Orange Resigns Over Second Job, Others Carry On

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 6.12.21 AMToday is Vincent Orange’s first official day heading up the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. It’s also his last as a member of the D.C. Council. The latter is not by choice.

Orange, who lost his reelection bid in June, was supposed to serve on the Council into January. But his plan to simultaneously serve as councilmember and D.C. Chamber president for the remaining five months of his Council term sparked a firestorm, leading to his early resignation.

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The ‘Rigged’ Primary Debates

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Clinton & Sanders debate. Photo: npr.com

This is the fourth of a four-part series on the presidential debates. [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3]

Democrats and Republicans seized control of the televised presidential debates nearly thirty years ago. Since then, the general election debates have become increasingly dry, in contrast to the parties’ more frequent and freewheeling primary debates. But that began to change this time around.

“During this election, the Republican and Democratic parties have asserted unprecedented control over the primary debates,” explained George Farah, author of No Debate. “And the results have been disastrous.”

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Can Jill Stein and Gary Johnson Crash the Debates?

Jill Stein and Gary Johnson

Jill Stein and Gary Johnson

This is the third in a four-part series on the presidential debates. [Part 1, Part 2]

Ever since Democrats and Republicans seized control of the televised presidential debates, third party candidates haven’t fared well. But in this ‘Year of the Outsider’ two candidates – the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson – have a chance to break into the debates.

To get in, Stein and Johnson must appear on enough state ballots to win (which isn’t easy), and register at least 15 percent in five national polls (which regularly don’t include them).

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How Third Parties are Kept Out of Presidential Debates

Photo credit: CNN

Photo: cnn.com

This is the second in a four-part series on the televised presidential debates. [Part 1]

When Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off next month for their first debate, it’s unlikely a third candidate will join them. That’s by design, not because voters don’t want another option; nearly half say they’re open to voting for a third party.

This comes as the Democratic and Republican parties are experiencing a historic lack of support and have chosen, in Trump and Clinton, the most disliked major party presidential nominees in modern times.

But even as the two parties’ legitimacy wanes, they maintain control over the televised presidential debates.

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How the Presidential Debates Became ‘a Fraud on the American Voter’

Photo: nytimes.com

Photo: nytimes.com

This is the first in a four-part series on the televised presidential debates.

With the Democratic and Republican nominees selected, the presidential debates are just around the corner. The venues and dates for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s three bouts are set, but many important details are yet to be worked out, likely behind closed doors.

Facilitating negotiations between the campaigns will be the official sounding but private Commission on Presidential Debates.

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CNN’s Trump Problem

Photo by Truthdig

Photo by Truthdig.com

Donald Trump’s improbable political rise has been fueled by the unprecedented free media he’s received, particularly from the cable news networks. “When you look at cable television, a lot of the programs are 100 percent Trump,” explained Trump.

Among cable networks, CNN has led the way. “Honestly, I think I get better press from CNN than I do Fox,” Trump told Fox. “I don’t know why.”

It doesn’t hurt that Trump and CNN president Jeff Zucker have been close, personally and professionally, for more than a decade.

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The Washington Post Has an Uber Problem

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(Published at The Huffington Post)

In May of this year an Uber driver was charged with attempted murder of two Montgomery County police officers. After dramatically displaying the suspect’s 20-foot-long rap sheet, local ABC7-WJLA reporter Kevin Lewis, who broke the story, asked pointed questions in a segment that aired on May 25:

“Uber requires all driver-applicants submit to a background check. So how did [suspect Jonathan] Hemming get approved? How long had he been driving for? And what was his star rating? Today we emailed Uber with those questions but got no response.”

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“The Most Corrupt Politician in DC?” [VIDEO]

In other states officials go to jail for serious conflicts of interest. In D.C. Jack Evans is cruising unopposed to reelection.

This was the subject of TheFightBack‘s most recent story (also at Huffington Post). In response, RJ Eskow, host of The Zero Hour, interviewed TheFightBack‘s Pete Tucker. (Eskow also reached out to Evans but didn’t get a response.)

Watch here:

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Some Go to Jail – Not Jack Evans

Jackevansdc(Published at Huffington Post)

In New York, two top legislators will soon be reporting to prison. Virginia’s former governor is trying to avoid two years behind bars. Meanwhile in D.C., despite similar conflicts of interest, Jack Evans is cruising to reelection for a record-breaking seventh term on the D.C. Council.

Over the course of his 25 years on the Council, the last 18 of which he’s chaired the powerful finance committee, Evans has crossed bright ethical lines with impunity.

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Washington Post attacks Edwards with ‘identity politics’

Rep. Donna Edwards gives her concession speech. Photo courtesy of the Edwards campaign.

Donna Edwards gives her concession speech. Photo: Edwards campaign

The Washington Post worked hard to defeat Donna Edwards, then wasted no time crafting a narrative to explain her loss. “Lesson from Edwards’s loss: ‘It shouldn’t be about race,’” read a Post headline on election night. Edwards’ defeat shows “the limit of the power of identify politics,” Post reporter Bill Turque told WAMU the next day.

‘Identity politics’ refers to candidates highlighting personal attributes, such as gender or race, to convey their fitness for office.

In the Maryland Senate Democratic primary, Edwards, who is black, faced off against her House colleague, Chris Van Hollen, who is white. Both are progressive, Edwards a bit more so.

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