Things That Matter

Julian Castro May Not Be The Nominee In 2020 But Don’t Worry, The Candidate Has Many Other Options To Make A Difference

Julian Castro may have ended his bid for president in 2020, but that doesn’t mean the 45-year-old Democrat won’t be making waves in the near future. The former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and mayor of San Antonio, Texas could be the state’s prospective governor in 2022. Texas has been inching further to the left in recent years and Democrats like Beto O’Rourke, Castro, and community organizers have been building broader coalitions in the notoriously conservative state. 

Moreover, Castro could be the presidential nominee’s running mate. In 2016, Hillary Clinton audited Castro as her potential Vice President but instead chose Senator Tim Kaine a non-Latinx, Spanish-speaker citing Castro’s lack of experience. Shortly after dropping out of the race, Castro endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president. Could the pair be the winning duo the party needs to unseat the far-right Republican incumbent? Only time will tell. 

Some believe Castro would be tough competition for Texas governor.

Ryan J. Rusak of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram believes the end of Castro’s presidential campaign could signal a new beginning. While Castro didn’t make as big as a splash as say the billionaires who could invest tens of millions of dollars into their campaigns, he was able to set himself apart by being the first to center issues like immigration, reproductive rights for trans women and men, mass incarceration and police brutality as gun violence. Castro exited the race with a largely unscathed reputation and larger name recognition. 

Rusak believes a governor’s race between O’Rourke and Castro could further shift Texas left. A healthy rivalry could be good for Texas politics. 

“Watching them dance around each other will be fascinating. Castro seems stronger right now, but he doesn’t have O’Rourke’s statewide track record,” Rusak wrote. “Their rivalry, if one develops, could shape Texas Democratic politics for years. O’Rourke is concentrating on raising money to help Democrats win the Texas House, the kind of effort that could give him lots of favors to call in for a statewide race.” 

The former San Antonio mayor could end being the first Latinx Vice President. 

Castro, having previously been a part of Obama’s cabinet, might be sitting pretty in a different office should the Democratic presidential nominee win. 

“Castro will almost certainly be considered as a running mate by his party’s nominee or could end up in another Cabinet post,” Rusak wrote. 

Roughly four days after dropping out of the race, Castro endorsed Warren for President. Many believe this means he might be her running mate – although it could be wishful thinking. 

“Today I’m proud to endorse @ewarren for president. Elizabeth and I share a vision of America where everyone counts. An America where people⁠—not the wealthy or well-connected⁠—are put first. I’m proud to join her in the fight for big, structural change,” Castro wrote on Twitter. 

The New York Times found the endorsement unsurprising since the two candidates have been close allies throughout the campaign. The paper even offered that his endorsement could reinvigorate her campaign. Castro plans on traveling to New York City with Warren to give her a boost on the trail. 

“It formalizes a partnership that could help Ms. Warren reignite excitement at a critical moment. Ms. Warren has fallen from her polling peak in early October when she was hailed as the race’s ascendant front-runner and the standard-bearer for the party’s progressive wing,” according to the New York Times. 

However, Castro has previously said he didn’t want to be Vice President.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host asked Castro if he had any interest in being Vice President if he isn’t the nominee. Castro’s answer may have some of his fans disappointed. 

“Is it possible you might want to be vice president if the president thing doesn’t work out?” Kimmel asked Castro. “No, no, I’ve been there and done that last time,” Castro responded.

Nevertheless, CNN notes that presidential candidates often evade questions about taking lesser positions while they’re running. Many may have forgotten that Joe Biden ran for president in 2008 but ended up accepting Obama’s invitation as VP.

“You know, I started my campaign off, and we lived true to the idea that we want an America where everyone counts,” Castro tells Warren in his endorsement video. “It’s the same vision that I see in you, in your campaign, in the America that you would help bring about.”

After becoming the front-runner over the summer, Warren appears to have dropped to third place behind centrist Vice President Joe Biden and progressive Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Thank you Julian Castro for being a powerful voice, for proposing bold and progressive plans, and for using your campaign to help people who need it now. You made this race stronger—and you will continue to be a leader in our party and our country for many years to come,” Warren said of Castro and she just might be right. 

Democratic Candidates Joined Forces To Call Out Former Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Recent Past

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Democratic Candidates Joined Forces To Call Out Former Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Recent Past

elizabethwarren / mikebloomberg / Instagram

The Democratic candidates met in Las Vegas for the 10th Democratic Debate. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg took the stage in a heated debate ranging from income inequality to immigration. But the biggest focus was Bloomberg’s record of racial profiling and income hoarding.

Last night was the 10th Democratic debate in Las Vegas and Senator Elizabeth Warren started off with a dig against Mike Bloomberg.

“I’d like to talk about who we are running against, a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” Sen. Warren said at the beginning of the debate. “And, no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg. Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk.”

Sen. Warren that she is prepared to support whoever wins the nomination but warned about the dangers of electing Bloomberg. She added: “Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another. This country has worked for the rich for a long time and left everyone else in the dirt.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden joined Sen. Warren in calling out Bloomberg.

“Let’s get something straight. The reason that stop and frisk changed is because Barack Obama sent moderators to see what was going on. When we sent there to say that this practice has to stop, the mayor thought it was a terrible idea that we send them there. A terrible idea,” Biden told the audience. “Let’s get the facts straight. Let’s get the order straight. It’s not whether he apologized or not, it’s the policy. The policy was abhorrent and it was, in fact, a violation of every right people have and we are the ones, our administration, sent people in to moderate it and at the very same time, the mayor argued against that.”

Biden added that Bloomberg didn’t come up with the idea of ending the policy on his own. Bloomberg was forced to end the policy because of outside legal and political pressure.

Bloomberg argued back that his record on criminal justice is no different in its ability to determine the right course of action.

“I’ve sat. I’ve apologized. I’ve asked for forgiveness. But the bottom line is that we stopped too many people and we’ve got to make sure that we do something about criminal justice in this country,” Bloomberg argued. “There’s no great answer to a lot of these questions and if we took off everybody who was wrong on this panel, everybody that was wrong on criminal justice at some time in their career, there’d be nobody else up here.” 

Bloomberg’s history of making women sign non-disclosure agreements after filing complaints against him also came up.

Sen. Warren took aim at Bloomberg’s long history of sexual harassment and gender discrimination hidden behind non-disclosure agreements.

“I hope you heard what his defense was, ‘I’ve been nice to some women.’ That just doesn’t cut it,” Sen. Warren said after Bloomberg told the audience that he’s given some women top jobs in his organizations. “The mayor has to stand on his own record and what we need to know is exactly what’s lurking out there. He has gotten some number of women, dozens, who knows, to sign non-disclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace. So, Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those non-disclosure agreements so we can hear their side of the story?”

Bloomberg answered Sen. Warren claiming that the non-disclosure agreements are mainly because “maybe some of them didn’t like a joke I told.” Bloomberg further argued that the women wanted to sign the non-disclosure agreements and that “we’ll live with it.”

Bloomberg’s comment about women not liking his joke was met with boos and groans of disapproval from the shocked audience.

Sen. Warren also made sure to include that Bloomberg blamed the housing crisis on minorities.

During the housing crisis, Sen. Warren held hearing to figure out what was happening that forced millions of Americans from their homes. At the same time, Bloomberg was blaming Latinos and African-Americans for causing the housing crash.

What do you think about Mike Bloomberg’s record with minority communities?

READ: Michael Bloomberg Apologizes For Stop-And-Frisk Policy But A Racially-Charged Audio Clip Shows A Different Side

The National Popular Vote May Be The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of The Electoral College

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The National Popular Vote May Be The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of The Electoral College

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We may not be able to get rid of the electoral college without a constitutional amendment but a new proposal known as the National Popular Vote (NPV) is picking up a lot of steam. 

The United States is supposed to be a democracy where voters choose their leaders. In the past two decades, the will of the people has been subverted by the will of the electoral college. Imagine how the country might be different had Al Gore, an environmentalist, who won the popular vote against George W. Bush, who started the disastrous Iraq war, was elected instead? Imagine if Hillary Clinton, who hasn’t been accused of sexual assault two dozen times, and beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes had secured her seat in the oval? 

15 states and the District of Columbia have already adopted NPV.

“As signatories, each jurisdiction pledges to select Electoral College members who support the presidential candidate who won the most votes nationally, regardless of which candidate won the most votes in that particular jurisdiction,” according to the Atlantic

NPV is an interstate compact that requires a certain level of commitment from neighboring states. The pact will go into effect when participating states total 270 electoral college votes (the required number for the president-elect). The 16 regions that have made the commitment are already at 196 electoral college votes. 

NPV is also making waves in state politics on a lower level. It appear state officials are paving a way to pass the pact.

“The National Popular Vote bill has now passed a total of 40 state legislative chambers in 24 states. It has also passed at least one legislative chamber in 8 states possessing 75 electoral votes (AR, AZ, ME, MI, MN, NC, NV, OK).  It has been unanimously approved at the committee level in 2 states possessing 27 more electoral votes (GA, MO),” according to NationalPopularVote.com.

The plan would not totally eradicate the electoral college but it would mean that state leaders have made a commitment to effectively ignore it. Voters often express conflicting attitudes about candidates: they really love one candidate, but question if they can win the electoral college. Proponents of NPV would argue such compromises have no place in a democracy and NPV can help eliminate the conflict altogether. 

NPV could solve two major issues with the electoral college.

There are two major longstanding issues with the electoral college. The first is that our system is based on the premise of “one voter, one vote.” However, the system is skewed in favor of voters in a few small states. Electoral votes are determined by the number of representatives in Congress which is determined by the state population. 

The Washington Post notes that while small states receive a minimum of three electoral votes, larger states have limits on how many electoral votes they can receive. 

” Wyoming, with 586,107 residents — gets three electoral college votes… Consider that California, the most populous state, has 39,144,818 residents and 55 electoral college votes,” according to the paper. “That means that in the electoral college, each individual Wyoming vote weighs 3.6 times more than an individual Californian’s vote.” 

The second issue is the “winner take all” effect, where no matter how small a margin of victory a candidate has, they take all the electoral votes. This means our election outcomes are determined by a few swing states. While some argue that a popular vote will hurt the Republican party, such detractors might ask why Republicans are unable to curry enough favor to win over most American voters. 

The electoral college also disenfranchises about 4 million voters who live on territories.

“Roughly 4 million Americans live in the United States’ five permanently populated overseas territories — and they have no voice in selecting a president. That includes Puerto Rico, the United States’ most populous overseas territory, whose population is larger than that of 21 states and the District of Columbia,” according to the Washington Post. 

While residents of the territories can participate in primaries (Marco Rubio won the Puerto Rican GOP primary by a landslide in 2016, for example), they have no electoral votes with the exception of Washington, D.C. 

“More and more, the United States is likely to elect presidents who haven’t won the popular vote — awarding the presidency to a party that has no popular mandate. The compromises behind the U.S. election system are failing at their goals,” Katy Collin wrote for the Washington Post

One of the original intentions of the electoral college may have been to give smaller states a voice, but it has essentially assured that smaller states are the only voices that matter when it comes to picking our most important leader.