News AAND Notes: Death, Sex & Politrix Edition

GUNS OR DEATH

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has jumped on the political brinksmanship bandwagon by putting a teensy condition on a bill, creating a 72-hour waiting period on assault weapon purchases: Bring back the death penalty abolished in 2011. After the bill passed the state house and senate, the Chicago Reader reports that Rauner, a Republican, added an amendatory veto to revive the death penalty in Illinois and, “oddly enough,” to increase state aid to “mental health services in public schools.” CR’s Ben Joravsky points out that, if the death penalty were to be revived, mental health services could very well decrease the numbers of such cases, but notes that when Chicago’s mayor closed mental health clinics in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods in 2011, he didn’t see any Republicans protesting-nor any Democrats.

Per Joravsky’s analysis, Rauner is essentially trying to appease the far-right wing of the party, with which he is persona non grata, while putting Democrats in a bad spot. “Vote with the governor’s veto and the Dems violate their anti-death penalty principles,” Joravsky writes. “Vote against it, and they expose themselves to weak-on-crime mailings, financed by Rauner, that they’re probably going to get anyway.” Tough call.

A TEEN’S LAST CALL

Last month, a shocked nation learned the news of a 16-year-old Cincinnati teen who asphyxiated in a van after calling 911 and telling dispatchers that he was going to die. Since then, the city has tried to understand the tragedy that resulted when the Honda Odyssey’s third-row seat flipped over, pinning Kyle Plush and killing him. Cincinnati CityBeat reports the police department recently presented a 49-page report about the incident that “leaves as many questions as it answers.”

Plush’s family has created a list of 31 questions they believe the report doesn’t answer. For instance, it remains unclear, according to CCB, why officers did not get out of their vehicle to search; why they didn’t have the precise GPS coordinates of Kyle’s cell phone, which may have been available to dispatch; and why some key information-including that he said he was going to die-was not relayed to officers. Following the presentation of the report, the vice mayor and all nine city councilors signed a motion seeking an outside investigation.

INNOCENCE EXPIRES

Lest you think the #MeToo movement is fizzling, in Charlotte, North Carolina, the arts community has been “rocked” by allegations of sexual impropriety by high-profile men, according to Creative Loafing Charlotte. One woman, Linda Simthong, told CLC that well-known local photographer Jim McGuire, 58, for whom she then worked, had repeatedly been sexually inappropriate, despite her telling him numerous times that he was crossing the line when he hit on her, and spoke about her body and those of other women. McGuire told the outlet that the conversations weren’t as she characterized them, and that, as a fashion photographer, he talks “a lot about women’s bodies in general. She might’ve been offended by something.”

Simthong also said that McGuire photographed her without her consent, in his studio, then texted her the picture with the caption “sexy.” McGuire sees nothing wrong with this. “She was laying on my couch, in my lobby, under my employment,” he said. “She knew all about the secret cameras-I don’t want to say ‘secret’ cameras-she knew all about the security cameras.” McGuire also admitted to filming another woman in the shower at his studio without that woman’s knowledge-and watching. But CDC reports that he said he’d been testing a camera for a shower scene and she just happened to go take a shower. And, besides, they didn’t see anything.

That’s not good enough, according to Simthong. “Incidents like these have been a concern for me all my life. I’m in my 30s now and I’m gonna speak out. Time’s up.”

ENOUGH STATUS QUO

If you thought it wasn’t easy being liberal in this [red]neck of the woods, take comfort in the idea of voting blue in crimson Texas. The K2-sized climb to victory isn’t stopping Democrat Vanessa Adia from challenging Republican Congresswoman Kay Granger for her seat. Fort Worth Weekly reports that the middle-school science teacher and happily married mother of two is giving her all to toppling Granger.

Adia keeps knocking on doors and meeting with potential constituents, winning them over one by one-all without taking PAC money or compromising her principles. She’s pro-Planned Parenthood, pro-gun control, pro-Medicare for all, supports equal rights for ALL, et cetera, et cetera. In short, she’s not just blue, she’s royal blue. Sure, she might lose. But that doesn’t mean she’ll give up. “Then I’ll run again in two years,” she told FWW.

About FOLIO

april, 2022

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