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Posts by Cole

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.

Accountability | Kentucky

Bevin Donors Score Sweetheart Deal to Protect Nursing Home Group from Sexual Abuse Allegations

By Cole Driver on September 19, 2019.

Over the course of four years, employees and family members connected to the Forcht Group -- a notorious retirement and financial conglomerate in Kentucky, riddled with a history of sexual abuse lawsuits -- donated over $37,000 to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin as he ushered a bill into law designed to shield organizations like the Forcht Group from legal peril.

Between 2006 and 2011, the Forcht Group paid out hundreds of thousands in a litany of malpractice and sexual abuse lawsuits alleged against one of the organization’s healthcare facilities, including one case in 2009 where two male residents sexually abused an elderly widow, and Alzheimer's patient, in her 80s.

Accountability | Virginia

GOP Virginia Delegate Glenn Davis Dismisses Limiting High-Capacity Magazines as a “False Solution”

By Cole Driver on September 18, 2019.

In new audio from yesterday, GOP Virginia Delegate Glenn Davis stated on the John Fredericks radio show that he will not support legislation limiting the amount of ammunition in high-capacity gun magazines, calling it a “false solution.”

“The problem with -- looking at the magazines -- it's.. I guess a false solution,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of things that can make a difference. The number of rounds in a magazine is not one of them.”

Economy | Florida

Trump’s Tax Cuts Boost Corporate Profits While Spurring Layoffs in St. Lucie County

By Cole Driver on September 18, 2019.

President Trump’s marquee policy achievement, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, appears to be primarily benefiting giant, multinational corporations, and ransacking communities across America, like St. Lucie County, Florida, which has experienced a staggering rise of layoffs since the bill’s passage in 2017.

In 2017, 263 employees of Liberty Medical -- once the largest private employer in Port St. Lucie -- were laid off as part of a deal to liquidate its assets. And in the aftermath of Trump’s tax cut, Liberty Medical was acquired by Cardinal Health, a mammoth multinational healthcare corporation and 14th highest revenue generating company in the United States. Cardinal Health proceeded to report an increase of $2.6 billion in revenue due to Trump’s tax bill while having laid off the former Liberty Medical employees in St. Lucie.

Accountability | Florida

Trump Turns Back On Red Tide Crisis in Pinellas County

By Cole Driver on September 18, 2019.

Red tide – the excessive growth of microscopic algae called Karenia brevis that is toxic in large concentrations – crashed into Pinellas County last year, leaving hundreds of tons of sea life dead and the local economy struggling.

And instead of working to protect the beaches of Pinellas County -- a key swing region that voted for President Trump by just 5,500 votes in 2016 – Trump has pursued policies that could make the problem even worse in the years to come.

Accountability | Florida

Thousands In Monroe County Could Lose Health Insurance From Trump Endorsed Lawsuit

By Cole Driver on September 18, 2019.

If successful, an ongoing lawsuit winding its way through a federal appeals court -- and greenlit by the Trump Administration -- could rip apart the entire Affordable Care Act, potentially leaving millions of Americans without health care at all.

That includes thousands of Monroe County, Florida, residents who rely on the Affordable Care Act to help foot the heightened costs of health care expenses that have steadily risen under President Trump’s first term.

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