Things That Matter

After Tiffany Cabán’s Big Win, The Aspiring District Attorney Faces A Recount Nightmare

For months leading up to the Queens District Attorney Democratic primary election, all eyes were on a young defense attorney named Tiffany Cabán. The 31-year-old had no prior experience in politics, even though her job is very political, which meant other veteran candidates had a better shot of winning this election. Cabán’s main opponent was incumbent Melinda Katz.  On the evening of June 25, election day, it looked like Cabán’s hard work and months of campaigning had paid off after she had been declared the winner. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the victorious win that the young Latina, and her supporters, had hoped for. Cabáns opponent, Katz, refused to bow out of the race after she had claimed mail-in votes remained to be counted prompting a push for a recount.

Now, weeks later it looks like Cabán will have to wait to see if she still holds the position.

A judge has declared that all votes in the recent election must be manually counted, now Melinda Katz ahead of Tiffany Cabán by 16 votes.

There has been a lot of back and forth from both camps. Some argue that 114 ballots, others say that only 16 votes separate them, but a judge ruled all must be recounted. The original count, on June 25, which declared a victory for Cabán reported her the Democratic DA candidate after she won by nearly 1,200 votes over Katz, but she contested those numbers. She then took over the lead after 4,000 paper ballots were included.

There’s no doubt that every vote should be counted, and both women adhere to a full recount.

However, there’s no denying this isn’t how Cabán thought it would go after her victory speech on June 25. Back then she told the crowd at her victory party, “We have built the most powerful, the most diverse, the most beautiful coalition that a borough-wide race has ever seen. From formerly incarcerated folks to sex workers to undocumented immigrants to community-based organizations & activists to local & national elected officials.”

Now, the Puerto Rican attorney is being forced to switch feet.  On July 5 she tweeted, “Thanks to our tireless supporters who are pouring their hearts and souls into this campaign. With a full recount coming up, there’s more work to be done. Help us make sure every valid vote is counted!”

The recount is supposed to start today and Cabán wants to ensure that every vote is counted and verified properly.

There’s no doubt that voter fraud exists in this country, but more so than that, election fraud is also possible, which is why Cabán’s team is asking for people to sign up to make sure legal people are present when votes are being counted. “Here is the updated link to sign up to observe the recount on behalf of the Cabán campaign! Please circulate widely to your lawyer friends/legal networks!!!” a Cabán supporter tweeted.

Queens County Democratic Chair Gregory Meeks is trying to ease tensions between both Democratic camps — and their supporters, saying according to a local CBS News affiliate, “We’re here today because we want to support this Democratic process. We want every valid vote counted!”

Cabán certainly had the most buzz out of all six candidates running for Queens DA office.

 

Her campaign was endorsed by several high profile politicians including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Many cheered her on for policies that would help low-income people of color who have often been the victims of the justice system. She was also praised for a grassroots organization and campaign.

“This campaign started with just four women, sitting around a kitchen table, saying: we have to change the system,” she wrote in one tweet. “So I did what many thought was unthinkable for a 31-year-old Queer Latina public defender whose parents grew up in the Woodside Houses. I decided to run.”

During the Queens Gay Pride parade, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez openly voiced her endorsement of Cabán, which gave her campaign a huge increase in supporters.

“I am so incredibly proud of @CabanForQueens – and EVERY single person who showed up for this election today. No matter how this ends, you all have stunned NY politics tonight,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “When people come together, we can beat big money in elections. People power is no fluke.”

Cabán was also seen as the underdog with a powerful story that would certainly break the mold of the Queen’s DA office. If she indeed wins the race, her victory would be historic for so many reasons. Her campaign statement said it all: “I’m a queer Latina from a working-class family. People like us are exactly who the system is trying to keep down.”

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

Things That Matter

Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

On Sunday, The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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AOC Calls Out the GOP for Their Silence on Trump’s Hairstyling Expenses: ‘They’re Spineless, Misogynistic Hypocrites’

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AOC Calls Out the GOP for Their Silence on Trump’s Hairstyling Expenses: ‘They’re Spineless, Misogynistic Hypocrites’

MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is, once again, speaking out against the sexism and double standards she faces every day as a female politician.

On Sunday, The New York Times published a bombshell report exposing President Donald Trump’s long-concealed tax records. Not only did the article report on the miniscule amount Trump paid in federal income taxes in 2016, it also revealed that Trump wrote off $70,000 worth of hairstyling expenses while he was on “The Apprentice”.

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to respond to the reports of Trump’s opulent spending (as well as the GOP’s silence) with her usual panache.

“Last year Republicans blasted a firehose of hatred + vitriol my way because I treated myself to a $250 cut & lowlights on my birthday,” she wrote. “Where’s the criticism of their idol spending $70k on hairstyling? Oh, it’s nowhere because they’re spineless, misogynistic hypocrites? Got it.”

As a refresher, AOC was publicly dragged in 2019 when conservative outlets reported that the democratic-socialist congresswoman bought a “$300 haircut” in from a “pricey salon” in Washington, D.C.

Conservative outlets tried to paint Ocasio-Cortez’s $250 haircut as proof that she didn’t actually believe in her political ideals that involve protecting the poor.

“There is nothing wrong with spending money to make yourself look better, especially as a personality who depends upon visual mediums for her power,” said Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government to conservative publication The Washington Times. “But it is a bad look to spend hundreds of dollars to get your hair done to make a video decrying income inequality.”

There was a public backlash to those who criticized AOC’s spending habits, though. “This would obvs never be a story about a man,” wrote one Twitter-user before adding: “If her hair was raggedy, that would be the lead story instead.”

It should be noted that Ocasio-Cortez did not use taxpayer money to fund her haircut. There is also no evidence that she wrote off the haircut as a business expense.

The misogyny AOC is referring to comes from the fact that conservative pundits were quick to call her (a female politician) vain when she paid for what they considered a “pricey” haircut while refusing to condemn Trump for spending much more money on his appearance.

These criticisms of her spending habits comes from deeply engrained sexist beliefs that all women care about is their looks. But Republicans seems to harp both on Ocasio-Cortez’s looks and spending habits more than her male colleagues’.

For example, Vice President Mike Pence didn’t get much push-back for spending $600,000 of taxpayer money to fund a limo trip to visit Trump’s golf course in Ireland.

But double-standards weren’t the only thing AOC called out via Twitter. She also blasted Trump for paying such a small amount in taxes when hardworking Americans are paying their fair share.

“In 2016 & ‘17, I paid thousands of dollars a year in taxes as a bartender,” she wrote. “Trump paid $750.”

“He contributed less to funding our communities than waitresses & undocumented immigrants,” she continued. “Donald Trump has never cared for our country more than he cares for himself. A walking scam.”

On his side, President Trump has never shied away at his ability to avoid paying taxes. When Hillary Clinton brought up his habit of not paying taxes in their 2016 debate, he shamelessly replied: “That makes me smart.”

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