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Norris hoping background in politics will help launch him into the mayor's chair – CKOM News Talk Sports



As a veteran of provincial and federal politics, Saskatoon’s Rob Norris is now hoping voters will choose him to become the city’s next mayor.

Born in Edmonton, Norris moved to Saskatoon in 1994 and became involved in politics at the University of Saskatchewan.

He made friends, he says, with those in the Liberal Party and in the Progressive Conservative Party.

In 1997 he went to work in Ottawa as a legislative assistant, and over the next several years ran first as a provincial Liberal for David Karwacki, but was later recruited by Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party.

“We identified Saskatoon Greystone as the seat that we would seek and rolled up our sleeves and worked as hard as we could for the better part of two years,” Norris says. “And as fate had it … I was able to join Brad’s government with about 300 votes.”

He was re-elected in 2011 and worked as Minister of Advanced Education, Employment, Labour, Immigration, Innovation and SaskPower as well as other portfolios.

So why the jump to civic politics, and why should voters choose him?

“The requirements of mayor really require some key experience, obviously professional judgment, political judgment, and also working well with others,” says Norris. “What we might call ‘across the aisle, and team-building and consensus.’ ”

And at this point, he believes the status quo simply isn’t working, adding that Saskatoon residents are “locked in” to what he says is a failed fiscal “experiment” by Charlie Clark.

“If there’s anything I should say I would bring is — my fear is — well, it just seems like there’s a little bit of group think or a little bit of a comfort level in some of the status quo players …,” he says. “Maybe it’s time for some fresh thinking and fresh eyes on some of the problems and some potential solutions that we seem to be skating by.”

Among the issues he believes need immediate attention? He’s made no secret of the cost of the new Saskatoon Library, with its $134-million price tag.

“I love libraries, but that price tag, well frankly, we’re living a little bit beyond our means, especially in the pandemic,” Norris says.

If elected, Norris says he would cut the salaries of the mayor and chief of staff by 10 per cent. He would also reduce the city communications budget by the same amount.

And he emphasizes that economic rebound is important after COVID-19.

“What we’ve seen is a great deal of passivity from Charlie Clark,” Norris says. “What we need to do is we need a job summit. We need to focus on key sectors of  growth and we need to put some new energy and some really fresh energy into this.”

With regards to the level of crime in the city, Norris believes there needs to be two conversations.

One involves addressing what more can and should be done in partnership with the federal government, provincial government, First Nations and Metis partners among others to ensure better programming options and outcomes for those who are most vulnerable in Saskatoon.

The second involves giving police and social workers the proper resources to do their jobs, and allowing the mayor to sit as the chair of the Board of Police Commissioners.

“We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with police. We need to understand that the crime is not simply downtown anymore,” he contends. “The tone at the top matters.”

Aside from politics, Norris says his daughter is the “apple of his eye.” He gets great support from his sister, and from the Kimpton and Drury families.

He likes to golf, enjoys hockey, writing and running — along with writing and reading up on international relations.

His hero? Well, that’s former premier Brad Wall and former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed. One day in particular he says was very special for him.

‘”There was one day when Premier Wall invited me down to his office,” Norris says. “I knew Peter Lougheed a little bit. And there he was. He was visiting the Saskatchewan Legislature and we were able to get a photo.

“In a sense, there was an opportunity to be with a couple of my heroes: Premier Brad Wall and Premier Peter Lougheed.”

Norris says he’s also proud of working on Nutrien’s Community Advisory Council and as the board chair of Canada World Youth.

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Justice Department investigating potential presidential pardon bribery scheme, court records reveal – CNN



The case is the latest legal twist in the waning days of President Donald Trump’s administration after several of his top advisers have been convicted of federal criminal charges and as the possibility rises of Trump giving pardons to those who’ve been loyal to him.
The disclosure is in 20 pages of partially redacted documents made public by the DC District Court on Tuesday afternoon. The records show Chief Judge Beryl Howell’s review in August of a request from prosecutors to access documents obtained in a search as part of a bribery-for-pardon investigation.
The filings don’t reveal a timeline of the alleged scheme, or any names of people potentially involved, except that communications between people including at least one lawyer were seized from an office that was raided sometime before the end of this summer.
No one appears to have been publicly charged with a related crime to date.
The White House declined to comment on the court filing. CNN has previously reported that associates of the President are making appeals to him in the hopes of obtaining pardons before he leaves office. There is no indication that any of those associates are being investigated by DOJ in relation to Tuesday’s filing.
A Justice Department official told CNN that “no government official was or is currently a subject or target of the investigation disclosed in this filing.”
According to the court records, at the end of this summer, a filter team, used to make sure prosecutors don’t receive tainted evidence that should have been kept from them because it was privileged, had more than 50 digital devices including iPhones, iPads, laptops, thumb drives and computer drives after investigators raided the unidentified offices.
Prosecutors told the court they wanted permission to the filter team’s holdings. The prosecutors believed the devices revealed emails that showed allegedly criminal activity, including a “secret lobbying scheme” and a bribery conspiracy that offered “a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence” for a convicted defendant whose name is redacted, according to the redacted documents.
Communications between attorneys and clients are typically privileged and kept from prosecutors as they build their cases, but in this situation, Howell allowed the prosecutors access. Attorney-client communications are not protected as privileged under the law when there is discussion of a crime, among other exceptions.
“The political strategy to obtain a presidential pardon was ‘parallel’ to and distinct from [redacted]’s role as an attorney-advocate for [redacted name],” Howell wrote in her court order.
The grand jury investigation also appears to relate to unnamed people acting as unregistered “lobbyists to senior White House officials” as they sought to secure a pardon and use an intermediary to send a bribe, the unsealed court records say.
Prosecutors hadn’t provided evidence to the judge, however, of any direct payment, and instead showed evidence that a person was seeking clemency because of past and future political contributions.
The investigators indicated in court that they intended to “confront” three people with the communications and complete their investigation.
Over the last week, the Justice Department told Howell it wanted to keep filings related to the matter confidential in court, because “individuals and conduct” hadn’t yet been charged.
Trump has granted 29 pardons and commuted 16 people’s sentences during his presidency, according to the US Pardon Attorney’s office. Several of those have gone to people close to the President or whose names would make a splash — including the 19th Century suffragist Susan B. Anthony, the former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Bush-era adviser Scooter Libby and longtime Republican political adviser Roger Stone, who lied to Congress to protect Trump’s efforts in 2016.
Just last week, Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI, undisclosed lobbying for Turkey and the waterfront of potential related crimes that Flynn could have faced in the future.
This story has been updated with additional information.

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Josh Hawley shows what GOP politics after Trump will look like – The Washington Post



What does the GOP base want? That question is of paramount importance to the ambitious Republican who would become the party’s champion in 2024. The emerging consensus is that the way to win that base’s affections is by channeling and encouraging their resentments, much in the way President Trump did.

Pulling this off won’t be easy for more conventional politicians. Many will try; the slate of potential candidates is long and growing. But if you want to understand how Republicans see their own voters, you can’t do much better than to watch Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and his performative populism.

It’s performative because while it’s vivid and dramatic, it has almost no policy content. Hawley doesn’t actually want to do much of anything that might hurt the interests of the wealthy and boost the fortunes of ordinary people; what he wants instead is to encourage seething resentment of the “elite” that he can ride to greater political fortune, a new culture war for the post-Trump era.

Consider this recent Twitter exchange:

Hawley knows perfectly well how nonsensical and incoherent it is to claim that his opponents are simultaneously corporate tools and radical Marxists. But that incoherence is a feature, not a bug.

This is a standard refrain from Hawley, that any Democrat he wants to criticize is a “condescending corporate liberal” looking down their nose at reg’lar folks while they do the bidding of big business (the “sneering” he references in this tweet is the key). As he said in a 2019 speech full of laughable distortions of history (the Framers, he claimed, “built a new republic governed not by a select elite, as in the days of old, but by the common man and woman”), the “cosmopolitan elite” that runs things leaves Americans feeling “unheard, disempowered and disrespected.”

And the mention of “critical race theory” — which approximately one in a thousand Americans actually understands — is another tell. It’s a way of saying that those elitist White liberals don’t care about you because they’re too busy caring about Black people.

This is what political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson call “plutocratic populism,” a stylistic anti-elitism that wins popular support for an agenda that serves only the wealthy and corporations. Nearly every prominent Republican demonstrates it in one way or another, but Hawley offers us one of its clearest incarnations.

Hawley himself is as elite as they come. The son of a banker, he attended prep school before Stanford and Yale Law, where his term as president of the school’s Federalist Society chapter no doubt helped propel him all the way to a Supreme Court clerkship with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. His escalator to the top required no bootstrap-pulling.

Yet posing as a down-home populist has been one of the keys to Hawley’s rise. One example: During his 2018 run for Senate, he faced a serious liability in the lawsuit that he and other Republican attorneys general filed to nullify the Affordable Care Act, which would have yanked protections for preexisting conditions away from all Americans. So he aired an ad claiming to be the guardian of those protections for families like his own: “We’ve got two perfect little boys. Just ask their momma.”

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with politicians who come from wealth promoting the interests of the downtrodden; we have a long history of such figures, most notably Franklin Roosevelt. But the plutocratic populists like Hawley offer regular people only the spiritual succor of outrage: I may be working to increase inequality in America, but elect me because I hate the people you hate.

This is the shared strategy of Hawley and Trump: They’re both products of the American elite riding forth on anti-elite resentment. The difference is that Trump was driven by a sincere envy of the elite and a desperate desire to be accepted by them. He was always the kid from Queens whose (largely inherited) money couldn’t buy him a welcome into Manhattan society; no matter how many buildings he bought or how many times he was mentioned on Page Six, the old-money swells wouldn’t consider him one of their own, which caused him no end of whiny bitterness.

But Hawley is too smart to put himself in the story of grievance he tells; without a force of personality anything like Trump’s, he can only be a vehicle for others’ resentment. He’ll claim to be an enemy of corporations, rail against nonexistent “religious bigotry” and tell the Republican base over and over: You’re the victims. Get mad.

In this effort — indeed, in today’s GOP as a whole — dishonesty, hypocrisy and self-contradiction aren’t sins, they’re virtues, so long as they’re deployed to irritate the libs. Hawley understands as well as anyone that his is a party of trolls, particularly the activist base that will be so important in determining who gets the 2024 nomination; no quality is held in higher esteem among them than the ability to make the left angry.

And in that, Hawley is well on his way. The liberals who pay enough attention to politics to be familiar with him already consider him utterly loathsome.

It may be partly because they understand that while he isn’t exactly a dynamo on the stump, he could have some real appeal to Republicans, particularly when compared with some of the duds lining up to run in 2024, black holes of charisma such as Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.), and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Hawley is every bit as phony as any of them, but he’s much less likely to make voters recoil. Which makes him all the more dangerous.

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Trump's fights with fellow Republicans have political consequences beyond 2020 – NBC News



WASHINGTON — President Trump is leaving office the same way he started his political career — by attacking fellow Republicans.

But the fights he’s picked with Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in Georgia, as well as with Gov. Doug Ducey in Arizona, are different than those insults at John McCain, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Rick Perry in 2015.

One, they’re taking place with the top elected leaders in onetime GOP-leaning states that just turned blue in 2020 — and with one of them (Georgia) holding twin runoffs in January that will decide the control of the Senate.

And two, Trump is upset that these Republican officials aren’t helping him overturn election results in states that he narrowly yet clearly lost.

Dec. 1, 202002:22

Let us repeat that again: He. Wants. Them. To. Reverse. The. Results.

“ALL 15 counties in Arizona — counties run by both parties — certified their results,” Ducey replied to Trump via Twitter. “That’s the law. I’ve sworn an oath to uphold it, and I take my responsibility seriously.”

“Georgia law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections,” Gov. Kemp’s spokesman said in a statement, per NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard.

These intraparty fights not only complicate the Senate runoffs in Georgia, but also future statewide contests in these two states.

As NBC’s Ed Demaria reminds us, Ducey might be the best Republican on paper who could win both a GOP Senate primary and a general election in Arizona in either 2022 or 2024. But what if Trump decides to sink his chances?

And that’s the dilemma for Republicans if Trump — once out of office — becomes the face of the GOP opposition to Biden.

Does he use his powers to help the party? Or exact revenge?

Tweet of the day

NYT: Trump has raised $170 million since Election Day

“President Trump has raised about $170 million since Election Day as his campaign operation has continued to aggressively solicit donations with hyped-up appeals that have funded his fruitless attempts to overturn the election,” the New York Times reports, citing one person familiar with the matter.

The rub: The fine print on the president’s call for donations to his “Official Election Defense Fund” show that the vast majority of donations don’t necessarily support a recount at all. Most of the money instead is headed for the president’s personal leadership pac, which he’ll be able to use to fund his post-presidential political activity, and to the Republican National Committee.

It’s not surprising, but it’s still astonishing.

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

6,238,766: Joe Biden’s lead in the popular vote at the time of publication.

13,624,624: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 170,294 more than yesterday morning.)

268,990: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 1,394 more than yesterday morning.)

192.77 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.

96,039: The number of people currently hospitalized with coronavirus

35: The number of days until the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs.

50: The number of days until Inauguration Day.

Biden rolls out his economic team

“President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday will formally introduce his picks for his economic policy team, including Janet Yellen for treasury secretary,” NBC’s Geoff Bennett and Rebecca Shabad write.

Biden Cabinet/Transition Watch

State: Tony Blinken (announced)

Treasury: Janet Yellen (announced)

Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas (announced)

UN Ambassador: Linda Thomas-Greenfield (announced)

Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines (announced)

Defense: Michèle Flournoy, Jeh Johnson, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth

Attorney General: Doug Jones, Xavier Becerra, Sally Yates

HHS: New Mexico Gov, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Calif. Rep. Raul Ruiz, Calif. Rep. Karen Bass, Dr. Vivek Murthy

Interior: Deb Haaland

Agriculture: Heidi Heitkamp

Labor: Andy Levin, Bernie Sanders, Marty Walsh

Education: Lily Eskelsen Garcia, Randi Weingarten

OMB Director: Neera Tanden (announced)

CIA: Michael Morell

Chief of Staff: Ron Klain (announced)

National Security Adviser: Jake Sullivan (announced)

Climate Envoy: John Kerry (announced)

White House Communications Director: Kate Bedingfield (announced)

White House Press Secretary: Jen Psaki (announced)

VP Communications Director: Ashley Etienne (announced)

VP Chief Spokesperson: Symone Sanders (announced)

Georgia Runoff Watch by Ben Kamisar

Today’s Runoff Watch checks in on the enormous amount of money pouring into Georgia over the next few months.

As of now, there’s been $293 million devoted to both runoffs (this includes TV and radio advertising already spent and booked, per Advertising Analytics). The special runoff (Loeffler vs. Warnock) has $158 million devoted to it, compared to the other runoff’s (Perdue vs. Ossoff) $135 million, with Republican groups outspending Democrats in both.

If no one else commits a dime to either race, the special runoff alone (from Nov. 4 on) will have more TV and radio spending in it than every single 2020 Senate race except for three (North Carolina, Iowa and Arizona). And in the Perdue-Ossoff runoff, that $135 million spent and booked between Nov. 4 and Jan. 5 is virtually the same amount spent on the race by Election Day.

But of course, it’s almost certain that there will be a lot more money flooding the state as both parties dig deep into the piggybank to help decide control of the Senate.

The Lid: Man! I feel like a woman

Don’t miss the pod from yesterday, when we looked at the rise of women in Congress and now in Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks.

Shameless plug

All this week, NBC News will have in-depth coverage on the “Race for a Vaccine” across its programs and platforms, including NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, TODAY, Dateline NBC, MSNBC, and NBC News NOW.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Joe Biden is outpacing or exceeding Barack Obama and Donald Trump’s timelines for choosing Cabinet members.

Some progressives aren’t happy about the business ties of some of Biden’s top picks for White House jobs.

Politico looks at how Janet Yellen became Biden’s pick for Treasury secretary.

The Washington Post looks at how Neera Tanden has become one lightning rod for the transition.

Biden received his first presidential daily briefing yesterday.

Controversial White House coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas has resigned.

Some House Republicans want to challenge the Electoral College count on the House floor.

Georgia voters will choose John Lewis’s short-term successor in a runoff election today.

There could be a huge economic recovery next year. But a lot depends on the winter.

What does an inauguration look like in a pandemic?

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