Loathing in Las Vegas: This Week in the 2020 Race

We are still not done counting votes in Iowa, but on we go anyway: It’s time for more caucuses. Let’s hope they go more smoothly.

In the meantime, we’ll get you caught up on what happened this week in Nevada and elsewhere on the campaign trail.

If you’re reading this Saturday morning, today is the day! Nevadans will be headed to their caucus locations in a matter of hours, and if all goes according to plan — and yes, we know that’s a big if — we will soon get some results.

Nevada Democratic officials are not taking anything for granted and have provided incredibly detailed instructions on how to, for example, turn on an iPad.

As our colleagues Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin put it in their recap: “The Democratic presidential candidates turned on one another in scorching and personal terms in a debate on Wednesday night.”

Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York took repeated fire from pretty much everyone, but especially Ms. Warren, who went after him on nondisclosure agreements, his support for stop-and-frisk and his past sexist comments.

Ms. Warren, looking to revitalize her campaign, was more forceful than we have typically seen her and got good reviews for her performance. It seems she also got results: Mr. Bloomberg announced on Friday that his company had identified three nondisclosure agreements involving allegations of inappropriate comments by Mr. Bloomberg, and that the women involved could contact the company to be released from those agreements.

Mr. Sanders, meanwhile, faced questions about his medical history and the behavior of his supporters, and Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Buttigieg clashed several times in exchanges both withering and personal.

“I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete,” Ms. Klobuchar said at one point.

“I’m used to senators telling mayors that senators are more important than mayors,” he responded. “You don’t have to be in Washington to matter.”

Mr. Bloomberg is not competing in Nevada, but he has gotten considerable attention nonetheless as he has continued to spend copious amounts of money and rise in national polls. His gains — and his history of insensitive remarks — put a huge target on his back this week in Nevada, where candidate after candidate took aim at him.

Mr. Sanders has been particularly direct with his criticism, and he and Ms. Warren have accused Mr. Bloomberg of trying to buy the election. This week, Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign punched back, comparing Mr. Sanders’s campaign tactics unfavorably to those used by President Trump.

Mr. Bloomberg, seeking to catch up to candidates who have been releasing plans for months, announced five this week, including one to restore Obama-era financial regulations and rein in the same industry where he made his tens of billions.

His Wall Street plan would impose a 0.1 percent tax on stock sales and other financial transactions — a proposal also supported by Ms. Warren, Mr. Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the left, in a very rare alignment for Mr. Bloomberg. (Mr. Buttigieg also supports such a tax.)

It would also reverse much of the Trump administration’s deregulation and establish a team within the Justice Department to push prosecutors “to pursue individuals, not only corporations, for infractions.”

  • Mr. Buttigieg released a plan to protect public lands, proposing to ban new fossil fuel leases, increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and set a target of “protecting and restoring at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and oceans by 2030.”

  • Ms. Warren announced an agenda for small businesses. Among many other things, it would create a $7 billion equity fund for people of color to start businesses, support small businesses and entrepreneurs with federal contracts, and establish a grant program to encourage states and cities “to cut unnecessary regulatory requirements and to help small business owners navigate necessary ones.”

  • In addition to his Wall Street proposal, Mr. Bloomberg released a criminal justice reform plan. That’s a big one for his campaign given how much of a liability his record on stop-and-frisk and other policing issues are. The plan — parts of which he announced in December — calls for a higher standard for using force, an end to cash bail and mandatory minimums, and $100 million a year in funding for the Obama-era My Brother’s Keeper program.

  • Mr. Bloomberg also released plans on labor rights, retirement and higher education. In them, he endorsed a number of proposals that he opposed as mayor but that have now become standard among Democrats, such as raising the minimum wage to $15.

Source link