Milwaukee assistant city attorney who backed Putin on Russia Today TV, worked for anti-Islamic groups is fired

Jennifer DeMaster, a Milwaukee assistant city attorney, opined on  state-owned Russia Today that Russian President Vladimir Putin did nothing wrong by recognizing two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and deploying troops there.

Jennifer DeMaster, a Milwaukee assistant metropolis legal professional, opined on state-owned Russia Immediately that Russian President Vladimir Putin did nothing fallacious by recognizing two breakaway areas in japanese Ukraine and deploying troops there.

The Milwaukee assistant metropolis legal professional who final week backed Russian President Vladimir Putin in an look on Russia Immediately TV and who beforehand labored for anti-Islamic “hate teams” is out of a job.

Metropolis Lawyer Tearman Spencer’s termination discover to the town’s Division of Worker Relations on Monday cited solely “Job efficiency. Poor match.” as the explanation to finish Jennifer DeMaster’s employment with the workplace. The discover didn’t comprise further particulars, and neither DeMaster nor Spencer instantly responded to requests for remark Monday.

Assistant Metropolis Lawyer Nicholas Zales additionally had his employment within the workplace terminated Monday, in line with Division of Worker Relations Director Makda Fessahaye. That discover cites solely “job efficiency” as the explanation.

A voicemail left at a telephone quantity listed as related to Zales and a message via LinkedIn weren’t instantly returned.

Each have been on a probationary standing, Fessahaye stated.

“I’m not conscious of anybody else being terminated throughout probation within the Metropolis Lawyer’s Workplace throughout my tenure,” stated Fessahaye, who was confirmed to her place in January 2021.

Spencer employed DeMaster and Zales after a serious exodus of attorneys from his workplace, with some citing a “poisonous work setting” beneath the comparatively new metropolis legal professional. Spencer was elected in April 2020.

The 2 attorneys have been employed final 12 months and labored within the litigation division, which had struggled to satisfy courtroom deadlines as a result of staffing scarcity. The division usually handles instances in state and federal courtroom.

In her place on the metropolis, DeMaster made $71,780 per 12 months, and on-line courtroom information confirmed she had very restricted courtroom expertise.

DeMaster’s historical past drew condemnation from advocacy and non secular leaders on the native and nationwide ranges, as did the urging from Spencer’s high deputy that workers have “an open thoughts” to DeMaster.

Of explicit concern to these teams was her previous work for the Clarion Mission, a bunch that has been labeled one the key proponents of Islamophobia in the US, and earlier than that for the American Middle for Regulation and Justice, the place as a regulation clerk she prepped attorneys on “Sharia regulation (and) radical Islamic ideology,” in line with a resume she filed in federal courtroom.

She additionally wrote “Babylon Unveiled,” a e book during which she argued that Islam will not be a peaceable faith.

Spencer didn’t acknowledge the teams’ name for him to fireside DeMaster.

And final week, as Russia was on the point of attacking Ukraine, she went on the tv community managed by the Russian state to argue that Putin was inside his rights to acknowledge two breakaway areas in japanese Ukraine and deploy troops to the realm.

DeMaster instructed Russia Immediately Putin did nothing fallacious by recognizing two breakaway areas in japanese Ukraine after which deploying troops there.

“When individuals like Secretary of State (Antony) Blinken of the U.S. or (British Prime Minister) Boris Johnson or others or (President) Joe Biden come out and say it is a clear violation of worldwide regulation, that is merely not true. It isn’t a transparent violation of worldwide regulation as a result of they can not identify a global regulation that this violates.”

DeMaster additionally instructed Russia Immediately, which is owned and managed by Russia, that the battle between Russia and Ukraine had no influence on American safety.

“There is not any risk to U.S. nationwide safety,” stated DeMaster, who was listed as a “authorized analyst” within the broadcast. “We now have a number of points occurring proper right here at dwelling which can be, in impact, a hazard to nationwide safety.”

It was not her first time on Russia Immediately, the place she has made dozens of appearances as an knowledgeable on all the pieces from American overseas coverage to Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide.

Contact Alison Dirr at 414-224-2383 or Observe her on Twitter @AlisonDirr.

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This text initially appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee assistant legal professional who backed Putin on Russia Immediately is fired

Complaint alleges Salt Lake City councilman broke campaign laws to get elected

The next story was reported by The Utah Investigative Journalism Mission in partnership with The Salt Lake Tribune.

Sore loser. Bitter grapes.

In hindsight, Billy Palmer figured that’s how folks would possible see his marketing campaign finance grievance in opposition to fellow Metropolis Council candidate Alejandro Puy.

Palmer filed his grievance with the Salt Lake Metropolis Recorder’s Workplace on Nov. 1, the day earlier than the 2021 common election. He and Puy have been competing within the west aspect’s five-way District 2 race that ranked alternative voting would resolve.

When the mud settled, Puy emerged because the victor, capturing 56% of the vote, with Palmer, at 44%, coming in second. Whereas the loss stung, Palmer mentioned he’s extra involved about the best way Puy gained.

“To me, there’s pushing the bounds of the principles — after which there’s simply throwing the rule books out, enjoying quick and unfastened,” Palmer mentioned. “And I believe (Puy’s) marketing campaign, because the weeks went on, began to play slightly extra quick and unfastened.”

Puy campaigned aggressively, utilizing door-to-door canvassers, a glut of mailers and tv advertisements to get his title on the market in District 2, which incorporates Glendale and Poplar Grove. A longtime political guide, Puy mentioned he personally pounded the pavement to unfold his message.

“Simply due to my background and what I do, persons are going to say, ‘He didn’t do the work, and he should have gained due to one thing sketchy,’” Puy mentioned. “However the reality is, I knocked [on doors throughout] the entire district myself nearly twice.”

Palmer’s 10-page grievance alleged that Puy’s marketing campaign violated metropolis code by failing to reveal all expenditures and never stating the supply of funding on a number of mailers.

When requested concerning the mailers that lacked the required funding disclosure, Puy mentioned he “had no feedback about that.”

He however talked of working 60 campaigns within the metropolis, the state and throughout the nation, and careworn that “my monetary reviews reveal that I paid for the mailers I paid for.”

Puy’s marketing campaign finance disclosures didn’t particularly reveal which mailers — or what number of — his marketing campaign had funded.

Emails from the workplaces of the Salt Lake Metropolis recorder and lawyer instantly after the election indicated that many of the points recognized in Palmer’s grievance didn’t represent a authorized foundation for a candidate’s disqualification however acknowledged that Puy’s marketing campaign violated metropolis code by distributing supplies “with out the ‘paid for by –’ attribution language.”

Palmer’s marketing campaign was advised it might search “any cures you deem applicable in district court docket.”

In search of reforms

Palmer mentioned he had no intention of suing. As an alternative, he hoped the town would launch an investigation into what had occurred after which bolster its legal guidelines to restrict the inflow and affect of wealth on native races.

“The Metropolis Council seat is one most related to the folks that you just serve,” Palmer mentioned. “I really feel just like the folks right here deserve an advocate, somebody searching for them.… If someone helped you buy your place, you owe it to them [to identify that benefactor].”

Palmer’s grievance additionally alleged that Puy’s enterprise, Landslide Political, coordinated efforts with a political motion committee named Battleground Utah to bypass the town’s caps on marketing campaign contributions that candidates can obtain.

Puy denied any wrongdoing in a current telephone interview and denounced any allegation that he secretly collaborated with the PAC.

“The premise was that as a result of the numbers didn’t add up, there was some darkish cash right here,” Puy mentioned, explaining that some bills confirmed up on subsequent disclosures because of the timing of invoices. He maintains that all the things his marketing campaign did was aboveboard and by the principles.

“I take this grievance as a sore loser who doesn’t perceive the method,” Puy mentioned of Palmer’s accusations.

Luke Garrott, who teaches political science on the College of Utah, served on the Salt Lake Metropolis Council from 2008 to 2016. In 2015, he helped set up the town’s particular person marketing campaign contribution limits that exist immediately — $780 for council candidates and $3,640 for mayoral contenders.

In the middle of that course of, Garrott recalled a few of his council colleagues warning that decreasing the caps would open the door for PACs to “fill the hole.”

“And that seems to be right,” Garrott mentioned.

Matthew Burbank, a U. political science professor who focuses on marketing campaign finance points, mentioned that campaigns and PACS usually coordinate in elections, however clear disclosure of expenditures is required.

Whereas Palmer might be accused of “grousing” over his election defeat, Burbank famous that he raised respectable questions on who’s spending what.

Complaints of undisclosed marketing campaign spending usually come up when PACs present oblique assist to congressional or presidential candidates “the place it’s fairly simple to evade the legal guidelines by merely having a corporation that doesn’t have [campaign] limits do the spending,” Burbank mentioned. “And that’s one thing that basically is very problematic as a result of there’s no accountability for what that group does.”

Federal candidates ceaselessly violate marketing campaign finance guidelines, Burbank mentioned, and face minimal penalties from the Federal Election Fee. If the unlawful donation wins you the election, then, by comparability, “it’s a reasonably small factor to pay a $500 nice for having violated the legislation.”

What about PACs?

Utah legislation doesn’t prohibit how a lot a PAC can spend nor does it bar a candidate from coordinating with a PAC. Underneath state legislation, such donations simply should be recognized.

Whereas Puy’s marketing campaign finance reviews filed with the town present commonplace donations, loans and in-kind contributions, nothing is attributed to Battleground PAC.

Battleground Utah PAC’s 2021 reviews — filed with the state — point out expenditures made to Landslide Political totaling $25,151. However they don’t specify whose campaigns these funds assisted.

Battleground had a handful of donors, chief amongst them billboard firm Reagan Out of doors Promoting, which gave $6,000, and Dakota Pacific Actual Property, which contributed $5,000 — each in October.

Dakota Pacific’s web site touts the corporate as having raised and invested practically $400 million in a number of business and multifamily housing tasks throughout the Salt Lake Valley and in different states.

Reagan Out of doors, based mostly in Salt Lake Metropolis, has ceaselessly clashed with Salt Lake Metropolis officers over ordinances affecting the location of its indicators.

Through the 2015 mayoral marketing campaign, Reagan Out of doors pioneered using a brilliant PAC in an area Utah race to spend hundreds opposing incumbent Ralph Becker with out restriction by contribution limits. The corporate put up billboards for each candidate difficult Becker, who had spent years advocating more durable regulation of billboards.

Garrott known as Reagan Out of doors and advised it to not spend cash on his behalf.

“I wished to have the ability to say that I known as them and advised them to cease. I might defend that as not being coordination,” Garrott mentioned. Nonetheless, the corporate, by way of it’s tremendous PAC, put up billboards supporting him.

Robert Kubichek, main officer for Battleground PAC, mentioned he knew nothing about Palmer’s grievance and declined to touch upon specifics.

The grievance in opposition to Puy contained photocopies of seven mailers, two of which contained the required “Paid for by Battleground Utah PAC.” The opposite 5 didn’t say who funded them.

An Oct. 28 screenshot of an advert that ran on CNN included the assertion “Paid for by the Committee to Elect Alejandro Puy.”

From July by way of November, city-filed reviews indicated that Puy’s marketing campaign paid $29,280 to Landslide Political. Of that, $9,000 paid for “advertisements,” whereas $12,500 went for “wages and mailers.” Puy’s LinkedIn account identifies him as chief working officer for Landslide Political since 2017.

To this point, Puy’s marketing campaign has reported 126 contributions totaling $43,112 and expenditures of $38,954, whereas Palmer’s marketing campaign has listed 334 contributions totaling $33,648 — all of which had been spent.

Russian troops enter Ukraine’s 2nd largest city : NPR

A civil protection man stands guard at a checkpoint in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, as Russian troops continued their advance.

Emilio Morenatti/AP

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Emilio Morenatti/AP

A civil protection man stands guard at a checkpoint in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, as Russian troops continued their advance.

Emilio Morenatti/AP

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Avenue combating broke out in Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis Sunday and Russian troops put growing stress on strategic ports within the nation’s south following a wave of assaults on airfields and gas services elsewhere that appeared to mark a brand new part of Russia’s invasion.

Following its beneficial properties on the bottom, Russia despatched a delegation to Belarus for peace talks with Ukraine, in accordance with the Kremlin. Ukraine’s president steered different places, saying his nation was unwilling to fulfill in Belarus as a result of it served as a staging floor for the invasion.

Till Sunday, Russia’s troops had remained on the outskirts of Kharkiv, a metropolis of 1.4 million about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of the border with Russia, whereas different forces rolled previous to press the offensive deeper into Ukraine.

Movies posted on Ukrainian media and social networks confirmed Russian automobiles shifting throughout Kharkiv and a light-weight car burning on the road. Ukrainian forces engaged them, in accordance with Oleh Sinehubov, the top of the Kharkiv regional administration. He gave no additional particulars, however informed civilians to not depart their houses. He gave no additional particulars.

As Russia pushes forward with its offensive, the West is working to equip the outnumbered Ukrainian forces with weapons and ammunition whereas punishing Russia with far-reaching sanctions supposed to additional isolate Moscow.

Large explosions lit up the sky early Sunday close to the capital, Kyiv, the place folks hunkered down in houses, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale assault by Russian forces.

Flames billowed into the sky earlier than daybreak from an oil depot close to an air base in Vasylkiv, the place there was intense combating, in accordance with the city’s mayor. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s workplace mentioned one other explosion was on the civilian Zhuliany airport.

Zelenskyy’s workplace additionally mentioned Russian forces blew up a fuel pipeline in Kharkiv, prompting the federal government to warn folks to guard themselves from the smoke by overlaying their home windows with damp material or gauze.

“We are going to battle for so long as wanted to liberate our nation,” Zelenskyy vowed.

Terrified males, girls and youngsters sought security inside and underground, and the federal government maintained a 39-hour curfew to maintain folks off the streets. Greater than 150,000 Ukrainians fled for Poland, Moldova and different neighboring nations, and the United Nations warned the quantity may develop to 4 million if combating escalates.

Russia’s army additionally put growing stress on strategic ports within the south of Ukraine, blocking the strategic cities of Kherson on the Black Sea and the port of Berdyansk on the Azov Sea, a Russian Protection Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, mentioned.

He mentioned the Russian forces even have taken management of an air base close to Kherson and town of Henichesk on the Azov Sea. Ukrainian authorities beforehand have reported combating in numerous areas alongside the coast.

As Russia has closed in on the Ukrainian capital, it has additionally targeted on urgent its offensive within the nation’s south in an obvious bid to take management of its coast stretching from the border with Romania within the west to the border with Russia within the east.

The Ukrainian authorities have reported combating happening close to Odesa, Mykolaiv and different areas.

Russia’s advances alongside Ukraine’s coast mark an try to chop the nation’s entry to its sea ports that might deal a serious blow to its economic system. The offensive within the south additionally may enable Moscow to construct a land hall to Crimea, which till now was related to Russia by a 19-kilometer (12-mile) bridge, the longest bridge in Europe which opened in 2018.

President Vladimir Putin hasn’t disclosed his final plans, however Western officers imagine he’s decided to overthrow Ukraine’s authorities and change it with a regime of his personal, redrawing the map of Europe and reviving Moscow’s Chilly Battle-era affect.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned a Russian delegation of army officers and diplomats had arrived Sunday within the Belarusian metropolis of Hormel for talks with Ukraine.

“The Russian delegation is prepared for talks and we are actually ready for the Ukrainians,” he mentioned. The Ukrainians have mentioned they’re prepared for peace talks however is not going to settle for ultimatums.

A Ukrainian soldier walks previous particles of a burning army truck, on a avenue in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP

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Efrem Lukatsky/AP

A Ukrainian soldier walks previous particles of a burning army truck, on a avenue in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Ukraine’s president mentioned his nation was prepared for peace talks with Russia however not in Belarus given the Russian ally’s position within the invasion. Talking in a video message Sunday, Zelenskyy named Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, Budapest or Baku as different venues. He mentioned different places are additionally doable.

To help Ukraine’s capability to carry out, the U.S. pledged a further $350 million in army help to Ukraine, together with anti-tank weapons, physique armor and small arms. Germany mentioned it could ship missiles and anti-tank weapons to the besieged nation and that it could shut its airspace to Russian planes.

The U.S., European Union and United Kingdom agreed to dam “chosen” Russian banks from the SWIFT world monetary messaging system, which strikes cash round greater than 11,000 banks and different monetary establishments worldwide, a part of a brand new spherical of sanctions aiming to impose a extreme price on Moscow for the invasion. Additionally they agreed to impose “restrictive measures” on Russia’s central financial institution.

Responding to a request from Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, tech billionaire Elon Musk mentioned on Twitter his satellite-based web system Starlink was now energetic in Ukraine and that there have been “extra terminals en route.”

It was unclear how a lot territory Russian forces had seized or to what extent their advance had been stalled. Britain’s Ministry of Protection mentioned “the pace of the Russian advance has quickly slowed possible on account of acute logistical difficulties and powerful Ukrainian resistance.”

A senior U.S. protection official mentioned greater than half the Russian fight energy that was massed alongside Ukraine’s borders had entered the nation and Moscow has needed to commit extra gas provide and different help models inside Ukraine than initially anticipated. The official spoke on situation of anonymity to debate inner U.S. assessments.

The curfew forcing everybody in Kyiv inside was set to final by means of Monday morning. The relative quiet of the capital was sporadically damaged by gunfire.

Combating on town’s outskirts steered that small Russian models had been making an attempt to clear a path for the principle forces. Small teams of Russian troops had been reported inside Kyiv, however Britain and the U.S. mentioned the majority of the forces had been 19 miles (30 kilometers) from town’s heart as of Saturday afternoon.

Russia claims its assault on Ukraine from the north, east and south is aimed solely at army targets, however bridges, colleges and residential neighborhoods have been hit.

Ukraine’s well being minister reported Saturday that 198 folks, together with three kids, had been killed and greater than 1,000 others wounded throughout Europe’s largest land warfare since World Battle II. It was unclear whether or not these figures included each army and civilian casualties.

A missile struck a high-rise condominium constructing in Kyiv’s southwestern outskirts close to one of many metropolis’s two passenger airports, leaving a jagged gap of ravaged flats over a number of flooring. A rescue employee mentioned six civilians had been injured.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, mentioned troops in Kyiv had been combating Russian “sabotage teams.” Ukraine says some 200 Russian troopers have been captured and hundreds killed.

Markarova mentioned Ukraine was gathering proof of shelling of residential areas, kindergartens and hospitals to undergo The Hague as doable crimes towards humanity.

Zelenskyy reiterated his openness to talks with Russia in a video message, saying he welcomed a suggestion from Turkey and Azerbaijan to prepare diplomatic efforts, which to this point have faltered.

The Kremlin confirmed a telephone name between Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev however gave no trace of restarting talks. A day earlier, Zelenskyy provided to barter a key Russian demand: abandoning ambitions of becoming a member of NATO.

Putin despatched troops into Ukraine after denying for weeks that he supposed to take action, all of the whereas increase a pressure of virtually 200,000 troops alongside the nations’ borders. He claims the West has did not take severely Russia’s safety considerations about NATO, the Western army alliance that Ukraine aspires to hitch. However he has additionally expressed scorn about Ukraine’s proper to exist as an unbiased state.

The U.S. and its allies have beefed up forces on NATO’s jap flank however to this point have dominated out deploying troops to battle Russia. As an alternative, the U.S., the European Union and different nations have slapped wide-ranging sanctions on Russia, freezing the property of companies and people together with Putin and his overseas minister.

Pennsylvania man, 54, dies at Park City Mountain

Officers didn’t launch additional info on how the accident occurred.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Park Metropolis Mountain Resort on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.

A 54-year-old Pennsylvania man died at Park Metropolis Mountain on Saturday in a snowboarding accident, officers stated in a information launch.

Medical helicopters have been dispatched to the scene when ski patrol discovered the person close to the Molly’s Bushes space of the mountain. He was pronounced lifeless on the scene.

“Park Metropolis Mountain and your complete Vail Resorts household prolong our deepest sympathy and assist to the household and associates of this visitor,” stated Mike Goar, Vice President and Chief Working Officer at Park Metropolis Mountain.

Officers didn’t launch the person’s identify or any additional info on how the accident occurred.