An Arizona lawmaker accused of a string of violent and unethical behavior resigned from the state House on Wednesday before his fellow lawmakers could throw him out of office.
State Rep. Daniel Patterson of Tucson quit just hours after an ethics panel recommended he be removed from his seat and only a short time before the full House was scheduled to vote to do so.
In his resignation letter, Patterson said he was leaving because the legislature had become "very hostile work environment for me," according to the Tucson Weekly.
The weekly newspaper was the first to uncover allegations of violence lodged by Patterson's estranged wife back in 2010.
In recent months, more problems surfaced including allegations that he got violent with his girlfriend-turned-campaign manager, that he once tried to trade his vote for sex with a lobbyist, that he regularly smokes marijuana and that he was prone to angry outbursts that terrified some of his fellow lawmakers.
Patterson has denied being violent with the women in his life but acknowledged he "pushed it a little bit too hard" with his fellow lawmakers. Patterson also denied offering to trade his vote for sex and has said it's nobody's business whether he smokes pot.
Patterson was a longtime Democrat who switched his party registration to independent amid the scandal. The AP reported that he changed his party registration back to Democrat on Wednesday after resigning.
Hilary Rosen releases statement on the recent unpleasantness, after the jump ..."Let's put the faux 'war against stay at home moms' to rest once and for all. As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my[...]
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I haven't wanted to say too much about this Hilary Rosen story because she's a friend. So I can't be wholly objective. But I will say that I've heard enough smackdowns telling Hilary that raising children is in fact hard work. She's a mother. I think[...]
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Catholic League slags adoptive parents. RNC denounces Catholic League. We've come full circle (of hell). [...]
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Ann Romney said on Thursday that she could sympathize with working women because she knows "what it's like to struggle."
The wife of likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appeared on Fox News on Thursday to respond to CNN contributor Hillary Rosen, who recently said that Ann Romney had "actually never worked a day in her life."
"She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing," Rosen charged.
"My career choice was to be a mother," Ann Romney told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. "And I think that all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. Other women make other choices, to have a career and raise a family, which I think Hillary Rosen has actually done herself."
"This goes back to the rich argument that has been leveled so much against you and your husband," MacCallum noted. "Basically she's saying Ann Romney could have chosen to do anything that she wanted and Ann Romney can't relate to women who have no choice, who have to work and also raise their families."
"Look, I know what it's like to struggle," Ann Romney insisted, possibly referring to her battle with multiple sclerosis. "And if maybe I haven't struggled as much financially as some people have, I can tell you and promise you that I've had struggles in my life. And I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people that are struggling and that's why we're running. We care about those people that are struggling."
Ann Romney said last month that she didn't think of herself as wealthy even though she is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
"I don?t even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing," she told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. "It can be here today and gone tomorrow. And how I measure riches is by the friends I have and the loved ones I have and the people that I care about in my life. And that?s where my values are and that where my riches are."
The couple reportedly has a net worth of $250 million, but Ann Romney recently complained about having to release her tax returns as a part of her husband?s campaign for the Republican nomination.
?You all know that he?s been successful in business,? she told a crowd in Miami earlier this year. ?Unfortunately that was made abundantly clear yesterday when our tax forms were released.?
Ms. Romney has credited horse riding with helping her to deal with multiple sclerosis, a pastime that most sufferers of the disease do not have access to.
As The New York Times noted in 2007, dressage horses can run in the seven figures and the saddles can cost thousands of dollars.
But even at those prices, Ann Romney won?t tell her husband how many horses she owns.
?Mitt doesn?t even know the answer to that,? she laughed. ?I?m not going to tell you!?
As of 2010, the Romneys had five women listed as domestic help on their tax returns. The presidential candidate has often deployed his wife to help reassure women voters. He has even said that Ann "reports to me" about what women care about.
Members of the 99 percent took to millionaire Chevron CEO John Watson’s home on Tuesday to protest tax loopholes for oil corporations and the extremely wealthy. Watson, who earned $1.48 million in 2010, has defended Chevron and the oil industry’s $4 billion subsidies.
About 30 people, many of them Richmond residents, braved the drizzly conditions to protest in front of the home of CEO John Watson, whom they criticized as an example of what they called the “corporate welfare” and undue influence of the richest Californians on the state’s tax code.
“People like Watson represent the 1 percent that have destroyed opportunities for the middle class,” said Andres Soto, a Richmond resident and one of the protesters.
The protest coincided with the release of a report titled “Meet California’s 1%: How Wall Street banks, big corporations and the super rich are killing the recovery,” which among other charges claims that the state’s wealthy elite has eluded paying its fair share of taxes. The protest was organized by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), a nonprofit community organization.
Watson has publicly defended Chevron’s tax rate, claiming “We’re the highest taxed industry that I’m aware of.” But accounting for tax havens and loopholes, Chevron paid just 19 percent in federal taxes last year. Chevron stands to report even higher profits this quarter, benefiting from rising gas prices. Meanwhile, millionaires like Watson benefit from tax loopholes, which President Barack Obama’s “Buffett rule” would close.
During a heated moment at a City Council meeting, Bristol, CT Mayor Art Ward (D) told city Councilor Ken Cockayne to "shut the fuck up."
The Bristol Press reports Ward "denied uttering the comment, though he readily admitted he's often wanted to tell Cockayne to clam up. He said then that the words were no doubt in his mind, but he wouldn't say them in a council setting."
Finally he apologized after learning his words were actually captured on video.
A spokesman for the Republican Party of Florida blamed an " overzealous use of graphics" for an ad ?posted on Florida Gov. Rick Scott's Facebook page ?that included an altered Miami Herald front page.
The ad ?which has since been removed ?replaced the Herald's original headline "Murders highlight rise in crime in Guatemala" with one touting Scott's record on the economy and jobs: "NEW LAW HELPS PUT FLORIDIANS BACK TO WORK."
A federal appeals court is considering an eastern Pennsylvania school district's efforts to ban breast cancer fundraising bracelets that say "I (heart) boobies!"
A second undercover investigation conducted by a documentary filmmaker has discovered that Bachmann & Associates ? the Christian counseling clinics owned by Marcus and Michele Bachmann ? is still offering discredited ex-gay therapy to its gay and lesbian patients.
A high-profile British lawyer who has been closely involved in pursuing the hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch?s British tabloids said on Thursday that he planned for the first time to sue on behalf of alleged victims in the United States, the center of Mr. Murdoch?s global media empire.
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that as part of the Obama administration’s “Joining Forces” program, companies pledged to provide more than 15,000 jobs for military spouses. Last night, she went on the Colbert Report to mark the first anniversary of the program. “We have seen people hiring our veterans and finding wonderful flexible opportunities for spouses,” she said. In part two of the interview, Obama said that meeting military families on the campaign trail in 2008 “inspired” her, along with Dr. Jill Biden, to start the program. “I said on the campaign trail that…I would try to be their voice and tell their stories because I think that most Americans are like me and like you, we are not apart of the military community so we don’t understand that sacrifice,” Obama said. Watch the clip of part one:
After the Environmental Protection Agency issued rules for regulating carbon emissions from coal plants, the President of the United Mine Workers of America oddly compared the coal industry to Osama Bin Laden.
“The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington … the coal industry is not far behind with respect to what happened with Osama Bin Laden,” said UMWA’s Cecil Roberts.
It’s hard to think of a worse analogy for your industry. Leave it to faux-pundit Stephen Colbert to run with this one, coming up with an even better comparison for coal:
“Well done, sir. Osama Bin Laden was definitely the sympathetic figure in that story. And who can forget how upset the American people were when the American government took Bin Laden out. If you’re comparing the coal industry to homicidal maniacs, I would have gone with Sadaam Hussein. The guy knew a lot about fossil fuels and he spent some time in an underground shaft.”
Watch the whole segment:
White House spokesperson Jay Carney sought to explain the administration’s decision to punt on issuing an executive order that would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting. Responding to multiple questions from NBC News, Washington Blade, and Metro Weekly, Carney engaged in an eight minute back-and-forth with reporters and insisted that Obama had decided against issuing the protections so he could turn his attention to building support for the more-comprehensive Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit all employers from discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.
Carney insisted that the administration’s legislative approach is similar to its strategy in passing the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:
Q: Can you make the distinction between ENDA and signing this executive order? In other words, if he does support ENDA, why not sign this executive order which relates to a smaller part of the population to get that policy started?
CARNEY: I think the DADT repeal is instructive hear in terms of the approach that we’re taking at this time…We’re deeply committed to working with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build the case for employment nondiscrimination policies. [...]
Q: Is this a political calculation?
CARNEY: Absolutely not, the president is committed to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans, and that is why he has long supported ENDA….The approach we’re taking at this time is try to build support for passage of this legislation, a comprehensive approach, to legislate on the issue of non-discrimination.
Gay advocacy groups were disappointed with the administration’s decision, particularly since the order had already been approved by the Departments of Labor and Justice and would have expanded employment protections for up to 16 million Americans.
Several activists who attended a meeting at the White House yesterday to discuss the matter told the Wall Street Journal they “left with the impression that the administration is wary of imposing additional requirements on businesses ahead of the election, not that it worries about taking a stand against employment discrimination.” “They want zero new obligations on business before Election Day,” said one gay-rights activist. “This is an artful way of kicking the can down the sidewalk.”
Obama’s decision was also condemned by Rep. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who issued a statement expressing his disappointment. ?I appreciate the President?s support for ENDA and will keep pushing for legislative action. However, an executive order would be a very constructive step forward and help build momentum to pass the bill,” he said. “It?s disappointing that the White House is passing on an opportunity to make immediate gains for equal opportunity in America.”