Tuesday News: Cutting the puppet strings

ELECTIONS BOARD MULLS TOUGHER RULES FOR VOTER CHALLENGES: Republicans and voting-rights advocates went head-to-head over a proposal that would have people make fact-based claims when they allege voters have committed fraud. The State Board of Elections has proposed a stiffer standard for elections protests that would have people describe facts, say whether a lawyer helped them make their claims, and say whether they have any witnesses. The McCrory campaign and his Republican allies used protest forms to “make outrageous claims of voter fraud,” Hall said. As a result, voters were unfairly maligned and targeted on social media. “They used charges of voter fraud for personal gain,” he said. Democracy NC found that lawyers with a Virginia firm helped prepare nearly all the protests.

PROTESTERS GATHER OUTSIDE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE IN SUPPORT OF SUSPECTED GOP HEADQUARTERS FIREBOMBER: The protesters gathered outside the U.S. Middle District Courthouse in Greensboro to support Katie Yow, a Durham anarchist subpoenaed July 10 to testify before a federal grand jury. But Yow spent the day fighting the subpoena. She and her supporters believe that grand juries can target people unfairly and without accountability with their secret proceedings and testimony. “It is so critical we mean what we say and by resisting this grand jury I will prove that I mean what I say,” Yow told her supporters from the steps of the courthouse. Protestor Josie Shapiro of Scuffletown Anti-represssion Committee said the grand jury hearing had to do with the October 2016 firebombing of the Orange County Republican Party headquarters. But neither Yow nor her attorney would confirm that.

POLITICAL SITUATION IN VENEZUELA DETERIORATES AS MADURO OPPONENTS TAKEN FROM THEIR HOMES: Two of Venezuela's leading opposition figures were taken from their homes in the middle of the night by state security agents on Tuesday, in President Nicolas Maduro's first moves against prominent enemies since a widely denounced vote giving his government nearly unlimited powers. Relatives and allies of Leopoldo Lopez and former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma reported on social media that both had been detained. Lopez's wife posted appeared to be video of him being taken from their home after midnight. "They've just taken Leopoldo from the house," Lilian Tintori wrote on Twitter. "We don't know where he is or where they're taking him."

FORMER ARIZONA SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO FOUND GUILTY OF CONTEMPT FOR IGNORING COURT ORDERS: The TV interviews and news releases that the media-savvy lawman used over the years to promote his immigration crackdowns came back to bite him. The judge who found him guilty of misdemeanor contempt of court cited comments Arpaio made about keeping up the patrols, even though he knew he was not allowed. "Not only did defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise," U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton wrote. The verdict Monday marked a final rebuke for a politician who once drew strong support from such crackdowns but was booted from office last year as voters got frustrated with his deepening legal troubles and headline-grabbing tactics, such as jailing inmates in tents during triple-degree summer heat and making them wear pink underwear.

TRUMP CLAIMS "NO CHAOS" AMID CHAOTIC SHAKEDOWN OF HIS ADMINISTRATION: Hoping to turn the page on a tumultuous opening chapter to his presidency, President Donald Trump insisted on Monday there is “no chaos” in his White House as he swore in retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as his new chief of staff. In an Oval Office ceremony, Trump predicted Kelly, who previously served as Homeland Security chief, would do a “spectacular job.” And the president chose to highlight the rising stock market and positive jobs outlook rather than talk about how things might need to change in his White House under Kelly. Trump on Friday ousted Reince Priebus as chief of staff and turned to Kelly, who he hopes will bring military discipline to an administration weighed down by a stalled legislative agenda, infighting among West Wing aides and a stack of investigations.