• Mollie Tibbetts murder suspect lived on land owned by GOP fundraiser

    From But But Sanctuary Cities! Blue Wave@21:1/5 to All on Tue Aug 27 11:24:20 2019
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    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A top Republican fundraiser whose firm works
    for several prominent immigration hardliners is the partial
    owner of the land where the Mexican man accused of killing Iowa
    college student Mollie Tibbetts lived rent-free, a farm
    spokeswoman said Friday.

    Nicole Schlinger has long been a key fundraiser and campaign
    contractor for GOP politicians in Iowa and beyond, including
    this cycle for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Virginia Senate candidate
    Corey Stewart.

    Schlinger is the president of Campaign Headquarters, a call
    center that makes fundraising calls, identifies supporters and
    helps turn out voters for conservative candidates and groups.
    Her business is one of the largest in Brooklyn, the central Iowa
    town where Tibbetts disappeared while out for a run on July 18.

    Schlinger is married to Eric Lang, the president of the family-
    owned dairy that has acknowledged providing employment and
    housing for the last four years to Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the
    man charged with murder in Tibbetts' death.

    The couple - along with her husband's brother Craig Lang and his
    wife - own farmland outside Brooklyn that includes trailers
    where some of the dairy's employees live for free as a benefit
    of their employment, farm spokeswoman Eileen Wixted confirmed.

    She said Rivera lived there for the duration of his employment,
    and about half of the farm's other 10 workers do so as well.
    Under the arrangement, the farming company pays the couples to
    rent the land but workers do not have to pay, she said.

    In an email Friday, Schlinger said that she was "shocked and
    deeply saddened" by Tibbetts' death and had never met Rivera.
    "The perpetrator should be punished to the fullest extent of the
    law, and when he meets his maker, suffer the consequences he
    deserves," she wrote.

    She said that she was gifted an ownership interest in the land
    many years ago from her husband's family and that she has no
    role in the farming operation.

    Still, the fact that one of its own operatives has indirect ties
    to the case could complicate GOP efforts to highlight the
    gruesome slaying in its political messaging ahead of the
    November midterm election. Dairy co-owner Craig Lang also was a
    Republican candidate for Iowa agriculture secretary, finishing
    third in a five-way race in the June primary.

    Republicans such as President Donald Trump and Iowa Gov. Kim
    Reynolds called for stricter immigration laws and enforcement
    almost immediately after Rivera, who is suspected of being in
    the country illegally, was charged Tuesday. Some have blamed
    Democratic policies for the slaying, even though studies have
    disputed the notion that those in the country illegally are more
    likely to commit violent crime.

    "Every victim below would be alive today if we enforced our
    immigration laws," U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa tweeted Friday,
    above a picture of Tibbetts and other victims. "Leftists
    sacrificed thousands, including their own, on the altar of
    Political Correctness."

    Schlinger's business calls itself "the best conservative call
    center in America." Her biography claims she is the most
    prolific fundraiser in Iowa GOP history, having brought in more
    than $50 million for politicians and causes. She has said her
    business has made millions of phone calls for candidates seeking
    offices ranging from president to city council since its
    founding in 1999. Her firm's client list includes several
    politicians who routinely call for stricter immigration

    Federal Election Commission records show that Cruz's re-election
    campaign has paid CampaignHQ nearly $1.7 million since the
    beginning of 2017. A Cruz campaign spokeswoman had no immediate

    Stewart, who has made stepping up deportations of immigrants in
    the country illegally a major campaign theme, has also employed
    the firm, along with the campaigns of Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and
    Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina. The now-defunct Stop
    Sanctuary Cities PAC paid the firm $3,449 for its services in

    In an interview Friday, Stewart said he had no problem with
    Schlinger's property ties to the suspect, saying her firm does a
    "great job" raising money.

    "I hire people for their ability to do the work for my
    campaign," he said. "Whatever she does in her personal life is
    her business."

    After Rivera was charged, Reynolds denounced an immigration
    system that "allowed a predator like this to live in our
    community." CampaignHQ was a top vendor for the campaigns of
    former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who selected Reynolds as his
    running mate in 2010, and has also done some work directly for
    Reynolds' campaigns, state records show.

    Investigators say that Rivera came to the country from Mexico
    illegally several years ago when he was in the late teens. He is
    accused of stalking Tibbetts while she was out for a run a few
    miles from his home, killing her after she threatened to call
    police on him, and dumping her body in a cornfield. Preliminary
    autopsy results show that Tibbetts died from multiple "sharp
    force injuries."

    Schlinger and her husband have managed to largely avoid the
    intense media spotlight that has followed the case. They did not
    speak at a press conference Wednesday when farm manager Dane
    Lang said Rivera presented an out-of-state identification and
    Social Security number with a different name when he was hired
    in 2014. Dane Lang said he was shocked to learn to that Rivera's
    allegedly not in the country legally.

    But others around town, including Rivera's defense lawyer,
    question whether the family had to have had suspicions, if not
    known, about Rivera's immigration status.

    "They are taking a blind eye to what's going on," said defense
    lawyer Allan Richards. "At some point a reasonable person would
    have been more diligent in determining whether or not these
    folks are legal."

    https://abc7chicago.com/tibbetts-murder-suspect-lived-on-land- owned-by-gop-fundraiser/4044323/

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