U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is facing a lot of trouble and he now has one more problem. Luke Ball, Gaetz’s communications director has resigned, according to multiple reports.
Luke Ball, the communications director for Rep. Matt Gaetz, has resigned, according to a person familiar.
Ball quit out of principle, according to the person. @LACaldwellDC
— Chris Jansing (@ChrisJansing) April 2, 2021
According to his LinkedIn profile, Ball began working for Gaetz in 2018 as his scheduler and press assistant, became his press secretary, and in November of 2019 his communications director.
Gaetz, who is under DOJ investigation for a possible sexual relationship with a 17-year old and for child sex trafficking, is appearing to make it sound like there was some disagreement that led to the resignation and that it was a mutual decision:
Stmt from Gaetz office:
“The Office of Congressman Matt Gaetz and Luke Ball have agreed that it would be best to part ways. We thank him for his time in our office, and we wish him the best moving forward.” https://t.co/NKuU7EUDlH
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) April 2, 2021
Ball was also Gaetz’s deputy campaign manager, and worked for Ron DeSantis’ election campaign.
He began his career in politics as a congressional intern.
Ball was not especially active on Twitter but he did retweet an anti-LGBTQ hate group, and he did post this a month ago:
— Luke Ball (@LukeTBall) March 5, 2021
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Two Longtime Republican Operatives Indicted — and There’s a Russia Connection: Report
Reuters legal reporter Jan Wolfe revealed Monday evening that two Republican Party operatives have been indicted after helping Russians donate to political campaigns in 2016.
The Justice Department revealed in a statement that Kentucky’s Jesse Benton and Florida’s Roy Douglas “Doug” Wead were “charged with one count of conspiracy to solicit and cause an illegal campaign contribution by a foreign national, effect a conduit contribution, and cause false records to be filed with the FEC, one count of contribution by a foreign national, one count of contribution in the name of another and three counts of making false entries in an official record.”
Benton was just pardoned by former President Donald Trump for a bribery scandal while working for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in Iowa in 2012. In that scheme, Benton and colleague John Tate bribed state officials to change their endorsements to Paul for the Iowa Caucus.
After being pardoned for that, Benton is now being indicted again along with Wead for arranging for a Russian National who wanted to donate to a 2016 presidential campaign to be able to meet with the candidate.
Developing: Two longtime GOP operatives have been indicted. They allegedly helped a Russian make a campaign contribution to Trump in 2016.
One of the defendants, Jesse Benton, managed campaigns for Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. He got a Trump pardon (for an unrelated scheme). pic.twitter.com/DWiTuJJsxa
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) September 20, 2021
“Benton reached out to individuals at Political Committee B, the national party committee for Political Candidate 1’s political party,” the indictment explains. “He then arranged for Foreign National 1 to attend a political fundraising event and get a photograph with Political Candidate 1, in exchange for a political contribution to Political Committee C, a joint fundraising committee comprised of the campaign committee for Political Candidate 1, Political Committee B, and related state committees. Foreign National 1 ultimately wired $100,000 to Company A, a political consulting firm owned by Benton.”
He then tried to disguise the wire transfer by labeling it “consulting services” and crafted a “cover story.”
Wead went to the fundraiser with the foreign national Sept. 22, 2016 with a translator (Foreign National 2). They all three had their photos taken with the candidate.
“Following the event, Benton repeatedly represented to a consultant working for Political Committee B and Political Committee C that he had already sent the promised contribution for the event, but in actuality he delayed sending the contribution,” said the DOJ. “Benton ultimately filled out a contributor form, indicated that he was the contributor, and used a personal credit card to make a $25,000 contribution. Benton retained the remaining $75,000 of Foreign National 1’s money. Because Benton falsely claimed to have given the contribution himself, three different political committees unwittingly filed reports with the FEC that inaccurately reported Benton, rather than Foreign National 1, as the source of the funds.”
Legal Experts and Critics Slam Justice Clarence Thomas for ‘Speaking Out Against Something He Is Actively Doing’
Critics are observing Constitution Day by responding to remarks U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made on Thursday, when he blasted the media for criticizing decisions from the nation’s highest court and warning federal judges to not wade in to political discussions.
“When we begin to venture into the legislative or executive branch lanes, those of us, particularly in the federal judiciary with lifetime appointments, are asking for trouble,” Justice Thomas said, CNN’s Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue reports, ironically observing that Justice Thomas made those remarks “during a sweeping lecture at the University of Notre Dame that also touched on themes of equality, race and the state of the country.”
The CNN report adds:
Of all the members of the high court, Thomas has made his views on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion across the US, crystal clear. In 2007, he said that he believed that Roe and the follow-up decision called Planned Parenthood v. Casey had “no basis in the Constitution.” And in 2020, he said that Roe is “grievously wrong for many reasons, but the most fundamental is that its core holding — that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to abort her unborn child — finds no support in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Thomas also on Thursday “seemed to nod to the controversy” of “so-called court packing”:
“We have lost the capacity” as leaders “to not allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcomes that we like,” he said.
In rare public remarks, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told a Notre Dame crowd, “I think the court was thought to be the least dangerous branch, and we may have become the most dangerous.” pic.twitter.com/EHK2pEGWdB
— The Recount (@therecount) September 17, 2021
Critics, including legal experts are weighing on on Justice Thomas’s remarks, blasting him for, as Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast says, “speaking out against something he is actively doing.”
Keith Boykin, a CNN political commentator who earned his law degree at Harvard and served in the Clinton White House was even more pointed:
“Clarence Thomas didn’t seem too worried about ‘destroying our institutions’ when he cast the deciding vote to make Bush president in 2000 or to gut the Voting Rights Act in 2013 or when he sat silently from 2017-2021 as Trump trashed our institutions.”
Dr. Miranda Yaver, a political science professor (US law, public policy, health policy) at Oberlin blasted Justice Thomas, saying that “claiming that the Supreme Court isn’t political is nonsense and we all know it. FWIW, whenever I teach Constitutional Law and students go, ‘Who in the hell would write that opinion??’ the answer is invariably Clarence Thomas.”
Norman Ornstein, a political scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), laughed:
Clarence Thomas, whose rulings in key cases mysteriously always conform with his political and partisan preferences, says the justices do not make decisions based on politics. Hahahahaha https://t.co/Sxk1VVh0v2
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) September 17, 2021
VOX senior correspondent Ian Millhiser, author of “The Agenda: How a Republican Supreme Court is Reshaping America,” also criticizes Thomas’s apparent hypocrisy:
Clarence Thomas believes that federal child labor laws are unconstitutional. Literally the only thing this troll has ever done in his entire career is try to burn down institutions. https://t.co/aSYdkxrmd9
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) September 17, 2021
Sarah Palin Proudly Declares Herself a ‘White Common Sense Conservative’ – and Unvaccinated
Sarah Palin is back on TV. At least, she was Thursday night, on Fox News’ late night political satire show “Gutfeld!” where she announced she is not vaccinated and proudly explained why – basically getting the science wrong by leaving out important scientific findings.
“I am one of those white common sense conservatives,” Palin told host Greg Gurfeld and guest Dr. Drew Pinsky. “I believe in science and I have not taken the shot.”
“One, because the waitress never came back to ask me,” she said sarcastically, “because I do believe in science. And the Fauci-ism of the day back then was if you had COVID – I’ve had COVID – well then Mother Nature was creating an immunity and, and even today they say you know you’re 27 percent more immune.”
Dr. Drew chimed in to claim it’s “27 times” more immune.
But both are getting the science wrong – by not telling the whole story.
The highly-respected journal Science last month published an article making very clear why Palin is wrong in its title: “Having SARS-CoV-2 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine—but vaccination remains vital.”
And while it states up front that “Israelis who had an infection were more protected against the Delta coronavirus variant than those who had an already highly effective COVID-19 vaccine,” it adds this critical information: Unvaccinated COVID survivors are more likely to contract the deadly disease again than those who have had COVID and just one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Researchers, Science reports, “compared more than 14,000 people who had a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and were still unvaccinated with an equivalent number of previously infected people who received one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The team found that the unvaccinated group was twice as likely to be reinfected as the singly vaccinated.”
Sarah Palin announces she is unvaccinated pic.twitter.com/yJTsk4dnNC
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 17, 2021
- NOT EVEN CLOSE2 days ago
Sean Spicer Bitterly Complains the Press Is Treating Jen Psaki Better Than They Did Him
- TOO BAD SO SAD1 day ago
Eric Trump Melts Down on Fox News Because He’s Getting ‘Subpoena After Subpoena After Subpoena’
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
Trump Supporter Wearing Dead Animal Refuses to Believe Jan. 6 Was Violent — Even After CNN Showed Him Video
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM11 hours ago
‘Brutal’: Far Right Commentator Who Threatened ‘Lead Injection’ for Anyone Trying to Vaccinate Him Contracts COVID
- WHITE PRIVILEGE13 hours ago
Watch: Texas ‘Christian Woman of God’ Derails School Board Hearing in Attempt to Ban Book That Mentions Anal Sex
- CRIME14 hours ago
NY Prosecutors ‘Aggressively’ Pursuing Trump Tax-Fraud Probe as Weisselberg Returns to Court: Report
- BREAKING NEWS12 hours ago
‘Strong Reason to Believe’ More Indictments Could Be Coming Trump Org CFO Weisselberg’s Attorney Tells Judge
- AMERICAN IDIOT8 hours ago
‘Let Me Explain to You Again Peter How Our Process Works’: Psaki, Growing Tired, Forced to School Doocy Again