Background Briefing: March 5, 2020


Elizabeth Warren’s Withdrawal From the Presidential Race

We begin with Elizabeth Warren’s withdrawal from the Democratic presidential race today and speak with one of her supporters, Moira Donegan, a millennial feminist writer who is a columnist for The Guardian where she had a recent article “Don’t call Elizabeth Warren’s campaign dead yet”. She joins us to discuss how the Democratic presidential field started out with a diverse bench including five women candidates but now has only one woman hanging on with about 1% support while at the end of the day it has come down to a two-person race between to old white guys, Biden who is 77 and Bernie who is 78. We discuss what happened to the Warren campaign since she started off so strongly but seemed to get lost in debating Sanders over their similar healthcare plans. Her most recent accomplishment appears to be her takedown of Mayor Bloomberg who wilted on the debate stage under her withering attack after spending hundreds of millions introducing himself via TV commercials. We speculate who Elizabeth Warren could throw her support behind and whether Biden, if he were to end up beating Bernie, might choose her as a Vice President in order to shore up the progressive vote which probably will be feeling bitter that the status quo has rallied around their candidate leaving those who hope for change out in the cold waiting for the revolution which keeps getting postponed.


Problems With Voting in California and Texas

Then we examine the election meltdowns in California and Texas where there were long lines after the polls had closed with many voters having to wait, some up to seven hours, to cast their ballot. Justin Levitt, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Law at Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles, who is an expert on election law focusing on election administration and redistricting, joins us. We discuss problems with the execution and deployment of the new $300 million’s worth of voting machines in Los Angeles and the closing of many polling places in Texas, particularly in minority communities, which many see as Republican voter suppression.


Can Bloomberg Spent the Other Half a Billion on Biden

Then finally with Michael Bloomberg spending half a billion dollars on primary elections to only end up with American Samoa, we assess whether this is a silver lining in the otherwise clouds of dark money dominating our elections in as much as no matter how rich you are, you can’t buy an election. Craig Holman, the Government Affairs Legislative Representative for Public Citizen where he works on Capitol Hill on campaign finance and governmental ethics, joins us to discuss how Bloomberg, after endorsing Biden, can find a way to spent the other half a billion he has pledged to defeat Trump.