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Texas showdown: Bernie Sanders joins AOC in backing progressive challenge to moderate House Democrat

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. on Monday joined Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in backing the progressive challenge by Jessica Cisneros against longtime moderate Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas.Cuellar, a key centrist negotiator in the House of Representatives, is being targeted in part because of his resistance last year to linking President Biden’s massive social infrastructure and climate change spending bill to the bipartisan infrastructure package that was passed into law. And Cuellar, who’s currently under investigation by the FBI for alleged improper ties to Azerbaijan, is also under attack from the left for his ties to and support from the oil industry and for his repeated votes against abortion rights.CUELLAR ONE OF JUST THREE MODERATE HOUSE DEMOCRATS CURRENTLY FACING PRIMARY CHALLENGES FROM THE LEFTThe 28-year-old Cisneros came very close to ousting Cuellar in the 2020 Democratic primary in Texas’s 28th Congressional District, a once overwhelmingly blue district that has become more competitive. The district is located the southern part of the Lone Star State and includes the outskirts of San Antonio.Sanders, who’s backing Cisneros for a second straight election cycle, said in a statement that “Jessica knows that real change comes from the bottom on up, not the top on down.” The longtime Vermont senator, progressive champion and runner-up in the 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential nomination races, emphasized that Cisneros “will fight for the working class in Congress and together we will build a movement to transform this nation so that it works for all our people.”WILL A RED WAVE OVERCOME A BLUE WALL IN NOVEMBER’S MIDTERMS?Cisneros, in a statement thanking Sanders for his endorsement, took aim at Cuellar, arguing that “we’re taking on Cuellar’s Republican corporate backers with a positive vision for South Texas which includes delivering on Medicare for All, reproductive freedom, and good-paying union jobs.”Cisneros is also being backed by the Justice Democrats, the progressive group founded in 2017 that recruited Ocasio-Cortez, who stunned the political world with her 2018 Democratic primary defeat of longtime Rep. Joe Crowley of New York. The same year Justice Democrats also backed fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, in her primary ouster of veteran Rep. Mike Capuano in the Democratic primary. They also supported fellow Squad members Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan in their 2018 elections to Congress, and two years later backed Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri and Jamaal Bowman of New York as they defeated longtime House Democrats in the 2020 primaries.AOC SAYS TEXAS TURNING BLUE IS INEVITABLEOcasio-Cortez, who endorsed Cisneros last month, headlined a rally on Saturday in San Antonio for her and Greg Casar, another Democratic congressional candidate backed by the Justice Democrats.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) speaks on southern border security and illegal immigration, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 30, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)Cuellar, who has become an increasingly vocal critic of progressives the past couple of years, has accused the party’s left flank of alienating voters in South Texas, where the GOP has made gains in recent elections.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPA week ago, ahead of the Ocasio-Cortez-headlined rally, the congressman highlighted that “the voters will decide this election, not far-left celebrities who stand for defunding the police, open borders, eliminating oil & gas jobs, and raising taxes on hard working Texans.”Monday marked the beginning of a week and a half of early voting ahead of the March 1 primary in Texas.

GOP women's PAC backs Britt for Senate in Alabama, Timken in Ohio, as key GOP primaries take shape

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FIRST ON FOX – The GOP political action committee Winning for Women (WFW) is endorsing Katie Britt and Jane Timken in the Republican Senate primaries in Alabama and Ohio, taking sides in two of the biggest intra-party battles of 2022. The endorsements could be a sign of building momentum behind the two campaigns, as WFW-backed candidates have an 87% winning percentage in primary races, according to FiveThirtyEight.”I am honored to have the endorsement of Winning For Women. I proudly share and will fight in the U.S. Senate for the organization’s core values of economic freedom and strong national security,” Britt, who’s running to replace retiring Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said in a statement.”I’m honored to receive the endorsement of Winning For Women and join the ranks of bold, qualified, Conservative women taking a stand across the country,” Timken said. “Our shared values of economic freedom and strong national security are under attack from the radical Left as inflation soars, a porous Southern Border threatens communities, and our Constitutional liberties are ignored.”
Republican Alabama Senate candidate Katie Britt speaks to “Fox & Friends” on June 10, 2021. The Republican PAC Winning for Women is endorsing Britt Monday. 
(Fox & Friends)BIDEN SAYS HE’S RUNNING IN 2024, BUT 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES KEEP COMING TO NHThe Britt endorsement is notable because she is in the middle of a bruising primary battle against Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Brooks was the first congressman to announce that he would object to the certification of the 2020 election. Trump held a rally in Alabama for Brooks last year. Britt is a former staffer for Shelby. His decision not to run for reelection left open a Senate seat in deep red Alabama, which Britt and Brooks have emerged as the frontrunners to win. Britt recently was the president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. She emphasizes her Christian faith in her campaign. Timken, meanwhile, is the former chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party who was elected in 2017 as part of a wave of pro-Trump state party leaders nationwide. Trump supported her in 2016 when she ran for that role, according to Cleveland.com. Trump hasn’t endorsed anyone in the Senate race yet. But Timken is endorsed by top Trump ally Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. 
Former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken speaks at former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again Rally on July 25, 2017 in Youngstown, Ohio. Timken is now running for Senate in Ohio and is being endorsed Monday by the GOP PAC Winning for Women. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)WFW is also endorsing former State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus – who is endorsed by Trump. STEFANIK, IN FIRST SENATE ENDORSEMENT OF 2022 MIDTERMS, THROWS SUPPORT BEHIND OHIO GOP CANDIDATE JANE TIMKENAfter leaving the State Department where she served under the former president, Ortagus appeared regularly on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” last year. She announced her campaign for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District last week after Trump endorsed her last month. Trump called Ortagus “an absolute warrior for America First and MAGA!””I’m grateful for everything Winning For Women does to support conservative women candidates. I’m honored to have them join President Trump on my team, as I seek to fight for Tennessee’s conservative values in Congress. Now, let’s take back the House and retire Nancy Pelosi!” Ortagus said in a statement. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., currently represents Tennessee’s fifth district, but he’s retiring after the Tennessee legislature’s redistricting turned his seat to be a GOP majority district. Democrat Odessa Kelly appears as if she will be the Democrat nominee for the seat, while Ortagus faces several other GOP candidates in the GOP primary. 
Former State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus answers the questions during a press conference in Washington, United States on September 12, 2019. Ortagus is now running for Congress in Tennessee and is being endorsed by the GOP PAC Winning for Women Monday. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Austin city council members accuse police of antisemitism for tweet on crime, Soros DA donations

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FIRST ON FOX: Members of the Austin City Council hurled accusations of antisemitism at the Texas city’s police department after the local police officer union sounded the alarm about surging crime across the country and billionaire financier George Soros’ donations to Democratic district attorney candidates.”Austin voters have embraced George Soros funded candidates and media campaigns against public safety,” the Austin Police Association tweeted on Dec. 4, 2021, along with a Fox News article outlining rising crime in cities led by officials funded by the Hungarian-born, liberal megadonor who has openly pushed for lax prosecuting guidelines. “Historic homicide rates in Austin and rising. Declining police force. Soros funded District Attorney with a weak record on reducing violent crime.”
Police Chief Joseph Chacon
(Austin Police Department)AUSTIN RESTAURANT ROBBED AGAIN, THIRD TIME IN THREE MONTHS AMID POLICE SHORTAGEHours later, in an email obtained by Fox News, liberal Austin City Council Member Alison Alter told Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon that she “interprets” the tweet as “antisemitic” and equated it with a number of clearly antisemitic stickers that had been posted in a local park. On Dec. 5, Donald Baker, secretary of the Austin Police Association and a commander in the Austin Police Department, responded to Alter and Council Member Leslie Pool on behalf of the police union, asking what specifically was antisemitic about the tweet and explained that the police association reached out to members of the Jewish community and were told nothing was offensive about the post. “Our members know what it means and how it feels personally to be the target of hate messaging, graffiti on public buildings, and vile protests associated with physical violence. We as the Austin Police Association do not participate in those types of activities nor do we condone them,” Baker wrote. “In fact, we are the group who has continually requested additional police resources to be able to properly address hate crimes, criminal mischief in parks and public roadways, or general disorder which leads to an increase in the fear of crime and social unrest throughout Austin.”AUSTIN’S POLICE DEPARTMENT NEEDS MANY MORE OFFICERS, SAYS INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONBaker added that it is “extremely concerning” when elected officials make allegations of racism or antisemitism toward the police and that it would be “genuinely appreciated and appropriate if both of you provided an apology for what appears at this time to be an unwarranted defamation of our members and the Austin Police Association.”Alter responded to Baker’s email by saying that the Austin Police Association’s tweet “risks making Jewish residents feel less safe” and is “further encouraging violence and hatred.” Alter also outlined several reasons why she feels the tweet is derogatory towards Jewish people. 
George Soros
(AP)”Your Tweet re-prints a common stereotype and scapegoating of a Jewish figure for problems in our city,” Alter wrote. “Your Tweet encourages anger toward Jews by singling out an allegedly conspiratorial Jewish man for undermining safety in our city. The evidence is overwhelming that the use of the ‘Soros’ figure to condemn policies is commonly and repeatedly antisemitic.”Alter included three links from Vox, the Anti-Defamation League, and Forbes Business magazine that allege various “Soros driven conspiracies” and suggests that “a person who promotes a Soros conspiracy theory may not intend to promulgate antisemitism but Soros’ Jewish identity is so well-known that in many cases it is hard not to infer that meaning.”Pool and Alter both voted in favor of slashing the police department’s funding in August 2020. Alter and Pool did not respond to repeated requests for comment from Fox News.Soros has poured millions of dollars in recent years into political campaigns in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia, helping to elect district attorneys who are notorious for rolling back sentencing guidelines and allowing criminals awaiting trial to be released back onto the streets. Many of those cities, including Philadelphia, Los Angeles and St. Louis, have experienced new homicide records and violent crime spikes in recent years.One of those political officials is Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, a Democrat, who took office in Austin in January 2021 after receiving over $500,000 from a Soros-backed nonprofit organization. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPIn Garza’s first year in office, Austin shattered its previous record for homicides in a year, and the police department, already short-staffed by the city council’s defunding and canceling of cate classes in 2020, was forced to stop responding to non-emergency calls, which left citizens to fend for themselves in some cases. 
Austin skyline
(iStock )Additionally, Garza’s office has been criticized for implementing lenient sentencing guidelines that have resulted in violent criminals being released back onto the streets despite facing charges of serious crimes.As homicides and violent crime surges under Garza’s watch, Soros donated $500,000 in a successful effort to defeat a proposition that would have refunded some of the money and staff stripped from the police department by the city council.

Rep. Fallon introduces bill to scrap diversity visa lottery, limit asylum claims

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FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, introduced legislation on Friday that would scrap the diversity visa lottery and impose penalties on immigrants who have overstayed their visas — and it includes provisions to prevent asylum fraud.The Abolishing the Lottery and Immigration Enforcement Now (ALIEN) Act looks to tackle drivers of mass legal immigration and the migrant surge at the southern border.The bill would first seek to scrap the controversial Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, known commonly as the visa lottery, which hands out visas based on random selection to countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Approximately 50,000 are made available each year.FLORIDA GOP LAWMAKER INTRODUCES SWEEPING IMMIGRATION BILL WITH ‘DIGNIFIED’ PATHWAY FOR LEGALIZATION Some Republicans have opposed the visa lottery, arguing that picking immigrants at random isn’t the best way to pick the best immigrants from across the globe. Former President Trump called for the program to be scrapped after a 2017 terrorist attack in New York City, where the suspect was a visa lottery recipient from Uzbekistan.”Diversity lottery — sounds nice,” he said at the time. “It’s not nice. It’s not good. It hasn’t been good. We’ve been against it.”Separately, the legislation would impose a fine of up to $1,000 a day and potential jail time for immigrants who came in on temporary visas but overstayed those visas. It would place a five-year bar on legal reentry, a 10-year bar on asylum and a 15-year ban for green card applications. It would also bar permanently anyone who overstayed a visa twice.The FY2020 entry/exit overstay report found there were nearly 585,000 in-country visa overstays that year.Finally, the legislation targets asylum fraud. Currently, a migrant must show they have “credible fear” of persecution if they are returned home. That can be established based on a number of categories — including race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.BOEBERT SEEKS TO BAN FEDERALLY FUNDED LEGAL AID TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTSThe ALIEN Act would remove “membership in a particular social group,” noting that courts have found the phrase to be ambiguous and open-ended.The bill has eight co-sponsors: Reps. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, Jake Ellzey, R-Texas, Ted Budd, R-N.C., Dan Bishop, R-N.C., Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Clay Higgins, R-La., Bill Pose, R-Fla., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.Fallon cited the ongoing crisis at the southern border and said that “the enforcement of our immigration laws is not necessarily the root cause of this crisis – it is the laws themselves.””It’s time for substantive change,” he said in a statement. “We need to close loopholes and eliminate drivers of illegal immigration. It starts by building a merit-based immigration system, by strengthening visa overstay penalties, and by eliminating the fraud in our asylum program. This legislation is a crucial first step in the right direction.”REP. ROSENDALE INTRODUCES BILL TO BLOCK MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE UNTIL US BORDER IS SECUREDThe bill was praised by immigration hawk groups Numbers USA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which praised the bill for tackling “a deeply-flawed legal immigration program, the most overlooked method of illegal entry, and humanitarian loopholes that drive the border crisis.””Specifically, the ALIEN Act reforms these distinct but interconnected issues by eliminating the unnecessary visa lottery, cracking down on visa overstays, and by making desperately needed changes to our asylum process,” FAIR President Dan Stein said in a statement. “It is yet another shovel-ready solution to address an unprecedented crisis that those across the aisle on Capitol Hill continue to ignore. Will Speaker Pelosi finally step up to the plate?”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP The bill marks the latest Republican effort to tackle immigration issues, including those related to the crisis at the southern border. Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., this week introduced legislation that would bar funding to Ukraine until the border is operationally secure.This week, Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla., introduced a sweeping immigration reform bill that would grant illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship while requiring them to pay for border security and American worker retraining programs. 

George Gascon recall campaign gets support from left-leaning Hollywood honchos

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A campaign to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon is receiving donations from high-profile figures across the political spectrum as fears of violent crime mount in the SoCal city.Major funding for the effort comes from Palos Verdes Estates investor Gerald Marcil and Beverly Hills real estate developer Geoff Palmer – both Republican megadonors – but other generous donors fall among Hollywood’s left-leaning elite.”He keeps saying that this campaign is a Trump-funded campaign, and that is far from the truth,” recall co-founder Desiree Andrade, whose 20-year-old son died in a brutal attack in 2018, said of Gascon in an interview with Fox News Digital. “That bothers me because I’m not fighting about politics here. I’m fighting for public safety justice. And to me, public safety does not see color and does not see politics.”
Desiree Andrade (L), whose 20-year-old son Julian Andrade was killed in 2018, speaks at a press conference with supporters of an effort to recall Los Angeles District Attorney Gascon on December 6, 2021. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Dem senators urge ICE to provide boosters, vaccine 'education’ to detained illegal immigrants

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Democratic senators are urging the Biden administration to provide COVID-19 boosters, as well as “vaccine and booster education” to illegal immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, amid fears of rising COVID-19 cases in detention centers.In a letter to acting ICE Director Tae Johnson sent this week, the Democrats cite statistics that the number of COVID-19 cases have increased by 800% since the start of the year and that at the end of January 14% of the detainee population (at least 3,038) were under isolation or monitoring for COVID-19.CBP SOUNDS ALARM ON CRIMINAL GANGS RECRUITING TEENS ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO SMUGGLE MIGRANTS”In spite of the CDC’s recommendations, ICE is failing to provide COVID-19 booster shots to people in ICE detention,” the Democrats write. “As of January 6, 2022, ICE has administered only 671 booster shots nationwide, to the over 22,000 detainees nationwide in ICE custody each day. Advocates have reported to us that booster shots are not being made available to individuals in detention and that even educational materials about booster shots are not uniformly available.”The letter is signed by 12 senators including Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Edward Markey, D-Mass., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and Cory Booker, D-N.J.The lawmakers call on ICE to identify and provide eligible detainees with vaccine boosters, provide guidance to detention facilities to “immediately and routinely” provide vaccines, and “promote accessible vaccine and booster education for all detained people.”ICE DEPORTATIONS DROPPED SHARPLY IN FY 2021 AS BIDEN ADMIN RESTRICTED AGENCY: PRELIMINARY DATAThey also ask for a plan to ensure all detainees are offered vaccinations and education “in their preferred language” and the number of how many detainees have been fully and partially vaccinated, as well as given booster shots.So far the Biden administration has not issued any vaccine mandate for illegal immigrants who are in the country, although it has mandated them for travelers at ports of entry. The Biden administration has kept the Title 42 public health protections in place, but it has been used for fewer and fewer migrants.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPFox News reported last year that approximately 30% of those in custody had refused a COVID-19 vaccine.Axios reported last month that the Biden administration is considering requiring migrants aged 5 and older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition for crossing the U.S-Mexico border and being placed in immigration proceedings.

Rep. Comer accuses Fauci, CCP of covering up COVID origins 'from day one': 'Is he a mad scientist?'

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House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer, R-Ky., accused China and White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci of working separately to cover up the origins of COVID-19 “from day one.”Comer made the accusation against Fauci and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during a Thursday phone interview with Fox News Digital, also blasting the Biden administration for wasting “a lot of time” to get to the bottom of the Wuhan lab leak theory The lead Republican on the House Oversight Committee also pointed to President Biden’s pledge to have his intelligence team look into it in “90 days,” which resulted in an inconclusive report. OUTGOING NIH DIRECTOR DISMISSES WUHAN CORONAVIRUS LAB-LEAK THEORY AS A ‘DISTRACTION’ ON LAST DAY IN OFFICE
Ranking member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., questions Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing titled Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots, in the Rayburn House Office Building on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. 
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Poo)”Ninety days passed, 100 days passed, he finally issued a report that said, ‘well, they didn’t find anything,'” Comer said, praising Republicans for publishing the emails showing the scientists theorizing about a lab leak from Wuhan.The congressman warned that the longer a thorough probe into the origins of the virus takes place, the harder it will be to concretely prove its beginnings.REPS. COMER, JORDAN EXPOSE NEW FAUCI EMAILS THEY SAY POINT TO COVID-19 LAB LEAK ‘COVER UP’He also accused China and Fauci of engaging in “a massive cover-up from day one” on COVID-19’s origins.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to the president.
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)”As more time passes, it’s going to be harder to prove without a shadow of a doubt where this came from, but it looks to me like there’s been a massive cover-up from day one — not just by communist China, but also by Dr. Fauci,” Comer said.”I wonder — this is me, I’m not speaking on behalf of the committee — but I’m wondering: is he a mad scientist?” Comer also said. “I mean, why wasn’t he forthcoming in the fact that we were funding gain-of-function research?”The Kentucky Republican said “there’s no question” the CCP is trying to cover up the virus’s origins at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and pointed to China’s testing of animals in Wuhan at the beginning of the pandemic without testing “the original mice that they used to do these gain-of-function research on.”
Security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.