Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hillary News & Views 4.5: NY Minimum Wage, VT Guns, Delegates, Analysis from McEwan, Krugman

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Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton celebrating the minimum wage and paid leave laws that were just signed in New York state.
Politico reports:
Monday was a day of positive reinforcement for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The morning that he signed legislation that will bring New York City’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over several years and institute a partially paid family leave policy, President Barack Obama issued a statement commending him, and tweeted out his laurels for good measure: "Nobody should have to choose between losing a paycheck & caring for their family. I applaud @NYGovCuomo for taking a big step on paid leave.”
When finally he emerged victorious onto the stage, Hillary Clinton strode beside him, to the thump of Bon Jovi’s "Work for the Working Man."
“We owe the governor a huge debt of gratitude,” said Clinton. “But I also really appreciate that what the governor did shows the way to getting an increased minimum wage at the federal level."
Cuomo “had to put together the votes,” she said. “Now some people get bored by that kind of talk. 'Don’t bother me with the details. Let’s jut make it sound good. Let’s just feel good.' Well, I think we’d still be sounding and feeling good if it hadn’t been for the hard work and the incredible commitment that the governor made to this issue.”
New York’s $15 minimum wage law closely follows the model that Clinton has proposed, which is mindful of small businesses and the ability of larger cities to sustain higher wages than areas with a lower cost of living:
The state budget includes a historic increase in the minimum wage, ultimately reaching $15 an hour for all workers in all industries across the state.
  • For workers in New York City employed by large businesses (those with at least 11 employees), the minimum wage would rise to $11 at the end of 2016, then another $2 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2018.
  • For workers in New York City employed by small businesses (those with 10 employees or fewer), the minimum wage would rise to $10.50 by the end of 2016, then another $1.50 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2019.
  • For workers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage would increase to $10 at the end of 2016, then $1 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2021.
  • For workers in the rest of the state, the minimum wage would increase to $9.70 at the end of 2016, then another .70 each year after until reaching $12.50 on 12/31/2020 – after which will continue to increase to $15 on an indexed schedule to be set by the Director of the Division of Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor.
Further, the bill provides a safety valve to the increases. Beginning in 2019, the state DOB Director will conduct an annual analysis of the economy in each region and the effect of the minimum wage increases statewide to determine whether a temporary suspension of the scheduled increases is necessary. That analysis is submitted to the Department of Labor by the Division of Budget.
It will be interesting to contrast the economic impact in California, which has gone $15 statewide, to the results in New York. A minimum wage increase on this scale is historically unprecedented, and the data from both states will help assess the economic benefits and risks.



Clinton has also been pointing out the connection between Vermont’s lax gun laws and crime in New York state, something that has been well documented in the past. 

Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton ratcheted up her attacks on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' gun control record Monday, telling a private gathering of state legislators near the State Capitol that many of the guns used by New York criminals come across the border from the Green Mountain State.
“She said she wants to work to get illegal guns off the street and said it's been part of her work as an elected official to strengthen laws to keep America safe. She said that it's going to be coming out in the very near future that many of the catastrophes that have taken human lives in the State of New York have been the product of guns coming over the border from Vermont,” said State Sen. Tim Kennedy, a Democrat from Buffalo. “That's the first I heard it. I think it caught everybody's attention and we're looking forward to learning more about it.”
Clinton, who represented the Empire State for eight years in the U.S. Senate before she was tapped as President Obama's first secretary of state, has been hammering Sanders' record on gun control in states — including New York — with major urban populations.
On Sunday, Clinton told worshipers at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn's Canarsie neighborhood that there was a “big difference” between her and Sanders on the issue, and that he “has voted with the National Rifle Association and the big gun lobby.”
“She said that many of the guns that are found to be involved in crimes in this state are found to have their origins in Vermont,” said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, a Democrat from Kingston. “The implication was just that many of the guns that are involved in crimes in this state come from Vermont. That was the implication I got. She also talked about the Charleston loop hole, which she said Senator Sanders supported, which she doesn't.”
Clinton isn't pulling punches about Sanders not helping downballot Democrats. Good.

ABC News reports:
"There's no indication there's any interest there," the Democratic presidential candidate responded when asked by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos if she thinks the Vermont senator would help the Senate go back to the Democrats.
"I am committed to electing Democrats. I'm committed to raising money. I'm already helping to fund Democratic campaigns, because at the end of the day a president can do a lot, and I have a very robust agenda with big goals for our country," she continued.
Robby Mook wrote on the state of the race for Medium. (Spoiler alert: Clinton’s winning.)
Thanks to nearly 9 million voters across the country and the support of people like you, Hillary Clinton has built a nearly insurmountable lead among both delegates and actual voters. Contrary to the claims of the Sanders campaign, in measure after measure, Clinton has shown the broadest support of any candidate currently running for president.
We know that the misleading spin will continue, but we wanted you to know the facts about the real state of the Democratic primary.
The facts and the path forward are both clear:
  • Plain and simple — Hillary Clinton is winning with voters: With more than half of the primary votes already cast, Hillary Clinton has earned nearly 9 million votes — including 2.5 million more than Bernie Sanders. She has received 58 percent of the popular vote. That support includes key parts of the Democratic and the Obama coalition, including African American voters, Latino voters, union households, women, and seniors. In addition, a recent survey by Gallup showed that her supporters are more enthusiastic about her than Sanders’ supporters are about him.
  • When more people vote, Hillary Clinton wins: Contrary to some of the spin you may have heard, when turnout is high, Hillary Clinton wins. In fact, Clinton has won 17 of the 21 states where more than 7 percent of eligible voters turned out. On the other hand, most of Senator Sanders’ wins come in states that hold caucuses, where overall voter turnout is typically much smaller.
  • On average, turnout in primaries or caucuses that Clinton won was four percentage points higher than in primaries or caucuses that Sanders won. Nearly four times more people participated in the primaries and caucuses that Clinton won than participated in the primaries and caucuses Sanders won. In states Clinton won, an average of 742k turned out compared to fewer than 200k where Sanders won.
  • The delegate math is on our side: Hillary Clinton has a lead of nearly 230 pledged delegates  — and with each passing week, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Senator Sanders will be able to catch up. In order to do so, Sanders has to win the four remaining delegate-rich primaries — New York, Pennsylvania, California, and New Jersey — with roughly 60 percent of the vote. To put that in perspective: Sanders has thus far won only two primaries with that margin: Vermont and New Hampshire. Needless to say, the size and demographic makeups of New York, Pennsylvania, California, and New Jersey are decidedly different than Vermont and New Hampshire. And these figures don’t even include superdelegates, where Clinton has an overwhelming lead.
  • Hillary Clinton is the only candidate tough enough to beat Donald Trump: While the Sanders campaign is aggressively trying to spin Democrats into believing their candidate matches up better against Trump, they fail to mention three key points:
1. Although both candidates consistently beat Trump in polls, Clinton maintains her lead even after sustaining millions of dollars of negative Republican attacks. Sanders has yet to have a Republican attack ad run against him in this campaign, but certainly would in the general election — and general election polling at this stage in the race would not predict the full impact of those attacks; 2. Maybe that’s why exit polls consistently show that Democrats believe Hillary Clinton is by far the strongest candidate to take on Donald Trump. When asked which candidate had a better chance to defeat Trump in November, Democrats in Florida chose Clinton by a margin of 76–20. In Ohio, by a margin of 66–31, and in North Carolina, by a margin of 68–26; 3. While many political experts question the validity of general election polls this early in the race, only one candidate actually has earned more votes than Donald Trump. While Clinton has 1 million more votes than Trump, Trump has received roughly 1.5 million more votes than Sanders thus far.
  • The Sanders campaign’s path forward relies on overturning the will of the voters: The math being what it is, the Sanders campaign has struggled to explain their path to the nomination. Their latest strategy involves a combination of trying to flip pledged delegates at state and county conventions, while also convincing superdelegates that he deserves their support — despite the fact that Hillary Clinton has won 58 percent of the popular vote and a majority of pledged delegates thus far. For most of the campaign, Senator Sanders has criticized the role that superdelegates play in the nominating process, but as he now campaigns without a clear path the nomination that relies on the voters, he’s aggressively courting their support.
We could not be prouder of the support Hillary and this campaign have earned across the country — from a wide range of voters in states across the country to elected leaders to party and union activists, and groups fighting for issues ranging from reproductive freedom to workers’ rights to climate change to gun violence prevention.
Thank you for your support, and we look forward to continuing to build a campaign that will ensure we win the White House in November.
Cecile Richards is on the campaign trail in Wisconsin.

Madison.com  reports:
Planned Parenthood, in its first-ever presidential primary endorsement, is backing the former secretary of state over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Richards was in Madison over the weekend working to energize supporters and voters to support Clinton in Wisconsin's April 5 primary election. 
"This is the big one," Richards said. "This is a woman who has been standing for women her entire life."
Commending women who serve as elected officials, Richards said, it's still not easy to be a woman in office. 
"This is sort of the pinnacle of everything we’ve fought for all our lives," she said.
Richards, who has led Planned Parenthood since 2006, said there has never been a stronger onslaught against women's health and reproductive rights and the organization itself than she has seen in this election. 
Clinton would be "the best president our nation will ever have," Falk said.
Richards said she believes Clinton is the most qualified presidential candidate the country has seen in her lifetime, citing her experience as first lady, in the U.S. Senate and as secretary of state.
Again noting the pro-choice voting records of other Democratic candidates, Richards argued there is "a difference between being a vote and being a leader."
Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, noted that many of her constituents are strong Sanders supporters who question her support for Clinton.
"He votes the right way, but he isn't that champion," Taylor said.
It matters not just to have someone who "says the right things and votes the right way, but who actually has demonstrated when the chips are down that they will go the distance," Richards responded, noting that President Barack Obama vetoed a budget bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood.
"That's the difference between leadership and raising your hand and saying 'Aye,'" Richards said.
Melissa McEwan writes for Blue Nation Review:
Over and over again, from calling Hillary emblematic of “the establishment,” to inextricably tying her to “Wall Street” by making allusions to her privately earned speaking fees, to fomenting conspiracy theories about how the Democratic Party is rigging the primary for Hillary—repeatedly hammering talking points that connect her to the institutions Bernie criticizes as the raison d’être for his calls for revolution—Bernie’s campaign and surrogates have implicated Hillary as corrupt.
Even after Hillary called out his “artful smear” at a February debate, telling him to stop attacking her via insinuation and urging him, “If you’ve got something to say, say it directly,” the relentless attacks by wink and suggestion have continued.
Now Team Bernie, with a helpful assist from the New York Times, at the very moment Bernie is under increased scrutiny for going negative with mendacious innuendo, is trying to rewrite the narrative that the real problem is that Bernie just had too much decency to go negative sooner.
If any of this sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because this narrative uncannily echoes the post-mortems written about another senator who lost the presidency to a popular candidate, after promising to run a positive campaign, then going negative with personal attacks delivered via innuendo and “rogue” surrogates.
John McCain, who once had a reputation as one of the most principled members of the Senate, never recovered after the appalling campaign he ran against President Obama. He, too, was supposed to have been a candidate whose unyielding integrity held him back from fighting dirty, even at the urging of his advisors—though his army of surrogates, including and especially his running mate, Sarah Palin, incessantly smeared Obama by insinuation.
After his resounding defeat, there was a desperate attempt to rewrite history to elide that it was when his campaign started going deeply negative that people started to dislike him, especially when he was obliged to publicly address his supporters’ ugly bigotry. The truth is, no amount of retroactive spin could undo the damage McCain did to himself—not because he was bursting with integrity, but because he was desperate to win.
We’re not comparing Bernie to McCain, but we are illustrating that their excuses sound awfully similar.
As we’ve been observing for months, Bernie’s decision to go hard negative on Hillary has been a terrible mistake. It will not help him win, and may cost him even more than the nomination.
Paul Krugman has more for New York Times:
Sanders supporters have, to a much greater extent than generally acknowledged, been motivated by the perception that Clinton is dishonest, which comes — whether they know it or not — not from her actual behavior but from decades of right-wing smears; but Sanders himself got to play the issue-oriented purist, in effect taking a free ride on other peoples’ character defamation. There was plenty of nastiness from Sanders supporters, but the candidate himself seemed to stay above the fray.
But it wasn’t enough, largely because of nonwhite voters. Why have these voters been so pro-Clinton? One reason I haven’t seen laid out, but which I suspect is important, is that they are more sensitized than most whites to how the disinformation machine works, to how fake scandals get promoted and become part of what “everyone knows.” Not least, they’ve seen the torrent of lies directed at our first African-American president, and have a sense that not everything you hear should be believed.
So now, in a last desperate attempt to beat the arithmetic, the Sanders campaign is turning the implicit character attack explicit, and doing so on the weakest possible ground. Clinton, who has said that coal is on its way out, is a tool of the fossil-fuel industry because some people who work in that industry gave her money? Wow.
Still, maybe it can work — although you need to remember that Sanders needs landslide victories in what’s left of the primary. The problem is that if it doesn’t work, Sanders will have spent a couple of months validating Republican attacks on the Democratic nominee (or, if he somehow pulls off an incredible upset, deeply alienating lots of progressives he’s going to need himself.)
But what an ugly way to end a campaign that was supposed to be positive and idealistic.
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