Friday, December 4, 2015

Hillary News & Views 12.4: Repairing DNC, Gun Violence, Voter ID, Several More Endorsements

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with a fascinating look at how Clinton is not just supporting but resuscitating the DNC in advance of the 2016 elections.

They are prioritizing donations to the DNC over Super PAC donations, and are focusing heavily on how to make the party more effective nationwide.

The New York Times reports:
In recent weeks, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign aides have started to scrutinize what have historically been core functions of the party committee, some of which atrophied under President Obama, according to people briefed on the reviews.
The reviews have been undertaken at the request of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, who has taken a particular interest in how the research and communications operations are functioning, according to the people briefed, who asked for anonymity to discuss private deliberations. Among the questions her team is looking at, gingerly, are staffing and dexterity in combating an increasingly unpredictable Republican field.
Mr. Mook, in the days before Thanksgiving, was spotted in meetings at the D.N.C. headquarters. He asked for a review of the opposition research capabilities of the party committee, and came away with concerns, according to the people with knowledge of the review. Among them was that the committee’s communications department has become skeletal in recent months, with a string of departures.
Luis Miranda, a spokesman for the D.N.C., pointed to “tools and resources” that the party committee was sharing with “our major presidential campaigns” such as “our voter file, research and media monitoring assets, and engaging on communications and social media fronts to hold Republican candidates accountable at an unprecedented level.”
He noted the joint fund-raising agreements that the committee has signed with Mrs. Clinton and with Mr. Sanders. Mrs. Clinton and her husband are holding a fund-raiser under that agreement on Dec. 17 in New York City. Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, said the candidate was working on a date for similar events.
Clinton continues to push back against gun violence.

USA Today reports:
Individuals on the FBI’s no-fly terror list can legally buy guns, and leading Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, are pressing Congress to act.
Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, is vowing to press the issue in the wake of shootings in San Bernardino, Calif.
“No matter what motivation these killers, these murderers have, we can say one thing for certain, they should not have been able to do this,” Clinton said at a Thursday campaign event in New Hampshire.
“Just what will it take for Congress to overcome the intimidation of the gun lobby and do something as sensible as making sure people on the terrorist watch list can’t buy weapons?” said Clinton.

The New York Times reports:
Hillary Clinton on Thursday called for gun control measures and reiterated President Obama’s statement that terrorism had not been ruled out as a motive in the mass shooting the day before that left 14 people dead.
“This terrible shooting in California, I want people to feel safe,” Mrs. Clinton said during a visit to a small business in Nashua, N.H. “If you go to the store, or you go to work, you go to the movies, you go to church, you take your kid to school — you should be safe.”
She did not definitively blame Islamic terrorism for the shooting, but she did not rule out that the Islamic State or another extremist organization could have been responsible.
“We don’t know the reason or motive yet behind what happened in San Bernardino yesterday,” she said. “But I just was told before coming in that the president says we can’t rule out terrorism.” reports:
“I have said—I said it this morning as Southern New Hampshire University—I said look there are sensible gun-safety measures that we need to be finally taking—to applause,” Clinton said, one of the biggest applause lines of the night.
“I would urgently request that responsible gun owners stand up to the irresponsible, unconscionable actions of the gun lobby,” she said.
Clinton’s gun policy platform also includes increasing background checks; repealing immunity for “negligent manufacturers;” tightening loopholes that allow domestic abusers, felons, and mentally ill people obtain guns; and reinstating the federal assault weapons ban.
Clinton backs the new civil rights lawsuit against the state of Alabama. reports:
In the lawsuit, the NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries contend that about 280,000 voters are effected by voter ID. Before the law was enacted, voters did not need to show photo identification to cast a ballot. 
"Yet again, the scales of justice in Alabama are out of balance and in dire need of a reset," said Maya Harris, senior policy advisor for the Clinton campaign, in a statement released Thursday.
"The right to vote is essential to our democracy, and so Hillary Clinton strongly supports the NAACP-[Legal Defense and Educational Fund's] efforts to right the wrongs of Gov. [Robert] Bentley and the Alabama Legislature. Voting rights are an illusion if the state requires people to have voter IDs and then makes it much harder for people to get them. This misguided law could disenfranchise over a quarter of a million voters in Alabama and result in suppressing the voices of African American and Latino voters, depriving them of their basic civil rights. Hillary Clinton believes we should make it easier to vote, not harder, and as president, she will fight to expand access to the ballot box."
On to the latest round of endorsements, which includes major unions, a women’s business organization, and a cabinet member.

Press release from North America's Building Trades:
"Today, North America's Building Trades are proud to endorse Hillary Clinton's campaign for President," said Sean McGarvey, the organization's president. "In these times of international strife and uncertainty, our nation needs a leader with the toughness, strength, intelligence and experience to successfully steer the United States through tumultuous waters.  Here at home, we trust that Secretary Clinton will always do what's best for America's working families."
The Building Trades' endorsement closely follows the release of Secretary Clinton's infrastructure plan, Building Tomorrow's Economy Today. The comprehensive five-year, $275 billion plan would allocate $250 billion to direct public investment and place $25 billion in a national infrastructure bank dedicated to maintaining the country's competitive advantage in the 21st century economy. The infrastructure plan, which supports an additional $225 billion in financing through the infrastructure bank, would result in up to $500 billion in critical infrastructure investments over the next five years. The Building Trades and "Hardhats for Hillary" will advocate for successful implementation of this proposal in all 50 states so that voters are educated on the choice before them. Together, we can put America back to work.
"Secretary Clinton's work on behalf of Building Trades workers and their families is unquestioned," said McGarvey. "Her infrastructure plan is further proof that she understands that the state of our nation's infrastructure is a bellwether for the health of the American economy and for the economic prospects of American workers.  We commend Secretary Clinton for putting forth a robust, yet entirely practical plan. She acknowledges, in stark contrast to the other candidates in this presidential race, that this is a national problem which requires a bold, national, and realistic solution, not a pie-in-the-sky dream or a piecemeal approach."
The Hill reports:
Hillary Clinton landed another endorsement from a national union group on Thursday, growing her lead over Democratic presidential rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the race for labor support.
The International Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers, a group that claims 30,000 members, cited Clinton’s support for energy efficiency in its endorsement.
“In addition to your strong support for fundamental labor standards, and your leadership and vision for an American economy that is focused on strong, fair and long-term growth, the Insulators are especially pleased with your recognition of the significant contributions of our members to energy efficiency,” the group said in a letter.
Associated Press reports:
Hillary Clinton has won the endorsement of the Women's Chamber of Commerce, giving her the public backing of a large organization of female entrepreneurs as she works to make women's economic issues central to her campaign.
The group represents about 500,000 female business owners, executives and workers. Their support for Clinton marks their first public endorsement of a presidential candidate. Much of the group's work focuses on increasing capital and access to federal contracts for female-owned companies as well as the number of women in leadership positions.
"For our detailed review, one candidate — Hillary Clinton — stands head and shoulders above the rest," said CEO Margot Dorfman, in a statement. "The election of Hillary Clinton as President of the United States will unleash the economic power of women and forge a bold new potential for every woman in America."
CNN reports:
U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez will formally endorse Hillary Clinton in Iowa on Friday, according to a campaign aide, joining the presidential candidate for two campaign events in the Hawkeye State.
Perez said that he was standing behind Clinton because she is "tough, smart, and understands better than any candidate the challenges that parents are talking about around dinner tables and keeping families up at night."
"Progressives believe in making progress, which is why I'm proud to endorse Hillary Clinton who I know will continue fighting to ensure our children and grandchildren can achieve their highest and best dreams," he said in a statement provided by the Clinton campaign.
Before serving as labor secretary, Perez was the head of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. According to Clinton aides, Perez will bring that experience to the campaign and advise the candidate on civil rights, criminal justice and economic issues.
Clinton wrote a nice piece for Billboard supporting women honorees in music:
The great Loretta Lynn once said that to make it in the music business, "You either have to be first, best or different."
That's true for all of this year's Women in Music honorees, Ms. Lynn included. They're different from anyone else out there. They've racked up many "firsts" -- like first artist to get more than 1 billion views on YouTube (Lady Gaga) and first woman to chart more than 50 top 10 hits (Lynn). And they're the best at what they do, whether that's fronting a raucous soul band, ­writing ­hypnotic dance anthems, unspooling intricate rap lyrics about female empowerment or crooning ballads about heartbreak and young love.
I've been listening to some of these women for years. Others I recently discovered. Now I'm a fan of them all. Their talent is dazzling. So is their work ethic. None of these women had success handed to her. They all had to keep at it, even in the face of failure and discouragement -- they kept ­singing, kept writing, kept getting better and better. They did it because they knew they had something ­special to offer the world. They knew their stories and points of view were worth ­sharing. And they were absolutely right about that.
Wonderfully, many of these women are ­channeling their success in thoughtful and ­generous ways. They're starting foundations, mentoring girls and enthusiastically ­advocating for causes close to their hearts -- everything from improving mental health care to ­registering ­people to vote. They know how lucky they are to be doing what they love, and they're making it count in the best of ways. To me, that's worth honoring just as much as their music.

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