<![CDATA[NBC New York - Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usSun, 01 May 2016 23:47:05 -0400Sun, 01 May 2016 23:47:05 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Sanders Insists He Can Still Win the Dem. Nomination]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 22:32:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/526912210-bernie-sanders-contested-convention.jpg

Facing a large delegate deficit, tough odds and just 10 remaining state contests, Senator Bernie Sanders made it clear Sunday that he intends to fight on to become the Democratic presidential nominee, NBC News reports.

Sanders' stated path relies on primary opponent Hillary Clinton not reaching a majority of pledged delegates and on superdelegates' switching their allegiances.

"It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach a majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone," Sanders, a senator from Vermont, said at a news conference at the National Press Club, indicating he would fight to persuade superdelegates to flip their support.

"In other words, the convention will be a contested contest," he said of the Democratic National Convention to take place in Philadelphia in July.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[A Look at Clinton's Promise of a Cabinet Full of Women]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 17:42:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_16122673573195-hillary-clinton-campaign-trail.jpg

Hillary Clinton last week pledged that, if elected, she would appoint a presidential cabinet in which at least half of the members are women, a move that would profoundly shift the look of the people who govern America, according to NBC News.

Clinton, in an interview on Monday with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, said, "I am going to have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women, right?" 

Only 30 women have ever held Cabinet posts. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama appointed a number of women to key posts, but women held just four of the 16 official Cabinet posts during most of their tenures. Clinton is pledging to double that number.

"No hint of quotas or numeric targets — other than 'more than my predecessor' — has ever been part of cabinet head discussions before," said Heather Hurlburt, who served as a senior adviser at the State Department and National Security Council from 1995-2001. "So it's an enormous deal."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Leads Cruz in Crucial Indiana Primary: Poll]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 10:17:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_161110678355521.jpg

Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters in the state, followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the GOP nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July.

According to the poll, 58 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Indiana say they disapprove of Cruz and Kasich teaming up to beat Trump in the state.

Meanwhile, in the Hoosier State's Democratic contest, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by just four points, 50 percent to 46 percent.



Photo Credit: AP, file]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Roasts GOP Candidates at WH Correspondents' Dinner]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 07:06:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WhiteHouse-GettyImages-526666530.jpg

President Barack Obama pulled out the punches during the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., Saturday, taking jabs at the candidates vying for the Republican nomination. 

"It is an honor to be here at my last, and perhaps the last White House Correspondents' Dinner," he said, telling the audience how great they looked before getting right down to business.

Obama told the crowd at the 102nd and final dinner that his approval ratings have been rising, even in his final year in office. 

“What has changed?” he asked. “No one can figure it out.” 

Obama paused, allowing a moment to pass before a split-screen of Sen. Ted Cruz and GOP front-runner Donald Trump popped up on screen. 

Obama didn't stop there. He called out top Republicans, who have touted Paul Ryan as a possible nominee, if one can’t be chosen before the GOP convention in July. 

"Steak or fish?” he told the audience, referring to the choice on the evening’s menu. “A whole bunch of you wrote Paul Ryan. You may not like steak or fish, but that’s your choice.“ 

Ryan has said he will not seek the nomination. 

Obama wasted no time cutting into the three GOP candidates, saying “some candidates aren’t polling high enough to qualify for their own joke” over a photo of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. 

“And then there’s Ted Cruz,” he said, calling out the Texas senator for a mistake he made this week in Indiana when he referred to a basketball hoop as a “ring.”

"What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? But sure, I’m the foreign one,” Obama said, before moving on to an absent Trump. 

"Is this dinner too tacky for 'The Donald'?"

Trump’s absence “hurt” Obama, who said he “had so much fun last time.” Obama has singled out the real estate mogul in previous years, making fun of Trump's hair and the businessman's quest to see Obama's birth certificate. 

“Is he at home eating a Trump steak?” Obama asked. “What’s he doing?”

The president went on, making jabs at Trump's lack of foreign policy and experience, and his real estate prowess. 

"There's one area where Donald's experience could be valuable. And that's closing Guantanamo, because Trump knows a thing or two about closing waterfront properties into the ground."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cruz Defends Position on 'Bathroom Bills' ]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 11:03:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CruzMTP-Screen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-7.53.59-PM.jpg

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is standing his ground in his belief that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice opens the door for people "who are predators," dismissing criticism from reality TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner.

"The real danger is not people who are transgendered. It's people who are predators,” Cruz said in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd. "People who are predators…use that law as an excuse to go target our kids. And that is a real danger," he added.

Following a recent comment by Donald Trump in which he said Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower, the former Olympian used a women's bathroom at a Trump property and posted a video to Facebook with the caption: "By the way, Ted, nobody got molested."

Cruz also criticized Trump, President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for coming out for so-called "bathroom bills" like the one passed in North Carolina.



Photo Credit: NBC News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[White House Correspondents' Dinner 2016]]> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:13:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WhiteHouseDinner-GettyImages-526658212.jpg President Barack Obama hosts the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, also known as the "Nerd Prom." The biggest names in politics and entertainment will come out to watch the event, also known as the "Nerd Prom." This is the president's last chance to throw out the zingers at politicians, the press and himself. Obama's final dinner comes amid a heated and frenzied presidential campaign.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Team Shifting Staff to General Election States]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:18:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-524679204.jpg

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is preparing to hire staffers in some of the general election’s battleground states, NBC News reported.

A Clinton campaign official told NBC News the first wave of new hires and reassignments will involve state directors and other senior staff. The campaign is setting up state directors in Florida, New Hampshire and Colorado, and will eventually have general election operations in every state. 

The aide stressed that Clinton will continue to campaign in the remaining primary states. 

The news was first reported in USA Today.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's Bill Unpaid After 3 Months]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 20:13:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Trump-GettyImages-503927392.jpg

The city of Burlington, Vermont, is considering calling a debt collection agency on a billionaire: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat, said Trump is nearly three months late paying an $8,500 bill the city sent his campaign on Feb. 1 for police and fire overtime costs associated with a recent stop in Vermont's largest city.

"We actually had the city attorneys looking into this; there's some complication on an issue like this," Weinberger said in response to an necn question about whether he would seek a collection agency's services.

Weinberger added that the city should have a plan soon about how to address the unpaid bills.

Trump held a rally Jan. 7 at Burlington's Flynn Center for the Performing Arts but issued thousands more tickets than there were seats. The city wanted extra personnel to handle the crowds and any potential problems, Weinberger said.

"It could have been a much better-coordinated and organized event," Weinberger told necn. "And had it been, it would have been much easier for the city to accommodate."

Weinberger said the city embraces the process of democracy, and he believes candidates should meet their constituents on the campaign trail. However, the  mayor urged campaigns to coordinate more closely with municipalities in scheduling and planning visits like the one Trump made to Burlington.

Weinberger made it clear the unpaid bills will not bankrupt Burlington or have any serious adverse effects. He said the city’s police department has a more than $10 million annual budget, so the $7,200 portion of the bills for police costs are only a very small percentage of the overall picture.

Still, Weinberger said the city could use the money for any host of purposes and would appreciate payment.

The mayor noted that hometown candidate Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democrats' nomination for the White House, paid his bills on time for police and fire support, as well as other fees, following a campaign kickoff on the Burlington waterfront last May.

Campaigns do have a history of skipping out on the check.

Through a request to the South Burlington Police Department, necn obtained a July 2011 email chain between Chief Trevor Whipple and a New England representative of President Barack Obama's reelection effort. In the emails, the chief was looking for reimbursement for extra staffing costs for security and traffic control for a presidential campaign fundraiser.

Trevor Whipple said Thursday he never heard back on that 2011 request.

"It's frustrating," Whipple said. "Where it's discretionary, especially where it's fundraising, my expectation is [candidates] should bear the cost of that. They should be responsible for reimbursing the taxpayer for the cost of that additional service that would not have been necessitated were it not for this fundraising event."

Whipple said if visits by dignitaries were for official business, he would not seek reimbursement. But he said he sees political fundraisers in particular as different, and the kind of event for which taxpayers deserve repayment.

Necn reached out to a spokesperson for the Trump campaign regarding the city of Burlington's claims, but had not heard back at the time of publication.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Do Celebrity Endorsements Help or Hurt?]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 07:48:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/DAWSON_GettyImages-521061462.jpg

Celebrity surrogates have been ubiquitous on the campaign trail this season, frequently been driving the 2016 news cycle — and in some cases, forcing their preferred candidates off message.

In a crowded media marketplace, the prominence of a celebrity surrogate can make a difference — at least when it comes to media attention — but unlike most traditional political representatives, they are infamously difficult to control.

During an appearance on "Late Night with Stephen Colbert" Wednesday, actress Susan Sarandon, a passionate Bernie Sanders supporter, doubled down on her refusal to say whether or not she would support Hillary Clinton in a one-on-one race against Trump. And unscripted diatribes on Sanders' behalf from stars like Rosario Dawson, Killer Mike and Tim Robbins have begged the question: Are these kinds of endorsements really worth it?



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Rocky History Between Cruz and Boehner]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 20:40:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/split2-cruz-boehner.jpg

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz personally told NBC News he had not met John Boehner, when he addressed comments made about him by the former House Speaker.

But the two men do have a past: Ted Cruz was once Boehner’s lawyer, when Boehner sued Washington state Democrat Jim McDermott over a leaked recording. Boehner filed the lawsuit in 1998 involving the illegal interception of an embarrassing phone call in which Boehner discussed House leadership business. He said his personal privacy was violated. 

Boehner won the case — part of which was handled by Ted Cruz. Sources close to Boehner told NBC News the two met during the lawsuit, but likely never had contact after Cruz arrived on Capitol Hill in 2013. 

For Boehner, Cruz led the political charge against him, when he was effectively a “player coach” in the move to oust the former speaker last year. 

Through the government shutdown in 2013, Cruz helped influence House members in the dissent that made the former speaker choose to step aside in 2015. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cub Reporter Broke 'Lucifer' Story]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:06:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/boehner-Ada_Throckmorton.jpg

Stanford Daily cub reporter Ada Statler-Throckmorton, 20, has spoken with big names and tackled weighty topics in the past.

The student from Prairie City, Kansas, has done a Q&A with Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey and covered the controversial fuel-free movement at the prestigious university in Palo Alto.

But she’s never broken a national news story like the one she did on Wednesday night at Stanford University’s CEMEX Auditorium. That’s where she was the first to report to the world that former House Speaker John Boehner called fellow Republican and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh."

As far as she knows, she was the only reporter covering the speech, other than internal Stanford media. And when Boehner said those words, she knew it was big. But she didn’t know just how big — so big that her mother heard about it while listening to NPR early Thursday morning.

Google News returned about 300 articles for a search of Boehner and "Lucifer in the flesh" Thursday afternoon, including all the major American political news sources, all of which cite Statler-Throckmorton's story. The Stanford Daily's original article has more than 1,000 comments and 8,000 shares on Facebook, amid what its managing editor told CNNMoney is record web traffic.

“I didn’t realize it would go this viral and this fast,” Statler-Throckmorton said, noting she isn't even a journalism student, but is majoring in Earth Systems and wants to go into environmental communications.

Boehner didn’t stop at comparing Cruz to the Devil, though, and Statler-Throckmorton wrote down what he said in a candid speech that was not broadcast or videotaped: “I have Democrat friends and Republican. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” The Stanford Daily was able to capture some audio of the now-hyped up talk.

Later in the day — and all thanks to the scrappy Stanford sophomore — Cruz held court with reporters, taking aim at Boehner, saying the former speaker allowed his "inner Trump to come out." As for the "Lucifer" comment, Cruz said: "If John Boehner is calling me 'Lucifer,' he’s not directing that at me.  He’s directing that at you."

Statler-Throckmorton has been sought after from major news outlets ranging from Fox to CNN to NBC News, which is all the more curious to her because the headline of her campus newspaper  - “John Boehner talks election, time in office” - certainly does not sell the story the same way those outlets did. 

The Stanford Daily hadn’t promoted the story by the time the first news organization latched onto it, and Statler-Throckmorton doesn’t even have a Twitter account. She still doesn’t know who first picked up her story.

Victor Young Xu, the managing editor of news at the campus paper, told CNNMoney that on a typical day the entire site draws 11,000 to 13,000 page views. 

Xu told CNNMoney the Boehner story had already reached 169,220 page views as of 11:40 a.m. PT, which represented 94.5 percent of all visits to the site. To compare, the second most-viewed story published over the last year — a satirical piece on Stanford's admissions rate — drew a little over 40,000 views.

Relishing in her 15 minutes of fame, Statler-Throckmorton said she’s been trying to juggle all the media attention cast on her while paying attention to classes. 

As for her family’s own political leanings, Statler-Throckmorton said “we’re certainly not Republicans.” But she added she certainly kept an open mind to what the former speaker of the House had to say. 

“He was very interesting to listen to,” she said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area; Inset: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA['If We Win In Indiana, It's Over': Trump]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:48:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TrumpIndiana-AP_16119692031356.jpg

Donald Trump set the stakes of the Indiana primary Thursday, saying he refused to take time off from the campaign trail because of the importance of the primary, NBC News reported. 

Trump continued his pivot toward the general election with the rally in Indiana, where he told the audience he “will be so much better to women than Hillary Clinton is — for health care issues, on the protection of our country.” 

"If we win in Indiana, it's over," he said.         

Trump told the audience Clinton can’t win New York because the Clintons “abandoned Arkansas for New York” and aren’t “real New Yorkers.” He also insisted Clinton “doesn’t do great in Arkansas,” even though she won the state's Democratic primary.

It's a hint at where Trump's focus lies after primary wins across the Northeast on Tuesday, putting him closer to the nomination.     



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[USHCC Endorses Clinton, Kasich]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:46:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/split2-march15-kasich-clinton.jpg

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday it is endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John Kasich, in its first ever endorsement of any presidential candidate, NBC News reported.

"Secretary Clinton has stood with the USHCC and the Hispanic community at-large for decades," USHCC president and CEO Javier Palomarez said in a statement. "For more than 40 years, Secretary Clinton has fought to ensure that those who are willing to work hard in America have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead." 

Palomarez added that Kasich “understands that sustainable economic growth is needed in order to allow the American people an opportunity to succeed, regardless of background. He also understands that the Hispanic community is not monolithic, and that the issues most important to all Americans are: jobs, the economy, health care, education, immigration and national security." 

The group, which advocates on behalf of the country's Latin-owned businesses, bypassed Ted Cruz — the only Latino left in the presidential race.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Testimony At Hastert Sentencing]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:04:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Hastert+Arrival.png

For seasoned court watchers, attorneys, even veteran prosecutors, the sentencing of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert proved to be powerful and troubling.

"Nothing is more disturbing than having 'serial child molester' and 'Speaker of the House' in the same sentence," Judge Thomas Durkin told a packed but silent audience in his 14th floor courtroom. “Some actions can obliterate a lifetime of good works.”

For two hours, the gut-wrenching testimony unfolded. Two accusers detailed sordid tales of sexual abuse from Hastert’s days as a wrestling coach in Yorkville. His own attorney conceded he could not contest the allegations. Prosecutor Steven Block told the judge that the government regretted they couldn’t hit him with tougher laws.

“Had there been an opportunity to charge the defendant with sexually abusing boys in his care, we would have,” Block said. “His decision last year was designed to keep his dark secrets.”

That decision, to mislead agents investigating massive bank withdrawals to pay off an accuser, eventually led to a person still identified only as “Individual A”, who described sexual abuse at Hastert’s hands when he wrestled for Yorkville High School in the seventies. Eventually, four other alleged victims were discovered.

One, Stephen Reinboldt, died from Aids in 1995. But in court Wednesday, his sister Jolene Burdge stood before the former Speaker.

“I hope I have been your worst nightmare,” she told Hastert, who did not react. “You took his life Mr. Hastert…because you took his innocence and turned it against him.”

Reporters filled the jury box, which went unused because Hastert had entered a guilty plea to a crime called “structuring”. It’s an arcane statute governing massive withdrawals of money. Because of statutes of limitations, he could not be charged with the sex crimes relating to those transactions. But the evidence was presented nonetheless. And it was difficult to hear.

“As a young boy, I wanted to be part of what Coach Hastert had created,” said another accuser, “Individual D”. A near gasp rumbled through the courtroom when he stated his name as Scott Cross. His brother Tom was well known to most reporters in the courtroom, as a former State Representative, and onetime protégé of the Speaker himself.

“Coach Hastert sexually abused me my senior year in high school,” Cross said, choking back tears. “I did not say anything to anyone. Coach Hastert and I never spoke of it.”

Cross said he considered the abuse his darkest secret.

“I wanted you to know the pain he caused me then, and still causes me today,” he told the judge. “It is important to tell the truth—I could no longer remain silent.”

As observers watched Hastert, he showed no emotion. No obvious twinges of pride as his attorney Tom Green described his client’s post-9/11 heroics on Capitol Hill. No apparent shame when Green stated, “Mr. Hastert abused.”

Green concede that his client “made some very poor decisions.” But he begged the judge to consider the total arc of Hastert’s life.

“Dennis Hastert was able to reshape his life into a career of public service and extraordinary accomplishment,” Green said. Then he conceded, that those “decades of accomplishment have been erased.”

Then the time came for Hastert himself to state his case. The clock ticked. Reporters leaned forward. His attorneys helped the former speaker push his walker to a lectern. A prepared statement was unfolded before him.

“I’m deeply ashamed,” Hastert read from the paper. “I’m the only one responsible.”

But even then, he could not bring himself to use the words “sexual abuse”.

“I know I am here because I mistreated some of the athletes I coached,” he said. “The thing I want to do is say I’m sorry.”

But the judge wasn’t buying it, and he interrupted Hastert’s statement.

“Did you sexually abuse Mr. Cross?” he asked.

“I don’t remember doing that,” Hastert said. “I accept his statement.”

“Individual B?” the judge asked.

“Yes,” Hastert admitted.

“Stephen Reinboldt?”

“That’s a different situation,” Hastert said cryptically. He paused to confer with his attorney, before conceding that he could not dispute the comments of Reinboldt’s sister.

“So you did sexually abuse him?” the incredulous judge asked.

“Yes,” Hastert said.

When it came time for him to impose sentence, Durkin spoke for more than 40 minutes. He did nothing to hide his disgust, and clearly demonstrated that the many pleas for mercy had fallen on deaf ears.

“If I’m going to consider the good, I must also consider the bad,” Durkin said, “which is that the defendant is a serial child molester.”

“Your actions were cynical,” he told Hastert. “You abused those who wouldn’t or couldn’t cry out.”

Attorneys had asked for leniency due to Hastert’s failing health and advanced age. The judge said the Bureau of Prisons would offer adequate medical care.

“Your age did not prevent you from committing crimes,” he said. “Your age should not prevent you from being punished.”

In the end, he sentenced Hastert to 15 months in prison, and a $250,000 fine. Reporters frantically sent out the news, thumbs flying on silent keyboards. Hastert’s attorneys made last minute arrangements for their client’s surrender, pending assignment to an appropriate prison.

And then it was over. But not before one last moment of despir from the judge.

“Nothing today gave me pleasure,” he said. “This is a horrible case. I hope I never have to see a case like this ever again.”



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Tapping Fiorina Early, Cruz Echoes Reagan's Gamble]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:49:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CRUZ_AP_16118751601761.jpg

Ted Cruz's unconventional decision to tap Carly Fiorina on Wednesday as his running mate echoes Ronald Reagan's gambit heading into the 1976 convention, a history that offers cautionary notes for Cruz.

Reagan finished the primaries as both a beloved conservative and party underdog, trailing incumbent President Gerald Ford by 100 delegates.

On July 27, 1976, a few weeks before the GOP convention, Reagan held a press conference to announce he was picking Richard Schweiker, a liberal Republican from Pennsylvania, to be his running mate.

"The people and the delegates have a right to know, in advance of the convention, who a nominee's vice presidential choice would be," Reagan said, explaining his logic for "departing from tradition" to announce the pick early.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Get More Census Info for LGBTQ Community: Rep. Grijalva]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 18:35:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/RaulGrijalva-AP_82052430668.jpg

Arizona Democratic congressman Raúl Grijalva believes sexual orientation should be included in the Census to strengthen the LGBTQ community's access to resources and legislation, NBC News reported.

Rep. Grijalva and Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) requested the American Community Survey start asking Americans about their sexual orientation and gender identity to create “urgently needed” statistics for the LGBTQ population. 

"In order to make further progress toward understanding the LGBT population (including its economic, racial, and geographic diversity), we strongly believe the Census Bureau should measure ACS respondents' sexual orientation and gender identity," they said in a letter to Census Director John Thompson. 

Grijalva said other categories like marital status are based on sexual orientation and gender identity.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hastert Gets 15 Months in Prison]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:07:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Hastert+Update.png

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison for breaking federal banking rules in a hush-money scheme attempting to cover up decades of sexual abuse.

He was also fined $250,000, Judge Thomas Durkin ruled, saying there's nothing worse than using "serial child molester" and "Speaker of the House" in the same sentence.

"It gives me no pleasure to sentence Mr. Hastert," Durkin said. "It's sad for our country."

Hastert faced up to five years behind bars for the banking charges, which were but one part of the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against him. 

In court Wednesday, he apologized for his actions and admitted to the sexual abuse for the first time.  

"I want to say sorry to those I've hurt," Hastert said in court moments before learning his fate. "What I did was wrong and I regret it. They looked up to me and what I did was wrong."

Among those testifying at Wednesday's hearing was Scott Cross, previously identified as "Individual D," the brother of former State Rep. Tom Cross. Cross claimed Hastert abused him when he was 17 years old and captain of the wrestling team Hastert coached.

"I was alone with Coach Hastert in the locker room. Coach Hastert said I could make weight by giving me a massage. I trusted him," he said. "He pulled down my shorts, grabbed my penis and began to rub me. I was stunned by what he was doing, grabbed my shorts and ran out."

When Cross finished his statement, applause erupted in the courtroom.

Also testifying in court Wednesday was Jolene Burdge, the sister of another of Hastert's victims, Steven Reinboldt.

"I hope I've been your worst nightmare," Burdge said. "What you did wasn't misconduct. It was sexual abuse of a minor."

Hastert admitted in court to sexually abusing Reinboldt. He added that while he does not recall abusing Cross, he "accepts his statement" and does not deny the allegations.

Hastert pleaded guilty last year to a crime known as "structuring," an effort to mask payments to an unnamed individual he had wronged decades ago when he was a wrestling coach at Yorkville High.

Prosecutors have claimed Hastert agreed to pay the accuser more than $3 million to conceal allegations Hastert molested him in a motel room when he was 14 years old. That accuser has since filed suit against Hastert for breach of contract, claiming he failed to finish making the agreed upon payments.

Authorities allege Hastert tried to mislead the FBI by instead accusing the victim of extortion.

"He was a victim decades ago and you tried to make him the victim again," Durkin said, adding that if Hastert had told the truth "he probably would have gotten probation."

In total, at least four former students have come forward alleging the now 74-year-old molested them when he was a teacher and coach. 

Attorneys for Hastert pleaded for mercy, saying Hastert has been punished enough through failing health and his own guilt and humiliation. Soon after his guilty pleas last October, the former speaker was hospitalized with a series of medical problems, including sepsis and a small stroke.

His attorneys asked that Hastert be spared time behind bars, and instead receive probation. 

"This is one of the most tragic and sad cases I've ever encountered," said attorney Thomas Green. "His life will forever be comprised and diminished."

Still, Durkin said Hastert's age would not deter him from sentencing the 74-year-old to prison and said his medical needs can be met in prison.

"I hope I never see a case like this again," Durkin said.

Hastert's attorney said in a statement that Hastert "accepts the sentence imposed by the court today."

"As he made clear in his own words in addressing the court, he takes sole responsibility for this tragic situation and deeply apologizes to all those affected by his actions," the statement read. "He hopes that he now can focus on addressing his health issues and on healing the emotional damage that has been inflicted on his family and friends who have shown unwavering support throughout this trying time."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump: Clinton Playing Woman Card]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:38:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16118114842811.jpg

Coming off a huge win on Tuesday night, Donald Trump said he has all but clinched the Republican nomination, NBC News reported. 

"I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely," Trump said at a press conference after winning all five state primaries held on Tuesday by crushing margins.

Turning to the general election, he predicted he would "beat Hillary [Clinton] so easily" and even compete for deep blue states like New York, despite trailing Clinton nationally in every recent poll, often by wide margins.

"The only card she has is the woman's card," Trump said. "If Hillary Clinton were a man I don't think she'd get five percent of the vote."

Clinton said Tuesday night that "if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the 'woman card,' then deal me in."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Primary Day: Voters in 5 States Cast Ballots]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 21:57:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/election-27-GettyImages-524665434.jpg Democratic and Republican primary voters in five Northeastern states went to the polls on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bernie Sanders Floats Elizabeth Warren's Name for VP]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 10:53:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Sanders-Warren.jpg

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said a female vice president would be a "great idea" and mentioned Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as an example of a woman qualified to hold the office.

The senior senator from Vermont discussed the possibility on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" ahead of Tuesday's primary elections in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island.

"I think the women of this country — the people of this country — understand that it would be a great idea to have a woman as vice president," Sanders said. "It's something I would give very, very serious thought to."

When asked if any women were particularly well equipped to serve as vice president, Sanders scoffed.

"Pfft, are there any women? Yes, there are many women who would be qualified for that job," he asserted.

The senator said it was "a little bit early to be speculating" about a potential running mate, but named Warren as an example when pressed. He did not mention rival Hillary Clinton.

"Elizabeth Warren, I think, has been a real champion of standing up for working families, taking on Wall Street," he said. "There are fantastic women who have been active in all kind of fights who I think would make great vice presidential candidates."

Warren, whose name has also been floated as a possible pick for an all-female ticket with Clinton, has not endorsed a candidate but said she will likely make her choice known before the July convention.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton: Sandy Hook a Focal Point]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 18:03:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Hillary+Clinton+1200.jpg

In her only interview with Connecticut media on Monday, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton told NBC Connecticut about her recent rhetoric about guns and how the Sandy Hook tragedy has been a focal point of her campaign.

Clinton, who held a campaign rally at the University of Bridgeport over the weekend, said she hasn’t politicized the tragedy, even with a campaign ad featuring the daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung who was killed that day.

"I think we have a real problem with guns in America. Thirty-three thousand people per year are killed by guns and politics, our government, our democracy, is supposed to be about solving problems," Clinton said backstage. "We need universal background checks. We need to end the universal immunity that has been given to the gunmakers themselves. We have to do more on mental health. We have to do more on education about the dangers of guns, so I think it's an appropriate and necessary topic to be discussing in this campaign."

That final comment was a nod to the lawsuit that families of Sandy Hook victims filed against the manufacturer and seller of the weapons used in the December 2012 massacre. A judge recently ruled the suit could move forward.

Clinton spoke several days ago during a campaign stop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, about how, as a child, she would spend time at a family cabin on Lake Winola. She said that’s where she learned to use a gun.

NBC Connecticut political reporter Max Reiss asked Clinton if she’s used a weapon recently.

"Well, not recently; I did go hunting when I lived in Arkansas. I haven't really had much chance to do it," she said. "I've done skeet shooting, but I wanted to make the point that I am not against responsible people having guns."

Clinton went on to say she believes in the Second Amendment and policies that can be good for both lawful gun owners and public safety.

"There is no contradiction between having safe gun policies that save lives and respecting Second Amendment rights," Clinton said.

On the issue of possible Supreme Court nominees, Clinton said some decisions by the high court have been "gifts to the gun lobby" and she would want a justice who could work to change those constitutional interpretations.

Additionally, Clinton said overturning Citizens United, the case that established that corporations could give unlimited sums to political campaign, would be a priority.

"I would certainly look for people who understood that Citizens United was one of the worst decisions the court has ever made," she said.

Connecticut’s economy has struggled since the 2008 recession and wage growth has remained essentially flat. Mentioning some of Connecticut’s largest cities, Clinton said her economic policies could provide some growth.

"I want to zero in [on] those places like Bridgeport and Waterbury that need those extra boosts and I will have those economics and jobs policy to do that. I will have an infrastructure policy and advanced manufacturing policy, a clean renewable energy policy, a small business policy and I want to do everything I can, working with the people in communities like Bridgeport and Waterbury to get back in the economic hunt to be able to provide more jobs that are going to provide good livings," she said.

The former secretary of state knows she will have to win over supporters of challenger Bernie Sanders, as well as independents, in the event she becomes the Democratic nominee. Clinton hopes her connections to the state as a student at Yale will play into voters’ decisions.

"I went to law school with Sen. [Richard] Blumenthal, so I've obviously known him for a very long time. Many other people in politics, in business and academia, and all kinds of civic groups so I do want people to know that I've spent a lot of time in Connecticut, driving around, seeing this beautiful state, and I want to be a partner to move the country forward," she said.

Clinton said her supporters in 2008 were polled as saying nearly half would not support then-Sen. Barack Obama in a general election but eventaully did.

Clinton hopes voters not only turn out for her Tuesday, but also that those who don’t vote for her examine how their values may line up with hers.

"I think the vast majority of my opponent's supporters are going to look at who the two nominees are and I'm very confident that we will have their support and we will work hard for it because I want people who don't support me now, not just people supporting my opponent in a Democratic primary but Republicans and Independents to really take a look at my record," Clinton said.



Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Candidates Descend on Philly Region]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:23:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Candidates-Collage.jpg

With dozens of delegates up for grabs for both parties, presidential hopefuls descended on the Philadelphia region Monday before voters head to the polls in Pennsylvania and Delaware on Tuesday.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Republican challenger John Kasich,  Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders all planned to hold public events in the area Monday, with GOP challenger Ted Cruz the only one not in the Keystone State Monday.

Clinton began her day with a rally at World Café Live at the Queen along N Market Street in downtown Wilmington, Delaware at 11:15 a.m. She later spoke in the courtyard of Philadelphia City Hall for a get out the vote event at 7:15 p.m.  

Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, will also be in the area canvassing with supporters in Lansdowne, West Chester and Ambler during the day.

Bernie Sanders, who is trying to chip away at Clinton’s lead, started his day with a midday rally in Pittsburgh. He visited Philly for an 8 p.m. get out the vote rally at Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center along Market Street.

Clinton and Sanders also held back-to-back town halls from the National Constitution Center in Philly Monday night. MSNBC aired Sanders' town hall at 8 p.m. while the Clinton event followed at 9 p.m.

On the Republican side, Trump held a rally at West Chester University’s Hollinger Field House at 4 p.m. before heading up to the Mohegan Sun Area at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre for a 7 p.m. rally.

Republican hopeful John Kasich went more low-key as he stopped by the Penrose Diver along Penrose Avenue in South Philadelphia Monday morning before a town hall event Monday night at 7 in McKees Rocks in western Pennsylvania.

The presidential primaries headline a slew of state and local races in Tuesday’s primary race.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders Holds Rally in Conn.]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:58:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bernie+sanders+on+stage+in+Connecticut.JPG

Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders headed to Hartford on Monday for his second campaign stop in Connecticut ahead of Tuesday's primary election.

"Looks to me like Hartford is ready for a political revolution," Sanders said after taking the podium amid cheers from the crowd. "When I talk about a political revolution, it's not a complicated process. It means that we need to involve millions of people in the political process at the grassroots level."

Speaking from Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, Sanders discussed what he called a "rigged economy," increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, rethinking the war on drugs and phasing out fracking. He also encouraged people to get out and vote. 

[[376908441, C]]

"Today in America, when we talk about a rigged economy, we are talking about the top one-tenth of 1 percent ... now owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent," Sanders said. "We're talking about the 20 wealthiest people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans, half of our population."

"What we are going to do together is create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent," he added. "If you work 40 hours per week, you should not be living in poverty."

Sanders took some time to discuss "disastrous" trade policies that he said encourage manufacturing overseas rather than in the United States.

"Since 2001, we have lost almost 60,000 factories in America," Sanders said. "The message and the word, if I'm elected president, will go out to corporate America, 'You know what? You're going to start investing in Connecticut, Vermont and America, not just in China or Mexico.' We are going to start creating decent paying jobs in this country."

Sanders also addressed drug arrests and the "so-called war on drugs."

"Over the last 30 years, millions of Americans have received criminal records because of possession of marijuana," Sanders said, drawing boos from the crowd. "If you have a police record, a criminal record, and walk in and try and get a job, it has an impact. It's not a good thing."

Sanders said he's introduced legislation that would mean marijuana would no longer be considered a Schedule 1 drug, the most dangerous class.

[[376907121, C]]

The Vermont senator told the crowd something needs to be done about what he called the epidemic of opiate and heroin addiction and called for a revolution in mental health treatment and used the topic to take a shot at Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat.

"I do not understand. I don't want to get too involved in local government here in Connecticut, but I understand that your governor has been cutting mental health treatment," Sanders said. "Now, what I believe is we have to revolutionize mental health treatment in this country." 

Sanders also discussed college tuition debt and making public colleges and universities free low interest rates for college refinancing.

“We should be rewarding people for getting an education, not punishing them,” Sanders said.

On Sunday night, Sanders took the stage at a rally before a crowd of about 10,000 people on the New Haven Green and discussed his platform there as well.

Speaking to NBC Connecticut's Matt Austin before Sunday night's rally, Sanders said Connecticut is an important state for him and he thinks he could have a shot.

"Connecticut is important, it has a lot of delegates, I want to win as many as possible," he said. "I believe if there is a large voter turnout on Tuesday we stand a good chance to win. If voter turnout is low, we probably won't win."

According to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, Sanders trails fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton among likely voters in Tuesday's presidential primary.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Cruz Goes All Out in Indiana, Dismisses Kasich]]> Sun, 24 Apr 2016 23:40:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TedCruz-GettyImages-513726142.jpg

Ted Cruz has gone all out in Indiana, even though John Kasich’s campaign said last week it locked down the support of a majority of the state’s delegates, NBC News reported. 

Cruz said Sunday that only two candidates have a “plausible path whatsoever to winning the Republican nomination — me and Donald Trump.” 

The Texas senator is making an 11-day tour of Indiana, and the campaign has budgeted what officials called a "significant" amount of money. 

The strategy mirrors the operation the Cruz campaign set up in Wisconsin, where Cruz ultimately won big on April 5. The campaign has even established "Camp Cruz," where volunteers can live for free just outside of Indianapolis. 

Indiana's primary will be held on May 3 — a week after the primary Tuesday in Pennsylvania, where Trump has a strong lead in the polls.



Photo Credit: Press Herald via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ Cruz Wins Support of Majority of Maine Delegates]]> Sun, 24 Apr 2016 18:26:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TedCruz-GettyImages-513726142.jpg

The majority of Ted Cruz’s delegates in Maine were picked for the Republican National convention over the weekend, NBC News reported.

That means at least 19 of the 23 delegates Maine will send to the convention in July will be Cruz supporters, benefiting the Texas senator if the selection process goes to multiple ballots. 

Cruz grabbed 12 pledged delegates in March, winning Maine’s caucus. Donald Trump secured nine, while John Kasich won two. 

Trump and his supporters have called the delegate process “rigged,” because it doesn’t reflect the will of voters. They argue the nine delegates he’s won should remain loyal to him on every round of voting. 

The Republican National Committee says the presidential nominee is chosen by the delegates — not the voters.



Photo Credit: Press Herald via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Poll: Clinton, Trump Lead in Pennsylvania]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 06:49:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/split2-clinton-trump-NY.jpg

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hold double-digit leads in the April 26 primary contest of Pennsylvania, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

In the Republican race, Trump gets support from 45 percent of likely Republican primary voters in the state — well ahead of Ted Cruz at 27 percent and John Kasich at 24 percent.

The poll shows Trump performs the best among men, those who strongly support a candidate, those without a college degree and those in the Northeast part of the state.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 15 points among likely Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, 55 percent to 40 percent.

Clinton leads among African Americans, those aged 45 and older, women, self-identified Democrats and those strongly supporting a candidate.



Photo Credit: Getty Images; AP]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Calls Out BLM Activists for 'Yelling']]> Sat, 23 Apr 2016 19:07:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ObamaRallyLondon-AP_607015497126.jpg

President Barack Obama criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, saying activists should discuss their concerns with leaders rather than yelling at them, NBC News reported.

Obama lauded the movement for bringing attention to police violence across the country, but called the harsh tone of activists troubling. 

"You can't just keep on yelling at them and you can't refuse to meet because that might compromise the purity of your position," Obama said. 

Obama made the remarks at a youth town hall in London on Saturday, after BLM activists protested at presidential candidates’ rallies, including Hillary Clinton.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Won't Respond to Trump Insults]]> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 17:59:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TRUMP-CLINTON.jpg

Hillary Clinton said she won’t respond to what Republican front-runner Donald Trump says about her directly, but vowed to go after him for his comments on Muslims, immigrants and women, NBC News reported. 

"You know what, it isn't really about me," Clinton said to a mostly female audience during a discussion about equal pay and gender parity. 

Clinton was speaking about the effects of cyber-bullying before pivoting to Trump, who recently started calling her “Crooked Hillary.” When asked about it last week, she dismissed the label.

Clinton, who promised to run a positive campaign, said she will remain focused on the issues and that Trump can “say whatever he wants about me.”

]]>