Posts Tagged ‘Cory Booker’

Anti-Trump Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says launching 2020 bid

January 16, 2019

New York Senator has been a relentless critic of the president and champion of women’s issues including the #MeToo movement; ‘We have to rise up and reclaim our values’

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater‎ to tape an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater‎ to tape an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democratic US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, an outspoken Donald Trump critic and champion of women’s issues including the #MeToo movement, announced Tuesday she was jumping into the 2020 presidential race.

Nearly 22 months before the election, the battle for the White House is already firming up, as Americans begin to assess who might be the opposition party nominee to challenge Trump.

Four Democrats — three of them women — have made clear steps towards a formal campaign in recent weeks, and many more including several of Gillibrand’s Senate colleagues, an anti-Trump billionaire businessman and former vice president Joe Biden are waiting in the wings.

“I’m going to run for president of the United States, because as a young mom I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own — which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege,” the senator told Stephen Colbert on his CBS television talk show.

Her goals will include putting gender at the fore of her campaign, combating “institutional racism,” taking on special interests and entrenched systems of power in Washington, and fighting against political “corruption and greed.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks at a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“I know that I have the compassion, the courage, and the fearless determination to get that done,” she added in the interview set to be aired in full later Tuesday.

The 52-year-old from upstate New York said she was forming an exploratory committee, a crucial legal step for a candidate to run for president, just days before she reportedly travels to the early voting state of Iowa.

Reclaim our values

She took to social media Tuesday to amplify her message.

“We have to rise up and reclaim our values,” she tweeted.

“We need to protect our basic rights and fight for better health care, education and jobs. And I believe I’m the woman for the job,” she said, adding that she is “not afraid to take on Trump.”

Kirsten Gillibrand

@SenGillibrand

Tonight I announced that I’m preparing to run for president, because I believe we’re all called to make a difference. I believe in right vs. wrong – that wrong wins when we do nothing. Now is our time to raise our voices and get off the sidelines. Join me: http://kirstengillibrand.com 

Kirsten’s Getting Ready to Run

We are compassionate. Courageous. Determined. Now is our time. Join us.

2020.kirstengillibrand.com

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Gillibrand was easily re-elected in November to her second full term. In 2009 she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s US Senate seat, when the latter became secretary of state.

In the years since she has abandoned several of her centrist political positions, tilting to the left to eventually become one of the more liberal senators.

The next presidential election is still more than 650 days away, but Gillibrand is entering what will be a chockablock field vying for the right to challenge Trump.

Elizabeth Warren, a fellow female US senator and frequent target of the provocative billionaire president, has also launched an exploratory committee, as has congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who served military tours in Iraq and Kuwait.

Former San Antonio mayor and Obama-era cabinet member Julian Castro and recently retired congressman John Delaney have formally launched their presidential bids.

Some politicians with stronger name recognition are expected to enter the race soon, including former Biden, ex-congressman Beto O’Rourke and current senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders, who ran against Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

But Gillibrand has distinguished herself in key ways. She is one of the top Trump naysayers in the Senate, voting against the president’s nominees for major posts more than almost any other senator.

She also raised her national profile by sponsoring — and mounting a three-year campaign for — a bill that would revamp the prosecution system for military sexual assaults and remove such cases from the military chain of command.

The bill fell short in the Senate, but Gillibrand has been relentless about highlighting sexual assault in the military, on college campuses and in the workplace.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/anti-trump-senator-gillibrand-says-launching-2020-bid/

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is entering the 2020 race for president

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Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro Expected To Launch Presidential Campaign

January 12, 2019

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is set to formally launch his bid for president on Saturday, after weeks of hinting he was ready to join the growing 2020 Democratic primary field.

The 44-year-old will be the first Hispanic candidate to enter the race for the White House, joining Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who recently said they are running. Several more well known candidates are expected to announce their plans soon.

Democrat Julián Castro talks about exploring the possibility of running for president in 2020, at his home in San Antonio in December 2018.  Eric Gay/AP

Castro launched an exploratory committee last month, Julián for the Future, and has already traveled to early primary states, with more visits to Iowa and New Hampshire slated for next week following his announcement Saturday in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

“Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness. We’re ready to keep our promises, and we’re not going to wait. We’re going to work,” Castro said in a video last month announcing he was testing the waters.

Castro has pointed to his experience on both the local and federal level. He was the youngest-ever city councilman in San Antonio’s history when he was elected in 2001 at age 26. Eight years later, he was elected mayor. In 2012, he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention — which had catapulted Barack Obama to national fame eight years earlier — telling the crowd about his experience as part of an immigrant family.

“In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay,” Castro said. “Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor.”

Two years later, President Obama chose him to run HUD. In 2016, Hillary Clinton also considered him as a possible vice presidential running mate.

His identical twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, has represented their native San Antonio in Congress since 2013. The two were born into a politically active family. Their mother was an organizer with La Raza Unida in the 1970s, campaigning for the rights of and improved working conditions for Mexican-Americans.

Castro may not be the only Texan in the race, however. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who narrowly lost a Senate bid last year, is also weighing a run and has been on the rise in very early polls.

The former HUD secretary, who campaigned for O’Rourke in 2018, told the Associated Press last month he wasn’t worried if he himself is not testing very high right now in surveys.

“If I decide to run, it would be because I believe I have a compelling message and I’m going to work hard and get to the voters and I believe I can be successful,” Castro told the AP.

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/12/678287583/former-hud-secretary-juli-n-castro-expected-to-launch-presidential-campaign

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Tulsi Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020

January 12, 2019

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said Friday she will run for president in 2020.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” the Hawaii Democrat told CNN’s Van Jones during an interview slated to air at 7 p.m. Saturday on CNN’s “The Van Jones Show.”
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Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of Congress.
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“There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve,” she said, listing health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change as key platform issues.
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“There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace,” Gabbard added. “I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement.”
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Rania Batrice, who was a deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and is now a top aide to Gabbard, will be the campaign manager, Batrice says.
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In 2015, Gabbard, then a vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was sharply critical of its then-chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for scheduling just six presidential debates during the 2016 primary election cycle. She later resigned her post as DNC vice chair to become one of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ highest-profile supporters, aligning herself with his populist economic message.
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Gabbard has staked out anti-interventionist foreign policy positions in Congress. Her 2017 meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad drew widespread criticism. “Initially, I hadn’t planned on meeting him,”
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Gabbard told CNN’s Jake Tapper in January of 2017. “When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace, and that’s exactly what we talked about.”
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Gabbard joins a quickly growing field of Democrats eager to take on President Donald Trump for the presidency.
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Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on New Year’s Eve that she was forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro also formed an exploratory committee and is expected to announce his 2020 plans Saturday.
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A number of other potential Democratic candidates, including heavyweights like former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, are currently weighing whether to run for president and are expected to announce their decision soon.
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https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/11/politics/tulsi-gabbard-van-jones/index.html

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Bloomberg says he would use his own money to fund 2020 run — Democratic field filling up

January 12, 2019

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing back against liberal critics who say he shouldn’t be allowed to use his multibillion-dollar fortune to self-fund a possible White House campaign and “buy the presidency.”

“I ran three times. I used only my own money so I didn’t have to ask anybody what they wanted in return for a contribution,” Bloomberg said in Austin, Texas, on Friday. “And, if I ran again, I would do the same thing.”

His defense echoed arguments he made while self-funding three successful City Hall bids when critics claimed he was buying the office.

“I think not having to adjust what you say and what you work on based on who financed your campaign is one of the things that the public really likes,” Bloomberg added.

New York’s former mayor spent more than $260 million combined in his runs for City Hall in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

He has been publicly toying with the idea of running for president for months and has promised he will make a decision within a month or so.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who recently launched her own White House bid — has called for spending limits to keep billionaires, like Bloomberg, from crushing the competition with a mountain  of spending

 

“Is this going to be a Democratic primary that truly is a grassroots movement that is funded by the grassroots and it’s done with grassroots volunteers, or is this going to be something that’s one more plaything that billionaires can buy?” she asked.

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https://nypost.com/2019/01/11/bloomberg-says-he-would-use-his-own-money-to-fund-2020-run/
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Staffs Up for Likely 2020 Presidential Run

January 11, 2019

New York Democrat signs up key staff members, plans first trip to Iowa

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2018 file photo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks during the New York Senate debate hosted by WABC-TV, in New York. Gillibrand's Republican challenger is Chele Farley. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool, File) Photo: Mary Altaffer / Pool, AP

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) coasted to re-election in 2018 and has more than $10.6 million left over from her Senate campaign, seed money that can be used in her presidential bid. PHOTO: MARY ALTAFFER/ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON—New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is closing in on announcing a 2020 presidential campaign, signing up key staff members and planning her first trip to Iowa, according to people familiar with the plans.

Ms. Gillibrand’s staff will be run by Jess Fassler, her Senate chief of staff, and Dan McNally, a former campaign aide to Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) and the campaign arm of Senate Democrats, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

Meredith Kelly, a top communications aide to the House Democrats’ campaign arm, will lead Ms. Gillibrand’s communications operation, the people said. Ms. Kelly’s hiring was first reported by the New York Times.

 How to Prepare for a Presidential Run: The 2020 To-Do List

How to Prepare for a Presidential Run: The 2020 To-Do List
Presidential hopefuls are stepping out of the shadows, but their 2020 announcements are far from spontaneous. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains.

She has also hired two top digital aides, Emmy Bengtson and Gavrie Kullman, both highly sought-after Democratic digital specialists, according to people familiar with the move.

As part of the preparations, Ms. Gillibrand has hired Joi Chaney to become her new Senate chief of staff. Ms. Chaney formerly served as a staff member in the Senate and the Obama administration at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Glen Caplin, a longtime Senate aide to Ms. Gillibrand who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, is also expected to play a senior advisory role in her campaign. Mr. Caplin declined to comment.

Ms. Gillibrand plans to travel next weekend to Iowa—the location of the first 2020 presidential caucus and a sign that her campaign will be soon under way. Ms. Gillibrand’s Iowa plans were reported Thursday night by Politico.

Ms. Gillibrand, 52 years old, coasted to re-election in 2018 and has more than $10.6 million left over from her Senate campaign, seed money that can be used in her presidential bid.

The senator has positioned herself as a leading voice of the Democratic opposition to President Trump, with whom she tangled in December 2017 after the president called her a “flunky” for Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and said she would do “anything” for a political donation.

Ms. Gillibrand responded that Mr. Trump couldn’t silence her or the millions of women from speaking out “about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.”

She is expected to join a field that already includes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and could grow to include several of her Senate colleagues.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Following a midterm election cycle in which Democratic women took center stage, Ms. Gillibrand has championed electing more women to office and has been a leading voice in the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment and assault movement.

In this photo from January 29, 2017 US Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speaks to people gathered at Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts. (Ryan McBride/AFP)

But some Democrats have accused her of opportunism, pointing to her evolution on issues such as immigration and gun control and her role as the first Senate Democrat to call for the resignation of former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken after the Democrat was accused of sexual misconduct.

Ms. Gillibrand’s advisers said at the time that she was standing up for her values.

Write to Ken Thomas at ken.thomas@wsj.com

Will backing anti-BDS bills be a liability for 2020 Democratic hopefuls?

January 10, 2019

There are at least seven Senate Democrats eyeing a presidential run. Only two support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, and just one is willing to cosponsor it

WASHINGTON — April 14, 2016. The day Democratic Party officials might have realized something was brewing on the American left. In the middle of a fiery primary debate between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the two were asked about the 2014 Gazan conflict, also known as Operation Protective Edge.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Clinton defended Israel, which she said did not invite Hamas’ relentless rocket attacks. She further excoriated the terror organization, which she said had squandered an opportunity to rebuild Gaza. For this blazing defense of the Jewish state, she received mild applause.

Jewish maverick politician Sanders, meanwhile, castigated Israel for what he deemed its excessive use of force during the 51-day offensive.

“We had in the Gaza area some 10,000 civilians who were wounded and some 1,5000 that were killed. If you’re asking not just me but countries all over the world, was that was a disproportionate attack, the answer is yes, I believe it was,” Sanders said, to uproarious applause. “In the long run,” he continued, “if we are ever going to bring peace to that region, which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.” That line brought down the house.

According to long-time member of the Democratic National Committee James Zogby, the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, that moment sent a message to Democrats. “I think Sanders discovered at the Brooklyn debate that there is a constituency that wants to hear about this,” Zogby recently told The Times of Israel.

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, right, and Hillary Clinton speak during the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Thursday, April 14, 2016 in New York (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Today in the Senate, most of the party’s leading 2020 prospective candidates seem to want to avoid creating a vulnerability with the pro-Palestinian constituency Zogby described.

While two new Democratic members of the new Congress — Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar — support the contentious anti-occupation Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, the party at large still appears to be steadfastly against it. Efforts to use government legislation to target the BDS movement’s adherents, however, are much more controversial.

Image result for Rashida Tlaib, pictures

Freshman Democrat Rashida Tlaib

The vast majority of the Democratic senators eyeing a 2020 bid have, as of this writing, either opposed or refused to support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, legislation that would criminalize boycotting the Jewish state.

Likewise, there was a fierce left-wing resistance to the Combatting BDS Act, a second piece of legislation on the issue which would grant federal protection to states that pass anti-BDS laws. Florida Senator Marco Rubio sought to push it through as the first Senate bill introduced under the new Congress, but the Senate voted it down for further consideration Tuesday.

Sanders, who claimed the Combatting BDS Act would trample free speech rights, called the proposal “absurd.” The liberal Middle East advocacy group J Street also put out a blistering statement on the Rubio bill. “‘Not a single Democrat should vote to enable this farce,” it said.

Democratic 2020 hopefuls keeping their distance

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is widely supported by Republicans: In the Senate alone, 43 of the 50 GOP senators (86 percent) in the last Congress co-sponsored it, versus just 15 of their 44 Democratic counterparts (34%).

Yet a close look at the list at the Democrats who co-sponsored that legislation is more noteworthy for which names are missing than those included: Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, California’s Kamala Harris, Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts’s Elizabeth Warren and Sanders did not sponsor the legislation.

(Gillibrand was an original sponsor but withdrew after facing a backlash from progressive constituents. Brown supports the legislation — he helped revise an amended version — but his name is conspicuously absent as a co-sponsor.)

A number of those senators who are preparing a 2020 presidential bid have been vociferous opponents of the the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. Sanders recently urged his colleagues to not include the legislation in an appropriations bill, while Warren announced her opposition to it in 2017.

In this photo from January 29, 2017 US Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speaks to people gathered at Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts. (Ryan McBride/AFP)

“I do not support the boycott, I think the boycott is wrong,” Warren said. But, she added, “I think outlawing protected free speech activity violates our basic constitutional rights.”

Sanders and Gillibrand have echoed the same sentiment, opposing the bill on the grounds that it restricts the speech rights of Americans expressing a political viewpoint. Others, such as Harris and Klobuchar, have stayed quiet on the measure.

The only Democratic senators considering a 2020 run who was willing to sponsor the Israel Anti-Boycott Act is New Jersey’s Cory Booker, who said that changes made to the bill last spring to address speech concerns were sufficient.

In March, lawmakers revised the text to make clear that Americans could not be imprisoned for participating in Israel boycotts, and that criticism of the Jewish state could not be grounds for opening an investigation against any individual.

“Initial concerns that this bill unintentionally infringed on individuals’ First Amendment rights have now been addressed by changes agreed upon earlier this year,” Booker told Jewish Insider in November 2018. “I feel confident that those modifications safeguard Americans’ constitutional right to free speech.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), for its part, said the law would still be unconstitutional despite those changes.

The bill “suffers from the same fundamental flaw as the original draft by criminalizing participation in constitutionally protected boycotts,” ACLU staff attorney Brian Hauss said. “In fact, the bill’s sponsors openly admit that it was designed for this purpose.”

Other potential candidates who are not in the Senate, including former vice president Joe Biden and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, have not yet been forced to take a position. They may only ever have to if they run and are asked by a niche audience, Zogby said.

James Zogby speaking at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., October 2012. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is being intensely opposed by J Street and the ACLU, both of which argue that the measure, if implemented, would unconstitutionally wield the power of the state to suppress a political movement.

Advocates for the Israel Anti-Boycott Act’s, including its author, Senator Ben Cardin, claim that it’s an anti-discrimination effort meant to prevent Israeli individuals and businesses from being victimized because of their national origin.

But with a growing contingency of the left more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, in tandem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unequivocal alignment with US President Donald Trump, supporting the Israel Anti-Boycott Act could become a minor fault line between Booker and Brown and the other contenders who oppose the bill in the 2020 Democratic primary.

A split on the left

The legislation has been “alarming and deeply unpopular” with Democratic activists, liberal pundits and advocacy groups, said Logan Bayroff, J Street’s director of communications.

But the Israel Anti-Boycott Act started to gain more attention last month, when lawmakers tried to slip it into a last-minute spending bill. It may yet gain more attention if Cardin and others are successful at including it in a spending package to reopen the government.

“It’s one thing to try to quietly pass legislation, smuggling it into a much larger appropriations fight,” Bayroff recently told The Times of Israel. “It’s something else entirely to have to really own and defend that kind of legislation on the national political stage when trying to appeal to Democratic voters.

“I don’t think you’re going to see many, if any, Democratic candidates standing behind legislation that is so strongly opposed by the ACLU and which has the real possibility of infringing on free-speech rights,” Bayroff said.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act does have some supporters on the left. The Jewish Democratic Council of America, an advocacy organization, has urged its passage.

The group’s executive director, Halie Soifer, told The Times of Israel she doesn’t think the bill will inflame Democrats in 2020.

Halie Soifer heads the Jewish Democratic Council of America. (Courtesy of JDCA)

“I don’t think that this will be a determining issue in the 2020 election,” Soifer said. “I think this will continue to be a component of the platform where the Democratic Party comes out against BDS. I don’t see any shifts within the party on this issue.”

Nevertheless, opposing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act is largely seen, according to multiple Democratic operatives, as an effective way to win over progressives who feel that Palestinian voices have been historically marginalized in American politics.

“No one is going to go to Iowa and stump on this, but it will become an issue when they are asked about it,” said Zogby, who was a Sanders supporter in 2016. “Are there going to be some Democratic candidates who say there’s some votes out there with young people and with black and Latino voters and others for talking truthfully about this issue? I think there will be.”

The extent to which Israeli-Palestinian issues will be litigated in 2020 is unknown, but one thing that progressive activists feel sure about is that Democrats are not going to want to be bogged down in a primary fight by supporting the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.

“It’s hard to say what will or will not be an issue in the primary,” said Bayroff of J Street. “But I do think that presidential contenders on the Democratic side are going to try to distance themselves from this legislation.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/will-backing-anti-bds-bills-be-a-liability-for-2020-democratic-hopefuls/

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez floats 70 percent tax on top earners to fund Green New Deal

January 5, 2019

Rising Democratic star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said in a new interview that she could fund her proposed “Green New Deal” in part by slapping a tax as high as 70 percent on top earners.

Ocasio-Cortez, sworn in as Congress’ youngest member on Thursday, is one of a number of Democrats who backs the Green New Deal — which aims to combat both climate change and income inequality with a massive and costly economic overhaul. Ocasio-Cortez has called it “a wartime-level, just economic mobilization plan to get to 100% renewable energy.”

A draft text circulated around Congress lays out a framework that includes eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and agriculture and “dramatically” expanding energy sources to meet 100 percent of power demand through renewable sources.

Screenshot: CBS

In an interview with Anderson Cooper to air Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Ocasio-Cortez said the huge government expansion could be paid for in part by taxpayers contributing “their fair share.” She said that, like in the 1960s, tax rates for those with incomes up to $75,000 could be as low as 10 or 15 percent, but much higher for those earning millions.

“But once you get to the tippie tops, on your ten millionth, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 percent or 70 percent. That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate. But it means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more.”

SOCIALISM RISING: DEMS TAKE HOUSE PUSHING MASSIVE GOVERNMENT EXPANSION, AS PARTY LURCHES LEFT

Those on the left calling for higher taxes have frequently pointed to tax rates in place before President Ronald Reagan took office, to argue they are not unprecedented. But free-market conservatives have argued there were more loopholes in the ’60s and ’70s, meaning most high earners didn’t actually pay those ultra-high rates.

President Trump in 2017 signed a measure that slashed taxes across the board — a move that was opposed by most Democrats. Democrats have called for those tax cuts — particularly the ones for the wealthy — to be reversed, while Republicans have argued that the cuts have helped fuel economic growth.

While Ocasio-Cortez is seen as being on far left of the Democratic Party, her call for a Green New Deal is increasingly being embraced by more mainstream Democrats, including possible 2020 candidates such as Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. In the House, the activist Sunrise Movement says that it has more than 40 House members who are backing the Green New Deal, including Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas.

Joe Biden will shape the Democratic race for 2020

December 27, 2018

December is proving a tumultuous month for US President Donald Trump, not least with the latest government shutdown adding to political uncertainty in Washington. With attention turning to 2019, focus is growing on the emerging Democratic presidential nomination battle, which could see the largest field of candidates for the party in a generation.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden. (AP)

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In the near term, the single biggest decision that will shape the race could come as soon as January, with former Vice President Joe Biden announcing whether he will run for a third White House bid after running in 1988 and 2008. He has promised a decision in the first few weeks of the year, after visiting more than 30 states in 2018.

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While Biden could yet surprise many in Washington by not putting his hat in the ring, he is the early favorite. This despite him being 76 years old, in what could ultimately become the first ever clash of septuagenarian Democratic and Republican candidates in US history if Trump, 72, seeks re-election too.

By Andrew Hammond

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Although the first nomination contest in Iowa on Feb. 3, 2020, remains over a year away, a slew of new polls indicate Biden’s frontrunner status. For instance, one taken from Dec. 10-13 for the Des Moines Register,

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CNN and Mediacom put Biden at 32 percent among Iowa voters. A survey for Focus on Rural America from Dec. 10-11 put him at 30 percent. To put this in context, no other candidate reached even 20 percent in either poll.

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Yet he would potentially face a significant field, including the man some are claiming to be the “new Obama,” Beto O’Rourke, the congressman who in November’s Senate election nearly became the first Democrat to win a state race in Texas since 1994.

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O’Rourke came in third place in the Des Moines Register / CNN / Mediacom poll with 11 percent, trailing behind not just Biden but also Sen. Bernie Sanders, who scored 19 percent. In the Focus on Rural America survey, O’Rourke secured third place with 11 percent, with Sanders on 13 percent.

Among the potential other contenders for the Democratic crown are US senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Tim Kaine and Amy Kobuchar.  Outside the Senate, potential runners include New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, actress and TV celebrity Oprah Winfrey, businessman Michael Bloomberg and former Secretary of State John Kerry. While it is widely presumed that Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, will not run again, she has not categorically confirmed this.

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While the Democratic race is fluid, Biden (who would in 2020 be the oldest presidential nominee in US history) may yet consolidate his early position to become his party’s standard bearer. While he is not a prohibitive favorite yet to secure the nomination in the way Clinton was at this stage in 2016, by numerous benchmarks he has key advantages against other Democrats, if his good health remains.

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The past few decades of US political history indicate that the victor in nomination contests for both major parties frequently leads national polls of party identifiers on the eve of the first presidential nomination ballot in Iowa, and also raises more campaign finance than any other candidate in the 12 months prior to election year.

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From 1980 to 2016, for instance, the eventual nominee in around half the Democratic and Republican nomination races contested (that is, in which there was more than one candidate) was the early frontrunner by both of these measures. Moreover, in at least four partial exceptions to this pattern, the eventual presidential nominee led the rest of the field on one of the two measures.

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On both the fundraising and national poll measures, Biden could become the clear favorite for the Democrats in 2020, so much so that some other potentially first-class candidates may decide not to even enter the race.

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Presuming Trump seeks re-election and wins the 2020 Republican nomination, which would be probable but by no means certain, he could face a very tough race against Biden or whoever the eventual Democratic nominee is. One of the key factors that will influence the latter party’s prospects of defeating the Republicans will be whether, and how quickly, it can unite around its own nominee given the potentially large number of contenders.

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While the circumstances of 2020 will be different from 2016, when Clinton and Sanders were engaged in a protracted fight, it is nonetheless the case that another divisive Democratic nomination contest would probably only benefit Trump if he is the Republican nominee again. Indeed, should Trump emerge easily as the Republican nominee in 2020, this may prove a tipping point in another tight general election contest.

  • Andrew Hammond is an associate at LSE IDEAS at the London School of Economics
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News’ point-of-view

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1426591

Related:

Kirsten Gillibrand ‘definitely thinking’ of running for president in 2020 — Joins About 20 Others Highlighted Here

December 16, 2018

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she is “definitely thinking” about making a bid for president in 2020.

“I’m going to think about it over the holidays with my children and my husband, and I will make a decision soon,” the New York Democrat told CNN in an interview set to air Saturday evening.

Gillibrand said that she felt a great calling to “restore what is good in our world,” especially “in these moments of darkness,” “suffering,” and “great division.”

Image result for Kirsten Gillibrand, photos

“I aspire for our country to recognize the beauty of our diversity in some point in the future. And I hope some day we have a woman president. … A more inclusive America is a stronger America,” Gillibrand said.

Recently, Gillibrand faced backlash for a tweet where she said “our future is female,” and some claimed she was putting a gender on success and excluded men.

The senator is part of the still-growing list of potential contenders for the Democratic nominee for president in the 2020 elections. Earlier this week, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said he formed an exploratory committee and will announce in January if he will run.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/kirsten-gillibrand-definitely-thinking-of-running-for-president-in-2020

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Iowa Poll: A guide to Democrats who may run in 2020; what likely caucusgoers think of them

By , Des Moines Register

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It’s still more than a year until Iowa Democrats meet to decide their choice to face President Donald Trump, but the field of potential caucus candidates is already packed.

Here is some background information on the candidates, in alphabetical order, how potential each tested in the new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll, and what likely Democratic caucusgoers think about them.

The poll of 455 likely Democratic caucusgoers in 2020 was conducted Dec. 10-13 by Selzer & Co. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

More from the Iowa Poll

Read the run down:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/iowa-poll/2018/12/16/iowa-caucuses-2020-who-running-president-poll-candidate-cnn-des-moines-register-trump-campaign-vote/2299760002/

Why Democrats in Georgia and Florida are refusing to accept the election outcome

November 17, 2018

Stacey Abrams, having lost the governor’s race in Georgia, effectively called the election illegitimate and called for a new election, before kind-of-conceding on Friday evening. The Democratic nominee has a powerful cheering section, with the likes of Sens. Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown accusing the Republicans of stealing the election.

Andrew Gillum has lost the governor’s race in Florida but refuses to concede — that is, after having withdrawn his Election Day concession.

Editorial
Washington Examiner

Democrat Bill Nelson, seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate, got a boost in the machine recount when Hillsborough County’s Elections supervisor, a Democrat, refused to submit his recount totals, which would have expanded Nelson’s statewide deficit.

The Democrats will say that they just want every vote counted. That claim is undermined by Nelson’s lawsuit to discard some votes in heavily Republican Bay County, where Hurricane Michael cut voters off from the postal service, and so some voters submitted their mail-in ballots by email.

Some Republicans cry, like Booker and Brown, that Democrats are trying to steal these elections. But that’s off-base.

Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, and Bill Nelson have all lost. They’re toast. The national party that is backing them knows their defeats will not be overturned. This Democratic campaign of delegitimizing elections, breaking the law, and refusing to accept election outcomes, isn’t about stealing the election that just happened. It’s about kicking off the next election campaign.

Democrats have looked at President Trump’s success and decided that breaking all the rules is the path to victory. They have apparently decided that republican norms and democratic niceties are holding them back. At the very least, they believe that in order to fire up their base — and for the 2020 candidates like Booker and Brown, to win their votes in the primary — they need to prove themselves to be fighters above all else. Even when you lose, you keep fighting. Whether the law or the electorate is on your side, you keep fighting.

Only with such a no-holds-barred fighter, they believe, can they beat the Republicans’ own norm-breaker-in-chief, Donald Trump.

The ugly irony is that their very beef with Trump is that he doesn’t respect democratic norms. In their effort to beat him, they are becoming their worst caricature of him.

Democrats may not be terribly interested in our advice, but we feel confident warning them that they won’t beat Trump at his own destructive game. They have made their choice, but they play this way at their own risk.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/why-democrats-in-georgia-and-florida-are-refusing-to-accept-the-election-outcome