November 7, 2018: Democrats Take Control of House, Republicans Hold Senate After Midterm Elections, U.S. Olympic Committee Moves to Shut Down U.S.A. Gymnastics as Governing Body, Fyre Festival Founder Apologizes From Prison

By Ian Zelaya November 7, 2018, 9:08 AM EST

1. DEMOCRATS TAKE CONTROL OF HOUSE, REPUBLICANS HOLD SENATE AFTER MIDTERM ELECTIONS: Democrats took control of the House while the G.O.P. maintained control of the Senate after the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday, which also saw historic victories for women, people of color, and the L.G.B.T. community. The election also saw tight races in Southern states. The New York Times: “The two parties each had some big successes in the states. Republican governors were elected in Ohio and Florida, two important battlegrounds in Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign calculations. Democrats beat Gov. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Republican and a top target, and captured the governor’s office in Michigan—two states that Mr. Trump carried in 2016 and where the left was looking to rebound. Propelled by an unusually high turnout that illustrated the intensity of the backlash against Mr. Trump, Democrats claimed at least 26 House seats on the strength of their support in suburban and metropolitan districts that were once bulwarks of Republican power but where voters have recoiled from the president’s demagoguery on race. Early Wednesday morning Democrats clinched the 218 House seats needed to take control. There were at least 15 additional tossup seats that had yet to be called. From the suburbs of Richmond to the subdivisions of Chicago and even Oklahoma City, an array of diverse candidates—many of them women, first-time contenders, or both—stormed to victory and ended the Republicans’ eight-year grip on the House majority. But in an indication that the political and cultural divisions that lifted Mr. Trump two years ago may only be deepening, the Democratic gains did not extend to the Senate, where many of the most competitive races were in heavily rural states. Republicans built on their one-seat majority in the chamber by winning Democratic seats in Indiana, North Dakota, and Missouri while turning back Representative Beto O’Rourke’s spirited challenge of Senator Ted Cruz in Texas. In two marquee races in the South, progressive African-American candidates for governor captured the imagination of liberals across the country. One fell to defeat at the hands of Trump acolytes, and the other’s future was in doubt—a sign that steady demographic change across the region was proceeding too gradually to lift Democrats definitively to victory. Secretary of State Brian Kemp of Georgia was ahead of Stacey Abrams, who was seeking to become the first black woman to lead a state; early Wednesday morning, Ms. Abrams suggested the race might go to a runoff. And former Representative Ron DeSantis narrowly defeated Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, in the largest presidential battleground, Florida."

2. U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE MOVES TO SHUT DOWN U.S.A. GYMNASTICS AS GOVERNING BODY: The U.S. Olympic Committee (U.S.O.C.) moved on Monday to revoke U.S.A. Gymnastics’ status as a governing body for the sport at the Olympic level. The move to decertify the organization comes after the sexual abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar. Associated Press: “In an open letter to the gymnastics community, U.S.O.C. C.E.O. Sarah Hirshland said ‘you deserve better,’ and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics are more than it is capable of overcoming as currently constructed. The U.S.O.C. itself also has faced criticism for not responding quickly and appropriately to sex abuse cases, and though the move was cheered by the gymnast whose own revelations helped propel Nassar’s years of abuse to the fore—‘THANK YOU,’ tweeted Rachel Denhollander—others viewed it as a ploy to shift blame for the scandal. … The announcement comes only days after the U.S. team brought home nine medals from the World Championships in the first major meet in the lead-up to Tokyo in 2020. Five of those were individual medals won by Olympic champion Simone Biles, who is among the athletes who have not hesitated to criticize the organization. By moving to decertify USA Gymnastics, the U.S.O.C. is taking major action against an organization that never grasped control over its own rebuilding. But the move could also leave a void that cannot be easily filled. In addition to supporting elite and Olympic athletes, and selecting teams and coaches for international competitions, USA Gymnastics serves more than 150,000 athletes in 3,000 clubs around the country. There is no other organization standing by to fill that need.”

3. FYRE FESTIVAL FOUNDER APOLOGIZES FROM PRISON: Billy McFarland, the founder of 2017’s Fyre Festival, has apologized for the disastrous event. The 26-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison last month. People: “’I am incredibly sorry for my collective actions and will right the wrongs I have delivered to my family, friends, partners, associates and, you, the general public,’ he tells People. ‘I’ve always sought—and dreamed—to accomplish incredible things by pushing the envelope to deliver for a common good, but I made many wrong and immature decisions along the way and I caused agony. As a result, I’ve lived every day in prison with pain, and I will continue to do so until I am able to make up for some of this harm through work and actions that society finds respectable.’ … The demise of the festival led to serious legal repercussions for McFarland. In March he pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, effectively swindling over 80 investors out of a collective $26 million. He also copped to two counts of bank fraud: one for a ‘sham ticket scheme’ that sold approximately $100,000 worth of tickets to fictitious events, and another for falsifying a check by using the name and account number of one of his employees without their consent. He also pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal law enforcement. On October 11, a Manhattan federal court sentenced McFarland to six years in prison.”


CHICAGO:  The Rose Hotel Chicago O’Hare, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, will celebrate its opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 15. As the ceremony takes place the same week as Veterans Day, the hotel will honor female veteran Elizabeth O’Byrne and her family with a special first guest experience. 

Investment bank Livingstone has facilitated a partnership between private equity firm Dubin Clark & Company Inc., and event technology equipment rental and service company Abcomrents. 

LOS ANGELES:  Moonlight Forest: A Magical Lantern Art Festival is taking place now through January 6, 2019, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Heat Group has appointed Chris Marciani vice president of corporate partnership and activation. 

NEW YORK:  The 10th annual Little Kids Rock Benefit Concert will take place Thursday at PlayStation Theater. 

Architect Wayne Turett, principal of the Turett Collaborative, will open his home in Greenport, New York, as part of the 15th annual International Passive House Open Days, taking place November 9-11. 

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation’s 21st annual Collaborating for a Cure Gala will take place November 15 at Cipriani Wall Street. The event will feature a performance by Dawes. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  DX Intersection 2018: Forward, Design Exchange’s annual fund-raiser, will take place Thursday. The event will honor Oliver El-Khatib, who co-founded OVO with Drake and Noah “40” Shebib. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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