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Watch: Anti-LGBT Right Wing Group Releases Ad Promoting False, Fear-Mongering Trans Bathroom Myth

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But Polls Show Voters Favor Equal Rights Ordinance

With early voting less than a week away, supporters and opponents of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance have released dueling TV ads focusing — naturally — on transgender people using public restrooms, aka, the issue of transgender bathroom use. 

However, a new poll shows the debunked transgender bathroom myth may have less of an impact on the outcome of the election than the threat of Houston losing the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four and the 2017 Super Bowl if voters reject the ordinance. The poll is also the second in as many weeks showing that more Houston voters support the ordinance, which is known as HERO and will appear as Proposition 1 on the ballot, than oppose it. 

Houston Unites, the coalition supporting the ordinance, released an ad Monday featuring Ed Gonzalez, a former Houston police officer of 18 years. 

“As a former police officer and father of four girls I’m always in protection mode,” Gonzalez says. “I’ve heard concerns that Proposition 1 could put women and children at risk in restrooms. So I looked into it, and learned that in cities in Texas with similar laws there’s been no uptick in public safety incidences. It’s already illegal for men to go into a women’s bathroom to harm or harass someone. Proposition 1 won’t change that. The facts show that it’ll keep people safe and protect all Houstonians from discrimination. Vote Yes on Proposition 1.”

Campaign for Houston, the conservative coalition headed by Jared Woodfill, a 47-year old attorney and former Chairman of the Republican Party of Harris County, Texas is opposing HERO. The group responded Tuesday with a fear-mongering ad suggesting the ordinance would allow sex offenders to enter women’s restrooms to prey on children. 

“The ad depicts an uncomfortable situation when a minor female enters a women’s bathroom, only to suddenly find a man using the same facilities,” Campaign for Houston spokesman Jared Woodfill said in an email announcing the ad. “In the TV spot, the female announcer says, ‘Any man at any time could enter a women’s bathroom simply by claiming to be a woman that day. No one is exempt. Even registered sex offenders could follow women, or young girls, into the bathroom.'”

While HERO opponents have built their campaign almost entirely around the trans bathroom myth, a poll released Monday shows only 15 percent of voters who support HERO would oppose the ordinance if they knew it would “allow a man who identifies and dresses as a woman to use a woman’s restroom.” 

That may seem like a large number, but the same poll showed 24 percent of voters who oppose HERO would support the ordinance if rejecting it would cost Houston the Final Four and Super Bowl. 

“The rhetoric on the economic argument is quite salient,” Rice University political scientist told The Houston Chronicle. “Particularly among African-American women, that issue really moves voters.”

Overall, the KUHF/KHOU poll found that 43 percent of voters support HERO, 37 oppose it, 18 percent are unsure, and 2 percent refused to answer. 

Last week, a Houston Association of Realtors poll found that 52 percent support HERO, 37 percent oppose it, and 10 percent are undecided.

Meanwhile, the most recent campaign finance reports showed HERO supporters had raised $1.26 million, more than twice as much as opponents.

After the council approved the ordinance last May, the city rejected a petition seeking to repeal it, saying it didn’t have enough valid signatures. Anti-LGBT activists filed a lawsuit, but a district judge upheld the city’s decision, saying the petition contained widespread forgery. However, HERO opponents eventually obtained a decision from the elected, all-Republican Texas Supreme Court, ordering the city to repeal the ordinance or place it on the ballot. 

The ordinance would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and 13 other characteristics, including race. Houston is the largest city in the US that doesn’t currently have LGBT protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. 

Early voting begins Oct. 19. 

 

Image: Screenshot via Campaign for Houston/YouTube

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McConnell Refuses to Commit to Confirming a Biden Supreme Court Nominee if GOP Takes Back the Senate

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Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not “mount a blockade” against a possible Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Joe Biden, should the opportunity arise, if Republicans take back the Senate after the 2022 elections.

McConnell, as Majority Leader, infamously refused to even allow then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to have any confirmation hearings, keeping the seat open if a Republican won the White House in 2016, which Donald Trump did.

In an interview with Politico’s Burgess Everett, the Kentucky Republican who has been in the U.S. Senate since 1984 was asked if he would again “mount a blockade.”

“Cross those bridges when I get there, we are focusing on ‘22,” McConnell said, Everett reports. “I don’t rule anything in or out about how to handle nominations if I’m in the majority position.”

Politico’s Anthony Adragna opines that “progressives will freak”over McConnell’s remarks.

“Liberal groups have ratcheted up the pressure on Justice Stephen Breyer to consider retirement, fearing McConnell would simply keep the seat open if he regains power in the midterms…. These comments will only add fuel to those fears.”

The U.S. Supreme Court currently has a 6-3 conservative majority, with three of those six justices being placed on the Court by Donald Trump. Many Democrats believe it’s time to expand the court to 11 or 13 justices to better represent the American people. The Court has had nine justices since 1869. The 1870 census reported the population of the United States at just 38 million people. Today, the total U.S. population is 332 million, nearly nine times that number.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Fox News Goes Full White Supremacist With Republican Who Says ‘Hope and Change’ Means ‘Replace the American Electorate’

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Fox News has gone full white supremacist. The right wing cable network’s top primetime host, Tucker Carlson, has been promoting the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory since April, doubling down on it this week. But now Fox News’ daytime programming is totally on board, embracing that racist rhetoric.

On Friday “Fox & Friends” hosted U.S. Rep Brian Babin, who spewed the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, adding a new racist twist.

According to the Texas Republican, former President Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” slogan means “change America” by replacing “the electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID-positive.”

Babin repeatedly said “change America,” honing in on the white supremacist conspiracy theory of “replacement,” a concept seared into the minds of many Americans who saw the tiki-torch wielding neo-Nazis marching through Charlotte chanting, “You will not replace us.”

“We know what the grand strategy of the Democratic Party is,” Congressman Babin declared. “They want to change America, ‘hope and change,’ and it started under Obama and now it’s really going to just racehorse speed.”

“They want to change America, they want to they want to replace the American electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID-positive, drug resistant tuberculosis, I’m a health care provider, I can tell you it’s a disaster down there from a public health standpoint, and they are just want to change the electorate and put these people on a path to citizenship and franchise them with a vote and have a permanent majority. On every phase we can see every aspect the Democrats are trying to change America, from what we know what we love and what we have enjoyed for 244 years, right, it’s despicable.”

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‘It’s a War’: Trump Pleads With Employees as NY Prosecutors Look to Crack ‘Mob-Like Code of Silence’ – Report

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New York prosecutors are attempting to exploit a “Shakespearean” internal conflict at the Trump Organization between two rival dynasties, as they aim to crack the company’s “mob-like code of silence,” according to a new report from the Daily Beast.

Former president Donald Trump, aware of prosecutors’ strategy, has been reminding employees to “stick together” and stay strong, according to the report.

The internal conflict pits the Weisselberg family — whose patriarch, Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, has been indicted in a 15-year tax-fraud scheme — and the Calamari family, led by Chief Operating Officer Matthew Calamari Sr.

“They hate each other. It’s a war,” Allen Weisselberg’s daughter, Jennifer, who has become a witness for New York prosecutors, recently told the Daily Beast.

Trump himself has always seemed to be New York prosecutors’ chief target in the ongoing probe, but in order to get him, they’ll need his right-hand finance man, Weisselberg, to flip, according to the report.

In order to get Weisselberg to flip, prosecutors are attempting to leverage the CFO’s assistant, company controller and accountant Jeffrey S. McConney. So investigators have been trying to get Calamari’s son, Matty Jr., to provide damning information about McConney, who prepared his individual taxes.

According to the report, it has become “common knowledge” in the upper echelon of Trump’s business and personal circles that prosecutors are attempting to exploit the rivalry between the two families.

“It’s gotten so apparent that, in multiple meetings and phone calls since the spring, Donald Trump has reminded business associates and other members of his inner orbit about the need for Trump Organization staff to ‘stick together’ and stay strong, according to two other people familiar with the matter,” the Daily Beast reported. “The enmity between the Weisselbergs and Calamaris dates back decades, and it centers on their unwavering love of Trump. Two longtime associates described a Shakespearean conflict of rival dynasties, with dukes competing for the king’s favor.”

Earlier this week, Weisselberg’s attorney said in court that he has “strong reason to believe there could be other indictments coming” in the investigation — which prosecutors have been aggressively pursuing.

Read more here.

 

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