Five more Republican lawmakers surrender FTX money to U.S. Marshals Service

Money keeps pouring into the U.S. Marshals Service from federal political campaigns and committees who received funds from FTX, the now-defunct cryptocurrency company, according to a Raw Story analysis of federal campaign records.

Another five political campaigns sent $15,500 in campaign cash to the government agency best known for hunting down suspected criminals, adding to at least $160,000 collected from 30 federal political candidates and party committees, as Raw Story first reported.

The five new campaigns that gave up the money are fundraising entities for Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

Stefanik is chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, the GOP’s fourth most powerful position in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Macron Gives ‘Le Doigt’ To Free Speech: Protesters To Be Prosecuted For Flipping-Off French President

Five years ago, I wrote a column criticizing Democratic and Republican members of Congress who joined the media in gushing over an address from French President Emmanuel Macron as he called for European style censorship. Free speech has been in a virtual free fall in France for decades and Macron is a major voice in that movement.

This week, the French added another outrage to Macron’s legacy by promising to prosecute three citizens who protested the President by flipping him off at an event. The use of “Le Doigt” could now land them in “La Prison.”

The three will be prosecuted under France’s abusive criminal code that allows for the arrest of those who engage in speech that “affect the personal dignity or the respect owed to a public official.” It is a breathtaking denial of political speech and invites selective prosecution.

If convicted, they could face a fine of 15,000 euros and potentially up to one year in prison, according to La Chaîne Info. 

Macron has hit a record low in polling, but his government will now enforce respect for him through threats of incarceration.

France has been a leader in the rollback on free speech in the West with ever widening laws curtailing free speech. These laws criminalize speech under vague standards referring to “inciting” or “intimidating” others based on race or religion. For example, fashion designer John Galliano has been found guilty in a French court on charges of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris bar. At his sentencing, Judge Anne Marie Sauteraud read out a list of the bad words used by Galliano to Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti, including using ‘dirty whore” in criticism.

In another case, the father of French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was fined because he had called people from the Roma minority “smelly.” A French mother was prosecuted because her son went to school with a shirt reading “I am a bomb.”

A French teenager was charged for criticizing Islam as a “religion of hate.”

Yet, our leaders (and many in the media) were ecstatic when Macron came to the Congress and called for a joint war against “fake news,” declaring, “Democracy is about true choices and rational decisions. The corruption of information is an attempt to corrode the very spirit of our democracies.”

Nothing says Democracy like jailing those who do not show you respect.

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Video shows reinstated TN State Rep Justin Jones stopping cars and assaulting drivers in summer of 2020

Footage has been unearthed of disgraced Tennessee state representative Justin Jones stopping cars and assaulting drivers during summer protests outside of the state Capitol in 2020.

Jones had claimed at the time that the narrative that he was violent was false.

The footage proves otherwise.

“They will try to push a false narrative portraying me as “violent” as a way to deflect from their own actions. They will suggest that I am out of order. That is their strategy. However, I’m hopeful for the chance to present our evidence in a transparent manner.” Jones tweeted.

Local blog Scoop Nashville featured the violent footage in 2021, writing:

“In June of 2020, Justin Bautista-Jones, better known as ‘Brother Jones’ locally, was one of the publicly visible (often by design) protestors at the State Capitol. He received a lot of pushback from his own community after it was discovered he was often only making appearances when he knew there would be media coverage, and eventually had a falling out with one of the other most visible female members of the group.

“Throughout the entire time, he has faced over a dozen charges but always denied that he was violent – despite multiple assaults, assault on an officer, and reckless endangerment charges. In the newly obtained video, one of his assaults was captured, and presented to the Grand Jury – and he was indicted on two counts of reckless endangerment.”

On Monday afternoon, Jones, a Democrat who was expelled for leading an anti-gun protest into the storming of state Capitol last month, was reinstated to the House.

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Tennessee Democrat’s Transformation From College to Now Sparks Mockery on Social Media

Former Tennessee state Democratic Rep. Justin Pearson is facing criticism from conservatives for altering his voice and mannerisms while speaking publicly, which was made evident in unearthed footage from an election he took part in nearly a decade ago at Maine’s Bowdoin College.

A college campaign ad for Pearson’s successful bid for president of Bowdoin Student Government in 2016 showed a more casual Pearson who pushed for unity and understanding among his peers.

“I’m Justin J. Pearson, and I’m running for president of BSG,” Pearson said in the school campaign ad. “There are a few reasons why we’re running this campaign this year. One has to do with representation … How can we represent all voices in a conversation?”

Pearson said his efforts were meant to garner responses from both Democrats and Republicans on campus at the time.

“I wanna bring together different voices — dissenting voices, voices that may be more liberal or more conservative — in order that we can reach a point of, sort of, the radical middle,” he said in the campaign video.

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Twitter Files: Sen. Angus King Targeted ‘Suspicious’ Americans for Blacklisting

According to the latest drop of the Twitter Files, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) flagged accounts his office disliked to the social media platform, accusing Americans of being “suspicious” for reasons including being excited by a Sen. Rand Paul visit, mentioning immigration in their tweets, or being followed by a political rival.

Twitter users have been sharing their ideas, opinions, and thoughts on the platform for a long time. But in recent years, the government’s role in policing this content has come under scrutiny. An intricate system of government involvement in Twitter moderation has been exposed by the Twitter Files, with journalist Matt Taibbi compiling a collection of thousands of moderation requests.

The Twitter Files have revealed a number of details about the internal workings of the social media platform in recent months. According to the latest batch released over the weekend, it has been discovered that government officials frequently misidentify Americans as fictitious Russians. Further complicating the role of governments in online content moderation is the discovery that Twitter has given the “U.S. intelligence community,” moderation authority.

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These Five Lawmakers Received Over $50,000 From Railroad PACs Last Year

Atrain carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3, leading to the evacuation of about 5,000 people.

Rescue workers blew holes in five railway cars carrying vinyl chloride, a potentially dangerous gas, allowing it to be destroyed via controlled burning.

The crash sparked a renewed interest in lobbying and campaign donations from railway-associated political action committees (PACs). It has emerged that the Trump administration rescinded a safety rule in 2017 following pressure from the industry. Steven Ditmeyer, a former senior figure at the Federal Railroad Administration, told investigative news outlet The Lever that this could have increased the “severity” of the accident.

PACs and individuals associated with the rail industry donated $3,190,763 in total to political candidates in 2021-22. This data comes from OpenSecrets, a non-profit organization that tracks the impact of money on American politics. Of this total, $1,764,695 was given to Republican candidates, $1,408,068 to their Democratic rivals.

OpenSecrets identified 16 railway-related PACs that had been donating to candidates, of which three gave at least $500,000 in total. These were the Union Pacific Corp, Norfolk Southern and BNSF Railway.

Newsweek has gone through the OpenSecrets data to list the five members of Congress who received more than $20,000 from railway-related PACs and individuals, during 2021-22. The analysis is based on statistics from the Federal Election Commission, which recorded all campaign donations of $200 or more.

There is no suggestion that any of these lawmakers behaved improperly, either in receiving or recording these campaign donations.

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