TIME 2014 Election

Kentucky Democrat Got Discounted Bus Rental from Dad, Report Says

A Politico report suggests Alison Lundergan Grimes' bus may be being rented at a rate below market value

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic Senate candidate who hopes to unseat incumbent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, came under fire on Tuesday after a report in Politico suggested her father may be renting out a 45-foot campaign bus to the candidate at a discounted price.

If true, the rented bus could spell trouble for Grimes with the Federal Election Commission. If the contribution was found to be in violation of federal law that prohibits accepting goods and services at prices below market value, her campaign would have to pay a hefty fine.

Politico’s analysis found that Grimes’s campaign paid about $456 a day for a bus used between last August and June owned by a company belonging to Jerry Lundergan, Grimes’ well-connected dad. Politico found four bus companies that typically charge between $1,500 and $2,000 a day to rent similar buses, and reported Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign paid about $2,200 a day to rent a similar bus earlier this summer.

In a statement sent to TIME on Tuesday, Grimes’ campaign lawyer Marc Elias denied the campaign had received a sweetheart deal for the bus. “The campaign obtained quotes for the rental cost of a comparable vehicle from other providers in the Kentucky and regional market, and arrived at a reasonable reimbursement cost. We have reviewed the campaign’s methodology and agree that it complies with the applicable rules.”

The McConnell campaign jumped at the opportunity to criticize Grimes over Politico‘s allegations. “The revelation that Alison Lundergan Grimes has potentially accepted large, illegal gifts and services from her father, Jerry Lundergan’s corporate interests is shocking and should set off warning bells for all Kentuckians concerned about ethics in public office,” McConnell’s campaign manager Jesse Benton said.

A Real Clear Politics analysis considers the Kentucky senate race a toss-up, with McConnell currently leading Grimes by 3 points.

TIME Election 2014

Democrats Out Fundraise Republicans in July

The DCCC and DSCC boast high fundraising totals for July

Both the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees say they had their best July ever, out-raising Republicans by millions with only a couple weeks left before the election. Democrats have a rocky road ahead of them this election, with tough races in at least nine states that could swing either way this November.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $11.5 million in July, $3.5 million more than the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) $8 million. The DCCC has $56.7 million on hand, while the NRCC has a reported $48 million on hand as of Monday.

The main driver of the DCCC’s success has been those alarming DCCC fundraising emails, which brought in $7 million in online donations in July. Democratic leaders including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have also been on a fundraising blitz, hosting and attending events around the country. President Obama set to attend his tenth DCCC event in Rhode Island later in August.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also boasts similar fundraising results, raising $7.7 million this July. The DSCC has a reported $32 million on hand for the ongoing battle to maintain control of the Senate. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $5.5 million in July and has a reported $26.6 million on hand. With 46 seats likely to stay Republican next cycle and toss up elections in a handful of consistently red states, regardless of the end-of-summer fundraising boost, Democrats face a tough road ahead of November’s election.

TIME celebrity

Watch Amy Schumer’s Delightfully Weird and Disgusting ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge

Spoiler: the comedian did not dump ice a bucket of ice on herself

Just when the ALS ice-bucket challenge videos were getting monotonous, comedian Amy Schumer stepped in to spice things up. The Comedy Central star accepted the ALS ice-bucket challenge late Sunday, but instead of dumping a bucket of ice-cold water on herself in the name of charity, Schumer took an, uh, alternative approach.

Extra points for Schumer’s attire — can’t think of a more appropriate outfit to wear while dumping a can of chunky liquid on one’s head than granny panties.

The 33-year-old is just the latest celebrity to take on the challenge of dumping a bucket of liquid on their heads to raise awareness and funds for research on Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS. So far, the ice bucket challenge has raised more than $5 million.

 

 

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Likes to Stay in the ‘Presidential Suite’ When She Travels

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 30, 2014
Hillary Clinton is seen arriving at The Carlyle Hotel on July 30, 2014 in New York City. Alessio Botticelli—GC Images/Getty Images

Amid recent scrutiny of high speaking fees

Hillary Clinton isn’t President yet, but she like staying in the presidential suite of the luxury hotels she frequents, according to a new report.

The former Secretary of State’s team lays out her travel preferences in documents obtained by the Las Vegas Review Journal ahead of a scheduled October fundraiser for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation. The documents also reveal that Clinton, who is mulling a potential 2016 presidential bid, has been guaranteed a $225,000 speaker’s fee for the event. Clinton has been under scrutiny in recent months for her lucrative speaking fees.

When she travels, the Review Journal reports, Clinton also requests that travel costs be included and that she have access to a round-trip chartered jet for her and much of her staff. She typically wants a Gulfstream 450 jet or something larger, a stay in the presidential suite of a hotel of her choice, and nearby accommodations and meals for her staff.

[Las Vegas Review Journal]

TIME celebrities

Watch Lady Gaga Take the Ice Bucket Challenge Without Saying a Word

She didn't even flinch

Lady Gaga accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and completed the task of dumping a bucket of freezing water on her head without saying a word. She didn’t even flinch.

In the video posted to her Instagram feed on Monday, Gaga nearly out Gaga’s herself, sitting cross-legged in a black leotard with matching black lipstick, slowly raising a silver bucket over her head. Her hashtags: #SharePainShowCompassion.

As a part of the challenge, which has raised over $5 million for research into ALS, (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), those nominated can either agree to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves within 24-hours or donate a $100 to research.

Your move, Adele, Michael Rapino, Vincent Herbert, and Arthur Fogel or, as Gaga said #RichPeople.

TIME apps

Teenage Kid Ignoring Your Calls? There’s an App for That

iphone teenager
Getty Images

The "Ignore No More" application locks teens Android phones until they call mom or dad back

A New York mom got so sick of her teen kids ignoring her calls she created an app so they couldn’t.

Sharon Standifir, the creator of the “Ignore No More” smartphone application, told CBS New York that after repeatedly having her calls to her teens go unanswered, she researched how to develop an application that would shut their phones down until they called her back.

And so, that’s what she created after working with developers for months. The $1.99 app, which is currently only available for download on Android phones, allows parents lock their kids’ phones from a separate device, forcing them to call a list of select numbers (including 911) in order to gain access to the device.

“No calls to friends, no text, no games, notta’ until they call you back. When they do, you can unlock their phone if you choose to do so,” reads the application’s website. “How’s that for parental control?”

 

TIME Crime

Ohio Morgue Worker Admits to Having Sex with 100 Corpses

Mortician covering dead body in morgue
fstop123/Getty Images

"I would just get on top of them and pull my pants down"

An Ohio county where a man admitted to having sex with corpses while employed at the morgue can be held liable for his actions, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Kenneth Douglas, who worked night shifts at the Hamilton County morgue from 1976 until 1992, said in a deposition he had sex with up to 100 dead bodies, often while drunk or high on drugs, WCPO Cincinnati reports. “I would just get on top of them and pull my pants down,” Douglas said.

Families of the victims sued the county in 2012, after Douglas was charged and convicted in three cases of gross abuse of a corpse. Douglas’ DNA was discovered in 2008 on the body of Karen Range, who was 19 when she died in 1992. Douglas reportedly had sex with Range, and other victims, while the bodies were awaiting autopsy.

The county maintains it can’t be held accountable for the actions of its employees. But on Friday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a jury could find the county’s former coroner and morgue “recklessly and wantonly” neglected to supervise Douglas, WCPO reports. This is the fourth lawsuit Hamilton County has faced for allegedly improperly handling corpses.

A key piece of evidence was Douglas’ wife’s testimony that when she called to report her husband coming home from work smelling like sex and alcohol, she was told “whatever happens on county property, in county time, is county business.”

[WCPO Cincinnati]

TIME Election 2014

Sen. Brian Schatz Secures Primary Win in Hawaii

US Sen. Brian Schatz celebrates after defeating fellow Democrat Colleen Hanabusa to retain his senate seat on Aug. 15, 2014 in Hilo, Hawaii.
US Sen. Brian Schatz celebrates after defeating fellow Democrat Colleen Hanabusa to retain his senate seat on Aug. 15, 2014 in Hilo, Hawaii. Marco Garcia—AP

The incumbent won the Democratic primary by a little over 1,700 votes

Sen. Brian Schatz won the Hawaii Senate primary on Friday, following a rare one-day vote in a rural district.

The Associated Press declared a winner at 2:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, which was about 8:30 p.m. local time; polls closed at 7p.m. The Hawaii office of elections reported a close race, with Schatz beating Hanabusa by only 1,769 votes. Schatz outspent Hanabusa by $1.5 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and secured the support of both President Obama and the Democrats’ progressive faction, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

“This was obviously an extremely hard-fought race. But we’re gratified that the voters heard our message and recognized that I’ve been working hard for the people of Hawaii,” Schatz told the Associated Press on Friday.

Schatz’s win brings one of the nation’s most tense Senate primary races to a close nearly one week after the official primary election was held. Voters in the district of Puna on Hawaii’s Big Island who were prevented from casting ballots due to damage from a tropical storm were the deciding factor in the Senate race and both candidates focused their attention on the residents throughout the week.

In an interview with a local news station following the election, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said she thought the influence of mainland groups had a huge impact on this election.

“When you have a lot of mainland interest coming in and they can pour in a lot of money—I think that did make a difference in this election,” Hanabusa told KHON2 News. But, she added, “the people still voted they way they wanted to vote.”

Hanabusa did not say whether she would challenge the results, which she said has been requested due to the election’s low turnout. Residents of Puna are still reeling from Tropical Storm Iselle—according to Hawaii Electric Light, some 3,800 customers are still without power.

The win also essentially secures the incumbent’s seat in Senate—a Republican hasn’t been elected to the Senate from Hawaii since 1970.

TIME Election 2014

Storm-Struck Hawaiians to Decide Senate Primary

Hawaii Primary
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa waves at drivers while campaigning for U.S. Senate in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 2014. Audrey McAvoy—AP

A special one-day election will decide whether Sen. Brian Schatz or Rep. Colleen Hanabusa secure the primary win in Hawaii

A pocket of voters in a remote area of Hawaii will cast the deciding ballots in one the country’s most tense Senate primary races during a one-day election on Friday.

About 6,800 eligible voters in the former hippie enclave Puna, a rural district in the easternmost area of the Big Island that is still reeling from Tropical Storm Iselle, essentially hold the fate of Democrats Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Sen. Brian Schatz in their hands. Due to power outages and blocked roads, voters set to cast ballots at Keonepoko Elementary School and Hawaiian Paradise Community Center found their polling stations closed during last Saturday’s primary. About 1,500 voters from the area already sent in absentee ballots and will not be able to vote on Friday, according to Hawaii News Now.

Polls will only open at the two locations, Keonepoko Elementary School and Hawaiian Paradise Community Center, Friday from 7 a.m. until 6p.m. It’s a rare move, offering a handful of voters a lot of power and focusing an inordinate amount attention on the often-forgotten district, as many residents said in interviews with the New York Times.

As of Sunday’s count, Sen. Schatz was 1,635 votes ahead of Hanabussa and the election will likely swing his way following Friday’s vote, though neither camp had given up on trying to sway this handful of voters as it came down the wire. Both candidates traveled to the Puna district this week, distributing water, ice and food to affected residents. More than 6,000 people are still without power, the Hawaii Electric Light company said Thursday.

State lawmakers have called the decision to hold elections amid the recovery insensitive and Rep. Hanabusa filed a lawsuit earlier this week to have the election delayed. On Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura denied the motion and the election resumed as planned on Friday morning.

In a statement following the judge’s decision, Schatz’s campaign manager Clay Schroers said Schatz “continues to focus his energies on helping the people of Puna to recover.”

Hanabusa’s camp noted that while their recovery efforts would continue, the focus on Friday would be on the election. “We will continue to distribute food, water, fruit and ice to those in need. But we need people to be aware that there is an election tomorrow,” said campaign spokesman Peter Boylan, according to the Associated Press. “This campaign is not over, and we will continue to work very hard to earn every vote.”

Outside progressive groups poured money into helping Schatz, appointed by now-ousted Gov. Neil Abercrombie following the death of longtime Sen. Daniel Inoyue, to help him keep the seat. On the other hand, Inoyue loyalists have bolstered support for Hanabussa, who the late Senator requested to succeed him on his deathbed. Regardless of who wins on Friday, a Democrat is projected to secure the seat in the Senate—the last time a Republican was elected to the Senate from Hawaii was Sen. Hiram Fong in 1970.

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