A ‘Me Too’ Moment In The New York City Mayor’s Race
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GOTHAM: Sexual harassment allegations were leveled against New York City comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer on Tuesday night. The news came just about 56 days before the all-important Democratic primary and at a particularly fraught time for Stringer, who has been struggling to gain traction in a crowded field dominated by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. It also raises awkward questions for his prominent progressive backers.
“This is gut check time. I want to see where those progressives go,” a New York City political operative told The Uprising.
Many of Stringers allies kept quiet in the wake of the accusation. The alleged victim, Jean Kim, and her attorney are set to host a press conference in Manhattan at 11 a.m.
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911: There is new body camera footage of two different incidents where police killed men of color in the past month. Activists have responded to both cases and officials in North Carolina predicted there will be “civil unrest” when some of the new footage is shown to the public.
One video was released by the Alameda County, California police department on Tuesday that showed the death of a man named Mario Arenales Gonzales on April 19. The video clip shows officers pinning Gonzales down with their body weight for over five minutes on April 19. His family later said he was “murdered” by police officers.
In the footage, officers approached Gonzales, who was 26-years-old, after neighbors called 911 to report that a man was loitering and talking to himself. Gonzales was incoherent and he appeared to be in possession of open alcohol bottles.
After the clip was released, Gonzales’ family held a news conference where they accused the police of murder. Their attorney, Julia Sherwin, called Gonzales’ death “completely avoidable and unnecessary.”
“Drunk guy in a park doesn’t equal a capital sentence,” Sherwin said.
Gonzales’ family has described him as “principal caretaker of his mom” and autistic brother. The police and district attorney’s office in the county, which is in the Bay Area, are both investigating Gonzales’ death.
The family of a man named Andrew Brown Jr., who was killed in Elizabeth City, North Carolina on April 21, saw body camera footage of his death on Monday. After watching the clip, they said Brown was “executed.” According to an independent autopsy conducted by the family, Brown was shot five times by sheriff’s deputies including in the back of his head. Those deputies were serving a felony warrant and shot at Brown while he was in his car, which he subsequently lost control of. The FBI is investigating the case.
In California, there have been vigils and protests over Gonzalez’s death. Officials in the North Carolina county where Brown was killed have declared states of emergency ahead of the release of that footage. Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker said police there expect a “period of civil unrest.”
BORDERLINE: The U.S. Border Patrol is reportedly “conducting no testing for the coronavirus” at crowded processing centers. The New York Times reported the agency has said the challenges involved in implementing a testing program are “insurmountable.” The situation has led to concerns about potential infection and spread. In California’s Imperial Valley, migrants released into the community between April 7 and 13 tested positive at a rate three times higher than the local average.
ICMYI: Reporters who covered former President Trump may have noticed a familiar name in their email inboxes in the past two weeks. Katie Miller, who was the communications director for Vice President Mike Pence, is now working in a similar role for the “Coalition To Protect American Workers,” a multimillion dollar dark money group opposed to President Biden’s agenda.
Miller, who is married to former top Trump adviser Stephen Miller and was at the center of last year’s coronavirus outbreak in the West Wing, was one of the more prominent staffers in the Trump administration. Her role with the coalition began with little fanfare other than a piece in the Hill, which mentioned in passing that she was “now affiliated” with the group.
The Coalition To Protect American Workers, which is backed by anonymous donors, is an effort to fight Biden’s attempts to raise taxes for government programs. Marc Short, who was Pence’s chief of staff, is leading the effort along with other Republican operatives and promising a $25 million TV ad blitz. Short told The Uprising that Miller is “in charge of the whole communications strategy” for the group.
Thus far, Miller’s work has included sending out email blasts with arguments against corporate and capital gains tax increases. Miller’s emails have come every day this week and included titles with somewhat aged topical references to the recent Suez Canal boat blockage and the GameStop stock drama.
FUN FACT: On this day in 1973, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts. It went on to stay on the combined charts until May 2006, a record breaking 1,500 week run. According to the band’s designer, Aubrey Powell, the iconic album cover was originally supposed to feature the comic book hero Silver Surfer, but they were unable to get permission.
“We were all into Marvel Comics,” Powell said in an interview. “We liked the image of a silver man, on a silver surfboard, scooting across the universe. It had mystical, mythical properties. Very cosmic, man!”
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