<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Political News, Bay Area Politics]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:01:32 -0700 Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:01:32 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Examining Uber's Link Between Technology and Politics]]> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:47:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/uber-file.jpg Not a week goes by without Uber in the international headlines. San Francisco-based Uber now faces two court cases and potential state legislation. Larry Gerston reports.]]> <![CDATA[WATCH: Lindsey Graham Destroy His Phone After Trump's Comments]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:37:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/graham+screen+shot.JPG

Lindsey Graham won't be receiving any unwanted phone calls for the time being.

A day after Donald Trump implored a campaign crowd to call a phone number belonging to the GOP presidential candidate and South Carolina senator, Graham responded with a tongue-in-cheek video showing him destroying his flip phone.

Graham teamed up with conservative news website Independent Journal Review for the aptly named video "How to Destroy Your Cell Phone With Sen. Lindsey Graham."

The video shows Graham wrecking his phone in a multitude of ways, including with a blender, a sledge hammer, and a toaster oven.

After throwing his phone off a building, Graham faces the camera and says, "Or if all else fails, you can always give your number to The Donald."

"This is for all the veterans," Graham says before a final toss of the phone.  

Trump had given out Graham's phone number during a televised campaign stop in South Carolina Tuesday where the real estate mogul brushed off criticism over comments he made about Sen. John McCain.

"He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured," Trump had said about the former Naval pilot held prisoner for nearly six years during the Vietnam War. 

Graham had called Trump a "jackass" over the McCain remarks. 

McCain, meanwhile, promoted Graham's new video with a tweet that read, "This is why Lindsey Graham hasn't been answering my calls!"

Trump has yet to respond to the video. 

Photo Credit: IJ Review
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<![CDATA[Part of Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Sentence Vacated]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 06:53:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rod+blagojevich+1+year.jpg

Former governor Rod Blagojevich got bad news Tuesday from the court which has been considering his appeal for the last 18 months. The three judges on the federal appeals court threw out only five of the Blagojevich’s convictions, and ordered that he stay in prison.

The former governor will be resentenced, but his outlook is uncertain.

“I’ve had an opportunity to look over the opinion, and it’s not justice in my view,” said Blagojevich attorney Leonard Goodman. “He never put a penny in his pocket.”

Belying the notoriety of the case, the majority of the court’s opinion was rendered in strict legalese.

"The convictions on Counts 5, 6, 21, 22 and 23 are vacated; the remaining convictions are affirmed," the opinion stated. "The sentence is vacated and remanded for retrial on the vacated counts."

Those five counts related to Blagojevich’s negotiations for a cabinet job which he hoped to snag in exchange for appointing Presidential-choice Valerie Jarrett to a vacant U.S. Senate seat. But in other areas, the court made clear the former governor’s convictions should remain intact.

“Blagojevich viewed the opportunity to appoint a new senator as a bonanza,” Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote in the 23-page opinion. “Blagojevich asks us to hold that the evidence is insufficient to convict him on any count. The argument is frivolous. The evidence, much of it from Blagojevich’s own mouth, is overwhelming.”

“We’ve waited a long time for this decision and we are very disappointed,” said the former governor’s wife Patti. “If there’s any silver lining for us, is that possibly this is a step in the right direction, to getting him home with us.”

That could be a long road. While the court ordered that Blagojevich be resentenced, they went out of their way to say they did not believe his existing 14-year sentence was unreasonable.

“It is not possible to call 168 months unlawfully high for Blagojevich’s crimes,” Easterbrook wrote. “But the district judge should consider on remand, whether it is the most appropriate sentence.”

Former Blagojevich lawyer Sam Adam, said he had to believe trial judge James Zagel would render a lower sentence.

“You have to reduce his sentence,” Adam said. “How could you say the 14-year sentence was right for all of them. Now you take five out and it’s still the same?”

“There’s just something about that that’s fundamentally unfair.”

The appellate court also took issue with Blagojevich’s argument that he should have been allowed to explain that his real plan was to offer the senate seat to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, in exchange for political cooperation from her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan. Easterbrook suggested that one apparent legal gambit did not negate possible shenanigans which were being plotted at the same time.

“A bank robber cannot show that on many other occasions he entered a bank without pulling a gun on a teller,” he wrote. “Nor can a teller charged with embezzlement show how often he made correct entries in the books.”

In 2009, Blagojevich was impeached from the governor's office after being charged with racketeering, bribery, wire fraud and attempted extortion, including the "sale" of Obama's Senate seat.

He was sentenced to prison and given a $20,000 fine in 2011 when he was convicted of 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell now-President Barack Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder. He had previously been convicted, in an earlier trial, of lying to the FBI.

Reached at his home in Nashville, Blagojevich’s brother Robert, said he was not hopeful Zagel would extend much mercy.

“I’m very cynical with regard to the whole system,” Blagojevich said. “I’m also jaundiced when it comes to the key players in this drama, especially Judge Zagel. So I’m not hopeful for Rod to get any measure of fairness from him.”

The elder Blagojevich was especially angry about comments the appellate judges made, blasting the former governor for involvement in a scheme to appoint Jesse Jackson Jr. to the senate seat in exchange for $1.5 million in campaign contributions.

“That is just flat out not true,” Blagojevich said, noting that as his brother’s chief campaign fundraiser, it was he who had been approached by Jackson’s emissaries with the $1.5 million offer.

“That is an altered reality to what I know and what I experienced,” he said. “That is just flat out wrong!”

Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg, who worked on the Blagojevich appeal and represented him at both trials, said she had to remain hopeful.

“Knowing him as a person, I’m sure he also sees some hope and is optimistic that he’ll be with his family again,” Kaeseberg said. “You know it pains him greatly to be missing out each day with his daughters.”

Her co-counsel Goodman, suggested that the decision defied common sense.

“I think most people agree the sentence is incredibly harsh for a case that’s all about politics,” Goodman said. “Never put a penny in his pocket. It’s all politics!”

<![CDATA[GOP Field Grows to 16 as Ohio Gov. Kasich Announces 2016 Run]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 09:33:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kasich-GettyImages-471835132.jpg

Saying "big ideas change the world," Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination Tuesday and set about trying to distinguish himself in a bustling contest with other high achievers.

The outspoken swing-state governor declared his candidacy Tuesday before a crowd of 2,000 at Ohio State University, saying "the sun is going to rise to the zenith in America again." The 63-year-old is the 16th notable Republican to enter the race. 

"I am here to ask you for your prayers, for your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for president," Kasich, a strong-willed and sometimes abrasive governor, said in a scattered speech packed with family anecdotes, historical references and a pitch for his well-rounded resume.

A veteran congressman as well as governor, Kasich is telling voters he is the only GOP candidate with experience in three broad areas of political leadership — the federal budget, national security and state government. As well, he spent nearly a decade at Lehman Brothers.

"I have the experience and the testing," he said, "the testing which shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world and I believe I know how to work and help restore this great United States."

As budget chairman in the House, he became an architect of a deal in 1997 that balanced the federal budget.

Now in his second term in swing-state Ohio, he's helped erase a budget deficit projected at nearly $8 billion when he entered office, boost Ohio's rainy-day fund to a historic high and seen private-sector employment rebound to its post-recession level.

This, through budget cutting, privatization of parts of Ohio's government and other, often business-style innovations.

Unions that turned back an effort by Kasich and fellow Republicans to limit public workers' collective bargaining rights say Kasich's successes have come at a cost to local governments and schools, and that new Ohio jobs lack the pay and benefits of the ones they replaced. They plan a protest outside Tuesday's launch.

Kasich embraces conservative ideals but bucks his party on occasion and disdains the Republican sport of bashing Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

His entry nearly rounds out an unusually diverse Republican lineup with two Hispanics, an African-American, one woman and several younger candidates alongside older white men. So many are running that it's unclear Kasich will qualify for the GOP's first debate in his home state in just two weeks.

In recent months, he's made trips to New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, New York and Michigan, and will be returning to early voting states. His allies at the political organization New Day for America reported raising $11.5 million on Kasich's behalf before his entry into the race. 

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[House Ethics Committee Reviews Congressman Mike Honda's 2014 Campaign]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:03:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1006-2014-MikeHonda.jpg A South Bay congressman is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Members are looking at whether Mike Honda broke the rules during his 2014 campaign. Larry Gerston reports.]]> <![CDATA[Brown Talks Papal Visit, 'Courageous' Climate Change Action]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 12:52:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jerry-brown-pope-francis.jpg

Gov. Jerry Brown, who once studied for the priesthood, will visit the Vatican in Rome this week to participate in a symposium on climate change for a meeting he said is both about public policy and a personal commitment tied to his years as a seminarian.

“Dealing with climate change does bring back my experiences as a young Jesuit seminarian back in the 50s. That era was one of being called to deal with the eternal verities and eternal truths and dealing with life itself, which is after all the climate and the air, the water and the health of species,” Brown told KNBC Sunday.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo will also be attending the two-day Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences event that kicks off Tuesday.

Last month, Pope Francis presented a papal encyclical on the topic of environmental changes, the first of its kind. Critics, including several of GOP presidential candidates, believe the Pope should avoid taking sides on political issues such as the climate change debate, but Brown disagreed.

“I think religious authorities speak not to power as politicians and not to money as businesses, but rather to the moral dimension of how human beings should treat each other and other living things and the home that is our earth and our life," he said. "I do see the Pope as critical in making this dramatic shift to a more sustainable way of living."

Brown also on Sunday expressed support for Senate Bill 350, now being considered in the California legislature, which among other things targets a 50 percent reduction in gasoline consumption by the year 2030.

The governor called the measure a “complex and comprehensive plan” which contains “all the elements that get the job done.”

Brown dismissed a study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation indicating the law could have serious consequences to the state’s manufacturing and transportation sector. But he acknowledged the difficulty in navigating a global challenge far outside the jurisdiction of one state. Recent estimates, for example, have China building a coal fired power plant every week.

“I recognize that if China keeps building coal plants we’re done. I don’t think they are going to do that," he said. "They are going to go beyond what the United States is doing.”

Some environmentalists have criticized Brown for not seeking a ban on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” which has bolstered oil and gas development in the state. He defended his record saying the practice was strictly regulated by the state.

"One subset of actions, say fracking, won’t alter the fact that California has 32 million vehicles and most of what they use is petroleum products” he said, adding that he believes California is on the path to being an international leader on climate change.

“This is bigger than World War II, this is bigger than a tsunami, bigger than the earthquake in 1906 and we’ve got to get off our behind here and take bold, courageous, systematic, thoughtful action," he said. "Anyone who stands in the way of that is harmful and is a threat to your children, your grandchildren and the well-being of the entire world."

After his trip to the Vatican, Brown will travel to Paris in December to speak at the UN Climate Conference. He joined activist Al Gore earlier in the month at the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto.

Photo Credit: AP/Getty]]>
<![CDATA[McCain Calls Trump's Comments 'Totally Inappropriate]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 07:21:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_trumpmccain_1500x845.jpg Senator John McCain says Donald Trump owes an apology to all the prisoners of war he served with. Trump recently stated that McCain is not a war hero, is only considered a war hero "because he was captured" and "I like people that weren't captured." McCain was reluctant to call himself a hero, but added that Trump's recent comments criticizing P.O.W.'s were "totally inappropriate."]]> <![CDATA[Walker: Trump 'Needs to Apologize' for McCain Comments]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 04:19:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-473663490+%281%29_scott_walker.jpg

Wisconsin Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker said Donald Trump "needs to apologize" for his comments questioning whether Sen. John McCain is a war hero. 

Walker, who tried to ignore Trump's inflammatory rhetoric by leaning on the old "Reagan commandment" that discourages attacks against fellow Republicans, also had a message for the real-estate mogul's supporters.

"At a minimum, he needs to apologize," Walker said in an interview with NBC News. "I think more people need to push him. Not just candidates or elected officials, I think more people across America including some of those who, maybe up until now, have been supporters of him."

Trump said Saturday McCain is "not a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured." Under fire, Trump later acknowledged that McCain's sacrifice was heroic.

Walker was careful not to mention Trump by name but said his insulting rant against McCain went too far, "when it came to personal attack like this against the military, an American hero, I'm gonna call it like I see it."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Future of Iran Deal Rests in Hands of US Congress, Experts Say]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:13:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/topNews-AP_531111217442.jpg

Last week, after roughly two years of negotiations, the U.N. Security Council adopted a landmark agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

The resolution, which experts hope will have the ripple effect of reshaping relations between Iran and the West, places restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and lifts sanctions placed on the country.

“It’s a very good agreement,” said Gloria Duffy, President and CEO of the California Commonwealth Club and former Department of Defense official. She aided nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and the former Soviet Countries in the 1990’s, and negotiated a nuclear non-proliferation agreement with North Korea.

“It’s probably the most thorough, well-thought-out nuclear non-proliferation agreement the United States has ever negotiated,” she said.

But whether or not the deal moves forward rests in the hands of the United States Congress, experts say.

The agreement binds together seven countries—China, Russia, France, Germany, Great Britain, the United States and Iran.

Approval by each of those countries is the next step.

“Each has their own different process for going through that,” Duffy said. Sanctions will not be lifted until the agreement goes into force, she added.

China and Russia have authoritative governments, so decisions by leaders of those nations are likely already made, experts say.

Great Britain, Germany and France have parliamentary governments, so decisions by those nations' prime ministers and presidents already reflect a majority party or coalition. Dissent there is unlikely, says Kori Schake, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Gloria Duffy adds that support is also likely from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. 

“Iran is a sufficiently unified government,” she said. “The agreement would not have been concluded the way that it was without the sense that it would be approved by all elements of the Iranian government.”

That leaves the United States.

Congress has 60 days to review the terms of the deal and approve, disapprove or take no action.

The only way to derail the agreement at this time is for Congress to disapprove, Schake said.

“I think there will be significant defections from the president’s own party in the Senate, and I think a lot of Republicans will vote against [the agreement] in both houses,” she added. “But I do not believe enough members of Congress will vote against it that could override a presidential veto.” 

Overriding a president veto would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate. That means 13 Democrats would need to vote against the president and their own party.

“It’s a pretty high bar” says Duffy.

And an unlikely outcome, Schake added.

One major selling point for the agreement is the “snap back” provision, in which sanctions would be put back in place if Iran violates the agreement, Schake said.

However, the likelihood that those sanctions will “snap back” as quickly as the White House promises is low, she adds.

European nations have borne the heaviest political and economic burden absent Iranian oil, she said. It has made those countries more dependent on Russian oil and gas, a hard pill to swallow given Russia’s “behavior” in Ukraine, Schake added.

Then there’s the situation in Greece.

“With the third Greek bailout of almost a trillion dollars on the horizon, I think Europeans will be very hesitant to re-impose sanctions,” Schake added.

Russia’s economy is “groaning” under the sanctions put in place since the invasion of Ukraine, she said. “I almost can’t imagine circumstances in which Russia agrees to re-impose sanctions on Iran,” she added.

Once the deal is approved, Duffy says its success will hinge on Iran’s ability to “normalize” relationships with the countries that signed the agreement—especially the United States.

“In my opinion, the more that a fabric of a relationship between the U.S. and Iran develops as a result of this agreement, the more likely it will be that the Iranians will adhere to the agreement over time and that it will remain in force and be successful,” she said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[California Leads U.S. in Campaign Donations]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:35:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/minimum-wage-cash.jpg

California leads the nation in the amount of money being contributed to the 2016 presidential election according to official filings released this week.

California outranks New York and Florida and leads the states with $12.7 million in contributions made between January 1 and June 30.

The total cost of the 2016 presidential election is expected to reach an unprecedented $5 billion, according to MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization that tracks money’s influence on politics.

In the July 15 filings, candidates had to report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) how much money their campaigns have raised.

The outside donor groups, like single-candidate super-PACs, will be filing with the FEC on July 30.

Get more details from MapLight’s report here. 

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<![CDATA[Uber Driver Nonplussed After Giving Jeb Bush Ride]]> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:32:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jaysalazarcrop.jpg

Uber driver Jay Salazar was pretty nonplussed about the customer he gave a ride to on Thursday: Presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

For Salazar , a Democrat, Bush, a proud anti-regulation Republican, was simply the latest passenger to hail him through the controversial ride-sharing app.

While admitting he never had a presidential hopeful as a passenger before in the five months he’s been driving for Uber, Salazar also didn’t make any small talk or have any specific questions for Bush, who was speaking at Thumbtack, a talent-sourcing site.

One Uber driver, who was also a Democrat,  took Bush to the event, where Bush tweeted out he "rode shotgun." Salazar took him back.

To be fair, it was hard to have a meaningful interview with Salazar. He was bombarded by the media as Bush exited his event, dozens of microphones and cameras were pointed into his Toyota.

Uber has become a political talking point this presidential campaign. While Bush boasted about his Uber ride, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton more skeptical of Uber, specifically its worker protections, Mercury News columnist Michelle Quinn pointed out.

As Quinn wrote, many of the presidential candidates have taken to Uber as a campaign mantra. But the stunt has pros and cons.

"Holding up Uber as a model of American ingenuity is risky when the company is facing legal challenges over how it treats workers," Quinn wrote. "Likewise, knocking the sharing economy can make a candidate look out of step with the modern world.'

Not a topic of formal discussion at Bush’s speech was how Uber was fined $7.3 million Wednesday, after an administrative law judge ruled that Uber did not comply with state law and should be suspended from operating in California. Specifically, the judge found that Uber failed to provide required information to the California Public Utility Commission, such as disabled passenger access, the number of rides drivers have made and driver safety information.

For its part, Uber vowed to appeal the ruling and had no comment on Bush’s Uber ride.

Bush did address the issue during a Q&A after the event, saying he had no concerns about the challenges and attacks against Uber and other like-minded companies.

He also tweeted out: "I don't mind disrupting the established order," posting a fuller - and his first - comment on LinkedIn. "We have to challenge the assumptions, regulations and laws that protect most of Washington from true digital disruption – and that means the liberal ideology which would squash so much innovation if it could," Bush wrote.

Bush added: "Big government liberals fundamentally can’t embrace digital innovation because it threatens the way they govern. They see car-sharing services as a threat to the local government taxi cab cartels. They see food trucks and Airbnb as a threat to urban planning and the tax and fee racket that they’ve imposed on brick and mortar restaurants and hotels. It’s no wonder that under President Obama, they’ve chosen to regulate the Internet using a law from the 1930s. Regulation is all they know and they’ve been using the same playbook for decades."

When asked if he minded that a Democrat drove him to his event, Bush shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’m in San Francisco. Republican registration is like 8 percent.”


Photo Credit: Henry Jerkins
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<![CDATA[Fox News Cameras Accost SF Supervisors]]> Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:17:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/227*120/fox2.PNG

Fox News cameras tried to rile up San Francisco Supervisors over the shooting death of Kate Steinle, but it didn't go so well. 

"They are unrepentant over the death of Kate Steinle," declared "O'Reilly Factor" host Bill O'Reilly on an episode that aired Tuesday. "The 'Factor' contacted all of them, asking politely for an interview. They all declined, so we went to them."

The show sent cameras to approach Jane Kim, Katy Tang, and Scott Weiner unannounced.

"I think the issue here is gun control," said Kim. "No individual with that type of record should be able to access or be able to have possession of a gun."

Tang told the cameras, "Of course Fox News would be this rude."

"We tried this through your office and we got no response," answered the crew.

"Because you're interviewing the wrong f****** person!" replied Tang.

"So you see those women will not take responsibility for the danger they allow, and it gets worse," said O'Reilly.

"Fox News is not real news and you're not a reporter. I talk to real news only. Fox News is not real news," said Scott Weiner as he brushed past cameras into his office.

"What a pinhead," retorted O'Reilly. "Now, there comes a point where people get the government they deserve. That has surely happened in San Francisco. The ultra-left controls the city and an innocent woman, Kate Steinle, is dead because of policies that endanger the public."

Steinle, 32, was walking along a waterfront pier in San Francisco when she was shot by a gun allegedly fired by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national who was in the country illegally.

Steinle's parents said Monday in an interview with O'Reilly for the Fox News talk show that they support a proposal to give mandatory prison time to deported people who return to the U.S. illegally.

Congressman Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced the so-named Kate's Law in response to the shooting, and O'Reilly is collecting signatures for a petition supporting the proposal, which would impose a mandatory five years in federal prison for people who are deported and return and 10 years for people caught a second time.

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Jeb Bush Will Uber to SF Campaign Event]]> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 08:38:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jeb-bush-in-a-car.jpg

Uber is quickly becoming its own political football in the race for president. Now Jeb Bush reportedly hopes to kick it straight through the uprights during his visit to the Bay Area.

Bush is visiting San Francisco on Thursday morning. Politico reports Bush will use the Uber app for transportation to an event in the city’s SoMa neighborhood.

Democrat Hillary Clinton this week accused so-called "sharing economy" companies, like Uber and Airbnb, of undermining middle-class wage growth.

Uber is distancing itself from rumors about a Bush campaign stunt. The Bush campaign is not commenting.

While in town, Bush will visit the 9th Street headquarters of Thumbtack, a company the Bush campaign describes as “an innovative consumer service company for finding and hiring local professionals online.”

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Boston Mayor Says Trump Should Apologize or Stay Out of Boston]]> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 09:17:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/walshtrump.jpg

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has a message for Donald Trump: Apologize for your comments about Mexico or stay out of Boston. 

"I think his comments are inappropriate," Walsh told the Boston Herald on Monday. "And if he wanted to build a hotel here (in Boston), he'd have to make some apologies to people in this country."

Trump, a Republican candidate for president, has come under fire in recent weeks for criticizing Mexico and immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally. He said they bring drugs and crime with them and are "rapists."

NBC, which owns this website, cited Trump's comments when it cut business ties with him as the former partner in the Miss USA pageant and dropped its pageant telecast. Macy's, which carried a Trump menswear line, also ended its relationship with him. 

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[CA Ballot Proposition]]> Sun, 12 Jul 2015 17:29:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000012243774_1200x675_483108419734.jpg While most people are concerned with the 2016 presidential elections, California voters may have their hands full from another source- dozens of statewide ballot propositions. NBC Bay Area Political Analyst Larry Gerston explains how this can be a challenge for us all.]]> <![CDATA[Trump: 'Nobody Wants to Talk About' Immigration, Crime]]> Sat, 11 Jul 2015 09:26:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Donald+Trump2.jpg

Presidential candidate Donald Trump decried the American media's supposed unwillingness to cover undocumented immigration in his press appearance at a Los Angeles hotel Friday, doubling down on controversial remarks even as protesters gathered outside.

Trump said Mexico's leaders are "smarter" than those in the United States, and that Mexican leaders send people "that they don't want" across the U.S. border. Similar remarks over the past week have provoked two celebrity chefs to pull out of deals with Trump hotels.

"They're sending criminals to us and we're sending those criminals to jail, oftentimes after they've killed somebody or hurt somebody," Trump said at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

The families of several people killed by undocumented immigrants joined Trump at the news conference and said they stood behind the outspoken mogul's comments on illegal immigration, which have also inspired multiple businesses — including NBC Universal and Univision — to cut ties with Trump's business.

"No one really listened to us, our story really wasn't heard," said Sabine Durden, whose 30-year-old son was killed by a driver who was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala three years ago. "When I heard Mr. Trump, I started screaming," she said. "Finally, someone who had the guts to say what millions are thinking."

Meanwhile, protesters rallied outside the hotel in response to Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants. The protest was organized by the CHIRLA Action Fund, the political arm of a California-based immigrant rights organization.

Some protesters carried Donald Trump piñatas filled with trash to "represent the type of language the candidate has been spewing," according to a CHIRLA statement.

"There is no way a candidate for the highest elected office in the land can utter the type of hateful language that Trump is known for and expect to win the Latino/immigrant vote," Diana Colin, CHIRLA Action Funds program director, said in a statement. "And everyone knows the road to the White House is paved with Latino/immigrant votes. Mr. Trump should do the math."

Trump also met with the father of a high school football standout killed by a gang member who was in the country illegally. Trump told syndicated talk show host Dana Loesch he was meeting with Jamiel Shaw — the father of Jamiel Shaw II -- "and pay my respects to him."

The elder Shaw praised Trump in interviews this week on the Fox News Channel and with Loesch for his criticism of illegal immigration. Shaw told Loesch that Trump's criticism of illegal immigration is "resonating in the black community because we see all the carnage that's happened and all the memorials. We see all the jobs that are gone. We see the whole community changing."

Jamiel Shaw II was a Los Angeles High School football standout who was shot and killed in 2008 near his Arlington Heights home by a gang member who prosecutors said mistakenly perceived him as a gang rival because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack. Pedro Espinoza, convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 and sentenced to death, was living in the United States without legal permission at the time of the killing. He had been freed from jail two days before the shooting without immigration authorities placing a hold on him.

Trump's arrival in Los Angeles follows a week of fallout from his comments about immigrants. Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, said Thursday that the PGA of America's decision this week to move a golf tournament from a Trump-owned course was a step in the right direction.

The PGA and other major golf organizations should agree to keep tournaments off Trump properties in response to his comments about Mexican immigrants, Nogales said. The PGA said it relocated its Grand Slam of Golf, in mutual agreement with Trump.

NBC ended its partnership with Trump on the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants after the celebrity billionaire, in announcing his presidential campaign, said some Mexican immigrants to the U.S. bring drugs and crime, and some are rapists.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," he said. "They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with (them). They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

Trump vowed to file paperwork next week ensuring he would qualify for next month's Republican presidential debate, where his immigration policies could emerge as a focus on national television. Trump said Thursday that his Republican competitor Jeb Bush is "a joke" for suggesting that Mexican immigrants cross the border illegally as "an act of love."

"This has nothing to do with love," Trump said in an interview airing Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity." "They are taking people that should be in Mexican prisons, Mexican jails and they are pushing them over to the United States. These are dangerous people."

<![CDATA[Studies Show Immigration Doesn't Cause Rise in Crime]]> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 19:44:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/The-Donald-Trump-2-July-2015.jpg

Donald Trump sparked controversy recently with remarks that linked undocumented immigrants to a rise in violent crime in the United States.

“They’re bringing drugs,” the real estate big-wig told a crowd last month. “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

The claims left pro-immigrant groups outraged, jumping to defend immigrant communities across the country.

“There are great businesses. There are hardworking people,” said Angela Franco of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Making such a generalized comment, really, I don’t think it’s respectful.”

And research shows that Trump’s comments just aren’t true.

NBC Bay Area looked at over a dozen studies and nearly 30 years in U.S. Census Report data. The results?

A number of studies show that a rise in immigration rates actually corresponds to a decrease in violent crime, while the majority of academic research on this topic finds no correlation between immigration patterns and increased violent crime rates.

A study by The Pew Research Center from 2013 concluded that first generation immigrants have much lower crime rates than native-born citizens, and another recent study from the University of Chicago Crime Lab further emphasized Trump’s falsehoods.

The study’s author, Aaron Chalfin, found that a 1 percentage point rise in immigration led to a 13 percent drop in rape and two percent drop in murder.

The study also found a 19 percent rise in aggravated assault, but Chalfin stressed that his overall conclusions match the majority of academic research on this topic.

“I think the best interpretation of my paper and others in literature is that there’s no robust evidence of an effect [of immigration on crime]” he said. “When we think about what’s driving crime, we definitely don’t think of immigration on our list. That’s pretty well settled,” he added.

Robert Weisberg, Faculty Co-Director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, agrees. Immigration rates in the U.S. were on the rise starting in the early 1990’s, he said, and that pattern actually corresponded with a decrease in crime.

“That period matched perfectly with the most dramatic crime reduction in modern American history,” Weisberg said. “That’s a crude measure, but it does tell you that an increase in immigration isn’t associated with an increase in crime, generally,” he added.

But years of academic research haven’t forced Trump to change his tune.

He continued to draw a connection between immigrants and crime following the tragic death of Kate Steinle, a Pleasanton woman who was shot and killed in San Francisco earlier this month.

The police termed the incident a random shooting linked to an undocumented immigrant, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez.

"We're talking about crime,” Trump told reporters outside a charity golf event last week. “You saw what happened with the young lady in San Francisco. It's a disgrace."

The controversial remarks by the presidential hopeful have left many Republicans on the local and national scale defending the party’s views on immigration.

“I think he should have toned it back,” said Howard Epstein, former chair of the San Francisco Republican Party. “You know, there’s a problem along our border. We need to seal our border. I don’t have any problems with Mr. Trump saying that, but it’s the way he said it that will turn people against the party.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Blames Unsafe Border for Pier 14 Shooting]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 13:44:20 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/DonaldTrump_Getty_07032015.jpg

Donald Trump on Friday blamed the United States' vulnerable southern border for this week's fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco.

“This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately," the Republican presidential hopeful said in a statement.

Steinle, 32, of Pleasanton, was gunned down Wednesday evening near the Embarcadero and Mission Street in the city's South Beach neighborhood. Police arrested Francisco Sanchez following what they believe is a random incident.

New details emerged about the suspect Friday when the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency reported that Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant with nearly a dozen aliases and a long criminal history. He has previously been deported to Mexico five times, according to authorities.

San Francisco County Sheriff's Legal Counsel Freya Horne told NBC Bay Area Friday that the city and county of San Francisco are sanctuaries for immigrants, and they do not turn over undocumented people – if they don't have active warrants out for them – simply because immigration officials want them to.

For his part, Trump deemed the situation “absolutely disgraceful” and blasted his fellow candidates for lacking the “guts to even talk about it.”

“The American people deserve a wall to protect our jobs, economy and our safety,” he added. “I am the only candidate who would build it. I will make America great again!”

Trump’s candidacy announcement June 16 had a similar flavor.

"The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems," he said. "And these aren't the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best...they're sending people that have lots of problems...they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

But several business organizations — including NBC, Univision, Macy’s and NASCAR — have disassociated themselves from Trump after his incendiary comments came to light.

Hispanic leaders have also pressed the rest of the GOP presidential candidates to condemn Trump. So far, most of the candidates have either stayed mum or quietly sidestepped his statements. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has even defended him, saying that "I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration."

Only Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is Hispanic, denounced Trump's statements as "not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[2016 Hopefuls Flood NH for July 4 Weekend]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:33:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP136093298170.jpg

Presidential hopefuls are going on parade throughout the Granite State this July 4. 

At least seven 2016 candidates will spend Independence Day courting residents who will vote in the nation's first presidential primary contest next year, according to scheduled logged in necn's 2016 New Hampshire Primary Candidate Tracker, making a combined 14 stops.

While parades are by far the most popular stops during the holiday tour — at least 11 such appearances are expected — candidates' Saturday calendars also include breakfasts, cookouts and grassroots events. Revelers along the routes in Amherst and Merrimack will watch no fewer than three candidates strut by. The resort town of Wolfeboro, where 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney owns a home, will be greeted by at least two GOP hopefuls.

For some candidates, one parade just isn't enough. Republicans Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Perry, as well as Democrat Lincoln Chafee, are marching in two apiece. Perry, the former Texas governor, appears to have the busiest public schedule on Saturday so far, stopping by parades in Amherst and Merrimack before greeting crowds at the Windham GOP July Fourth Cookout later in the day.

The holiday hand-shaking isn't limited to July 4 itself. Christie, New Jersey's Republican governor, has been barnstorming the state since making his official entry into the race on Tuesday, including several events on Friday. Perry and Democrat Hillary Clinton are also getting their patriotic partying started early with Friday events, while former New York Gov. George Pataki and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, both candidates for the GOP nomination, will join New Hampshire residents wishing America a belated birthday with Sunday celebrations.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Federal Overtime Pay Plan Affects Few in Silicon Valley]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 21:31:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/obama-propone-extender-pago-de-horas-extras.jpg

This week President Barack Obama trumpeted a new plan to boost overtime pay for millions of middle class workers.

Under the new plan, American workers earning an annual salary of less than $50,440 will qualify for overtime pay, a significant increase from the current salary requirement of $23,660.

The president announced that the proposed plan will affect 4.7 million people across the country. Will the new plan have any effect on Silicon Valley—a place synonymous with wealth, home to a dwindling middle class, and trademarked by tech titans like Facebook, Twitter and Google?

“The president is trying to help people. We understand that,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a research and analysis firm in San Jose. “But it’s not going to make a significant dent in California, and certainly not in Silicon Valley.”

California boasts the highest number of individuals impacted by the announcement—420,000 people, according to state-by-state statistics released by the White House. But data from Joint Venture Silicon Valley shows that the number of individuals in the state who earn between $23,660 and $50,440 annually is actually four million.

The president’s new plan would only affect about ten percent of that population, since it doesn’t include hourly workers, contract workers (think Uber drivers) and those who already receive overtime.

The Joint Venture Silicon Valley data also shows that in Silicon Valley 157,000 individuals make the necessary salary to qualify for the president’s new overtime plan. If the calculation regarding statewide numbers rings true — 10 percent of qualified workers — then only 15,000 people in Silicon Valley will actually be impacted by the new plan.

Despite this, local workers who spoke with NBC Bay Area in downtown Palo Alto this week expressed enthusiasm over the president’s announcement.

“I worked a lot of overtime hours to put myself through school,” said Layla Sabourian, an entrepreneur.

“I’m glad to see there are laws like that protecting people.” Omar Bashir, a barber, stressed that the extra overtime cash could help make life a little easier.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “We have kids, health insurance, and life insurance. We need more money.”

Still, Russell Hancock says the president’s effort is well intentioned, but it will have a limited local impact thanks to Silicon Valley's shrinking middle class.

“The White House is targeting the middle class,” he said. “Our middle class is disappearing here, so their target isn’t here to begin with. That’s the problem.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>