North Carolina wants special rights to receive funding under federal contracts they’ve signed but that theyâ€™ve now declared they have no intention of honoring. Why hasn’t the mainstream media reported this?
Almost without exception, all news stories covering the U.S. Attorney General’s suit against North Carolina omits the rather significant fact that when North Carolina took federal money tied to theÂ Violence Against Women ActÂ (VAWA) and Title IX, they signed a contract with the federal government explicitly agreeing to not discriminate on the basis of gender identity. Unlike what you may have heard, this breach of contract is why North Carolina is being sued.
While the media has sensationalized this story by focusing on the North Carolina Governorâ€™s talking points of â€œfederal overreachâ€ and â€œfederal bullyingâ€ whileÂ blaming liberals in Houston, TexasÂ for his actions against the trans citizens of North Carolina, the actual story doesnâ€™t leave much room for the media to pander to the â€œtransgender debateâ€ trope. The actual story doesnâ€™t allow the media to make the U.S. Attorney General’s suit ambiguous, about morality, or even what â€œgender identityâ€ means. The reason for this is that the Republican Congress defined what gender identity meant in 2013. Moreover, the Republican Congress set the very gender identity nondiscrimination standards under which North Carolina is being sued.
Itâ€™s telling that the media seems unwilling or unable to tell the public what the Department of Justice (DOJ) told them during the press conference in which the DOJ suit against North Carolina was announced:
â€œWe also bring a claim in the Violence Against Women Act, a more recent statute specifically designed to prevent discrimination against transgender people by entities that accept certain federal funds. As with Title IX, entities that accept federal funds under VAWA, including UNS and the NCDPS, pledged that they would not discriminate against sex or gender identity. Our complaint seeks to enforce that pledge and hold those entities accountable for the kind of discrimination required by HB2.â€Â
â€“Â Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice
Hereâ€™s why the U.S. Attorney General said Vanita Guptaâ€™s division was filing suit against North Carolina:
- “With respect to federal funding, the statutes we brought this lawsuit under do provide the opportunity to curtail federal funding under Title IX in the Violence Against Women Act.”
- “The Violence Against Women Act specifically targets gender identity. The law and the case law around Title VII, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act clearly indicates HB2 is in violation of federal law.”
North Carolina is being sued by the Dept. of Justice because North Carolina willingly signed a contract with the federal government agreeing to not discriminate on the basis of gender identity and then announced that they were going to discriminate on the basis of gender identity.
Even though VAWA and Title IX funding comes with explicit prohibitions regarding discrimination on the basis of gender identity, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has claimed numerous times thatÂ Congress needs to figure outÂ what gender identity means since theyâ€™ve not addressed it. Apparently Governor McCrory doesnâ€™t know that in the very Congressional Act he took money from –the VAWA– the act spells all of this out.
Remember, a Republican Congress passed the following language and furthermore, a Republican Congress explicitly approved banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex,Â gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (title IV of Public Law 103â€“322 ; 108 Stat. 1902), the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (division B of Public Law 106â€“386; 114 Stat. 1491), the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (title IX of Public Law 109â€“162 ; 119 Stat. 3080), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 , and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Office on Violence Against Women.
Even if a Republican Congress hadn’t passed the above language in 2013 (286 to 138), the VAWA explicitly states exactly who has the power to say who must be served with VAWA funding as an â€œunderserved populationâ€:
[U]nderserved populations means populations who face barriers in accessing and using victim services, and includes populations underserved because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation,Â gender identity, underserved racial and ethnic populations, populations underserved because of special needs (such as language barriers, disabilities, alienage status, or age), andÂ any other population determined to be underserved by the Attorney GeneralÂ or by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, as appropriate.
These are the rules Congressional Republicans set upÂ and these are the rules North Carolina contractually agreed to play by when they took VAWA funding. When North Carolina declared that theyâ€™d refuse to honor their contractual obligations, the DOJ announced they would sue North Carolina.
With regard to Title IX, when the University of North Carolina took Title IX funding, they signed a contract stating that they wouldnâ€™t discriminate based upon gender identity. In keeping with Title IX policy, the University of North Carolina has a Title IX coordinator. Her name isÂ Elizabeth Hall. Hereâ€™s what the Department of Educationâ€™s 2015 Â Title IX Resource Guide for Title IX coordinators states:
Title IX protects students, employees, applicants for admission and employment, and other persons from all forms of sex discrimination, including discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. All students (as well as other persons) at recipient institutions are protected by Title IXâ€”regardless of their sex, sexual orientation,Â gender identity, part- or full-time status, disability, race, or national originâ€”in all aspects of a recipientâ€™s educational programs and activities. -Â Page 1
The Title IX coordinator shouldÂ also helpÂ ensure that transgender students are treated consistent with their gender identityÂ in the context of single-sex classes. – Page 22
Again, North Carolina knew exactly what it was agreeing to when it entered into a contract with the Department of Education to receive Title IX funding. The only actual story here is that North Carolina wants the special right to receive funding under federal contracts theyâ€™ve declared theyâ€™ve no intention of honoring.
If defaulting on federal contracts North Carolina knowingly signed is the actual story behind the DOJâ€™s suit, why is the media only interested in talking about â€œdueling lawsuits,â€ Â the â€œtransgender debate,â€ or how thereâ€™sÂ ambiguity to the DOJâ€™s suit? If gender identity wasÂ codified into lawÂ passed by a Republican Congress, why is the media perpetuatingÂ the myth that Congress hasnâ€™t addressedÂ the issue of â€œgender identityâ€ discrimination yet?
This article was originally published at The TransAdvocate and is reprinted here by permission.Â
Image: Screenshot via YouTube
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Burn Bags and Use of Personal Email: Justices’ Security Practices Even Worse Than Leak Investigation Showed
Multiple sources familiar with the court’s operations told CNN that justices often used personal email accounts for sensitive communications, employees used printers that didn’t produce logs and “burn bags” to collect sensitive materials for destruction were often left open and unattended in hallways.
“This has been going on for years,” one former employee said.
Some justices were slow to adopt email technology — they were “not masters of information security protocol,” according to one source — and court employees were afraid to confront them over the security risks.
Supreme Court marshal Gail Curley in her investigative report noted that printer logs intended to track document production were insufficient, but a former employee said employees who had VPN access could print documents from any computer, and remote work during COVID-19 shutdowns and otherwise meant draft opinions could have been taken from the building in violation of court guidelines.
Curley’s report noted that court methods for destroying sensitive documents should be improved, but three employees said striped burn bags supplied to chambers were often left sitting out unattended, and each justice had their own protocols for disposing of court documents.
A source familiar with court security practices said some colleagues stapled burn bags shut, while others filled them to capacity and left them near their desks, and others simply left them sitting in hallways where anyone with access to non-public areas could have taken sensitive materials.
Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’
If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.
“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.
But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”
“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.
It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”
The allegations continue.
“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”
“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”
The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”
The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”
The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.
You can read The Beast’s full report here.
Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticketed via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
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