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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 01:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,830

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Florida politicians become surveillance targets as political payback rumors swirl

TALLAHASSEE — Private investigators have pursued state legislators, including GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Latvala, secretly recording their daily lives in search of scandal, according to state law enforcement records and private surveillance reports obtained by POLITICO Florida.

It’s unclear who is behind the multiple spying efforts, but in at least four separate incidents — one dating back to 2015 involving Latvala dining with three female lobbyists — private eyes have been watching pols more than ever in the capital city. One surveillance operation became the subject itself of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement this spring, when a legislator spied a camera, hidden on a table behind a vase in a condo hallway, fall on the floor.

Even in Florida politics, where attack ads and mudslinging are commonplace, the emergence of private investigators digging up dirt on the personal lives of state lawmakers is striking and has some lawmakers worried that this out-of-sight-out-of-mind college town is turning into a surveillance state.

“Historically, we don’t see this in Tallahassee: active private eyes following a politician in his daily activities,” said David Ramba, a longtime lobbyist and lawyer who helps lawmakers organize and run their political committees.

more: https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/10/30/florida-politicians-become-surveillance-targets-as-political-payback-rumors-swirl-115364

Support For Impeachment At Record High

Source: Public Policy Polling

PPP’s newest national poll finds a record level of support for impeaching Donald Trump. 49% of voters support impeaching him, to 41% who are opposed to doing so. This marks the 6th month in a row we’ve found a plurality of voters in favor of impeaching Trump, and it’s the closest we’ve found to a majority.

Trump’s approval rating has declined by a net 7 points in the last month. In September we found him at a -11 spread with 42% of voters approving of him to 53% who disapproved. Now he’s at -18 with 38% of voters approving of him to 56% who disapprove.

Trump claimed last week that he had accomplished more in 9 months than any President in American History, but only 25% of voters believe that claim to 66% who do not, although it’s a notable measure of the ‘Trump cult’ that 55% of those who voted for him do believe he’s the most accomplished to 32% who disagree. Voters actually put his first 9 months in a very different historical context- 49% already say they think he’s the worst President in American History, to 43% who dispute that notion. By a 54/40 margin voters wish Barack Obama was still President instead of Trump, and by a 48/42 spread they wish Hillary Clinton was in the White House rather than Trump.

Trump fares poorly on a number of metrics we tested in the poll. Only 37% of voters think he’s honest, to 56% who say he’s not. In fact a 52% majority come right out and say they think Trump is a liar, to 41% who disagree with that characterization. There are continued transparency concerns, with 60% of voters thinking he needs to release his tax returns to just 32% who don’t think it’s necessary for him to. And only 31% of voters think Trump has delivered on the core promise of his campaign to ‘Make America Great Again,’ to 60% who say he’s failed on that front.

Read more: https://www.publicpolicypolling.com/polls/support-impeachment-record-high/

Florida congressional candidate: I was Harvey Weinsteined'

MIAMI — A top congressional candidate in one of the nation’s marquee races for Democrats is accusing a political ally she once supported of exposing himself to her — and he’s countering that she might be lying to gain attention for her campaign.

The lurid dispute between Miami Beach City Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and progressive activist Rafael Velasquez — a city commission candidate she had endorsed — marks the latest scandal nagging Florida Democrats amid the national debate about sexual harassment sparked by accusations from multiple women against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

“I was 'Harvey Weinsteined' by Rafael Velasquez, the candidate I have been supporting and raising money for in the Miami Beach commission race,” Rosen Gonzalez said in a text message to POLITICO Florida.

The alleged incident occurred two weeks ago, Rosen Gonzalez said, as she was driving Velasquez to his car following a dinner where the two were discussing his campaign. She said she initially kept quiet, but a friend who contacted POLITICO Florida on her behalf told her that it was her duty to go public.

more: https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/10/30/florida-congressional-candidate-i-was-harvey-weinsteined-115329

Kevin Spacey: Special Emmy award withdrawn after assault allegations

Source: BBC News

Kevin Spacey has been dropped as the recipient of a special Emmy award he was due to receive next month.

The International TV Academy said in a statement that it was withdrawing the International Emmy Founders Award "in light of recent events".

It comes after actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance 30 years ago.

Responding to the allegations, Spacey said he was "beyond horrified" but did not remember the encounter.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-41816238

Dem senators in states won by Trump see high approval numbers

Three Democratic senators facing reelection bids in 2018 in states won by President Trump last year are maintaining high approval ratings, according to Morning Consult polling released Tuesday.

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) saw their approval ratings inch above 50 percent in their respective states in the third quarter of 2017.

Both major parties have expressed optimism heading into the 2018 midterm elections. Democrats are hopeful they can pick up seats in Congress, while Republicans are seeking to pad their majority. Heitkamp, Manchin and Tester are among the Senate seats considered most likely to flip.

In North Dakota, 55 percent of voters approve of Heitkamp, and 32 percent disapprove. The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/357967-dem-senators-in-states-won-by-trump-see-high-approval-numbers

Rose McGowan Faces Arrest Warrant For Drugs: Are They Trying To Silence Me?

Source: Huffington Post

Rose McGowan, one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers in a massive Hollywood sexual misconduct scandal, is in legal hot water.

The 44-year-old actress faces an arrest warrant charging her with felony possession of a controlled substance, a Washington Dulles International Airport spokesman said in a statement emailed to HuffPost on Tuesday.

Police secured the warrant in February after “personal belongings” McGowan left on a Jan. 20 United flight to Dulles “tested positive for narcotics,” Andrew Trull, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said in the statement. Authorities didn’t identify the drug.

Media reports of the warrant circulated on Monday.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rose-mcgowan-warrant-drugs_us_59f8425ee4b09b5c2568c790

National Journal: A Virginia Democrat Defies the Progressive Base

Ralph Northam is leading in the governor’s race because he’s run to the middle, and hasn’t pandered to liberal activists.

Amid all the talk about Ed Gillespie’s exploiting cultural divisions to run competitively in Virginia, many political commentators are missing the big picture in the governor’s race there. Lieutenant governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is leading in nearly every poll despite running a general-election campaign that has ignored the loudest, most-polarizing voices in his party’s base. He said he wants to work with President Trump when possible despite their many disagreements, he’s ignored environmentalists’ pleas to oppose the construction of a controversial natural-gas pipeline, and he’s called for localities to decide what to do with Confederate statues, instead of mandating their removal.

A former George W. Bush voter, Northam is running as a moderate Democratic pragmatist in the spirit of Bill Clinton—or recently-elected Gov. Roy Cooper, one of the most-prominent Democrats to win during last year’s Trump wave in neighboring North Carolina. And despite all the Democratic angst about the race tightening, his own campaign’s polls have shown him consistently ahead. The average of public polling shows that he’s leading by a healthy 6-point margin.

The real reason you’re hearing so much wailing from Democrats is because they fear that Northam could pave the way for a moderate revival within the party—that a victory would prove that the party’s candidates can win without being held hostage by the increasingly progressive base. In the primary, he handily dispatched former Rep. Tom Perriello, who ran well to his left and won the support of leading liberal activists across the spectrum, from senior Obama officials to socialist-minded senators such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. And since winning the nomination, Northam has resisted calls for his campaign to pander to the grassroots, to the point where they’re leaking unfavorable assessments of his candidacy.

more: https://www.nationaljournal.com/s/659783/virginia-democrat-defies-progressive-base?mref=dashboard-free

DNC to consider resolution urging Bernie Sanders, Angus King to run as Dems

Source: The Hill

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) will consider a member’s resolution this week that calls on independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt) and Angus King (Maine) to run as Democrats in 2018.

The resolution, sponsored by California DNC member Bob Mulholland, lauds both senators’ contributions “to key Democratic caucuses,” but argues that the DNC has to focus on electing Democrats up and down the ticket.

“Therefore, be it resolved, that the DNC recognizes the important contributions of the independent Senators from Maine and Vermont to causes at the heart of the Democratic party’s mission and urge them to run as Democrats,” the draft of the resolution states, before calling on “candidates and voters who share common goals and beliefs with Democrats to register or affiliate with the Democratic party in 2017, 2018 and beyond.”

“A strong and unified Democratic party with strong candidates from diverse backgrounds puts us in the best position to win elections up and down the ticket in 2018 and beyond,” the draft adds.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/355995-dnc-to-consider-resolution-urging-bernie-sanders-angus-king-to-run-as-dems

Judge refuses to dismiss corruption charges against Menendez

Source: The Hill

Judge William Walls on Monday said he won't dismiss any of the 18 charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), The Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors in the federal corruption case against Menendez and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen, rested their case last week, capping off 18 days of testimony from 35 witnesses.

Menendez pleaded not guilty to charges that he accepted campaign donations, lavish gifts and vacations from Melgen, a Florida-based eye doctor, in return for the senator using his influence to benefit Melgen both personally and financially.

Prosecutors claimed during the trial that the senator had "sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford."

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/355650-judge-refuses-to-dismiss-corruption-charges-against-dem-senator

Miami congressional candidate claims she was visited by aliens

Source: The Hill

A candidate for a Florida congressional seat claims she was visited by aliens and has communicated with them several times throughout her life.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera said in a 2009 television appearance that she went up into the spaceship when she was 7 years old, according to McClatchy.

“I went in. There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship — not like airplanes,” Rodriguez Aguilera said in the interview, a video of which was posted to YouTube and first reported on by McClatchy.

She said she was visited by three large, blonde beings at the time. One was male and two were female.


Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/355610-miami-congressional-candidate-claims-she-was-visited-by-aliens
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