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Republican Mayor Demands Bill To Post Welfare Recipients’ Addresses Online

The Mayor of Lewiston, Maine, has figured out the answer to society’s ills, and it comes in the form of public shaming.

Upset by the fact that Maine’s government maintains a website that lists the amount of money received by pensioners in the state and angered by the existence of welfare recipients, or the “victimized, protected class,” Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald devised a plan.

The Tea Party-backed conservative, who is currently seeking re-election to a third term in his town of 36,000, announced a bill to create a website would list the names and addresses of welfare recipients publicly online.

Macdonald wrote in the Twin City Times:

“We will be submitting a bill to the next legislative session asking that a website be created containing the names, addresses, length of time on assistance and the benefits being collected by every individual on the dole. After all, the public has a right to know how its money is being spent.”

In a comment to the Bangor Daily News, Macdonald said that the listings were not meant to embarrass people, adding that welfare recipients already “flaunt it in public.”

Macdonald also said he would push for a bill that would bar the state from paying benefits to families for additional children born after a recipient has been receiving welfare payments and cap welfare payments after a certain time period.

Of Maine’s $2.7 billion budget, $100 million goes to state welfare benefits, Maine Democrats have already pointed out. And despite Macdonald’s most fervent hopes, they also note that such a law would be illegal, anyways.

It’s not the first time he’s faced backlash — in 2012, residents called for his resignation after his xenophobic remarks advising Somali immigrants to “accept our culture and you leave your culture at the door.”

Macdonald is being challenged in the upcoming November election by Ben Chin who has set a new record in the State of Maine for fundraising.

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Seeking Justice: Border Patrol Agent Indicted in Fatal Shooting of Mexican Teen

PHOENIX — A Border Patrol agent for the first time has been indicted on a murder charge after shooting and killing a Mexican national through the border fence.

The border Arizona shares with Sonora, Mexico, is a hot spot for getting “rocked,” Border Patrol shorthand for pieces of concrete thrown at agents over the fence. Border Patrol policy is to treat such rock-throwing as a threat to agents’ lives, and they are permitted to respond with lethal force.

On Oct. 10, 2010, officials said, agent Lonnie Swartz fired at least 10 rounds through the border fence, into Nogales, during such an incident. At least eight rounds struck Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, who bled to death.

Though a statement from Swartz’s attorney called Elena Rodriguez’s death “tragic,” it is not uncommon for agents to shoot through the border fence, and agents usually avoid discipline in such cases.

But Wednesday night, a grand jury handed down an indictment of second-degree murder.

“Lonnie Ray Swartz, did with malice aforethought, and while armed with a P2000 semi-automatic pistol, kill (Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez),” wrote the presiding juror on the panel.

Border Patrol union representatives have resisted scrutiny of agents’ actions in similar cases, saying such analysis would force agents to waste valuable seconds considering their response rather than acting to protect themselves or their fellow agents.

But the indictment creates a different equation for the Border Patrol — no longer do its agents have an expectation of avoiding internal discipline or legal consequences.

The Border Patrol has acknowledged it has a problem with agents shooting foreign nationals. For example, new rules say agents under rock assaults should first retreat, rather than shoot, and should avoid firing at people in cars.

Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has said the agency is engaging in fewer incidents in which its personnel use force — though numbers for the period from October 2014 to April 2015 show that agents were still engaging in approximately two use-of-force incidents per day.

Elena Rodriguez’s family has filed a separate civil suit against Swartz, and that case was allowed to proceed even though the teenager was a Mexican citizen killed on Mexican soil.

“We are pleased that the Justice Department has taken this first step in pursuing justice for Jose Antonio’s family,” said attorney Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Elena Rodriguez’s family. “The family has waited a long time for this and is gratified that the United States government will pursue justice for Jose Antonio.”

Sean Chapman, Swartz’s attorney, did not respond to multiple calls seeking comment. He told the Arizona Daily Star that he expects his client to plead not guilty at an Oct. 9 arraignment.

An internal report obtained by the Los Angeles Times last year criticized the Border Patrol for lack of diligence in shooting investigations and found that agents sometimes used questionable tactics when implementing deadly force, such as intentionally standing in the path of a car to justify shooting at drivers.

But the Border Patrol pushed back hard against the report’s suggestion that agents refrain from responding to rocks with deadly force.

The agency rejected two major recommendations in the report: barring border agents from shooting at vehicles unless its occupants are trying to kill them, and barring agents from shooting people who throw things that can’t cause serious physical injury.

Rock-throwers have attacked agents more than 1,700 times since 2010, according to the agency.

After reviewing internal files on 67 deadly force cases, a group of police experts in 2013 criticized the Border Patrol for weak internal investigations and for use-of-force guidelines that gave agents far more latitude than is allowed at most U.S. law enforcement agencies.

The report suggested a pattern of abuse and little public accountability. It said agents at times fired in frustration rather than when they faced a serious threat from people trying to smuggle contraband or sneak across the border.

Border Patrol officials initially rejected the report’s conclusions. But after a change of leadership last year, the agency adopted guidelines that incorporated many of the police group’s recommendations.

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Seeking Justice: Mendocino County Sheriff Raids Native American Legal Pot Farm

An Indian tribe’s plans to harvest and distribute medical marijuana in Ukiah, Calif., was nipped in the bud this week when Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies seized hundreds of plants at two properties, officials said Wednesday.

Days after deputies investigating an activated burglar alarm found a group of people loading marijuana from the Pinoleville Pomo Nation tribal lands into a building about a mile away, investigators executed two search warrants and seized hundreds of plants.

Authorities say when they searched a building Tuesday on North State Street, about a mile from the tribe’s rancheria, they found the makings of a honey oil chemical-extraction lab, which could produce a highly concentrated form of cannabis. They also found more than 100 pounds of trimmed and processed marijuana, the sheriff’s office said.

Meanwhile, authorities serving a warrant at the 99-acre rancheria down the road found 382 marijuana plants and more that had been harvested. No one was on either property at the time so there were no arrests, authorities said.

The plants came as no surprise to deputies, who had been investigating the Pinoleville Pomo Nation’s lands for months.

“It’s just an overzealous sheriff,” said Mike Canales, president of the tribe’s business board, which oversees its economic development. “Everything is perfectly legal what we were doing.”

According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, authorities learned the tribe was going to grow marijuana, discussed the tribe’s plans with its representatives, then began conducting aerial surveillance. Over two months, authorities determined about 400 plants were being grown on the land, the sheriff’s office said.

Tuesday’s crackdown was based on state marijuana cultivation and possession laws and a narcotics lab violation, officials said.

In March, the Los Angeles Times interviewed the chief executive of a Kansas-based company that claimed to help Native American tribes develop for-profit ventures.

FoxBarry chief Barry Brautman said that the tribe was “exercising its sovereign right” to grow marijuana and that it planned to set aside 2.5 acres of land to grow hundreds of plants and house them in a 90,000-square-foot greenhouse.

Mendocino County’s legal limit is 25 plants per lot.

But last month, the Pinoleville Pomo Nation suspended its activities with FoxBarry, Canales said. A visit to the FoxBarry company’s website turns up an “under construction” page, and a call to a number listed for the company on a cached version of its website directs callers to a different company.

A woman who answered the phone at that number said FoxBarry was having financial troubles and no longer was a part of that office. Brautman did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

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Cannabis Commission Member and Union Organizer Indicted for Extorting Medical Cannabis Dispensaries and Workman’s Comp Kickbacks

OAKLAND—A federal grand jury in Oakland indicted Daniel Rush today with taking illegal payments as a union employee, honest services fraud, attempted extortion, and money laundering announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.

According to the indictment, Rush, 54, of Oakland, is alleged to have used his position as a union organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) to obtain money and other things of value over a five year period from 2010 to 2015.

Rush was an organizing coordinator of the medical cannabis division of the UFCW. The indictment alleges that, while a union employee, Rush accepted $550,000 in debt forgiveness from an individual affiliated with medical marijuana dispensaries. According to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent in connection with a criminal complaint filed in the same matter, Rush and a coconspirator formulated a scheme to obtain debt forgiveness in exchange for favorable treatment by the union. The individual who agreed to the debt forgiveness was cooperating with the FBI’s investigation at the time Rush proposed the arrangement.

The indictment also charges Rush with taking kickbacks from an attorney to whom he had referred medical marijuana dispensaries as clients. Rush, the indictment alleges, had a duty to provide honest services to the UFCW; that duty including refraining from self-dealing when interacting with the marijuana dispensaries whose workers it was his job to organize. Rush is charged with engaging in a scheme in which he violated that duty in exchange for kickbacks from the attorney.

The indictment further charges Rush with taking kickbacks from the same attorney in exchange for arranging for the attorney to represent clients in worker’s compensation matters. Rush was an officer and director of an advocacy organization for the working poor. Rush directed the organization’s referral of worker’s compensation clients to the attorney. In exchange, the attorney provided Rush with a credit card on which Rush charged thousands of dollars of personal expenses which ultimately were paid by the attorney.

Rush also is charged with attempted extortion. Rush was a member of the Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission, which is a commission of the City of Berkeley organized to facilitate the appropriate licensing and regulation of medical marijuana in the city. Rush demanded a well-compensated job from a prospective medical marijuana dispensary in exchange for his influence as a member of the commission.

In addition, the indictment alleges that Rush engaged in a conspiracy to commit money laundering and financial structuring, as well as substantive money laundering. The indictment and FBI agent’s affidavit filed in the case explain that Rush took a loan totaling $600,000 in cash from a person engaged in the marijuana business. Rush and the attorney engaged in a series of structuring transactions designed to obscure the origin of the money. Over the ensuing years, Rush required the attorney to fund interest payments on the loan and, when Rush ultimately was not able to repay the loan, he offered favorable union benefits in exchange for forgiveness of the loan.

In sum, Rush was charged with taking illegal payments as a union employee, in violation of 29 U.S.C. §§ 186(a) and (b); honest services fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343 and 1346; attempted extortion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951; conspiracy to commit structuring and money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; and money laundering by concealment, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i).

The investigation began with cooperation from individuals in the medical marijuana industry who reported Rush’s allegedly corrupt activities. According to the affidavit, the attorney with whom Rush was working has been cooperating with the FBI and has agreed to plead guilty to offenses related to the charges against Rush.

Rush was originally charged by criminal complaint and arrested in Oakland on August 11, 2015, and made his initial appearance in federal court in Oakland on August 12, 2015. Rush was released on bond and bail was set at $500,000. Rush’s next scheduled appearance is September 23, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. for arraignment before the Honorable Kandis Westmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge, in Oakland. The case has been assigned to the Honorable Haywood S Gilliam, Jr., U.S. District Court Judge, in Oakland.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years if he is convicted of the charges of honest services fraud, attempted extortion, or money laundering, along with a fine as much as $500,000 and restitution if appropriate. If the defendant is convicted of accepting an illegal payment as a union employee or engaging in a criminal conspiracy, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

The case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco and investigated by the FBI.

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Ben Carson’s Muslim Comments Sets Off a Storm and Divides Us Even More

WASHINGTON — Should a Muslim be president? A Mormon? A Jew?

The Founding Fathers thought the question of religion so important that they wrote into the Constitution that there should never be a “religious test” for public office. Despite that admonition, American politics and politicians have periodically tested whether a candidate should be disqualified because of their religion, from Catholics Al Smith and John Kennedy through Mormon Mitt Romney.

Now Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is raising the issue anew, saying flatly that a Muslim should not be president.

That likely strikes a chord with some voters, such as the one who told Donald Trump at a town hall meeting that Muslims are a problem in the United States.

Carson campaign manager Barry Bennett told The Associated Press, “People in Iowa particularly, are like, ‘Yeah! We’re not going to vote for a Muslim, either.’ I don’t mind the hubbub. It’s not hurting us, that’s for sure.”

Yet religion matters less and less in American politics today.

Candidates thrive when they preach tolerance. Voters want politicians with strong religious beliefs, but they don’t necessarily have to share those beliefs. People welcome the visit of Pope Francis to the country’s most venerated government institutions, with little talk that his unprecedented address to a joint meeting of Congress has improper religious overtones.

Indeed, Carson is going against the American mainstream.

“Denominational affiliation doesn’t matter as much as it used to,” said Daniel Cox, research director at the nonpartisan, nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute.

Leading the change is the millennial generation, roughly those born after 1980. They tend to be more culturally and ethnically diverse, and they grew up at a time when institutional discrimination against different religions had faded.

Presidential elections in the 21st century have reflected this new tolerance. In 1960, Kennedy’s religion was enough of a controversy that he assured Protestant ministers two months before Election Day that he would govern independent of the Vatican.

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act,” he said.

Today, except for Republican primaries and caucuses in more conservative states, a candidate’s faith is unlikely to be an issue as the 2016 presidential campaign unfolds. Nowadays, “you really don’t know what religion the candidates practice,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Three developments illustrate this evolving tolerance:

—Presidential elections. In 2000, Democrats nominated Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, as their candidate for vice president. Twelve years later, Republicans nominated Romney, a Mormon, for president.

Lieberman’s religion was not a factor in the race; his ticket won the popular vote. In 2012, the religion institute found that white evangelical Protestants, thought to be most reluctant to back a Mormon, gave Romney strong support.

—Republican concerns. Republicans have eagerly promoted opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion, but many party leaders have been concerned that people of other faiths will feel alienated.

“We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue,” said a 2013 Republican analysis highlighting the party’s shortcomings.

—Millennials. “This generation’s religious views and behaviors are quite different from older age groups,” the Pew Research Center found in a study last year.

They’re less likely than older generations to have a religion affiliation and less likely to say they believe in God.

There are notable exceptions to this tolerance. Religious freedom has become a huge issue among many Republicans, angry that federal law is forcing those opposed to same-sex marriage to do business with gay couples.

A Gallup poll earlier this month found Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who is popular with the Christian right, getting favorable notices from 56 percent of highly religious Republicans. Also doing well were Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and the 2008 Iowa caucus winner, and Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Carson stirred a furor Sunday when he told NBC’s “Meet the Press:” “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”

Carson’s comments, though, got little political support. Cruz noted in an Iowa television interview that the Constitution “specifies that there shall be no religious test for public office, and I am a constitutionalist.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, said Carson should apologize to those Muslims serving in the military.

“For Ben Carson, Donald Trump or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people,” said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., one of two Muslims in Congress.

Religious intolerance is simply taboo in most of today’s political world. “This kind of talk may not hurt in a Republican primary, but it’s problematic in a general election,” said Cox of the Public Religion Research Institute. “It sure isn’t great for the Republican Party.”

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Suspends Attorney General’s Law License

HARRISBURG, Pa. — In an unprecedented move, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday temporarily suspended the law license of Attorney General Kathleen Kane, the latest setback for the state’s embattled top law enforcement officer.

The decision was unanimous, winning support from the court’s three Republicans and two Democrats.

Lawyers for the state Disciplinary Board, which oversees attorney conduct, had sought the suspension after Kane was charged last month with perjury, obstruction and other charges stemming from the leak of confidential grand jury material and an investigation into that leak.

The board contended that allowing Kane to remain in office while under criminal charges would damage the administration of justice and cause “immediate and substantial public harm.” Its lawyers suggested that stripping Kane of her law license would disqualify her from holding office.

The Supreme Court, however, said its order “should not be construed as removing (Kane) from elected office and is limited to the temporary suspension of her license to practice law.”

The suspension means she is barred from making legal decisions — or signing legal documents — for the office. She can, however, continue carrying out administrative duties, making personnel decisions and deciding how money is spent.

But the state constitution requires that the attorney general be a member of the bar, raising questions about Kane’s qualifications to stay in office.

In a statement, Kane said she was disappointed in the ruling but “grateful” the court recognized her rights as an elected official and citizen.

She continued: “The court, in specifically recognizing my continuing authority as Attorney General of the Commonwealth, today allows me to continue the good works of this office: work which has transformed our war on sex crimes and fraud; work which will also root out the culture of misogyny and racially/religiously offensive behavior that has permeated law enforcement and members of the judiciary in this Commonwealth for years.”

Kane has previously blamed the criminal investigation and attacks against her on her decision to expose public employees and officials who shared pornography on government time and computer accounts.

James F. Mundy and James J. Powell III, her lawyers in the disciplinary matter, said there was “another side to this story” and that they hope Kane gets an opportunity to tell it. “Then, and only then, will the public have a fair opportunity to judge the facts,” they added. “We are confident that once that happens, Attorney General Kane will be exonerated.”

The lawyers have argued that suspending her license would violate her due process rights and effectively circumvent the constitutional provision for removing a public official from office. Kane, a Democrat in her first term, was elected in 2012.

Legal experts disagree about whether the high court’s ruling means it will not act to remove Kane from office.

In interviews, some said they believe the justices could consider a new motion — perhaps filed by one of Kane’s critics among district attorneys — to force her ouster. Others said they thought the justices had no legal authority to remove her or had made it plain they were extremely reluctant to do so.

Still, there was consensus that the suspension could be devastating to Kane.

John M. Burkoff, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, said “the dramatic psychological, emotional and political impact of this order on the office and the attorney general herself has to be enormous.”

“This is an incredible and almost unthinkable development,” he added. “What little credibility Attorney General Kane retained prior to today has just been subjected to a crippling body blow.”

Bruce Ledewitz, a law professor at Duquesne University, said the Supreme Court had handed a powerful weapon to the state Senate to invoke a never-used provision in the state constitution to remove Kane from office.

Under the constitution, officials other than the governor, lieutenant governor and legislators can be removed from office by the governor “for reasonable cause, after due notice and full hearing, on the address of two-thirds of the Senate,” the constitution states.

The removal provision in the constitution, in its current form, has never been used.

Ledewitz said that with Kane’s suspension, legislators could remove her simply on grounds that she had lost her law license, avoiding a judgment about her guilt or innocence.

“The court’s action is a setup for the Senate to act,” Ledewitz said. “I think that was intended by the court.”

Though the court’s action Monday put Kane’s license in limbo only until the outcome of her criminal case, Ledewitz pointed out that the Senate rules provide for only one step: outright removal from office.

Should the chamber take that step, it could open the door to a scenario under which Kane was removed from office — but later acquitted at trial. Ledewitz said the court erred in taking action against Kane ahead of any trial, but that he nonetheless found the outcome puzzling.

“What’s the point of suspending her if she remains attorney general?” he asked.

Senate Republicans have been researching their authority and the steps to remove the attorney general, according to Drew Crompton, a top lawyer for the GOP. And though he called Monday’s developments “significant,” Crompton said the question of whether to remove Kane from office is “going to need a lot more conversation.”

“We are not going to act rashly,” he said. “At this point, we don’t even have the parameters set from her office as to what she can do and what she cannot do with a suspended license.”

Kane, 49, is awaiting trial in Montgomery County on charges she illegally leaked confidential documents to a Philadelphia Daily News reporter in a bid to embarrass a critic, then lied about it under oath.

As a grand jury investigated Kane’s conduct, prosecutors say, she ordered aides to spy on the emails of people involved in the probe, including witnesses and the special prosecutor who was handling the case.

Kane has pleaded not guilty and vowed to remain in office, despite calls from top Democrats, including Gov. Tom Wolf, for her resignation.

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California GOP Rejects Trump On Immigration

Los Angeles, CA — Donald Trump has energized the Republican base in the short term, but one state’s GOP delegates are making along-term bet that his anti-immigration policies aren’t going to win them elections. Two decades after Proposition 187 was passed, the California Republican Party has rejected some of the anti-immigrant goals and therotic in it’s party platform, something that members see as a concrete step closer to Hispanics, the largest ethnic group in the state. It’s also a step away from Trump’s now-infamous immigration rhetoric, and the candiates proposals to bar children of immigrants from having certain legal rights.

For example, the new platform abandons the goal of banning “all federal and state benefits to illegal aliens other than emergency medical care,” according to the O.C. Register.

“There are going to be people that if we made the chair of the party and the top of the ticket somebody born of immigrant parents, it would not convince them that we are the right party for them because of the history of 187 and other issues,” Vice Chairman Harmeet Dhillon told Cathleen Decker of the L.A. Times.

Proposition 187 barred immigrant children from schools, one form of “federal and state benefits.” But that measure was one of the many in the bill that were deemed unconstitutional by federal courts. As a result of the bill’s zeal, it was gutted by federal courts and had little long-term effect on the law.

The new party platform also softens language about illegal immigrants and assimilation, dropping the goal that “all election ballots and other government documents should be printed in English only.”

Last week, Trump criticized rival candidate Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish to Spanish-language media, saying that he should “set an example” and “speak English.”

In another section of the Golden States new GOP plank, the line “new immigrants should be required to learn English” has been replaced with “must be the goal of California’s education programs.”

Final versions of the immigration platform changed the term “Illegal Alien” to “person.” A proposal to use the phrase “otherwise law-abiding folks” was killed in committee.

Trump has referred to Mexican immigrants in the country illegally as “rapists” and murders.

California GOP leaders say that their party’s platform change was motivated in part as a backlash to that kind of rhetoric, according to Roxana Kopetman of the O.C. Register.

California GOP Vice Chairman Marcelino Valdez holds a low opinion of Trump.

“He does not speak for me or Republicans or my party,” Valdez told Kopetman. “He’s an entertainer.”

Those are harsh words in the state of California, where the last popular Republican governor was actor and body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As we reported last week, there’s a small but lively movement of California conservatives who still rally around the principles of Prop 187. Last week, we reported on the dozens of anti-immigration advocates who rallied outside of the second Republican debate in Simi Valley, California.

“We started with prop 187,” said Eveline Miller, who was quoted in that article as referring to pro-immigrant Latinos as “invaders, or children of invaders.”

In rejecting Trump and the principles of Proposition 187, the California GOP may alienate supporters like Miller. But even representatives of the ultra-conservative and grassroots Tea Party movement stood by the party’s decision.

Tea Party California Caucus Communications Director Robert Jeffers told Breitbart News that the compromises on immigration didn’t diminish the GOP’s conservative principles.

“Today was a big win for conservatives […] We proved a coordinated voice, working with party leadership, can defend our principles,” Jeffers said.

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Hillary Clinton Inks Fundraising Deal With 33 State Parties

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has signed joint fundraising agreements with 33 state Democratic parties, according to a Wednesday filing with the Federal Elections Commission.

The Clinton campaign now has deals in place with the Democratic parties in Florida, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas, among other states and Puerto Rico, to create “victory funds.” Contributions to those funds will be divided between the respective state parties and Clinton’s primary campaign war chest.

Clinton has stressed that she wants her campaign and candidacy to boost other Democrats all the way down the ticket. Helping channel donors’ support for her into state parties is one way to leverage her fundraising power on behalf of other candidates—and to link the success of other Democrats to her own.

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee announced a fundraising agreement in late August, making it possible for donors to give to her campaign and to the party’s general election fund with one check. Clinton would only benefit from the money if she becomes the Democratic nominee.

The New York Times reported last month on the agreements reached between the Clinton campaign and state parties in New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Mississippi. The state parties’ agreements with Clinton do not preclude them from establishing similar arrangements with other Democratic candidates.

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(Video) Seeking Justice: The Biggest Prison System in History is in the United States – The Empire FIles

The United States has five percent of the world’s population but has twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners. A staggering statistic that continues to be ignored by most of society, and profited by much of society.  Recently we have heard discussions of Criminal Justice Reform.  A subject that has been discussed at times in the recent past.  Meanwhile over 50% of our prisoners are serving sentences for non-violent and mostly victimless crimes, disproportionately applied to blacks and latinos. The injustice of the United States Prison and, the Criminal Justice systems are chronicled here by Abby Martin in the latest offering of The Empire Files.

As I discussed in an article previously for The Anti-Media, it is important to understand how we got to this point so we can fix this problem once and for all.  Piling on the injustice are the vast amount of profits made by corporations feeding off our taxes and the families of prisoners. Juveniles are being incarcerated at alarming rates as well, with more money being allocated to prisons and juvenile detention facilities than to education. The court system is a cesspool of corruption with a focus on winning instead of justice for the victims and the accused.  Good lawyers are subject to an abundance of interference and the majority of public defenders do not offer most of their clients the best possible representation.

Right now we are subjecting 1 out of every 100 people in this country to our criminal justice system.  We have become a police state and we are destroying millions of lives every single day.  Easily one of the most important issues in our society as well as one of our most glaring hypocrisies.


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Watch: THC Kills Cancer Cells

THC has a miraculous capacity to help those who suffer from cancer. The wonder compound increases appetite, reduces nausea and can even help to quell pains that patients suffer from cancer and its unpleasant list of symptoms. However, despite the numerous findings and studies that have been published about this, cannabis is still vilified by the government and kept federally illegal.

A clip from documentary called Clearing the Smoke depicts a microscopic view of cancer cells that have had THC administered to them, which causes the malignant cells to weaken and eventually die completely.

In the beginning of the video, the malignant cancer cells are seen quickly moving under the lens of the microscope. But as the THC molecules begin to affect them, they turn blue and begin to slow down. Eventually they cease moving completely and some can even be seen dying from the effects of the THC near the end of the clip.

The video itself is fantastic visual evidence that THC, even administered in low doses (as was depicted), can be a highly-effective tool in the ongoing fight against cancer.

News as exciting as this is not something new to the federal government; in fact, a study that was published in the August 18, 1974 issue of the Washington Post reported that THC “slowed the growth of lung cancer, breast cancers, and virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives as much as 36 percent.”

The results themselves read:

“Animals treated for 10 consecutive days with delta-9-THC, beginning the day after tumor implantation, demonstrated a dose-dependent action of retarded tumor growth. Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with delta-8-THC and CBN had reduced primary tumor size.”

The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the Medical College of Virginia acting on the behalf of the federal government. Unfortunately, the government was unhappy with the results and had U.S. officials dismiss the study completely. It was then buried it under the Watergate scandal. The findings were eventually published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute a year later.

No new reports of findings regarding THC and cancer surfaced after this study until a clinical trial that was conducted in the mid-1990s. This study was conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology program and worked off a $2 million federal budget.

The clinical trials gave very similar results:

“that mice and rats administered high doses of THC over long periods experienced greater protection against malignant tumors than untreated controls.”

Even tests conducted throughout the world have found similar results to these. In 1998, researchers at Madrid’s Complutense University released a study that concluded that by administering THC to malignant brain tumor cells, the doctors were able to selectively induce apoptosis, or planned cell death. This allowed the researchers to systematically kill individual cancer cells without harming any of the nearby healthy cells.

And yet government officials and politicians have been adamant in keeping the law the same and condemning cannabis to be federally illegal, making this form of treatment an impossibility for a majority of U.S. cancer patients.

Hopefully this video will be enough visual and scientific proof that THC can be beneficial to be used by those suffering from cancer. At the very least, it may be able to save a few lives from suffering and bring new hope to those who are fighting cancer.

Have you used cannabis to treat an illness?  Share your experience.  Email

This article originally appeared on Cannabis Now.