Good morning! It’s time to get up!
This was a big weekend for The Uprising and the New York’s City mayor’s race. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) jumped into the fray and backed Maya Wiley. The Uprising readers were first to get the news in a special weekend issue. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, it’s time to sign up!
I’ll be getting to the new numbers in the mayor’s race in a moment, but first another exclusive out of Arizona …
TALKING SHOP: Delina DiSanto, a Democrat who is running to unseat Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) spoke with The Uprising about how she’s making Gosar’s link to the violent January 6 protests a core part of her campaign. DiSanto has run for the seat, which is in a heavily Republican part of the state, twice unsuccessfully but she believes the national attention on Gosar’s ties to the “Stop The Steal” organizers and his defenses of the crowds that stormed the Capitol could turn the tide.
“It has to come onto a national level. ... I believe, with the attention and the resources, we're going to be able to put Paul Gosar totally out of office,” she said, adding, “People are going to start realizing we don't want the chaos anymore,” she added. “We're tired of it. Their quality of life is more important than having to deal with the fear, and the anger, and the lies that are continuing.”
DiSanto also characterized Gosar’s defense of January 6 rioters as “insane.” Read the full conversation here.
GOTHAM: A new major poll of the crucial Democratic primary in the New York City mayor’s race is out this morning. The poll shows Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams cementing his status as the frontrunner and Andrew Yang slipping in recent weeks. Former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia is also gaining and is just a point behind Yang, who once led the crowded field comfortably.
The poll shows Wiley, a former aide to current Mayor Bill de Blasio, as a distant fifth place. However, it was conducted before her latest endorsement and prior to a second allegation of sexual misconduct against City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Wiley’s allies believe both could help her gain ground. The backing of the influential 1199 union, which is beginning to spend seven figures on Wiley’s behalf, is also another ingredient for a potential late surge. For Wiley, the latest poll numbers highlight the major question surrounding her campaign with just over two weeks left: Has her newfound support come too late to make a difference?
Writer Chris Smith also tweeted an interesting takeaway from the poll and the position of the more progressive candidates: Wiley, Stringer, and nonprofit executive Dianne Morales.
“Adams’s lead is the news, of course. But striking how the three most progressive candidates are lagging—and that if [their] numbers were pooled, a single candidate would be winning,” Smith wrote.
SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS: Over 40 percent of the American population is now fully vaccinated and the country is beginning to reopen. Globally, the situation is not as good and, according to the latest data from Google, only about 5.9 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. That’s particularly troubling given the potential for variants to develop through new cases of the virus.
The German broadcaster Deustche Welle published a detailed story last Friday on the situation in Africa, where, as of last week, less than two percent of the population was vaccinated. One major issue on the continent is that the outbreak in India halted planned deliveries of vaccines through the COVAX program, a worldwide initiative aimed at equitably distributing shots around the world.
Last week, the White House announced the U.S. will do more to boost the global vaccine supply including delivering 80 million doses abroad by the end of this month.
FALLOUT: Efforts by Republicans to audit the results of last year’s presidential election are gaining momentum. With an audit of the election in Arizona’s Maricopa County ongoing, some Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are pressing for a similar review there. Dave Argall, a Republican Pennsylvania state senator who chairs a committee overseeing election law, has expressed support for an audit after three of his colleagues visited Arizona to examine the process there.
Argall does not have the support of his House counterpart, who is also a Republican. However, local news site Levittown Now notes the Senate could pursue an audit on its own.
The New York Times published a report Monday morning looking at the pitfalls these partisan audits might have for the Republican Party with evidence more independent voters are turned off by the election conspiracy theories. The audits also have no power to change the result and have, thus far, uncovered no evidence of fraud after an election that officials and experts from both parties have conclusively declared the election results were legitimate.
While the audit push might be a political problem for Republicans, it does have the effect of eroding trust in institutions and fomenting false pro-Trump conspiracy theories on the right. The Times also noted the effort is happening in conjunction with Republican attempts to pass laws that restrict voting access and even rules that “could make challenging or nullifying election results easier.”
In Arizona, DiSanto, the Democratic candidate running against Gosar, said she is very fearful of the combined effect of what she dubbed the “fraudit” and recent legislation signed into law by the state’s Republican governor that stops some voters from automatically receiving mail-in ballots.
“We are very afraid, especially with this Republican legislation that we have here in Arizona, that our votes may not count,” DiSanto said.
FUN FACT: Today would have been the 63rd birthday of the funk legend Prince Rogers Nelson, who passed away in 2016.
I figured it would be a good moment to revisit this classic “Chappelle’s Show” sketch featuring the late Charlie Murphy’s “True Hollywood Story” of Prince crushing him at basketball and then serving pancakes. Prince actually has a custom 1950s diner style kitchen and dining room in the lobby of his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota. I would share photos of Prince’s personal diner, but as you may know, picture taking is famously banned inside his former home.
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