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Silent Sam Protest Leads to Seven Arrests

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Protesters at a Silent Sam monument rally

Seven were arrested at a rally protesting the topping of the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Those arrested were charged with assault, destruction of property, inciting a riot, and resisting officers. None of those arrested were students of the university.

More than 100 people showed up at the site of the monument on Saturday. The crowd largely consisted of counter protesters, though a handful of people carrying confederate battle flags did appear.

The university itself had warned students to avoid the protest.

The protest itself was largely peaceful, though some minor clashes did occur.

The “Silent Sam” monument went up on the campus in 1913, and depicts a Confederate soldier brandishing a rifle. The statue’s designer, John A. Wilson, depicted “Sam” without ammunition to fire his gun, hence why he is “silent.” He was essentially meant to commemorate the over 1,000 students and faculty of the school who fought in the civil war.

Nevertheless, at the unveiling of the statue, Julian Carr, a local industrialist, spoke on behalf of white supremacy, underscoring the themes of the civil war.

The presence of “Silent Sam” on the campus has been controversial since at least the 1960s, and the monument has long been the site of demonstrations. The school has remained firm that they would not remove “Silent Sam.” claiming state law prohibited the removal of the statue.

Protesters toppled “Silent Sam” on Monday night. That led to one arrest, for resisting arrest and concealing one’s face. The statue itself has been hauled away.

Recent protests over Confederate monuments began after the 2015 shooting of nine parishioners in a predominately black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The killer, Dylan Roof, was seen in photos after the killing posing with a Confederate battle flag, leading to calls to remove the banner from the South Carolina state capitol.

The majority of such monuments went up across the south and the rest of the United States in the 20th century, as both a way to sanitize the aims the Civil War as well as reinforce the segregation movement of the mid-century.

Those who champion the monuments have argued that removing them will erase American history, and lead to further removals, a slippery slope argument. President Trump, for one, chimed in on this via Twitter some time back, saying, “This week, it is Robert E. Lee and, this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

This is also viewed as a part of the reason behind the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017, where white supremacists, rebranded as the “Alt-Right,” chanted, “you will not replace us.” Those protests led to the death of one counter protester, Heather Heyer, and the injuries of several others.

For now, “Silent Sam” remains off his pedestal. The university has not disclosed any plans to reinstall the monument.

Image by Rodney Dunning via Flickr and a CC license

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Another Santos Financial Concern: GOP Lawmaker Claims Campaign Paid WinRed Triple the Fees It Should Have

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According to an NBC News report there’s yet another mystery swirling around U.S. Rep. George Santos and his campaign financial activity and reports.

WinRed, the right-wing fundraising processor platform created to compete with Democrats’ ActBlue, has asked the Santos campaign to correct a financial report that claims the New York GOP lawmaker paid them more than triple what it should have – suggesting the entry on his Federal Election Commission (FEC) report is erroneous.

“Santos reported paying WinRed more than $206,000 to process donations to his 2022 campaign, records show. But that amount doesn’t match up with how much money Santos actually raised,” NBC News reports.

“WinRed charges candidates a 3.94% fee for contributions made online by credit card. At that rate, Santos would have had to have raised more than $5.2 million through WinRed to warrant a $206,000 payment to the firm,” NBC explains. “Through November, however, his campaign reported total contributions of $1.7 million, including donations that didn’t come through WinRed.”

READ MORE: ‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump

WinRed would not tell NBC News how much the Santos campaign actually paid them, with the news network offering that it could be “sloppy accounting.”

But one campaign finance expert, attorney Brett Kappel, warns, “nothing that appears on Rep. Santos’s FEC reports can be taken at face value.”

This follows reports that the Santos campaign amended two filings to indicate that a $500,000 personal loan and a $125,000 personal loan, claimed to have been from the candidate’s own personal funds, was not from his personal funds. There is no information indicating what entity loaned the Santos campaign the money, or if it actually even existed.

That bombshell was followed up this week with yet another one: the FEC reports were allegedly signed by a “treasurer” who does not and never has worked for the Santos campaign. One expert called that a “big no-no,” and “completely illegal.”

READ MORE: Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

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Questions Raised About Another Freshman Republican’s Finances After He Refuses to Comply With Federal Law

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Rep. George Santos (R-NY) isn’t the only freshman Republican facing questions about his personal finances.

An investigation conducted by News Channel 5 in Nashville has found that freshman Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) never complied with federal laws requiring that he make disclosures about his personal finances.

In fact, notes News Channel 5, “not only did Andy Ogles ignore that law during the campaign, he continues to ignore it today.”

The law in question requires that Ogles and all candidates for elected office to disclose their assets and unearned income, their liabilities, and sources of income paid by one source that exceed $5,000.

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s amendment to bar Biden from selling oil goes down in massive bipartisan defeat

Ogles’ office hasn’t responded to News Channel 5’s questions even though the Tennessee lawmaker’s refusal to comply with the law could result in up to a year in prison.

Ogles’ defeated Democratic opponent, Heidi Campbell, told News Channel that it was “frustrating” to see Ogles flout the law, which she complied with last year by releasing her personal finance information all the way back in April of 2022.

“We, as Tennesseans, deserve to have representatives who are following the rules,” she said.

Ogles was also regularly late in filing campaign finance reports, which also contained so many discrepancies that Ogles has received four different letters from the Federal Election Commission demanding that they be explained.

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‘Sociopath Party’: Morning Joe Panel Horrified by Chance of Trump-Greene ‘Crackpot’ Ticket

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is reportedly angling to become Donald Trump’s running mate — or possibly even president herself — and panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” are worried.

The second-term Georgia Republican has tried to rebrand herself as a liaison between the Republican Party’s establishment and its right-wing fringes, but the show’s co-host Mika Brzezinski said Greene couldn’t escape her controversial reputation so quickly.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene, I will just put my marker down right here and say this is a potential reality unless people get their heads on straight,” Brzezinski said.

Guest George Conway agreed the firebrand lawmaker would only make Trump worse as his running mate.

“I mean, in a way she’s perfect — Trump-Greene ’24, a crack in every pot,” Conway said. “This will be the sociopath party ticket. She absolutely would play to his worst instincts and play to the worst elements of the Republican base. I think it would turn off the center of the electorate, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s going to be serious that she would get this because Trump cannot take someone as a vice president who’s going to potentially upstage him. That’s why Mike Pence was so perfect for him.”

“Pence was, you know, so much of a cipher,” Conway added. “He drank water when President Trump drank water at a meeting. He would basically nod and agree with what Trump said up until that day on Jan. 6, which could have been prevented if we had a vice president with a spine who had conceded the election as it should have been conceded long before then. So I don’t think it’s a realistic possibility, but the fact that we’re even talking about it is horrific.”

 
Image: L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock

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