Politics - The Outlook https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics Tue, 16 Oct 2018 18:27:51 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb outlook@monmouth.edu (The Outlook) Amid National Controversy, Kavanaugh Confirmed to the Supreme Court https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6227-amid-national-controversy-kavanaugh-confirmed-to-the-supreme-court https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6227-amid-national-controversy-kavanaugh-confirmed-to-the-supreme-court Kavanaugh ConfirmedThe Senate voted 50-48 to send Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday, Oct. 6.

After an extensive confirmation process in the midst of allegations of sexual misconduct and a supplemental FBI investigation of the nominee, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court later Saturday evening.

Just 24 hours prior to the confirmation vote, there was confusion as to whether or not Senate Republicans had enough votes to confirm him to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s status was sealed when Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine who supports reproductive rights, announced that she would vote to confirm him, expressing her confidence that he would not attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Collins said that, while she felt one of Kavanaugh’s accusers Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about the alleged sexual assault “very compelling,” she was also concerned about the lack of witnesses to support Ford’s accusations.

“I feel very comfortable that I’ve made the right decision,” Collins told 60 Minutes in their interview. “I could not come to another decision, based on the testimony and the evidence that I reviewed.”

Joseph Patten, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science, pointed to the Kavanaugh hearings as proof of the deep social divisions in American society.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (MATTHEW ENGEL | CONTRIBUTING WRITER) Politics Wed, 10 Oct 2018 10:51:59 -0400
Democrat Ahead in Republican District https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6226-democrat-ahead-in-republican-district https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6226-democrat-ahead-in-republican-district default article imageDemocratic candidate Mikie Sherrill holds a lead over Republican candidate Jay Webber in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District (NJ-11) race, according to a recent poll released by the University’s Polling Institute on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI), the district has a score of R+3, meaning it tends to vote Republican.

Currently, Sherrill has 50 percent of the vote in the race, and Webber has 43 percent.

President Donald Trump won the district by one point in the 2016 election, but according to the recent poll, only 43 percent of NJ-11 voters approve of his performance in office.

“Even though Republicans have the edge in party affiliation, many are not happy with the president or key GOP initiatives such as the tax reform plan,” Patrick Murray, Director of the University’s Polling Institute, says in the report.

The poll reported that the Republican tax reform plan passed in December is particularly unpopular in the district.

 Despite its largely wealthier demographic, due to the adverse impact of the plan’s cap placed on the deduction for state and local income, property, and sales taxes in New Jersey, many voters in NJ-11 disapprove of the GOP.

34 percent of voters in the district “strongly disapprove” and 25 percent “strongly approve” of the tax reform.

“This is a tough year for Republicans to run in Democratic states or in swing districts, particularly because the president’s party does not do well in the first midterm election,” said Joseph Patten, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (NICHOLAS COSCARELLI | CO-SENIOR/POLITICS EDITOR) Politics Wed, 10 Oct 2018 10:49:17 -0400
Narrow Republican Lead in Pennsylvania Congressional Race https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6224-narrow-republican-lead-in-pennsylvania-congressional-race https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6224-narrow-republican-lead-in-pennsylvania-congressional-race default article imageRepublican incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick has a four point advantage over Democratic challenger Scott Wallace in the race for Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District (PA-01), according to a recent poll released by the University’s Polling Institute on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Stephen Chapman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science, explained that the most important aspect at play in the PA-01 race is that it will be one of the first general elections in which the state will be using its redrawn Congressional District maps, after the former maps were considered unconstitutionally gerrymandered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

 “Pennsylvania was seen as one of the most gerrymandered states in the country,” he said. “State-wide, this should offer Democrats an advantage in terms of vote share and seat distribution. Specifically for [PA-01], Fitzpatrick is the incumbent in [PA-08, from the previous map].”

 Fitzpatrick won his election with nearly 54 percent of the vote in 2016. At the time, his district included Philadelphia suburbs, which leaned more Republican.

But the new PA-01 district now includes parts of Lansdale, which tends to lean much more Democratic, Chapman explained.

The newly drawn districts create the potential for a close race on Election Day.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (NICHOLAS COSCARELLI | CO-SENIOR/POLITICS EDITOR) Politics Wed, 10 Oct 2018 10:47:05 -0400
White House Limits Kavanaugh Probe https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6201-white-house-limits-kavanaugh-probe https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6201-white-house-limits-kavanaugh-probe default article imageThe Trump administration has prevented the FBI from investigating Julie Swetnick’s allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, multiple White House officials briefed on the matter told NBC News on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Multiple White House officials, under anonymity, confirmed to NBC News that the White House counsel’s office has given the FBI a list of specific witnesses they are permitted to interview in the reopened background investigation into Kavanaugh, an unexpected method which deviates from Senator Jeff Flake’s (R-Arizona) request following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote for floor confirmation last Friday, Sept. 28.

Under the administration’s restrictions, FBI investigators are not permitted to obtain information about witness and co-conspirator Mark Judge’s employment at the supermarket where Dr. Blasey Ford testified she saw him working which, “would [otherwise] help better narrow the date of the assault she testified about to the Senate Judiciary Committee,” said Katherine Parkin, Ph.D., a professor of history and gender studies.

The FBI is also prohibited from investigating Kavanaugh’s multiple accounts of drinking in college, which Parkin said, “will of course have tremendous bearing on the testimony provided by his second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, and her account that he stuck his penis in her face, as they hung out in a group of friends at Yale.”

Because of the recent limitations on the FBI’s probe, Parkin said, “The sincere call for a FBI investigation, sparked by two women [Maria Gallagher and Anna Maria Archilla] who confronted Senator Flake about their experience having been sexually assaulted, has instead immediately devolved into a farce.”

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (NICHOLAS COSCARELLI | DEPUTY MANAGING/POLITICS EDITOR) Politics Wed, 03 Oct 2018 12:50:09 -0400
The “Trade-Off” of U.S. Tariff War with China https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6200-the-trade-off-of-u-s-tariff-war-with-china https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6200-the-trade-off-of-u-s-tariff-war-with-china default article imagePresident Donald Trump issued new tariffs on approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, on Monday, Sept. 17.

The first cycle of ten percent tariffs were already been in effect since Monday, Sept. 24.

The administration’s recent tariffs are set to reach a rate of 25 percent by Jan. 1, 2019, and come in addition to the $50 billion worth of goods that were already taxed earlier this year.

In response to the first round of tariffs, China countered by implementing tariff’s they import from the U.S.

As a result, the Trump administration enacted the new tariffs. Nearly half of all Chinese imports to the U.S. now have levies or tariffs on them.

The tariffs will only affect certain Chinese goods; selective products established or listed by the Trump administration.

The first round of tariffs focused primarily on industrial equipment, whereas these tariffs affect a range of products such as electronics, food, and clothing.

Kenneth Mitchell, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology, explained that it is important to keep in mind that China and the U.S. are two of the biggest economies in the world.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (ALBERT SHALOM | STAFF WRITER) Politics Wed, 03 Oct 2018 12:47:57 -0400
University Hosts Senator Kyrillos as Public Servant-in-Residence Panelist https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6199-university-hosts-senator-kyrillos-as-public-servant-in-residence-panelist https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6199-university-hosts-senator-kyrillos-as-public-servant-in-residence-panelist Senator Kyrillos Public ServantThe University hosted an open-forum panel discussion on pension and benefit reform with the Public Servant-in-Residence program in the Wilson Auditorium on Friday, Sept. 28.

The Office of the President and the Department of Political Science and Sociology coordinated the Public Servant-in-Residence program, and is featuring former New Jersey state-Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) as its 2018-2019 Public Servant-in-Residence.

Throughout the academic year, Kyrillos will be leading four panel discussions, focusing on pension and benefits reform, bridging the partisan divide, jobs and the economy, and oceans and shore protections, respectively.

In addition to Kyrillos, the first panel included New Jersey Senate President Sen. Stephen Sweeney (D-Glouster); Richard Keevey, a former-Budget Director and Comptroller for New Jersey; Tom Byrne, former-Chair of Senate Investment Council, and member of the New Jersey Pension and Health Benefits Study Commission; Peter Reinhart, Esq., Director of the University’s Kislak Real Estate Institute, and a member of the Fiscal Policy Working Group; and Gordon MacInnes, a former New Jersey state-Senator, and President and Chief Executive of New Jersey Policy Perspective.

“The program was created to provide a venue for public officials to share their expertise with students and the campus community at Monmouth University,” writes University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., in an email inviting students to attend the forum.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (MEGAN RUGGLES | CONTRIBUTING WRITER) Politics Wed, 03 Oct 2018 12:46:28 -0400
Democratic Lean in NJ 7th District https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6151-democratic-lean-in-nj-7th-district https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6151-democratic-lean-in-nj-7th-district default article imageDemocratic candidate Tom Malinowski narrowly leads incumbent Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District race, according to a recent poll released by the University’s Polling Institute on Thursday, Sept. 20.

This district includes all of Hunterdon County, and parts of Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties; and it has been represented by Lance since 2008.

According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI), the district has a score of R+3, meaning it tends to vote Republican.

Republican candidate, former-Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney won the district by six points in the 2012 presidential election.

However, the district swung by one point for Democratic candidate, former-Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

“It’s a brutal campaign season for moderate Republicans running in blue states like New Jersey,” said Joseph Patten, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology, and an associate professor of political science.

“Many pollsters are predicting a pink wave of women voters that could potentially tip the scales for Democrats against moderate Republicans, which the current controversy involving Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh makes worse,” he added. 

Patten also attributes the Democratic lean to the recent tax reform bill passed by the Republicans in Congress last December.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (NICHOLAS COSCARELLI | DEPUTY MANAGING/POLITICS EDITOR) Politics Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:21:49 -0400
Puerto Rico Struggles, A Year After Hurricane Maria https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6150-puerto-rico-struggles-a-year-after-hurricane-maria https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6150-puerto-rico-struggles-a-year-after-hurricane-maria default article imagePeople gathered in San Juan, Puerto Rico to mourn the thousands who died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria last year, on Thursday, Sept. 20. Government officials denounced the inactive role which the U.S. federal government has played in recovering. 

Congress has invested billions of dollars in efforts to help reconstruct Puerto Rico after the Category-4 hurricane hit the island last year, but devastation continues to ensue.

Danica Coto, from The Associated Press, and based in Puerto Rico, said that eight months after the storm, “major power outages are still being reported, tens of thousands of insurance claims are pending, and nearly 60,000 homes have temporary roofs unable to withstand a Category-1 hurricane.”  

The mayor of San Juan expressed frustration with U.S. relief efforts through the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) and other federal assistance programs.

She told CNN in an interview, “The [Trump] Administration killed the Puerto Ricans with neglect. The Trump Administration led us to believe they were helping when they weren’t up to par, and they didn’t allow other countries to help us.”

According to Ralph Cuseligo, DSW., an assistant professor of social work, “the U.S. government could have done more to provide aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of Maria.”

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (MEGAN RUGGLES | CONTRIBUTING WRITER) Politics Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:20:49 -0400
Supreme Court Stays Decision to Disclose “Dark Money” Political Contributions https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6149-supreme-court-stays-decision-to-disclose-dark-money-political-contributions https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6149-supreme-court-stays-decision-to-disclose-dark-money-political-contributions Supreme Court Dark MoneyThe U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ruling of a lower federal court, which requires all non-profit groups to disclose the identity of any donor giving more than $200 when such groups advertise for or against political candidates, on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

The ruling was a result of a six-year-long case brought on by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.

According to its official website, CREW “uses aggressive legal action, in-depth research, and bold communications to reduce the influence of money in politics and help foster a government that is ethical and accountable.”

In Oct. 2012, CREW filed a complaint to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), requesting that a conservative non-profit group called Crossroads GPS should be required to disclose the names of their donors.

The request was issued after Crossroads GPS ran a $6 million campaign in opposition to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

On Aug. 3, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted CREW’s Motion for Summary Judgment and denied the FEC’s and Crossroads GPS’s cross-motions.

According to the FEC official litigation records, the court “stayed the vacatur” for 45 days to provide time for the FEC to issue interim regulations consistent with the Federal Election Campaign Act.

The Court also vacated the Commission’s dismissal of an administrative complaint against Crossroads GPS and remanded the matter for reconsideration.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (ALBERT SHALOM | STAFF WRITER) Politics Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:19:14 -0400
Protests Continue During Kavanaugh’s Hearings: Women’s Rights and Roe v. Wade https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6125-protests-continue-during-kavanaugh-s-hearings-women-s-rights-and-roe-v-wade https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6125-protests-continue-during-kavanaugh-s-hearings-women-s-rights-and-roe-v-wade Kavanaugh Hearings 1Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh attended a hearing with Senators to discuss his stance on abortion on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

A group of women dressed in red gowns and white caps stood outside of the hearing room in silent protest.

As the hearings continue for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, protests from groups opposing his appointment have increased.

 During Kavanaugh’s testimony on abortion, fifteen women lined the balcony above the hearing room, overlooking the Senate offices.

The women’s costumes were meant to carry a solemn message from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel A Handmaid’s Tale, which portrays a world wherein women are devoid of basic human rights: namely, control over their own bodies.

 These women are members of Demand Justice, an organization which strongly opposes Kavanaugh’s confirmation based on his prior rulings on abortion and healthcare as a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge.

 Protests have not only taken place outside of Congress and the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., but also through fundraising to target Senators who are undecided about their confirmation vote.

Many activists involved have been arrested for disrupting the confirmation hearings, protesting their concerns over Kavanaugh’s stance on social issues. These protests have led to criticism from Senators, such as Republican Benjamin Sasse from Nebraska, who claims that the Supreme Court is not the appropriate venue to debate politics.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (MEGAN RUGGLES | CONTRIBUTING WRITER & MATT ENGEL | CONTRIBUTING WRITER) Politics Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:30:03 -0400
Senior Trump Official Publishes Anonymous Op-ed https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6111-senior-trump-official-publishes-anonymous-op-ed https://outlook.monmouth.edu/index.php/politics/154-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6111-senior-trump-official-publishes-anonymous-op-ed Trump Official AnonymousThe New York Times published an anonymous op-ed at the request of a senior official within the Trump Administration, which contained claims that are devastating to Trump’s presidency, on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

In the op-ed entitled “I Am Part of the Resistance inside the Trump Administration,” the author, identified as a “senior official in the Trump administration,” asserts that “the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”

The unnamed official attributes President Trump’s behavior to his “amorality.”

In the prelude to the article, the New York Times added a statement saying “[they] believe that publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to [their] readers.”

Historically speaking, anonymous sources are common in matters of national, political news; yet, it is rare occurrence when editorial pieces are published anonymously.

Julian Garcia, a professor of journalism, affirms the importance of anonymity in certain circumstances saying, “For those who believe in an open and free press, anonymous sources are important.” In establishing the weight anonymity carries in journalism, Garcia commented on the material published.

“The revelations were not the least bit shocking to me because I feel like many of us knew this already, regarding the president’s behavior. But to have someone so close to him, working in his administration, confirm this, was huge,” he said.

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (MEG RUGGLES | CONTRIBUTING WRITER) Politics Wed, 12 Sep 2018 13:55:03 -0400