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In March of this year, the House GOP unanimously voted against raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour over three years.

Almost nine months later, after a government shutdown and a budget deal that did not include an extension of emergency benefits for the unemployed, the party’s position has not changed, even as public opinion swells in favor of increasing the wage. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found 77 percent in favor of a hike.

The New York Times reports that an official from the Obama White House met with allies in the labor movement and Congress earlier this month to coordinate a Senate vote with grassroots efforts to advocate for the policy.

“You can make a very strong case that this will be a helpful issue for Democrats in 2014,” President Obama’s senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer said.

The president first proposed the rate hike in his State of the Union address in January.

In conservative-leaning states, Democrats hope to put the issue on the ballot “as a way to shift the political conversation back to their preferred terms,” according to the Times. In states like Arkansas, Alaska, and South Dakota, the Democratic Party is looking to use the issue to pick up or protect vulnerable Senate seats.

For Democrats and advocates of a minimum-wage increase, the argument is quite simple: Raising the wage is just one of the ways the country can begin combating growing income inequality.

The GOP, however, claims that raising the minimum wage would actually have an adverse effect on the economy, slowing its recovery.

“Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said recently, implying that a higher minimum wage will discourage small businesses with less funds to hire more workers. With a CBS News poll last month showing that a majority of Republican voters – 57 percent – support raising the minimum wage, the Speaker’s argument holds little weight even with his party’s own supporters.

At the aformentioned meeting earlier this month, presidential advisor Gene B. Sperling pointed out that Republican leaders decided in 1996 to agree to an increase in exchange for help for small businesses rather than letting it become an election-year issue. But today’s GOP seems to lack the willingness to hand President Obama any victory, even if it might help them.

An estimated 14.2 percent of workers would benefit from an increase in the federal minimum wage, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Photo: The All-Nite Images via Flickr

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.