Friday, February 3, 2023

2016 Trump Campaign To Pay Fine To Settle Nondisclosure Agreements Suit

Trump’s 2016 Campaign will pay $450,000 as part of a Settlement, of a long Court Fight over its use of Nondisclosure Agreements, according to Documents filed on Friday, in a New York Federal Court.

The proposed Settlement with Jessica Denson, a former Campaign Aide whom the Campaign tried to Silence, as she claimed she was the Target of Abusive treatment and Sexual Harassment by another Campaign Member, effectively Invalidates the Nondisclosure Agreements that hundreds of Officials from Trump’s First Presidential run Signed.

Ms. Denson is set to receive $25,000, the Filings show, and the rest will cover Legal Fees and other Costs.

The Judge in the Case, who has Not yet Approved the Settlement, pushed back on efforts by the Campaign, to keep the Paperwork sealed.

“We think that this N.D.A. was entirely unreasonable from the beginning,” said David K. Bowles, One of the Lawyers for Ms. Denson, who initially represented herself in the Case. “No attorney should have ever drafted it, and no campaign worker should have ever been compelled to sign it. We think the unwinding of the N.D.A. is a triumph for free speech, for democracy and for Jessica Denson, in particular, and we are very proud of our accomplishment tonight.”

Trump has made broad use of Nondisclosure Agreements throughout his Business career and, later, his Political career.

The Agreements have generally sought to keep People from Disclosing Information about Trump, but he has also used them as a cudgel against a wide variety of Aides. In Ms. Denson’s Case, her Lawyers argued the Agreement was overly broad, among other Flaws.

Ms. Denson had been trying to make the Suit a, Certified Class Action, shortly before the matter was Settled.

She has a Separate Case pending, related to her Claim that she was harassed by a Superior on the Campaign.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

U.S. And Allies Announce New Price Cap On Russian Petroleum Products

The U.S. and Allies: Australia, EU, and the G7, are trying to further Limit Russia’s ability to make Money and finance its War efforts, with New Price Limits, on products like Gasoline and Fuel Oil, adding to Sanctions on Russian Energy Sales, in response to the Country’s Invasion of Ukraine.

“Our intent is not to crash the Russian economy,” the Official told Reporters Friday. “Our intent is to make it impossible for the Kremlin to continue to make the choice of propping up the economy and also paying for their war.”

The Agreement places a Price Cap on “seaborne Russian-origin petroleum products,” the U.S. Department of Treasury said. There are Two Price levels: One applies to “premium-to-crude” Petroleum products like Diesel, Kerosene, and Gasoline, which will be capped at $100 USD per Barrel, and “discount-to-crude” Petroleum products like Fuel Oil, which will be capped at $45 USD per barrel.

“The thing that we’re focused on is cutting off the revenue,” the Official said. “We’re also going after their military industrialized complex and supply chain so they can’t use the money they have to buy the weapons they need. Our approach to this is really to go after the things that are crucial to the Kremlin’s war effort and their ability to prop up their economy.”

In December, 2022, the same group implemented a Price Cap on Crude Oil, which the Treasury Official said was already impeding Russia’s ability to Finance the War. They added Russia had “openly acknowledged” the Price Cap was hurting the Country’s Economy. Data released by Russia showed that Monthly Tax Revenues from Energy Sales declined 46% from the month prior.

Officials shrugged off Reports that, despite numerous Sanctions, Russia’s Economy is still expected to Rebound and may even outpace Germany and Great Britain. The Senior Treasury Official said Economically, the country “doesn’t function any longer like a normal economy.”

“They’ve shut it down largely, meaning that if you have money of Russia, they’ll let you keep putting money in Russia, but you can’t take money out. They no longer allow foreign capital coming into Russia,” the Official said. “They’re needing to spend more money to prop up their economy because they become a closed economy.”

The Reality, the Official said, is that Russia’s Budget Deficit is Growing “because the war is costing them more money” because the “bravery of the Ukrainian people” and the “weapons” were a surprise to them.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

NY Electoral College Bill

Thanks to Ricard Winger of Ballot Access News, for this post.

New York State Seantor James Skoufis (D-42nd District), has introduced SB 438, which would provide that if a Presidential Elector doesn't Vote for the Nomminee of their Party, that Elector is deemed to have Resigned, and is immediately Replaced.

But, the Bill doesn't specify whether the Party, is the National Convention Nomineeor or the Nomine of the State Party.

In the past, there are some instances when the Two were Not the same Person.

For example, in 1968, National Democratic Nominee was Hubert Humphrey, but the Nominee of the Alabama Democratic Party was George Wallace.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

FEC Announces 2023-2024 Campaign Cycle Contribution Limits

The Federal Election Commission (FEC), announced Updated Contribution Limits that have been Indexed for Inflation, and are effective for Federal Elections in 2023 and 2024, under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA).

The Limit on Individuals’ Contributions to Candidates, for example, was set at $2,000 per Election, it is Adjusted at the Start of each New Election cycle.

Adjustments are announced after the Department of Labor determines the Inflation Rate for the previous Election year.

During the current Two-year Election cycle, the Limit for Contributions by Individuals to Federal Candidates for: President, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives, will increase to $3,300 per Election.

Campaign Finance Provisions of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, permitted National Party Committees to establish Three additional Accounts to defray certain Expenses, incurred with respect to Presidential Nominating Conventions, Election Recounts, and Contests and other Legal Proceedings, and National Party Headquarters buildngs.

The Contribution Limits applicable to these Accounts are 300% of the Limits on Contributions to National Party Committees.

The Limit for Contributions by Individuals and Non-Multi-Candidate PACs, to National Party Committees, has risen to $41,300, while the Limit for Individual and Non-Multi Candidate PAC Contributions, to each of the additional National Party Committee Accounts, has Increased to $123,900 per year.

The Limit on Combined Contributions by a National Party Committee and its Senatorial Campaign Committee, to a U.S. Senate Candidate, over the Six-year Senate Cycle has Increased to $57,800.

Crunching the numbers finds, a Person can give over $900,000 per year to Political Parties now.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

NH And NY Ballot Access Bills

Thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News for this post.

These Bills will improve access to the Ballot:

New Hampshire

Reps. Alvin See (R-26th District) and Michael Moffett (R-4th District), have introduced HB 363. It improves the Deadline for Independent Candidates, and the Nominess of Unqualified Parties, to file Declaration of Candidacy.

Currently the Deadline is in June, but the Bill extends that to the 3rd Monday in July. This would be especially helpful to any potential Independent or Minor Party Presidential Candidate who Declears in the late Spring or early Summer.

Ever since 1985, New Hampshire has required the Declaration for Presidential Candidates running outside the Major Parties, a Bad Policy that would have Blocked Robert LaFollette in 1924 and Theodore Roosevelt in 1912.

The Bill does Not change the August Petition Deadline for Independent and Minor Party Candidates, but it De-Couples that Deadline from the Date of the Primary. It says the Deadline is usually 13 Weeks before the General Election, which means early August.

Existing Law unfortunately ties the Deadline to the Date of the Non-Presidential Primary, so if New hampshire moves the Non-Presidential Primary from September to an earlier month, which is likely, the Petition Deadline won't be affeted if this bill passes.

New York

State Senators Robert Jackson (D-31st District) and James Sanders (D)-10th District, have introduced SB 1031. Ir restores the Pre-2020 Definintion of a Political Party, a group that polled 50,000 Votes for Governor or President.

In 2020, the Legislature had Increased the difficulty of Qualifying a Party, by changing it to 2% of the Vote for the Top of the Ballot, President or Governor, every Two years.

That 2020 change eliminated the: Green, Independence, Libertarian, and SAM, Parties, from the Ballot, effective November 2020.

If the Bill passes, these Parties would be able to get on the 2024 Ballot.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

Thursday, February 2, 2023

U.S. Reunites More Kids Taken From Parents Under Trump

A Biden Administration Task Force, designed to Reunite Children separated from their Families during Trump’s Presidency, has reconnected 689 Children with their Families.

President Biden issued an Executive Order on his First day in Office, to Reunite Families that were Split-Up, under the Trump Administration’s widely condemned practice of forcibly separating Parents and Children at the U.S.-Mexico Border to Discourage Illegal Immigration.

Thursday marked the Two-year Anniversary of Biden's Task Force.

According to figures released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 3,881 Children were separated from their Families from 2017 to 2021. About 74% of those have been reunited with their Families: 2,176 before the Task Force was created and 689 afterward.

But that still leaves nearly 1,000 Children. Of those, 148 are in the Reunification process. The Department pledged to continue the work, until All separated Families that can be found, have the opportunity to Reunite with their Children.

Hundreds of Families have Sued the Federal Government.

Families can Register for Reunification services through a Website, and can get help with steps such as: applying for Humanitarian Parole that would allow them to come to the U.S., as well as for Behavioral Health Services to help them.

During a Deeting Thursday with Reporters, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, discussed efforts to address “the wounds” the Separations had caused.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

U.S. Increases Military Role In Philippines

The Two Countries announced an Agreement, that would allow the U.S. to gain Access to Four more Sites in the Philippines.

The plans for a Larger U.S. Military Presence in the Country, come amid fears about a possible Chinese Invasion of Taiwan.

The Deal signifies the First time in 30 years, that the U.S. will have such a Large Military presence in the Philippines.

Among the U.S.’s Five Treaty allies in Asia, the Philippines and Japan, are closest geographically to Taiwan, with the Philippines’ Northernmost Island of Itbayat, just 93 miles away.

The Philippines’ Defense Secretary, declined to name the Locations of the Four additional sites, but U.S. Officials have long eyed access to Land in the Philippines’ Northern Territory, such as the Island of Luzon, as a way to counter China in the event that it Attacks Taiwan.

Since he took Office last June, Manila's President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has sought to revive his Country’s Relationship with the U.S., after it Deteriorated under Rodrigo Duterte. Officials have started building Contingency Plans for a possible Chinese Invasion of Taiwan.

A Spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, accused the U.S. of threatening Regional Peace and Stability with its Announcement. She said Countries in the Region should “avoid being coerced and used by the United States.”

China and the U.S. are wooing Indonesia. Its Strategic location, with about 17,000 Islands, straddling thousands of miles of vital Sea Lane, is a Defensive necessity, as both sides gear up for a possible Conflict over Taiwan.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker