Category - USA: Campaign 2016

Election 2016: Jeb Bush Got $1.3M Job At Lehman After Florida Shifted Pension Cash To Bank

IBT, By Matthew Cunningham-Cook, David Sirota, and Andrew Perez, August 19

For Florida taxpayers, the move by the administration of then-Gov. Jeb Bush to forge a relationship with Lehman Brothers would ultimately prove disastrous. Transactions in 2005 and 2006 put the Wall Street investment bank in charge of some $250 million worth of pension funds for Florida cops, teachers and firefighters. Lehman would capture more than $5 million in fees on these deals, while gaining additional contracts to manage another $1.2 billion of Florida’s money. Then, in the fall of 2008, Lehman collapsed into bankruptcy, leaving Florida facing up to $1 billion in losses.

But for Jeb Bush personally, his enduring relationship with Lehman would prove lucrative. In 2007, just as he left office, Bush secured a job as a Lehman consultant for $1.3 million a year, Bloomberg reported.

Weeks after Bush took the Lehman job, the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) — a three-member body that makes investment decisions about state pension funds and whose ranks had recently included one Jeb Bush — gave Lehman additional business: SBA purchased $842 million worth of separate investments in Lehman’s mortgage-backed securities. Over the course of one year from June 2007 to June 2008, the SBA would shift an additional $420 million of pension money into the same fund in which the state had begun investing under Bush.

In short, during Bush’s first year working for Lehman, his former colleagues in Tallahassee, the state capital, moved vast sums of Florida pension money into the doomed Wall Street investment bank, even as warnings about its financial troubles began to emerge.

Heidi Klum hits back at Donald Trump after ‘no longer a 10’ comment

Supermodel posts video shrugging off comments made by Republican presidential frontrunner in the New York Times that her looks were fading.

The Guardian, By Mahita Gajanan, August 18

New York – With not much more than a gasp and a shrug, supermodel Heidi Klum has hit back at Donald Trump after the Republican frontrunner declared her no longer a “10”.

Trump told the New York Times the supermodel’s looks were fading in a discussion about the fact that he sometimes goes “a little bit far”. “Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10,” the businessman and TV star said.

Klum responded on Monday with a 12-second video posted to her Twitter and Instagram pages.

In the video, Klum poses for a photographer in a cut-off white T-shirt that says “10”. A man in a Trump mask rips off the “10”, revealing “9.99”, and everyone gasps.

Klum looks down, shrugs and smiles, as the video fades to black and #HeidiTrumpsTrump appears on screen.

Klum tweeted seven other hashtags with the video, including #TrumpHasSpoken, #NoLongerA10, #IHadAGoodRun and #BeautyIsInTheEyeOfTheBeheld.

Larry Lessig Believes Democracy Is Screwed. So He’s Running For President To Save It.

Huffington Post, By Sam Stein, August 10

Washington – Larry Lessig, a well-known legal theorist and political activist, is taking the plunge into electoral politics, announcing on Tuesday that he will formally explore a run for the presidency in 2016 as a Democrat.

Lessig, a Harvard law professor, will be a distinctly unconventional White House aspirant. In an interview, he said he will run on a singular platform: the Citizen Equality Act, which includes campaign finance reform, an end to partisan gerrymandering, and a vast expansion of voting access that would make Election Day a national holiday. Should he win and lead the passage of that agenda, Lessig said he’ll promptly quit, handing the office to his vice president, whoever that may be.

“This is not a ‘Rent Is Too Damn High’ campaign,” Lessig said, referencing the infamous 2010 gubernatorial run of Jimmy McMillan in New York. “This is a campaign about how we need to intervene to make democracy possible again. Raising the salience of that issue is enormously important. I think there is more of a chance that we do more than just raise the salience. … It is a shot worth taking regardless of the criticism that will come.”

NYT: Lawrence Lessig to Explore a Run for President as a Democrat

Hillary Clinton unveils climate change policy

Los Angeles Times, By Evan Halper & Seema Mehta, July 26

Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to position herself as a crusader against climate change Sunday by unveiling some robust goals, even as she continued to avoid some of the more contentious battles around global warming.

Clinton announced that she will push to vastly expand the number of solar panels installed in the United States, as well as to boost overall renewable energy to the point that it will be able to fuel all homes and businesses by 2027.

The proposals reflect Clinton’s commitment to continuing the path on climate change set by President Obama, who champions numerous policies that bolster renewables and push a reduction in fossil fuel consumption.

The Clinton package is incomplete, however. Unlike her rivals in the Democratic presidential contest, Clinton has yet to take a position on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from the Canadian tar sands to Gulf Coast ports. She also has yet to weigh in on a campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing nationwide, or to take a firm position on offshore oil drilling.

The proposal Clinton released Sunday for boosting solar installations by 700% is vague on details about how it would be funded.

Think Progress: Clinton Campaign Releases Horror Film Montage Of Climate-Denying Presidential Candidates

Scott Walker Moves to Do Away With Workers’ Weekends

RH Reality Check, By Nina Liss-Schultz, July 15

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday signed into law a $72.7 billion two-year state budget that kills the state’s living wage law and takes away workers’ right to a weekend.

Walker’s latest austerity measures came just hours before he officially became a contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Wisconsin law required that the state’s minimum wage “not be less than a living wage.” Last fall, workers filed a lawsuit arguing that the state’s $7.25 hourly minimum wage did not constitute a living wage. But Walker’s budget stripped the language “living wage” from the law, nullifying the court battle and making wage increases more difficult for people who work.

Walker, in his first interview since announcing his candidacy, challenged the mere existence of a minimum wage.

Deep Left Field: Jeb Bush Says Christians Should ‘Absolutely’ Be Allowed To Discriminate Against LGBT Americans

US News and World Report: Obama’s Donors Flocking To Sanders, Romney’s Going To Rubio

Politicus USA: Bernie Sanders Sets A New Record As 11,000 Show Up For Rally In Red State Arizona

The Washington Examiner: Ben Carson: Walking away from paid speaking commitments would be ‘unethical’

His most recent book’s sales quadrupled in the immediate weeks after launching his presidential campaign, and his personal financial disclosure shows he made more
than $4 million from delivering speeches across the country.

Jacobin: Worse Than Benghazi

Business Insider: Wall Street is picking its candidates in the 2016 presidential race — and 2 are already standing out

Daily Kos: UPDATE – New Legal Action Further Exposes Jeb Bush, Koch Brothers & Rick Scott GP Scandal

Wisconsin governor strips workers’ wage protections

RT, July 16

With the stroke of a pen, Wisconsin’s governor passed a two-year spending bill which also strikes down a key wage protection law. The prevailing wage law ensured government contract workers were paid comparable rates in any given industry.

“With this budget, taxpayers come first,” said Republican Governor Scott Walker announcing the passage of his $72.7 billion biennial budget.

Calling the prevailing wage law a “depression-era…mandate that artificially increases the costs of construction,” Walker said he was reforming government through its repeal. He said local government would be exempt from the mandate, “savings millions for our schools, technical colleges and other local governments.”


New York Times: Haste, Hustle and Scott Walker, Frank Bruni

In the formal announcement of his presidential campaign on Monday, Scott Walker mentioned God right away, introduced himself as a preacher’s son and invoked religion repeatedly, as he has throughout a perpetual candidacy that stretches back to his college days, when he told the Marquette University yearbook: “I really think there’s a reason why God put all these political thoughts in my head.”


Wikipedia: Scott Walker

In February 2015, Trip Gabriel of The New York Times described him as having “quickly vaulted into the top tier of likely candidates in the Republican presidential race”. Peter Beinart of The Atlantic noted Walker’s success with a conservative audience at the Iowa Freedom Summit. On April 20, at a fundraising event for the New York State Republican Party, David Koch told donors that he and his brother, who oversee one of the biggest private political organizations in the country, believed that Mr. Walker would be the Republican nominee.

Jeb Bush joins Republican backlash against pope on climate change

‘I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope’ – Coal industry lobbyist says pope should promote fossil fuels to help poor.

The Guardian, By Suzanne Goldenberg & Sabrina Siddiqui, June 17

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush joined forces with the coal industry and climate deniers in a gathering conservative backlash against the pope, lashing out against a leaked draft of the spiritual leader’s letter on climate change.

In his first official day on the presidential campaign trail, Bush, who is Catholic, told a town hall event in New Hampshire that Pope Francis should steer clear of global affairs.

The energy industry also turned on the pope, with the lobbyist for one of America’s biggest coalmining companies sending out an email blast on Tuesday, rebuking the church leader for failing to promote fossil fuels as a solution to global poverty.

[…]

Bush earlier this month was the sole Republican presidential candidate invited to speak at a $7,500 golfing and fly fishing retreat hosted by coal companies, including Arch.

[…]

Only one of the nearly 20 Republicans running for president acknowledges the danger of climate change: Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator, who is considered a long shot.

Lindsey Graham starts national campaign from home

USA Today, By Mary Troyan, June 1

Washington — Sen. Lindsey Graham has never lost a race.

In consecutive elections since 1992, he has wooed South Carolina voters with a combination of bootstrapped beginnings, a quick wit, pragmatism and ferocious debating skills.

On Monday, he returns to his boyhood hometown in Pickens County to announce his most ambitious campaign to date — for the Republican presidential nomination.

His perfect record at the ballot box — one election to the South Carolina House, five to the U.S. House and three to the U.S. Senate — has made him the most powerful Republican in South Carolina.

[…]

In talking to CBS in May about his presidential campaign, he said in his typical blunt and occasionally inflammatory way, “I’m running because the world is falling apart.”

Rick Santorum to Launch Second White House Bid

Republican former senator seeks to appeal as a champion of the working class.

The Wall Street Journal, By Rebecca Ballhaus, May 27

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is set to launch his second presidential campaign in Pittsburgh Wednesday, attempting to bolster his reputation as a social-issues warrior with an appeal as a champion of the working class.

Mr. Santorum hopes outreach to lower-income Americans, combined with his base of support among evangelical Christians and the party’s most conservative voters, will propel him ahead of better-funded candidates with establishment backing.

The strategy builds on his 2012 bid as a lunch-bucket conservative with a populist economic tone and a focus on social issues, an image that appealed to voters who felt eventual nominee Mitt Romney was insufficiently conservative.

“There’s a real opportunity for a candidate to come forward with a plan that’s going to provide upward mobility for everybody and unite the country in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” last month.

The first repeat is tragedy, right?

3bb1012ca7881a903f6bb688401857a5453d3be4