Saturday, March 23, 2019
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The Week Ahead in Education Politics: DeVos and Democrats Expected to Clash as Ed...

(See previous editions here.) You can get the preview delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for The 74 Newsletter; for rolling updates on federal education policy, follow Carolyn Phenicie on Twitter @cphenicie. A brief rundown: —In 2017, she battled with House Democrats over civil rights protections for students participating in a proposed voucher program. This year should be no different, with Democrats having already panned the administration’s budget requests. Additionally, President Trump signed an executive order that will require colleges that receive federal research dollars to certify that they’re upholding the First Amendment. The executive order also will require the Education Department to post more student earnings and loan default data on the College Scorecard, and to put together a report on “risk-sharing,” the idea that colleges should be held financially responsible when graduates can’t repay their loans. MONDAY: PUBLIC SCHOOLS WEEK — The Learning First Alliance, an umbrella group of a dozen education groups, hosts Public Schools Week, including Capitol Hill events on protections for students with disabilities and church-state issues in education. MONDAY: FREE SPEECH IN HIGHER ED — The Bipartisan Policy Center holds a panel discussion on free speech and intellectual diversity in higher education. TUESDAY: WORKERS’ RIGHTS — The House Education and Labor Committee holds a hearing on protecting workers’ rights and “the need for labor law reform.” Several states passed laws in the run-up of the Janus decision last year to strengthen public sector union rights ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision to end mandatory union dues. WEDNESDAY: BUDGET MEMBER DAY — The House Appropriations subcommittee opens a hearing for House Members to share their spending priorities in the Education, Labor and Health and Human Services departments.

High Point graduate finds key role in Nevada politics

White, a Democratic Party political organizer and campaign strategist, was named the top staff member for new Nevada Gov. This past fall, Sisolak won the race for Nevada's top political post and became the state's first Democratic governor in 20 years. As White serves the governor in his role running state government, she relies on skills and insight she gained as a political science major at High Point University. "It allowed me to be in a place that took me out of the political bubble I was in," she told The High Point Enterprise. "I went and visited High Point and fell in love with the campus and the people there," she said. HPU Political Science Professor Mark Setzler, who taught White, said he's not surprised by her success. Setzler, whom White considers a mentor, sent her a personal note earlier this year when she was named chief of staff by Sisolak. The experience at HPU has served White well after she moved to Nevada following graduation and became engrossed in state politics. "Overall, I think there are more people who fall in the middle somewhere. White has advanced quickly in Nevada political circles since initially moving to Las Vegas after graduation from HPU to take a political organizing post.

Joe Biden’s Half-Baked Political Gimmicks

Joe Biden knows what you’re thinking. He has seen the stories, too. He knows that, as a senator representing Delaware for nearly half a century, his extensive ties to the banking, credit, and financial industries are liabilities in an increasingly populist Democratic Party. The other is to name Stacey Abrams, a black woman 31 years his junior, as his running mate early in the race. Such a “big play,” in the New York Times’ words, “would send a signal about the seriousness of the election, and could potentially appeal to both liberal activists and general-election voters who are eager to chart the safest route toward defeating President Trump.” But the fact that Biden is even considering these moves only underscores his innumerable flaws, rather than addressing them. Biden’s age, like that of the 77-year-old Bernie Sanders, undoubtedly would be a concern for some Americans, given the erratic and seemingly cognitively impaired septuagenarian currently in the White House. He bragged that one Democrat-backed crime bill in 1992 did “everything but hang people for jaywalking”; two years later he would be a principal author of the 1994 crime bill that exacerbated mass incarceration. I know we haven’t always gotten things right, but I’ve always tried.” Biden also recently suggested that he owes an apology to Anita Hill for his handling, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, of her accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. I wish I could’ve done more to prevent those questions and the way they asked them,” he said on the Today show last year. And if you’re a career-long politician who can’t run on your record, then why are you running at all?

Beto O’Rourke slams Israeli leader Netanyahu as ally of ‘racists’

We have a prime minister in Israel who has openly sided with racists,” he charged. O’Rourke also jabbed at Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. “On the Palestinian side, we have an ineffectual leader. The candidate was asked during a question and answer session with the crowd about accepting large sums of contributions from pro-Israeli lobbyists during his 2018 Senate election in Texas. O’Rourke once again called for a “two-state solution” between Israel and the Palestinians to achieve peace in the Middle East. During Wednesday's New Hampshire stops, meanwhile, O’Rourke targeted sales of assault weapons, skirted his stance on late-term abortions, called for pre-K starting for four-year-olds, and acknowledged that he has a learning curve as he runs for president. I don’t want to take anyone’s guns from anyone in the country.” But he said the AR-15, “which is a variant of something that was designed for battlefield use, I see no reason for it to be sold into our communities.” Speaking with reporters, O’Rourke was asked by Fox News how he would have voted on a controversial GOP-sponsored Senate bill that would have required doctors to provide medical care to newborns, including those born during failed abortions. The candidate gave a hint of his support for abortion rights by adding that “I’ve seen the effects of regressive women’s health care policies in Texas, the inability to get much needed medical care… I want to make sure at a national level we don’t make those mistakes.” As a three-term congressman representing El Paso in the House, O’Rourke supported a bill in 2017 that would have lifted most state restrictions on abortion, including waiting periods. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who raised $5.9 million in the day after he announced his candidacy last month, had contributions from 223,000 people, with the average donation standing at $27. Discussing the comments – which critics said spotlighted unwelcome gender stereotypes – O’Rourke promised “not only will I not say that again, but I’ll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage.” On Wednesday, O’Rourke told the crowd that “Amy and I are raising those kiddos.” Asked if there’s a learning curve on the presidential campaign trail, he quickly answered: “Yeah.

Poll shows South Carolina overwhelmingly supports closing ‘Charleston loophole’

Shattering the assumption that America’s gun control debate is doomed to political deadlock, a new poll has found an overwhelming majority of South Carolinians — both Republicans and Democrats — support legislation that would require background checks for gun purchases, even if it takes longer than three days. A Winthrop University poll of 1,007 South Carolina residents found 80 percent of respondents said they would be in favor of closing the so-called “Charleston loophole” that allowed a self-avowed white supremacist to purchase the gun used in the 2015 Emanuel AME Church murders. The poll results released early Thursday found 80 percent of Republicans surveyed said they would support the expanded background check effort, compared to the 83 percent of Democrats polled. “Where the division is, is with the party elites like elected officials and campaign leaders. One of them was the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which seeks to extend the length of FBI background checks for gun purchases from three days to 10. Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-Columbia, was the bill’s primary sponsor. Since the bill’s passage in the House, both Clyburn and Cunningham have publicly urged their colleagues in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate to take up the bill by holding press conferences and penning op-eds. Huffmon said there’s a real political fear, especially among Republicans, to alienate potential voters on the issue of guns. Nobody is marching with signs saying don’t close the Charleston loophole.” Each year, Kimpson said he has seen slow but steady progress on getting his bill closer to passage. In October 2015, a Winthrop poll found 80 percent of South Carolinians supported requiring a completed background check for a gun purchase.

For 2020, Most Democrats Prefer an Experienced Political Insider

66% of Democratic voters said it’s important the 2020 Democratic candidate has decades of political experience, along with 52% who are looking for an insider. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders are viewed as closest to the establishment, while Democrats see lesser-known candidates as outsiders. Two-thirds of Democrats surveyed March 15-17 said it’s important that the party’s eventual nominee has decades of political experience under his or her belt. Fifty-two percent of the party’s voters said it’s important that the Democratic presidential nominee be a political insider, compared with 29 percent who preferred an outside operator. The poll asked voters to rank a list of current and possible 2020 Democratic candidates on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a political insider and 10 meaning they’re a political outsider. Both septuagenarians are leading in Morning Consult’s weekly Democratic primary tracking polls of likely primary voters, despite a strong preference among Democratic voters for someone under 70. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who’s sought to frame herself as an outsider by swearing off traditional, big-dollar political fundraisers, scored 3.7. At this early stage, whether or not a candidate was considered an insider, and their standing in the horse-race, is highly correlated with name recognition. On the 1 to 10 scale, Buttigieg was one of the least likely to be scored as an insider, scoring 5.5 on the 10-point scale, putting him almost equal to businessman Andrew Yang, a long-shot contender. A Morning Consult/Politico survey in January found the bulk (44 percent) of Democrats said that when considering their vote, picking someone they think has the best chance of beating Trump in the general election was more important than the candidate sharing their preferred policy positions or values.

Bernie Sanders Just Hired His Twitter Attack Dog

Since December, David Sirota has, on Twitter, on his own website, and in columns in The Guardian, been trashing most of Sanders’s Democratic opponents—all without disclosing his work with Sanders—and has been pushing back on critics by saying that he was criticizing the other Democrats as a journalist. Sirota’s hiring as a senior adviser and speechwriter was announced by the Sanders campaign on Tuesday morning after The Atlantic contacted the campaign and inquired about the undisclosed role Sirota held while attacking other Democrats. “He was advising beforehand,” Shakir said, explaining that Sirota’s informal work for Sanders goes back months, and was meant to be a trial period to see how the senator, who famously likes to write every word that he says himself, would work with a speechwriter. “Negative attacks on Democratic candidates,” Sanders said in 2018, criticizing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for putting out damaging information about an opponent to a favored candidate in a primary, “just continues the process of debasing the Democratic system in this country, and is why so many people are disgusted with politics." When people have questioned his tactics, Sirota has called them “mentally incapacitated.” Responding in mid-January to those who criticized him online for preemptively railing against the record of O’Rourke, who had not yet entered the race but had been a huge source of concern for Sanders allies since talk of O’Rourke’s potential presidential run picked up last year, Sirota tweeted, “The screaming temper tantrums by Democratic Party operatives whenever reporters scrutinize a lawmaker’s voting record is something to behold. On Monday night, after being contacted for a second time by The Atlantic with a list of specific questions about his undisclosed work for Sanders, Sirota did not respond to the email but deleted more than 20,000 tweets. On Tuesday morning, minutes after his position was announced by the Sanders campaign in a long list of new hires, Sirota said he hadn’t been able to respond to my initial inquiries because he’d been caring for his sick child. I started doing this many months ago.” He did not respond when asked if it was a coincidence that the tweets were deleted hours after I contacted him and the morning before he was announced as a Sanders employee. He then turned those into an op-ed on December 20 in The Guardian, writing that “a new analysis of congressional votes from the non-profit news organisation Capital & Main shows that even as O’Rourke represented one of the most solidly Democratic congressional districts in the United States, he has frequently voted against the majority of House Democrats in support of Republican bills and Trump administration priorities.” “This story was reported by David Sirota of Capital & Main,” the disclaimer at the end of the article read. He wrote another op-ed two weeks later, on New Year’s Eve, headlined “Beto O’Rourke Is the New Obama.

Black women’s groups exercising new political power going into 2020 presidential campaign

(Photo: Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY) Turning to the national stage To take advantage of the national attention, She the People will host a presidential forum in Houston in April – the first by a group led by women of color. “For men and women (candidates) of various races, they all need to win women of color,'' Allison said. Virginia is a crucial state for Democratic presidential candidates. “It’s very important for women of color to be heard given the political environment that’s going on there," Allison said. One early indicator of that power will be who shows up for the presidential forum, Walsh said. The group plans listening sessions with black female leaders to discuss get-out-the-vote campaigns and demands from candidates. Campbell said her organization hasn’t heard from presidential candidates. Black female voters helped Doug Jones pull off an upset in Alabama in 2017, making him the state’s first Democratic senator in 25 years. Campbell criticized Republicans and Democrats for not talking with black women enough. "When it comes to engaging and being respectful of the black vote and black women’s vote, they have a lot of room (where) they can go up," she said of Republicans.

Black women’s groups exercising new political power going into 2020 presidential campaign

(Photo: Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY) Turning to the national stage To take advantage of the national attention, She the People will host a presidential forum in Houston in April – the first by a group led by women of color. “For men and women (candidates) of various races, they all need to win women of color,'' Allison said. Virginia is a crucial state for Democratic presidential candidates. “It’s very important for women of color to be heard given the political environment that’s going on there," Allison said. One early indicator of that power will be who shows up for the presidential forum, Walsh said. The group plans listening sessions with black female leaders to discuss get-out-the-vote campaigns and demands from candidates. Campbell said her organization hasn’t heard from presidential candidates. Black female voters helped Doug Jones pull off an upset in Alabama in 2017, making him the state’s first Democratic senator in 25 years. Campbell criticized Republicans and Democrats for not talking with black women enough. "When it comes to engaging and being respectful of the black vote and black women’s vote, they have a lot of room (where) they can go up," she said of Republicans.

Beto Supporter Tries To Dodge Identity Politics Moments After Attacking GOP For ‘Old White...

DraftBeto co-founder Nate Lerner asserted that people should look past former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s whiteness and look into the issues that matter, in a Friday interview with Tucker Carlson. Lerner asserted that the Republican Party consisted mostly of white men and that the Democratic Party was better because it was more diverse. “The problem is when you have the Republican Party as a great example when you look at a picture of Paul Ryan’s interns, and it’s all just a bunch of white guys, that’s not a great look,” Lerner said. “It was the same thing with the Republican Party in 2016: it’s all a bunch of white guys. That’s not our country, and it doesn’t make sense.” Carlson followed up to that statement with a simple question, “Why are you backing the white guy? Why, when you have such a diverse field, does the white guy get to jump to the front of the line?” “Now it’s about saying ‘Great, we have all these great candidates, we aren’t going to make identity our sole issue, there’s a lot of other issues on the table to consider. (RELATED: Texas Democratic Party Chairman Unable To Name One Beto Accomplishment) “Ok, you can have them run, you just don’t want them to win it, I get it,” Tucker responded. “You want to be able to have them on the stage, you want them in the picture, but you don’t want them to win.” “I think Beto is a better fit for this country at this time,” Lerner concluded. Beto announced late Wednesday with a full interview in Vanity Fair where he discussed the long thought process that led to him deciding he was “born to run” for president. The former congressman has limited success in office, but he experienced national acclaim when he ran against Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and lost in the 2018 mid-term election.
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