State Attorney General Makes $130,000 AnnuallyÂ â€“ Arkansas Ranks Sixth in Poverty
A federal judge has just blocked the Obama administration’s new rule regulating overtime pay, which was about to increase the wages of 4.2 million lower-income workers. On Tuesday eveningÂ U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in Sherman, Texas, ruled the regulation is unlawful.
Representatives from twenty-one states, including the attorney generalÂ of Arkansas, joined together with “a coalition of business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,”Â in a lawsuit against the federal government, Reuters reports. The new regulations were to go into effect next week, on December 1.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge immediately took to Twitter to brag that the judge granted her request.
â€” Leslie Rutledge (@AGRutledge) November 22, 2016
Rutledge, 40, was elected in 2014 and took office in January of 2015, earning a salary ofÂ $73,132. In March of that year,Â Rutledge and other top elected officials, including the governor, received exorbitantÂ salary increases. Her salaryÂ was increased to $130,000, a 77.7% increase.
Reuters notes that the Obama administration’s new “rule would have doubled to $47,500 the maximum salary a worker can earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay.”
In other words, the new rule would have benefitted greatly lower-income workers. A 2014 study shows Arkansas has the sixth highest poverty rate, with nearly one in five residents living in poverty.
The judge’s ruling comes just three days before the official start of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday.
4.2M employees who would have had right to overtime under rule now have one less thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Unbelievable. https://t.co/TYLx70hGyb
â€” igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) November 22, 2016
Rutledge, who has strongly supported former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s presidential aspirations, is no stranger to controversy.
Earlier this year Rutledge appealed an Arkansas judge’s ruling that upheld the Â City ofÂ Fayetteville’s LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance. Last month Rutledge asked the Arkansas State Supreme Court court to strike down Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
An Arkansas Times article in 2014 offered seven reasons whyÂ it deemed Rutledge “not fit” to be the state’s AG.Â
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Indicted Congressman Is ‘Longtime’ Member of Secretive Religious Org Tied to Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill: Report
U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), indicted on federal charges on Tuesday for allegedly lying to the FBI about campaign finance issues, is a longtime member of the highly secretive, highly political, and largely evangelical Christian group known as The Family.
That organization was recently highlighted in a Netflix documentary inspired by Jeff Sharlet’s investigative book, “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.”
In addition to its highly secretive political work The Family also hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast, which has been attended by every U.S. President since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Many Americans became aware of the existence of The Family a decade ago when it was revealed the group had ties to the Uganda lawmaker pushing extreme legislation known as the “Kill the Gays” bill. The Family allegedly supported the bill. It provided the death penalty for homosexual acts, and after years of international outrage the text was watered down to become the “Jail the Gays” bill, imposing a life in prison sentence for LGBTQ people. It was signed into law in 2014, and later invalidated by the Ugandan Supreme Court.
On Wednesday The Young Turks exclusively reported Congressman Fortenberry’s membership in The Family. TYT notes the secretive organization has also “been tied to multiple political scandals in recent years,” although that report does not mention The Family’s connection to Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.
“Fortenberry’s involvement with The Family has not been previously reported,” TYT adds. “However, his chief of staff, Andy Braner, is a fellow insider, who has spoken publicly about his attendance at the National Prayer Breakfast, dating back to 2014, and has ties to The Family dating back as early as 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile.”
Fortenberry has hosted highly anti-LGBTQ guests at the National Prayer Breakfast, including Timothy Broglio, the Archbishop for the Military Services, USA. Broglio, who recently came out against Pope Francis’ position on vaccines in order to publicly oppose them, supported then-President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender service members. He also opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
TYT’s report also says that Congressman Fortenberry “has been invited to multiple events overseas connected to The Family, two of which he was apparently invited to attend on The Family’s dime. Congressional disclosure forms filed by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) list Fortenberry as having been invited on at least two of Aderholt’s trips sponsored by The Family.”
Also unknown to many is that, according to TYT, anti-LGBTQ evangelical activist Franklin Graham is the National Prayer Breakfast’s only financial donor.
You can read the entire report here.
‘Coup Memo’ Think Tank Encouraging ‘Secession-by-Sheriff’ With Latest Project: Report
A right-wing Claremont Institute is undermining law and order and encouraging secession one county at a time.
The think tank, where coup memo author John Eastman remains a member in good standing, is weaponizing “patriotic law enforcement officers” with its new “Sheriff’s Fellowship” that ties together conservative anger over Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19 lockdowns and Donald Trump’s election loss to bring so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” into the mainstream, reported The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes.
“Our nation’s conservative movement needs a countervailing network of uncorrupted law enforcement officials,” the think tank announced. [We need sheriffs] “not beholden to bureaucratic masters, and whose geographic boundaries, jurisdictional latitude, and — most important — direct connection and responsibility to citizens, places them on the frontlines of the defense of civilization.”
The plan sounds a lot like the Constitutional Sheriffs movement, which has infiltrated law enforcement agencies around the country with specious claims borrowed from the sovereign citizen movement that places the county sheriff as the “highest legitimate law enforcement” in the U.S. and claims they have authority to determine which laws are constitutional.
“Think of it as militias with badges, guns, and formal law enforcement powers,” Sykes wrote. “Or, if you like, secession-by-sheriff.”
Trump and his administration encouraged the sheriffs’ movement and openly backed leading figures such as Arizona’s Joe Arpaio and Wisconsin’s David Clarke, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions praised the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of the office — which the Claremont Institute also did in a recent fundraising letter.
“The current revolution against the American regime, involving as it does both crime and political malfeasance, requires a coordinated response from patriotic law enforcement officers,” the letter reads. “Sheriffs are appropriate for this response. Since their beginnings as ‘shire-reeves’ (‘county watchmen’) centuries ago in England, sheriffs have been intimately connected with, and answerable to, the people of their “shires” and therefore the first layer of protection, and last line of defense, for the people’s rights.”
Another Arizona sheriff, Pinal County’s Mark Lamb, has emerged as a leading figure among militia-minded right-wing sheriffs who are loyal to Trump and supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“If Claremont gets its way, there will be sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, David Clarke, and Mark Lamb all across the country,” Sykes wrote. “You are not worried nearly enough about what that might mean.”
Josh Duggar Dealt Another Blow as Judge Refuses to Suppress Video Evidence in His Child Porn Case
Josh Duggar was dealt yet another blow on Monday, after a judge refused his attorneys’ request to suppress video evidence in his bombshell child pornography case.
Duggar, once a darling of the religious right, an executive for an anti-LGBTQ hate group, and a “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star, was arrested by U.S. Marshals and charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was involved in the investigation.
“In Mr. Duggar’s case, he has not shown that federal agents acted with reckless disregard for proper procedure,” U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks said Monday in denying attorneys’ requests, as the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. “And he certainly has not shown that the agents acted in bad faith. Moreover, Mr. Duggar cannot show he was prejudiced by any delay; the devices remained in law enforcement’s safe keeping throughout this time period, and the probable cause warranting the initial seizure of the devices remained viable through the date of indictment.”
In 2015 news broke that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager, according to his parents.
Just three weeks ago the judge refused nearly all of Duggar’s attorneys’ requests, including dismissal of all charges.
His attorneys have tried to get photographs that include the 33-year old Arkansas native’s hands and feet suppressed, and even tried to have the case dismissed because the head of the Department of Homeland Security at the time of the investigation under then-President Donald Trump was, according to a federal judge, “unlawfully” appointed.
Trial is scheduled to begin November 30.
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