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Financial entanglements forced Todd Ricketts to withdraw his nomination to be deputy commerce secretary — proving your bookkeeping can be too murky even for the Trump administration. Evan McMullin is vying to raise his national profile — oh, he’s also mulling a run for Congress. And Bill O’Reilly was fired from Fox News. Somewhere, Jeff Zucker just asked someone to hold his beer. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, April 19th, 2017:
NIL O’REILLY - Thank goodness for Ivanka and Jared’s moderating influence over Rupert Murdoch. Lydia O’Connor and Michael Calderone: “Bill O’Reilly will no longer be employed at Fox News, the network’s parent company 21st Century Fox said in a statement Wednesday. The decision comes after allegations of him sexually harassing female colleagues prompted protests outside network headquarters and a mass exodus from advertisers…. Fox News host Tucker Carlson will take over O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. time slot next Monday, Fox confirmed…. Following a bombshell New York Times report earlier this month indicating O’Reilly and Fox News have paid around $13 million in settlements to address complaints brought by five of his former female colleagues, advertisers began fleeing the show. Within days, more than 50 companies announced they would no longer air spots during the show.” [HuffPost]
How did O’Reilly stay on board for so long? “Even beyond these incidents, O’Reilly often made clear his contempt for women. On his radio show in August 2006, he commented on the rape and murder of a young woman, suggesting that she shared some of the blame because of her intoxicated state and what she was wearing…. I wrote about O’Reilly’s comments in 2009 when I worked for the site ThinkProgress, tied to the news that he was slated to speak at a fundraiser to benefit rape survivors. In return, O’Reilly sent his producer, Jesse Watters, to track me down and ambush me while I was on vacation in another state a few weeks later.” [HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel]
In the middle of all this, O’Reilly met the pope on Thursday.
CHAFFETZ RETIRING FROM CONGRESS - The Utah congressman is looking forward to spending more time with his wife a corkboard in his basement covered with magazine cutouts of Hillary Clinton connected by thumbtacks and red string. Paige Lavender and Matt Fuller: “Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the controversial chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on Wednesday he will not run for re-election, after BuzzFeed reported that he would retire at the end of this term…. Chaffetz noted he would ‘not be a candidate for any office in 2018,’ leaving open the possibility he may run for governor in 2020…. His decision sets off an immediate gavel fight to take over the top spot on the oversight committee…. Among some of the leading contenders for the spot are former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.), and the man Chaffetz beat out for the gavel in late 2014: Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio).” [HuffPost]
But will David French get into the race? “[F]ormer independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin spoke with advisers to evaluate his options in the state with a victory suddenly seeming more likely than before…. [A] source close to McMullin told Independent Journal Review that McMullin is ‘considering running in 2018’ but still hasn’t made a decision on how he will proceed.” [IJR]
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RICKETTS WITHDRAWS NOMINATION - Lynn Sweet: “Unable to untangle his complex financial holdings to the satisfaction of the Office of Government Ethics, Cubs board member Todd Ricketts, tapped by President Donald Trump to be the Deputy Commerce Secretary, on Wednesday withdrew his nomination, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. Ricketts, a Wilmette resident who is a member of the billionaire Ricketts clan, was willing to divest his considerable personal portfolio of holdings, but that was apparently not enough. Some of the Ricketts investments are in family enterprises, including the Cubs…. Ricketts has varied business interests, from his ‘Higher Gear’ bike store in Wilmette to his position on the TD Ameritrade board. The Ricketts family are large shareholders of the company Joe Ricketts founded in 1975. Ricketts and his three siblings are on the Cubs board, legally known as Chicago Baseball Holdings LLC.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
TRUMP-CURIEL SHOWDOWN, PT. 2 - Alan Gomez: “President Trump will confront a familiar figure in the lawsuit over a DREAMer who was deported by federal immigration agents: U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. He’s the judge who oversaw a lawsuit involving Trump University who Trump accused of being biased because of his ‘Mexican heritage.’ Curiel, who was born in Indiana, approved a $25 million settlement between Trump and students who claimed they overpaid for real estate seminars…. Now, Curiel has been assigned to handle a lawsuit brought on behalf of Juan Manuel Montes, 23, a California resident who was deported in February despite being approved for the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides protective status for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.” [USA Today]
ADELSON DUMPED A LOT OF MONEY ON TRUMP’S INAUGURATION - Condolences to the online gambling industry. Rosalind S. Helderman and John Wagner: “Casino magnate and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson donated $5 million to President Trump’s inaugural festivities, as corporate interests and lobbyists lifted the inaugural committee’s fundraising to record levels. In all, more than 45 individuals and companies donated at least $1 million each to the effort as Trump broke with the practice of most recent inaugural committees and placed no limits on corporate or individual donors. Major donors included Robert Mercer, the hedge fund manager who has been one of Trump’s biggest donors, Dow Chemical, and Phillip Ruffin, a longtime Trump friend and business partner. Several owners of National Football League teams gave $1 million, including Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, Los Angeles Rams owner Stanley Kroenke, Houston Texans owner Robert McNair and a Trump friend who owns the New England Patriots, Robert K. Kraft, whose team is visiting the White House on Wednesday.” [WaPo]
FUTURE FAILED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ANDREW CUOMO MADE A LOT OF MONEY OFF OF A BAD BOOK - Tom Precious: “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo...has made $783,000 from HarperCollins for his book. The book sold 3,200 copies since it was published in the fall of 2014, according to tracking company NPD BookScan. That works out to royalty payments to Cuomo of $245 per book…. In his 2016 tax filings made public Monday, the book royalty income was listed at $218,100…. Cuomo’s government spokesman declined to say how many copies of the book have been sold. ‘This payment was contractual and per the agreement with the publisher,’’ Richard Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman, said of the book income in 2015.” [Buffalo News]
WONDER HOW THIS WILL GO - Congratulations to Exxon Mobil on its resumed joint venture. Jay Solomon and Bradley Olson: “Exxon Mobil Corp has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft, according to people familiar with the matter. Exxon has been seeking U.S. permission to drill with Rosneft in several areas banned by sanctions and applied in recent months for a waiver to proceed in the Black Sea, according to these people…. Congress has also launched an investigation into whether there were ties between aides to Donald Trump and Russia’s government during the presidential campaign and the political transition.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is Exxon’s former chief executive officer and in that role forged a close working relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and with Rosneft, a company that is critical to Russia’s oil-reliant economy.” [WSJ]
ANOTHER BUSH VYING TO SCREW UP ANOTHER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM - Guess they’ll be able to bond over the fact that they both dated Mariah Carey. Douglas Hanks: “Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter have joined forces in their bid to buy the Miami Marlins, according to sources familiar with the talks. The former Florida governor and retired New York Yankees star once were rivals for the Major League Baseball franchise but now have teamed up to try and buy the team, the sources said. They are competing against a New York financier named Wayne Rothbaum, manager of Quogue Capital, a source close to the situation said. It is not known if other would-be suitors of the Marlins remain in the hunt.” [Miami Herald]
OH MY! Patricia Mazzei: “Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles dropped the n-word to a pair of African-American colleagues in private conversation Monday night — after calling one of them a ‘fucking asshole,’ a ‘bitch’ and a ‘girl,’ the two senators said. Over drinks after 10 p.m. at the members-only Governors Club just steps from the state Capitol, Artiles told Sens. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale that Senate President Joe Negron of Stuart had risen to his powerful GOP leadership role because ‘six niggers’ in the Republican caucus had elected him…. It’s unclear whom Artiles was referring to, since the only black senators in the state Senate are all Democrats.” [Miami Herald]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a beagle playing the piano.
FLORIDA TO BE SLIGHTLY LESS TERRIBLE FOR A BIT - New Jersey, however… well, you can’t make zero any more devoid of value than it already is. Darren Samuelsohn and Ken Vogel: “[O]nce his exclusive seaside retreat at Mar-a-Lago closes for the season, Trump is expected to shift his weekend plans north, to his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey — and bring with him all the chaos that comes with being a preferred presidential destination. ‘We’re kind of apprehensive, I guess you could say,’ said Nick Strakhov, a retired telecommunications professional and longtime resident who serves on the Bedminster land use board. ‘It’s nice to be recognized. But on the other hand, if it gets to be tedious, we might start to complain.’ Street closures and traffic jams were a big problem last fall across the region when the then-president-elect traveled to Bedminster by motorcade from Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan for a weekend’s worth of interviews with potential Cabinet nominees.” [Politico]
- “The Simpsons” turns 30 years old. Here are the first “Simpsons” shorts from the “Tracey Ullman Show.”
- Gibbons aren’t happy about a rat in their enclosure.
- Recounting a date with the former general manager of the Times Square Olive Garden.
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