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Morning Reads: Candidates Burnish Their New York Values

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

Morning Reads: Candidates Burnish Their New York Values

Ted Cruz learns how to put holes in matzah at the Chabad Neshama Model Matzah Bakery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York. (Screengrab from CNN, via Fusion)

New York values –> The remaining presidential candidates are all campaigning hard to win New York State’s many delegates on April 19. With both races still competitive at this late stage, NY is far more important than usual. Visits to New York City by the candidates inevitably lead to a slew of headlines like this one, from Bloomberg: “Presidential Candidates Brandish New York City Credentials With Matzah, Italian Food and Turnstiles.”

The Cruz campaign canceled a visit to a charter high school in the Bronx on Wednesday after students threatened to walk out. “We told [the principal] if he came here, we would schedule a walkout,” Destiny Domeneck, 16, told the New York Daily News. “Most of us are immigrants or come from immigrant backgrounds. Ted Cruz goes against everything our school stands for.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic campaign took a sharper turn toward the negative, with Hillary Clinton equivocating over whether or not Bernie Sanders was qualified to be president, and Sanders declaring flatly that Clinton, because of contributions to her super PAC and her Senate vote in favor of the Iraq war, was not. Ezra Klein notes at Vox that both candidates are more than qualified to be president, with far longer careers in politics than the current president. The debate is relevant in part because party officials are getting antsy that many Sanders supporters may not support Clinton should she be the candidate in November.

Also, Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically subdued, and cleared his schedule of campaign events. At Quartz, Hannah Kozlowski writes:

[Trump] is leading by a wide margin in New York: according to one poll he is supported by 52% of likely Republican primary voter, to John Kasich’s 25% and Ted Cruz’s 17%. So he sure doesn’t need to ramp up his home state effort. However, it appears that his campaign is going through some upheaval, with rumors of infighting among his staff.

Convention no shows –> We noted last month that corporations are considering not funding events around the Republican convention in Cleveland to avoid any guilt by association that may come with any Trump-induced chaos. But, in order to avoid looking partisan, they’re also considering not funding parties and receptions at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. Megan Wilson reports for The Hill.

“Voter ID laws are having their intended effect.” –> At Slate, Jamelle Bouie pushes Democrats to take action against efforts in states to disenfranchise minorities:

This isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. If Democrats believe that they benefit from more voters and larger electorates, then they would do well to mimic the Republican approach, but in reverse: Use their power to tilt the playing field toward more access, more participation, and more democracy.

The Pope speaks –> Earlier today, the Vatican released an “apostolic exhortation” from Pope Francis titled Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”). At Slate, Josh Voorhees writes, “…The papal work is particularly noteworthy for one thing it appears to advocate for and one thing it rather clearly advocates against. The first: The exhortation opened the door for some divorced and remarried Catholics to take Holy Communion. The second: It kept the church door firmly closed on same-sex marriage.” The New York Times: “Francis now calls for governments to provide support for families in the form of health care, education and employment. He describes families as under siege by the pressures of modern life.”

And: John Wagner at The Washington Post reports, “Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, an enthusiastic fan of Pope Francis’s work, plans to step off the campaign trail next week to speak at a conference hosted by the Vatican on social, economic and environmental issues.”

Avoiding Exxon’s mistake –> Melissa Cronin at Grist: “Are companies making an expensive blunder by not disclosing their financial risks from climate change? A task force established by the international monitoring body Financial Stability Board is advising it’s better to be on the safe side, according to an early draft report released by the group’s task force on climate-related financial disclosures, led by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

Panama Papers –> The Guardian: “David Cameron has finally admitted he benefited from a Panama-based offshore trust set up by his late father. After three days of stalling and four partial statements issued by Downing Street he confessed that he owned shares in the tax haven fund, which he sold for £31,500 just before becoming prime minister in 2010.”

Continuing to fall –> At The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog, Greg Sargent notes that since Obamacare has gotten rolling, black and Hispanic uninsured rates have fallen by roughly ten points, cutting black uninsured rates nearly in half and Hispanic rates by roughly a third.

How I learned to love the money bomb –> A Center for Public Integrity investigation finds that, while Hillary Clinton publicly champions campaign finance reform, her own campaign has done nothing to reflect that position, embracing all the tools used by the dark money pioneers of the right. Dave Levinthal writes:

The situation has frightened some conservatives, who see Clinton evolving into a sort of Madam Strangelove, worrying little about lefty protestations while learning to love her backers’ money bombs. Almost never, they note, does Clinton speak ill — or at all — of the specific super PACs supporting her and itching to damage Republicans.

Morning Reads was written 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!

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