Colorado ‘Psychic Kay’ killer files murder case appeal

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‘Psychic Kay’ killer files appeal claiming attorneys failed to inform him of plea offer


Sady Swanson


Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 11:25 PM EST Jan 31, 2020
John Marks Jr. (right) is serving 48 years to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of murdering his wife of 20 years, Kathy Adams, 57, in 2010.
Fort Collins Coloradoan archive

The man sentenced to prison for the murder of the 57-year-old Fort Collins woman known as “Psychic Kay” has filed an appeal claiming his attorneys failed to properly advise him of potential plea agreements.

John Marks Jr., now 57, was found guilty of second-degree murder and sexual assault in the 2010 death of his wife, Kathy Adams, known as “Psychic Kay.” He was sentenced to 48 years to life in 2012 and is currently serving his sentence at the Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City. 

Adams’ body was recovered from a ravine off U.S. Highway 36 near the Boulder-Larimer County line in October 2010, according to Coloradoan archives. Marks was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder about two weeks after her body was found. Initial arrest documents indicated that Marks was abusive and Adams had planned to escape to Atlanta and live with family before she was killed.

Marks pleaded not guilty in his initial case and has maintained his innocence, according to his previous defense attorney. 

Online court records indicate documents were filed to reopen the case in 2015, and the first petition was filed May 2017. The appeal was filed under Colorado criminal procedure that allows for a request for post-conviction relief if attorneys provided ineffective counsel during a criminal case. If approved, the judge could order a new trial or a modified sentence. 

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On Friday afternoon, Marks appeared in a Larimer County courtroom, where his attorney argued to 20th Judicial District Judge Nancy Salomone that Marks’ criminal defense attorneys failed to properly inform him of an offered plea agreement during his 2012 trial.

During Friday’s hearing, the defense attorneys and prosecutors from the 2012 trial denied the assertion that a midtrial plea offer — or that any formal plea offer — was made in the case. 

Defense attorney Derek Samuelson was appointed to be Marks’ attorney about a year into the case — in fall 2011 — after the public defender’s office removed themselves due to a conflict of interest, Samuelson testified Friday. 

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After his appointment, Samuelson said he reached out to now Second Assistant District Attorney Emily Humphrey, the lead prosecutor on Marks’ case, to suggest a potential plea offer of manslaughter instead of second-degree murder. Humphrey refused the suggestion, Samuelson said.

Shortly after that exchange, Samuelson said he met Humphrey and now Larimer County District Attorney Cliff Riedel, Humphrey’s supervisor at the time, at a coffee shop in September 2011 to discuss the potential for a plea offer.

An email sent after that meeting from Samuelson to another defense attorney assisting with the case — Lisabeth Castle — said the district attorney suggested they may be open to an offer involving Marks’ pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a heat of passion, which could have led to a lesser sentence.

The discussion was not an official offer, Samuelson said.

Per the district attorney’s office policy, according to testimony by Humphrey and Riedel on Friday, to minimize harm to the victims or the family in a sexual assault or murder case, prosecutors might tell a defense attorney what they might consider a fair plea offer first. Then, if the defendant comes back with interest in taking a plea offer similar to what they discussed, that’s when the prosecution would bring the idea of a plea agreement to the victim or the victim’s family, not before that point. 

“There was absolutely no formal offer made to (Samuelson),” Humphrey testified Friday.

After having the initial discussion with Humphrey and Riedel, Samuelson said he went to the Larimer County Jail to speak with Marks. Because pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a heat of passion would still likely mean decades in prison, Samuelson said Marks declined to move further with it.

“What he told me was motivating him was innocence,” Samuelson said.

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Castle also testified that no midtrial offer was conveyed to her, and she was not aware of one being conveyed to Samuelson or directly to Marks. 

“And (if we did receive a midtrial offer) I think that’s something we would’ve encouraged him to take,” Castle testified.

The appeal hearing was initially scheduled to finish Friday afternoon, but attorneys and the judge agreed that a second day of testimony is necessary. Because of scheduling conflicts, a date for the second day of the hearing has not yet been scheduled. 

Samuelson, who was not able to finish testifying Friday afternoon, will resume his testimony at that hearing.

Sady Swanson covers crime, courts, public safety and more throughout Northern Colorado. You can send your story ideas to her at sswanson@coloradoan.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan. Support our work and local journalism with a digital subscription at Coloradoan.com/subscribe.

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Everything You Need To Know About Nigeria’s Film Director, Tope Oshin-Ogun – How Nigeria News

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Tope Oshin is a Nigerian television and film director, producer and casting director. In 2015 Pulse magazine named her as one of “9 Nigerian female movie directors you should know” in the Nollywood film industry and in March 2018, in commemoration of the Women’s History Month, Tope was celebrated by OkayAfrica as one of the Okay100 Women.

The interactive campaign celebrates extraordinary women from Africa and the diaspora making waves across a wide array of industries, while driving positive impact in their communities and the world at large.

Tope hails from a devout Christian family. As a child she engaged in drawing, singing and dancing, and had aspirations to be a painter.

She studied economics at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, but left the course to study Public Administration, and then Theatre Arts, TV & FIlm Production at Lagos State University.

She became more interested in filmmaking and later studied Film Production, and Cinematography at Colorado Film School of the Community College of Aurora, Denver, and Met Film School, Ealing Studios, London respectively.

Tope is also an alumnus of ‘Talents Durban’ and Berlinale Talents, a networking summit of select outstanding creatives from the world of film and drama series across the globe.

Tope, who was an actor for 12 years, featuring in films like Relentless (2010 film), cut her teeth in directing, working as an assistant director for The Apprentice Africa and has since become known for directing popular African TV dramas and soap operas such as Hush, Hotel Majestic, Tinsel (TV series) and Season 6 of MTV Shuga.

Though she has directed several introspective short films such as The Young Smoker, Till Death Do Us Part, New Horizons and Ireti, she is known for her 2012 feature film Journey to Self, and March 2018 feature film release New Money.

Oshin has produced some of the highest box office breaking movies in Nigeria, including the 2015 romantic film Fifty, about four fifty-year-old female Lagos residents, which broke box office records upon release in December 2015, taking N20 million in the first weekend and The Wedding Party 2, as at 2018, the highest grossing Nigerian film.

In 2016, she produced and directed the documentary, Amaka’s Kin: The Women Of Nollywood, as a memorial to prominent filmmaker Amaka Igwe, who died in 2014. The documentary addresses issues facing Nigerian female directors, working in a male-dominated industry.

As a follow up to her documentary, in 2017, and as part of the BBC 100 Women season, Tope celebrated the new generation of women filmmakers reinventing Nollywood, by presenting the BBC documentary Nigeria-Shooting It Like A Woman.

Apart from the BBC World Service documentary, Tope’s Amaka’s Kin – The Women Of Nollywood also influenced a lot of other TV shows and literary works alike, including Niran Adedokun’s book Ladies Calling the Shots.

Tope also has a thriving career as a Casting director and has cast for several film and television projects including all 3 Nigerian seasons of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation drama series Shuga.

Since 2015 till date, Tope has served as a juror for the International Emmy Award.

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Twitter Nigeria Debates on Who is Better: Rema or Olamide?

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Fast rising artiste and Mavin records’ youngest artiste, Rema, has had a great year, winning the highly coveted Next Rated award at the 2019 Headies. Perhaps that is the reason for the ongoing debate on Twitter: who is the better artiste, Rema or Olamide?

While some described the comment as an insult on Olamide, a few insist that Rema is the better artiste, and others believe there is no basis for comparison between the two artistes who are miles apart musically.

Here’s what Nigerians on twitter are saying:

Olamide can’t be debatable… and Davido can’t be over Olamide never…He’s one of the best Rapper in Africa

— Lucious Lokson (@LOKSON4) November 3, 2019

Stfu, is it by having plenty albums? Olamide has 7 albums but yesterday’s Rema is bigger than him…Davido got singles bigger than people’s albums, FALL,IF,BLOW MY MIND ETC

— Junimill got suspended …😋 (@IamJunimill) November 3, 2019

Olamide Badoo is the best indigenous rapper in Nigeria, we closed this argument since 2014, he sits and eat on this table alone, no one comes close. QED

— Man Like Emma™ (@_MrRebel) November 4, 2019

Rema is better than Olamide who has been consistent for 8years, won nearly 30 awards, the Greatest Indigenous Rapper ever, the Lord of Street Hop with over 50 Hit Songs. When Olamide was dropping Bars on Yung Erikina, Rema was still drinking Cerelac ffs 😡

— King Nonny 👑 (@Zaddy_nomso) November 4, 2019

9years in this Music Industry, 9 albums, More than 20 hits, Owner of one of the best Record Label, discovered more than 6 Stars, still discovering more and he doesn’t BRAG about it.

If you still don’t believe Olamide is a LEGEND then you need medical attention. God bless Baddo❤️

— Tife🌚 (@Tife_fabunmi) November 4, 2019

Rema is bigger than who.. Olamide 😂 I need not argue with you. They are per boiling noodles in your brain

— Dr PamPam | Omo Iya Ologi (@UnclePamilerin) November 4, 2019

The way y’all disrespect Olamide on this app self,

*Dude opened artists eyes to owning record labels

*This one that your MCMs are doing December concerts, who did you think pave the way for them
Forget Olamide is a trailblazer and that what we call legendary pic.twitter.com/KDNE4qeH9o

— Nasrat Rahman (@Miss_CDQuality) November 4, 2019

How can you not regard Olamide as a legend, He’s the most consistent artiste we have in Nigeria today the only artiste that drops album yearly for his fans. Weather you are his fans or not you can’t just ignore the fact that he’s very hardworking and consistent.

— Blue (@DharBluee) November 4, 2019

Rema is bigger than Olamide??

Stop smoking Colorado you won’t hear. https://t.co/aoJrtbhc2v

— Biyi The Plug 🔌 (@BiyiThePlug) November 4, 2019

– Olamide has stayed relevant/at the top for a decade.
– He has 9 albums.
– Runs a successful label.
– Not gone a single year since 2011 without AT LEAST one hit.
– He has discovered many top music stars(AG, Kesh, Fireboy, Pheelz, young Jon etc).

OLAMIDE BADOO IS A LEGEND!

— Ediye (@iamOkon) November 4, 2019

Come to think of it, Olamide has blown a good number of artists to limelight with just a feature

Starting from:
Lil Kesh
Zlatan
Adekunle Gold
Dj Enimoney
Ycee
Chinko Ekun
Davolee
Viktoh
Young John
Fireboy
Skibii etc

See ehn Olamide is everything 🔥

— adeDamola (@da_moxy) November 4, 2019

You are Comparing Olamide with Rema now??
– Zlatan, Lil Kesh, Adekunle Gold, Chinko Ekun, DJ Enimoney, Fireboy, Pheelz, Young John all grew under him
– 9 albums.
– A mad label.
– Every single is a hit
– His raps are undiluted

Is Something wrong with your sense?

— Chemical Sister🔥🔫 (@SavvyRinu) November 4, 2019

When Dagrin died(God rest his soul), Olamide took up the challenge and single handedly held the indigenous Yoruba rap from going into extinct for many years, helped a lot of artist come to limelight, and you want to compare him with Rema?

This is total disrespect to the Legend!!

— Obi Of Onitsha🇨🇦 (@cliqik) November 4, 2019

Rema is Bigger than OLAMIDE 🙆🙆🙆🙆🙆

Nothing wey Musa no go see for gate😩😩

How can you be comparing Tiger and Rat😧😧😧😧#olamide #olamide #burna #burna #olamide @olamide_YBNL pic.twitter.com/SL5idm345t

— Asari Gold🔱❤ (@AsariGold) November 4, 2019

So now Rema is bigger than Olamide? Who the hell come with these comparisons? Fireboy is far far better than Rema, in fact I don vex, Lyta sef is better! 😠 pic.twitter.com/jORvyXYpn3

— The outlaw 🇦🇱 (@_Ameen_x) November 4, 2019

Let’s not forget that Olamide gave us:
-Bobo
-Melo Melo
-Goons mi
-Lagos boy
-Story for the Gods
-who you epp
-Don’t Stop
-Durosoke
-Eleda mi
-Science Student
-woske
-Wo
-First of all

Please no Olamide slander will be allowed on this street, cause he’s the king of the street.

— valking♔ (@_valkiing) November 4, 2019

Olamide is the King of the Streets. He paved the way for people like Naira Marley & Zlatan.

Hell we knew Zlatan Cos of Olamide with that “My Body” song then, Davido danced to it too.

Olamide started this trend of bringing danced from the street to the limelight.

— Peng Man 🔥 (@mjjuniormodel) November 4, 2019

Comparing Rema to Olamide is just like comparing Tammy Abraham to Sergio Aguero. What the fuck is wrong with you people? Do y’all have diabetes of the brain?

— THE ACTOR BOBBY (@theactorbobby) November 4, 2019

” Rema is greater than Olamide ” is an expensive JOKE that shouldn’t have been granted so much attention

— Truth_Hurts (@Speaks_truths) November 4, 2019

The three most consistent Artistes that have dominated the last decade are:@wizkidayo@iam_Davido@olamide_YBNL

And you say Rema @heisrema is bigger than Olamide! honestly, we joke too much in this country.

— I am Majeed not Mojeed (@murjeed87) November 4, 2019

The post Twitter Nigeria Debates on Who is Better: Rema or Olamide? appeared first on BellaNaija – Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

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U.S. Public Lands Chief Says His Positions On Climate, Immigrants Don’t Matter

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. ― William Perry Pendley, the controversial acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, told a room full of journalists on Friday that his opinions on climate change and immigrants are “irrelevant” to his job overseeing 245 million acres of public land.

Speaking on a panel at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference, Pendley, a conservative lawyer who has spent his career fighting federal land protections and environmental regulation, sparred repeatedly with reporters.

He refused to comment about his past statements that cast doubt on basic climate science and compared immigrants to a “cancer.” He also repeatedly responded to questions by saying, “I disagree with your premise.”

As recently as February, Pendley compared the climate crisis to a “unicorn” because “neither exists.”

Asked to clarify his position on Friday, he deferred to his boss, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist who has said he hasn’t lost sleep over soaring atmospheric carbon dioxide and blamed Congress for his own inaction on the climate. Bernhardt had been scheduled to appear at the conference but canceled.

“I’m not a scientist, I’m a lawyer,” Pendley said. “I defer to the secretary. He’s been very clear on this subject. He believes that climate change is real, that mankind has an impact, that we’re unable to project future climate conditions, but that we need to understand the consequences.”

Asked again about his own views, Pendley balked: “Nope, I’m not going to clarify. Those are my personal opinions,” he said. “I’m a Marine. I follow orders.”

Pendley added that he has not been briefed on climate impacts to America’s public lands in the three months he’s been acting head of the  BLM.

In 2007, Pendley referred to undocumented immigrants as “spreading like a cancer” in a fundraising mailer for his legal fund resurfaced by CNN this week. When pressed on Friday about the statement, Pendley brushed off the question entirely.

“My personal opinions are irrelevant,” he said. “I have a new job now. I’m a zealous advocate for my client. My client is the American people and my bosses are the president of the United States and Secretary Bernhardt. What I thought, what I wrote, what I did in the past is irrelevant. I have orders, I have laws to obey, and I intend to do that.”

Pendley didn’t hesitate, though, to slam Democratic presidential candidates who have pledged to stop new fossil fuel leasing on public lands for fossil fuel development if elected.

My personal opinions are irrelevant. William Perry Pendley

The room, as moderators requested, refrained from clapping or booing throughout the panel, which included a gas company executive, the Fort Collins mayor, an American Indian studies academic, an environmentalist and a representative of the outdoor recreation industry. But at one point, the audience in the packed auditorium at Colorado State University gasped as Pendley abruptly interrupted a Denver Post reporter as she asked a follow-up question, saying, “You want to ask a question and get an answer or do you want to keep talking?”

Pendley was asked about the BLM’s decision in May to scrub language about land stewardship from its news releases, which now exclusively highlights the economic value of America’s public lands. He initially shrugged and whispered inaudibly to Shea Loper, the U.S. government relations chief for the Canadian gas giant Encana Corp. He said he was unable to speak to the decision because it occurred before he arrived at the agency.

“I can’t respond to your question,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

At the end of the discussion, panelists were asked what they view as the biggest threat facing public lands today. Pendley responded, “I’ll get really in the weeds. I think the biggest issue I see is the wild horse and burro issue. We have 88,000 wild horses and burros on our Western federal lands. They are causing havoc on the lands.”

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How Colorados Robin Fraser is breaking ground for black coaches in MLS

The longtime MLS assistant and former USA defender is only the second African American head coach in league history

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Robin Fraser stood stoic on the sideline at Red Bull Arena as the Colorado Rapids stymied the New York Red Bulls. To his right his former teammate, Chris Armas, was trying to rally the Red Bulls to come from behind, but a second Rapids goal has put the game to bed. It was the beginning of a stretch for the Colorado that would see the team win five out of six games, before falling just short of this seasons MLS playoffs.

Really fucking good, that felt really good, Fraser said when a Rapids staffer asked him how he felt after the whistle. He had not held a head coaching job for nearly seven years when the Rapids offered him the opportunity to return to his native Denver. In that span, Fraser served as the tactician behind the Red Bulls Supporters Shield win in 2013, and was the assistant to long-time friend Greg Vanney when Toronto FC became the first MLS team to win a domestic treble in 2017 and came within a penalty shootout of winning the Concacaf Champions League the following spring.

When Fraser took the sidelines again, it ended a span of over year in which MLS did not have a black coach. He is the fifth black coach ever in MLS and just the second African American. Before the Rapids offer came along, Fraser had been linked with several opportunities when he was an assistant. In interviews with the Guardianand others, Fraser said he didnt think race played a role in whether he was passed over for previous opportunities.

Although MLS has its own version of the Rooney Rule mandating teams to interview minority candidates for any coaching or technical staff position there are few African Americans on backroom staffs. One reason is the relatively high cost of coaching courses with A license courses costing $4,000. These costs weigh heavier on members of disadvantaged communities. The FA acknowledged this and implemented grants for coaches from black, asian and minority ethnicities to cover Uefa coaching costs, but USSF has not implemented a similar program. Still, Fraser said he saw the makeup of his coaching classes diversify.

Once upon a time, it was easier to go get licensed, but the courses now are far more detailed and as a result we are on the cusp of coaches becoming better and its something that Ive seen over the last five or six years, Fraser said. I feel like over the last five or six years, the coaching has gotten better because of the education and coaches are learning in a number of these advanced courses that are being offered.

Fraser said he was able to move more quickly through the process because he was a former player. US Soccers Pro License is only available to professional coaches. He said he has noticed that there are more minorities in the coaching classes that he recently took than when he began his education more than a decade ago.

When I did the Pro Course, it was only 12 to 15 people so its hard for me to say what the courses look like, but I do think there is a greater diversity of coaches coming through the courses, Fraser said. Its a function of the net being wider and more people playing. Theres a greater diversity of players and that means theres a greater of ex-players who are trying to be coaches.

Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids)

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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Planned Parenthood’s political arm to spend $45 million on electing candidates backing reproductive rights

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(CNN)Planned Parenthood‘s super PAC kicked off a $45 million electoral program targeted toward battleground states for the 2020 election, the reproductive rights giant announced on Wednesday.

The group’s self-identified largest program to date will go toward “large-scale grassroots organizing programs and targeted canvass, digital, television, radio and mail programs,” according to a press release. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will all be focuses of the initiative, per the release.
“Who we elect will determine our access to birth control, cancer screenings, sex education, abortion access and more,” said Kelley Robinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, in a statement.
“That’s why Planned Parenthood Votes will use every tool at our disposal to hit the pavement, flood the airwaves, and elect reproductive rights champions up and down the ballot,” she added. “We know this is a fight we can win.”
The super PAC pledged to back reproductive rights candidates “from the White House to the Senate to statehouses and ballot initiatives across the country,” indicating a state-level focus after a year that saw a slew of pre-viability abortion restrictions coming out of conservative state legislatures. Planned Parenthood is among the plaintiffs in lawsuits challenging such laws in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri and Ohio.
Anti-abortion leaders decried Planned Parenthood’s election efforts, accusing the group of looking to protect its own finances and lamenting its federal subsidies. Planned Parenthood received $563.8 million in government funding in 2018, according to its annual report.
Lila Rose, president of anti-abortion group Live Action, slammed the funding effort as a display of “ruthless prioritization of politics and their bottom line over women’s health care.”
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement that the funding effort was unsurprising “because this Administration has implemented a pro-life agenda in many areas, including the Protecting Life in Global Health Policy and new Title X regulations, both of which impacted Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.”
“It is unfair to force Americans to subsidize through their tax dollars this partisan political organization bent on electing pro-abortion politicians,” she added.
This year, Planned Parenthood rejected some federal funding. The group decided to drop Title X funding in August after the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Trump administration rule blocking recipient providers from discussing abortion services with patients. HHS told recipients in July that the rule would go into effect despite several pending challenges.

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Bernie Sanders and the 2020 age debate

(CNN)With only120daysuntil the Iowa caucuses, the 2020 election will be here before you know it.Every Sunday, I round up the5BIG storylines you need to know to understand the upcoming week on the campaign trail. And they’re ranked — so the No. 1 story is the most important of the coming week.

5. Trump, unleashed: Donald Trump has spent the last week talking and tweeting almost nonstop as he tries to fight his way out of mounting allegations over his pressure campaign to get the Ukrainians to look into debunked allegations of wrongdoing against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
And the rhetoric from Trump has gone to previously unseen heights — even for Trump. He’s accused Rep. Adam Schiff (California) of treason, he’s attacked Mitt Romney in deeply personal terms — more on that directly below — and he’s repeating, repeating, repeating long disproven lies.
All of which means that when Trump travels to Minneapolis on Thursday for a “Keep America Great” rally, well, look out. Trump is always at his most, well, Trump-y at these campaign rallies — and, given the walls closing in on him in Washington, he could well use the Minnesota rally as a venting session the likes of which even longtime Trump observers rarely see.
Stay tuned. It’s going to be a doozy.
4. Any other Mitt Romneys out there?: Republicans have, almost uniformly, closed ranks around Trump even as a second whistleblower has emerged regarding the President allegedly using the power of his office for political gain during interactions over the summer with Ukraine.
Only Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) has publicly criticized Trump in any way, calling the President’s urgings of China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens “wrong” and “appalling.” Trump immediately struck back, referring to Romney as a “pompous ‘ass'” (I have no idea why he put “ass” in quotes) and suggesting that the 2012 Republican nominee was “begging” to be his secretary of state.
Any Republican who was weighing speaking out about Trump’s behavior with Ukraine (and his plea for China to investigate his main rival for the 2020 nomination) now can have no illusions about what such criticism will be met with: Pure, unadulterated anger from Trump — and likely vilification from the President’s base.
Is any prominent Republican other than Romney willing to risk speaking out when that reaction is assured? Principle vs. politics, anyone?
3. Fundraising losers…: With the third fundraising quarter ending at the close of last month, most of the major candidates have released how much they brought in and how much they spent between July 1 and September 30.
Let’s go through the losers first.
* Joe Biden: When you are a former vice president and the race’s frontrunner, you need to be at or very close to the top of the money chase. Biden’s $15 million raised in the third quarter is well off the pace and a significant drop-off from when Biden raised $21.5 million from April 1 to June 30 — his first three months of active fundraising. His numbers will re-ignite the debate over whether he has real grassroots energy behind his establishment candidacy. Think about this: The mayor of South Bend, Indiana — Pete Buttigieg — raised $4 million more than Biden in the third quarter and has now out-raised the former vice president for six months straight.
* Cory Booker: The New Jersey senator’s plea for $1.7 million in the final days of the quarter — in order, he said, for him to remain in the race — drew a ton of publicity. Even though Booker met his goal, he still only brought in $6 million for the entire three-month period. That likely means he will be facing another dire financial deadline in the not-too-distant future.
2. … and fundraising winners: 
* Bernie Sanders: Even as his poll numbers have stagnated somewhat, the Vermont senator’s small-dollar, online fundraising network continues to deliver. Sanders topped the field in the third quarter with more than $25 million raised and has now raised more than $71 million this year. That ensures he will not only have real organizations in all of the early states but will also be able to continue fighting for the nomination for months.
* Elizabeth Warren: While Sanders edged out Warren for the top spot by about $500,000, Warren’s third quarter fundraising is yet another data point proving how much momentum she has built behind her candidacy. Warren already has the best organization in Iowa, and fundraising like she put on the board over the last three months ensures her campaign will be able to fund a (TV) air assault as well.
* Andrew Yang: The tech entrepreneur raised $10 million in the third quarter, which, at least to me was the single most surprising result of the fundraising race. Yang’s total put him well above what Booker, as well as Sen. Michael Bennet (Colorado) and Gov. Steve Bullock (Montana) raised, and within shouting distance of Sen. Kamala Harris (California). That’s a stunner, and shows how far he’s come since the year started and almost no one knew who he was.
1. The age/health debate is here: It was probably inevitable, given that the four most likely candidates to be president in 2021 are 70+ years old, but Bernie Sanders’ recent heart attack has officially injected the issue of age and health into the 2020 campaign.
After several days of uncertainty, Sanders’ campaign confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack on the campaign trail and, following his release from the hospital late last week, he has returned to Vermont. His campaign has canceled its events until further notice but has said Sanders will be at the next debate — set for October 15 in Ohio.
While the relatively advanced ages of Sanders (78), Joe Biden (76) and Elizabeth Warren (70) has been a sort of low buzz in the background of the Democratic race so far, those days are now over. All three candidates had previously pledged to release their medical records before the Iowa caucuses on February 3, 2020, but the urgency of those releases is significantly higher now than it was even a week ago.
(Remember that Donald Trump was the oldest person ever elected to a first term when he won the presidency in 2016 at age 70. During the campaign, his personal physician released a letter proclaiming that Trump “would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Trump is now 73. In January of this year, he underwent a physical which found him in “very good health overall.”)
In a May Pew Research Center poll, just 3% of Democrats said their ideal candidate would be in their 70s. A near- majority — 47% — said a candidate in their 50s would be best. On the other hand, more than 6 in 10 people told Gallup in May they would vote for a presidential candidate over 70 years old.

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At Least 2 Movie Theater Chains Ban Masks At ‘Joker’ Screenings

DENVER, Sept 26 (Reuters) – The Landmark Theaters chain will ban costumes and masks for moviegoers during screenings of the film “Joker,” it said on Thursday, following concerns expressed by families involved in a 2012 mass shooting during a Batman film in Colorado.

The Los Angeles-based chain, which runs 52 theaters in 27 markets, said it wanted customers to enjoy the film as a “cinematic achievement.”

“But no masks, painted faces or costumes will be permitted into our theaters,” it said in a statement to Reuters.

The film opens in theaters on Oct. 4.

Landmark joins the nation’s largest movie chain, Kansas-based AMC Theatres, which has banned masks in theaters since the Colorado massacre that killed a dozen and wounded scores, and re-affirmed that ban.

AMC, which runs more than 650 cinemas, reminded customers this week that while it allowed costumes, it did not allow masks.

“Guests are welcome to come dressed in costume, but we do not permit masks, face paint or any object that conceals the face,” it said in a statement widely reported in the media, including Variety.

Landmark did not give a reason for its ban.

But it follows a letter from the families of some victims of the shooting at a 2012 showing of the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, to Warner Bros., the studio behind the “Joker,” expressing concern.

Some of those at the midnight screening in the packed Aurora theater had been wearing costumes. The mass shooting at the Century 16 Theater multiplex owned by Cinemark USA Inc killed 12 and wounded 70.

The gunman, James Holmes, is serving multiple life sentences after being convicted of mass murder, despite pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

The new film depicts the mental breakdown of the Joker character, the nemesis of Batman in various movie, television and comic book adaptations, that leads to violence.

The families’ letter also urged Warner Bros. to end political contributions to candidates who take money from theNational Rifle Association and to fund gun violence intervention programs.

In response, Warner Bros. issued a statement of sympathy for the victims and their families, Entertainment Weekly said.

“Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bipartisan legislation to address this epidemic,” WarnerBros. said, media reported.

But the movie does not endorse real-world violence and does not hold up the Batman villain as a hero, it added.

Los Angeles police aim to step up visibility during the film’s opening weekend.

“The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of public concerns and the historical significance associated with the premiere of the Joker,” it said in a statement to Reuters.

“While there are no credible threats in the Los Angeles area, the department will maintain high visibility around movie theaters when it opens.”

Aurora police have said Cinemark will not screen “Joker” at the Colorado multiplex, where they continue to provide enhanced security.

“We recognize this release may cause concern for the families, friends, first responders and beyond,” police said in a statement on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver, and additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Christian Schmollinger)

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