Election Fraud at Home
On Wed., Jan. 13, a San Antonio woman, Rachel Rodriguez, was arrested for election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot, according to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Because each charge being is a felony under Texas legal code, Rodriguez could face up to 20 years in prison.
The arrest happened after a video from Project Veritas appears to show Rodriguez engaged in vote harvesting leading up to the 2020 election.
“Many continue to claim that there’s no such thing as election fraud. We’ve always known that such a claim is false and misleading, and today we have additional hard evidence. This is a victory for election integrity, and a strong signal that anyone who attempts to defraud the people of Texas, deprive them of their vote, or undermine the integrity of elections will be brought to justice,” said Paxton. “The shocking and blatantly illegal action documented by Project Veritas demonstrates a form of election fraud my office continually investigates and prosecutes. I am fiercely committed to ensuring the voting process is secure and fair throughout the state, and my office is prepared to assist any Texas county in combating this insidious, un-American form of fraud.”
With the Texas legislature’s 87th session having begun on Jan. 12, we are bound to see some odd occurrences and bills enter the House and Senate. On Thursday, Jan. 14, Freshman State House Representative Bryan Slayton (R-Royse City) introduced an amendment to the House rules that would have forced the House to vote on abolishing abortion before they could take up any bills or solutions with the naming of bridges or streets. According to Slaton, the purpose of the amendment was to prioritize legal protection for unborn children.
The Amendment was voted down 41 to 99
However, following Slaton’s remarks on the Amendment, Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) proposed including a list of seven other conservative priorities along with abolishing abortion.
Another Covid Relief Plan
On Thurs., Jan. 14, President-Elect Joe Biden laid out another COVID-19 relief plan totaling an estimated $1.9 trillion and focusing on stimulus checks.
In the plan, more than $1 trillion would be allocated towards raising the stimulus check totals from that last relief package to $2,000 instead of $600. The plan would also allocate about $400 billion towards “pandemic response,” including expanding testing, emergency paid leave, and school funding. Additionally, another $440 billion would be allocated to small businesses, local communities, and transit systems that are struggling.
The bill targets these areas and seeks to expand the social safety net in America significantly. In Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan, unemployment benefits would be raised by $400 and along with eviction and foreclosure moratoriums and the increased SNAP benefits would last through the end of September.
However, probably the most costly for the nation would be the added proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. The CBO estimates that such an endeavor could lift about 1 million workers to wages above the current poverty line, but it would also cost the US economy an estimated 1.3 million jobs. This comes only days before Biden said that he would bring forward “legislation his first day in office to provide a path to citizenship for… the roughly 11 million people in the U.S. illegally”.
A Texan Demonstration
On Sun., Jan. 17, a group of demonstrators, calling themselves “libertarian”, held a demonstration for a second day outside the closed-off Texas Capitol. The demonstration consisted of dozens of people, many of whom were openly carrying semiautomatic weapons, rifles, and knives, but remained peaceful through the afternoon.
Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a press release before either demonstration that the “Texas Department of Public Safety is aware of armed protests planned at the Texas State Capitol this week and violent extremists who may seek to exploit constitutionally protected events to conduct criminal acts.”
Individuals at the event said they were taking the DPS Director seriously and had walked around the capitol grounds to make sure no “provocateurs” took over the event.
“The big worry was we were gonna have tons of MAGA, QAnon people here to come and disrupt it, but it hasn’t been the case,” said Stephen Hunt, who had traveled from the Abilene area to attend this event.
Hunt did not want to identify the groups involved but did mention to KXAN that he was neither a Trump nor Biden supporter in the presidential election and he hopes that “this election has proven to people we need some change in our election laws.”
Capitol Raiders in San Antonio
On Sun., Jan. 17, FBI agents raided the home of and arrested Matthew Mazzocco, a local loan officer, following his appearance at the raid on the United States Capitol Building on Jan. 6.
According to MySA, Mazzocco posted a TikTok that was later reported to the FBI, appearing to show him as part of the raid on the US capitol but instructing others not to break or vandalize anything while inside the building.
“Don’t break or vandalize anything,” Mazzocco is seen saying in the video. “We’re probably all going to get in trouble for what we’re doing at some point in time.”
Following his trip to the US capitol, CMG Financial, the company listed as Mazzocco’s employer, commented stating “This person is no longer employed by CMG Financial. Our HR team has requested that he remove CMG Financial from his profiles as he does not work here.”
The FBI has confirmed that the arrest was made Sunday and will provide public documentation regarding the case soon.
Special Agent Michelle Lee told News4SA that there is “no immediate threat to the community at this time.”
The stock market stayed mostly flat over the week as the Dow Jones decreased to 30,814.26 on Friday, decreasing by -149.43 points, or -0.63 percent over its Jan. 11 close of 31,008.69. The S&P 500 decreased by -31.36 points or -0.83 percent on Friday. In addition, the Nasdaq decreased on Friday by -0.29 percent.