More stories

  • in

    Elon Musk says he will back Trump rival Ron DeSantis in 2024 if he runs for president

    Elon Musk says he will back Trump rival Ron DeSantis in 2024 if he runs for presidentBillionaire says he prefers ‘someone sensible and centrist’ but that he had been disappointed by the Democrats so far Elon Musk has said he would support Donald Trump’s arch rival, Ron DeSantis, in 2024 if the Florida governor were to run for president.“Yes”, Musk said in a tweet when asked if he would support DeSantis in 2024, after suggesting he had not found his ideal candidate among Democrats.Elon Musk to launch new blue, gold and grey Twitter ticksRead more“My preference for the 2024 presidency is someone sensible and centrist. I had hoped that would the case for the Biden administration, but have been disappointed so far,” Musk tweeted.The entrepreneur’s remarks are the clearest sign of his political backing after he indicated in June this year that he was still mulling his Republican preference for president but that he was “leaning towards” DeSantis.The move may prove a boost for DeSantis in what Republicans expect to be a bruising battle between Trump and DeSantis for presidential nomination, with some predicting “a lot of blood on the floor” in a fight between the two. The Florida governor won a landslide in this month’s midterm elections, while Trump was criticised for the Republicans’ failure to deliver the much-promised “red wave” after the defeat of key candidates he endorsed.Musk also said on Friday night that he was “fine with Trump not tweeting” after having his account reinstated last weekend. “The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service. Deplatforming a sitting president undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America.”Twitter banned Trump after the January 6 attack last year, saying his posts were “highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the US Capitol”. Trump was also banned from Facebook, Instagram and YouTube after the riot.Musk’s tenure at Twitter has been turbulent, with the owner admitting that Twitter has suffered a “massive” drop in advertising revenue amid concerns about his plans for moderating content on the platform, including the fate of banned accounts.He has told Twitter employees that “roughly half” of the platform’s revenues need to come from subscriptions in order to “survive the upcoming economic downturn”. According to Twitter’s last set of annual results, advertising accounted for 90% of its $5.1bn in revenues.With ReutersTopicsElon MuskRon DeSantisDonald TrumpTwitterUS politicsnewsReuse this content More

  • in

    How Republicans and Democrats are missing the mark with Latino voters

    How Republicans and Democrats are missing the mark with Latino votersStrategists, pollsters and advocacy groups say both parties continue to treat Latino voters like a monolithic group In the 2022 midterms, Latino voters reinforced their power as the second-largest voting bloc in the United States.These voters, who account for nearly 35 million people, or 14%, of the US voting electorate, both tilted the balance for Democrats in key battleground state Senate races in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada and secured a Republican hold in Florida. Since 2018, the number of Latino voters has grown by nearly 5 million people, accounting for more than 60% of newly eligible voters.But Latino strategists, pollsters and advocacy groups say both parties are still missing the mark. They argue Democratic and Republican campaigns continue to treat Latino voters like a monolithic group, failing to contact and reach out to voters early and invest in ads grounded in what communities themselves care about. As Latino operatives ascend the ranks in independent political action committees and campaigns, that’s steadily changing. But those who plan to continue with the status quo could make or break party election results in 2024.Bar chart of battleground states’ total and Latino population growth.Beyond politicsCampaigns need to take a page from independent groups, according to Latino political strategists, pollsters and voter mobilization groups. They said political parties need to build trust with voters, listen to what they care about and use that data to tailor culturally relevant messaging to different communities in different states.According to the 2022 Midterm Election Voter Poll, a comprehensive exit polling of thousands of voters led by the African American Research Collaborative and other groups, nearly two-thirds of Latino voters voted with Democrats. Even as Republicans gained ground, the data shows that there wasn’t a drastic shift in Latino voters’ support for political parties.But that doesn’t mean the party will maintain its popularity.“Hispanic voters are sending a message to both parties: they see their own values and policy positions align with the Democratic side but the message to Democrats isn’t so much that they are treating it as a bloc. They are neglecting it,” Clarissa Martinez de Castro, vice president of the Latino vote initiative at UnidosUS, says.Meanwhile, De Castro says that if Republicans want to maintain and grow Latino support they need to realize they’re “radically out of step with what Latinos want”.As the number of Latinos in the United States nearly doubled in the last two decades, strategists say reaching out and contacting Latino voters, and uplifting Latino consultants who are mindful of the electorate’s nuance, will be key to critical elections. “We’re outpacing everyone,” Colin Rogero, a Democratic strategist and partner of the political consulting firm 76 Words, says. “There’s no choice. If you want to win campaigns in the future, the Latino electorate has got to be a significant portion of who you are targeting and communicating with.”But Chuck Rocha, a longtime Democratic political strategist focused on Latino voters and founder of Solidarity Strategies, says that the lack of diversity in the ranks of political consultants – and the predominant whiteness – frames how Latino voters are often seen.“When you start talking about ‘the Latino vote’, there aren’t Latinos in the room to make the corrective,” said Rocha, a former senior adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders in his presidential bid. He argued that the political strategies from consultants have not adjusted to speaking to Latino voters in culturally or regionally specific ways, despite the fact that these voters have been the fastest growing group within the American electorate for decades.That work, however, was on display from independent advocacy groups that supported Democratic candidates, and civic mobilization organizations that focused on galvanizing Latino voters, Rocha said. They invested in showing up in communities, even during off-election years, and built trust over time. He pointed to Nevada, where super Pacs and groups like the Culinary Workers Union and Somos Votantes canvassed neighborhoods across the state and spent millions of dollars in ads that specifically targeted Spanish-speaking voters.“Our universe wasn’t just reaching Democrats. We were reaching eligible voters. It was about turning out Latinos to vote,” Cecia Alvarado, executive director of Somos Votantes’ Nevada division, says. Issues and immigration patternsClaudia Lopez, who volunteered with the Culinary Workers Union and voted for the first time in Nevada’s midterms. She frequently heard about the rising costs of rents in Las Vegas and heard fears of being evicted. That focus became a centerpiece of the union’s messaging in the weeks ahead of the election.“I care about a change in a good way. I don’t care who’s elected. I don’t care who wins I just want it changed for the for the better,” she told the Guardian in October.Lopez’s perspective – caring less about party politics and more about candidates’ actions – reflects a common thread among Latino voters, said Gabe Sanchez, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and vice president of research at BSP Research.“Because so many Latinos are first-time voters and US born with foreign born parents, you don’t have the same party loyalists,” Sanchez says. “A lot of people describe party politics like sports in the US. I just don’t think that fits the majority of Latino voters.”Beeswarm chart of policy priorities of Latino’s in battleground statesMaría Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino, says that there is a generational divide: Latino voters are, on average, younger than the rest of the electorate, consisting of people who are newer to the country as immigrants and migrants compared to other voters of color. And Sanchez found that two-thirds of Latino voters under age 40 supported Democrats compared to 60% of Latino voters over that age. That will play a key role in the upcoming presidential race as campaigns attempt to figure out how to court young voters and make sure they turn out.Kumar said her group addressed this in the midterm by investing in registration in eight battleground states in 2020, registering 650,000 voters. But she said that campaigns did not invest in the same way because Democratic donors and campaigns internalized the idea that they were losing Latino support to Republicans.“For politics, it’s important to think about the issues that are driving individuals and the life experiences they are having in pockets that were once not Latino,” Kumar says.“We are a holistic fabric of all these aspirations, wants and needs but if we are living in a society where our policy issues are not being met that allow our children to thrive, it doesn’t matter if I like arepas or pupusas if I have a politician enacting bad legislation if I have a politician say ‘I can’t invest in you because you’re not a monolith.’”Matt Barreto, a political science professor at UCLA and co-founder of BSP Research, notes that in public opinion polling, Latinos often express shared culture, values, language and customs but politically, they vary depending on the political environment they live in.The 2022 Midterm Election Voter Poll, which Barreto worked on, found that Latino voters described sharing similar issues of concern: cost of living, gas prices, reproductive rights, healthcare costs and gun violence. But when broken down by Latino voters in states polled, those issues vary depending on the state, with the consensus concern over the economy.Midterm resultsThe midterm results offer a roadmap of how parties approached different Latino communities.Carlos Odio, co-founder of EquisResearch, a data firm focused on Latinos, wrote on Twitter that Republicans failed to make the projected “Latino red wave” a reality. It took Dems a great deal of toil & treasure to battle to a point of stability with Latino voters. Right now they should celebrate. Next week they should start putting in the work to strengthen their coalition for the ‘24 election. FL shows what happens when you don’t.— Carlos Odio (@carlosodio) November 21, 2022
    In key races in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan and Pennsylvania, Latino voter support for Democrats played a significant role. In Arizona, where two-thirds of Latino voters supported Senator Mark Kelly, he capitalized on an already influential long-term investment in Latino voter outreach by grassroots groups to capture wins in Maricopa and Pima counties.“In Arizona, it’s a dual community effort,” Sanchez said. “They’ve been working with these communities and building trust. It’s not something you can just do when the election cycle happens.”Alvarado, of Somos Votantes, said the group spent $14m on digital, TV and radio ads and voter outreach such as canvassing neighborhoods in support of Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina in Congress who narrowly won re-election.Alvarado, the daughter of Costa Rican immigrants who moved to the US as a teenager, says that without Latino voters, “you don’t win elections in Nevada”. In the state, 64% of Latino voters supported Cortez-Masto over Republican Adam Laxalt, according to the 2022 Midterm Election Voter Poll.In Colorado, where the Latino population has grown 72% since 2000, Sanchez worked with the Latino Victory Fund to survey Latino voters about their concerns, particularly in rural areas. That influenced voter outreach efforts and aided in Yadira Caraveo becoming the first Latina to be elected to Congress from the state.In New Mexico, Rogero, who worked with Democratic campaigns in several states, says his team worked with Democratic congressman-elect Gabe Vasquez’s campaign against Republican incumbent Yvette Herrell to invest heavily and early in Spanish-language ads, particularly in the district’s southern region, framed around Vasquez’s upbringing. That, Rogero says, was key to “not lose a majority” of Latino voters in the state’s largest Latino district, Vasquez edged out a win, and flipped the seat by just over 1,000 votes.Florida represented an outlier, where Latino voters made a shift toward supporting Republicans, with the largest gains among Cuban and non-Puerto Rican voters, allowing incumbents Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Marco Rubio to win re-elections by wide margins. But Baretto points out that the strategy remained the same: Long-term investment from Republicans in Florida in English and Spanish ads targeting Latinos since 2020.Rogero, who grew up in south Florida and worked on several races in the state, argued that Democrats’ losses there were a “direct reflection of investment”, He pointed to the recent loss by Democratic incumbent Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the first South American immigrant elected to Congress, against former Miami-Dade county mayor Carlos Giménez. In that race, Powell became one of the few Democrats nationally to outperform Biden among Latino voters, crediting voter outreach, ad investment, and door-knocking.“I don’t think the [Democratic] national infrastructure, the donors, the major party committees understands Florida because it’s a complicated place,” Rogero said. “Miami is not a lost cause. It’s just Republicans have been spending a lot of money there where Democrats have not.”That investment strategy among Latino voters could become important in the Georgia runoff between Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker, where the Latino population is on the rise. While white voters largely supported Walker and Black voters overwhelmingly supported Warnock, Warnock captured 67% of Latino voters, according to exit polling.Somos Votantes, the national Latino mobilization group that supported Cortez-Masto in Nevada, announced it would invest $2m in the runoff.“It used to be that one side would neglect it and would take it for granted, and the other one would just simply ignore it,” Clarissa Martinez de Castro of UnidosUS says. “We’ve seen signs of progress of more outreach happening. But I think there’s still some way to go.”TopicsUS politicsUS midterm elections 2022RepublicansDemocratsRacefeaturesReuse this content More

  • in

    Five new members of the House of Representatives to watch

    Five new members of the House of Representatives to watchMaxwell Frost, Becca Balint, Monica De La Cruz, Mike Lawler and Max Miller are standouts among the 2022 midterms intake Roughly 80 new members will join the House of Representatives when the 118th Congress convenes in January.How Democratic wins in key toss-up seats helped stave off the ‘red wave’Read moreAlong with their more seasoned colleagues, they will have to navigate the potentially tricky terrain of a narrow Republican majority in the House as Democrats control the White House and the Senate.The new members come from every part of the county, and they vary dramatically in terms of political ideology. Some are progressives who have demanded universal healthcare coverage, while others have embraced Donald Trump and his lies about widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.As the final ballots are counted and Americans prepare for another significant shift in the political landscape, here are five new members of the House to keep an eye on:Maxwell Frost, a Democrat of FloridaMaxwell Frost will become the first Gen Z member of Congress when he takes the oath of office in January. Just 25 years old, Frost won his Orlando-area seat by campaigning on implementing Medicare for all and reforming America’s gun laws.Frost, a March for Our Lives organizer who first became involved in politics after the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, has made it clear that he will be aggressive in addressing gun violence. After the recent shooting at an LGBTQ night club in Colorado Springs, Frost has repeated his call for Congress to advance an assault weapons ban.The House passed an assault weapons ban in July, but the bill stalled in the Senate. With Republicans now in control of the House, it will be nearly impossible to resuscitate the proposal, but Frost is undeterred.“I think it’s important to put it up for a vote even if it doesn’t pass because it gets people on the record,” Frost told NBC News on Monday. “We have to show the American people that this is a problem that our government is working on and we’re going to solve.”Frost’s determination to take action on his top policy priorities could ruffle some feathers within the House, but his persistence could also help keep Democrats motivated in the face of Republican obstruction.Becca Balint, a Democrat of VermontOne of Frost’s new colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus will be Becca Balint, a Democrat of Vermont. Balint’s victory earlier this month made history; she will be the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ person to represent Vermont in Congress. Once Balint is sworn in, all 50 US states will have sent a woman to Congress, as Vermont was previously the sole outlier on that metric.Balint has described herself as “a scrappy little queer lady” who was initially written off in Vermont’s crowded Democratic congressional primary because of her lack of widespread name recognition or political connections.“What I did have was an amazing team that believed that I could do this if I got in front of enough Vermonters and spread a message of courage and strength and hope,” Balint said at a press conference earlier this month.“We did it because we tapped into the courage of working people across Vermont, regular people who want to have a voice again. That’s who I am. That’s who I will be in Congress.”Frost and Balint are just two members of an expanded progressive caucus that may be able to exert more influence over Democratic leaders starting in January.Monica De La Cruz, a Republican of TexasDe La Cruz’s win was a bright spot for Republicans on a generally disappointing election night. De La Cruz will be the first Republican to represent the 15th congressional district in southern Texas, where the party has been trying to make gains among Latino voters.Party leaders had hoped to win two other south Texas districts with Latina Republicans, reflecting their broader strategy this year of attempting to flip seats by running a more diverse slate of candidates. Mayra Flores ran in the 34th district, while Cassy Garcia competed in the 28th district. Together with De La Cruz, the three women were often dubbed the “Triple Threat” in conservative media, but of that group, only De La Cruz won her race.Overall, De La Cruz will be one of at least 45 Latino lawmakers serving in the 118th Congress, marking a new record for the US. Several newly elected members – including Democrat Yadira Caraveo in Colorado and Democrat Delia Ramirez in Illinois – will be the first Latinas to represent their states in Congress.Despite Republicans’ efforts to diversify their House caucus, they still trail Democrats on that front. At least 34 Latino Democrats will serve in the House starting in January, compared with at least 11 Latino Republicans. With the victories of John James in Michigan and Wesley Hunt in Texas, the number of Black Republicans in the House will also double in January – from two to four. In comparison, 58 Black Democrats are currently serving in the House.Mike Lawler, a Republican of New YorkMike Lawler’s victory made national headlines, as he defeated the incumbent congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who served as the chair of House Democrats’ campaign arm this election cycle.Lawler was one of four Republicans who flipped House seats in New York, and those wins ultimately proved crucial in determining control of the lower chamber. When the “red wave” that many Republicans had expected failed to materialize on election day, the success of Lawler’s group helped them win back a narrow majority.Because of that slim majority, the incoming Republican speaker will be able to afford only a few defections within the party when trying to pass legislation. There are already signs of tension and disagreement within the House Republican caucus, and Lawler is one example of this. While most House Republicans continue to wholeheartedly embrace Trump and his divisive brand, Lawler has suggested that it may be time to move on from the former president, particularly after his endorsed candidates fared so poorly on election day.“I would like to see the party move forward,” Lawler told CNN earlier this month. “I think more focus needs to be on the issues and the substance of those issues than on personalities.”But many of Lawler’s new colleagues may not be ready to start a new chapter for the Republican party.Max Miller, a Republican of OhioMax Miller, who won the race to represent a newly reconfigured House district in Ohio, personifies Trump’s enduring hold on the Republican party and the House Republican caucus in particular.Most of Miller’s district is currently represented by Anthony Gonzalez, a lawmaker who was once considered a rising star in the Republican party but became a target of scorn after he voted to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Following that vote, Miller received Trump’s endorsement to launch a primary challenge against Gonzalez, and the incumbent congressman later announced he would not seek re-election.Miller has his own connection to the January 6 insurrection, as he appeared before the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack over the summer. According to the committee, Miller participated in a meeting two days before the attack to discuss the rally that Trump held on the Ellipse immediately before a group of his supporters stormed the Capitol.Miller won his seat in Congress partly thanks to Trump’s endorsement, and he will probably be quite hesitant to distance himself from the former president. That hesitation could put him and his allies on a collision course with colleagues like Lawler, who say they want to chart a new course for the Republican party.The incoming Republican speaker will need to keep all factions of the caucus unified to get anything done. That task already appears immense.TopicsHouse of RepresentativesUS politicsRepublicansDemocratsUS midterm elections 2022featuresReuse this content More

  • in

    Crime coverage on Fox News halved once US midterms were over

    Crime coverage on Fox News halved once US midterms were overJust a week after elections, number of weekly segments focused on crime slashed in half on Rupert Murdoch’s flagship network In the weeks leading up to the US midterm elections, the message from Fox News was clear: violent crime is surging, cities are dangerous hellscapes and Democrats are responsible.With the vote over, however, the rightwing news channel appeared to decide things weren’t that bad after all, and decreased its coverage of violent crime by 50% compared with the pre-election average.Murdoch v Trump: Rupert’s papers kick Donald, but Fox won’t play ballRead moreMedia Matters for America, a media watchdog, found that each week from Labor Day until the Friday before the Tuesday 8 November vote, the network averaged 141 segments on crime across weekdays. The blanket crime coverage matched the Republican party’s efforts to depict violent crime as out of control, and portray Democrats as responsible.In the week of the midterms, however, once voting was over, Fox News aired just 71 segments on violent crime, Media Matters reported.“I think this shows pretty clearly that the amount of Fox coverage of violent crime doesn’t really have anything to do with the level of violent crime in America – it has to do with the political benefits,” said Matt Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters.“It crescendoed right before election day, and then once the election was over, so was America’s crime crisis no longer the subject of maximum concern that it had been in the previous weeks.”Media Matters noted that Fox News crime coverage had increased somewhat in recent days after the shooting at the University of Virginia and the student killings in Idaho, but said “the coverage was notably less focused on painting Democratic cities as crime-infested”.Fox News declined to comment.Gertz said Tucker Carlson, Fox News’ most-watched host, had a big part to play in the coverage – and in how Republicans across the country used crime as an issue. In a monologue in August, Carlson advised Republican politicians to focus their campaigns on “law and order”, which he said would result in a “red wave” in the midterms.Republicans did just that, spending millions on ads which highlighted instances of violent crime and portrayed Democrats, like John Fetterman, running for US Senate in Pennsylvania, as responsible. The Washington Post reported that Republicans spent nearly $50m on ads focused on crime between 5 September and 25 October, far outspending Democrats on the issue.The network’s focus on a singular issue in the lead-up to an election is nothing new, Gertz said. He said ahead of the 2014 midterm elections the Ebola outbreak became a repeated issue on Fox News, with the network blaming Barack Obama for the spread of the virus.In 2016 Hillary Clinton’s emails became the hot topic, while in 2018 Fox News picked up on a so-called “migrant caravan”, using it to bolster Donald Trump’s midterm election sell that the country needed to elect more Republicans to enact tougher immigration laws.“It’s a play that they’ve run over and over again in elections over the past decade,” Gertz said.“Fox does this every time they come up with some sort of message that they want to push, and they try to get Republicans to adopt it, and they try to get the mainstream press to adopt it as well,” he added.“And so the question becomes: to what extent is the mainstream press going to take the bait and turn it into a multiplier effect – where they are repeating Fox’s message and the debate in the final days of the elections is turning on whatever Fox wanted to talk about?”It seems this time neither the mainstream media nor voters took the bait.Carlson’s “red wave” failed to materialize in the midterm vote, as Republican candidates largely underperformed expectations.Fetterman, the target of repeated attacks by Fox News and numerous crime ads from his opponent, Mehmet Oz, won his race by almost 5%, and while having been predicted to make significant gains in Congress, Republicans only narrowly took control of the House, and Democrats retained the Senate.TopicsFox NewsUS crimeUS midterm elections 2022US politicsnewsReuse this content More

  • in

    Who’s really in charge of the House of Representatives? Politics Weekly America

    More ways to listen

    Apple Podcasts

    Google Podcasts


    RSS Feed


    Share on Facebook

    Share on Twitter

    Share via Email

    There was no red wave, but come January next year, the Republicans will officially be in control of the House of Representatives. What will they do? Who will be in charge? Will they hold together or fall apart?
    Jonathan Freedland puts these questions and more to Marianna Sotomayor of The Washington Post. The pair also discuss the legacy of the outgoing Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi

    How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know

    Archive: CBS News, CNN and CSPAN Listen to Susan Page look back at Nancy Pelosi’s career Send your questions and feedback to Help support the Guardian by going to More

  • in

    E Jean Carroll files new suit against Trump as New York sexual abuse law takes effect

    E Jean Carroll files new suit against Trump as New York sexual abuse law takes effectJPMorgan and Deutsche Bank also face lawsuits in connection with Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking A New York law that temporarily allows adult survivors of sexual abuse to sue their abusers beyond the statute of limitations for civil claims came into effect on Thursday – and with it, the first of what could be hundreds of new legal actions.Among the first claims filed under the Adult Survivors Act (ASA), signed into law in May by Governor Kathy Hochul, is that of E Jean Carroll, a writer who accused Donald Trump of rape. Carroll filed an upgraded lawsuit against Trump minutes after the new state law took effect.Claims were also brought against JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank by lawyers acting for unnamed individuals who accuse the banks of turning a blind eye to alleged sex trafficking by the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in order to “churn profits”.The lawsuits, filed separately in a New York court, allege the banks “knowingly benefited and received things of value for assisting, supporting, facilitating, and otherwise providing the most critical service for the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking organization”.JPMorgan, the largest US bank, is accused in the suit of “financially benefiting from participating” in Epstein’s alleged operation by providing financial support from 1998 to August 2013.Deutsche Bank is accused of knowing it would “earn millions of dollars” from its relationship with Epstein. Both actions are seeking unspecified damages. A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal the claim “lacks merit” and the bank would present its arguments in court. A spokesman for JPMorgan in London declined to comment to the Journal.Trump is running for president again – but these legal battles might stand in the wayRead moreAccording to Bradley Edwards, a Florida lawyer who has featured prominently in exposing Epstein’s alleged crimes and in seeking financial restitution from Epstein’s $577m estate, “Epstein and his co-conspirators could not have victimized without assistance from wealthy individuals and financial institutions”.The class-action suit against JPMorgan also names Jes Staley, former head of JPMorgan’s private bank, who was forced to step down as chief executive officer of Barclays after UK regulators shared with Barclays the preliminary findings of their inquiry into what he told the Barclays board about his relationship with the disgraced financier.“Staley made sure Epstein and his illegal sexual abuse organization was absolutely protected by the bank,” according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 24. Lawyers for Staley declined to comment, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg noted that “none of the allegations against Staley in the suit have been publicly proved”.In E Jean Carroll’s case against Trump, the former Elle columnist is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for pain and suffering, psychological harm, dignity loss and reputation damage.Carroll first made the claim in a 2019 book, saying Trump had raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan luxury department store in 1995 or 1996. Trump responded to the book’s allegations by saying it could never have happened because Carroll was “not my type”.His remarks led Carroll to file a defamation lawsuit against him, but that lawsuit has been tied up in appeals courts as judges decide whether he is protected from legal claims for comments made while he was president.In her new claims, Carroll maintains that Trump committed battery “when he forcibly raped and groped her” – and that he defamed her when he denied raping her last month.“Trump’s underlying sexual assault severely injured Carroll, causing significant pain and suffering, lasting psychological harms, loss of dignity, and invasion of her privacy,” the suit alleges, adding: “His recent defamatory statement has only added to the harm that Carroll had already suffered.”Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said at a court hearing that her client “intends to hold Donald Trump accountable not only for defaming her, but also for sexually assaulting her, which he did years ago in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman”.Trump, who has denied the allegations against him, said in a statement that Carroll “completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of this crowded New York City Department Store and, within minutes, ‘swooned’ her. It is a Hoax and a lie, just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years.”The JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Carroll lawsuits may be the first of dozens of new actions to be filed through the New York legal window. A previous two-year window, the 2019 Child Victims Act, saw cases brought that would otherwise have been beyond the statute of limitations, including Virginia Giuffre’s settled claim against Prince Andrew.Hundreds of lawsuits may now be forthcoming, including many by women who claim they were assaulted by co-workers, prison guards or medical providers, in part because it allows an institution like a hospital or jail to be held responsible.“I think there will be some very interesting cases that come about in the employment cases where powerful men, who were supervising women or overseeing women, sexually assaulted them and they will be able to hold their perpetrator accountable but also their employers,” the attorney Doug Wigdor, who has represented women in many high-profile civil or criminal actions of the #MeToo era, told CNN.The previous window, which limited new claims to child sex abuse cases, produced almost 11,000 claims, a New York state office of court administration spokesperson told CNN. It has been estimated that claims against the New York state prison system could include 750 women alleging sexual assault.New York’s department of corrections and community supervision said in a statement that it had “zero tolerance for sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and unauthorized relationships”.Also anticipated are new lawsuits on behalf of about 40 women who claim they were subjected to unlawful sexual abuse by the former Columbia University gynecologist Dr Robert Hadden. About 150 claims against the gynecologist have already been settled.Hadden was convicted in 2016 on sex-related charges in state court. He is due to be tried on federal charges of abusing female patients over two decades next year. He has pleaded not guilty.TopicsNew YorkDonald TrumpUS politicsJeffrey EpsteinJP MorganDeutsche BanknewsReuse this content More

  • in

    Republican voting law poses hurdles in Georgia Senate runoff

    Republican voting law poses hurdles in Georgia Senate runoffRunoffs lasted nine weeks in previous elections – but under new law, timeline is shortened to 28 days after general election Georgia’s midterm election cycle continues with the state’s highly anticipated US Senate runoff between the incumbent Democrat senator Raphael Warnock and controversial Republican candidate Herschel Walker. However, unlike years past, under the state’s new election integrity law, early voting for the runoff begins just as the general election comes to a close, giving voters a historically small window of time to cast their ballot.Herschel Walker accuser comes forward with fresh relationship claimsRead moreIn previous elections, runoffs lasted nine weeks. Under the new law, SB202, which includes a spate of new voting restrictions, the timeline has been shortened substantially and must occur 28 days after the general election. This timeframe is especially important because voters must now register 30 days before an election, making it impossible for new voters to register between the general election, which took place on 8 November, and the runoff.SB202 is causing confusion among voters and election officials alike – especially as it pertains to Saturday voting. Saturday voting has been made available during early voting in past elections, prompting officials and voters to believe Saturday 26 November would be a day for early voting in the runoffs this year. Yet, under the new law, voting cannot occur close to a holiday, which – because of both Thanksgiving and a state holiday formerly known as Robert E Lee Day – would have pushed the official start of early voting to Monday 28 November instead.Following a lawsuit brought forth by the Democratic party of Georgia, Warnock for Georgia and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Saturday voting is now permitted on 26 November. It was argued that this specific day of voting was critical for many voters as it would present the only possible Saturday voting under the state’s stricter timeline. (The state unsuccessfully attempted to block the ruling but so far it has been upheld.)Vasu Abhiraman, deputy policy and advocacy director at ACLU of Georgia, also notes the importance of this voting day for college students. “We’ve talked to so many students, who were not able to vote in the [general] election because they either didn’t get their absentee ballot back in time or their ballot wasn’t received in time,” said Abhiraman. “They don’t want to take this chance, and they want to vote when they are home right now for their Thanksgiving break, and that Saturday is the main date that we’re hearing where people will be available and able to vote.”But the issues with early voting in the runoff this year extend past one Saturday. In the state’s last runoff election, there were three weeks of early voting. The state now requires just five days of early voting. Additionally, in the past, these early voting days did not so closely coincide with the certification of the general election. Now, the same time allotted to early voting nearly represents the entire runoff voting period. More than 2.5 million Georgians voted early in the state’s last runoff.During the general election, it was revealed that election officials were working with newly hired staff while trying to accommodate a more rigorous election process, straining the capacity of election administration across the state. Now, they are facing similar challenges as they try to do the same amount of work in an even smaller amount of time yet again.“We’ve seen election officials have to certify their votes, run a risk-limiting audit and have to respond to voter concerns at the same time they are trying to figure out when and where they can possibly hold early voting, who is available to staff it, when they can get their absentee ballots out and how they are going to process it all,” said Abhiraman.Georgia’s Senate runoff election is critical to the landscape of national politics. It will determine the margin of Democrats’ majority in the the US Senate in the new year, a crucial foothold as they just lost control of the House of Representatives. Still, Georgia voters and voting rights advocates are concerned with the state’s ability to ensure access to the vote the second time around.“Counties are trying their best to do what they can to accommodate voters and navigate SB202,” says Abhiraman. “But, in the last Senate runoff, 4.5 million people voted. How can you possibly accommodate 4.5 million voters in less than a month?”TopicsGeorgiaUS midterm elections 2022US politicsnewsReuse this content More

  • in

    From homeless to city hall: the Hmong American mayor making history in Oakland

    From homeless to city hall: the Hmong American mayor making history in OaklandSheng Thao says her experiences will help her lead the city through its severe housing crisis At the steps of city hall, surrounded by supporters and a gaggle of press, Oakland’s new mayor-elect Sheng Thao exhaled.“It’s been a long journey,” she began. “We’ve been through a lot to get to this moment right here.”Just 15 years ago, Thao was living in her car with her infant son. She had just escaped an abusive relationship and had nowhere to go. This week Thao, 37, became the first Hmong American woman to lead a major US city, the youngest Oakland mayor in 75 years and the first renter to hold the position.“There have been so many people in this beautiful city that have held our hands and lifted us up,” she said on Wednesday, in her first press conference since her history-making victory.The daughter of of refugees who fled Laos during a genocide, Thao was born and raised in Stockton, California, the seventh of 10 children. She left home at 17, and in her early 20s fled an abusive partner while pregnant with her son Ben. She spent months sleeping in her car or on stranger’s couches before she was able to secure a shelter.Now, as she steps into the role of mayor, Thao said her experiences with poverty and homelessness will help her lead the city through its own severe housing and homelessness crisis, and increasing gun violence. Over the past five years, Oakland saw a steeper rise in homelessness than any other city in the Bay Area.While many other Democratic midterm candidates across the state and country have responded to voters’ worries about homelessness and community violence with harsh, tough-on-crime rhetoric, Thao has promised policies that will treat unhoused people with dignity and investment in public health and violence prevention programs.Thao’s victory is a sign that voters “don’t want to vilify and punish poor people”, said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, a national network elevating the political power of women of color.Allison, who lives in Oakland, said she has known Thao since she was an intern for Oakland vice-mayor Rebeecca Kaplan. Thao eventually became Kaplan’s chief of staff, before successfully running for city council herself. “Her values are clear,” said Allison. “It makes her very popular amongst lots of different people, because they feel seen and heard with her.”And Thao has built a long reputation of community involvement and action. At UC Berkeley, she organized the Bear Pantry – named after the university’s mascot – which collected food donations from local restaurants and grocers to help feed students in need. While working for Kaplan, she created a food delivery program for seniors and homebound residents. And amid the pandemic, she helped establish a mutual aid collective to distribute masks, hand sanitizer and public health information to underserved communities.“Sheng is a down to earth candidate who actually knows what it’s like for people who are marginalized in this city,” said Pamela Drake, a local activist who advised Thao’s campaign. “She’s not as progressive as I am,” Drake said. “I won’t always agree with her. But I do think what she’ll do is listen. And she won’t just ignore the people that are really in need.”Thao has hopes to see at least 30,000 new housing units built over the next eight years, provide safe RV parking sites for those who live in their vehicles and trash and sanitation services for encampments. Ultimately, Thao said, she wants the city to offer “adequate housing and shelter to all 3,300 unhoused residents in Oakland” over two four-year terms. She has also suggested stronger protections for renters, including rent controls, to keep people from ending up unhoused in the first place.The proposals had earned her the support of social justice group Oakland Rising, as well as a coalition of unhoused Oaklanders and homelessness advocates.To address public safety issues, Thao said she would like to fill vacancies in Oakland’s police force, which has been under federal oversight for nearly two decades following a corruption scandal. But she said she would also like to see more investment in education and violence prevention programs.In a ranked-choice election, she narrowly secured a victory by just 682 votes over the more moderate Democratic frontrunner Loren Taylor after nearly two weeks of ballot counting. Thao’s victory is considered something of an upset; while she had the backing of the local Democratic party, labor unions and progressive figures including California congressman Ro Khanna, her opponent Taylor was endorsed by key figures in Bay Area politics including Oakland’s outgoing mayor Libby Schaaf and San Francisco mayor London Breed.She is one of several newly elected progressive officials in Oakland, which will have a progressive majority in city council starting next year. And progressive civil rights attorney Pamela Price became the first Black district attorney of Alameda county, with encompasses Oakland.“We finally have the opportunity for progressive policies and changes to actually happen for the city,” Allison said.TopicsOaklandCaliforniaUS politicsUS midterm elections 2022DemocratsfeaturesReuse this content More