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Ex-L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa starts fundraising for anti-Trump PAC targeting immigrants

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Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said on Wednesday he had formed a political action committee and started raising money to help fight Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign in key states with large Latino immigrant populations.

“I’m focusing all my efforts from now to November on stopping Trump,” Villaraigosa said in a conference call with reporters.

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Calling Trump a racist and misogynist, Villaraigosa said his committee, called Building Bridges, Not Walls, would focus on organizing immigrants to oppose the presumptive Republican nominee in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida in the campaign for the Nov. 8 election.

Opened with his own $1,000 contribution, the committee would seek donations to pay for its activities, Villaraigosa said.

Villaraigosa, a Democrat who was Los Angeles mayor from 2005 to 2013 and also served as speaker of the California Assembly, is perhaps the state’s highest-profile Latino leader. He has said he is considering a run for governor in 2018.

His anti-Trump campaign is among the first efforts to formally turn concern among immigrants about the billionaire’s campaign into political action. Last week, Democrats in San Diego organized an anti-Trump demonstration that drew about 400 people.

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Trump has made concern over illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign. He has accused the Mexican government of sending rapists and criminals across the border, pledged to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and called for a temporary halt to Muslim immigration amid fears that radicalized immigrants will commit terrorist acts.

Last week in the border city of San Diego, Trump called a judge hearing a case against one of his businesses “hostile” and “a hater” and said he believed the judge was Mexican.

“Both Democrats and Republicans are horrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency,” Villaraigosa said.

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The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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Elections 2016

Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson send anti-trans signals to Trump’s evangelical base

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While Trump grabs headlines, his Cabinet members quietly use transphobia to shore up white evangelical support

The white evangelical vote is almost certainly a lock for Donald Trump in 2020, but it appears the president is taking no chances of losing this critical voting block. One major part of that strategy appears to be quietly deploying his Cabinet members, especially those associated with the Christian right, to generate stories highlighting the Trump administration's overt bigotry toward trans people, and its eagerness to deprive trans Americans of basic rights.

Just this week, both Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson snagged coverage by making community visits that were ostensibly for noble purposes, but were clearly meant to signal to Christian right voters their hostility to trans rights.

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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