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Rep. Tammy Baldwin announces WI Senate run

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Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), an openly gay congresswoman, announced Tuesday that she would run for the seat Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) will vacate upon his retirement in 2012.

Baldwin’s name has been floated as a Democratic contender for the seat since mid-May, when Kohl announced his retirement. If she won, she would be the first openly gay U.S. senator. When she won her House seat in 1998, she was the first woman to represent Wisconsin in Congress.

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Baldwin announced her candidacy to supporters via email, Metro Weekly reported.

“I can’t wait to take my fight to the Senate: a fight to grow our economy, protect seniors, force Wall Street to clean up its act, and bring our troops home from Afghanistan,” the email read in part. “And I can’t wait to see you on the trail as we bring our campaign to every corner of Wisconsin.”

A campaign site for Baldwin invites contributions and allows supporters to enter their email address and zip code to “take a stand with Tammy,” as more than 6,000 have. The site also has Baldwin’s debut campaign video, in which Baldwin name-checks Kohl alongside another popular former Democratic senator from the state, Russ Feingold. In August, Feingold said that he would not run for the open seat, after months of speculation.

“Some folks think America’s best days are behind us,” Baldwin said in her announcement video. “I’m not one of them. I’m used to facing challenges head-on. When I first ran for Congress in 1998, people counted me out…I want you to know that just like Herb Kohl, I’ve made standing up for the middle class my top priority.”

Both pro-LGBT activist group Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund have voiced their support for Baldwin. The HRC called her campaign “monumental” and “a top priority” for their group in a statement.

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“Tammy’s election to the U.S. Senate will make history. Added to her long list of firsts, Tammy will be the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate. Her commitment to equality for all Americans is matched only by her commitment to the people of Wisconsin,” HRC President Joe Solomonese said in the prepared statement.

Watch Baldwin’s announcement video below, embedded via YouTube.

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Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

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FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

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A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

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Lady Antebellum changed their name for racial sensitivity — now they’re suing the Black singer who already used the name

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In June, as the national conversation about racial justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing pushed many groups and organizations to examine the racial connotations of their brands, the country music group Lady Antebellum announced they were changing their name to "Lady A" to remove reference to the slavery period of Southern history.

There was just one problem: an African-American blues singer in Seattle, Anita White, already went by that name. Now, according to Pitchfork, the band is going to court for the right to use the trademark.

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