Wake Up To Politics - May 5, 2015
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015
553 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Tuesday, May 5, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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- Huckabee Announces Presidential Bid Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will unveil his presidential campaign today. Huckabee will announce from the University of Arkansas Community College in Hope, Arkansas, the hometown he shares with former President Bill Clinton (whose wife is expected to be the Democratic presidential nominee).
- The town was launched into fame when Clinton alluded to it in his acceptance speech of the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination, saying “I still believe in a place called Hope.”
- Huckabee has already pointed to his Arkansas connection as proof he can beat “the Clinton machine; although he has never ran against Bill or Hillary Clinton, Huckabee said Friday, “There’s only one person I know in the Republican field that has consistently run against the Clinton political machine, the Clinton political money. Most all of my races, both Bill and Hillary Clinton came back to Arkansas to campaign for my opponents. So I know the process quite well -- and the good news for me is that I’ve defeated that political machine.”
- The Arkansan, running for president for a second time, becomes the sixth person to enter the GOP presidential field.
- After the announcement, Huckabee will set out on a post-announcement, weeklong “Farms, Factories, and Freedom” tour through Iowa and South Carolina. When running for president in 2008, Huckabee won the all-important Iowa caucuses (which kicks off the presidential primary season), and finished second in the South Carolina primary, which is also conducted early in the cycle.
- Race to 45: Daily Dose of Scandal Bridgegate Two former appointees of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential GOP presidential candidate, pleaded not guilty before a federal court Monday, denying closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge for political reasons.
- Both Bridget Kelly, the governor’s ex-deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, were charged with “nine criminal counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, fraudulently obtaining and misapplying federal property and deprivation of civil rights,” according to CNN.
- A third alleged with conspiring in the closures, David Wildstein, another Chrisite appointee to the Port Authority, pled guilty last Friday, and named Kelly and Baroni as co-conspirators.
- Even though Chrsitie, their political patron, has denied any connection to the scandal, a Mammoth University poll released Monday found 50% of New Jerseyans believe Christie was involved in the closures, and 69% say he hasn’t been honest about his knowledge of the scandal. Just 35% approve of his job performance.
- Benghazi David Kendall, an attorney representing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, penned a letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, saying his client was willing to testify on the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
- “Secretary Clinton has been and remains ready and willing to testify in public … about the tragic events of September 2012,” Kendall wrote. “At that time, she will, of course, address any other questions the committee believes to be pertinent to its charge, including the questions posed … about her email.”
- When testifying at a hearing (either this month or later), Kendall wrote that Clinton will “stay as long as necessary to answer the committee’s questions”.
- The Clinton camp did not completely cave, however. While Gowdy had requested the former Secretary of State appear at two separate hearings, Kendall wrote him that “there is no basis, logic or precedent for such an unusual request” and Clinton “will not prolong the committee’s efforts further by appearing on two separate occasions when one will suffice.”
- The Question Will House Republicans accept Clinton’s offer to testify only once? The answer remains unclear, with the only response from Gowdy being a spokesman saying: “The committee will take his response into consideration, and Chairman Gowdy will issue a statement on behalf of the committee regarding the path forward.”
- Clinton Cash New questions over donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation will arise and dog Hillary Clinton’s campaign today, as the book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” makes its long-awaited debut.
- The book, 186 pages in length and authored by Peter Schweizer, has already made waves in the 2016 race: Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has said findings in the book will “shock people,” and such was the hype over the book that the New York Times, Washington Post, and Fox News all made agreements with the author for early access.
- “Clinton Cash” focuses on donations from foreign governments to Bill Clinton (husband of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton), through speaking fees and his foundation the Clinton Foundation, alleging these donations earned the governments favors with Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State.
- “Examples [in the book] include a free-trade agreement in Colombia that benefited a major foundation donor’s natural resource investments in the South American nation, development projects in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, and more than $1 million in payments to Mr. Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State Department,” the New York Times writes.
- As the book goes on sale this morning, the Clinton campaign will begin mobilizing against it with the formation of a fact-checking blog, “The Briefing” to rebut claims made in “Clinton Cash”.
- Schweizer is president of the conservative research group Government Accountability Institute and Senior Editor-at-Large of Breitbart, a conservative news website. Past books of his have included “Reagan’s Wars,” supporting Ronald Reagan’s Cold War policies; “Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less … and even hug their children more than liberals”; and “Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy”.
- Travel Tracker: Clinton in Nevada Hillary Clinton will hold her first event in Nevada since announcing her presidential campaign today. Nevada, an early primary state, was home to one of the fiercest contests between Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008. Their primary battle in the state ended with the former winning the popular vote, but the latter coming away with more delegates.
- While in the state, Clinton will hold a roundtable at Rancho High School in Las Vegas with students brought into this country illegally by their parents. The student body at the school is about 70% Hispanic. Clinton’s visit will focus on immigration reform.
- Numbers to Know: NBC/WSJ Poll The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll was released Monday, full of interesting nuggets on the 2016 race. Here are the numbers to know:
- DEM Hillary Clinton’s still looking inevitable as the Democratic nominee, even if her unfavorable rating is up 6% since the last NBC/WSJ poll in March, making for an even 42%-42% favorable/unfavorable rating among American voters.
- In light of allegations over her private email, and donations to the Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s honesty rating is also down: by 13%.
- GOP The poll asked Republican voters their first and second choices for the GOP presidential nominee. The survey found that Jeb Bush was the first choice of the most GOP voters (23%), followed by Marco Rubio (18%) and Scott Walker (14%). Bush was the second choice of 14% however, and Rubio was of 23% - making the latter the highest combined choice.
- Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Carly Fiorina rounded out the pack in that order. Paul and Cruz were both the first choice of 11%, while Perry and Fiorina were the first choice of just 2% and 1%, respectively.
- GENERAL Clinton leads Jeb Bush (49%-43%), Marco Rubio (49%-43%), Scott Walker (50%-40%), and Rand Paul (47% to 43%) in general election match-ups.
- Meanwhile, Joe Biden wouldn’t do as well in a general election: losing to Jeb Bush, 48% to 40%.
- Special Election: NY-11 Voters in New York’s 11th district head to the polls today to vote in the special election to succeed Michael Grimm, who resigned February after being charged, and pleading guilty, to tax fraud.
- The race is between New York City Council member and former State Senator Vincent Gentile, a Democrat, and Republican Daniel Donovan.
- The Republican is Richmond County District Attorney, with jurisdiction including Staten Island, and in that position, was involved with a grand jury’s decision not to charge a police officer with killing Eric Garner, an African-American who died after being put in a chokehold. The non-indictment caused mass protests in New York, and across the country, but the issue has not come up in the special election, which Donovan is expected to win.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule At Noon in the Rose Garden, President Barack Obama will announce his intent to nominate Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, currently commandment of the U.S. Marine Corps, to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- If confirmed by the Senate, Dunford will succeed Martin Dempsey, whose term as chairman ends in September. Dunford previously served as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan; in the top military leadership position, which he is being nominated for, he will oversee U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and entrance into combat against the Islamic State group.
- Obama will also announce Gen. Paul J. Selva, currently commander of U.S. Transportation Command, as his nominee for vice chair of the Joint Chiefs.
- At 4:15 PM, the President will sit down with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
- At 5:25 PM, he hosts a Cinco de Mayo reception in the East Room.
Capitol Hill News
- Senate Schedule The Senate holds a procedural vote on the bicameral budget deal, which the House has already passed.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to finish work on the budget resolution, and then turn to the Iran bill. The bipartisan bill, which would allow Congress to review and possibly reject a nuclear deal with Iran, is threatened by a number of amendments, including Marco Rubio’s amendment to force Iran to recognize Israel as part of a nuclear deal.
- McConnell has yet to file cloture on the bill, as he is waiting to strike a deal on the amendments, all of which are certain to lose the measure Democratic votes – and stop it from being passed.
- The next item on McConnell’s agenda after Iran is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal supported by President Barack Obama and most Republicans, but opposed by many Democrats.
- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refuses to advance the trade deal until the Senate votes on an infrastructure bill and reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).