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NY GOP governor candidates debate over crime, economy :: WRAL.com

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— Four Republican candidates for New York governor pledged to undo years of one-party rule and focus on battling crime and improving the economy if elected to office during a televised debate Monday night.

It’s an uphill battle for Republicans vying for the governor’s office in New York, where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by more than 2 to 1. The state’s last Republican governor was George Pataki, who served from 1995 to 2006.

The field includes U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and businessman Harry Wilson. Candidate Andrew Giuliani, the son of New York City’s former mayor, is set to appear remotely.

Giuliani, a former adviser to former President Donald Trump, said he’s been barred from participating in-person in the Monday primary debate because he has refused to submit proof he’s been vaccinated against COVID-19. He said he told debate organizers he would take multiple tests leading up to and on the day of the debate.

Giuliani said if elected, he will restore the jobs of public workers fired for not getting the vaccine. He pledged Monday to empower the police and called for a return to widespread stop and frisk policies in New York City.

In 2013, a judge ruled New York City police violated the constitution by stopping, questioning and frisking mostly Black and Hispanic people on the street en masse.

Astorino, a Republican former radio industry professional and two-term Westchester County executive, is running for governor for a second time. He’s promised to release an agenda to address New York’s steep job loss stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic on top of government corruption and the state’s high taxes and cost of living.

Astorino said Trump “bears some responsibility” in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection but said it’s time for the country to move on.

Zeldin, a Trump ally and an Army veteran who has represented New York’s 1st Congressional District since 2015, has accused Democrats of being soft on criminals and overzealous in imposing safety protocols intended to fight COVID-19.

Zeldin touted his support from the National Rifle Association and said he wanted to repeal a 2013 state gun control law that broadened the definition of assault weapons and required universal background checks in part.

When asked if New York should ban guns from specific public places in case the Supreme Court overturns the state’s concealed carry restrictions, Zeldin said: “Gun-free zones don’t work. They actually become a target.”

Businessman Harry Wilson, of Johnstown, entered the race this spring by launching a $12 million television advertisement campaign.

He’s worked for Goldman Sachs and founded a White Plains advisory firm, and also served as a U.S. Treasury Department advisor under former President Obama.

Wilson faced criticism for his Democratic ties, with Zeldin calling him a “never Trumper.” But Wilson said Zeldin had asked him to run as his running mate, and vowed to use his private sector experience to end corruption in Albany.


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$78 Million SEC Resolution, But No DOJ Prosecution For Tenaris Despite Recidivism – White Collar Crime, Anti-Corruption & Fraud

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James Koukios spoke to Anti-Corruption Report about
Luxembourg-based steel pipe manufacturer Tenaris agreeing to pay
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) more than $78 million
to resolve charges related to its Brazilian subsidiary paying
bribes to a Brazilian government official between 2008 and 2013,
though the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicated that it
does not intend to pursue its own charges.

The DOJ declining to prosecute is supported by the inclusion of
a civil penalty in the SEC order, but DOJ did not send the company
a Corporate Enforcement Policy (CEP) declination letter. “The
lack of a CEP declination letter suggests that DOJ declined due to
a lack of evidence or the existence of a compelling defense, as
opposed to a policy-based declination,” James said.

He added: “Although the SEC stated that Tenaris had failed
to implement adequate internal accounting controls in the wake of
the 2011 resolution, a good portion of the underlying conduct took
place before the original resolution was reached and appears to
have stopped in or around 2013. That gave Tenaris many years to
enhance its compliance program and remediate issues before the
resolution.”

Read the full article (subscription required).

Because of the generality of this update, the information
provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should
not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular
situations.

© Morrison & Foerster LLP. All rights reserved

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Healthcare Executive Indicted For Alleged Cover-Up

McGuireWoods LLP

A recent federal government indictment of a former executive for national hospital chain Health Management Associates (HMA) provides yet another example of the fact that a cover-up can lead to consequences as severe as the crime itself.


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Bigoted Attacks Are Injecting Fear Into Pride Month, But We Won’t Back Down

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This year the tide of anti-trans and anti-queer hate has surged to new heights. More than 300 anti-trans or anti-LGBTQ laws have been introduced in 2022 alone — often by the same Republican lawmakers introducing anti-Black and anti-abortion bills. Over 25 have passed, most of them targeting trans teens and children. Republican politicians, as well as right-wing pundits and influencers, have encouraged their followers to murder or otherwise harm trans people, drag queens, queer people and parents who support trans children.

In times like this, it’s all the more important for LGBTQ people to come together in community to express rage, celebrate victories, protest injustice, and just love each other and have fun. But folks are nervous. As if COVID and monkeypox weren’t enough, this Pride month has seen tragic anti-LGBTQ violence in Oslo, Norway; Baltimore, Maryland; San Lorenzo, California; Palm Beach, Florida; Arlington, Texas; Apex, North Carolina; Coeur D’Alene, Idaho; Anacortes, Washington; Kalama, Washington; Karlsruhe, Germany; Kraaifontein, South Africa; Accra, Ghana; Kampala, Uganda; Jerusalem; and more. In some of these incidents, groups of white supremacists were the perpetrators — including five Proud Boys interrupting Drag Queen Story Hour in San Lorenzo, Proud Boys among others disrupting a drag brunch in Arlington and 31 Patriot Front members gathering in Coeur d’Alene to attack LGBTQ+ people at a Pride event.

The Interconnected Targets of White Christian Supremacy

White Christian supremacists tend to save most of their bullets for those who are Black, Indigenous, immigrants, Latinx, Jewish, Muslim, Asian, Arab, or acting in solidarity with one or more of those groups. That includes a lot of LGBTQ+ people, of course. But it also includes a lot of straight cis people. While Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron saw trans advocacy organizations as part of a Jewish plot to reduce white birth rates, the people he actually chose to murder were Black folks shopping for groceries. Still, anti-LGBTQ+ violence has always formed a part of the larger white Christian supremacist toolkit. White Christian supremacy is a gendered ideology and movement that hinges on patriarchy.

Some reasons for anti-transness in white Christian supremacist ideology are theological. Imara Jones explains some of them in her series exploring the anti-trans hate machine:

We have to understand that … they believe that the division of the world into men and women, each in their biblical roles, is the only way that God will return. And their faith is so structured around these patriarchal ideas, that they’re convinced that trans people are the ultimate threat to God Himself, to His divine order.

Other aspects are eugenic, based in the idea that it is desirable and possible to create a world with more or only people who are “fit” (read: non-disabled, healthy, white, Protestant, cis, straight, U.S. citizen, conservative) and fewer or none of everyone else. The Buffalo shooter was far from the first to weave together anti-LGBTQ hatred and antisemitism to speculate that trans identity, gender nonconformity and same-sex relationships result from a Jewish plot to reduce birth rates among white Christians. In their eyes, white, Christian, non-disabled children raised by white, cis, straight, non-disabled, Christian adults and protected from other influences will and should become white, cis, straight, non-disabled, Christian adults who will have and raise more white, Christian, non-disabled children and carry out the white Christian supremacist agenda. In white trans and queer people from Christian backgrounds, they see either misguided victims who can still be rescued and rehabilitated into cisgender and heterosexual normativity through Christianity, or lost causes who must not be permitted to influence others. And in trans and queer folks who are also Black, Indigenous, or other people of color, and in those who are also Jewish, disabled or Muslim, they don’t see people at all. Their tactics are designed to fall most heavily on people in these groups, and they do. Anti-trans laws — by design — tend to harm Black trans folks the most. Of the at least 15 trans people murdered so far in the U.S. in 2022, at least 12 were Black, Latina or Asian.

Police Won’t Save (Most of) Us

On June 11, a worker in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, called in a tip that a “little army” of men with shields were entering a U-Haul van. Police arrested 31 white nationalists, equipped with riot gear and a smoke grenade, who had traveled from 11 states to attack LGBTQ+ people at a Pride gathering. Various media outlets have praised the police for arresting these Patriot Front members — the same group that famously descended on Charlottesville in 2017. At first glance, some might imagine that in this instance the police are trustworthy opponents of white supremacy acting in allyship with LGBTQ people, but that view would be misguided.

Let’s look a little closer at the actors involved.

Sheriff Bob Norris of Kootenai County, along with Police Chief Lee White, took credit for these arrests, and framed them as riot prevention. In Idaho, like most of the country, police favor white people over Black and Indigenous people. According to the ACLU, in Idaho overall, police are 3.9 times more likely to arrest a Black person for cannabis possession than a white person. That’s bad enough. In Kootenai County, though, the disparity soars even higher — sheriffs’ deputies are 6.2 times more likely to arrest a Black person than a white person for cannabis possession. While it’s trickier to find county-level statistics regarding Indigenous people, Idaho law enforcement also targets these communities. Suquamish tribe descendant Jeanetta Riley is one of the Indigenous people Idaho police have killed. A federal study looking at racial disparities in how several states, including Idaho, handle arrests of teens and children found that police were more likely to refer Indigenous people to authorities (rather than release them to their family with a warning) than any other racial group.

As for Norris specifically, a few months ago he attended a Republican fundraiser featuring white nationalist speakers and guests, where a white nationalist speaker — Dave Reilly — thanked him for keeping them safe. A white supremacist publication wrote an article celebrating Norris’s election as sheriff because of his stance against enforcing mask mandates. Previously, he worked as a deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He reportedly donated $600 to the campaign of Paul Tanaka, an undersheriff who was himself linked to white supremacists, implicated in giving out promotions based on who donated to his campaign, and convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice for interfering in an FBI investigation into corruption and widespread violence from deputies against people in the jail he helped run.

I don’t know what Bob Norris believes. But regardless of his beliefs, he works for a system that violently enforces white supremacy. It’s not surprising that white supremacists saw the police as their friend, and are lashing out against them now for arresting members of the Patriot Front. After all, whether in Ohio or Russia, New York or Turkey, again and again it has been the police who physically attack trans and queer people — especially Black and Indigenous people, and other trans and queer people of color who take to the streets.

As for the Pride event in Coeur d’Alene? It was the biggest yet, as Jessica Mahuron told the Spokesman, “full of love and connection.” But numerous anti-LGBTQ groups organized counter-events and had a presence at the event itself, including some who walked through the event carrying guns or anti-LGBTQ signs. And Patriot Front members were not exactly neutralized — they filmed themselves handing out racist pamphlets after their arrest and ominously promised they would return.

Between the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and of police, vigilante, and other hate violence, it has not been easy for people or organizations to decide on their approach to Pride this June. Some groups have canceled events in light of death threats or increasing COVID rates. Others have opted for coordinating with law enforcement, hiring private security firms and requesting increased police presence. But of course, those have never been the only options — and for many trans and queer people, a police presence spells more danger, not safety.

Keeping Ourselves and Each Other Safe

For many decades, trans and queer people have developed and practiced ways to keep each other safe without relying on the police. We have also defined safety holistically. When we talk about making Pride events safe, that includes safety from tear gas and from overdose, safety from shooters and from illness. And we keep teaching each other our safety tips.

Vision Change Win, a Black-led QTPOC social change organization, released a comprehensive Community Safety Toolkit, written largely by Ejeris Dixon but reflecting oral traditions passed down for decades and covering topics as broad as deescalating conflict, treating tear gas, recruiting and training a security team and reducing COVID risk. All event planners should familiarize themselves with these tools.

Formations like Interrupting Criminalization and Community Resource Hub have been pointing out and fighting for the types of strategies that are proven to actually stop violence. For example, violence interrupter programs, more investment in community organizations, improvements to the physical environment such as better lighting, housing and green spaces, and decriminalization itself have been shown to actually reduce violence.

Meanwhile a wide range of folks have been rolling out trainings on self-defense, community defense, upstander intervention (tactics people can use to stop violence when they see it), harm reduction, first aid, legal rights with police and how to respond when menaced by a shooter. For example, according to Rolling Stone, drag queens have continued reading to kids in libraries targeted by the Proud Boys — but they are working with the Anti-Violence Project to get trained and put protocols in place in case of further attacks.

Those holding digital events often have their own safety protocols in place to deal with Zoom bombers, infiltrators and others who would do harm.

This Pride, we have to remember that when we show up in numbers, white Christian supremacists are likely to back down. We have to remember that they have been trying to rid the world of our magnificence for centuries, and they have always failed. As long as we keep loving and protecting each other, they will always fail.




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Gun Violence: What’s Really Behind the “Right to Keep and Bear?”

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If the people who suffer from gun violence were the same as the people who profit from gun violence, gun control measures would be strong and strongly enforced. Discussions about the 2nd Amendment would center on the “well regulated militia” concept rather than the “right to keep and bear” language.

The reality is that our current stance on the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with the views of the Founding Fathers and everything to do with the desire to keep the middle and lower classes fighting and killing each other, while leaving a small wealthy elite in control.

It may seem an odd idea that allowing the nation to be awash in 400 million guns is “keeping control.” But we are told that 100 million of our population own the vast majority of those 400 million guns. The average person doesn’t own or want to carry around a gun. But with proper training, the average person can be taught to exist in a state of apprehension that gun violence is always just around the next corner, always a risk when visiting 7-11 or your favorite after-work bar.

The inevitability of gun violence is an argument for allowing police to be armed and to shoot first and ask questions later (if their targets survive). The corporate “liberal media” produces a constant flood of stories about cities, like Chicago, being wracked with constant gun violence, while having grown silent about the equal constant corruption and racism practiced by Chicago police.

A University of Chicago study, referenced recently in the New York Times points out a few salient points. Most of the shootings in the city happen in just 4% of the city’s blocks: This isolates most Chicagoans, and almost all white Chicagoans, from exposure to gun violence and from the direct consequences of gun violence. For most people, even in a “blood drenched” city like Chicago, gun violence is what they see on TV, replayed over and over – not what really happens.


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