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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 178)

Bad News For Biden: Nobody Has Won The Nomination After A Start Like This

The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have produced plenty of surprises over the years. Favorites have faltered and previously overlooked presidential candidates pulled off stunning victories; the hastily anointed front-runner who won in Iowa has tanked a week later in the Granite State. But one constant has held true since 1972: Nobody has ever finished outside the top two in both of the first two states and gone on to become the Democratic (or Republican) nominee. 

That’s very bad news for former Vice President Joe Biden, who entered the contests as conventional wisdom’s front-runner and surely hoped to compete well in, if not win, both races. And it’s obviously good news for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who were the top two finishers in both states.

Losing produces negative momentum, which hinders fundraising, which means the losing candidates can’t compete effectively in later primaries. Winning, unsurprisingly, can do the opposite. Surprise second-place finishes in the early contests have also boosted candidates to either the nomination or at least a long-enough run to reach the party convention. No one has been boosted by a surprise third-place finish, let alone a humiliating fifth-place collapse.

Biden will make a last stand in South Carolina, the first state where the majority of Democratic primary voters will be African American. He hopes to hold on to the strong support among older Black voters that he has shown in polls so far. But if precedent holds, South Carolina won’t be able to save him. 

‘The Comeback Kid’

Prior to 1972, presidential nominations were decided at party conventions with the primaries and caucuses playing a limited role. Still, the New Hampshire primary results could be influential in the Democratic nominating process. Presidents Harry Truman in 1952 and Lyndon Johnson in 1968 both declined to run for reelection after receiving weak support in the New Hampshire primary. (The Iowa caucuses were of no importance until 1972.)

Westlake Legal Group 5e4431642600003300b6a2eb Bad News For Biden: Nobody Has Won The Nomination After A Start Like This

Ron Frehm/ASSOCIATED PRESS Presidential candidate Bill Clinton hugs his wife at his primary night party in Merrimack, New Hampshire, on Feb. 18, 1992. Clinton placed second in the primary behind Paul Tsongas and declared himself the “Comeback Kid.”

After the debacle of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, both major parties adopted reforms putting the real power of choosing a presidential nominee into the hands of state primaries and caucuses. Iowa and New Hampshire were placed at the start of the Democratic Party’s primary calendar.

Four years later, Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.) used his surprising second-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire to build momentum towards the party’s nomination. Former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, then little known outside his own state, used a victory in the Iowa caucuses to propel himself toward the nomination in 1976.

But the best-known instance of a candidate using a surprise second-place finish to win the nomination is President Bill Clinton’s “Comeback Kid” performance in the 1992 New Hampshire primary. The Granite State’s primary was effectively the first contest that year after a crowded field of Democratic candidates ceded the Iowa caucuses to Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.

Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, was beset by scandal heading into the New Hampshire primary while Sen. Paul Tsongas, from neighboring Massachusetts, was viewed as the prohibitive front-runner. The week before the contest Gennifer Flowers accused Clinton of having an affair with her and Clinton’s former ROTC officer accused him of manipulating his way out of the Vietnam War draft. 

The campaign’s internal polling put him in the single digits. This left Clinton fighting for second place with Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, a veteran who lost part of his right leg in Vietnam. And everyone knew that second-place finish mattered a lot.

“I knew you were not likely to survive as a presidential candidate if you’re third or fourth place coming out of New Hampshire,” Kerrey told The New York Times in a 2016 interview.

Clinton’s campaign staff, however, believed that his particular knack for retail politics would play well with New Hampshire voters. So he went wherever he could to shake hands and tell voters that he was going to fight for their interests. The goal was to finish second and come within less than 10 percentage points of Tsongas.

It worked. Clinton finished 9 points back of Tsongas, who won only 33%. New Hampshire had made him “the Comeback Kid,” Clinton declared in a victory speech.

Since 1972, only two other candidates have won their party’s nomination after not reaching the top two in Iowa: George H.W. Bush in 1988 and John McCain in 2008. 

McCain skipped the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and finished fourth. As it did for Clinton, the New Hampshire primary saved him. He won there and then rolled to the nomination afterward. It marked a huge comeback for a candidacy that had nearly gone bankrupt one year earlier.

Why Could This Election Be Different From All Other Elections?

Westlake Legal Group 5e4431a62600005300b6a2ec Bad News For Biden: Nobody Has Won The Nomination After A Start Like This

Sean Rayford via Getty Images On the night of the 2020 New Hampshire primary, Joe Biden campaigns in South Carolina, where he is making his last stand.

Precedents are, of course, made to be broken. And the momentum could fade for the top two Democratic finishers in this year’s first two contests.

One reason why the influence of the Iowa and New Hampshire contests could suffer in 2020 is the contrast between the diversity of the national Democratic Party base and the lack of diversity in those two states. 

Iowa and New Hampshire are over 90% white. The Democratic Party is not. This tension has long been highlighted in efforts to dislodge Iowa and New Hampshire from their position as prime decision-makers in the party’s nomination calendar.

“Iowa and New Hampshire are wonderful states with wonderful people,” now-former presidential candidate Julián Castro said in November. “But they’re also not reflective of the diversity of our country, and certainly not reflective of the diversity of the Democratic Party.”

The third and fourth nominating contests in Nevada and South Carolina, respectively, do feature the kind of diverse electorate that represents the Democratic base. Biden has argued this is why his poor finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire should be discounted.

“Nothing’s going to happen until we get down to a place and around the country where there’s much more diversity,” Biden said on Sunday, after his fourth-place fall in Iowa and before his fifth-place disaster in New Hampshire.

But voters in the next two contests may change their minds based on the successful narratives of the top two finishers in Iowa and New Hampshire. Sanders and Buttigieg are garnering greater media attention noting that they are at the top of the contest. Winning creates positive press, which helps alter voters’ preferences. 

That’s at least one reason why a 2010 study titled “Momentum and Learning in Presidential Primaries” found that Iowa and New Hampshire have five times more influence on who wins a party’s nomination than the larger, more diverse states that vote on Super Tuesday.

Another factor that might break the precedent this year is the unprecedented campaigns of former New York City Michael Bloomberg and, to a lesser extent, hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer.

Bloomberg, who is worth more than $60 billion, has already spent more of his own money ― $310 million ― to win the Democratic nomination than any campaign has ever spent during a presidential primary season. 

The strategy behind Bloomberg’s campaign is to skip the first four states and focus on the large Super Tuesday states where the ability to fund expensive television ads can drive voter behavior more than retail politics. No candidate can match him dollar for dollar. There is no way to judge what his torrent of cash will do.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Blizzard conditions in Midwest, winter weather alerts from Oklahoma to Maine ahead of Arctic blast

Winter is making an abrupt return that will see some of the coldest air this season across parts of the Midwest and Northeast for the end of the week.

The National Weather Service said a strong storm system threatening heavy rain and flooding across the South is also bringing the threat of accumulating snow from the Midwest to the interior Northeast.

Blizzard conditions were reported Wednesday across parts of the Dakotas and into Minnesota, with winds gusting as high as 45 to 55 mph. In addition to blizzard conditions, the NWS said “a long stretch” of winter weather advisories stretch from Oklahoma to Maine.

CAN IT BE TOO COLD TO SNOW? WHY LIFTING OF AIR MATTERS

A narrow band of light wintry precipitation is forecast to fall in those areas, according to Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean.

Westlake Legal Group SnowMap_1 Blizzard conditions in Midwest, winter weather alerts from Oklahoma to Maine ahead of Arctic blast Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters/blizzard fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 21a46ecf-059a-57ef-8bc1-ecdf0f5238f4

A light band of wintry precipitation is forecast to impact parts of the Midwest and interior Northeast. (Fox News)

“In general, for a band of 2-5 inches of snow along with some freezing drizzle,” the NWS said.

The storm system was creating travel headaches along the central and southern Red River Valley on Wednesday. In North Dakota, the state’s Department of Transportation said Interstate 29 was closed from the South Dakota border to the Canadian border due to blizzard conditions.

Westlake Legal Group North-Dakota-Blizzard Blizzard conditions in Midwest, winter weather alerts from Oklahoma to Maine ahead of Arctic blast Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters/blizzard fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 21a46ecf-059a-57ef-8bc1-ecdf0f5238f4

Whiteout conditions and accidents were reported Wednesday in North Dakota as a storm system brought blizzard conditions to parts of the state. (North Dakota Highway Patrol)

The North Dakota Highway Patrol urged motorists to delay traveling to later in the day after multiple incidents were reported of vehicles losing sight and crashing into the ditches on state highways.

“The storm will blow over later today,” the highway patrol tweeted. “Don’t travel until then.”

WHICH WERE THE WORST BLIZZARDS? HERE ARE THE DEADLIEST STORMS IN HISTORY

The Minnesota State Patrol said that a no-travel advisory was posted in the northwest part of the state and some roads were closed due to several crashes.

Westlake Legal Group Minnesota-snow-1 Blizzard conditions in Midwest, winter weather alerts from Oklahoma to Maine ahead of Arctic blast Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters/blizzard fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 21a46ecf-059a-57ef-8bc1-ecdf0f5238f4

Multiple crashes were reported in northwest Minnesota as blizzard conditions slammed the region. (Minnesota State Patrol)

Another video by the state patrol showed blowing snow as troopers responded to several accidents.

“Troopers are responding to several vehicles that have slid off the road — high winds & blowing snow causing whiteout conditions,” MSP Public Information Officer Sgt. Jesse Grabow tweeted. “The only reason we can see anything here is due to the shelter belt along the highway.”

At least 37 schools across Minnesota are closed Wednesday morning due to the weather, FOX9 reported.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE WEATHER COVERAGE FROM FOX NEWS

The blizzard conditions are due to an Arctic air mass surging from the Northern Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley that will cause temperatures to drop 10 to 20 degrees below average, according to the NWS’ Weather Prediction Center.

“Temperatures behind the Arctic cold front will expand across the Upper Midwest and into the Western Great Lakes by the end of the forecast period (Thursday night) with similar 10-20 degree below average values expected,” the WPC said.

Temperatures may not reach above 0 degrees on Thursday in parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas, while single-digits will be expected in places such as Minneapolis. By Friday, the Arctic air mass will head east into the Northeast, with temperatures in the major cities dropping into the teens by Friday night.

Westlake Legal Group North-Dakota-Blizzard Blizzard conditions in Midwest, winter weather alerts from Oklahoma to Maine ahead of Arctic blast Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters/blizzard fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 21a46ecf-059a-57ef-8bc1-ecdf0f5238f4   Westlake Legal Group North-Dakota-Blizzard Blizzard conditions in Midwest, winter weather alerts from Oklahoma to Maine ahead of Arctic blast Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters/blizzard fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 21a46ecf-059a-57ef-8bc1-ecdf0f5238f4

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London sees first coronavirus case in Chinese national: report

The first case of the deadly coronavirus has been confirmed in London, raising the United Kingdom’s total number of cases to nine, according to local reports.

A Chinese national was reportedly diagnosed with the virus on Wednesday afternoon, The Telegraph reported. Health officials are expected to officially announce the case sometime Wednesday evening. No other information was immediately available.

CORONAVIRUS ‘SUPER-SPREADER’ SPEAKS OUT AFTER INFECTING 11 OTHERS WITH VIRUS

The news comes after a British man who unwittingly spread the deadly coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, to at least 11 people across three countries has been released from the hospital.

Steve Walsh contracted the virus while on a business trip to Singapore in late January. He then went to a ski resort in the French Alps, where he unknowingly spread the virus to at least 11 others. At least five Britons who stayed at the resort — including a 9-year-old boy — were infected, as were five people in France. Walsh was also connected to at least one case in Spain.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-957174246 London sees first coronavirus case in Chinese national: report Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/health fnc f696719d-e544-57f7-9f65-1c6dc1e726e6 article

London has reportedly confirmed its first case of coronavirus in a Chinese national. (iStock)

“I’m happy to be home and feeling well,” he said in a statement, according to Yahoo. “I want to give a big thank you to the NHS [National Health Service] who have been great throughout and my thoughts are with everyone around the world who continues to be affected by the virus.”

“It’s good to be back with my family,” he added.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN UK DOUBLE AFTER COUNTRY SEES 4 MORE CASES

Walsh earlier this week made headlines when he came forward for the first time since being identified as the so-called “super-spreader.”

Additionally, U.K. government officials on Monday declared the coronavirus outbreak a “serious and imminent threat to public health.”

Westlake Legal Group iStock-957174246 London sees first coronavirus case in Chinese national: report Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/health fnc f696719d-e544-57f7-9f65-1c6dc1e726e6 article   Westlake Legal Group iStock-957174246 London sees first coronavirus case in Chinese national: report Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/health fnc f696719d-e544-57f7-9f65-1c6dc1e726e6 article

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New Hampshire Trump voter blasts Bernie in live MSNBC interview: ‘Anti-American, anti-life’

Westlake Legal Group BernieFaith New Hampshire Trump voter blasts Bernie in live MSNBC interview: 'Anti-American, anti-life' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/media fnc article 2fb3bdeb-bbff-52d2-a8dd-1a48a04467d1

A New Hampshire primary voter ripped into Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on MSNBC Tuesday, denouncing what he described as a “destructive ideology” from the Vermont senator.

When MSNBC anchor Katy Tur asked the unnamed man about how he viewed Sanders, the eventual victor, he said: “The whole ideology would be destructive to the country. It’s anti-growth, it’s anti-family, it’s anti-American. And as a Roman Catholic, it’s anti-life.”

The man proudly stated that he had just voted for “Donald John Trump.”

“Bernie Sanders is not appealing to you?” Tur asked, prompting the man to go off on Sanders’ proposals, including his support for abortion.

Sanders, along with many other Democrats, has taken a hard line on abortion. Each of the frontrunners have thrown their weight behind a repeal of the Hyde Amendment — opening the door to a massive spike in taxpayer funding of elective abortions.

Sanders also pushed for expansive government programs for the economy. That included the Green New Deal, which conservatives warned would hinder economic growth.

MARK STEYN: MEDIA WILL NORMALIZE BERNIE’S SOCIALISM AFTER CNN’S FAILED ‘HIT JOB’ ON WARREN

Since announcing his candidacy, Sanders has pledged to provide universal health care, jobs, college tuition, housing and cancellation of medical debt. He’s also vowed to prosecute oil company executives in an attempt to hold them accountable for climate change.

Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire’s presidential primary, edging moderate rival Pete Buttigieg and scoring the first clear victory in the Democratic Party’s chaotic 2020 nomination fight.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

With most of the vote in, Trump already had amassed more votes in the New Hampshire primary than any incumbent president in history. His vote share was approaching the modern historical high for an incumbent president, 86.43 percent set by Ronald Reagan in 1984. Weld received about 9 percent of the vote of New Hampshire Republicans.

The political spotlight quickly shifts to Nevada, where Democrats will hold caucuses on Feb. 22. But several candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sanders, plan to visit other states in the coming days that vote on Super Tuesday, signaling they are in the race for the long haul.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group BernieFaith New Hampshire Trump voter blasts Bernie in live MSNBC interview: 'Anti-American, anti-life' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/media fnc article 2fb3bdeb-bbff-52d2-a8dd-1a48a04467d1   Westlake Legal Group BernieFaith New Hampshire Trump voter blasts Bernie in live MSNBC interview: 'Anti-American, anti-life' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/media fnc article 2fb3bdeb-bbff-52d2-a8dd-1a48a04467d1

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Democrats Got Endorsements From Lawmakers on Their Campaigns’ Payrolls

Westlake Legal Group 11sanders-SC-01-facebookJumbo Democrats Got Endorsements From Lawmakers on Their Campaigns’ Payrolls

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Last April, just as the 2020 presidential campaign was getting underway, Senator Bernie Sanders trumpeted a breakthrough in his campaign’s quest for black voters’ support in South Carolina.

Mr. Sanders was honored to have been endorsed for the Democratic nomination by seven black members of the South Carolina legislature, he announced in a tweet.

One of the lawmakers, records show, owned a company that was already being paid by the Sanders campaign. Another would soon be added to the payroll as a vendor.

By the end of 2019, consulting companies operated by the two lawmakers, Representative Wendell Gilliard of Charleston and Representative Terry Alexander of Florence, had collected a combined total of almost $150,000 from Mr. Sanders’s presidential effort, according to federal campaign records.

Campaigns regularly enter into financial dealings with companies and business owners as they build out operations in primary states; they also seek the endorsements of popular lawmakers of all races, some of whom also work in public relations, consulting or similar fields where payments can be routed.

This practice takes place in both political parties and, while many leaders find it unseemly, it continues unabated.

Even legal and fully disclosed payments, however, can raise questions about whether endorsements are heartfelt or driven by financial considerations.

That dynamic is evident in South Carolina, where presidential candidates will compete in the primary Feb. 29, the first test in a Southern state. Black voters may make up more than 60 percent of the Democratic electorate there.

Payments to endorsers in the state became an issue last week when a supporter of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. made thinly veiled suggestions that a rival candidate, Tom Steyer, had traded cash for endorsements by making payments to State Representative Jerry Govan, the head of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.

Federal Election Commission records showed that the Steyer campaign had paid Mr. Govan more than $40,000 since September, when Mr. Govan endorsed Mr. Steyer. The payments to a company associated with Mr. Govan, Govan Agency L.L.C., were for “community building services.”

The disclosures about Mr. Steyer’s payments also prompted a disdainful tweet from Bakari Sellers, a former state legislator and one of the state’s most sought-after surrogates. “Confused, so we’re OK with Steyer paying $10K a month for endorsements?” Mr. Sellers wrote on Friday, adding, “Presidential candidates shouldn’t be paying legislators for their endorsements.”

Mr. Steyer, however, was hardly chastened: On Wednesday his campaign said he had hired Gilda Cobb-Hunter, the longest-serving member of South Carolina’s House and an influential African-American leader who rarely endorses in presidential races. Ms. Cobb-Hunter will be a senior adviser to the campaign, a move that was first reported by The Associated Press.

A longtime ethics advocate in South Carolina, John Crangle, questioned whether such arrangements posed a real problem, noting that such work does not influence bills pending before the legislature and is not prohibited by state law. Mr. Crangle is a lobbyist for the South Carolina Progressive Caucus, which does not endorse candidates.

“If legislators were banned from taking consulting fees or legal retainers, I would guess that 75 percent would resign,” Mr. Crangle said.

Ms. Cobb-Hunter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The arrangements by Mr. Sanders’s campaign — as well as recent history — reveal that such consulting deals are fairly commonplace in South Carolina.

In 2007, Hillary Clinton defended her South Carolina presidential campaign against allegations of endorsement-buying after her campaign entered a $10,000-a-month consulting contract with state Senator Darrell Jackson, a Columbia lawmaker and pastor who also operated a consulting company.

“Senator Jackson was someone who was involved in my husband’s campaigns,” Mrs. Clinton said at the time. “He was someone we turned to for political advice and counsel and I’m proud to have him on my team.”

At times the practice can cross legal boundaries: A former Iowa state senator was sent to prison in 2017 after a federal investigation revealed he had taken more than $70,000 from Ron Paul’s presidential campaign and that the money had been paid to an audio-visual production company to hide the payment from public view. Three former aides to Mr. Paul were also convicted of public corruption charges.

Mr. Sanders’s campaign said it was pleased with its connection to the two South Carolina lawmakers. “We’re proud that two leaders who endorsed in 2016 are not only supporting the senator again in 2020 but also working hard to help us win,” said a statement issued on behalf of the campaign by Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator and a campaign co-chair.

Several current and former black elected officials expressed concern, though, that payments to officials who also endorse candidates, however legal, could create the impression that their support can be bought.

“I’m 75 years of age, and all my life you’ve had candidates come into the predominantly black community and dropping out a few dollars or a lot of dollars to a few people,” said Bernice Scott, a former member of the Richland County, S.C., council who supports Mr. Biden. “Call it consulting or whatever they want to call it, I wouldn’t do it. It puts a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.”

Mr. Steyer, a billionaire who is largely self-funding his campaign, has spent lavishly in South Carolina on advertising and staff and has also retained Harold Mitchell, an environmental activist and former state senator from Spartanburg who starred in an ad for Mr. Steyer, endorsing the former hedge fund manager.

The payments by Mr. Steyer to Mr. Govan prompted a series of charges and countercharges in South Carolina last week. State Senator Dick Harpootlian, a longtime Biden supporter, called Mr. Steyer “Mr. Moneybags” in a tweet last week, hinting that the arrangement with Mr. Govan was a cash-for-endorsement trade-off and alleging that Mr. Govan had previously intended to support Mr. Biden.

Mr. Govan, of Orangeburg, accused Mr. Harpootlian of “throwing mud,” and so did members of the black caucus, who organized an impromptu news conference at the South Carolina State House to demand that the Biden campaign disavow Mr. Harpootlian’s statement.

Extending the controversy, Mr. Steyer raised the issue during the Democratic primary debate on Friday night. “Joe, I’m asking you to come with me and the legislative black caucus and disavow Dick Harpootlian and what he had to say,” Mr. Steyer said. “It was wrong. And I’m asking you to join us. Be on the right side.”

Mr. Biden retorted: “I’m asking you to join me and join in the support I have from the overwhelming number of the members of the black caucus. I have more support in South Carolina in the black caucus and the black community than anyone else, double what you have or what anyone else has.”

Mr. Sanders interjected: “I don’t think that’s quite right.”

In its statement, the Sanders campaign emphasized its efforts to reach out to black voters in South Carolina by hiring black staff members, holding events in black-owned venues and paying black vendors, such as caterers.

Payments by the Sanders campaign to the two lawmakers were contained in 2019 campaign records filed with the Federal Election Commission. They show that Mr. Sanders’s campaign began paying TA Network, Mr. Alexander’s company, for political consulting in the second quarter of last year, with total payments of $90,000 for the year.

“I’ve been an elected official 28 years and I’ve worked on state, local and federal campaigns for those 28 years,” said Mr. Alexander, whose primary job is as pastor of Wayside Chapel Baptist Church in Florence. He added that elected officials in South Carolina, white and black, had been performing such consulting work for a long time.

“It becomes an issue now, questionable, when black folks are part of the game,” he said.

The records show that Mr. Sanders’s campaign also hired WGG Consulting early last year for “event planning” and “consulting/political strategy,” with disbursements to WGG reaching $56,500 by year’s end.

WGG is operated by Mr. Gilliard, a former union activist who said he had been a passionate supporter of Mr. Sanders since Mr. Sanders endorsed Jesse Jackson for president.

“As a young black man back in the 1980s, I read that a white man from a predominantly white state like Vermont had actually endorsed a black man for president,” Mr. Gilliard said, adding that his consulting agreement with Mr. Sanders was above board.

“No more pat on the back and given a bale of cotton and saying thanks for your services. Those days are gone,” Mr. Gilliard said.

Stephanie Saul reported from Columbia, and Jonathan Martin from Manchester, N.H.

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UN rights council releases list of companies operating in Israeli West Bank settlements

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday released its long-delayed list of more than 100 companies it said were in violation of Palestinian human rights for operating within Israeli settlements in the contentious West Bank.

The “database” was created to single out companies contributing to the settlements, which are considered illegal by the vast majority of the international community. The attempt to name and shame the businesses is largely symbolic and has no direct impact.

WHAT IS THE WEST BANK?

While a majority of the companies are Israeli, including banks and construction firms, others included international businesses from the United States, Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom.

Travel companies Airbnb, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Opodo were among the names of U.S. companies.

Other names include food maker General Mills, known for brands like Cheerios and Pillsbury, tech and communications giants Motorola and Altice Europe, and infrastructure companies like France’s Egis Rail and Alstom, and Britain’s JC Bamford Excavators.

Westlake Legal Group israel-west-bank UN rights council releases list of companies operating in Israeli West Bank settlements Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/world fnc b6decfce-6f45-590e-84fa-dbee75364323 article

The settlement of Mitzpe Yeriho is one of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, called the publication of the list a “shameful surrender” to countries and organizations that want to hurt Israel. He accused the council of assisting a global anti-Israel boycott movement.

“The state of Israel will not accept discriminatory and anti-Israel policies and we will work in every possible way to prevent such decisions from being carried out,” he said.

ISRAEL’S NETANYAHU BACKTRACKS FROM IMMEDIATE WEST BANK SETTLEMENT ANNEXATION PLAN, WILL WAIT UNTIL AFTER MARCH ELECTION: REPORT

NGO Monitor, an Israeli group that is highly critical of the rights council and has long denounced its actions as a “blacklist,” on Wednesday called the list “defamatory” and an endorsement of the anti-Israel boycott movement.

Anne Herzberg, the group’s legal adviser, called on countries to “reassess their relationships” with the rights office and urged the “maligned companies” to consider legal action against U.N. officials who prepared the list.

Meanwhile, Anne Bayefsky, the director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, said in a statement that the release of the “blacklist” will “unleash a wave of revulsion.”

“It is modern antisemitism on a global scale,” she said, adding: “Make no mistake. This is a Nazi-like effort to isolate, demonize and destroy the Jewish state. It is not about so-called Jewish ‘settlements.’ It is an attack on the very idea of Jews living, breathing, working where Arabs claim they can’t. Classic apartheid. And the antithesis of human rights.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki hailed the list as a “victory for international law and for the diplomatic effort to dry up the sources of the colonial system represented by illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh demanded the companies shut down their operations in the settlements, threatening international legal action.

“We demand the companies immediately close their headquarters and branches inside illegal Israeli settlements because their presence contradicts international and U.N. resolutions,” Shtayyeh posted on Facebook. “We will pursue companies listed in the report legally through international legal institutions and in courts in their countries for taking part in human rights violations in Palestine.”

He also said Palestinians will “demand compensation” for “the use of our occupied territory.”

The council has previously come under fire from President Trump for anti-Israel bias, and he withdrew the U.S. in 2018 – criticizing the U.N. for accepting countries that his administration said have repeatedly violated human rights.

The list was released just two weeks after the U.S. announced its long-awaited Mideast initiative. The plan turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel, which has angered Palestinians.

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The Palestinians seek all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war — for an independent state and the removal of many of the more than 700,000 Israeli settlers from these parts.

Fox News’ Ben Evansky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group israel-west-bank UN rights council releases list of companies operating in Israeli West Bank settlements Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/world fnc b6decfce-6f45-590e-84fa-dbee75364323 article   Westlake Legal Group israel-west-bank UN rights council releases list of companies operating in Israeli West Bank settlements Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/world fnc b6decfce-6f45-590e-84fa-dbee75364323 article

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With His Campaign Struggling, Joe Biden Turns His Focus To South Carolina

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1200212363_wide-f836e3b9a0679c2e3a43db504070b21de671f911-s1100-c15 With His Campaign Struggling, Joe Biden Turns His Focus To South Carolina

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden addresses supporters Tuesday night in Columbia, S.C. Biden skipped a primary night event in New Hampshire, expecting a poor showing. Sean Rayford/Getty Images hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  With His Campaign Struggling, Joe Biden Turns His Focus To South Carolina

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden addresses supporters Tuesday night in Columbia, S.C. Biden skipped a primary night event in New Hampshire, expecting a poor showing.

Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden has suffered back-to-back poor showings in the first two states to vote in the Democratic primary, and there are now serious questions about whether his “electability” argument is still plausible.

Now in South Carolina, where Biden has consistently led in polls, he increasingly faces competition from rivals who sense that his campaign is stalling weeks before the state he’s described as his firewall heads to the polls. If Biden concedes that his fourth-place finish in Iowa was a “gut punch,” and fifth in New Hampshire was a “hit,” failure to win South Carolina’s primary may be a blow he’s not able to recover from.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and the billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer are both challenging Biden’s standing in South Carolina. And fresh off of strong performances in both Iowa and New Hampshire, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is adding more staff in state ahead of the Feb. 29 primary — the first contest in the South and the first to feature a heavily black electorate.

Biden is still a front-runner in South Carolina and enjoys a sizable loyal following in the state. Though there’s been limited reputable polling recently — especially as his fortunes have faltered elsewhere this month — Biden holds a 12-point lead, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, with Steyer in second and Sanders third.

His supporters in the Palmetto State say that the results in Iowa and New Hampshire will do little to change minds in South Carolina.

“That doesn’t represent our state,” said Tina Herbert, a longtime supporter, as she waited for Biden to speak in Columbia Tuesday night. Biden skipped his New Hampshire primary rally, heading to South Carolina early.

Other candidates, Herbert said, had yet to show meaningful support among black and Latino voters, who play a larger role in South Carolina, Nevada and many of the more than a dozen states that cast ballots on Super Tuesday, March 3.

“We do have to get a better picture of the different states and really see if some of the new folks have really penetrated the minority votes,” she said. “I know what some of the polls have said today, but I’m interested in seeing what the voters say when it’s time to vote.”

In his own remarks, Biden reiterated his case that Democratic candidates should be judged after the first four states vote, not the first two. After bursting into the room to the strains of Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher,” he implored South Carolina voters to give his campaign a much-needed lift.

“We’re moving into an especially important phase because up ’til now we have not heard from the most committed constituency in the Democratic Party, the African American community, and the fastest-growing segment of society, the Latino community,” Biden said.

Black voters make up roughly two-thirds of the Democratic primary electorate in South Carolina, and through his years in public service, the former vice president has forged strong ties both in the state and with African Americans nationally. But a new Quinnipiac University poll shows Biden’s support among black voters nationally is slipping, compounding questions about his core argument.

The question is now whether the relationships he has cultivated — in many cases for decades — will still translate into votes.

“Joe Biden is no stranger. He doesn’t need to do the same things that Pete Buttigieg or Tom Steyer or [former New York City Mayor] Michael Bloomberg does in South Carolina. We know him,” said state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, who represents a majority-black Charleston district and is supporting Biden’s campaign.

Kimpson has argued that his state’s pragmatic voters are seeking a “return to normalcy,” for which Biden is the best option.

A pointed challenge from Steyer

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1194928738_wide-dd7ee3d2e9456d59f5e34328b251fc3c8ee21eb5-s1100-c15 With His Campaign Struggling, Joe Biden Turns His Focus To South Carolina

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer speaks to the crowd during the King Day at the Dome rally on Jan. 20 in Columbia, S.C. Sean Rayford/Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  With His Campaign Struggling, Joe Biden Turns His Focus To South Carolina

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer speaks to the crowd during the King Day at the Dome rally on Jan. 20 in Columbia, S.C.

Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Many rivals to Biden who have emerged from Iowa and New Hampshire with stronger performances have shown limited capacity so far to resonate with nonwhite voters, which could foretell trouble for them as the primary moves through Nevada and South Carolina, and later the diverse slate of Super Tuesday states.

The billionaire Steyer has been flooding South Carolina with radio and television commercials, as well as an aggressive direct mail campaign. He has visited the state more than a dozen times and has upwards of 90 staffers on the ground. His wife, Kat, is moving to the state, according to The Associated Press, with plans to remain in South Carolina through the duration of the primary.

Tameika Isaac Devine, the mayor pro tem of Columbia, is considering Steyer, among other candidates. She praised his campaign for spending time in parts of the state that other candidates might dismiss.

“They’ve put their money where their mouth is. That’s why it’s funny when I hear people say he’s trying to buy the election,” Devine said of Steyer. “It’s not different than what he’s done in the past. Both he and Kat have been trying to build communities, which I think is admirable.”

Tensions between Steyer and Biden flared during last week’s Democratic debate, after Biden backer Dick Harpootlian, a former South Carolina Democratic Party chair, accused a state lawmaker of endorsing Steyer because he had been paid by the campaign.

During the debate, Steyer demanded an on-stage apology from Biden, one Biden did not offer. Instead he said that he has more support from South Carolina’s Black Caucus and black community than anyone else in the race.

State Sen. Kimpson was dismissive of Steyer’s efforts and spending in the state, and said he did not believe Biden’s support to be in jeopardy.

“We’ve got armies of folks down here prepared for this street fight, and it will be a fight,” he said. “Tensions have escalated. We won’t be swayed in our support for somebody we know, and that’s Joe Biden.”

Biden supporters say they expect him to win in South Carolina, but to do so, his campaign needs to mount an aggressive presence in the weeks before the vote.

“He cannot just assume that he has it,” supporter Herbert said of Biden. “You still have to do your due diligence. He’s just gonna have to get out there and knock on doors and get that personal contact. We’re Southerners. We like attention.”

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Rep. Jim Jordan accused of participating in OSU sexual abuse cover-up by ex-wrestler

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Andy Rubin’s Start-Up, Essential Products, Shuts Down

Westlake Legal Group 12rubin-facebookJumbo Andy Rubin’s Start-Up, Essential Products, Shuts Down Venture Capital Start-ups Smartphones Shutdowns (Institutional) Rubin, Andrew E (1962- ) Google Inc Essential Electronics Computers and the Internet Android (Operating System)

SAN FRANCISCO — Essential Products, a consumer electronics start-up founded by the former Google executive Andy Rubin, said on Wednesday that it was ceasing operations.

Once considered one of Silicon Valley’s most promising hardware technology start-ups, Essential had raised $330 million in outside funding because of the track record of Mr. Rubin, who is widely credited for creating Google’s Android smartphone software.

But Essential, which was once valued at $1 billion, has struggled. It released a premium smartphone in 2017 that did not gain traction and the company later scrapped plans to develop a smart home speaker.

Essential was also dogged by news about Mr. Rubin and the circumstances of his departure from Google. The New York Times reported in 2018 that Google paid Mr. Rubin a $90 million exit package after claims of sexual misconduct with a company employee were deemed credible. Mr. Rubin has denied the allegations.

In a blog post on the company’s website on Wednesday, Essential said it had developed a new handset, but that there was “no clear path to deliver it to customers.”

Essential’s decision to shut down illustrates the challenges facing consumer electronics start-ups. Unlike software companies, hardware firms need more capital to buy components and maintain inventory of their products. Some hardware start-ups have broken through with hit products such as smart home device maker Nest and fitness tracker Fitbit, but those companies were eventually sold to Alphabet, Google’s parent company, partly because of the challenges of running a fledgling hardware business.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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UN rights council releases list of companies operating in Israeli West Bank settlements

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday released its long-delayed list of more than 100 companies it said were in violation of Palestinian human rights for operating within Israeli settlements in the contentious West Bank.

The “database” was created to single out companies contributing to the settlements, which are considered illegal by the vast majority of the international community. The attempt to name and shame the businesses is largely symbolic and has no direct impact.

WHAT IS THE WEST BANK?

While a majority of the companies are Israeli, including banks and construction firms, others included international businesses from the United States, Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom.

Travel companies Airbnb, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Opodo were among the names of U.S. companies.

Other names include food maker General Mills, known for brands like Cheerios and Pillsbury, tech and communications giants Motorola and Altice Europe, and infrastructure companies like France’s Egis Rail and Alstom, and Britain’s JC Bamford Excavators.

Westlake Legal Group israel-west-bank UN rights council releases list of companies operating in Israeli West Bank settlements Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/world fnc b6decfce-6f45-590e-84fa-dbee75364323 article

The settlement of Mitzpe Yeriho is one of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, called the publication of the list a “shameful surrender” to countries and organizations that want to hurt Israel. He accused the council of assisting a global anti-Israel boycott movement.

“The state of Israel will not accept discriminatory and anti-Israel policies and we will work in every possible way to prevent such decisions from being carried out,” he said.

ISRAEL’S NETANYAHU BACKTRACKS FROM IMMEDIATE WEST BANK SETTLEMENT ANNEXATION PLAN, WILL WAIT UNTIL AFTER MARCH ELECTION: REPORT

NGO Monitor, an Israeli group that is highly critical of the rights council and has long denounced its actions as a “blacklist,” on Wednesday called the list “defamatory” and an endorsement of the anti-Israel boycott movement.

Anne Herzberg, the group’s legal adviser, called on countries to “reassess their relationships” with the rights office and urged the “maligned companies” to consider legal action against U.N. officials who prepared the list.

Meanwhile, Anne Bayefsky, the director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, said in a statement that the release of the “blacklist” will “unleash a wave of revulsion.”

“It is modern antisemitism on a global scale,” she said, adding: “Make no mistake. This is a Nazi-like effort to isolate, demonize and destroy the Jewish state. It is not about so-called Jewish ‘settlements.’ It is an attack on the very idea of Jews living, breathing, working where Arabs claim they can’t. Classic apartheid. And the antithesis of human rights.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki hailed the list as a “victory for international law and for the diplomatic effort to dry up the sources of the colonial system represented by illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh demanded the companies shut down their operations in the settlements, threatening international legal action.

“We demand the companies immediately close their headquarters and branches inside illegal Israeli settlements because their presence contradicts international and U.N. resolutions,” Shtayyeh posted on Facebook. “We will pursue companies listed in the report legally through international legal institutions and in courts in their countries for taking part in human rights violations in Palestine.”

He also said Palestinians will “demand compensation” for “the use of our occupied territory.”

The council has previously come under fire from President Trump for anti-Israel bias, and he withdrew the U.S. in 2018 – criticizing the U.N. for accepting countries that his administration said have repeatedly violated human rights.

The list was released just two weeks after the U.S. announced its long-awaited Mideast initiative. The plan turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel, which has angered Palestinians.

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The Palestinians seek all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war — for an independent state and the removal of many of the more than 700,000 Israeli settlers from these parts.

Fox News’ Ben Evansky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group israel-west-bank UN rights council releases list of companies operating in Israeli West Bank settlements Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/world fnc b6decfce-6f45-590e-84fa-dbee75364323 article   Westlake Legal Group israel-west-bank UN rights council releases list of companies operating in Israeli West Bank settlements Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/world fnc b6decfce-6f45-590e-84fa-dbee75364323 article

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