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Morning Reads: Latino Voters Turn Out in Record Numbers; Corporations Lobby States on Ballot Measures

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Latino Voters Turn Out in Record Numbers

South Florida voters register at an early voting polling center in Miami, Florida, on November 3, 2016. (RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

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We’re electing a president tomorrow –> As if anyone could forget. Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is being bolstered by record support among Latinos who are turning out in historic numbers to vote against Donald Trump. “Early-vote statistics from battleground states with large Hispanic populations show record turnout among a bloc that has voted at a lower rate than whites or blacks in past elections,” Steven Shephard reports for Politico. “If, as some polls suggest, Hispanic voters are supporting Hillary Clinton by blowout margins, these numbers could sink Trump in a handful of states that are essential to his path to 270 electoral votes.”

However, African-Americans, a traditionally Democratic constituency, are less enthusiastic. The absence of Barack Obama’s name on the ballot is a factor and young black voters are especially disinterested in Clinton. “Early voting numbers and polling suggest that African American turnout is down nationally this year compared to 2012 and 2008,” The Washington Post’s James Hohmann writes. “Though there are some signs that the gap has been closing in recent days, alarm bells have clearly gone off inside the Clinton high command.”

FBI tells Clinton, “never mind” –> Byron Tau and Devlin Barrett for The Wall Street Journal: “Just two days before polls close in the presidential race, the FBI said a review of new evidence gave it no reason to reverse its earlier recommendation that Hillary Clinton not face charges related to her email practices while secretary of state.”

Donald Trump, no surprise, is displeased, and, just as many of the same Democrats who heaped vitriol on Comey last week are now praising him, Trump surrogates who praised the FBI director last week are unleashing the vitriol. They — and Trump himself — are demanding to know how the FBI possibly could have reviewed 650,000 in just a few days. Andy Greenberg writes for Wired that actually, it’s pretty easy.

“The issues” –> Commentators have bemoaned 2016’s lack of focus on “issues.” But Slate politics editor Tommy Craggs writes that the campaign was very focused on issues — not inside-the-Beltway concerns, like the deficit, but things that are deeper, more freighted and emotional: “I’m talking about issues that involve the fundamental arrangements of American life, issues of race and class and gender and sexual violence. These are the things we’ve argued about in the past year and change, sometimes coarsely, sometimes tediously, but very often illuminatingly. This has been, by all but the most fatuous measures, an issue-rich campaign.”

Oklahoma earthquake –> A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck Cushing, Oklahoma, last night, and was felt in neighboring states. No one was killed, but some buildings were damaged. The town of 8,000 is a hub of oil and gas infrastructure, and earthquakes have spiked in Oklahoma in recent years, the result of the state’s fracking boom.

Thumb on the ballot scale –> A New York Times investigation takes a look at secret money paid to secretaries of state, whose offices write ballot measures and in some cases select which measures get to be on the ballot: “The targeting of secretaries of state with campaign donations, corporate-funded weekend outings and secret meetings with industry lobbyists reflects an intense focus on often overlooked ballot questions, which the secretaries frequently help write. The ballot initiatives are meant to give voters a direct voice on policy issues such as the minimum wage and the environment. But corporate and other special interests are doing their best to build close ties with the secretaries because a difference of even a few words on a ballot measure can have an enormous impact on the outcome.”

(This story also has this gem of a paragraph: “‘The Koch brothers out with the Republican secretaries of state — that’s a news story I don’t need,’ Allen Richardson, a Koch lobbyist, joked, unaware that a reporter was in attendance.”)

COP22 –> Now that the Paris Agreement is in effect, countries are meeting this week in Morocco to discuss the path forward. “This is the ‘year of action’ and the years ahead are the years of implementation,” the World Resources Institute’s Paula Caballero explained to Scientific American. “By 2018, we need to see clarification on the rules and processes for implementing the historic agreement we set out in Paris last year.”

How do you satirize this mondo bizarro election? –> It’s not easy. Just ask the writers and editors at The Onion.


Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.