CHICAGO – R&B superstar R. Kelly had embarked on what was supposed to be a high-flying tour in 2016 when two members of his entourage allegedly expressed concern the singer was physically and psychologically abusing a teenage girl traveling with them. The girl was kept locked up in a tour bus for hours on end, according to a recent court filing by federal prosecutors in New York. Her eyes were red and puffy. She looked “ruff,” as one employee allegedly put it. “Something is REALLY strange about the treatment and behavior of the little one,” the employee texted on May 17, 2016, according to the...
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In the first 48-hours of the Herschel Walker abortion scandal, Republicans and Christian leaders largely stood by the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia despite accusations of hypocrisy on the issue. But that instinct was complicated on Wednesday after Walker denied knowing his accuser, despite having a child with her that he has acknowledged, according to a bombshell new report.
“Sure, I was stunned, but I guess it also doesn’t shock me, that maybe there are just so many of us that he truly doesn’t remember,” she said told The Daily Beast.
"But then again, if he really forgot about it, that says something, too," she added.
The new reporting came from the same reporter who broke the Monday story, Rober Sollenberger.
The bombshell report quickly generated commentary online.
Sarah Weinman, a columnist for New York Times books, tweeted, "This is a plot twist worthy of many a crime novel."
And that was even before the candidate's son Christian Walker said, "wear a condom, damn."
Tom Nichols of The Atlantic wrote, "You just knew that there would be more once he had dug that hole so deep."
"The GOP wants Walker in office because it thinks he's a malleable dolt who will do as he's told," author Mark Harris wrote. "So it's not a surprise that it views his lack of personal character as an asset. It makes the job easier."
Aisha Sultan, columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote, "This story is much bigger than the hypocrisy of Herschel Walker. It has exposed the hypocrisy of the anti-abortion activists who could care less about their own side getting and funding abortions -- just as long as they can hold onto their own power."
BuzzFeed News reporter Paul McLeod said, "On top of everything else this is a reminder of one of the most clarifying and assumption-busting stats in reproductive health: most women who have an abortion have already had at least one child."
"A lot tougher to say 'this is some crazy rando with impeccable forgery skills' when you've already had one child with her," noted ABC News reporter Brad Mielke. "There's also just enough leeway in this story (they don't ID the accuser by name, just give this extra detail about her) in which Walker could double down on the denials...which will then look even sillier if she does offer her name."
Media critic and New Republic editor Jason Linkins wrote, "I'd say maybe this will jog his memory but uhhh you know......"
Justice KBJ is going to make it 'much harder' for SCOTUS to restrict voting rights: Constitution expert
One of America's foremost Constitutional law experts praised new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on MSNBC on Wednesday evening for her powerful opening performance on the United States Supreme Court.
On "The Last Word," Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed Harvard Law's Laurence Tribe, who taught constitutional law for half a century and has argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
O'Donnell asked Tribe about his impressions of Jackson's debut.
"Well, I was frankly really thrilled," Tribe replied. "I wasn't surprised because I've known her for years and thought she was really brilliant and articulate and historically sophisticated."
"But she used the opportunity of the oral arguments to conduct what is really a master class in the original meaning of the 14th Amendment," he explained. "You could just see her addressing the conservatives on the courts. You want originalism, she read them the original history."
"The 14th Amendment was not passed in order to make the Constitution color blind, but to provide a basis for legislative action that would take race into account in order to undo the lingering affects of slavery and racism," Tribe explained.
"She went to the absolute heart of the case," Tribe said. "And the way that or these oral arguments are conducted, in a modern court, the justices are really talking not so much to the lawyers, but to one another. She staked out her position, made it very powerful, and it's going to make it much harder for the court to do what I think is unfortunately predetermined to do and that is to still cut down even further the effective use of the voting rights act to undo racial gerrymandering."
Laurence Tribe www.youtube.com
The Republican National Committee is suing Maricopa County over election transparency and election worker hiring practices, in what the county’s Republican recorder called “a political stunt.”
The RNC filed two lawsuits this week after the county didn’t respond to a letter the committee sent last month demanding explanations for why more Democratic than Republican poll workers were hired for the August election. The RNC claims that the county did not respond to all of the questions laid out in the letter.
“The idea that a Republican Recorder and four Republican board members would try to keep Republicans out of elections is absurd,” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and County Board Chairman Bill Gates said in a joint statement in response to the suits.
Only one of the five-person Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Steve Gallardo, is a member of the Democratic Party.
“This is a lie,” Supervisor Thomas Galvin tweeted in response to the suits. “Ronna Romney McDaniel (chairwoman of the RNC) is wasting GOP donor money &, more importantly, @MaricopaCounty resources & tax dollars on a PR stunt thats using AZ’s court system as a political playground. I love Arizona & swore an oath to serve it justly. I’m sick of grifters attacking AZ.”
The county is required to hire an equal number of election board and poll workers from both parties, and said that it attempted to do so, but ended up with 857 Democrats working the primary election on Aug. 2 and only 712 Republicans.
“After several weeks of negotiations, Maricopa County left us no choice but to sue because Arizonans who want to be poll workers shouldn’t be shut out of the process,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward said in a joint statement. “With midterms just 34 days away, Arizonans deserve basic transparency about how their elections will be conducted. This legal offensive is the latest step in Republicans’ ongoing efforts to promote free, fair, and transparent elections in Arizona.”
The Maricopa County Elections Department previously told the Arizona Mirror that it follows state law and aims “for equal representation from the two major political parties as we fill temporary election worker positions,” sometimes even going above and beyond statutory requirements.
The county blamed the discrepancy in partisan poll workers in part on the large turnover rate in workers running up to the election and the need to replace them.
A week before Election Day, the department had to fill 220 poll worker positions. County officials estimated that more than 500 temporary election workers quit at some point leading up to the election, and then their positions had to be filled.
The RNC claims that the county doesn’t have a good process for backfilling those positions when workers quit, and blamed the high attrition rate on unreasonable work requirements.
In one of the suits, the RNC asks the court to compel Maricopa County to supply it with documentation of the county’s efforts to hire Republican poll workers and central election board workers, as well as proof of its efforts to find Republican replacements for workers who didn’t show up on Election Day.
In its other suit, the RNC claims that the requirements for temporary elections and poll workers in Maricopa County prohibit many Republicans from being election workers.
“The Defendants’ hours requirements foreseeably exclude virtually all persons who wish to participate but cannot abandon all other personal and professional obligations in October and November,” the RNC says in the suit.
Requirements that the RNC says deters Republican workers include some 14-hour days and obligatory weekend shifts.
The Republican Party designated qualified electors to serve on the county’s election boards in the August primary, but the RNC claimed that many of the people it designated could not handle the requirements of the job.
“The Defendants cannot establish onerous hours requirements, or create unduly inhospitable working conditions, that deter Republican workers from participating in the administration of Arizona Elections – and then claim compliance with the Equal Access Statutes (requirement for the same number of Republican and Democratic workers) was impossible,” the RNC said in the suit.
The RNC did not respond to a question from the Mirror asking why longer hours and multiple-day commitments would discourage more potential Republican poll workers than Democratic ones.
In response to the RNC’s suit, All Voting is Local, a nonprofit that advocates for fair and accessible elections, said in a statement that election and poll worker laws were created “to protect voters from anti-democracy conspiracy theorists who want to disrupt the free and fair election process.”
The group also thanked the election officials who protect the right to safe voting.
“Maricopa County election officials are duty bound to follow the laws, guidelines and predetermined process to select poll workers,” Alex Gulotta, Arizona director of All Voting is Local, said in the statement. “We have confidence that election officials are abiding by and adhering to the laws and standards outlined in the poll worker guidelines released by All Voting Is Local and the Brennan Center for Justice last week.
This is just the most recent in a laundry list of criticisms that Republicans have hurled at the Maricopa County Elections Department over the past two years, including through their multimillion dollar partisan “audit” of the 2020 presidential election by the now-defunct firm Cyber Ninjas.
Arizona Mirror is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Arizona Mirror maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jim Small for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Arizona Mirror on Facebook and Twitter.