Bernie Sanders to seek U.S. presidency again in 2020 | Reuters


U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the progressive populist who mounted a fierce challenge to front-runner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 White House campaign, said on Tuesday he will again seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020.

Sanders, 77, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, announced his candidacy in an email to supporters, pledging to build a vast grassroots movement to confront the special interests that he said dominate government and politics.

Source: Bernie Sanders to seek U.S. presidency again in 2020 | Reuters

Amy Klobuchar’s novel pitch for the Democratic nomination: Pragmatism | CNNPolitics


Sen. Amy Klobuchar seems willing to say one word that often goes unspoken by presidential candidates eager to win over voters: No.

At a CNN town hall with voters here on Monday night, the Minnesota Democrat offered few sugar-coated promises on causes that have become popular among the party’s progressive base. Instead, she gave detail-laden answers about why there are no easy fixes to these challenges, despite what they might hear from other Democrats.

With her presidential campaign only eight days old, Klobuchar is testing the balance between pragmatism and purity, while resisting the urge to pander to the party’s progressive wing.

Source: Amy Klobuchar’s novel pitch for the Democratic nomination: Pragmatism – CNNPolitics

Political deadlock beckons as Spain’s PM calls April election | Reuters


Spain exited a deep economic slump in 2013 but has been plagued since then by political volatility, driven by deep divisions over an independence drive in Catalonia and the emergence of new, populist parties.

Sanchez, who took office in June at the head of a minority government holding less than a quarter of parliamentary seats, called the election after his former Catalan nationalist allies refused to back his budget.

“One cannot govern without a budget,” Sanchez said in a televised address that bore hallmarks of a campaign speech, laying out his government’s achievements and saying he was seeking a broader majority to pursue a social reform agenda.

Source: Political deadlock beckons as Spain’s PM calls April election | Reuters

Venezuelans Abroad Face Painful Choices About Returning Home | US News


In recent weeks, Juan Guaidó, the leader of the opposition-controlled Congress and self-declared interim president, appears to have harnessed public fury against the floundering Maduro regime in a game-changing manner.

Guaidó has offered Venezuelans a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel with the possibility of forcing free and fair new elections.

Challenging Maduro’s democratic legitimacy and labeling him a “usurper,” the youthful lawmaker has won recognition from most Western democracies and, crucially, control of the international bank accounts into which Venezuela’s petro-dollars are pouring.

He has also politically checkmated the regime into blockading a border bridge to prevent desperately needed international food aid arriving from Colombia.

Yet even if Guaidó achieves his goal, living conditions are unlikely to ease up for ordinary citizens anytime soon.

Source: Venezuelans Abroad Face Painful Choices About Returning Home | Best Countries | US News

New York Holds the Power in Congress | US News


In the new, Democratic-controlled House, New York rules.

The city – which has endured high-level barbs about its finances, its safety, its immigrant population and even its value system – is now positioned to fight back, holding what experts say may be unprecedented power for a single metropolitan area.

“It’s a point of pride – these are people who were chosen by their peers to lead in the House,” says Rebecca Kagan Sternhell, deputy director of federal affairs for the City of New York. “Democrats taking back the House is awesome, full stop,” Sternhell adds.

“But having all these New Yorkers in positions of power, representing the region and progressive values we hold dear, … it feels powerful. It feels special,” she says.

The city and environs have five full committee chairmanships …

Source: New York Holds the Power in Congress | The Civic Report | US News

Cyber chief pushes audits as key to election security | FCW


The nation’s top cybersecurity official told Congress that the ability to audit voting machines after elections is critical for ballot security.

“The area that I think we need to invest the most in the nation is ensuring auditability across infrastructure,” Christopher Krebs, head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said at a Feb. 13 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee. “If you don’t know what’s happening and you can’t check back at what’s happening in the system — you don’t have security.”

Source: Cyber chief pushes audits as key to election security — FCW

Democrats swear off big money, but will it hurt their 2020 White House chances? | Reuters


“I’m not taking a dime of PAC money in this campaign. I’m not taking a single check from a federal lobbyist. I’m not taking applications from billionaires who want to run a Super PAC on my behalf. And I challenge every other candidate who asks for your vote in this primary to say exactly the same thing,” Warren said during her rally last Saturday in Massachusetts.

Warren’s move regarding money from lobbyists and political action committees (PACs) – entities formed by corporations, unions and others to raise and spend money to back or oppose candidates – highlights the tricky role money is expected to play in a Democratic primary battle that could draw dozens of candidates vying to challenge Republican President Donald Trump.

Source: Democrats swear off big money, but will it hurt their 2020 White House chances? | Reuters

Nigeria’s election: young voters, old candidates | Reuters


Two men in their 70s are contesting a Nigerian presidential election in which half the registered voters are aged between 18 and 35.

The rest of the more than 70 presidential candidates lack access to funds available to Buhari and Atiku through parties that have governed Nigeria since military rule ended in 1999 – the All Progressives Congress and People’s Democratic Party.

The two men have also developed patronage networks over decades in politics.

Source: Nigeria’s election: young voters, old candidates | Reuters

Related>

Under Siege, Centrist Democrats Still See a Pathway for Victory in 2020 | US News


Remember when “liberal” was the dirtiest word in American politics?

During the late ’80s and early ’90s, Republicans effectively weaponized the label to portray their Democratic foes as socially permissive and economically irresponsible.

When Bill Clinton sought the presidency, he campaigned as a “third way” Democrat, pursuing a centrist path that was neither beholden to the left nor the right. The ideological repositioning won him two terms, with his 1996 re-election achieving the largest margin of victory for any presidential candidate in the last 35 years.

“The charge of liberalism, if it sticks,” wrote The New York Times then, “can be fatal to a Democrat seeking the White House.”

As the 2020 presidential campaign intensifies with fresh Democratic candidacies almost every week, the prevailing question bubbling inside the party is no longer if one can viably run as a liberal.

Conversely, it’s if there’s still room for a centrist to thrive.

Source: Under Siege, Centrist Democrats Still See a Pathway for Victory in 2020 | The Run | US News

Democrats must act now to avoid an undemocratic 2020 outcome

null
.. Paradoxically, this flowering of Democratic enthusiasm to eject a detested incumbent from the White House may undermine the effort to do so. The problem is the juxtaposition of what promises to be massive candidate field and delegate-selection rules adopted long ago by the Democratic National Committee. It is too late for the DNC to change those rules. But states can solve the problem on their own.

The DNC set rules decades ago to discourage fringe candidates from remaining in the race and to reduce the power of large states to dominate candidate selection.

It did so by authorizing several small states to hold primaries or caucuses early and by requiring a form of proportional representation when translating votes into pledged delegates.

The rules also require a candidate to win 15 percent of the primary or caucus vote in each of the state’s congressional districts to get any pledged delegates at all in that district.

Source: Democrats must act now to avoid an undemocratic 2020 outcome