Grind for November 21st, 2018
“Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Brenda Snipes is out!
Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes announced her resignation Sunday following two recounts of midterm ballots. Her official retirement will begin on January 4th.
“I am ready to pass the torch,” wrote Snipes, age 75.
Dr. Brenda Snipes was appointed to the position of Elections Supervisor in 2004 by then-Governor Jeb Bush. She was reelected in 2008, 2012, and 2016.
Snipes’s career was peppered with botched elections, legal disputes, and fierce criticism. Recent critics include President Trump, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), Jeb Bush, and Rick Scott, whose campaign sued Snipes after a ballot box was discovered at the Fort Lauderdale Airport.
Last Saturday, Snipes said her office “lost” over 2,000 ballots that had been included in the initial tally but not in the recount.
The final results, which were submitted 52 minutes before the deadline on Sunday, confirmed Rick Scott’s victory over Bill Nelson and Ron DeSantis’s victory over Andrew Gillum.
The drama is nothing new for Snipes, who earlier this year was confirmed to have violated federal law by destroying ballots from the 2016 primary elections too early.
Snipes has also been accused of posting election results before polls closed, mixing rejected ballots with valid ballots, and removing key measures from ballots.
The responsibility of choosing a new elections supervisor will likely fall to Governor-elect Ron DeSantis. In the meantime, he should support Scott’s investigation into the accusations against Snipes.
Snap election a real possibility in Israel following departure of Lieberman
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is struggling to preserve his government amid calls for a snap election.
The chaos began last week with the abrupt departure of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who resigned after Netanyahu signed a ceasefire with Hamas.
Lieberman’s exit dropped the government’s representation in the Knesset to 61 of 120 (a majority of 1).
Likely challengers in a snap election include Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the nationalist Jewish Home Party, and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, leader of the center-right Kulanu Party.
Both men are calling for early elections, and both view Netanyahu’s response to Hamas as too moderate.
Naftali sought to replace Lieberman as Defense Minister but was denied the position on Friday. Reports from Sunday suggest Netanyahu could change his mind and offer him the position in a bid to keep Bennett from pulling his party from the coalition.
Before meeting with Netanyahu on Sunday, Kahlon warned that governing with a one-seat majority is not sustainable.
Netanyahu essentially has two options:
— He can agree to early elections, but be perceived as contributing to the failure of a right-wing government.
— He can continue arguing against a snap vote while his coalition suffers constant pressure from its partners.
— If Parliament demands a snap vote, elections will begin as early as late February. Otherwise, elections will occur in November 2019.
Polls suggest up to 74% of Israelis are dissatisfied with the prime minister’s response to Hamas in Gaza; if the election were held today, Netanyahu’s Likud Party would win 29 seats in Parliament (compared to the 30 he holds now).
The election of someone other than Netanyahu is sure to complicate matters for the Trump Administration, which has been working on a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for more than two years.
Trump says he intends to unveil the “ultimate deal” on peace in the Middle East soon, but Israeli officials have asked Trump to wait until after the election.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… The energy of a discharge of an electric eel could start 50 cars.