Top aide for Oregon House Speaker among dozens arrested in Portland

A top aide to the Oregon House Speaker was among the dozens arrested in Portland, Ore., over the weekend, police confirmed to The Hill Thursday.

Kristina Narayan, 29, was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with interfering with a peace officer after protests evolved into a police-declared riot in Portland.

Narayan’s LinkedIn profile lists Oregon House Speaker Rep. Tina Kotek (D) as her employer since September 2016 and says she has served as legislative director since May 2018.

“Kristina Narayan was arrested for Interfering with a Police Officer after the event became a riot and the crowd was given multiple orders to disperse, which she did not do,” Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Officer Derek Carmon told The Hill.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office records indicate that Narayan was arrested at 2:07 am. on Sunday, was released later that day and did not have to pay bail.  

Kotek’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Narayan was among 59 people who were arrested during the riot that occurred Saturday night into Sunday morning. Police declared a riot after 9:15 p.m. after protesters threw “multiple fire bombs at officers,” with one catching a community member on fire, according to a police release. Rocks, fireworks and mortars were also thrown at officers. 

“This criminal activity presented an extreme danger to life safety for all community members, and prompted a declaration of a riot,” the release stated. “The crowd was advised over loudspeaker that it was a riot and they were to leave the area to the east immediately” or risk arrest.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported her arrest on Wednesday. 

Portland erupted in protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May. The demonstrations and riots have continued since, prompting President TrumpDonald John TrumpCohen: ‘I guarantee that it’s not going to go well for whoever’ set up Woodward interview Pompeo says ‘substantial chance’ Navalny poisoning was ordered by senior Russian official Trump says he ‘almost definitely’ won’t read Woodward book MORE at one point in July to send federal law enforcement to quell the unrest. 

Most of the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality have been peaceful, but others have evolved into violence and looting.

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New Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp lays out his agenda: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Measuring Cupp: Jeremy Pelzer has a profile of Bob Cupp, the quiet but experienced new Ohio House speaker. Included is what’s on Cupp’s priority list through the end of the year (potentially repealing House Bill 6, passing a long-sought education-funding reform bill) and what’s not (Gov. Mike DeWine’s gun-reform package).

Mail time: More than 1 million Ohioans have requested absentee ballots by mail, a figure that’s already approaching the total 1.2 million mail-in votes cast for the November 2016 election, Andrew Tobias reports. Six counties — Athens, Lucas, Portage, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne, have already exceeded their 2016 totals. Five more counties, Franklin, Hamilton, Lorain, Sandusky and Wood, were at 90% or more of their 2016 totals.

Return to sender: In his capacity as top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan on Tuesday sent its Democratic chairman, Jerry Nadler of New York, a letter seeking a hearing “to examine the civil unrest caused by left-wing violent extremists in Democrat-run cities.” The letter he sent with several other Judiciary Committee Republicans also accused Nadler of minimizing “the violence in Democrat-run cities, calling the radical leftist group Antifa an ‘imaginary thing’ and Antifa violence a ‘myth that’s only being spread in Washington, D.C.’”

SWAT arrest: Columbus Police SWAT and the U.S. Marshals showed up to Assistant House Minority Leader Kristin Boggs’ property Wednesday to arrest her nanny for obstruction and the nanny’s boyfriend for the killing of a man in May. Boggs said she hired the childcare provider in the spring to help when the pandemic hit, Laura Hancock reports.

Coronavirus relief: As far as Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is concerned, a coronavirus relief bill that Republicans plan to bring up for a Senate vote on Thursday is dead in the water because it would replace a $600 weekly federal unemployment supplement that expired in July with a $300 weekly payment that expires in December, reports Sabrina Eaton. Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman told reporters he’ll back the package even though it doesn’t contain everything on his wish list.

Wednesday numbers: The state tallied 973 new coronavirus cases and 26 deaths on Wednesday, Hancock reports. The total of new cases was less than the 21-day rolling average, though deaths were higher.

Shifting concerns: Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof said Tuesday he’s “frustrated” by how Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus goals have shifted since March. “I think the administration has now shifted to trying to get to zero infections across the state, which is unattainable,” Obhof told Medina County commissioners, according to Carl Hunnell of the Richland Source. The Medina Republican also said while “it’s probably a pretty good idea to wear a mask,” he personally doesn’t “believe any level of government has the ability to tell you to do that.”

Bets are on: Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos set an August record with $172 million in gambling revenue. This marks the fourth monthly record this year – every month the gambling houses have been open

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U.S. House Speaker warns Britain that breaking Brexit treaty could imperil trade pact

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Britain on Wednesday that ignoring some parts of its European Union divorce treaty could imperil any new trade agreement with the United States.

“If the U.K. violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement passing the Congress,” the Democratic lawmaker said in a statement.

“The Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be proudly defended in the United States Congress,” Pelosi said.

Britain quit the EU in January but has remained part of its single market, largely free of trade barriers, under an agreement that expires in December. London says that if it cannot negotiate a favorable trade deal to take effect from Jan. 1, it will simply walk away.

The agreement calls for border-free trade on the island of Ireland, which the EU says should in some cases require checks on goods passing between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

Some fear that a failure to agree on border arrangements could jeopardize the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which largely ended three decades of political and sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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Here’s what Bob Cupp intends to do — and not do — as Ohio House speaker

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Effective lawmakers have to master two different – and, sometimes, contradictory – skill sets: politics and policymaking. Bob Cupp, the new Ohio House speaker, is inclined toward the latter.

Cupp, though hardly a household name, has been a part of Ohio government longer than other lawmakers have been alive. Quiet and deliberative, he’s a former Ohio Senate majority leader and Ohio Supreme Court justice.

But now the lawyer from Lima faces the biggest challenge of his career: putting back in order a discombobulated House reeling from not only two speakers resigning amid scandal in two years, but also internal division both between parties and within Cupp’s own House Republican caucus (which chose Cupp as speaker by a margin of one vote).

In spite of all this, Cupp has his sights set on some big-ticket agenda items – from dealing with the scandal-drenched House Bill 6 nuclear bailout law (exactly how is up in the air) to fixing Ohio’s perennially unconstitutional school-funding system.

Oh, and he only has three months left in the middle of election season to get his agenda done before he’ll have to convince his colleagues to elect him speaker for a full term.

Even two months ago, no one, Cupp included, imagined that he would be in this position. But that was before then-Speaker Larry Householder was federally indicted and accused of overseeing a $60 million bribery scheme to get HB6 passed. Nine days later, the GOP-led House voted Cupp in as speaker.

“It’s not anything I wanted to do,” Cupp said in an interview. “My focus was just going to work on public policy. But with this situation occurring as it did, I thought that I could offer something to solve the problem with the House and restore it to credibility.”

Cupp is widely considered an ethical politician whose leadership is unlikely to run afoul of the law.

State Rep. Jason Stephens, a Lawrence County Republican who nominated Cupp for speaker on the House floor, said he pictures Cupp as “just a big oak tree standing out in the field.

“When the winds blow, the limbs may blow a little bit, but that tree isn’t moving as far as, you know, principles and that sort of thing,” Stephens said.

“I would never be concerned about Bob Cupp’s ethics. Ever,” said Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who served alongside Cupp on the Ohio Supreme Court for six years.

But Cupp is no longer a justice (he was unseated in 2012 by Democrat Bill O’Neill, who won despite spending just $4,000 on his campaign).

“All of the qualities we like in a judge can sometimes be a weakness in a leader of a legislative branch,” said Mark Weaver, a longtime Republican political consultant who managed Cupp’s 2012 Supreme Court campaign.

“Meaning, if you’re not the first person that gets noticed in a room, some people take that as a sign of weakness,” Weaver continued. “Bob Cupp is more of an introvert than an extrovert. In a rowdy

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Rep. Andy Biggs: Nancy Pelosi needs to be removed from her post as Speaker of the House

Isn’t it past time for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to leave her office as Speaker of the House? I call upon our leaders in Congress to put forward the Motion to Vacate the Chair that has been prepared and merely needs to be brought to the floor.

Pelosi recently referred to members of Congress who support President Donald Trump as “domestic criminals.”

Of course, that type of hyperbole has become commonplace among the left and is ever present under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership.


The left hates President Trump and the Americans who voted for him. In and of itself, it is a most despicable statement designed to divide the nation, but it shows a disregard for the institution itself.

Nor can we forget that she allowed an impeachment proceeding to go forward that was based solely on animus toward the president, and not on any allegation of the commission of a “high crime or misdemeanor.” The peg on which the left had hung their hat was “Russian collusion.”

This had been accidentally debunked by their chosen attack dogs, the Mueller team of special counsel.

Rather than humbly accepting that they had been wrong, they hubristically doubled down and dragged the president and this country through an impeachment hearing that was unnecessary. And which is now, through the distraction of the COVID outbreak and the tyrannical lockdowns, long forgotten.

The Speaker is willing to show her power against the powerless, who have been shut down by command of the local tyrants for months.

Pelosi’s recent escapade in a San Francisco hair salon conveys the air of elitism that has been the hallmark of her tenure as speaker. That there are many in the media who defend the Speaker is simply one group of powerful elites protecting one of their own: the powerful, elite Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Let’s admit it. Pelosi believed that she was above the law for which she so stridently advocates. She has issued many ridiculous mask edicts in the House of Representatives and used her Democratic Party majority to expand her power to control members.

Having been caught in the salon, she had the sensitivity to realize how bad it looked for her to grant herself permission to violate the law, so she began trying to defend her conduct.

Here is where Pelosi really lost her balance. She blamed everybody but herself.

The whole Hair-dye-gate drama is born of a sense of entitlement and privilege. It is believing that her wants trump other people’s rights.

Frankly, it a narcissistic, authoritarian view.

That Pelosi is willing to crush the business of a single, working mom, by blaming her for her own bad judgment, calls to mind Soviet leaders who made sure they had all of their wants met—plenty to eat, dachas on the lakes — while the rest of society went wanting.

The Speaker is willing to show her power against

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DPH commissioner, other officials have received threats after cancellation of high school football season, House speaker says

The Department of Public Health commissioner and other state officials have received threats over the department’s recommendation that Connecticut high schools refrain from football this fall, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz said in a Facebook post Saturday.

a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: Coach Joe Aresimowicz, shown directing a Berlin High School football practice in 2018, posted a plea on Facebook to stop threats against state officials over the cancellation of the football season.

© Cloe Poisson / Hartford Courant/Hartford Courant/TNS
Coach Joe Aresimowicz, shown directing a Berlin High School football practice in 2018, posted a plea on Facebook to stop threats against state officials over the cancellation of the football season.

Aresimowicz, who also coaches the Berlin High football team, pleaded for the threats to stop.

“I’ve been made aware that many threats have been sent to the DPH Commissioner and other state officials,” Aresimowicz wrote on his personal page. “Just like many players, coaches and parents, I too am upset about high school football being canceled. I also spoke my piece about how I believe the Commissioner of Public Health got this wrong. Despite our feelings, we cannot tolerate threatening people! What the heck happened to disagreeing and even being mad without this nonsense. Please stop!!!! The kids are looking at us to show them how they should act when they’re adults!”

a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field: Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz.

© Brad Horrigan / Hartford Courant/Hartford Courant/TNS
Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz.

Glenn Lungarini, executive director of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, similarly asked those angry about the cancellation of fall football to refrain from threats.

“All are entitled to their opinion and emotions, but threatening comments are not acceptable,” Lungarini tweeted. “I am willing to speak with anyone, but will not condone threats to any member of DPH, state officials, or CIAC staff.”

The CIAC announced Friday that it will not sanction full-contact football this fall. In explaining that decision, the CIAC cited DPH’s guidance that the sport was unsafe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some local superintendents had voiced reluctance to proceed with football without a go-ahead from DPH.

“Without DPH support, the CIAC cannot move forward with a full-contact season as it would place superintendents and boards of education in the impossible position of acting against the recommendation of a state agency,” the CIAC wrote in a statement Friday.

DPH has repeatedly cautioned about the dangers of full-contact football, suggesting a 7-on-7 version instead.

With the cancellation of the fall season, football teams will still able to condition as a team but will not be able to play games. Lungarini said Friday that the CIAC will consider combines, passing leagues and other activities as alternate options for football players in the fall.

Students and coaches have expressed frustration with DPH’s recommendation and the CIAC’s decision, with some students organizing a protest set for Sunday in West Hartford’s Blueback Square.

“There’s a part pare of me that’s angry, there’s a part of me that’s crushed, and there’s a part of me that’s sad,” Stafford/Somers/East Windsor coach Brian Mazzone said Friday. “There’s no way I can go five days with these kids. There’s no way I can keep these kids engaged [without games].”

Representatives from DPH and the governor’s office did not

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Former ComEd VP charged with bribery conspiracy in scheme to sway House Speaker Michael Madigan

A former vice president for ComEd was charged Friday with bribery conspiracy alleging he helped orchestrate a scheme to pay political allies of powerful Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan to influence legislation in Springfield that would benefit the utility.

Fidel Marquez, a longtime lobbyist and former senior vice president of governmental affairs at ComEd, was charged in a one-count criminal information made public late Friday.

Marquez was the first person to be charged in the ongoing investigation of an elaborate bribery scheme aimed at influencing legislation in Springfield by making payments to Madigan associates and approved lobbyists, some of whom did little or no actual work for the company.

ComEd was charged with bribery in July and has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the government, agreeing to pay a record $200 million fine and cooperate with investigators in exchange for the charges being dropped in three years.

Defendants who are charged via criminal information — as opposed to grand jury indictment — likely intend to plead guilty. Neither Marquez nor his attorney could immediately be reached for comment.

Madigan, the nation’s longest-serving speaker and Illinois Democratic Party chairman, has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

The four-page information against Marquez alleged that from 2011 to 2019, he conspired with others to corruptly solicit jobs, contracts and monetary payments for the benefit of Madigan — identified as Public Official A — and his associates with the intent of influencing legislation beneficial to ComEd.

Specifically, on July 30, 2018, Marquez directed a $37,500 payment to Company 1, “a substantial portion of which was intended for associates of (Madigan),” the information stated.

The Chicago Tribune reported last year that Marquez was a focus of the federal investigation, as is former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, who abruptly retired last year. Pramaggiore has not been charged. A Pramaggiore spokesman has said that she “has done nothing wrong and any inference to the contrary is misguided and false.”

Prosecutors have said ComEd’s scheme began around 2011 — when key regulatory matters were before the Illinois House that Madigan controls — and continued through last year.

Many of the illegal payments allegedly were arranged by downstate lobbyist Michael McClain, a key confidant and adviser at the center of the probe, according to court records. McClain also has not been charged.

One example cited in ComEd’s deferred prosecution agreement involved a man identified as “Consultant 1,” who allegedly was speaking to a ComEd executive identified by the Tribune as Marquez. The consultant said he believed McClain had spoken to Madigan about the payments, saying the money was “to keep (Public Official A) happy (and) I think it’s worth it, because you’d hear otherwise,” prosecutors alleged.

Records show ComEd tried to clean up its lobbying operation in the midst of the investigation last year. One of those departing was Marquez. ComEd officially announced it on Sept. 23, saying only that Marquez was “retiring after 39 years of service.”

Marquez, who has homes in Chicago

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