Progressives seethe after DNC chair backs Cuomo

In an unexpected turn that rankled the party’s left flank, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez on Thursday endorsed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election bid.

His announcement, at the party’s state convention on Long Island, comes in the midst of a feisty primary campaign between Cuomo and actress Cynthia Nixon.

“You’ve been delivering results that have made people’s lives better,” Perez said in his speech. “That’s why Andrew Cuomo and (New York Lt. Gov.) Kathy Hochul are charter members of the accomplishments wing of the Democratic Party, and that’s why I’m proud to endorse them.”

Perez’s nod came alongside endorsements for Cuomo from 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Joe Biden. The one-two-three punch of prominent establishment leaders arriving at the convention to publicly back Cuomo angered Nixon supporters and dredged up grievances tied to the 2016 presidential primary, when the DNC’s national apparatus favored, though never openly endorsed, Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“Perez coming in at this time only further drives a wedge in the Democratic Party,” said Jonathan Westin, the executive director of New York Communities for Change, a progressive activist group supporting Nixon. “What we’re seeing play out, in a microcosm here in New York, is that the party elites are out of touch with where the base of the party is at.”

First elected in 2010, Cuomo is facing a challenge from Nixon, who has attacked the governor for not pursuing a more aggressively liberal agenda. She trails Cuomo, who was backed by 95% of state party delegates on Wednesday, in the most recent polls by more than 20 points despite gaining ground since entering the contest a little more than two months ago.

“We’re grateful for Chairman Perez’s support and look forward to working with him to elect more Democrats at every level in November,” Cuomo spokeswoman Lis Smith said on Thursday afternoon.

Perez was voted DNC chair in February 2017 over, among others, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, who ran with the support of the Sanders coalition and has been vocal in advising the party to steer clear of the primary process. A DNC official cast Perez’s decision to intervene here as more of a personal one, noting that the Buffalo-native and Cuomo have a personal relationship going back decades.

Ellison said in a statement Thursday, “The Democratic Party should not intervene in the primary process. It is our role to be fair to all contestants and let the voters decide.”

The DNC has worked to mend post-2016 fences by using a “Unity Reform Commission” to tackle a suite of contentious intra-party disputes. Perez and Sanders also took part in a “unity tour” last spring in an effort to help soothe relations.

But New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who is running to unseat Hochul in the September primary, argued that the timing of the endorsement undermined that message.

“It seems like each time the DNC gets involved in a primary they support the establishment Democrats instead of the party’s left leaning progressives,” he said. “It would be nice if, at some point, calls for unity also mean supporting the left wing of the party.”

Nixon’s campaign wouldn’t directly address Perez’s decision. In a statement, Nixon spokeswoman Lauren Hitt dismissed the endorsements as an afterthought.

“Cuomo can cloak himself in all the endorsements he wants, but it won’t hide the fact that he’s effectively governed as a Republican for eight years,” she said. “Because he helped the Republicans maintain control of the Senate, we lost the chance to pass the DREAM Act and to protect women’s reproductive rights, among other progressive policies.”

Newborn baby found abandoned near Tampa intersection

A newborn baby was found abandoned near a Tampa intersection on Thursday night, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. 

A witness reportedly found the baby near the intersection of 18th Street and 143 Avenue around 5 p.m. with only a red towel wrapped around him.

The witness took the baby to Florida Hospital in North Tampa, where he was immediately treated by medical staff. Medical personnel believe that the newborn was born approximately 12 to 18 hours ago. He is currently in stable, but critical condition. 

Deputies believe that the newborn is either a Caucasian or Hispanic male.

HCSO Detectives are looking for help with any information that may help identify the child or the parents.

“For some reason, somebody chose this method to do this. They could’ve brought the baby to any of the fire stations, hospitals, they could’ve brought him to any local law enforcement stations, they could’ve even stopped a deputy on the side of the street and asked for help,” Major Frank Losat said in a press conference Thursday night. “In today’s society, there’s no reason to do this. There are avenues and places to do this.”

In the state of Florida, you can leave your baby, up to 7 days old, with an employee at any hospital, emergency medical services station or with a firefighter at any fire station under the state’s Safe Haven Law. As long as the child shows no signs of intentional abuse, no name or other information is required.

Anyone with information in reference to this incident or the identity of the individuals involved is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200. You may also send an anonymous tip from a smart phone using HCSOSheriff app available on both android and apple products.

HCSO’s Child Protection Division is involved with the case. Depending on how the newborn’s condition progresses, he will be placed in the custody of the sheriff’s office.

Parents call for investigation into MSD assault involving sheriff’s son

Several parents of victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre say that if former Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scot Peterson — who stood outside the school for several minutes while bullets rang out — had done his job, their children might not have lost their lives.

“I think Peterson is the lowest form of life available,” said Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was gunned down on the third floor. “My daughter would be alive today if not for him.” 

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel publicly criticized Peterson for his inaction during the shooting that left 17 dead and 17 more wounded, but didn’t fire the 54-year-old deputy, instead allowing him to resign. Local 10 caught up with Peterson outside his home in Boynton Beach, where he is living on his $100,000-a-year public pension. The deputy, who had yet to face any media, simply turned and hurried inside, saying only, “Get off my property.” 

But now, a report that recently surfaced has some victims’ families calling for renewed investigation of Peterson for a case he handled four years to the day prior to the massacre. The case involved two 17-year-old students bullying a 14-year-old freshman, with one holding down the younger boy by his ankles while the other kicked the victim, grabbed his genitals and then took the victim’s own baseball bat and began shoving it against his buttocks, simulating rape, through the boy’s clothes. 

One of those assailants, the boy who allegedly held down the victim, was Sheriff Israel’s own son, Brett. Defense attorney Alex Arreaza, who represents shooting victim Anthony Borges, who was shot five times in the Valentine’s Day shooting and survived, said the case could have led to felony charges. 

“He could be charged with lewd and lascivious. I’m being conservative,” said defense attorney Alex Arreaza.  

But, in the report, Peterson claims in the report that it was a “simple battery” under the board’s discipline matrix, and he decided to give both of the boy’s attackers a three-day suspension. 

“What is that? Is that like an alternative universe law?” Arreaza said. “Because you’re in school? I don’t think it falls under any matrix.” 

In fact, the disciplinary matrix includes “sexual misconduct” and “serious” battery, both of which, arguably, apply in this case. When asked if he believed the sheriff’s son received preferential treatment, Arreaza said, “You will never see somebody grabbing somebody’s crotch and poking somebody in the butt with a bat and get a simple battery for it.” 

Guttenberg said the facts of the incident “infuriated” him. 

“Scot Peterson failed to do his job again,” he said. “It’s just another example of a bad crime and somebody not being held accountable. It’s kind of interesting the intersection of the same people.” 

For  Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was also killed on the third floor at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the case appears to be another incident of undue leniency for students accused of crimes, much of it stemming from the controversial Promise program designed to keep minors out of jail. The school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, never faced any charges despite numerous incidents inside and outside of school, including one that led to a referral to the Promise program, which Superintendent Robert Runcie claimed Cruz had never been associated with. 

Pollack also said he believed Peterson’s handling of the incident may have provided Peterson job security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“[Peterson] was lazy and this could have given him protection to keep his job at the school during those four years,” said Pollack.

In a written statement, Borges’ father, Royer Borges, said, “Maybe if Deputy Peterson would have been made to answer for this he may have been replaced by a more competent deputy,” and “If this wouldn’t have been the sheriff’s son, would a sexual assault have been reduced to a simple battery?” 

Peterson noted in his report that the victim’s parents were notified of the discipline and “did not request additional law enforcement action.” The mother of the victim confirmed this to Local 10, saying the family members only wanted to put the matter behind them and had made peace with the sheriff and his son. Israel didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from Local 10. 

Both Borges and Guttenberg said they believe the Peterson’s handling of the assault should be investigated.

“We should know the facts and the details,” said Guttenberg. “I don’t care if it was four days ago or four years ago. If people didn’t do their job and they failed in their responsibilities it should be investigated.” 
 

Parents call for investigation into MSD assault involving sheriff’s son

Several parents of victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre say that if former Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scot Peterson — who stood outside the school for several minutes while bullets rang out — had done his job, their children might not have lost their lives.

“I think Peterson is the lowest form of life available,” said Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was gunned down on the third floor. “My daughter would be alive today if not for him.” 

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel publicly criticized Peterson for his inaction during the shooting that left 17 dead and 17 more wounded, but didn’t fire the 54-year-old deputy, instead allowing him to resign. Local 10 caught up with Peterson outside his home in Boynton Beach, where he is living on his $100,000-a-year public pension. The deputy, who had yet to face any media, simply turned and hurried inside, saying only, “Get off my property.” 

But now, a report that recently surfaced has some victims’ families calling for renewed investigation of Peterson for a case he handled four years to the day prior to the massacre. The case involved two 17-year-old students bullying a 14-year-old freshman, with one holding down the younger boy by his ankles while the other kicked the victim, grabbed his genitals and then took the victim’s own baseball bat and began shoving it against his buttocks, simulating rape, through the boy’s clothes. 

One of those assailants, the boy who allegedly held down the victim, was Sheriff Israel’s own son, Brett. Defense attorney Alex Arreaza, who represents shooting victim Anthony Borges, who was shot five times in the Valentine’s Day shooting and survived, said the case could have led to felony charges. 

“He could be charged with lewd and lascivious. I’m being conservative,” said defense attorney Alex Arreaza.  

But, in the report, Peterson claims in the report that it was a “simple battery” under the board’s discipline matrix, and he decided to give both of the boy’s attackers a three-day suspension. 

“What is that? Is that like an alternative universe law?” Arreaza said. “Because you’re in school? I don’t think it falls under any matrix.” 

In fact, the disciplinary matrix includes “sexual misconduct” and “serious” battery, both of which, arguably, apply in this case. When asked if he believed the sheriff’s son received preferential treatment, Arreaza said, “You will never see somebody grabbing somebody’s crotch and poking somebody in the butt with a bat and get a simple battery for it.” 

Guttenberg said the facts of the incident “infuriated” him. 

“Scot Peterson failed to do his job again,” he said. “It’s just another example of a bad crime and somebody not being held accountable. It’s kind of interesting the intersection of the same people.” 

For  Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was also killed on the third floor at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the case appears to be another incident of undue leniency for students accused of crimes, much of it stemming from the controversial Promise program designed to keep minors out of jail. The school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, never faced any charges despite numerous incidents inside and outside of school, including one that led to a referral to the Promise program, which Superintendent Robert Runcie claimed Cruz had never been associated with. 

Pollack also said he believed Peterson’s handling of the incident may have provided Peterson job security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“[Peterson] was lazy and this could have given him protection to keep his job at the school during those four years,” said Pollack.

In a written statement, Borges’ father, Royer Borges, said, “Maybe if Deputy Peterson would have been made to answer for this he may have been replaced by a more competent deputy,” and “If this wouldn’t have been the sheriff’s son, would a sexual assault have been reduced to a simple battery?” 

Peterson noted in his report that the victim’s parents were notified of the discipline and “did not request additional law enforcement action.” The mother of the victim confirmed this to Local 10, saying the family members only wanted to put the matter behind them and had made peace with the sheriff and his son. Israel didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from Local 10. 

Both Borges and Guttenberg said they believe the Peterson’s handling of the assault should be investigated.

“We should know the facts and the details,” said Guttenberg. “I don’t care if it was four days ago or four years ago. If people didn’t do their job and they failed in their responsibilities it should be investigated.” 
 

American Indian Spiritual Marathon Marks 40th Annivesary

Published May 25, 2018  Part I SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 16th will mark the 40th annual California 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon. This year the run will honor Ojibwa warrior and founder Dennis J. Banks. The  running teams are a multicultural group of individuals dedicated to preserving the tradition of spiritual running. Their message is “All […]

The post American Indian Spiritual Marathon Marks 40th Annivesary appeared first on Native News Online.

American Indian Spiritual Marathon Marks 40th Annivesary

Published May 25, 2018  Part I SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 16th will mark the 40th annual California 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon. This year the run will honor Ojibwa warrior and founder Dennis J. Banks. The  running teams are a multicultural group of individuals dedicated to preserving the tradition of spiritual running. Their message is “All […]

The post American Indian Spiritual Marathon Marks 40th Annivesary appeared first on Native News Online.

Cherokee Nation to Host Send-off for Remember the Removal Bike Ride Cyclists

Published May 25, 2018 TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation will host a send-off ceremony for the nine young Cherokee cyclists who leave Tahlequah on Tuesday for the 2018 Remember the Removal Bike Ride. This year’s cyclists range in age from 18 to 24. They will meet eight cyclists from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians […]

The post Cherokee Nation to Host Send-off for Remember the Removal Bike Ride Cyclists appeared first on Native News Online.

Cherokee Nation to Host Send-off for Remember the Removal Bike Ride Cyclists

Published May 25, 2018 TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation will host a send-off ceremony for the nine young Cherokee cyclists who leave Tahlequah on Tuesday for the 2018 Remember the Removal Bike Ride. This year’s cyclists range in age from 18 to 24. They will meet eight cyclists from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians […]

The post Cherokee Nation to Host Send-off for Remember the Removal Bike Ride Cyclists appeared first on Native News Online.