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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 9th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 23 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 23

Political Watch 8/10/17

• Gov. Jerry Brown made waves in national and state media when he said that Democratic leadership hadn’t been “clever enough” on an episode of Meet the Press while talking to host Chuck Todd about West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice changing his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Brown pointed to attacks on the Affordable Care Act, which he said was a “barrage, a relentless opposition that has been well financed by the Koch Brothers, by the Republican activists,” to explain why the Democrats lost power in the last election, and more so with Justice’s party switch. He also pointed to the pressure felt by American working class families and the changing economic landscape of the U.S. “Democrats have been the champion of working people, and they haven’t been able to deliver in the face of these global trends. And, yes, you’d have to say that leadership has not been clever enough, or strong enough, or perhaps visionary enough.” 

• Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced her support for legislation introduced by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from political interference, according to a statement released by Feinstein’s office on Aug. 4. The bill is designed to ensure existing Justice Department regulations that say that a special counsel may only be fired for good cause, mandates that only a Senate-confirmed official may fire a special counsel, and codifies a legal process that would allow a special counsel to be reinstated if improperly terminated. “While Justice Department regulations already state that the president can’t fire a special counsel, passage of this bill by both chambers of Congress, regardless of whether or not the president signs it, would send a clear message to President Trump that any effort to do so won’t be tolerated,” Feinstein said in the statement. 

• Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) joined in signing a letter that senators sent to the Justice Department following President Donald Trump’s comments that encouraged police officers to not be “too nice” when arresting people, urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make clear that the Justice Department won’t tolerate excessive use of force by federal law enforcement. “The improper use of force is misconduct that violates not only ethical and professional standards, but also possibly civil rights statutes,” the letter reads. “Your promises to the American people during your confirmation proceedings to zealously enforce state statutes—not to mention your oath of office—obligate you to condemn any violations of such standards and laws.” Other senators who signed the bill include Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). 

• Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) release a statement after she voted to confirm Christopher Wray as the next FBI director, where she chastised President Donald Trump for subverting “long-standing norms” by firing former FBI Director James Comey, criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation, and threatening Special Counsel Robert Mueller. “None of this is normal. This isn’t just politics or overheated rhetoric,” Harris said in the statement. “The actions by this White House fundamentally damage the integrity of our justice system and undermine the faith Americans should have in its impartiality.” Harris went on to say that the new FBI director should uphold and “honor decades of norms and values.” “I have met with Christopher Wray and applaud his service in law enforcement. In our meeting, Mr. Wray expressed his commitment to a Federal Bureau of Investigation that would be independent from political influence. He expressed full confidence in Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”

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