Scandal-plagued Republican loses big in key statewide election

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

10 Things to Know for Monday.

When Democratic officials reached out to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) about the race, he passed, at least in part because it looked like a year in which a Democrat simply had no chance of success in a state in which Republicans have won every statewide contest for nearly a decade. “We fear an attack like in Paris, with several individuals, perhaps in several places,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says, as troops patrol the streets, and schools and subways stay closed. Rejecting the notion of an existential threat from the Islamic State group, the president says the militants “can’t beat us on the battlefield, so they try to terrorize us into being afraid.” Eight scientists grade comments that the 2016 White House rivals have made on climate issues, with Hillary Clinton receiving the highest grades and Sen. It’s the weakest showing for any Louisiana Republican gubernatorial nominee since 1991 – nearly a quarter of a century ago – when the GOP voters nominated a former Ku Klux Klan leader as their candidate. On a certain level, Vitter’s defeat may not seem like too much of a surprise given that all statewide polling showed him trailing Edwards, but the broader context is nevertheless important: the Times-Picayune described Edwards’ victory as “one of the biggest political upsets in the state’s history” in light of the expectations surrounding the race when it began earlier this year.

He went to Washington to give a floor speech on Syria, publicly sent a letter warning of a “missing” refugee and got on TV just a little more than 48 hours after the carnage in France with an advertisement invoking the horror. The race was expected to be a tight one, but long-time politician Vitter was beleaguered by his 2007 prostitution scandal as well as allegations that his campaign had secretly recorded opponents.

The image of the Mizzou football team standing with a fellow student and hunger protester put a spotlight on black students’ experiences at predominantly white campuses — and preceded the school president’s resignation. With Edwards winning by double-digits, even picking up some endorsements from high-profile Republicans, is it possible Louisiana is becoming a more competitive battleground? For a sense of how steep his defeat was: In a deeply Republican state, Vitter was reportedly losing to Edwards by a fairly wide margin even before the liberal city of New Orleans had its votes fully reported.

In fact, this year’s gubernatorial race in the state seemed largely personal: Louisianans just didn’t like Vitter, his party affiliation notwithstanding. Note, for example, that the same voters who easily elected a Democratic governor on Saturday also easily elected a Republican lieutenant governor and GOP majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Senate.” And for good reason. “Europe is quickly reassessing its approach to gathering and sharing intelligence a week after terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. In other words, Vitter, burdened by his background of hiring prostitutes while running as a family-values conservative, should very likely see the results as a personal repudiation.

Several winnable contests broke away from them at the last minute because of voter fears about the Ebola outbreak, ISIS beheadings and children pouring across the border. The violence appears to have tilted the balance toward security and away from privacy, reviving legislation that would expand Europe’s surveillance capabilities.” Good point. “[New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie, during a Saturday morning town hall in New Hampshire, was asked how he would distinguish himself from other 2016 Republican contenders with similar work experience: Ohio Gov. The dynamic changed because of his supporters, Edwards says, “who were willing to believe that we could confound the conventional wisdom that this victory just couldn’t happen.” Early on, Republican Sen.

This is obviously going to have a fairly dramatic impact on Louisiana politics – Edwards will likely govern from the center, which will represent governance far more progressive than what Louisianans saw from outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) – but the national implications shouldn’t be overlooked. * Vitter’s future: The Republican senator will return to the Senate to serve the remainder of his term, but he announced over the weekend that he will not seek re-election next year. As a Republican governor of a state with a Democratic-controlled Legislature, Christie has been engaged in ‘trench warfare’ every day, Christie argued.” Good catch. “A fascinating phenomenon — no matter how many times Donald Trump is asked if he supports a database for all Muslims in the U.S., Trump answers as if he’s been asked about a database for Syrian refugees — which the U.S. already has; all refugee applicant fingerprints are checked against FBI, DHS, and Department of Defense databases and kept on file — and affirms his support for ‘databases.’ ” And gullible right-wing pundits defend Trump as the victim as he plays the press. Senate. “I’m only going to be doing that for one more year though this term,” Vitter said. “I had decided when I decided to make this race with Wendy that I wanted to pursue new challenges outside the Senate no matter what.

It created a test that both parties watched closely: in the wake of the recent Paris attack, could Republicans exploit fear and bigotry to win tough races through racially charged appeals? This year in Louisiana, she knew instinctively that they had to defend against the refugee attack before it popped in tracking polls as something people cared about. Amal Al Qubaisi was appointed President of the Federal National Council of the UAE, making her the first woman in [an Arab country] to lead a national assembly.

His victory will very likely bring health security to nearly 200,000 low-income Louisianans. * A break in the “Solid South”: In the Obama era, how many non-incumbent Democratic gubernatorial candidates have won in the South? We addressed it in a way that didn’t allow the race to deteriorate.” Vitter’s ad, running on Monday, opened with the sound of a bomb blast and showed panic at the Paris soccer stadium that was attacked by a suicide bomber. “Obama’s sending Syrian refugees to Louisiana,” the narrator said. “David Vitter warned Obama of the danger of Syrian refugees weeks ago, and promised as governor, no Syrian refugees will enter Louisiana. Edwards and his supporters attacked Vitter’s character at every turn with harsh language, calling him a liar and a stain on Louisiana. “Clearly Republicans were fractured and there was a multimillion dollar superPAC attacking David and for whatever reason, their attacks had a bite,” he says.

The response ad also borrowed a page from the Republican’s 2014 playbook, attacking Vitter for missing “two-thirds of the committee hearings he was supposed to attend on Syria.” Internal polls showed the race tightening during the final week, but Vitter wound up losing by 12 points, 56-44, when all the votes were counted. So I think the people of Louisiana spoke tonight and spoke with a loud voice.” Edwards, a veteran and West Point graduate stakes out some conservative turf — he’s anti-abortion and pro-gun rights. In his victory speech, Edwards thanked voters for not giving in to the “deep cynicism about our politics and our future.” And he proclaimed that the people had “chosen hope over scorn.” “I did not create this breeze of hope that’s blowing across our state, but I did catch it,” he said. — Republicans involved in the race argue that their Syria hit would have closed the gap more but for Bobby Jindal’s Tuesday announcement that he was dropping out of the presidential race.

Republican Senator David Vitter was set up at a hotel near the airport, Democrat John Bel Edwards in the historic Monteleone hotel in the French Quarter. Massachusetts is as blue as Louisiana is red, but Democrat Martha Coakley lost a Senate race to Scott Brown in 2010 and a governor’s race to Charlie Baker in 2014 because she is a terrible retail politician.

And most of his colleagues in the Senate Republican conference personally dislike Vitter, who they find unpleasant and not a team player, so they’re happy to see him go. The two Republicans who challenged Vitter in the primary, neither of whom endorsed him for the runoff, might also run: Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, who was the first runner-up, and Lt. During the campaign, Edwards said he’d expand the program on his first day in office but at a press conference yesterday he acknowledged that won’t be possible. “We will expand Medicaid as soon as we can,” he said, per the Times-Picayune. Schools, universities and the subway system are closed today, as officials continue their quest to foil what they believe are imminent terror plots. (William Booth, Loveday Morris and Missy Ryan) — David Cameron said the United Kingdom should join France and the United States in airstrikes on Syria.

Separately, NOLA police named Euric Cain as a suspect for shooting a Good Samaritan in the head who was trying to stop him from allegedly dragging a woman down the street. (Video) — Officials from ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC will meet today to decide how to respond to the Trump campaign, which threatened last week to “blacklist” reporters who left a media holding pen at campaign events. Paul Farhi reports that Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski made the threat at an event last week in Worcester, Mass., to CNN embed Noah Gray, who posted the warning online. A new Pew survey out this morning shows sweeping distrust of the government by virtually every measure, with trust in elected officials and government programs at their lowest levels in 50 years. The survey’s findings — based on 6,000 interviews between Aug. 27 and Oct. 4 — help explain the current volatile climate in the presidential contest, with voters favoring outsider candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson over those with more experience (see: Jeb Bush).

Among the poll’s key revelations, 64 percent of those “angry” at the government have a favorable view of Trump, compared to 71 percent for Carson and 36 percent for Jeb (Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz score better with angry voters). BUT, they are still three times more angry with it than Democrats: 32 percent of Republicans describe themselves as “angry” with government, compared to just 12 percent of Democrats. Only 29 percent of Americans rate elected officials as generally “honest.” A remarkable 55 percent said that “ordinary Americans” would do a better job than elected officials of “solving the country’s problems.” Only 19 percent of respondents say they can trust the government “always or most of the time.” Twenty percent say government programs are well run, and 55 percent say “ordinary citizens” would do a “better job of solving national problems.” But equally stunning: fully 63 percent say they have little to no confidence in the “wisdom of the American people when it comes to making political decisions” compared to 34 percent who have a “very great deal or good deal of confidence.” 76 percent think that “money has a greater influence on politics and elected officials today than in the past.” Roughly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats think that the exorbitant costs of a presidential campaign discourages good people from running. Dan Balz and Scott Clement report that: The Post-ABC poll finds four candidates — Rubio, Carson, Trump and Cruz — are cited most often (and in that order) as second choices. Hundreds of emergency personnel in New York staged a practice response to a terror attack on a subway in preparation for Thanksgiving Day festivities. (AP) Pfizer and Allergan will merge in a $150 billion deal, with the Ireland-based Allergan being the purchaser in order to skirt U.S.

Treasury laws designed to hamper corporate inversions. (Wall Street Journal) A Kansas University professor who said the N-word during a class discussion on race was put on administrative leave after five students filed a complaint against her. (Lawrence Journal-World) Post reporter Jason Rezaian was sentenced to a prison term in Iran for unspecified charges and for an unspecified term, something The Post strongly condemns. (Peter Holley) Nola, one of just four endangered northern white rhinos left in the world, died at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park from a bacterial infection and age-related health issues. Hillary Clinton proposed a change that would let people caring for an elderly parent or other family member qualify for a tax credit for out-of-pocket expenses. “The credit would help defray up to $1,200 in expenses, often a hidden cost of caring for an elderly relative. The Sanders campaign called the proposal “Republican lite.” Bernie Sanders claimed that CBS once canceled an interview with him about his opposition to the Bovine Growth Hormone because Monsanto had threatened to sue the network. (BuzzFeed) Chuck Grassley denied that a former aide, State Department Inspector General staffer Emilia DeSanto, is his “confidential source” of information regarding Huma Abedin’s tenure at the department. (New York Times) A federal judge declined to speed up releasing Clinton’s emails that are about Anwar al-Awaki, a militant who was killed in 2011 by a drone strike. (Politico) John Roberts celebrated the legacy of former Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, about whom it was once said: “He looked like God and talked like God.” (Robert Barnes) 1. Democrats attacked Marco Rubio for saying on “Fox News Sunday” that the Paris attacks were a “positive development” for Americans to refocus their attention on national security issues, saying his comments were disrespectful. (Sean Sullivan) 2.

Dianne Feinstein said that President Obama’s plan to defeat ISIS “isn’t sufficient,” making the case on “Face the Nation” for the U.S. to be more aggressive. (CBS News) 5. David Axelrod said Obama “could have done more” to quell voter fears over admitting Syrian refugees. “I’m the son of a refugee, I’m proud of the position the president took,” said the president’s former chief strategist.

But, he added, “before you attack the fear mongers you have to attack the fear, and he could have done more of that on the front end.” (ABC News) 6. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) said “ISIS won’t be defeated through air power.” Whatever the troop number is, “multiply it by two, don’t divide it by two,” he said on CNN. 7. Many of the listeners who grew up with NPR are now reaching retirement age, leaving NPR with a challenge: How can it attract younger and middle-aged audiences — whose numbers are shrinking — to replace them? … The graying of NPR, and the declines overall, are potentially perilous to the public radio ecosystem.

The stations, in turn, kick back some of their pledge-drive dollars to NPR to license such programs as ‘Car Talk,’ ‘Fresh Air’ and ‘Morning Edition’ (federal tax dollars supply only a small part of stations’ annual budgets, and virtually none of NPR’s). But as audiences drift to newer on-demand audio sources such as podcasts and streaming, the bonds with local stations — and the contributions that come with them — may be fraying.” — “Meeting about Virginia mosque exposes deep divide,“ by Rachel Weiner: “For 27 years, members of the Islamic Center of Fredericksburg have lived in relative peace with their neighbors on a country road in rural Spotsylvania County. At least until last week, when, during a community meeting about their plans to build a bigger mosque nearby, they found themselves defending their right to exist.

The meeting was intended to address traffic concerns around the proposed religious center but instead was taken over by half a dozen angry protesters calling the Muslim residents terrorists. But the fast-growing area 50 miles south of Washington retains a conservative and rural character.” — “The ruins of Kobane,” by Liz Sly: “His flattened home, destroyed in an American airstrike in the landmark battle for control of the Syrian town of Kobane last year, has not been so widely seen. The cost of the damage so far is estimated at a staggering $270 billion — and rebuilding could run to more than $300 billion, according to Abdallah al-Dardari, a former Syrian government minister who heads the National Agenda for Syria program at the U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.” — ZIGNAL VISUAL: Chris Christie got buzz online this weekend. Mentions of Christie were dominated by reports of some kind of incident that occurred on a United Airlines flight that Christie was on from San Francisco to Boston. — New York Times, “With Ben Carson, the doctor and the politician can vary sharply,” by Pam Belluck and Steve Eder: “When he was not in the operating room at Johns Hopkins Hospital, performing one of his 400 surgeries a year, Dr.

Ben Carson could often be seen walking slowly through the hallways, hands behind his back, nodding, smiling and speaking softly to co-workers and students who approached. ‘When he walked around Hopkins,’ said Dr. Jonathan Dudley, recalled that ‘Some of my friends had a big poster of him up in their dorm room.’ … As a surgeon, he was praised for his dedication, unassuming demeanor and attention to detail.

As a candidate, he has sometimes seemed imprecise or ill-informed, as when he said China had intervened in Syria, and prone to odd assertions like his belief that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. … His comments doubting evolution and the medically recommended schedule of vaccines have baffled people in science and medicine.” — Des Moines Register, “Carson: Others taking my foreign policy plans,” by Timothy Meinch: “Ben Carson voiced frustration toward perceptions about his foreign-policy knowledge at a campaign stop in Wilton Sunday afternoon. He said other people, including President Barack Obama, have used his talking points and strategy, while claiming the retired neurosurgeon lacks experience in foreign affairs. ‘They say, ‘Carson doesn’t know anything about foreign affairs,’ but yet everybody picks up on all this stuff I say, including President Obama, and start using it for themselves,’ he said during a speech in Wilton. He offered one particular example of a strategy he’s outlined ‘for multiple months.’ ‘If they take the fight to (ISIS) over there, we’re much less likely to have to fight them over here. At Royal Missionary Baptist, Sanders spoke about gun control and universal health care. “We have too many guns running around South Carolina, too many guns running around Vermont,” he said, a few miles from the site this year’s shooting at another African-American church. “We need to do something to make sure that people who should not have guns do not have guns.” — BuzzFeed, “Refugee children keep drowning while no one is watching,” by Munzer al-Awad: “As she struggled to stay afloat, her husband handed their daughter to another family escaping from Syria. ‘I was screaming and saying that I want my daughter … he told me that she is fine and he said that he would swim to the coast to find police and send them to us,’ said a woman who would never see her daughter again. … When the 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up dead on a beach in Turkey in September, the world was horrified, his image shared around the globe. Suddenly, the world seemed to remember the war in Syria, now into its fifth year, with more than 230,000 dead and millions displaced. … A report from Save the Children released last month said 70 children had drowned since 3-year-old Kurdi.

For decades, these interior checkpoints up to 100 miles north of the border have left thousands of undocumented immigrants and their families in the Rio Grande Valley in something of a twilight zone. And though neither side of the debate about immigration has focused on the issue so far, that may be changing.” Federal lawyers coming to investigate Jamar Clark shooting.

Federal and state authorities have resisted releasing the footage … because they said it doesn’t show the full incident.” Al Sharpton gives himself a 71 percent raise, thanks to de Blasio, Obama. QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I understand social media, maybe better than anybody, ever,” Donald Trump said in South Carolina. “Somebody said I’m the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters.” — “Today feels like January but the cold air steadily releases its grip this week,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “The mercury rebounds to near 50 Tuesday and soars to 60 by Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

By Saturday, an incoming cold front offers a chance of showers and presages a drop in temperatures for Sunday.” A black protester at a Trump rally in Alabama was shoved, tackled, punched and kicked on Saturday. Asked about the incident, Trump said yesterday: “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” Video via CNN’s Jeremy Diamond: On a lighter note: Police have asked Belgians not to tweet about the lockdown, so many people in the country – respecting the wishes of authorities – are tweeting out pictures of cute cats.

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