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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 12:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,889

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Update: Congressional Democrats, Obama administration at odds over Trumps D.C. hotel

Source: The Washington Post

Federal officials overseeing Donald Trump’s lease for his D.C. hotel pushed back against congressional Democrats’ assertion Wednesday that the president-elect would violate a clause in the agreement if he did not surrender his interest upon entering office.

Congressional Democrats led by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.) said early Wednesday that General Services Administration officials had informed them that Trump would need to divest his interest in his D.C. hotel before being sworn in to avoid running afoul of a clause in the lease barring any “elected official of the Government of the United States” from deriving “any benefit” from the agreement.

But a GSA spokeswoman responded with a statement saying the agency, which oversees federal real estate, “does not have a position that the lease provision requires the President-elect to divest of his financial interests.”

“We can make no definitive statement at this time about what would constitute a breach of the agreement, and to do so now would be premature,” the agency said. “In fact, no determination regarding the Old Post Office can be completed until the full circumstances surrounding the President-elect’s business arrangements have been finalized and he has assumed office. GSA is committed to responsibly administering all of the leases to which it is a party.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/digger/wp/2016/12/14/congressional-democrats-say-obama-administration-agrees-trump-must-sell-d-c-hotel/?utm_term=.3cc5044e4c72



I remember hearing about this on NPR a week or two ago. They had a law school professor who specialized in government contracts who argued that was an open and shut case that Trump would have to give up the lease.

Bernie Sanders backs Dwight Bullard for Miami-Dade Democratic party position

Bernie Sanders has endorsed former state Sen. Dwight Bullard for a position within the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and subtly bashed his opponent, Stephen Bittel, a wealthy Coconut Grove developer and major campaign donor, without naming him.

The winner of the state committeeman race Dec. 20th will run for Florida Democratic Party chair in January.

"An extremely wealthy donor wants to buy his way to lead Florida's Democratic Party, and the only thing between him and control of the party is our political revolution," Sanders wrote. "Here's where you come in: we need people like you in Miami Dade County to become precinct chairs and vote for Dwight Bullard on Tuesday, December 20."

Earlier this month, Bret Berlin was re-elected state committeeman but days later resigned to make way for Bittel to run for the position. Before Bittel can run for state chair, he must first hold a county position.

rest of story: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2016/12/bernie-sanders-backs-dwight-bullard-for-miami-dade-party-position.html

Florida electors case goes to appellate court

Three voters contesting the outcome of the 2016 Florida Presidential Election are determined to stop the state’s 29 electors from casting their ballots for Donald Trump.

They have filed a motion with the First District Court of Appeal asking for the scheduled vote to be delayed until a full hand-ballot recount can be made, their attorney said today.

“We are going to ask them to delay the vote, let us do the count and if we don’t find anything they can still vote as normal without any extra effort,” said Clint Curtis, a former NASA employee and computer programmer turned lawyer from Orlando.

Curtis said he’s received money from Protect Our Elections, a Washington, D.C., based advocacy group that has launched a national letter-writing campaign to all 538 electors to not cast their votes for the president-elect. The website said it has raised over $50,000 to cover his fees.

rest of story: http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2016/12/13/leon-circuit-court-refusal-stop-florida-electors-voting-now-before-appellate-court/95373574/

Florida electors case goes to appellate court

Three voters contesting the outcome of the 2016 Florida Presidential Election are determined to stop the state’s 29 electors from casting their ballots for Donald Trump.

They have filed a motion with the First District Court of Appeal asking for the scheduled vote to be delayed until a full hand-ballot recount can be made, their attorney said today.

“We are going to ask them to delay the vote, let us do the count and if we don’t find anything they can still vote as normal without any extra effort,” said Clint Curtis, a former NASA employee and computer programmer turned lawyer from Orlando.

Curtis said he’s received money from Protect Our Elections, a Washington, D.C., based advocacy group that has launched a national letter-writing campaign to all 538 electors to not cast their votes for the president-elect. The website said it has raised over $50,000 to cover his fees.

rest of story: http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2016/12/13/leon-circuit-court-refusal-stop-florida-electors-voting-now-before-appellate-court/95373574/

Stephen Bittel and Dwight Bullard to face off for Miami-Dade Democratic Party position

Former state Sen. Dwight Bullard will run against Coconut Grove developer Stephen Bittel for a position in the Miami-Dade Democratic Party Dec. 20.

The winner is expected to run for Florida Democratic Party chair.

Last week Bret Berlin won a position as Miami-Dade state committeeman. He resigned on Saturday to make way for Bittel to run for the position. Candidates for state party chair must hold a position within their own county first.

Sen. Bill Nelson has been publicly silent about who he will support for Florida Democratic Party chair. However, he and Bittel spoke about Bittel's interest in the position several weeks ago. Bullard said Monday that he has not spoken to Nelson:

rest of story: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2016/12/stephen-bittel-and-dwight-bullard-to-face-off-for-miami-dade-democratic-party-position.html

Alan Grayson files to run again but says its just paperwork, for now

Source: Florida Politics

Democrat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is downplaying prospects that his filing to run again for Congress means he’s going to run again for Congress — but he’s not ruling it out.

The Democrat from Orlando — who leaves office Jan. 3 because he did not seek re-election in Florida’s 9th Congressional District — has filed paperwork to run in 2018. And this time he filed to run in Florida’s 11th Congressional District, centered in Lake County.

Yet Grayson insisted Tuesday that the paperwork is simply a legal requirement because his campaign committee continued to raise money since the Nov. 8 election.

Federal law requires a candidate to actually be running for something if his campaign is raising money.

Read more: http://floridapolitics.com/archives/228862-alan-grayson-files-run-says-just-paperwork-now

Stephen Bittel quietly became a Miami-Dade Democratic precinct captain this week

In the latest twist in the political saga over who will be the next Florida Democratic Party chief, Miami fundraiser Stephen Bittel quietly became eligible earlier this week to potentially seek the position.

Bittel was one of 131 people formally sworn in as a member of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Executive Committee late Tuesday night when the local party approved a motion to accept applications submitted during the course of the four-hour meeting. Meeting minutes list Bittel as a new DEC member in precinct 586, which suggests he showed up at least briefly to the Miami Springs union hall to sign up. (Reporters didn't spot him inside the packed meeting room.)

Bittel declined to comment in any detail to the Miami Herald on Thursday.

"I hope I'll have more to say in the future," he said. "I care very deeply about the future of our community, state and country."

rest of story: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2016/12/stephen-bittel-quietly-became-a-miami-dade-democratic-precinct-captain-this-week.html

Trump to name fast-food CEO as labor secretary

Source: New York Post

President-elect Donald Trump will name restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder to be the next labor secretary, a source said Thursday.

Puzder, who runs the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, supported Trump during his campaign, praising him as a “pragmatic centrist” and “negotiator.”

Puzder also served as one of the candidate’s economic advisers.

He was seen at Trump Tower on Wednesday.

Read more: http://nypost.com/2016/12/08/trump-to-name-fast-food-ceo-as-labor-secretary/

Dem vet lawmaker: Senate 'would be wise' to confirm Mattis

Source: The Hill

A Democratic lawmaker who served under retired Gen. James Mattis in the Marines says President-elect Donald Trump is misjudging his pick to be Defense secretary — and he says that’s a good thing.

In a Wednesday op-ed for USA Today endorsing the Pentagon chief selection, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) argued Mattis is more than the bravado and bluster Trump finds attractive.

“The good news for our country is that Trump has Mattis all wrong,” Moulton wrote. “Before Trump realizes this himself, Democrats would be wise to have this debate and then grant an exemption to confirm him as our next secretary of Defense.”

Mattis retired three years ago, so Congress would need to pass a waiver to a law that requires the secretary of Defense be out of uniform for at least seven years before being confirmed for the job.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/309223-dem-veteran-trump-has-mattis-all-wrong

Christie's approval hits record low; most say he should have been charged for Bridgegate

Gov. Chris Christie is just one point away from tying the record for worst approval rating of any New Jersey governor in memory.

And an overwhelming majority of New Jersey voters think the Republican governor should have faced charges over the Bridgegate scandal, a new poll has found.

According to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday morning, Christie’s approval has dropped to 18 percent among New Jersey voters — down from 21 percent in October.

“Governor Christie has been abandoned by virtually everyone, which is a far cry from where he once sat atop a field of aspiring presidential candidates who cut a more polarizing figure than he did,” poll director Krista Jenkins said in a release accompanying the results.

rest of story: http://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2016/12/christie-approval-at-record-low-18-percent-as-most-say-he-should-have-been-charged-for-bridgegate-107822
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