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Texas Mother Sentenced To Five Years For Voting In Presidential Election While On Probation

Crystal Mason says she didn't know her voting rights had been stripped away. 

A Texas woman was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday (March 28) for voting in the 2016 presidential election despite being on supervised probation from a previous conviction. Crystal Mason, a 43-year-old mother of two, maintains that she was never informed that it was illegal to vote as a convicted felon.

"I find it amazing that the government feels she made this up," her attorney, J. Warren St. John told the court, according to the Star-Telegram. "She was never told that she couldn't vote, and she voted in good faith. Why would she risk going back to prison for something that is not going to change her life?"

Mason reportedly waved a jury trial and instead left her sentencing fate in the hands of District Judge Ruben Gonzalez.

Mason said in court that she would never intentionally jeopardize her freedom, and explained that her previous felony conviction was the result of “inflating” tax returns.

"I was trying to get more money back for my clients. I admitted that. I owned up to that. I took accountability for that. I would never do that again,” she said. “I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate. My son is about to graduate. Why would I jeopardize that? Not to vote. ... I didn't even want to go vote."

Mason cast her vote in the 2016 election at the encouragement of her mother. When she arrived at the polling location her name wasn’t on the list, but she was given a provisional ballot. However, Mason admitted to not reading the ballot but noted that she was being assisted by a worker at the polling place. Although her ballot was later flagged, Mason wasn’t told that her vote was illegal until three months later when she was arrested after checking in with her probation officer.

In 2011, Mason pleaded guilty to fraud charges stemming from a tax preparation company that she owned with her husband, according to reports. She served nearly three years in prison, and was ordered to pay back $4.2 million in restitution.

Though Mason was remanded into custody immediately after being sentenced to five years in the voting case, St. John has already filed an appeal that could get her released on bail.

Per a previous report from 2017, Mason said that she believed she was being targeted because she voted for Hillary Clinton.

Nearly 500,000 convicted felons in Texas were not allowed to vote in the 2016 election. However, Texas has come under scrutiny for voter suppression against black and Latino voters.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that the state's voter ID law was intentionally discriminatory, and violated the Voting Rights Act.

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Democratic Senators Juggle With Whether To Retweet Cardi B's Government Shutdown Video

Cardi B gave her two cents on the partial government shutdown, which is now in its 27th day, in a video shared to her Instagram page. The Grammy-nominated rapper said that our country is in a "Hellhole" and discussed why she is scared of what is to come. She also explains that she feels badly for the thousands of government employees who are working without pay.

Her thoughts held merit, and even got people online talking about how they'd like her to run for president in 2020. Democratic senators were also interested in what she had to say, with some writing on Twitter that they were thinking about retweeting her sentiments although she used explicit language. Her comments included, "I don't want to hear any of y'all motherf**kas talkin' 'bout, 'Oh, but Obama shut down the government for 17 days,' Yeah, b***h! For healthcare!" and "This sh*t is really f**kin' serious, bro."

"(Trying to decide whether or not to retweet the Cardi B video)," tweeted Brian Schatz, the Democratic Senator for Hawaii. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy replied, writing "Omg, I had the same argument with myself 30 minutes ago!" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer waited to see if the two would retweet, commenting "Guys, I’m still holding my breath. Are you gonna RT Cardi B or not?"

Ultimately, the Senators decided against the retweet, but wouldn't that have been something?

Omg, I had the same argument with myself 30 minutes ago!

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 17, 2019

Guys, I’m still holding my breath. Are you gonna RT Cardi B or not?

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 17, 2019

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I know a lot of ya do r watch the news so I’m letting ya know shit getting real .....I ain’t going to say nothing much tho I don’t want mofos to off me.....ANYWAYS TWERK VIDEO OUT NOW

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on Jan 16, 2019 at 2:41pm PST

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Cardi B Comments On Government Shutdown: "Our Country Is In A Hellhole"

Cardi B wanted to give her two cents on the now-25 day partial government shutdown. The Grammy-nominated rapper got political on her Instagram page, stating that she believes our country is in a "Hellhole" and she feels terribly for those affected.

"It’s been a little bit over three weeks. Trump is now ordering, as in summoning, federal government workers to go back to work without getting paid," she said. Cardi continued by telling people not to drag former President Barack Obama's partial government shutdown into the conversation, as his shutdown was for a better reason than Trump's dream border wall.

"Now, I don't want to hear any of y'all motherf**kas talkin' 'bout, 'Oh, but Obama shut down the government for 17 days,' Yeah, b***h! For healthcare!" she continued. "So your grandma could check her blood pressure and you b****es could go check y'all p***y at the gynecologist with no motherf**kin' problem. This sh*t is really f**kin' serious, bro. This sh*t is crazy. Like, our country is in a hellhole right now. All for a f**kin' wall."

The Invasion of Privacy MC continues by stating that she is "scared" and feels badly for those who aren't able to be compensated for their work.

"Now, I now a lot of y’all don’t care…  b***h I’m scared," she concludes. "This is crazy, and I really feel bad for these people that gotta go to f**kin' work without getting f**kin' paid."

Watch her comments below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I know a lot of ya do r watch the news so I’m letting ya know shit getting real .....I ain’t going to say nothing much tho I don’t want mofos to off me.....ANYWAYS TWERK VIDEO OUT NOW

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on Jan 16, 2019 at 2:41pm PST

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Chris Kleponis

Twitter Couldn't Believe Trump Fed The Clemson Tigers Fast Food

The Internet was beside itself Monday night (Jan. 14) when it was reported Donald Trump invited the Clemson University football team to the White House to celebrate their national championship, only to feed them McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King.

Imagine going to the White House for a special dinner in your honor and learning you’ll be eating McDonalds. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/lXxvMzNPdS

— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) January 15, 2019

Visitors are normally treated to a dinner by the White House kitchen staff, however, with the partial government shutdown menu options weren't as grand.

“Because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security, much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed — so the president is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

The president, who has long been vocal about his love for fast food, thought the meal was "good stuff."

“I like it all,” he told reporters before the players arrived. “It’s all good stuff. Great American food.”

Most of Twitter did not share the same sentiments.

EXCLUSIVE Photo from yesterday’s dinner that Donald Trump and the White House hosted for the National Champions #Clemson pic.twitter.com/bftATVjkgr

— Ryan Jamison (@RDJ_215) January 15, 2019

The saavy Clemson players got the fries first. McDonalds fries go from amazing to trash if they drop below room temperature.

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 15, 2019

lol the Wendy’s, McDonalds, and Burger King social teams ain’t touching this one

— Adam Moussa (@adamjmoussa) January 15, 2019

And then photoshop Twitter got wind of what was happening.

He is a disgrace to fast food #mcdonalds #wendys #burgerking #dominospizza #disgraceful @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/umxb1DwTzN

— Arica Love Royal Creator of What’s the T Network (@AricaLoveRoyal) January 15, 2019

Who did this? 😂

#McDonalds pic.twitter.com/FKAnw3izcL

— Cameron Grant (@coolcam101) January 15, 2019

elect a clown, expect mcdonalds https://t.co/Xwusda8dxt

— m i t h (@ManInTheHoody) January 15, 2019

Tuesday (Jan. 15) marks 25 days since the government's partial shutdown, which has left more than 800,000 Federal employees without a paycheck. The impasse is due to Trump's unwillingness to back down from the billions needed to fund the U.S.-Mexico wall, and the newly elected Democratic Congress not budging on their refusal to assist in the construction of the wall.

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