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BREAKING: New York Governor Paterson Ends Reelection Bid Amid Scandal



After fending off a recently-reported bombshell rumor, New York’s Governor David Paterson, the man who succeeded Eliot Spitzer after a sex-scandal resignation, has decided to not seek reelection, amid reports of his own scandal.

Via The New York Times:

“[M]any had said publicly this week that Mr. Paterson’s chances had been damaged, perhaps irreparably, by the disclosures that the governor himself had stepped in on behalf of David W. Johnson, 37, a close confidant who rose from being a young intern to being Mr. Paterson’s driver and scheduler and, later, to a wider role in Mr. Paterson’s operation.

“Last fall Mr. Johnson’s longtime companion accused him of brutally assaulting her, telling the police that he had choked her and thrown her against a dresser. She also said that Mr. Johnson had kept her from calling for help.

“Twice, the woman was granted a temporary order of protection against Mr. Johnson. But she complained in court that the State Police had pressed her to drop the allegations.

“Then, on Feb. 7, the day before a court hearing about a final protective order, Mr. Paterson spoke to her on the phone. She did not show up for the hearing the next day, and the judge dismissed the case.”

Paterson’s rise to New York’s chief executive came amid shock. Spitzer was a highly-respected attorney general who handily won the Governorship with 69% of the vote. But Spitzer’s tenure as governor was rocky, and months before his resignation his popularity quickly diminished, especially over “Troopergate.” Spitzer resigned from office on March 12, 2008, two days after the New York Times reported Spitzer had repeatedly patronized prostitutes.

Paterson, the day after his own inauguration as governor, confessed his own marital infidelities, as did his wife. But the people and the press, tired of the Spitzer sex scandal, were willing to ignore Paterson’s indiscretions and he received wide support.

However, Paterson quickly lost that support. His leadership stumbled several times, and when the time came to appoint a replacement for the senate seat held by Hillary Clinton, who accepted the position of Secretary of State in Barack Obama’s White House, Paterson’s performance was called into question as his office was slow to respond to rumor. Several candidates were rumored but not announced. Then, when Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, announced her interest in the seat, but was publicly rebuffed by Paterson’s office, Paterson quickly lost whatever support he had left. To this day, he has been reported to be the governor with the least support in New York State history.

Both Paterson and Spitzer, early in their tenure as governors, announced they would pursue enacting marriage equality. Paterson ensured New York State offices recognized same-sex marriages from any other jurisdiction, and in April, 2009, Paterson announced his intent to sign a gay marriage bill. He labeled Prop 8 an “unfortunate accident,” and described lack of marriage equality as “not a crisis of issues but a crisis of leadership.” Sadly, Paterson’s tenure has been plagued by just such a crisis of leadership.

Similarly, in April 2007, then-Governor Spitzer announced his support for a same-sex marriage bill, but was rebuffed by a no vote under New York State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

Paterson’s position as Governor Spitzer’s Lieutenant remained vacant until he appointment of Richard Ravitch, as New York has no formal process to replace the lost of a lieutenant governor.

Despite his low popularity, Paterson announced he would seek to retain his position in the fall, 2010 election, and began unofficially campaigning several months ago. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the man many thought Paterson should have appointed Senator, instead of Kirsten Gillibrand, has always polled to be far ahead of Paterson.

Senator Gillibrand, a state senator from the north, and thought to lean conservative, was skeptically received in the southern, more progressive half of the the state. But she quickly amended her position on gun control and gay rights, and has been an ardent supporter of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and same-sex marriage.

(On a personal note, I attended a meeting Senator Gillibrand held last fall in New York City with the LGBTQ community, including gay leaders like Dan Choi, and I fully believe she has our interests at heart. She has worked tirelessly for our interests and has earned the right to be elected to the seat this fall.)

Of course, we all know what happened this week when Harold Ford tried to squeeze into New York politics…

At this point, Paterson will be even more of a lame duck through the end of his embattled governorship, leaving the New York State Legislature with no powerful peer, which will no doubt lead the state into insolvency, both financially and morally, for years to come.

More than ever, it’s time for the people to throw the bums out.

(UPDATE) Although it is assumed Cuomo supports same-sex marriage, his stance is not exactly known, and he has been cautious to lend an opinion only on the legality of specific state issues. Recently, however, it was reported (via Lez Get Real) that Cuomo would “be headlining a fundraiser for State Senator Carl Kruger.” Kruger is one of the “Hate 38,” and one of eight New York State Democratic senators who voted down the marriage equality bill in December.

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‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes



Judge Nixes Trump’s ‘Executive Privilege’ Claim, Orders Mark Meadows, Stephen Miller, Other Top Aides to Testify as Corcoran Completes Grand Jury Appearance

It’s a bad day behind the scenes for Donald Trump.

First, his own attorney, Evan Corcoran, just past noon on Friday walked out of a federal court building after completing more than three hours of testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of sensitive, classified, and top secret documents.

His testimony, compelled by a subpoena, is seen by a former top DOJ official as “the most critical evidence in the case,” and should “allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”

READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’

Prosecutors, citing the crime-fraud exception, were able to convince a federal judge that Trump likely committed a crime via his attorneys, enabling them to bypass attorney-client privilege.

Trump had strived to block Corcoran from testifying, but a federal judge and an appeals court, in an extraordinarily quick turnaround – some legal experts saying for reasons likely related to national security – ordered him to testify.

Also Friday, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege and ordered testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating Trump’s actions related to the January 6 insurrection from eight former top Trump White House aides.

Among them, Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Also, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien and former deputy chief of staff and social media director Dan Scavino, ABC News reports.

READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter

Meadows is a former GOP congressman seen by many as integral to the events of January 6.

“Former Trump aides Nick Luna and John McEntee, along with former top DHS official Ken Cuccinelli, were also included in the order, the sources said,” according to ABC News.

Former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman weighed in, saying: “Another really big shoe drops: [Judge] Howell rejects Trump’s executive privilege claim and orders Mark Meadows and others to testify before Jan 6 [grand jury]. Meadows has really been able to stay on the sidelines. No more–even if he takes the 5th, which [would] then force [question] of immunity.”


Image of Donald Trump via Shutterstock


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‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’



The Republican-majority U.S. House of Representatives Friday morning passed HR 5, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” legislation similar to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ laws that have led to book bans and targeting of LGBTQ children.

The bill passed 213-208, with 14 Members not voting. All yes votes were from Republicans only. Five Republicans joined Democrats to vote no.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu of California warned the legislation “pits parents against parents.”

“The extreme MAGA H.R. 5 bill will let other parents dictate what books your child gets to read. It’ll make it easier for other parents to know if your child has an eating disorder, or is experiencing a mental health crisis,” Lieu warned.

READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing

U.S> Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) warned, “H.R. 5 would codify Republican book bans all over the country. Stories of Holocaust survivors, enslaved Americans, and over 1,600 other stories have already been pulled from shelves.”

U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) said HR5 is “a vehicle for hate and political nonsense.”

Congressman Greg Murphy, Republican of North Carolina, in a recorded statement falsely claimed the bill was needed because “Children are being taught to hate our country,” and “parents are labeled as domestic terrorists.”

In his speech before the bill passed, Speaker Kevin McCarthy declared, “We believe parents should know what your children is [sic] learning.”

CNN reports the bill would also “require elementary and middle schools that receive federal funding to obtain parental consent before ‘changing a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name on any school form; or allowing a child to change the child’s sex-based accommodations, including locker rooms or bathrooms.'”

Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the legislation “Orwellian to the core,” and promised it “will not see the light of day.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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Far Right Christian Nationalist Brags His ‘Biblical Worldview’ Group Is Behind Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Anti-Trans Law



Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation Tuesday prohibiting transgender people from using public school facilities that match their gender identity. Later that same day, Jason Rapert, a former Arkansas state senator and founder of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, posted a video crediting his organization for the legislation.

Rapert, a longtime religious-right activist and ardent Christian nationalist, bragged that this piece of legislation was first proposed by Arkansas school board member David Naylor during an annual NACL meeting, endorsed by the organization, and finally brought to the Arkansas state legislature by state Rep. Mary Bentley, who serves on the board of the NACL.

“The NACL has seven working committees,” Rapert said. “Those committees actually debate and discuss every major policy issue in this country, all from a biblical worldview.”

“We make model laws,” he continued. “Do you know that just recently Rep. Mary Bentley of Arkansas passed a model law that the NACL adopted at their last meeting in the state of Texas?”

“Rep. Mary Bentley, [who] is our chair of the National Legislative Council, she went to the Arkansas legislature, took that concept that came from Dr. David Naylor that was then adopted by the full body of the NACL, and guess what? It’s already been placed into law in the state of Arkansas,” Rapert crowed. “That’s the difference the NACL can make in your community.”

“This is what the NACL does every day all across this country,” Rapert bellowed later in the video. “We are fighting for the lives of little babies. We are fighting against the people that are putting the queer books into your school libraries and trying to groom these children into homosexuality. We’re standing up. We’re pursuing school board policies to save the nation. We are standing up and have our members running bills in the halls of the state legislatures to stand up against this woke ideology, to push back against the things of the devil in our country.”

In December, Rapert declared that right-wing Christians must rise up and “take authority” over everything from their local school boards to the federal government. The National Association for Christian Lawmakers seeks do just that, advancing legislation that fits their narrow conservative biblical worldview in statehouses throughout the country. The group’s advisory board includes politicians like Mike Huckabee and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as well as influential religious-right activists like Tony Perkins of Family Research Council and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel.

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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