Barack Obama speaks out and more about that White House fist fight.
Barack Obama speaks out and more about that White House fist fight.
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October 23, 2018
Cory Booker Unveils New Proposal, Deval Patrick PAC Makes Waves, and Me Too Hits Indian Country
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JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN… The president is presenting scary tales about a group of migrants moving toward the U.S., almost all the tales are inaccurate or misleading. The latest? “Unknown Middle Easterners” and “very bad people” are part of the caravan “that is an assault on our country.” TAX TREASURE HUNT… Meanwhile, Donald Trump has twice promised a new “major tax cut” ahead of the November midterm elections, and no one on his team or in his party has any clue what he’s talking about. I’M A NATIONALISTThat’s what the president said on Monday as he railed against Democrats and "globalists" who he said put the well-being of the world over the country. COME AT ME, BRO… Apparently, informal advisor Corey Lewandowski came at White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and got grabbed by the collar by the four-star General, and was almost ejected from the West Wing last February. This all took place just outside the Oval Office, and the Secret Service had to intervene. TED TALK… Trump abandoned his 2016 campaign moniker for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), changing “Lyin Ted” to “Beautiful Ted” as he hopes to help Cruz fend off a challenge from Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke. HOLD UP… “When you hear all this talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it," former President Barack Obama said in Las Vegas on Monday. POTUS44 never mentioned Trump by name but delivered ether nonetheless. SOROS SCAREAn explosive device was found at the Westchester County, NY home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros on Monday afternoon. Soros is frequently targeted by right-wing activists. GEORGIA ON MY MINDDemocrat Stacey Abrams will faceoff with Brian Kemp this eve in their first debate as the two compete in a neck-and-neck battle for Georgia Governor. Libertarian candidate Ted Metz also is participating. GOOD ON ANY MALCOLM X BOULEVARDTurkey recently announced that the street leading to the new U.S. embassy would be renamed to honor Malcolm X. Following Donald Trump’s comments proposing a Muslim immigration ban, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also demanding that Trump's name be removed from signs around Trump Towers in Istanbul. We’re kicking off your Tuesday with this…
  • Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) probes U.S. intel agencies over Jamal Khashoggi’s death.
  • Harvard affirmative action trial exposes wealth gap.
  • SCOTUS weighs in on 2020 Census citizenship question.
  • The NYT and NPR add new names to the newsroom.
  • Be sure to catch The Beat DC’s Tiffany D. Cross this afternoon co-hosting Keepin’ It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton on SiriusXM ch. 126, and then live on MSNBC today at 2P.
Actress and activist Eva Longoria encouraging Texans to register to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
CNN commentator Angela Rye, producer Will Packer, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at Florida A&M; University last week.
Cory Booker Unveils New Proposal Aimed at Closing Racial Wealth Gap
Households of color have only a fraction of white households’ wealth -- median Black and Latino households that own just $3,400 and $6,300 in wealth, respectively, compared to $140,500 in wealth owned by their white peers. The Beat DC yesterday reported on the proposal from Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to repeal Donald Trump’s tax cut and give back to the middle class. On Mondy, another rumored 2020 presidential contender, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), released his own plan -- the American Opportunity Accounts Act. The newly introduced legislation will help level the wealth-building playing field and ensure that all children, especially those who come from low- and moderate-income families. He says his plan, which would be administered by the Treasury Department, would provide approximately four million children born each year with an American Opportunity Account seeded with an initial $1,000 deposit. Each year, until the child turns 18, their accounts would be boosted through additional, automatic yearly investments of up to $2,000 deposited directly into the accounts. At age 18, the funds could be used by the child to invest in wealth-building opportunities, such as a higher education or homeownership. For children who come from the most financially vulnerable families, the American Opportunity Accounts Act would provide them with the greatest wealth-building support. For example, by the time they turn 18, the American Opportunity Accounts Act would provide low-income children with as much as $34,000 in investments. And because the legislation’s automatic enrollment feature would allow those investments to grow to their maximum potential, this initial $34,000 would grow to be more than $45,000. “It would be a dramatic change in our country to have low-income people break out of generational poverty,” Booker said. “We could rapidly bring security into those families’ lives, and that is really exciting to me.” More here.

Ro Khanna Wants Answers from American Intelligence on Jamal Khashoggi’s Death
Congressmen Ro Khanna (D-CA)
and Mark Pocan (D-WI) are calling on Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to release information regarding the U.S. intelligence community’s advance knowledge of Saudi Arabia’s plot to capture journalist and American resident Jamal Khashoggi. In a letter, a bipartisan group of 55 members of Congress seeks answers as to whether the Trump administration’s intelligence agencies performed their duty to warn Khashoggi of the credible threat to his life and liberty posed by the Saudi plot to capture him; the precise date on which any arm of the U.S. intelligence community first became aware of the Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi; and whether the intelligence community will declassify portions of U.S. intercepts of Saudi officials relevant to Khashoggi’s disappearance. “In weighing the merits of U.S.-Saudi military cooperation, it is imperative that Members of Congress have a full, detailed grasp of the intelligence community’s knowledge of Saudi actions and their potentially harmful impact on the wellbeing of U.S. residents and citizens, as well as any U.S. intelligence failures pertaining to Saudi activities that may have contributed to needless loss of life,” the members wrote. See the letter here.

Political commentator Kurt Bardella at Politicon in LA over the weekend.
NBC News’ Morgan Radford on-set wearing purple to support LGBT youth last week.
SCOTUS Protects Commerce Secretary From Answering Questions About 2020 Census Immigration Question
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will not have to answer lawyers’ questions about his decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census. The decision by the Supreme Court to shield Ross, at least temporarily, comes in response to a lawsuit filed by several states and civil rights groups to stop the administration from adding a citizenship question to the decennial count. They had asked to question Ross over his “shifting and inaccurate explanations, both in his decisional memo and in testimony before Congress,” as well as in new documents filed in the case, about why he made the decision to add the question. Ross said he had added the question to help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act, but recently released documents contradicted his claims and showed that he had been pushing for the inclusion of the question at the behest of other administration officials including Steve Bannon. Immigrant rights groups and Democrats say the question will make immigrants hesitate to fill out the form, and six former Census Directors also say that the question would harm the count. An undercount could cost states with large immigrant populations federal funds and congressional representation. The court did allow the suit overall to go forward. Stay tuned. More here.
Medicare and Medicaid Admin Loosens Obamacare Restrictions
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Seema Verma announced new waiver flexibility in Obamacare. States are getting new flexibility in waivers to the Affordable Care Act, including being able to target ACA subsidies for individuals who want to buy short-term, limited duration plans, Verma said Monday. What is not flexible is protecting access to coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Verma gave no specifics on the types of waivers that will be considered but said the agency was preparing to release a series of waiver concepts. More specifics are expected to be released in the coming weeks. The policy went into effect Monday but is expected to impact states next year, for the 2020 plan year. The allowance of short-term insurance as an ACA alternative could have a more immediate effect as consumers choose plans during open enrollment starting November 1st. The Trump administration this year extended the length of short-term plans from three months to one year, with an extension allowed for up to three years. Because these plans would not be obligated to cover the essential benefits mandated under the ACA, premiums are expected to be lower. Opponents have said this would cause an exodus of healthy consumers from the traditional ACA market, raising prices for those left behind. More here.

DOJ Expands Tribal Policy Program
The Justice and Interior Departments are expanding a program that connects Native American tribes to national crime databases, doubling the access to cover 72 tribes, with more on the way. The Tribal Access Program covers a number pressing situations including assisting with the registration of sex offenders; identifying human remains; locating endangered and missing people; arming tribal law enforcement with information about people they encounter in traffic stops; and conducting background checks to vet foster parents. Without the program, tribal law enforcement can be forced to rely on state officials to gain access to those crime information databases. The program also offers training, software and even hardware kiosks, and computer terminals equipped with palm print readers that can help do background checks for people who work with children such as teachers or bus drivers. NPR reports that the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs is deploying kiosks to 30 locations and expect to grant some access to about 50 tribes. The information-sharing program is a rare example of the Trump administration building on an effort that launched during the Obama years. "It transcends political party, it transcends administration, and what it tells us that collaborative law enforcement, good common sense law enforcement, is just the right thing to do," said Trent Shores, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma and a citizen of the Choctaw Nation. More here.
NBC's Jacque Reid on-set in NYC last week. 
PIX 11 NY’s Marvin Scott with Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) on-set on Friday.
Deval Patrick PAC Makes Impressive Fundraising Round
Political operatives connected to former Democratic Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick launched a PAC to test a potential run for president -- and if the fundraising results are any indication, the field just got more crowded. The Reason to Believe PAC hit the ground running, generating almost $350,000 in contributions in less than two months -- pulling far ahead of PACs connected to other potential Democratic candidates in the 2020 presidential race. Most of the funding came from Dan Fireman, Managing Partner of the private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners in Boston, who donated $250,000. The next biggest donors were John Fish, a prominent Boston developer who gave $50,000, and Charlie Zink, who donated $20,000. The limited traditional PAC donations came from all over Massachusetts, as well as more spread out places like Oregon and Georgia. Though not started by Patrick himself, the Reason to Believe PAC has the same name as his 2011 autobiography and is run by his former aides, including John Walsh, Patrick’s former Campaign Manager. Patrick has hit the campaign trail drumming up support for candidates like Mike Espy who is running for Senate in Mississippi; Colin Allred in Texas, a first-time candidate competing in a red-to-blue district; and Josh Welle, who is running for a House seat in New Jersey. Patrick, the first Black Governor of Massachusetts and current Managing Director at Bain Capital, as yet to formally announce whether he'll run in 2020. However, there has been plenty of speculation fueled in part by the 62-year-old saying in March that a run for president was on his radar. “I am very focused on 2018 and I am going to be consistent with my day job. I’m going to try to be active on 2018 and I’ve been asked by a number of candidates to be involved ... I think it’s all hands on deck right now and there’s lots and lots of different ways to serve. Looking ahead to 2020, there’s a lot of great people in that field and I’m watching that too, watching to see who’s in and how I can be helpful,” Patrick said in May in an interview with Pod Save America. More on the PAC fundraising here.
Tim Scott Staffer Joins Allstate 
Saat Alety
has joined insurance giant Allstate as Director of Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs. He previously was a Legislative Assistant for Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). Prior to that, Alety spent almost three years as Communications Director to Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA). Alety was also a Legislative Assistant to Royce for his housing and financial institutions portfolio on the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to his Capitol Hill experience, Alety has held positions with the Financial Services Roundtable as a Digital Media Manager, the leading advocacy organization for the financial services industry, and as a Nevada Digital Director for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. The Loyola University of Chicago graduate, who also has a Master’s from Georgetown, started his career as a Staff Assistant to former Congresswoman Judy Biggert. More about him here.

Policy Advocate
Protect Democracy is seeking a Policy Advocate who is passionate about protecting our democracy to develop policy solutions and strategically organize coalitions to defend and strengthen democratic norms and institutions. The Policy Advocate will lead our efforts to influence the Hill and executive branch oversight bodies. Click here to learn more & apply.
Protect Democracy is seeking a highly motivated Communications Organizer. They will cultivate and manage relationships with media; increase Protect Democracy’s visibility; represent Protect Democracy; ensure effective rapid response and crisis communications management; and more. Click here to learn more & apply.
#MeToo Hits National Congress of American Indians
The Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has been placed on leave as questions mount about her handling of a #MeToo scandal at the organization and other long-standing employee complaints. Jackie Pata, the organization's highest-ranking staffer and a citizen of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes, is facing at least 40 tribes who have issued a vote of no confidence in her leadership. As Tribal Leaders prepare for a milestone conference in Denver, Pata will be sidelined. At issue? The organization's former General Counsel. John Dossett held the post until earlier this year when he was fired amid allegations he was harassing, intimidating, and pressuring female employees. But some viewed the delay in firing him as a failure of NCAI, which positions itself as an advocate for Native women, who are victimized at rates far higher than any other group. Former employees say Dossett’s treatment of women was common knowledge among the staff including Pata. And though she is sidelined, some still say the move doesn’t go as far as sought by some in Indian Country. Instead of authorizing an investigation by an outside entity, NCAI, for now, has tasked an “ad hoc committee” with looking into the allegations. With Pata out of the picture, NCAI will be overseen by a “team of NCAI senior leadership staff,” according to the Saturday night statement. The group consists of Virginia Davis, a Senior Policy Advisor at the organization, Derrick Beetso, the recently-named General Counsel, and Yvette Roubideaux, a former federal government official who heads up NCAI’s Policy Research Center. The naming of a leadership team also sidesteps the new Deputy Director at NCAI, Ahniwake Rose, who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was recently tapped to fill the vacant position, just as Pata was facing questions about her own leadership. Rose has served as Executive Director of the National Indian Education Association since 2012. There’s a lot more to this story. Get it here.

Harvard Affirmative Action Trial Exposes Wealth Gap in Admissions Process
A trial in a lawsuit brought by conservative activists -- who created a group named Students for Fair Admissions and who argue that Harvard disfavors high-achieving Asian Americans and gives a boost to African American, Hispanic, and other traditional beneficiaries of affirmative action -- revealed that wealthy students outnumber low-income ones, 23 to one on campus. Richard Kahlenberg, a longtime advocate of affirmative action based on socioeconomic factors instead of race, testified on Monday as an expert witness for the group of Asian Americans suing Harvard.  He said the college could increase both racial and economic diversity among its student body suggesting that the university ditch the advantage it gives students whose parents attended Harvard, those applicants tied to donors and staff members, and its early admissions program, which tends to benefit students who attend well-resourced high schools with counselors who know to guide some seniors to compete in that smaller pool. The result would be that the share of disadvantaged students, defined as those whose family income is $80,000 or less, would increase at Harvard from 17% to 54%. This option would keep the percentage of white students level, while slightly increasing the number of Asian American and Hispanic students on campus. However, the number of African American students would drop from about 14% to 10% under Kahlenberg’s model. A 2017 report showed that just 3% of students at Harvard came from the bottom fifth of the income ladder, while 70% came from families of the top fifth of income earners in the country. Harvard has investigated race-neutral alternatives but said they fail to meet Harvard’s educational goals of attracting top-level and diverse students. Harvard’s admissions readers use a summary sheet that includes information about the applicant’s race, gender, location, and academic background. Harvard says the only rating that considers an applicant’s race is the overall rating, which captures the admission reader’s total impression of an applicant and isn’t just an average of the other ratings. Harvard’s 2019 class is 40% white; 24% Asian American; 14% African American; and 14% Hispanic -- a massive 82% of those scholars are economically advantaged. The trial is expected to run through the end of the month. More here.

Conservative commentator Shermichael  Singleton and NBC News’ Simone Boyce on Monday in NYC.
UnidosUS President Janet Murguía and NUL’s Marc Morial on Saturday canvassing in Philadelphia to get out the vote.
NYT International Desk Adds an Editor
Gillian Wong
is joining The New York Times’ Hong Kong bureau as an Editor on the International desk. Wong has spent more than a decade reporting on China and elsewhere in Asia. She was previously the Greater China News Director for The Associated Press where she oversaw the AP’s reporting in video, text, and photos, across mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mongolia. Prior to that, the bilingual journalist, who is fluent in Mandarin and English, was a Technology Correspondent for the WSJ. There, she covered everything from China's internet giants to its smartphone makers, government policies on the Internet, and cybersecurity issues. The 2005 Nanyang Technological University graduate began her career at the AP’s Singapore bureau. More here
NPR Investigative Team Adds Cheryl Thompson
Cheryl W. Thompson 
will join the NPR Investigations Team as a Correspondent. She's currently an Associate Professor at George Washington University and a Contributing Investigative Reporter for The Washington Post, where she also served as Metro Reporter, National Reporter, and WH Correspondent. Thompson has more than 25 years of newspaper reporting experience, including at the Gainesville Sun, Los Angeles Daily News, Chicago Tribune, and Kansas City Star. And earlier this year, Thompson was elected President of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Board, becoming the first African American to lead the 43-year-old organization. The double University of Illinois graduate, who is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, begins her new role in January. More here
Latino USA’s María Hinojosa and Marketware’s Krystal Guerra at the University of Utah.
If you were wondering what the bathrooms at the WaPo look like, check out Gene Park's bathroom selfie from the weekend.
Ad Council Unveils New Board Members
The Ad Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using communications to drive social change, on Thursday announced the addition of new members to its Board of Directors. Among the new members are Ernestine Fu, Kirk McDonald, and Tiffany R. Warren. Fu is the Chairman of Gfycat and a Venture Partner at Alsop Louie Partners. She currently leads Venture Partner’s investment thesis in 3D printing and other disruptive technologies. Outside the firm, she advises startups in data storage, payments, mobile analytics, and gaming. Fu is the co-author of Civic Work, Civic Lessons, a book on philanthropy. Fu earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s from Stanford University -- where she sold her first start-up for $1 million as a student. McDonald is the Chief Marketing Officer of Xandr -- AT&T’s advertising and analytics company. Previously, the City College of New York graduate worked for PubMatic, Inc., was President of Digital at Time, Inc., DRIVEpm, and CNET Networks. Warren is the Chief Diversity Officer at Omnicom, where she oversees a team focused on its change efforts for the advancement and retention of top performing talent inclusive of women, people of color, and LGBT people. Before joining Omnicom, she worked at the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Arnold Worldwide, and Hill Holiday. The Bentley University graduate is also the Founder and President of ADCOLOR. Warren also serves on the boards for several organizations including GLAAD, the American Advertising Federation, and the Ghetto Film School. More here.

New CEO for LIFT
LIFT, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending intergenerational poverty, recently announced Michelle Rhone-Collins as the organization’s next CEO. Rhone-Collins joined LIFT in 2012 as the Founding LIFT-Los Angeles Executive Director. Under her leadership, LIFT-LA became the organization’s largest and most financially successful operation. Prior to joining LIFT, the Duke University graduate, who received her Master’s from Teacher’s College/Columbia University, spent nearly 20 years leading youth and community development efforts in New York and Los Angeles. She began her career working with homeless and runaway teens as part of the University Settlement House in NYC. From there, she served in senior leadership roles at the Citizens Committee for New York City and the Beacon Community Center. She then moved to Los Angeles and led the New Vision Partners Youth Institute and, later, the Children’s Nature Institute. She officially takes the helm in January 2019. More about her here.

FOMO
Today - Friday, October 26th: National Congress of American Indians’ 75th Annual Convention & Marketplace, “Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future.” Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th St., Denver, CO. Click here for more information.
Today - Friday, November 2nd: The March on Washington Film Festival holds Legacy 21st: an online summit of arts & ideas 50 years after King. Click here for more information
Wednesday, October 24, 10A: NALEO Educational Fund and Latino Decisions host a briefing on Latinos and Election 2018. NALEO Educational Fund CEO Arturo Vargas will present new Election 2018 analysis on Latino voters and candidates. National Press Club, 529 14th Street, N.W., 13th Floor. DC. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, October 24rd, 6:30P: ColorComm DC presents: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, an evening of cocktails and a discussion around women of color and our role as political pioneers. GMMB, 3050 K Street, N.W., Suite 100, DC. Click here for more information.
Sunday, October 28th - Tuesday, October 30thThe Atlantic, The Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies' CityLab 2018, a summit to address the most urgent urban issues of our time. Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, 1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI. Click here for more information.
Monday, October 29th, 5P: The Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 31st Anniversary Awards Gala. Honorees include Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, President of Tennessee State University, and Leslie T. Thornton, SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of WGL Holdings, Inc., & Washington Gas Light Company. Washington Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Rd N.W., DC. 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.
Wednesday, November 28th: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute convenes a tech summit. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., DC. Click here for more information.
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