Iowa Dem withdraws from gubernatorial primary over sexual harassment allegations

One person lost a chance at a job today over sexual harassment allegations, and it wasn’t Morgan Freeman. A day after the Des Moines Register reported that three women had accused state senator Nate Boulton of sexual harassment, the Democrat announced he would drop out of his party’s primary for governor:

A popular Democratic candidate dropped out of Iowa’s crowded race for governor on Thursday, one day after an Iowa newspaper reported three women had accused him of sexual misconduct.

Nate Boulton, a Des Moines attorney and state senator, announced his exit from the campaign in an emailed statement that alluded to the accusations reported Wednesday in The Des Moines Register.

“These last 48 hours have been trying. I again offer an apology to those whom I have harmed in any way. It is my hope there is some positive that can come from this moment as we strive to be the better people we can be in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. I know that will be my task moving on from here.”

Boulton may be popular, but he was far off the pace in the Democratic primaries. The Register’s poll earlier this month put him eleven points behind retired businessman Fred Hubbell in second place, 31/20, while a poll from KBUR put Hubbell up 26 points at 46/20. It would have taken a miracle for Boulton to win the June 5th primary at this pace, and Boulton just got the opposite of it.

So what were the allegations? Only one was recent, from an incident in 2015; the other two allegations came from Boulton’s time in law school. They do share a similar modus operandi, though:

One woman told the Des Moines Register that Boulton, now 38, repeatedly grabbed her buttocks at a bar in 2015. Two others told the Register that when Boulton was in law school more than a decade ago, he rubbed his clothed crotch against them, pressing his erect penis into their thighs.

Boulton’s response to the allegations foreshadowed his withdrawal:

“I don’t have the same recollection,” he told the Register. “But I am not going to offer any additional context to this, other than to say if someone’s perspective is that it was inappropriate and I crossed a line and I misread a situation in a social setting, I do apologize.”

He declined to comment on or discuss the specific incidents, saying, “I think if I add context it quickly becomes victim-blaming, and I don’t want to go down that path.”

Er … isn’t that a tacit admission that there are victims? If Boulton didn’t do these things, then the obvious response is … “I didn’t do those things.” If you start off by attempting to “add context,” or even suggest that there is context to add to buttock-grabbing, then you’ve pretty much given up the case. With that statement, and with his distant status in the primary, all that was left was the spending-more-time-with-my-family announcement.

This probably doesn’t change much for the gubernatorial race. Hubbell was set to win the nomination anyway, and the few head-to-head polls against Republican governor Kim Reynolds showed the incumbent with similar and narrow polling leads over both. Reynolds isn’t facing a primary challenge, so she’s conserving her resources for the general election. With this scandal rocking Iowa Democrats — and likely to follow Boulton back to the state senate — Reynolds might get a momentary boost, but it might also burnish Hubbell’s status as an outsider, too. Still, now that sexual harassment has become a specific issue in the race, it will be difficult for Hubbell to argue against having a woman remain in the office … and don’t think Reynolds won’t find ways to remind Iowans of that, too.

The post Iowa Dem withdraws from gubernatorial primary over sexual harassment allegations appeared first on Hot Air.

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Host Kelly Clarkson refused to open music awards with moment of silence. Why she defied the orders.

Kelly Clarkson, a native Texan, became emotional Sunday night as she opened up the Billboard Music Awards, paying tribute to the 10 lives lost last week at Santa Fe High School in her home state.

Without getting political, Clarkson declined to call for the prerequisite “moment of silence” for the victims and their families, as she was asked to do, to instead call for a “moment of action” — nonetheless, the liberal media interpreted the appeal as a call for gun control.

“Before we start tonight’s show, there’s something I’d like to say — this is gonna be so hard — about the tragedy Friday at Sante Fe High School,” Clarkson said. “I’m a Texas girl and my home state has had so much heartbreak over this past year. And once again, y’all, we’re grieving for more kids that have died for just an absolute, no reason at all.”

Choking back tears and struggling to find the words, the popular recording artist said the show asked her to do a moment of silence.

“Tonight they wanted me to say that, obviously we want to pray for all the victims, you want to pray for their families,” Clarkson said. “But they also wanted me to do a moment of silence and I’m so sick of moment of silence.”

“Like it’s not working,” she said, as tears began to fall. “Why don’t we not do one of silence, why don’t we do a moment of action? Why don’t we do moment of change, why don’t we change what’s happening because it’s horrible.”

Clarkson, who told NPR in 2012 she’s a gun owner and that she slept with a Colt .45, didn’t define the change she was calling for and didn’t mention restricting access to guns — she told NPR that she owned nine guns.

The “American Idol” star said “mommas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theaters, to clubs — you should be able to live your life without that kind of fear.”

“We need to do better,” Clarkson said.

“I can’t imagine — I have 4 children — I cannot imagine getting that phone call or that knock on the door,” she said through tears, before adding that she’ll respect and honor the victims by calling for a moment of change, asking people to get involved in finding a solution.

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Frontier Airlines passenger punches deaf, pregnant woman and her service dog aboard plane

A deaf, pregnant woman and her service dog were punched by a 59-year-old man Friday as a Frontier jet landed in Orlando on Friday, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

What happened?

Police said Timothy Manley was travelling from Colorado Springs, Colo., along with his wife Petrini Manley, 56, and Joshua Manley, 27, all from Gainesville, Florida. The wife complained about being allergic to dogs as the plane descended and then taxied to a gate at Orlando International Airport. The service dog, a Great Dane, then woke up.

Manley then punched the service dog, Zariel. The dog yelped, shook his head, and hid near a seat, according to the report. Manley told police the service dog “took up more space than [he] felt it deserved.”

The 21-year-old woman and her 30-year-old partner, who is also deaf, tried to yell at Manley, the report indicated. Manley then got into the man’s face and punched the woman, who is about 20 weeks pregnant.

Manley continued his obnoxious, entitled behavior, telling police “It took you all long enough to get here,” after two officers arrived, according to the report.

The 30-year-old man tackled Timothy Manley and held him down until police arrived. All people involved in the outburst declined medical treatment, according to the report.

Any criminal charges?

The woman said she plans to prosecute and is willing to testify in court.

Because the altercation happened on a plane, the incident was handed over to the FBI, which is investigating, Michelle Guido, a Orlando Police Department spokeswoman, told the Sentinel.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are defined as animals individually trained to work or perform tasks for someone with a disability. Under the act, emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are not considered service animals.

Businesses are required to make reasonable accommodations for people with service dogs, the law states.

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Pregnant woman and service dog punched on Frontier flight in Orlando

A 59-year-old man punched a deaf pregnant woman and her service dog inside a Frontier flight upon landing in Orlando on Friday, Orlando Police said.

According to a police report, Timothy Manley was traveling from Colorado Springs, Colo., along with his wife, Petrini Manley, 56, and Joshua Manley, 27, all from Gainesville.

Petrini Manley complained of being allergic to dogs as the plane descended and was being taxied to the gate at the Orlando International Airport. The service animal, a Great Dane, woke up and Timothy Manley told police the dog “took up more space than (he) felt it deserved.”

Timothy Manley punched the service dog, Zariel, and caused it to yelp. Zariel shook her head and hid under a seat, according to the police report.

The 21-year-old woman and her 30-year-old partner, who is also deaf, tried to yell at Timothy Manley as best as they could, the report indicates.

Police said Timothy Manley then got into the man’s face and punched the woman, who is about 20 weeks pregnant.

Two officers arrived at the scene of the scuffle as Timothy Manley passed by them, saying “It took you all long enough to get here,” according to the report.

The 30-year-old man said he tackled Timothy Manley until police arrived. All the people involved declined medical treatment, but the woman said she wants to prosecute and is willing to testify on court.

Orlando Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Guido said the incident report has been handed over to the FBI, which is handling the investigation since the altercation happened on the plane.


© 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Universal basic income would undermine the success of our safety net – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

The American safety net is not perfect – not by a long shot – but it does a good job of ensuring that low-income Americans have enough support to meet their basic needs. The data are clear about that: Consumption poverty, which measures the wellbeing of the poor after accounting for safety net assistance provided by the government, declined to an all-time low of 3 percent in 2016. Thanks to a good economy and strong public assistance programs, very few Americans live in deprivation.

Universal Basic Income (UBI) would be an unaffordable way to undermine our social safety net’s successes. UBI would transfer money away from those who need it most, change the distinctly American relationship between citizen and government, and sharply raise taxes or the national debt (or both). And critically, it would fail to improve upon our current safety net’s biggest weakness: UBI would destroy – not improve – incentives to work.

The first problem is the money. A truly universal payment of $10,000 to every citizen every year adds up to a new expense of about $3 trillion, well more than we spend on our social safety net now, and close to the entirety of the tax revenue currently collected by the federal government.

If any element of the current safety net is going to be preserved, taxes will have to be raised dramatically, beyond what is politically plausible or economically desirable, or the U.S. would have to borrow even more money than we already do. Proponents of UBI should have to answer: what social programs will be cut to make room for their proposal?

Some of the money needed to pay for UBI would have to come from the middle- and lower-middle classes, either in reduced benefits or increased taxes, and they would then see some of their money transferred up to wealthier recipients of UBI. Money that would have been spent on programs for people in the lowest income quintiles would now be distributed universally, including to the uppermost income quintiles. This does not sound much like an anti-poverty program.

As for those not among the high earners, UBI would surely illustrate a basic law of economics and negatively affect the incentive to work and produce. One thing I saw clearly in my 19 years of working in safety net programs in New York was that when benefits rose, work and earnings declined. And in the major study of UBI-like programs provided in Seattle and Denver, substantial, unconditional payments were found to cause a near 14 percent decline in labor force participation, and a 27 percent reduction in hours worked by women. That’s a labor force drop-off greater than the difference between the highest participation rate we’ve ever seen in this country and the lowest.

That doesn’t only mean people will be less driven than ever to earn their way out of poverty. Less work also means fewer “feelings of citizenship and social inclusion,” worse mental health and feelings of wellbeing, less happiness, worse self-esteem, even worse health among children, more crime, and way more drug abuse. The benefits of working are vast and well-documented, and anti-poverty programs should encourage work – not discourage it.

UBI would also be an upheaval of the American relationship between citizen and state. American government was never meant to be a provider for all, and citizens never meant to rely on publicly-funded distributions. Under our Constitution, government is enlisted to protect our freedoms, not to provide for each and every citizen.

In considering UBI, we need to be conscious of what it means for an individual to be financially independent, and how industrious, independent individuals have been the drivers of American ingenuity and progress. Americans who grow dependent upon the generosity of the state become its wards, and making them so will risk forfeiting what has made America the prosperous nation it is.

There are other, far more effective ways to improve incomes and outcomes for poor and working-class Americans. Wage subsidies can ensure that working parents have more financial flexibility to support their families.

If we are worried about the automation revolution making current jobs obsolete, we should focus on teaching soft skills and technological skills to low-skill workers and to people who do not attend college. Career and technical education provides many opportunities to prepare for a future in which understanding new technologies will be a paramount skill, and public policymakers could focus on ensuring that low-income people are properly supported as they gain the knowledge necessary to enter or reenter the workforce.

The bottom line is that UBI gives up on work – with all the positive secondary effects work brings – in favor of an unaffordable overhaul of our current social safety net programs. We are not, and should not be, prepared to sacrifice our longstanding commitment to adapting to new circumstances and equipping people with new skills for a new economy. Without answers as to how we can pay for UBI, how it can avoid the pitfalls of a further shrinking labor force, and how we can maintain our distinctly American freedom, the UBI is a risk we cannot take.

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