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Trail Mix: Trump's GOP defectors, Washington's gun initiative

click to enlarge Washington state's I-1491 attempts to keep guns away from people posing a threat to themselves or others.
  • Washington state's I-1491 attempts to keep guns away from people posing a threat to themselves or others.

BREAKING RANKS

HILLARY CLINTON, who made history last month by becoming the first woman to head a major party ticket, saw another first this week — at least for her campaign. On Monday, Richard Hanna of New York became the first sitting Republican congressman to publicly declare, on Syracuse.com, that he would vote for Clinton, a Democrat, while calling his party's nominee, DONALD TRUMP, "a national embarrassment." Sally Bradshaw, an adviser to failed presidential contender and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, told CNN she was leaving the GOP because of Trump, and would consider voting for Clinton if the race was tight in her home state.

Although a string of Republican politicians have said they won't vote for Trump because of his inflammatory remarks, no current GOP elected official has openly backed Clinton until now.

What's changing that is Trump's criticism of a Muslim immigrant couple whose son died while serving as a U.S. Army captain in Iraq. However, most notable Republicans have condemned Trump's remarks while continuing to support his campaign. Notably, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, whose military service has also been a Trump target, issued a strongly worded statement aimed at Trump, but didn't say anything about endorsing Clinton.

One prominent conservative whose refusal to back Trump could matter. Earlier this week, billionaire Charles Koch, who has bankrolled Republican candidates and heads an influential network of conservative advocacy groups, also said he wouldn't support Trump. (JAKE THOMAS)

INITIATIVES KEEP COMING

Washington state's November ballot just got a little more crowded. Last week, the Washington Secretary of State's Election Division determined that supporters of Initiative 1491 had more than enough signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot.

If passed, I-1491 would allow family, household members and police to petition courts to obtain "extreme risk protection orders" temporarily preventing individuals from accessing firearms if there is evidence that they pose a threat to themselves or others. The initiative is being supported by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that successfully passed a measure in 2014 expanding background checks in Washington state.

The idea behind extreme protection orders (which are similar to domestic violence and sexual assault orders) is that people who commit acts of violence against themselves or others typically exhibit warning signs, such as violence, self-harm, or the abuse of drugs or alcohol. (JAKE THOMAS)

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