Boedeker, Jones talk politics in election

Questions and Answers
Tablet on a desk – Questions and Answers

Editor’s note: The Times-Review submitted questions to each of the candidates in the Cleburne City Council Single Member District 3 race. Candidates were given 200 words to answer each question. Their answers appear as they were submitted.

Chris Boedeker

Question: The retail and restaurants promised when The Depot opened have yet to arrive. Although a private company oversees those projects what would you do if elected to jumpstart the process?

Answer: Like most Cleburnites, I voted for The Depot, and even bought season tickets to the inaugural season, on the premise that retail was just around the corner. That retail has failed to materialize so far. The $24 million question: what do we do now? I believe we must address this issue on two fronts. We need to apply public and private pressure to the developer to move forward with development. But we also need to remove the structural barriers that businesses face when opening a new storefront. Businesses look at population density and household income before expanding into a new area. We need to focus on growing middle-class jobs in Cleburne that people will be willing to relocate and plug into our community for. When people relocate to Cleburne for good jobs, they can afford to move into the beautiful homes being built in Cleburne. That increases our population density and average household income, which makes Cleburne more attractive to investors. In short, job growth leads to population growth, which will lead to retail growth. We have to focus on job growth to make sustained retail investment possible.

Q: What should be done with the First Financial Bank building purchased by the city in 2010 that has sat empty since?

A: As the old saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second best time is today. Ideally, the City never would have spent taxpayer dollars on a building that serves absolutely no purpose for the City. While it is too late to prevent that mistake, it is not too late to correct it. If the property cannot be put to a good use, it needs to be sold, rehabilitated, and restored to the tax roll. I know it may take some time to find the right buyer and the right use, but we should make that a priority.

Q: What should be done to continue reviving downtown?

A: The City has taken two important steps in reviving downtown: the façade improvement program and the proposed re-routing of truck traffic off of Henderson. By beautifying downtown and reducing traffic, exhaust fumes, and truck noise, the City has begun making downtown friendly to businesses. Now, we need to make City Hall friendlier to businesses. The City is blessed to have wonderful employees at every level, and we need to make it easier for them to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. Throughout the campaign, I have spoken with countless business owners and developers and have heard the same story from each: Cleburne is the hardest city in the region to do business with. We need to place an emphasis on the “customer service” aspect of city government. That requires a customer-first culture that starts at the top and works its way through every level of the City. We need to remember that government exists to serve its citizens, and the best way to do that is to simplify procedures, streamline approval processes, and look for ways to say “yes” to the people who want to invest in our community.

Q: What is the most pressing issue facing Cleburne and how…

On Politics With Lisa Lerer: How Joe Biden’s Touching Resonated With Readers

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your guide to the day in national politics. I’m Lisa Lerer, your host.

This week, hundreds of readers shared their reactions to the unfolding accusations against Joe Biden by women who said he had kissed or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable.

Many readers defended the former vice president as a product of a different time and questioned if the #MeToo movement had gone too far. Others insisted that making a woman feel uncomfortable has always been wrong.

Since Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman, made public her accusations against Mr. Biden last Friday, multiple women have come forward, telling The Times, The Washington Post and others that he made them feel uncomfortable, bringing the total to seven as of Thursday afternoon. Mr. Biden released a video on Wednesday vowing to “be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space,” though he stopped short of apologizing.

Here is a selection of our readers’ responses, which came from emails sent by On Politics readers, as well as comments across our site. They have been lightly edited for clarity.

Many of you defended Mr. Biden, saying he was from an older generation when social mores around physical contact were different.

I am 68, a bit younger than Joe Biden. But I am from a big Irish family and we are always kissing and hugging people. It was an expression of welcome and warmth. Now I understand in this MeToo movement that there are those who are uncomfortable with such intimate physical expressions. So now that Joe has been called out on it, it is up to him to show his changed behavior if indeed he runs for president, which I hope he does. — Sally Ziegenfuss, Pennsylvania

I’m a 70-year-old woman who has always thought that male attention that might involve non-intimate touching was something to be pleased about, even proud of. This is definitely a generational issue and younger women need to have perspective and understand that what was very acceptable in the past, even a couple of years ago, should not and cannot be judged by today’s standards. — Ellen Goodman, Massachusetts

Back in the ‘60s this issue didn’t exist. It was a different time. When will we stop looking back over our collective shoulders, and move forward? Whitney Devlin, 74, New York

But many others said Mr. Biden’s age was no excuse for his actions.

I am in my 60s. Regardless of age or habitat, Joe Biden’s touchy feely actions with women (and men, allegedly) are disgusting and inappropriate. I don’t believe they arise out of innocent affection, though he may have himself convinced. They arise out of unconscious male privilege and are demeaning and distressing to those on the receiving end. — Joan Weis, California

Men of his generation assumed that the “affection“ being given would be welcomed and appreciated, particularly since it was being given by a man in power. The problem has been that nobody bothered to ask the women or girls. — Lori Abbott Moreland, Sacramento, Calif.

This is not a generational misunderstanding. Biden’s licentious behavior (let’s call it what it is) was never the norm and not what most women wanted or expected. Dwight Dekeyser, 63, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Joe Biden is facing a moment of “white man privilege.” Just because HE didn’t think that gently rubbing shoulders and kissing the back of her head…

On Politics: Trump Backs Off Health Care Fight

Good Wednesday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.

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President Trump backed off plans to introduce a Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act after Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, warned him that the Senate would not revisit health care before the election. The about-face all but ensured that health care would take a central place in the 2020 campaign, elevating an issue that Democrats consider one of their strengths.

Two more women told The Times that Joseph R. Biden Jr. touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable, more evidence that the former vice president’s style of politicking is proving to be a liability in the #MeToo era.

Despite calls for the resignations of Virginia’s governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general over scandals involving blackface and sexual harassment, they are all still in office — and the state is trying to muddle on.

Mr. Trump repeated his threat to shut the border if Mexico cannot restrict a flow of asylum seekers trying to cross into the United States. The president’s economic team said it was looking for ways to limit the damage from such a move.

Mr. Trump has vowed to cut aid to Guatemala, Honduras and…

On Politics: Trump’s History With Deutsche Bank

Good Tuesday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.

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For nearly two decades, President Trump relied on Deutsche Bank to lend to him when others wouldn’t. The bank, eager to expand in the United States, lent him $2 billion over the years — and once he was elected president, employees were told not to utter his name. Here’s what The Times found in an investigation, and here are four takeaways from our reporting.

Expanding access to insurance animated the Democrats’ 2018 congressional campaigns. But as House Democrats sit down to draft their vision of health care policy, lawmakers find themselves badly divided on an issue that helped deliver their majority.

Beto O’Rourke raised more than $6 million online in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign last week, outpacing his rivals for the Democratic nomination and making an emphatic statement about his grass-roots financial strength.

Democratic candidates for president are importing grass-roots activism into their campaign by bringing a new generation of staff members…

Amy Klobuchar tried to torpedo staff’s future job prospects: report

Klobuchar: We need to stop governing from chaos
Klobuchar: We need to stop governing from chaos

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is facing yet more reports that she mistreated staff working in her Senate office, including claims that she attempted to torpedo departing employee’s future job opportunities — an allegation the senator denies.

Klobuchar, who announced her presidential intentions earlier this month, has been dogged by claims of mistreating her staff. On Friday The New York Times reported on a bizarre allegation that she’d berated a staff member for failing to bring her a fork with her salad. She is alleged to have chastised the aide, and then ate the salad with a comb before telling the aide to clean the comb.

AMY KLOBUCHAR REPORTEDLY ORDERED STAFFER TO CLEAN COMB AFTER SHE USED IT TO EAT SALAD

It was part of a list of incidents that aides described as being “not just demanding, but often dehumanizing.”

HuffPost, citing multiple Capitol Hill staffers and former Klobuchar employees, reported Friday that Klobuchar is “well known” for calling prospective employers and shutting down job opportunities for her departing staff. That includes at least one opportunity within the Obama Treasury Department, according to the outlet.

Klobuchar’s office denied the claims, telling the outlet: “This is completely false. The senator has never criticized her staff to prospective employees.”

In one example, HuffPost reported that…

On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

From the Russia probe to the national emergency, it’s been a busy week in American politics. Here are some of the biggest stories you might have missed (and some links if you’d like to read further).

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The special counsel is wrapping things up.

On Tuesday, The Times published an examination of President Trump’s actions that found the president had actively tried to undermine multiple investigations surrounding his administration. His efforts have exposed him to accusations of obstruction of justice as Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, wraps up his probe.

In the coming weeks, Mr. Mueller is expected to deliver his final account of a nearly two-year investigation into Russia’s election interference to William Barr, the new attorney general. Mr. Barr will then have to decide how much of the report to make public.

The rules governing the special counsel give Mr. Barr considerable flexibility in deciding how much information from the report he provides to Congress and the public. Democratic lawmakers want to ensure that every detail is shared.

Additional Reading

Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation Into Trump’s War on the Inquiries Around Him

Graham Vows to Investigate Whether ‘Bureaucratic Coup’ Tried to Oust Trump

I.R.S. Employee Charged With Leaking Records of Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen

Manafort Is Expected to Face Charges in New York, Even if Trump Pardons Him

Will the national emergency hit a wall?

Mr. Trump mounted one of the most severe executive-branch challenges to congressional authority in decades last week with his declaration of a national emergency at the border. The move left Senate Republicans sharply divided, and it remains to be seen whether they will act collectively to try to stop it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi began her push to overturn the emergency declaration on Friday, scheduling a House vote for Tuesday — a remarkably short timeline — on legislation that would end it.

But Mr. Trump’s plan to build his border wall involves more than his invocation of emergency powers to redirect military construction funds. He plans to tap into $2.5 billion in other Pentagon funds, too.

Additional Reading

The Times’ unicorn and lion tame political animals in Westminster Zoo ad

The Times and The Sunday Times has launched a new campaign that portrays politicians as animals in ‘Westminster Zoo’ as the publisher tries to reinforce its commitment to keeping readers informed in confusing times.

Capturing the current mood of the nation, the ‘Politics. Tamed’ campaign anthropomorphizes politicians as animals in a similar vein to Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Designed by News UK’s in-house agency, Pulse Creative, the ad sees squawking parrots, hysterical hyenas, slippery snakes and every-changing chameleons adorn the green benches of the House of Commons.

Reiterating how it is newspaper’s jobs to ‘tame politics,’ only the lion and the unicorn – from the crest in The Times masthead – can bring order to the proceedings.

The campaign launched on Thursday night with eye-catching projections of the…

Former employee in Perkins shirt led effort to disrupt trash pickup, Shreveport mayor says

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Breaking News Alert (Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)

A disgruntled former city employee wearing a shirt with a mayoral candidate’s name told Shreveport sanitation workers to call in sick to disrupt trash pickup, perhaps to hurt Mayor Ollie Tyler’s chances in the coming runoff election, the mayor said Wednesday.

Tyler said the former employee was wearing a campaign shirt for Adrian Perkins, the mayor’s opponent in Saturday’s election, and told sanitation workers that he soon would be their boss when instructing them not to appear for work on Monday and Tuesday — apparently suggesting that Perkins had tapped him to become city public works director.

The same former employee also tried to tell city streets and drainage employees something similar but was stopped, said Brian Crawford, the city’s chief administrative officer. Sanitation and streets and drainage employees all work in the city Public Works Department.

Tyler said the former employee’s action appeared planned to affect the outcome of Saturday’s election, although she said she couldn’t be certain. She did not claim that Perkins was involved.

“That was the account that I was told,” Tyler said in an interview. “It’s unfortunate if it was politically motivated.”

Perkins denied any involvement, calling the alleged events “crazy.”

“I wouldn’t have authorized this at all,” Perkins said. “I don’t know anybody by that description. We would never have authorized that, and I have not assigned any jobs whatsoever. I don’t know anything about that whatsoever. … We’ve given, like, thousands of shirts out at this point.”

Tyler and other city…

On Politics: Trump Gives Jim Mattis an Ominous Label

Good Monday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.

President Trump, who once called Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “one of the most effective generals that we’ve had in many, many decades,” gave him a more inauspicious label in a “60 Minutes” interview broadcast Sunday: “Democrat.” Read the story.

As the world recoils at reports that the Saudis sent agents to Turkey to kill Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident journalist, Mr. Trump has rebuffed pressure to punish the Saudis by canceling arms sales that he secured during a visit last year. Here’s why that approach could put the president on a collision course with Congress.

The media was happy to sing Mohammed bin Salman’s praises in the spring, when the Saudi crown prince met with Hollywood stars and Silicon Valley titans. Then came the story about Mr. Khashoggi. Read our media columnist’s take.

Confidential documents…

On Politics: Trump Gives Jim Mattis an Ominous Label

Good Monday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.

President Trump, who once called Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “one of the most effective generals that we’ve had in many, many decades,” gave him a more inauspicious label in a “60 Minutes” interview broadcast Sunday: “Democrat.” Read the story.

As the world recoils at reports that the Saudis sent agents to Turkey to kill Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident journalist, Mr. Trump has rebuffed pressure to punish the Saudis by canceling arms sales that he secured during a visit last year. Here’s why that approach could put the president on a collision course with Congress.

The media was happy to sing Mohammed bin Salman’s praises in the spring, when the Saudi crown prince met with Hollywood stars and Silicon Valley titans. Then came the story about Mr. Khashoggi. Read our media columnist’s take.

Confidential documents…