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Zoe Schlanger

Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Zoe

Former Communications Director for Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign Gail Gitcho will join the Republican Governors Association (RGA) under the same title. 

“With 38 governor’s races over the next two years, Gail’s record as an aggressive strategist and talented spokesman will serve the RGA well in promoting the successful results-oriented records of our governors,” RGA Chairman and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement on Monday.

Prior to her post in the 2012 race, Gitcho served as a regional press secretary for Romney's 2008 presidential bid. She later jumped to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaign after Romney dropped out. 

In an interview on ABC's Nightline last night, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly elaborated on a point Mayor Michael Bloomberg made in a speech this week, about the racial breakdown of stop-and-frisks conducted by city police officers.

Bloomberg said NYPD critics are unfairly compare the number of black and Latino men stopped to the number of black and Latino men in the general population, whereas they should be comparing the numbers of stops to the descriptions of suspects.

Kelly, in his interview, said that if you use that methodology, "African-Americans are being understopped."

A year ago, Kelly went even further, telling reporters people in "communities of color" actually "want more" stop-and-frisks. 

That kind of rhetoric will effectively require a response from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is the only Democratic mayoral candidate who wants Kelly to stay on as commissioner and also wants the department to make fewer stops.

Yesterday, after she took credit for a recent reduction in the number of stop-and-frisks, Quinn avoided answering a reporter's question yesterday about whether she would continue that reduction as mayor.

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Capital New York is a website about how New York City works, featuring news, analysis and investigations on politics, media, culture and sports. For more, visit http://www.capitalnewyork.com/. (c) 2012 Capital New York.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will headline the annual fund-raising dinner for the New York Republican Party on May 29, according to an invitation circulated by the party today.

The news was first reported by Maggie Haberman of Politico.

It'll probably be a very different speech than the one Cruz delivered to a Tea Party rally last week, when he talked about how his Republican colleagues were angry with him for threatening to filibuster a vote on the guns bill.

Cruz said a colleague told him that he was making all of them "look like a bunch of squishes."

"Well, there is an alternative," Cruz said he replied. "You could just not be a bunch of squishes."

Also on the program for Cruz's speech is the state's Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who has proven himself to be a little more flexible than Cruz in his dealings with state Democrats.

Skelos helped pass a same-sex marriage bill in 2011, and a host of new gun laws earlier this year--two causes that Cruz rather vehemently opposes. (Sen. Chuck Schumer was once hopeful he could find a "sweet spot" on background checks, where he and Cruz could agree, but by the end of the debate, Schumer was audibly laughing at Cruz on the Senate floor.)

Cruz also voted against the bills providing for Hurricane Sandy aid, saying they were "a Christmas tree for billions in unrelated spending." The dean of New York's congressional delegation, Rep. Peter King, has criticized Republicans who voted "no" on Sandy aid for trying to raise money in New York, calling them "disgraceful." (A spokesman for King did not immediately return an email for comment.)

Cruz's obstinate conservatism, and his willingness to dress down his more senior colleagues, has helped him craft an outsized national profile in just a few short months in Washington, and has some conservatives talking him up for a 2016 run.

Last year's guest at the annual G.O.P. dinner was Bobby Jindal, who's taken a more moderate path to 2016, saying Republicans shouldn't be the "stupid party."

Capital New York is a website about how New York City works, featuring news, analysis and investigations on politics, media, culture and sports. For more, visit http://www.capitalnewyork.com/. (c) 2012 Capital New York.

The Guardian is an independent, global news organisation that invests in original journalism and in-depth analysis. For more from the Guardian, visit http://www.guardiannews.com. © 2011 Guardian News And Media Limited.

The Guardian is an independent, global news organisation that invests in original journalism and in-depth analysis. For more from the Guardian, visit http://www.guardiannews.com. © 2011 Guardian News And Media Limited.

Early Wednesday, a factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing at least 96 people and injuring more than 1,000.

A labor rights group official who has spent decades observing working conditions in Asia says cases like this are "really, really regular occurrences" in the country.

Timothy Ryan, Asia department director for the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, told Business Insider that the unsafe factory conditions in Bangladesh stem from an "institutional failure of the government ... to regulate these factories."

"This happens all the time," he said. "As the infrastructure ages, you're going to see more and more of this ... it's a chronic problem."

Ryan said the factory owners built three additional floors on top of the five that were already existing. The foundation was not meant to support the extra weight.

Workers noticed cracks in the building on Tuesday but were forced to show up for work on Wednesday anyway.

"There's a level of callousness and greed in this context," Ryan said.

Big-name brands and retailers like Walmart, H&M, Sears and Gap have outsourced production of "billions of dollars of clothes" to Bangladesh as wages in China have led companies to search for lower costs, The New York Times reports.

Bangladesh has the lowest wages and labor standards of any country in the region, Ryan said.

The country's garment industry has a minimum wage of about $37 a month, according to The Times.

"The choice by brand to pay the suppliers the lowest possible per-unit cost helps drive the process of moving from one low-wage country to another and then keep those wages lower in the countries they go to," Ryan said.

After a November factory fire in Bangladesh that killed about 112 garment workers, Walmart and Sears said they didn't know their clothes were being made there and blamed suppliers for subcontracting the jobs.

"They have said that they would look at their supply system, make improvements and do due diligence," Ryan said. "We'll have to look at that and see if they really are doing this or not."

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