How Donald Trump resurrected Miss USA — and is fighting to keep it alive

13 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

How Donald Trump’s immigration comments clouded the Miss USA pageant — even though he didn’t show up.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Women from across the country Sunday took the stage to vie for the title of Miss USA in a decades-old beauty pageant of dazzling dresses and sexy swimsuits that has been dogged this year by comments made by Donald Trump bashing Mexican immigrants.(Reuters) — Miss Oklahoma Olivia Jordan was crowned Miss USA 2015 on Sunday (July 12, July 13 PHT) after a pageant that saw some of America’s most beautiful women parade in bikinis and ball gowns.

Jordan, 26, a model and a Health Science student at Boston University was chosen by a judging panel from 51 contestants representing all US states and the District of Columbia. Singers Travis Garland and former American Idol finalist Stefano Langone started off the show with three songs “Born on the Bayou,” “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” and “American Woman” as the contestants strutted on stage and introduced themselves. After weeks of controversy generated by pageant co-owner Donald Trump’s critical comments about Mexican immigrants, the pageant passed with no mention of the real estate mogul who was not in attendance. First the list was cut to 15 women and then to 10, although audience members voted for one of the women cut from the contest — Miss Kentucky — to be reinstated, bringing the number back to 11.

NBC and Univision cut ties with the mogul and therefore refused to air the Miss USA broadcast; the pageant was relegated to relatively obscure Reelz channel. Jordan, who takes over from 2014 winner Nia Sanchez of Nevada, was a standout during the interview segment when each contestant was asked two questions and given 30 seconds to answer each. Guerra — who is Mexican-American and from the predominantly Hispanic city of McAllen, Texas — was one of several Latina contestants who spoke out about Trump’s comments during the days leading up to the competition. During the second interview question about which woman should be put on the new $10 bill, she initially said she wished television star Oprah Winfrey was eligible before ending by suggesting Harriet Tubman, a former slave who led other escaped slaves to freedom.

Guerra, whose parents are both Mexican, recently told her hometown newspaper The Monitor that she “comes from a family of immigrants, as well” and deemed Trump’s remarks as “unfortunate.” She said she never thought about dropping out of the competition, even though she did feel outside pressure to do so. Asked afterward by The Associated Press about the Trump controversy, Jordan responded: “We have freedom of speech in this country, and immigration is certainly an important issue.” She added, “This organization is not one person. Legal experts suggest that history might hint at how the coming months will unfold, as a handful of defiant clerks across the South and Midwest refuse to abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling last month that legalized gay marriage.

Jordan’s answer: Race relations. “We need to work on being an accepting society,” she said, and ensure that every single person no matter of race or gender “has the same rights and privileges and opportunities.” And when Guerra was asked if the government should impose boundaries on CEOs making 300 times more than the average worker’s salary, she said no — though it was hard not to read into the subtext of her answer. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who cited her Christian faith on June 30 as she refused to issue marriage licenses to any couple, gay or straight. Now, once again, scattered patches of resistance will force the courts to intervene. “What we learn from this is that it shouldn’t be surprising, that it’s going to take some time, that change does not get fully accepted overnight,” he said. “But it does ultimately. In the end, people’s rights are going to be realized.” LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The executive director of Lexington home health agency has agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle allegations she paid doctors to refer patients to her agency then submitted Medicare claims for services provided to those patients. WLEX-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1CyHRQehttp://bit.ly/1CyHRQe ) the Stark Law prohibits submitting claims that are the result of referrals from doctors an agency is compensating.

The preliminary contest was held earlier this week and then the number of women remaining was progressively narrowed during the course of Sunday evening’s telecast. Jordan, of Tulsa, Oklahoma attended Boston University, where she earned a B.S. in Health Science and was a group fitness instructor and a personal trainer. Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens told The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1RpYQLohttp://cjky.it/1RpYQLo ) deputies recently arrested the main dealer there, but others soon sprang up to take his place. Paula Shugart, who heads the Miss Universe Organization, thanked the CEO of Reelz and the returning pageant winners for stepping in to help during a news conference Sunday. Although the drug is on the U.S. list of illegal controlled substances, anyone can order it off the Internet from China or India and have it shipped by UPS.

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