By Ted Hesson | 10/11/2017 10:00 AM EDT
With help from Marianne LeVine, Ian Kullgren and Josh Gerstein
MORE WEINSTEIN ALLEGATIONS: Five days after the New York Times published a story documenting decades of sexual-harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein and "at least eight settlements" paid out to the accusers, additional allegations continued to tumble out about the Hollywood film executive, who was fired Sunday from his top post at the Weinstein Company (which may now change its name).
The New Yorker posted online the findings of Ronan Farrow's 10-month investigation, including 13 "allegations that corroborate and overlap with the Times' revelations, and also include far more serious claims." Three women interviewed for the story - including Italian actress Asia Argento - said Weinstein raped them, "allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex." Another four "said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault." The magazine posted online an audio clip from a 2015 New York City Police Department sting in which Weinstein admitted to groping model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez and said that was the sort of thing he was "used to." Four women said "Weinstein exposed himself or masturbated in front of them."
The Times' Jodi Kantor and Rachel Abrams weighed in Tuesday with a follow-up story in which Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette and French actress Judith Godrèche all described unwanted sexual advances from Weinstein. "I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified," said Paltrow, and told the Times she rejected the overtures. Jolie said, "I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did."
A Weinstein spokesperson said: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual." But Weinstein's wife, Georgina Chapman, said in a written statement Tuesday to People magazine: "My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband."
In the late 1990s and early aughts Tina Brown, the former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor, created a short-lived magazine, Talk, and oversaw a related book-publishing venture, both backed by Weinstein's earlier company, Miramax. Brown recalled Tuesday in a New York Times column that "Strange contracts pre-dating us would suddenly surface, book deals with no deadline attached authored by attractive or nearly famous women," including one "by the stewardess on a private plane. It was startling - and professionally mortifying - to discover how many hacks writing gossip columns or entertainment coverage were on the Miramax payroll with a 'consultancy' or a 'development deal' (one even at The New York Times)."
What can Washington do to discourage workplace predators? Gretchen Carlson, whose lawsuit against the late Fox News chief Roger Ailes led to his ouster, suggested Tuesday in the New York Times that "reforming arbitration laws is key to stopping sexual harassment. In the coming year, I'll be working to get bipartisan support for the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2017, H.R. 1374 (115) , which would keep mandatory arbitration clauses out of employment contracts, giving harassed workers the choice to go to court." More from Farrow here, Kantor and Abrams here, Tina Brown here and Gretchen Carlson here.
GOOD MORNING. It's Wednesday, Oct. 11, and this is Morning Shift, POLITICO's daily tipsheet on employment and immigration policy. Send tips, exclusives and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @tedhesson, @marianne_levine, @IanKullgren and @TimothyNoah1.
TODAY: PELOSI, HISPANIC CAUCUS FOR DREAM: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will hold a press conference with Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) to show support for so-called "Dreamers" who came to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants at a young age. The White House released a set of hard-line immigration principles Sunday night that it expects could be included in a deal to codify the protections afforded Dreamers under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump says will end in March if Congress doesn't write DACA into law.
Trump's wish list, which includes a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, is likely dead on arrival thanks to opposition from congressional Democrats and some moderate Republicans. "The problem with agreeing to a policy on immigration," Trump tweeted, "is that the Democrats don't want secure borders, they don't care about safety for U.S.A." Today's event with House Democrats, organized by the Mark Zuckerberg-backed FWD.us, will take place at 1 p.m. in HVC-215 of the U.S. Capitol. Watch a livestream here.
TILLIS' DACA FIX: POLITICO's Seung Min Kim spoke with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) about his Succeed Act, S. 1852 (115), which would provide a pathway to legal status for Dreamers. "If a deal can be done to win over the warring parties and a president who has swung back and forth on the issue," Kim writes, "it might start with Tillis, who has methodically carved out a profile as a pro-immigration Republican at a time when the GOP has swerved sharply to the right."
From Tillis: "Not all of the usual suspects have come out on the right opposing the bill because they've actually taken the time to read it. ... "[And] when you sit down and you talk with left-of-center, reasonable Democrats ... then we have people that are having a difficult time opposing it." The bill from Tillis is a more restrictive version of the Dream Act, S. 1615 (115), the bipartisan bill sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). More from POLITICO here.
DOL UNION IN TURMOIL: The American Federation of Government Employees sacked the leadership of Local 12, which represents employees at the Labor Department, and took over management of the local. The stated reason was some unapproved hotel expenses. But the deposed local officials had been at odds with AFGE brass for some time. One called it a "sloppy coup d'état."
In June, Local 12 President Alex Bastani threw an $18,000 luncheon at the Hyatt Regency to celebrate the local's victory in a $7 million overtime dispute settlement with DOL, Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson reported. In a memo, AFGE President David Cox accused Bastani of misusing funds and failing "to abide by a vote of the local membership, conducted in September 2016, regarding the establishment of an audit committee and the hiring of an outside vendor for conducting an audit."
But Bastani and former Local 12 Vice President Eleanor Lauderdale say Cox was just looking to get rid of Bastani, who ran against Cox for president in 2012, because he's a rival. (Bastani is currently running for secretary-treasurer of AFGE.) "Simply put," Lauderdale told the Post, "the award gave Mr. Bastani a very high profile.... AFGE officials do not want to run against anyone with a $7,000,000 settlement listed as an achievement." Bloomberg BNA reported that the ousted leaders filed an unfair labor practice complaint. Bastani didn't respond to a POLITICO request for comment, and AFGE declined to comment. More from the Post here.
JUDGE ASKS FOR TRAVEL BAN REPORT: A federal judge in Hawaii on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to turn over a report that shaped the latest travel ban policy. Earlier in the day, Hawaii and a local imam filed a motion to block the new set of travel restrictions, which they contend target Muslim travelers. The district court judge hearing the case, Derrick Watson, previously halted the second version of the travel ban in March. (For those keeping score at home, there've been three.)
The report in question, produced by the Homeland Security Department and shared with the White House on Sept. 15, recommended restrictions against seven countries deemed to supply "inadequate" vetting information about its travelers. The countries were Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. (Somalia was found to have satisfied information-sharing requirements, but also faces restrictions under the new travel ban.) When Trump issued the third version of the travel ban in September, officials said the report was classified and would not be publicly released. Watson said the report should be provided no later than 6 a.m. local time (noon E.T.) on Saturday.
SCOTUS DROPS TRAVEL BAN APPEAL: "The Supreme Court on Tuesday dropped one of two challenges it was considering to President Donald Trump's travel ban policy, declaring moot a lawsuit over Trump's attempt to block issuance of visas to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries," POLITICO's Josh Gerstein reports. "The high court's move appeared to be an attempt by the justices to extricate themselves from pending litigation over the travel ban order that Trump issued in March, which was effectively superseded by a new directive."
"The Supreme Court's action Tuesday night removed from the high court's docket a case from Maryland in which refugee resettlement groups and several individuals argued that Trump's March order exceeded his legal authority and was prompted by unconstitutional bias against Muslims," Gerstein reports. "The high court's new order vacated a caustic ruling the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued in May in which the court's chief judge declared that Trump's ban 'drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.'" More here.
WH PICKS EBSA NOMINEE: The White House will nominate Senate Finance Committee staffer Preston Rutledge to be assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, sources tell POLITICO's Marianne LeVine. According to his LinkedIn profile, Rutledge has been the committee's senior tax and benefits counsel since 2011. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. As EBSA secretary, Rutledge would oversee changes to the Obama administration's controversial fiduciary rule. Finalized in 2016, the rule requires that broker dealers consider only their client's best interest when providing retirement advice. Although part of the rule took effect in June, the Labor Department proposed a rule in August that would delay its remaining provisions by 18 months. More here.
TRUMP GETS THE NUMBERS WRONG: In a Forbes interview published Tuesday, President Trump boasted that second quarter GDP was 3.1 percent (which was accurate.) Then he added, "You know, Obama never hit the number." Not true. According to AP fact check, "Growth topped 3 percent in eight quarters during Obama's presidency." When the Forbes reporter corrected Trump, Trump replied that Obama "never hit it on a yearly basis. Never hit it on a yearly basis. That's eight years. I think we'll go substantially higher than that." But the U.S. hasn't reached 3 percent annual growth since 2005, and "it is unlikely to happen this year, either," the AP said. More here.
NORTHEASTERN WORKERS RATIFY DEAL: Food service workers at Northeastern University ratified a new five-year contract Tuesday. Last week, the workers (represented by UNITE HERE Local 26) voted to strike if a new agreement couldn't be reached by today. A strike would have coincided with a Clinton Global Initiative event at the school, possibly compelling former President Bill Clinton and his daughter to cross a picket line, but a tentative agreement was reached Monday night, averting the strike. Under the new contract, full-time workers will receive an average salary of $35,000 by 2019, up from $21,460. In addition, UNITE HERE said that the "new contract provides enhanced protections for immigrant workers, strengthened non-discrimination language including the addition of gender identity and expression, and additional sick days."
CHAMBER BLASTS NAFTA 'POISON PILL' RIDERS: U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said Tuesday that several proposals to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement could sink it, Ana Isabel Martinez and David Lawder report for Reuters. While speaking at an American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico event in Mexico City, Donohue said that "there are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal." Among these, Donohue said, are "plans to make automakers source more parts in North America, as well as proposed changes to the dispute resolution mechanism as obstacles to NAFTA's renewal." More here.
SOLITARY OVER WAGE PROTEST: "In June, officials at a privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia sentenced an immigrant detainee to a month in solitary confinement to punish him for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in protest of low wages at the facility," Spencer Woodman reports in the Intercept. "Three days after the detainee shouted 'no work, no pay' in a facility kitchen, according to ICE records, 'the detainee was found guilty of encouraging others to participate in a work stoppage and was sentenced to 30 days of disciplinary segregation.'"
"Immigrants confined in ICE facilities often work for only $1 per day, but the immigration agency's guidelines state that all such work must be voluntary," Woodman reports. "Earlier this year, a federal judge cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit originally brought by nine ICE detainees alleging that ICE contractor the GEO Group had profited off forced labor in violation of federal anti-slavery laws. In the case of the Georgia facility, ICE's records obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request simply list 'work stoppage' as the reason for using solitary confinement to punish the immigrant detainee, who is originally from Haiti."
An ICE spokesperson told the Intercept that detainee labor follows the agency's "voluntary work program" standards and referred the outlet to CoreCivic, the private prison contractor formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. More here.
-"U.S. discrimination watchdog is headed for a pro-business makeover," from Bloomberg
-"BAE Systems to cut almost 2,000 jobs in Britain," from the New York Times
-"Getting women out of the middle management trap," from the Wall Street Journal
-"In scolding letter, ethics chief tells agency heads to ask themselves 'Should I do it?' not 'Can I do it?'" from the Washington Post
-"Supreme Court won't hear Blankenship's appeal," from POLITICO Pro
- "Trump slow to replace John Kelly at DHS as immigration, security challenges continue," from the Washington Post
-"Haiti requests 18-month TPS extension from Trump administration," from the Miami Herald
THAT'S ALL FOR MORNING SHIFT.
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