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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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money lead

July 18th, 2013
07:24 PM ET

Business owners still split on Obamacare

Soapbox under foot, President Barack Obama Thursday touted the benefits of Obamacare, yet again.

He surrounded himself with those who will benefit from the bill, specifically from a provision requiring insurance companies that spent less than 80% of their premiums on health care to send rebates back to consumers and companies.

The White House says $500 million in rebates are being sent out this year. One recipient is small business owner Rick Shewell of Arlington, Virginia

"The rebate last year was $321 dollars, I think," said Shewell.

Shewell recently started his own company with a friend. He said Obamacare helped him get health coverage at an affordable cost. He says he now pays his new, lower premiums with help from his rebate checks.

"I knew about the provisions in the law, but I never expected that we'd actually see the money," said Shewell.

One person who was decidedly not in the audience Thursday was Mary Miller, the CEO of Jancoa, a 41-year-old, family-owned janitorial business in Cincinnati, Ohio. Miller shared her grievances with Congress last year.

Filed under: Money Lead

national lead

July 18th, 2013
07:23 PM ET

Will Trayvon Martin supporters keep up momentum?

While a verdict may have brought the George Zimmerman trial to an end, it also marked a new beginning for Trayvon Martin's family and their supporters, who believe justice has yet to be served.

Protesters will take to the streets this weekend in more than 100 cities, and dozens of states across the country.

Al Sharpton's National Action Network is hosting "Justice for Trayvon" vigils, in a push for the Justice Department to investigate possible civil rights violations in the case.

On CNN's "New Day" Thursday, an attorney for the Martin family also talked about the possibility of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Zimmerman.

"We'll sit back, we'll analyse George Zimmerman, and determine when, how we should do it, and then at the appropriate time, we'll engage," said Daryl Parks, the Martin's family attorney.

"The momentum has to go to organizing now, I know people want a court solution to this. I think it's much better to sort of take a card from what the tea party did. They turned the protests into organizing, and put political pressure on the powers that be to get [the] agenda changed," said CNN political analyst Cornell Belcher.

The protesters appear to be running off raw emotions for now, they may inevitably move on, but there may also be something more to the movement.

"It's more about how effective you can be," said co-founder of the NYC tea party and radio host David Webb. "This issue, however, I think fades. And the reason it fades over time is the high burden that's needed for a federal civil rights trial can't be met, or likely can't be met by this Department of Justice."

Check out Belcher and Webb's full analysis in the video above.

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Filed under: National Lead

national lead

July 18th, 2013
07:13 PM ET

Detroit files for bankruptcy

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Detroit filed for bankruptcy Thursday afternoon, becoming the nation's largest public sector bankruptcy. The move could slash pension benefits to city workers and retirees, and leave bond holders with only pennies on the dollar.

The bankruptcy was filed by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and approved by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Snyder said the financial condition of the city left him no choice, and that Detroit could not meet its obligation to either its citizens or its creditors.


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Filed under: National Lead

national lead

July 18th, 2013
07:08 PM ET

Rev. Jesse Jackson: Obama should 'offer moral leadership' on Trayvon Martin

Before George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin, before Zimmerman was even arrested, President Barack Obama reached out to Martin's parents from the White House Rose Garden.

"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened," Obama said in March.

Zimmerman's attorneys would probably say we have now gotten to the bottom of it. Whatever Americans may personally believe, a jury has spoken.

But the president has not, not since Zimmerman walked away without his ankle bracelet.

politics lead

July 18th, 2013
05:56 PM ET

Tough questions for Eliot Spitzer on hypocrisy of never being charged with breaking the law he signed

Washington (CNN) – Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer wants voters to think of his as a redemption story.

The disgraced politician stunned New Yorkers by announcing his run for city comptroller last week, and now he's shocking skeptics by rocketing to the lead in that race.

It is quite the turnaround for a man who took an incredibly public walk of shame in 2008, when it was revealed that Spitzer had frequented prostitutes. His name had surfaced in court documents as "Client 9" at a high-priced prostitution service. In one incident, the governor hired a 22-year-old call girl named Ashley Dupre for a meetup at Washington's exclusive Mayflower Hotel.

Spitzer's response was textbook: an apology with a silent wife by his side, resignation and a pledge to focus on his family.

"I will continue to make my case and hope that the public extends its votes," Spitzer said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "I have always respected the public's verdict. It is amazing. Juries, the electorate, we tend basically to get it right."

What Spitzer did five years ago was incredibly reckless and, more important, very illegal. Under a law Spitzer himself signed, paying for sex is a class E felony.

He told CNN he has not broken that law since 2008.

But Spitzer once called prostitution modern-day slavery, and many people took offense to the fact that he never faced charges for soliciting prostitutes.

Kristin Davis, the New York madam Spitzer patronized, told the New York Daily News, "I spent five months at Riker's Island from which I returned penniless, homeless, and forced to take sex offender classes for five months with pedophiles and perverts while he returned to his wife in his Fifth Avenue high rise without ever being fingerprinted, mug shot, remanded or charged with a crime under the very law he signed." Davis is also running for NYC comptroller.

"The decision was made based upon the standards set by the Department of Justice and made by the U.S. Attorney's Office. They looked at the evidence, and they dealt with me the way they dealt with everyone else in my situation," Spitzer said.

When Spitzer went after Wall Street titans, he painted himself as fighting for the little guy. A lot of people might think, he is somebody with money and power, and his case was a perfect example of how people like Spitzer don't end up doing the time the way the average person does.

"I'm not going to either quibble or debate what the appropriateness was. I did the one thing that I knew that was appropriate, which was to resign at the moment," Spitzer said.

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Filed under: Politics Lead