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SPLASH! News for February 20, 2017

Dive Into the News of the Day

Photo Credit: Kiran Opal

SPLASH! News

Buckley Drops out; Endorses Ellison

Progressive Army – Ray Buckley was a candidate campaigning for the position as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair and he has dropped out of the race.

The DNC votes on the chair position in just one week. With the race mainly being between two frontrunners, Representative Keith Ellison and Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Ray Buckley has decided to drop out and endorse Ellison. Keith Ellison is backed by Bernie Sanders and is seen by most people as the more progressive candidate.

Tom Perez, who was the labor secretary in the Obama administration, is backed by Former Vice President Joe Biden and Former President Barack Obama. Tom Perez supports the Trans Pacific Partnership and refuses to deny all lobbyist money going into the DNC, feeding into the perception in many progressives’ minds that he is the less progressive candidate, and rather the establishment candidate.

Cal-Exit? Meet the Movement for Californian secession

CBS NewsCalifornia has an exit strategy. In the wake of the election of President Donald Trump, the Golden State’s bid for secession has picked up steam—albeit just enough to fog up an unlikely escape window.

Leaders behind the campaign committee Yes California say they have deployed eight thousand volunteers across 40 state-wide chapters. Their mission? To collect a whopping 585,407 autographs. That’s the number of signatures required to put secession on a March 2019 special election ballot in America’s second bluest state.

Eric Garner Chokehold Case Moving Forward

ABC News – A federal civil rights investigation into the police chokehold death of Eric Garner has been moving forward in New York, but its future is uncertain as a U.S. attorney general with a law-and-order bent takes over the Justice Department.

Two people with inside knowledge of the probe say a federal grand jury in Brooklyn met as late as last week to hear testimony about Garner’s deadly confrontation with New York Police Department officers on Staten Island in 2014.

Garner’s dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became a slogan for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Pence Pledges ‘strong commitment’ to EU

The Guardian – The US vice-president, Mike Pence, has attempted to mend fences with European leaders by pledging support for the EU, following hostile comments from Donald Trump and his supporters.

On his first visit to Brussels since assuming office, Pence said on Monday the new administration wanted to work in partnership with the EU. “It is my privilege on behalf of President Trump to express the strong commitment of the United States to continued cooperation and partnership with the European Union,” he said.

North Dakota Senate OKs Bills Aimed at Protesters

Fortune – A trio of North Dakota House measures influenced by the dispute between Dakota Access pipeline protesters and law enforcement sailed through the Republican-led Senate Thursday, though some Democrats called the bills an overreaction and unnecessary.

The Senate voted 33-12 in favor of a measure that makes it a crime for adults to wear masks in most cases. The Senate also approved bills that increase penalties for rioting and trespassing by even wider margins.

The masks and trespassing measures were slightly amended by the Senate. The legislation now returns to the House to see if representatives will agree with Senate changes to the bill. If they do not, a conference committee of three House members and three senators will attempt to strike a compromise.

Democratic Member to Quit Election Commission

New York Times – A Democrat on the Federal Election Commission is quitting her term early because of the gridlock that has gripped the panel, offering President Trump an unexpected chance to shape political spending rules.

The commissioner, Ann M. Ravel, said during an interview that she would send Mr. Trump her letter of resignation this week. She pointed to a series of deadlocked votes between the panel’s three Democrats and three Republicans that she said left her little hope the group would ever be able to rein in campaign finance abuses.

“The ability of the commission to perform its role has deteriorated significantly,” said Ms. Ravel, who has sparred bitterly with the Republican election commissioners during her three years on the panel. She added, “I think I can be more effective on the outside.”

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Written by Pamela Getz

Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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SPLASH! News for February 20, 2017