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Anti-Trans Bill Contributed to $51 Million in Bad Publicity for Oklahoma

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Even When They Don’t Pass, Anti-LGBT Bills Are Costing States Millions

From canceled concerts to corporate consequences, economic backlash over North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2 has been widely publicized. 

However, a new study out of Oklahoma suggests that even when anti-LGBT legislation doesn’t pass, its mere consideration can have significant negative economic impacts for states.

The study, commissioned by the Tulsa Regional Chamber, found that anti-transgender legislation contributed to nearly $51 million worth of bad publicity for Oklahoma during this year’s legislative session. 

The Oklahoma Legislature made national headlines for its consideration of a bill that, like HB2, would have barred trans students  from using restrooms based on their gender identity in public schools. Although the Oklahoma bill died in a House committee, the chamber’s senior vice president for education and workforce, Brian Paschal, said that makes almost no difference in terms of public perception. 

“Lawmakers think, ‘It didn’t go anywhere, so we’re fine,’ ” Paschal told The Tulsa World. “We have (chamber) members who need skilled workers. There has to be some recognition of the … perception of the state outside of Oklahoma.”

“For Oklahoma to be successful, we have to have a skilled workforce,” he added. “Being an attractive place to live is a piece of that success.”

(It’s worth noting that although the anti-trans bill died, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a symbolic resolution calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama over his directive requiring public school to allow trans students to use the restrooms of their choice.)

The chamber’s study is based on what is known as advertising value equivalency, which has long been used to measure the impact of positive media coverage. The study found that national stories about the anti-trans bill — along with unflattering coverage related to two other issues, education funding and the state budget — resulted in the equivalent of $50.9 million in negative advertising value for Oklahoma. 

“This is important because we’ve never been able to measure these impacts before,” Nick Doctor, the chamber’s senior vice president of government affairs, told the newspaper. 

On Friday, during the chamber’s annual recap of the session, Chairman Jeff Dunn blamed the problem on “nut jobs on the periphery” — right-wing lawmakers who wield too much influence over the legislative process. 

“We value our relationship with legislators,” Dunn said. “(But) I would submit we need some counseling.”

“When we go off on tangents, we look like North Carolina,” he added. “And when we look like North Carolina, it’s bad for business.”

 

 Image: The New Civil Rights Movement

 

 

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THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

‘None Whatsoever’: US Diplomat Burns to the Ground Trump Lie That Joe Biden’s Actions Are ‘Corrupt’

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President Donald Trump’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, George Kent, in bombshell testimony Wednesday destroyed the president’s lie that Joe Biden’s actions, especially toward Ukraine, are “corrupt.”

Asked if there any factual basis to support Trump’s allegations, Kent replied: “None whatsoever.”

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THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

Taylor Staffer Overheard Trump Impatiently Asking Sondland About ‘The Investigations’ Day After Infamous July 25 Call

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The acting ambassador to Ukraine said he has learned since his closed-door testimony that President Donald Trump appeared keenly interested in the status of an investigation into Joe Biden by Ukraine.

Bill Taylor, the president’s top diplomat in Ukraine, testified Wednesday that he learned last week from a staffer, after he was deposed in a closed-door hearing, about an incident that took place a day after Trump’s call to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Last Friday, a member of my staff told me of events that occurred on July 26,” Taylor testified.

Taylor was visiting the front of Ukraine’s war with Russia at the time with Kurt Volker, then a special envoy to the country, and a member of the ambassador’s staff accompanied EU ambassador Gordon Sondland to a meeting with Andrey Yermak, an aide to Zelensky.

“Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv,” Taylor testified. “The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about ‘the investigations.’”

“Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward,” Taylor added.

Taylor’s staff member asked Sondland what the president thought about Ukraine, and the acting ambassador was troubled by his State Department colleague’s response.

“Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for,” Taylor testified. “At the time I gave my deposition on October 22, I was not aware of this information. I am including it here for completeness.”

Taylor said he first reported that new information through the State Department’s legal adviser, and then through attorneys for both House Republicans and Democrats.

 

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TIN FOIL HAT CLUB

Nunes Promotes Debunked Conspiracy Theories: Democrats Colluded With Russia and Are ‘Culpable’ of ‘Malfeasance’ in Ukraine

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Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) in his opening remarks on the first day of public witness testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, charged House Democrats with wholly debunked conspiracy theories. Among them, that Democrats – not Donald Trump – colluded with Russia, and Ukraine, not Russia, attacked the 2016 U.S. elections. Also, that Democrats, not President Trump, committed wrongdoing against Ukraine.

So, Nunes is claiming (falsely) that Democrats both colluded with Ukraine and attacked Ukraine (video below.)

“Democrats have a long habit of accusing Republicans of offenses they, themselves, are committing,” Nunes claimed. “For years they accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia when they themselves were colluding with Russia by funding and spreading the Steele Dossier that relied on Russian sources. And now they accuse President Trump of malfeasance in Ukraine, when they, themselves, are culpable. The Democrats cooperated in Ukrainian election meddling,” Nunes charged.

Literally every word is a lie.

Remember that the U.S. Intelligence Community unanimously decreed that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S  elections. That fact was once again proven during the Mueller investigation, and in the Mueller Report. There is literally zero proof of Nunes’ claims.

Nunes, who may be best remembered for his dramatic dark of night visit to the White House in 2017, where he was given information by the Trump administration only to claim it was from a secret source. That information was falsely framed to suggest (wrongly) the Obama administration had illegally investigated the Trump campaign.

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