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.
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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.

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.

Approaching October elections, Wooten-Whitaker regains ground over Walton, Carmichael in Graham Executive Race

GRAHAM CITY- The mid-term general elections are approaching fast, and in Graham state, things are looking good for former teacher Wooten-Whitaker, as she finally regained a cushion over her main opponent, political activist Grady Walton.

In a new poll done by PWN News Graham City, Diane Wooten-Whitaker is currently leading at 44%, Grady Walton is at 29%, and incumbent Andrew Carmichael is at 23%.

Last month, outrage erupted after the election committee allowed incumbent Andrew Carmichael back into the race citing his public apologies and tangible efforts to fix situations and get stuff done. Walton, who gained much of his support from a voter base that was strongly dissatisfied with Carmichael’s record as state executive. Wooten-Whitaker had been much less harsh on Carmichael, a decision that seems to have been a good thing, as voters seem to want to give Carmichael a second chance.

Most of Wooten-Whitaker and Walton’s support comes from Graham City itself, which, considering the financial crisis, was more ready for a change in leadership. Carmichael’s primary support group is coming from the much wealthier population of Perrysville, where Carmichael’s original support came from in the first place, but while most Graham Citians aren’t planning on voting for him, they have gained a new respect for his changed attitude and actual effort. Graham City has seen huge steps taken in the recovery process after the passing of Carmichael and Wooten-Whitaker’s F.R.A.B.I Act (Funding Reallocation and Business Incentive Act), and in that time Carmichael has gone from 4% approval to a whopping 57% approval, a nearly unheard of jump. Another 30% still just aren’t sure.

Wooten-Whitaker blasted back against accusations that working with Carmichael on several bills was an attempt to team up on Grady Walton with the following post on Tweetbook:

…How would we have an unfair advantage? We’d be splitting our own vote 😛 The idea that me and Carmichael are “teaming up” against Walton is preposterous. Besides, I didn’t even know he’d be let back into the race. We worked together because we had the same goals and needed means to get things done, without waiting until after the election. The citizens of Graham needed immediate action. Look how far we’ve come just through those actions. A large part of leadership is being able to work together to get things done.

Wooten-Whitaker’s jump comes after a sharp jump in Carmichael support after he was allowed back in the race. A poll done in August had Wooten-Whitaker at 39%, Grady Walton at 30%, and Andrew Carmichael at 27%, which caused many legitimate concerns in the Wooten-Whitaker camp and made the Walton camp furious. That poll had the smallest gap between Walton and Wooten-Whitaker ever, leaving Wooten-Whitaker’s campaign to fear that their seemingly successful election ship was sinking. Most of Walton’s supporters strongly hated Carmichael, so almost all of that extra support for Carmichael was taken away from Wooten-Whitaker, bringing her down from an almost all time high of nearly 70% of the vote back in July to a nearly all time low of 39%, close enough that Walton could have easily overtaken her. While technically this would have been amazing news for Walton’s campaign, the fact that it gave Carmichael that much of a chance to catch up to him, a candidate that had been facing corruption charges and at one point had been kicked out of the race, was “outrageously against the principle”, as Walton phrased it in an August speech blasting Carmichael and Wooten-Whitaker for seemingly “supporting him”.

However, this most recent poll shows that Wooten-Whitaker still has a strong advantage. Despite all of his talk of momentum (which is somewhat true considering that initially Wooten-Whitaker was consistently dropping in the polls as Walton gained support) Walton has recently only seen losses over time, even with Carmichael back in the race. Carmichael isn’t even actively campaigning at this point, seemingly not super enthusiastic about being back in the race. One generally reliable source actually seemed to imply that Carmichael may even drop out of the race voluntarily and endorse Wooten-Whitaker, but that source has not been confirmed.

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.

Andrew Carmichael apologizes publicly for misconduct, announces Graham Funding Reallocation and Business Incentive Act

GRAHAM CITY- Graham State Executive Andrew Carmichael publicly apologized today for recent actions and bad leadership and presented new ideas to help the state thrive.

At a press conference in a park in Downtown Creeklyn, Carmichael directly apologized to Diane Wooten-Whitaker for his distasteful attacks on her awkwardness and her bladder mishap during her bid for vice president. He also apologized to constituents for his immaturity and his attitude in recent months, and to voters for not having done his job to the best of his ability.

Carmichael announced and explained a new bill known as the Graham Funding Reallocation and Business Incentive Act, or the Graham F.R.A.B.I Act.

Under the program, businesses who dedicate at least 2 million Freedins to the Graham recovery process or expand/relocate in Graham City creating at least 500 jobs get a five year corporate tax break. The hope is that such policies create incentives for companies to expand. However, the city’s wealthiest individuals, including Carmichael himself, would see large personal tax increases. The plan would have to be approved by the federal government, but most are pleasantly surprised by the smart bill and its potential.

“Honestly, I’m shocked, but this bill could make huge short term progress for Graham. And this bill’s coming from the same man who seemed to focus on projects helping the wealthy. This definitely shows why Carmichael was elected in the first place, the fact that he really can do a good job helping everyone”, President Rosenthal stated in an interview.

Carmichael also said that for the next ten years, tax revenue from high-income high-profit businesses in Graham City itself (the borough) and in nearby Perryville, both of which are doing far better than the poorer parts of the city, would be redirected into the rebuilding process in the impoverished boroughs, particularly the transportation. Cheaper land prices with improved transportation, he explained, often bring new developments that help the community thrive.

Carmichael also reallocated project money from developments in the well-off areas in Graham City and put it towards fixing the Graham City Port (in hopes of becoming a trade hub again) and into repairing and maintaining MGTA subway lines and running buses (including many temporary bus lines to make up for the demolished elevated subway lines).

Analyst John Dennerson from PWN Politics was surprised at the common sense solutions in the bill. “Assuming these plans were to go into action this week, as long as Carmichael’s replacement doesn’t repeal them, which is unlikely anyway, this could make a large difference for Graham City in the near future. Coupled with President Rosenthal’s New Start Deal programs helping the city recover, we could see massive improvement in just five to ten years. If Diane Wooten-Whitaker is elected to replace Carmichael, her plans for education and tourism added in would basically create the strongest recovery plan I’ve ever seen in situations like this.”

If this action grows Carmichael’s approval ratings, Diane Wooten-Whitaker would actually be the one to gain from it- While she is fighting to improve things in Graham, and is running against Carmichael, her policies line up a lot with the F.R.A.B.I. Act, and she has been much less disapproving and much less vocal against Carmichael than her opponent Grady Walton.

Freedemian government warns that Change for Graham cannot endorse or fund leader Grady Walton for Graham executive

PRINCE, GRAHAM CITY- Candidate for Graham State Executive Grady Walton got a pretty direct warning from the Freedemian Funding Party and the Department of Justice today, warning that if his activist group Change For Graham was to endorse him for Executive,  especially if they were to fund him, the group could be labeled a political party and he and group leaders could face corruption charges.

Under Amendment 13, and under the recent court case U.F.U. vs. People’s Liberal Activist Group, all implied political parties, including groups full of politicians and/or a politician’s supporters that push for a common political agenda and provide funding for a candidate, are banned by federal law.

Grady Walton is the founder and leader of Change for Graham, and members of the group make up most of Walton’s supporters. The Department of Justice explained that currently the group is fine, and that it is clear that the group does not exist for a political purpose, but that it is beginning to teeter on the edge of the gray area that the government has become more likely to label “political”. While opponent Diane Wooten-Whitaker is also technically a member of the group, she was much less active in it and was not responsible for its creation or operation.

Recent polls showed that while only 21% of Graham voters support Walton, an astonishing 87% of Change For Graham members supported him. Wooten-Whitaker only has the support of 13% of their members, for reasons unrelated to the group itself. This has led many officials to be weary of the group’s political leaning.

“A candidate’s own group cannot endorse them. Plain and simple. This would apply equally to Wooten-Whitaker if she tried to do something similar. It creates an unfair advantage to have a group you control endorse you, especially if that endorsement includes funding. That could literally be considered embezzlement. Wooten-Whitaker is already seeing a clear disadvantage within the group, and it seems like Walton, perhaps not on purpose, is pushing further towards that line.”

While the group is not currently affected, it does seem this announcement could help slow the Walton momentum, a good thing for Wooten-Whitaker.

An interesting side note- the wealthiest individuals in Graham City are refusing to back Walton and Wooten-Whitaker, still saying they want incumbent Andrew Carmichael allowed back in the race despite looming corruption charges. If he was allowed back in, not much would change- only about 2% of Graham residents, generally the super wealthy, actually support him, and that wouldn’t even be taking votes from Walton or Wooten-Whitaker. It would take a miracle at this point for him to be reelected.