Postal slowdown sparks claims of plot to undermine US vote

first_imgPelosi and fellow senior Democrat Chuck Schumer also called for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a recent Trump appointee, to appear before an “urgent hearing” of the House oversight committee.They said that DeJoy — “a Trump mega-donor — has acted as an accomplice in the president’s campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards.””This is a crisis for American democracy,” progressive senator Bernie Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week.” Democrats expect to use the issue to mobilize voters when the party opens its national convention on Monday — in a virtual format — with former vice president Joe Biden slated to accept the party’s nomination on Thursday. Republicans follow a week later.Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said the Democrats could yet obtain more postal funding if they are ready to make a deal on the stimulus package.”If my Democrat friends are all upset about this, come back to Washington,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.””Put the postal funding in there” along with aid to small businesses, he said. “We’ll pass it tomorrow.”Trump has long been a critic of the postal service, but his latest charges come as he trails Biden in most polls.Protesters on Saturday gathered at DeJoy’s Washington home, blaring horns and banging pots.But USPS spokesman David Partenheimer attributed changes at the agency to its poor financial state.”We are not slowing down election mail or any other mail,” he told AFP.”The Postal Service is in a financially unsustainable position, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume and a broken business model.”But Congress remains deadlocked over a new stimulus bill to follow the $2.2 trillion package passed in March.The president said candidly in April that mail-in voting “doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” He has repeatedly described such ballots as prone to fraud.But a study this year by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice found that “it is… more likely for an American to be struck by lightning than to commit mail voting fraud.”American Postal Workers Union president Mark Dimondstein told AFP on Sunday that Trump “wants to starve the Post Office to keep people from voting, that’s shameful.”The union has said overtime for postal workers was recently reduced, and 40,000 workers have had to quarantine because of COVID-19, creating delays.As concerns mount over the USPS’s ability to handle a surge in ballots, states are working to ensure their residents’ votes count.Pennsylvania this week asked its supreme court to push back its deadline for accepting mail-in ballots.The Washington Post reported on Friday similar notices were sent to 45 other states and the District of Columbia.”It’s incumbent upon Congress to act and not hide behind anything else. And that’s true of people on both sides in the major political parties,” said Dimondstein.Topics : “They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump told Fox News on Thursday, adding, “But if they don’t get those… that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.” With some states expanding mail-in options because of the pandemic, an estimated three-quarters of Americans will be able to vote from home this fall.Increased mail-in voting, Republican Trump said Saturday, would be a “catastrophe” — an assertion contested by many election experts.Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she would recall the House of Representatives from its summer recess to vote this week on an act “to save the Postal Service.” The United States Postal Service is popularly known for delivering mail despite snow, rain or heat, but it faces a new foe in President Donald Trump.Ahead of the November 3 elections in which millions of voters are expected to cast ballots by mail due to the coronavirus, Trump has leveled an unprecedented attack at the USPS, opposing efforts to give the cash-strapped agency more money as part of a big new virus-related stimulus package, even as changes there have caused delays in mail delivery.last_img read more

Governor Wolf: Restore Pennsylvania Will Help Cambria County Battle Blight

first_img Economy,  Environment,  Infrastructure,  Press Release,  Restore Pennsylvania Johnstown, PA – Governor Tom Wolf outlined the components of the most aggressive infrastructure plan in generations, Restore Pennsylvania. The governor’s plan will help communities like Johnstown address blight, expand broadband access, mitigate the effects of localized flooding, and expand green infrastructure, restoring communities after long neglect.“My vision for Pennsylvania includes vibrant towns and cities with new development, opportunities in rural and disadvantaged areas, and a modern, interconnected commonwealth,” said Governor Wolf. “Unfortunately, after decades of neglect and declining federal investment, Pennsylvania is falling behind, and we need a bold plan to get us back on track.”To achieve these goals, Governor Wolf announced an ambitious infrastructure initiative, Restore Pennsylvania, funded by the monetization of a commonsense severance tax. Restore Pennsylvania will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help catapult Pennsylvania ahead of every state in the country in terms of technology, development, and infrastructure.Encompassing new and expanded programs to address five priority infrastructure areas including high speed internet access, storm preparedness and disaster recovery, downstream manufacturing, business development, and energy infrastructure, demolition, revitalization, and renewal, and transportation capital projects, Restore Pennsylvania projects will be driven by local input about community needs. Projects identified by local stakeholders will be evaluated through a competitive process to ensure that high priority, high impact projects are funded and needs across Pennsylvania are met.“I am encouraged by Governor Wolf’s Restore Pennsylvania initiative. Our city can greatly benefit from efforts focused on improved infrastructure and eliminating blight,” said Melissa Komar, Executive Director, Johnstown Redevelopment Authority. “We are a proud community that has always been defined by rebirth and resiliency. Our goal is to continually create a more robust economy in our county. We look forward to working with the governor and his administration on the implementation of this initiative to create a better Johnstown and Cambria County.”“The Restore Pennsylvania plan will allow for communities across the commonwealth to invest into their neighborhoods and create a safer and more robust region, which will allow them to attract new residents and businesses, and we look forward to seeing how Restore Pennsylvania will benefit Cambria County and its municipalities like the City of Johnstown,” said Renee Daly, Executive Director, Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County.In Johnstown, the governor outlined how Restore Pennsylvania will help the city and Cambria County address blight. There are approximately 1,800 blighted properties in Cambria County,and the municipalities where these properties are located are not able to fund the demolitions themselves.Demolition, Revitalization, and RenewalBlight Demolition and RedevelopmentRestore Pennsylvania will increase resources for addressing blight by providing financial resources at the local level to establish land banks and acquire and demolish blighted buildings in order to create new development opportunities or provide new green space. The funding will be administered by entities established by the legislature as land banks or demolition funds.Brownfield Clean-UpRestore Pennsylvania will provide funding to ensure the continuation of Pennsylvania’s Brownfields program, ensuring that more sites can be returned to use for recreation, or returned to the tax rolls as commercial, residential, or industrial sites.Contaminant RemediationRestore Pennsylvania will fund expanded efforts to remove lead and other contaminants from communities.Green InfrastructureRestore Pennsylvania will provide significant new funding to enable new environmental projects and new recreational opportunities across the state, including infrastructure and maintenance in state parks, creation and revitalization of new local parks, and funding for new hiking, biking, and ATV trail projects.View the full Restore Pennsylvania plan here. February 06, 2019 Governor Wolf: Restore Pennsylvania Will Help Cambria County Battle Blightcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more