Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has decided to just do it: Change his mind and welcome Nike with open arms.
Ducey initially tweeted last week that he was ordering the state’s commerce authority to “withdraw all financial incentive dollars” for Nike to build a plant in the city of Goodyear. His decision followed the sneaker company’s announcement that it would not produce a new Fourth of July shoe featuring Betsy Ross’ flag for the 13 American colonies after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly expressed concern over its historic representation of the nation’s racist legacy.
“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” Ducey tweeted, adding that “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”
But Ducey has now suggested a change of heart after Nike said Thursday in a news release that its Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation facility would generate more than 500 full-time jobs and result in an investment of at least $184 million in Goodyear. Hiring “will begin immediately,” the company added.
“This is good news for Arizona and for @GoodyearAZGov,” Ducey tweeted in response. “500 plus jobs. Over $184 million in capital investment. Arizona is open for business, and we welcome @Nike to our state.”
The Arizona Commerce Authority, a public-private economic development agency, also touted the deal.
Ducey’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his apparent flip-flop over Nike.
Despite the governor’s initial tweets blasting Nike, local officials were happy to see the company, considered the world’s largest sneaker maker, according to Forbes, get a foothold in the state.
“We will honor the commitment we made in our agreement,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said in a statement last week after the city council unanimously approved a job creation agreement with Nike.
Nike’s decision to cancel the shoe design for its special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike was done “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday,” a spokeswoman previously said.
Betsy Ross’ 13-star pattern was used as early as 1777 and is associated with the Revolutionary War. Kaepernick, a brand ambassador with Nike, was concerned because the shoe design incorporates the flag, which has connections to slavery, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
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House managers cite ‘overwhelming’ evidence against Trump in their brief to Senate
House managers in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump filed their brief to the Senate on Saturday outlining a “compelling case” against Trump, who will deliver his own brief to the chamber on Monday.
The House managers, seven Democratic congressional leaders who will try the case against Trump during the Senate trial starting next week, say in the briefthat the evidence against Trump is “overwhelming” and proves he used his official power to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the upcoming 2020 election.
It details instances in which members of Trump’s internal circle defied congressional subpoenas and refused to cooperate with a House investigation. The House managers called Trump’s behavior “the Framers’ worst nightmare” and said Trump’s actions present a “danger to our democratic processes.”
“Through his obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry, President Trump attempted to place himself above the law and undermined the fundamental Constitutional principles on which our Nation was founded,” Congressional leaders said in a statement. “The President’s gross abuse of power and obstruction of Congress reflect a pattern of misconduct and an ongoing threat to the Nation.”
In an emailed statement, the White House called the two articles of impeachment against Trump a “dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President.”
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“This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election—now just months away,” the statement read, in part. “The highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated and continues to this day.”
Trump’s trial brief is due Monday, and the House must file its rebuttal by Tuesday morning. The impeachment trial starts Tuesday afternoon.
Trump’s legal team, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and the president’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, challenged the impeachment on constitutional and procedural grounds, accusing House Democrats of mistreating the president since Day One.
On Friday, Trump named Ken Starr, the prosecutor whose investigation two decades ago led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, along with former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, to his defense team.
The 111-page brief and the White House’s fiery response provided a preview of what the public can expect from the trial. The brief highlights testimony from dozens of witnesses, including ambassadors and national security officials, concerned by Trump’s actions.
Throughout the brief, the House managers repeatedly accused Trump of abusing his power by inviting foreign interference for his own personal gain. They say he “abandoned his oath to faithfully execute the laws and betrayed his public trust” by asking Ukraine to investigate political rivals.
The House managers pointed to a July 25, 2019, call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump asked his counterpart to “do us a favor.” That favor, the House managers allege, was for Ukraine to publicly announce two investigations that could have benefited Trump politically.
One involved former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and their dealings with Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings. The second concerned the 2016 election and a “debunked conspiracy theory” that Ukraine interfered on Hillary Clinton’s behalf in her bid for president, the brief says.
“These theories were baseless,” the House manager say in the brief, adding that members of the U.S. intelligence community, special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence all dismissed the notion that Joe Biden acted improperly.
The House managers are U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff from California; Jerry Nadler of New York; Hakeem Jeffries of New York; Jason Crow of Colorado; Zoe Lofgren of California; Val Demings of Florida; and Sylvia Garcia of Texas.
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