Friday Odds & Ends Dec. 16, 2016

James Public Advocates Nationally

Public Advocate Letitia James

Public Advocate Letitia James, who is also a member of the Electorial College, which will officially elect the president of the United States on Monday, demanded today that all Electors get to the bottom of the possible relationship between President-elect Donald Trump and the Russian Government amid the possibility they conspired to swing the election.

“It entails a responsibility to select a person on behalf of the American people who is best qualified to serve our country and I take that role very seriously. It has become abundantly clear that in order to properly carry out this job, all Electors across the country must receive a full briefing on the alarming reports of communication and interference that transpired between Donald Trump, his campaign, and the Russian government,” said James.

“Our system can never function in darkness – a true democracy can only serve the people in sunlight,” she added.

James comments came as she signed onto a bipartisan letter calling on the Director of National Intelligence to brief the Electors on “whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations because these matters directly impact the core factors in deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.”

To read the full letter, click here.

De Blasio Appointment Could Portend To National Ambitions

Mayor Bill de Blasio

If Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t get indicted on campaign related infractions and gets re-elected, look for him to spend a good deal of his final term jockeying for a national office including the presidency.

That after de Blasio this week announced the appointment of Michael Casca as his new Communications Director. Casca, who will start the new gig in January, comes to City Hall after serving as deputy communications director for Senator Bernie Sanders and director of rapid response for Sanders’ presidential campaign. Casca has also served as an aide to U.S.Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is the frontrunner to become the new Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

De Blasio has always been ambitious. KCP recalls covering him as a Park Slope City Councilman, who while doing an adeqaute job, always seemed to be angling for the next higher office. As public advocate his record was spotty, and in particular one well placed source said he was hardly in his Manhattan office, and even then seemed to be plotting out his run for mayor.

Once elected as mayor, de Blasio traveled the country trying exceedingly hard to position himself as the nation’s leading progressive official, even founding the national Progressive Agenda Committee, and in his failed attempt to hold a Progressive Forum in Iowa with all the then presidential candidates.

While de Blasio is no fan of Trump, he is a student of politics, and Trumps emergence, seemingly out of nowhere to win the presidency, is certainly something de Blasio may be looking at.

On the down side, de Blasio comes straight out of the school of ‘Identity Politics’ that has all but written off the working class white votes, which is clearly one of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost in the rust belt and midwestern states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin – all of which have considerable populations of blue-collar Democrats.

De Blasio, though, is good at building an organization, and in four years it is doubtful that there will be a similar scenario of this past election, where Hillary Clinton was all, but plugged in to become the Democratic nominee.

With a larger field of candidates running, de Blasio might do well, particularly during the primaries, which often caters to the Party’s left-wing base.

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