All Articles Tagged "politics"

Parents Disapprove Of Their Kids Pursing A Career In Politics

July 8th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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iStockphoto

Politicians have a reputation for being mostly deceitful with a bit of work in government policy thrown in. No surprise perhaps that parents just don’t want their children involved in such a murky field. A new survey finds that 64 percent of Americans would cringe if their son or daughter attempted to become a politician, Gallup reports.

Only one-third of Americans would approve of their children pursuing a career in politics, the poll says. For the past 20 years, the fluctuation in the percentages has been minimal. In 1993, 61 percent disfavored a political career for their kids while only 32 percent approved.

The survey tried to get a sense of whether parents preferred a particular sex to become politicians, but the percentage remained the same between both girls and boys; only 31 percent approved politics for both their sons and daughters. Even 20 years ago, there was no significant difference between the percentage of males or females whose parents approved of a political career.

When it comes to race, however, the Gallup poll found there was a substantial difference. The survey says that 42 percent and 45 percent of non-White respondents wanted to see their son and daughter in politics, respectively. In opposition, only 26 percent and 25 percent of Whites approved a political career for their son or daughter. The explanation behind this difference may be due to the prominent number of non-Whites affiliated with the Democratic Party. As Gallup has previously reported, there is “slight tendency for Democrats to favor a political career…than Republicans,” says Gallup.

The overall low desirability for a political occupation stems from a lack of “trust in government” and lowered “confidence in political institutions, particularly Congress, ” Gallup explains. As MN recently reported, a recent poll suggests that America only has a 10 percent approval rating of the House and Senate. Gallup has frequently found that Americans would rather their children pursue a career in medicine and technology.

This study was based on 2,048 telephone interviews with adults over the age of 18 living in all 50 states.

A Study Says Female Politicans’ Fashion Doesn’t Sway Voters Much. Do You Believe It?

June 28th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in one of her famous pantsuits with the Sultan of Brunei  Hassanal Bolkiah. Credit: WENN

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in one of her famous pantsuits with the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah. Credit: WENN

Hillary Clinton is known for her obsession with pantsuits, but she really shouldn’t worry much about portraying a polished, debonair look. A recent study suggests that a female politician’s choice of clothing isn’t too impressionable on voters, reports The Washington Post.

Principal investigators Danny Hayes and Jennifer Lawless created two political characters for the study: Susan Williams and Michael Stevenson. They recruited 961 adults to read hypothetical news articles that summarized the fictional candidates’ approval of an education bill. After reading their assigned article, the respondents evaluated their fondness for the candidate on a scale of zero to 10 — 10 being the most favorable.

Two of the articles—written the same for each candidate except for names—described the Williams and Stevenson’s attire as “looking disheveled and sloppy in an ill-fitting navy blue suit and tattered red scarf (tie),” the Post said. The results showed that Williams actually had a higher favorability score than Stevenson. It seemed as if the respondents were less lenient with the male candidate’s messy attire.

“When Stevenson’s appearance was described negatively, respondents rated him less favorably in terms of leadership, competence, and his ability to get things done,” Hayes and Lawless said. The woman did not lose points on these additional dimensions when it came to her ruffled look.

For the news articles that portrayed the candidate’s look as “positive,” Williams scored higher points on integrity, empathy, professionalism, and effectiveness.  The male candidate didn’t receive the same increase in ratings. The positive article described the fictional characters as “looking fit and stylish in a classic navy blue suit and fashionable red scarf (tie),” Post explains.

This is not to say that candidates who are women should slump around in sweats, but the study shows that the public do not hold women to different standards when it comes to their attire.

It’s also important to note that newspaper coverage of the fashion choices of a politician is slim; a previous study shows that less than four percent of articles mentioned the physical appearance or clothing of a candidate, Hayes and Lawless explained. “Not only is appearance coverage not especially detrimental to female candidates, but it’s not all that prevalent,” they added.

A Jezebel story took the study to task, questioning whether this study is valid:

If we really wanted declare conclusively that voters “don’t care” how female political figures look, to sniff out how sexism plays out in public reception of politicians, we’d have to evaluate how voters respond to visual as well as print descriptions, and assess the way photographs and footage of politicians are both presented and received on both a conscious and subconscious level.

While fictional female politician Williams may get away with a sloppy get-up, I don’t think we can say the same for anyone else in the workplace. A recent survey from Office Team suggests that 80 percent of executives agreed that an employee’s attire affects his or her chances of earning a promotion.

However, the survey also shows that the perception of funky clothes in the workplace is changing. In 2007, when managers were asked “to what extent does someone’s style of dress at work influence his or her chances of being promoted”, 33 percent answered “significantly.” In 2013, only eight percent answered the same.

Slowly but surely, we might just be getting closer to a society that places less emphasis on superficial attributes and focus more on merit.

It’s Official! Cory Booker For Senate; Readies For Special Election

June 10th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Newark Mayor Cory Booker formally declared his candidacy for U.S. Senate over the weekend. He made his candidacy official at a news conference in Newark, the city where he’s served as one of the most high-profile mayors in the country since 2006. Booker will vie for the seat vacated by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died last week at age 89.

Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt are also expected to enter the Democratic primary.  So far, the sole Republican running is former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan, who runs the New Jersey office of Americans for Prosperity.

While Booker, 44, is already considered the early frontrunner, Pallone, 61, is leading on the campaign money side. He has $3.7 million compared to Booker’s $1.9 million, as of the end of March, reports The Huffington Post. Pallone has been in Congress since 1993. Holt, 64, is a former research physicist, has $800,000 raised.

Booker has some major backing already. He was joined at the news conference by former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, a former NBA player who held the Senate seat Booker is seeking for 18 years, reports HuffPo. And, Booker has been a popular mayor with the media and public. He has 1.4 million followers on Twitter – or five for every resident of Newark.

Booker’s announcement came early due to the passing of Lautenberg.  Booker had started fundraising for a 2014 Senate campaign after announcing he would not run against Christie for governor. Instead, he said he wanted to finish his term in Newark, which ends in June 2014. Although Booker has now said he would be sad to leave Newark sooner than planned, he is content that $1 billion in development projects are in the works. He also spoke of his to-do list before leaving office and it includes continuing to increase transparency and accountability in the city police department and to leave a funding mechanism for hiring police every year.

“We need someone in the United States Senate who’s actually had to work on difficult problems, who’s actually had to find people jobs, who’s actually had people standing in front of their homes and had to work on everything from getting people into food stamp programs to helping young people better afford college,” Booker said during his press conference.

Gov. Chris Christie set the primary for Aug. 13 and a special election for the balance of Lautenberg’s term for Oct. 16. The winner of the October special election will retain the seat until November 2014, when voters will elect a senator for the regular six-year term.

Booker, Pallone and Holt have long ties. Booker has fund-raised for Holt previously and all three are known to support liberal causes.

Former Miss America Erika Harold Announces Her Plans To Run for Congress

June 5th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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via Erika Harold for Congress on Facebook

via Erika Harold for Congress on Facebook

She’s ditching her sparkly evening gown and dazzling crown to wear a newly-polished suit: Miss America 2003 Erika Harold is running for the House of Representatives on the Republican ticket. She is opposing Rep. Rodney Davis in the primary, reports the East Central Illinois News-Gazette.

The 33-year-old wants to convince skeptics that her position as Miss America has prepared her for the grueling and arduous work of campaigning and representing the 13th Congressional District. She says she’s used to the national spotlight and even butted heads with the national organization behind the Miss America competition. If it were not for the flack she received, Harold believes she would not have had the tough skin to overcome the tribulations that may come her way.

“I think those experiences did prepare and equip me to handle this stage,” she said.

Despite knowing the cruel character of politics, Harold insists that her campaign for Congress against Davis will be fair. She simply wants to put her best foot forward in convincing voters she would be the best representative for Illinois. It is not her intention “to try and destroy [Davis] personally.”

Despite her stated Miss America qualifications, many are wondering what makes her qualified to take on such a taxing political arena. Harold graduated from Harvard Law and has used Miss America as a platform to pursue a desire to dabble in politics. According to her campaign website, she wants to show that her ability to perform lies not in her history in politics, but her helping hand for the community.

She has defended religious liberty as a lawyer, fought against youth violence and bullying, and she is seeking to further continue her services for Illinois, a report from Politico says. Harold has also advocated for lower taxes and limited government intervention, a report from Jezebel states.

She might very well have a shot at winning. She and faced Davis in the last election and the result was the closest race of any Republican representative voted into Congress, according to Politico. Harold is taking advantage of this narrow margin and might take the crown of Illinois’ next Republican congresswoman.

News Flash! The GOP Is Unpopular With Large Swaths Of The Voting Population

June 5th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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It’s no secret that as 2016’s presidential election approaches, Republicans need to lure African Americans, Hispanic voters, a growing minority, and other racial groups to the right to have any chance of winning. Unfortunately for the GOP, there are other alarming members of the populace that may foreshadow their failure in the next election.

Single mothers, who are overwhelmingly Democratic, are on the rise, according to the The Washington Post. A half a century ago, unmarried single mothers only represented less than one percent of America. Currently, a report by the Pew Research Center says, mommies who have children out of wedlock constitute 11 percent of the United States.

The last presidential election with Obama emerging as victorious sent unnerving shockwaves through the GOP. There was a revelation that appealing solely to White and rural-dwelling voters was not sufficient. The changing demographics of the United States are posing a threat to Republicans in office across the country.

Back in 2008, Obama gained 74 percent of the single mom vote. Now with the steady increase of moms raising kids on their own, the number of women  expected to vote in favor of the Democrats for the next presidential race is climbing as well.

These never-married single moms are generally African American or Latina and under the age of 30. It is certainly no surprise that Blacks and Hispanics heavily supported Democrats as exit polls demonstrated last year; the real shocker lies in the fact that white single moms are beginning to lean towards the left as well.

Among white single mothers, 56 percent voted for Obama while a feeble 43 percent favored Romney. Single mothers of all races who had a household income of less than $50,000 supported Obama with 79 percent of their votes.

Not only are single moms gaining potency in the presidential race, but young voters are as well. Exit polls of 2004 demonstrated that Republicans (under Bush) won 45 percent of young voters between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. In 2012, Obama had 60 percent of the young population’s vote in that same age range, according to CNN.

Republican activists acknowledge that the reasons behind the GOP’s failure to attract more voters lie in seeming closed-minded, Republican voices having no filter, according to a report on Politico. A recent political and economic study by The College Republican National Committee that looked at polls for the groups we’ve discussed here shows that, on economic matters,“We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won’t offer you a hand to help you get there.”

Do you think the GOP stands a chance in winning 2016’s election with an evolving American demographic?

Election Bribe Scheme Heats Up: State Senator Smith Scandal Reaches NYC Mayoral Candidates

April 3rd, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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State Sen.Malcolm Smith leaving federal court yesterday. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

State Sen.Malcolm Smith leaving federal court yesterday. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

There seems to be a few rotten apples in New York City politics. The fallout from State Sen. Malcolm Smith’s alleged bribery scandal even touches Big Apple mayoral hopefuls on both sides of the aisle, reports The New York Daily News.

A Democratic state senator from Queens (though he considered a Republican run for mayor himself), Smith is the former majority leader and was the first African American to lead a legislative body in Albany. He was arrested at his home by federal agents on Tuesday, accused of trying to buy the Republican line in New York City’s mayoral race. The bribery scheme involved an attempt to pay off the city’s five county GOP chairmen in order to run for mayor with that party, explains the The Daily Beast.

He wasn’t the only one arrested; several of his alleged confederates, including several Republican county party leaders have also been implicated. The complaint states that Smith told an undercover agent in a meeting at Grand Central Station to “fork over” tens of thousands of dollars to the local Republican power brokers so he could glide his way into City Hall, The Daily Beast continues.

And this isn’t the first time Smith has been accused of wrongdoing. He’s been the subject of a number of federal investigations. And in an unsavory move, Smith joined a small group of “independent Democrats” who crossed party lines to caucus with the Republicans in December, after Democrats won control of the state senate for the first time in 60 years.

“He’s smooth, likable, but to me he seemed like a guy always one step away from being arrested,” said one Democratic operative to the website.

The arrests have tossed questions about “what went wrong back to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn,” says the Daily News. Quinn is running for mayor as a Democrat.

“The arrests have also cast a shadow on Democratic front-runner Christine Quinn, who has tried to clean up scandal-scarred City Council discretionary funding but has now seen four Council members criminally charged for abusing those funds during her time as speaker” writes the paper.

Over on the GOP side nearly every mayoral contender is now under the spotlight, the newspaper adds. The scandal hurts former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota and grocery magnate John Catsimatidis, who had the other arrested party boss, Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, on his payroll.

Obviously, this will be one New York City election to remember.

GOP Rising Star T.W. Shannon Becomes Oklahoma’s First Speaker of The House

March 21st, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File

Just as the GOP announced an outreach campaign to minority communities, Oklahoma got its first black Speaker of the House. And he happens to be a Republican.

According to The Daily Caller (via EUR), Tahrohon Wayne Shannon, 34, has taken the coveted post. “He’s not only their first, but youngest ever, and the ‘first African American Republican speaker in the country since Reconstruction,’” the article says, quoting the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

Shannon is a sixth-generation Oklahoman and member of the Chickasaw Nation.

The  GOP is a already prepared to parade out Shannon’s success. He was invited to the widely-covered Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is one of the places where future Republican presidential candidates are chosen.  This year, the conference notoriously shunned New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was a Republican darling through this most recent election. Many believe he was not invited because of  his alliance and praise of President Obama during Hurricane Sandy.

It was during this conference that Speaker Shannon spoke about Oklahoma’s brand of diversity. “In Oklahoma, we’ve got urban areas, rural areas, Native American tribes, oil and gas activity. We’ve got a lot of opinions and ideas,” The Daily Caller reports.

Do you think Shannon will help the GOP’s efforts to attract more African Americans to the party?

Call It A Comeback: Susan Rice Rumored As Top Choice For National Security Adviser Role

March 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

It wasn’t that long ago with Susan Rice was under fire. News reports were filled with negative comments from conservatives who bombarded the UN ambassador over her inability to fully answer questions related to the tragedy that resulted in the deaths of an American official and three others in Benghazi, Libya. She was ultimately pushed out of contention for the Secretary Of State job. It was a humiliating turn of events.

Now according to Keli Goff  in her blog for The Root, Rice is making a comeback. The ambassador is said to be the Obama administration’s front-runner for national security adviser.

Since the national security adviser is not an official cabinet post, it does not require Senate confirmation. Yet, as Goff points out, “the post is one of the most influential within a presidential administration in terms of shaping high-level foreign policy.”

Take a look at past national security advisers; Condoleezza Rice (no relation), for example, used the role as a stepping-stone to secretary of state under George W. Bush.

Susan Rice would be only the second woman to serve in the position.

If all goes as rumored Rice’s appointment could also help President Obama. “His administration has struggled with criticism regarding the lack of gender and racial diversity among both his cabinet and high-level advisers,” blogs Goff.

Republicans Are Reaching Out To African Americans. Will It Drum Up Votes?

March 13th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Gov. Chris Christie speaking at St. Luke's Baptist Church in Paterson, NJ. AP Photo/Mel Evans

Gov. Chris Christie speaking at St. Luke’s Baptist Church in Paterson, NJ. AP Photo/Mel Evans

Gov. Chris Christie paid a visit to St. Luke’s Baptist church in Paterson, NJ yesterday, speaking to 700 constituents to make his bid for re-election. Paterson is largely Democratic and one-third African American. In 2009, 85 percent of the voters in that city placed their ballots for then-Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.

“The purpose of spending this time together is that it gets harder to hate up close,” Gov. Christie said during his remarks. “It becomes harder to storm away without making a deal.”

Gov. Christie is running against Democratic state Senator Barbara Buono, who’s getting 56 percent of the non-white vote in the state, according to Buzzfeed.

After getting beaten badly in the presidential election last year, Republicans are making a concerted effort to reach non-white voters around the country. The question is whether the damage has already been done. Can the Republican party make inroads with the black community, and among other groups, in its current state? Particularly when its past is coming back to haunt them. The bartender who captured secret video of then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney making his infamous “47 percent” has come forward to talk about why he recorded the footage and released it. He said, according to another CBS report, he brought the camera because at a previous event, President Bill Clinton made a point to meet the catering staff. The bartender had hoped Mitt Romney would do the same. When he heard what Romney said, he thought it was his “civic duty” to release it to the media.

About a month ago, the Republican National Committee announced a series of “listening sessions” would be taking place in which the party would to get to know African Americans. This week, the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, turned up in East New York, Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center to hear from 20 black Republican activists. These meetings have also taken place in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, California, and Washington DC, according to CBS.

“Today is about listening and today is a start. I’m not coming here with all of the answers but I am coming here with an open heart and an open mind and a serious drive,” Priebus said. He also said that a goal would be to support candidates on the local level.

We’ve got footage of Gov. Chris Christie speaking below. So will this drive African Americans to vote Republican?

Political Prowess May Run In The Family: Pres. Obama’s Half Brother Is Running For Office In Kenya

March 4th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: The Grio

Source: AP

Malik Obama, half brother to United States President Barack Obama has entered the runnings as governor in Kenya’s nationwide elections. While he’s unsure what sort of impact his blood relation to America’s first Black president will have on his campaign, he insists that he is his own man, the Associated Press reports.

“I’m going into it as Malik Obama. I can’t run away from my name and association with my brother, but I have the feeling that people somewhat want to see who the brother of Obama is,” the president’s half brother said during a phone interview with the AP.

Malik Obama’s campaign promises even appear to somewhat echo those expressed in his brother’s 2008 campaign. He is rallying for change.

“I hope that you all out there will support me and vote for me for this important position so that we can bring change to the county of Siaya,” 54-year-old Obama said recently while campaigning.

This is Obama’s first time running for political office and he is campaigning as an independent candidate for position as the first governor in Kenya’s western county of Siaya. His competitors are said to be part of well-funded political parties.

Kenyans will cast their votes today for regional offices. It is their first nationwide election since 2007. The country’s newly implemented constitution created 47 political divisions, referred to as counties, which will all be run by governors.

Siaya’s hopeful governor, Malik Obama  and U.S. President, Barack Obama share the same father, but have different mothers. President Obama is also reported to have several other relatives residing in Kenya.

Thoughts?

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