One week after Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said Governor Andrew Cuomo’s same-sex marriage equality bill would have been voted on, and one more day of Republican caucusing, Skelos — the one man who has the ultimate power to say yes or no to a vote on the marriage bill — tells reporters,Â “I can’t say we’re closer.”
Reports are now coming in that Wednesday or Thursday is the vote — assuming the bill gets a vote.
What we are closer to is the end of the Senate’s legislative session. If this bill does not get a vote this week, you can kiss goodbye any hope of not only a June wedding, but a 2011 wedding.
(In truth, the bill takes 30 days to become effective after it’s signed by the Governor, but it was a little poetic.)
What’s important to know about today?
The Senate is battling over religious exemptions. Who is on the list of being included in legalized discrimination.
Republicans want anyone who claims they have a religious, moral, or “conscience” issue with doing business with same-sex couples to be exempt from prosecution, and the Democrats — along with 700 faith leaders — say the bill the way it is, especially combined with New York’s current laws, is sufficient.
Skelos was very informative tonight as he left a meeting with Governor Cuomo and NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Skelos told reporters the issue is not just religious carve outs, but “severability.” In other words, they are working on language that makes the bill judicial hammer-proof. They don’t want lawyers and judges going back after the bill becomes law (if it does) and taking out the religious exemptions.
So in bed with the Curch these Republicans are — it’s offensive.
But that’s what you get when you mix church and state and have people like New York Archbishop Tim Dolan as the President of theÂ U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
There’s a candlelight vigil in Albany tonight for same-sex marriage equality supporters, who are outnumbered by anti-gay marriage activists, according to reports.
Then at noon Tuesday, there’s a pro-marriage equality rally as well.
If you’re in the area, go!
And if you’re a constituent of Senator Ball, pick up the phone and ask him to vote for marriage equality.
Heck, call all these Senators and ask them to vote for equality.
Stephen Saland (845) 463â€‘0840
Roy McDonald (518) 274â€‘4616
Andrew Lanza (718) 984â€‘4073
Greg Ball (845) 279â€‘3773
Kemp Hannon (516) 739â€‘1700
Charles Fuschillo (516) 882â€‘0630
Betty Little (518) 743â€‘0968
Also, please call Senator Dean Skelos to make clear that the people of New Yorkâ€‰â€”â€‰58% at last countâ€‰â€”â€‰want marriage equality in our state. As Senate Majority Leader he should make sure that equality for all New YorkersÂ is ourÂ motto.
Dean Skelos (518) 455â€‘3171
You can also go online and contact your Senators:
Oh, that poll at the top?
Despite 4 options to vote for discrimination, hate, and bigotry, thanks to the Neanderthals at upstate NY radio station WBEN, seems good people were able to select the right choice. Thanks to Courage Campaign’s Adam Bink for alerting us!
Lastly, read Alvin McEwen’s “Are the anti-marriage equality forces in NY stalling for a reaction?“
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Watch: Republican Wrongly Tells Constituents ‘Of Course’ Inflation Is 40% in Ad Shopping, Complaining About Prices
A sitting U.S. Congresswoman who may have violated a federal conflict of interest law by incorrectly reporting receipt of $500,000 in stocks took a page out of Dr. Oz’s playbook Wednesday, cutting an ad showing her shopping – not for crudité, but for back-to-school supplies as she complains about prices while falsely claiming U.S. inflation is 40%.
Rep. María Elvira Salazar, Republican of Florida, who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, recorded the ad (below) in Spanish with English subtitles inside a Target and posted it to her personal Twitter account.
In it she falsely states the rate of inflation. Current U.S. inflation is 8.5% annually. For the month of July it was at zero percent, which caused the annual rate to drop from 9.1% in June to 8.5%.
Many other countries have much higher inflation. The UK’s annual rate just jumped to 10.1%, a quarter of what she claimed the U.S. inflation rate is. Inflation is highest in Venezuela at 1198%. Sudan is at 340%. Argentina is at 51.2%, and Turkey is at 36.1%.
Congresswoman Salazar voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, as did every House and Senate Republican. Defensively, after she posted her video, on Twitter she wrote: “Let me be clear: the Inflation Reduction Act will do NOTHING to reduce inflation. Instead, it’s going to raise your taxes, send American jobs overseas, and weaponize the IRS to come for your hard-earned dollars.” All of which is false for the vast majority of Americans.
In a press release targeting Rep. Salazar the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the House passed “the Inflation Reduction Act, broadly popular legislation that will lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs — all while reducing the deficit and carbon emissions, by making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”
According to reported Insider, Salazar “appears to have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law by improperly disclosing a 6-figure stock trade.”
“On June 10, Salazar disclosed in a congressional financial filing that, on February 14, she had received up to $500,000 worth of publicly traded stock in Cano Health Inc., a company that provides health care services for seniors.”
Watch Rep. Salazar’s video below or at this link:
Hoy es el primer día de clases en Miami-Dade y los precios de los útiles escolares están por las nubes. El aumento de la inflación en Miami es el resultado directo de las malas decisiones tomadas en Washington… ¡Los padres no pueden pagar esto!
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) August 17, 2022
Weisselberg Expected to ‘Criminally Implicate’ Trump Organization in Plea Deal Admitting to 15 Felonies: Reports
Allen Weisselberg, the ex-Trump Organization CFO who has worked for the former president’s family since 1970, is expected to plead guilty to 15 felonies and “criminally implicate” the real estate empire.
“The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer will admit to conspiring with the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation in a 15-year tax fraud scheme while head of the company’s finances at a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing on Thursday,” the Daily News reports. “Allen Weisselberg is expected to criminally implicate Trump’s family real estate business when he pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud charges, a source familiar with the matter told The News on Wednesday.”
Weisselberg is also expected to agree to testify against the Trump companies, and agree to a five-month sentence at Rikers Island, the horrific New York City jail that is slated to be shut down by 2026.
The New York Times calls the impending plea deal “a serious blow to the company that could imperil its chances in an upcoming trial.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Dr. Oz Trounced in Newsmax Interview as Host Demands Explanation for ‘Wegner’s’ and ‘Crudité’ Ad
Republican Mehmet Oz is having a tough time in his entrance to Pennsylvania politics. The multi-millionaire celebrity TV doctor, running for a U.S. Senate seat, released a video which this week went viral with liberals – and his Democratic opponent, Lt. Governor John Fetterman – picking it apart.
In the video, an attack ad on President Joe Biden, who he is not running against, Dr. Oz says he’s shopping at “Wegner’s,” a grocery store that does not exist. Internet sleuths deduced he was shopping at Redner’s, although some believe he was at Wegmans — including a Newsmax TV host, who Oz did not correct.
Why did he get something as simple as the name of a beloved Pennsylvania grocery store wrong?
“I was exhausted,” Oz told Newsmax, after “campaigning 18 hours a day.”
He also admitted he gets the names of his children wrong.
Curiously, the 39-second video Oz recorded is from April, and it got criticized then, but he left it up – only for the Fetterman campaign to go after it again. Back in April it led to questions about his tremendous wealth, put at around $400 million, and calls of being a “carpetbagger,” as many say he actually lives in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania.
Inflation is hurting American families. Under Joe Biden, gas prices are skyrocketing and food prices are rising. We must stop the reckless spending. This is outrageous! Thanks a lot, Joe. pic.twitter.com/8kNil6upn8
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) April 6, 2022
Politico reports the Fetterman campaign “said it had raised more than $500,000 from the crudité video alone — including a sticker of the non-existent ‘Wegners.’ ‘Oz clearly has never been in a grocery store before. That’s why this is resonating with supporters across Pennsylvania,’ said Brendan McPhillips, Fetterman’s campaign manager.”
The Fetterman campaign appears to have created a “Wegner’s Groceries” account on Twitter, and is pounding Oz with snark.
First ad campaign pic.twitter.com/nzSGbr1mK1
— T.J. Harley (@tj_harley) August 16, 2022
Mmmmm 😋 crudité pic.twitter.com/SVqQDGOKEd
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 16, 2022
— T.J. Harley (@tj_harley) August 16, 2022
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania voters do not appear to be impressed with Oz.
One Republican poll shows Fetterman beating Oz by 18 points.
“New poll conducted by GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies for Pittsburgh Works Together shows big leads for Dems in the PA Senate and governors races. Fetterman up 18 points over Oz,” reports Politico’s Alex Isenstadt. The Democratic nominee for governor, Josh Shapiro is up 15 points over Republican Doug Mastriano, he adds.
Back over at Newsmax, here was host Shaun Kraisman hammering Oz:
Asked about mispronouncing ‘Wegmans,’ Mehmet Oz: “I was exhausted…I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth” pic.twitter.com/OZDjy0iN4d
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) August 17, 2022
“As you know, this video went viral,” Kraisman says, as Mediate reports. “You were at Wegmans going through the veggie aisle, essentially hitting on inflation and how things cost more, putting together a plate of crudité would cost you more than 20 bucks. You said that you were at Wegner’s – this is a very popular local grocery in this region called Wegmans.”
Kraisman later says, “I don’t mean to fixate on it, but just for those watching in Pennsylvania, you know how particular many people are about their groceries, what happened with Wegmans and Wegner’s? Can you explain that to them?”
“Yeah. I was exhausted. Well, you’re campaigning 18 hours a day. I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth.”
Kraisman also says, “it does get to the factor: Is Dr. Oz relatable to the everyday, hardworking American there in Pennsylvania?”
“We’ll do whatever we need to do to make sure the people of Pennsylvania respect what we’re about,” Oz replies, “and that we’re going to work as hard as we can to fix their problems. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. It’s what I’ll continue to do. I challenged my opponent. What have you done? Rolling your sleeves up in your own life to make life better for the people of Pennsylvania?”
Before he was elected Lt. Governor, Fetterman was elected mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, four times, and served for 13 years.
Oz concludes, “I’m the person who put us on the right track and addressed many of the challenges. Cost of living, crime, and our schools that afflict so many Pennsylvanians.”
Some have also questioned if Oz understands what job he’s running for.
U.S. Senators don’t have tremendous responsibility over their state’s cost of living, crime, and school issues. Nor do they “lead the Commonwealth,” as he said to the Newsmax host.
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