidate with roughly 41 percent of the vote, followed by Rodriguez, who represents southwest Chicago and parts of both suburban Cook County and DuPage County, at 33 percent. Other major candidates included labor leader Dawn Peterson (12 percent) and former mayor Harold Lorenzo (9 percent).

The runoff election has been pitched as a battle between different wings of the Democratic Party, overwhelmingly dominant in Chicago (although local elections in Illinois are officially non-partisan) with Messina attracting supporters from more moderate or establishment figures within the party, including his former employer, Speaker of the House Daniel Maddox (D-IL), while Rodriguez has cast himself as a progressive outsider.

Haitian president resigns amid protests
Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

Haitian president Michel Philippe resigned on Thursday after weeks of protests against his government following the massive February 4th earthquake that has been estimated to have killed over 2,500 Haitians and resulted in widespread devastation to the country's infrastructure. Citing "threats against the Haitian people and state" by unnamed foreign actors, Philippe transmitted his resignation mere hours before he left the country for Panama. Senate president Jean-René Sicot assumed office as provisional president.

Philippe took power in a 2018 coup and won a four-year term in 2021 in an election that has been universally seen by international observers as fraudulent. Throughout his presidency, he faced continuous protests as a result of endemic corruption and government oppression. Just prior to the February earthquake, prosecutors in the United States and Canada issued sanctions against several of Philippe's family members and close associates, accusing them of money laundering, tax fraud and collaborating with narcotics traffickers.

Matteo confirmed as Transportation Secretary
Monday, February 27th, 2023

The United States Senate easily confirmed Small Business Administration (SBA) administrator and former senator Damon Matteo (D-IN) to the position of Secretary of Transportation on Monday. Matteo sailed through on a 91-6 confirmation vote to head the department, which is reeling from several high-profile train derailments in recent weeks that have drawn congressional ire. The new secretary pledged a "thorough review" of national rail carriers' adherences to federal regulations as well as their existing or non-existing "safety culture." President Seaborn has nominated businesswoman Eliana Vela Arango to replace Matteo as SBA head.


Will Sam do anything about health care a la the Affordable Care Act?
Is Sam going to have any major crisis, overseas conflict, or scandal coming up? After all Bartlett had the MS scandal, the Zoey Bartlett kidnapping, the space shuttle scandal, Gaza, and the war in Kazakhstan to deal with. The problem with political news stories is that politics is kind of wonky and boring for the average person.
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Will Sam do anything about health care a la the Affordable Care Act?
Considering we've had him mention healthcare reform in every single Inaugural/State of the Union speech, and I wrote a story about a healthcare summit at the White House starting tomorrow that will help formulate a plan to send to Congress, I'm going to go ahead and say "probably".

Is Sam going to have any major crisis, overseas conflict, or scandal coming up? After all Bartlett had the MS scandal, the Zoey Bartlett kidnapping, the space shuttle scandal, Gaza, and the war in Kazakhstan to deal with.
1. The war in Qumar is still ongoing, and the US is also taking part in overseeing the Turkish withdrawal from Cyprus. The reason those stories aren't big news is because they're either very low-intensity conflicts at the moment (Qumar) or entirely peaceful and orderly (Cyprus).
2. What would be the point of telling you all the stories we have planned before we post them on the thread?

The problem with political news stories is that politics is kind of wonky and boring for the average person.
This is literally a fan continuation of the most well-known and influential American political drama series ever made, using the medium of news stories and reports.

We're kind of assuming that anyone reading has a slightly higher interest in American politics than the random person on the street.

Ok, it's only one state. There still has to be an in-universe explanation.
A lot of other states' gubernatorial election cycles got moved around as part of the presidential election cycle's realignment. So it's probably something to do with that.
Regarding Vermont being changed, it would have been back in 2009, I can't even remember who did it (we had a lot of people who did stuff in the early days, and I didn't have as much control as I do know).
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Regarding Vermont being changed, it would have been back in 2009, I can't even remember who did it (we had a lot of people who did stuff in the early days, and I didn't have as much control as I do know).
Fair enough. I just really love the work you guys do in keeping my favorite show alive so I like immersing myself in this universe as much as one can.

Chen confirmed as Commerce Secretary, becomes first Asian-American Cabinet secretary

Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Businessman Danny Chen was confirmed by the Senate today to fill the vacant position of Secretary of Commerce, becoming the first Asian-American to serve as a Cabinet secretary. In a 74-23 vote, the Senate ratified Chen's nomination to replace Stephen Collins, the former member of Congress and head of the Democratic National Committee who had spent two years in the role.

Chen, whose financial disclosures reveal is now the wealthiest member of the Cabinet, has stated his intention to take a hands-on approach to preparing for what he called the "long voyage" to the 2030 national census (a responsibility of the Census Bureau, an agency within the Commerce Department).

"I don't expect to be the person leading the department during the next census," Chen said at his nomination hearings. "But I want whoever is overseeing the [Commerce] department to have had a running head start by the time the Census Bureau begins its work."

Unlike President Seaborn's first-term Cabinet confirmations, where the nomination of former First Lady Abigail Bartlet was rejected by the Republican-held Senate, his second term's nominations have nearly concluded with little fuss. Only two Cabinet-level positions, ambassador to the United Nations and administrator of the Small Business Administration, remain unfilled.
Finally finished this secret project I'd been working on: a page showing all 100 members of the Senate, with every single senator being casted.

A big shout-out to Excelsior for helping to cast a lot of the Senate class of 2022 & some of the other ones we'd been lacking casted actors for. Of course, this is a long collaborative effort stretching from a few show characters (besides Lou Thornton, Hubert Smith is the Arkansas congressman who helped Santos pass Bartlet's stem-cell bill) to people cast by Marky, disputed, MD17 and myself, along with contributors like Tim Thomason, Kahuku, Prometheus & many others.

Another shout-out to FaceApp for helping me remove/clean up some of the beards on pictures for some actors who have taken to having unkempt facial hair in all their media appearances.

The only new things (besides snazzy pictures) are the previous offices for several senators, as well as the current residences for the many more. For those who were state legislators or House members before making it to the Senate, the "previous position" is only for the last district they represented (i.e. if they were redistricted from another seat before getting elected to the Senate, that isn't listed here).

Rather than list out all 100(!) characters and the actors who portray them, check out the 118th Congress roster and highlight the row they're on to see the secret text listing their actor.

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