A Utah state senator turned over a new leaf Saturday.
Jim Dabakis (D-Salt Lake) drove to Las Vegas and tried marijuana, filming himself on Facebook outside a dispensary, KUTV reported. Dabakis said he wanted to try cannabis before Proposition 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in Utah, comes up for debate in a special legislative session, and then a vote on Nov. 6, the television station reported.
“Until this moment, I was a marijuana virgin,” Dabakis wrote on Facebook. “Ending that now. At least one legislator ought to try the stuff before we change the law!”
In the video, Dabakis explains he went into the dispensary and spent $30 for edible marijuana that looked like a gummy bear. Following instructions to cut the tangerine-flavored gummy bear in half, the legislator popped it into his mouth.
“Here it goes, I am going to try it,” Dabakis said in the video.
Dabakis said there wasn’t much of a taste at first.
“I wouldn’t recommend it as sheer candy; it’s kind of bitter,” Dabakis said in the video. “I will not be bringing the rest of this to Utah, believe me.”
In an interview with KUTV on Monday, Dabakis said he was on a fact-finding mission.
“It dawned on me Wednesday on the floor of the Senate that the Legislature is going to have the final say on this medical marijuana," Dabakis said. “I thought, 'Maybe nobody on this floor has ever tried marijuana.'”
Dabakis said he supports Proposition 2 and believes if it does not pass, his fellow legislators will defeat medical marijuana legislation in Utah.
“If the people vote 'no' now, they are going to go ‘Well, the people voted 'no' so we’re not going to pass this,'" Dabakis said.
The firm helmed by state Rep. David Dreyer, D-Atlanta, and former Atlanta mayoral candidate Michael Sterling said it’s set to file a civil battery complaint in Fulton State Court on Monday on behalf of the student.
Perdue’s office did not immediately comment on the litigation, which seems designed to try to attract national attention ahead of a volatile midterm vote.
It comes a little more than a week after Georgia Tech’s Young Democratic Socialists of America posted a video showing a confrontation with Perdue after one of its members asked about his support for Brian Kemp.
Perdue’s camp previously chalked the episode up to a misunderstanding. A spokeswoman said Perdue thought he was being asked to take a picture and went in to take a selfie.
“When he realized they didn’t actually want to take a picture, he gave the phone back,” she said.
The Georgia Tech student previously told the AJC that he had requested that the senator take a picture with his friend so he could ask a question and record the encounter, but declined when Perdue asked for his phone to take a selfie.
“And then I started recording,” said the student, who asked for anonymity out of fear of retribution and is not identified in the press release announcing the legal complaint.
He said that’s when Perdue “snatched my phone with the intent of stopping me from recording.”
A Massachusetts school employee is under investigation by the Secret Service for allegedly threatening President Donald Trump on social media.
The employee, a Fitchburg Public Schools paraprofessional who works with special-needs students, has also been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.
At first, the tweet caught the attention of the local police force and subsequently of federal agents.
"People have their preferences, but sometimes you should just keep your 2 cents to yourself, you know?" said Roger Valcourt, a parent.
The tweet, posted Oct, 10 which read, "No just kill Trump," has been generating controversy around town.
Parents were shocked to learn what happened, saying both the principal and his wife are star educators.
After the tweet was reported to Ashburnham police, the Secret Service launched an investigation, telling WFXT that they are aware of the incident and investigate all threats made against the president.
"I don’t know what was going through her head, I guess, but it’s not a good thing to say you want to kill the president," said Alex Clemente, a parent.
Clemente, a veteran who fought in Iraq, says the tweet went too far.
"Even though you don’t like him, you can’t say that," Clemente said.
The employee's husband told WFXT in an off-camera interview she meant no harm, saying, "It was lapse in judgment, a mistake. It was a bad choice of words that were taken out of context. My wife is not a malicious person, and has an impeccable work record. She’s embarrassed by this situation."
While Craig Chalifoux spoke to WFXT on the record, his wife isn't being identified because she is not facing any charges.
The superintendent told WFXT that the employee has been placed on paid administrative leave, saying, in a statement, this "is being done to protect her interests as well as the interest of the district [and] it will allow the investigation to conclude and minimize any disruption and distraction and protects her safety and security."
Update 9:45 p.m. EDT Oct. 15: President Donald Trump responded to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) announcement Monday that a DNA analysis proves she has Native American ancestry.
Trump has often taunted and mocked Warren using the term “Pocahantas” and has accused her of claiming a Native American ancestor to gain an advantage as a law professor. He vowed to contribute $1 million to her favorite charity if DNA analysis actually proved she had native ancestry.
He changed his mind while touring storm-damaged areas in Georgia, telling reporters he initially offered the donation only if she agreed to a DNA test during a debate as the Democrat’s nominee for president.
“I’ll only do it if I can test her personally, and that will not be something I will enjoy doing either,” he said, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Also Monday, the Cherokee Nation offered a rare rebuke of Warren.
"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong," the tribe’s secretary of state, Chuck Hoskin Jr., said in a statement, according to OKNews.com.
"It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven,” Hoskin said.
Warren said earlier in the day that when “someone brings up my family story, I’ll use it to lift up the story of Native families and communities.”
She said it’s an opportunity to highlight the work of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC).
“I'll use it today to lift up the NIWRC and their amazing work to protect Native women from violence,” she said.
Original story: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has released an analysis of her DNA showing that she has Native American ancestry.
An analysis of Warren's DNA sample showed she had a Native American ancestor in her family dating back six to 10 generations, according to WFXT. The release of the analysis comes after President Donald Trump has mocked her repeatedly for her claim that she has Native American blood, and repeatedly questioned her ancestry.
A Stanford professor, Carlos D. Bustamante, who was awarded a MacArthur genius grant for his work tracking population migration via DNA, performed the analysis of the DNA. His report says the majority of Warren's ancestry is European, but there is strong evidence to suggest that she has a Native American ancestor.
Warren's office also released a video to YouTube, "Elizabeth Warren's family story," which directly addresses the attacks on her heritage by the President and includes interviews with her family. A "Fact Squad" website with links to the DNA report and supporting documents was also launched.
Last month, Warren spoke about her future during a town hall in western Massachusetts on Sept. 30. She said she'll take a "hard look at running for president" after the November elections.
Warren, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, is running for re-election in November against GOP state Rep. Geoff Diehl, who was co-chairman of Trump's 2016 Massachusetts campaign.
She has been at the center of speculation that she might take on Trump in 2020.
Tens of thousands of Georgia voter applications are on hold in the weeks leading up to a contentious, high-profile midterm election.
An Associated Press investigation released this week uncovered 53,000 voter registration applications on hold in the Secretary of State’s Office.
The SOS cites discrepancies in the applications versus driver’s license records, and a violation of the “exact match” law. It’s legislation that was passed in 2017.
Essentially, a missing hyphen in a name or the addition of a middle initial in one record and not another could lead to a voter ending up in pending status. The office says those voters can still head to polls on Election Day and resolve their status.
Georgia’s secretary of state is Republican Brian Kemp. His gubernatorial opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, has called for Kemp to resign from his position overseeing the elections.
On Thursday morning, Kemp sent a tweet accusing her of “manufactured outrage” tied to a registration project she supports.
In a statement, Kemp said the registrations account for less than 1 percent of the 5.6 million voters who have registered since 2014, and voters can indeed cast their ballots Election Day.
“Not a single voter whose status is pending for failure to verify will get rejected this election cycle,” Kemp said in the statement. “The 26-month period affords any pending applicant plenty of time to participate in a federal election – when expected turnout is highest – so the applicant has the best opportunity to provide the necessary information and move to active status.”
Abrams’ campaign boiled the issue down to voter suppression, noting that 70 percent of voters on the pending list are minorities. In part of a statement issued by Abigail Collazo, the Abrams for Governor director of strategic communications, said:
“As he has done for years, Brian Kemp is maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters – the majority of them people of color. This isn’t incompetence. It’s malpractice.”
Abdul Rasheed Salaam said the SOS office has an address on file for him that does not match his current address. He said he moved years ago, re-registered, voted in 2016 under his current address, and found a discrepancy Tuesday when he checked his voting status.
He has concerns about the exact match law.
Catherine Hynes, an Atlanta resident, told Carr that she would be uneasy with either candidate overseeing elections.
“You know, it’s such a divisive time right now,” Hynes said. “I think anything we can do to help each other trust one another is where we need to go.”
Several civil rights organizations are now suing Kemp. The lawsuit, filed in federal court Thursday, asks a judge to overturn the “exact match” law, saying it has a disproportionate impact on African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans who want to become registered voters.
“It imposes unnecessary and discriminatory burdens on the voter registration process,” according to the lawsuit, filed by the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under Law, which is representing several civil rights organizations in the legal action.
The plaintiffs include the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, Asian Americans for Advancing Justice, the NAACP of Georgia, the New Georgia Project, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and ProGeorgia.
A New York state man was arrested by federal agents Tuesday, accused of plotting to blow himself up on the National Mall on Election Day.
Paul M. Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, is charged with unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive, according to the FBI. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
A search of Rosenfeld’s home following his arrest turned up a 200-pound bomb that had to be removed by bomb technicians, authorities said. Agents also found a fusing system and empty canisters that once held black powder.
“As alleged, Paul M. Rosenfeld concocted a twisted plan to draw attention to his political ideology by killing himself on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. -- risking harm to many others in the process,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a news release. “Rosenfeld’s alleged plan for an Election Day detonation cut against our democratic principles. Thanks to outstanding coordination between local and federal law enforcement, Rosenfeld’s alleged plot was thwarted, and he is now in federal custody.”
Assistant FBI Director-In-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. credited “the quick action of a concerned citizen and the diligent work of a host of … law enforcement partners and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force” with thwarting Rosenfeld’s plans.
“I’d like to extend particular thanks to our partners with the Orangetown Police Department, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, the Rockland County District Attorney, the New York State Police, the New York City Police Department and the Stony Point Police Department for their respective roles in bring this investigation to a safe conclusion,” Sweeney said.
The criminal complaint against Rosenfeld accuses him of sending letters and text messages to an unnamed person in Pennsylvania in August and September, in which he said he planned to build a bomb he would detonate on Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C. NBC News reported that the person Rosenfeld contacted was a reporter.
Rosenfeld said he wanted the bomb to draw attention to his political belief in sortition, the complaint said.
According to the Sortition Foundation, sortition is the use of a random selection of people to fill political positions or make up assemblies. The practice has its roots in ancient Greece.
“An assembly that uses sortition would be composed of people just like you and me: it would be a representative random sample of people, making decisions in an informed, fair and deliberative setting,” the foundation’s website said.
The reporter contacted law enforcement authorities and reported what Rosenfeld told him, NBC News said.
Read the entire federal criminal complaint against Paul Rosenfeld below.
The subsequent probe into Rosenfeld’s actions led agents to conduct a traffic stop on Rosenfeld Tuesday, at which time he agreed to an interview with investigators. In that interview, Rosenfeld admitted that he’d ordered a large amount of black powder over the internet and transported the explosive substance from New Jersey to his home in New York, the criminal complaint said.
He admitted using about 8 pounds of the black powder to build the Election Day bomb and said he “installed certain components in the explosive device to ensure that he was killed in the blast,” the court document said.
Agents found the bomb intended for the National Mall in the basement of Rosenfeld’s Tappan home.
“The explosive device is a plywood box that contained what appeared to the agents, based on their training and experience, to be black powder,” the complaint said.
FBI experts X-rayed the device and determined that engaging the bomb’s firing switch would generate the necessary electrical charge to ignite the black powder inside the box, the document said.
Rosenfeld said he’d built smaller bombs in the past and conducted test detonations to ensure that the bigger bomb would explode as planned, investigators said.
Rosenfeld’s family has expressed relief that the alleged plot was uncovered in time, according to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News.
“We’re grateful to the FBI for managing to find out about this so no one is harmed,” Rosenfeld’s father, Peter Rosenfeld, told the newspaper.
President Donald Trump is likely to visit storm-ravaged areas of Florida and Georgia hit by Hurricane Michael early next week, White House officials told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday.
The president spoke with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey during the flight to receive updates on the storm, which barreled into Florida on Wednesday and pounded parts of south and middle Georgia with rain and wind.
The White House said Trump “offered any federal resources necessary and continues to receive regular updates.”
Vice President Mike Pence canceled his Thursday visit to Georgia to host a high-dollar GOP fundraiser as Hurricane Michael roared through the state.
It was the second time the Republican was forced to scrap a visit to Georgia to boost Brian Kemp’s run for governor due to a major storm. He canceled a September visit because Hurricane Florence was barreling toward the Southeast.
He was set to visit Delta’s TechOps maintenance facility before heading to the Grand Hyatt Buckhead for the Georgia GOP’s Victory Dinner. Democrats planned to greet him with a large rally outside the hotel featuring supporters of Democrat Stacey Abrams.
He was likely to face a cascade of criticism if he went through the trip, similar to the pushback President Donald Trump faced for traveling to a political rally for a Pennsylvania lawmaker shortly after the hurricane made landfall.
Trump said the decision to go was a “quandary” but that he did not want to disappoint the crowd expecting him.
“I hear they have thousands of people lined up, so we are in a little bit of a quagmire," he said.
A Florida school board member is under fire Tuesday night for some posts she made on Facebook, which she said she stands by.
Marion County School Board member Nancy Stacy's Facebook comments include: “I do not consider a whore to be a victim in rapes" and, “If the girls went with a married man to forbidden grounds, they went looking for trouble."
People are speaking out about the posts, some of them showing up to voice their concerns at Tuesday’s school board meeting.
Stacy is defending the posts and told WFTV’s Myrt Price that this is all politically motivated.
"I was very shocked and disappointed,” said Kelly Rogers, who lives in Marion County.
In one post, Stacy wrote, “All you know what comes in my head is out my mouth. Tired of whores destroying men. Set Bill Cosby free says 'Mama Bear' with sons.”
The comments have driven some Marion County residents to attend Tuesday’s school board meeting.
"I would hope that she would be removed, at least either step down, be removed from the board or retire or whatever,” said Michael Ferro at the meeting.
Price spoke to Stacy over the phone. She confirmed that she made the posts and wasn’t hacked.
"I feel that our nation has regressed back to the days when one white person accused a black person of something and he was hung or jailed. Today, one woman can accuse a man of all ethnicities and he can be jailed,” she said.
She claimed she wasn’t talking about women in general, only prostitutes.
"I do not believe prostitutes can claim rape and have me believe them,” Stacy said.
She said she believes she’s the target of politically motivated attacks.
An online petition is being circulated, pushing for the governor to remove Stacy from office.
The crudely-painted sign depicts a red, white and blue GOP elephant with his trunk up the skirt of a scared little girl and the word “Help!” coming from her mouth. In pink paint are the words, “Your vote matters.”
To Marion Stanford, the sign symbolized the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct in his past, and the backlash the Republican Party faces in the wake of the scandal.
To critics in the small town of Hamilton, it depicted pornography. Stanford told the Dallas Morning News that complaints to the police department resulted in the sign being confiscated Oct. 2.
“Here we have a political party that is using women,” Stanford told the Morning News. “I thought the sign represented what is going on now and we can’t just stand quiet. I wanted to tell people we could stop it with voting.”
One of Stanford’s biggest critics was Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who posted photos of the sign, along with other political signs in Stanford’s yard, on his Facebook page.
“This is in Hamilton, Texas, and is supposed to be Judge Kavanaugh’s young daughter,” Miller wrote about the sign. “Notice my opponent’s sign in the background. The Democrat sleaze knows NO bounds!”
Miller faces Democrat Kim Olson in the race for agriculture commissioner.
Stanford said the sign does not depict any specific person.
“That was not Judge Kavanaugh’s daughter,” she told the Morning News. “The cartoon was made last year by Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes, a Pulitzer Prize winner.”
Telnaes drew the cartoon in December after President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee endorsed Roy Moore, who was accused by multiple women of sexually assaulting them when they were minors, to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Moore lost the race to Democrat Doug Jones.
Several people who saw Miller’s post reacted negatively to Stanford’s sign, calling it pornography and her a pedophile. She told the newspaper that she was harassed by phone and on her Facebook page, which is now private.
Stanford told The Washington Post that there was nothing pornographic about her statement.
“I know what the symbolism was,” she told the Post. “I know what my motivations were.”
Some people called for her arrest. One man questioned the lack of an arrest on the Hamilton Police Department’s Facebook page.
“From news reports, someone in town put up some child porn posting it on the street, and while the police seized the sign, they are not charging anyone for the child pornography,” the man wrote. “This most abominable of crimes is apparently ignored in Hamilton by police even when they know it's happening.”
Another commenter described the department as “Nazi-like” and said its officers don’t believe in free speech.
“The U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of free speech, especially political speech, means nothing to these goobers in a uniform,” the man wrote.
A Hamilton police officer did show up at her home, Stanford told the Post.
“It is pornography and you can’t display it,” Stanford said the officer told her. He gave her three options: take the sign down, refuse to remove it and get arrested or let him confiscate the sign.
She said she let him confiscate it.
Hamilton City Manager Pete Kampfer disputed Stanford’s version of what happened.
“It’s political season, and a citizen here placed a yard sign that featured a political animal taking an inappropriate position with a young child,” Kampfer told the Morning News. “A police member visited the owner’s home, and the owner asked the officer to take the sign.”
Stanford shared with the newspaper private Facebook messages between her and Miller. In them, she questioned whether she was really conversing with Miller and threatened to sue him because of the harassment she said his post about her sign stirred up.
“This is Sid,” he responded. “Bring it.”
A Miller campaign spokesman reiterated Miller’s position that the girl in the image -- which Stanford described as a “generic ladies room icon” -- was meant to represent Kavanaugh’s daughter.
“It was vulgar and disgusting and had no place in someone’s yard,” Todd Smith told the Morning News.
Miller’s political opponent also decried the image.
“Anyone who continues to share such an image that makes light of sexual assault is out of line and out of touch,” Olson said in a statement.
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