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Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Sen. Daylin Leach sues woman accusing him of sexual assault, and two #MeToo activists

HARRISBURG — State Sen. Daylin Leach on Monday sued a woman who has accused him of luring her into performing oral sex when she was a teenager and he was an attorney representing her mother in a criminal case nearly 30 years ago.

Leach, a Democrat from Montgomery County, contends that Cara Taylor, along with two Philadelphia-area women, have defamed him by peddling what he calls a “fictional 1991 encounter” of sexual assault, including in online forums. He is seeking at least $50,000 in damages, according to a copy of the suit filed Monday morning in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia.

“The three defendants have sought to achieve their goals by seeking to exploit for their own malicious purposes an important political movement in order to broaden the audience of their false claim among a trusting, unknowing, and unsuspecting public, to wrongfully mobilize and incite unwitting accomplices against plaintiff, and to inflict maximum harm on plaintiff and his family based on accusations they know to be false,” Leach contends in the suit.

Reached for comment, Leach, who has repeatedly denied Taylor’s accusation, said he would not discuss the case until Tuesday. He did not explain why, saying only that he promised his legal team he would be “disciplined.” His lawyer, Joseph R. Podraza Jr. of Sprague & Sprague, did not return a call seeking comment.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/news/daylin-leach-sues-cara-taylor-sexual-assault-senate-pennsylvania-20190128.html

Bill would rename Oklahoma lake from man with KKK ties

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma Senate bill would rename a lake named for a man connected to the Ku Klux Klan in Tulsa.

Lake Hudson is named for Wash Hudson, a prominent Tulsa attorney, state lawmaker and board member of the Grand River Dam Authority, which manages the lake.

Hudson, who died in 1964, was a founder of the Tulsa Benevolent Association in the 1920s, which established the KKK in the city.

GRDA spokesman John Wiscaver says the agency investigated Hudson's background after being approached by the online publication The Frontier, which first reported the proposed name change.

Read more: https://newsok.com/article/5621478/bill-would-rename-oklahoma-lake-from-man-with-kkk-ties

Beyond liberal base, some Democrats pitch to party moderates

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As the first wave of Democratic presidential candidates unveil plans for taxing wealth and universal government-provided health care, John Hickenlooper is making a narrower pitch of beer and bipartisanship.

The brewpub magnate and former Colorado governor recently swung through the early voting state of Iowa to test his theory that Democratic voters are less interested in a resistance champion than someone with a record of achieving liberal goals even with divided government.

"My whole public life is about bringing people together who are feuding and can't stand each other," Hickenlooper told a crowded house party.

It's a pitch that's part of a broader debate this week over how far Democrats should go to appeal to the base during the primary season.

Read more: https://newsok.com/article/feed/8776167/beyond-liberal-base-some-democrats-pitch-to-party-moderates

Senate Republicans want to end four-day school weeks

Senate Republicans want to end the practice of four-day school weeks, which are currently used by nearly 100 districts across Oklahoma.

"If the school can show there is an economic savings and there is no adverse impact on student achievement there will be reasonable exceptions in the bill," Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said. "Otherwise, five-day school weeks will be restored."

On Tuesday, with fellow Republican senators at his side, Treat unveiled his caucus' agenda for 2019, which included a requirement for five-day school weeks.

In recent years, dozens of school districts across the state have adopted four-day-a-week calendars to save money and recruit teachers.

Read more: https://newsok.com/article/5621526/senate-republicans-want-end-to-four-day-school-weeks

In re-election bid, Edwards to face tax scrutiny

BATON ROUGE – As he seeks re-election to a second term, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will have a delicate dance to do on taxes, one of the chief points of criticism from his Republican challengers.

When he was a candidate in 2015, the Democrat Edwards said he didn’t expect to directly raise taxes to solve the state’s financial problems. Instead, working with a majority-Republican Legislature, he did just that.

As GOP critics seize on taxes as one of Edwards’ weak points, the incumbent governor is hoping to make the case that those tax hikes steadied Louisiana’s finances, ended a near-decade-long cycle of budget gaps, and established a stronger system of budgeting.

“The days of crippling deficits are behind us. We are budgeting smarter, more honestly and finally have the stability we need, the predictability that the state has needed for a long time.” Edwards said in a recent speech.

Read more: https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/local/louisiana/2019/01/28/re-election-bid-edwards-face-tax-scrutiny/2698896002/

Louisiana appeals court: Felon mayor not permitted to take office

The man who was elected mayor of the small Louisiana town of Ball has lost another round in his effort to move into the office, stymied by recent passage of a constitutional restriction on felons in elected jobs.

A three-judge Louisiana appeals court panel late Thursday upheld a state district judge's decision that Democrat Roy Hebron cannot be seated as Ball's mayor.

Hebron overwhelmingly won the election to lead the town of 4,000 in central Louisiana, ousting previous Republican Mayor Neil Kavanagh with 56 percent of the vote in a three-man race.

But on the same November ballot as Hebron's election, voters statewide passed a constitutional amendment requiring felons to wait five years after their sentences before seeking office.

Read more: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_df766fbe-20c0-11e9-9c05-b334756712d1.html

State legislator reveals work ties to owner of nursing homes

A high-ranking Arkansas lawmaker disclosed Friday that he is working for nursing home magnate Michael Morton.

State Rep. Jeff Wardlaw, R-Hermitage, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he sold his one-third share of a "durable medical equipment" company he co-founded to Morton last month. Morton acquired 100 percent of the company, Mallard Medical Supply, and has retained Wardlaw as a managing employee, Wardlaw said.

"I didn't carry any cash home [from the sale]," Wardlaw said. "I got no cash out of it. I've got a job."

Wardlaw revealed the transaction in an interview as the newspaper was preparing an investigative article about his ties to one of Morton's business associates, David Norsworthy. Wardlaw and Norsworthy had been partners in the medical supply company, a fact previously unreported.

Read more: https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/jan/27/legislator-reveals-work-ties-to-owner-o/

Ex-Oklahoma lawmaker to pay $31,000 to settle Ethics Commission suit

OKLAHOMA CITY — A former top Oklahoma legislator has agreed to pay the state $31,000 to resolve an Oklahoma Ethics Commission lawsuit accusing him of misusing campaign funds.

The Oklahoman
reports ex-Rep. Gus Blackwell has 60 days to pay. The settlement was approved on Jan. 25.

Blackwell has already paid $10,000 in restitution to the state House to settle a criminal case over identical allegations.

The former House majority whip became a lobbyist in 2014 after term limits ended his stint in Legislature.

Read more: https://www.swtimes.com/news/20190128/ex-oklahoma-lawmaker-to-pay-31000-to-settle-ethics-commission-suit

Are the savings worth the cost? Kelly plan will take longer to pay off KPERS debt

TOPEKA -- Just a few years ago, Kansas was on the hook for more than $10 billion in unfunded future pension payments to retirees. The health of its pension system, KPERS, was among the worst in the country.

Since then Kansas has whittled its unfunded liability to less than $7 billion and moved into the middle of the pack nationally in terms of pension health. The liability is set to drop by another $1 billion over the next decade.

Now, Gov. Laura Kelly wants to refinance the system by extending the time it will take KPERS to pay off its liability.

Pension experts compare the choice facing Kansas to refinancing a home mortgage: Are the short-term savings worth the long-term costs?

Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article225079275.html

Trump incumbency has Kansas GOP considering scrapping 2020 presidential caucus

The Kansas Republican Party is poised to cancel its 2020 presidential caucus, citing high costs and the looming possibility there may be no candidates opposing President Donald Trump’s re-election bid, a top party official said Monday.

Party Chairman Kelly Arnold raised that likelihood last weekend during a national Republican meeting in New Mexico. On Monday, he said it would be hard to justify spending party dollars on a caucus with only one candidate.

The Kansas caucus doesn’t select the delegates to the Republican National Convention, where the party’s nominee will be chosen. But it does bind the state’s delegates to support particular candidates, based roughly on the percentage of rank-and-file Republicans who voted for them, Arnold said.

When the GOP doesn’t hold a caucus, most of its delegates to the national convention will be bound based on votes cast by party leaders at a state convention. A smaller number will be bound through conventions in each of the state’s four congressional districts, he said.

Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article225187345.html
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