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Don Walton: The death penalty, faith and partisan politics

It's an issue that ought to be deeply personal, and it is. For many people it is faith-guided or faith-based. It's an issue that really shouldn't be used as a partisan political instrument, but it is. Everything is today. Julie Slama, Megan Hunt and Machaela Cavanaugh were among the first to speak. But there's a difference if it's innocent life, several senators responded, a stark difference between death because of abortion and the execution of a convicted killer. Three Republicans who formerly were members of the Legislature were "kicked out" because they voted to repeal the death penalty, Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks said, listing them as former Sens. Jerry Johnson, Les Seiler and Al Davis, each of whom was politically targeted and failed to win re-election. In the end, the vote to advance Chambers' bill to eliminate the death penalty failed on a 17-25 vote. Eight of the 14 women in the Legislature voted for repeal; 26 of 35 men voted to retain the death penalty.

The Many Reasons to Run for President When You Probably Don’t Stand a Chance

His efforts were rewarded with a job in President Trump’s cabinet. Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House speaker, clawed back to national prominence seven years ago despite posing little threat to take the nomination, turning the protagonist of his wife’s children’s book — a fictional elephant named Ellis — into a kind of campaign mascot available for voter consumption. “They introduce you, and then they say, ‘... and former presidential candidate!’ It’s not bad.” It is not. [Who’s running for president in 2020? Al Sharpton, who sought the Democratic nomination in 2004, said the experience aided his civil rights advocacy and increased his personal clout, expanding his opportunities even though he never approached serious electoral strength. “I don’t think anyone who runs for president does it just to boost their careers,” said Steve Israel, the former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “We’re seeing generational cases being made here and they’re landing,” Mr. Swalwell said. “I was on the national stage before,” he said, suggesting that his presidential campaigns had little effect on his future prospects. “I did Fox for five years after I left the Senate. “I was in favor of bringing Snowden home, stopping drone strikes, ending capital punishment,” Mr. Chafee said.

Bernie Sanders fast facts: 5 things to know about the Vermont senator

Weeks later, in a Fox News poll, Democratic primary voters once again voted him as their second choice — with Biden at 31 percent and Sanders at 23 percent. He's the longest-serving Independent member of Congress in U.S. history Sanders has served as Vermont's senator since 2007. His political career kickstarted in 1981 when he was elected mayor of Burlington by just 10 votes. "In 1981, I won my first election to become Mayor of Burlington by 10 votes. He was mayor for roughly eight years before stepping down to gain a seat in the House in 1991. He didn't make a decent living off his writing either. He was first to propose "Medicare for All" The "Medicare for All" bill was first introduced in 2016 by Sanders, who said it would be another step toward achieving universal health care. "Medicare for All" is a single-payer health insurance plan that would require all U.S. residents to be covered with no copays and deductibles for medical services. The phrase "for all" doesn't mean the plan would instantly give every American insurance. You can read more about the plan here.

Daphne Bramham: Millennials have the means, if not the will, to alter politics and...

They’re making do by living with parents longer and delaying having children. Affordable rental housing is scarce, and home ownership is mostly beyond their reach, even for two working professionals. But to make a difference, they’ve got to find time to get involved with politics, which they have largely been loathe to do. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were big beneficiaries of millennials’ support in 2015. Only one of B.C.’s 42 members of parliament is a millennial, and only seven per cent of MLAs. She is doing it even though American millennials are even less likely to vote than Canadians. Only 31 per cent voted in the key 2018 midterm election, and 51 per cent voted in the 2016 presidential election. In Canada, 57 per cent voted in the last federal election in millennials’ best showing so far. Nearly 80 per cent of those aged 65 to 74 voted, as did roughly 75 per cent of the 55- to 64-year-olds. They claimed that younger Canadians got nearly twice the benefits of older Canadians.

Pete Buttigieg wants to make some changes to the Supreme Court, Electoral College, and...

“But when nine out of 10 districts in the Congress are totally uncompetitive because they’ve been drawn in such a way that the politicians actually choose their voters, rather than voters choosing their politicians, in a very naked, transparent, and inarguable way, that election is rigged,” Buttigieg told a crowd of mostly Northeastern University students on their Boston campus Wednesday, referring to the effects of partisan gerrymandering. The South Bend, Indiana mayor — who is expected to officially launch a Democratic presidential campaign on April 14 — said a similar rational applies to the way the country elects its presidents. Buttigieg is hardly the only 2020 contender in the Democratic primary field who supports nonpartisan redistricting and getting rid of the Electoral College. And unlike his competitors, the 37-year-old mayor says those reforms need to include a restructuring of the Supreme Court. “The number of Supreme Court justices has already changed,” he said, referring to the Republican-controlled Senate’s unprecedented blockade of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016. “They changed it to eight,” Buttigieg said. “And then they changed it back after they won.” Buttigieg says arguments that Democrats are introducing the idea of so-called “court packing” often ignores “the extent to which the Senate has already shattered some of these norms.” Critics of the Supreme Court say the institution has recently become overly politicized — and, as a result, more conservative during the Trump administration and likely to strike down any big legislative agenda items passed by Democrats. Both of Trump’s two Supreme Court appointments were recommended to him and bred by conservative political groups. “One that I find very appealing — devil’s in the details, but it’s appealing in principle — is you have 15 justices, but only 10 of them are appointed through a traditional political process [i.e. the president and the Senate], Democrats and Republicans,” he said. For example, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, recently labeled the sweeping government reform bill passed by House Democrats, which would end partisan redistricting in federal elections, as a Democratic “power grab.” “Unfortunately, if your side stands to lose from a more representative system, then it may look to you like the other side is gaining power,” Buttigieg told reporters Wednesday before his appearance at Northeastern.

Nancy Pelosi urges Joe Biden to keep his hands to himself

“He’s an affectionate person, to children, to senior citizens, to everyone, but that’s just not the way.” Over the past week, Biden – who has long been expected to launch a bid to be the Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2020 any time now – has been the subject of damaging news reports after two women accused him of inappropriate behavior towards them. Pelosi said the two allegations of unwelcome contact should not keep Biden from running for the presidency in 2020. “I don’t think it’s disqualifying,” she told the event on Tuesday. The former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores described in an essay for the Cut her discomfort when Biden kissed her on the head during a campaign event in 2014. She has since said the episode is disqualifying and that he should not run. Joe Biden's very bad week: has his White House run failed before it begins? Asked on Monday about the accusations against Biden, Pelosi said: “I don’t think that this disqualifies him from running for president, not at all.” But Biden’s potential Democratic rivals haven’t rushed to back him up. Over the weekend, the presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand came closest to calling out the former vice-president. Gillibrand, a New York senator, said, “If vice-president Biden becomes a candidate, this is a topic he’ll have to engage on further.” Ultraviolet, a women’s advocacy group, tweeted: “Joe Biden cannot paint himself as a champion of women and then refuse to listen and learn from a woman who says his actions demeaned her. “Neither the Bernie Sanders campaign nor anyone involved in it, planted, planned, persuaded, cajoled or otherwise urged Lucy Flores or anyone else to tell their story.

Trump’s 2020 Campaign: A Traditional Operation With a Wild-Card Candidate

“We won 306 to 223.” (Mrs. Clinton’s total was actually 232.) Advisers say privately that he has been distracted by the Mueller report, which he regards as a clear political victory, and has not focused on message for the coming months. As the campaign tries to build a traditional re-election operation, which officials often compare to President George W. Bush’s 2004 race, the tension may build between campaign officials and Mr. Trump, who trusts his gut above all else. “One of the differences is time. “It’s easy to build a beautiful operation,” said Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 race. To staff the campaign, advisers have brought in a mix of new hires and veterans of the 2016 effort. The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, meanwhile, is planning to play a large managerial role overseeing the campaign from the West Wing and speaks to Mr. Parscale multiple times a day. Mr. Stepien, meanwhile, has been focused on the delegate selection process and state chairman races in places like Massachusetts, Florida and Maine, to ensure that the Republican National Convention next year will be an uninterrupted celebration of the president. Mr. Parscale has discussed with Mr. Trump the potential advantages of targeting the Green New Deal, the ambitious Democratic proposal to combat climate change. The rally may still happen, people familiar with the plans said, but only because campaign officials insisted on it.

Even Liberal Democrats Can’t Quit Wealthy Donors and Their Big Checks

But the candidates don’t want to discuss any of this. “It’s more about the donor amounts than the dollar amounts.” But, Ms. Dacey added of big donors, “They still need them.” Two prominent candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have disavowed the traditional money circuit entirely — a safe bet for Mr. Sanders, whose online donor network amply funded his 2016 run, but a far riskier gambit for Ms. Warren, who has a far smaller base of low-dollar contributors. He has held no fund-raisers so far and has none planned yet in the future, according to his campaign. [Keep up with the 2020 field with our candidate tracker.] “When I see a 202 number these days, I don’t usually answer it,” said Amber Mostyn, a Houston-based attorney and prominent Democratic fund-raiser, joking about the Washington area code and the number of candidates who have reached out for help. According to several donors as well as invitations obtained by The New York Times, four senators — Mr. Booker, Ms. Gillibrand, Ms. Harris and Ms. Klobuchar — have been particularly aggressive on the national donor circuit. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Gov. So while a recent trip by Ms. Harris to Texas drew headlines for her decision to rally in the home state of Mr. O’Rourke, the visit was also about raising money, with a fund-raiser at the Dallas home of Jill Louis, a partner in the law firm K&L Gates. Mitchell Berger, a longtime South Florida fund-raiser and self-described political “dinosaur,” who fondly recalls his work on behalf of a young Al Gore in 1987, rattled off the names of five candidates that had called him. In April, Steven Rattner and Blair Effron, two prominent donors in New York, are planning a dinner for unaligned donors to discuss how and when to engage in a primary contest that is more unpredictable than any in a generation.