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Student Organizer of Statewide Protest Against Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Suspended for Handing Out Pride Flags: Report

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Jack Petocz, the student who organized a statewide school walkout and protest against Florida Republicans’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill has been suspended indefinitely, reportedly for handing out pride flags, which he says school administrators confiscated.

Thousands of students in at least 20 schools across the state participated in the protest Thursday, including about 400 to 500 at Petocz’s Flagler Palm Coast High School, where he is a junior.

Petocz had worked with school administrators who initially supported his plan to hold a short walk out but Petocz says hours before the protest was to begin Flagler Palm Coast High School Principal Greg Schwarz called it off, local news outlet FlaglerLive reports. Petocz believes one school board member he has clashed with in the past, who was seen walking around the school Wednesday with Principal Schwarz may have ordered the protest to be canceled.

“Petocz was suspended after the protest because he distributed pride flags after being told not to,” FlaglerLive reports.

Petocz is taking on the administration’s actions.

“Today, I led a planned and preapproved rally at Flagler Palm Coast High School in my home state of Florida in opposition to the homophobic and discriminatory legislation being pushed by Governor DeSantis and the Florida State Legislature,” Petocz says in a statement. “Over 500 students from my school joined thousands of other concerned youth statewide to demonstrate their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom to protest. Students waved pride flags and stood together, showing the politicians peddling bigotry that we will not be silenced. We made our plea to those actively targeting us, the same people who pledged to protect and empower all Floridians.”

“Although the school administration had initially approved the rally and expressed support for students’ civil liberties, their demeanor and tone drastically shifted as the rally progressed. Administrators began confiscating pride flags and attempted to remove them from campus. As the leader of the rally and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I encouraged my fellow students not to give in to the school’s unconstitutional seizure of our pride flags, but instead to continue demonstrating our pride in a peaceful manner,” Petocz says.

“After the rally, I was informed that I had been indefinitely suspended. School administrators allowed me to collect my things and then escorted me off-campus.”

RELATED –
‘We Say Gay’: Thousands of Students Across Florida Walk Out to Protest DeSantis-Backed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

“I am proud of who I am and I am proud of all of those protesting these regressive bills. We must let our politicians know that no matter how hard they try, they cannot suppress our identities or silence our voices. Gen-Z will not stand idly by as our rights are stripped from us. It is now up to you to decide which side of history you will be on, the side that empowers us or the side that seeks to erase us.”

Florida’s first LGBTQ Latino state lawmaker weighed in:

In a disturbing revelation school board attorney Kristry Gavin reportedly told FlaglerLive, “I’m sorry he believes … he should be permitted to have the gay pride flag, the rainbow flag or whatever, but when it carries a connotation of political a statement, it’s no longer [permissible.]”

There is a Change.org petition to have Petocz’s suspension rescinded. It has received over 1700 signatures in just hours.

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‘Getting Our Clocks Cleaned’: Former Adviser Admits Trump’s Candidates All Got ‘Slaughtered’

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The morning after another one of Donald Trump’s high-profile hand-picked candidates lost — this time in a Georgia run-off for a U.S. Senate seat — a former adviser to the ex-president admitted the Republican Party can’t handle any more losses by following Trump’s lead because they are getting “slaughtered.”

Sitting in on a “CNN This Morning” panel, GOP campaign adviser David Urban also said Trump and the Republican party’s aversion to mail-in voting is a primary reason “we’re getting our clocks cleaned.”

Speaking with hosts Poppy Harlow and Don Lemon, Urban explained, “It was the president of the United States saying don’t vote by mail, you can’t trust it. Now Republicans are getting their clocks cleaned in early voting, right? We are getting destroyed by mail-in and early voting.”

“Listen, as you guys know, when you vote by mail you can see the votes come in, if you vote incorrectly you can cure it, you can see who didn’t turn out,” he elaborated. “Democrats have built an incredible machine that can do this, who’s come out, didn’t come out. Republicans wait until election day to vote, so the former president got that completely wrong and we need to really focus on this.”

Continuing in that vein he added, “John Avlon, the hour before this said as long as trump wraps up about 35% of the party, you can’t look across that board and say we did well. Trump can’t wake up this morning and say I did okay — he lost everywhere; my home state in Pennsylvania, we got drubbed. So candidates matter, and candidate quality matters.”

“America sorry you’re waking up to this, but Donald Trump is still the dominant force in the Republican Party, this morning, tomorrow morning, and he’s most likely the nominee and stands as a fact to be the next president again,” he added. “Donald Trump stands a very good chance of being president of the United States despite the Walker loss, the senate candidates going down because they’re the ride-or-die Trumpers with him until the end.”

Watch below or at this link.

 
Image via Shutterstock

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Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority

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Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.

Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.

The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.

An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.

READ MORE: ‘Everything Has Been a Lie’: Christian Walker Drops Damning New Video Blasting His Father’s ‘Lies’ Over Abortion

Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.

Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”

With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.

RELATED: ‘The Child Would Not Be Safe’: Woman Who Says Herschel Walker Pressured Her to Have Abortion Says She Felt ‘Threatened’

The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”

The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.

Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”

 

 

 

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Watch: McConnell Refuses to Say He Will Not Support Trump for President Even After ‘Terminate the Constitution’ Demand

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Even after Donald Trump called for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution this weekend and demanded he be put back into office or be given a do-over national presidential election, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not support the ex-president’s current run for the White House.

McConnell kicked off his weekly press conference Tuesday by mildly criticizing Trump, although not mentioning him by name.

“First, let me just say that anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of United States,” McConnell told reporters.

But when asked if he “categorically” would refuse to support Trump – personally or in his role as Senate Republican Minority Leader – McConnell refused to go that far.

READ MORE: Watch: McConnell and McCarthy Shunned as Congressional Gold Medal Recipients Refuse to Shake Their Hands

“This is the second week in a row you’ve come out to begin your press conference criticizing Donald Trump,” a reporter off-camera said. “Can you say categorically that you do not support him if he were the Republican nominee?”

McConnell could not.

“What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in, to the presidency, if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution. That’s what I said, and I just said it again,” McConnell stated.

“How about your personal support?” the reporter shot back.

McConnell ignored the question.

During the 2016 campaign Trump also made clear he did not feel beholden to upholding the Constitution, so it’s unclear why McConnell would suggest he could not be sworn in again should he be elected in 2024.

READ MORE: Far Right Republican Slammed by Raskin for Trying to Derail Respect for Marriage Bill with Failed Religious Amendment

In fact, Trump’s concerning remarks surrounding the Constitution in 2016 led Brown University political science professor Corey Brettschneider to pen a piece for Politico: “Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide.”

“It may be true that Donald Trump has read the Constitution. But it’s unclear if he understands it,” it begins.

McConnell is not only the second longest serving leader of a party’s caucus in the Senate, nor his he just the Senate Republican Minority Leader.

He wields massive power and influence via his ties to a Super PAC.

According to CNN, the Senate Leadership Fund is “a super PAC affiliated with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

This year alone, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent nearly $300 million to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate. In 2020 it spent over $475 million.

Many have seen their ads, which are almost entirely, according to Open Secrets, against Democrats, not for Republicans.

Watch McConnell below or at this link.

 

 

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