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New York (CNN Business)Former Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur, whose hiring by CNN stirred controversy last month, is no longer taking a job as a political editor in the Washington bureau. She tweeted on Friday: "It's been a great vacation but I am back on twitter! And news: I will go to CNN as a Political Analyst instead. Isgur is a longtime Republican political operative who previously worked for Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney. She served as the DOJ's top spokeswoman during Jeff Sessions' tenure as attorney general. Earlier this year she met with television network executives and showed an interest in moving from politics to journalism. Even once it was clarified that she'd be reporting to political director David Chalian, and would be one of several people involved in coordinating 2020 coverage, there were still deep concerns about the role -- including from inside CNN. She was set to start working at CNN next week. But a network spokeswoman indicated that Isgur proposed a shift away from the editor role. "We can confirm that when Sarah came to us and proposed her role be adjusted to a political analyst instead, we agreed and we look forward to her starting in that role," the CNN spokeswoman said Friday afternoon.
Their plans to compete in the national Division III swimming and diving championships have been complicated by New York State’s ban on unnecessary state-funded travel to North Carolina. Gov. Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma, has called on Cuomo to reconsider the order, but the governor has shown no interest in that. The students, for their part, seem to support the ban, even though it may hurt their chances of winning. Welcome to the 21st century. The unknown person saw the tickets last Thursday and turned them over to store. ••• Here’s to George Root III, the late reporter and resident of Lockport who died on Thursday before he could fulfill a final wish: seeing the new Godzilla movie. The film, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” is scheduled to open in May, but Root, a lifelong Godzilla fan, had hoped to see an early screening. Sadly, it didn’t happen, but now an effort is afoot to add his name to the credits. It’s a wonderful idea.
(Feb. 14) AP Politicians on the left and right continued sniping Sunday over who is to blame for Amazon’s shocking decision last week to scuttle plans to build a second headquarters in New York City. “If Joe Crowley was still a congressman, it wouldn’t have happened,” King said in an interview that aired Sunday on AM 970 in New York, according to The Hill. “It’s like putting a sign up that you can’t do business in New York,” King said. “I have no problem with fellow progressives criticizing a deal or wanting more from Amazon,” he said on the program. In addition to the jobs, the project was to generate $27 billion in tax revenue for the city and state. Amazon feared New York politicians might not sign off on some of the approvals needed for the project. On Friday, Ocasio-Cortez and Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of operations, feuded on Twitter. Citing a Newsweek article, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “is that culture of ‘strict performance’ why Amazon workers have to urinate in bottles & work while on food stamps to meet ‘targets?’ ‘Performance’ shouldn’t come at the cost of dehumanizing conditions. That’s why we got rid of sweatshops.” Clark responded on Twitter, “these claims simply aren’t true. We are proud of our jobs with excellent pay ($15 min), benefits from day 1 & lots of other benefits like our Career Choice prepaid educational programs.” He invited the congresswoman to take a tour, adding “we’d love to have you!”
Much of the immediate concern will be political: How will it embolden the city's growing progressive movement, and what will that movement's aims really be? How much is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's clout diminished? What should business interests do now? No one should overlook the longer- term implications. Clearly, the city's burgeoning tech sector will continue to become more important. With 7,500 companies, 150,000 good-paying jobs and $7 billion in venture capital invested last year, tech is emerging as the third leg of an economic stool that includes finance and tourism. Unfortunately, without Amazon, tech here won't be what it could have been. "But we probably won't see larger companies make a big bet on New York, and that will be a missed opportunity." "But," Pinsky said, "over the long term, it sends a horrible signal to the marketplace and certainly will make anyone who needs to go through public approvals think twice before entering into what is now clearly a toxic process."
NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—In his first interview since being found guilty on all counts in his U.S. trial, the Mexican drug lord Joaquín (El Chapo) Guzmán called himself the victim of a “phony witch hunt.” The former cartel leader made his blistering comments in a phone call to the television program “Fox & Friends,” whose hosts appeared surprised that he had somehow gained access to a phone and was able to get through to them. “It was a phony witch hunt,” El Chapo said, of his trial. “It was a phony, rigged witch hunt, and the charges against me were fake news and a disgrace.” Questioned whether he had worked in concert with other drug lords to bring narcotics into the United States, El Chapo said, “There was no collusion. And there was no evidence of collusion, because there was no collusion.” But the former drug kingpin reserved his harshest words for the F.B.I. and its former director James Comey. “Lying and leaking Jim Comey is a showboat and a disaster,” he said. Asked to give his impression of the American justice system, El Chapo said, “I think it’s very bad when someone like me, who is running a business and creating jobs and helping the economy, is harassed and treated unfairly. I think it’s a disgrace and, frankly, very sad.”
The featured spot, along with its supporting social-media outreach, did not endorse one party or issue over another, but it did make a bold statement about civic responsibility, portraying an ethnically diverse range of citizens in various nations, all setting out for polling places to cast their ballots. “It’s your voice. Use it,” advised the spot. “Levi’s has been a symbol of democracy and inclusion for just about forever,” Sey said, explaining that a pair of blue jeans “is the ultimate form of self-expression.” “We felt it was our right to participate in this conversation,” she said. Sey, speaking at the Brandweek Challenger Brands summit in New York Wednesday, further explained that while Levi’s might be just a pair of jeans to Americans, to many other countries and cultures across the world, the brand symbolizes America and, by association, the freedoms enshrined in the voting process. Levi’s politically themed campaign came at a fraught time for brands searching for messages that seem relevant to politically savvy consumers without going so far as to divide and alienate them. A body of recent research makes clear that consumers like it when brands take a political stand. A survey from Sprout Social released in 2018 found that two-thirds of consumers believed it was important for companies to take a stand on political and social issues. Another 2018 study conducted by Morning Consult revealed that 59 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans believed that a brand’s position on a social or political issue was “important” in their deciding whether or not to purchase that brand’s goods and services. What’s more, Sey clearly believes that issues like voting and civic expression are important enough to talk about that the risk of offending anyone is a risk worth taking.
“There is certainly a through line from Michael Boxley to Sam Hoyt to Jeff Klein when it comes to tolerating and excusing sexual harassment and assault perpetrators,” Vladimer told City & State. “You have lobbying firms who care so little about this that they're hiring someone who has admitted to (sexual assault) and then, in the case of Klein, somebody still under investigation,” Crothers told City & State. No,” Simotas told City & State. Hearings, according to advocates, are another opportunity to bring some change to Albany’s culture. While the Democratic leadership in the state Senate may be supportive of the SHWG’s legislative agenda, most state legislators are unwilling to get behind its call for firms not to hire anyone accused of sexual harassment. But SHWG activists argue this kind of social sanction is where change really starts.“If a lobbying firm were to stand up and say, ‘We're not going to hire these (alleged) harassers, these alleged abusers,’ if an elected official would stand up and say ‘You know what, I'm not going to allow my staff to meet with these firms that hire these people,’ that's how the culture changes,” Vladimer said. “Do those who report sexual harassment or assault get job offers from lobbying firms?” Crothers asked. “It's not about if Jeff Klein should ever work again. “I'm not saying Klein should never get to work again,” she told City & State, “but, in the words, of almost every elected official when I first told my story – shouldn't we wait until the investigation is resolved? Victims have to figure out a new career path, they lose friends, and are retraumatized every time another story of harassment abuse or assault is made public – because men like Klein are just allowed to work again.” While Ramos said that her position as a state legislator meant that she had to keep her door open “to all stakeholders,” including Mercury clients, she did flatly say, “I will not meet with Jeff Klein.” While not addressing the question of boycotting Mercury clients, Assemblyman Dan Quar,t who wrote an op-ed with Vladimer calling for sexual harassment hearings, told City & State that “hiring Klein in the middle of an ongoing JCOPE investigation invalidates the stories of survivors and enables the pervasive culture of sexual harassment in Albany.
Stacey Abrams’s defeat in the Georgia governor’s race was only a few weeks old when she arrived in New York in December to meet with campaign donors and political allies. At a reception in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, a supporter asked her what she would do next. Democrats believe that by challenging Mr. Perdue in 2020, Ms. Abrams could help break the Republican Party’s near-monopoly on Southern power in the Senate, and perhaps help make Georgia competitive in the presidential race. Ms. Abrams remains undecided about running for the Senate, according to multiple people who have spoken with her directly. “And she is far from defeated.” DuBose Porter, a former Georgia Democratic Party chairman, said he believed Ms. Abrams was increasingly receptive to the idea of running for Senate, rather than waiting for a rematch with Mr. Kemp in 2022. Former Representative Jack Kingston, a Republican who sought the Senate seat in 2014 but lost in the primary, said he saw Mr. Perdue as a strong bet for re-election. Staying in the public eye, Ms. Abrams has been organizing “thank you” events with supporters around the state, and her group aired an ad about voting rights during the Super Bowl. Though Democrats have long sought to regain their footing in the South — coveting Senate seats in places like Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee — the urgency of that challenge has grown after the 2018 elections, when Democrats lost three Senate races in the rural Midwest even as they gained 40 seats in the House. “I think there’s a lot of people wanting Stacey Abrams to save the party by running for the Senate,” Mr. James said. “I would love to see her have a bigger stage,” Ms. Koziol said.
NEW YORK (AP) — The steady loss of local newspapers and journalists across the country contributes to the nation's political polarization, a new study has found. With fewer opportunities to find out about local politicians, citizens are more likely to turn to national sources like cable news and apply their feelings about national politics to people running for the town council or state legislature, according to research published in the Journal of Communication. In 1992, 37 percent of states with Senate races elected a senator from a different party than the presidential candidate the state supported. In 2016, for the first time in a century, no state did that, the study found. "The voting behavior was more polarized, less likely to include split ticket voting, if a newspaper had died in the community," said Johanna Dunaway, a communications professor at Texas A&M University, who conducted the research with colleagues from Colorado State and Louisiana State universities. "We have this loss of engagement at the local level," she said. Many larger daily newspapers that have remained open have effectively become ghosts, with much smaller staffs that are unable to offer the breadth of coverage they once did. About 7,100 newspapers remain. Dunaway said voters in communities without newspapers are more likely to be influenced by national labels -- if they like Republicans like President Donald Trump, for example, that approval will probably extend to Republicans lower on the ballot. "They have to rely on party 'brand names' and are less about 'how I can do best for my district,'" she said.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired back Sunday at liberal Hollywood writer-director Aaron Sorkin after he claimed that the new Democrats in Congress should “stop acting like young people.” Sorkin, creator of “The West Wing,” talked about politics and the current state of America during an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. The average age of Congress’s new freshman class is 49, making it the youngest class in the past three cycles. Sorkin noted the Democrats have gotten too progressive. “I think there’s great opportunity here, now more than ever, for Democrats to be the non-stupid party,” he said. “When people complain about low turnout in some demos, it’s not because communities are apathetic, it’s bc they don’t see you fighting for them,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “If we don’t show up for people, why should you feel entitled to their vote?” She spent the next hour on Twitter, tweeting in response. “Men have ‘gravitas,’ women get ‘likeable,’” she said, bringing up identity politics. She added: “If you notice, on the right they’ll flatly call people blanket terms, and even make things up. And I don’t mean trolls - I mean their biggest commentators + TV figures.” Members of the historic freshman class of House Democrats — together — helped flip the House from Republican control in November’s elections. The celebrity-studded group includes a record number of women, a new crop of veterans and diversity never before seen in Congress.