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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 12:17 PM
Number of posts: 486

Journal Archives

FBI probing Cuomo office's hiring practices

Source: Albany Times-Union

The FBI is investigating the Cuomo administration's practice of hiring employees to work in the governor's office, while actually paying them through various state agencies and public authorities, the Times Union has learned.

The practice of hiring pricey political appointees to work for the Executive Chamber – but paying them through other entities – has allowed Cuomo and prior governors to increase the size of their staffs while escaping criticism for inflating the Executive Chamber budget.

In recent months, however, FBI agents have interviewed a number of people who work for the governor's office, but are paid by agencies or authorities, about the circumstances of their hirings, according to people familiar with the matter.

One type of evidence being explored by the FBI, sources said, are the written notifications that are sent by agencies or authorities to the governor's office informing them of a new hire.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/FBI-probing-Cuomo-hiring-practices-12416069.php

GOP Congresswoman Calls On Rep. Blake Farenthold To Resign

Source: Huffington Post

Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) wants Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) to resign from Congress after it was discovered that he used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim.

“I don’t think he thinks he’s done anything wrong,” Love told CNN Thursday. “But the fact is, someone was paid off. It’s taxpayer dollars that [were] used. This is about people taking responsibility for what they do and changing the culture in Washington.”

Few congressional Republicans have publicly called for Farenthold’s ouster. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) said in a statement released by her deputy chief of staff that Farenthold should step aside and pay back the taxpayer money. Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.) on Friday also called for Farenthold’s resignation.

The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to launch an investigation into the allegation that Farenthold sexually harassed a female former staff member and retaliated against her.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mia-love-blake-farenthold-resign_us_5a2a99cfe4b073789f691ac6

Cook Political Report shifts Tennessee Senate race to toss-up

Source: The Hill

The Cook Political Report, a top nonpartisan election handicapper, changed its election rating for Tennessee’s Senate race to a toss-up following former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) launching his bid for the seat.

Bredesen, who served as the last Democratic governor of the state, was a top recruit for Democrats in the race to replace Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a President Trump surrogate-turned-critic who won’t seek reelection in 2018.

Bredesen won his first term as governor in 2002 and handily won reelection in 2006 with 69 percent of the vote, winning every county in Tennessee.

He officially jumped into the Senate race Thursday morning with an online video, arguing that he has the “actual track record that it will take to start working across party lines, to fix the mess in Washington and bring common sense back to our government.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/363776-cook-political-report-shifts-tennessee-senate-race-to-toss-up

Journalist Says Franken Groped Her At A Party In 2009

Source: Talking Points Memo

Tina Dupuy, a journalist and former Democratic congressional staffer, on Wednesday alleged that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) groped her at a party in 2009.

“It happened at a Media Matters party during the first Obama inauguration,” Dupuy wrote in the Atlantic, referring to an event in February 2009, after Franken was elected to office in a close race.

Dupuy said she “saw Al Franken” and asked to take a picture with him because her foster mother was a fan.

“We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice,” Dupuy said.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/journalist-says-franken-groped-her-at-2009-party

Documents Reveal New Details on What Trump Team Knew About Flynns Calls With Russias Ambassador

Source: The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Since it first emerged that Michael T. Flynn had repeated phone conversations last December with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, one of the most significant unanswered questions has been what transition team officials and Donald J. Trump, then the president-elect, knew about the calls.

The documents made public on Friday show that the transition team knew that Mr. Flynn was going to be discussing sanctions with the then ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, and raise new questions about what President-elect Trump knew about the conversations.

Here are some key dates around the conversation and the subsequent fallout that offer insight on what the transition team knew at the time:

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/us/politics/flynn-russia-sanctions.html

Conyers will decide in coming days whether to resign, attorney says

Source: The Hill

An attorney for Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said Friday that the embattled congressman would make a decision in the coming days about whether to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment.

"We will discuss in the next day or so what Mr. Conyers plans to do," Arnold Reed, a lawyer for Conyers, said at a news conference in Michigan, where the longest-serving current House member was hospitalized for stress this week.

"As you know, his health is not the best, is not what it should be. He has undergone a second round of examinations. I will meet and confer with doctors and it will be Congressman John Conyers who will be the one to decide what it is he’s going to do," Reed added.

In recent days, Conyers has faced mounting calls from his fellow lawyers to resign.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/362822-conyers-will-decide-in-coming-days-whether-to-resign

Garrison Keillor: Al Franken should resign? Thats absurd.

By Garrison Keillor November 28 at 8:08 PM
My friend Pastor B.D. Christensen said something so good Sunday morning that I woke up and wrote it down: “[something something] . . . about making peace with the mistakes of the past [blah blah blah] and learning from them. It’s slippery ground, in general, to judge past actions by present standards and with a benefit of hindsight that is, morally, highly questionable.”

And immediately I thought about the Minneapolis Park Board voting to rename Lake Calhoun as Lake Bde Maka Ska because the man for whom it was named back in the early 1820s was a slavery enthusiast from South Carolina and an author of the Indian Removal Act and also, judging from his pictures, ugly as a mud fence.

Renaming is a slippery business. I knew a Cheryl back in 1969 who became Saffron and it didn’t work out and a few years later she resumed her Cherylness. The Triborough Bridge in New York City was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, but if you were to ask directions to that bridge, you might wind up in Pennsylvania, a state named for the common pencil. This will happen with Lake Bde Maka Ska. The name will appear on signage, but when people look at that body of water, they will think “Calhoun.” The effect of this on the slave trade in Minneapolis will be slight.

On the other hand, Jean-Louis Kerouac did well to rename himself Jack. A Jean-Louis would be unlikely to write “On the Road” but a Jack Kerouac — the road was right up his alley. In 1963, Idlewild Airport on Long Island was renamed JFK, which stuck, thanks to the clumsiness of “Idlewild” — no large airport is idle, and airline passengers do not care to think of aviation in terms of wildness — and besides that, “JFK” rhymes. Fine and good. And back in the 18th century, Francois-Marie Arouet did a smart thing by taking the pen name Voltaire.

more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/al-franken-should-resign-thats-absurd/2017/11/28/d33e2d8a-d482-11e7-a986-d0a9770d9a3e_story.html?utm_term=.5285680b414c

Third House Dem calls for Conyers to resign

Source: The Hill

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) on Wednesday became the third Democratic lawmaker to openly call for Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations.

In an interview on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," Blumenauer said that while Conyers must be the one to make the decision, he believes that the current longest-serving congressman should step down.

"Obviously that's his decision, but I would think he should," Blumenauer said.

BuzzFeed News first reported earlier this month that Conyers had settled a wrongful dismissal complaint with a former employee who alleged that she was fired because she rebuffed his sexual advances.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/362337-third-house-dem-calls-for-conyers-to-resign

Florida Democratic Party leader resigns after report of "creepy" behavior

Source: Orlando Sentinel

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Democratic Party chairman Stephen Bittel is stepping down after a report detailing the hostile and “creepy” work environment he created for women.

“When my personal situation becomes distracting to our core mission of electing Democrats and making Florida better, it is time for me to step aside,” Bittel wrote in a statement posted on the FDP’s Twitter feed. “I am proud of what we have built as a Party and the wins we have had for Florida families, but I apologize for all who have felt uncomfortable during my tenure at the Democratic Party.”

The effective date of the resignation isn’t set, but Bittel said he would work with the FDP to set a date to elect his successor.

A Politico report published Friday morning detailed claims from six anonymous former staffers and consultants that he made inappropriate comments, ogled them and invited them to his house and on his private jet. He also kept breast-shaped stress balls at his desk, which he said was a gag gift from a female former general counsel.

Read more: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-fdp-chair-bittel-resign-20171117-story.html

Young mayor of Mount Carbon dies at 23

The 23-year-old mayor of Mount Carbon was found dead early Thursday and many remembered him as an energetic member of the community.

Details of Brandon M. Wentz’s death were not released Thursday. State police Trooper David Beohm, public information officer for Troop L, Reading, said he had no information to provide.

Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Albert Barnes said he pronounced Wentz dead at 7:58 a.m. Thursday. Barnes declined to provide additional information.

“I was asked by state police not to comment,” Barnes said. “Next of kin has been notified.”

more: http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-nws-mount-carbon-mayor-brandon-wentz-dies-20171110-story.html
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