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Republican blasted for attending sex trafficking summit while refusing to return Matt Gaetz donation
First-term Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) was blasted for attending a Malouf Foundation summit on human trafficking after not returning a $2,000 donation from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Fox 13 reported Saturday.
"I think that it's going to be really hard for any Utahn to take him seriously on sex trafficking when he's taking money from people that are accused of sex trafficking," said state Democratic Party Chair Jeff Merchant.
"Two thousand dollars from Matt Gaetz is not a huge amount of money to return to show the people of Utah that not only does he believe that sex trafficking is wrong, but he's also willing to stand behind what he has to say," he said. "And yet he hasn't bothered to do that."
"I begin to question whether he really cares about this," Merchant said. "He's literally, as we speak, up in Logan today talking about sex trafficking while he has money given to him by someone who has been you know pretty seriously investigated, and continuing to be investigated, by the FBI for inappropriate behavior."
This is not the only scandal the former NFL player has been facing.
The Republican was blasted by The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board on Thursday for his recent fear-mongering on immigration.
"That these words are a string of lies is secondary to their odious intent: To treat anyone who looks new to this country with suspicion. Anyone who doesn't know the language or 'the culture' should be suspected of working for criminal enterprises. That is fearmongering and it stands in stark contrast to the prevailing attitude in Utah," the newspaper wrote. "Utahns don't think of immigrants as a distant threat. When we hear foreign languages on a train or plane, we don't wonder if they're drug dealers. We're smarter and kinder than that. Your words are destructive and your constituents know it."
Although his seat is in Utah, Democrats Ben McAdams and Jim Matheson have both won in the district since the last redistricting.
White pride might not remain as alive and well in the Republican Party as it appeared just one day ago, as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., was forced to walk back plans for a new House caucus meant to promote "uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" after Greene's fellow Republicans hit her with swift criticism.
On Friday, Greene, along with Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., unveiled a new right-wing caucus called the "American First Caucus," saying the group of legislators intends to "follow in President Trump's footsteps."
According to Greene spokesman Nick Dyer, who blamed "dirty backstabbing swamp creatures'' for leaking the document to Punchbowl News, the first to obtain the caucus' policy platform, the group's final platform is still underway.
"Be on the look out for the release of the America First Caucus platform when it's announced to the public very soon," he said on Friday. The next day, Dyer told CNN Greene "has no plans to launch anything," explaining that "she didn't approve that language."
On Friday, sick and evil POS in the media attacked me with phrases I never said or wrote. They released a staff le… https://t.co/lPIDpa5pjN— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸)1618679173.0
I believe in America First with all my heart and that means every American, of every race, creed, and color. I wi… https://t.co/cg2N5bgahw— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸)1618679173.0
I have plans to drive President Trump’s America First agenda with my Congressional colleagues but we won’t let the… https://t.co/apqbIT5L4i— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸)1618679174.0
Taking specific aim at Biden's immigration policies, the caucus had argued only a day before that "societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country, particularly without institutional support for assimilation and an expansive welfare state to bail them out should they fail to contribute positively to the country."
It also put forth the notion that immigrants are less educated than they've ever been, a lie which Insider fact-checked with a recent Gallup poll that found "the estimated 44 million immigrants in the United States are better educated than ever, due in part to rising levels of schooling in many of the countries they came from and an influx of high-skilled workers to the U.S. in recent years, especially from Asia."
The caucus' platform additionally touched on President Biden's infrastructure bill, the deliberations around which have devolved into a game of political football. The American First Caucus said it wanted to promote "architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture," which is in keeping with Trump's now-revoked executive order banning federal buildings from taking on certain modern styles, as Forbes noted.
The American First Caucus also parroted election conspiracy talking points, claiming that the 2020 election was riddled with systemic fraud. "Across the country federal elections have been undermined by using voting machines that are readily compromised and illegally accessed whereby results appear manipulated, voters are disenfranchised, and faith in our system eroded," it alleges. "Mail-in voting, long recognized as subject to fraud, has become normalized. We will work towards an end to mail-in voting, implementation of national voter ID and substantive investigations into mass voter fraud perpetrated during the 2020 election." However, a cursory investigation made clear that the 2020 election was the least vulnerable to fraud in the entire history of the country.
Republicans were quick to distance themselves from the project and Greene on Friday.
"The hatefulness ... is only surpassed by its ignorance of American history and values," Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), a major Freedom Caucus member, told Forbes.
Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of toleran… https://t.co/PJGaLeuusR— Liz Cheney (@Liz Cheney)1618608483.0
America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’… https://t.co/EsVSyCfowH— Kevin McCarthy (@Kevin McCarthy)1618605694.0
This is unironically conservative cancel culture. The twitter mob got her. https://t.co/2uRPIG4ruw— Justin Tiehen (@Justin Tiehen)1618694071.0
Politicians in the city of Boston are making a major political recalculation after Black Lives Matter protests have weakened the power of police unions.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey was elevated from City Council president after Marty Walsh became Joe Biden's secretary of labor.
How she would approach the job was tested after The Boston Globe published a bombshell report on former Boston Police Patrolmen's Association President Patrick Rose.
"The police, The Globe reported, had allowed Mr. Rose to serve for more than two decades after a 12-year-old accused him of sexual assault. Though the victim ultimately recanted and the criminal case was closed, an internal affairs investigation by the police subsequently found he had most likely broken the law, The Globe reported. Those allegations resurfaced last year, when another child came forward, alleging abuse between the ages of 7 and 12, followed by four more victims. Mr. Rose was ultimately charged with more than 30 counts of sexual abuse of children," The New York Times reported Saturday.
"Ms. Janey, one of six candidates running for election in November, was faced with a choice: Should she keep the internal police records private, as Mayor Walsh, her predecessor in City Hall, had, citing the victims' desire for privacy? Or should she take the path urged by fellow progressives in the City Council, demanding that the police release the records to the public — and risk unsettling the victims and poisoning her relationship with the powerful police union?" the newspaper asked.
Janey decided, "Transparency cannot wait any longer."
Daniel Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University, explained why it was such a major choice.
"She has probably made the calculation that she is better off without the police, which is amazing," Medwed said. "Because the support of the police is, to some extent, code for the support of white voters in Boston."
Erin O'Brien, a professor at University of Massachusetts Boston, made a Wizard of Oz analogy to explain politicians' fears of police unions.
"They have a lot of power until the curtain gets pulled," she said. "The question is whether the curtain has already been pulled."
Read the full report.
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