Wooten-Whitaker edges out Walton for Graham Executive, Barbara Clint wins vacant Graham Poplator Seat, Andrew Carmichael wins seat in House of Equal Representation by Write-in

GRAHAM CITY, FREEDEMIA: The final results have come in from the Freedemian general elections on Monday. Graham State had some of the most watched races in the nation, as the area recovering from past corruption and the Graham City Financial Crisis chose new leaders to proceed with.

Graham State Executive

Diane Wooten-Whitaker managed to hold out over activist Grady Walton at the end despite a large chunk of supporters writing in Andrew Carmichael (the incumbent) in the race for Graham State Executive, winning 48.4% to 45.6%. Write-ins for Carmichael, who had dropped out of the race a week earlier, siphoned 6.2% of the vote away from Diane Wooten-Whitaker, making the race closer than expected.

Vacant Graham Poplator Seat

As expected, Barbara Clint, former mayor of Graham City, won the vacant Poplator seat by a landslide, winning 73.5% to 4.6% over Ellen Doofenschmidt.

Vacant Graham Representative Seat 1

The crazy one, though, was the race for the first open Graham Representative seat. Roger Pellerson, a somewhat unpopular Perrysville City Council member, was supposed to be running unopposed and win with a landslide. Pellerson was most alienating due to his random opposing of transit and infrastructure improvements in Perrysville, such as being the sole dissenter when the council voted to fix up a downtown street into a complete street. Strangely enough, Perrysvillians were dissatisfied and much of the massive Graham City population wrote in Andrew Carmichael as a candidate. He would win the position 41.5% to 31.9%. Carmichael was extremely shocked, but accepted the position. Pellerson seemed shaken up and declined to comment. Others have said that those write-ins were “unfair to those who actually ran” in the race. Grady Walton was furious that Carmichael was allowed to win the position after all of the scandals. “It’s not fair! He literally got kicked out of the Executive twice, and he shows a glimpse of change at the end and you vote for him for a completely different position??!!”

Vacant Graham Representative Seat 2

Lastly, for the second open Representative seat, a massive amount of candidates vied for the position. In the end, Kuri Mena, a community activist, author, nudist, and one of the first to push for Amendment 30, which legalized non-sexual public nudity everywhere in Freedemia, won the position. Her only official competition was Lamont DeCoste, another fellow activist and a member of Grady Walton’s Change for Graham group, who came in 2nd with 23.2% compared to Mena’s 27.5%. Three other candidates were in the race- Della McLina, a self proclaimed “Social Media Extraordinaire” (who came in third with 17.8%), Jim Johnsonson, a bus driver with 14.7%, and Jasmine Ernelmeyer, a security guard with 1.6%.

grahamresults-1
Election results for Graham State Executive, Graham Poplator, and the two seats for Graham Representatives.
Advertisements

Unexpected backlash over Restroom and Water Access Act (RAWAA) shows small rift of class divide in Freedemia

VANDOVER, FREEDEMIA- Freedemia has recently seen a surprisingly high amount of opposition to President Angela Rosenthal‘s  Restroom And Water Access Act (better known as RAWAA) in the last couple months. A recent poll found that while about 62% agreed with the law and about 10% had no opinion, about 23% of Freedemians, primarily the more wealthy and large business owners, were against making restrooms public across the board. The opposition seems to center around areas with the largest income inequality and class divides.

The law primarily focuses on three portions, making all public places with restrooms provide at least one public restroom to combat the shortage of public restrooms in many areas, banning employee-only and customer-only restrooms, and putting aside money for the renovation, upkeep, or construction of restrooms and water fountains in public places like parks.

RAWAA has been seen as common sense to many and has not been nearly as controversial as some of the unrelated restroom bills being discussed around the world, as the primary purpose of the law is simply to provide more public restrooms to those who need them. However, the law has brought out a divide that wasn’t expected as much in a nation like Freedemia.

Robert Burson of Burson and Cameron Law in downtown Vandover told us that it’s a matter of appearing credible and ready to handle the highest end clients. “We run a high scale law firm. We defend some of the largest figures in entertainment, industry, all around, and we need to be presentable. Appearance is everything. If we suddenly have all these ordinary-looking people walking through our firm to use the public bathroom it gives our company a completely different image.  We lose credibility. We lose jobs.”

“I don’t want any riff-raff coming in! There are so many who use ‘going to the bathroom’ as a way to come in and vandalize and steal and screw things up inside the business. If they aren’t shopping here, I don’t want them here!” one local business owner along the Laneston Beach boardwalk told PWN. The store, which sells beach supplies, already has negative ratings online for the owner treating customers and non-customers poorly.

A poll showed that the areas with the most opposition were Perrysville and Graham City in Graham state, with Laneston and Vandover coming in a distant 3rd and 4th. All four areas are notorious for income inequality, although Graham City and Perrysville are significantly worse.

This is especially problematic for Vandover, a city that seems to be suffering the most from the restroom shortage. Vandover Beach has become one of the largest tourist attractions in the nation, with thousands of tourists and locals daily. However, there are large sections of the area that currently have few or no public restrooms. The city has been investing in building more public restrooms along the beach, most which should be complete by June. However, in the meantime, while many businesses have followed the mandate of RAWAA and opened their restrooms to the public, almost as many have protested the mandate, some even not following it at all.

Perrysville and Graham City especially have been nearly notorious for their class divides in contrast to the rest of Freedemia. A lot of the problems with the Graham City Financial Crisis went back to decisions made at the state and local levels that only benefited the “upper upper class”, a group more prominent in Graham City than anywhere else in the country.

Many are extremely disappointed in this response to the bill.

“I honestly thought something like this would never be an issue in Freedemia. It seemed like people were friendly to you no matter what your income or career, like a place where a fast food worker could walk into the lobby of a law firm, wave to the people behind the counter, have a good conversation, use the bathroom and leave. This doesn’t seem like what I would have hoped from Freedemians”, one father from Laneston explained to us.

“I had been out on the beach all day and I had to pee so bad,” a teenage girl from Vandover told us. “The beach restroom was a five minute walk away and the only thing really close nearby that looked open was a spa down the road, so I ran there, thinking that with the mandate, I should be able to go. When I got in, however, they told me I couldn’t go into the back without payment. I explained that I just really needed to use the bathroom and that I couldn’t hold it, and they were just so resistant. I brought up the law, how that if their lobby was public that they’re technically supposed to provide restrooms, and they just started telling me that I was trespassing and to leave before they called the police… I ended up not making it to a bathroom in time because of the incident.”

Not all areas have been as resistant. Quentinsburgh already had the largest amount of public restrooms out of the nation’s major cities, and businesses in the capitol city have, for the most part, happily complied. Cities like Trenchent, San Grande, and Franklinsburgh saw most businesses praising the decision as a “no-cost to low-cost solution to an epidemic problem”.

President Rosenthal said she would be glad to make a statement, but needed some time as to not give too hasty of a response. “I don’t want to say something in frustration that I’ll regret.”

Stay tuned to PWN News as we follow this issue.

It’s official: New StepStone Devices will be able to be fully linked to PayChan Cable

SAN GRANDE, FREEDEMIA- StepStone Technology and PayChan Satellite announced today that the new StepBooks, StepTabs, StepPhones, StoneBooks, StoneTabs, and StepUp Home Consoles will all have the ability to be directly linked to user’s PayChan accounts, meaning users will have access to all of the channels available on their paid account over WiFi or data. Local channels will only be available in the region where they broadcast from, the same way it is with cable and satellite in general; however, paid users will always have access to the local channels of the area they are watching from.

PayChan operates off a “Pay per Channel” model, where users pay a base monthly rate for local channels, rewinding, recording, television guides, skipping commercials, and other features, then paying an extra f’0.50-f’1.00 per additional channel. This means all paid PayChan users will now have access to a full range of local channels on their devices, along with any other channels they paid for.

This is actually quite a big deal. While there are many companies now that offer limited access to cable on mobile, this partnership is one of the first to fully bring a fully-featured satellite experience to mobile. This should make a big impact on the field and bring other companies to do the same thing.

With Ellen Doofenschmidt running for Graham Poplator seat, Barbara Clint no longer unopposed

As of the beginning of September, Barbara Clint is no longer running unopposed for the vacant Graham Poplator seat. A last minute entry by Ellen Gernderes Doofenschmidt, the niece of one of the country’s most well liked yet weirdest presidents in history, Heinz Doofenschmidt, has officially made this race a two man race.

Similar to her uncle’s philosophy of Doofism, Ellen Doofenschmidt supports the idea of a stronger federal government that retains full power over all local and state governments.

While Barbara Clint is technically no longer unopposed, it seems her opposition is minimal. Polling released yesterday showed that Clint now has 62% of the vote, compared to Doofenschmidt’s measly 4%. About 25% still want another option.

“Doofenschmidt’s reasoning just doesn’t make sense to most voters,” political analyst Annabelle Sarahson told us. “Giving all the power to the federal government hasn’t worked for Graham. No disrespect to President Rosenthal, I voted for her and plan to vote for her again, but her attempt to solve the Graham City Crisis with the New Start for Graham program didn’t do too much to help. However, the bill passed by the once hated Executive Andrew Carmichael, of all people, within the state (The Graham F.R.A.B.I. Bill) has already helped us advance by leaps and bounds. Running for a seat in this very same state, I feel it will be extremely hard to convince the voters that more federal government control over state situations like this is a good thing.”

“Doofenschmidt’s policies… quite frankly, don’t make sense,” explained Harriet Letterman from an independent political analysis firm. “People may like Doofenschmidt, but she has no plan. People may not be crazy about Clint, but she has a solid plan and a strong appeal to show that she’s changed. That’s where she’s getting the leg up. Doofenschmidt has no chance. The only way I see Clint losing is if a really strong candidate comes in at the last second against both of them.”

Clint has been saying that her connections with both the wealthy high-end individuals and the population struggling can help bridge the gap. This seems to be a much more powerful message to voters than Doofenschmidt’s “Turn it over to Quentinsburgh, they’ll fix it” approach.

Graham City Transit finalizes BRT design, lane arrangements, plans to use existing buses at higher frequencies 

GRAHAM CITY- Yesterday, the Metropolitan Graham Transit Authority released final plans for the lane arrangements and design of their new BRT system. The struggling system chose a different method than many other systems in order to use existing ordinary buses to provide the new transit service.

The three lane arrangements that will be used in the Graham BRT system.

Lane arrangement A is for former four lane roads with no middle lane that needed on street parking. It runs the BRT in the center of the road with platforms and on street parking in the middle lanes on each side of the road.

Lane arrangement B is going to be the most common in the system. It uses center platforms in the former center lane of five lane roads, while running the BRT lanes in the opposite direction of traffic.

Lane arrangement C is basically a regular street side bus stop for when the BRT is making a loop on smaller streets near the beginning and end of each route.

The reasoning for the oddly designed lane arrangements is the lack of funding to buy buses with doors on both sides. Using existing and newly purchased ordinary buses means all doors are on the right, requiring an unusual lane setup.

MGTA plans to just run regular buses and occasionally accordion buses very frequently (every 2-3 minutes during peak) to make up for the smaller bus size until they gain the means to buy better buses.

The Graham City Economic Crisis has been very hard on the city and the transit system. Most of the routes being created are to replace demolished old condemned elevated subway lines in the city, although a couple will follow new corridors that need better service. The nearly broke system normally would never be able to fund such a project if not for emergency funds provided by the federal government (taken from more successful and well off systems like Quentinsburgh’s QUARTA) and newly reallocated funds from elsewhere in the state. The hope is that as the city and the system get back on their feet that they will then be able to sustain themselves without being on ‘life support’ from the federal government.

Construction on the first two lines, both running along former subway corridors through important but poorer neighborhoods, will start in August. (A temporary service is already running on these lines.) The construction on those lines is expected to be done by 2018. MGTA hopes to have a strong system in place by 2020, in step with the city’s recovery from economic crisis.

Hotel Village Square location of Franklin’s to be demolished, made into expanded Park and Ride 3

QUENTINSBURGH- Sean Bond International Airport and Franklin’s LLC. announced earlier today that to provide expanded parking, a building in the Hotel Village Square development south of the airport will be demolished. In its place will be an expanded Park and Ride 3, helping further improve the parking at the airport. The building to be demolished is currently home to an underused Franklin’s Supermarket. All other spaces are vacant, as the Rose Market sharing the building announced that it will be closing its doors in a couple weeks.

“Even with new neighboring residential development, we only saw a few people come in to shop each day. When building this location we greatly overestimated the need for a supermarket. I think this area is much more ripe for a convenience store like JP’s Convenience or Convenience Corner to meet the needs of hotel guests”, manager Joseph Delle explained to reporters.

Franklin’s LLC. has explained plans to instead build a small Franklin’s Express location in the newly built Arbor Square residential development across the railway tracks from Hotel Village Square and a large Franklin’s location down the street at the corner of Courthouse Road and Grant Lakepark Road, both of which have much more potential and demand.

“All of our workers will keep their jobs, new people will be hired, and the company’s profits will improve greatly. And parking will be better at SBD Airport as Park and Ride 3 expands. Everyone wins.”

Freedemia makes sale and manufacture of tobacco, alcohol products illegal, consumption and possession to remain legal for those over 25

QUENTINSBURGH- A victory for anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol groups came from the Freedemian National Legislature today, as President Rosenthal signed into law a bill known as Nicole’s Law. The law officially bans the sale and manufacture of alcohol and tobacco products within Freedemia, a huge strike against companies domestic and international (but mostly international as only one alcohol company and no tobacco companies exist in the nation). The ban also bans internet sales of these products to anyone within the country.

The law, in hopes of not creating a full prohibition, which has failed in some other nations, leaves consumption and possession of said products legal for those over the age of 25. Legislators expressed hope that the inability to manufacture and the difficulty of purchase will end the very little tobacco and alcohol use that remains in Freedemia, without the need to make consumption itself illegal.

While less than 1% of Freedemians have ever consumed alcohol or tobacco, the Freedemian government has been trying to end that little usage for two decades, creating large incentives to companies that stopped selling or refused to sell alcoholic and tobacco products and large fines to those that continued to sell them. However, this was the first time sales have ever been explicitly banned.

The law was named Nicole’s Law, after a teenage girl who developed cancer after she had been peer pressured into smoking in 2003 and become addicted. She died earlier this year.

“Companies manufacturing and even those just selling these deadly products have been making money off of hurting our people’s health. It’s time it stops. Today marks the drawing of a clear, solid line. Today we tell them no, that our health and well being is more important than their greed and profits,” President Angela Rosenthal stated, shortly after signing the bill into law.

The new law has support of around 71% of the nation according to a recent poll.