Number of women running in midterms more than doubles from 2016 to 2018: report

More than twice as many women are running for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections as were running just two years ago.

At least 431 female candidates are running or are likely to run for the House, compared to 212 in February 2016, according to NPR. In Senate races, 50 women are running or are likely to run, compared to 25 in 2016.

The wave of female candidates has mostly affected the Democratic party, according to recent data. Out of the 431 women running for the House, 92 are Republicans.

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The party-line numbers are slightly more even in Senate races, with 21 Republican and 29 Democratic women running.

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EMILY’s List, an organization dedicated to supporting the candidacies of Democratic women, told NPR that more than 30,000 women have expressed interest in running for office, an overwhelming jump from the 920 who had reached out by this point in the 2016 election cycle.

Many female candidates have said they’ve felt galvanized by the election of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, by the “Me Too” movement and by a resurgence of women’s rights activism.

Time Magazine earlier this year featured the portraits of several first-time female candidates, labeling them “The Avengers” in a cover story about the grass-roots movement of female Democratic candidates.

Garcetti takes aim at Washington, Trump after visit to early presidential primary state

SAN DIEGO — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D), who’s considered a potential presidential candidate in 2020, took aim at Washington, D.C., and the White House in a Saturday speech to thousands of Democratic activists and officials.

At the California Democratic Party’s convention in San Diego, Garcetti recounted his trip to South Carolina — an early presidential primary state — where he said Americans are more focused on better jobs and health care than on divides between the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE wings of the Democratic Party.

Garcetti, 47, traveled to the Palmetto State last week for an advisory council meeting for the organization he chairs, Accelerator for America. But his trip to the “First in the South” primary state raised eyebrows as speculation swirls about potential presidential aspirations.

ADVERTISEMENT“Let me tell you what they were talking about in South Carolina — the need for more teachers, better housing and transportation,” Garcetti said. “Americans are anxious about their jobs, retirement, health care and housing.” 

“There are two Americas: Washington and the rest of us,” he continued, to loud applause. “Washington: where you don’t have to keep your word. America: where you work hard to pay the rent and feed the family.”

Garcetti’s speech was interrupted several times by a small group of protesters, but he overall got a warm reception among the thousands of delegates and officials who have gathered for the state party’s annual convention.

The Los Angeles mayor, who has been a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, also slammed the president and his administration’s budget proposal.

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Garcetti argued that while Democrats stand by workers and teachers, the White House “walks with” former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign advisers George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosNew FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification Republicans plow ahead with Russia origins probe AG Barr just signaled that things are about to get ugly for the Russia collusion team MORE and Richard Gates, who have all pleaded guilty to charges from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE in his investigation into Russian election interference in 2016.

“I know I’ve been wanting to say this for a long time. I think we should lock them up,” Garcetti said to huge applause, referencing the “lock her up” chants about Clinton from the 2016 election.

But after his convention, Garcetti downplayed rumors that he’s thinking about a 2020 presidential run.

Deval Patrick: 2020 bid 'on my radar'

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) says that a potential presidential run is “on my radar screen.” 

Patrick, who left office in 2015, said launching a White House bid is a “huge decision,” and he is also still considering staying in the private sphere while helping other Democratic candidates. 

“I am trying to think through 2020, and that’s a decision I’m trying to think through from a personal and family point of view and also whether what I believe is going to be on offer by somebody,” Patrick told Kansas City radio station KCUR. “And if it’s on offer by somebody then maybe what I can do is help that person. But we’ll see.”

Patrick was the first African-American to hold the Massachusetts governorship; his immediate predecessor was former GOP presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMilley discussed resigning from post after Trump photo-op: report Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Attorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury MORE.  

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Patrick reportedly has support in high places for a potential run, including former Obama advisers David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, who have both privately encouraged him to enter the 2020 race. 

But Patrick also vocalized his frustrations with the party that lost to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, saying 2016 was “less about Donald Trump winning than Democrats and our nominee letting him do so” by not engaging with voters. 

The Democratic presidential primary for the next cycle is expected to be a crowded one. 

 

A Meal Subsidy For Canada? Restaurants Call For Government Help Amid Pandemic

HALIFAX — Canada’s restaurant industry is bracing for the impact of patio closures as cold weather arrives, with experts saying the loss of open-air seating could be devastating. 

Food service experts say without targeted government aid, the combination of reduced seating capacity and a potential second wave of COVID-19 could cripple the industry. 

David Lefebvre, vice-president of Restaurants Canada, is calling on Ottawa to directly support the industry through meal subsidies.

Watch: CBC study suggests dining at restaurants poses greater COVID-19 risk. Story continues below.

 

He says while the throne speech extended the federal wage subsidy and a business aid program, subsidizing customer meals would directly help struggling restaurants survive.

Sylvain Charlebois, a professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University, says restaurants are being creative with heaters and blankets to keep patios open longer.

While he agrees more targeted aid is needed, he calls meal subsidies “food stamps for the rich” and says New Brunswick’s rebate program on food and drink is a better alternative. 

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Shopify Blames 2 'Rogue' Employees For Data Breach Of Customer Records

The office of Canada’s privacy commissioner says Shopify Inc. has yet to notify it of a recent data breach the company says was carried out by two “rogue” employees.

“We have not received a breach report about this incident,” Vito Pilieci, a senior communications adviser for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, told The Canadian Press in an email Wednesday.

“Our office is reaching out to Shopify, given the potential seriousness of the breach, to request more information about the matter”

Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, it is mandatory for companies to report breaches to the privacy commissioner’s office, “where it is reasonable to believe that the breach creates a real risk of significant harm to an individual,” Pilieci said.

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Shopify didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about notifying the privacy commissioner’s office. Company spokeswoman Rebecca Feigelsohn said the two employees involved in the breach were fired.

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On Tuesday, the Ottawa-based company first revealed on an online discussion board that it had identified two workers involved in illegitimately obtaining records connected to some of its merchants.

“We immediately terminated these individuals’ access to our Shopify network and referred the incident to law enforcement. We are currently working with the FBI and other international agencies in their investigation of these criminal acts,” the company said.

“While we do not have evidence of the data being utilized, we are in the early stages of the investigation and will be updating affected merchants as relevant.”

The customer data the employees were accessing was linked to fewer than 200 merchants, who Shopify has declined to identify but says have been notified.

The improperly accessed data includes basic contact information, such as emails, names and addresses, as well as order details, like what products and services were purchased.

Shopify said complete payment card numbers and other sensitive personal or financial information were not part of the incident and it has yet to find evidence that any of the data was used.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published September 23, 2020.

Earlier on HuffPost:

California Republicans seek turnout boost to avert midterm disaster

California Republicans are mounting an under-the-radar campaign to bolster GOP turnout in order to avoid a disastrous electoral rout in the November midterms, even as they face mounting hurdles.

Senior Republicans from the state, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse Republicans hopeful about bipartisan path forward on police reform legislation Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names McConnell: States should make decision on Confederate statues MORE and Rep. Mimi Walters, have targeted a gas tax increase passed by the state legislature last year as a possible rallying issue for GOP voters.

The Republicans have poured resources into a signature-gathering campaign to get a measure on the ballot repealing the gas tax, which Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law last summer.

Party officials believe Republican voters who might otherwise sit on their hands come November would be motivated to show up to vote to repeal the tax increase that went into effect last fall.

The vast majority of Republican candidates back repealing the tax increase, while Democrats are more divided.

“We pay one of the highest gasoline taxes in the nation,” Walters told The Hill. “By the time you get to 2021, we’re going to be paying $2 a gallon for gasoline just in taxes, and we can’t do that for working families who have to travel for their job.”

Walters said those backing a repeal of the gas tax were close to gathering the 365,880 signatures they need to qualify the initiative. The deadline for submitting the signatures is May 4. ADVERTISEMENT

Party leaders say the plans are necessary because the GOP faces the very real possibility that Republican candidates will fail to make the general election ballot in either of the state’s two marquee races this year: The battle to succeed term-limited Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and the race for Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos GOP votes to give Graham broad subpoena power in Obama-era probe MORE’s (D) seat.

Candidates in California must secure one of the top two primary spots in June to face off in the general election, and any Republican who managed to do that would begin the general election campaign as a severe underdog.

Still, party officials say the prospect of missing out entirely on top-of-the-ticket races would hurt the party further by depressing turnout around the state — potentially impacting Republican chances of holding on to key U.S. House seats.

“The top of the ticket drives turnout, and this being a governor year, we must have a candidate in the general election,” said Ron Nehring, a former chairman of the state Republican Party who ran for lieutenant governor in 2014. “Failure to do so will keep many Republicans home, costing us critical down-ballot races for Congress, the state legislature and local offices.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has identified 10 Republican-held seats as possible targets for takeover in the fall, including seats held by Walters and fellow Reps. Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockTensions emerge on Natural Resources panel over virtual meetings Top conservatives pen letter to Trump with concerns on fourth coronavirus relief bill Hispanic Caucus campaign arm unveils non-Hispanic endorsements MORE, Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamBottom line Bottom line Lobbying world MORE, David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoDemocratic Rep. Cox advances in California primary The 14 other key races to watch on Super Tuesday The biggest political upsets of the decade MORE, Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Protests against George Floyd’s death, police brutality rock the nation for a second week Sunday shows preview: Leaders weigh in as country erupts in protest over George Floyd death The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – George Floyd’s death sparks protests, National Guard activation MORE, Steve Knight, Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceGil Cisneros to face Young Kim in rematch of 2018 House race in California The most expensive congressional races of the last decade Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia MORE, Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherDemocrat Harley Rouda advances in California House primary Lawyers to seek asylum for Assange in France: report Rohrabacher tells Yahoo he discussed pardon with Assange for proof Russia didn’t hack DNC email MORE, Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaGOP sues California over Newsom’s vote-by-mail order Conservative group files challenge to California vote-by-mail order New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE and Duncan HunterDuncan HunterLobbying world Duncan Hunter granted delayed start to prison sentence over coronavirus New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE. 

The party sees those California seats as such an important part of their path back to a majority in the House that the DCCC has opened a West Coast satellite office in Southern California.

Republicans “are currently on life support throughout California,” said Dave Jacobson, a Democratic strategist running several campaigns in Republican-held districts.

Tom Ross, a California Republican strategist who works for McCarthy, pointed out that many of the districts Democrats are targeting — especially those held by Denham, Valadao and Knight — are commuter districts where workers drive longer distances to get to their jobs.

The last time taxes on vehicles played such a big role in California politics, it helped bring down a Democratic governor. Back in 2003, California voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D), the same year he signed legislation dramatically increasing the vehicle license fee.

This time, while no one is clamoring to recall Brown, Los Angeles-area Republicans have filed enough signatures to force the recall of a state senator. That election will take place June 5. 

Some Republicans are not convinced the gas tax issue will resonate statewide, in part because supporters of the tax increase plan to spend millions of their own dollars against the repeal initiative.

“I’m not seeing the same degree of intensity that surrounded the issue” when Davis was recalled, said Justin Wallin, a Republican pollster based in Orange County.

The GOP has almost no shot of competing for Feinstein’s seat in the fall. Though 11 Republicans are running, the race is virtually certain to be a showdown between Feinstein and Kevin de León, the former state Senate president.

Republicans have a ray of hope in the race to replace Brown, who is term-limited. Wealthy businessman John Cox (R) has freely spent his own money in the governor’s race and a survey from the Public Policy Institute of California released this week shows Cox hanging on to a narrow 15 percent to 13 percent edge over former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) for the second slot in the runoff behind Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who has 26 percent support.

Cox met with Republican officials in Washington recently. 

“He’s feeling pretty good about it, he’s working very hard, and I would love to have a Republican in the runoff. I think our state — we need new leadership,” Walters said.

But Villaraigosa may be poised for a late charge. He will receive a boost from an outside group run by proponents of charter schools. That group received a $7 million contribution this week from Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, and another $1.5 million from Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad, money that will be spent on late advertising.

“That kind of money, if it’s deployed appropriately, can completely change that dynamic. Villaraigosa lost his lead in a very short amount of time, and he can regain it in just as short an amount of time,” Wallin said.

Even with a candidate in the gubernatorial contest, Republicans could face trouble ginning up turnout in the midterms at a time when Democrats are enthusiastic and Republicans are depressed.

“I don’t see how a Republican gubernatorial candidate who can’t bring tremendous fundraising, star power or excitement to the race has coattails,” said Thad Kousser, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego. “We watched this movie in 2014, when Jerry Brown ran against an underfunded Neel Kashkari and saw the lowest turnout rate in state history. There’s no reason to think that the sequel will be any different.”

Walters, who sits in a district Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE won over President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE by a 5-point margin, said she isn’t depending on a gubernatorial candidate to drive turnout in her own race.

“Every person who’s running who’s a Republican has a responsibility to get their voters to the polls,” Walters said.

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WestJet Warns Workers Their Pay Will Be Cut In Half Due To Wage Subsidy Changes

WestJet Airlines Ltd. is warning furloughed workers their pay will be cut by up to 53 per cent starting Sunday due to changes in the extended federal wage subsidy, prompting flight crews to call on Ottawa for action.

The maximum weekly payment for more than 3,200 employees on furlough ― a mandatory leave of absence _ who rely on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will drop to $400, down from $847, according to a WestJet memo sent out Wednesday.

In his message, vice-president Mark Porter attributed the decision to changes by the federal government to the newly extended subsidy program.

“With the (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) program coming to a close at the end of September, the objective now is to ease the transition off of the CEWS program by aligning CEWS benefits with those offered specifically by an expanded EI program,″ the memo reads.

“We understand that the significance and irregularity of changes to these programs has been incredibly difficult for WestJetters.″

WATCH: United Airlines and Lufthansa will offer rapid COVID-19 tests to passengers. Story continues below.

 

Affected flight attendants called on the government to clarify when and how much money will arrive in company coffers via the federal subsidy in order determine whether wages can return to current levels.

“WestJet can’t float our wages until Ottawa fills in the blanks, so our members are seeing their cheques cut in half,″ said Chris Rauenbusch, who represents about 4,000 WestJet flight attendants ― 2,500 are furloughed ― with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“It is so frustrating to see the government touting CEWS while bureaucratic bumbling and ever-changing rules leave us wondering what to expect next,″ he said in a release.

“Many employees have called me in tears at the prospect they might not make rent.″

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Effective Sept. 27, the pay cut applies to all furloughed cabin crew, corporate employees and 700 pilots.

“A lot of these pilots are the primary wage earners in their family, and any reduction in the take-home pay is very worrisome to us,″ said Capt. Dave Colquhoun, who chairs the Air Line Pilots Association’s WestJet contingent.

The union called on the Trudeau government this week to come forward with targeted financial support for the aviation sector.

“We see that other sectors of the economy are in recovery, but the airline industry is not,″ Colquhoun said.

“That uncertainty wears on people that are sitting at home. It’s tough.″

The federal finance department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The WestJet memo came days after the Liberal government pledged to extended the wage subsidy into next summer.

The program currently covers 75 per cent of a worker’s normal hourly wages, up to $847 per week. For airlines, the vast majority of employees remain furloughed or laid off, as passenger levels remain below 10 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Unlike WestJet, Air Canada opted not to administer the wage subsidy to the bulk of its 38,000 employees, more than half of whom were laid off in June.

“No one inactive is on it, meaning members are either flying (so the company would be able to collect CEWS for these members) or they are laid off, and not CEWS applicable,″ said Wesley Lesosky, who heads Air Canada’s CUPE component.

“We have raised the recent announcement of an extension to CEWS with the employer yesterday and are hoping for further discussions on this early next week.″ 

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200+ Organizations Denounce Profound Impact of Latest Trumpcare Bill

As dozens of people with disabilities flooded the U.S. Senate building on Monday to protest the Graham-Cassidy proposal, the Republicans’ latest attempt to dismantle the national healthcare system, a coalition of more than 200 organizations sent a letter to senators opposing the bill.

“This proposal will eliminate affordable quality healthcare for millions of Americans by gutting the Affordable Care Act (ACA); slash federal funding and destroy Medicaid by turning its funding into per capita caps; eliminate the Medicaid expansion; and defund Planned Parenthood health centers,” the letter reads.

“We urge you to oppose passage of the Graham-Cassidy bill,” it continues, “and instead focus on moving forward with bipartisan efforts on market stabilization and other critical issues to improve access to affordable healthcare for all people in the United States.”

The Senate is currently considering the legislation, and is scheduled to vote on it this week, before the rules allowing passage by a simple majority expire. However, stated opposition from key Republican senators has led to speculation that the measure may not be put to a vote. Even so, opponents have remained committed to raising alarms about the proposal.

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