Florida GOP Chairman Joe Gruters cleared after probe into alleged sexual harassment

The Florida GOP hired a law firm that conducted a three-month investigation into sexual-harassment allegations involving party Chairman Joe Gruters but was “unable to substantiate the allegations and no accuser with firsthand knowledge was willing to come forward,” the party said in a statement Tuesday evening.

The statement came in response to Florida Politics first reporting about an allegation being leveled against Gruters.

An email blast to party members, first obtained by FP, confirmed that a third-party investigator was brought on by the party after a complaint from a male staffer was made.

“When the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) was informed of allegations made against Chairman Joe Gruters, the Executive Director and General Counsel immediately recused themselves from any investigation and hired a third-party independent law firm to conduct the investigation,” the email reads. “The RPOF was not involved in the investigation, did not direct the law firm, or

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Angry Political Man – Lawfare

A review of Elie Honig, “Hatchet Man: How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutor’s Code and Corrupted the Justice Department” (Harper, July 2021)

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A book sharply critical of Bill Barr’s performance as attorney general in the Trump administration presents a challenge for readers who agree with its core argument: that Barr aggressively undermined the norms that shape expectations of an attorney general and inflicted serious damage on the Department of Justice. On the one hand, it remains important to have a clear and complete record of Barr’s deeply troubling tenure, to round it out as more facts become available, and to keep it in view throughout any project of Justice Department reform. At the same time, the success of this project depends on getting beyond moral outrage to understand how Barr’s attorney-generalship went so badly off the rails. A reader who is actively sympathetic to the strong case against Barr

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Amid political crisis, Haiti appoints new prime minister | Politics News

Haiti has appointed a new prime minister, less than two weeks after President Jovenel Moise’s assassination threw the deeply divided Caribbean nation into greater political uncertainty.

Ariel Henry was sworn in during a ceremony in the capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, the same day that official commemorations were held to honour Moise.

The country’s acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph said earlier this week that he would step down “for the good of the nation” after a key group of international diplomats on Saturday came out in support of Henry and urged him to form a new government.

A 71-year-old neurosurgeon and former cabinet minister, Henry said during the ceremony that the plans to meet with various sectors of society in the coming days to build a political consensus to address the problems Haiti faces.

“It is in the context of extreme polarisation … that we must find and implement a lasting

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Branding the U.S. left: AOC makes a push into political merchandise

WASHINGTON, July 19 (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became one of America’s most prominent progressive Democrats with her calls to tax the wealthy and spend heavily to fight climate change.

Now she is investing heavily in her online store, selling T-shirts, sweatshirts and other merchandise with her name, “AOC” initials or slogans including “Tax the Rich” and “Fight for our Future,” efforts aimed at both fundraising and building the second-term lawmaker’s profile nationally.

Her campaign paid political merchandise firm Financial Innovations, which operates her online store and supplies merchandise, more than $1.4 million in the first six months of 2021, according to campaign disclosures to the Federal Election Commission late last week.

That is more than many lawmakers spent on their entire re-election efforts during the period, and nearly double her payments made over the prior two years to Financial Innovations, a Cranston, Rhode Island firm that specializes in

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Pegasus: NSO clients spying disclosures prompt political rows across world | India

Revelations about the use of spying tools sold to governments by NSO Group sparked furious political rows across the world on Monday after evidence emerged to suggest the surveillance firm’s clients may have sought to target their political opponents.

Amid growing concern over the apparent abuse of NSO’s powerful phone-hacking spyware, Pegasus, Amazon confirmed it had already cut some of its ties to the Israeli surveillance company. The stock price of Apple dipped amid worries about the privacy and security of its handsets.

NSO claims its surveillance tools are sold to carefully vetted government clients who are only permitted to use them for legitimate investigations into crime and terrorism. However, the Pegasus project, a consortium of media including the Guardian, revealed that:

Quick Guide

What is in the Pegasus project data?

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What is in the data leak?

The data leak is a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers

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Pedro Castillo Is Declared President-Elect of Peru

LIMA, Peru — His parents were peasant farmers who never learned to read. As a child, he walked hours to school, before becoming a teacher himself. Then, two months ago, he burst onto Peru’s national political scene as an anti-establishment candidate with a captivating call to the ballot box: “No more poor people in a rich country.”

And on Monday night, more than a month since the second round of the presidential election, officials declared Pedro Castillo, 51, the next president of Peru. In a very close vote, he defeated Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of a right-wing former president and herself a towering symbol of the Peruvian elite.

Mr. Castillo’s victory, however narrow the margin, is the clearest repudiation of the country’s establishment in 30 years. It was also the third straight loss for Ms. Fujimori.

Mr. Castillo, a socialist, will become Peru’s first left-wing president in more than a

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Pence flatlines as 2024 field takes shape

Many Iowa Republicans had seen the results of the most recent Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, released just days earlier, in which Pence flatlined, drawing no more than 1 percent support. Before that, they’d watched the video of Pence getting heckled and called a “traitor” at a major gathering of conservatives in Florida last month.

“I don’t imagine he’d have a whole lot of support,” said Raymond Harre, vice chair of the GOP in eastern Iowa’s Scott County. “There are some Trump supporters who think he’s the Antichrist.”

Harre said Pence “did a good job as vice president,” and he called the vitriol directed at him “kind of nutty.” Still, he said, “I don’t see him overcoming the negatives.”

Six months after he left the vice presidency, that is the prevailing view at the grassroots and among the GOP political class. By most accounts, both here and nationally, Pence

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How Nick Sacco uses politics to get rich | Moran

Sen. Nick Sacco has built a political fortress in Hudson County, and he knows that no one can dethrone him after three decades in power.

So why not take advantage? Why not cast aside all shame and grab as much money as you can, pushing the legal boundaries to the limit?

Sacco just cashed in his chips, taking $270,000 in unused sick time, on top of his $220,000 pension. He’s 74 now, and for decades he’s been engorging himself with three public salaries that brought him over $300,000 in combined pay at his peak – as mayor in North Bergen, as senator in District 32, and as a senior administrator in the public school system, the one job he finally quit.

The superintendent of schools in North Bergen, George Solter, who was in theory Sacco’s boss at the school job, says that Sacco’s plunder in North Bergen is all by

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Husband’s anger over my politics goes too far

DEAR ABBY: My husband of 20 years constantly blames everything on the political party I lean toward. He tries his best to say hurtful things about them and lure me into a fight.

Jeanne Phillips 

I try to ignore it, but it’s starting to wear on me, and our kids hear his rants as well.

He has a lot of hateful feelings. He refuses to get counseling and is getting worse. I would appreciate any advice that you would be willing to give.

MISMATCHED IN TEXAS

DEAR MISMATCHED: Draw the line. Tell your husband you will no longer tolerate being the target of his verbal abuse. If he can’t calmly discuss your differences — political or otherwise — you do not want them discussed, particularly in front of the children.

Offer him the “option” of counseling because it appears he has an anger problem he’s projecting onto you. But if

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The Political Implications of White Evangelical Decline

Render unto Trump?
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute shows white Evangelicals last year experienced “the most precipitous drop in affiliation” among American religious groups since 2006, shrinking from 23 percent of Americans that year to 14 percent in 2020. Their mainline Protestant peers, however, have enjoyed something of a resurgence, picking up members as Evangelical numbers declined.

There are inescapable political implications to any religious trend, and the fortunes of white Evangelicalism are no different. In particular, they present potential problems for the GOP, which still relies on white Evangelicals as a key portion of its base.

Among Republicans, two-thirds identify as white Christians of some persuasion, according to PRRI, with 29 percent identifying as white Evangelicals specifically, a decline from previous years that reflects the general downward slope of white Evangelical affiliation. People who identify themselves as white Evangelicals remain highly

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