The following article by Steve Villano appeared on the New York Times’ website May 31, 2016:
As an Italian-American and a former staff member for Mario Cuomo, I’ve been wrestling with how best to express my outrage over the fact that if Donald Trump’s name contained six vowels — like say, Mario Cuomo’s — his Presidential candidacy would be swimming with the fishes; Trump has been in bed with mobsters for his entire professional life.
The list of the Trump family’s — both Fred Trump, who left his son $200 million dollars and a legacy of lying about his wealth and businesses, and Donald’s — ties to organized crime, or “Mob-Nobbing” as Wayne Barrett aptly named it in his book Trump: The Deals & the Downfall, reads like a Who’s Who of Mafioso in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Areas over the past 45 years. Here are just a few of the law-breaking luminaries or their mob-fronted companies, who can easily be found in Barrett’s book, who either did business with the Trumps, served as their partners (secret or otherwise), or made labor or building problems go away in exchange for cash: (more…)
The following by Eugene Robinson appeared on the Washington Post website May 30, 2016:
Donald Trump looked like a fool and a fraud on Sunday. But what else is new?
Even the most ardent Trumpistas would have to admit that Trump’s appearance at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally was, as spectacles go, pretty pathetic. It was supposed to be a vast, multitudinous gathering on the plaza in front of the Lincoln Memorial, one of the greatest and most historic public spaces in the nation. Instead, Trump drew a paltry crowd estimated by organizers at perhaps 5,000.
As Trump might say in a late-night tweet: “Sad!” (more…)
At a press conference last week, Paul Ryan once again refused to endorse Donald Trump after a call with the GOP’s presumptive nominee.
When asked by NBC if he was “closer to yes” Ryan still couldn’t bring himself to endorse Trump, and instead responded by saying they had a “productive phone call” and he would “leave it at that.” Clearly, Ryan is afraid to accept Trump as the nominee. But is it because Trump’s comments about profiting off the housing crash is threatening the GOP’s chances up and down the ballot? Or maybe Ryan saw Trump’s tax returns and knows how much money he made while families were losing their homes, jobs, and savings.
Either way, while Ryan and Trump continue to escalate the GOP’s civil war, it’s clearer than ever we need to elect a Democrat to build on the more than 14 million new private-sector jobs created under President Obama.
If Donald Trump wins, everyone else loses. In 2006, the presumptive Republican nominee stated that he hoped the 2008 housing crisis would happen so he could “make a lot of money.” So while families were losing their jobs, their homes, and their savings, Trump was actually “excited” for the market to crash. But that’s not the only way Trump has hoped middle-class and working families would fall behind. Trump also thinks that wages in America are too high, and wants to eliminate the federal minimum wage. Trump’s lack of concern for the economic well-being of hardworking families shows that he doesn’t have the judgment and temperament to occupy the Oval Office.
Just more than a week ago, the 2016 Legislative Session came to an end without jobs, transportation or family leave bills. All measures that would have grown the economy and supported the middle class.
While a tax bill was approved, it is unknown if Gov. Dayton will sign it into law. After years of leading the nation in anti-smoking efforts, Republicans slipped a provision into the bill providing a $35 million tax cut for people who buy cigarettes. Republicans also included a provision to end a sales-tax exemption for the Minnesota High School League on tickets and admissions to school events. That money, about $800,000, is used to help low-income students pay sports fees.
Click here to read a letter from House DFL Leader Paul Thissen to Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt about the trouble last hours of the session. Click here to watch the final moments of the House’s debate on the jobs bill.
Gov. Dayton is now considering whether or not to call a special session. In recent days he has indicated before he calls a special session, there needs to be an agreement on funding for Southwest Light Rail; more money for higher education; and reinstatement of the sales-tax emption that is used to help low-income students participate in activities.(more…)
The following article by Sean Sullivan and Robert Costa with contributions from Michael Kranish appeared on the May 28, 2016, Washington Post website:
For the past two months, Donald Trump has presided over a political team riddled with turf wars, staff reshuffling and dueling power centers.
But the tensions are more than typical campaign chaos: They illustrate how Trump likes to run an organization, whether it’s a real estate venture or his presidential bid. Interviews with current and former Trump associates reveal an executive who is fond of promoting rivalries among subordinates, wary of delegating major decisions, scornful of convention and fiercely insistent on a culture of loyalty around him. (more…)
Its been a busy week for me as I get caught up on my professional life outside the legislature and reconnecting with my family. This session we got quite a bit done but still have a lot left to do. We passed a $259 million dollar tax bill that will provide tax relief for veterans, working families, parents, and student debt holders. We also had a supplemental budget bill that invested $301 million in among other things, small businesses, e-12 education, higher education, and health care.(more…)
The Associated Press released the following article posted on the NBC News website May 27, 2016:
CEOs at the biggest companies got a 4.5 percent pay raise last year. That’s almost double the typical American worker’s, and a lot more than investors earned from owning their stocks — a big fat zero.
The typical chief executive in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index made $10.8 million, including bonuses, stock awards and other compensation, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That’s up from the median of $10.3 million the same group of CEOs made a year earlier. (more…)