Florida’s primary election on August 28th was a true shocker! Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, who had been polling third in the Democratic field, edged past the leading candidates for a three-point win. This sets up an interesting dynamic for the November General Election, with the Bernie Sanders-backed Gillum facing off against Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis. Gillum is African American, and would be Florida’s first black governor; with fellow Democrat Stacey Abrams vying to be the first black female governor just across the Georgia line, we can justly wonder if “the New South” is finally becoming a reality.
Asteroid Astrology: National
On Saturday, 25 August 2018, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) succumbed to his battle with brain cancer, at his home outside Phoenix, Arizona, just four days before his 82nd birthday. The six-term senator, a former Republican nominee for president, had garnered a reputation as a maverick nonpartisan, a truthful, principled political actor who chastised his fellow Party members as freely as the opposition.
No, AAA isn’t branching out into porn or online dating. We’re doing a little current events twofer, specifically regarding American Media CEO David Pecker and US Representative Duncan Hunter, both of whom were in the news the week of August 19th (though where they found the oxygen for that is beyond me, as the Trump Show rolled on through its worst week ever). Pardon the pun, but there’s not enough meat here for two full articles, so we’ll just target the highlights.
Have you ever had a bad day? I mean, a really, really, REALLY bad day? Well, unless it involved bodily harm, it can’t have been much worse than Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 was for Donald J. Trump, when two of his closest associates were found guilty of fraud and criminal conduct. Paul Manafort, one of Trump’s Campaign Managers in 2016, was convicted of eight counts of bank fraud and tax evasion by an Alexandria, Virginia jury; and in New York, Michael Cohen, his long-time lawyer and fixer, pled guilty to eight similar charges, as well as campaign finance violations, implicating the President in the process.
On Tuesday, 7 August 2018, Ohio’s 12th Congressional District held a special election to replace Representative Pat Tiberi, who resigned effective January 15th to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable, despite having served as US Representative for the district for 17 years. Ohio 12 is the former seat of John Kasich, current Ohio governor and 2016 GOP presidential nomination contender. The district, which includes suburbs of Columbus and more rural counties, is a reliably Republican one, which Donald Trump won by 11 points in 2016; Tiberi won it then by 36 points, 66-30% against his Democratic challenger.
That was then, this is now.
The first of two trials of former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort opened in Alexandria, Virginia on August 31st, with Manafort facing federal bank and tax fraud charges. Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 as a non-paid consultant, when the GOP nomination became a likely outcome; his expertise in politics was sought to derail a possible floor fight at the convention, smoothing Trump’s path by locking in delegates’ votes. Promoted to Campaign Manager in June, Manafort resigned under a cloud in August, allegedly because family members had become worried about the extent of his Russian connections.