Out d’Coup | NH for Bernie; NV Next; Dem Party Leaders Freak Out; Chris Matthews in Central Park; Plutocrat Bloomsberg; Justice Dept Takeover; Summer Lee; Pipelines; Scarnati; KU; Free Will Releases
Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire primary…this time with no DNC funny business. And the predictable establishment Democrat freak out begins. Chris Matthews runs to a bunker in fear of getting assassinated by communists in Central Park. Sanders has a double-digit lead in the latest Morning Consult poll. Bernie 29%, Biden at 19%, and billionaire Michael Bloomberg showing up at 18%. Buttigieg 11%, Warren 10%, and Klobuchar at 5%.
The Nevada caucuses are happening next Saturday, February 22. Following the New Hampshire primary, Biden’s support in the Silver State has gone off a cliff. The latest polling numbers at FiveThirtyEight show Sanders in the lead with 24.8%, Biden with 16.0%, Warren at 10.8%, Buttigieg with 10.1%, and Bloomberg with 8.4%. However, with the powerful Culinary Union criticizing Medicare for All in a document released to their members, there is some concern in the Sanders camp. In a blow to Biden who was actively seeking their endorsement, the union said it will not endorse a candidate in the primary. It’s anybody’s guess how it will turn out. We’ll get another bite of the apple next Friday on Out d’Coup before voters weigh in.
New York City journalist Blake Zeff, lays out on Twitter the Bloomberg playbook for purchasing political power. That is followed up by reports in both the New York Times and The Intercept about the down-ballot impacts of Bloomsberg poaching all the best political campaign talent across the country. To add insult to industry, Bloomberg is hiring his own companies to service his campaign in a blatant case of self-dealing. And, if you were in Philly last week, maybe you were lucky enough to be one of the 1,000 people who got to feast on cheese states, hoagies and plats of honey-coated brie, fig jam, and gourmet flatbreads all on Bloomsberg’s tab.
The fallout from Trump’s firing of Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland raises serious questions about how much closer we have moved to an authoritarian state. Federal prosecutors quit following Trump tweets and Attorney General Bill Barr’s responds by undercutting prosecutors’ sentencing guidelines in the case of Roger Stone. The sentencing hearing will take place next Thursday in DC.
The Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council based in Pittsburgh voted to go all-in against the reelection of African-American PA State Representative Summer Lee one of the two DSA-backed candidates who swept into office in 2018. Summer Lee is the first black woman elected to the State House from Western PA. Lee represents Braddock, PA – yes, the city where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman made his name as Mayor of Braddock – which is 66% black but had been represented by the white, centrist Democrat Paul Costa who held that seat for 20 years. According to reporting by Mike Elk, the fossil-fuel related unions that dominate that Central Labor Council are especially pissed about her strong support for a Green New Deal. Lee’s opponent is the white, pro-fracking, North Braddock councilman Chris Roland, has already raised over $77,000 – mostly from local unions.
Senate Pro-Tempore Joe Scarnati announces that he too will be retiring at the end of the session.
Sunoco Pipeline, the company building the Mariner East 2 Pipeline was issued another $2 million fine this month. That brings the total fines for the Mariner East 2 pipeline to more than $15 million. The latest fine is for a series of spills of lubricating drilling fluid under Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County in 2017. More than 208,000 gallons of the drilling fluid ended up in the lake.
In Delaware County this week, Delaware County Emergency Services Director Tim Boyce submitted written testimony to the state Public Utility Commission that a delayed ignitions event that led to a leak of toxic fluids from the Mariner East 2 pipeline could impact, “a large amount of people” in the county.
Good news for student voters at Kutztown University. The Berks County Elections Board officials unexpectedly moved the polling place from Keystone Hall on KU’s campus to the Maxatawny Township building more than 5 miles away. The Board made the move on the sketchy grounds of issues of “accessibility and safety.” No concrete evidence was ever provided. After several years of student activism and the continued fight of KU History professor Eric Johnson, the Board voted last week to move the polling place back to Keystone Hall.
This week Kutztown University students, faculty, and staff launched a campaign called the Healthy Campus Bill of Rights. The campaign calls for a healthy working and learning environment, a campus investment in the community’s financial health, and a campus infrastructure to match the climate crisis.