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Politics

14 Jul 2016
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Before Mike Pence was bestowed the responsibility of being governor of Indiana in 2013, he served six terms in Congress, from 2001-2013. As the head of the state of Indiana, his political viewpoints have been blindly thrown onto the state within the past few years. (Most notable was his championing of a controversial “religious objections” bill in 2015 that would have allowed discrimination against LGBT individuals.) However, his congressional record contains even more information about his views—and now that Pence is Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, it’s a good time to take a look at exactly who Mike Pence is, and how he’s voted. As a Republican member of Congress, Pence strongly opposed the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) and worked to decrease tax hikes.…
12 Jul 2016
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A Palm Springs City Hall power struggle involving freshman Mayor Rob Moon and longtime City Manager David Ready seems like a classic David vs. Goliath battle. In this case, the mayor is playing the underdog role of David, while the role of mighty Goliath goes to Ready. Since 1994, according to the city charter, Palm Springs has basically been run by the city manager, while the role of the mayor is largely ceremonial: He’s just another City Council member who also gets to cut ribbons, greet dignitaries, attend events, give speeches and so on. However, that does not mean a mayor has no power whatsoever: A mayoral term is four years long, which offers plenty of time for a motivated mayor, if he so chooses,…
12 May 2016
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In the beginning, it isn’t clear if Donald Trump will even make it inside. It’s around 10 a.m., April 29, on Burlingame’s Old Bayshore Highway—just south of the San Francisco International Airport—and protesters have just finished forming the second of two human fences that they hope will block access to the only road entrances to the adjacent Hyatt Regency, site of the 2016 California GOP Convention. The protesters forming the fence sit cross-legged across the road, their arms joined through sections of plastic tubes that are penned with slogans such as “Stop Hate,” “Capitalism Kills” and “Love Trumps Hate.” Trump, the leading GOP candidate, is slated to speak at a 12:30 p.m. luncheon, and Burlingame police officers line the sidewalk nearby, their eyes fixed on…
01 Apr 2016
In the midst of the raucous and polarized presidential election, a quieter story has been at play as well: the growing political clout of Latino voters. Nationwide, about 12 percent of the country’s eligible voting population is Hispanic—and the West is home to nearly 40 percent of those voters, far surpassing other regions. This November, Hispanic voters are projected to turn out in greater numbers than they did in 2012, with a nearly 10 percent increase forecast by the the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. At the same time, the Latino voting bloc is in transition: Latino populations are getting younger, larger and more politically engaged. In the process, they promise to change Western presidential politics. Now, not only are…
19 Feb 2016
On June 7, Coachella Valley voters will go to the polls to cast their votes in the California primary—and the Republican Party is going all-out to reclaim the 36th Congressional District seat, currently held by Dr. Raul Ruiz, a Democrat. So far, two Republicans have declared their intentions to take on Ruiz (who did not return repeated requests for comment for this story). “When I entered the field, there was no Republican who had thrown their hat into this race and stayed in the race,” novice candidate Dwight Kealy told Independent. “We’re looking at a district where a strong Republican should have a good showing. Historically, it’s been a Republican district.” That historical advantage was altered dramatically in 2012, when Ruiz, then a novice candidate…
15 Feb 2016
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The year 2015 was not easy for Palm Springs government, especially after City Hall was rocked by an FBI raid targeting documents related to then-Mayor Steve Pougnet’s relationship with various developers and businessmen. Then came a contentious and at times ugly election season, which ended with businessman and former military man Rob Moon defeating City Councilmember Ginny Foat by 11 percentage points in the eight-way mayoral race—a result that shocked many political insiders. The Independent recently caught up with Rob Moon at Townie Bagels to talk about his first three months in office. I asked him if anything had surprised him about being mayor. “The only thing that’s been difficult has been keeping up with the e-mails,” Moon said. “I probably get 150 a day,…
09 Feb 2016
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The “protest pit” outside of the Republican Presidential Debate at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., on Saturday evening was a fenced-in area in a field about a quarter mile down the road from the main entrance to the campus. Bumper to bumper traffic ran in front of the pit—odd, given that NH State Police were letting few cars on the campus. Most were told to turn around. No one that Republican leadership didn’t want in was getting anywhere near the Carr Center, where the debate was taking place. Powerful lights shone down on the scene from one side—lending it an eerie cast. Behind the fence facing the road were a couple hundred supporters for a few of the Republican candidates. But that was just…
08 Feb 2016
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There has been a relentless stream of town halls, meet-and-greets, panel discussions and rallies in New Hampshire in advance of the Jan. 9 primary—but we were probably at the only event where “Party in the USA” blared from the speakers as the crowd filed into their seats. We were definitely at the only happening hosted by Trevor Noah. A disembodied voice asked us to kindly turn off our cell phones, though the request was blatantly ignored by a crowd full of people who were furiously Snapchatting the scene as Noah and correspondents from The Daily Show—Jessica Williams, Ronny Chieng and Hasan Minhaj —took to the stage. It was an off-air event, after all, so how else would we prove to friends that we were there?…

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