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  • Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore continued to deny allegations of sexual misconduct Friday, saying on conservative talk radio that the accusations against him were politically motivated."It seems that in the political arena, to say that something is not true is simply not good enough. So let me be clear. I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct," Moore said in a statement to ABC News on Friday.The Washington Post reported Thursday that the Republican former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court allegedly engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s. At the time, he was 32.He also allegedly dated other teenage women when he was single and in his mid-30s, according to the article.During a radio interview with Sean Hannity's radio program on Friday afternoon, Moore said the accusations are "false and misleading" and "hurt [him] personally."Moore denied ever knowing the woman who said she was 14-years-old at the time.He acknowledged that he knew the other women named in the story when they were teens. He argued, however, that his relationship with the women was never inappropriate.The age of consent in Alabama is 16 years old, as it was in 1979.Moore said their parents would have been aware of the relationships."I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her parents," he told Hannity.When pressed, Moore went on to say that that it would have been "inappropriate" to date teenage girls given his age at the time.In both the radio interview and the statement released on Friday, Moore questioned the timing of the Washington Post's story given that voters go to the polls to elect their new U.S. Senator in just over a month."I have run five campaigns, it has never been brought up," he said.Moore repeatedly said that the story was "politically-motivated”. The central accuser in the Washington Post story said she was a Republican.Moore told Hannity that he thought political foes were working against him, "because they don’t want to hear truth in Washington. Truth about God and the truth about the constitution."Since the allegations were made public, a number of Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., have voiced concerns and said that Moore should withdraw from the Alabama special election if it is true.In a filing Friday, the NRSC appeared to drop out of a joint fundraising agreement with Moore. The agreement was made between Moore's campaign, the Alabama Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, and the NRSC in late October.According to Friday's filing, the three other parties are all still a part of the pact, named the "Alabama 2017 Senate Victory Committee," but the NRSC has been removed.The NRSC has not responded to ABC News’ requests for comment and clarification.
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  • Hal Yeager/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican senatorial candidate in Alabama is now in hot water over allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct, but this is not the first controversy Roy Moore has faced.In a statement Friday, Moore, 70, denied the allegations outlined in a Washington Post story Thursday, stating: "I have never engaged in sexual misconduct."Moore, 70, has a long history of making outrageous statements.Here is a review of five hot-button topics the former state judge has weighed in on.On raceMoore caused controversy after he appeared to refer to Native Americans and Asians as “reds” and “yellows” in a campaign speech, later tweeting similar language.In his speech, Moore referenced the U.S. Civil War while lamenting the current divisions within the country.“We were torn apart in the Civil War — brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What changed?” Moore said. “Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting.""What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress?" Roy asked, and then answered, "No. It’s going to be God.”The following day, he tweeted similar sentiments, writing in two tweets: "Red, yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. This is the Gospel. If we take it seriously, America can once again be united as one nation under God."Some suggested Moore’s tweets indicate he was quoting the children’s Bible song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” by C. Herbert Woolston and George F. Root. Lyrics to that song include the verses: “Jesus loves the little children/all the children of the world/red, brown, yellow, black and white/they are precious in his sight.”On his fellow RepublicansApparently, Moore wasn't looking for friends in the Republican establishment during his primary campaign.Moore has released advertisements highly critical of Republicans in Washington including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis."Send them all a message," one ad says, calling out the Senate majority leader's "D.C. slime machine."On Sharia lawDuring an interview with Vox in September, Moore was asked if he believes Sharia law is a danger to America."There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country. Up in Illinois. Christian communities; I don’t know if they may be Muslim communities," Moore told Vox.When asked by Vox which communities he was specifically referring to, he did not provide more details."Well, there’s Sharia law, as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana — up there. I don't know," Moore said.Further pressed, Moore said: "Well, let me just put it this way — if they are, they are; if they’re not, they’re not. That doesn’t matter. Oklahoma tried passing a law restricting Sharia law, and it failed. Do you know about that?"On the Sept. 11 terrorist attacksMoore allegedly made comments about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks during a February campaign stop, according to a video reviewed by CNN."'Because you have despised His word and trust in perverseness and oppression, and say thereon ... therefore this iniquity will be to you as a breach ready to fall, swell out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instance,'" Moore said, quoting a passage in the Old Testament's Book of Isaiah, according to CNN. He then added: "Sounds a little bit like the Pentagon, whose breaking came suddenly, at an instance, doesn't it?"Later in the video, CNN reports that Moore suggested that God was mad at the United States because "we legitimize sodomy" and "legitimize abortion."On gay rightsMoore has been outspoken in his opposition to homosexuality for man
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The state and local elections on Tuesday brought in a new, diverse wave of politicians, many of whom have no prior government experience.Here's a rundown of some of the interesting stories of the big winners.Wilmot Collins, the first black mayor of Helena, MontanaWhen he arrived in Helena, Montana in February 1994, Collins was wearing layer upon layer of clothing, anticipating the freezing cold temperatures. What he was a little less prepared for was being the only black man in a majority-white community. A Liberian refugee, Collins noticed no one else in this rocky city looked like him.Read more about his story here.Ravi Bhalla, the first Sikh mayor in New Jersey"I think this victory represents the American dream," Bhalla said. "My father came here as an immigrant from India with no money in his pocket. He lived in a trailer park, but he had faith in this country and faith in that there is no conflict between religion and succeeding in this country. So I think this election in that way represents that, in America, if you work hard and you’re qualified -- the sky is the limit and you can do anything."Read more about his story here.Ashley Bennett, a novice who ran and won against a man who mocked the Women's MarchBennett never thought that she would run for political office, and when her first bid led to her victory against a male New Jersey county official who had mocked the Women's March, she said, "I was shocked."Read more about her story here.Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person elected to serve in a U.S. state legislatureThe former journalist defeated 13-term Virginia House Delegate Bob Marshall, who was the author of Virginia's "bathroom bill" that would have restricted the bathrooms that transgender people could use.Read more about her story here.Chris Hurst, who won on a pro-gun control platform after his girlfriend was shot dead on live TVHurst decided to run for office after his girlfriend, reporter Alison Parker, was fatally shot along with her cameraman by a former station employee in August 2015.Read more about his story here.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- In Minneapolis, a diverse, progressive stronghold, two African American transgender candidates were elected to the city council on Tuesday — a night of many firsts for LGBTQ and minority candidates across the country and amid a wave that some see as a rebuke of Trump-era policies.Andrea Jenkins became the first openly transgender African American woman elected to a city council in a major U.S. City, and Phillipe Cunningham, a black, openly transgender man, also won a seat on the council representing northwestern Minneapolis.Elsewhere, Danica Roem, a transgender woman was elected to the Virginia House of Delegate. And Seattle elected its first lesbian mayor, Jenny Durkan, and first openly gay school board member, Zachary DeWolf.While LGBTQ groups say they are still vastly underrepresented in local and federal governments, they also are optimistic that this week’s wins mark a turning point.“We really see 2017 as being a banner year for LGBTQ candidates and really sets us up for 2018,” said Eliott Imse, communications director for Victory Fund, a political group that supports LGBTQ candidates at the federal, state and local level, “We're thrilled about our victories across the country and think that it shows that the country is really embracing LGBQT candidates.”Minneapolis' election of two transgender candidates of color is especially notable.Cunningham said that Tuesday's results means that Minneapolis, a city that is also home to a large Somalian immigrant population, among other groups, has a city council that reflects its values."We're seen as whole and complete people rather than just a series of differences," he said. "Minneapolis is just full of folks who...just see us — see marginalized people as full and complete people and operate from there."Cunningham, who ousted the city’s sitting council president, a 20-year incumbent, said that his victory shows that the LGBTQ community is finding its political voice.“I think that Tuesday night is just the beginning of us really building our voice as a community,” Cunningham told ABC News, “On the local level, we're just a neighbor. We're just the person who lives next door who helps you find your dog, we're the people who look out for your house when you go out of town.”Jenkins said she hopes her victory can serve as as a message to all LGBTQ people, and a signal that their voices matters in the American political system."I hope that my message resonates with people. We can live our authentic lives, we can be our authentic selves and we can still contribute and participate in leadership roles and opportunities in every field of human endeavor," Jenkins told ABC News in an interview, "I believe that representation matters and that we have to be involved in these decisions and policies that impact us every day. If we aren't we're going to continue to be placed in oppressed situations and I refuse to accept that."Jenkins agreed that Minnesota can be a beacon of change and progress for the LGBTQ community, but added that there are still many barriers the community faces in today's society."LGBT people can still be fired from their jobs, can still be denied health insurance if their employer thinks that they don't deserve it," Jenkins said, "We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, and I want to be a part of making that change."Tuesday’s elections happened almost a year to the day after the election of Donald Trump, and there are signs that LGBTQ candidates have and will continue to be a stronger presence at all levels of government in future elections, experts say.“Trump did not alter in any way or stop the momentum of integrating gay and lesbian, transgender legislators and citizens into the mainstream of American society,” said Howard Lavine, a professor of political science and psychology at the University of Minnesota, “There are definit
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  • Wilmot Collins/Facebook(HELENA, Mont.) -- When he arrived in Helena, Montana in February 1994, Wilmot Collins was wearing layer upon layer of clothing, anticipating the freezing cold temperatures.What he was a little less prepared for was being the only black man in a majority white community. A Liberian refugee, Collins noticed no one else in this rocky city looked like him.On Tuesday, Collins, 54, was elected to lead the community he’s called home for over 20 years.A man who hails from a nation founded by freed slaves from America, Collins beat the four-term incumbent Jim Smith to be elected Helena's first black mayor. African Americans make up less than 1 percent of the population in Helena, according to a U.S. census from 2010. Collins grew up on the tire company Firestone’s natural rubber plantation in Liberia, one of the world’s largest. He attended the University of Liberia and met his future wife, Maddie.The young couple soon found themselves in danger as a brutal civil war broke out. They fled the country when Liberia’s ceasefire collapsed in 1990 and after Collins’ two brothers were killed by rebels and government soldiers.“When my wife and I finally fled the country, I was 90 pounds. She was 87. We were dying of starvation,” he said in a TEDx talk he gave back in February.They escaped to Ghana, and the couple set their sights on coming to America. Maddie suggested Helena - she had spent a year there as a high school exchange student with a kind host family which, in turn, expedited her vetting process.Two weeks before she was set to leave, Maddie found out she was pregnant.Together, they made the hard decision for Maddie to go to America first.“That would be best for our kid and that would be best for you,” Collins said he told his wife.Left behind in Ghana, Collins continued through the “grueling” vetting process for U.S. entry, with no idea how soon he would be reunited with his pregnant wife or if that would even happen.“I was getting frustrated. It’s not an easy thing to not be able to see your family. It was really hard,” Collins recalled.Two years and seven months later, Collins finally came to the United States. It was then that he had an “emotional” first meeting with his daughter Jaymie, already two years old.Collins settled in Helena, later joining the U.S. Navy Reserve and traveled to Fort Carson in Colorado and South Carolina But he always felt that Montana was home.A child protection specialist with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services at the time of his campaign kickoff, Collins has always been civically involved and giving back to his community.In 2015, Collins and his wife helped another couple like themselves, Cuban refugees Adonis Antolin and Maie Lee Jones, stay on their feet and convinced them to stay in Helenaaccording to Public Radio International.“He told us to be patient because here, it’s different. There aren’t that many Latino people or black people. He told me not to feel scared because people here are very nice,” Antolin told PRI.Collins is also a delegate for the advocacy organization Refugee Congress and is an adjunct professor at University of Montana-Helena.With his kids grown up and a bit more downtime as he wraps up his dissertation for a Ph.D. in forensic psychology, Collins felt it was an opportunity to run for public office.Campaigning was an “uphill battle,” Collins told ABC News. During fundraising events, Collins was told he was wasting his time. The incumbent Smith was known to the community and a popular mayor.“When I started knocking on doors, constituents didn’t even know there was an alternative, didn’t even know that there was someone [else] running,” Collins said.But he didn’t shy away.His campaign registered in May for the race and in June, Collins and his team began knocking on doors, distribu
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