Monday Tab Clearing
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- I think the headline of this WaPo piece exaggerates more than a bit, but the basic thesis is sound: How NPR’s Steve Inskeep cracked the code for interviewing Trump.
- This WaPo column notes a major juxtaposition of our time: Democracy is on the brink of disaster. For voters, it’s politics as usual.
- Via the Guardian, a reminder about felon disenfranchisement in the US: The racist 1890 law that’s still blocking thousands of Black Americans from voting
- Via WaPo: A rural Washington school board race shows how far-right extremists are shifting to local power
- Via City and State New York: Can Eric Adams really hire his brother?
The mayor’s brother wasn’t the only hiring in the Adams administration to raise eyebrows on Friday. City Hall officially announced the appointment of Phil Banks as deputy mayor for public safety. Banks is the brother of David Banks, who was previously appointed schools chancellor. And David Banks is the romantic partner of Sheena Wright, Adams’ deputy mayor for strategic initiatives, who also led the mayoral transition committee. But it’s not just his family ties that are controversial. A former NYPD chief, Phil Banks resigned from the force in 2014 following a federal corruption investigation in which prosecutors named him as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” Though Banks himself was never charged with a crime, evidence reportedly showed he accepted gifts from two businessmen who were trying to bribe public officials. Banks’ top aide was among those who were eventually convicted. In an op-ed in the Daily News on Friday morning, Banks addressed the concerns about his integrity, saying that reports that he “traded favors as a senior NYPD official for some form of compensation” were completely false. He also denied that he left the department in order to avoid an internal trial on the investigation.