Showing posts with label Congressman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congressman. Show all posts

November 20, 2019

First Openly Gay NYer Who Should Become The First Gay Congressman in DC

                     Image result for mondaire jones

By Tim Fitzsimons

When Mondaire Jones was growing up in Spring Valley, New York, the way the world worked already seemed clear to him: “People like me don’t get close to the halls of Congress,” he said. But his mother taught him he could be anything he wanted. “It was a radical idea,” Jones wrote on Medium.

After completing his studies at Stanford University and Harvard Law School and working at the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama, the world looks different from the 32-year-old. Jones is now a candidate for New York’s 17th Congressional District, and if elected, he could be the first openly gay black man elected to Congress. (The other potential first, fellow New York Democrat Ritchie Torres, would also be elected in 2020.)

The way he tells his life story to voters, as seen in a recent campaign advertisement, draws from his background as the son of a family that fled the South to escape the persecution of Jim Crow — and links that to the Trump administration's response to the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jones opens with a story about his grandfather walking to school in segregated Virginia, as white students rode by in a school bus that only they were permitted to ride. "And they would spit on him through the school bus windows as he was walking a dirt path on his way to school," Jones says in the ad over images of a child drawing.

"For me, the policy is personal," Jones told NBC News.

'We cannot be compromising on values'

While working for the Obama Justice Department, Jones said that part of his job was vetting candidates for federal judgeships. “These were folks who would have had no problem saying on the record during the Senate confirmation hearing that they agree with the decision in Brown v Board,” Jones said, referring to the recurring issue of Trump-nominated judges declining to take a public position on the landmark desegregation case.

“I was part of the administration in the early years when we were having an extremely tough time getting judges confirmed by the Senate,” he said. “That’s because, respectfully, we were not fighting hard enough." 

Gay lawmaker says his congressional run against 'homophobe' is personal
Jones lamented that it took continuous GOP obstruction of judicial nominees before Democrats changed the rules of the Senate so that judges could be confirmed by a majority vote.

“I think that should have been done at the very beginning of the administration when it was clear that Republicans were not going to engage in reasonable behavior," Jones added. “I think there was this naïveté, not felt by myself, but certainly naïveté among certain decision-makers early on in the Obama presidency,” Jones said.

He said his experiences in Washington showed him that Obama’s middle-of-the-road, bipartisan approach won’t cut it in the face of GOP intransigence. “The Republican Party of today is very different from the Republican Party of even a decade ago,” Jones said. “And certainly it is different from what it was three decades ago when my member of Congress first took office.” 
For Jones, that means that the way he wants to fight for his political goals puts him more in line with his progressive neighbor, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow Democrat, than Nita Lowey, the incumbent Democrat in NY-17 who was first elected in 1988.

“I’m part of a generation that stands to inherit a planet that's devastated by climate catastrophe,” Jones said. “For me, there's no alternative to a Green New Deal, we have to be fighting for a thing that will make our planet inhabitable for ourselves and our children and their children.”

“In broad strokes, my generation recognizes that in 2021, when I hope to take office, we need to bring an energy to the role of Congress member and president of the United States that is that of a fire,” he added. “Someone who is going to fight tooth and nail for the things we say we believe in as the Democratic Party.”

'Struggling with my self-acceptance'

“I’m proud to be part of a movement of young people, including young people of color and young queer people and young women,” Jones said. But he added that coming out as gay was "hard."

Jones never imagined he could run for office, in part, he said, “because it would mean that I had to be my authentic self.”

“Not only had I not yet come to terms with that aspect of myself, but I certainly doubted that other people would be accepting of it,” he said. “But so much has changed over the past decade, and even over the past five years.” 

Rep. Maloney introduces a bill to ban taxpayer funding of 'conversion therapy'
Jones ended up coming out when he was 24 years old. Now, people come up to him and thank him for running as an openly gay candidate.

“Growing up — struggling with my self-acceptance — if I had been able to look to an example like what I would provide, someone who is a respectable individual, an openly gay black man in Congress, life would have been a lot better for me," Jones said.

The race and the district

After he announced his candidacy in a June Medium post, the race for NY-17 became a contest among Jones and Lowey, NARAL Pro-Choice America leader Allison Fine, Assemblymember David Buchwald, state Sen. David Carlucci and former Department of Defense official Evelyn Farkas. The primary takes place on June 23, 2020, but for a district like this, the winner of the Democratic primary is likely to win the general election.

And as of last month, it’s a primary race that is wide open after Lowey announced she would not be seeking re-election.

“I have tremendous respect for her and her legacy,” Jones said of Lowey, “and frankly she has made it easier for women and minorities like myself to run for office because she's been such a trailblazer.”

New York’s 17th Congressional District straddles the lower Hudson River and contains all of Rockland County and part of Westchester County. Its neighboring district to the north, NY-18, is represented by out gay Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, another Democrat.

Mondaire Jones’ district is a historically wealthy, former Republican stronghold. But since Lowey was first elected in 1988, the district has swung sharply to the left.

“We had a 13-4 Democratic majority on the county board of legislators and now it’s a 15-2 Democratic majority,” he said of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the county-level government. “We have an overwhelmingly Democratic voter registration advantage and we have a Democratic county executive.”  

With statistics like that, Jones can tout that he is a "true progressive" and “the only candidate in this race not accepting corporate PAC money” and still hope to pull off a win.

He said he’s focused on local issues, like undoing the $10,000 cap imposed on the state and local tax deduction, a tax change that impacted residents of high-tax states like New York that Jones said “crushed families in Westchester and Rockland.”

And if Jones were to win, southern New York’s congressional districts could transform into a progressive bloc represented by some of the most diverse members in the country. Just several miles away is Ocasio-Cortez’s NY-14 District. And Ritchie Torres, a current New York City Council member who is also gay and black, is running to replace Jose Serrano in NY-15. Both Torres and Jones would be the first black gay men elected to Congress if they were to prevail Nov. 3, 2020.

November 10, 2019

Trump's Flame Thrower Rep. Jim Jordan is Being Sued For His Involvement With Sex Abuser Dr. Strauss

It makes so much sense that Trump's defender in the Committee collecting evidence for a possible Trump impeachment, who yells about the law, unfairness, etc. is himself involved on disgusting allegations with a Doctor Richard Strauss who is in Jail now (A professional referee says in a lawsuit filed Thursday that disgraced doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in front of him in a shower after a wrestling match at Ohio State University, and that he reported the encounter directly to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who was then the assistant coach). To me, this Congressman with a salty tongue belongs to the man he is a defender to and who does not want to see him impeached.

    Jim Jordan

By Tim Marcin/ Vice and NBC
A wrestling referee alleges in a lawsuit that when he told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) that now-disgraced Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in front of him in a shower, Jordan did nothing. 
The pro referee is identified only as John Doe in court documents, reported NBC News on Thursday. In 1994, when Jordan was an assistant coach on Ohio State’s wrestling team, the ref alleges, Strauss performed the sex act in front of him in a shower after he worked a match.  
John Doe says Jordan shrugged it off. 
“Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson told Doe, according to the lawsuit. 
Jordan — an extreme loyalist to President Donald Trump — has taken on an increasingly prominent role within the GOP amid the impeachment inquiry. Republicans are considering adding him to the Intelligence Committee days before public impeachment hearings are scheduled to begin, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. 
Jordan has repeatedly denied that he knew about the abuse carried out by Strauss. The longtime Ohio State doctor — who died by suicide in 2005 — abused at least 177 male students, according to a report from the university released in May. But the referee alleges it was an open secret.
“It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing, so the attitude was it is what it is,” he told NBC News. “I wish Jim, and Russ, too, would stand up and do the right thing and admit they knew what Strauss was doing, because everybody knew what he was doing to the wrestlers. What was a shock to me is that Strauss tried to do that to me. He was breaking new ground by going after a ref.” 
Former Ohio State wrestler Dunyasha Yetts was the first to state publicly that he told Jordan about Strauss’ behavior. Yetts said he told his coaches that when he went to see Strauss for a thumb injury, the doctor pulled the wrestler’s pants down.  “It’s good that people are starting to come forward and say the truth, which is that Jordan and the other coaches knew what was going on and they blew it off,” Yetts told NBC News.
Jordan claimed vindication when the report from Ohio State found no hard evidence he knew about the abuse. 
“It confirms everything I said,” he told reporters at the time. “If we’d have known about it, we’d have reported it.”
But the report did find that many in Ohio State acknowledged rumors of abuse were rampant and that Strauss went out of his way to shower with wrestlers. And team members who competed for Jordan in the ‘80s and ‘90s continued to say the former coach knew about Strauss’ behavior, the New York Times reported.
Cover: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, and, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., right, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, near the area where the interviews for the impeachment inquiry are being held. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

October 17, 2019

Rep.Elijah Cummings, A Giant in The History of The U.S. Congress, Died This Morning

Rep. Carolyn Maloney will become the Acting Chair of the House Oversight committee following the death of Chairman Elijah Cummings, a senior Democratic leadership aide tells CNN.
“Pursuant to House Rules, Rep. Carolyn Maloney becomes Acting Chair as number two in seniority on the committee. The caucus process to elect a permanent Chair will be announced at a later time.”
The Oversight Committee is one of the panels involved in the impeachment inquiry of Trump

Speaker Pelosi: "In the House, Elijah was our North Star"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is “personally devastated" following the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings, calling him the “North Star” of the House of Representatives.
“He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose," she said.
Here's her full statement:
“The people of Baltimore, the U.S. Congress and America have lost a voice of unsurpassed moral clarity and truth: our beloved Chairman Elijah Cummings. I am personally devastated by his passing. 
In the House, Elijah was our North Star. He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose. His principled leadership as Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform was the perfect testament to his commitment to restoring honesty and honor to government, and leaves a powerful legacy for years to come.
As a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he was always fighting for his district and for the state of Maryland. He was a powerful voice for building the infrastructure of America and creating good-paying jobs. As a Member of the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, he took great pride in Maryland’s role in our national security.
Chairman Cummings’ story was the story of America: a sharecroppers’ son who dedicated his life to advancing justice, respecting human dignity and ending discrimination. He believed in the promise of America because he had lived it, and he dedicated his life to advancing the values that safeguard our republic: justice, equality, liberty, fairness. 
Earlier this year, Chairman Cummings asked us, ‘When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked: in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?’ May Chairman Cummings’ strength guide us as we carry on his work to honor the oath and protect our democracy.
In the Congress, we will miss his wisdom, his warm friendship and his great humanity. In Baltimore, we will miss our champion. May it be a comfort to his wife Maya, his three children and Chairman Cummings’ entire family that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.” 

Cummings "never forgot his duty to fight for the rights and dignity of the marginalized," Baltimore mayor says

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack,” Young said the city, nation, and world have lost "one of the strongest and most gifted crusaders for social justice" following the death of Elijah Cummings.
"He was, put simply, a man of God who never forgot his duty to fight for the rights and dignity of the marginalized and often forgotten," Young said in a statement.
He continued: "Rest easy, Congressman. We love you and will draw strength by remembering your selfless acts of service and dedication to pursuing equality and basic human rights for all people.”
Here's his full statement:
“With the passing of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the City of Baltimore, our country, and people throughout the world have lost a powerful voice and one of the strongest and most gifted crusaders for social justice.
Rep. Cummings, the son of sharecroppers whose ancestors were slaves, wasn't afraid to use his considerable intellect, booming voice, and poetic oratory to speak out against brutal dictators bent on oppression, unscrupulous business executives who took advantage of unsuspecting customers, or even a U.S. President. He was, put simply, a man of God who never forgot his duty to fight for the rights and dignity of the marginalized and often forgotten.
As we enter this period of mourning, let us remember his long legacy of justice as an example to us all of a life well lived.
Rest easy, Congressman. We love you and will draw strength by remembering your selfless acts of service and dedication to pursuing equality and basic human rights for all people.” 

House chairs remember Cummings: He was "the heart and soul of our caucus"

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler have both tweeted this morning on the death of Elijah Cummings. 
Cummings was the chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Schiff called Cummings “the heart and soul of our caucus,” and Nadler said his “presence passion and moral clarity will be missed.”
Here are their messages:

Elijah Cummings was the heart and soul of our caucus, a dignified leader with a voice that could move mountains.

He was our moral and ethical North Star. Now we will be guided by his powerful memory and incomparable legacy.

Rest In Peace, my friend.

9,393 people are talking about this
 1 hr 13 min ago

Trump on Cummings: "His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!"

President Trump has just tweeted his “warmest condolences” following the death of Congressman Elijah Cummings.
“I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!”

May 14, 2019

Sen.Paul Gazelka Child Condemns His Dad’s Pro Conversion Vote

 by James Finn
Sen. Paul Gazelka, Facebook
About a week after the state Senate voted down a proposed ban on gay conversion therapy for kids, the adult child of the Republican who led that vote is speaking out.
Genna Gazelka's father is Sen. Paul Gazelka, the majority leader of the Minnesota Senate. The younger Gazelka — who identifies as bi-gender and uses "they/their" pronouns — spoke to the Star Tribune on Friday in an exclusive interview.
“My question is, how can you say you love me and still do this, and do it at the governmental level, exercise your governmental authority because you can’t stop me in my individual life,” they said of their father's vote.
Gazelka also told the paper they were sent to a "therapist who decried same-sex relations," which was "tantamount to what could be said of torture or sexual torture.”
As the Star Tribune notes, Sen. Gazelka denied sending Genna to "sexual-identity conversion" as a teen. You can read the rest of the report (and watch a video interview with Genna Gazelka) right here. 

More about the failed ban on conversion therapy

As the Pioneer Press reports, DFL Sen. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis attached the proposal to a larger budget bill; it would have stopped any state money going toward such therapy, and also would have forbidden mental health providers "from using it to treat children and vulnerable adults."  Last Wednesday, the paper notes, it failed in the Republican-controlled Senate, with some GOP senators expressing concern the ban would "amount to government intrusion into people’s lives."
Though there was some GOP support for the ban (most notably from Sen. Scott Jensen of Chaska), a group of about "a half-dozen Republicans" threatened to vote against the "gigantic health and human services budget bill it was attached to" if it passed, City Pages reports.
“It put the entire omnibus bill at risk,” Jensen told the paper, citing this as a reason the ban failed to pass. 
Conversion therapy is a deeply contentious issue and has come under severe criticism in the science community; according to The Trevor Project, "no credible scientific study has ever supported the claims of conversion therapists to actually change a person’s sexual orientation."

September 24, 2018

The Whole Family is Against This Republican Winning a Seat in Congress for Arizona

WHY? He sucks according to them!

Six brothers and sisters of Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona,
 have appeared in ads speaking out against him and endorsing his Democratic opponent.CreditCreditBill Clark/CQ Roll Call, via Associated Press
  • It might seem like family dysfunction or a very bad case of sibling rivalry. Six of nine brothers and sisters of Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, publicly endorsed his Democratic opponent in the midterm elections in videos on Friday, in what one of them said was nothing short of a moral imperative. The siblings were alarmed at what they saw as the congressman’s increasingly extremist views on immigration, health care and white supremacists, one of them, David Gosar, said on Saturday.“I’m just hoping either in this election cycle or next, the people get the idea that he’s just not fit for that office and he needs to be removed,” he said.

August 25, 2018

The No.2 Congressman Who Endorsed Trump After Sessions Says 'If Anyone Did Anything Wrong Must be My Wife, She Kept the Books'

Image result for duncan and wife

He hasn't answer yet what dissabled vets are supposed to do with the golf balls his paper work shows he bought for them from his campaing funds. I have a feeling the injured vets would have appreciated balls to play golf but first they need to be into golf and second have all the limbs available to play with the balls. But he says that has to do with his wife, she did the campaing funds paperwork.

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

(CNN)Rep. Duncan D. Hunter seemed to shift any blame onto his wife, Margaret, on Thursday for alleged campaign fund abuses, saying she was the one handling his finances.
"She was also the campaign manager, so whatever she did that'll be looked at too, I'm sure," the California Republican said on Fox News. 
"But I didn't do it," Hunter said. "I didn't spend any money illegally." 
Duncan Hunter steps down from committee assignments amid corruption charges
Duncan Hunter steps down from committee assignments amid corruption charges
Duncan and Margaret Hunter pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to federal charges that they had stolen a quarter of a million dollars in campaign funds to furnish their lavish lifestyle. The Hunters had been indicted earlier this week, accused of spending the campaign money on expenses including a $14,000 Italian vacation, groceries and other household items. 
    "My campaign did make mistakes," Hunter said in the Fox interview. "There was money spent on things not by me but by the campaign, and I paid that back before my last election." 

    Duncan Hunter maintains innocence, likens himself to Trump after indictment
    Duncan Hunter maintains innocence, likens himself to Trump after indictment
    Hunter, a former Marine, said that when he went to Iraq in 2003 he gave his wife power of attorney and she has handled his finances throughout his military career and time in Congress. 
    The Hunters are accused of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, wire fraud, falsification of records and prohibited use of campaign contributions, among other charges.

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