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Jose Garcia

Jose Garcia's Journal
Jose Garcia's Journal
December 21, 2016

New questions complicate Ellison's bid for DNC chair

Source: The Hill

Opponents of Rep. Keith Ellison’s bid to be the next Democratic National Committee chairman are raising new questions about the Minnesota Democrat’s past to make the case that he’s unfit to be the party’s next leader.

Ellison's critics in the DNC and some supporters of Labor secretary Tom Perez, the other top candidate, are pointing to the Minnesota Democrat’s past tax troubles, campaign finance violations and minor legal issues that once led to his driver’s license being suspended as evidence that he’s ill-equipped to lead the DNC.

Some of those instances date back to the 1990s. All of the issues have been rectified and were previously used in attacks against Ellison during his first run for House in 2006.

That year, Ellison’s then-wife, Kim Ellison, who acted as his campaign treasurer, wrote to the Minneapolis Star Tribune to accept responsibility for all of the violations.

Read more: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/311270-old-finance-woes-haunt-ellisons-dnc-bid

December 19, 2016

Maine elector has vote for Sanders ruled improper, switches vote to Clinton

Source: Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Democratic Maine elector’s vote for US Sen. Bernie Sanders was ruled improper Monday and he switched his vote to Hillary Clinton.

Earlier in the day, it appeared that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is going to get at least one of Maine’s four electoral votes.

Democratic elector David Bright originally said he’d vote for Sanders only under the unlikely scenario in which Republican President-elect Donald Trump failed to get the necessary 270 votes.

But he said Monday he intends to vote for Sanders anyway to acknowledge the efforts of the young supporters of Sanders, who beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in Maine’s presidential caucuses.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/12/19/maine-elector-says-vote-for-sanders-maine-elector-says-vote-for-sanders/rzVD3ijtgKObvn5dbvzddN/story.html

December 19, 2016

Chief Justice Roberts denies bid to force Senate action on Garland nomination

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts has denied a lawyer’s bid to get the Supreme Court to force the Senate to consider the high court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

Roberts on Monday did not comment in rejecting an emergency appeal by lawyer Steven Michel of New Mexico. Michel argued that Senate Republicans’ obstruction of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Garland violates Michel’s rights as a voter under the provision of the Constitution that provides for popular election of senators.

Lower courts had previously dismissed Michel’s case. He filed his suit in the summer, well before the election of Donald Trump seemingly doomed Garland’s nomination.

Meanwhile, Garland soon will resume hearing cases on the federal appeals court in Washington, where he serves as chief judge.

Read more: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/chief-justice-roberts-denies-bid-force-senate-action-garland-nomination/

December 19, 2016

Minnesota doesn't f**k around with with faithless electors

Apparently they threw out the ballot of an elector who would not promise to vote for Hillary and replaced him with an alternate.

December 19, 2016

Teachers' union backs Bullard opponent for Democratic chair

TALLAHASSEE — After spending nearly $1 million in an unsuccessful attempt to re-elect Miami Democrat Dwight Bullard to the state Senate, Florida’s statewide teachers’ union is supporting his opponent for chair of the state’s Democratic Party.

The Florida Education Association poured $825,000 into Bullard’s 2016 Senate campaign, a race he lost to Republican Frank Artiles by 10 points. Bullard is a public high school social studies teacher and union member.

He is now running against Stephen Bittel, a major Democratic donor, to lead the Florida Democratic Party, after Allison Tant announced she would step down as chair following the party's stinging losses in this year’s elections.

In order to serve as party chair, one must be an officer in his or her local county party — which neither Bittel nor Bullard currently is. Last week, newly elected Miami-Dade state committeeman Bret Berlin stepped aside to create a vacancy, and both Bittel and Bullard announced they would run for that seat. The election is tomorrow.

rest of story: http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2016/12/floridas-teachers-union-endorses-bullards-opponent-in-democratic-party-chair-race-108188

December 19, 2016

Gov. Pat McCrory calls for special legislative session to repeal HB2

Source: Charlotte Observer

Following a surprise move by the Charlotte City Council, Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday he would call a special session to consider repeal of House Bill 2.

The governor’s statement came in a rapidly unfolding series of events that could signal the end of a nine-month drama that catapulted North Carolina into national headlines. HB2, seen by critics as an anti-LGBT measure, prompted boycotts and cost the state millions in lost jobs.

Earlier, Gov.-elect Roy Cooper said legislative leaders have promised to call a special session Tuesday.

“Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore assured me that as a result of Charlotte’s vote, a special session will be called for Tuesday to repeal HB 2 in full,” Cooper said in a statement. “I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full.

Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article121729973.html

December 19, 2016

Obama says Democrats lost by not showing up

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama faulted his party's campaign strategy in an interview airing Monday, arguing Democrats suffered stinging electoral losses in last month's vote because they failed to campaign in hard-hit rural areas.

Taking partial blame -- and withholding any direct criticism of Hillary Clinton -- Obama said candidates in the future should ignore at their own peril the places Democrats haven't traditionally performed well.

"You've got a situation where they're not only entire states but also big chunks of states where, if we're not showing up, if we're not in there making an argument, then we're going to lose," Obama told NPR. "And we can lose badly, and that's what happened in this election."

In the aftermath of November's election, some Democrats have accused Clinton of maintaining a relaxed campaign schedule, bypassing states like Wisconsin and Iowa where Obama won in 2012. Her wins were principally in urban areas and on the coasts, leaving the rust belt and the heartland mostly red.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/19/politics/president-obama-npr-interview/index.html

December 15, 2016

Keith Ellison endorses Stephen Bittel in Miami-Dade Democratic Party race

Source: The Miami Herald

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the frontrunner to head the national Democratic Party, is throwing his support behind a candidate in a controversial Miami-Dade County Democratic Party race.

On Thursday, Ellison endorsed Coconut Grove developer Stephen Bittel for Miami-Dade committeeman, Bittel confirmed to the Miami Herald. The race might seem minor, but whoever wins -- Bittel or state Sen. Dwight Bullard of Cutler Bay -- will likely by default become the next Florida Democratic Party chairman.

Bullard, an early Bernie Sanders supporter, drew the backing earlier this year of Sanders' political organization, Our Revolution. Ellison was one of Sanders' most prominent supporters, so it's noteworthy that he backed Bittel instead. Bittel was national finance co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, which Ellison is hoping to lead.

Bittel told the Herald Ellison's endorsement "validates my progressive credentials with the grassroots. It tells them I'm a guy with the right heart."

Read more: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2016/12/keith-ellison-endorses-stephen-bittel-in-miami-dade-democratic-party-race.html

December 14, 2016

Suspended Venezuela tries to crash South American trade bloc talks

Source: Reuters

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez failed to get into a meeting of the Mercosur trade bloc on Wednesday after threatening to enter through the window if necessary, despite her country being thrown out of the group this month.

The meeting, at Argentina's foreign ministry in Buenos Aires, also grouped fellow South American nations Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay.

"If they close the door to us we will, as our president (Nicolas) Maduro has said, go through the window," Rodriguez told reporters outside the ministry.

"We will put on rubber-soled shoes and get in through the window ... Venezuela does not need an invitation because it is for the time being president of Mercosur."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-mercosur-idUSKBN1432B9?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=5851a5ee04d30144dd136995&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

December 14, 2016

Update: Congressional Democrats, Obama administration at odds over Trumps D.C. hotel

Source: The Washington Post

Federal officials overseeing Donald Trump’s lease for his D.C. hotel pushed back against congressional Democrats’ assertion Wednesday that the president-elect would violate a clause in the agreement if he did not surrender his interest upon entering office.

Congressional Democrats led by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.) said early Wednesday that General Services Administration officials had informed them that Trump would need to divest his interest in his D.C. hotel before being sworn in to avoid running afoul of a clause in the lease barring any “elected official of the Government of the United States” from deriving “any benefit” from the agreement.

But a GSA spokeswoman responded with a statement saying the agency, which oversees federal real estate, “does not have a position that the lease provision requires the President-elect to divest of his financial interests.”

“We can make no definitive statement at this time about what would constitute a breach of the agreement, and to do so now would be premature,” the agency said. “In fact, no determination regarding the Old Post Office can be completed until the full circumstances surrounding the President-elect’s business arrangements have been finalized and he has assumed office. GSA is committed to responsibly administering all of the leases to which it is a party.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/digger/wp/2016/12/14/congressional-democrats-say-obama-administration-agrees-trump-must-sell-d-c-hotel/?utm_term=.3cc5044e4c72

I remember hearing about this on NPR a week or two ago. They had a law school professor who specialized in government contracts who argued that was an open and shut case that Trump would have to give up the lease.

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