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The partisan campaign arm for House Democrats has been raising money from a “Thank You” card for infectious disease physician Dr. Anthony Fauci, raising ethical questions about using a government official to endorse political activities.

Former President Trump was often accused by Democrats of abuse of the Hatch Act, which prohibits civil service employees in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in some forms of political activity. However, the Hatch Act contains broad exceptions for the president and vice president, exceptions which would not extend to Fauci, who serves as chief medical advisor to President Biden.

The DCCC ad includes a photo with Fauci standing and speaking from the podium in the White House press briefing room with the official White House logo prominently displayed. “Thank You, Dr. Fauci!” the site reads. “Sign the card to thank Dr. Fauci for his work.” When a user clicks through and enters in an email address to sign the digital “card,” a fundraising page comes up and asks users to donate.

The clickthrough page tells users: “We need your help. Our grassroots-led movement is committed to fortifying our Majority and defeating Trump’s Republicans in 2O22. Will you step up today?” It allows users to “chip in” various amounts, including $3, $10, $19 (“our average grassroots donation!”) or “another amount.”

The clickthrough page also includes this question: “House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is bragging about his plans to take back the House, put Trump’s Republicans in charge, and block Joe Biden’s bold agenda. Do you agree we must do whatever it takes to protect our House Democratic Majority in 2O22?” 

Card signers also are told, “By providing your phone number (home or mobile) you consent to receive recurring updates through automated text messages and calls from DCCC.”

Neither the DCCC nor the White House press office responded to requests for comment from Just the News about whether the White House or Fauci was aware of or approved of the advertisement or whether it was an appropriate use of the White House logo and image of a Biden official to be used for a partisan cause.

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Fauci reportedly told the news outlet OZY that he has no intention of running for office. “I think I’m going to stick with what I’m good at, and that is science and public health,” he told OZY in January. “I’ll leave the politics to other people.” Neither the DCCC nor the White House responded to a question about whether that could change in light of the fundraising pitch.

Republican Carol Swain, a prominent African-American activist and scholar, told Just the News on Saturday that she and many conservatives felt that Fauci often sought to undermine Trump and his efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic so she wasn’t surprised to see him in a partisan ad for Democrats.

“The fact that Joe Biden announced early on that he was going to keep him on meant that he was ‘one of them,’ and he was one of their team players,” Swain said. “So I’m not surprised that they would want to celebrate him, since he was one of the persons that have undermined President Trump on the coronavirus.”

Swain said Fauci’s appearance in the ad fell outside of ethical bounds, but that “I just prefer that they tip the hand, and just reveal everything that we already knew and suspected about his relationship with the Democratic Party.”

Swain said she doubted that Fauci, who is 80 years old, had any aspirations for public elected office.

“I seriously doubt if someone like him would run for office,” Swain said. “I think it’s just a way to raise money.” 

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Border Crisis

Sen. Blackburn asks Biden admin why U.S. spending $284K per migrant family to keep them in hotels

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“The cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” the Tennessee senator says.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn has done the math.

The Tennessee Republican’s interest was piqued after the Biden administration announced its intention to spend nearly $87 million to house 1,200 foreigners who illegally cross the border in hotel rooms in the U.S.

“As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” Blackburn wrote in a letter Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Tae Johnson. “For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 – enough to buy a small house.”

Earlier this month, the administration awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, which will provide hotel rooms near the border for temporary shelter. But Blackburn also questions how the group spends its money.

She said Endeavors in 2018 collected more than $38 million in contributions and grants but noted that “IRS filings show that nearly $22 million or almost half of those contributions went to salaries.”

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“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing,” Blackburn wrote in her letter.

She also expressed concerns that Endeavors’ CEO Jon Allman has not provided “specific details about the contract.”

“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” Blackburn wrote. “DHS and ICE must provide commitments to assure Congress and the American public that Endeavors is up for the task of securely and efficiently housing illegal immigrants without resulting in waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, or worse, harming vulnerable migrant children.”

Blackburn asked for answers by April 15.

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Donald Trump

Trump website 45Office.com has been launched

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“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda,” a statement on the website homepage reads.

The website of the office of former President Donald Trump has launched online and includes forms for people to submit correspondence, greeting requests, media inquiries and scheduling requests for Trump and former first lady Melania Trump.

“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda,” a statement on the website homepage reads. “Through civic engagement and public activism, the Office of Donald J. Trump will strive to inform, educate, and inspire Americans from all walks of life as we seek to build a truly great American Future. Through this office, President Trump will remain a tireless champion for the hardworking men and women of our great country – and for their right to live in safety, dignity, prosperity, and peace.”

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The website includes biographies of Trump and his wife. The beginning of the former president’s biography says that he “launched the most extraordinary political movement in history, dethroning political dynasties, defeating the Washington Establishment, and becoming the first true outsider elected as President of the United States.”

Trump announces his and Melania’s official website is up: https://t.co/760WlWlhV4 pic.twitter.com/VhxRssMH3C— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) March 29, 2021

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Crime

New Cuomo accuser alleges she was forcibly kissed, claims to have evidence

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The woman alleges governor kissed her in “a highly sexual manner.”

Aninth woman has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, alleging that the Democrat grabbed her face and kissed her without her consent.

But this allegation is different: The woman, Sherry Vill, a 55-year-old married mother of three, has photographic evidence.

Vill says the incident occurred while the governor was “touring her flood-damaged home in 2017 – saying he did so in a ‘highly sexual manner,’ ” The New York Post reported.

In a press conference Monday, Vill was accompanied by her lawyer, Gloria Allred, who displayed a photo of the kiss.

Vill, whose home was damaged by the flood, recounted the incident, saying she invited Cuomo in.

“That’s when the governor looked at me, approached me, took my hand and pulled me to him,” Vill said. “He leaned down over me and kissed my cheek. I was holding my small dog in my arms in my arms and I thought he was going to pet my dog. But instead he went to squeeze between the dog … and kiss me on the other cheek in what I felt was a highly sexual manner.”

Cuomo sought to explain himself, she said. “He said, ‘That’s what Italians do, kiss both cheeks,’ “Vill said. “I felt shocked, and didn’t understand what had just happened. But I knew I felt embarrassed and weird about the kissing. I am Italian, and in my family, family members kiss. Strangers do not kiss.”

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On his way out, Cuomo “”stopped, he turned to me and said, ‘You are beautiful,’ ” Vill said.

Earlier this month, Anna Ruch, a former Biden 2020 campaign worker, told The New York Times that the governor made unwanted sexual advances toward her after they met at a wedding in New York City in 2019.

She also accused Cuomo, 63, of kissing her without her permission, even as she tried to pull away. Ruch said the encounter left her “confused and shocked and embarrassed.”

Another accuser, Charlotte Bennett, a former Cuomo aide, alleges that the governor inquired about her sex life and asked her whether she would be amenable to a relationship with an older man.

And another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, said Cuomo “made inappropriate comments about her appearance, kissed her without her consent at the end of a meeting and once suggested they play strip poker while aboard his state-owned jet,” the Associated Press reported.

Five more women have made similar allegations. The eighth woman to accuse Cuomo said the governor groped her last year at the Executive Mansion after she had called there to do some work. She said she was alone with the governor in the mansion when he “closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her,” a source told the Albany Times Union.

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