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Maryland lawmaker alleges labor union fired him for advocating police reform

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On Wednesday, The New York Times reported on the case of Gabriel Acevero, a Trinidadian-American state representative in Maryland who worked for a union local — and claims he was fired from the position over police reform.

“His union, Local 1994 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, represents thousands of Black and Latino workers in food services and at a variety of government agencies. It also includes a small portion of workers in law enforcement,” reported Noam Scheiber. “In mid-June, Mr. Acevero filed a formal charge with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the union of illegally firing him because of his reform advocacy.”

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“The union local’s president, Gino Renne, said he fired Mr. Acevero because of his antagonistic attitude at a meeting to discuss the issue,” said the report. “But he also said Mr. Acevero’s stand complicated ‘our obligation to represent our members.'”

Police unions have come under intense scrutiny following the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks, both over a number of racist incidents from union leaders and their role in blocking police accountability and the termination of problem officers. But, according to the report, there are tensions throughout the entirety of organized labor.

“While the largest police organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, has only a tenuous relationship with the labor movement, many unions count law enforcement officers among their diverse membership,” said the report. “Leaders of these unions acknowledge the urgency of reform, but fear that distancing themselves from law enforcement colleagues, or limiting their rights, could weaken labor and create pressure to roll back protections for other workers.”

“The national A.F.L.-C.I.O. — which counts the International Union of Police Associations, with its tens of thousands of members, as an affiliate, in addition to officers in other unions — has endorsed a wide-ranging police reform agenda,” said the report, including bans on chokeholds and no-knock warrants. However, “In at least one prominent instance, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s position appears contradictory. The federation formally backed a recent resolution passed by Seattle’s labor council calling on the local police union to become a partner in reform or risk expulsion. Yet the A.F.L.-C.I.O. leadership opposes the expulsion of police unions, a step taken by the Seattle council in mid-June.”

You can read more here.

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2020 Election

Trump-Biden race could hinge on how this one Florida county swings

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Betty Jones voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, but the lifelong Republican has her doubts she will do it again this year.

The federal response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed about 200,000 Americans and forced older adults to restrict their activities has her contemplating a leadership change.

It “makes me unsure,” said Jones, 78, of Largo, in Pinellas County, Florida. Before COVID-19, she said, she would have definitely voted for Trump.

Polls show that many people will have the pandemic and its public health and economic consequences on their minds when they cast their votes — whether by mail or in person — this fall. Early in-person voting starts Oct. 19 in most Florida counties, including Pinellas.

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2020 Election

Cindy McCain crosses party lines to endorse Joe Biden

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The widow of late U.S. Sen. John McCain plans to endorse Joe Biden on Wednesday, giving the former vice president another boost from a prominent Republican.Biden leaked Cindy McCain’s political plans during a fundraising call Tuesday evening.“Maybe I shouldn’t say it,” Biden told campaign donors, “but I’m about to go on one of these Zooms with John McCain’s wife, who is first time ever, is endorsing me.”The last straw for McCain was a report from The Atlantic saying Trump told staff that American soldiers killed in combat were “suckers” and “losers,” according to Biden.“Because of what he talk... (more…)

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2020 Election

‘They’ll get away with it’: Strategist explains how GOP federal judges will help Trump steal election

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President Donald Trump will remain in power if he narrowly loses the 2020 presidential election, with conservative judges poised to help him "steal" the election, a longtime Democratic Party strategist warned on Tuesday.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed James Carville about the Supreme Court vacancy and how it could impact any legal wrangling about counting the votes.

"James, that's a pretty neat trick, the president is gaslighting out in advance voter fraud that he is promoting, ergo the need for nine justices on the court, which doesn't exist in law. The court has functioned just fine with eight during times of a death or a recusal," Williams noted. "Be that as it may, if Trump fills this seat before the election, in your view, how does that change the dynamic of the election?"

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