Things That Matter

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

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

From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

Things That Matter

From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

Drew Angerer / Getty

With all that’s going on across the country – between a national health crisis and social unrest in response to the continued murders of unarmed Black men – you’d be forgiven for forgetting that we’re still in the middle of an election year. In fact, we’re still in the middle of a primary season. I know, it seems like 2020 has already dragged forever but we still have a ways to go.

Thankfully, despite all the challenges the country is facing, millions of voters still stepped out yesterday to let their voices be heard in the primary process.

In D.C., people lined up to vote despite protests, a pandemic, a city-wide curfew, and threats of police violence.

Credit: Stuart Garibaldi / Facebook

I anticipation of continued anti-police brutality demonstrations, all of D.C. was under a 7 p.m. curfew for a fifth consecutive day. However, Mayor Muriel Browser pointed out on social media and in interviews that residents would be allowed to cast ballots no matter the hour as long as they were in line before 8 p.m. Essential workers and journalists are also exempted from the city’s curfew.

More than four hours after polls closed for D.C.’s primary election, some District voters throughout the city were still waiting in line to cast their ballots, as the June 2 primary stretched into June 3.

In one part of the city, Ward 4, more than 100 people remained in line to vote as of 11:15 p.m. According to several elections volunteers however, most people at the polling center were sticking it out and “people are really positive and patient.”

The precinct is one of many across the city where people waited upwards of four hours to vote.

Police allegedly threatened D.C. voters who were in line to vote, despite being exempt from the city’s curfew.

The Mayor’s order made it very clear that as long as you were in line to vote before the 8 p.m. poll closing time, you would be able to cast your vote no matter the hour. Basically, anyone who was out past the 7 p.m. curfew to vote was exempt from the curfew order.

But according to some reports, some police didn’t seem to know or care about this exemption. Many took to Twitter to share that while waiting in line, police were harassing them and demanding they return home.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, Republicans finally drove racist and anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King from office.

King’s defeat was the top headline in Tuesday’s primaries. The nine-term congressman with a history of racist and anti-immigrant remarks was ousted after the GOP establishment lined up in support of his challenger, Randy Feenstra.

King’s defeat doesn’t necessarily mean a progressive candidate will take his place. Most pundits expect his Iowa district to remain in Republican control come the general election in November – Trump carried the district by nearly 30 points in 2016.

But getting rid of King is a win for all sides. He had a history of hate rhetoric targeting Black and Latino communities. But only after a New York Times interview in January 2019, in which the congressman questioned why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive, did he finally lose the support of GOP leaders.

In 2013, in response to proposed immigration legislation, King said this of migrants, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Yesterday’s primaries also revealed challenges states face in the upcoming general election caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic presents states with two immense challenges: how to deal with the wave of mail ballots from voters who don’t wish to travel to their polling place in person, and how to accommodate those who do show up and follow the necessary medical precautions.

Yesterday, lines stretch on for hours. So states need to figure out how to safely accommodate the increase in voters and provide them with social-distant ways to vote.

Obviously, it’s fantastic that Americans are voting in record numbers. We need everyone to vote to be able to achieve the kind of change that we want and need to see in this country. But all of this means that come November, America may not know who wins the presidency on Nov. 3.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

Things That Matter

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

There is a lot of buzz about who Vice President Joe Biden will pick to be his running mate. One thing everyone agrees on is that the running mate should be a woman of color. Senator Amy Klobuchar was reportedly asked to going through the vetting process. Meanwhile, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto came forward to say she has no interest in being a running mate.

Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is officially withdrawing her name from Jo Biden’s list of potential running mates.

Sen. Cortez Masto is the first Latina ever elected to the Senate and her career has been a highlight for the state. However, the serious impact of COVID-19 on Nevada, one of the hardest-hit economies in the U.S., convinced her not to try to earn the position of running mate for Biden.

Sen. Cortez Masto has been engaged in the ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 in the Silver State.

“I support Joe Biden 100% and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November,” reads a statement from her campaign. “Nevada’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get on back on their feet.”

Nevada’s unemployment rate sits are 28 percent, which is the highest in the country right now. The number is also the highest unemployment number recorded by a state since 1976. Latinos make up 30 percent of the state’s population meaning that Latinos in the state are feeling the crunch.

Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee, praised Sen. Cortez Masto for her work with Nevada.

“I’ve admired Senator Cortez-Masto as long as I have known her because she’s a leader with integrity,” Biden said in a statement. “Nevadans are fortunate to have her fighting for them in Washington and I look forward to seeing her continue to lead in the Senate.”

There is still time for Biden to pick his running mate and women seem to be at the top of the list.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar came under fire recently after it was discovered that she refused to bring charges against fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. In 2006, Chauvin was involved in the deadly shooting of a Black man and Sen. Klobuchar, who was the Hennepin County attorney at the time, declined to bring up charges in the death.

Sen. Klobuchar sent the case to a grand jury and the grand jury found no reason to prosecute. It is a decision that Sen. Klobuchar claims to realize was a lapse of judgment.

“I think that was wrong now,” Klobuchar said in an interview on MSNBC. “I think it would have been much better if I took the responsibility and looked at the cases and made the decision myself.”

READ: We Didn’t Elect The First Woman President, But We Elected The First Latina Senator