WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is returning to the campaign trail with big-stage events targeting vulnerable Senate Democrats and mobilizing his most fervent supporters on behalf of Republicans, after primaries this week that saw GOP congressmen lose in key races.
Trump plans to take the stage in Elkhart, Indiana, on Thursday night (May 10), two days after Republicans nominated former state lawmaker Mike Braun to challenge vulnerable Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly. Trump’s political advisers view the event as a way to project party unity following a bruising primary. Vice President Mike Pence, the state’s former governor, is expected to join Trump.
Trump was certain to hail the return of three Americans who had been held captive in North Korea. Trump greeted the men during an overnight celebration and later announced plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
The Indiana rally comes as the president has told advisers he is eager to ramp up his campaign travel on behalf of Republicans.
The president, who helped raise $132 million for the Republican National Committee in 2016, won 10 states where Democratic senators are on the ballot this year. He’s expected to campaign heavily to help Republicans maintain Senate and House majorities and elect GOP governors.
“The president takes his role as leader of the Republican Party very seriously, and after more than a year in office, he understands too few Democrats are willing to join hands across party lines to support issues that the American people resoundingly called for,” said White House political director Bill Stepien. “The president’s calendar is mapped out with his political priorities in mind.”
Trump’s bold strokes on the foreign stage come while he is dogged by the special counsel’s ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and developments about his personal attorney’s payments to a porn actress, allowing him to frame the campaign debate, specifically Donnelly’s “no” vote on last year’s tax overhaul.
Trump’s political advisers chose to hold the rally in the heart of Donnelly’s political base. Before his 2012 election, the senator represented a House district that included Elkhart.
The city, home to manufacturing jobs and the recreational vehicle industry, was also paid a visit by President Barack Obama in 2009 when the region was suffering from unemployment rates surpassing 19 percent. Obama returned to Elkhart in 2016 to point to economic progress, but Trump carried the county and much of the region overwhelmingly that year.
The rally comes on the heels of bruising defeats this week for Republican incumbents: Two Indiana congressmen making a bid for a U.S. Senate seat lost to Braun, a North Carolina congressman lost to a pastor and a third incumbent lost in a contested Senate primary in West Virginia.
Ahead of the rally, Donnelly’s campaign said the senator had voted with Trump 62 percent of the time “because he works for Hoosiers, not any politician or political party.”
The Indiana rally will be Trump’s fourth political-style event in the past two weeks. Trump skipped the White House Correspondents’ Dinner late last month to rally supporters in Macomb County, Michigan.
His speech last week to the National Rifle Association in Dallas put him before thousands of gun-rights activists who actively backed his campaign. And last Saturday, Trump was in Ohio, long the key electoral piece for any GOP presidential hopeful.
During the event in Cleveland, Trump was joined by Rep. Jim Renacci, who won the Republican Senate nomination on Tuesday with the president’s endorsement. Trump said Renacci’s opponent, Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, “does not think the way we think … when it comes to borders, when it comes to so much,” delivering a message that Republicans hope to hear frequently.
“If President Trump is willing to go out and define some of these opponents, it’s extremely helpful to those campaigns,” said Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign aide. “He’ll deliver the negative messages, they can deliver the positive.”
Ahead of West Virginia’s U.S. Senate primary, Trump tweeted that Republican candidate Don Blankenship couldn’t win the November election against Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a top GOP target.
Advisers said the president was pleased that Republicans nominated Attorney General Pat Morrissey, considered a stronger challenger against Manchin.
“In West Virginia, his one tweet single-handedly swung the dynamics of a race,” Stepien said.
Stepien said Trump would engage in a similar way in future races “if he feels particularly strongly about a race or feels a particular connection to a candidate” but added that would happen less often.
A key to Trump’s message will be energizing low-propensity Republican voters in 2018, many of whom turned out for the first time in years to vote for him.
As he travels the country, Trump will face the question of whether his appeal is transferable to down-ballot candidates, much in the way that Obama struggled to rally core Democrats when he wasn’t running himself.
Obama suffered broad losses in Congress and in statehouses during the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, an outcome Trump hopes to avoid.
Appearing at a Cabinet meeting, Trump said that Tuesday ended up being “a very big night for the Republican Party” in primaries in West Virginia, Ohio and elsewhere.
“Every candidate that we wanted won, and they did very well,” Trump said Wednesday. “There was tremendous enthusiasm.”
On Twitter follow Ken Thomas at https://twitter.com/KThomasDC
Pence wins in Indiana
“The NRCC congratulates Greg Pence on receiving the Republican nomination for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District. Hoosiers can rest assured they will have a true advocate with real world business experience fighting for them in Congress. We are looking forward to seeing him elected to Congress in November.” – Maddie Anderson, NRCC Spokeswoman
Pence is brother of VP Mike Pence.
Supreme Court’s Expected Janus Decision Would Harm Economy, Study Shows
By Illinois Economic Policy Institute
Janus ruling could affect wages for 5 million workers and shrink U.S. economy by up to $33 billion
Chicago, IL: The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Council 31 could have devastating effects on paychecks and the national economy, according to a new study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The Janus case is a challenge to an Illinois state law—supported by a 41-year Supreme Court precedent—that requires public sector workers represented by unions to pay fees (called “fair share fees”) that help cover the cost of the collective bargaining services that they receive from the union. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have “fair share” laws on the books that affect more than five million teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, and other public sector workers.
Many are already bracing for the Court to strike down these fee requirements, which would significantly weaken unions by requiring them to represent workers for free.
“Twenty-seven U.S. states have already imposed the so-called ‘right to work’ regulations on public sector employees that could be nationalized by the Janus case,” said study co-author and ILEPI Policy Director Frank Manzo IV. “Those rules have already resulted in lower wages and weaker economies, so the data shows that their expansion could have extremely negative consequences for workers and the nation as a whole.”
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census data and regression analyses to control for observable economic factors, the study concludes that imposing “right-to-work” in the public sector would have the following impacts:
Declines in Union Membership: The U.S. labor movement would lose 726,000 dues-paying members from the public sector, resulting in weakened collective bargaining power.
Declines in Wages: With weaker unions, public sector workers would see an average wage cut of $1,810 per year. Annual wages for state and local government employees would drop by an average of 3.6% and annual wages for public school teachers would drop by an average of 5.4%.
A Shrinking Economy: The wage cuts would have a negative effect on consumer spending that would ripple across the economy, reducing output by as much as $33 billion. Even if public sector labor cost savings are redirected into tax cuts, Janus would still contract the economy by at least $11 billion.
Researchers note that Janus would have the biggest economic impact in the nation’s largest states—including California, New York, and Illinois. African Americans would be disproportionately impacted because they are more likely to work in state and local government and are more likely to be union members.
“There is a clear link between rates of public sector unionization, wages, and the strength of America’s middle class,” Manzo added. “The evidence unambiguously shows that so-called ‘right to work’ regulations erode all three.”
Beyond the immediate effects on unions and the economy, researchers also point to the effect that declining wages could have on the public service occupations that once served as ladders into the American middle class.
“With public school teachers marching on state capitols to address already low wages and difficult working conditions, it’s hard to overstate the potential impact of a Janus ruling that further weakens public sector collective bargaining,” added University of Illinois Professor and Project for Middle Class Renewal Director Dr. Robert Bruno. “A decision that invalidates four decades of Supreme Court precedent on fair share fees would not only erode the livelihoods of five million public sector workers and shrink the economy, it would make it harder to recruit top talent to become teachers or perform other vital public services.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in the Janus case sometime this summer.
The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) is a nonprofit organization which uses advanced statistics, reliable surveying techniques, and the latest forecasting models to develop timely and dynamic analysis of policy issues affecting the Illinois economy.
The Project for Middle Class Renewal (PMCR) at the University of Illinois investigates the working conditions of workers in today’s economy and elevates public discourse on issues affecting workers with research, analysis and education in order to develop and propose public policies that will reduce poverty, provide forms of representation to all workers, prevent gender, race, and LGBTQ+ discrimination, create more stable forms of employment, and promote middle-class jobs.
Brown looks to increase student safety with bipartisan bus safety bill
Legislation would increase penalties for drivers who ignore stopped school buses
COLUMBUS— State Rep. Richard D. Brown (D-Canal Winchester) today introduced bipartisan legislation with Rep. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) to deter drivers from recklessly passing school buses while they load and unload students. Each year, 17,000 students are involved in school bus-related injuries and of those, 24 percent happen while students are getting on or off the bus. In Ohio, Reynoldsburg schools have seen an uptick of incidents involving reckless drivers and stopped school buses.
“Our children are our future and their safety should be our top priority,” said Brown. “Unfortunately, getting on and off the school bus in Ohio can still be dangerous. By putting tougher standards in place, I am hopeful we can bring greater awareness to safe driving practices that keep our kids out of harm’s way.”
Under Ohio law, reckless drivers currently face a $500 fine and a class-seven suspension for passing a stopped school bus, with no increased penalty for a second offense. The bill would put Ohio on par with other Midwestern states, allowing judges to impose a $1000 fine, and/or a class-five suspension of the violator’s license for any additional offense during five years.
“This common sense bill would act as an effective deterrent to offenders,” said Scherer. “Violating this law once is bad enough, but two or more times warrants higher penalties.”
Suspected Operatives of National Anti-Teacher Group Enter Ohio Schools Under False Pretenses
Police respond to emergency situation at Lordstown High School
Similar intrusions reported in school buildings and teachers union offices across the state, from Georgetown to Cleveland and Lordstown to Cincinnati
By American Federation of Teachers
In Northeast Ohio an intruder entered Lordstown High School lying about her identity and why she was there, and falsely reporting that a teacher in the district had had an inappropriate physical altercation with a student. Based on the nature of her presence there and the intruder’s shifting story, the teachers speaking with her became concerned for the safety of their students and called the principal and school resource officer. When asked for identification, the woman fled the building but teachers were able to get a license plate number and alert the authorities, who later pulled the intruder over. The Ohio Federation of Teachers, which represents teachers at the school, suspects the April 25 attack was a sting carried out by national right-wing group Project Veritas, which is known for entering union offices in an attempt to record members, and then releasing highly edited, doctored footage of the encounter to attack public schools and teachers. In this alleged incident, the driver of the intruder’s car appears to be a known Project Veritas operative, and the false claims made by the intruder match identical attacks that have been occurring nationwide.
A known operative of the group also seems to have entered a Georgetown school in southern Ohio with the same fraudulent story, lying about who she was and why she was there, and refusing to identify herself. Georgetown and Lordstown are a 4.5 hour drive apart. Under similarly false pretenses, operatives also apparently entered a career center in northwest Ohio staffed by members of OFT’s Vanguard-Sentinel local union. OFT is gathering similarly concerning stories from our members across Ohio.
“These intruders had no business entering school buildings to traumatize our educators who feared these people were there to harm students. This is an overreach and abuse by this group. These tactics demonstrate the damage, danger and fear that they are willing to create — and now they are doing it in our school buildings,” said Melissa Cropper, president of the OFT.
Operatives also interacted with people at the Cleveland Teachers Union, Cleveland Heights Teachers Union and Cincinnati Federation of Teachers offices under similarly false pretenses. The week prior, calls were made by these suspected intruders to a school in New Lebanon.
“It is unconscionable in this day and age of violent attacks on schools that these intruders would enter a school building under false pretenses in close proximity to students with fake stories of student abuse, traumatizing teachers and administrators who feared for the safety of their students,” said Melissa Cropper, president of the OFT.
These are just the attacks the union has learned about to date. Information from school buildings and teachers union offices continues to come in as our teachers piece together an understanding that they were potentially targets of an orchestrated Project Vertitas attack. The American Federation of Teachers, OFT’s national union, released a statement detailing other suspected intrusions around the country.
The Lordstown incident, however, marks an escalation of Project Veritas associated operatives entering school property with a fake story of student abuse. Project Veritas was investigated by the police in 2016 when its President James O’Keefe entered a school property using a fake identity and filmed elementary school students and their teachers at an assembly. Project Veritas associated operative Marisa Jorge, who was a part of the recent wave of Project Veritas attacks in Ohio, is facing a federal lawsuit for her role in infiltrating teacher union offices in Michigan under false pretenses, including visiting classrooms with students in attendance.
“Intruders knowingly entering our schools under false pretenses disrupts teaching and learning and could pose a danger to our students and staff”,” Cropper said. “These dangerous, political tactics have no business in our school hallways and they do nothing to improve education or safety for our students.”
Project Veritas has a long history of creating false narratives using doctored videos and refusing to allow the unedited footage to be viewed. AFT has evidence of suspected intrusions on other local offices and schools around the country as well, including New York, Michigan and New Mexico. Reports of suspicious activity are filtering in from affiliates daily, and the union is ready and willing to consider all available legal action to protect its members and students.
“This is an attack on our students, our schools, and our teachers. Schools should be safe sanctuaries of teaching and learning, not partisan political battlegrounds for undercover operatives to carry out stings against teachers unions on school property. The latest suspected intrusions go way too far,” Cropper said.
United Bail of America Responds to Koch Brothers and Google Bail Reform Partnership
The recent announcement by Google to support the actions of those who break the law over those that are victims of such predators is just another example of the moral and ethical failings of the American society.
Professionals in any industry should be concerned about major companies getting involved in politics. Is Google concerned about the welfare of the law-abiding taxpayers, or those who commit unlawful acts against the norms of society? Did they team with the notorious billionaires to gain more wealth by embracing part of the paid “risk assessment” computer algorithm movement? The only people who will be hurt in this new era of unaccountable bail releases is the victim of crimes and the working taxpayer.
Google has not pulled its ads for pharmaceutical companies, alcohol distributors, tobacco companies, dollar stores, even Walmart – and the list goes on.
The poor who have broken the law were not arrested for being poor. They were arrested for an action they took. The defendant will have a bond hearing usually within a 24-hour time period at which time a judge will make a decision based on facts on whether or not to detain the accused.
The premise of the indigent being jailed for the lack of funds is a fallacy that was addressed by the Manhattan Bail Project in the 1960’s. The federal government and states at that time added protections for these accused in the implementation of codes and even state constitutional changes. The bail industry was actually developed to help the poor by allowing them the opportunity to pay a small portion of the aggregate bail amount.
The bail bondsman does not have any say in who is released without having to post bail or the amount the court determines is adequate to guarantee the safety to the community and risk of flight. Bail bondsman have allowed non-interest payment agreements to those who cannot afford the standard 10% to once again protect the poor from lengthy jail stays. The bail bondsman does, however, consider a risk assessment of each defendant prior to placing themselves responsible to absorb the financial loss. The bail bondsman will require the defendant to have a stable address, family support and ties to the community. They will weigh drug or alcohol addictions, mental illness, criminal history, prior convictions, violent crimes and appearance history.
Bail bondsmen are backed by surety companies and they stand to lose everything. Pre-trial advocates are thrilled if they have an 85-90% success rate of defendants appearing in court. To turn any profit, the bail bondsman must have no less than a 96% percent success rate or they will become insolvent.
The bail industry serves as a valuable tool in the criminal justice system protecting the court, public and the defendant alike. Studies have shown without the aid of the bail bondsman, the number of defendants who fail to appear at scheduled court dates can increase by 40% or more.
America was found on free enterprise, and yes – even Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, hedge fund brokers, attorneys, rappers and athletes go to work for compensation and profit. None of which worry about if the poor can afford their service or price of admission! We are a great nation because we can strive to be or do the best that is within us. We have all been provided choices and as a society must treat the addiction and inherited behavior but not at the taxpayers’ expense. The bail bondsman should not be ridiculed but praised for the service they provide. The attempt to disgrace and alienate an industry without all of the facts is reckless.
Transparency of pretrial services administered and paid for by federal grant programs is a step in the right direction
CHARLESTON, SC, MAY 10, 2018—United Bail of America (UBA) applauds the passing of H.R. 2152, commonly referred to as the “Citizens’ Right to Know Act,” by the House of Representatives on May 9, 2018 as step in the right direction to reasonable bail reform.
The bill, passed by a 221-197 majority, will require states using funds provided by the Department of Justice for pretrial services to submit certain information annually about participating defendants to the Attorney General.
The new legislation requires states to report:
- The names and criminal histories of defendants taking part in the program
- Previous times defendants in the program failed to make an appearance
- The amount of funding allocated and used by the program in a given fiscal year
UBA agents, who also preform pretrial services, applaud the act as a commonsense oversight. Prior to this legislation, administrators had no ability to determine the effectiveness of federal pretrial release programs and taxpayers had no ability to hold the program accountable for questionable results. Unfortunately, this lack of transparency and accountability led many repeat offenders to get out of jail on taxpayer dollars. Additionally, in some areas where pretrial services have been completely taken over by federal or state-funded programs, failure to appear rates have risen nearly 40 percent.
“The passing of H.R. 2152 is a step in the right direction to create safer, more transparent and more efficient government-funded bail programs,” said Don Mescia, executive director of UBA. “Even so, private surety agents are still able to offer a series of pretrial services to defendants at a lower cost than government-funded programs can provide—counsel on the conditions of bond, help finding employment, relocation, additional counseling, drug testing, office and home visits and review of defendant conduct while on bail. Personal interviews with potential clients that don’t depend on clouded and often inaccurate algorithms ensure our agents have a personal financial interest in the successful appearance of their client unlike bodiless government agencies, ultimately keeping our communities safer.”
H.R. 2152 will have to be considered by the Senate before becoming an actionable law.
About United Bail of America
The purpose of United Bail of America, LLC. is to allow Palmetto agents to be more informed in our changing and growing industry and to provide every agent with a voice and forum to be heard. We work to build national favorable regulations and legislation and to monitor issues impacting our profession.
To learn more about United Bail of America visit: https://unitedbailofamerica.org.
About Palmetto Surety Corporation
Palmetto Surety Corporation is a South Carolina based company, founded in 2003, specializing in Surety Bonding. Palmetto Surety is currently producing bonds in states throughout the southeast. Our vision is to create a straightforward process system that streamlines the production of surety bonds to our clients and agencies. Palmetto Surety strives to advance the surety bond industry through exemplary customer service, professionalism, and integrity.
To learn more about Palmetto Surety Corporation visit: http://www.palmettosurety.net.