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BeyondGeography's Journal
BeyondGeography's Journal
November 11, 2019

Deval Patrick, Ex-Governor of Massachusetts, Is Considering White House Bid

Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has told Democratic officials that he is considering making a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race, according to two Democrats with knowledge of the conversations, the latest evidence of how unsettled the party’s presidential primary is less than three months before the Iowa caucuses.

Mr. Patrick told party leaders he doesn’t think that any of the candidates running have established political momentum and that he thinks there is an opening for somebody who can unite both liberals and moderate Democrats, according to Democrats who have spoken to him.

At the same time, Massachusetts Democrats close to Mr. Patrick have started to reach out to prominent party leaders in early nominating states to alert them that he may run, according to one Democrat who has received an inquiry.

Mr. Patrick’s 11th-hour consideration comes as former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg moves toward his own late entry into a Democratic primary that appears increasingly fractured. A pair of moderate candidates — former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mayor Pete Buttigieg — and two progressives — Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — are now dividing the vote in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to recent polls. But none of them has been able to pull away...

November 9, 2019

Wisconsin's Statehouse Is at War Over Its Dairy Crisis

In Wisconsin, one of the nation’s key battleground states for the 2020 presidential election, dairy is big business. But low milk prices and chronic overproduction are squeezing small- and mid-sized dairy farms, which are shutting down at a rate of more than two per day. Massive dairy operations, meanwhile, continue to proliferate, concentrating manure and causing tension with neighbors over putrid odors and fouled water. This week, these twin crises have inflamed a long-simmering squabble between Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the GOP-controlled Wisconsin Senate.

In January, Evers’ appointed Brad Pfaff to lead the state’s department of agriculture, trade, and consumer protection. Pfaff, who grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm, had previously served as an administrator in President Barack Obama’s Department of Agriculture and deputy chief of staff to US Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.).

But in Wisconsin, the governor’s choices for cabinet posts like ag department chief are subject to approval by the full senate. And Evers faces a senate still stinging from the midterms: In 2018, he narrowly defeated GOP stalwart Scott Walker, who had served as governor from 2011 to 2018, and had gained national fame for his attacks on public-sector unions and his hot pursuit of the anti-tax and deregulatory agenda favored by his financial backers, the Koch brothers.

Still under GOP control, the senate has refused to vote on most of Evers’ cabinet picks, leaving them to serve as acting heads of their departments. And on Tuesday, the senate effectively fired Pfaff. It voted Pfaff out along party lines, 19-14—the first time the legislative body has voted to remove a governor’s cabinet pick in at least three decades. For now, Pfaff’s deputy agriculture director, who isn’t subject to approval by the senate, will run the department.

The Republicans’ complaints with Pfaff were two-fold. In July, Pfaff rebuked the senate for refusing to release $100,000 in allocated state funding for mental health services for farmers. Since milk prices started to slide in 2015, America’s Dairyland (Wisconsin’s official nickname) has seen about a quarter of its dairy farms fold. As the attrition grinds on, calls to a mental-health hotline for farmers have spiked, and there’s evidence of an uptick in farmer suicides (though precise data is hard to come by). “There’s no two ways about it: Republicans have chosen to leave farmers behind,” Pfaff said back in July, after Republican lawmakers declined to release the funds. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald shot back that Pfaff’s comments were “flippant” and “beneath your position.” The senate ultimately released the funds in September.

Pfaff had also been pushing through new rules on large dairy farms, forcing them to keep manure pits at least 600 feet from neighbors’ property lines (current regulations require a 350 foot setback). The dairy industry vigorously opposed by the changes, and the senate Republicans declared them “burdensome.”

More at https://www.motherjones.com/food/2019/11/wisconsins-statehouse-is-at-war-over-its-dairy-crisis/
November 8, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Dreams Big in North Carolina

On the night before the general election in 2016, Hillary Clinton finished her campaign with a midnight rally at North Carolina State University. On Thursday, Elizabeth Warren stood just a few miles away at Broughton High School, on her first trip to North Carolina, with stops in Greensboro and Raleigh on her way down to South Carolina. By 6 p.m., the school’s gymnasium was packed to the gills—the campaign’s final estimate was 3,550 in attendance—with supporters mostly sporting Warren shirts and teal signs bearing the campaign’s slogan: “Dream Big, Fight Hard.”

... Warren’s event was billed as a town hall but operated more like a rally with a brief question-and-answer session at the end. A number of North Carolina legislators were in attendance on Thursday, capped by Representative Deb Butler. In September, as North Carolina Republicans capitalized on an absence of House Democrats to override Governor Roy Cooper’s budget veto, a video of Butler forcefully condemning the process went viral. In endorsing Warren during the kickoff of the program, Butler alluded to the Massachusetts senator’s own 2017 fight against Mitch McConnell, which produced the now-infamous line “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

“She knows the difference between service to country and service to self,” Butler said. “She’s got bold ideas for big problems and she’s not afraid to talk about them.”

Joining Warren in North Carolina was Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley, the lone member of the House squad of left-wing freshman legislators who endorsed her over Senator Bernie Sanders. Upon taking the stage, Pressley—whose father lives in Chapel Hill—received a standing ovation from the crowd. “This room, this looks like a movement,” she said.

Pressley hit on all of the themes that she and other progressives in the House have been pounding the drum on for the ten months they’ve been in office, notably that Donald Trump is a symptom of a broken system and not an aberration. “We’re not going to stop at getting one man out of the White House, because no, we’ve got much more work than that,” Pressley said. “The injustices that have led to this moment of crisis were cemented in public policy long before that man descended an escalator at Trump Tower.”

More at https://prospect.org/politics/elizabeth-warren-dreams-big-in-north-carolina/

November 8, 2019

Bloomberg is off to a flying start with all the wrong people

Leon Cooperman, who has been battling Elizabeth Warren, says he will support fellow billionaire Mike Bloomberg for president

Billionaire Leon Cooperman says he will support former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg if he enters the 2020 Democratic primary for president.

“I’m a huge fan of Michael. I know him personally. It’s a breath of fresh air. Unless he changes his stripes, he will have my unequivocal support,” Cooperman told CNBC on Friday.

Cooperman, in an extensive phone interview, noted he would help Bloomberg with fundraising, as long he sticks with his moderate policies.

“That’s the whole idea,” Cooperman said when asked about potentially helping with fundraising. “I have a world of respect for his accomplishments and his values. I have to sit down and understand his platform. If the Democratic Party was smart, they would support him.” he added.

Cooperman is one of a few Wall Street executives that are already preparing to help Bloomberg in anyway they can if he runs for president. A private equity executive, who declined to be named in order to speak frankly about the situation, said he would likely support Bloomberg’s campaign as well. This person has contributed to former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign and others in the race, but has not been impressed so far with the overall field...

November 8, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard got a boost following Hillary Clinton's attacks on her

(CNN)Hawaii Rep.Tulsi Gabbard appeared poised to be one of the many forgotten 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. That was until former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton decided to call her out on David Plouffe's podcast.

After Clinton's attack on Gabbard -- calling her "favorite of the Russians" -- the Hawaii Democrat's poll numbers rose, earning her a place on the November debate stage. Before the Democratic debate on October 15, Gabbard looked like she was going to miss November's debate. Candidates needed to hit at least 3% in four qualifying polls. Gabbard had never hit that 3% mark in any qualifying poll this entire year. Then Clinton's remarks came on October 17.

Following Clinton's podcast appearance, Gabbard got a qualifying poll from Suffolk University Iowa poll that was taken partially before Clinton's comments and partially after. She then reached 5% in a CNN/University of New Hampshire poll conducted the following week. Over that same period, Suffolk gave Gabbard another qualifying poll. Finally, she earned 3% in a Quinnipiac University poll from Iowa this past week.

Four qualifying polls means Gabbard is in the November debate, where she'll be able to spread a message that Clinton is not a fan of. It is, of course, difficult to say with certainty that Clinton's remarks caused Gabbard to rise, but it's difficult to escape the likelihood given the polling data. Gabbard headed into the October debate with little momentum and the debate didn't seem like it was going to help her. Her performance was not widely hailed (as it was for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg).

An Ipsos Knowledge Panel poll taken after the debate but before Clinton's remarks seem to back up the reviews of a mediocre Gabbard performance. Among those who debated in October, she ranked lowest for the percentage of Democratic primary voters who said they'd consider voting for her. Gabbard had the lowest favorable rating and worst net favorabilty (favorable - unfavorable) rating. She also had the highest jump in unfavorable ratings comparing Ipsos poll taken before and after the debate with the same respondents.

Then in nearly perfect succession, Clinton spoke about Gabbard and Gabbard started hitting the debate threshold in qualifying polls...

November 7, 2019

Cook Political/KFF Blue Wall Project shows Warren leading in WI, MN and MI, Biden leads in PA


Key Findings

The Kaiser Family Foundation and Cook Political Report have embarked on a new project examining the attitudes and experiences of voters in several key battleground states leading up the 2020 presidential election. The Blue Wall Voices Project is a unique state-based polling project that relies on an innovative probability-based approach to conducting public opinion polls using a combination of telephone and online methodologies. Drawing from voter registration lists, KFF and Cook Political Report have conducted interviews with 3,222 voters in the four states constituting the “Democratic Blue Wall” – the area in the Upper Midwest that was previously considered a Democratic stronghold, and where state polls performed poorly in 2016 and underestimated support for President Trump. The data analyzed is from 767 voters in Michigan, 958 voters in Minnesota, 752 voters in Pennsylvania, and 745 voters in Wisconsin. For more details, please see the methodology section of this report. the poll was conducted September 23rd – October 15th, 2019.

...The poll relies on an innovative probability-based methodology designed to address shortcomings with telephone-only surveys based on either voter-registration rolls or random-digit dialing. Voters were contacted via mailing address using registration-based sampling and encouraged to participate in the survey either online or by telephone and follow-up contacts were made using outbound telephone calls. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish either online (2763), by calling in to complete (255), or throughout outbound telephone interviews (204). The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points for the full sample. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.

Michigan: With more than four months before the 2020 Michigan Democratic primary, Senator Elizabeth Warren garners the most support among likely Democratic primary voters followed by Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. One-fourth of Michigan Democratic primary voters say Senator Warren is their first choice for the 2020 Democratic ticket and a combined 43% of voters say she is their first choice or second choice.

Minnesota: With more than four months left before the 2020 Minnesota Democratic primary, Senator Elizabeth Warren garners the most support among likely Democratic primary voters followed by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Bernie Sanders. One-fourth of Minnesota Democratic primary voters say Senator Warren is their first choice for the 2020 Democratic ticket and a combined 43% of voters say she is their first choice or second choice.

Pennsylvania: With more than six months before the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, Vice President Joe Biden, a Pennsylvania native, is the first choice among Democratic primary voters. One-fourth (27%) of Democratic primary voters chose Vice President Biden as their first choice of 2020 Democratic candidates followed by 18% of Democratic primary voters who chose Senator Elizabeth Warren and 14% who chose Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Warren and Vice President Biden have a relatively similar share of first choice and second choice votes with more than one-third of voters selecting either candidate as their first or second choice.

Wisconsin: With about five months before Wisconsin’s 2020 primary election, about one in five Democratic voters say Senator Warren (22%) and Vice President Biden (17%) are who they plan to support during the Democratic primary. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who won the Wisconsin primary in 2016 when he challenged former Senator Hillary Clinton for the nomination, is currently garnering 10%. Notably, about four in ten (41%) Wisconsin Democratic primary voters select Senator Warren as their first or second choice compared to one in four Democratic primary voters who select Vice President Joe Biden as their first or second choice while one in five (21%) say Senator Sanders is their first or second choice.

Few Democratic voters see progressive positions as deal breakers in their 2020 vote. The Blue Wall Voices Project also sought to find out whether the progressive positions being discussed by the Democratic nominees for president on the campaign trail are deal breaker issues for voters. Overall, a majority of voters in the Blue Wall who plan to vote for the Democratic nominee view the progressive platforms asked about in this survey as “good ideas,” including majorities of voters in each of the four states. None of these issues are deal breakers, with most voters saying that if a candidate disagrees with them on this issue then there would still be a chance that they would vote for them.

Much more at https://www.kff.org/other/report/blue-wall-voices-project/

November 7, 2019

AOC knocks JPMorgan CEO for suggesting Warren 'vilifies successful people'

Second time in two days btw she has shown she won’t diminish her brand by playing Jets and Sharks between Sanders and Warren:
November 7, 2019

Joe Biden's ridiculous attack on Elizabeth Warren's 'elitism'

... Can Warren combat this? Well, she’s done it before. Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, who famously drove a 2005 GMC Canyon pickup truck, tried this attack on Warren — who was, after all, a Harvard University professor — in the 2012 Senate election. She defeated him, in part, by pointing out he was no friend of the working class, voting in favor of the conservative Republican agenda over and over again.

So here’s a few reminders. Warren, the daughter of a janitor, devoted years of her professional career to making things better for working people, fighting — ultimately unsuccessfully — bankruptcy “reforms” that ultimately financially crippled millions of American families.

Biden, on the other hand, was so solicitous of big money interests, he acquired the nickname “the senator from MBNA,” after a Delaware-based credit card company. (The same company gave his son Hunter a plum position straight out of law school.) Biden championed that bankruptcy legislation that Warren fought. That law was so profoundly awful for Americans, no less an authority than the New York Federal Reserve believes it played a role in the subprime mortgage crisis and the wave of foreclosures that resulted. That’s quite an accomplishment for a supposed friend of the working man and woman. One might even say he, not Warren, was looking out for the interests of the elite.


This evening, Warren tweeted:

November 6, 2019

Ayanna Pressley endorses Elizabeth Warren

US Representative Ayanna Pressley, a rising progressive star and the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress, announced Wednesday she is endorsing Senator Elizabeth Warren for president, delivering a major boost to the Cambridge Democrat as she faces growing attacks from her political rivals.

“The American people deserve to be represented by elected officials who see them, who listen to them, and who fight for them,” Pressley says in a video announcement of her endorsement. “This election is a fight for the very soul of our nation. Elizabeth knows how to fight and she knows how to win.”

The backing of a prominent woman of color could help Warren build support among black voters, who are seen as key to her hopes of winning the nomination.



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