Ten challengers look to unseat Inhofe from US Senate - NonDoc

Ten challengers look to unseat Inhofe from US Senate - NonDoc


Ten challengers look to unseat Inhofe from US Senate - NonDoc

Posted: 24 Jun 2020 10:05 PM PDT

U.S. Senate
In the June 30 U.S. Senate primary, challengers from all across the political spectrum will vie for the chance to unseat incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe. (NonDoc)

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe remains a strong favorite to hold onto the seat he's occupied for 26 years, but there is no shortage of challengers who would like to replace him.

In addition to the four Democrats who will be on the ballot June 30, three Republicans are running against Inhofe in the GOP primary, hoping to represent the party in the general election.

The statewide race also includes one Libertarian and two independent candidates.

Here is a look at all of Oklahoma's 2020 U.S. Senate candidates. The following profiles have been compiled using publicly available information.


Democratic candidates

Sheila Bilyeu (D)

Sheila Bilyeu

Town: Freedom
Occupation: Former school counselor
Platform: Bilyeu has a campaign website, but does not otherwise appear to be actively campaigning for the Democratic nomination. Her website lists addresses both in Arizona and and Freedom, Oklahoma. She also appears to have registered to run for Senate in Arizona this year but withdrew from the election. (Her candidate filing with the Oklahoma State Election Board lists her address as a post office box in Flagstaff, Arizona.) Her website emphasized that her political views align with those of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Links: Website

Elysabeth Britt (D)

Elysabeth Britt

Town: Oklahoma City
Occupation: Human resources specialist
Platform: The congressional priorities listed on Britt's campaign website include reducing the cost of health care and improving rural hospitals. She also wants to guarantee access to student loans and would like to improve pay and accountability of companies in how they manage their employees. Britt is in favor of streamlining the grant process for public schools and improve teacher pay, while also providing continuing education for them. She opposes the border wall and supports DACA.

Britt first ran for office in 2018, coming in third in the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District. She formerly served in the Marine Corps and holds a degree in sociology from the University of Central Oklahoma. Britt is a member of the LGBTQ community, which she mentioned more frequently in her 2018 campaign.

Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Abby Broyles (D)

Abby Broyles

Town: Oklahoma City
Occupation: Former TV journalist, attorney
Platform: Broyles' campaign has been directed primarily against Inhofe, who she says has been in office for too long and is out of touch with the Oklahomans he represents.

Broyles favors closing the gender pay gap, providing access to affordable health care for all Americans, addressing climate change and implementing a common sense approach to firearms. Her website also says she will fight against military base closures and for improving conditions for Oklahoma's farmers.

Broyles formerly worked as a journalist at KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, commonly known as Channel 4, which broadcasts across central and western Oklahoma. She holds a law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law and passed the bar exam in 2019.

Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Joe Cassity (D)

Joe Cassity

Town: Ponca City
Occupation: Retired teacher, attorney
Platform: Cassity is a former teacher and a member of the Oklahoma Education Association. He supports unions, civil rights and women's rights, according to his Facebook page.

Cassity served for more than two decades in the United States Army Reserve and is a member of the VFW. He last ran for public office in 1970.

Links: Facebook


Republican  candidates

U.S. Jim Inhofe (R, incumbent)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe

Town: Tulsa
Profession: Former mayor of Tulsa, former congressman, current incumbent senator
Platform: Inhofe bills himself as "Oklahoma's Conservative" on his website. He was first elected to the Senate in a 1994 special election after the resignation of U.S. David Boren. In recent years, Inhofe has been one of President Donald Trump's most ardent defenders on Capitol Hill.

The 85-year-old is running as a proponent of aggressive measures to curb illegal immigration. He is also one of the Senate's most outspoken opponents to environmental regulation and has vowed to fight the "Green New Deal" if re-elected. Inhofe has also worked to reverse cuts to military spending under previous presidential administrations, and he voted for the Trump administration tax cut in 2018.

Inhofe is an Army veteran. His website also notes that "Inhofe became the only member of Congress to fly an airplane around the world when he recreated Wiley Post's legendary trip around the globe."

Earlier this year, Inhofe was one of four U.S. senators whose stock trades following a January briefing on COVID-19 were scrutinized by officials.

Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Neil Mavis (R)

Neil Mavis

Town: Tulsa
Profession: WiFi engineer
Platform: Mavis is a former Libertarian. He is in favor of congressional term limits and would like to see bankruptcy laws changed as a way to address student loan debt, according to his website. Mavis is in favor of cracking down on the power of government to seize assets and conduct warrantless searches. He would also like to see tougher penalties for what he describes as insider trading by members of Congress.

Mavis's career has been in telecommunications. His website lists his motivations for pursuing political office as "freedom" and "US Constitutional Law."


J.J. Stitt (R)

J.J. Stitt

Town: Dover
Occupation: Farmer, firearm business owner, former Kingfisher County Sheriff's Department deputy.
Platform: Stitt's website calls him "the strongest 2nd Amendment candidate to ever come forward" and touts his 17-year career in law enforcement.

Stitt told the Tulsa World that if elected he would promote health insurance reform with the aim of giving individuals broader choices. He also favors construction of a wall along the border with Mexico, but he would like to make it easier for people to come to the United States legally.

Stitt is a third-generation farmer. His website notes that Gov. Kevin Stitt is only a distant relation, saying, "JJ and Kevin are distant cousins that are not, nor ever have been close."

Links: Website | Facebook

John Tompkins (R)

Tompkins does not have a campaign website or any public policy positions that can be found online.


Independent candidates

Joan Farr (I)

Joan Farr

Town: Tulsa
Occupation: Business owner
Platform: Farr's website calls her "a huge Trump supporter," adding that she "will switch to Republican if elected, just missed the deadline for converting prior." Farr's website says she would want to take a poll of voters before voting on any congressional bills. She has proposed a debt-reduction plan wherein a middle-class or poor family that agrees to stop doing drugs, smoking, gambling and drinking for one year would have their personal debt paid by a "rich person." The proposal would involve monitoring participants with a surveillance device, and those who complete the program would receive a "certificate signed by the president."

Links: Website | Facebook

April Nesbit (I)

April Nesbitt

Town: Ada
Occupation: Educator and scientist
Platform: Nesbit is running on a platform of children's advocacy and financial security for American citizens. She supports efforts to make sure children have adequate food, health care and family care. She also favors policies that would help to stabilize health care costs for workers.

Links: Website | Twitter


Libertarian candidate

Robert Murphy (L)

Robert Murphy

Town: Norman
Occupation: Unclear
Platform: Murphy joined the Libertarian Party in 1975 and has run for office more than a dozen times, "for Mayor, for Congress, and for the US Senate," according to a post on the Cleveland County Libertarians Facebook page. The page also says, "he was probably the first ever Oklahoma political candidate to advocate the legalization of marijuana, in the 1980 Tulsa mayoral election." He does not appear to have an official campaign website or social media accounts.

Website pairs part-time Columbus-area workers for job-sharing - The Columbus Dispatch

Posted: 25 Jun 2020 03:30 AM PDT

The website Job Pairing, founded by Bexley resident Taymoor Arshi, allows two workers who want to work part time to pitch their skills as one full-time equivalent.

When Taymoor Arshi's daughter-in-law, a neurologist, was expecting her first child, she quit her job. Five years later with two kids, she told Arshi that if she could share a full-time job with another neurologist and work part time, she would go back to work.

"That kind of got stuck in my head," Arshi said. "I said, 'If she is thinking this way, probably there are other working moms or expecting moms who need this kind of thing.'"

Arshi, 70, of Bexley, created Job Pairing, a platform that matches users with another user who has complementary skills, training, schooling and preferences to form a pair.

The service acts like a combination of the professional networking site LinkedIn and dating site Match.com, Arshi said. Through the site, the pair connects and decides whether or not to pursue a job together.

Pairs may apply for jobs together or employers may find them on the Job Pairing website, which launched two weeks ago, Arshi said. In other cases, a full-time employee might want to reduce their hours, and if approved by their manager, can match with another professional and share a job.

Arshi said companies would hire a pair as two part-time contractors who would divide the compensation and benefits of a traditional full-time employee. But companies like Dell, General Electric and Netflix as well as institutions like Cornell University and Stanford University are already offering this employment arrangement, Arshi said.

"It's a strategy to acquire talent because they know millennials care about work-life balance, and they started promoting it," Arshi said.

Although Arshi hasn't yet approached employers to post on Job Pairing, he said Columbus is home to industries that would do well with the job sharing model, like healthcare and insurance.

Meghan Dillon, vice president of development at Job Pairing and a Bexley resident, said the company's aim hits home for her as a mom of three working in the tech industry. An option like job sharing would have been "a game changer" for her one time, she said.

"When I was pregnant with my first and thinking about going back to work, there was lots of research that I did," Dillon said.

"It's impossible to do everything, contrary to what a lot of people tell you out there — you can't do it all, so really I was looking for options to be able to keep my career but have a little bit more balance."

Twelve years later, Dillon said with Job Pairing, she hopes to not only keep more women in tech but to create more balance for people, like those who might need to care for sick family members or some who want to spend time in activism, for example.

Dillon also said the COVID-19 pandemic has given people time to slow down and consider what is really important to them and how they want to spend their time.

Arshi, who worked in technology in the San Francisco Bay area for 35 years before switching to work in start-ups in 2012, said he is not looking to get rich off of Job Pairing.

"I think if I can solve a problem for that generation — you know the millennial 25- to 45-ish age with children and they want to have a life and they want to have a career — if this thing actually helps them, I'm satisfied," Arshi said.

Job Pairing can be used for free, but the company plans to introduce a premier option with more capabilities for a fee next month.

sraudins@dispatch.com

@sam_raudins

Amazon Announces New "Counterfeit Crimes Unit," with Aim of Reducing the Number of Fakes on its Site to "Zero" - The Fashion Law

Posted: 24 Jun 2020 12:03 PM PDT

Image: Amazon

Just days after teaming up with Valentino to file a trademark and patent infringement lawsuit against a seller on its marketplace platform, Amazon has announced the establishment of a new Counterfeit Crimes Unit, an initiative that the Seattle-based retail titan says is "dedicated to bringing counterfeiters that violate the law and Amazon's policies by listing counterfeit products in its store to justice." Spearheaded by a global, multi-disciplinary team of "former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators, and data analysts," the new venture aims to "drive counterfeits to zero." 

In a statement released on Wednesday, Amazon revealed that its already-existing objective is to prevent counterfeit products from being listed on its site by third-party sellers in the first place, which is why the $1 trillion company says that it invested over $500 million and had more than 8,000 employees fighting fraud, including counterfeits, in 2019. Piggybacking on those efforts, Amazon says that its Counterfeit Crimes Unit will go a step further and "investigate cases where a bad actor has attempted to evade Amazon's systems and listed a counterfeit in violation of Amazon's policies." 

Specifically, "The Counterfeit Crimes Unit will mine Amazon's data, cull information from external resources, such as payment service providers and open source intelligence, and leverage on-the-ground assets, to connect the dots between targets," Amazon asserts. More than that, the Counterfeit Crimes Unit will "enable Amazon to more effectively pursue civil litigation against bad actors, work with brands in joint or independent investigations, and aid law enforcement officials worldwide in criminal actions against counterfeiters." 

Speaking about the initiative, Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon's Vice President of Customer Trust and Partner Support, said on Wednesday, "Every counterfeiter is on notice that they will be held accountable to the maximum extent possible under the law, regardless of where they attempt to sell their counterfeits or where they're located." Mehta further asserted that Amazon is "working hard to disrupt and dismantle these criminal networks, and we applaud the law enforcement authorities who are already part of this fight. We urge governments to give these authorities the investigative tools, funding, and resources they need to bring criminal counterfeiters to justice because criminal enforcement – through prosecution and other disruption measures such as freezing assets – is one of the most effective ways to stop them."

Publicly addressing counterfeits for the first time in its February 2019 10-K filing, Amazon aptly asserted – in a single line in the "risk factors" section of the yearly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – that it "may be unable to prevent sellers in our stores or through other stores from selling unlawful, counterfeit, pirated, or stolen goods, selling goods in an unlawful or unethical manner, violating the proprietary rights of others, or otherwise violating our policies."

Since then, and despite its attempts to eradicate counterfeits from its marketplace, including via the Project Zero initiative that it introduced in early 2019, Amazon has struggled significantly with a prevalence of fakes on its sweeping marketplace website, which is the foundation of Amazon's business. The infiltration of the Amazon site with a plethora of fakes – which largely began in 2014 when it enabled China-based entities to sell directly to Amazon shoppers in the West – has prompted scrutiny from the Trump administration, including the U.S. Trade Representative, which included international arms of the American company on its annual blacklist of bad actors this year, as well as from trade organizations and individual brands. 

Fight Fakes & Luring Fashion Brands

The seemingly increased push against counterfeits by the Jeff Bezos-founded company – which currently boasts a market capitalization of $1.36 trillion and which generated revenues of $280.5 billion in 2019 – not only comes amid increasing pressure from the U.S. government, it coincides with enduring efforts by Amazon to lure fashion and luxury brands onto its site, something that it has largely struggled to do thus far. Its alliance with Valentino, which is not a seller on its marketplace site, by way of the newly-filed lawsuit seems to suggest that Amazon is serious about building goodwill with luxury brands. Moreover, its recent partnership with Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America – which saw Amazon donate $500,000 to the parties' "Common Threads" fundraising initiative and offer up a digital storefront for a number of high-end designers – seems to be another sign of Amazon's efforts to bring fashion brands onto its marketplace.

dAs for whether it will be able to initiate partnerships with the likes of Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Givenchy, and Stella McCartney, among other established names, which is precisely what its Chinese equivalent Alibaba has achieved by way of its Luxury Pavilion, that might be something of a ways off if the tone of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault is any indication. In an investor call early this year, Arnault – who maintains the title of the second richest man in the world, following only behind Bezos – did not mince words in saying that while Amazon is "an outstanding company," where makes money is its vast third-party marketplace of products, in which "they don't own the stock, [and] they don't own the inventory." Instead, Arnault declared, "They use their database to provide customers to other merchants that take a commission, and that … is how they sell counterfeits." 

When specifically asked if his roster of brands, which including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Celine, and Loewe, among others, will be participating in Amazon's reportedly-impending luxury platform, Arnault said it is "absolutely right" that they will be not be.

Readily accessible fakes are one of the obstacles that Amazon faces in finding friends in the upper echelon of the fashion industry, though. Certainly, such partnerships will not come into fruition (if they do at all) until Amazon can assure brands that their wares will not be sold alongside low-cost fakes. But more than that, Amazon will need to distinctly separate potential luxury offerings from other third-party products on its marketplace, such as groceries and cleaning supplies, both physically, but also in terms of the applicable user interfaces and the larger shopping experience. (This may be part of the impetus for the luxury platform that Amazon has been rumored to be readying).

The retail behemoth will also probably need to hand over an increased amount of control to brands in terms of the merchandising, marketing, and pricing of their products, in something of the same way that department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue have done in terms of their shop-in-shops. After all, these elements often prove to be non-negotiatiables for control-happy luxury brands. And still yet, Amazon just might have to refashion how much information it is able to access and how it will use that information when it comes to luxury brands and their offerings, particularly in light of enduring claims that the company is in the business of utilizing sales and traffic statistics and other seller data to launch, market, and sell competing products. (Amazon has denied such data use).

In short, Amazon likely has quite a few boxes left to check off before winning over the biggest names in fashion, but a robust anti-counterfeiting initiative very well may be an effective step.

Cluff Natural Resources : Change of Name to Deltic Energy Plc (499.75kB) - Marketscreener.com

Posted: 25 Jun 2020 02:41 AM PDT

Cluff Natural Resources Plc / Index: AIM / Epic: CLNR / Sector: Natural Resources

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