Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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Pete Buttigieg Announces Official Start to 2020 Campaign

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Pete Buttigieg, the young Midwestern mayor whose presidential bid has been an unlikely early focus of attention from Democratic voters and donors, kicked off his campaign on Sunday and proclaimed his hometown’s revival was the answer to skeptics who ask how he has the “audacity” to see himself in the White House. At a rally inside a partly rebuilt factory, once owned by the automaker Studebaker and now being turned into glass-sheathed offices for tech and other businesses, Mr. Buttigieg said, “I ran for mayor in 2011 knowing nothing like Studebaker would ever come back, but that we would, our city would, if we had the courage to reimagine our future.” If elected, Mr. Buttigieg, a 37-year-old Rhodes scholar and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, would represent a series of historic firsts: the youngest president ever and the first who is openly gay. He said he was motivated to run despite his youth because of an urgency to correct the course of the Trump administration on climate change, health care and immigration. “This is one of those rare moments between whole eras in the life of our nation,” Mr. Buttigieg said, adding, “The moment we live in compels us to act.’’ [Pete Buttigieg’s college writings reveal the roots of his 2020 campaign.] He painted a picture of a hopeful future rooted in Midwestern values, contrasting his focus on a better life in 2030, 2040 and 2054 — the year he would be the same age as President Trump is today — with what he called Mr. Trump’s appeal to “resentment and nostalgia.” And he invoked his marriage to his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, as one of the blessings of American freedom, but one that feels fragile in the current climate. “Our marriage exists by the grace of a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court,’’ Mr. Buttigieg told a crowd of several thousand people. “Nine men and women sat down in a room and took a vote, and they brought me the most important freedom in my life.” Though Mr. Buttigieg is a political progressive, his main message is the claim to leadership of millennial Americans, those he says will be on “the business end” of climate change, who grew up with school shootings and who supplied most of the troops in America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Little known just two months ago, Mr. Buttigieg has won support and financial backing through a blitz of television interviews in which he has given earnest, nuanced responses that make liberal points without raising the temperature. “We’re all excited about what’s happening downtown — the black community, poor folks, Hispanic people,” she said.

Pete Buttigieg Stuns Campaign Crowd By Speaking To Manufacturing Robots In Fluent Binary

DES MOINES, IA—Revealing that he taught himself the language after developing an interest in computer science and artificial intelligence, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg stunned a campaign crowd Wednesday by speaking to manufacturing robots in fluent binary. “01001001 00100111 01101101 00100000 01101000 01101111 01101110 01101111 01110010 01100101 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01101101 01100101 01100101 01110100 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01101000 00100000 01101000 01100001 01110010 01100100 00101101 01110111 01101111 01110010 01101011 01101001 01101110 01100111 00101100 00100000 01110100 01110010 01110101 01100101 00100000 01000001 01101101 01100101 01110010 01101001 01100011 01100001 01101110 01110011 00101110 00100000,” said the 37-year-old South Bend, IN mayor to the awe-struck machines, delivering the message by emitting a series of high-pitched tones and beeps with a perfect accent. “To all of you, I say 01100001 01110011 00100000 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110011 01101001 01100100 01100101 01101110 01110100 00101100 00100000 01001001 00100000 01110111 01101001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110110 01100101 01110010 00100000 01110011 01110100 01101111 01110000 00100000 01100110 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00101110 01000100 01100101 01110011 01110000 01101001 01110100 01100101 00100000 01101111 01110101 01110010 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100110 01100110 01100101 01110010 01100101 01101110 01100011 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01110111 01100001 01101110 01110100 00100000 01100110 01110010 01100101 01100101 01100100 01101111 01101101 00101100 00100000 01100100 01100101 01101101 01101111 01100011 01110010 01100001 01100011 01111001 00101100 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100101 01101100 01100101 01100011 01110100 01110010 01101001 01100011 01101001 01110100 01111001 00101110 00100000.” At press time, U.S. manufacturing robots had donated $10 million dollars to Buttigieg’s campaign and helped him surge to the top of polls among Democratic primary candidates.

Editorial: Politics on public’s dime

State lawmakers resist a proposal to end their use of staffers on political campaigns. --- State legislators have argued for years about public financing of campaigns, but actually, taxpayers were paying for a small army of political operatives all along. Oh, and we still are, because those same legislators blocked a plan to end the practice. The game works like this: Employees of elected officials — such as state legislators — supposedly rack up bunches of compensatory time during the legislative session. Andrew Cuomo proposed to end this wink-and-a-nod system with a measure in his budget to ban employees of elected officials from working on their bosses' campaigns. Which is rather rich, considering Republican legislators have benefited from the comp time loophole as much as Democrats. And it's all the richer because Republicans long blocked proposals to create a system of public financing of campaigns on the argument that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for politicians to run for election. Public campaign financing benefits all qualifying candidates. The only real argument against barring this gaming of the system is that it would infringe on the employees' First Amendment rights. And to all those legislators who will no doubt ask what they should do about all that comp time, we offer the advice they're so fond themselves of giving: Try running your office a little more like a business.

Biden to campaign as extension of Obama’s political movement

The former vice president has begun testing the approach as he nears an expected campaign launch later this month. That puts both Obama and many of his longtime advisers in an awkward spot. Several months ago, Obama and Biden agreed that it would be best if the former president did not endorse any candidate early in the primary, according to a person with knowledge of the conversation, meaning Biden will be running as an "Obama-Biden Democrat" without Obama's explicit backing. Some Democratic voters share that concern. Biden advisers say it's more than nostalgia that positions the former vice president well in the 2020 campaign. The Obama health law, known as the Affordable Care Act, also has increased in popularity since Obama and Biden left the White House, with many Republican lawmakers now opposed to pushing for a full repeal. Scott Mulhauser, who advised Biden during the 2012 campaign, said Biden's positions put him in "the sweet spot where most of the Democratic Party could be, but also a decent amount of moderates and I'm sure some Republicans." According to a recent Pew Research Center survey of Democratic voters, 53% said they want their party to move in a more moderate direction, while 40% said they preferred a more liberal approach. Harstad, the former Obama pollster, said there's no doubt that Obama's legacy and policy record remain solid with Democratic voters. ___ Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa.

Cory Booker promises to ‘bring a fight to the NRA’ at launch of national...

“We won’t wait for more thoughts and prayers for communities that have been shattered by gun violence from Pittsburgh to Parkland to Charleston,” he told the crowd in Newark, where he served as mayor for seven years before becoming a senator. “We will pass universal background checks, we will ban assault weapons and close loopholes that allow people who never should have a gun to get one.” “And folks, we will bring a fight to the NRA like they have never, ever seen before -- and we will win,” he said. Booker’s remarks mark the start of a two-week tour across America for the 2020 hopeful, who has at times struggled to distinguish himself from the large pack of Democrats seeking the party’s nod and has languished in single digits in polls. On Saturday, Booker led the rallying cry “We can’t wait” as he listed his policy goals, including fighting climate change, enacting comprehensive immigration reform ending “mass incarcerations” and facilitating federal legalization of marijuana. "Critics will tell us that a campaign powered by grace and love and a deep faith in each other" cannot prevail, Booker said. "But I say it's the only way we win. The president wants a race to the gutter and to fight us in the gutter. To win, we have to fight from higher ground in order to bring this country to higher ground." The campaign is directing most of its firepower to Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the four states will kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar in February and can provide crucial momentum for the primaries to follow.

Workers’ rights are a 2020 campaign focus this weekend

DENMARK, S.C. (AP) — The issue of workers' rights is a focus this weekend for some of the Democrats running for president. Beto O'Rourke is campaigning in rural South Carolina, saying he wants to show up for communities that are often overlooked by politicians or "left for last." O'Rourke spoke specifically about using federal infrastructure spending to address issues like the water crisis in Denmark, where residents have been dealing with brown-tinted drinking water that smells foul and is filled with sediment. At a house party in New Hampshire on Saturday, the Massachusetts Democrat said the reason the country is headed in the wrong direction is because of corruption. "This is not ignorance," Warren said. The people in Washington, oh, they get it. But it's so much more than campaign contributions, she said. "The key that we've got to play into, unlock, fixing the problems we need to fix, starts with, we have got to push back on the influence of money in Washington," Warren said. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker returned his Newark home on Saturday to kick off a two-week, nationwide "Justice For All" tour that will focus on issues that include gun control and criminal justice reform. John Hickenlooper said on Saturday Democrats can't beat President Donald Trump with anger.

NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes, campaign donor indicted on corruption and bribery charges

By A federal grand jury has indicted North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes and a major GOP campaign donor on conspiracy and bribery charges for their attempts to influence N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. That was in 2017, according to the indictment. In August 2017, the indictment says Hayes texted Causey and suggested “I think u should consider a face to face (with Lindberg).” In November 2017, Gray told Causey that Lindberg had contributed $500,000 to the NC GOP and earmarked $110,000 for Causey’s campaign, according to the indictment. Lindberg and Gray suggested that Causey hire Palermo to replace or supervise the senior deputy commissioner, the indictment says In a March 5 meeting in Statesville, Causey confirmed his ability to hire Palermo. During that meeting, Lindberg told Causey that he’d support him with up to $2 million in campaign contributions, according to the indictment. Palermo then quoted “Public Official A,” saying that Causey “needs to man-up and do what he agreed to.” The indictment says the public official then contacted Causey and said Lindberg, Gray and Palermo “seemed anxious to find out” if Causey had made staffing changes. The indictment says FBI agents interviewed Hayes in August 2018 and specifically asked whether Hayes was aware of “expectations” Lindberg might have had for a $500,000 donation he made to the party. “Thanks to the voluntary reporting of the North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance, we have uncovered an alleged scheme to violate our federal public corruption laws,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said in a news release Tuesday. We will work with our law enforcement partners to investigate allegations of public corruption, safeguard the integrity of the democratic process, and prosecute those who compromise it.” Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski referred to the group’s alleged actions as “a brazen bribery scheme in which Greg Lindberg and his coconspirators allegedly offered hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for official action that would benefit Lindberg’s business interests.” Lindberg donations Lindberg was the biggest political donor in North Carolina over the last few years, the News & Observer has previously reported. Bob Hall, the former head of government watchdog group Democracy NC, told the News & Observer he has identified roughly $5.5 million in political contributions from Lindberg to North Carolina politicians, political parties and Super PACs since 2016, and another $500,000 from Lindberg’s businesses and employees.

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.

John McDonnell backs Momentum on Barclays protest

John McDonnell has called on Labour members to join Momentum on its first direct action campaign, as a senior organiser for the group called it a move from party politics to movement politics. Forty local Momentum groups across England and Wales, from Exeter to Redcar, will take action outside branches of Barclays on Saturday to raise awareness of the bank’s financing of fossil fuel companies. Last week, a report by BankTrack revealed that Barclays provides more funding for fossil fuel projects than any other bank in Europe, lending $85bn to companies involved in fossil fuels between 2016 and 2018. Parker said that while the campaign was a new tactic for Momentum, it was “completely consistent with the way that we’ve said that we want to do politics, which is finding interesting ways of engaging people directly with issues”. UK environmentalists target Barclays in fossil fuels campaign Read more She said: “This is the way forward, this is the massive difference between the Labour party and any other political party in Britain. The Tories couldn’t do this if they spent the next 12 months trying to organise it. “This is too big to be left to narrow party politics. But there is a massive role for the Labour party to play as the biggest progressive political force probably not just in the UK, but really in western Europe.” The action is inspired by a wave of environmental campaigning over the past few months, most recently the school climate strikes, which brought thousands of young people on to the streets. It is likely to be less provocative than Extinction Rebellion protests, when dozens were arrested for spraypainting government departments and locking themselves together to block streets, Parker insisted. “We are a pro-worker, pro-union organisation so the one thing I’m absolutely certain about is that everybody is going to be totally respectful of all the staff that work in the banks – these are our comrades,” she said.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a ghost town for political ads in India so far

India’s politicians and political parties don’t seem to be buying ads on Twitter just yet, even as parties are pumping money into Facebook advertising. As of yesterday (March 11), Indian content is now visible on Twitter’s Ad Transparency Centre: an archive that displays promoted tweets that have been run over the past week. Quartz searched the archive’s records to see if it showed any ads being run by major politicians and political parties, and could not find a single one. (The archive only permits you to search accounts individually—not to click to see all campaign ads at once. Twitter Ad Transparency Centre Twitter Ad Transparency Centre Twitter has rolled out the initiative as part of its attempts to boost transparency ahead of India’s upcoming general election. “The Transparency Ad Centre along with the Political Content Policy is a welcome step to bringing transparency to promoted and political promoted tweets,” Elonnai Hickock, chief operating officer of the Indian think tank The Centre for Internet and Society, told Quartz. First, Twitter’s archive only displays ads that have run over the course of the past seven days, while Facebook’s allows users to see all ads that a particular page has run. To see what politics-related ads are being run in India, one has to manually search through the ads from relevant accounts. The major issue with this is that, especially when it comes to social media advertising, it is not always political parties’ official accounts that run the most aggressive, or the most worrisome, advertising. Twitter’s portal would not provide a simple way of helping a user discover this behaviour—exactly the sort of thing that a transparency resource should do.