<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Political News, Bay Area Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usSun, 01 May 2016 21:12:35 -0700Sun, 01 May 2016 21:12:35 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Sanders Insists He Can Still Win the Dem. Nomination]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 19:32:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/526912210-bernie-sanders-contested-convention.jpg

Facing a large delegate deficit, tough odds and just 10 remaining state contests, Senator Bernie Sanders made it clear Sunday that he intends to fight on to become the Democratic presidential nominee, NBC News reports.

Sanders' stated path relies on primary opponent Hillary Clinton not reaching a majority of pledged delegates and on superdelegates' switching their allegiances.

"It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach a majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone," Sanders, a senator from Vermont, said at a news conference at the National Press Club, indicating he would fight to persuade superdelegates to flip their support.

"In other words, the convention will be a contested contest," he said of the Democratic National Convention to take place in Philadelphia in July.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[A Look at Clinton's Promise of a Cabinet Full of Women]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 14:42:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16122673573195-hillary-clinton-campaign-trail.jpg

Hillary Clinton last week pledged that, if elected, she would appoint a presidential cabinet in which at least half of the members are women, a move that would profoundly shift the look of the people who govern America, according to NBC News.

Clinton, in an interview on Monday with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, said, "I am going to have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women, right?" 

Only 30 women have ever held Cabinet posts. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama appointed a number of women to key posts, but women held just four of the 16 official Cabinet posts during most of their tenures. Clinton is pledging to double that number.

"No hint of quotas or numeric targets — other than 'more than my predecessor' — has ever been part of cabinet head discussions before," said Heather Hurlburt, who served as a senior adviser at the State Department and National Security Council from 1995-2001. "So it's an enormous deal."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Democrat Delegate Selection Heats up in Bay Area ]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 19:28:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6P+DEMOCRATIC+DELEGATE+CAUCUS+SOTVO+-+00002519.jpg

While the focus has been on California's Republican Convention this weekend, Democratic supporters have been hard at work selecting delegates to send to the national convention in Philadelphia

Fierce supports of both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders have been holding caucuses around the Bay Area and across the state to select delegates.

California’s primary could be hugely influential for the first time in decades. The race is typically sewn up by now, but Sanders – who lags by hundreds in the delegate count – said he’s taking his campaign all the way to the convention.

His Bay Area supporters say they are not ready to concede, either. On Saturday, many of them showed up to the opening of the campaign's Northern California headquarters in Oakland. 

“I’ve never done this before, but Bernie Sanders has motivated me to become a delegate because his message and who he is as a person is worth fighting for, and I want to be one of the people that fight for him,” said Jake Barlow at one of the caucuses.

Meanwhile, Clinton supporters are confident that the former New York senator will continue to lead in California’s polls and hold down a victory in the state. Clinton opened her campaign headquarters last Thursday in Oakland, with the city's Mayor Libby Schaaf laying out the welcome mat.  

“She’s a great candidate,” supporter Matt Tuchow, who is vying for a spot as a delegate, said. “I think she’s the best qualified candidate we’ve ever had for president, and it’s time we had a woman president."

California has 475 delegates up for grabs – the most of any state – and will hold its primary on June 7. Voters must register by May 23 to participate.

<![CDATA[Scattered May Day Protests Shine Light on Social Injustice]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 19:20:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N430P+SJ+MAYDAY+PROTESTS+VO+-+00003627.jpg

Thousands attended the scattered May Day marches Sunday in Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, blasting through microphones and chants their frustration with low wages, the upcoming presidential election and social injustice.

Hundreds of workers rallied and marched along San Francisco's scenic bay-front in support of immigrant and workers' rights and to demand justice for several men fatally shot by city police.

Members of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union began their May Day celebration Sunday with a rally at Fisherman's Wharf.

About 300 people holding signs that read “Long Live May Day'' and “Stop Police Terror,'' and chanting “No Justice No Peace! No Racist Police!'' then marched along the Embarcadero.

The crowd is holding a second rally at the Harry Bridges Plaza, across from the Ferry Building, where relatives of several Latino and black men killed by San Francisco police are addressing them.

Across the Bay in Oakland, workers with the same union marched from the Fruitvale BART station to a park, where a fair on community resources is being held. 

Near the Fruitvale BART station, upwards of 800 people turned out and chanted and waved Palestinian flags. The protesters swarmed speakers standing in a flatbed truck, who led the crowd in chant. Police officers attempted to corral the mushrooming crowd by blocking streets.

Meanwhile, over in San Jose, hundreds of people representing a smattering of grass roots organizations turned up in protest, marching to city hall. Some wore bandannas over their mouth that read “survival is not a crime,” while others held signs demanding that San Jose adopt an immediate $15 minimum wage. The march 

Adriana Garcia, a marcher with May First Coalition, said her organization stands for "raising the wages to 15 dollars an hour, comprehensive immigration reform, to stop the violence and sexual assault against women, and in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, to also have a living wage and to end wage theft." 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Leads Cruz in Crucial Indiana Primary: Poll]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 07:17:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_161110678355521.jpg

Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters in the state, followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the GOP nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July.

According to the poll, 58 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Indiana say they disapprove of Cruz and Kasich teaming up to beat Trump in the state.

Meanwhile, in the Hoosier State's Democratic contest, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by just four points, 50 percent to 46 percent.

Photo Credit: AP, file]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Roasts GOP Candidates at WH Correspondents' Dinner]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 04:06:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WhiteHouse-GettyImages-526666530.jpg

President Barack Obama pulled out the punches during the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., Saturday, taking jabs at the candidates vying for the Republican nomination. 

"It is an honor to be here at my last, and perhaps the last White House Correspondents' Dinner," he said, telling the audience how great they looked before getting right down to business.

Obama told the crowd at the 102nd and final dinner that his approval ratings have been rising, even in his final year in office. 

“What has changed?” he asked. “No one can figure it out.” 

Obama paused, allowing a moment to pass before a split-screen of Sen. Ted Cruz and GOP front-runner Donald Trump popped up on screen. 

Obama didn't stop there. He called out top Republicans, who have touted Paul Ryan as a possible nominee, if one can’t be chosen before the GOP convention in July. 

"Steak or fish?” he told the audience, referring to the choice on the evening’s menu. “A whole bunch of you wrote Paul Ryan. You may not like steak or fish, but that’s your choice.“ 

Ryan has said he will not seek the nomination. 

Obama wasted no time cutting into the three GOP candidates, saying “some candidates aren’t polling high enough to qualify for their own joke” over a photo of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. 

“And then there’s Ted Cruz,” he said, calling out the Texas senator for a mistake he made this week in Indiana when he referred to a basketball hoop as a “ring.”

"What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? But sure, I’m the foreign one,” Obama said, before moving on to an absent Trump. 

"Is this dinner too tacky for 'The Donald'?"

Trump’s absence “hurt” Obama, who said he “had so much fun last time.” Obama has singled out the real estate mogul in previous years, making fun of Trump's hair and the businessman's quest to see Obama's birth certificate. 

“Is he at home eating a Trump steak?” Obama asked. “What’s he doing?”

The president went on, making jabs at Trump's lack of foreign policy and experience, and his real estate prowess. 

"There's one area where Donald's experience could be valuable. And that's closing Guantanamo, because Trump knows a thing or two about closing waterfront properties into the ground."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cruz Defends Position on 'Bathroom Bills' ]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 08:03:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CruzMTP-Screen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-7.53.59-PM.jpg

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is standing his ground in his belief that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice opens the door for people "who are predators," dismissing criticism from reality TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner.

"The real danger is not people who are transgendered. It's people who are predators,” Cruz said in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd. "People who are predators…use that law as an excuse to go target our kids. And that is a real danger," he added.

Following a recent comment by Donald Trump in which he said Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower, the former Olympian used a women's bathroom at a Trump property and posted a video to Facebook with the caption: "By the way, Ted, nobody got molested."

Cruz also criticized Trump, President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for coming out for so-called "bathroom bills" like the one passed in North Carolina.

Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Sanders, Clinton Open Campaign Headquarters in East Bay]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 08:16:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sanders+hillary.jpg

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders are gearing up for what is sure to be a tough California primary, with both presidential hopefuls setting up headquarters in the East Bay. 

Clinton, who has been leading Sanders recent polls, opened her California campaign headquarters Thursday on 14th street in Oakland. Mayor Libby Schaaf was on hand to lay out the welcome mat, along with campaign staff.

Sanders is also making Oakland ground zero for his Northern California headquarters. His campaign staff opened a storefront office on College Avenue near the Rockridge BART station on Saturday, while Sanders was in Washington D.C. taking light jibes from President Obama at the White House correspondents' dinner. 

California will be holding its presidential primary on June 7. Eligible voters must register by May 23 in order to participate. 

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[White House Correspondents' Dinner 2016]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:13:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WhiteHouseDinner-GettyImages-526658212.jpg President Barack Obama hosts the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, also known as the "Nerd Prom." The biggest names in politics and entertainment will come out to watch the event, also known as the "Nerd Prom." This is the president's last chance to throw out the zingers at politicians, the press and himself. Obama's final dinner comes amid a heated and frenzied presidential campaign.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[No Fireworks, But Supporters Impressed With Cruz]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 08:42:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CruzFiorina-AP_16118762029424.jpg

Three days after former House Speaker John Boehner called fellow Republican and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh" during a talk at Stanford University, the Texas senator gave a speech at the annual California Republican Convention in the Bay Area.

If the promise of jobs drew dozens of Republicans from the Bay Area and beyond to hear presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speak on Friday, it was Cruz's conservative background and charisma that attracted party loyals to Saturday's $100-a-ticket lunch.

"God bless the great state of California," Cruz said to wild applause from the crowd. A couple of minutes into his speech, Cruz promised to repeal Obamacare, pass the flat tax and create trillions in revenue for the federal government.

As for "anyone who dares to muder American citizens, a day of reckoning is coming," Cruz said, again to applause from the crowd.

Although the crowd responded to his excellent oratorial skills on stage, Cruz, a former debate champ, failed to evoke the kind of rockstar treatment reserved for Trump. In fact, members of the press commented about how the lack of security or protesters outside the hotel made his appearance seem just like any normal convention event.

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson introduced Cruz at the convention to a standing ovation, saying the candidate had his "wholehearted support." "Never has the California Republican primary election been so critical to the future of our nation," Wilson said, saying Cruz was committed to a strong national defence and picking the right Supreme Court justices who would interpret the law.

"Heaven knows what justices Donald Trump would pick." he said, and continued: "We can't afford a wild card when it comes to a president who will be making critically important Supreme Court appointments."

California's June 7 primary, usually low profile in nature, could be crucial in deciding the presidential election.

With newly-named running mate Carly Fiorina speaking at a convention dinner event the same night, Cruz, who continues to trail Trump in campaigns, hopes that the Fiorina announcement will get voters excited about a Cruz-Carly ticket.

"Hillary is scared as hell of Carly," he said to laughter from the crowd. "...The reason I named her this week is because the people deserve a clear choice."

On Saturday, many Cruz supporters backed his choice. 

Dan Fry, a small-business owner from near Sacramento, said he could picture her as his commander-in-chief if "something were to happen to President Cruz."

Fry said that he was primarily voting for Cruz because of his 10 percent flat tax stance, his plan to repeal Obamacare, which was forcing his business to lose money, and his strong conservative ethics.

"Being a business owner in California, it's difficult to do business as is, and getting someone like Cruz in will lead to significant tax reductions," he said.

As if on cue, Cruz, at lunch, promised as much. "I think Californians get taxed too much already. I'm going to cut your taxes," he said to loud cheers.

Fry said that Trump will be his next choice if Cruz doesn't win the nomination.

Others said Cruz's Hispanic roots was what drew them to him.

"My granddaughter is Hispanic, and I hope that Ted Cruz is the first Hispanic presidential candidate," said Silvia Bichler of Gilroy. 

Trump's luncheon event was attended by about 1,000 people, 600 of whom also paid $100 a ticket to be in the same room as him, but not before protesters blocked his entrance to the Burlingame Hyatt Regency on Old Bayshore Highway.

The business mogul's security detail was forced to stop his car in the middle of Highway 101 and make him hop over a median barrier to enter the hotel through a back entrance — a maneuver Trump likened to "crossing the border."

Television crews streamed the bizarre arrival live, and during his speech, protesters took over the hotel parking lot after cutting through police lines and chanting anti-Trump slogans. Even as protesters chanted: "Dump Trump," and "This is California, Run Trump, Run," his supporters showered the billionaire with praise, saying what America needed was a CEO who would bring back jobs.

In his speech, Cruz provided more specifics about what he planned to do if he won the election, as opposed to Trump, who spent a majority of his time taking jabs at fellow candidates and President Obama.

Security was extremely tight at Trump's Friday event, especially because protests had been anticipated, and Secret Service agents as well as riot police kept a close eye on protesters.

All three presidential candidates are expected to be campaigning up and down the state over the next six to eight weeks. Gov. John Kasich spoke at a dinner event Friday night and at a town hall at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose Saturday morning, where he addressed his sentiments toward immigration.

"I'm not an immigration expert," he said. "But my concern about the H-1B program is that it has been distorted." He went on to assert that the visa allows companies to take advantage of foreign-born workers, among other issues.  

On Saturday afternoon, Cruz's campaign was busy registering volunteers at their booth, right next to an anti-Hillary Clinton booth where visitors were throwing "Delete Benghazi" sacks into a corn hole shaped like Clinton's mouth.

GOP leaders and party supporters said they were excited about the opportunity to be able to interact with Trump, Cruz and Kasich at the same event.

"The way you win elections is by talking to voters and making a case, and all three candidates are going to show up and make a case," Republican Party Chair Jim Brulte said.

He continued: "The job of the California Republican Party is to be neutral in the presidential election and let the candidates run their campaigns as they seem fit in our state."

Cruz supporters on Saturday said they were unperturbed by Boehner's remarks, which were first reported by a Stanford student newspaper. 

Boehner didn’t stop at comparing Cruz to the Devil, though. He added: "I have Democrat friends and Republican. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

Cruz lashed back at Boehner before a crowd in Fort Wayne, Indiana Thursday, saying Boehner had allowed his "inner Trump to come out." As for the "Lucifer" comment, Cruz said: "If John Boehner is calling me 'Lucifer,' he’s not directing that at me. He’s directing that at you."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Kasich: Gay People 'Probably' Born That Way]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 06:41:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/John-Kasich-AP_16119805722401.jpg

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday distanced himself from discriminatory laws passed recently by some states and said some people are "probably" born gay during a heated exchange with a man challenging the Republican Party’s stance on gay rights.

During a town hall-style event hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California, a 62-year-old San Francisco resident, who said he came out to his parents at age 19, asked Kasich if he believes people are born gay.

"You know Sir, probably," the governor replied. "I don’t know how it all works. Are they? In all probability they are. Okay?"

Kasich told the audience member he doesn't believe in discrimination but said "there is a balance, however, between discrimination and people’s religious liberties."

"But I think we should just try to...relax and try to get along with one another a little bit better instead of trying to write some law to solve a problem that doesn’t quite frankly exist in big enough numbers to justify more lawmaking,” he added.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Supporters Flock to Burlingame to See Their Leader]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 08:23:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/Screen+Shot+2016-04-29+at+12.01.42+PM.png

Donald Trump supporters of all age groups and from all parts of the Bay Area and beyond showed up at the California GOP Convention Friday in Burlingame to catch a glimpse of the man they are calling the "next president of the America."

But not everyone was lucky enough to snag a spot at the coveted "Lunch Kickoff" inside the Hyatt Regency Banquet Room where Trump was going to headline the convention. A sold-out crowd of roughly 600 people were led into the white-tableclothed premises as “California Dreaming” and “Hotel California” played in the background. There was also some Led Zeppelin thrown in for good measure.

"How can you not be crazy about a guy who plays Led Zeppelin before his specch," asked Mick from Sacramento, who described himself as the poster child for the Republican party. Wearing Trump's trademark red "Make America Great Again" baseball cap and giving interviews to national and local media, Mick said that Republican voters were ready for a change.

"They don't like what's going on in our nation's capital, and Mr. Trump has educated us to some thing swe don't like, so I guess in our own stubborn American way we are blowing it all up," he said. "We're doing a restart. We're bringing in the outsider, who used to be the insider, but now is the outsider, I think that's why we are here. We are angry, and we want to throw the bums out and we believe our next commander-in-chief is Mr. Trump."

Luncheon guests didn’t seem to mind the extra tight Secret Service security sweeps because it meant they would get them a little closer to their idol. 

Meanwhile, protesters blocked the Old Bayshore Highway off U.S. Highway 101 outside the hotel to prevent Trump’s motorcade from entering the area, breaking through police barricades. Some started unfurling large banners as noon approached, while reports of protesters stripping naked on the streets also surfaced. One protester was even able to sneak inside the main convention hall wearing a “Dump Trump, Stop Hate” banner, and was promptly escorted outside by a smiling security officer.

The banquet room itself was divided into two parts, with Trump supporters who paid $100 a ticket sitting at tables behind the ropes, and sponsors and GOP executive committee members getting a chance to sit closer to him.

Liveried staff carried out plates of spring mix with pancetta, asparagus, pea tendrils and red wine vinaigrette, lemon herb chicken with saffron rice and sautéed green beans, and dessert – strawberry bagatelle with fresh cream and sponge cake.

Barbara Jensen said she was voting for Trump because he created more jobs for women than Hillary Clinton. "We need a CEO instead of a politician in charge - He has hired more women than Hillary Clinton and he pays women the same as he does men," she said.

Outside in the Hyatt Regency hotel parking lot, protesters burned Trump effigies and in one instance, even the American flag, chanting: "This is California, run Trump run." The crowd cheered when they heard that Trump had compared his experience of having to hop a freeway barrier to avoid protesters to "crossing the border." "Bay Area is anti-racism, Trump you're not welcome here," another group yelled.

Many Republicans at the covention said they were eager to see a new Republican party come out of the campaigning process. Many said they would vote for Trump because he would create jobs.

“I am here to support Mr. Trump,” said Lela Terrazas Blankenberg who was there with her three children from Portola Valley. “We are Hispanics and think it’s very exciting to be able to be here. I don’t know why the protesters are protesting. I am Republican and I would never protest at a Bernie Sanders rally.”

Her 22-year-old daughter Katie, who goes to Stanford University, said she supports Trump because she believes he will bring jobs back.

"I want to ask him when can I start working for him," she said. "I believe that he's actually going to do what he says. He's a candidate I'm actually excited about. He's brought a lot of momentum back. Even though he is a multi-billionaire he can still relate to the middle class."

Katie said that Trump is a very polarizing figure at Stanford. "I'm not really afraid to say what I think, which at Stanford might not be the best thing if you're a conservative" she said smiling. "It's really unfortunate that conservatives are silenced most of the time, especially when people are preaching to be tolerant and open-minded all the time."

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee
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<![CDATA[Bay Area’s Polarizing Reaction to Trump]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 08:26:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Trump-GettyImages-503927392.jpg

When it comes to politics, like many things, history seems to repeat itself. While Friday’s political protests outside the California Republican Convention in Burlingame may seem fresh, they are not much different from those of the past. The only real difference is the man in the middle: Donald Trump.

Historically, few other national politicians have invoked this type of reaction, but experts agree there are politicians who rival Trump in divisiveness, particularly from the 1968 election.

“That time, it was the democrats. It was turmoil beyond anything you can believe especially at the convention,” NBC Bay Area political analyst Larry Gerston said.

In 1968, after the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, democrats were deeply divided over nominee Hubert Humphrey. Things erupted at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, with police beating protesters.

That same election, another divisive candidate made big waves, and he may be the closest candidate in modern history to Trump when it comes to polarizing people.

“George Wallace certainly was an agitator. Most people would say that now, in terms of being the segregationist candidate,” Gerston said.

It is not just the candidate’s qualities, but the hot-button issues of the time. In the 1960s, it was Civil Rights and the Vietnam War. Now, it’s race, immigration and globalization, according to Stanford Law’s Nate Persily.

“[Trump] is sort of institutionally or temperamentally extreme – that he just wants to burn down the house. We really haven’t seen that for a long time in American politics,” Persily said, noting democratic candidate Bernie Sanders could also be considered extreme.

“I think Sanders is a very traditional extremist politician. In some ways he’s the ideological inheritor to Howard Dean’s legacy,” Persily said.

In the short term: the protests against Trump may actually be helping him, according to Gerston. But in the long term, he says this election could mirror the 1968 election, when Richard Nixon won the White House.

“Looking ahead one might think about whether the republicans will be so divided, hopelessly divided as the democrats were in 1968 and have the same kind of outcome,” Gerston said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Team Shifting Staff to General Election States]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:18:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-524679204.jpg

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is preparing to hire staffers in some of the general election’s battleground states, NBC News reported.

A Clinton campaign official told NBC News the first wave of new hires and reassignments will involve state directors and other senior staff. The campaign is setting up state directors in Florida, New Hampshire and Colorado, and will eventually have general election operations in every state. 

The aide stressed that Clinton will continue to campaign in the remaining primary states. 

The news was first reported in USA Today.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Forced to 'Cross Border,' Hop Highway Wall]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:39:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEB+TRUMP+JUMP_19182201+%281%29.gif

Most people, especially distinguished guests, typically pull up into a parking lot, tip the valet and enter calmly through a front door.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump -- someone who has professed to love walls -- was forced to jump over a U.S. Highway 101 median, or at least skirt one and hop down onto a bank of grass, in order to enter the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Burlingame, California.

That's where he was the keynote speaker at the California Republican Convention on Friday.  Never one to miss a dramatic moment, Trump said to an adoring crowd: "That was not the easiest entrance I've ever made."

Pausing for a moment, the charismatic business mogul who has said that Mexican are rapists and Muslims shouldn't be allowed into the country, then quipped: "I felt like I was crossing the border."

He and his entourage couldn’t get in the normal way because anti-Trump protesters had blocked off Old Bayshore Road.

People jumped to Twitter to have some fun.

Those on the left, like Ethan Kassel tweeted: "That's delightfully ironic." 

Those on the right, like Spencer Stiles, tweeted: "Liberals = Professional victims." Jeff Manghera noted, "Should have built a bigger wall."

When Trump finished his speech, he left the same way he came: Over the wall.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area chopper
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<![CDATA[Images From California's GOP Convention ]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:09:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/162*120/2016-04-29_9-48-15.jpg Anti-Donald Trump protesters got the lion's share of attention on Friday ahead of the GOP Convention in Burlingame. But people came out in support of Trump, as well as other candidates, too.

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's Bill Unpaid After 3 Months]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:13:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Trump-GettyImages-503927392.jpg

The city of Burlington, Vermont, is considering calling a debt collection agency on a billionaire: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat, said Trump is nearly three months late paying an $8,500 bill the city sent his campaign on Feb. 1 for police and fire overtime costs associated with a recent stop in Vermont's largest city.

"We actually had the city attorneys looking into this; there's some complication on an issue like this," Weinberger said in response to an necn question about whether he would seek a collection agency's services.

Weinberger added that the city should have a plan soon about how to address the unpaid bills.

Trump held a rally Jan. 7 at Burlington's Flynn Center for the Performing Arts but issued thousands more tickets than there were seats. The city wanted extra personnel to handle the crowds and any potential problems, Weinberger said.

"It could have been a much better-coordinated and organized event," Weinberger told necn. "And had it been, it would have been much easier for the city to accommodate."

Weinberger said the city embraces the process of democracy, and he believes candidates should meet their constituents on the campaign trail. However, the  mayor urged campaigns to coordinate more closely with municipalities in scheduling and planning visits like the one Trump made to Burlington.

Weinberger made it clear the unpaid bills will not bankrupt Burlington or have any serious adverse effects. He said the city’s police department has a more than $10 million annual budget, so the $7,200 portion of the bills for police costs are only a very small percentage of the overall picture.

Still, Weinberger said the city could use the money for any host of purposes and would appreciate payment.

The mayor noted that hometown candidate Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democrats' nomination for the White House, paid his bills on time for police and fire support, as well as other fees, following a campaign kickoff on the Burlington waterfront last May.

Campaigns do have a history of skipping out on the check.

Through a request to the South Burlington Police Department, necn obtained a July 2011 email chain between Chief Trevor Whipple and a New England representative of President Barack Obama's reelection effort. In the emails, the chief was looking for reimbursement for extra staffing costs for security and traffic control for a presidential campaign fundraiser.

Trevor Whipple said Thursday he never heard back on that 2011 request.

"It's frustrating," Whipple said. "Where it's discretionary, especially where it's fundraising, my expectation is [candidates] should bear the cost of that. They should be responsible for reimbursing the taxpayer for the cost of that additional service that would not have been necessitated were it not for this fundraising event."

Whipple said if visits by dignitaries were for official business, he would not seek reimbursement. But he said he sees political fundraisers in particular as different, and the kind of event for which taxpayers deserve repayment.

Necn reached out to a spokesperson for the Trump campaign regarding the city of Burlington's claims, but had not heard back at the time of publication.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[‘Mr. Hate Leave Our State’: Trump Protest in Burlingame]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 08:40:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/042916-trump-protesters-stop-hate-sign.jpg

Vociferously chanting "Dump Trump," and "Run Trump Run," protesters trying to prevent Donald Trump from giving the kick-off speech at the California Republican Convention Friday blocked the entrance, jumped over bushes and faced off against police in riot gear.

The mood was mostly peacefully in Burlingame Friday morning, but turned much more tense shortly before noon, when protestors tried to block the entrance to the Hyatt Regency. Raucous crowds formed on Old Bayshore Highway. Police were spotted from the NBC Bay Area chopper running after them in full riot clear. One protester was escorted out of the hotel by security after she sneaked into the main convention hall and chanted: "Dump Trump."

Law enforcement officials told NBC Bay Area that a five arrests had been made as of Friday afternoon. One minor injury was reported.

Despite the protests, Trump arrived at the hotel shortly after noon, jumping with his entourage over a highway wall to make his way inside, where California Republican Chair Jim Brulte told luncheon guests Trump had arrived. "That was not the easiest entrance I've ever made," Trump joked at the luncheon. "It felt like I was crossing the border."

"People who believe in free speech were trying to prevent Trump from coming to the convention, but the California Highway Patrol and Burlingame police are really, really good, Donald Trump has arrived and is in the hotel," Brulte said to applause from the crowd.

Outside, protesters carrying the U.S. flag, cheered when they heard that Trump had to take a back entrance to the hotel because of them, and had compared the experience to crossing the border. "The Bay Area's anti-racist communities are out here representing the real California," protesters carrying a poster reading "Sorry for your inconvenience, we're trying to change the world," said.

Trump did have supporters outside the hotel, but the overall message was against the business mogul, who has called Mexicans rapists and whose platform includes building a wall on the border with Mexico to keep foreigners out.

People outside the Hyatt held up signs that read “Mr. Hate Leave Our State,” and more explosive, expletive-laden comments.

“We don’t want him to be president,” said Angelina Castro in a Facebook Live interview early Friday. Castro said she came to protest for her daughter.

"We don't have a problem with Republicans," she said. "We have a problem with racism, sexism and hatred."

Oscar Munoz, a military veteran with two college degrees, asked out loud: “Why are you racist? Why are we targets of your hate?” Munoz added, "He's a coward. I fought for my country. Did he fight for his country? I'm a vet not a rapist or murderer."

Trump wasn't there for immediate comment. But one Republican attendee told NBC Bay Area: "This is America, this is great, as long as they keep the protests peaceful, it's great."

Inside the GOP Convention Hall, Truman Jensen and his wife, Barbara, said they're voting for Trump because he has hired more people than Hillary Clinton.

The Trump brouhaha in Silicon Valley comes after the violent scene that played out in Orange County on Thursday night outside the Pacific Amphitheatre, where 17 people were arrested during a raucous protest after Trump gave a speech. One man was seen jumping on top of a police car, and a second patrol car was shattered.

Trump’s speeches have garnered support from many across the United States. But the anti-Trump sentiment is arguably among the strongest in the left-leaning Bay Area, where diversity is high and minorities from all over the world choose to live.

After his departure, protesters took over the Hyatt parking lot, protesters burned Trump effigies and in one instance, even the American flag. Another group of demonstrators chanted: "This is California, run Trump run." "Bay Area is anti-racism, Trump you're not welcome here," another group yelled.

This weekend, Trump will be joined by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz — who will be speaking Saturday at noon — and his newly-named running mate, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who is slotted to keynote Saturday's dinner banquet.

Gov. John Kacish, who has so far led a lackluster presidential campaign, will be speaking at Friday’s dinner banquet.

Party leaders hope that the Republicans' messages don't dissolve into a shouting match, or worse.

"We've talked with everybody and we're confident that we have a good system in place," said Kaitlyn MacGregor, California Republican Party spokeswoman. "And if they don't behave, we have a system to handle that."

NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell, Robert Handa and Michelle Roberts contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Do Celebrity Endorsements Help or Hurt?]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 04:48:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DAWSON_GettyImages-521061462.jpg

Celebrity surrogates have been ubiquitous on the campaign trail this season, frequently been driving the 2016 news cycle — and in some cases, forcing their preferred candidates off message.

In a crowded media marketplace, the prominence of a celebrity surrogate can make a difference — at least when it comes to media attention — but unlike most traditional political representatives, they are infamously difficult to control.

During an appearance on "Late Night with Stephen Colbert" Wednesday, actress Susan Sarandon, a passionate Bernie Sanders supporter, doubled down on her refusal to say whether or not she would support Hillary Clinton in a one-on-one race against Trump. And unscripted diatribes on Sanders' behalf from stars like Rosario Dawson, Killer Mike and Tim Robbins have begged the question: Are these kinds of endorsements really worth it?

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Rocky History Between Cruz and Boehner]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:40:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/split2-cruz-boehner.jpg

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz personally told NBC News he had not met John Boehner, when he addressed comments made about him by the former House Speaker.

But the two men do have a past: Ted Cruz was once Boehner’s lawyer, when Boehner sued Washington state Democrat Jim McDermott over a leaked recording. Boehner filed the lawsuit in 1998 involving the illegal interception of an embarrassing phone call in which Boehner discussed House leadership business. He said his personal privacy was violated. 

Boehner won the case — part of which was handled by Ted Cruz. Sources close to Boehner told NBC News the two met during the lawsuit, but likely never had contact after Cruz arrived on Capitol Hill in 2013. 

For Boehner, Cruz led the political charge against him, when he was effectively a “player coach” in the move to oust the former speaker last year. 

Through the government shutdown in 2013, Cruz helped influence House members in the dissent that made the former speaker choose to step aside in 2015. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Protests Expected at Donald Trump's Bay Area Event]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:27:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/GettyImages-513916860.jpg

It’s not unusual for Donald Trump protesters to show up wherever he goes — and on Friday it’s expected to be just as much.

Anti-Trump activists flew a plane over Mountain View Thursday, with a banner that read, “Google Don’t Be Evil, #DumpTrump.”

Google, which is based out of Mountain View, plans to livestream July’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, but activists argue that the tech giant shouldn’t give Trump a worldwide platform.

Trump’s speeches have been extremely controversial, with the business mogul calling Mexicans rapists and murderers, and even instigating fights with his anti-immigrant rhetoric.

More than 8,000 people have signed up for a Facebook event calling for an anti-Trump demonstration outside the Burlingame Hyatt Regency Friday where Trump is expected to speak before a sold-out crowd during the California Republican Convention kickoff lunch.

“Donald Trump is coming to the Bay Area — let's show him a real Bay Area welcome by peacefully protesting outside,” a message on the event’s Facebook wall says.

Turn Up on Trump, another Facebook event, has attracted nearly 2,000 people.

The stage in Burglingame where Trump will speak to about 600 people had final preparations late Thursday. Organizers are hoping supporters of all three candidates do not reduce the gathering to a shouting match.

"We've talked with everybody and we're confident that we have a good system in place," said Kaitlyn MacGregor, California Republican Party spokeswoman. "And if they don't behave, we have a system to handle that."

Sheriff's and police equipment is also parked in a staging area near the hotel -- ready to prevent a melee.

"If we do see it get heated, we'll get in between them as a buffer," Burlingame Police Lt. Jay Keily said.

Every law enforcement agency in San Mateo County will also have officers deployed to the area to keep protesters from spilling onto Old Bayshore Boulevard or Highway 101, next to the hotel.

"It's possible traffic may be impacted along Bayshore Boulevard or in the City of Burlingame," Keily said. "We hope drivers are mindful that there may be a lot of pedestrians walking about."

Supporters as well as protesters showed up at Trump’s Costa Mesa event Thursday, where he kicked off his California campaign.

Fresh from sweeping all five primary states this week, Trump will be joined this weekend by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz — who will be speaking Saturday at noon — and his newly-named running mate, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, who is slotted to keynote Saturday's dinner banquet.

Presidential candidate Gov. John Kacish, who has so far led a lackluster campaign, will be speaking at Friday’s dinner banquet.

Just Wednesday, former House Speaker John Boehner called Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.”

“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a b___in my life,” Cruz told a group of students at Stanford.

In response, Cruz said: “When John Boehner calls me Lucifer, he's not directing that at me. He's directing that at you.”

Boehner described Trump as his “golfing and texting buddy.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford Reporter Who Broke 'Lucifer' Story]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 19:06:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/boehner-Ada_Throckmorton.jpg

Stanford Daily cub reporter Ada Statler-Throckmorton, 20, has spoken with big names and tackled weighty topics in the past.

The student from Prairie City, Kansas, has done a Q&A with Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey and covered the controversial fuel-free movement at the prestigious university in Palo Alto.

But she’s never broken a national news story like the one she did on Wednesday night at Stanford University’s CEMEX Auditorium. That’s where she was the first to report to the world that former House Speaker John Boehner called fellow Republican and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh."

As far as she knows, she was the only reporter covering the speech, other than internal Stanford media. And when Boehner said those words, she knew it was big. But she didn’t know just how big — so big that her mother heard about it while listening to NPR early Thursday morning.

Google News returned about 300 articles for a search of Boehner and "Lucifer in the flesh" Thursday afternoon, including all the major American political news sources, all of which cite Statler-Throckmorton's story. The Stanford Daily's original article has more than 1,000 comments and 8,000 shares on Facebook, amid what its managing editor told CNNMoney is record web traffic.

“I didn’t realize it would go this viral and this fast,” Statler-Throckmorton said, noting she isn't even a journalism student, but is majoring in Earth Systems and wants to go into environmental communications.

Boehner didn’t stop at comparing Cruz to the Devil, though, and Statler-Throckmorton wrote down what he said in a candid speech that was not broadcast or videotaped: “I have Democrat friends and Republican. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” The Stanford Daily was able to capture some audio of the now-hyped up talk.

Later in the day — and all thanks to the scrappy Stanford sophomore — Cruz held court with reporters, taking aim at Boehner, saying the former speaker allowed his "inner Trump to come out." As for the "Lucifer" comment, Cruz said: "If John Boehner is calling me 'Lucifer,' he’s not directing that at me.  He’s directing that at you."

Statler-Throckmorton has been sought after from major news outlets ranging from Fox to CNN to NBC News, which is all the more curious to her because the headline of her campus newspaper  - “John Boehner talks election, time in office” - certainly does not sell the story the same way those outlets did. 

The Stanford Daily hadn’t promoted the story by the time the first news organization latched onto it, and Statler-Throckmorton doesn’t even have a Twitter account. She still doesn’t know who first picked up her story.

Victor Young Xu, the managing editor of news at the campus paper, told CNNMoney that on a typical day the entire site draws 11,000 to 13,000 page views. 

Xu told CNNMoney the Boehner story had already reached 169,220 page views as of 11:40 a.m. PT, which represented 94.5 percent of all visits to the site. To compare, the second most-viewed story published over the last year — a satirical piece on Stanford's admissions rate — drew a little over 40,000 views.

Relishing in her 15 minutes of fame, Statler-Throckmorton said she’s been trying to juggle all the media attention cast on her while paying attention to classes. 

As for her family’s own political leanings, Statler-Throckmorton said “we’re certainly not Republicans.” But she added she certainly kept an open mind to what the former speaker of the House had to say. 

“He was very interesting to listen to,” she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area; Inset: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['If We Win In Indiana, It's Over': Trump]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:48:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TrumpIndiana-AP_16119692031356.jpg

Donald Trump set the stakes of the Indiana primary Thursday, saying he refused to take time off from the campaign trail because of the importance of the primary, NBC News reported. 

Trump continued his pivot toward the general election with the rally in Indiana, where he told the audience he “will be so much better to women than Hillary Clinton is — for health care issues, on the protection of our country.” 

"If we win in Indiana, it's over," he said.         

Trump told the audience Clinton can’t win New York because the Clintons “abandoned Arkansas for New York” and aren’t “real New Yorkers.” He also insisted Clinton “doesn’t do great in Arkansas,” even though she won the state's Democratic primary.

It's a hint at where Trump's focus lies after primary wins across the Northeast on Tuesday, putting him closer to the nomination.     

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[USHCC Endorses Clinton, Kasich]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:46:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/split2-march15-kasich-clinton.jpg

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday it is endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John Kasich, in its first ever endorsement of any presidential candidate, NBC News reported.

"Secretary Clinton has stood with the USHCC and the Hispanic community at-large for decades," USHCC president and CEO Javier Palomarez said in a statement. "For more than 40 years, Secretary Clinton has fought to ensure that those who are willing to work hard in America have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead." 

Palomarez added that Kasich “understands that sustainable economic growth is needed in order to allow the American people an opportunity to succeed, regardless of background. He also understands that the Hispanic community is not monolithic, and that the issues most important to all Americans are: jobs, the economy, health care, education, immigration and national security." 

The group, which advocates on behalf of the country's Latin-owned businesses, bypassed Ted Cruz — the only Latino left in the presidential race.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Testimony At Hastert Sentencing]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 04:04:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hastert+Arrival.png

For seasoned court watchers, attorneys, even veteran prosecutors, the sentencing of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert proved to be powerful and troubling.

"Nothing is more disturbing than having 'serial child molester' and 'Speaker of the House' in the same sentence," Judge Thomas Durkin told a packed but silent audience in his 14th floor courtroom. “Some actions can obliterate a lifetime of good works.”

For two hours, the gut-wrenching testimony unfolded. Two accusers detailed sordid tales of sexual abuse from Hastert’s days as a wrestling coach in Yorkville. His own attorney conceded he could not contest the allegations. Prosecutor Steven Block told the judge that the government regretted they couldn’t hit him with tougher laws.

“Had there been an opportunity to charge the defendant with sexually abusing boys in his care, we would have,” Block said. “His decision last year was designed to keep his dark secrets.”

That decision, to mislead agents investigating massive bank withdrawals to pay off an accuser, eventually led to a person still identified only as “Individual A”, who described sexual abuse at Hastert’s hands when he wrestled for Yorkville High School in the seventies. Eventually, four other alleged victims were discovered.

One, Stephen Reinboldt, died from Aids in 1995. But in court Wednesday, his sister Jolene Burdge stood before the former Speaker.

“I hope I have been your worst nightmare,” she told Hastert, who did not react. “You took his life Mr. Hastert…because you took his innocence and turned it against him.”

Reporters filled the jury box, which went unused because Hastert had entered a guilty plea to a crime called “structuring”. It’s an arcane statute governing massive withdrawals of money. Because of statutes of limitations, he could not be charged with the sex crimes relating to those transactions. But the evidence was presented nonetheless. And it was difficult to hear.

“As a young boy, I wanted to be part of what Coach Hastert had created,” said another accuser, “Individual D”. A near gasp rumbled through the courtroom when he stated his name as Scott Cross. His brother Tom was well known to most reporters in the courtroom, as a former State Representative, and onetime protégé of the Speaker himself.

“Coach Hastert sexually abused me my senior year in high school,” Cross said, choking back tears. “I did not say anything to anyone. Coach Hastert and I never spoke of it.”

Cross said he considered the abuse his darkest secret.

“I wanted you to know the pain he caused me then, and still causes me today,” he told the judge. “It is important to tell the truth—I could no longer remain silent.”

As observers watched Hastert, he showed no emotion. No obvious twinges of pride as his attorney Tom Green described his client’s post-9/11 heroics on Capitol Hill. No apparent shame when Green stated, “Mr. Hastert abused.”

Green concede that his client “made some very poor decisions.” But he begged the judge to consider the total arc of Hastert’s life.

“Dennis Hastert was able to reshape his life into a career of public service and extraordinary accomplishment,” Green said. Then he conceded, that those “decades of accomplishment have been erased.”

Then the time came for Hastert himself to state his case. The clock ticked. Reporters leaned forward. His attorneys helped the former speaker push his walker to a lectern. A prepared statement was unfolded before him.

“I’m deeply ashamed,” Hastert read from the paper. “I’m the only one responsible.”

But even then, he could not bring himself to use the words “sexual abuse”.

“I know I am here because I mistreated some of the athletes I coached,” he said. “The thing I want to do is say I’m sorry.”

But the judge wasn’t buying it, and he interrupted Hastert’s statement.

“Did you sexually abuse Mr. Cross?” he asked.

“I don’t remember doing that,” Hastert said. “I accept his statement.”

“Individual B?” the judge asked.

“Yes,” Hastert admitted.

“Stephen Reinboldt?”

“That’s a different situation,” Hastert said cryptically. He paused to confer with his attorney, before conceding that he could not dispute the comments of Reinboldt’s sister.

“So you did sexually abuse him?” the incredulous judge asked.

“Yes,” Hastert said.

When it came time for him to impose sentence, Durkin spoke for more than 40 minutes. He did nothing to hide his disgust, and clearly demonstrated that the many pleas for mercy had fallen on deaf ears.

“If I’m going to consider the good, I must also consider the bad,” Durkin said, “which is that the defendant is a serial child molester.”

“Your actions were cynical,” he told Hastert. “You abused those who wouldn’t or couldn’t cry out.”

Attorneys had asked for leniency due to Hastert’s failing health and advanced age. The judge said the Bureau of Prisons would offer adequate medical care.

“Your age did not prevent you from committing crimes,” he said. “Your age should not prevent you from being punished.”

In the end, he sentenced Hastert to 15 months in prison, and a $250,000 fine. Reporters frantically sent out the news, thumbs flying on silent keyboards. Hastert’s attorneys made last minute arrangements for their client’s surrender, pending assignment to an appropriate prison.

And then it was over. But not before one last moment of despir from the judge.

“Nothing today gave me pleasure,” he said. “This is a horrible case. I hope I never have to see a case like this ever again.”

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Tapping Fiorina Early, Cruz Echoes Reagan's Gamble]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 04:49:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CRUZ_AP_16118751601761.jpg

Ted Cruz's unconventional decision to tap Carly Fiorina on Wednesday as his running mate echoes Ronald Reagan's gambit heading into the 1976 convention, a history that offers cautionary notes for Cruz.

Reagan finished the primaries as both a beloved conservative and party underdog, trailing incumbent President Gerald Ford by 100 delegates.

On July 27, 1976, a few weeks before the GOP convention, Reagan held a press conference to announce he was picking Richard Schweiker, a liberal Republican from Pennsylvania, to be his running mate.

"The people and the delegates have a right to know, in advance of the convention, who a nominee's vice presidential choice would be," Reagan said, explaining his logic for "departing from tradition" to announce the pick early.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Get More Census Info for LGBTQ Community: Rep. Grijalva]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 15:35:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RaulGrijalva-AP_82052430668.jpg

Arizona Democratic congressman Raúl Grijalva believes sexual orientation should be included in the Census to strengthen the LGBTQ community's access to resources and legislation, NBC News reported.

Rep. Grijalva and Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) requested the American Community Survey start asking Americans about their sexual orientation and gender identity to create “urgently needed” statistics for the LGBTQ population. 

"In order to make further progress toward understanding the LGBT population (including its economic, racial, and geographic diversity), we strongly believe the Census Bureau should measure ACS respondents' sexual orientation and gender identity," they said in a letter to Census Director John Thompson. 

Grijalva said other categories like marital status are based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hastert Gets 15 Months in Prison]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 04:07:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hastert+Update.png

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison for breaking federal banking rules in a hush-money scheme attempting to cover up decades of sexual abuse.

He was also fined $250,000, Judge Thomas Durkin ruled, saying there's nothing worse than using "serial child molester" and "Speaker of the House" in the same sentence.

"It gives me no pleasure to sentence Mr. Hastert," Durkin said. "It's sad for our country."

Hastert faced up to five years behind bars for the banking charges, which were but one part of the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against him. 

In court Wednesday, he apologized for his actions and admitted to the sexual abuse for the first time.  

"I want to say sorry to those I've hurt," Hastert said in court moments before learning his fate. "What I did was wrong and I regret it. They looked up to me and what I did was wrong."

Among those testifying at Wednesday's hearing was Scott Cross, previously identified as "Individual D," the brother of former State Rep. Tom Cross. Cross claimed Hastert abused him when he was 17 years old and captain of the wrestling team Hastert coached.

"I was alone with Coach Hastert in the locker room. Coach Hastert said I could make weight by giving me a massage. I trusted him," he said. "He pulled down my shorts, grabbed my penis and began to rub me. I was stunned by what he was doing, grabbed my shorts and ran out."

When Cross finished his statement, applause erupted in the courtroom.

Also testifying in court Wednesday was Jolene Burdge, the sister of another of Hastert's victims, Steven Reinboldt.

"I hope I've been your worst nightmare," Burdge said. "What you did wasn't misconduct. It was sexual abuse of a minor."

Hastert admitted in court to sexually abusing Reinboldt. He added that while he does not recall abusing Cross, he "accepts his statement" and does not deny the allegations.

Hastert pleaded guilty last year to a crime known as "structuring," an effort to mask payments to an unnamed individual he had wronged decades ago when he was a wrestling coach at Yorkville High.

Prosecutors have claimed Hastert agreed to pay the accuser more than $3 million to conceal allegations Hastert molested him in a motel room when he was 14 years old. That accuser has since filed suit against Hastert for breach of contract, claiming he failed to finish making the agreed upon payments.

Authorities allege Hastert tried to mislead the FBI by instead accusing the victim of extortion.

"He was a victim decades ago and you tried to make him the victim again," Durkin said, adding that if Hastert had told the truth "he probably would have gotten probation."

In total, at least four former students have come forward alleging the now 74-year-old molested them when he was a teacher and coach. 

Attorneys for Hastert pleaded for mercy, saying Hastert has been punished enough through failing health and his own guilt and humiliation. Soon after his guilty pleas last October, the former speaker was hospitalized with a series of medical problems, including sepsis and a small stroke.

His attorneys asked that Hastert be spared time behind bars, and instead receive probation. 

"This is one of the most tragic and sad cases I've ever encountered," said attorney Thomas Green. "His life will forever be comprised and diminished."

Still, Durkin said Hastert's age would not deter him from sentencing the 74-year-old to prison and said his medical needs can be met in prison.

"I hope I never see a case like this again," Durkin said.

Hastert's attorney said in a statement that Hastert "accepts the sentence imposed by the court today."

"As he made clear in his own words in addressing the court, he takes sole responsibility for this tragic situation and deeply apologizes to all those affected by his actions," the statement read. "He hopes that he now can focus on addressing his health issues and on healing the emotional damage that has been inflicted on his family and friends who have shown unwavering support throughout this trying time."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump: Clinton Playing Woman Card]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 10:38:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16118114842811.jpg

Coming off a huge win on Tuesday night, Donald Trump said he has all but clinched the Republican nomination, NBC News reported. 

"I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely," Trump said at a press conference after winning all five state primaries held on Tuesday by crushing margins.

Turning to the general election, he predicted he would "beat Hillary [Clinton] so easily" and even compete for deep blue states like New York, despite trailing Clinton nationally in every recent poll, often by wide margins.

"The only card she has is the woman's card," Trump said. "If Hillary Clinton were a man I don't think she'd get five percent of the vote."

Clinton said Tuesday night that "if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the 'woman card,' then deal me in."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders Says 'Poor Don’t Vote']]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:16:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/224*120/election-24-AP_724401216991.jpg

Bernie Sanders made waves in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press this week, after claiming that low income Americans do not vote.

A recent NPR report showed that 17 of the states with the highest income inequality in the country have held primary elections, and Hillary Clinton was the victor in 16 of those states.

The numbers prompted Meet the Press host, Chuck Todd, to inquire why Sanders, a candidate known for making income inequality his pet issue, did not win in those states.

“Well, because poor people don’t vote,” Sanders responded. “I mean that’s just a fact…The last election in 2014, 80 percent of poor people did not vote.”

It is true that low income Americans show up to the polls in lower numbers than their wealthier counterparts. So Sanders’ claim is true at face value. However, the Vermont senator is a bit off on the numbers.

Census data from the 2014 election shows that households at or below the poverty line, those making around $30,000 a year or less, voted about 31 percent of the time that year. That means about 69 percent of low income voters didn’t show up to polls in 2014, not the 80 percent as Sanders claimed.

The Census data breaks down the percentage of voters who showed up to the polls within each income bracket. The numbers range from 24.5 percent for households making less than $10,000 a year and tops out at 56 percent for those earning $150,000 a year or more. In other words, the higher the income, the greater the percentage of voters.

However, the 2014 midterm election that Sanders referenced on Meet the Press had a really low turnout overall, only about 36 percent nationally. That’s the lowest turnout since the midterm election in 1942.

Everyone voted in lower numbers in 2014, and the average turnout and the low income turnout were only separated by a few percentage points.

Sanders’ claim holds some truth. Low income people are less likely to make it out to the polls on Election Day, but it’s hard to see how that explains losing 16 out of those 17 states.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Primary Day: Voters in 5 States Cast Ballots]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 18:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/election-27-GettyImages-524665434.jpg Democratic and Republican primary voters in five Northeastern states went to the polls on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bernie Sanders Floats Elizabeth Warren's Name for VP]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 07:53:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sanders-Warren.jpg

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said a female vice president would be a "great idea" and mentioned Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as an example of a woman qualified to hold the office.

The senior senator from Vermont discussed the possibility on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" ahead of Tuesday's primary elections in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island.

"I think the women of this country — the people of this country — understand that it would be a great idea to have a woman as vice president," Sanders said. "It's something I would give very, very serious thought to."

When asked if any women were particularly well equipped to serve as vice president, Sanders scoffed.

"Pfft, are there any women? Yes, there are many women who would be qualified for that job," he asserted.

The senator said it was "a little bit early to be speculating" about a potential running mate, but named Warren as an example when pressed. He did not mention rival Hillary Clinton.

"Elizabeth Warren, I think, has been a real champion of standing up for working families, taking on Wall Street," he said. "There are fantastic women who have been active in all kind of fights who I think would make great vice presidential candidates."

Warren, whose name has also been floated as a possible pick for an all-female ticket with Clinton, has not endorsed a candidate but said she will likely make her choice known before the July convention.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Clinton: Sandy Hook a Focal Point]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:03:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Hillary+Clinton+1200.jpg

In her only interview with Connecticut media on Monday, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton told NBC Connecticut about her recent rhetoric about guns and how the Sandy Hook tragedy has been a focal point of her campaign.

Clinton, who held a campaign rally at the University of Bridgeport over the weekend, said she hasn’t politicized the tragedy, even with a campaign ad featuring the daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung who was killed that day.

"I think we have a real problem with guns in America. Thirty-three thousand people per year are killed by guns and politics, our government, our democracy, is supposed to be about solving problems," Clinton said backstage. "We need universal background checks. We need to end the universal immunity that has been given to the gunmakers themselves. We have to do more on mental health. We have to do more on education about the dangers of guns, so I think it's an appropriate and necessary topic to be discussing in this campaign."

That final comment was a nod to the lawsuit that families of Sandy Hook victims filed against the manufacturer and seller of the weapons used in the December 2012 massacre. A judge recently ruled the suit could move forward.

Clinton spoke several days ago during a campaign stop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, about how, as a child, she would spend time at a family cabin on Lake Winola. She said that’s where she learned to use a gun.

NBC Connecticut political reporter Max Reiss asked Clinton if she’s used a weapon recently.

"Well, not recently; I did go hunting when I lived in Arkansas. I haven't really had much chance to do it," she said. "I've done skeet shooting, but I wanted to make the point that I am not against responsible people having guns."

Clinton went on to say she believes in the Second Amendment and policies that can be good for both lawful gun owners and public safety.

"There is no contradiction between having safe gun policies that save lives and respecting Second Amendment rights," Clinton said.

On the issue of possible Supreme Court nominees, Clinton said some decisions by the high court have been "gifts to the gun lobby" and she would want a justice who could work to change those constitutional interpretations.

Additionally, Clinton said overturning Citizens United, the case that established that corporations could give unlimited sums to political campaign, would be a priority.

"I would certainly look for people who understood that Citizens United was one of the worst decisions the court has ever made," she said.

Connecticut’s economy has struggled since the 2008 recession and wage growth has remained essentially flat. Mentioning some of Connecticut’s largest cities, Clinton said her economic policies could provide some growth.

"I want to zero in [on] those places like Bridgeport and Waterbury that need those extra boosts and I will have those economics and jobs policy to do that. I will have an infrastructure policy and advanced manufacturing policy, a clean renewable energy policy, a small business policy and I want to do everything I can, working with the people in communities like Bridgeport and Waterbury to get back in the economic hunt to be able to provide more jobs that are going to provide good livings," she said.

The former secretary of state knows she will have to win over supporters of challenger Bernie Sanders, as well as independents, in the event she becomes the Democratic nominee. Clinton hopes her connections to the state as a student at Yale will play into voters’ decisions.

"I went to law school with Sen. [Richard] Blumenthal, so I've obviously known him for a very long time. Many other people in politics, in business and academia, and all kinds of civic groups so I do want people to know that I've spent a lot of time in Connecticut, driving around, seeing this beautiful state, and I want to be a partner to move the country forward," she said.

Clinton said her supporters in 2008 were polled as saying nearly half would not support then-Sen. Barack Obama in a general election but eventaully did.

Clinton hopes voters not only turn out for her Tuesday, but also that those who don’t vote for her examine how their values may line up with hers.

"I think the vast majority of my opponent's supporters are going to look at who the two nominees are and I'm very confident that we will have their support and we will work hard for it because I want people who don't support me now, not just people supporting my opponent in a Democratic primary but Republicans and Independents to really take a look at my record," Clinton said.

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<![CDATA[Candidates Descend on Philly Region]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 21:23:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Candidates-Collage.jpg

With dozens of delegates up for grabs for both parties, presidential hopefuls descended on the Philadelphia region Monday before voters head to the polls in Pennsylvania and Delaware on Tuesday.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Republican challenger John Kasich,  Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders all planned to hold public events in the area Monday, with GOP challenger Ted Cruz the only one not in the Keystone State Monday.

Clinton began her day with a rally at World Café Live at the Queen along N Market Street in downtown Wilmington, Delaware at 11:15 a.m. She later spoke in the courtyard of Philadelphia City Hall for a get out the vote event at 7:15 p.m.  

Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, will also be in the area canvassing with supporters in Lansdowne, West Chester and Ambler during the day.

Bernie Sanders, who is trying to chip away at Clinton’s lead, started his day with a midday rally in Pittsburgh. He visited Philly for an 8 p.m. get out the vote rally at Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center along Market Street.

Clinton and Sanders also held back-to-back town halls from the National Constitution Center in Philly Monday night. MSNBC aired Sanders' town hall at 8 p.m. while the Clinton event followed at 9 p.m.

On the Republican side, Trump held a rally at West Chester University’s Hollinger Field House at 4 p.m. before heading up to the Mohegan Sun Area at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre for a 7 p.m. rally.

Republican hopeful John Kasich went more low-key as he stopped by the Penrose Diver along Penrose Avenue in South Philadelphia Monday morning before a town hall event Monday night at 7 in McKees Rocks in western Pennsylvania.

The presidential primaries headline a slew of state and local races in Tuesday’s primary race.

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