Publicity can be a double-edged sword.
With a bit of luck, the House could soon vote to protect the names of Florida lottery winners.
The House State Affairs Committee voted Thursday in support of a bill (HB 159) to protect winners from the wealth of unintended consequences for hitting the jackpot. The bill, carried by Jacksonville Democratic Rep. Tracie Davis, is now ready for the full House to consider.
Florida law already makes the address and phone number of winners confidential. The proposal would allow those who win $250,000 or more to keep their names confidential for 90 days, though they would be allowed to waive that right also.
Lottery winners are currently made public for transparency — to show the winners are legitimate. And for the lottery, there is also the added benefit of publicity.
With that publicity can come unwanted attention for the winner, like scams, harassment and even loss of life. Davis shared headlines of lottery winners who were killed after winning.
“I think with those headlines, some of us always dream of winning the lottery. But like you’ve just heard, for some, that dream becomes a nightmare,” Davis said.
Indialantic Republican Rep. Thad Altman asked why not expand the protections to all lottery winners. Davis said the recommendation came from Florida Lottery Secretary John Davis. At $250,000 or more, winners must come to the lottery headquarters in Tallahassee to collect their winnings.
During the 2021 Session, Davis made an unsuccessful bid to turn anonymity legislation into law. The House passed her measure 117-1, but the bill lagged in the Senate and never made it to the floor.
Boca Raton Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky is carrying the Senate version of the measure (SB 170), which is identical to the House version. Polsky’s bill awaits a hearing in its second of three committees, the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.
The proposal would take effect immediately upon becoming law. However, without lawmakers re-upping it, the legislation would sunset in October 2027.
If the measures hit the full chambers, they face a higher threshold vote than a simple majority for passage. The bills require a two-thirds vote among members on hand because it would create a new public record exemption.
House State Affairs Committee Ralph Massullo praised the proposal as an extremely balanced measure.
“We have a lot of public records exemptions that we hear in this committee. This is one of my favorites,” Massullo said. “Not that I would ever win the lottery but I certainly wish that for each and every one of you someday.”
Report: Detroit Man Accused of Setting Fire to Girlfriend Pregnant with Twins Bonds Out for $5,000
A 41-year-old Detroit man accused of setting fire to his girlfriend, who is pregnant with twins, has bonded out of a Wayne County jail for just $5,000 after posting ten percent of his $50,000 bond, according to a report.
“Police said Devonne Marsh got into an argument with his girlfriend at their Detroit home off Packard and Outer Drive last Friday, Jan. 14, and he doused her with lighter fluid before setting her on fire,” WJBK reports.
According to the latest reporting from the outlet:
Devonne Marsh was released from the Wayne County Jail Friday morning. According to documents with the jail, he was released from custody just before 11:20 a.m. on Friday. He’s now out on bond with multiple conditions including no weapons, no drug use, and is ordered not to go to their shared apartment.
However, FOX 2 has learned that Marsh has a hold in Macomb County for other charges so while he’s posted bail in Wayne County, he is not currently free.
A man charged with setting his girlfriend – who was 6 months pregnant with twins – on fire, there was shock that his bond was set as low as $50,000 with 10%. Now, for just $5,000, he’s made bail. https://t.co/8PHFtDRtEY
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) January 21, 2022
At about 10:40 on January 14, Detroit Police received a tip “that a woman was being held against her will and tortured,” according to WDIZ. At the scene, officers said they found the 26-year-old pregnant woman, with severe burns to her legs and stomach, lying on a bed in the basement of the home. Officers said she could hardly move.
The 26-year-old is in critical condition with burns to 60 percent of her body, and “It’s not yet known if her babies will survive,” WJBK reports. She is six and a half months pregnant.
“How do you do this to another human being? I can’t – it’s unimaginable,” Commander Michael McGinnis of the Detroit Police Department told WJBK.
“Just incredibly traumatic injuries, I did see pictures and I mean the pain that she must be suffering – I can’t imagine,” he said.
Marsh, 41, was arrested and is charged with “kidnapping/abduction, aggravated/felonious assault and violation of the controlled substance act,” according to WDIZ.
He is a parole absconder with a lengthy rap sheet according to WJBK, including previous charges for guns, assault, and drugs.
“Marsh pleaded guilty in Macomb County Circuit Court to four counts of delivering more than 50 grams of cocaine in 2019 and was sentenced to two years probation,” Macomb Daily reports.
The victim had been too scared to report the abuse she was enduring, and Heaven of Oakland County CEO Aimee Nimeh told WJBK that victims often fear retaliation from their abusers when speaking up.
“Fear is part of the relationship and so absolutely there is fear of retaliation,” Nimeh explained.
She added that victims are often frightened by low bonds.
“The court system can be very overwhelming; the process can be complicated,” she said. “It’s not just that court is a little scary, it’s also that what happens next with that assailant that might be coming out, that might be walking free. How do you stay safe in that situation?”
McGinnis previously said he had hoped Marsh, who ended up making bond, remained in custody.
“We just hope that he remains in custody through the trial process so that the victim can heal without the fear of any kind of retribution from him,” McGinnis said.
Wilson: GOP Wants 2024 to Be Last Election — Like the Ba’ath Party in Iraq
Lincoln Project founder Rick Wilson said Friday on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that the Republican Party wanted the 2024 presidential election to be the last election in America.
Wilson said, “They’re trying to throw so much friction into voting and all the sand into the machine, especially in communities they don’t feel will be reliable voters for them. So they are not going to bitch and moan about early voting in a red county. ”
He continued, “This is exactly the kind of mechanism that proto authoritarian states and authoritarian states set up. They want to say who can vote, when they can vote, how they can vote, when the votes are counted. They want to have a veto of the vote count at the end. They want to also say they can bring criminal sanctions and try to intimidate people who are trying to go out and register voters. They want to bring criminal sanctions with these organizations. You know who enforces the law? State attorneys enforce the law. They don’t need an election police force. This is a tool of intimidation. And it is frankly a sign again. They don’t want elections. They would like 2024 to be the last election. They want to be like the Ba’ath Party in Iraq. They have a thing called elections, and the dear leader gets 117% of the vote.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
GETTR: Leaked Texts Suggest Miles Guo Is Jason Miller’s Boss, Tells Him What to Do
Leaked WhatsApp messages between Jason Miller and Miles Guo suggests Guo has far more influence over GETTR than previously claimed.
Speaking to Tim Pool on Wednesday, Miller, the CEO of the “free speech” social media network GETTR, was quizzed about his relationship with exiled Chinese billionaire Miles Guo. GETTR was based on a nearly identical platform called Getome, then renamed Getter, which was hosted by Guo’s GTV, before it was relaunched as GETTR in July of 2021.
When asked, Miller said that while Guo does not have “a direct financial or leadership role within the company,” he admitted that “one of the firms that’s invested in [GETTR] has a heavy influence from Miles’s family foundation.” Miller stated that while he does “get ideas and hears things from Miles… he is not [his] boss.”
However, leaked WhatsApp messages acquired by leftist news outlet Mother Jones suggest that Guo does actually have a lot more influence than Miller claimed. The messages between Miller and Guo center around Joe Rogan’s remarks earlier this month.
On his podcast, Rogan labelled GETTR as being “fugazi,” for combining Twitter and GETTR follower counts together, something the site has now reversed.
In the exchange, which included audio messages from Guo and texts from Miller, Miller said the situation was not good, but that he had attempted to smooth things over with Rogan’s producer.
“It’s just a misunderstanding. There is no problem Jason,” Guo said in an audio message, “Joe Rogan is a big help to us. We are friend. We don’t want to do any bad things to this guy. We need to respect him. Just…explain to him what happened… We solve the misunderstanding… We must keep it gentleman-style. No fight back. We are friends. We need to respect him,” Guo continued, arguably giving Miller instructions.
“Exactly,” Miller replied. “I was very humble when I spoke with his producer yesterday.”
“That’s why I love you. You’re a 100 percent gentlemen,” Guo said. “You’re the super gentleman. That’s why you have the extremely enemy. Miles Guo is too many enemy, Steve Bannon too many enemy. We are easy create the enemy. That’s our trouble… We need to learn from you… That’s why you good CEO in GETTR. Thank you very much I learn a lot.”
Due to Guo’s broken English, the last sentence in the second message is harder to decipher, but can potentially be transcribed as follows: “Thank you for the GETTR, you sacrifice your patience and you are a big benefit for me and to GETTR,” lending more credence to the idea that Guo has control over the site.
The message exchange seemed to be initially private between Miller and Guo, but was forwarded on by Guo to a group chat of around 20 people:
“Regarding Joe Rogan, last night, we discussed with Jason to display the number of followers separately: GETTR followers and total followers,” Guo wrote in the WhatsApp chat that originally appeared in Chinese. “The web version has been launched, and the mobile version is also being submitted. After all the changes are made, Jason should respond to this issue. An announcement to explain.”
In a comment to Mother Jones, Miller said that Guo was just “one of many” people who offered him advice over the Rogan debacle. “I received suggestions from several dozen people that day, ranging from policy guidance to chewing me out,” Miller said. “Pointing out that we need to better communicate with some of our high-profile users isn’t exactly inside baseball.”
Mother Jones further alleged that legal documents leaked to them show an even closer connection between Miller, Guo and GETTR:
The social media app has said it is headquartered at 3 Columbus Circle in New York, but according to the document, the paychecks for GETTR employees bear a different address: 162 East 64th Street, an Upper East Side building that houses Guo’s commercial and nonprofit ventures.
National File was one of the first news outlets to publicly connect Guo and GETTR, highlighting that GETTR had received around 1,200 strange reviews from Chinese linked accounts, many mentioning Guo’s and Steve Bannon’s organization, known as the New Federal State of China.
The group positions itself as a government-in-waiting, ready to take over China after the fall of the CCP. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the address of the “Himalaya Embassy” of the New Federal State of China is also 162 East 64th Street.
In August last year, a team from the Stanford Internet Observatory and Cyber Policy Center analyzed the site. According to this analysis, the parties responsible for creating and promoting GETTR “are not transparent,” because, “while Miller has distanced Gettr from Miles Guo, the app appears to still be developed by a Guo-linked development team.”
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