Tag: governor

Virginia’s governor was also a possible target of an anti-government plot, the F.B.I. says.

Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia was discussed as a possible target by members of an anti-government group charged last week with plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, the F.B.I. said on Tuesday.

During a hearing in Grand Rapids, Mich., Special Agent Richard J. Trask II of the F.B.I. said that Mr. Northam and other officials were targeted because of their aggressive lockdown orders to restrict the spread of the coronavirus.

Last week, 13 men accused of involvement in the alleged plot were charged with a variety of state and federal crimes including terrorism, conspiracy and weapons possession.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the authorities revealed that the suspects also spoke about “taking” the Virginia governor “based” on coronavirus lockdown orders that restricted businesses.

The F.B.I. alerted members of Mr. Northam’s security team throughout their investigation, Alena Yarmosky, Mr. Northam’s press secretary, said in a statement. The governor was not informed, “per security protocols,” Ms. Yarmosky said, but added that “at no time was the governor or his family in imminent danger.”

Mr. Northam, a Democrat, issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 30, instructing residents to leave their homes only for work, medical appointments, family care, shopping for essentials and “outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.”

In April, President Trump had openly encouraged right-wing protests of social distancing restrictions in Virginia, Michigan and other states with stay-at-home orders, a day after his administration had announced guidelines for governors to set their own timetables for reopening. “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment,” the president wrote on Twitter at the time. “It is under siege!”

Ms. Yarmosky referenced the president’s tweets in the statement from Mr. Northam’s office and said that the “rhetoric coming out of this White House has serious and potentially deadly consequences.” She added: “It must stop.”

Mr. Trask of the F.B.I. said that some of the suspects had held a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, several months ago where they “discussed possible targets” for “taking a sitting governor.”

Last week, the authorities said the men were affiliated with an extremist group called the Wolverine Watchmen, which court documents called “an anti-government, anti-law enforcement militia group.”

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Virginia Governor Was Also a Possible Target of Anti-Government Plot, F.B.I. Says

Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia was discussed as a possible target by members of an anti-government group charged last week with plotting to kidnap the Michigan governor, the F.B.I. said on Tuesday.

During a hearing in Grand Rapids, Mich., Special Agent Richard J. Trask II of the F.B.I. said that Mr. Northam and other officials were targeted because of their aggressive lockdown orders to restrict the spread of the coronavirus.

Last week, 13 men accused of involvement in the alleged plot were charged with a variety of state and federal crimes including terrorism, conspiracy and weapons possession. They also talked of planning to storm the Michigan State Capitol and start a civil war, the authorities said.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the authorities said the suspects also spoke about “taking” the Virginia governor “based” on coronavirus lockdown orders that restricted businesses.

Mr. Trask said that some of the suspects held a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, several months ago where they “discussed possible targets” for “taking a sitting governor.”

Mr. Trask also provided additional details about the alleged plans to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. One of the suspects, Adam Fox, spoke about a plan to take Ms. Whitmer out on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan, and leave her stranded with the engine disabled so that someone would have to “come rescue” her, Mr. Trask said.

The other alternative had been to take Ms. Whitmer to Wisconsin or another unspecified state and to put her on trial. The accused had referred to her as “a tyrant.”

Last week, the authorities said the men were affiliated with an extremist group called the Wolverine Watchmen, which court documents called “an anti-government, anti-law enforcement militia group.”

The group met many times for tactical and firearms training and practiced building explosives, the F.B.I. said, and spoke about attacking law enforcement officers.

Mr. Trask and the prosecutor mentioned several other men who they said were involved in the surveillance and the discussion of the plot, including one from Wisconsin, but who were not among those arrested.

The testimony also indicated that the participants were suspicious that government informants were monitoring or had infiltrated their group, changing encrypted messaging platforms and giving each other code names in hopes of escaping such surveillance.

At one point after a planning trip to case the governor’s vacation home and the surrounding area, Mr. Fox asked that all the participants be scanned with a device that is supposed to identify if anyone was wearing a transmission wire or a recording device.

The effort apparently failed, Mr. Trask said, with the group eventually infiltrated by four informants or undercover agents who continued to document what the group was planning.

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Anti-government paramilitary groups in plot against Michigan governor also discussed kidnapping Virginia governor, FBI agent says

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing in Michigan.

Special Agent Richard Trask was part of the investigation that led to six men being arrested and charged last week with plotting to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Seven other men face state terrorism charges.

Trask did not name Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, during his testimony in a federal courtroom in Grand Rapids. He said members of anti-government groups from multiple states attended the meeting.

“They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders,” Trask said. He said the people at the meeting were unhappy with the governors’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trask did not discuss further planning aimed at Northam.

The FBI did not brief Northam on any potential threat, according to a state official with knowledge of the governor’s briefings who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The June meeting was part of the FBI’s investigation of various anti-government groups, leading to last week’s stunning announcement that six men had been arrested for an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer.

Tuesday’s court hearing was to review investigators’ evidence against Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta and whether they should be detained before trial. The men are all Michigan residents.

A sixth man, Barry Croft, was being held in Delaware.

The FBI used confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine recordings to foil the alleged kidnapping conspiracy. Some defendants had conducted coordinated surveillance of the Democratic governor’s vacation home in northern Michigan in August and September, according to a criminal complaint.

The men were trying to retaliate against Whitmer due to her “uncontrolled power” amid the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said. They said four of the men had planned to meet last week to pay for explosives and exchange tactical gear.

Whitmer, who was considered as Joe Biden’s running mate and is nearly halfway through a four-year term, has been widely praised for her response to the virus outbreak but also sharply criticized by Republican lawmakers and people in conservative areas of the state. The Capitol has been the site of many rallies, including ones with gun-toting protesters calling for her ouster.

Whitmer put major restrictions on personal movement and the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted since spring.

Fox, who was described as one of the leaders, was living in the basement of a vacuum shop in Grand Rapids. The owner said Fox was opposed to wearing a mask during the pandemic and kept firearms and ammunition at the store.

The defendants face up to life in prison if convicted.

Seven others linked to a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen were charged in state court for allegedly seeking to storm the Michigan Capitol and providing material support for terrorist acts by seeking a “civil war.”

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Extremist group’s plot to kidnap governor included plan to kill police

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‘Operation Gridlock’ aims to jam the roads around the Michigan Capitol in Lansing to object to restrictions in the stay-home order.

Detroit Free Press

Michigan law enforcement is on high alert after the FBI revealed an alleged plot by extremist groups to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also involved a “plan to target and kill police.”

“We’re cautious. We’re absolutely more careful,” said First Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. “This is one of the tactics these anti-government, domestic terrorism groups use. Law enforcement is the face of the government. if you’re mad at the government, you’re mad at the police.”

The alleged plot was unveiled last Thursday when the U.S. Department of Justice charged six men with conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer, which authorities said they wanted to carry out before Election Day. On the same day, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel brought charges against seven other men that included supporting terrorism, gang membership, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony. 

Officials said the suspects were attempting to trigger “civil war” with a detailed plan to abduct the governor and attack other elected officials at the Statehouse. Part of the plot included plans to target police.

FBI Special Agent Richard J. Trask II cited the risk to law enforcement officers in a criminal complaint filed last Tuesday in U.S. District Court:

“The militia group had already been brought to the attention of the FBI by a local police department in March 2020 when members of the militia group were attempting to obtain the addresses of local law enforcement officers,” the filing says. “At the time, the FBI interviewed a member of the militia group who was concerned about the group’s plan to target and kill police officers and that person agreed to become a CHS (confidential human source).”

Michigan State Police First Lt. Mike Shaw, seen here outside of the 22nd District Court on July 3, 2014, says that state troopers remain on high alert with news of an alleged plot to kidnap and possibly kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)

Shaw and others said the police are on high alert as risk continues to evolve beyond traffic stops and sitting in police cars to getting fake calls for service and targeting police when they’re out of uniform. 

State Police are constantly evaluating the credibility of threats against troopers and facilities and taking measures to reduce potential for harm, Shaw said.

Michigan State Police are assigned to protect the governor. Whitmer thanked troopers for their commitment to public service after officials made the arrests in the federal case.

The Free Press interviewed current and former law enforcement officers who said the threat to Michigan police by extremist groups from both ends of the political spectrum are taken seriously and reconnaissance is provided to protect public officials, as well as those guarding them, at home and at work. 

Police told the Free Press that family members are rarely informed when individual officers

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Trump’s law-and-order mantra goes missing in wake of domestic terror plot against Democratic governor

Over the summer, as racial justice demonstrations swept through American cities, President Donald Trump warned he would wield the powers of government to suppress violence. Embracing a “law and order” mantle, Trump himself announced from the East Room a surge of federal agents and castigated groups such as Black Lives Matter as cultivating “hate.”



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a flag: NEWPORT NEWS, VA - SEPTEMBER 25: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport on September 25, 2020 in Newport News, Virginia. President Trump is scheduled to announce his nomination to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday afternoon at the White House. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


© Drew Angerer/Getty Images
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – SEPTEMBER 25: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport on September 25, 2020 in Newport News, Virginia. President Trump is scheduled to announce his nomination to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday afternoon at the White House. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“My first duty as President is to protect the American people, and today I’m taking action to fulfill that sacred obligation,” he declared.

A few months later, Trump’s only acknowledgment of his government taking down an alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap the Democratic governor of Michigan was to wonder why he hadn’t been thanked.

How Trump chooses to promote his administration’s efforts to enforce “law and order” follow a clear pattern of political calculation; in instances when the Justice Department finds cases that bolster his claims of fraudulent voting, rampant urban crime or deep state corruption, Trump is eager to participate.

But when the government has worked to combat extremist anti-government groups — which even his own FBI says present the most pressing threat to the nation — Trump has at best ignored the efforts and at worst used them to fan the very resentments held by the groups’ followers.

The situation could only become more fraught as the election nears and as some extremist groups seek to retaliate against continued lockdown orders. Trump himself has railed against continued restrictions and has pointedly refused to call for post-election calm, even as he makes false claims about a rigged vote.

Former officials and others familiar with the situation say Trump has demonstrated little interest in making efforts to combat domestic terrorism a priority for his administration, despite warnings from law enforcement officials, members of Congress and groups that track extremism about the increasing threat of extremist and far-right groups. Some have claimed White House officials attempted to suppress use of the phrase “domestic terrorism” altogether over the course of the Trump administration.

Others said it was evident Trump recognized his own supporters were among those being labeled “domestic terrorists” and believed it would damage his standing with his base to warn of their danger.

Animated instead by immigration enforcement and a crackdown on urban crime — issues he believes galvanize his voters — Trump has publicly downplayed the threat posed by armed militia groups and sought to focus attention elsewhere.

After the FBI investigated whether local officials in Pennsylvania improperly discarded ballots, Trump was briefed personally on the matter by Attorney General Bill Barr and revealed details of it during a Fox interview before they were made public.

He has also

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Illinois governor says federal government should help bars and restaurants

Bars and restaurants throughout Illinois continue to struggle amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the state-imposed restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of the virus.



J.B. Pritzker wearing a suit and tie standing in a parking lot


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The onset of colder weather is also looming, making it difficult for most businesses to serve patrons outdoors.

During a virtual void-19 briefing on Wednesday as he continues to be in isolation, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that bars and restaurants are a hotbed for the coronavirus.

“They are the ones that have been most impacted because the medical advice has been that we have to limit the capacity there more than in other places in order to limit the spread of the virus,” Pritzker said.

In an update last month, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that 9 percent of outbreaks were attributed to bars and restaurants.

As Pritzker touted passing the 6 million mark for statewide COVID-19 tests, the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. Region 4, which is the Metro East area, and Region 1, which includes Rockford and Dixon, are still under additional restrictions because of high positivity rates. Only outdoor dining and curbside pickup are allowed at bars and restaurants in those regions.

Pritzker says Region 9, north of Chicago, and Region 5, in southern Illinois, are both seeing increased positivity rates. The governor said only one region has turned things around.

“Region 3, home to Springfield and Quincy, is the sole region to flip from an increasing positivity rate to a relatively stable rate in the same time period,” said Pritzker.

On Wednesday, IDPH announced 2,630 new coronavirus cases with 42 additional deaths. Statewide, IDPH has reported a total of 307,641 cases of COVID-19, including 8,878 deaths since the pandemic began.

Tags: States, News, Restaurants, Illinois

Original Author: Kevin Bessler, The Center Square

Original Location: Illinois governor says federal government should help bars and restaurants

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Bank of France Governor Warns About Government Spending

(Bloomberg) — Bank of France Governor and European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said the French government must be more careful about spending and debt that’s not linked to the novel coronavirus health-care crisis.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

The government must become more efficient as the pace of spending, stripping off Covid-19 measures, is accelerating “even more quickly” than before the virus crisis, the Bank of France governor said in an interview on France Inter radio on Saturday.

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When the government locked down France’s economy in the spring in an effort to contain the virus spread, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to support firms and workers “whatever the cost.”

Sticking to that promise has meant a surge in spending at the same time as the economy collapsed. According to the government’s latest projections, public debt will jump to more than 117% of economic output this year from 98% in 2019.

“As things improve, ‘whatever it costs’ should turn into when it’s worth it, if it’s worth it,” Villeroy said during today’s interview. The government has to become more selective on spending. “There’s still progress to make on this front.”

How to deliver a boost to the French economy without adding to the country’s debt burden has been a central problem for Macron since his election in May 2017. The 42-year-old president never managed to reduce France’s public borrowing before the Covid-19 crisis, leaving him at a disadvantage compared with Germany and other countries in northern Europe.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

“It’s crucial to maintain the confidence in our ability to pay back debt,” Villeroy said on France Inter Saturday. If investors were to lose such confidence, it would mean higher interest rates, he added.

Dangerous Debt

“I say very clearly, we are not there on controlling spending,” Villeroy said. “We can’t offer ourselves everything all the time.”

“There’s debt that’s justified, and this is Covid-19 debt,

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Bank of France Governor Villeroy Warns About Government Spending

(Bloomberg) — Bank of France Governor and European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy Galhau said the French government must be more careful about spending and debt that’s not linked to the novel coronavirus health-care crisis.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

The government must become “more efficient” as the pace of spending, stripping off Covid-19 measures, has been accelerating too quickly, the Bank of France governor said in an interview on France Inter radio on Saturday.

When the French government locked down the country’s economy in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the spring, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to support firms and workers “whatever the cost.”

Sticking to that promise has meant a surge in spending at the same time as the economy has collapsed. According to the government’s latest projections, public debt will jump to more than 117% of economic output this year from 98% in 2019.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

“As things improve, ‘whatever it costs’ should turn to when it’s worth it,” Villeroy said during today’s interview.

Speaking earlier this week on France Inter, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government priority is employment, investment and economic recovery.

“All the debt linked to this crisis is investment. It will have to be repaid, I’ve always said that. But this reimbursement will come when we have got growth back,” Le Maire said.

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Alabama’s governor apologizes to Sarah Collins Rudolph, a survivor of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, and says government ready to discuss reparations

After lawyers requested an apology and financial reparations for a survivor of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, Alabama’s governor has somewhat obliged: offering a formal apology, while proposing further discussions as the woman seeks restitution.



a man and a woman sitting on a couch: Sarah Collins Rudolph sits with her husband, George Rudolph. Earlier this month, Collins Rudolph's legal team requested a formal apology and restitution for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.


© Jay Reeves/AP
Sarah Collins Rudolph sits with her husband, George Rudolph. Earlier this month, Collins Rudolph’s legal team requested a formal apology and restitution for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.

Sarah Collins Rudolph’s lawyers pressed Gov. Kay Ivey earlier this month to offer her a formal apology and restitution for the losses Collins Rudolph suffered as a result of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, including the loss of her sister and her vision in one eye.

Wednesday, Ivey responded, calling the bombing on September 15, 1963, “one of the darkest days in Alabama’s history.”

“Thankfully, the violence that unfolded on that fateful Sunday morning — and other incidents during this difficult chapter of American history — resulted in many positive changes that have been beneficial to our national story during the years and decades that followed,” Ivey wrote, going on to condemn the “racist, segregationist” rhetoric used by some state leaders at the time.

She continued, formally apologizing for the incident: “Moreover, there should be no question that Ms. Collins Rudolph and the families of those who perished — including Ms. Collins Rudolph’s sister, Addie Mae, as well as Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Carole Denise McNair — suffered an egregious injustice that has yielded pain and suffering over the ensuing decades. For that, they most certainly deserve a sincere, heartfelt apology — an apology that I extend today without hesitation or reservation.”

Ivey did not address the request for restitution directly, but proposed that attorneys for the governor’s office and the state legislature start discussions with Collins Rudolph’s lawyers as soon as possible. Ivey said she would instruct her general counsel to reach out “to continue this very important dialogue.”

In a follow-up statement, the legal team for Collins Rudolph said they were “gratified” by the governor’s acknowledgment of the injustice as well as her apology, and they “look forward to engaging in discussions in the near future with the Governor about compensation, which Ms. Collins Rudolph justly deserves after the loss of her beloved sister and for the pain, suffering and lifetime of missed opportunities resulting from the bombing.”

Collins Rudolph has yet to receive financial help, she has said

On September 15, 1963, members of the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four Black girls between the ages of 11 and 14.

Though the attack was a major catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement — a year later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act — Collins Rudolph claimed she was never offered payment, medical care or an official apology.

“Given recent events,” her lawyers wrote in the initial letter to Ivey on September 14, “now is the time for Ms. Collins Rudolph to receive long overdue justice.”

Collins Rudolph

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California governor signs corporate boardroom diversity law

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law requiring hundreds of California-based corporations to have directors from racial or sexual minorities on their boards

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Hundreds of California-based corporations must have directors from racial or sexual minorities on their boards under a first-in-the-nation bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The diversity legislation is similar to a 2018 measure that required boardrooms to have at least one female director by 2019. Like that measure, it could face court challenges from conservative groups who view it as a discriminatory quota.

After Floyd’s death, many corporations issued statements of support for diversity, but many haven’t followed through, said Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), who co-authored the bill.

“The new law represents a big step forward for racial equity,” Holden said. “While some corporations were already leading the way to combat implicit bias, now, all of California’s corporate boards will better reflect the diversity of our state. This is a win-win as ethnically diverse boards have shown to outperform those that lack diversity.”

By the end of 2021, the more than 660 public corporations with California headquarters must have at least one board director from an “underrepresented community,” according to the measure.

Those who qualify would self-identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native, or as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

The measure requires at least two such directors by the end of 2022 on boards with four to nine directors. Three directors are required for boards with nine or more directors. Firms that don’t comply would face fines of $100,00 for first violations and $300,000 for repeated violations.

At an online signing ceremony, Newsom said it was important for minorities to have a voice on the boards of powerful corporations.

“When we talk about racial justice, we talk about empowerment, we talk about power, and we need to talk about seats at the table,” Newsom said.

The legislation was part of a package of racial justice measures signed by Newsom before a midnight deadline. Others bar the use of peremptory challenges to remove potential jurors based on racial, religious or gender identity; allow judges to alter sentences that are believed to involve racial or ethnic discrimination; and set up a state task force to study the idea of reparations to African Americans for slavery.

The text of the corporate diversity bill cited the Latino Corporate Directors Association, which said 233 of 662 publicly traded companies headquartered in California had all-white boards as of this year. Nearly 90% didn’t have any Latino directors, although Latinos make up 39% of the state’s population. Only 16% had an African

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