Oprah responds to racist robocall & poll shows she would beat Trump in 2020
Oprah responds to racist robocall & poll shows she would beat Trump in 2020
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November 06, 2018
POC Dominate Ballots, Michelle Obama Takes Book Tour Global, and Twitter Names Director of Culture
DON’T BOO, VOTE... Today, a passionately tribal electorate will choose a new House, one-third of the Senate, and Governors in states that will be crucial to the 2020 presidential campaign. EARLY VOTING RECORDS SHATTERED... GA has broken early voting records, and figures in Texas surpassed the state's total turnout in the 2014 midterms. As of Friday, early voter turnout in Florida was almost double what it was in 2014. NO MAMES ... A VOTER PATROL? The U.S. Border Patrol will be conducting an Election Day crowd control exercise in El Paso, the hometown of the Democratic candidate for Senate, Congressman Beto O’Rourke -- which is more than 80% Latino. JESUS DON’T LIKE UGLY... That’s what Oprah said in response to racist robocalls in GA after the media mogul campaigned for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. “We know what to do about that,” Oprah said. “Vote.” TOO RACIST FOR FOX AND NFL... NBC, Fox News, and Facebook have pulled a Trump anti-immigration campaign ad deemed too racist for the airwaves. The ad aired during Sunday night football, which prompted the NFL to say they had nothing to do with it. DUCK LIPS... Before you take that voting booth selfie, make sure it’s legal. There are no federal laws regarding the taking of selfies at polling stations, but 18 states, including Alabama, Illinois, and Florida say it is not allowed. And for six others, the rules are ambiguous. WILL ALEXA MOVE TO VA OR NYC? Amazon has yet to announce its HQ2 location, but reports suggest the company is coming to both New York City and northern Virginia. DECERTIFIED... The U.S. Olympic Committee took steps Monday to decertify USA Gymnastics as the governing body for the sport at the Olympic level after its mishandling of the sex-abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar, the former team doctor. KEY RESULTS ARE IN... PEOPLE Magazine named Idris Elba its "Sexiest Man Alive" today. The 46-year-old actor has been passionately and unanimously endorsed for this post by the entire team at The Beat DC. We’re kicking off your Election Day with this…
  • Poll shows Michelle Obama, Oprah, and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) beat Trump by double digits in 2020 matchup.
  • American Cancer Society exec out following criticism of corporate partnerships.
  • NYT announces team for new weekly television series.
  • Kentucky has country’s highest rate of Black disenfranchisement.
  • Be sure to tune in today at 1:20P EST to Keepin’ It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton on SiriusXM Ch. 126 to catch The Beat DC’s Tiffany D. Cross discussing some of the nation’s top races this Election Day.
CA Democratic congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar on Thursday filling in his ballot.
NFL free agent Shea McClellin and ID Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan tailgating on Saturday before a Boise State University football game.
Most Diverse Slate of Candidates Across the Country
There are 216 Black, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, or multiracial candidates on the ballot today pursuing House, Senate, and Governor seats. If Democrats keep their current seats in the House and win about 40 more, the representation among people of color will jump to from 23% to 27%. The increasingly white GOP will likely face an increasing demographic disadvantage -- arguably one of the reasons some candidates are running on cultural issues. The share of candidates who are white men, at 58%, is the lowest in the past four elections. Overall, there are 411 women, people of color, and LGBT candidates running for the House, Senate, and governorships. Stay tuned to The Beat DC tomorrow. We’ll break down all the election results and give you a preview of the new Congress. More here.

DOJ Again Asks SCOTUS to Rule on DACA and Circumvent Circuit Courts
The Justice Department on Monday filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to intervene in several cases over the termination of DACA. The move comes after weeks of racist immigration rhetoric by Donald Trump and some other Republicans as they campaigned ahead of the midterm elections. DOJ attorneys want SCOTUS to intervene and bypass the three cases pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Ninth, and DC Circuits. All three have decisions from lower courts that concluded the rescission of the DACA “either is or likely is unlawful.” In his letter to SCOTUS, Solicitor General Noel Francisco (pictured) -- whose mother immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines -- said the Department was filing the request so that the court would be able "to consider this dispute during the current Term." If SCOTUS agrees to the DOJ request to skip the lower courts and hear the case this term, a ruling would come before the end of June. The 5-4 conservative majority could spell the end of the program if SCOTUS agrees with DOJ that it is within the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to end the policy. A fourth judge in a case out of Texas ruled that DACA is likely illegal, but he refused to issue an injunction halting the program immediately. That case was conveniently left out of DOJ’s filing on Monday. DACA advocates decried the move as a political ploy meant to sway voters ahead of today’s election. This is not the first time that Justice has tried to circumvent the Circuit courts; SCOTUS in February rejected their request to hear the California case before that appeals court weighed-in. We’ll keep you posted. More here.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Leads SCOTUS Brief, But Why?
A long-running battle over a coal-fired power plant in India lands is being considered by the Supreme Court. A group of bipartisan lawmakers led by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) says that Budha Ismail Jam v. International Finance Corp. -- a dispute that pits Indian fishermen and farmers against an arm of the World Bank -- could have significant repercussions how Congress crafts laws. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Ros-Lehtinen and seven colleagues, the members ask SCOTUS to side with the fisherman and farmers, and they call on SCOTUS to allow lawsuits against U.S.-based international organizations. But why are the lawmakers particularly interested in this case? Cuba. While their brief doesn’t mention Cuba, Budha Ismail Jam v. International Finance Corp. could affect potential claims of Cuban doctors, who now live in the U.S., against the Pan-American Health Organization for a program that brings Cuban doctors to Brazil. Brazil channels payments for doctors through the PAHO, a Washington-based branch of the World Health Organization, which then pays the Cuban government. The Cuban government has allegedly forced doctors to go abroad to work and then has kept most of the money. Joining Ros-Lehtinen in the brief were Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC); FL Democrats Senator Bill Nelson and members Alcee Hastings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Darren Soto; and FL Republicans Congressmen Mario Díaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo. More here.
Democratic strategist and NBC contributor Cornell Belcher on Monday on-set in NYC to cover the midterm elections.
CNN en Español’s María Alejandra Requena and Elizabeth Pérez on Friday on-set in Miami.
Poll Shows Michelle Obama, Oprah, and Kamala Harris Beat Trump by Double Digits in 2020 Match Up
Millions of people will cast ballots today for House, Senate, and gubernatorial races. However, some people are eager to look ahead to 2020. A new Axios poll shows that Donald Trump trails Michelle Obama, Oprah, and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) by double digits in potential 2020 presidential races. Specifically, the president trails by 13 points to Obama among registered voters polled, by 12 points to Oprah, and by 10 points to Harris. One problem, of these three women, two are adamant that they are not running for office. Both FLOTUS44 and Oprah have had to repeatedly address questions and rumors about pursuing a path to the White House, and both have responded with a resounding nope. The poll found that the closest race would be between Trump and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Warren has a 2-point lead among registered voters, according to the poll. The two groups who the poll shows would overwhelmingly opt for anyone but Trump? African American women and millennials -- are also two groups that tend to be less reliable in going to the polls. More here.
Latino Voters Participation Surges, But Low in California
Latinos make up 34% of California’s adult population but account for only 21% of likely voters. Even worse, only 14% cast ballots during the June primary. A solid majority of Latino likely voters, 60%, are registered as Democrats. As of Friday, a record number of mail ballots had been turned in -- 3.2 million -- surpassing the early vote numbers of the last midterm election in 2014. Latinos have been voting in small numbers. Although they received 23% of the mail ballots, only 14% of all those returned were from Latinos entering the weekend. The numbers are even more dismal among young adults: They received 25% of the mail ballots and had returned just 10% of the total. Among California millennials -- ages 22 to 37 -- 51% are registered Democrats, nearly one-third are Latinos. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, chaired by Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM), has released Spanish get-out-the-vote ads in Sacramento and Los Angeles for the first time. When it started hiring local organizers in February 2017, it included designated constituency organizers in districts with large Hispanic populations. And early voting numbers collected by Political Data Inc., an analytics firm in California, suggest Latino turnout will eventually be a percentage point or two higher than the primary today in key districts. On a national scale, Hispanic voting is expected to surge. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 36% of Hispanic voters surveyed in the said that they were "certain to vote," jumping nine points from 27% in the 2014 midterms, when Hispanic voter turnout hit record lows, and Republicans took back the Senate and held the House. Among those surveyed, 60% surveyed said they would vote Democratic, at least in House races, while 32% said they'd vote Republican. And 53% said they were "very motivated" to choose a candidate for Congress who opposes Trump. More here.

Kentucky Has Country’s Highest Rate of Black Disenfranchisement 
Nearly one in 10 adults in Kentucky, and one in four African Americans, has a felony record that bans them from voting for life. It is the nation’s highest rate of Black disenfranchisement. And among African American males specifically, the rate is considered even higher: an estimated one in three. Feeding these statistics are the tough-on-crime ethos of the 1980s and 1990s, when life-destroying penalties were imposed for nonviolent violations like low-volume drug sales and failure to pay alimony. Voting-age Kentuckians with felony records rose nearly fourfold from 1980 to 2010. Among Black residents, it grew nearly sevenfold. Despite changes to criminal sentencing guidelines seven years ago and a declining crime rate, the NYT reports that the state’s prison population continues to rise, with well over half the 24,000-plus prisoners warehoused in overcrowded county jails. In 2015, Kentucky’s departing Democratic governor issued an executive order restoring voting rights to 140,000 residents with nonviolent felony records, only to see his Republican successor reverse the edict shortly after taking office. Iowa and Florida are the only other two states that impose lifetime bans. However, polls indicate that Floridians are poised to approve Amendment Four today, which would restore rights to 1.4 million residents who have completed their sentences. More here.
ABC 7 NY’s CeFaan Kim spending quality time with his newborn daughter.
Former President Barack Obama campaigning for FL Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum in Miami over the weekend.
Facebook Names New Head of Global Creative Shop
Rapha Vasconcellos
has been named head of Facebook's Global Creative Shop. The native of Brazil has been with Facebook for six years. Before his promotion, he headed up the company’s Creative Shop -- which works with advertising holding companies and brands directly for campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Oculus -- in two of its fastest growing regions: Latin America and, most recently, Asia Pacific. In his new role, he will oversee the in-house hub which collaborates with nearly all of the major advertising holding companies, brands, independent creators, influencers, artists, production hubs, etc., on creative work across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Oculus. Vasconcellos will manage a global team of 300 employees across 38 markets. Vasconcellos started his career in advertising working at traditional agencies in Brazil. More here.

Meet Twitter’s New Global Director of Culture and Community
God-is Rivera
is joining Twitter as its Global Director of Culture and Community, a newly created position. In her new role, she will be tasked with ensuring Twitter’s campaigns and programs are inclusive and “reflective of the communities we serve.” Externally, Rivera will be responsible for developing relationships and programs with content creators, community leaders, brands, and more. The Bronx native was most recently Director for Inclusion & Cultural Resonance at global ad agency VMLY&R, where she led internal diversity efforts. The Clark Atlanta University graduate was previously a Senior Social Media Strategist at T3 and iCrossing; Director of Social Media and Content at OTRIAD Digital Marketing; Publicity and Digital Strategy Consultant at Don Diva Magazine; Director of Communications with InterFACE Talent Network; and CEO and Founder of 319 Public Relations. “As a black woman who has worked in industries in which I have been underrepresented, I feel a great responsibility to amplify and support diverse communities, and they exist in full force on Twitter,” Rivera said. “The team has shown a passion to serve and spotlight their most active users and I am honored to step into this new role as a part of that commitment.” She begins her new role on November 12th. More here.

CNN’s Natasha Chen hiking through Rock Creek Park in DC over the weekend.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, UnidosUS’ Janet Murguía, and NAACP’s Derrick Johnson last week after filming a public service announcement to encourage early voting.
Michelle Obama’s Book Tour Goes Global
Michelle Obama
is taking her book tour across the pond. The former First Lady is making her only UK appearance to talk about her new memoir, Becoming. She’ll be in conversation with acclaimed novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, best-selling author of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah. FLOTUS44 will reflect on her life from growing up on the South Side of Chicago to her years in the White House. "Becoming: An Evening with Michelle Obama" will take place on December 3rd in the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre. The first allocation of tickets goes on sale at 10A on Wednesday, with a second batch released on Thursday. Obama is giving away 300 free tickets to London high school students as well as some charities. She recently did the same in her hometown of Chicago and surprised some students at her alma mater, Whitney Young Magnet High School, on Thursday with free tickets to her book tour. She was in town taping for an ABC special, Becoming Michelle: A First Lady’s Journey with Robin Roberts – A Special Edition of 20/20, which is scheduled to air at 8P Sunday. Obama is also slated to speak to Roberts live from Chicago on GMA on November 13th, the day Becoming is to be released. That evening, the former First Lady will be interviewed by Oprah at Chicago’s United Center. Live Nation said 10% of the tickets for each of Obama’s shows would be donated to charities, schools, and community groups in each city. 
More here.
NYT Editorial Board Adds Cristian Farías
Cristian Farías
is joining the editorial board of The New York Times to write on legal issues. He currently serves as a Columnist for New York Magazine, where he covers the intersection of law and politics, including the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court’s caseload, civil rights issues, criminal justice, and more. He’s also a Writer-in-Residence at the NAACP Legal Defense Education Fund where he provides analysis and commentary on its areas of research and advocacy. Prior to that, the bilingual journalist -- who is fluent in English and Spanish -- was a Legal Affairs Reporter for HuffPost. Farias has also reported on legal affairs and public policy for The New Republic, Slate, Fusion, Medium, Fox News Latino, Latino Rebels, and New York’s El Diario/La Prensa, among other outlets. The 2008 Rutgers University graduate earned his law degree from CUNY School of Law. Also joining Farías on the Board is Alex Kingsbury from The Boston Globe. More here
NPR Taps Kenya Young as Executive Producer of Morning Edition
Kenya Young 
has become the Executive Producer for NPR’s Morning Edition. She has served as the acting Executive Producer since last November. Young has been with NPR for nearly a decade, most recently as Executive Producer of the weekend edition of All Things Considered. She also previously served as both Editor and Producer for several programs including News & Notes, Day To Day, Tell Me More, and Talk of The Nation. Before NPR, Young worked in the financial industry at Jackson National Life Insurance Company. The 1994 University of Notre Dame graduate, who also holds a Master’s from California State University at Northridge, started her career as a Film Publicist at Rogers and Cowan. More here.

NYT Announces Producers for Upcoming Program ‘The Weekly
The New York Times has announced their crew of producers that will work with staff reporters for their first-ever weekly television series, The Weekly. Hanaan Sarhan, who is of Egyptian descent, will join the team as a Supervising Producer, where she’ll be focused on logistics and planning. She departs from Al Jazeera, where she was a Senior Producer for the current affairs series Fault Lines. She brings more than a decade of news reporting and production experience, including as a Reporter for The Cairo Times. The 2004 University of Pittsburgh graduate has a Master’s from the London School of Economics. Rolake Bamgbose joins from VICE News, where she was a Features Producer for the news documentary program Vice News Tonight, covering stories related to civil rights and social justice. The Nigerian American’s most notable film, Rikers, which detailed people who have been detained in New York City's notorious Rikers Island Jail, earned her the 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Media Advocacy Award. The 2004 Emory University graduate holds a Master’s from Howard University, and her work has been featured on PBS, ABC News, and Discovery, among others. Sweta Vohra also joins from Al Jazeera, where since 2010 she has served as a Producer of Fault Lines, covering race, policing, surveillance, and technology. The trilingual producer, who is fluent in English, Gujarati, and Hindi, has earned Emmy nominations for her films on Ferguson and for an investigative co-production with the Center for Public Integrity on the Anacortes oil refinery disaster. The 2005 University of Texas at Austin graduate holds a Master’s from the University of California at Berkeley. Also joining The Weekly as a Senior Producer is Singeli Agnew, and joining as Producers are Suzanne Hillinger, Sam Stark, and Alysa Shorland. The show will be available via cable on FX, Hulu, and other broadcast partners around the world next year. More here.
Actor Viggo Mortenson and historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. discussing the upcoming film, Green Book, in Cambridge, MA last month.
Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities François-Philippe Champagne and PR Governor Ricardo Rosselló in Toronto at the annual Canadian Conference on Public-Private Partnerships over the weekend.
American Cancer Society Exec Out Following Criticism of Corporate Partnerships
Dr. Otis W. Brawley
, the long-serving Chief Medical Officer and EVP of the American Cancer Society (ACS), resigned from his post last week because of "his dismay over some commercial partnerships" that the organization had made recently. The NYT reports that Brawley had become uncomfortable with ACS’ growing reliance on donations from businesses with questionable health credentials. Some of the partnerships that have come under scrutiny include Long John Silver’s, the seafood chain known for its batter-fried fish; Tilted Kilt, a sports pub showcasing “Kilt Girls” in skimpy red plaid; and Herbalife International, who in a 2016 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, paid $200 million and restructured to settle charges that it deceived customers selling the product into thinking they could make a substantial income doing so. ACS has had to rely more on corporate partnerships for funding as its fundraising has gone down every year since 2007. Brawley told the NYT that he could not discuss the terms of his departure, but others at ACS said he had also expressed concerns the society’s program to make cancer drugs available at lower cost in Africa and its administration. More here.

Complaint Says Seema Verma’s Halloween Tweet Violated Ethics Law
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on Friday filed a complaint against Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma. CREW says that Verma posted a number of political messages in violation of the Hatch Act, including retweeting a message attacking the Democratic party posted by former Trump campaign senior advisor Boris Epshteyn. The filing also says Verma used her official account to take a shot at Medicare-for-All in a Halloween-themed tweet -- CREW alleges the messages mirror a Republican party talking point. More here.

Thursday, November 8th, 4:30P: “After the People Speak, What's Next?” A conversation with Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Power California’s Aparna Shah on the midterm results and California's future. The Raben Group, 601 S Figueroa Street, Suite 2775, Los Angeles, CA. Click here for more information
Tuesday, November 13th, 5:30P: NALEO hosts “What Do Elections Mean for Communities of Color?” a post-midterm elections debrief and what it means for communities of color. Verizon Technology and Policy Center, 1300 I Street NW, Suite 400 West, DC. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, November 13th, 8P: “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama,” moderated by Oprah Winfrey, in support of Obama's highly anticipated memoir, Becoming. United Center, 1901 W Madison, Chicago, IL. Click here for more information
Thursday, November 15th, 5P: Women's Congressional Staff Association diversity and inclusion mixer. 2261 Rayburn House Office Building, DC. Click here for more information
Thursday, November 15th, 8P: “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama,” moderated by Tracee Ellis Ross, in support of Obama’s highly anticipated memoir, Becoming. The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA. Click here for more information
Thursday, November 15th - Friday, November 16th: Men of Color in Communications Business Summit, a two-day conference bringing together more than 300 men of color in marketing, advertising, media, PR, and the digital space. Speakers include Jeffrey Litvack, CEO, AdweekRodney Williams, CEO, Belvedere Vodka; Jana Fleishman, EVP Strategic Marketing, Roc Nation (JAY-Z's Publicist); and many more. Bloomberg Corporate Headquarters, 731 Lexington Avenue, NYC. Click here for more information.
Saturday, November 17th, 8P: “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama,” moderated by Valerie Jarrett, in support of Obama’s highly anticipated memoir, Becoming. Capital One Arena, 601 F Street N.W., DC. Click here for more information
Saturday, November 24th, 8P: “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama,” moderated by Michele Norris, in support of Obama’s highly anticipated memoir, Becoming. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA. Click here for more information.
Sunday, November 25th, 8P: “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama,” moderated by Elizabeth Alexander, in support of Obama's highly anticipated memoir, Becoming. Capital One Arena, 601 F Street N.W., DC. Click here for more information
Wednesday, November 28th, 6:30P: Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino hosts the American Latino Influencer Awards, in recognition of Latino leaders and trailblazers in public service, arts and culture, business, and in the government. The InterContinental Wharf, 801 Wharf Street, S.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, November 28th: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute convenes a tech summit. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, November 28th - Saturday, December 1st: National Black Caucus of State Legislators host their 42nd Annual Legislative Conference, “Rejecting Walls That Divide and Building Bridges That Bring Us Together.” New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY. Click here for more information.
Thursday, December 6th - Sunday, December 9th: National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators host their 16th National Summit. Kona Kai Resort, 1551 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA. Click here for more information. 
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