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Official behind Texas’ botched voter purge resigns prior to a forced exit

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, who sparked a national debate when his office made a failed attempt to purge nearly 100,000 people from the state's voter rolls, resigned on Monday.

Even without the resignation, Whitley, a Republican, would have lost his job this week anyway because the state Senate had failed to approve his nomination before the end of the legislative session. Twelve Democrats blocked the confirmation of Whitley, a Republican, because of the failed attempt to purge the voter rolls.

In January, he had garnered national attention when he announced the startling results of an investigation: 95,000 noncitizens were registered to vote and 58,000 of those people had voted in at least one election in recent years.

The claims even caught the eye of President Trump, who claimed voter fraud was "rampant" across the country.

But Whitley was forced to walk back his claims a few days later after discovering that thousands of those he had mentioned were actually citizens.

Several voting rights groups filed lawsuits over the attempt to remove voters and a federal judge in one of the cases ruled there was no evidence of widespread fraud. The cases were settled in April.

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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.

Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez still discussing revolving door bill

Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?

To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."

The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.

The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.

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Adults of all ages agree: There's little confidence in elected leaders

But in general, young adults have a lot more trust issues than their elders

Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.

While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."

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