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Georgia’s Special Election Narrows in Controversial Runoff



Political Editor, LeNora Millen

Tuesday’s special election runoff between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District will go down to the wire with a tight finish.  Ossoff has a slight lead according to the polls—but that narrow lead for the Democratic candidate could shift.

An Ossoff  win in the controversial election, would take a Republican district held by Republicans since the 1970s.

The stakes are high for both candidates hoping to fill the seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Jon Ossoff’s win would mean that Democrats opposing President Trump were energetic enough to run victory laps over the decades old Republican strong-hold within a conservative-leaning district.

Republican candidate Karen Handel and Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff prepare for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election debate at WSB-TV studios in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. June 6, 2017

Newcomer Jon Ossoff labeled by both Republican and Democrats as the “Young Democrat” envisioned ways to heighten concerns and dissatisfaction for President Donald Trump.  Trump won the very affluent, suburban district by only one percentage point in last year’s presidential election.

Ossoff’s approach to winning the election culminated into a strategy of shifting his focus toward Republican rival Karen Handel, a former secretary of state who asserted Trump’s presidency was not related to the local issue.

“This race is not about what’s going on around the rest of the country—it is about you,” she told supporters on Monday night.

The narrow race in a June 18 poll placed Ossoff just ahead of Handel, with 49.0 percent versus 48.9 percent. The WSB-Landmark Communications polled 500 likely voters, with a margin of error at 4.4 percent.

The outcome of the special election is not likely to disrupt the balance of power in Washington, where Republicans control both chambers of Congress.  Despite Republican control, an Ossoff victory may help Democrats to recruit viable candidates, and raise money with the hope of regaining control of the House of Representatives in 2018.

The Democratic Party fell short this year in the Montana and Kansas elections. They are also projected to lose South Carolina’s race.

Trump sent out a Tuesday morning tweet weighing in on the election.

“Democrat Jon Ossoff, who wants to raise your taxes to the highest level and is weak on crime and security, doesn’t even live in district.”

“KAREN HANDEL FOR CONGRESS. She will fight for lower taxes, great healthcare strong security-a hard worker who will never give up! VOTE TODAY,” Trump wrote.

Georgia’s 6th Congressional District seat became vacant after Republican Tom Price was confirmed as Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, putting him in charge of dismantling the Affordable Care Act.  Republican, Newt Gingrich, also began his political career in the same district.

The special election has generated robust fundraising campaigns, resulting in unprecedented sums of money pouring into the candidates’ campaigns. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group, total spending in the race topped $56 million nearly doubles the previous record.

Ossoff gained national attention and prominence by vowing to “make Trump furious,” however, as the race tightened, Ossoff‘s rhetoric about Trump lessened.  Rather than speak about President Trump’s presidency or policies, he focused on his campaign promise to cut spending and “bring accountability to Washington,” as he said at a Monday campaign event.

As a result—Ossoff’s campaign has attracted more supporters than expected.

“There are more of us than we thought,” said Tricia Gephardt, an Ossoff volunteer.

Republican state senator, Kay Kirkpatrick, also representing the district, was quick to point out that although some Republicans were divided on Trump, many were united in support of Handel.



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Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct



Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’



TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17


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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel




Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

More from CNN…

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