Quote of the Day
“I am not gay and never have been. Don’t know anything about Swingers Clubs and no desire to find out. I have an amazing wife.”
—Texas congressional candidate Kyle Biedermann to a concerned voter asking him to explain a Facebook photo where he was doing a Nazi salute while dressed as “gay Hitler.” According to the San Antonio Express-News, Biedermann, who is running in Texas House District 73, said he was dressed that way for a charity. He did not apologize, instead saying to the Express-News: “What would be offensive about that photograph? It’s not a problem for me whatsoever.”
Seeking Justice—A sexual assault survivor is suing Baylor University, alleging the school acted with “deliberate indifference” after she reported to campus officials that a member of the football team raped her. In 2014, Tevin Elliot, was convicted of sexually assaulting a Baylor student, who now plans to sue the school on the grounds that it “failed to protect her and other women, ignored her when she sought help after her assault… [and] failed to take reasonable measures to prevent [Elliot] from hurting other students,” according to ESPN. The Waco Tribune reported that a total of four Baylor students had reported Elliot sexually assaulted them. Since ESPN’s Outside the Lines critical report on Baylor’s handling of sexual assault investigations last month, “other sexual assault victims have come forward with complaints about how Baylor officials handled their sexual assault cases,” writes the Tribune. Baylor has faced scrutiny in the past few months for mishandling allegations of sexual assault. Another former football player, Sam Ukwuachu, was convicted of sexual assault in August. His coaches, campus officials, and the Waco police seemed to either muddle the response to the allegations or ignore them entirely.
Farm Fight—The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal went deep on the Monsanto facility set to open up in Lubbock next year, and unsurprisingly, it found that the infamous seed giant brings a mixed bag to the West Texas town. Local economic leaders and cotton industry officials told the Avalanche-Journal that the planned 500,000-square foot facility “may make Lubbock the cotton capital of the world.” When it’s finally up and running, the facility is expected to create more than 40 jobs. But not every Lubbockite is welcoming Monsanto with open arms. Local farmers are worried that Monsanto will contaminate their farms with the corporation’s patented GMOs, and they believe lawsuits alleging copyright infringement will inevitably follow. Writes the Avalanche-Journal: “legal battles with farmers, including one on the South Plains, over patents and genetically modified organisms show the company’s newest move comes with baggage.” Monsanto has filed 147 lawsuits against farmers in the past 20 years. One Lubbock-area farmer who fought back against the company in court told the Avalanche-Journal that Monsanto is responsible for “one of the worst environmental contaminations ever, and it’s not just in West Texas, it’s around the world… Monsanto continues to rape rural communities.” Predictably, the new facility’s future general manager said that Lubbockites have nothing to fear, telling the Avalanche-Journal: “Monsanto wants this to be a successful site, but we also want to be a good neighbor.” Whether that sentiment becomes reality remains to be seen.
Police Problems—After a 23 percent increase in violent crimes and a 75 percent increase in murders, Dallas might need some extra help policing itself. On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott officially offered to lend the beleaguered city a hand by sending state troopers to patrol Dallas. According to the Dallas Morning News, state law enforcement officials met with Dallas Police Chief David Brown on Wednesday to review how Dallas might use state resources to fight crime. Brown is himself facing criticism after announcing his own plan to curtail violent crime by shuffling around shifts for nearly 600 officers. According to NBCDFW, union leaders “argued that detectives would be pulled off important cases and be forced to stop their investigations in order to help patrol new neighborhoods. Task forces and specialty assignments would lose manpower, and the move could actually make Dallas a more dangerous place.” As one union head told NBCDFW, “It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul.”