2018 Presidential Election

Anything different with Harry and Meghan or Andrew?
Generally speaking the Royal Family unlike other governments, pairs with OTL pretty closely (I think there was brief time where the "Casting" for the Queen was Helen Mirren but that never stuck). Generally Royal Family drama is not the focus of the project.
 
Generally speaking the Royal Family unlike other governments, pairs with OTL pretty closely (I think there was brief time where the "Casting" for the Queen was Helen Mirren but that never stuck). Generally Royal Family drama is not the focus of the project.
Probably for the best, divisive issues in this timeline are one thing but bringing real world ones in would be a bit much!
 
Generally speaking the Royal Family unlike other governments, pairs with OTL pretty closely (I think there was brief time where the "Casting" for the Queen was Helen Mirren but that never stuck). Generally Royal Family drama is not the focus of the project.
Exacatly, King Charles 3rd is the King in both worlds, he came onto the throne at the same, he is married to Camilla, and the death of Dianna still took place but with Ricky Meyer as PM. We have avoided the "soap opera" part of the Royal Family.
 
The governor's list train keeps on chugging, getting us up to 36 states.

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Lists of United States Governors (1985-present)
AL • AK • AZARCA • CO • CTDE FLGA • HI • ID • ILIN • IA • KS • KY LA • ME • MDMAMIMN • MS • MO • MT • NE • NV • NHNJNMNYNC • ND • OHOK • OR • PARISC • SD • TN • TXUTVTVA • WA • WV • WI • WY
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Governors of Oregon
32. 1979-1987: Victor G. Atiyeh (Republican)
Elections: 1978, 1982
33. 1987-1992: Edwin Peterson (Democratic)
Elections: 1986, 1987
34. 1992-1996: Robert Kishinevsky (Democratic)
Elections: 1991
35. 1996-2004: George Allard (Republican)
Elections: 1995, 1999
36. 2004-2012: Harris Ryan (Democratic)
Elections: 2003, 2007
37. 2012-2016: Paul Chang (Democratic)
Elections: 2011
38. 2016-2024: Walter Collins (Republican)
Elections: 2015, 2019
39. 2024-2028: Kristin Pullman (Democratic)
Elections: 2023

To explain Oregon's deviation from its OTL schedule, ITTL Oregon quickly wrote and passed a ballot initiative to realign the election cycle once the Supreme Court allowed the early termination of Ronald Reagan's second term, taking place alongside D. Wire Newman's victory in the 1986 election. However, the initiative meant to realign the cycle to the midterm (OTL presidential election) cycle accidentally excluded the word "second" from the key section: "The governor and lieutenant governor will be elected to a four-year term in the second November after this measure is ratified."

So new governor Peterson (a new creation alongside Kishinevsky)'s first term was only a year long, and really screwed him, because he was unable to run for a second consecutive four-year term because of it.

As you can guess, Oregon has term limits on their governors, but they only limit governors to serving eight years out of any in a 12-year period. So both Governor Pullman and any of her living predecessors could run in 2027.

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Governors of South Dakota
27. 1979-1987: Bill Janklow (Republican)
Elections: 1978, 1982
28. 1987-1993: George Masterson (Republican)†
Elections: 1986, 1990
29. 1993-2003: Steve Hillard (Republican)
Elections: 1994, 1998
30. 2003-2011: Chuck Rollins (Republican)
Elections: 2002, 2006
31. 2011-2019: Tim Masters (Republican)
Elections: 2010, 2014
32. 2019-2027: Richard Dean (Republican)
Elections: 2018, 2022

To absolutely no one's surprise, South Dakota's governors ITTL since 1979 are also all Republican. Masterson and Hillard are the only new creations, and the only two involved in an intra-term vacancy, in this case, Hillard succeeding to the office after Masterson died.

As you can probably tell, South Dakota has a two-term limit, although it only affects people elected to the office twice (which is why Hillard managed to serve two terms and the last year of Masterson's second term). As such, incumbent Richard Dean can't run again in 2026, but will be eligible to run again in 2030 if he so desires.

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Governors of Tennessee
45. 1979-1983: Lamar Alexander (Republican)
Elections: 1978
46. 1983-1991: Bob McCannon (Democratic)
Elections: 1982, 1986
47. 1991-1999: Harlan Benedict (Republican)
Elections: 1990, 1994
48. 1999-2007: Edward Pratt (Republican)
Elections: 1998, 2002
49. 2007-2011: John Roberts (Democratic)
Elections: 2006
50. 2011-2019: Shane Denham (Republican)
Elections: 2010, 2014
51. 2019-2027: Terrance Klein (Democratic)
Elections: 2018, 2022

The two new entries in Tennessee's governors are McCannon and Benedict, who are filling in the gaps in what I think of as the gubernatorial equivalent of the Dark Ages--that sweet spot of time between the 1985 POD and governors who were either in office or had just left office when the old thread kicked off.

Tennessee has a mini-POD here with the 1978 constitutional amendment allowing governors to succeed themselves being delayed by six years, meaning GOP wunderkind Lamar Alexander stays in Australia after leaving office rather than stay around and raise questions about OTL figures' post-POD electoral involvement stayinvolved in Tennessee politics.

Governor John Roberts (no, not that one) had health issues and so didn't run for re-election. Otherwise, every incumbent governor since Tennessee began allowing governors to serve two four-year terms has been re-elected.

Tennessee doesn't allow for governors to serve more than two consecutive terms, so incumbent Terrance Klein is ineligible to run in 2026. But he, his successor and any of his living predecessors will be allowed to run in 2030 if they so choose.

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Governors of Wisconsin
38. 1971-1977: Patrick Lucey (Democratic)
Elections: 1970, 1974
39. 1977-1987: Martin Lanford (Democratic)
Elections: 1978, 1982
40. 1987-1995: George Steube (Republican)
Elections: 1986, 1990
41. 1995-2003: Nolan Kinnaird (Republican)
Elections: 1994, 1998
42. 2003-2015: Mark Katzenmoyer (Democratic)
Elections: 2002, 2006, 2010
43. 2015-2019: Stephen Robson (Democratic)
Elections: 2014
44. 2019-2023: Mark Croft (Republican)
Elections: 2018
45. 2023-2027: Chris Bock (Democratic)
Elections: 2022

Surprisingly, I only had to create one new character (Steube) for Wisconsin. Lucey is the last shared OTL/TTL governor (I had to keep him around because he was John Anderson's running mate in 1980), and also the only one on this list who caused an intra-term vacancy when he was appointed as ambassador to Mexico under Jimmy Carter.

Wisconsin doesn't have term limits, so current governor Bock is free to see if he can keep the support of Wisconsin voters long enough to equal or surpass Mark Katzenmoyer's three terms in Madison.
 
Trying something new. Enjoy this long-form set of infoboxes & write-ups, with a terrorism theme!

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Osama bin Laden (March 10, 1957 – May 11, 2002) was a Saudi-born Islamic dissident and militant leader who served as the founder and first leader of the Al Qaeda (Arabic: "The Base") terrorist group from 1988 until his death in 2002. Bin Laden is most widely known as the mastermind behind the 1998 attacks on the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzani and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

The son of a billionaire construction magnate, bin Laden studied at Saudi universities before leaving to join the Islamic mujahideen to fight in the Soviet-Afghan War in 1979. In 1984, he co-founded Maktab al-Khidamat to recruit foreign mujahideen to join the war. Four years later, he founded Al Qaeda as part of a new mission to spread global jihad ("struggle", commonly translated as "holy war"), taking over and absorbing Maktab al-Khidamat a year later.

Bin Laden's anti-American and pan-Islamist views resulted in his expulsion from Saudi Arabia in 1991 following the Persian Gulf War, and the Saudi state revoked his citizenship three years later, rendering him stateless. Following his expulsion, bin Laden moved Al Qaeda's headquarters to Sudan, where it would stay until Sudan expelled him after immense pressure from the United States and other western nations. He and Al Qaeda moved their headquarters to Afghanistan, supported by the Taliban, a militant Islamic fundamentalist group that served as the de facto government over much of Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001. It was from there that bin Laden orchestrated the attacks on the United States embassies in Africa and called for holy war against the United States.

Subsequently, Bin Laden was added to the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted and Most Wanted Fugitives list after being indicted in a US federal district court for criminal charges related to the attacks on the American embassies. Cruise missile strikes against Al Qaeda training camps authorized by President Owen Lassiter, later revealed to have partially been motivated by an attempt to assassinate Bin Laden himself, greatly degraded Al Qaeda's capacity and killed several of Bin Laden's key lieutenants. In 2000, Al Qaeda claimed credit of the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in harbor at Yemen, which killed 17 American sailors.

Following the Taliban's defeat in the Second Battle of Kabul in 2001, bin Laden reportedly ordered Al Qaeda to relocate into the borderlands of Pakistan. On May 11, 2002, Bin Laden and several associates boarded a small airplane to fly from Jalalabad to an undisclosed destination in Pakistan, reportedly to meet with agents of the ISI, Pakistan's top intelligence agency, to negotiate the locations for clandestine training camps in remote areas near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The plane never arrived, although Al Qaeda leadership claimed to have remained in contact with Bin Laden for several years after his disappearance. The relocation to Pakistan and disappearance of its founder resulted in Al Qaeda falling into disarray and infighting until Saeed al-Masri reportedly leveraged his knowledge over the group's scattered financial assets to become the organization's acting leader in bin Laden's absence several years later.

In 2011, wreckage from a small airplane, matching the description of the one Bin Laden departed in was found near Lal Pur, Afghanistan. DNA testing confirmed that one of the skeletons recovered from the wreckage had belonged to bin Laden, confirming his death nine years prior. No investigation was made into the cause of the crash, and leading theories range from pilot error to the plane being destroyed by a surface-to-air missile.

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Benjamin Kengele Boma (August 12, 1950 – October 21, 2010) was a Central African politician, educator and activist who served as the seventh President of the Central African Federation (CAF) from 2002 until his assassination in 2010.

Born in New Louisville to one of the few middle-class African families in the colonial city, Boma was only four years old when the French government split the French Congo into Congo-Ubangi (the modern CAF) and Gabon-Congo (modern-day Congo). Six years later, the Central African Federation would be granted its independence. Following the 1962 coup d'état that overthrew President Roger LeCarre, Boma would be arrested as a teenager for taking part in protests against the military regime, something which nearly cost his father his civil service job.

In part to escape the stifling control of the military junta, Boma went abroad to receive his education, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in 1972. He returned to the CAF the same year to become a teacher, and began organizing surreptitious pro-democracy protests in New Louisville. After four years of successfully hiding his identity, Boma was discovered by agents of the government and fled abroad just ahead of likely assassination. During his time in exile, he joined the Central African diaspora community and lobbied Western governments to help restore democracy to the CAF. While in exile, he also completed a Master of Arts degree from Oxford University in 1985.

Boma returned to the CAF permanently in 1988, following the peaceful overthrow of the military junta. He was offered, but turned down, a role in the government as a sop to the exile community, remaining an informal advisor while working to overhaul the country's education system. Ethnic and tribal tensions, and bitter recriminations about groups that had collaborated with the military regime led to the shaky coalition government collapsing and the country descending into civil war in 1992.

During the civil war, Boma was a tireless advocate for peace and national unity, personally undertaking numerous dangerous peace missions across the war-torn country to negotiate with factional leaders to allow for corridors for refugees to flee active warzones. In the final stages of the conflict, Boma co-founded the Federal Unity Party alongside several former tribal and militia leaders, aiming to end the cycle of ethnic and tribal favoritism and ensuing conflict that had been practiced since the country declared independence.

Following the end of the Central African Civil War in 2001, Boma became the first democratically-elected leader of the CAF following his victory in the 2002 presidential election. During his time in office, Boma oversaw the ratification of new constitution that re-established the Central African parliament, controversially gave unconditional amnesty to most participants in the recent conflict and presided over one of the most dramatic economic transformations in Africa since World War II. The "Boma miracle" resulted in a massive economic boom for the CAF with the government reaping the rewards from foreign investment in the country's natural resources, with Boma's coterie of technocratic regulators credited with allowing the country to collect massive tax revenues while limiting the amount lost to local corruption. During Boma's administration, the CAF regularly spent the most of any African nation on infrastructure, a feat owed in large part to the dividends from foreign investment and decades of neglect of existing structures.

Boma was easily re-elected to a second term in 2007, but was assassinated in the capital of New Louisville by a former bodyguard on October 21, 2010 before he could complete his final five-year term. No motive has been established for the assassination, although the assassin was suspected to have suffered a mental breakdown after being dismissed from service over allegations that he had participated in war crimes a decade prior. Boma's assassination resulted in days of riots in New Louisville and the deployment of Chinese military forces across several regions of the country. Prime Minister Jean-Luc Mugaba, Boma's ally and political protégé, became acting president upon Boma's death and was elected as the country's eighth president in the 2010 presidential election.

Boma is widely regarded as one of the greatest African leaders of the post-Cold War era and was globally lauded for his commitment to human rights and democracy. His model of economic management and governance has been studied by successive leaders of other developing nations, as is his governance in an ethnically diverse post-conflict state. Some aspects of his presidency, notably the warm relationship Boma fostered with the People's Republic of China and the amnesty extended to most combatants of the Central African Civil War, were criticized both during and after his presidency.

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Janet Marie Lorton (née Cherisse, born July 26, 1957) is an American politician and lawyer who has served as the 79th Governor of Vermont since 2008. A member of the Democratic Party, Lorton is the longest-serving female governor in US history as well as the longest-serving

Born as Janet Cherisse in New York City, Cherisse moved to Vermont to attend law school after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College in 1979. Following this, she and her fiancé Don Lorton joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), working to help relief efforts in Lebanon, Nicaragua and Ethiopia. She and Lorton would marry in 1981, and would have two children together before they divorced in 1993. She married her second husband, former Burlington city councilor Otto Tucker, in 1999.

The Lortons both left the ICRC after the birth of their first child, Kieran in 1986 to attend law school in Don Lorton's native Vermont, graduating in 1990. Following their divorce, Lorton worked in private practice in Burlington and began her political career as a member of several Democratic Party women's groups. In 2003, Lorton was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

During her time in private practice, Lorton served as chief counsel for the state of Vermont in several high-profile lawsuits, including the state's lawsuit against tobacco manufacturer R.J. Reynolds for unsubstantiated advertisement claims over reduced cancer risk compared to other tobacco manufacturers' products, and the state's unsuccessful legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (the Supreme Court would later rule most of the act unconstitutional in the 2013 case of United States v. Windsor and the 2019 case of Wilson v. Levin).

Following Republican governor Jim Donnet's 2006 announcement that he would not run for a third term, Lorton announced her run for governor in 2007. She won a crowded four-candidate primary, and then narrowly defeated Republican state auditor Calvin Green and Progressive Party nominee Tony Pascano to become Vermont's first female governor, taking office in January 2008. She has won re-election four times since, with her most recent victory coming in 2023.

During her tenure, Lorton signed legislation that legalized same-sex marriage in Vermont, implemented the country's first bill mandating labels of genetically-modified food (GMO), legalized adult recreational cannabis use in Vermont and the creation of Green Mountain Care, a state-based attempt to provide universal healthcare. Although Green Mountain Care has not resulted in universal coverage as of 2024, it greatly decreased the rates of uninsured people in Vermont in the years since its implementation in 2012. She also served as chair of the National Governors Association from 2010 to 2011.

Lorton was considered as a possible candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in both 2014 and 2018, although she declined to run both times. She was also rumored to be in consideration to be President Sam Seaborn's running mate in the 2022 presidential election, but did not appear on the list of 15 candidates under extended consideration accidentally released by the Seaborn campaign in May 2022.

Following the announcement that Utah Governor John Elderton will not seek re-election, Lorton is expected to become the nation's longest-serving incumbent governor when Elderton's final term ends on January 6, 2025.

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The Kennison State bombing was a domestic terrorist bombing of the Geiger Indoor Arena on the campus of Kennison State University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 24, 2002. The bombing was the deadliest act of terrorism in the United States since the Tulsa race riots of 1921, and was the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States perpetrated by an organized terrorist group until the July 17, 2015 terrorist attacks.

The attack was perpetrated by a paramilitary division of the far right and white separatist group Patriot Brotherhood, calling themselves the Liberationist Cause. At a women's swim meet involving women's swim teams from other Big Ten Conference schools, the Liberationist Cause planted two pipe bombs and detonated them at approximately 5:32 PM. The explosions and ensuing fire resulted in the deaths of 47 people and the injury of 108 more alongside the near-total destruction of the arena.

Within 24 hours of the attack, federal, state and local law enforcement had identified the perpetrators of the attack and the five members of the Liberationist Cause began an 11-day standoff with law enforcement in the Patriot Brotherhood's Cedar Rapids compound. Negotiations between the group and FBI negotiators failed to make headway, even after the FBI learned that a Patriot Brotherhood member's child inside the compound was gravely ill and needed medical attention. After the Patriot Brotherhood rejected pleas to turn over the child so he could be hospitalized, the FBI stormed the compound on October 6, 2002, killing one member of Patriot Brotherhood member and wounding another during the successful attempt to seize the compound and rescue the child.

During the subsequent trials, Patriot Brotherhood members explained the motivation for the attack was to retaliate for the McLean siege and use the attack to promote their ideas of white separatism, expressing the belief in the white genocide conspiracy theory.

Four Liberationist Cause members were convicted on 47 counts of first-degree murder, among other charges, for their role in carrying out the attack and received sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Ten more Patriot Brotherhood members received various sentences ranging from 20 to 80 years on a variety of state and federal convictions. As of 2024, three of the bombers remain in federal prison (Walt Whelker Jr., found guilty of manufacturing both bombs, died in prison in 2019).

The Geiger Indoor Arena was demolished in 2004 and a memorial was established on the site of the arena in 2009. Following the attack, President Josiah Bartlet signed the Antiterrorism Omnibus Bill in 2003 that increased the penalties for terrorism while increasing the number of crimes that could be charged under federal terrorism laws, and which greatly expanded federal regulations regarding plastic explosives and ammonium nitrate.

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Cast
Osama bin Laden as himself
Avery Brooks as Benjamin Boma
Nana Visitor as Janet Lorton (new casting)

  • I finally decided to tackle what happened to everyone's favorite mass-murdering terrorist ITTL. Bin Laden was mentioned by name in episodes that aired pre-9/11, but understandably was never brought up again afterwards. Al Qaeda was mentioned several times in seasons 6 & 7, even though their role as the main Islamic fundamentalist terrorist group was (and is) taken over by the Bahji. So this is my spin on explaining why there was such a gap between the mentions of bin Laden and Al Qaeda being brought up against by characters ITTL 2005 & 2006.
  • I liked Tim Thomason's idea that the Taliban were, at one point, the government in Afghanistan but fell from power at some point without the US/NATO intervention that it took OTL.
  • The idea of Bin Laden's death in a plane crash actually came from the fact that the Bin Laden family has lost multiple members in multiple plane crashes.
  • Saeed al-Masri was the RL financial chief for Al Qaeda and one of the organization's leaders who reportedly argued against carrying out the 9/11 attacks. I'd assume that by TTL's 2024, he's deceased just like RL.
  • Yes, Bin Laden really had around two dozen children. IRL he also had at least five wives, but his shorter life span here means he has to settle for four.
  • This is the only set of boxes that isn't really terrorist-related unless you count Boma's assassination as an act of terrorism.
  • Boma's infobox is a redux of one that I had done years ago, which for some reason I neglected to list the dates at which he was president.
  • A reminder that "Congo" ITTL refers only to the Republic of the Congo. The nation known IRL as the Democratic Republic of the Congo is still known as Zaire ITTL.
  • "Kengele" is the Swahili word for "bell". There's certainly no relation to a guy who will die in the Sanctuary District of San Francisco in seven months' time.
  • Boma being killed by a former bodyguard is inspired by OTL Congolese president Laurent-Désiré Kabila (who renamed Zaire to the DRC upon overthrowing Mobutu)'s assassination.
  • Of course Janet "Five Terms" Lorton was a good way to give another Star Trek alum a job! Several details were taken from Visitor's life, including Lorton's age and birthplace (the exact same as Visitor) and her maiden name (which was Visitor's mother's maiden name).
  • The "terrorist" connection here is Lorton's actor being the same one who played Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, whose backstory was that she was a former Bajoran resistance fighter who became second-in-command of the titular space station in the pilot. The show, clearly written before the September 11th terrorist attacks, had Kira explicitly call herself a terrorist on several occasions since, well, technically she was one (even if most people would probably consider violent resistance to a fascist occupation force that has enslaved most of the population and freely commits war crimes to be justified).
  • Lorton was established as not having any other political job before becoming governor (check the "random text from the wikipage"--Tim had great foresight there), so I had to be a little creative getting her into office. The case of Wilson v. Levin was TTL's case that ruled states cannot refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
  • The National Governors Association is a non-partisan group of the nation's governors, whose chair has rotated every year between a Democrat and a Republican.
  • Lorton's second husband's name is a combination of two references, one to her Star Trek character's final partner ("Otto" is the closest I could reasonably get to "Odo") and one to Visitor herself (whose real surname is "Tucker"). Her son Kieran's name is an obvious reference to her character Kira Nerys.
 
Trying something new. Enjoy this long-form set of infoboxes & write-ups, with a terrorism theme!

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fqV9X6w.png
Osama bin Laden (March 10, 1957 – May 11, 2002) was a Saudi-born Islamic dissident and militant leader who served as the founder and first leader of the Al Qaeda (Arabic: "The Base") terrorist group from 1988 until his death in 2002. Bin Laden is most widely known as the mastermind behind the 1998 attacks on the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzani and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

The son of a billionaire construction magnate, bin Laden studied at Saudi universities before leaving to join the Islamic mujahideen to fight in the Soviet-Afghan War in 1979. In 1984, he co-founded Maktab al-Khidamat to recruit foreign mujahideen to join the war. Four years later, he founded Al Qaeda as part of a new mission to spread global jihad ("struggle", commonly translated as "holy war"), taking over and absorbing Maktab al-Khidamat a year later.

Bin Laden's anti-American and pan-Islamist views resulted in his expulsion from Saudi Arabia in 1991 following the Persian Gulf War, and the Saudi state revoked his citizenship three years later, rendering him stateless. Following his expulsion, bin Laden moved Al Qaeda's headquarters to Sudan, where it would stay until Sudan expelled him after immense pressure from the United States and other western nations. He and Al Qaeda moved their headquarters to Afghanistan, supported by the Taliban, a militant Islamic fundamentalist group that served as the de facto government over much of Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001. It was from there that bin Laden orchestrated the attacks on the United States embassies in Africa and called for holy war against the United States.

Subsequently, Bin Laden was added to the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted and Most Wanted Fugitives list after being indicted in a US federal district court for criminal charges related to the attacks on the American embassies. Cruise missile strikes against Al Qaeda training camps authorized by President Owen Lassiter, later revealed to have partially been motivated by an attempt to assassinate Bin Laden himself, greatly degraded Al Qaeda's capacity and killed several of Bin Laden's key lieutenants. In 2000, Al Qaeda claimed credit of the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in harbor at Yemen, which killed 17 American sailors.

Following the Taliban's defeat in the Second Battle of Kabul in 2001, bin Laden reportedly ordered Al Qaeda to relocate into the borderlands of Pakistan. On May 11, 2002, Bin Laden and several associates boarded a small airplane to fly from Jalalabad to an undisclosed destination in Pakistan, reportedly to meet with agents of the ISI, Pakistan's top intelligence agency, to negotiate the locations for clandestine training camps in remote areas near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The plane never arrived, although Al Qaeda leadership claimed to have remained in contact with Bin Laden for several years after his disappearance. The relocation to Pakistan and disappearance of its founder resulted in Al Qaeda falling into disarray and infighting until Saeed al-Masri reportedly leveraged his knowledge over the group's scattered financial assets to become the organization's acting leader in bin Laden's absence several years later.

In 2011, wreckage from a small airplane, matching the description of the one Bin Laden departed in was found near Lal Pur, Afghanistan. DNA testing confirmed that one of the skeletons recovered from the wreckage had belonged to bin Laden, confirming his death nine years prior. No investigation was made into the cause of the crash, and leading theories range from pilot error to the plane being destroyed by a surface-to-air missile.

--------------------------------
FwvyPgZ.png
Benjamin Kengele Boma (August 12, 1950 – October 21, 2010) was a Central African politician, educator and activist who served as the seventh President of the Central African Federation (CAF) from 2002 until his assassination in 2010.

Born in New Louisville to one of the few middle-class African families in the colonial city, Boma was only four years old when the French government split the French Congo into Congo-Ubangi (the modern CAF) and Gabon-Congo (modern-day Congo). Six years later, the Central African Federation would be granted its independence. Following the 1962 coup d'état that overthrew President Roger LeCarre, Boma would be arrested as a teenager for taking part in protests against the military regime, something which nearly cost his father his civil service job.

In part to escape the stifling control of the military junta, Boma went abroad to receive his education, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in 1972. He returned to the CAF the same year to become a teacher, and began organizing surreptitious pro-democracy protests in New Louisville. After four years of successfully hiding his identity, Boma was discovered by agents of the government and fled abroad just ahead of likely assassination. During his time in exile, he joined the Central African diaspora community and lobbied Western governments to help restore democracy to the CAF. While in exile, he also completed a Master of Arts degree from Oxford University in 1985.

Boma returned to the CAF permanently in 1988, following the peaceful overthrow of the military junta. He was offered, but turned down, a role in the government as a sop to the exile community, remaining an informal advisor while working to overhaul the country's education system. Ethnic and tribal tensions, and bitter recriminations about groups that had collaborated with the military regime led to the shaky coalition government collapsing and the country descending into civil war in 1992.

During the civil war, Boma was a tireless advocate for peace and national unity, personally undertaking numerous dangerous peace missions across the war-torn country to negotiate with factional leaders to allow for corridors for refugees to flee active warzones. In the final stages of the conflict, Boma co-founded the Federal Unity Party alongside several former tribal and militia leaders, aiming to end the cycle of ethnic and tribal favoritism and ensuing conflict that had been practiced since the country declared independence.

Following the end of the Central African Civil War in 2001, Boma became the first democratically-elected leader of the CAF following his victory in the 2002 presidential election. During his time in office, Boma oversaw the ratification of new constitution that re-established the Central African parliament, controversially gave unconditional amnesty to most participants in the recent conflict and presided over one of the most dramatic economic transformations in Africa since World War II. The "Boma miracle" resulted in a massive economic boom for the CAF with the government reaping the rewards from foreign investment in the country's natural resources, with Boma's coterie of technocratic regulators credited with allowing the country to collect massive tax revenues while limiting the amount lost to local corruption. During Boma's administration, the CAF regularly spent the most of any African nation on infrastructure, a feat owed in large part to the dividends from foreign investment and decades of neglect of existing structures.

Boma was easily re-elected to a second term in 2007, but was assassinated in the capital of New Louisville by a former bodyguard on October 21, 2010 before he could complete his final five-year term. No motive has been established for the assassination, although the assassin was suspected to have suffered a mental breakdown after being dismissed from service over allegations that he had participated in war crimes a decade prior. Boma's assassination resulted in days of riots in New Louisville and the deployment of Chinese military forces across several regions of the country. Prime Minister Jean-Luc Mugaba, Boma's ally and political protégé, became acting president upon Boma's death and was elected as the country's eighth president in the 2010 presidential election.

Boma is widely regarded as one of the greatest African leaders of the post-Cold War era and was globally lauded for his commitment to human rights and democracy. His model of economic management and governance has been studied by successive leaders of other developing nations, as is his governance in an ethnically diverse post-conflict state. Some aspects of his presidency, notably the warm relationship Boma fostered with the People's Republic of China and the amnesty extended to most combatants of the Central African Civil War, were criticized both during and after his presidency.

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haDIWNE.png
Janet Marie Lorton (née Cherisse, born July 26, 1957) is an American politician and lawyer who has served as the 79th Governor of Vermont since 2008. A member of the Democratic Party, Lorton is the longest-serving female governor in US history as well as the longest-serving

Born as Janet Cherisse in New York City, Cherisse moved to Vermont to attend law school after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College in 1979. Following this, she and her fiancé Don Lorton joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), working to help relief efforts in Lebanon, Nicaragua and Ethiopia. She and Lorton would marry in 1981, and would have two children together before they divorced in 1993. She married her second husband, former Burlington city councilor Otto Tucker, in 1999.

The Lortons both left the ICRC after the birth of their first child, Kieran in 1986 to attend law school in Don Lorton's native Vermont, graduating in 1990. Following their divorce, Lorton worked in private practice in Burlington and began her political career as a member of several Democratic Party women's groups. In 2003, Lorton was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

During her time in private practice, Lorton served as chief counsel for the state of Vermont in several high-profile lawsuits, including the state's lawsuit against tobacco manufacturer R.J. Reynolds for unsubstantiated advertisement claims over reduced cancer risk compared to other tobacco manufacturers' products, and the state's unsuccessful legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (the Supreme Court would later rule most of the act unconstitutional in the 2013 case of United States v. Windsor and the 2019 case of Wilson v. Levin).

Following Republican governor Jim Donnet's 2006 announcement that he would not run for a third term, Lorton announced her run for governor in 2007. She won a crowded four-candidate primary, and then narrowly defeated Republican state auditor Calvin Green and Progressive Party nominee Tony Pascano to become Vermont's first female governor, taking office in January 2008. She has won re-election four times since, with her most recent victory coming in 2023.

During her tenure, Lorton signed legislation that legalized same-sex marriage in Vermont, implemented the country's first bill mandating labels of genetically-modified food (GMO), legalized adult recreational cannabis use in Vermont and the creation of Green Mountain Care, a state-based attempt to provide universal healthcare. Although Green Mountain Care has not resulted in universal coverage as of 2024, it greatly decreased the rates of uninsured people in Vermont in the years since its implementation in 2012. She also served as chair of the National Governors Association from 2010 to 2011.

Lorton was considered as a possible candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in both 2014 and 2018, although she declined to run both times. She was also rumored to be in consideration to be President Sam Seaborn's running mate in the 2022 presidential election, but did not appear on the list of 15 candidates under extended consideration accidentally released by the Seaborn campaign in May 2022.

Following the announcement that Utah Governor John Elderton will not seek re-election, Lorton is expected to become the nation's longest-serving incumbent governor when Elderton's final term ends on January 6, 2025.

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The Kennison State bombing was a domestic terrorist bombing of the Geiger Indoor Arena on the campus of Kennison State University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 24, 2002. The bombing was the deadliest act of terrorism in the United States since the Tulsa race riots of 1921, and was the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States perpetrated by an organized terrorist group until the July 17, 2015 terrorist attacks.

The attack was perpetrated by a paramilitary division of the far right and white separatist group Patriot Brotherhood, calling themselves the Liberationist Cause. At a women's swim meet involving women's swim teams from other Big Ten Conference schools, the Liberationist Cause planted two pipe bombs and detonated them at approximately 5:32 PM. The explosions and ensuing fire resulted in the deaths of 47 people and the injury of 108 more alongside the near-total destruction of the arena.

Within 24 hours of the attack, federal, state and local law enforcement had identified the perpetrators of the attack and the five members of the Liberationist Cause began an 11-day standoff with law enforcement in the Patriot Brotherhood's Cedar Rapids compound. Negotiations between the group and FBI negotiators failed to make headway, even after the FBI learned that a Patriot Brotherhood member's child inside the compound was gravely ill and needed medical attention. After the Patriot Brotherhood rejected pleas to turn over the child so he could be hospitalized, the FBI stormed the compound on October 6, 2002, killing one member of Patriot Brotherhood member and wounding another during the successful attempt to seize the compound and rescue the child.

During the subsequent trials, Patriot Brotherhood members explained the motivation for the attack was to retaliate for the McLean siege and use the attack to promote their ideas of white separatism, expressing the belief in the white genocide conspiracy theory.

Four Liberationist Cause members were convicted on 47 counts of first-degree murder, among other charges, for their role in carrying out the attack and received sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Ten more Patriot Brotherhood members received various sentences ranging from 20 to 80 years on a variety of state and federal convictions. As of 2024, three of the bombers remain in federal prison (Walt Whelker Jr., found guilty of manufacturing both bombs, died in prison in 2019).

The Geiger Indoor Arena was demolished in 2004 and a memorial was established on the site of the arena in 2009. Following the attack, President Josiah Bartlet signed the Antiterrorism Omnibus Bill in 2003 that increased the penalties for terrorism while increasing the number of crimes that could be charged under federal terrorism laws, and which greatly expanded federal regulations regarding plastic explosives and ammonium nitrate.

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Cast
Osama bin Laden as himself
Avery Brooks as Benjamin Boma
Nana Visitor as Janet Lorton (new casting)

  • I finally decided to tackle what happened to everyone's favorite mass-murdering terrorist ITTL. Bin Laden was mentioned by name in episodes that aired pre-9/11, but understandably was never brought up again afterwards. Al Qaeda was mentioned several times in seasons 6 & 7, even though their role as the main Islamic fundamentalist terrorist group was (and is) taken over by the Bahji. So this is my spin on explaining why there was such a gap between the mentions of bin Laden and Al Qaeda being brought up against by characters ITTL 2005 & 2006.
  • I liked Tim Thomason's idea that the Taliban were, at one point, the government in Afghanistan but fell from power at some point without the US/NATO intervention that it took OTL.
  • The idea of Bin Laden's death in a plane crash actually came from the fact that the Bin Laden family has lost multiple members in multiple plane crashes.
  • Saeed al-Masri was the RL financial chief for Al Qaeda and one of the organization's leaders who reportedly argued against carrying out the 9/11 attacks. I'd assume that by TTL's 2024, he's deceased just like RL.
  • Yes, Bin Laden really had around two dozen children. IRL he also had at least five wives, but his shorter life span here means he has to settle for four.
  • This is the only set of boxes that isn't really terrorist-related unless you count Boma's assassination as an act of terrorism.
  • Boma's infobox is a redux of one that I had done years ago, which for some reason I neglected to list the dates at which he was president.
  • A reminder that "Congo" ITTL refers only to the Republic of the Congo. The nation known IRL as the Democratic Republic of the Congo is still known as Zaire ITTL.
  • "Kengele" is the Swahili word for "bell". There's certainly no relation to a guy who will die in the Sanctuary District of San Francisco in seven months' time.
  • Boma being killed by a former bodyguard is inspired by OTL Congolese president Laurent-Désiré Kabila (who renamed Zaire to the DRC upon overthrowing Mobutu)'s assassination.
  • Of course Janet "Five Terms" Lorton was a good way to give another Star Trek alum a job! Several details were taken from Visitor's life, including Lorton's age and birthplace (the exact same as Visitor) and her maiden name (which was Visitor's mother's maiden name).
  • The "terrorist" connection here is Lorton's actor being the same one who played Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, whose backstory was that she was a former Bajoran resistance fighter who became second-in-command of the titular space station in the pilot. The show, clearly written before the September 11th terrorist attacks, had Kira explicitly call herself a terrorist on several occasions since, well, technically she was one (even if most people would probably consider violent resistance to a fascist occupation force that has enslaved most of the population and freely commits war crimes to be justified).
  • Lorton was established as not having any other political job before becoming governor (check the "random text from the wikipage"--Tim had great foresight there), so I had to be a little creative getting her into office. The case of Wilson v. Levin was TTL's case that ruled states cannot refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
  • The National Governors Association is a non-partisan group of the nation's governors, whose chair has rotated every year between a Democrat and a Republican.
  • Lorton's second husband's name is a combination of two references, one to her Star Trek character's final partner ("Otto" is the closest I could reasonably get to "Odo") and one to Visitor herself (whose real surname is "Tucker"). Her son Kieran's name is an obvious reference to her character Kira Nerys.
Is Abdul Shareef's plane the only one Bartlet made go down?
 
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Friday February 16th, 2023

Labour win Fylde by-election with a 15% swing


Labour won the Fylde by-election overturning a 15,000 majority to take the Lancashire seat by 976 votes, in the first parliamentary election since the general election last June.

The election was required following the resignation of former MP Louise Fletcher over sexual misconduct allegations. The seat was won by Labour's Patricia Walton with a near 15% swing. The Conservatives Daniel Bamber came second, with the NPP candidate Simon Riley polled almost 21% of the vote in third place.

Labour leader Patrick Brazil said it proved "People can trust Labour and where fed up with the Tories". Meanwhile Conservative Party chairman David Nightingale said it was "not a great result" for his party. However, he said the local context of the by-election was "not ideal".

Full Result
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Democratic National Committee makes major reforms to primaries ahead of 2026

Sunday, February 18th, 2024

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) will announce a series of major reforms to the party's process of selecting a presidential candidate at the start of their winter meeting tomorrow. Taken from the recommendations of a commission chaired by former governor and US Attorney General Alan Fisk of Mississippi, the changes will alter how Democrats choose President Seaborn's successor when they go to the polls in 2026.

The largest reform will be the end of winner-take-all contests in the party's presidential primaries, replaced by system where a supermajority of delegates will be chosen by a system of proportional representation. Other reforms will mandate state parties, when practicable, to move to hold primary elections instead of caucuses, enact same-day voter registration at their nominating contests, and move to an open primary process that allows voters who are not registered Democrats to vote in the party's nominating contests.

Winner-take-all elections have been used continuously in both major parties' primaries since the 1986 presidential election, when both parties moved to the system to accommodate the unprecedented realignment in the presidential election cycle. The system came under scrutiny after the 2014 election, when Senator Jimmy Fitzsimmons (MA) won the party's nomination, despite obtaining three million fewer votes than former Vice President Bob Russell, by winning close contests in several large, delegate-heavy states' primaries. But reform only stirred within the party's leadership circles after the Republican Party's 2018 and 2022 primaries, with the former resulting in the second brokered convention (after the 2006 Democratic National Convention) of the post-realignment era and the latter having polarizing former senator Alan Duke win the Republican nomination outright thanks to the party's system of allocating delegates allowing him to quickly rack up an insurmountable lead on slim pluralities.

The new system will require that states allow most of their delegates to be divided proportionally among candidates who win at least 15 percent of the statewide vote in a given contest, with a smaller amount (similarly recommended at being around 15 percent of a state's delegates) being awarded to the candidate who wins the most votes in the state.

DNC chair Angela Blake endorsed the report's recommendations, noting it had achieved "broad consensus from all corners of the party" within the 15-member commission.

"The Democratic Party is the party of the people, and with these changes, we are hoping to make the primary process more open, accessible and representative for our supporters and those interested in our ideas." Blake said in a statement announcing the changes.

Other changes, such as proposals to dramatically alter the primary calendar, were not recommended by the commission. The Republican National Committee (RNC) has reportedly also been planning on reforming their party's primary process after their last two primary contests failed to produce candidates who could energize and unify the party ahead of the November general election. A spokesman for the RNC said that the party leadership will unveil its proposal to committee members ahead of their own winter meetings at the end of the month.
 
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Tuesday February 20th, 2023

High Court rejects attempt to get Bradford West general election result set aside


The High Court has today ordered the legal attempt by Socialist Alliance candidate Masoud Abbasi from last years general election in Bradford West to be struck out on the motion of the claimant.

Justice Bullingham said that the motion from Mr Abbasi to have the result in which he lost by 53 votes to the Labour candidate Joanna Rowe contained "multiple errors" including that the the petition was not served on the respondent (Joanna Rowe MP) according to law as it was delivered to her constituency office rather than her home address. The Judge also claims made by Mr Abbasi of "not having votes for him counted" and "allegations of votes arriving at the count on election night in a van driven by Labour party workers" where given without any real evidence of the claims.

Mrs Rowe said that the ruling said that "put beyond any doubt that she had won the election" and "democracy had prevailed" . A statement from the Socialist Alliance said that the party would be "seeking further legal advice on how to proceed".
 
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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release—February 22, 2024


State of the Union Address
President Sam Seaborn

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

Tonight, this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent: It is you, our fellow citizens, who make the state of our union strong.

The work we have done here in Washington this past year, in one of the most eventful Congresses of recent decades, has been as a result of what you, the American people, have asked us to do. And we have delivered.

We have delivered a booming economy, with unemployment below four percent for two consecutive years, something that last occurred sixty years ago. With this historic low in unemployment, we have also raised the federal minimum wage for the first time in fifteen years so that millions of Americans struggling with the rising cost of living can help keep up.

We have continued to reverse the sins of our society's past, slowly but surely. Our nation's highest court, welcomed its first Asian-American justice, the honorable Ronald Lin, this past year. An institution that was restricted to white men six decades ago now consists of learned jurists who are given the highest opportunity to interpret our laws regardless of their race, sex or any other immutable characteristic.

Two weeks ago, we again demonstrated our fidelity to the vision of an America that treats every person as deserving of the same God-given rights that those of us in this chamber take for granted. Our brothers, sisters, and non-binary brethren in the LGBT community are now protected from unjust discrimination based on who they are, or who they love. We have shown that our creed of "all men are created equal" are not just pretty words, but a fundamental bedrock of our society.

Just as we have extended long overdue protections to more members of our society, so have we now made great strides in fixing problems that have bedeviled our country for decades.

In June of last year, I was given the extraordinary honor of signing the American Healthcare Protection Act, the largest reform to American healthcare since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid. This bill has already fundamentally transformed the American healthcare system, forcing healthcare companies to provide real healthcare coverage to the people on their plans, and saving the nation millions each year with getting private insurance to adopt best practices. With the cooperation of the leaders of 29 states and the District of Columbia, 17.6 million Americans who did not have healthcare at the start of 2023 are now insured. In two years' time, 10 million Americans aged 58 to 62 this year will be able to sign up for Medicare, reducing costs for private insurers and their customers alike.

Investing in education is investing in America's future. That's why we passed the READS (Reforming Education Access and Debt Solutions) Act that will tackle the student debt crisis that has burdened our college students. We forgave up to $20,000 for each federal student loan debt holder, capped the amount loan collectors can request for repayment based on a percentage of income, made student loan debts automatically forgiven after 15 years of payments and out a $20,000 tax-free loans gave everyone who paid off their debt in the previous five years or who had fewer than $20,000 in federal student loan debt. With a stroke of a pen, we began to right the ship of college education in America, but more work must be done.

Citizenship demands a sense of common purpose, participation in the hard work of self-government, an obligation to serve our communities. And I know everyone in this chamber agrees that few Americans give more to their country than our diplomats and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Thank you for your service to our nation.

Tonight, because of the extraordinary troops and civilians who risk and lay down their lives to keep us free, the United States is more secure. Today, all our troops are out of the cities of Qumar after eight years of fighting. In the past twelve months, more than 10,000 troops came home from Qumar, as Qumari forces now take the lead for their own security. Together with our allies, we will finally complete our mission to restore the nation of Qumar to the Qumari people by the end of this year.
We have accomplished much this past year. But there is much more we have left to do.

We have to remain vigilant against groups that use terror and violence instead of reason and persuasion. I promise that the United States will continue its fight against the Bahj and other terrorist groups around the world, with the aid and support of our allies. As commander-in-chief, I have used force when needed to protect the American people, and I will never hesitate to do so as long as I hold this office.

But I also strongly believe our leadership and security cannot depend on our outstanding military alone. It also depends on us having strength in our convictions and in being able to continue as a beacon of freedom and hope around the world.

That's why we cannot rest on our accomplishments from this past year while there is work to be done.

Tonight, I call on the governors and state legislatures of the 21 states that have not expanded Medicaid to do so, and allow another 6.2 million uninsured Americans to obtain healthcare. Under the new healthcare legislation, the federal government will subsidize any expansion of Medicaid until 2035, meaning your state will not have to raise taxes to pay for expanding its Medicaid program.

I also urge Congress to pass gun control legislation that protects our communities by requiring automatic background checks for firearm purchases. Only 21 states currently require a background check on any firearm sale, something that I regarded as a national shame when our rate of gun deaths far outstrips any other developed nation.

That is the most important part of the new gun laws I am asking Congress to pass, but it is certainly not the only problem with our gun laws that need to be addressed. We can start by closing the "boyfriend loophole" that allows convicted domestic abusers to own firearms as long as the partner they have abused was not their spouse. We should increase the level of background checks on potential gun purchasers under the age of 21, and raise the age to buy a handgun or assault-style weapon to that age as well. We must increase the penalties for straw purchases and arms trafficking to fairly punish those who break our laws in order to get guns into the hands of people who should not have them.

But we cannot focus just on firearms themselves. We must empower our states and local governments, who are dealing with gun violence much more directly than we are here in Washington. Any gun control legislation passed by this Congress should include funds for states to enact "red flag" laws to allow concerned family and friends to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from a person's residence if they believe they are at risk of using those weapons to harm themselves or others. It must also appropriate funds across various federal agencies to increase access to mental health treatment and crisis intervention programs that can prevent future tragedies from happening.

Finally, we must change the way the federal government categorizes marijuana in order to allow businesses in states whose legislators and voters have chosen to allow recreational adult cannabis to utilize federal tax deductions and receive loans. In order to extricate these businesses from an unsustainable status quo as quickly as possible, I am calling on Congress to remove marijuana from its current Schedule I classification under the Controlled Substances Act.

My fellow Americans, our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. But America was never meant to be easy. We demand an advanced citizenship, where we must not only be able to stand on the same stage as someone whose opinions enrage or offend, but whose right to peacefully do so we must defend. But for all the freedoms we grant to individuals, we are a nation and a government of, by, and for, the people.

The nation we want for our children is a rising, prosperous America where honest work is plentiful, communities are strong and opportunity allows anyone to go as far as their dreams and toil take them. But that is not an easy America. To get that America will require hard work and toil of its own, and our progress will be slow and frustrating. But working together, summoning the best within ourselves and our friends, family and community, with our gaze focused on the future, I believe that America is squarely within our reach.

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
 
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Abend criticizes federal government for "trying to do too much" in GOP response to State of the Union

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

Representative Daniel Abend (R-KY) delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union tonight, criticizing the federal government for "trying to do too much" and taking aim at legislation passed by the Democratic Congress this past year.

Speaking from Holmes Junior/Senior High School in Covington, Kentucky, Abend reiterated Republican objections to President Sam Seaborn's agenda, casting the American Health Care Protection Act as "a fiscally reckless bill...of dubious constitutionality", and saying the president's proposal for new federal gun legislations were "unnecessary."

"The Democrats in Congress and in the executive branch should make sure our current gun laws are actually enforced before considering adding more burdens on law-abiding gun owners," Abend said. "The solution to gun violence involves funding our nation's mental health resources, not enacting new laws whose only effect is making it harder for Americans to protect their families from violent criminals."

Reception to Abend's remarks was mixed, with a The New York Times editorial criticizing Abend's address as "a recitation of congressional Republican talking points rather than a speech to give an alternative vision...for the country", but adding that Abend "ably navigated the fault lines among various factions within the Republican Party."
 
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Republicans to change state primary laws before 2026

Saturday, February 24th, 2024

In widely-expected move, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that it would reform the way the party selects its nominee in 2026, allowing states and territories more latitude in choosing their method of electing delegates to the party's national convention.

RNC Chairman Mark Gilmore said that the changes had come after "long and serious discussion" within the party and consultation with the party leaders in each state and territory.

"We listened to what the members and leaders of the party at the state and local level wanted," Gilmore said. "Just as we want our politicians in Washington to let the American people decide things for themselves rather than be pushed into it by a government bureaucrat or deep-state influencer, we want our voters to be able to choose their nominee in their own way."

The proposed reforms, which have already been endorsed by several RNC members, include allowing states to abandon the winner-take-all method the party has used for all of its primaries since 1986, encouraging state-level parties to support legislation requiring voters to present a photo ID before voting and encourage the use of in-person voting "when state and local circumstances allow."

The election of former senator Alan Duke (OK) as the party's nominee in 2022 led to criticism of the primary system within the party.

"Duke's landslide defeat, as a result, became the catalyst for change in the Republican Party's primary structure," NBS senior political correspondent Rachel Houghton wrote in an article published in December when news of new reform proposals began leaking to the press. Noting that the Republican Party has not had a "normal" contested primary campaign since 2010 (President Glen Allen Walken did not draw any major challengers for the party nomination in 2014, while the 2018 primaries resulted in a brokered convention that eventually selected former Missouri governor Henry Shallick as the party's nominee), Houghton wrote that there was a "widespread feeling that something needs to be done" within the party to ensure that the party's nominee to succeed President Sam Seaborn would be encouraged to bind the differing factions of the Republican Party together before the general election campaign.

The Republicans will open their winter meetings on Monday and the proposed reforms are widely expected to be passed. Should the RNC vote to pass the proposed reforms, state Republican parties will have until June 2025 to inform the RNC if they wish to select their delegates by a different method than the current winner-take-all system.
 
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