David Clarke has been accused of covering up a deputy’s misdeeds while Joe Arpaio has been called ‘unrepentantly lawless’. Meet the prominent officers who want the businessman in the Oval Office
As chairman of Donald Trump’s “Florida law enforcement coalition” and one of the Trump campaign’s official pilots, Vincent Caldara is doubly devoted to the Republican presidential nominee and his pledge to crack down on criminality.
A former police officer in New York and Miami, Caldara told supporters at a recent gathering in Florida that he had been flying vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence “from coast to coast to make sure we get the law and order message out to every single person that will be voting on November 8th”.
Caldara is simultaneously fighting claims that he is a lawbreaker himself.
The 55-year-old pilot is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, after he allegedly drove a vehicle at another person repeatedly in Pompano Beach in July last year. According to court records, the victim, whose name is withheld, was treated in hospital for leg and back injuries. Caldara has pleaded not guilty.
In a separate case, Caldara is accused of severely injuring a woman in June 2014 by recklessly driving into her with his Harley Davidson motorcycle in Fort Lauderdale. The woman is suing Caldara and seeking a jury trial. According to court records, officials have been unable to find Caldara to serve him with a summons.
Caldara and spokespeople for Trump’s campaign did not respond to several requests for comment.
The accusations of wrongdoing against Caldara are only the latest in an eclectic series of claims leveled at law enforcement figures who have publicly endorsed Trump’s campaign for the White House.
Amid a spike in crime in some US cities, Trump on Friday received the endorsement of the national Fraternal Order of Police union, whose president, Chuck Canterbury, said: “Our members believe he will make America safe again”.
But dark spots on the records of some of Trump’s most prominent police backers challenge the credibility of his claim to be the “law and order candidate”. In July, a coalition of dozens of police chiefs and prosecutors pleaded with the Republican nominee to abandon his draconian ideas and embrace contemporary policing theory and criminal justice reform.
Here, the Guardian reviews some of the allegations made against a half-dozen lawmen who have lent their support to Trump’s presidential campaign:
Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, has been Trump’s most visible ally among serving police. Although a registered Democrat, Clarke, 60, accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign of “embracing criminality” after mothers of African Americans killed by police appeared onstage at the Democratic National Convention.
But Clarke has been accused of violating rules and regulations himself since being elected in 2002. After one of his deputies broke a woman’s neck by crashing his vehicle into her car, Clarke was alleged to have overseen an attempted cover-up that involved framing the woman for drunk driving.
The victim, Tanya Weyker, sued Clarke, several deputies and county authorities in state and federal court in 2014 for compensation and civil rights violations. She said Clarke and his officers continued pursuing charges against her for months even after they knew video evidence showed the officer was at fault.
“Clarke was personally involved in the conspiracy to continue with the baseless prosecution of [Weyker],” the federal lawsuit said, “or, at the very least, was deliberately and recklessly indifferent to his subordinates’ unconstitutional actions and related misconduct.” Clarke and the officers denied the allegations.
An attorney for Weyker, Drew DeVinney, said Weyker settled her state lawsuit for the state-capped maximum $250,000 in compensation, and then settled the federal lawsuit for more than $95,000 for civil rights violations and attorneys’ fees.
Clarke has also come under criticism from within his own ranks. In 2010, deputy Richard Graber, a senior official in the Milwaukee deputies’ union, alleged that Clarke aggressively confronted him, called him a “sick fuck” and threatened to “come after him” for questioning an order that deputies must work mandatory overtime after the high-profile death of a local child.
“Clarke’s profanity-ridden rant included yelling, pointing, and calling Graber ‘waste,’ an ‘organizational terrorist,’ a ‘fucker,’ and a ‘cancer to the agency’,” according to an appeals court filing. Clarke denied most of Graber’s account of their confrontation. A federal appeals court said Clarke’s behavior amounted to an “adverse employment action” but rejected an allegation from Graber that the mistreatment was because of his union activity.
Inspector Edward Bailey, a spokesman for Clarke, declined to comment. “This county office does not involve itself in the current presidential race in any capacity,” he said in an email.
Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, enthusiastically supports Trump’s anti-immigration stance and campaign pledge to build a wall along the US border with Mexico. Babeu is also running as a Republican for a seat in the US House of Representatives and has made border security a key plank of his campaign.
Babeu promises voters on his website that he will tackle the “hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants pouring across our southern borders”, warning that at present, “possible terrorists with military training, deliberate plans and lots of money can cross the border”.
In 2012, Jose Orozco, a Mexican man and ex-boyfriend of Babeu who worked for the sheriff’s election campaign, alleged that he was threatened with deportation by an aide to Babeu when he refused to sign an agreement not to publicly disclose the relationship. Orozco’s attorney said she was told Orozco’s US visa had expired, making him undocumented. Babeu denied Orozco’s allegations. An inquiry by the Arizona attorney general concluded that he committed no criminal violation.
The former student, Joshua Geyer, has not disputed that he had a relationship with Babeu, but insisted that it was not “inappropriate”. This week, a spokesman for Babeu sent the Guardian a letter purportedly from Geyer that said he and Babeu had no sexual relationship at all. Asked twice whether Babeu himself denied that the relationship took place, the spokesman did not respond.
State authorities pursued DeSisto for operating illegally without a state license. Over the years, the school became notorious for its severe punishment system, and was investigated repeatedly for allegations of abuse and mistreatment of students. It has since closed.
The Babeu spokesman, Barrett Marson, said in an email: “Paul was in charge of the business operations at the school. He never had any control over student discipline or instruction. He was in charge of ensuring there was food and bathroom supplies and things like that. But Paul was never investigated nor had any knowledge of any alleged abuse at the school while he was employed there.”…More Here…
The Atlantic Coast Conference on Wednesday said it would move 10 college sports championships from North Carolina because of a state law that restricts rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Two days ago, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced it would relocate seven championship sporting events from North Carolina for the 2016-17 season in protest of the law known as House Bill 2 or H.B. 2.
The measure, enacted in March, requires transgender people to use bathrooms in publicly owned buildings that correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificate, not the gender they identify as. The law also bars local government measures aimed at protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.
The ACC’s announcement will affect championships in soccer, football, swimming and diving, basketball, tennis, golf and baseball that were set to be held at neutral sites across North Carolina.
“The decision to move the neutral site championships out of North Carolina while H.B. 2 remains the law was not an easy one but it is consistent with the shared values of inclusion and non-discrimination at all of our institutions,” Clemson University President James Clements, chairman of the ACC Council of Presidents, said in a statement.
The NCAA just lowered the hammer on the Reprobates in the Carolina legislature and Governor seats. Schools in the state, have won more than few NCAA Tournaments, and the Atlantic Coast Conference, made up primarily of North Carolina Schools has been one of the top leagues in NCAA Basketball for decades. Folks in that state are about as serious about their basketball as folks in Texas and Alabama are about football.
This isn’t just a financial hit, costing Charlotte which annually hosts some portion of the tournament tens of millions…Its a stake right though the heart.
All because of a bunch of back woods sanctimonious inbred Republican liars.
The governing board overseeing U.S. college athletics said on Monday it will move seven championship sporting events out of North Carolina to protest state laws deemed discriminatory to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.
The decision by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to relocate the events, including the first two rounds of the “March Madness” men’s basketball playoffs, comes two months after the NBA announced the removal of its 2017 pro All-Star Game from North Carolina for the same reasons.
The National Basketball Association said in August that the All-Star game would be played in New Orleans instead.
The NCAA governing board in its statement cited a North Carolina law that makes it illegal for anyone to use a public restroom that does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.
The board also pointed to North Carolina statutes that it said override local laws designed to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or provide legal protections for government officials who refuse services to the LGBT community.
The North Carolina bathroom statute has sparked boycotts by a number of corporations and entertainers, as access to public restrooms, locker rooms and changing areas has become a flashpoint in the battle over transgender rights in the United States.
In addition to basketball playoff competition that had been slated to be played in Greensboro next March, the NCAA said it was also stripping North Carolina of 2016-17 season championships for Division I women’s soccer; Division II men’s and women’s soccer; Division I regional women’s golf; Division II men’s and women’s tennis; Division I women’s lacrosse and Division II baseball.
The NCAA said it would determine new locations for those competitions in the near future.
The governing board said its decision was in line with current NCAA policy that already bans championships in states that display the Confederate battle flag of the U.S. Civil War or authorize sports wagering and at schools that use “hostile or abusive” Native American imagery.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told his successor, Hillary Clinton, that he used his own personal computer to communicate with friends and foreign leaders and sent emails without going through the State Department server, according to emails released Wednesday by congressional Democrats.
Clinton has previously said she reached out to Powell when she began serving as the nation’s top diplomat to find out how he used personal devices. In a four-paragraph email response from Powell, he told Clinton he didn’t use a BlackBerry, but detailed how he got around having his communications with both employees and people outside the State Department becoming part of the agency’s official record.
What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient). So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels,” Powell wrote.
Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state has loomed over her presidential campaign and spurred intense criticism from Republicans. The email exchange between Clinton and Powell was released Wednesday by the State Department after Democrats on the House Oversight Committee pressed for it. They complained the full exchange was not part of earlier email document releases from the department that Republicans in Congress have asked for as part of their probe into Clinton’s email use….
Powell’s spokesperson recently told CNN that he wrote a memo about his own use of an AOL account to Clinton and said the account was for “unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department.”
Colin Powell is defending his use of a personal email account during his time as secretary of state, as Democrats stepped up complaints that the intense focus on Hillary Clinton’s email practices reflects a double standard.
Powell’s statement came after a top Democrat released an email Powell sent Clinton in early 2009 describing his use of personal communication devices in State’s secure executive suite despite warnings from security officials that such use could jeopardize classified information.
“Secretary Clinton has stated that she was not influenced by my email in making her decisions on email use. I was not trying to influence her but just to explain what I had done eight years earlier to begin the transformation of the State Department’s information system,” Powell said.
Powell adopted one of Clinton’s defenses Thursday, saying his actions didn’t jeopardize government record-keeping because official emails would have found their way into State’s official systems.
“With respect to records, if I sent an email from my public email account to an addressee at another public email account it would not have gone through State Department servers. It was a private conversation similar to a phone call. If I sent it to a state.gov address it should have been captured and retained by State servers,” Powell said. “I was not aware at the time of any requirement for private, unclassified exchanges to be treated as official records.”
In the email exchange released Wednesday by House Oversight Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings, Powell appeared proud that he had defied security officials by using hand-held devices in the agency’s secure spaces.
“They gave me all kinds of nonsense about how they gave out signals and could be read by spies, etc.,” Powell wrote, referring to personnel from State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. “I had numerous meetings with them. We even opened one [device] up for them to try to explain to me why it was more dangerous than say, a remote control for one of the many tvs in the suite. Or something embedded in my shoe heel. They never satisfied me and NSA/CIA wouldn’t back off. So, we just went about our business and stopped asking.”
Republicans don’t mind sacrificing Powell because he told the truth about the Iraq War.
Just when you though the deranged right couldn’t get any more insane. Rush (AKA Drugbo) Limbaugh is trying to save his rapidly falling career as “Chief bloviate of the radio right” by claiming knowledge of a secret plan by the Obama Administration to invade the “Red Zone” with (gasp!)…
Having just moved to such a rural area a few months ago I find this singularly amazing. In my 20 years of owning a home in this area, I certainly have run into, and in several cases befriended Lesbian couples living in the area – one of whom owns a successful seafood store…But to be honest with you, I haven’t noticed a massive uptick in the number of women shopping together in the local Southern States store. Not to mention it’s a bad health move to ask everyone you see in overalls and a baseball cap about their sexual orientation.
Being a straight male, maybe I’m just not plugged into the scene at the local Farmer’s Market.
And what sexual orientation has to do with a desire to live in the country, or farm for that matter utterly escapes me. Although I am sure the local Trumpazoids being replaced by Lesbians…Makes the farm animals sleep better at night.
So here comes the Obama Regime with a bunch of federal money and they’re waving it around, and all you gotta do to get it is be a lesbian and want to be a farmer and they’ll set you up. I’m like you; I never before in my life knew that lesbians wanted to be farmers.
I never knew that lesbians wanted to get behind the horse and the plow and start burrowing. I never knew it. But apparently enough money it make it happen, and the objective here is to attack rural states.
The fact that Limbaugh thinks farmers still use a horse and plow speaks volumes about what is going on here. This isn’t about protecting real farmers from anything or even trying to understand how rural Americans actually live. This is about exploiting his suburban audience’s romantic Farmer John fantasies and pretending that this group is somehow under threat from evil lesbian infiltrators.
Other conservative outlets picked up on the same story, which is unsurprising, as this is standard right-wing scare-mongering. Stories about the federal government’s funneling o fmoney through frivolous giveaways to minority groups in an effort to destroy straight, white America is hands down the right-wing media’s favorite form of bullshit since Ronald Reagan popularized the term “welfare queen.”
But as with stories about “Obama phones” and “midnight basketball,” a deeper look shows that these programs are not subversive or frivolous at all but good programs that help revitalize communities.
“We kicked off our #RuralPride campaign really to animate the truism that LGBT people are everywhere,” Kate Kendell, the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, explained over the phone.
While the right-wing press is trying to frame this story as one of Obama’s bribing LGBT people to move to rural areas, the reality is very different. The lesbian-rights organization partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the True Colors Fund to enter rural communities to connect with the LGBT people who are already there, whether they work directly in agriculture or are part of the small-town communities that exist to support agricultural economies.
“Contrary to myths that the LGBT community lives exclusively in metropolitan areas, members of our community are proudly living, working, raising children, going to school, and making homes for themselves and their families in rural America,” the one-sheet explainer sent to me by the national lesbian group explained.
“It appeared to be the first time that it occurred to these anti-gay voices that LGBT people already live in rural communities,” Kendell, who was openly amused at the conservative ignorance and hysteria, told me.
The right-wing media would like to promote the idea that these are training camps for queer sleeper cells, but the programming that Kendell described was straightforward and pleasantly mundane: panels of attorneys, activists and federal officials providing education about resources to help improve their lives, find economic stability and escape the isolation that LGBT people can often feel in small communities. Some summits also have anti-bullying programs to help rural LGBT youth.