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Report: South Florida candidate compares Parkland activists to Hitler

A South Florida City Council candidate used Facebook posts to compare two teen activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to Adolf Hitler, communists and actors, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Ximena Hommel is running for a seat on the Plantation City Council. Although her social media posts have been deleted, Hommel has posted links and memes about David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, who gained national attention after a gunman shot and killed 17 people at the Parkland high school Feb. 14.

A Feb. 21 post included a link to a story about Hogg reading “it’s all theater,” and suggested he was rehearsing scripted lines. A March 25 post included side-by-side photos of Hogg with his right arm raised, next to a saluting Hitler.

On the same day, Hommel posted a photo showing Hogg and Gonzalez wearing Russian-style hats with the caption, “Give us your guns, comrades,” the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Hommel, a former police officer in Plantation, told the newspaper she had no regrets about the posts and will not apologize for reposting links and memes.

“I shared it and I made it public,” Hommel told the Sun-Sentinel. “I posted it from other pages because I don’t believe (Hogg and Gonzalez) represent the victims of the school. Go talk to the real victims.

“I don’t like they are portraying themselves as the victims ’cause they’re not.”

Pennsylvania GOP candidate vows to 'stomp' foe's face 'with golf spikes'

The Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania promised Gov. Tom Wolf in a video that he was “going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes,” CNN reported Saturday.

>> Read more trending news 

In a Facebook video that has since been removed, Scott Wagner is shown jabbing his finger at the camera and addressing Wolf.

."Somewhere yesterday, your people said that I raised a ... white flag," CNN reported Wagner as saying. “Well, Gov. Wolf, let me tell you, between now and November 6, you better put a catcher's mask on your face," he adds. "Because I'm going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes because I'm going to win this for the state of Pennsylvania."

Wolf, a Democrat seeking a second term, leads Wagner in at least five polls.

Andrew Romeo, Wagner’s campaign manager, said in a statement that the candidate's comments “were not to be taken literally," CNN reported.

Florida candidate accused of faking college diploma

A heated political race in Florida is coming down to a question of degrees.

>> Read more trending news 

Melissa Howard, a candidate for the Florida Legislature, has been accused of lying about graduating from college and then producing a fake diploma, the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota reported.

Howard, a businesswoman running against Tommy Gregory in the Aug. 28 Republican primary for state House District 73, on Friday answered accusations from a conservative-based website about her college graduation by distributing photographs of what she claimed was her diploma from Miami University in Ohio. According to the Herald-Tribune, she also posted photographs of what she claimed was her transcript on Facebook, writing that “The truth shall set you free!”

“It only took a night of flying back to my old stomping grounds to catch my opponent in yet another lie!” Howard wrote in her post.

However, the Herald-Tribune cited an email from Miami University general counsel Robin Parker, who said Howard never graduated.

Howard, whose maiden name was Fox when she attended the Ohio university, did not receive a bachelor of science degree in marketing in December 1996 as she claimed, the Herald-Tribune reported, citing Parker’s email.

“We have no such record of a degree,” Parker wrote, noting that the university did not offer a degree in marketing.. 

“Miami University’s degree for Marketing majors then, as it is now, was a Bachelor of Science in Business,” Parker wrote, adding that Howard’s major, according to university records, was retail. “The picture of the diploma that was posted on the HowardforHouse73 Facebook page does not appear to be an accurate Miami University diploma.

The website Florida News Online, which calls itself “The conservative choice for Florida news & politics.” questioned Howard’s academic credentials in a story on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t deal with this,” Howard told the Herald-Tribune on Friday.

Howard told the website that the story was “a lie,” and Florida News Online retracted the story and apologized after Howard distributed the photo of her holding a framed diploma, the Herald-Tribune reported. However, the site reposted its story after Parker told them Howard did not graduate, Florida News Online reported.

Howard could not be reached for comment Saturday, the Herald-Tribune reported.

Her campaign consultant, Anthony Pedicini, said in a text message to the newspaper that Howard’s husband, Ian Howard, had a “cardiac event” Friday and is in the hospital.

“Melissa is focused on her family — not fake news this morning,” Pedicini wrote Saturday.

Gregory said in a text to the Herald-Tribune that “voters deserve nothing less than truth and integrity from their elected officials.”

“Unfortunately, it seems that Melissa Howard has failed that test,” he said in his text.

Florida state Senate candidate calls police on reporter after forum 

A Florida state senator running for reelection called police Thursday afternoon on a reporter she claimed was making threats against her, The Miami Herald reported. 

>> Read more trending news

Sen. Daphne Campbell, a Democrat running in District 38 in South Florida, called police at 1:24 p.m. after an appearance at a North Miami Beach restaurant, the newspaper reported.

A North Miami Beach officer who responded to the call and declined to give his name said Campbell called about threats made by a woman in a floral dress -- the attire of Miami Herald reporter Sarah Blaskey, the Herald reported.

No arrests were made.

Dennis Stubbolo, president of the Social Citizens of South Florida that hosted the event, said the incident was surprising.

“I did not see anything go wrong. I was there,” he told the Herald. “I don’t know where that came from.”

Campbell made the call after a question-and-answer session. When Blaskey asked for an interview, Campbell refused and told the reporter to email her questions, the Herald reported.

When Blaskey continued to listen to Campbell’s conversations with voters, the senator walked to another table and called police, the newspaper reported.

Campbell’s attorney, James Jean-Francois, said he was unaware of the incident and could not comment. Campbell has accused the newspaper of racism and bias in favor of her Democratic primary opponent, Jason Pizzo, the Herald reported.

“You guys keep on harassing her all the time and she’s tired of you guys,” said a man who answered Campbell’s cellphone and declined to give his name, the newspaper reported.

Miami Herald Managing Editor Rick Hirsch said that “Asking a public official questions in a public place is perfectly appropriate.”

Earlier this year, Campbell called Miami Shores Police because Rise News reporter Rich Robinson was filming her in public, The Miami New Times reported. Miami Shores Police found that Robinson had done nothing wrong.

13-year-old boy running for governor of Vermont

The state that produced the oldest man ever to run for president now has the youngest person ever to run for governor.

>> Read more trending news

Bernie Sanders turned 75 two months before the 2016 presidential election. Ethan Sonneborn is 13 and an eighth-grader who is running for governor.

Now.

There is no minimum age to run for governor in Vermont, so Sonenborn is officially the youngest candidate for that office in state history, CNN reported.

Sonneborn is running as a Democrat and will face two other candidates in the party’s primary election in August. The winner will face incumbent Gov. Phil Scott, 59, a Republican.

The teen’s platform will focus on stricter gun control legislation an issue he has stressed since announcing his candidacy in 2017, CNN reported.

"I'll admit when I first heard about a 13-year-old running, I thought, 'Is this some kid from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, spoiled?' But that's not the case," Vermont Democratic Party Executive Director Conor Casey told CNN. "Ethan really did embrace the gun issue early on. He's representing younger people and he's been a good voice for them."

Sonneborn admitted that hunting is an important part of life in New England.

"It's a culture that I respect," he said. "But if it's making the decision between letting my friends have a good time at a firing range and them possibly being involved in a school shooting, I'm choosing legislation to protect them from that school shooting."

Sonneborn said he has met Scott, who told him his gubernatorial bid is "very cool," CNN reported.

Watch the Georgia Senate 'Call the Dawgs' before championship game

The state of Georgia and city of Atlanta are ready for their moment in college football’s limelight.

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On Monday morning, members of the Georgia state Senate “called the Dawgs” during the session ahead of tonight’s College Football Playoff Championship in Atlanta.

Watch the video below:

Georgia and Alabama kick off at 8 p.m. ET at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Top Florida state senator resigns in wake of affair

A Florida state senator, in line to become the Democratic leader in the Florida Senate next year, abruptly resigned Friday.

>> Read more trending news

State Sen. Jeff Clemens of Atlantis, made the announcement after Politico reported he had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist.

“I have made mistakes I (am) ashamed of, and for the past six months I have been focused on becoming a better person. But it is clear to me that task is impossible to finish while in elected office. The process won’t allow it, and the people of Florida deserve better. All women deserve respect, and by my actions, I feel I have failed that standard. I have to do better,” Clemens said in a statement.

He emailed a shorter statement to Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, saying “Please consider this email as my resignation from the Florida Senate.”

Clemens said his resignation was effective immediately. Under state law, Gov. Rick Scott must set the date for a special election to fill Clemens’ seat.

“It is clear to me Senator Clemens made a decision he feels is best for both his family and his constituents,” Negron said.

In his public statement, Clemens said, “Though they have been aware for some time now, I apologize again to my wife, my family and anyone and everyone that I have treated poorly in the past for putting you through this in such a public way. I will continue the therapy I began months ago, will seek to personally apologize to anyone I have wronged while seeking forgiveness, and will spend my time being a better husband and father.”

The resignation came less than 24 hours after Clemens sent an email apologizing to Senate Democrats on Thursday night as Politico was preparing to report that Clemens had an affair with lobbyist Devon West. West worked for the Martin County government and now works for Broward County’s lobbying office. Efforts to reach her on Friday were unsuccessful.

“I take full responsibility for my behavior, and I apologize for bringing any embarrassment to the Caucus,” Clemens said in the Thursday night email to his colleagues. “I have spent much of the past six months going to therapy, strengthening my relationship with my wife and my kids, and trying to be a better human being. I still have quite a ways to go. But I am unwavering in my resolve to get there.”

Rep. Betty Price says comments about quarantining HIV patients 'taken out of context'

A Georgia lawmaker now says she does not support quarantining HIV patients after she seemed to ask if it was legal to do so during a House study committee meeting last week.

>> Read more trending news

“I do not support a quarantine in this public health challenge and dilemma of undertreated HIV patients,” Georgia state Rep. Betty Price (R-Roswell) wrote in a statement.

Price, the wife of former Health and Human Services Secretary and Georgia Congressman Tom Price, was at a meeting of a House study committee last week when she asked a state health official about HIV patients.“What are we legally able to do?” Price asked during the meeting. “I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability since, I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxes and treatment of this condition. So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise? Or are there any methods, you know, that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

>> Previous story: Georgia Rep. Betty Price suggests ‘quarantine’ for HIV patients

Price said in the statement that her comments were “provocative and rhetorical” and “part of a free-flowing conversation which has been taken completely out of context.”

“I do not support a quarantine in this public health challenge,” she said.

Metro Atlanta’s LGBTQ community was quick to condemn the original statements.“The comments from Rep. Price were incredibly disturbing,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of LGBT organization Georgia Equality. “In this day and age, to be even mentioning quarantine around people living with HIV, there just really is no excuse for it. I was heartened to see that she made some recognition of this with the statement that she made over the weekend. I think that is a good start, but clearly, we need to go further than that.”

4 Michigan city council members take knee during Pledge of Allegiance

Four members of the 11-member city council in Ann Arbor, Michigan, took a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance before Monday night’s meeting, MLive reported.

>> Read more trending news

Sumi Kailasapathy, a third-term council member, took a page out of NFL players’ playbooks and decided to make a statement protesting social injustice.

Kailasapathy asked several City Council members to join her in the protest and Chip Smith, Jason Frenzel and Chuck Warpehoski agreed. MLive reported."People tell me to go back to my country and I don't know how to tell them that this is my country, this is my home, and I work very hard to take care of and support my community. If I leave, where am I going to go? " Kailasapathy told CNN.

In a blog post, Warpehoski wrote, "I can't speak to what is in each person's heart, but for me to 'take a knee' is an act of attention, of concern, and of respect," MLive reported. He also said he didn't mean to offend anyone by his actions, let alone dishonor those who have sacrificed for this country.Kailasapathy said she believes kneeling is not disrespectful."If you are someone who works hard to make your community and country a better place, you have the right to be treated with respect," she said.Kailasapathy said she does not plan on kneeling again at a meeting anytime soon, saying she just wanted to get her point across.

Since being elected to the City Council in 2012, normally stands silent during the Pledge of Allegiance , often with her head down, MLive reported. She does not recite the Pledge of Allegiance and said in March that she had no plans to do so in the future, stressing that no disrespect was intended.

Relatively shocking: Bernie Sanders, Larry David are distant cousins

For Bernie Sanders and Larry David, it’s all relative.

Sanders, the U.S. senator from Vermont, and David, the man who lampooned him on “Saturday Night Live” during the 2016 election campaign, found out they were distant cousins.

>> Read more trending news

The PBS show “Finding Your Roots” released a clip of its Season 4 premiere on Tuesday, capturing the moment when both Sanders and David discovered they were related, Mediaite reported.

“What the hell?!” yelled David, the co-creator of “Seinfeld” and the creator-star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” 

“You’re kidding!” an equally surprised Sanders said. “This true?”

It was. On the show, which premieres Friday on PBS, series host Henry Louis Gates Jr. told both men that their DNA tests revealed they both had more than 97 percent Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, Variety reported.

Gates and his researchers were able to determine that the family of David’s mother came from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, with his grandparents having been born in the city of Tarnopol, Poland. In addition to information about David’s grandparents, Gates and his team also uncovered that David’s mother was also born in Poland, Variety reported.

Sanders learned that his family also had roots in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in a region known as Galicia, Variety reported. After World War I, Sanders’ relatives lived in what became part of what is now Poland. Most of the relatives of Sanders’ father remained in Europe and were killed by the Nazis during World War II, Variety reported. Sanders’ uncle was put to death for refusing to hand over a group of Jewish resistors.

Although it was supposed to be kept secret until the season premiere, David leaked the news that he was distantly related to Sanders over the summer, Mediaite reported. 

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