Things That Matter

Jessica Cisneros Is 26 Years Old And Has Some Big Plans To Rep Her District If Elected To Congress

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is hoping she loses her title as the youngest ever elected Congressperson, and she wants to pass the crown onto Jessica Cisneros. Cisneros is a thriving 26-year-old immigrant rights attorney and a proud Tejana who wants to advocate for her border town district in the Capitol. In the ways that matter most – immigrant rights, environmental justice, and healthcare for all – AOC and Cisneros are in the same fight. 

Until they can work together in Congress, however, Cisneros has to unseat another Democratic Latino, Henry Cuellar, who has held the seat for eight terms in a row. Now his greatest contender, Cisneros used to be his intern.

Jessica Cisneros considers her opponent, Representative Cuellar, “Trump’s favorite Democrat.”

Credit: @emilyslist / Twitter

Cuellar has taken donations from the likes of immigrant detention centers and the Koch brothers. Cuellar maintains an “A” rating by the National Rifle Association. He’s even co-sponsored anti-abortion legislation, which would have banned abortion after week 20. In 2014, Cuellar was the only House Democrat to vote for a bill that made it easier to deport unaccompanied minors. 

Still, Cisneros tells The New York Times that she was “very, very excited” to intern with him. She thought she’d be helping her people. “Once I got there,” she continued, “I noticed his silence on a lot of things I care about: women’s rights, poverty, health care. People I know with diabetes have to go to Nuevo Laredo for medications because it’s so expensive.”

Like AOC, Cisneros refused to accept corporate PAC donations, which frees her up to be more accountable to her constituents than to corporations.

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

The short story is that Cisneros can’t be bought. Every constituent’s voice carries equal weight in her decision-making process. “Less than 1% of my opponent’s donations last year came from small-dollar donations: under $6000,” Cisneros shares to her social media campaign account. “In 6 hours, our campaign received more small-dollar donations than my opponent did ALL last cycle. I’m proud to take no corporate PAC money so I am accountable only to the people.”

Her primary campaign platform is to reform the broken immigration system.

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

When Cisneros was 7 years old, she witnessed Mexican families crossing the border, and “would see that they were terrified.” She tells The New York Times that even then, at 7 years old, she couldn’t see the difference between those families, and her own. She knew she would become a lawyer, and went on to serve immigrants trying to navigate the complicated immigration system. As a practicing lawyer, it was a horrible pill to swallow to learn that there isn’t much she can do to help grant her clients asylum as a lawyer. The laws don’t exist to allow lawyers to effectively serve their clients.

I realized that if the laws are the problem, then I am going to have to go to Congress to fix that,” she tells The New York Times.

She’s experienced the failing healthcare system first-hand and wants to change it.

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

Cisneros’s parents used to live across the bridge in Nuevo Laredo, México, but when her older sister needed medical care only available in the United States, they moved to Laredo, Texas. Soon after, Jessica was born. Her father, a farmworker, started a produce trucking business while her mom took care of the children. Still, she continued to see how her sister wasn’t able to get the urgent medical care she needed. Cisneros’s campaign aims to grant Medicare for all to “all who call America home.” She wants to scrap copays, deductibles, and premiums.

Cisneros wants to create a “renewable economy through solar and wind.”

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

The Green New Deal is arguably AOC’s most ambitious and urgent proposal during her Congressional term. While donning a “Green New Deal” shirt, Cisneros captions the social media photo with her own local campaign for a “big bold plan like the Green New Deal.”The Rio Grande River is the lifeblood and only source of water for our border community,” she posts. “We must improve infrastructure that will clean our water and sustain our community far into the future,” she writes, adding that such an industry would “provide a new wave of jobs for our district.”  

AOC’s endorsement is huge, but Cisneros is committed to being “the first Jessica Cisneros.”

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

As far as being compared to AOC as a young Latina, Cisneros tells The New York Times, “People think because I am a young Latina who is trying to help the Democratic Party I am just like her. I have a lot of admiration for her, but that doesn’t mean we’re the same. I am trying to be the first Jessica Cisneros, and just do that well.” Still, AOC’s endorsement has invited supporters like Tere Schaefer to tweet, “Thank you AOC! I sure hope @JCisnerosTX  joins #TheSquad in the next term. I don’t live in TX but I’ll donate to her.”

Cisneros has also been endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Justice Democrats. You can donate to her campaign here.

READ: AOC’s Average Priced Haircut Has Set Off A Twitter Storm On The Right But She’s Clapping Back

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Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Things That Matter

Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Spencer Platt / Getty

Last night’s first presidential debate of the 2020 election gave us about as much optimism and assurance of safety as his past four years in office. Particularly because when it came to the moments when our current president was given a chance by moderator Chris Wallace to condemn white supremacists and “militia” groups while also demanding that they stand down as opposed to inciting violence, he refused.

Even if you’ve yet to watch Tuesday night’s debates, you’ve undoubtedly heard that throughout the night Donald Trump acted like a child who had never once been taught by a teacher to wait his turn to speak. Or, to simply answer a question. Shockingly, Trump stuck to this approach in one of the most critical aspects of the debates that could have gained him followers or at least assuaged Americans and their fears about his leadership and morality.

When it came to the moment when he was asked to condemn white nationalists and militia groups Trump pussyfooted around then gave a pretty damning response.

During last night’s debate when asked to denounce those groups, Trump gave non-committal answers.

When asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace asked if he was willing and ready to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and tell them to stand down during the current and ongoing demonstrations taking place across the country, Trump told one group to “stand back and stand by.”

What’s more, he asserted that violence at the protests was not being instigated by conservatives.

“Sure,” Trump responded. “I’m willing to [tell them to stand down] but I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

“Say it. Do it. Say it,” Biden urged Trump in response to his non commital answers.

“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump shot back, turning his attention to Wallace. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

The Proud Boys are a far-right men-only organization that has been spotted at multiple 2020 Trump campaign rallies wearing black and yellow polo shirt uniforms.

The group promotes and often engages in political violence.

This is why Trump’s non-committal responses like “Sure” to requests from Wallace and Biden to condemn these groups are worrisome. Even more so why, when pressed by Wallace and Biden who pointed out repeatedly that “sure” is not the same as actually doing so was so troubling as well. Moreover, it’s important to note that Trump’s response to “I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing” is another “all lives matter” kind of way to denouncing white supremacist groups.

Of course this is not the first time the president has defended the actions of white supremacists.

In August, Trump refused to condemn the actions of his supporters in Portland, Oregon, and Wisconsin who used pepper spray to attack demonstrators. In the past, Trump has also defended Kyle Rittenhouse, a shooter who attempted homicide in Kenosha, Wisconsin at a BLM protest, saying that he had been “very violently attacked.”

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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