De Blasio: I’m ‘much less hopeful’ about working with Trump

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday he has largely given up hope that he will be able to work with the Trump administration on any policy issues.

“I am much less hopeful,” de Blasio, a Democrat, told POLITICO New York’s Laura Nahmias in an on-stage interview in Miami. “Look, I had massive disagreements with the platform Donald Trump ran on and the things he said about the people of this country and obviously the people of my city. But again, there was that hope immediately after the election that maybe there would be moderation, maybe some things were rhetoric, other things would be different in practice.”

“Sadly, we have not seen that,” he continued. “The rhetoric has actually played out in practice.”

“The hope for some moderation, for some balance, is largely gone,” he added, citing Trump’s actions on immigration and the health care proposal making its way through Congress.

De Blasio said he last spoke with a representative from the administration about six weeks ago, when he discussed issues including health care, infrastructure, the budget and tax policy with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The mayor said he raised his concerns that the administration’s proposals, like those on health care and the budget, would harm the economy.

The mayor said he intends to keep a dialogue open “to the extent I can” on issues such as security for Trump Tower, “but if you’re talking about the big policy areas, I think the action is entirely in the Congress, from my point of view.”

“It’s clear the White House is not trying to work with mayors,” he said.

De Blasio, who is trying to work with other mayors to lobby against the Republican health care bill unveiled in the Senate on Thursday, offered a sharp critique of that proposal, arguing that it represents a “clear and present danger” for cities and their residents.

“You’re talking about fundamentally undermining health care in our cities,” he said.

The mayor criticized Republicans for pushing to vote on the bill next week and urged them to slow down and moderate the proposal.

De Blasio also sounded off on the current state of the Democratic Party. He said Democrats need to unite behind a “consistent” progressive economic message to win in 2018, which he said they failed to do in 2016 despite having what he described as the right platform.

Asked who the party’s de facto leader is right now, he said there isn’t one, though he praised Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), as the most visible leader who has “really rallied the troops effectively.”

“We don’t have a singular leader at this moment, and we don’t have a singular message,” de Blasio said.

He declined to weigh in on whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, frequently discussed as a possible presidential candidate, would be the right person to run in 2020.

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/23/bill-de-blasio-trump-no-cooperation-239898

House to vote on immigration bills next week

House Republicans are preparing to take up a pair of bills next week that crack down on illegal immigration, according to leadership sources, in a bid to carry out President Donald Trump’s promise of tougher enforcement.

One of the bills to see a floor vote, dubbed Kate’s Law, boosts penalties for immigrants who try to re-enter the United States after being deported. It is named after Kate Steinle, a young woman who was shot and killed in San Francisco by an immigrant who had been deported repeatedly yet returned. Trump frequently discussed the killing on the campaign trail last year.

The second is legislation that goes after so-called sanctuary cities — localities that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities, including by refusing to hold an immigrant in jail longer just so federal officials can pick him or her up to be deported. Sanctuary cities, usually liberal jurisdictions such as New York, have also been a major Trump target.

The "No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act" would toughen penalties for sanctuary cities in multiple ways. For example, it would require that cities and counties comply with orders from federal immigration officials, such as "detainers" that keep immigrants in jail so they can be picked up for deportation. It would also bar Homeland Security and Justice Department grants from sanctuary cities that don’t comply.

The legislation, written by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), also expands mandatory detention policies to cover immigrants with drunken driving violations and those who have had their visa revoked.

"The House Judiciary Committee is working to improve our nation’s immigration laws and policy, and today I have introduced two, straightforward bills to enhance public safety," Goodlatte said in a statement Friday. "We owe it to the families of those who lost loved ones to take action to prevent these horrible crimes. They have waited far too long.”

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/23/illegal-immigration-bill-house-vote-239897

Magistrate fines Kobach but won’t release Trump meeting memo — yet

A federal magistrate has fined Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach $1,000 for presenting misleading arguments in a voting-related lawsuit, but won’t permit — for now — the release of a policy memo Kobach prepared for President-elect Donald Trump.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara issued the ruling Friday in a lawsuit challenging a Kansas law requiring voters to present proof of U.S. citizenship when they register.

O’Hara said Kobach and his legal team “made patently misleading representations to the court” about the memo Kobach was photographed taking into a Nov. 20 meeting with Trump as well as another document proposing changes to the National Voter Registration Act, better known as the motor-voter law.

“The court cannot say that defendant flat-out lied in representing the content of the disputed documents,” the magistrate wrote in his 24-page decision.

But O’Hara added: “As officers of the court, defense counsel have a duty of candor to the court and to opposing counsel. Justice requires that all involved in our legal system work to ensure that a true and accurate picture of the facts is presented to the court. This means that parties and their attorneys must respond to discovery fairly and accurately and that counsel assert only arguments that are supported by facts.

“The court urges defense counsel to garner good reputations for themselves by taking care in the future to act honestly and graciously towards the court and opposing counsel,” the magistrate declared.

Pursuant to a court order, the Republican secretary of state turned over the policy memo to the plaintiffs in the suit but designated it as “confidential” — a marking that prevents the plaintiffs and their attorneys from making the memo public at this time.

Plaintiffs in the case, represented by the Kansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, asked O’Hara to remove the “confidential” designation. The magistrate, however, declined to do so, citing provisions in Kansas’ public records law protecting policy recommendations from mandatory disclosure.

Despite the ruling, the memo Kobach took into the meeting with Trump may well wind up in the public domain eventually. O’Hara suggested that if one of parties files the memo in court as part of formal pleadings in the case, it is likely to be made public.

Kobach could ask a district court judge to review the ruling. A spokeswoman for Kobach did not respond to email and phone messages seeking comment on the decision.

Kobach, who is a leader of efforts to tighten voting restrictions and restrict illegal immigration, was widely rumored as a potential pick for a top Trump administration post. However, no such appointment came to pass.

Last month, Trump did tap Kobach to serve as vice chairman of a presidential commission on election integrity. That group is tasked with following up on Trump’s as-yet-unsubstantiated claim that between 3 million and 5 million illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 election.

Source: http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/06/23/kris-kobach-fined-voting-lawsuit-trump-memo-239910

Pro-Trump group to target GOP Sen. Heller over health care bill

America First Policies, a group started by some of President Donald Trump’s campaign advisers, is set to launch an advertising blitz against Nevada’s Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who on Friday came out against the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill without significant changes.

Heller is up for re-election in 2018 and is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans in that cycle.

The ad blitz is backed by more than a million dollars, according to a source familiar with the planning, and the digital component is set to launch this weekend. The television and radio component will launch next week. Heller, according to the official, has also indicated privately to the White House that he is unlikely to get to “yes” on the current Senate version of the bill.

For America First Policies, the ad blitz is an opportunity to show that groups aligned with Trump’s base are ready to go to bat for the president.

"You do not want to mess with Donald Trump’s base in a primary, particularly in a place like Nevada,” said the source. “This kind of money in Nevada is real. … This is a beginning.”

The ad campaign will paint Heller as a “typical politician,” the source said, and will characterize him as standing with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi against the White House.

Heller is one of a group of GOP senators that has voiced wariness about the GOP repeal bill. But, according to the official familiar with the ad planning, other senators have shown more willingness to move to yes than Heller has.

America First Policies is led by a group of Trump loyalists including Brian Walsh, former White House official Katie Walsh (no relation to Brian), Brad Parscale and Pence allies Nick Ayers and Marty Obst.

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/23/pro-trump-group-to-target-gop-sen-heller-over-health-care-bill-239911

Pro-Trump group to target GOP Sen. Heller over health care bill

America First Policies, a group started by some of President Donald Trump’s campaign advisers, is set to launch an advertising blitz against Nevada’s Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who on Friday came out against the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill without significant changes.

Heller is up for re-election in 2018 and is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans in that cycle.

The ad blitz is backed by more than a million dollars, according to a source familiar with the planning, and the digital component is set to launch this weekend. The television and radio component will launch next week. Heller, according to the official, has also indicated privately to the White House that he is unlikely to get to “yes” on the current Senate version of the bill.

For America First Policies, the ad blitz is an opportunity to show that groups aligned with Trump’s base are ready to go to bat for the president.

"You do not want to mess with Donald Trump’s base in a primary, particularly in a place like Nevada,” said the source. “This kind of money in Nevada is real. … This is a beginning.”

The ad campaign will paint Heller as a “typical politician,” the source said, and will characterize him as standing with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi against the White House.

Heller is one of a group of GOP senators that has voiced wariness about the GOP repeal bill. But, according to the official familiar with the ad planning, other senators have shown more willingness to move to yes than Heller has.

America First Policies is led by a group of Trump loyalists including Brian Walsh, former White House official Katie Walsh (no relation to Brian), Brad Parscale and Pence allies Nick Ayers and Marty Obst.

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/23/pro-trump-group-to-target-gop-sen-heller-over-health-care-bill-239911