Author Topic: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race  (Read 8955 times)

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9113
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #120 on: October 28, 2019, 10:56:21 am »
Monday, 28th October 2019
Walden Not In!!!

Republican Representative Greg Walden, will retire at the end of this Congress, the veteran lawmaker announced Monday.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9113
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #121 on: October 28, 2019, 12:11:07 pm »
Monday, 28th October 2019
Former North Carolina U.S. Senator Kay Hagan passes away
by Associated press

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Kay Hagan, a former bank executive who rose from a budget writer in the North Carolina Legislature to a seat in the U.S. Senate, died Monday.

She was 66.

Hagan died of encephalitis, or brain inflammation, caused by Powassan virus, a rare virus spread from ticks to humans, her former Senate spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said.

Hagan, a Democrat, served a single term in the Senate and lost her 2014 re-election bid to Republican North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis.

Hagan was born in Shelby, North Carolina, on May 26, 1953.

She earned her undergraduate degree from Florida State University in 1975, then earned a law degree from Wake Forest University three years later.

For 10 years, Hagan worked for NationsBank, which was to become Bank of America, where she became a vice president in the estates and trust division.

After being a stay-at-home mother, the niece of former Florida governor and U.S. Sen. Lawton Chiles launched her own political career and won a seat as a Democrat in the North Carolina state Senate in 1998.

Ten years later, Hagan sought and won the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Elizabeth Dole.

Although she initially showed reluctance to lend her support, Hagan backed the Affordable Care Act pushed by President Barack Obama.

She also worked to limit payday lending, continuing the work she began as a state senator.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9113
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #122 on: November 01, 2019, 10:43:01 am »
Friday, 1st November 2019
The Humiliation of Katie Hill Offers a Warning
by Quinta Jurecic

Representative Katie Hill’s brief career in Congress unwound in the same way that Ernest Hemingway described bankruptcy taking place:

gradually and then suddenly.

On October 18, the right-wing outlet RedState published an article alleging sexual relationships between Hill and two staffers, along with an explicit photograph of Hill.

Other right-leaning publications picked upthe story, and it began rocketing around Twitter.

Most mainstream publications reported on the situation only after Hill released a statement on October 22, denying the first alleged relationship and decrying the photograph’s release as the work of her “abusive” husband.

The next day, Hill released a second statement, acknowledging her “inappropriate” relationship with the second staffer.

The House Ethics Committee quickly announced an investigation.

On October 24, the Daily Mail released several additional explicit photos.

On October 27, Hill resigned.

The Hill scandal has an uncanny feeling.

It is both very familiar—the political sex scandal is quite literally a phenomenon as old as this country—and yet placed in a context that makes it appear strange and dreadful.

As I wrote in Lawfare before Hill’s resignation, this is the first instance of which I am aware when a politically aligned publication has published an explicit photo of an opposition politician for apparent political gain.

It’s both a sign of how ugly the political landscape could become and a reminder of how ugly, for the many ordinary people who have suffered this kind of abuse, the world already is.

Right-wing media has been getting a great deal of mileage out of the supposedly titillating nature of Hill’s love life.

Hill was one of the first members of Congress to identify publicly as bisexual, and the campaign staffer with whom she was in a relationship is female.

An inordinate amount of media coverage has focused on the fact that the staffer was involved with both Hill and her husband.

(“This is a whole lot less hot than you might think,” the right-wing political commentator Kurt Schlichter wrote on Twitter.)

Putting aside the leering, though, the story is appalling and sad.

By her own account, Hill engaged in a profound breach of responsibility by engaging in a sexual relationship with someone who was working for her—and by doing so while running for public office.

“The mistakes I made that brought me to this moment will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said this afternoon in her final speech on the House floor.

Members of Congress are no stranger to bad behavior.

But in a time when Americans are remapping the difficult landscape of sex and power in the workplace, it would be willfully naive to shove aside the uncomfortable dynamics of Hill’s relationship with a staffer who was almost a decade her junior, and a recent college graduate.

Yet all of this must be separated from the question of whether or not the photos of Hill should have been made public.

That, at least, has a clear answer:


The photographs fit into the category of what is colloquially called “revenge porn” and what experts call “nonconsensual pornography”:

explicit images of a person that may or may not have been taken consensually, but that are released to the public without the victim’s approval.

Hill stated in her speech that the photos of her “were taken without my knowledge, let alone my consent.”

She has blamed her husband, whom she is divorcing, for the photos’ release.

If her allegations prove true, she will be far from alone:

As the law professors Mary Anne Franks and Danielle Citron (a colleague of mine) write, the release of sensitive images or video against the will of the person depicted “is often a form of domestic violence.”

The vast majority of victims of this practice are female (though not all: Former Texas Representative Joe Barton appears to have been a victim of the practice in 2017).

And though research is scant at this point, sexual minorities may be particularly vulnerable.

Ari Ezra Waldman, the founder and director of the Institute for CyberSafety, says that nonconsensual pornography of gay women may most commonly be released “when women come out as lesbians after breaking up with men”; the specific circumstances of Hill’s case obviously differ from this scenario, but there is a common thread in that Hill’s male former partner may have retaliated against her by releasing photos of her relationship with a woman.

The effects of nonconsensual pornography can be devastating.

Victims report severe anxiety and depression.

Many lose their jobs.

Some are afraid to even step outside.

“Ever since those images first came out, I barely got out of bed,” Hill said in her final speech, going on, “Today is the first time I’ve left my apartment since the photos ... were released, and I’m scared.”

Writing in Vox, the victims’-rights lawyers Carrie Goldberg and Annie Seifullah describe how their respective former partners used intimate photographs of them to try to destroy their careers.

(Goldberg has since announced that her firm is representing Hill.)

It’s for this reason—recognizing the harm that nonconsensual pornography represents—that the vast majority of states plus the District of Columbia have criminalized the practice in recent years.

Both the D.C. law and the relevant law in Hill’s home state of California exclude images released on matters of public interest.

RedState and the Daily Mail will surely point to this loophole if Hill sues the publications, as she has threatened to do, though whether the outlets would be successful is far from clear.

Hill’s underlying conduct is indeed newsworthy, but as for the photos themselves, there is little call to publish something so personally damaging.

Nonconsensual pornography is a form of sexual violence optimized for the internet age:

The ease of communication in an era of smartphones can transform a picture from an expression of intimacy and trust into a means of humiliating a person at scale, not only before friends and colleagues, but in front of the entire world.

In this way, it seems at home in 2019, when the internet often seems to be a large collection of tools for hurting people with great efficiency.

The actress Scarlett Johansson, confronted with “deep fakes” of her face superimposed onto the bodies of porn actresses in graphic sex scenes, may have put it best:

“The internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself.”

Hill’s public humiliation is a sign of where that wormhole might be taking American politics.

Now that the norm against publishing damaging explicit photographs has been broken, there is one less check against the ability of, say, an opposition researcher—or an unfriendly foreign government—to make use of a deep fake or a hacked photograph to swing the polls against a political candidate.

(Notably, Politico reports that the RedState writer who first released Hill’s photo is publicly advocating support for Republicans considering running for the now-vacant seat.)

It’s a sign of further rot in a political system still struggling to respond effectively to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

As if to drive the point home, George Papadopoulos, the former puppetine campaign foreign-policy aide indicted for lying to the FBI over his knowledge of Russian election interference in 2016, is now floating his candidacy in Hill’s old district.

Decrying the bleakness of the online world is, at this point, something of a national pastime.

But not very long ago, before the 2016 election, the internet still seemed capable of breaking down rigid structures of power and engineering a better world.

And yet, underneath this cheerful veneer, it has always been a hostile place for the same people who are often targets of hostility in the real world.

Despite the utopian promise of human connection freed from the limitations of physical space, women online have never been able to escape being reduced to their bodies.

“Tits or GTFO” —i.e., show us your bare breasts or leave—was for a long time the traditional greeting to a female user who announced herself on a predominantly male forum.

In her book, 'Hate Crimes in Cyberspace', Citron describes the case of the blogger and programmer Kathy Sierra, who was effectively driven off the internet in 2007 by a coordinated, cross-platform harassment campaign.

She also chronicles the many, many women whose lives have been damaged by nonconsensual pornography.

This ugliness seemed to metastasize and consume the internet as a whole after 2016.

Many of the issues major technology companies are struggling with now—the presence of harassment; the existence of bad actors seeking to game the system, whether to promote hate speech or interfere in an election; the problem of users abandoning platforms plagued by trolls—have always been there, but were primarily hurting populations whose concerns were much easier for tech firms to write off.

Katie Hill’s story is a vivid illustration of the connection between these older harms and their newly visible scale.

She is the victim of nonconsensual pornography, apparently at the hands of a former partner she describes as abusive, and much of the glee over her departure seems motivated by a familiar distaste for women in positions of authority—so far, so typical.

Yet her case is also very new in what it says about the poisoned state of the American political environment in an age of hyperpolarization and social media.

The irony is that during her campaign, Hill, despite her self-presentation as a new kind of politician and her frank promises of holding power to account, seems not to have escaped the pull of unhealthy currents of power in her own personal life.

In this, too, she is far from alone.

Having now left Congress, Hill has promised to devote her time to fighting nonconsensual pornography:

“I refuse to let this experience scare off other women,” she said on the House floor.

If she is able to lobby effectively for increased protections for other victims—perhaps including federal legislation against nonconsensual pornography, which Congress has so far failed to pursue—then perhaps something good will have come of all this mess.

The American political system, including the media and large platforms considering questions of content moderation, will have to grapple with how to respond to the publication of similar photographs in the future.

But it would be a mistake to focus only on the larger-scale question of what nonconsensual pornography means for democracy and ignore what it means for the many people who are quietly harmed by it every day.

If those people are once again pushed aside, as they were for so long, then perhaps the crucible of 2016 will have taught us little after all.

Would You Like To Know More?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 11:02:48 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9113
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #123 on: November 06, 2019, 01:48:52 am »
Wednesday, 6th November 2019
Democrats Win Control in Virginia and Claim Narrow Victory in Kentucky Governor’s Race

by Jonathan Martin, Rick Rojas and Campbell Robertson

Democrats won complete control of the Virginia government for the first time in a generation on Tuesday and claimed a narrow victory in the Kentucky governor’s race, as Republicans struggled in suburbs where the acting-president is increasingly unpopular.

In capturing both chambers of the legislature in Virginia, Democrats have cleared the way for Gov. Ralph S. Northam, who was nearly driven from office earlier this year, to press for measures tightening access to guns and raising the minimum wage that have been stymied by legislative Republicans.

In Kentucky, Gov. Matt Bevin, a deeply unpopular Republican, refused to concede the election to his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Andy Beshear.

With 100 percent of the precincts counted, Mr. Beshear was ahead by 5,100 votes.

Mr. Beshear presented himself as the winner, telling supporters that he expected Mr. Bevin to “honor the election that was held tonight.”

“Tonight, voters in Kentucky sent a message loud and clear for everyone to hear,” Mr. Beshear said.

“It’s a message that says our elections don’t have to be about right versus left, they are still about right versus wrong.”

Mr. Bevin asserted to supporters that “there have been more than a few irregularities,” without offering specifics.

Mr. Bevin’s troubles did not appear to be a drag on other Republicans, who captured every other statewide race in Kentucky — a sign that Kentucky voters were rejecting Mr. Bevin and not his party.

Daniel Cameron handily won the attorney general’s race, becoming the first African-American to claim the office and the first Republican to do so in over 70 years.

Republicans did manage to capture the governor’s mansion in Mississippi as Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated Attorney General Jim Hood by seven percentage points in an open-seat race that illustrated the enduring conservatism of the Deep South.

The final governorship up for grabs in these off-year campaigns is in Louisiana where Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, is facing re-election a week from Saturday.

In New Jersey, a state that seemed to be shifting increasingly blue each year, Republicans were on the cusp of their first legislative gains in nearly a decade.

With final results still being tallied late Tuesday, Republicans looked likely to pick up two seats in the Assembly and one in the Senate, powered largely by a surge along the southern part of the state where puppetine won easily in 2016 despite Democrats’ local advantage.

Across the nation Tuesday, a handful of candidates made history.

In addition to Mr. Cameron in Kentucky, Ghazala Hashmi, a Democrat, was the first Muslim woman elected to the Virginia Senate, capturing a suburban Richmond district.

And in Arizona, Regina Romero was headed toward victory in the Tucson mayor’s race, becoming the first woman and first Latina to lead that city.

In Virginia, where Mr. Northam and two other statewide Democrats were pressured to resign following a series of scandals earlier this year, the party overcame its own self-inflicted challenges by harnessing voter antipathy toward puppetine to win a series of seats.

For the first time since 1993, Democrats control both chambers in the legislature and the governor’s office — allowing them to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries after next year’s census.

Linking Republican incumbents to the unpopular acting-president and criticizing them for opposing gun control measures in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Virginia Beach in May, Democratic challengers built their victory with strong showings in suburbs stretching from outside Washington to Richmond and Hampton Roads.

In Fairfax County, the state’s largest jurisdiction, the last remaining Republican lawmaker was defeated.

Ten years after Republicans last won a statewide election there, the legislative victories cemented Virginia’s evolution to becoming a reliably blue state.

Mr. Northam, who admitted and then denied wearing blackface as a young man, said Tuesday night that Virginia voters made clear they “want us to defend the rights of women, L.G.B.T.Q. Virginians, immigrant communities and communities of color.”

And he vowed to broaden access to health care, improve public schools, combat climate change and pass gun control legislation.

On a day of state and local elections that illustrated the country’s growing polarization, red-state Republicans sought to frame their campaigns as a test of loyalty to puppetine while Democrats in more liberal states tied their opponents to the acting-president.

Coming one year before the presidential election, the races reflected the country’s increasingly contentious politics and the widening rural-urban divide.

Nowhere was that more apparent than in Kentucky, where Mr. Beshear ran far better than national Democrats in the state’s lightly-populated counties but built his advantage thanks in large part to his overwhelming strength in the state’s cities and suburbs.

Mr. Beshear’s performance demonstrated that puppetine’s popularity alone is insufficient for most Republicans, even in one of the most conservative regions in the country.

Mr. Bevin and national G.O.P. groups, grasping for ways to overcome Mr. Bevin’s weakness, sought to turn the election into a referendum on puppetine, national policy issues and the Democratic impeachment inquiry.

And the acting-president himself stood alongside Mr. Bevin Monday night in Lexington to argue that, while the combative governor is “a pain in the azz,” his defeat would send “a really bad message” beyond Kentucky’s borders.

But three years after handing the president a 30-point victory, Kentucky’s voters appeared to put their displeasure with the conservative Mr. Bevin, his controversial policies and even more controversial personality, over their partisan preferences.

While Mr. Beshear’s apparent margin was slim, the result may have caught Mr. Bevin by surprise.

In an interview near the end of the race, Mr. Bevin claimed the race was not even competitive and predicted he’d prevail by “6 to 10 percent.”

Mr. Beshear, a 41-year-old moderate whose father preceded Mr. Bevin in the governor’s mansion, sidestepped questions about puppetine and impeachment while keeping his distance from national Democrats.

He focused squarely on Mr. Bevin’s efforts to cut Medicaid and overhaul the state’s pension program while drawing attention to the governor’s string of incendiary remarks, including one that suggested striking teachers had left children vulnerable to molestation.

Yet even as he sought to steer a middle path, Mr. Beshear benefited from liberal enthusiasm, running up wide margins in the state’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington.

In a characteristically truculent Twitter thread on Tuesday as voting was underway, Mr. Bevin snapped at the “historically challenged national media” for being surprised at the competitiveness of the Kentucky race, pointing out that only four Republicans had been elected governor since the 1920s and that registered Democrats in the state still outnumbered registered Republicans.

He did not mention that this partisan registration gap has considerably shrunk in recent years, nor that Mr. Trump romped there three years ago.

The elections Tuesday featured only a handful of statewide and legislative races, but they neatly captured how thoroughly polarized politics has become in the puppetine era.

In the three governors’ races, Republican candidates linked themselves to puppetine at every turn, joining him for rallies in their states and assailing their Democratic rivals for their party’s effort to impeach the president.

While puppetine was embraced by Republicans, the Democratic standard-bearers in the races shunned their more liberal presidential contenders and refused to support the impeachment inquiry, not wanting to fuel the g.o.p.’s strategy of making the red-state races a referendum on the acting-president.

Yet in Virginia, the only Southern state puppetine lost, it was Republicans who were distancing themselves from their national party and a president who has alienated the suburban voters they needed to retain control of the state legislature.

While the president stayed away from Virginia, just across the Potomac from the Executive Mansion, every major Democratic presidential hopeful was welcomed with open arms to campaign with the party’s candidates in a state that has not elected a statewide Republican in a decade.

In all four states, television commercials and campaign mailers were filled with mentions of puppetine as well as of national Democratic leaders such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bernie Sanders and the freshman House Democrats.

And the same hot-button issues that have consumed a gridlocked Washington in recent years have also played a central role in races that in the past would have been dominated by talk of taxes, transportation spending and education.

Predictably, it was the Democrats in the red states and Republicans in increasingly blue Virginia who gamely sought to localize the races.

Mr. Beshear and Mr. Hood hammered their Republican opponents on their records and issues unique to Kentucky and Mississippi while casting themselves as pragmatists with little allegiance to their national party.

Suburban Virginia Republicans focused on their dedication to constituent service, including filling potholes, and trumpeted their willingness to break from party orthodoxy on some issues.

In Kentucky, Mr. Bevin’s inflammatory conduct — he once portrayed striking teachers as accessories to the sexual assault of children — appeared to have persuaded some voters, from both parties, to vote for Mr. Beshear.

John Brown, who has worked in heating and air-conditioning for more than 30 years, said that he has wavered between parties over the years.

This time, he voted for Mr. Beshear. “I watch the news, and that’s how I vote,” he said.

“He has poor manners,” Mr. Brown, 62, said, adding that he does not care for his hotheaded temperament, which was apparent when Mr. Bevin spoke.

“You can tell his blood pressure is rising.”

« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 03:24:53 pm by Battle »