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Westlake Legal Group > Endorsements

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Back First 2020 Challenger to Sitting Democrat

WASHINGTON — Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez plans on Tuesday to announce her endorsement of Marie Newman, a progressive candidate seeking to oust Representative Daniel Lipinski, a conservative-leaning Illinois Democrat, marking her first move of the 2020 campaign cycle to back a primary challenger to an incumbent.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s high-profile support amounts to a powerful seal of approval, telegraphed to her legions of ardent liberal fans, on behalf of Ms. Newman, and a reflection of the zeal of the party’s progressive left to leverage its nascent power to continue targeting sitting Democrats.

Ms. Newman is backed by Justice Democrats, the group that propelled Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s insurgent campaign and upset victory last year over a veteran Democratic congressman who she argued was out of step with his constituents. A businesswoman who has described herself as “a real Democrat,” Ms. Newman also ran in 2018 against Mr. Lipinski and lost by about 2,000 votes.

“Marie Newman is a textbook example of one of the ways that we could be better as a party — to come from a deep blue seat and to be championing all the issues we need to be championing,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview.

Of Mr. Lipinski, she said: “The fact that a deep blue seat is advocating for many parts of the Republican agenda is extremely problematic. We’re not talking about a swing state that is being forced to take tough votes.”

Mr. Lipinski, 53, bills himself in his campaign ads as “a workhorse, not a show horse,” and the eight-term congressman, who opposes abortion rights and voted against the Affordable Care Act, has repeatedly expressed his concerns that it is “detrimental” for the party to push out conservative lawmakers. He succeeded his father, William O. Lipinski, who held the seat for more than two decades before the younger Mr. Lipinski was elected in 2004.

Ms. Newman, 55, a supporter of abortion rights who founded a consulting business, argues that the incumbent congressman is far more conservative than the district, a swath that includes the southwestern suburbs of Chicago.

“This campaign is about putting someone in place that is in alignment directly with the district on issues like affordability for the middle class and working families, the Green New Deal,” Ms. Newman said in an interview on Monday, adding that she and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez “share some very similar values.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_135766947_d087cb95-0e6e-4a25-b0d0-11ddcba5ab27-articleLarge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Back First 2020 Challenger to Sitting Democrat United States Politics and Government Primaries and Caucuses Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Newman, Marie (1964- ) Lipinski, Daniel Justice Democrats House of Representatives Endorsements Elections, House of Representatives Democratic Party

Ms. Newman is backed by Justice Democrats, the group that propelled Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s insurgent campaign.CreditLeslie Adkins/Chicago Sun-Times, via Associated Press

But the move also reflects a careful political calculus by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a Bronx Democrat. She came to Congress vowing to take down any Democrat she considered insufficiently progressive, but has, until now, refrained from taking on any of her fellow incumbents directly. In challenging Mr. Lipinski, she is targeting an incumbent Democrat, but one who has broken sharply with party orthodoxy, and has already lost the support of some of his other Democratic colleagues.

The House Democrats’ campaign arm in April formally broke committee business ties with political consultants and pollsters who sign on to work for primary challengers, infuriating progressive Democrats. The blacklist, Ms. Newman said, “was a very expensive issue for a while on my campaign.”

Progressive groups and lawmakers, however, have still flocked to support Ms. Newman. Representative Ro Khanna of California, and two Illinois lawmakers, Representative Jan Schakowsky and then-Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, broke with party leadership in 2018 to endorse Ms. Newman, and Mr. Khanna renewed his endorsement this year. Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, the chairwoman of House Democrats’ campaign arm, canceled a fund-raiser in support of Mr. Lipinski in May after facing a backlash from the left.

Ms. Newman has also won the support of two candidates in the Democratic presidential primary, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Ms. Warren last week announced twin endorsements of Justice Democrats candidates, backing both Ms. Newman and Jessica Cisneros, who is challenging Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas.

Ms. Cisneros, who was recruited to run against Mr. Cuellar by Justice Democrats and is described by some as the next Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, has yet to win the endorsement of any sitting House Democrat.

“We are so proud that Marie Newman is the first Justice Democrat of this cycle to receive an endorsement from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” said Alexandra Rojas, the executive director of Justice Democrats. “The momentum is growing in our movement to make the Democratic Party fight for solutions as big as the problems we face and create a party that fights for its voters, not corporate donors.”

Until this week, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had largely focused on helping incumbent freshmen lawmakers, like Representative Joe Neguse of Colorado, a well-liked freshman and member of Democratic leadership whom she will support at a fund-raiser in Boulder this week. In April, she rallied around some of her colleagues who flipped districts President Trump won in 2016, encouraging her Twitter followers to donate to their campaigns.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said that she would continue to assess whether she would weigh in on other primary challenges, but that she had no interest in intervening in competitive races that could tip the balance of power in the House.

“If we’re going to make these changes, they need to come from safe blue seats,” she said.

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How Very Big Tech-DC: Jeffrey Epstein’s Meeting with Elon Musk and Big Tech’s Elite

Westlake Legal Group elon-musk-pot-smoking-SCREENSHOT-620x321 How Very Big Tech-DC: Jeffrey Epstein’s Meeting with Elon Musk and Big Tech’s Elite ula Tesla Motors tesla Target Races spacex Solar City republicans Popular Culture Politics Policy Peter Thiel PayPal News NASA Media lucy LinkedIn law jupiter Jeffrey Epstein Government Front Page Stories Front Page facebook environment Energy Endorsements elon musk Economy donald trump democrats Defense Department Climate Business & Economy

There are variations of a joke that have been making their way round the Internet.

A version goes something like this:

Q: What is the difference between pedophiles and Republicans?

A: Washington, D.C. and Big Tech will work with pedophiles.

We all know how both DCs Swamp Creatures and the monstrous Big Tech monsters feel about members of the GOP.

President Donald Trump is the first Republican in decades to actually take seriously the implementation of conservative policies.

And DC and Big Tech – the Swamp Elites – HATE him.

Why the Swamp Hates Trump

Washington Post’s Bezos Hates Trump

Elon Musk Is Not a Fan of Donald Trump

Leaked Video: Google Leadership’s Dismayed Reaction to Trump Election

And whenever Big Tech companies discover Republicans on their payroll – they carve them out as if they were melanoma cells.

One of the Swamp Elite’s favorite people – was Jeffrey Epstein.

You remember Jeffrey Epstein.  Epstein committed suicide in jail in August – after FINALLY getting (again) arrested after decades of sexually assaulting underage girls.

‘I’m Not a Pedophile’: Remorseless Jeffrey Epstein Said ‘Children He Raped and Assaulted Did Not Look Underage, and Claimed HE Was a Victim’ In His Final Interviews

The ‘Sex Slave’ Scandal That Exposed Pedophile Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

Epstein sounded like a really pleasant fellow.

But Epstein was rarely alone on his escapades.

Jeffrey Epstein’s World of Wealth and Powerful Friends

And sometimes – members of DCs Swamp Elite were on board and along for the ride.

Flight Logs Show Bill Clinton Flew on Sex Offender’s Jet Much More Than Previously Known

Well that’s hardly a galloping shocker.  But….

Jeffrey Epstein Documents Could Expose Powerful Politicians

Accused Sex Trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s Political Connections: A Guide

Flight Logs Released from Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’

And when it came to political coin – Epstein was like serial woman assaulter Harvey Weinstein.

Both loved lavishing lots of coin on Democrats.  Which bought both of them lots of closed eyes and turned heads – when it came to their sexual depravities.

Democrats Pressured to Return Donations from Harvey Weinstein

Billionaire Sex Offender Epstein Gave Heavily to Democrats

The Left desperately tried to tie Trump to Epstein.  Except….

Trump Banned Epstein From Mar-a-Lago Years Ago, Here’s Why…:

“‘…because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club, according to court documents….’”

You know who didn’t ban Epstein from…anything at all?  Big Tech’s Elite.

In 2011, Jeffrey Epstein Was A Known Sex Offender. The Leaders Of Amazon, Google, And Tesla Dined With Him Anyway:

“After pleading guilty to charges of soliciting prostitution from an underage girl, Jeffrey Epstein spent part of 2011 reintroducing himself to elite society.

“A March 2011 dinner with the most powerful figures in tech showed just how connected he was…..

“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Google cofounder Sergey Brin, and others were all in town for TED, the annual conference with the slogan ‘ideas worth spreading.’  They were among friends at an annual event called the ‘billionaires’ dinner’….

“This elite dinner, and another similarly select gathering that Epstein attended later that year, were both organized by the New York literary agent John Brockman, whose exclusive intellectual club, called Edge, seems to have played a role in Epstein’s efforts to regain credibility and influence in circles of the rich and powerful.

“At the time, he was less than two years removed from finishing a 13-month prison term in a Florida state jail for soliciting prostitution from an underage girl….

“Epstein wasn’t named in the photos posted on the Edge website, but he appears in the background of a snap of Zack Bogue, a venture capitalist and husband of Marissa Mayer, then a vice president at Google….

“Other photos show the participants mingling before or after taking their seats. Also present were Bezos; Musk; Brin; Salar Kamangar, then CEO of (Google-owned) YouTube; Mayer, who the following year left Google to become CEO of Yahoo; and Anne Wojcicki, Brin’s then-wife and CEO of genetic testing startup 23andMe….

“Epstein attended a second exclusive Edge event in July 2011, held over a weekend at a winery in St. Helena, California. There, he mingled with a handful of leading scientists and several science journalists, plus wealthy power brokers including Sean Parker, former president of Facebook, and Nicholas Pritzker, a venture capitalist and former CEO of the Hyatt Development Corporation. Pritzker’s venture firm has invested in Uber, (Musk’s companies) Tesla and SpaceX and he is now on the board of vaping startup Juul Labs.”

That is a veritable Who’s Who – of Big Tech Elites.

What have we learned?

Nothing new, really – if you’ve been paying any attention at all.

Just like DCs Elite, Big Tech’s Elite will put up with a whole lot of really heinous behavior – if you keep kicking in huge coin to fund their activities.

And/or provide illegal extracurricular activities in which they can engage.

All of which begs a set of separate, specific questions: Of the Donald Trump Administration – about government-funded perpetual failure Elon Musk.

Musk owns the aforementioned SpaceX and Tesla – and SolarCity.

All three of which – have (at least) two things in common:

They have each taken billions of dollars in government money – and they are all miserable failures.

Elon Musk: The $5-Billion-Government-Money-Recipient ‘Genius’

Welfare King Elon Musk: No One Rewards Failure Like Government

Elon Musk and the Art of Failing Successfully

The Many Failures of Elon Musk, Captured in One Giant Infographic

Musk Defends Receiving $4.9 Billion in Government Support for Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX

Heavily Subsidized and Failing: Elon Musk and SolarCity

Elon Musk, Tesla, and the Solar Roof Tile Fraud

Taxpayer Subsidies Helped Tesla Motors, So Why Does Elon Musk Slam Them?

Musk Calls Out SpaceX Rival for Receiving Billion Dollar Subsidy

Elon Musk on SpaceX: ‘I Always Thought We Would Fail’

About which Musk couldn’t care less – so long as it’s our massive money he’s losing.

If ever there was a person at the Big Tech-DC Swamp crossroads – it is Elon Musk.

Almost no one has his snout more deeply buried in the DC money trough.

Almost no one is more beloved for his many, MANY government-funded failures.

Musk is Big Tech’s biggest DC Swamp Creature.

So why hasn’t Donald Trump ejected Musk – the way he ejected Epstein?

The Trump Administration – has kept the Musk government gravy train a-rolling.

Despite Musk’s badmouthing Trump prior to the 2016 election.

Here’s Everything Elon Musk Has Ever Said About Donald Trump

Despite Musk endorsing Democrat Andrew “$1K a Month In Vote-Buying Bribes for All” Yang for 2020.

Despite ALL of this – we get:

Trump Praises Elon Musk

Vice President Mike Pence Met With Elon Musk

VP Pence’s meeting would have only made sense – if he had taken it to deliver pre-President Trump’s famous phrase:

You’re fired.”

It’s WAY past time – to FINALLY get uber-failure Welfare King Elon Musk off the government teat.

The post How Very Big Tech-DC: Jeffrey Epstein’s Meeting with Elon Musk and Big Tech’s Elite appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group elon-musk-pot-smoking-SCREENSHOT-300x155 How Very Big Tech-DC: Jeffrey Epstein’s Meeting with Elon Musk and Big Tech’s Elite ula Tesla Motors tesla Target Races spacex Solar City republicans Popular Culture Politics Policy Peter Thiel PayPal News NASA Media lucy LinkedIn law jupiter Jeffrey Epstein Government Front Page Stories Front Page facebook environment Energy Endorsements elon musk Economy donald trump democrats Defense Department Climate Business & Economy   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Working Families Party Endorses Elizabeth Warren

The Working Families Party, the labor-aligned progressive group whose electoral influence has grown since the 2016 election, has endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts for the Democratic presidential nomination, a boon to her candidacy as she attempts to position herself as the main challenger to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The party endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the last presidential cycle, at which time he described Working Families as “the closest thing” to “my vision of democratic socialism.” The group’s endorsement of Ms. Warren on Monday, one of the few by a prominent progressive organization this early in the primary, could turn heads among left-leaning Democrats desperate to defeat Mr. Biden, the more moderate front-runner, in a primary election where their party’s ideological future is at stake.

“If our focus is on victory, we can’t be delusional about it,” said Maurice Mitchell, the Working Families Party’s national director. “You don’t defeat the moderate wing of Democrats through thought pieces or pithy tweets, you defeat their politics through organizing.”

Mr. Mitchell brushed off the possibility that the group’s endorsement would be seen as a sign of a splintering of the progressive left. The vote among “tens of thousands” of party members resulted in a commanding majority for Ms. Warren, a party spokesman said; she received more than 60 percent of the votes on the first ballot.

“Choosing not to make a decision because of risk or fear of backlash is an abdication of our responsibility, and I’m not willing to do that,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Ms. Warren is coming off a debate performance last week that was generally well received, and she is preparing for a rally in New York on Monday that could be among the largest gatherings for any candidate this year. Mr. Sanders’s campaign shook up its New Hampshire staff over the weekend as Ms. Warren continues to make inroads among progressives.

Also on Monday, Ms. Warren unveiled a plan to combat corruption in government, a core theme of her campaign. The plan is based on a wide-ranging anticorruption bill that she first proposed last year and is a cornerstone of her stump speech on the campaign trail.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 15workingfamilies1-articleLarge Working Families Party Endorses Elizabeth Warren Working Families Party Warren, Elizabeth Presidential Election of 2020 Endorsements

Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, at its convention in New York last year.CreditHolly Pickett for The New York Times

Mr. Mitchell and other leaders from the Working Families Party said in interviews that their endorsement came with a message to other progressive organizations. Rather than passively observe the primary, they said, these groups should choose a side and flex their organizing muscle during the early stages to help knock Mr. Biden off his perch.

“Senator Warren knows how to kick Wall Street kleptocrats where it hurts, and she’s got some truly visionary plans to make this country work for the many,” Mr. Mitchell said. “We need a mass movement to make her plans a reality, and we’re going to be a part of that work.”

Traditional bellwether endorsements from labor unions like American Federation of Teachers and the Service Employees International Union have not yet materialized, though Mr. Sanders picked up an endorsement from the United Electrical workers in August. With less than five months to go before the Iowa caucuses formally begin the presidential nominating contest, many organizations are still wrestling with a sprawling Democratic field.

Mr. Sanders finished second in the Working Families Party’s ranked-choice voting system between five candidates — Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren, the former housing secretary Julián Castro, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, who held in-person question-and-answer sessions with party members. Senator Kamala Harris of California was dropped from consideration after she canceled her session in August.

Most national polls of the Democratic primary show an increasingly clear top tier of three candidates — Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders — though Mr. Biden has remained the front-runner.

“There will be a point when progressive voters have to make a choice between the candidates running — for some that’s today, and for others that will be on caucus or Primary Day next year,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, another progressive group that endorsed Mr. Sanders four years ago. Ms. Simpson said her group did not plan to endorse a candidate before December.

“There are some great arguments for progressives rallying around a single candidate as soon as possible and others for taking the time to see how the contest develops,” she said.

In the years since President Trump’s election, candidates backed by the Working Families Party have won congressional, state and local races across the country, expanding the group’s power base from the Acela corridor to the West Coast.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in Las Vegas on Saturday.CreditBridget Bennett for The New York Times

Mr. Mitchell took over as national director for the party in 2018, after he rose in prominence during the Black Lives Matter movement born out of protests in Ferguson, Mo.

The group’s leaders stressed that, even with their endorsement, their intention was not to divide the progressive left between Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders. The senators are longtime friends and have painted themselves as publicly supportive of each other’s candidacies.

“I’m with Bernie,” Ms. Warren said at a Democratic debate over the summer, indicating she supported Mr. Sanders’s single-payer health care plan and signaling their closeness at a time when political observers were craving an intraparty fight.

Still, some more moderate Democrats have continued to sound alarms about progressives’ ability to beat Mr. Trump, and Ms. Warren’s chances in particular. And many Republicans see the embrace of a single-payer, “Medicare for all” health care system and ambitious climate proposals like the Green New Deal as general-election liabilities waiting to be exploited.

Surrogates for other candidates — like Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. — have tried to paint Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders as candidates of the elite, who talk about lofty ideologies instead of pragmatic solutions.

“My concern about the vision from the Sanders-Warren approach is that it can polarize Americans, when we have other ways to deliver bold solutions without dividing the American people further,” Mr. Buttigieg said Sunday on CNN.

But Mr. Mitchell said he believed the Working Families Party could convert Democrats skeptical of wide-reaching progressive policies.

“I’m not worried about converting people who are already committed to a structural change agenda,” Mr. Mitchell said. “I’m worried about the people who are still trying to figure out where they land.”

Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting.

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What Elizabeth Warren Is Quietly Telling Democratic Insiders

SAN FRANCISCO — When Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts addressed a few hundred donors last week at a fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee, she called for “big, structural change” and hurled her familiar populist lightning bolts at the forces of concentrated wealth.

But Ms. Warren did not attend the event just to recite her stump speech. She had another, more tailored message for the Democratic check writers, state party leaders and committee members who were gathered at the elegant Fairmont San Francisco.

“Last year, I was running for re-election, but I didn’t hold back,” she said, reminding attendees that in the midterms she had helped more than 160 congressional candidates and nearly 20 hopefuls in governors’ races. “In fact, I raised or gave more than $11 million helping get Democrats elected up and down the ballot around the country” and “sent contributions to all 50 state parties, the national committees and the redistricting fight.”

Her point was easy to grasp: While her liberal agenda may be further left than some in the Democratic establishment would prefer, she is a team player who is seeking to lead the party — not stage a hostile takeover of it.

As Ms. Warren steadily rises in the polls she is working diligently to protect her left flank, lining up with progressives on nearly every issue and trying to defuse potential attacks from supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “I’m with Bernie,” she responds when asked about what is perhaps the most contentious issue of the primary race: “Medicare for all.”

Yet publicly, and even more in private, she is signaling to party leaders that, far from wanting to stage a “political revolution” in the fashion of Mr. Sanders, she wants to revive the beleaguered Democratic National Committee and help recapture the Senate while retaining the House in 2020.

A Tightening Race?
New 2020 Poll Shows Three-Way Tie Among Sanders, Warren and Biden

Aug. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 26poll3-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v2 What Elizabeth Warren Is Quietly Telling Democratic Insiders Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Endorsements democratic national committee

In phone calls, text messages and small gatherings before her rallies, as well as in one-on-one meetings over hot tea at her Washington condominium, Ms. Warren is simultaneously courting and assuring Democratic town leaders, statewide officials and the chiefs of the country’s largest unions.

The outreach is not just an effort to avoid the confrontational approach Mr. Sanders took in 2016, when he inveighed against party insiders and the committee itself, which he correctly believed was favoring Hillary Clinton. Ms. Warren is also trying to allay concerns among Democrats that, as a progressive candidate proposing sweeping change, she may not have enough mainstream appeal to compete with President Trump in the general election.

Most of the other White House contenders are, of course, also wooing party officials. But the more establishment-aligned candidates like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Kamala Harris of California do not face the same questions about their visions for party politics. And interviews with about two dozen Democrats who have been in contact with Ms. Warren reveal that her style of courtship has been unusually determined.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 26warren-establishment5-articleLarge What Elizabeth Warren Is Quietly Telling Democratic Insiders Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Endorsements democratic national committee

Troy Price, the chairman of Iowa’s Democratic Party, in Des Moines in January.CreditJoshua Lott/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Troy Price, the chairman of Iowa’s Democratic Party, said Ms. Warren called him the day he was re-elected to his post last year, immediately after the midterm elections and on the day she entered the race.

“All of the sudden the cellphone is ringing and it’s her — not a staffer,” added J. David Cox, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees, calling Ms. Warren “the most aggressive” of the Democratic contenders in pursuing him.

Ms. Warren’s wooing could prove important should the nominating contest deadlock at the Democratic National Convention next summer: Many of the officials she is courting are so-called superdelegates, who are able to cast a binding vote should the primary go beyond a first ballot.

Beyond the potential electoral advantages, the relationships Ms. Warren is cultivating could prove just as powerful for symbolic purposes.

While in San Francisco, Ms. Warren met privately with Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who in 2016 was one of Ms. Clinton’s most outspoken supporters in the labor movement. Ms. Warren and Ms. Weingarten have developed a close relationship, frequently talking about education issues, and Ms. Weingarten recalled how the senator reached out to her with encouraging words when her union sued Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, over a student loan forgiveness program.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, at an event in Washington in July.CreditAlex Wong/Getty Images

Then there is Representative Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, who was Mr. Sanders’s first congressional supporter in the 2016 election but who is now backing Ms. Warren.

So is Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico, who last year became one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.

Ms. Haaland attended the San Francisco fund-raiser, sporting a Warren lapel pin, just a few days after she introduced and defended Ms. Warren at a forum dedicated to Native American issues in Iowa. After being sharply criticized from the right and the left for claiming Native American ancestry, Ms. Warren has apologized and taken down a 2018 video from her campaign website in which she trumpeted the results of a DNA test examining her heritage.

Ms. Haaland said that Ms. Warren helped raise money for her campaign last year and that the two had met in the senator’s office and over tea in Ms. Warren’s condominium this year.

“We’re friends, we text each other,” said the congresswoman, noting that she and Ms. Warren were also working together on legislation to establish universal child care and to provide resources to Native Americans.

While Ms. Warren has been careful to avoid directly criticizing Mr. Sanders, her regular references to being a capitalist withstanding, she is also quietly taking steps within the party to make clear that she does not want to create a competing power base should she become president.

Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico introduced Ms. Warren at a Native American forum this month. CreditStephen Maturen/Getty Images

The same pledge, which was shared by a Democratic official, also includes a promise “to share all of my data collected during the presidential campaign with the D.N.C. and with state parties.”

Read the Pledge to Support State Democratic Parties

Democratic presidential candidates were asked to sign this pledge to support state parties. (PDF, 1 page, 0.42 MB)

Westlake Legal Group thumbnail What Elizabeth Warren Is Quietly Telling Democratic Insiders Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Endorsements democratic national committee   1 page, 0.42 MB

The state leaders were trying to ensure that the eventual nominee would turn over his or her fund-raising list and any voter file that was compiled for future races. More broadly, they also wanted to ensure that the nominee’s political organization is housed within the architecture of the party.

This was done partly out of concern over Mr. Sanders, who has refused to share his 2016 supporter list with the party. (The senator’s aides are quick to note that he has raised nearly $10 million for Democratic candidates and committees dating to his first presidential bid.)

But party leaders are just as concerned about the actions of former President Barack Obama: The Democratic National Committee wants to ensure that its nominee has no designs on creating a competing political entity in the mold of Mr. Obama’s Organizing for America, which aimed to push his agenda as president. Many Democrats fault it for weakening the party infrastructure because it diverted money and focus from the committee.

Ms. Warren’s outreach, though, extends well beyond the committee. Armed with call sheets compiled by her staff, the senator spends much of her time in transit on her phone, dialing up lawmakers, local party leaders and liberal activists. If she is not talking on the phone, she is often texting or writing personal notes.

Claire Celsi, an Iowa state senator who has said she is considering supporting Ms. Warren and Ms. Harris, recalled receiving a note and an inscribed copy of Ms. Warren’s book “This Fight Is Our Fight” this year.

Ms. Warren’s campaign events often begin out of public view, when she meets with a small groups of Democratic officials in gatherings, called “clutches,” for pictures and a few minutes of conversation. While the size of her crowd last week in St. Paul — roughly 12,000, her campaign said — drew headlines and attention on social media, her meeting beforehand with a few state lawmakers may have been even more memorable for them.

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxvid_warren-videoSixteenByNine3000 What Elizabeth Warren Is Quietly Telling Democratic Insiders Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Endorsements democratic national committee

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has spent her political career taking on Wall Street. She’s now taking her populist message to the 2020 campaign trail.CreditCreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

That was the case for Lisa DeMio, the chairwoman of the Democratic town committee in Hampstead, N.H., who met with Ms. Warren before the senator’s town-hall-style meeting in Derry last month.

“It was a little more intimate,” said Ms. DeMio, adding that, while she cannot officially endorse in her capacity as chairwoman, Ms. Warren is her first choice personally.

There are other Democrats like Ms. DeMio who can’t, or probably won’t, endorse Ms. Warren but who nevertheless have been on the receiving end of her personal touch.

The senator has emailed with Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor and agriculture secretary who has a longstanding relationship with Mr. Biden, to ask about agricultural policy, according to Democrats familiar with their exchanges.

Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a state representative in South Carolina, said even though she had made clear that she would not endorse in the primary race, Ms. Warren had reached out to her several times. “She’s persistent but not pushy — she doesn’t do the real hard sell,” Ms. Cobb-Hunter said. “Her staff does the soft follow up.”

That is sure to happen again next week, when Ms. Warren heads to South Carolina State University for a town-hall-style meeting as a guest of one of the university’s most famous graduates, Representative James E. Clyburn, to discuss a bill they have jointly introduced related to student loan debt. Mr. Clyburn has long been an ally of Mr. Biden.

Read more coverage of Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy
The Education of Elizabeth Warren

Aug. 25, 2019

Many Democrats Love Elizabeth Warren. They Also Worry About Her.

Aug. 15, 2019

How Elizabeth Warren Learned to Fight

June 24, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Has Lots of Plans. Together, They Would Remake the Economy.

June 10, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Gains Ground in 2020 Field, One Plan at a Time

May 28, 2019

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HEADS EXPLODE: Radio Host Calls Trump “The Second Coming” of God.

Westlake Legal Group president-trump-arthur-laffer-300x200 HEADS EXPLODE: Radio Host Calls Trump “The Second Coming” of God. white house Wayne Allyn Root washington D.C. Social Media President Trump Popular Culture Morning Briefing Media Mainstream Media Jews Jesus Christ gun control Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Entertainment Endorsements donald trump democrats Congress Christianity China Trade Talks China Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2019

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Ahem. Let’s start with some very basic things here.

IF you are a CHRISTian than you have only one savior whose name happens to be Jesus Christ. There is a whole book about Him in the Bible ( mostly the New Testament but some hints in the Old Testament) and His life is pretty well documented and His influence felt over the world today.

As of this writing, the Lord has not made His reappearance known. Which means the current President of the United States is not Jesus Christ. You can call me a skeptic but I’m feeling pretty good on this hot take.

Continuing on this theme, I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of those in the faith of Judaism believe they have not yet seen the messiah. I might be a bit weak on the specifics but I feel pretty good about this call also.

I’m a CHRISTian, my Lord and Savior is Jesus Christ and I want to be 100% clear on that before I continue.

Good? Good!

Now let’s get to the main event.

Now I’m going to assume that Wayne Allyn Root got a bit excited and might have used some hyperbole here in the tweets that President Trump retweeted earlier today, where Root called Trump the “Second Coming” for the Jewish people. Either that or Wayne bumped his head a bit earlier in the Nevada daylight.

Here are the tweets…

“Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him….

….like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for…..

…..all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.” Wow!

If only Wayne had tweeted that last part about Trump is good for everyone who wants a job.

I doubt people in Israel think Trump is King over there but he has a better shot of that than being the Messiah. Like 100% to nothing.

I know that Donald Trump loves to promote what he is doing. That was one of the reasons he has had success over the years. If you deny that point then you are just in the emotional set that is still pissed Marco Rubio missed his chance in 2016 and you had your office in the West Wing all picked out.

This is where Trump needs to show he is joking ( the left will still blow up) over stuff like this.

Wayne is an entertaining guy but he is most famous for doing sports betting and convincing people to buy his system so you can feel good about getting beat by the spread every Sunday Night. The guy is not an expert on diety relations, because if he was he would not be referencing that the Jews thought Trump was the second coming of anything for the reasons I mentioned above.

I’m taking a guess here but part of the solid 35% that are always supporting Trump have a solid group that takes their belief in God more serious than the admiration of any elected official. There is no reason to screw with that in any way. Even if it is from a guy that lives in Sin City and can promise you his “Lock Of The Week” will make you $$$.

One last thing on this.

Heads are going to explode over the tweets above and I get that 100%. This is just a sideshow that didn’t need to happen.

The President is doing some really interesting things in regards to China. He is actually risking his Presidency by engaging in these tariffs and demanding that intellectual property theft needs to stop. He is spot-on in this regard and every administration going back to Reagan has looked the other way in dealing with China on this. This is an incredible moment and something this whole country should be behind.

Yet because of the flap caused by this, when Trump was making this point on the South Lawn before flying to Kentucky today he cracked a joke about him being the “chosen one” to take on China. Now, this important message will be lost. Tweet and video below…

Dammit, I hate it when a really good point gets lost.

So what have we learned here today?

Trump is not the messiah and not likely to be King of Israel.

If you are a CHRISTian, Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He claims the title of the Messiah.

People in Nevada named Wayne Allyn Root are great dinner guests and fun to watch a football game with but not really strong on diety assignments.

Donald Trump needs to talk THREE TIMES A DAY about what his administration is doing with China. Also, do not RT above twitter guy from Nevada unless it is the LOCK OF THE WEEK. Unless it has to do with the Detroit Lions than RT but do the opposite.

Amen.

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The Chicago Way: Democrats endorse Kim Foxx for another term

Westlake Legal Group KimFoxx The Chicago Way: Democrats endorse Kim Foxx for another term The Blog Kim Foxx Jussie Smollett Endorsements Chicago

The Jussie Smollett case is still far from over, but some of the major players in that debacle are clearly ready to put all of the unpleasantness behind them and get on with their lives. Such is the case with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, she who dropped all the charges against Smollett and sent him merrily on his way. Turns out that she’s up for election once again. And despite the trail of wreckage she left in her wake after the Smollett affair, the Cook County Democratic Party Organization is offering their full endorsement for Foxx to be granted another term. Phil Kadner of the Chicago Sun-Times finds no lack of irony in all this.

Democratic Party bosses have enthusiastically endorsed the re-election bid of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, giving a symbolic high five to Jussie Smollett, the TV star who claimed he was assaulted on the streets of Chicago and humiliated the city…

And now the Cook County Democratic Party Organization, which includes party bosses from the city and the suburbs, has announced that it agrees. It has endorsed Foxx for re-election.

Why not?

This is a city where FBI agents raid the offices of Ald. Edward Burke (14th) who is charged with extorting bribes from businessmen and he is re-elected. Chicago’s the place where an alderman wears an FBI wire to collect evidence of public corruption and is called a “rat” by other aldermen.

Even if the party couldn’t bring themselves to directly call for her removal, you’d think that the Democratic bosses in the Windy City might have at least felt embarrassed enough to hold their tongues and not endorse anyone. But that’s not how things are played in Chicago. The names and faces in positions of power may change over the years, but underneath it all, the Chicago Way is still alive and well.

Jussie Smollett may have brought an incredible amount of shame and negative attention to the city, and it’s still possible (though unlikely) that he may face some reckoning for that. But Foxx was obviously caught red-handed trading political favors with influential Democrats and cutting a deal to allow Smollett to walk because he has powerful friends. Which of the two sins was actually worse?

Every version of the story released by Foxx’s office smelled worse than the last, and it all added up to an obvious case of justice being run off the rails. It all centered on Foxx herself, ranging from her phony recusal to the reasons offered as to why Smollett shouldn’t be punished. (They’re focusing on violent crime, you know. Not the penny-ante antics of Smollett and his friends.) The State’s Attorney has managed to raise the anger of everyone from the Chicago PD to City Hall and has been widely condemned. But will she let that stop her from sticking around in her taxpayer-funded job?

Nope. And the leadership of the Democratic Party in Cook County is just fine with that.

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Maggie Haberman From The NYT Tweets About Luggage Aboard Air Force One.

Westlake Legal Group Luggage-300x225 Maggie Haberman From The NYT Tweets About Luggage Aboard Air Force One. white house washington D.C. twitter Social Justice progressives President Trump Popular Culture Politics New York Times Morning Briefing Media maggie haberman Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post entitlements Endorsements donald trump democrats Conservatives comedy Allow Media Exception 2020 2019

Credit: Mattie Haberman via https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1163212440059961344

Ahhh the good ole New York Times. All the news that is fit to print in luggage via a tweet.

We all know that Donald Trump and the New York Times kinda have a love/hate/reallyhate relationship that is just fun to watch. In fact, Trump tweeted this about the NYT just yesterday…

The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office, hopefully in 6 years. They have Zero credibility and are losing a fortune, even now, especially after their massive unfunded liability. I’m fairly certain they’ll endorse me just to keep it all going!

That last line about endorsing him to keep the paper going is what we call some high quality trolling via twitter. Now we can’t be sure if this was the cause of this next tweet but let’s just assume it was.

One of the Times reporters felt the need to report on…..luggage.

Louis Vitton luggage being removed from the baggage hold of AF1.

Now of course in defense of Maggie we don’t know if that is President Trump and his families bags. She doesn’t say either. However, the implication of it all is that a member of America’s military standing under the most protected plane in the world next to some fancy luggage HAS TO BE the guy who takes shots at her employer via twitter.

Honestly, this is not a bad troll job either by the Lois Lane wannabe. I’m not even going to poke fun at her for getting the name of the luggage wrong.  I looked all over for Louis Vitton luggage and I could not find one damn instance of it being made. This is just one of those situations that any young reporter tweeting about luggage would get mixed up when trying to break a story.

Tough business to be in yo.

So here is to you Maggie, for trying to be cute about tweeting about luggage in the hopes the unwashed masses would rise up against POTUS 45 and start a revolution that might gain you some of those SWEET Louis Vitton for when you need to flee the country.

Try next time about tweeting about President Trump’s sox.

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Did you know Taylor Swift has her own voting block?

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When covering the political beat you tend to wind up learning something new almost every day. Case in point… were you aware that singer Talyor Swift controls her own significant block of voters and their support in the Democratic presidential primary may be up for grabs? This voting block is presumably her fan base or at least the ones that are American citizens aged 18 or over who are active on social media.

Now they are fully engaged and they may be scratching Kamala Harris off their list of potential candidates. Was it because of her failure to articulate how she would pay for Medicare for All? Perhaps they’re collectively upset over Harris’ position on illegal immigration. Nope. As it turns out, they’re angry because Scooter Braun held a fundraiser for Harris in Los Angeles recently. And if you mentally paused just then to ask who the hell Scooter Braun is, trust me… you are not alone. (Deadline)

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris may have put the Taylor Swift block vote in jeopardy, thanks to holding a fundraiser at Swift archrival Scooter Braun’s home in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

The Swifties recoiled at the news of the fundraiser at Braun’s Brentwood home. He’s been enmeshed in a feud with the singer over ownership of her back catalog, which he acquired by buying the Big Machine Record Group, which included her early albums. The singer’s fans have since demonized him, even though he insists he gave her opportunities to acquire the catalog.

Braun is a longtime supporter of Harris, and the fundraiser drew such notables as Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato. Ironically, Swift herself has shown some support for Harris in the past, retweeting a few online comments by the senator.

So it seems that this Scooter character bought a music company that owns part of Taylor Swift’s early discography and she wanted to own it herself. That was followed by some he said, she said, blah blah blah and before you know it, Scooter is just the worst person ever. Or something like that. Anyway, by allowing Scooter to host a star-studded fundraiser for her, Harris is now painted with the same brush and Swift’s fans are having none of it.

The responses came quickly and some of Swift’s army of energized voters were apparently quite upset.

“I was SO excited for you as a democratic candidate, but if you so choose to go to an event held by @scooterbraun, a man whose arrogance mirrors our president’s, I can no long hold onto my excitement and faith for you as a presidential candidate, @KamalaHarris #disappointed”

— mel loves tswift (@longlivesnakeT)

Kamala Harris is a “sellout” now? Ouch. Seems a bit harsh.

Not that I tend to delve all that deeply into pop culture, but I can’t resist asking the question. Has it really come to this in American society now? We’re more than twenty trillion dollars in debt. We have a crisis on the southern border, an opioid addiction epidemic, and Iran is snapping up international shipping vessels like potato chips. And you’re going to base your vote on whether or not somebody who ticked off Taylor Swift over her old records held a fundraiser for one of the candidates?

I realize that it’s an honor and a privilege for any American citizen to vote, but it’s also not a mandatory obligation. If this is your level of interest in the issues of the day, you might want to consider just sitting this one out.

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The Evangelical, the ‘Pool Boy,’ the Comedian and Michael Cohen

MIAMI BEACH — Senator Ted Cruz was running neck and neck with Donald J. Trump in Iowa just before the caucuses in 2016, but his campaign was expecting a last-minute boost from a powerful endorser, Jerry Falwell Jr.

Mr. Falwell was chancellor of one of the nation’s largest Christian colleges, Liberty University, and a son of the Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., the televangelist and co-founder of the modern religious right.

Months earlier, Mr. Falwell had provided Liberty’s basketball arena for Mr. Cruz’s formal presidential announcement and required that the student body attend, giving the Texas Republican a guaranteed audience of thousands of cheering young religious conservatives.

With the caucuses now fast approaching, the senator’s father, Rafael Cruz, an evangelical pastor who had taken the lead in wooing Mr. Falwell, alerted the campaign that Mr. Falwell had pledged to endorse his son.

But when the time came for an announcement, Mr. Falwell rocked the Cruz campaign and grabbed the attention of the entire political world. He endorsed Mr. Trump instead, becoming one of the first major evangelical leaders to get behind the thrice-married, insult-hurling real estate mogul’s long-odds presidential bid.

Mr. Falwell — who is not a minister and spent years as a lawyer and real estate developer — said his endorsement was based on Mr. Trump’s business experience and leadership qualities. A person close to Mr. Falwell said he made his decision after “consultation with other individuals whose opinions he respects.” But a far more complicated narrative is emerging about the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the months before that important endorsement.

That backstory, in true Trump-tabloid fashion, features the friendship between Mr. Falwell, his wife and a former pool attendant at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach; the family’s investment in a gay-friendly youth hostel; purported sexually revealing photographs involving the Falwells; and an attempted hush-money arrangement engineered by the president’s former fixer, Michael Cohen.

The revelations have arisen from a lawsuit filed against the Falwells in Florida; the investigation into Mr. Cohen by federal prosecutors in New York; and the gonzo-style tactics of the comedian and actor Tom Arnold.

Over the last two years, Mr. Arnold has fashioned himself an anti-Trump sleuth and crusader, working to dig up evidence of past malfeasance on television and in social media. In that role, Mr. Arnold befriended Mr. Cohen — who had lately become a vivid, if not entirely reliable, narrator of the Trump phenomenon — and then surreptitiously recorded him describing his effort to buy and bury embarrassing photographs involving the Falwells.

ImageWestlake Legal Group xxfalwells-02-articleLarge The Evangelical, the ‘Pool Boy,’ the Comedian and Michael Cohen United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2016 Miami Hostel Liberty University Falwell, Jerry Jr (1962- ) Evangelical Movement Endorsements Cohen, Michael D (1966- ) Arnold, Tom

Mr. Falwell addressed the Republican National Convention in 2016 and has advised the Trump administration on policy.CreditJohn Moore/Getty Images

That attempt, Mr. Cohen says on the recording, came months before he brought Mr. Falwell “to the table” for Mr. Trump. Until then, he adds, “none of the evangelicals wanted to support Trump.”

There is no evidence that Mr. Falwell’s endorsement was part of a quid pro quo arranged by Mr. Cohen. Indeed, the relationship, if any, between the endorsement and the photo episode remains unclear. But the new details — some of which have been reported by news outlets including BuzzFeed and Reuters over the last year — show how deeply Mr. Falwell was enmeshed in Mr. Cohen’s and Mr. Trump’s world.

And they add another layer to one of the enduring curiosities of the Trump era: the support the president has received from evangelical Christians, who have traditionally demanded that their political leaders exhibit “family values” and moral “character.” Mr. Falwell’s father forged those words into weapons against the Democrats after he co-founded the Moral Majority political movement, which propelled Ronald Reagan into the White House and made religious conservatives a vital constituency for any Republican who would be president.

By the time Republicans cast their first votes in 2016, Mr. Trump was starting to show surprising strength among some white evangelicals. But with Mr. Falwell serving as the torchbearer of his father’s legacy, his endorsement became a permission slip for deeply religious conservatives who were attracted by Mr. Trump’s promises to make America great again but wary of his well-known history of infidelity, his previous support of abortion rights and his admission that he had never asked for God’s forgiveness.

“For those of the more fundamentalist variant of evangelicalism, the Falwell family, and the Falwell endorsements, are an important factor,” said Jim Guth, a political-science professor at Furman University who has long studied evangelical politics. Mr. Cruz still managed to win in Iowa. But Mr. Trump soon won South Carolina with strong evangelical support, sending him on a solid path toward the nomination.

Three years later, Mr. Falwell remains an unwavering Trump supporter. Last month he went so far as to suggest that the president deserved an extended term as “reparations” for time lost to the Mueller investigation. In turn, he has had entree to the White House, providing input on education policies that stand to benefit Liberty.

The Falwells declined to comment for this article. Mr. Falwell has said there were no compromising photographs, and the person close to them, who would speak only on the condition of anonymity, said the Falwells “did not know anything about Mr. Cohen’s alleged efforts” on their behalf. Mr. Falwell’s endorsement of Mr. Trump, the person said, was made after careful consideration. Mr. Cohen, he said, “did not try to exert any inappropriate pressure.”

Mr. Falwell began to grow close to Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen after Mr. Trump came to speak at Liberty, in Lynchburg, Va., in 2012. Mr. Cohen, who was working to connect his boss with important political constituencies and their leaders for a possible presidential run four years later, came along for the trip.

Mr. Trump lacked the religious bona fides of those who typically filled the school’s speaker lineup. But he was the star of the top-rated “Apprentice” reality show, and Mr. Falwell admired his career in real estate.

As it happened, the Falwell family was exploring a real estate venture of its own.

Earlier that year, Mr. Falwell and his wife, Becki, had stayed at the Fontainebleau — the grande dame of the Miami Beach hotel scene and a somewhat unlikely vacation spot for the chancellor of a university whose student code prohibited short skirts, coed dorm visits and sex outside of “biblically ordained” marriage.

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, where the Falwells befriended a pool attendant.CreditJeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group, via Getty Images

Once a glamorous hangout for John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra and Elvis, the Fontainebleau was now the stomping grounds of the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and Lady Gaga, known for allowing topless sunbathing and for a cavernous nightclub that one travel guide described as “30,000 square feet of unadulterated fun.” Techno music was pumped out at its 11 pools, where waitresses in polka-dot swimsuits served drinks and white-uniformed male attendants brought fresh towels and positioned umbrellas for tips.

The Falwells struck up a conversation with one of those pool attendants, Giancarlo Granda. Mr. Granda, then 21 and the son of immigrants from Cuba and Mexico, was working at the hotel while studying finance at Florida International University.

The Falwells, according to the person close to them, were impressed with Mr. Granda’s ambition. Soon he was hiking and water skiing with them in Virginia. Within months, they were offering to help him get started in business in Florida.

Unsure how to capitalize on the offer, Mr. Granda consulted a close high school friend, Jesus Fernandez Jr., whose father, Jesus Fernandez Sr., had worked in Miami real estate for decades, the Fernandezes would later assert. Together, they directed Mr. Granda to a South Beach youth hostel that was for sale. The building also housed a restaurant and a liquor store.

The Miami Hostel is known as one of the best budget party hostels in South Beach.CreditAngel Valentin for The New York Times

Mr. Falwell and his wife agreed to help finance the purchase after a meeting in Florida with Mr. Granda, the real estate agents, the younger Mr. Fernandez and his father — who was facing a $34 million bankruptcy. Negotiations were underway when Mr. Trump visited Liberty, and the Falwells invited Mr. Granda to fly up for the occasion. A photo taken on a private plane, reviewed by The New York Times, shows him holding a copy of “Trump: The Art of the Deal.”

Mr. Falwell introduced Mr. Trump to Liberty’s students as “one of the greatest visionaries of our time,” who “single-handedly forced President Obama to release his birth certificate.” Mr. Trump shared his secrets to winning in business and life: “Get even” and “Always have a prenuptial agreement,” though he quickly added, “I won’t say it here, because you people don’t get divorced.”

Mr. Granda, with a copy of “Trump: The Art of The Deal,” traveled by private plane to hear Mr. Trump speak at Liberty in 2012.

Offstage, he posed for pictures with the Falwells and shook hands with their special guest, Mr. Granda.

In 2013, the Falwells completed the deal for the Miami Hostel, which rents beds for as little as $15 a night, bunking 12 people to a room. The hostel became known as one of South Beach’s best budget party hostels and is sometimes listed as gay-friendly.

The Falwells’ involvement came to light in a 2017 Politico article by Brandon Ambrosino, a Liberty graduate. He reported that the hostel featured a sign on its front gate declaring its house rules: “No Soliciting, Fundraising, Politics, Salesmen, Religion.”

“Inside the Falwells’ hostel, the stench of general decay and cigarette smoke is overpowering,” Mr. Ambrosino wrote. Tourism pamphlets included one for Tootsie’s Cabaret, “74,000 square feet of adult entertainment and FULL NUDITY.”

On a recent overnight visit, the sign forbidding politics and religion was gone, and there were no visible fliers for adult clubs. The hostel was tidy and relatively quiet — common for this time of year, Miami’s off-season. A warning was posted that the hostel was not responsible for accidents on the premises, “especially if you are drunk.”

Real estate records show that an LLC called Alton Hostel Inc. bought the hostel and its building for $4.7 million in cash. Within weeks, Alton Hostel secured a $3.8 million mortgage from Carter Bank & Trust, the Virginia-based bank the Falwells had long used to finance and expand Liberty University. The source of Alton Hostel’s initial full-cash payment is not known. But Mr. Falwell would later say in a sworn affidavit that his family’s financial contribution to the deal amounted to a loan of $1.8 million, including $800,000 for renovations. The Falwells’ son Jerry Falwell III, who goes by “Trey” and was 23 at the time, was listed as manager of the LLC; Mr. Granda was added later as a co-manager. In his affidavit, Mr. Falwell said his wife was also a member of the LLC.

Around South Beach, people involved in the deal regarded it as the sort of thing Miami’s young and good-looking could luck into when they encountered wealthy visitors.

“Miami is a very touristy place,” one of the brokers, Roberto Bracho, said in an interview. “If you are in the right place at the right time, you can hit the jackpot.”

The Miami Hostel offers beds for as little as $15 a night, bunking 12 people to a room.CreditAngel Valentin for The New York Times

The situation quickly deteriorated. The Fernandezes believed that they had been promised an ownership share. The Falwells denied making any such promise, and in his affidavit, Mr. Falwell sought to minimize his involvement, saying that, as an adviser on the deal, he could not have given them a stake.

The Fernandezes threatened a lawsuit.

Mr. Cohen had kept in close touch with the Falwells after Mr. Trump’s 2012 visit. He would later say he viewed them as family.

Mr. Cohen even turned to a Falwell lieutenant — Liberty’s deputy chief information officer at the time, John Gauger — as he worked to build Mr. Trump’s political profile. Mr. Gauger also ran his own consulting firm, RedFinch Solutions.

Mr. Cohen hired RedFinch to manipulate two online polls in Mr. Trump’s favor — one in 2014 by CNBC, and another in early 2015 in the Drudge Report — Mr. Gauger told The Wall Street Journal in January.

At around the same time, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump were arranging with The National Enquirer and its chief, the Trump ally David Pecker, to buy and bury stories about Mr. Trump and women that could harm his political prospects. Mr. Cohen’s confessed role in two such deals — one with The Enquirer to silence the former Playboy model Karen McDougal, the other with the pornographic actress Stormy Daniels, whom he initially paid out of his own pocket — contributed to the three-year sentence he is now serving at the federal prison in Otisville, N.Y.

Mr. Cohen, a longtime fixer for Mr. Trump, described an effort to buy and bury embarrassing photos involving the Falwells.CreditJohn Taggart for The New York Times

By Mr. Cohen’s account, the Falwells appeared to be in need of just that sort of help.

By late 2015, the lawsuit over ownership of the hostel had devolved into a fight over compromising photos, according to several people involved in the case. It was understood that between Mr. Granda, the Fernandezes and their lawyers, one or more people were in possession of photographs that could be used as leverage against the Falwells.

And so Mr. Cohen tried to play the fixer for his friends.

In a recent legal filing, Mr. Fernandez Jr. said he was forced to change his name because of the case. He became Gordon Bello. His father, Mr. Fernandez, Sr., became Jett Bello. Their name changes took place after Mr. Cohen intervened.

Mr. Cohen described his involvement in his conversation with Mr. Arnold, which was first reported last month by Reuters.

“There’s a bunch of photographs, personal photographs, that somehow the guy ended up getting — whether it was off of Jerry’s phone or somehow maybe it got AirDropped or whatever the hell the whole thing was,” Mr. Cohen told Mr. Arnold in the recording, which Mr. Arnold shared with The Times. Mr. Cohen never identified “the guy.”

“These are photos between husband and wife,” Mr. Cohen added, joking that “the evangelicals are kinkier than Tom Arnold.” He explained, “I was going to pay him, and I was going to get the negatives and do an agreement where they turn over all the technology that has the photographs or anything like that, any copies.”

But the payoff “never happened,” he said, “and the guy just either deleted them on his own or what have you.”

The person close to the Falwells said that Mr. Cohen was neither their lawyer nor their fixer, and that they had not been aware of “his alleged actions regarding photographs” until parts of the recording were released.

Mr. Cohen, who declined interview requests, told Mr. Arnold that he had been trying to protect Mrs. Falwell. “Even though she has a very nice figure,” he said on the recording, “nobody wants their private photos published.” In the process, he said, he had obtained one of the photos, of Mrs. Falwell, and still had it.

With a few weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses kicked off the primary season on Feb. 1, 2016, Mr. Cruz was steadily racking up high-level endorsements. He was banking on strong evangelical support to push him past Mr. Trump in the state.

In mid-January, Mr. Cruz’s father reported back to his staff that Mr. Falwell had committed to endorsing his son, according to two people involved in the campaign at the time. A news release was prepared, they said, while aides began vetting Mr. Falwell’s background, as is standard for presidential endorsers.

Senator Ted Cruz announced his presidential run at Liberty University in 2015. His campaign was anticipating an endorsement from Mr. Falwell when the evangelical leader instead threw his support behind Mr. Trump.CreditTravis Dove for The New York Times

Signs that something was amiss came shortly afterward, when Mr. Trump arrived at Liberty for another speech. Mr. Falwell introduced Mr. Trump as a man who “lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught.” Despite the generous introduction, the appearance seemed an unmitigated disaster for Mr. Trump. He betrayed his ignorance of the Bible by referring to a passage in “Two Corinthians” rather than “Second Corinthians,” and loosely used the words “hell” and “damn.” Even so, rumors began to spread that Mr. Falwell was leaning toward Mr. Trump.

Rick Tyler, a senior Cruz adviser, called Mr. Falwell to say that if there was ever a good time to make his support official, this was it. That was when Mr. Falwell told him he had learned that he could not make any endorsement in the primaries. “He said his board wouldn’t allow him to endorse,” Mr. Tyler said in an interview.

Around that time, Mr. Falwell was coming under heavy pressure to get behind Mr. Trump, according to someone who spoke to Mr. Falwell then. A few days later, Mr. Falwell announced his endorsement of Mr. Trump, calling him “a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.”

In an email, the person close to the Falwells said the Liberty chancellor had “never seriously considered endorsing Mr. Cruz,” and did not know how the campaign had gotten that impression. What’s more, he said, Mr. Cohen “did nothing more than ask” Mr. Falwell to endorse Mr. Trump.

Though Mr. Falwell said he was making the endorsement as a private individual, not as the head of the university, the decision roiled the Liberty community. Some graduates and students expressed stunned disappointment. One of Liberty’s trustees, Mark DeMoss — an alumnus and a longtime confidant of Mr. Falwell’s father — told The Washington Post that Mr. Trump did not exhibit “Christ-like behavior that Liberty has spent 40 years promoting with its students.” (After clashing with Mr. Falwell and other board members, he resigned, he said in a statement at the time.)

Speaking to Liberty students in 2012, Mr. Trump shared two pieces of advice he said he often gave: “Get even,” and “Always have a prenuptial agreement.”CreditParker Michels-Boyce/The News & Advance, via Associated Press

At the Cruz campaign headquarters, the reaction was “anger and shock,” Mr. Tyler said. “Something changed, obviously.”

The relationship between Mr. Falwell and Mr. Trump would prove mutually beneficial.

Mr. Trump sought to make Mr. Falwell his secretary of education, Mr. Falwell has said. After he declined, he disclosed that he would serve as an outside adviser to the administration on education policy — a role in which, Mr. Falwell indicated, he would call for rollbacks of regulations governing accreditation, recruitment and student borrowing. (“A lot of what we sent them is actually what got implemented,” he told The New York Times Magazine last year.)

Mr. Falwell, in turn, has remained one of the president’s most vocal defenders, even in the rare moments when other Republicans wouldn’t, as in August 2017, when Mr. Trump said there had been “very fine people on both sides” of the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that resulted in the murder of a young counterdemonstrator.

That month, with settlement talks involving the hostel at an impasse, the Fernandezes, now the Bellos, filed a written complaint. The complaint, first reported by BuzzFeed News several months after it was filed, asserted that “verbal offers were made to Granda to provide him with financial assistance.” Mr. Falwell, the complaint read, “indicated that he wanted to help Granda establish a new career and build a business” as the Falwells’ relationship with Mr. Granda “evolved.”

In his sworn affidavit, Mr. Falwell said the family had made Mr. Granda a co-manager of the LLC in return for serving as its local representative. Mr. Falwell saw the hostel as a good opportunity to introduce his son and Mr. Granda to real estate investing, according to the person close to the family. Mr. Granda, he said, received only a “modest income,” and a financial stake that was of limited value because of the property’s heavy debt.

Mr. Arnold’s anti-Trump antics have largely consisted of his public search for more recordings like the “Access Hollywood” outtake in which Mr. Trump boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia. Last year, Mr. Arnold even got his own television show on the Viceland network, “The Hunt for The Trump Tapes.” It produced no new tapes during its eight-episode run.

But it did help lead to the recording of Mr. Cohen discussing the Falwells.

Mr. Arnold first met Mr. Cohen last June at the Loews Regency hotel in Manhattan, as Mr. Arnold was taping his show. Their meeting didn’t result in a Cohen appearance on the program, but Mr. Cohen agreed to a photo with Mr. Arnold, which went viral on Twitter, and the two stayed in touch.

Early this year, after noticing the articles in The Journal and BuzzFeed about Liberty, Mr. Cohen and the Fernandez suit, Mr. Arnold began suggesting on Twitter, without presenting any evidence, that the Falwells had been in a sexual relationship with Mr. Granda. Those tweets led Mr. Cohen to call Mr. Arnold and deny any such relationship. He then described his efforts to help with the photos.

The comedian and actor Tom Arnold, left, secretly recorded Mr. Cohen describing his plan to help the Falwells by paying off someone who claimed to have compromising photos.CreditTom Arnold

That conversation, two months before Mr. Cohen went to prison, left more questions than answers. Mr. Cohen has publicly said nothing more. No photos have surfaced, and it is unclear how many there are. In all, three people said they had seen at least one photo, though their descriptions varied and could not be verified.

Nor is it certain whom Mr. Cohen hoped to pay off. He never mentions the Bellos — formerly the Fernandezes — or their lawsuit on the tape, but makes reference to the “pool boy,” leaving open the possibility that the photos came from Mr. Granda, and that Mr. Granda then shared them with the Bellos. Then again, “the guy” to whom Mr. Cohen refers could be some other person entirely.

Mr. Granda, now working toward a graduate degree in real estate at Georgetown University, referred questions to his lawyer. The lawyer, Aaron Resnick, said his client had never interacted with Mr. Cohen, whom he called “a convicted felon and admitted liar.” He said any suggestion that Mr. Granda was the person referred to on the tape would be false, and he bristled at what he called “tabloid fodder” directed at a first-generation Hispanic-American.

In a statement to The Times, the senior Bello said he and his son had been respectful to the Falwells, “despite the sensitive details surrounding this case.” It was Mr. Cohen — acting as their lawyer, he said — who had revealed “his client’s indiscretions.” He said the pending lawsuit prohibited him from offering more details about the photographs or why he and his son had felt compelled to change their names.

Mr. Falwell has granted only one interview about the Arnold recording, to Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio, telling him there were “no compromising or embarrassing photos,” and saying, “We never engaged or paid Cohen to represent us in any legal or other professional capacity.”

The new details about the lead-up to his endorsement of Mr. Trump have not affected Mr. Falwell’s continued enthusiastic support. Earlier this month, Mr. Falwell chastised a pastor who was embroiled in a controversy over his decision to pray for Mr. Trump during the president’s surprise visit to his church in the Washington suburbs.

Suggesting that the pastor was being too accommodating of critics, Mr. Falwell directed a tweet at him reading, “Grow a pair,” a crude reference to the pastor’s masculinity. After the post drew criticism on Twitter as being beneath a religious leader, Mr. Falwell responded that he did not need to adhere to strict religious standards.

“I have never been a minister,” he tweeted, saying that it was up to the students and faculty of Liberty to keep the school “strong spiritually.’’ He added, “While I am proud to be a conservative Christian, my job is to keep LU successful academically, financially and in athletics.”

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OHHHHH Mitt!!!….Romney Says He MIGHT Not Support Trump In 2020

Westlake Legal Group Romney-Ask-Mitt-Anything-300x200 OHHHHH Mitt!!!….Romney Says He MIGHT Not Support Trump In 2020 white house washington D.C. The Guardian Social Media republicans President Trump Morning Briefing Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Endorsements elections donald trump Conservatives Congress Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2019

Mitt being Mitt is one of those things you can always count on in politics. He just can’t help himself.

On the second Saturday in June we have news that two-time Presidential hopeful and a perennial person running for some sort of office, Sen. Mitt Romney, announces for no particular reason that he might NOT support Donald Trump for re-election in 2020.

Enthralling.

From the The Guardian

Mitt Romney may not endorse Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, partly because the 2012 Republican nominee thinks political endorsements are not “worth a thimble of spit”.

That said, the Utah senator remains happy to endorse his choice for president in 2016. Then, having called his party’s nominee “a phoney, a fraud”, he voted for his wife, Ann. This week, Romney said: “I still think she’s doing a fine job.”

The former Massachusetts governor was elected to the Senate last year, after attempts at a rapprochement with Trump produced an unsuccessful bid to be named secretary of state that generated embarrassing public appearances.

Trump endorsed Romney for Congress. Nonetheless the senator has emerged as a leading critic, if inconsistently and largely if not entirely regarding foreign policy.

Well, he does get some creativity points for calling endorsements a “thimble of spit” as opposed to a cart full of manure. I do wonder however how much spit Romney had to produce when he went looking for Trump’s endorsement in his failed 2012 campaign against Barrack Obama?

Endorsements, for the most part, are full of nothing but ego stroking on both sides. The only time it really matters is if it comes with a boatload of cash or the use of a pre-existing successful political machine. So I have no argument when dissing on them in general.

The problem I have is that it always seems that Romney jumps up and down when he fears he might be forgotten about. He made these comments at the E2 Summit in Park City, Utah and being he is the host of this event, he made sure to grab some of that warm spotlight for himself.

Mitt has been critical of Trump many times in the past so his criticism of him at certain times makes sense. Yet in the very same “LOOK AT ME” event, he took the time to both criticize Trump for tariffs on Mexico ( his comments were before Trump announced the deal with the Mexican government on halting tariffs) and applauded the ones with China.

How does a 72-year-old man twist himself up in a pretzel like that and sleep well at night?

Maybe Mitt is still bitter that he did not get the Secretary of State job he wanted with Trump. Maybe he is still in shock over his loss in 2012 to Obama and considers himself the de facto leader of the GOP. Maybe the man loves attention as much as Trump but the only thing he brings to the table other than flip-flopping is he has better hair.

Whatever the reason is you can expect Mitt to pop off at certain times to let the press know that it is once again ok to love him. The 2012 campaign is almost 8 years behind us and he is (not) fully against the guy in the White House of his own party. Show him some love CNN.

I can’t wait until Romney moves back to Michigan to run for something else.

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The post OHHHHH Mitt!!!….Romney Says He MIGHT Not Support Trump In 2020 appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Romney-Ask-Mitt-Anything-300x200 OHHHHH Mitt!!!….Romney Says He MIGHT Not Support Trump In 2020 white house washington D.C. The Guardian Social Media republicans President Trump Morning Briefing Inconsistency Government Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Endorsements elections donald trump Conservatives Congress Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com