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Posts by Cole

Accountability | Louisiana

After Jindal’s Appointment, Rispone Used Board Power To Stiff Louisiana Workers

By Cole Driver on October 17, 2019.

After being personally appointed chairman of the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council (WIC) by then-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2008, Eddie Rispone used the power of his position to usher in an apprenticeship program designed to replace trained Louisiana workers with young and unskilled labor in order to yield higher corporate profit margins.

Between 2011 and 2015, Rispone -- a wealthy businessman himself -- advocated for and passed the Louisiana Apprenticeship tax credit, which would award tax incentives for businesses that institute apprenticeship programs designed to skirt regulations preventing them from hiring cheap labor.

Accountability | Louisiana

Abraham Repeatedly Touts Support From Racists

By Cole Driver on October 7, 2019.

Louisiana Gov. Candidate and incumbent Congressman Ralph Abraham has failed to disavow support from local leaders with troubling patterns of racism, suggesting the lawmaker believes that stoking the flames of racism will benefit his politics during the final stretch of the campaign.

As recently as last week, Abraham touted support from Sabine Parish District Attorney Don Burkett, who is alleged to have intentionally dismissed African American jurors in a trial where a black man was accused of murder. According to reporting by the Sabine Index, in a January 2019 trial the defendant’s legal team alleged that Burkett stacked the deck against the defendant: only objecting to 4.35% of white jurors while striking 50% of black jurors.

Accountability | North Carolina

Alleged Military Champion Dan Forest Still Supports Border Wall Ransacking Military Families

By Cole Driver on October 1, 2019.

On Sept 25, 2019 -- the same day a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate blocked President Trump’s emergency declaration to allocate military funding towards a border wall -- North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest emphatically attempted to portray himself as a champion of military families, stating “under a Forest administration, North Carolina won’t just talk about being military friendly. We’re going to prove it.”

But to date, Forest still has not stood up for North Carolina’s military families slated to lose funding to Trump’s border wall, which critics argue is likely to do little to nothing to solve the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border. Forest has previously called a border wall a “top priority” of his campaign.

Accountability | Iowa

Ernst Has Long History of Supporting Privatization, Gambling Social Security on Wall Street

By Cole Driver on October 1, 2019.

Recent comments by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst appear to show that she is still intent on quietly slashing U.S. Social Security, bringing to light her long record of stated intent to gut the program. Just this past month, Ernst was quoted stating she wanted to negotiate Social Security changes “behind closed doors.”

Previously, in video footage captured at Wesley Acres retirement home in Sept. 2014, Ernst was caught on record stating “yes, I have talked about privatizing Social Security as an option,” breaking a key campaign promise Ernst had made to protect Social Security.

Accountability | Virginia

Amanda Chase’s Record Undermines Claims to Prioritize Education Funding

By Cole Driver on September 27, 2019.

This month, Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase uploaded flyers to her Facebook site touting the lawmaker as “Our Education Senator” in an obvious attempt to whitewash her lengthy anti-education record. Chase has a history of supporting funding cuts for public education and even once bragged about opposing pay raises for Virginia teachers.

In 2016, Chase was the only Virginia state senator to vote against a budget measure that funded a 2% increase in base pay for Virginia teachers. Chase later bragged about her vote, stating “we made all these promises to state workers and teachers to get a raise and...I voted no (laughs) against the budget. I was the one no vote in the Senate on this.”

Corruption & Secrecy | Virginia

Corruption Watch: Construction Magnate Funneled $10,000 to DeSteph after Lawmaker Attempted to Thwart Investigation Into It’s Malpractice

By Cole Driver on September 25, 2019.

According to a review by American Ledger, previously unreported campaign finance filings show that Virginia State Sen. Bill DeSteph received $10,000 in campaign contributions from construction magnate, JES Construction, after allegedly leading the charge to remove the regulatory authority disciplining the organization for inadequate business practices.

In January 2019, Virginia Mercury News reported that DeSteph sent more than a dozen emails to administrators at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR), demanding the organization drop their case against JES Construction for failing to obtain building permits and failing safety inspections. DeSteph even went as far as demanding that the DPOR direct all communications in regards to the investigation of JES Construction to his office.

Accountability

BREAKING: Newly Revealed ’97 Eugene Scalia Op-Ed Fits Pattern of Discrediting Sexual Harassment Victims

By Cole Driver on September 20, 2019.

With Trump Labor Secretary nominee Eugene Scalia set for a Senate confirmation vote on Tuesday, a previously unreported 1997 op-ed by Scalia fits a disturbing pattern of dismissive views towards workplace sexual harassment that has emerged through writings and records from his legal career.

In December 1997, Scalia penned an op-ed entitled “All kinds of sexual harassment on trial” in the Washington Times, where he argued that civil rights laws could not be used to shield victims from workplace sexual harassment.

In his argument, Scalia conjured his own highly descriptive example of two twin 16 year old brothers, both working the same summer job. One brother -- H -- was called “fag,” “queer” and another -- J --- was called “fat-boy” on the job. Scalia went as far as describing a scenario where one of the boys was threatened with rape on the job by his supervisor.

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