Protests are spreading across the country as tensions grow around the counting of ballots in key states. Joe Biden remains confident in his lead over Donald Trump, who finally appeared in public last night to deliver a low-energy, but still unhinged, rant.
Meanwhile, you might be able to guess that Jared Kushner would make for a bad landlord. But new reporting shows he’s basically a villain from a Charles Dickens story.
And lastly, Bay Area residents this week elected the youngest state lawmaker California has seen in some eighty years. He’s a former gig worker who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Joe Biden said yesterday he had QUOTE no doubt ENDQUOTE that he and Kamala Harris would win the White House. He leads Donald Trump in the popular vote by more than 3.8 million votes. According to the New York Times, twenty seven different combinations of the remaining states would give Biden the presidency, while only four different combinations would re-elect Trump. One path would result in an electoral college tie.
The Times reports that Biden increased his lead in Nevada by about four thousand votes yesterday and was eroding Trump’s leads in Georgia and Pennsylvania, while holding on to his modest lead in Arizona. In Nevada, Biden holds a slim lead; the count is expected to go on for days. In North Carolina, a final count won’t be done until November 12th.
Trump rambled and ranted from the White House podium last night, telling more lies about QUOTE illegal votes ENDQUOTE and imaginary conspiracies against him.
Meanwhile, Biden campaign attorney Bob Bauer accused Trump’s campaign of filing meritless lawsuits meant to misinform the public and disrupt the vote count, according to the Washington Post. Judges in Georgia and Michigan ruled against Trump’s campaign yesterday. However, a state appellate court in Pennsylvania granted its request to force Philadelphia election officials to let its election observers within six feet of where workers are counting ballots.
There have been “count every vote” protests in protests in Minneapolis, Seattle, Phoenix, Philadelphia, New York City and Portland, Oregon. There were also pro-Trump scenes in Detroit, where the Trumpies want to “stop the count,” and in Phoenix, where they want the vote count to continue. Some of the Trump supporters were armed. The Associated Press reports that election officials in several states yesterday that they are worried about the safety of their staffs amid a stream of threats and gatherings of angry protesters outside their doors, drawn by Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud. Stay tuned...
KUSHNER COMPANY EVICTING HUNDREDS
From the Washington Post comes this story of a heartless landlord seeking to evict hundreds of tenants in the middle of a pandemic. His name? Jared Kushner. Yes, I’m talking about Trump’s son-in-law.
A state eviction moratorium currently bars Maryland courts from removing tenants from their homes, and a federal moratorium offers renters additional protection. But Westminster Management, an apartment company owned in part by Kushner, has been sending letters to tenants threatening legal fees and then filing eviction notices in court. Those notices are now piling up as part of a national backlog of tens of thousands of cases, the Post reports.
Many of the Westminster tenants facing eviction live on low or middle incomes in modest apartments in the Baltimore area. Some of them told the Post they fell behind on rent after losing jobs or wages due to the pandemic. Those facing eventual eviction proceedings include a nurse, health-care administrators and an unemployed single mother.
When he joined Trump in the White House, Kushner maintained ownership in Westminster, which paid him $1.65 million in 2019. Last year Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh sued the company for its management practices, alleging that the company collects illegitimate fees for applications and evictions, and illegally claims tenants’ security deposits.
Tashika Booker, a Westminster resident, called the eviction threats heartless. Booker told the Post QUOTE The way they’re treating us is just making us feel like we’re nothing. It feels like we’re disposable ENDQUOTE. With any luck, Kushner is the one who’ll be disposed of soon.
CALIFORNIA YOUTH CANDIDATE WINS
Progressives didn’t get everything they wanted this week. Far from it. But there were some promising signs. The Los Angeles Times highlighted the story of Alex Lee, who on Tuesday overwhelmingly won a seat in the California Assembly, becoming the youngest state legislator to assume office in more than eighty years.
The Democrat from San Jose is twenty-five years old, lives with his mom and, up until recently, was working part time for an app-based delivery service to make ends meet, the Times reports. When he is sworn into office, he will also be the first California legislator to have come out as bisexual.
Lee easily defeated Republican Bob Brunton for the Bay Area district that encompasses San Jose, Santa Clara and Fremont. In the March primary, Lee split the vote with seven other Democrats, allowing Brunton to finish on top, according to the Times.
Lee said his his politics align with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who endorsed the young Democrat’s bid for the Assembly. Lee said he plans to keep his campaign pledge of not accepting corporate or special interest money while in office.
Lee told the Times that one of his first bills will be to limit corporate money in state elections, which he says is QUOTE polluting our democracy ENDQUOTE. He opposed Proposition 22, the $200-million campaign led by Uber and Lyft to strip gig workers of labor rights, which passed on Tuesday. He said his opinions on Proposition 22 were solidified while working for an app-based delivery company, which was risky and low-wage work during the pandemic.
Lee will join a Democrat-dominated Legislature, where fellow lawmakers are, on average, twice his age. Give ’em hell Alex! And remember, folks: you too can run for office.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has reportedly prepared a resignation letter. Before he submits it, Esper is helping draft legislation that will strip names of Confederate leaders from military bases, which Trump opposes. One defense official told NBC News that Esper QUOTE prefers to be remembered as someone who was fired because he stood up to the president, rather than being remembered as 'Yesper,' ENDQUOTE. But it’s such a perfect nickname!
The former police officers charged with killing George Floyd will be tried together in March, after a judge in Minneapolis denied defense motions for separate trials. The judge ruled that separate trials for the four officers would place an undue burden on prosecutors, the Washington Post reports. He also ruled that jurors in the case will be anonymous to the public and partially sequestered, and that there can be audio and video coverage of the trial.
The Guardian reports that Bolivia’s exiled former president, Evo Morales, is set to make a triumphant homecoming next week at the head of an eight hundred-vehicle convoy. After setting out from Argentina, Morales plans to arrive in the town of Chimoré on Tuesday, exactly a year after fleeing the same location on a Mexican airforce jet following a military coup backed by the United States. His ultimate political intentions are uncertain but, in the meantime, a big party is expected.
The Washington State supreme court yesterday ruled that dairy workers are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than forty hours a week, the AP reports. The decision is expected to apply to the rest of the agriculture industry, as justices deemed the state law exempting farmworkers from certain labor rights to be unconstitutional. It’s the first time a state has granted farmworkers overtime protections through the courts.
¡Si se puede!
That's all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report for the latest on the election and more.
NOV 6, 2020 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn