<![CDATA[NBC New York - Politics]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:29:19 -0400 Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:29:19 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Trump Blames Border for SF Shooting]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 16:44:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.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."



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<![CDATA[2016 Hopefuls Flood NH for July 4 Weekend]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:33:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.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[Peas in Guacamole? Obama Weighs in on Twitter Debate ]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:15:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/guacamole-GettyImages-456804252.gif

President Barack Obama has a message for The New York Times: please don't pass the peas.

Into the guacamole, at least. 

The president joined the online masses piling on the newspaper on Wednesday afternoon following a much-retweeted story suggesting "adding fresh English peas" to the popular avocado dip.

The tweet sparked cries of culinary foul from users, gaining hundreds of retweets in the process. The Times' public editor even suggested that the backlash could rival the "Minnesota Grape Salad outcry" that hit after the paper listed the obscure recipe as a state favorite. 

When asked about the suggestion during an #ASKPotus Twitter chat Wednesday, the president suggested he'll stick to a more traditional recipe. 

First lady Michelle Obama, a vocal advocate of incorporating more green veggies into daily diets, has yet to weigh in. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Donald Trump: "I Don't Think It Matters If I'm Nice"]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:17:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/donald-trump-univision-pone-fin-a-relacion-comercial.jpg

Donald Trump spoke in New Hampshire Tuesday night- just one day after getting dumped by NBC Universal and Univision due to his comments about Mexican immigrants.

"They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists," Trump said during his presidential run kick-off speech.

If you thought Trump would apologize for his comments at his first public appearance since the controversy at a pool-side reception in Bedford, New Hampshire, you'd be wrong. He brought research he said he had done to support his earlier statements.

"I mentioned the word 'rape.' I felt oh, maybe, you know, maybe there's never been a rape. Maybe there's never been a problem. Maybe there's never been a crime," Trump began. "To me, it's impossible to almost believe — 80 percent of Central American women and girls are raped crossing into the United States."

In addition, Trump stirred it up on the topics of Univision and NBC. He announced that he is suing Univision for $500 million for dropping the Miss Universe Pageant that Trump runs.

"What NBC and Univision did to these young women is disgraceful," he said.

Trump spoke for more than an hour, at one point defending himself against critics who say he's not nice.

"I don't think it matters if I'm nice or not, because I really believe this is going to be an election that's based on competence."

On the word that Trump weighs in at number two to Jeb Bush in the latest New Hampshire poll, Trump was stumped.

"It's hard to believe I'm second to Bush," Trump said. "Because Bush is not going to get us to the promised land, folks."

The Republican presidential candidate has made 14 stops in New Hampshire so far ahead of the 2016 primary. 

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<![CDATA[2016 Hopefuls on Gay Marriage Ruling]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:36:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-478464492_PRide.jpg

The presidential candidates’ reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of same-sex marriage broke down predictably along party lines — with Democrats tweeting about love and equality and Republicans criticizing the justices.

Hillary Clinton’s reaction was short and colorful: “HISTORY” in the rainbow colors.

Clinton came out in favor of same-sex marriage in 2013 after stepping down as secretary of state. When she ran for president in 2008, she opposed gay marriage.

Martin O’Malley praised the people of Maryland for leading the way on human dignity and equality.

He tweeted a photo of then 3-year-old Will Lewis-Benson laughing between his mothers, Amy Lewis and Tricia Benson on the day the Maryland House of Delegates approved same-sex marriage in 2012.

“There’s no greater human right than love," he said.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee congratulated the Supreme Court for a good ruling.

And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent running for the Democratic nomination, said the Supreme Court had fulfilled the words engraved on its building, "Equal justice under law."

"For far too long our justice system has marginalized the gay community and I am very glad the Court has finally caught up to the American people," he said.

But Gov. Bobby Jindal accused the court of following opinion polls and trampling on states’ rights.

“Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that,” he said in a statement.

He predicted the ruling would open the way for an assault on the religious rights of Christians who disagree with the decision.

“The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies,” he said.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted the decision as judicial tyranny and vowed he would not acquiesce to an “imperial court.”

"The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity,” he wrote.

Like other conservatives, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania accused the Supreme Court of redefining marriage and said leaders do not accept bad decisions that they believe would harm the country.

"The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices," he wrote in a statement.

Now the public must respond, he said.

Carly Fiorina called the court an activist one that was ignoring its constitutional duty to say what the law was, not what it should be.

She said in a statement that although she was in favor of all Americans receiving equal benefits and rights from the government, she did not believe the court could or should redefine marriage.

“I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country,” she said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who might run but says he has not made up his mind, said when asked at a press conference that he agreed with Chief Justice John Roberts: This was not a decision for five lawyers.

Donald Trump wrote, referring to former President George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, another  Republican presidential candidate: "Once again the Bush appointed Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has let us down. Jeb pushed him hard! Remember!"

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who might run for the Republican nomination, told residents of his state that the government would not coerce them to act against their religious beliefs.

He called the decision a grave mistake.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he was disappointed with the decision. Marriage laws should be left to the states, he said.

"Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written," he said in a statement.

Ben Carson wrote that he strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision, but that the ruling was now the law of the land. He said he supported same-sex civil unions but to him marriage was a religious service.

"I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected," he said in a statement. "The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs."

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said he believed that the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. But he also said he would respect the court's decision.

"Furthermore, given the quickly changing tide of public opinion on this issue, I do not believe that an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution could possibly gain the support of three-fourths of the states or a supermajority in the U.S. Congress," he said.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that he believed in traditional marriage and thought that the justices should have left the decision to the states.

But he added, striking an inclusive tone, "I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the right to change marriage laws should lie with the people not the justices.

"This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years," he said.

The next president must make it a priority to nominate judges and justices who will apply the Constitution as written and originally understood, he said.

He also called for respecting those who disagree.

"A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court's decision today," he wrote. "In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Raisin Program Unconstitutional: Supreme Court]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 16:06:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP060410025294raisins62215.jpg

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the government can't force raisin farmers to give up part of their annual crop for less than it's worth, a victory for conservative groups that hailed the decision as a win for private property rights.

The justices ruled 8-1 that a 1940s-era program born out of the Great Depression is unconstitutional because it allows federal officials to seize personal property from farmers without fully compensating them, even though the goal is to benefit farmers by stabilizing market prices.

The court sided with California farmers Marvin and Laura Horne, who claimed they were losing money under a program they called outdated and ineffective. They had been fined $695,000 for trying to get around it.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts said the government must pay "just compensation" when it takes personal goods, just as when it takes land away.

Roberts rejected the government's argument that the Hornes voluntarily chose to participate in the raisin market and have the option of growing different crops if they don't like it.

"'Let them sell wine' is probably not much more comforting to the raisin growers than similar retorts have been to others throughout history," Roberts said. "Property rights cannot be so easily manipulated."

The case was considered one of the most important property disputes to reach the high court since 2005, when the justices ruled that the city of New London, Connecticut, could use the power of eminent domain to hand private homes or businesses to developers to help stimulate economic improvement. That case sparked a backlash in many states and led more than 40 state legislatures to pass laws protecting property rights.

By contrast, Monday's ruling in the raisin case was seen as a decisive win for property-rights advocates seeking to limit government power.

"The decision confirms what should be obvious: the government cannot come and take your personal property without compensation, whether raisins or other property, on the ground that the taking is for your own good," said J. David Breemer, attorney for the Pacific Law Foundation, a conservative group that backed the Hornes.

The program was authorized by a 1937 law that allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to keep prices for raisins and other crops steady by helping to manage supply. A 1949 marketing order allowed farmers to form aRaisin Administrative Committee that would decide how much of the raisin crop handlers must turn over to the government each year.

These raisins would be placed into a reserve pool to be sold outside the open market, used for the school lunch program or given away to charities and foreign governments. Any profits from these reserve sales would go toward funding the committee and anything left over went back to the farmers.

The Hornes refused to participate in 2003 and 2004, when raisin production far exceeded the expected demand. They tried to get around the regulations by packaging crops on their own instead of going through a middleman. But the department fined them for violating the rules.

Raisin handlers, who dry the grapes until they become raisins and then package them, were required to give up 47 percent of their crops in 2003 season, but received far less in return than their costs of production. Farmers gave up 30 percent of the crop in 2004 and were paid nothing.

Raisin prices have been relatively stable recently, and the committee has not ordered farmers to put crops in reserve since 2010.

Only a small number of other crops are regulated in the same way, though federal officials say most programs are not active. Those include California dried prunes, California dates, California almonds, tart cherries, walnuts and spearmint oil.

It was not immediately clear how the ruling might affect other USDA programs. The agency said officials were reviewing the ruling and had no immediate comment.

Roberts said the government could have restricted raisin sales by limiting production, which is how the vast majority of crops programs work.

In a separate opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer agreed that the Hornes were entitled to be properly paid for their crops, but he said the case should be sent back to a lower court to decide whether they would have been owed any money had they complied with the program.

Breyer's separate opinion was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only dissenter. She said the program did not deprive the Hornes of all property rights, it just limited the amount of potential income they could earn from it. 



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[ Maine Sen. Angus King Diagnosed With Cancer ]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 12:15:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AngusKing1.jpg

Sen. Angus King of Maine said Monday he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery on Friday.

The 71-year-old independent said the cancer was discovered early, during a routine annual checkup. It has not spread and he said he expects to make a full recovery.

King says Maine residents should expect to see him back on the Senate floor within weeks and back on the campaign trail when he runs for re-election to a second term in 2018.

"I'm looking forward to a full recovery and to continuing my service in the Senate," King said. "And no, this does not my affect my intention to run for re-election, except my poor little prostate won't be along for the ride."

King also said that as a young man 40 years ago he was successfully treated for malignant melanoma. He said that outbreak and the prostate cancer are unrelated.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton and Sanders Top Candidates on Facebook]]> Fri, 19 Jun 2015 20:00:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Hilary-GettyImages-477234226.jpg

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders lead the pack of presidential candidates in early primary and caucus states — at least in terms of Facebook likes and interactions.

Discussion on the social network in Iowa, the first caucus state, and in South Carolina and New Hampshire -- early primary states -- over the last month has focused mostly on the two Democrats, according to data provided by Facebook.

The data runs from May 13 to June 13, and ends before Donald Trump entered the race. Facebook's data includes all mentions and doesn't discern between negative and positive mentions. 

In all three states, Hillary Clinton dominated interactions, which are composed of likes, shares, posts, and comments about the candidate. For example, 66,000 unique users in Iowa had 289,000 interactions about the former secretary of state.

Clinton came out as the clear frontrunner in South Carolina, and had 104,000 users making 460,000 interactions about her. The next closest candidate in the state was U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who garnered 132,000 interactions from 34,000 users. 

In Iowa and New Hampshire, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) paced closely with Clinton.

In New Hampshire -- a state that abuts Sanders' Vermont -- he enjoyed 123,000 discussions among 23,000 unique users compared with Clinton's 145,000 interactions among 32,000 unique users.

Rounding out the 18 candidates presented in the data were former New York Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat. Pataki had only had roughly 2,000 interactions across all three states, while O'Malley did slightly better, getting 5,000 interactions in New Hampshire and South Carolina and 3,000 interactions in Iowa.  

Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct the number of users who interacted with Hillary Clinton on Facebook.

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<![CDATA[Marc Maron Interviews Obama]]> Sat, 20 Jun 2015 10:14:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/presobamamarcmarongetty123456-horz.jpg

President Barack Obama visited with comedian Marc Maron in the garage of his Highland Park  home Friday at the end of a two-day visit to Southern California.

The host of "WTF With Marc Maron" announced in his Thursday podcast that the interview with Obama, who arrived in Los Angeles Thursday for a fundraising stop, will be available Monday. The visit with Maron marks the latest unconventional interview for the president, who discussed the Affordable Care Act with actor Zach Galifianakis on comedy talk show "Between Two Ferns" and also chatted with YouTube personality GloZell.

"We think this is an opportunity to have an extended candid conversation, not necessarily about news of the day items, but I think this is going to be much more about areas of the president's life that don't always get reported in the news," Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman, told reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday en route to Los Angeles.

Secret Service personnel have been working with podcast producers to prepare for the president's visit to the historic neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles, Maron said. The interview was expected to last about an hour.

"What am I doing in terms of planning? That's a good question," Maron said on Thursday's podcast. "I'm thinking about it. I'm spinning. I haven't done political talk radio in years, no desire to.

"He's an incredibly brilliant and interesting man with a life that I'm going to talk to him about."

Past guests have included comic actors Nick Kroll, Jen Kirkman, and Bob Odenkirk.

Obama will leave Southern California following the interview, bound for the San Francisco area, where he will speak at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The president is expected to return to Southern California on Saturday, spending the night in the Coachella Valley, where he usually plays golf when he visits. Temperatures in the Coachella Valley this weekend are expected to be in the 100s.

Obama spoke at a pair of DNC fundraisers Thursday. In the lone event open to the news media, Obama told supporters he hoped they would leave with the sense that completing "the unfinished business we've got... depends on you."

"If we want the change we believe in, then we're going to have to work harder than ever in our own communities and in our own places of worship and in our own workplaces and reflect those values and ideals and then push this society and ultimately push Congress in the direction of change," Obama told a crowd of approximately 250 at the home of filmmaker Tyler Perry near Beverly Hills.

Obama went on to call for "reforming our criminal justice system in a way that we are not incarcerating nonviolent offenders in ways that renders them incapable of getting a job" after they are released; "immigration reform" that would "bring millions of people out of the shadows"; increased spending on research and making college more affordable.

Tickets for the fundraiser were priced from $2,500 to attend a reception to $33,400, the maximum allowable donation to a national party committee, which included admission to the reception, where Obama spoke, and dinner and a photo with the president. Tickets for the dinner were priced at $20,000 per couple. The price to attend the reception and have a photo taken with Obama was $10,000, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service.

Obama earlier attended another DNC fundraiser -- at the Pacific Palisades home of television producer Chuck Lorre, which was closed to reporters. Approximately 30 supporters paid up to $33,400 to attend, according to the White House.

The visit was Obama's 22nd to Los Angeles and Orange counties as president.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Newt Gingrich Takes on New Job: Tech Reviewer]]> Fri, 19 Jun 2015 11:38:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gingrich14.jpg

Newt Gingrich's long resume just got longer.The former presidential candidate, House speaker and political consultant is now also a tech reviewer for Mashable.

His first post, a review of the Apple Watch, hit the site today, saying while there are some hiccups with the wearable gadget, it's a step in the right direction and fun for many people.

"At the moment, the Apple Watch seems best suited for busy people who need quick access to information on the go, those who want access to their schedules at a glance and anyone who likes being an early adopter of the newest technology," he wrote. "In many ways, the Apple Watch is like a beta product, but one promising a new direction, much like the first BlackBerrys and first iPhones." 

The idea to have him write for the site arose on Twitter two years ago, after Gingrich tweeted about virtual cars. A then-Mashable employee tweeted back, saying he wished the Republican would review the car for the site. 

 

While that review never happened, the prolific writer and technology fan later gave the site another reason to ask. In May 2015, he wrote a post for his own website about the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. Mashable again took to Twitter to hint at the idea of him writing for the site.

With an excited response from Gingrich, a plan was set: he would be reviewing the Apple Watch. The 1,000-plus word review, which covered use of the watch during a cross-country flight and managing a busy schedule, got more than 1,000 shares within hours of hitting the Web. And the cub Mashable reporter seemed to be enjoying the job, too. 



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Bear Sighting Disrupts Elementary School Students' Field Day in NY]]> Fri, 12 Jun 2015 22:32:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ny+bear+sighting.jpg

A bear sighting near a school disrupted field day for elementary school students in Rockland County Friday, school officials said. 

The students at Upper Nyack Elementary School on North Broadway were out on the field participating in activities when the bear was spotted close to the field, which is near a heavily wooded area and not far from a state park, school principal Stephen Ochser said.

"For the sake of safety they brought the kids back into the school and closed the windows," the principal added.

Ochser said the school planned to reschedule the event as if Friday were a rain day, and said a letter would be going home to parents to alert them of the sighting.

Parents at the event didn't appear too concerned, considering the field's proximity to the woods and the state park.

Debie Makely, a mother of a 7-year-old student at the elementary school said she's seen a lot of bears in her life, including one recently in a parking lot where she works, and that "they do seem to come and go."

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