Mark & Mack Show Prep Content 10/27
:05 Weather bed, with sponsor and pitch to wx. After wx do current conditions
:06 Topic A: Bill Clinton millions
‘Bill Clinton Inc.’: Email details how top aides helped make ex-president rich
One of Bill Clinton’s closest confidants outlined in a lengthy 2011 memo how he and another aide helped secure at least $50 million in speaking fees and other ventures for the former president – in addition to raising “the bulk” of funds for the controversial Clinton Foundation.
The 12-page memo from Doug Band, released Wednesday by WikiLeaks, was designed to highlight the crucial role he – and his global strategy company Teneo – played in procuring money for the ex-president and Clinton’s namesake foundation.
“Throughout the past almost 11 years since President Clinton left office, I have sought to leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and to raise funds for the Foundation,” Band wrote. “This memorandum strives to set forth how I have endeavored to support the Clinton Foundation and President Clinton personally.”
Under a section titled “For-Profit Activity of President Clinton (i.e., Bill Clinton, Inc.),” Band wrote that he and Clinton aide Justin Cooper “found, developed and brought” to Clinton all four of his advisory arrangements at the time – arrangements that “yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years should he choose to continue with the current engagements.” The memo also included a footnote explaining how Clinton’s speaking agent estimated that during a 10-year period, “$20 million in speeches for the President have derived … from Justin and my efforts.”
What’s more, Band and Cooper apparently helped make Clinton wealthy – and “solicited and obtained … in-kind services … for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like” – at no extra charge.
“Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities,” Band wrote, noting the pair didn’t take a “fee” or “percentage” of Clinton’s income, only collecting their standard Foundation salaries.
While the Clintons previously have disclosed the former president’s hefty post-White House speaking fees, the memo sheds new light on how his inner circle helped arrange these appearances and other deals.
Band wrote that Teneo was solely responsible for negotiating numerous speeches and speaking fees for Clinton, including $1.15 million from Ericson, $900,000 from UBS and $700,000 from Barclays.
Band also used his position at Teneo, which was established in June 2011, to solicit the company’s clients to donate to the Foundation. That roster of contributors included The Coca-Cola Company giving $4.33 million over six years and Barclays Capital paying $1.1 million over four years.
Though the memo never identifies all four advisory roles Clinton held at the time, Laureate International Universities is noted to have paid Clinton $3.5 million per year “to provide advice and serve as their Honorary Chairman.” Clinton’s relationship with Laureate had previously been disclosed.
The memo was sent on Nov. 16 to Bill Clinton and several Foundation board members, including Chelsea Clinton, then-special adviser John Podesta and two lawyers involved in an internal audit of the Foundation that was set up to ferret out any potential conflicts of interest. The memo was made public after a hack exposed a purported 50,000 emails from Podesta’s account. WikiLeaks has posted more than 30,000 of the messages so far.
At the time Band wrote the email, the Foundation, in an effort spearheaded by Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, was attempting to clearly delineate Band and Clinton’s roles at the Foundation and at Teneo, where Clinton was initially tasked to be an adviser.
Eventually, Band’s official relationship with the Foundation was severed, though he remained an adviser to Clinton, and Clinton stepped back from his Teneo adviser role, but became a client of the company.
Topic B: TopGolf begging to build in Birmingham
Topgolf must gain two more approvals from the city of Birmingham before being allowed to build a high-tech driving range and entertainment facility downtown.
Two public hearings on resolutions related to the development are set for Nov. 29. The hearings will take place during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m. at Birmingham City Hall.
The first public hearing will allow for the vacation of alleys and combining Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority-owned property located on 25th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues and 24th and 26th Streets to allow for the development.
Topgolf is leasing the property – located across from the Uptown entertainment district — from the BJCC Authority and will construct a 65,000-square-foot facility on the site. The facility will also have a four and a half-acre outfield.
The second public hearing is to rezone the parcels from B-2, General Business District to B-4, Central Business District.
“It is exciting to watch Topgolf get closer to becoming a reality in Birmingham,” said BJCC Executive Director Tad Snider. “Topgolf is going to be a great addition to the Uptown District. It provides outstanding synergy with both recreation and entertainment options for Birmingham area residents.”
The Birmingham Design Review Committee approved the Topgolf project in late September and approved BJCC demolishing two buildings on the property.
Topgolf plans to open by the end of 2017 and hire 500 employees, including 200 full-time for the Birmingham venue.
The Topgolf development is anticipated to create an economic impact of $264.5 million over 10 years to the Birmingham economy.
Topgolf is a high-tech driving range. Each golf ball has a RFID chip in it – the kind in cell phones – that collects data about your swing, like distance. The range is for the novice to the serious golfer.
Each golfing bay is equipped with couches and flat screen TVs. The bays are rented by the hour with rates ranging from $25 to $45, depending on peak times and are the same rate regardless of how many people are using the bays. There’s also a $5 membership fee, but customers only have to pay that once.
Topic C: WIFE TEACHES HUSBAND LESSON ABOUT WASTING MONEY ON LOTTERY
Buddy Blackwell of Leicester, North Carolina, asked his wife Glenda to pick up some Powerball tickets Saturday. She wanted to teach him a lesson about how the lottery is a waste of money. So she bought a $10 Carolina Millions scratch-off ticket to show him the folly of playing the lottery. She won $1 million. “I was going to be ugly and buy a scratch off to show him they didn’t hit,” Blackwell said. “Sometimes I get aggravated with him, so I tell him, ‘You’re just wasting your money.’” She scratched off the ticket and immediately realized her plan wasn’t going to work. “I had to eat my words,” Blackwell said. “But those are pretty good words to eat.”
:22 Topic A: Thousands take to streets in Venezuela, protest Socialism
Thousands take to the streets in Venezuela in protests against socialist government
Thousands of Venezuelans once again took to the streets of Caracas on Wednesday, a day after the opposition-led congress voted to put President Nicolás Maduro on trial amid accusations that he effectively staged a coup when electoral authorities blocked a recall campaign against the deeply unpopular president last week.
Some schools and shops were shut as demonstrators marched toward key points around Caracas to demand Maduro’s ouster.
Artist Freddy Salazar was among the tens of thousands of protesters who filled major thoroughfares and plazas.
“We have taken to the streets so that the whole world can see that we don’t support this corrupt regime,” he said. “We are here to defend our country and our quality of life.”
Government supporters staged a much small protest in the heart of the city. Anti-government demonstrators have attempted to march to downtown a dozen times this year, but have been turned back by state security forces.
Protesters also rallied in other major Venezuelan cities to demand Maduro’s resignation in a nationwide show of support for the opposition leaders were calling “the takeover of Venezuela.”
Local news media reported clashes with police and tear gassing in provincial capitals. Some protesters said they had been unable to get to Caracas Wednesday as the government shut down roads and metro stations.
There were also reports of trucks set up by the government blocking tunnels on protest routes.
Opposition legislators argued that Venezuela’s leader has effectively abandoned the presidency by neglecting his job. Several also questioned whether he was a dual Colombian national and therefore ineligible to hold Venezuela’s highest office — an old, unproven claim.
That trial would have little legal effect since the constitution does not give congress power to oust the president and Maduro still controls other branches of government, including the military and Supreme Court, which has already declared the National Assembly illegitimate.
Unlike other countries in Latin America such as Brazil, where Dilma Rousseff was removed from the presidency in August, Venezuela’s National Assembly can’t impeach the president. That decision lies squarely with the Supreme Court, which has never voted against Maduro.
Even as tempers flare, the government and opposition have agreed to embark on an attempt at dialogue to defuse the crisis.
The talks, being sponsored by the Vatican and other South American governments, are set to begin Oct. 30 in the Caribbean island of Margarita. Maduro, who met with Pope Francis privately at the Vatican on Monday, said he will travel to Margarita to personally launch the talks.
But the two sides have gone down this road before during previous crises, and the opposition has scant hope for a breakthrough. Although Venezuelans overwhelmingly blame Maduro for food lines and triple-digit inflation the ruling party is in firm control of institutions like the military and has shown no interest in yielding to the opposition.
Defense Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino, who many had been looking to as a potential brake on Maduro, spoke to the nation Tuesday dressed in camouflaged fatigues and surrounded by the top military command urging dialogue but calling on the opposition to respect the constitution.
That prompted an angry rebuke from National Assembly President Henry Ramos, who during the special session accused the military man of abandoning his constitutional duty to uphold Venezuela’s democracy.
“How can he talk of respecting the constitution if he has become the foremost pimp of this regime’s violation of the constitution,” Ramos said, challenging security forces to arrest him when he attempts next week to travel to Washington to denounce Maduro’s latest power grab.
On Wednesday, Maduro convened a meeting of the heads of all the country’s major institutions and said he lamented that Ramos had decided not to attend. State-run television lingered on the empty chair that had been reserved for the head of Congress. Maduro went on to call for national unity.
“I’m very sorry that the Congress president continues to show contempt for the constitution, and doesn’t want to enter into dialogue,” he said. “I want everyone to behave reasonably and know that we are all Venezuelans.”
Topic B: Police Investigate Voter fraud in Pennsylavania
POLICE INVESTIGATE FRAUD AFTER VOTER REGISTRATION FLIPS FROM REPUBLICAN TO DEMOCRAT
Pennsylvania State Police investigating voter manipulation
Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a couple’s claim that their political party affiliation was fraudulently changed from Republican to Democrat on their voter registration applications.
“The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a case of fraud,” authorities noted in a press release Tuesday.
“On the above date [10/09/16], unknown Actor(s) filed fraudulent Pennsylvania voter registration applications on behalf of the Victims,” a 46 year-old male and a 47 year-old female from the town of New Ringgold in Schuylkill County.
“The application changed their political affiliation from republican to democrat.”
“The Victims were made aware of these changes on 10/21/16 when the Schuylkill County office of voter registration sent them new voter registration cards.”
Infowars reached out to the Pennsylvania State Police who had no new updates, but stated they are currently actively investigating the incident.
:29 Tease:____________________Pitch to News
:36 Topic A: Obamacare Premium hikes a boom for Trump
ObamaCare premium hikes fuel Trump, GOP case in key swing states
‘Game changer’? ObamaCare hikes’ impact on swing state races
Newly announced double-digit premium hikes for those on the ObamaCare exchanges are handing Donald Trump a political weapon in key swing states where residents could be facing rate increases even higher than the national average.
The administration announced Monday that premiums for a midlevel plan are set to rise an average of 25 percent in 2017 in the 39 states that use the federal HealthCare.gov. The rate hikes vary widely across different cities and states, but several battlegrounds could be facing increases that are considerably higher.
According to administration figures, the average premium increase for a popular “silver” plan will rise 116 percent in Arizona; 40 percent in North Carolina; and 53 percent in Pennsylvania.
These projections do not factor in taxpayer subsidies, which many enrollees – though not all – would receive to defray the cost.
The impact on swing states was not lost on the struggling Trump campaign, which blasted out a lengthy email Tuesday declaring “ObamaCare’s failure hits swing states hard” and detailing projected rate increases “from Arizona to Wisconsin.”
“ObamaCare has to be repealed and replaced,” Trump said Tuesday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” calling the law a “disaster.”
He’s been hammering the premium woes on the stump ever since the administration on Monday outlined the hikes, which many states already had been reporting for weeks. The ObamaCare news comes as Trump has slipped in the polls, seemingly suffering from a battering of bad news that started with the leak of a 2005 tape showing him making crude comments about women and accelerated with multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault which he adamantly denies.
Meanwhile, the daily drip-drip of embarrassing revelations from thousands of leaked emails from Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s account do not seem to have seriously damaged the Democratic nominee’s poll numbers.
Fox News Research ✔ @FoxNewsResearch
#Obamacare under the microscope: Exploding costs, fewer options for coverage leave enrollees in Arizona reeling
9:03 AM – 25 Oct 2016
Still, polls show Clinton with only a slight lead in a number of battlegrounds, including those being hit hard by premium increases.
In Pennsylvania, she leads by an average of 5 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average. In Arizona, her average lead is just over a point. In North Carolina, she is ahead by 2 points.
And while ObamaCare hikes are not hitting voters in the critical states of Ohio and Florida as hard, Trump now has the edge over Clinton in Ohio – and a new Bloomberg Politics poll showed him ahead by 2 points in Florida, where Trump is campaigning heavily and ripping ObamaCare on a regular basis.
“I don’t know if it’s going to swing the election but [premium hikes] certainly could have an impact,” said Marc Thiessen, former speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, citing the impact in battleground states.
The ObamaCare problems could also fuel the case of Republicans running in tight House and Senate races, as they try to hold their majority on Capitol Hill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday that Republicans are offering a plan to repeal the law and replace it “with real, patient-centered solutions that fit your needs and your budget. We don’t have to accept this kind of sticker shock.”
He and Trump both said the law is “blowing up.”
But Democrats say these claims over overheated.
“Trump’s latest claim that the Affordable Care Act is ‘blowing up’ is as unfounded as his claim that he’s ‘winning the election,’” Democratic National Committee Interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile said in a statement. “The fact is: 20 million Americans have coverage under the ACA who wouldn’t otherwise, and the national uninsured rate is at its lowest in our nation’s history. It’s true that some premiums for midlevel health plans on the federal exchange could rise in the future, but it’s also true that for most Americans on those plans, their ACA subsidies will rise to keep the plans affordable.”
A Clinton campaign spokeswoman contrasted her approach with Trump’s.
“Hillary Clinton wants to build on the progress we’ve made and fix what’s broken, while Donald Trump would rip up the ACA, reverse the progress we have made and start this fight all over again,” spokeswoman Julie Wood said. “Clinton has a serious plan to improve choices and increase competition, including a public option and a Medicare buy-in.”
Topic B: Stupid Criminal: Galleria Shoplifting suspect swallows Heroin
A 27-year-old Birmingham man, who was arrested earlier this year after after breaking into a house where a young girl was home alone, is in trouble again.
Hoover police say Matthew Craig Edgil stole clothing from Von Maur at the Riverchase Galleria, fought with an employee and then swallowed heroin on Monday afternoon.
Hoover police were dispatched about 4:19 p.m. to the Hoover department store on a report of a shoplifter fighting with an employee. Store employees said they saw the man try to leave the store with the stolen clothing. When an employee stopped him, Edgil hit her in the face, said Lt. Keith Czeskleba. Other employees came to help her and detained Edgil until officers arrived.
Once on the scene, police found a syringe on Edgil, and he told them he swallowed some heroin prior to his arrest. He was taken to UAB Hospital to be treated for the heroin ingestion.
Police today obtained warrants against Edgil for third-degree robbery and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Once he is released from the hospital, he will be taken to the Jefferson County Jail with bond set at $10,300.
Edgil in May was arrested by Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies after they say he broke into a home. Deputies responded to the house in the 1900 block of Cherry Avenue near Forestdale on a report of a burglary in progress with a teen girl home alone.
Matthew Craig Edgil, arrested last month on possession of brass knuckles, is charged with burglary after he was caught coming out of a Cherry Avenue home.
The girl called her father, who in turn called the sheriff’s office. The teen stayed in the closet while the intruder searched the house for valuables. She was able to give deputies a description of the man.
As deputies arrived on the scene, Edgil was spotted coming out of the house and was taken into custody. At the time of that arrest, he was in possession of cash and electronics stolen from the home. Deputies charged him with second-degree burglary and first-degree theft of property.
Court records show Edgil was arrested in April when he was stopped while walking down the street and had brass knuckles in his pocket. He was convicted of drug possession in 2015, and of theft of property and criminal trespassing in 2012.
Topic C: DONALD TRUMP’S WALK-OF-FAME STAR SMASHED
Los Angeles police are investigating the vandalizing of Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star containing Donald’s name was smashed with a pick-ax before dawn Wednesday. Deadline Hollywood reports a man named Jamie Otis said he vandalized the star, and he originally intended to remove it altogether, wanting to auction it off to raise funds for the 11 women accusing the GOP presidential candidate of groping them. Trump has denied the groping allegations.
Topic A: Ex-teacher gets $75G in settlement after showing up to elementary school field trip drunk
A former elementary school teacher who passed out after showing up drunk to a bowling alley field trip is getting a $75,000 settlement from the Wisconsin city she sued.
The ex-teacher, Maria Caya, filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against the city of Janesville last year claiming police improperly released her blood alcohol tests, Fox 6 reported. The city council approved the settlement Monday night.
Investigators said her blood alcohol percentage was 0.27 percent on the day of the field trip in June 2013. The legal limit for driving in Wisconsin is 0.08 percent.
Another staff member took Caya to the hospital after finding her passed out in the bowling alley bathroom, WKOW reported. As many as eight other adults were chaperoning the group of 4th graders.
The school district paid her $18,000 to resign in a separate agreement. District officials said firing her would have resulted in legal costs exceeding that payout.
Caya claimed the city caused her stress and public embarassment by releasing her blood alcohol levels. Still, it’s unclear whether police actually broke any laws.
One of the seven Janesville City Council members voted against the settlement, Fox 6 added. “I think that there’s a lot of things that happened that day and I would think that a judge and jury of her peers would be able to see through all of that and make the correct decision on that,” Jens Jorgensen told the news station.
“She put our children in jeopardy,” parent Christine Nimmo said about the teacher.
Janesville is an hour’s drive southwest of Milwaukee.
Topic B: STUDENT BLACKMAILS DISNEY FOR COLLEGE TUITION
A high school student’s tweet has gone viral after she threatened to blackmail Disneyland. The girl, named Hannah, apparently was visiting the park in Anaheim, California, when she saw a rat out in the open and managed to grab a couple of photos before it scurried off. She tweeted the following message: “Pay my college tuition and i’ll delete @Disneyland pic.twitter.com/UtiN0688I5 — Hannah (@hannaahelisee) October 18, 2016” Hannah later clarified that she was, of course, joking, tweeting that she never expected the message to go viral, and that she loves Disney.
Show Prep HOUR TWO
:05 Weather bed, with sponsor and pitch to wx. After wx do current conditions
:06 Topic A: Bill Clinton, old or just ….old
Bill Clinton makes glaring error while reciting wife’s two-word campaign slogan
Bill Clinton on Tuesday forgot his own wife’s presidential campaign slogan.
The 42nd president made the glaring error during a campaign stop for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with just 14 days to go until the election. Instead of quoting her actual campaign slogan, which is “stronger together,” the 70-year-old got one word wrong.
“But we were growing together. This campaign slogan of Hillary’s, ‘growing together,’ is more than just two words that sound good,” Clinton said while he was standing behind a podium with the actual campaign slogan clearly printed on the front.
The Clinton campaign also released a book titled “Stronger Together” that is a essentially a summary of Clinton’s policy proposals. The book, which the New York Times labeled a “flop,” sold just 3,000 copies in its first week.
Topic B: Lovers Quarrel leads to burned Truck, criminal mischief
A man who authorities say torched a truck during a “lovers’ quarrel” now faces criminal mischief charges.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin said Lamar Ray McGatha, 55, of Piedmont, has been charged with first degree criminal mischief following his arrest Monday.
Entrekin said McGatha tossed diesel fuel onto a truck in the area of Rock Ford Road during an argument and set it on fire, then ran from the scene of the incident.
McGatha was booked into the Etowah County Detention Center and later released on a $2,500 bond.
Topic C: MUPPET BABIES RETURNING
Disney is rebooting the “Muppet Babies” TV series, slated to debut in early 2018. The CG-animated series will follow the antics of baby Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and Miss Nanny. Each episode, geared towards children aged 4 to 7, will feature two 11-minute stories following the Babies on their adventures, from building a time machine to traveling to outer space.
:22 Topic A: Gruber wants bigger Obamacare Mandates
OBAMACARE ARCHITECT GRUBER DEMANDS “LARGER MANDATE PENALTY”
Bureaucrat who said “stupidity” of Americans helped get law passed doubles down
Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber – the bureaucrat who once bragged that the “stupidity” of the American people was crucial for passing the health care law in the first place – told CNN that the “fix” for Obamacare was to impose a “larger mandate penalty”.
CNN’s CAROL COSTELLO: “So let’s talk about how exactly you can fix Obamacare. I just need you to be specific because I think people really want answers. So Hillary Clinton says she can fix Obamacare. So what would one fix that would drive premiums down?”
JONATHAN GRUBER: “Look, once again, there’s no sense it has to be fixed. The law is working as designed. However, it could work better. And I think, probably the most important things experts would agree on is we need a larger mandate penalty“…
Gruber’s arrogance is incredible. Even after the Obama administration acknowledged that premiums are set to skyrocket next year, Gruber thinks that the answer is to financially punish Americans to an even greater degree.
Gruber is essentially admitting that Obamacare is designed to make Americans destitute.
“ObamaCare was never designed *not* to overwhelm you with the shifting of massive costs. ObamaCare was designed to crush you in costs,” points out the Conservative Treehouse blog.
His comments shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given what Gruber thinks of the American people.
A series of videos that emerged in 2014 featured Gruber admitting that Obamacare was deceptively crafted in order to fool “stupid” Americans into not realizing that it would mean massive price hikes and that the law’s “lack of transparency (was) a huge political advantage” in selling it.
Topic B: Buyers claim ‘Flip or Flop’ stars’ classes misleading
For Doug Stephens, the free event seemed like a good way to learn how to flip homes. An online ad for the December gathering sported pictures of Tarek and Christina El Moussa, the stars of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” who buy rundown homes, renovate them and try to sell them for a profit. Stephens watched “Flip or Flop” regularly, along with 2.8 million other Americans, so he went.
The El Moussas, however, did not show up. In a prerecorded video, the couple told attendees that they were busy working and filming their show. Undeterred, Stephens paid $1,997 for three days of classes and $1,000 for real estate software. But the classes turned into a sales pitch to buy additional courses that cost thousands more, said Stephens, a pastor and teacher from Havana, Florida.
“They weren’t really teaching at all,” he said.
The El Moussas, like many reality TV stars before them, are capitalizing on their fame by offering pricy classes. At free events in hotel ballrooms, instructors tell attendees that if they pay to enroll in three-day courses, they’ll learn how the couple flips homes and also gain access to investors who will give them cash to buy properties, even if they have low credit scores or a weak job history. They’ll earn back their money quickly, the instructors say, and will get refunds if they don’t flip a home within a certain amount of time.
But about a dozen people interviewed by The Associated Press said those promises did not pan out. Although class leaders offered some instruction, a lot of time was spent pushing them to buy more classes, they said; some complained that getting refunds for the sessions was difficult.
Stephens said his instructor avoided answering questions, told attendees not to speak to each other and spent a lot of time hyping the program. The homework on the first day was for attendees to call their credit card companies and increase their credit limits, he said. On the last day, Stephens said, the instructor pushed them to buy training sessions, some of which cost around $26,000.
The classes featuring the El Moussas are run by Zurixx LLC, an education company based in Utah. Zurixx has partnered with other reality TV stars to create education programs under different names, some of which also have been the subject of complaints from students. A section of Zurixx’s website that listed its programs and the reality stars it works with disappeared as the AP reported this story. The company said it is continually updating its website.
Last year, Zurixx brought in $130.1 million in total revenue, the company told Inc. magazine. The El Moussas’ program, Success Path Education, is Zurixx’s most popular and the couple receives a percentage of the Success Path classes sold, the company said.
The El Moussas are a big draw, with “Flip or Flop” ranked as HGTV’s second-most watched show. And home flipping is hot off TV, too: The number of flips, considered a property sold twice within 12 months, rose this year to the highest point in six years, according to RealtyTrac.com.
Roger Behle, the El Moussas’ attorney, said the couple did not have time to be interviewed for this story.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which aims to protect consumers against unfair or deceptive business practices, has received 50 complaints about classes connected to Zurixx since 2013, according to documents reviewed by the AP. And in May, the Better Business Bureau office of St. Louis warned people about Success Path events in the city, citing the more than 150 complaints it received about classes related to the company.
Zurixx said the complaints represent a tiny percentage of the more than 370,000 people who have attended its events and the 75,000 who have paid for its products. The company said that nearly all its students have filled out positive evaluations about the classes and the company provided copies of more than 2,300 of those evaluations. It also said that it does not mislead people or push attendees to buy additional classes.
Zurixx also provided contact information for 13 people, including Billy Batson of North Port, Florida, who said he has flipped 17 properties since he paid $25,000 for a mentor and one of Zurixx’s classes two years ago. Batson said he probably could have been successful without the training, but that the process would have taken longer. Batson said Zurixx paid for a trip to Las Vegas for him and a girlfriend so he could talk to students.
“It’s been a really great life-changing experience,” he said.
Patricia Briggs paid $1,798 earlier this year for a three-day Success Path class, hoping it could change her life, too.
The day after she finished the classes, Briggs found three properties to try to flip near her home in Roseburg, Oregon. She said she called Success Path several times to help her connect with the promised investors, but that no one ever picked up the phone. (The company said it had no record of the calls.) A few weeks later, Briggs said she received calls from Success Path representatives who told her that they could put together a team from the El Moussas to help her, but only if she paid another $8,000. She said no and asked for a refund of her $1,798. She was offered half and she took it, she said, but still wants the balance back.
When she sees the El Moussas on TV now, Briggs said, “I want to go through my screen and shake the both of them.”
Carol Lepine, who went to a Bonita Springs, Florida, event last year, said she was shocked when she learned the El Moussas would not appear and left without buying any classes.
“It’s a definite bait and switch,” she said.
Zurixx said its mailed invites do not state that the stars will be there, and that the El Moussas can’t go to every class but show up when they can.
This summer, Zurixx held dozens of free Success Path events across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico as HGTV aired the fifth season of “Flip or Flop” and a spinoff, “Flip or Flop: Selling Summer.” More free seminars are scheduled in November, including in New York, Minneapolis and San Jose, California. HGTV spokeswoman Audrey Adlam said in a statement that the network and its parent company, Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., are not associated with Success Path and other classes. She declined to answer specific questions, including how many complaints the network has received about the classes.
Other reality TV stars have had trouble with their real estate classes, most notably Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who starred on NBC’s “The Apprentice.” Trump was sued over his Trump University both by students and New York’s attorney general, who contended the real estate classes were merely a vehicle to sell more training that cost as much as $35,000. Eric Schneiderman, the attorney general, called the university a “straight up fraud.” Trump has said he will prevail in the lawsuits.
Another former reality star, Armando Montelongo of A&E’s “Flip This House,” was sued in February by more than 160 people who said his company’s $1,500 home-flipping classes were “ruses” to sell more training that cost as much as $54,000. The case, which was filed in a California court, was voluntarily dismissed by the students in September after the jurisdiction was contested. It will be refiled in Texas where Montelongo lives, according to court documents. In a statement, Armando Montelongo Companies said the lawsuit was “frivolous.”
Anyone who purchases classes from Success Path must sign a receipt with an arbitration clause on the back noting that any dispute with Zurixx must be lodged in Salt Lake City and “be conducted on a confidential basis.” Complainants seeking less than $10,000 can make a claim in small claims court, according to the document. Those interviewed by the AP said they did not realize they were ceding their rights to sue by signing the receipt.
The company said it favors arbitration because it is a cheaper and a faster way for customers to resolve disputes.
Two of Zurixx’s owners have run into trouble with Utah regulators in the past. Premier Mentoring Inc., which was owned by Zurixx co-owners Jeff Spangler and Cris Cannon, was accused in 2008, 2009 and 2014 of deceptively selling training programs over the phone, according to documents from the Utah Division of Consumer Protection. The first two cases were dismissed after the company reached an agreement with customers; in the 2014 case, the company settled by paying a fine. Spangler and Cannon told the regulator that Premiere Mentoring stopped telemarketing operations in 2013.
Customers who took some of Zurixx’s other classes had complaints that echoed criticisms of the El Moussas’ offerings.
Gloria Pettis, a budget analyst from San Diego, paid $1,500 for a three-day small business class that featured Daymond John, a star of ABC’s “Shark Tank.” She said she paid for Daymond John’s Launch Academy because speakers at a free event in January said they could help her create a prototype for a wearable tracking device for children that she wanted to make and sell.
During the entire three days, Pettis said no instructor ever asked her about the product she wanted to make. But employees suddenly became interested, she said, after she told them she opened a new credit card with a $30,000 limit, an assignment the class was given on the first day. Workers pulled her out of class six times, she said, pushing her to buy more training in Las Vegas for $27,000. She did not.
Zurixx said it asks students to increase their credit limits and open new cards to have access to funds for unexpected business costs, but Pettis said it was made clear to her that the new card was to be used to pay for the Las Vegas classes. Zach Rosenfield, a spokesman for John, said the “Shark Tank” star was unavailable for an interview. An ABC representative did not respond to requests for comment.
Susan Martin went to a free Zurixx event featuring reality TV stars Andy and Candis Meredith of “Old Home Love,” a show that aired on HGTV and its sister channel the DIY Network. She ditched day two of her $1,997 three-day class, she said, because she was told to raise her credit limit and buy $23,000 in additional education. Brian Samuels, a manager for the Merediths, said the couple did not have time to be interviewed because of their shooting schedule.
Martin, a retired bookkeeper from Chico, California, received a refund after she wrote a negative review on the Better Business Bureau website.
Two months later, she received an invite to another free event that featured a picture of the El Moussas on the front, under the sentence: “Do you have the courage to retire rich?”
“These people are so stupid that they actually invited me again after I complained,” Martin said. “Or they thought I was dumb enough to fall for it again.”
:29 Tease:____________________Pitch to News
:36 Topic A: MAN RUNS OVER HIMSELF, TRUCK CRASHES INTO HOUSE
Orlando, Florida, police are searching for a man who fell out of his truck before the truck crashed into a home. Investigators say the man left a strip club around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday. As he pulled out of the parking lot, he fell out of the truck, which ran over his legs. The truck then crossed the highway and crashed into a duplex. Officials say the suspect driver left his ID at the club. They’re not releasing his name, but say they’re looking for a 28-year-old man from Casselberry.
Topic B: Google Fiber stops some expansion, Huntsville still on go
Google Fiber’s decision this week to halt expansion into eight major American cities has not changed its plans to offer Gigabit Internet speed connections in Huntsville, a utility official says.
“Still good to go,” Huntsville Utilities spokesman Joe Gehrdes said today in an email response to an inquiry from AL.com.
Reports say Google Fiber is laying off staff and canceling expansion plans for Dallas, Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla.; Los Angeles and San Jose; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; and Portland, Ore.
Google Fiber said it will continue to serve cities where it is already operating, including Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Charlotte, N.C. and “in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction.”
In Huntsville, fiber cable is being run to neighborhoods now and will be available for Google Fiber to use as early as March.
What is saving Huntsville’s Google Fiber future – if it stays on track – is Huntsville Utilities’ plan to pay for the roll-out of fiber optic cable across the city. The utility wanted a fiber network, anyway, to create a so-called “smart utility grid” for the future. Adding excess capacity to lease to Google Fiber other other providers proved a powerful lure for the tech company, which has signed formal fiber-sharing agreements with Huntsville Utilities. For the utility, the deal allows it to build in three years a grid that would have taken 10 years, officials have said.
“Some of our efforts will remain unchanged, but others will be impacted,” Google Fiber leader Craig Barratt said in a Tuesday blog post. “In terms of our existing footprint, in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction, our work will continue.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Barratt is “stepping down as CEO of Access, the division of Google corporate parent Alphabet Inc. that operates the 5-year-old program.” The program is also laying off staff in several cities, the report said.
Huntsville has held its financial model out to other cities that might want to attract Google Fiber or other high-speed content providers. But reports about Google Fiber’s retrenchment cite the slow pace of signups and the high costs of running fiber optic cable in crowded urban areas.
Since Google Fiber announced it was coming to Huntsville in February, other companies have stepped up with high-speed Internet offerings of their own meaning multiple choices for Huntsville consumers in the coming years.
Topic C: TURNING YOUR LOVED ONE’S ASHES INTO TABLEWARE
New Mexico-based artist Justin Crowe can turn cremated human ashes into a dinnerware set. He first did it as an art project, but after his friends learned about it and asked him to create items for them, he decided to turn the idea into a business. Today, his company, Chronicle Cremation Design, offers people the chance to keep their loved ones close by having their ashes incorporated into everyday items like coffee cups, bowls or candle holders. Crowe says, “Integrating someone’s ashes into ceramics is a way of infusing their memory into everyday life. So you can have coffee every morning with the memories of your grandmother, or have a bowl on the table to spark stories at family dinners.” Chronicle Cremation Design charges $399 to create the custom glaze plus between $159 and $649 for each pottery object.
:46 Tease:____________Start bed, pitch to sports
Topic A: Gallup Poll: support for Assault Weapons ban at all time low
Just more than one-third of Americans favor a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” a Gallup poll found today.
Only 36 percent of Americans polled favor banning assault-style weapons, a drop from 44 percent in 2012 and 57 percent in 1996. Sixty-one percent of Americans now oppose an assault weapons ban, according to Gallup’s 2016 Crime poll, conducted Oct. 5-9. Gallup polled a random sample of 1,017 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older, in every state.
Beginning in 2006, more Americans opposed the ban than favored it — and opposition to the ban has been mostly increasing since then. Gallup starting asking about the assault weapons ban in 1996, two years after President Bill Clinton signed a federal assault weapons ban in 1994.
This year, 50 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Republicans favor the ban.
It’s worth noting that support for the ban has fallen so dramatically among Democrats — since Democratic politicians are often the biggest legislative supporters of banning the weapons.
From Gallup’s report:
It is striking — and unusual — that fewer Democrats than ever support an assault weapons ban, since the Democratic Party has been instrumental in pushing for stricter gun laws
However, it is worth noting that a majority of Americans still believe there should be stricter laws governing the sale of firearms, even as they are reluctant to endorse a ban on handguns and assault weapons. In general, a majority of Americans say they are dissatisfied with the nation’s gun laws, furthering the complexity of this issue.
Topic B: THE WD-40 CREAKY DOOR APP FOR HALLOWEEN
WD-40 – the oil company – says there’s one time of year when you WANT your door to squeak, and that’s Halloween. So, the company has come up with an app for your phone that you turn on, then hang the phone on the door. When you open the door and the phone senses motion, it makes the sound of a creaky door. It’s called the WD-40 Haunted Door App, available on the App store and on Google play. (Audio clip of the squeaky door below.)
Show Prep HOUR Three
:05 Weather bed, with sponsor and pitch to wx. After wx do current conditions
:06 Topic A: 275,000 children born to Illegals every year in USA
Feds: 275,000 born to illegals in one year, would fill city the size of Orlando
Moms in the United States illegally gave birth to 275,000 babies in 2014, enough birthright U.S. citizens to fill a city the size of Orlando, Florida, according to an analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
The data showed that newborns to illegals accounted for 7 percent of all births in 2014, according to the analysis from the Pew Research Center.
“In 2014, about 275,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in the U.S., accounting for about 7 percent of all U.S. births, and 32 percent of all U.S. births to foreign-born mothers,” said Pew’s newly released report.
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The report reviews births to unmarried foreign-born and American born women. Those who are foreign born, including illegals, are seeing their birthrate drop, though it is still making up for the decline in births by American women.
“A third of all births to foreign-born mothers were to unmarried women – down from a peak of 37 percent in 2008. At the same time, the rate has held steady for U.S.-born women and now stands at 42 percent,” said Pew.
The analysis also found that the growth in the birthrate of America is entirely driven by immigrants.
“While the annual number of babies born in the U.S. has fluctuated in recent years – most markedly during the Great Recession when there was a significant drop in births nationwide – the trajectory over the past four decades or so has been upward. In 2014, there were 4 million births in the U.S., compared with 3.74 million in 1970,” said Pew.
“This growth has been driven entirely by the increasing numbers of babies born to immigrant women. In 2014, immigrant women accounted for about 901,000 U.S. births, which marked a threefold increase from 1970 when immigrant women accounted for about 274,000 births. Meanwhile, the annual number of births to U.S.-born women dropped by 11 percent during that same time period, from 3.46 million in 1970 to 3.10 million in 2014,” added Pew.
Topic B: WINGSUITER HITS TREE
A California wingsuit pilot posted a video of his near-fatal crash into a tree after leaping from a 12,000-foot mountain near Chamonix, France. The video shows Eric Dossantos, of San Diego, soaring over rocky mountain slopes and outcroppings before reaching a pine forest, at which point he starts to weave through gaps in the trees in a sequence that ends with a dramatic thud. Dossantos wrote in a Facebook post, “I should have died on a wingsuit crash in France but I didn’t so working on my healing from that. I appreciate your concerns and positive energy directed my way.”
Topic A: LAS VEGAS CASINO JUST FOR THE CHINESE
China, right? Land of simple peasant farmers and poor but happy factory workers? Well, Las Vegas has built these schmoes their own gambling casino. The Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino is Las Vegas’ first Asian-themed resort, funded in large part by Chinese investors. The property, set to open Dec. 3, will offer bilingual staff and signage, a luxury tea bar and a host of restaurants with food that wouldn’t look or taste out of place in Guangzhou or Shanghai.
– The rose-colored resort’s front entrance is designed in a dragon motif.
– A feng shui master blessed its kitchens.
– The main bar is eight-sided for good fortune.
– There are no number 4’s on the property. 4 is an unlucky digit to the Chinese. It won’t be on any room numbers or in the phone directory. The nine-story hotel even skips a fourth floor.
A record 206,743 visitors from China traveled to Las Vegas last year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Other Las Vegas casinos already cater to China’s high rollers with VIP parlors, but Lucky Dragon, though a smaller casino and hotel, addresses what investors see as a gap in the market: middle-class Chinese gamblers, Chinese Americans as well as the broader Asian American community.
:29 Tease:____________________Pitch to News
:36 Topic B: Breaking Down Networks coverage
Broadcast networks have spent almost no airtime discussing issues during this election cycle
If you got the sense that the television media in America were almost totally ignoring coverage of any actual issues during this presidential campaign, a new study suggests that you might be right. According to the Tyndall Report, which monitors the weekday nightly newscasts of the three American broadcast television networks, the flagship news programs for ABC, CBS, and NBC have spent less time talking about issues this year than in previous years — much less, in fact.
The study monitored the television coverage given to the presidential race this year and differentiated between “issues coverage” and “candidate coverage.” According to the report:
Issues coverage is differentiated from candidate coverage thus: it takes a public policy, outlines the societal problem that needs to be addressed, describes the candidates’ platform positions and proposed solutions, and evaluates their efficacy.
According to the study, the networks have devoted only a scant 32 minutes of total airtime this year to “issues coverage,” in spite of the fact that overall coverage of the race has been higher than in previous years. This represents the least coverage devoted to “issues” of any election since 1988, by far. In fact, the previous low was 98 minutes of “issues coverage” in 1996. In at least three recent election cycles (1992, 2004, and 2008) the networks devoted more than 200 minutes of airtime to “issues coverage.”
Other studies have shown that both Clinton and Trump have received healthy amounts of news coverage this cycle relative to years past, with Trump gaining a clear majority of “earned media.” However, the overwhelming majority of coverage devoted to both candidates has focused on either scandals or controversial remarks — almost none has focused on issues.
It’s clear that both candidates face glaring questions about their fitness for the office, as reflected in multiple polls. What’s less clear is whether the media have followed the public’s determination that this election is mostly about the candidates (as opposed to the issues), or whether the media have directly participated in creating that impression in the public’s mind.
Topic C: HOW TO BE HAPPY
Internet “personal development guru” Luminita Saviuc, who writes a blog called PurposeFairy.com, has identified the 15 things you need to give up if you want to be truly happy.
1. Give up the need to always be right
2. Give up the need to be in control
3. Give up on blame
4. Give up self-defeating inner thoughts
5. Give up complaining
6. Give up your limiting beliefs
7. Give up trying to impress people
8. Give up criticizing
9. Give up resisting change
10. Give up labels
11. Give up your fears
12. Give up excuses
13. Give up the past
14. Give up attachment
15. Give up living your life according to others’ expectations
* I tried a couple of these. I gave up.
* Can I just say right up front I’m not crazy about running my life according to someone who calls their blog PurposeFairy.com?
* Give up the need to be in control? Don’t you have to be in control to give up things?
* Sorry – there’s too many jerks around to let THEM be the ones in control.
* I don’t see sex or booze anywhere on this list.
* I bet she doesn’t give up her speaking fee when asked to give a talk.
* Luminita. Or, as I like to think of her, the next Mrs. Trump.
* I think I’ll give up personal development gurus.
Topic D: Mark&Mack show trivia
Every installment of X-Treme Trivia Challenge includes three mystery factoids. Create your own “Impossible Question” contest – great for listener giveaways and phone interaction starters!
1. The average woman does THIS 19 times before getting married. What is it?
Kisses 19 different men
2. In a recent survey, THIS was the #1 answer to: “What does your husband do that you really can’t stand?” What is it?
3. 40% of wives surveyed believe that their husband has done THIS when she wasn’t around. What is it?
Experimented with her makeup
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1991 – The first Planet Hollywood restaurant opened and owners Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenneger were on hand to help dish up the meals.
* As if actors spending lots of time as waiters is anything unusual.
1927 – The first sound newsreel – The Fox-Movietone News – was shown.
* Among the featured stories: “Marconi Demonstrates Radio,” “Charlie Chaplin Releases New Film,” “Rolling Stones to Tour America.”
1925 – Fred Waller invented water skis.
* It sure beat being dragged through the water.
:46 Tease:____________Start bed, pitch to sports
Topic A: 200 pumpkins stolen from one stand in NJ
Nearly 200 pumpkins were stolen from a family-run farm stand in New Jersey overnight Tuesday, authorities said.
A van was caught on camera pulling up to steal the produce from the Farms View Roadstand in Wayne on three separate occasions early on Tuesday, according to Todd Kuehn, the owner’s son.
Images released by the farm stand — which has been operating at the location for more than 100 years — shows dozens of pumpkins missing from the normally pristine lines of produce.
Kuehn said that the stolen pumpkins would have likely sold for between $2,500 and $3,000.
Missing Beyoncé Backup Dancer Found Safe: Police
The family is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information on the pumpkin thieves should call the Wayne Police Department at 973-633-3530.
Topic B: ALL ABOUT CANDY CORN
USA Today wants us all to know the history of Candy Corn, one of the most maligned Halloween candies. Here are the more interesting candy corn facts.
1: Candy corn was invented in the 1880’s by George Renninger, an employee of the Wunderle Candy Company in Philadelphia.
2: The Goelitz Confectionery Company, now called Jelly Belly Candy, started making candy corn at the turn of the 20th century. It was called “Chicken Feed.” The boxes were illustrated with a rooster logo and copy that read: “Something worth crowing for.”
3: About 9 billion kernels of candy corn – more than 35 million pounds – are sold annually, according to the National Confectioners Association.
4: In one eight-hour shift, Jelly Belly makes 28,000 pounds of candy corn.
5: One kernel of candy corn is about 5 calories.
6: October 30 is National Candy Corn Day.
* Remember what I said about “the more interesting candy corn facts.” I was wrong. Sorry.
* Here are some more Candy Corn facts:
– You can fit about three up each nostril, if you push.
– The orange color in the middle is made from extract of you-know-who’s face.
– America is still eating from that first batch made at the turn of the 20th century.
– Given the choice between candy corn and a box of raisins, most Americans would eat the box. Not the raisins, just the box.
* From the interwebs:
How to Eat Candy Corn:
1. Eat one piece.
2. Remember candy corn sucks.
3. Leave the rest.
* Could be worse. Could be candy asparagus.