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Political Watch, 8th of November

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This week has been busy, so here is a recap of the latest events regarding the Impeachment of Representative Benning and the criminal trial which resulted in the articles of impeachment being filed. This week we have results for our monthly PolitiPoll, and more info on what the Legislature has been upto and the impeachment process currently occurring.

7-8th November Weazel News PolitiPoll.

What a time to conduct a Political Poll… the times are turbulent and so are the results so let’s unpack them.

Key: Governor Opinion
Green: Approve. 
Yellow: Undecided  
Red: Don’t Approve. 
Key: Government Satisfaction
Dark Green: Strongly Satisfied. 
Green: Satisfied.  
Red: Unsatisfied. 
Dark Red: Strongly Unsatisfied.

Governor Approval has fallen from 60% in the beginning of October to 41.5% this month. 19.5% are undecided, that is up 2% from the last public PolitiPoll.

Government satisfaction has tanked since the beginning of October. Nearly 70% of people were satisfied with the government in October, that has now fallen to 43% who are satisfied with the government.

These results show one thing, people are getting a distaste for how the Government is currently running.

We can hypothesize a number of reasons for this dramatic drop in Government satisfaction and governor approval:

  1. Instability doesn’t create happiness
    • Impeachment always creates instability and turbulence, people are currently accusing the government of being corrupt in it’s way of handing this impeachment. By ‘blindsiding’ the representative targeted the public.
  2. Absence creates instability
    • People have accused leading members of the Government of being absent from the public eye, ‘forcing people’ to look elsewhere for that stability, leading to a distrust with the government.
  3. Recent events promoting a distrust in Government
    • First there was a massive blackout which turned our city into chaos, and then a sudden impeachment of a somewhat popular representative.

Other Results

79.1% of people want a better Emergency Warning System in cases of emergency to help save lives.

76.7% of people want the government to better address the housing crisis, a number of ideas were proposed by respondents to the question:

  • Subsidised housing in certain areas
  • More housing availability
  • Group Housing and joint payments

79.1% of people want the Police to publicly release information about corruption which occurs inside the departments. 

Legislation Watch:

While this impeachment has been the forefront of focus this week, the Legislature has been busy with other work.

H.R. 034, the Conflict of Interest Act, was taken out of it’s slumber and voted on, in an unexpected twist the bill was not passed by the legislature. Representative Benning was the only person to vote yes for the bill, even though Representative Lawson was the bill’s author.

Bill:E. JacksonB. LawsonM. NashJ. NarkW. Benning
H.R. 034

H.R. 041, which contains amendments to the Criminal Code was sent back to the legislature Governor Paxton vetoed the bill. He cited that “Section 4 will introduce unnecessary ambiguity into the Criminal Code.”

H.R. 044, the Protection Under Urgent Threat Act, was passed by the legislature with all representatives voting in favor. 

Bill:E. JacksonB. LawsonM. NashJ. NarkW. Benning
H.R. 044

H.R. 046, was introduced by Representatives, Jackson, Lawson, Nark and Nash, it is a resolution to Impeach Representative Benning, member of the 2nd Congress of San Andreas. It passed with a supermajority of 4/5. 

Concerns have been raised about the Resolution which passed within 48 hours of the Resolution being introduced, potentially violating a clause from the Public Consultation Period Act of 2021 which affirms:

A Bill or Resolution may only be voted on any time during or after the 7th day after the Bill or Resolution was submitted.

Resolution 046 was introduced on the 3rd of November near 8pm EST, the resolution was then voted on by the legislature on the 6th of November near 2pm. We are seeking further clarification from the legislature on this issue and will bring you more as soon as we have an answer.

H.R. 047 was introduced by Representatives Jackson and Nash in the 7th session of the 2nd Congress. The bill, if passed, would permit anyone aged 18 and older to obtain firearms, get married, gamble, vote, and possess alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. 

The bill has not been voted on.

The Impeachment of Representative William Benning

This is the first impeachment in the state’s history and is bringing a lot of attention from both the press and the public.  This section will be divided in two, first with a timeline of events and then a fact check on information going around. 

Timeline of Events

The impeachment process started out very quickly. We are breaking it down in a simple infographic to hopefully allow you to understand what has happened.

So far there has been no date set of the criminal trial for the four charges laid against Representative Benning, and no date for an Impeachment trial as of the writing of this article.

Impeachment Fact Check

There is a lot of information being spread around, some of it almost correct and some dangerously misleading, we are going to try and help everyone make sense of what is going on

Q1: ‘If a person is Impeached it means they are guilty.’

Answer: False, if a person is impeached by the Legislature, they are not guilty of anything, impeachment is the first step in a two pronged process. 

The first step, which has been completed by the Legislature in the case of the impeachment against Representative Benning, is the formal laying of charges by the Legislature. If the resolution to impeach passes, it then goes to trial which then can lead to conviction and removal from office.

Q2: ‘If someone is impeached they are removed from office.’

Answer: Not necessarily, Articles of impeachment might get it’s supermajority vote, but they might not vote to convict after an impeachment trial, meaning that the person who was impeached won’t be removed/forced from office. In the case of Representative Bennings impeachment, he is still a representative and able to vote on legislation. 

Q3: ‘The Legislature can impeach for any reason.’

Answer: Not entirely correct. 

Reasons for impeachment are defined in the San Andreas Constitution as:

“…offending against the State, either by mal-administration, corruption, or violating this Constitution, by which the safety of the State may be endangered, shall be impeachable by the State Legislature.”

This can lead to a number of interpretations which leads to situations where wording is interpreted differently depending on circumstances. In the circumstances of the Impeachment of Mr Benning, the articles allege criminal charges brought on from a criminal investigation are the reason for impeachment which can fall into some different interpretations depending on who you ask. 

Q4: ‘The Criminal Trial is the Impeachment Trial.’

Answer: False.

The ongoing court docket, initiated by the State’s Attorney office is not the Impeachment Trial, the two trials set to happen at this state are unrelated to each other. 

The Court trial is alleging criminal actions with criminal penalties if guilt is found. The impeachment trial hasn’t started but will allege the same criminal actions, if found guilty, it would come with political sanctions such as removal from office.

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