Rep. Allen West (R-FL) responded to being uninvited from a local Florida closed-door business group meeting after an LGBT group threatened to boycott if West attended, by sending the leader of the business group a letter that calls the LGBT group, “intolerable individuals.”
“Clearly, we have learned who really are the intolerable individuals in South Florida,” Rep. West writes in his letter (below), printed on his official Congress of the United States stationery.
Rep. West had been invited to speak on August 8 to the Wilton Manors Business Association (WMBA). Wilton Manors, a small, two mile square city in Broward County,Â is a very LGBT-friendly part of the Florida, and has a very active LGBT community. The head of the WMBA invited Rep. West, some say without canvassing the association members.
“John Zieba, an owner of Rosieâ€™s Bar and Grill, which caters largely to a gay and lesbian clientele, said he wanted the event cancelled,” reports the Sun-Sentinel.
His business was one of the newest members of the Wilton Manors Business Association â€“ and as such was listed prominently on the business groupâ€™s website. After the West invitation made news last week, he got about 15 emailed complaints from angry people, some of whom said they wouldnâ€™t patronize his establishment.
He emailed Celeste Ellich, president of the association, said that if the group â€œwas going to continue to welcome this speaker or any other speaker with those messages of inequality and injustice we would be resigning from the association.â€
He said plenty of other speakers could talk to association members about business issues who â€œdonâ€™t vehemently oppose the basic values of a lot of people in our community.â€
Zieba said he respects â€œanyoneâ€™s right to be able to come into speak. I respect anyoneâ€™s right to come and rally against it.â€ He also said the proposed boycott of business association members was ill conceived.
Vanessa Koutalidis, a Wilton Manors chiropractor and secretary of the business association board, said she didnâ€™t have any threats of patients boycotting.
But she strongly supported cancellation of the West appearance.
She said having West, who doesnâ€™t support social issues important to many in the gay community, speak it is an affront to gays and lesbians in Wilton Manors.
â€œItâ€™s a sensitivity issue to many people in our community who feel denigrated,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s not just because it might hurt the businesses. Itâ€™s insensitive, itâ€™s insulting to our community which has been affected by his comments and views.â€
As The New Civil Rights Movement has reported, the boycott threat came fromÂ Michael Rajner, legislative director of the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Caucus, whoÂ last week toldÂ The New Civil Rights Movement, â€œSeveral businesses have already dropped out of the Wilton Manors Business Association and several others have sent aÂ strong message to the associationâ€™s president objecting to Westâ€™s appearance.”
Rep. Allen West has been a highly-controversial figure in Florida and nationwide.Â West is best known for falsely claiming, â€œI have aÂ clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background,” but the freshman Republican Congressman has also riled many for attending The Awakening 2011, aÂ religious and social conservatives convention, that featured several members of aÂ certified anti-â€‹gay hate group.
Also, in April,Â Rep. West, who had accused President Obama of acting with “third world dictator-â€‹like arrogance,” made aÂ statement that earned him the ire of aÂ great many groups. He began to talk about America through the lens of Ancient Sparta, the much-â€‹heralded Greek city-â€‹state that inspired the bloody movie, â€œ300.â€
â€œWe need you to come in and lock shields, and strengthen up the men who are going to fight for you. To let these other women know on the other sideâ€‰â€”â€‰these planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weaknessâ€‰â€”â€‰to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient.â€
Rep. West falsely stated at an April town hall,Â â€œChina is in control of the Panama Canal,” andÂ warned of a â€œthreatâ€ coming from south of our border. West added,Â â€œI gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye,â€ at the same Florida townÂ hall.
â€œAnd if ballots donâ€™t work, bullets will,â€ is the statement made in 2010 by Joyce Kaufman, aÂ controversial Florida radio host who had advocated for the hanging of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. West hired Kaufman to be hisÂ chief of staff, but she was essentially forced to resign after public outrage became too great. West reportedly blamed the Left of racism and misogyny as reasons for Kaufmanâ€™s resignation.
West, 50, despite being on the HouseÂ Committee on Armed Services, last year said of gay men and lesbians in the military, â€œunfortunately, they are serving.â€Â He delivered the keynote speech at this yearâ€™sÂ CPAC.
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‘I Will Not Stand by Silently’: Sotomayor Blasts SCOTUS Conservatives Over Their Latest Attack on Abortion Rights
“The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed outrage at her conservative Supreme Court colleagues Thursday afternoon, after the six right wing jurists went one step further in attacking the constitutional guarantee of abortion.
Voting 6-3 against a women’s health care provider the Court denied a request by Texas Women’s Health, which provides abortion services, to change jurisdictions, which according to Justice Sotomayor the Court should have done.
“The lawsuit is now stalled with the Texas Supreme Court,” Rewire News reports.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a Supreme Court expert calls Sotomayor’s dissent “stunning.”
“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Sotomayor writes. “I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee. I dissent.”
She begins her dissent by explaining the case:
“It has been over four months since Texas Senate Bill 8 (S. B. 8) took effect. The law immediately devastated access to abortion care in Texas through a complicated private-bounty-hunter scheme that violates nearly 50 years of this Court’s precedents.”
“Today, for the fourth time, this Court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights. One month after directing that the petitioners’ suit could proceed in part, the Court countenances yet another violation of its own commands. Instead of stopping a Fifth Circuit panel from indulging Texas’ newest delay tactics, the Court allows the State yet again to extend the deprivation of the federal constitutional rights of its citizens through procedural manipulation. The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”
In response the Guttmacher Institute, an organization focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, accused the Supreme Court of “once again putting ideology over the rule of law.”
Image via Shutterstock
Ivanka Trump Responds to Committee’s Invite by Saying She Called for End to Violence – Leaves Out ‘Patriots’ Part
Ivanka Trump is responding to her invitation from the January 6 Committee by issuing a statement that is being seen suggesting she has no intention of accepting. Earlier Thursday the Committee sent the former First Daughter and White House senior advisor a lengthy 11-page letter asking for her voluntary cooperation.
A statement from her spokesperson given to CNN White House Correspondent Kate Bennett references a tweet posted by Ivanka Trump the day of the attack on the Capitol – a tweet she was forced to delete after massive outrage.
“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the statement reads. “As she publicly stated at 3:15pm, ‘any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately.”
NEW: @IvankaTrump's spokesperson tells me Ivanka "just learned" of the 1/6 Committee's invitation to appear before them, but from the response below, it sounds as though she isn't planning to do so: pic.twitter.com/VXpUXDnEuP
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) January 20, 2022
But in the actual Ivanka Trump called the insurrectionists “American Patriots,” as CNN reported that day:
— CNN (@CNN) January 6, 2021
Georgia Prosecutor Asks to Convene Special Grand Jury to Investigate Donald Trump’s Alleged Election Interference
A Georgia county district attorney has requested to convene a special grand jury to assist in her investigation of Donald Trump‘s alleged election interference.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a letter to the county’s Superior Court chief judge writes that her office “has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions,” according to the Associated Press.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (photo) was forced to release audio of then-President Trump appearing to intimidate him into fixing the election in his favor.
Trump, in the audio, can be heard berating and threatening the Republican Secretary of State, demanding he “recalculate” the losing election results and “find 11,780 votes” for him, which would have enabled Trump to falsely be declared the winner. Raffensberger refused.
“So look. All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensberger. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added, falsely. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
Willis told the AP the scope of her investigation “includes — but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.”
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