Georgia’s Senate runoffs: Special interest PACs flood the zone
ATLANTA — Apart from the candidates themselves, political action committees have spent at least $150 million since the November general election to rally voters back to the polls for the Senate runoff, records show. While nearly two-thirds of that spending has come from super PACs connected to either Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the rest has come from special interest groups with business before the new Congress. Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform for the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C., said spending by PACs in the Ge...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
How will California Gov. Newsom pick Kamala Harris' replacement? Ethnicity, electability, experience?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — To say that Gov. Gavin Newsom is under pressure is an understatement.The chance to appoint someone to the U.S. Senate does not come along often. It has happened only a handful of times before in the state, most recently in 1991, and it represents an opportunity to install an official that could serve in one of the most powerful government bodies for, potentially, decades. The governor must name a successor to the only Black woman in the U.S. Senate and the first woman to ever be elected vice president.It’s a historic appointment, and everybody has an idea of who they want ...
The Sacramento Bee
Appeals court strikes down Boca Raton's ban on anti-gay conversion therapy
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal appeals court struck down Boca Raton’s ban on conversion therapy for gay adolescents struggling to come to terms with their sexuality, calling the ban an infringement on the First Amendment rights of the teens and the counselors who try to treat them.Licensed family therapists Robert Otto and Judy Hamilton sued the city for the right to talk to their juvenile clients about conversion if the clients had “unwanted” attraction to members of the same gender or “confusion” about their gender identity.The city’s ordinance prohibited conversion therapy as harmful to ...
As election nears, some would-be voters frustrated by citizenship delays
SAN DIEGO — San Diegan Alfredo De Jesus applied to become a U.S. citizen toward the beginning of 2020 — as soon as he was eligible.He thought his application would be processed in plenty of time to vote in this year’s election. But he’s still waiting.De Jesus is among many citizens-to-be whose applications stalled in large part because of COVID-19. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for processing naturalizations, shuttered at the beginning of the pandemic for several months and is still working to catch up.De Jesus said he feels frustrated and disappointed.“Peop...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Shemekia Copeland scores a triumph with 'Uncivil War'
CHICAGO — When formidable Chicago blues singer Shemekia Copeland released the single “Uncivil War” a few months ago, she wasn’t just lamenting a nation increasingly at odds with itself.She also was giving listeners a hint of what was to come: an intensely felt, newly released album by that name that’s packed with social commentary.For most of the tracks on “Uncivil War” (on Chicago’s Alligator Records label) deal with various aspects of our troubled times, from systemic racism to climate change, from domestic abuse to gun violence. Yet the tone of these songs, most with lyrics by Copeland’s lo...