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Independent paper’s founders awarded $3.75 million over trumped-up arrests by Joe Arpaio

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The founders of the independent publication Phoenix New Times won a $3.75 million settlement from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Arizona on Friday, ending years of litigation after were arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio under false pretenses.

New Times reported on Friday that the dispute between Arpaio, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin dates back to 2004, when the newspaper published Arpaio’s home address, which was publicly available, as part of an investigation into his acquisition of six commercial real estate properties in transactions that were not made public.

“Unlike most of Arpaio’s victims, we had the financial wherewithal to defend ourselves in court, and we were able to speak through the newspaper,” Lacey and Larkin said in a statement. “But the vulnerable and impoverished victims of Arpaio’s ongoing abusive practices have neither the money nor the voice to fight back.”

Though Arpaio asked that the paper be charged, arguing that the information presented a “timely threat,” two separate County Attorney’s offices declined, since at least 10 months had elapsed between the article’s publication and his request. But a special prosecutor appointed by Thomas issued subpoenas in 2007 asking for New Times’ sources and readers for all of its stories related to Arpaio.

In response, Lacey and Larkin wrote an Oct. 18, 2007 story detailing authorities’ actions. The night the story was published, they were arrested on charges of violating the secrecy of a grand jury. The subpoenas were later declared invalid because they were obtained without the approval of any grand jury, nor Superior Court Judge Baca, who was in charge of convening them.

The Arizona Republic reported that Maricopa County has been forced to pay nearly $17 million in settlements related to cases of political attacks by Arpaio and Thomas.

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[Image via KXNV-TV]

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quiet’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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