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Jordan confronts protesters, finds no common ground

Jordan Confronts Protesters, Finds No Common GroundChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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FREMONT, Ohio (CNN) – Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan acknowledged protesters outside two events in his home district Monday — a break with many other Capitol Hill colleagues who have largely avoided such scenes — but was met with shouts of disapproval. The Ohio Republican, a 10-year veteran of the House and one of its most ardent conservatives, spoke with what his staff and protesters estimated were upward of 150 demonstrators in Marion, Ohio, at the historic home of former President Warren G. Harding. He then headed about an hour north where he talked briefly with a much smaller group of protesters at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library in Fremont, Ohio, before heading into a presidential trivia contest for children (which prompted his former Democratic opponent to claim he was using the kids as “human shields”).

Jordan’s tour of his sprawling Ohio district Monday showed the dilemma for lawmakers eyeing up a repeat of the tea party protests which swept Democrats out of power in Congress in 2010 — but with the fire and the threat coming from the left this time. And it also shows how deep the anger has bled into staunchly conservative territory. Jordan beat his Democratic opponent 68 percent-32 percent last year and President Donald Trump won the district by a similar margin. The first hint of trouble for Republicans came two weeks ago, when Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz was confronted by hundreds of angry protesters at his town hall. Since then, Republican lawmakers have canceled town halls, while others have split town entirely — heading on Congressional delegation trips to spots like the Mexican border and Europe. Meanwhile, some Republicans have fully embraced the fury: Rep. Mark Sanford huddled hundreds of protesters at his South Carolina town hall this past weekend, even walking outside to address an overflow crowd.

Jordan didn’t give it the “Full Sanford” Monday, but he did attempt some outreach — with varying success.

“They may not agree with me, we may share different perspectives,” Jordan said, as a group of protesters laughed outside the Hayes Library. (“No, we don’t agree with you,” yelled one woman, interrupting Jordan.)

“But they’re allowed under the first amendment to speak up, and my job is to listen and tell them where I’m at,” Jordan said, which resulted in one man mocking him: “Listen and give the party line, no real reasons, no in-depth analysis.”

The sight of hundreds of protesters packed outside the Harding presidential home earlier in the day was compelling enough, Jordan said, for him to take questions from the angry crowd. But protesters claimed they had to force him to address them. As Harding Home director Sherry Hall attempted to read through a history of Harding from the wraparound porch, with Jordan by her side, angry protesters chanted at the “Stop Reading!” and yelled “Hold a town hall!” according to video of the event taken by one group of protesters. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implored his Republican colleagues last week to face protesters and address them (even though he isn’t hosting any town halls himself — opting instead for a trio of closed-door fundraisers).

But the House of Representatives’ chief security officer urged House lawmakers to coordinate police protection for their public events while they were back in their home states. (A pair of Fremont police cars pulled up to Jordan’s second event, but the small number of police just watched while a few dozen protesters milled around outside.)

The showdowns are likely to be a common sight this week — with town halls in Arkansas, New Jersey and Florida acting like magnets for irate Democrats and even some independents who stayed out of politics until Trump took the White House.

Cheryl Laugherty, 62, a retired librarian from Fremont, Ohio, said she didn’t get active in protesting until Trump emerged as a force last year. Since his election, she’s been organizing with other women in northwest Ohio, and stood with a small group protesting Jordan in Fremont.

“It’s been off and on through the years, but his (Trump’s) behavior on the campaign trail this year just clinched it for me. I could not tolerate the way, like he made fun of the handicapped columnist, just things he said,” Laugherty said. “And it hasn’t changed, the belittling of people and the nicknames. It’s juvenile. It’s juvenile bullying.”

Jordan said Monday that it’s up to other Republicans to decide what they want to do, but suggested they honor the First Amendment and hear out the protesters. But Laugherty and others gathered outside the Hayes home Monday quickly pointed out that Jordan has yet to schedule any town halls himself.

Utah Jazz have lots of room to maneuver as trade deadline looms

New Orleans The next three days promise to be interesting for the Jazz, their front office, and those who follow the team. With the NBA’s trade deadline looming on Thursday afternoon, the Jazz are open to engaging in talks, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned. That doesn’t mean General Manager Dennis Lindsey will pull the trigger on a deal. But it does mean the Jazz will listen if something makes sense for them. Making sense is the key. The Jazz as a franchise are in win-now mode, and are walking a line that could get thin. If they are to think about a deal, it will have to make the Jazz better in the interim without jeopardizing the franchise financially in the long term.

That means, the Jazz are hesitant to take back a player in the midst of a lengthy contract. It also means the Jazz will be hesitant to take back a player who makes a lot of money long-term. Utah will have to commit significant dollars to Gordon Hayward, George Hill and even Joe Ingles in free agency this summer. So while the Jazz are roughly $13 million under the salary cap and $4 million shy of the salary cap floor, Utah’s financial situation is on the verge of change. At the same time, the Jazz have flexibility through the end of the season, which they can use to improve a team that’s fighting for homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

As of Monday morning, there are players who potentially fit the criteria the Jazz are looking for. According to reports, the Los Angeles Lakers are dangling combination guard Lou Williams, one of the better sixth men in the NBA. Williams makes $7 million per season through the end of next year, a cheap price tag for a scorer of his talent. And with the Jazz needing scoring off the bench, Williams is someone who could fit that bill. On Sunday night, following the NBA All-Star Game, the Sacramento Kings stunning traded their star center, DeMarcus Cousins, to the New Orleans Pelicans. That deal, according to multiple reports, made power forward Terrence Jones available, as the Pelicans are trying to find a new home for Jones.

Lindsey has proven to be aggressive at the deadline in past seasons. Two years ago, he traded Enes Kanter, after the rise of Rudy Gobert made the big man expendable. The Jazz will likely receive Oklahoma City’s 2018 first-round pick as compensation. Last February, Utah needed help at the point guard spot and traded a second-round pick for Shelvin Mack. Because they are under the salary cap, the Jazz have the ability to take on a player without matching contracts. And that greatly enhances their ability to maneuver in the trade market. As the season hurtles toward the playoffs, the Jazz are 35-22, a half game behind the Los Angeles Clippers in the battle for the fourth spot in the Western Conference.

Utah has proved to be as good as advertised, but the Jazz lost three of four heading into the All-Star break, with only a home win against the Portland Trail Blazers preventing a four game losing streak.

The Jazz will begin their final 25-game stretch on Friday at Milwaukee, the opener of a three-game trip.

“We know that we’re going to have to come out and play well,” Utah all-star forward Gordon Hayward said. “This is a big road trip to start the second half, and teams are gearing up to make a run. We have to be ready.”

Twitter: @tribjazz[2]

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White House denies report that National Guard could be used to round up illegal immigrants

By Garance Burke, ABC11.com[1]

WASHINGTON

The White House distanced itself Friday from a Department of Homeland Security draft proposal to use the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants, but lawmakers said the document offers insight into the Trump administration s internal efforts to enact its promised crackdown on illegal immigration. Administration officials said the proposal, which called for mobilizing up to 100,000 troops in 11 states, was rejected, and would not be part of plans to carry out President Donald Trump s aggressive immigration policy. If implemented, the National Guard idea, contained in an 11-page memo obtained by The Associated Press, could have led to enforcement action against millions of immigrants living nowhere near the Mexican border. Four states that border on Mexico were included in the proposal California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas but it also encompassed seven states contiguous to those four Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Despite the AP s public release of the document, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said there was no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants. A DHS official described the document as a very early draft that was not seriously considered and never brought to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly for approval. However, DHS staffers said Thursday that they had been told by colleagues in two DHS departments that the proposal was still being considered as recently as Feb. 10. DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen declined to say who wrote the memo, how long it had been under consideration or when it had been rejected. The pushback from administration officials did little to quell outrage over the draft plan. Three Republican governors spoke out against the proposal and numerous Democratic lawmakers denounced it as an overly aggressive approach to immigration enforcement.

Regardless of the White House s response, this document is an absolutely accurate description of the disturbing mindset that pervades the Trump administration when it comes to our nation s immigrants, said U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he would have concerns about the utilization of National Guard resources for immigration enforcement, believing such a program would be too much of a strain on our National Guard personnel. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert would have serious concerns about the constitutional implications and financial impact of activating the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants, the governor s office said in a statement. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval questioned the legality of the plan described in the draft memo and said it would be an inappropriate use of guard resources.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said, This administration s complete disregard for the impact its internal chaos and inability to manage its own message and policy is having on real people s lives is offensive. The AP had sought comment from the White House beginning Thursday and DHS earlier Friday and had not received a response from either. After the AP released the story, Spicer said the memo was not a White House document and said there was no effort to do what is potentially suggested. Governors in the 11 states would have had a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, which bears the name of Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

At a maximum, approximately 100,000 Army National Guard and Air National Guard personnel would be available for stateside missions in the 11 states, according to statistics and information provided by the National Guard Bureau. While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north. The memo was addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would have served as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.

Also dated Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States. It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

If implemented, the impact could have been significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without authorization live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.

By Garance Burke, ABC11.com[2]

References

  1. ^ ABC11.com (abc11.com)
  2. ^ ABC11.com (abc11.com)
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