Things That Matter

Queer Latina Tiffany Cabán Makes History In Queens With New York District Attorney Primary Win

Tiffany Cabán, a queer Latina public defender, declared victory Tuesday night in a tight Democratic primary race for Queens district attorney.

“When we started this thing they said I was too young. They said I didn’t look like a district attorney,” Cabán, 31, said at her election-night party at a nightclub in Woodside, Queens. “They said we could not win, but we did, it y’all.”

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Cabán has currently received 39.6 percent of the vote, while the establishment’s favorite Melinda Katz garnered 38.3 percent. There are still 3,400 absentee ballots that need to be counted, which the Board of Elections said won’t be completed until next Wednesday.

Katz, who was endorsed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Queens Democratic Party chief Joe Crowley, who was ousted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) around this time last year, has refused to concede. She has also already made calls for a recount.

This has not stopped Cabán and her supporters from celebrating a victory.

“We’ve already won without knowing what the final tabulation is,” Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families Party, which backed Cabán, said. “We’ve already won. We’ve beaten the machine.”

Cabán, a democratic socialist, ran on a platform of “people-powered justice,” which included ending cash bail, not prosecuting subway turnstile jumping, prosecuting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, closing Rikers Island and decriminalizing sex work.

“I am a 31-year-old, queer Latina public defender whose parents grew up in the Woodside Housing projects,” she said during her Tuesday night speech. “And I decided to run. I ran because for too long, too many communities in Queens hadn’t had a fair shot in our criminal-justice system.”

The Puerto Rican public defender received endorsements from progressive leaders like Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Most recently, the New York Times also backed the candidate.

“She is of Puerto Rican descent and is the first in her family to graduate from college. She would bring a perspective suited to one of the world’s most diverse communities, one where elected officials have rarely reflected that reality,” the publication said in its endorsement of Cabán.

Cabán’s likely six-person primary win would have her succeed the deceased Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and shift the borough’s, city’s and country’s tough-on-crime, prosecutorial approach in the DAs office.

Read: In New York, Queer Latina Tiffany Cabán Wants To Bring ‘Genuine Justice’ To The Queens District Attorney’s Office

‘The Squad’ Establishes Joint Fund To Raise Money For Reelections And Their PACs

Things That Matter

‘The Squad’ Establishes Joint Fund To Raise Money For Reelections And Their PACs

Zach Gibson / Getty Images

“The Squad” is one of the most recognizable groups in Congress. The four women, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, are joining forces to keep the squad in office together.

AOC, and the rest of “The Squad,” are calling on their constituents and the general public for help this election cycle.

The four women, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar, are facing reelection and they are joining together. The congresswomen are standing together to keep fighting for their progressive movement, something more and more Americans are starting to support.

Many progressive candidates have been winning in the recent primary elections.

The surge of progressive victories has encouraged the four congresswomen to be more vocal with voters about the needs for more progressive candidates.

AOC is a formidable fundraiser. The freshman congresswoman raised $10.6 million during her primary cycle. Omar is the other heavy-hitter in the fundraising world for progressive candidates. This fund will help fund the campaigns of the four representatives as well as contributing to each one’s PACs. AOC’s PAC, Courage to Change, has already endorsed a list of candidates that they want to see win in 2020.

The powerful group of congresswomen created the fund to fight back against Wall Street money.

A big part of the progressive movement is holding people accountable and restricting money in politics. For these politicians, there is a strong sentiment to reject high-dollar donors and embrace the small-dollar donations from people.

“Make no mistake, last week’s victories put an even larger target on our backs,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement in a press release, according to CNN. “Wall Street and Trump donors poured over $3 million into an attempt to defeat me and now they’re preparing to do even more to stop this progressive momentum in its tracks. The Squad Victory Fund will help us fight back.”

It seems “The Squad” are not going to slow down in their mission to uplift each other.

All members of the squad are facing reelection. Reps. Tlaib and Omar are facing primary battles in the coming months. Then all four will then face an opponent in the general elections in November.

READ:

The Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Allowing States To Punish Electoral College

Entertainment

The Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Allowing States To Punish Electoral College

Stefani Reynolds / Getty

News straight from the Supreme Court might just mean a more fair election this 2020. According to reports, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing states to reprimand members of the Electoral College should they break a pledge to vote for their state’s popular vote winner for presidential elections. The decision comes heavily on the heels of the looming election season.

The decision was sparked after 10 of the 538 presidential electors made their own decisions in 2016 and voted for candidates other than the one they’d pledged to vote for.

Up until Monday, only 32 out of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia had laws that discouraged “faithless electors.” At that time, none of the states had ever actually reprimanded or removed an elector based on their vote. The Supreme Court decision came with a 9-0 count.

“Today, we consider whether a State may also penalize an elector for breaking his pledge and voting for someone other than the presidential candidate who won his State’s popular vote. We hold that a State may do so,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote.”The Constitution’s text and the Nation’s history both support allowing a State to enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee — and the state voters’ choice — for President.”

In 2016, three presidential electors in Washington state voted for Colin Powell over the popular votes push for Hillary Clinton. Another voted for anti-Keystone XL pipeline activist Faith Spotted Eagle. At the time, Washington’s Supreme Court upheld a $1,000 fine.

In Colorado, during the 2016 election, Micheal Baca attempted to vote for John Kasich instead of Clinton but his vote was rejected. He was removed and replaced and referred for a potential perjury prosecution. No charges were filed, however. According to CNN, Baca “filed suit, and ultimately won when the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals held that while the state does have the power to appoint electors, that does not extend to the power to remove them.”

Oddly, Frodo Baggins, the beloved hobit from the Lord of The Rings trilogy became a part of the court’s historical record during oral arguments.

According to reports, Justice Clarence Thomas used Baggins as an example “The elector who had promised to vote for the winning candidate could suddenly say, ‘You know, I’m going to vote for Frodo Baggins. I really like Frodo Baggins.’ And you’re saying, under your system, you can’t do anything about that,” Thomas asked.

During the case, Justice Kagan went through the history of the Electoral College and spoke about the presidential election of 1796. The election was the first contested presidential election in the United States and saw John Adams come in first and Thomas Jefferson second. “That meant the leaders of the era’s two warring political parties—the Federalists and the Republicans—became President and Vice President respectively. (one might think of this as fodder of the new season of Veep),” Kagan wrote.

Kagan also referenced Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “Hamilton” nothing that “Alexander Hamilton secured his place on the Broadway stage—but possibly in the cemetery too—by lobbying Federalists in the House to tip the election to Jefferson, whom he loathed but viewed as less of an existential threat to the republic,” she wrote. Justice Thomas agreed with Kagan writing “nothing in the Constitution prevents States from requiring Presidential electors to vote for the candidate chosen by the people.”

Here’s hoping this new change in the Supreme Court ruling ensures a better election outcome.