<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Philadelphia Political News and Philadelphia Politics]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:21:06 -0500 Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:21:06 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Albright Didn't Mean to Condemn Women Supporting Sanders]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 22:01:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Madeleine+Albright+Sanders.png

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Friday that she regretted the way her support for Hillary Clinton was perceived, NBC News reported.

"I have spent much of my career as a diplomat. It is an occupation in which words and context matter a great deal. So one might assume I know better than to tell a large number of women to go to hell," Albright said in an op-ed published in the New York Times, in which she renewed her call to women to support each other.

Albright said earlier that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” a line she has used many times in the past.

During the Democratic debate on Thursday, Clinton shrugged off the comment and said she is running on her own experience.  

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Threatens 'Birther' Lawsuit Against Ted Cruz]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 18:39:59 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Ted-Cruz-Donald-Trump-GettyImages-505043546.jpg

Donald Trump has long questioned whether Sen. Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, is eligible to be president. Now, Trump is threatening to sue Cruz over it.

Trump maintains Cruz may not be a natural born citizen, one of a few qualifications to be president     listed in the Constitution. Trump tweeted Friday he has standing to sue Cruz over the issue. 

Cruz has defended himself from the "birther" claim that he's disqualified from the office, including in a presidential debate in January. 

But Trump's latest remark, coming after a week of negative campaigning between the candidates, is the first time he's threatened to take action over it.

"If @TedCruz doesn’t clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen," Trump tweeted Friday afternoon.

There was no immediate response on Ted Cruz's Twitter feed, and his campaign did not reply to a message requesting comment.

The president must be a "natural born citizen,"  35 years old and a 14-year resident of the nation, according to Article II of the Constitution. The 25th Amendment establishes the two-term limit.

Cruz was born a U.S. citizen because his mother was an American living in Canada. Some constitutional scholars – and Trump – have questioned whether the circumstances of Cruz's birth meet the "natural born citizen" requirement.

A veteran attorney in Houston, Cruz's hometown, has already challenged the senator's eligibility in a federal court, one of several suits brought against Cruz.

At the Jan. 17 debate, Trump suggested Cruz voluntarily submit the question to the court system, saying "there's a big question mark over your head." Trump said he wouldn't sue, but Democrats surely would if Cruz became the Republican nominee for president.

But Cruz countered that he was born a citizen, and that two Republicans born outside of the country had already run for president, including John McCain.

"I'm happy to consider naming you as vice president," Cruz quipped at the time. "And if you happen to be right you can get the top job at the end of the day." 

Harvard Law professor Einer R. Elhauge wrote in a January op-ed that Cruz is ineligible to run, based on a straight reading of the Constitution, but said a fixed rule should be implemented to clarify.

In an interview Friday, Elhauge said it's unlikely Trump would have standing to sue the Cruz campaign in federal court, because "federal standards are pretty narrow."

"A candidate would have to have a unique injury to them in order to sue," he said.

But the rules for standing in state courts are broader, he said, so "any candidate or voter can challenge" Cruz.

Now that the field of Republican contenders has narrowed to six, each candidate may constitute a threat to the others' vote totals, and therefore a "unique injury," according to Elhauge. Trump would probably need a state election official to speak up for his claim.

Professor Rick Hasen of the University of California at Irvine told NBC News that it would be unlikely that Trump would have standing in a direct case against Cruz, but that he could sue election officials for allowing Cruz on the ballot.

"And certainly if Cruz were excluded from the ballot by a registrar who said Cruz is ineligible, Cruz would have standing to sue over that," Cruz said.

Patrick Smith contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: File – Scott Olsen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Ted Cruz's New Ad Lets Kids Dump on Trump]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:57:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_548795612767.jpg

A playful new political attack ad that compares Donald Trump to a child joins a long tradition of using kids to make a point in a presidential race.

Called "Playing Trump," Sen. Ted Cruz's ad features three boys playing with a Trump action figure who "pretends to be a Republican," listing Democratic politicians that Trump has supposedly supported: "Hey Hillary, I'll give you money to be my friend," one says.

It culminates with one boy, imitating Trump, telling a woman he's taking her "lousy" house using eminent domain, and the boys gleefully destroying a doll house as two terrified parents look on.

"We wouldn't tolerate these values in our children. Why would we want them in a president?" the narrator concludes.

Trump's campaign didn't respond for a request for comment, though Trump did tweet Friday that if Cruz didn't stop "doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen."

Some of the best known ads of all time have featured children, including "Daisy," which President Lyndon B. Johnson used to cast doubt on his 1964 opponent Barry Goldwater's ability to wield American military power.

That ad opened with a girl in a field counting the petals of a daisy. The ad moved to a close-up of her face as a military-sounding countdown tracked back to 0, before a bomb exploded into a mushroom cloud. "These are the stakes," Johnson said.

According to one political observer, the new Cruz ad is notable for letting the kids do the mudslinging, rather than merely pointing out the stakes in political spats.

"Children were not used to attack in the past," professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center told NBC Owned Television Networks. 

Jamieson said older political ads featuring children fall into two categories. Some show that the United States is vulnerable, including "Daisy" and a 1984 Walter Mondale ad in which the song "Teach Your Children" played over footage of missiles launching.

Others serve to show the president as part of a family, whether his own - as Franklin D. Roosevelt and George H. W. Bush did - or the broader American family, as Ronald Reagan did in his famous 1984 "Morning in America" ad. Reagan's ad prominently featured children looking up at an American flag being raised.

The Cruz ad, with more than 236,000 views on YouTube, leaves almost all the talking to the children. Whether it gets its message across across is another question. 

"The diction in the ad is pretty bad, making it unlikely that the `message' (such that it is) will get across," said Stanford political science professor Shanto Iyengar in an e-mail.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified which school hosts the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Photo Credit: File – AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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<![CDATA[Sen. Cruz Relents, Ambassadors to Sweden and Norway Confirmed]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 14:37:37 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-505046612.jpg

The Senate on Friday moved to confirm a handful of ambassadors and State Department officials, including the American ambassadors to Sweden and Norway after Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, lifted his months-long hold on the nominations, NBC News reported.

An aide to Cruz said that he decided to lift his hold, which were in place because of his objection to the Iran nuclear agreement, because he feels the American people "are very aware of the negative consequences of this deal."

In the Senate any one senator can put a "hold" on a nomination, and Cruz had been blocking the speedy consideration of a number of nominations for the past seven months. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Eric Garner's Daughter in Bernie Ad]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 13:11:48 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Erica+Garner+II.jpg

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released a new campaign ad Thursday that prominently features the daughter of Eric Garner, the New York City man who died in 2014 after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer.

"People are dying. This is real; this is not TV. We need a president that’s going to talk about it," Erica Garner says in a voice-over in the four-minute campaign ad titled "It’s Not Over."

Her father died in July 2014. His death was ruled a homicide, but the officer who restrained him in a chokehold was not indicted by a Staten Island grand jury and argued he was using a different, department-approved take-down maneuver called "the seatbelt."

Eric Garner's final words — "I can't breathe" — became a focal point for the movement against police brutality, a hot-button issue in the country that both Democratic candidates have taken up on the campaign trail.

Sanders' ad begins with Erica Garner discussing how her father's death influenced her decision to become an activist. She then explains the heartbreaking conversations she has with her 6-year-old daughter.

"She just learned about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. She asked me, 'Did Rosa Parks not give up her seat for a white man?' She said, 'But those are in the old days, right, Mommy?' And I had to explain to her it’s not really over," Erica Garner says. 

The ad ends with stirring music played over Sanders pushing to hold law enforcement accountable for deaths in police custody.

"When a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable," the Vermont senator proclaims to a packed rally.

Erica Garner continues talking about the candidate, calling the 74-year-old a "protester".

"I'm behind anyone who's going to listen and speak up for this," she says. "I think we need to believe in a leader like Bernie Sanders."

As the ad ends, Erica Garner gives her endorsement, saying "that's why I'm for Bernie."

The Garner family, however, is divided in their support this election season. Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, publicly endorsed Sanders' rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, last month.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Former Boston Mayor Hits Building]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 23:35:31 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/carcrash31.jpg

Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn was hospitalized after crashing his car into his neighbor's home in South Boston.

Flynn, 76, says he passed out while driving and sustained a concussion in the crash.

"Thank God nobody got hurt. After working out at the Boston Athletic Club for a couple of hours this morning, I drove home and while parking my car on my street, I got weak and completely passed out," Flynn said in a statement. "Minutes later I woke up, but my car unfortunately had crashed into another house on my street."

The former mayor thanked responders and current Mayor Marty Walsh for their help.

There was substantial damage to the home across the street from the former mayor's, and roommates Maggie Cole and Kelley Lynch need another place to stay because there could be structural damage to the building on Flint Place.

"I don't even know how he could be going that fast," said Cole. "It's a little alley."

"That's definitely not what I wanted to walk home to," said Lynch. "I'm hoping that everyone's OK."

Lynch added that the home's basement is a mess and that their "stuff is kind of ruined."

Flynn served as Boston's mayor from 1983 to 1993, when he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. He also ran unsuccessfully for Massachusetts' 8th congressional district seat in 1998.

Neighbors are grateful Flynn is expected to be alright.

"I ran into him a couple of other times, and he said he was the former mayor of Boston. I was like 'Oh, you know, that’s cool. You're my neighbor,'" said Lynch. "He's just really nice, his wife is really nice. They always said, 'If you ever need anything, feel free to just knock on the door, let yourself in.'"

Lynch described him as a fatherly figure and recalls him telling her and her roommate not to go out alone late at night.

It's unclear what caused the crash.

Note: Mayor Walsh's office initially said Flynn was not injured.

Photo Credit: Boston Police Capt. John Greland.
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<![CDATA[Democratic Debate Wrap]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 23:56:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000013958526_1200x675_621494851548.jpg Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred in Milwaukee during the latest debate, agreeing on some issues and showing their differences on others. NBC10's Lauren Mayk has the wrap.]]> <![CDATA[Endorsement for Congressman Fattah]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 20:15:32 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000013956086_1200x675_621308483580.jpg The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 33 endorses Congressman Chaka Fattah as he fights federal racketeering charges.]]> <![CDATA[John Lewis Questions Sanders' Civil Rights History]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 19:52:24 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/JohnLewis-AP_845681499037.jpg

Rep. John Lewis said Thursday he never saw Sen. Bernie Sanders during the most tumultuous years of the civil rights movement, NBC News reported.

"I never saw him. I never met him," the Georgia congressman said. "I was chair of the student non-violent coordinating committee for 3 years, from 1963 to 1966. I was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom ride, the march on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery and directed the board of education project for six years."

Sanders was a prominent figure during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, and was arrested for trying to desegregate school housing.

The charge comes as both Sanders and Hillary Clinton are vying for African-American support moving into the South Carolina primary — and as the Congressional Black Congress PAC endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bridgegate: Christie Under Fire]]> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 12:06:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/christie+gwb+scandal+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Presidential Campaigns Turn to South Carolina]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 10:38:20 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_politicsam0211_1500x845.jpg Presidential hopefuls are focusing their efforts on South Carolina ahead of the state's upcoming primaries.]]> <![CDATA[School Helps Addicts Be Students While on Road to Recovery]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:18:58 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000013952590_1200x675_621163075505.jpg Places like Philadelphia's Bridge Way School help teens on the road to recovery from addiction. These specialty schools aren't cheap and lawmakers are looking to help increase funding and awareness.]]> <![CDATA[Taxi & Limo Drivers Hit Center City Streets to Protest UberX]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 21:50:38 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Uber+Slave+Taxi+Protest.JPG

Philadelphia taxi and limo drivers, angry with ride-booking services UberX and Lyft cutting into their business, took to Center City streets Thursday blocking traffic and making noise.

Cabdrivers joined Uber Black drivers and people with disabilities to protest ride-hailing services UberX and Lyft that are cutting into traditional taxi and limo business.

The Philadelphia Cab Association planned to gather on city streets around 12:30 p.m. to protest ride-sharing claiming that public safety, a lack of handicap-accessible vehicles and a lack of taxation are putting the people of Pennsylvania in peril, especially people with disabilities. Some drivers also claim to be making less money as people turn to the convenience of app-based Lyft and UberX.

UberBlack – Uber's upscale service featuring licensed limousine drivers – joined the taxi drivers in their opposition of the app-based services that feature non-professional drivers using personal cars to transport fares. Uber calls UberX a lower-cost alternative to UberBlack.

On Thursday, people using wheelchairs and others could be seen protesting outside City Hall as seemingly hundreds of cabs and black cars -- one with "Uber Slave" written on its roof -- blocked lanes and blared horns.

After about 45 minutes, protesters holding signs and chanting could be seen standing in the middle of Market Street on the west side of City Hall causing a complete stop of traffic. Philadelphia Police responded but didn't appear to disperse the crowd nor make any arrests.

Late last year, a seemingly larger protest brought Center City to a standstill as protesters -- estimated to be between 500 to 600 -- used a combination of on-foot demonstrations and licensed vehicles to slow traffic along Broad Street and on surrounding streets for about 45 minutes.

In the days after that protest, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams met with taxi and limo drivers to hear their grievances. Uber Black drivers have also filed a suit against Uber over ride-sharing options.

State lawmakers have battled over the legality of the ride-sharing services as UberX hit milestones like its 1 millionth ride in Philadelphia.

Uber earlier responded to the concerns of Philly's professional drivers in a statement that put the onus back on the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which is responsible for taxi licensing in the city.

“Many taxi and limousine drivers are understandably frustrated because the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s outdated rules make it harder to earn a living when the public has shown they want more affordable options," said the Uber statement. "Each year, the PPA requires limousine drivers to pay $404 per vehicle for a PPA sticker and $130 for their chauffeur's permit to be renewed. They also subject drivers to obsolete vehicle restrictions and onerous insurance requirements. We believe statewide reform of the PPA that allows for regulated ride-sharing will benefit both riders and drivers."

The PPA had no comment about Thursday's event. they did, however, conjured up the Bill of Rights in a previous statement.

"We are all thankful to live in a free country, where we all are free to assemble and express our views through peaceful protests," said PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty.

NBC10 also reached out to Lyft for comment.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Some Families in NJ Public Housing Make $100K+]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 18:11:00 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/217*120/public+housing+sign+camden.JPG

Hundreds of families throughout New Jersey live in public housing despite earning enough money to move out. The NBC10 Investigators first found nearly 200 over income families on public assistance in Philadelphia and have now tracked 755 throughout New Jersey.

The 755 over income families wouldn’t qualify for public housing if they applied today.


In Vineland there are 697 people on the waiting list. According to the Vineland Housing Authority and Department of Housing and Urban Development at least 16 families earn enough to move out. The highest earning family makes $131,000.

“I don’t necessarily see it as a problem,” Vineland Housing Authority Director Jackie Jones said.

Jones said the higher a family’s income, the higher their rent. Taxpayers make up the difference.

“I see that there are people who think they don’t deserve the housing but the other point of view is that these families are actually helping to pay the bills to maintain these houses,” Jones said.

In Camden families wait an average of 39 months for public housing according to that city’s housing authority. HUD records show one Camden family earns $109,000 and 14 families make so much money they wouldn’t qualify for public housing if they applied today.

Those in charge in Camden say there are no plans to evict anyone.

“The law would preclude us from evicting tenants because their income is over income according to HUD,” Camden Housing Authority attorney Lisa Hendricks Richardson said.

In Trenton 3000 people are on the public housing waiting list. The NBC 10 Investigators showed Trenton Housing Authority Executive Director Oliver Leggett HUD records showing 20 over income families in Trenton. The top three earners make $103,000, $91,000, and $81,000.

“I suspect that they could (move out) but if you look at the market rates in this town versus other places it’s very difficult for them to sustain themselves,” Leggett said.

HUD sends hundreds of millions of tax dollars to housing authorities all over the county. A report by the HUD Inspector General said there are at least 22,226 over income families living in public housing nationally, costing taxpayers $104.4 million dollars.

“I’m confident we’re going to make sure we drive down the number of over income families but not take away the incentive for everyday families to become self-sufficient to work toward that,” HUD secretary Julian Castro said.

New Jersey has the fifth most over income families in the country. According to HUD data, at least 86 of them earn six figures.

“I think it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars,” Congressman David Jolley of Florida said.

The congressman oversees HUD’s budget as a member of the house appropriations committee.

“At the end of the day taxpayers are paying for $104 million in services that aren’t needed and if HUD’s not going to fix it I will make sure we fix it through the budget process,” he said.

Jolley recently supported a bill to evict over income families. The House of Representatives passed the bill last week. Now it has to pass the senate and the president has to sign it. If the bill becomes law, over income families will have two years to vacate public housing.

<![CDATA[Arrests of NJ Gang Members: Cops]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 13:52:20 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Newark+Gang+Walk.jpg

The alleged leader and three other suspected members of Newark's Grape Street Crips gang were arrested Thursday morning as part of an effort to stem the spate of violence that has marred the New Jersey city in recent months.

The suspected leader, Corey Hamlet, 39,  along with associates Sean Scott, 45, Keon Bethea, 33, and Jamil Harrison, 32, were charged with numerous crimes, including RICO conspiracy, use of firearms in crimes of violence, witness tampering, robbery and drug trafficking, authorities said.

All four of the suspected members were remanded at their arraignments Thursday in U.S. District Court in Newark, the U.S. Attorney's office said.  

FBI and DEA agents, Newark police, and officers from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department raided several locations and took the suspected gang members into custody, officials said.

The New Jersey Grape Street Crips is the local branch of a nationwide street gang founded in Los Angeles which engages in drug-trafficking and other crimes, law enforcement officials said. Officials say the gang controls much of the heroin trafficking in northern New Jersey.

In addition to the gang’s criminal activities, the gang’s rules say members must retaliate against anyone who cooperates with law enforcement, officials said. Gang members routinely engage in acts of intimidation and violence against witnesses, cooperators, and law enforcement officers, the officials said.

Nine months ago, more than 70 members of the Grape Street Crips, including the No. 2 and No. 3 highest ranking members, were arrested in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.

"The people of Newark should not have to endure that kind of violence or the fear that it breeds," Fishman said in a statement.

Andrew Campi, acting director of the New Jersey FBI, said the bust brings Newark closer to "dismantling one of the most violent street gangs in this city." 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York ]]>
<![CDATA['Headed to the White House Exhibit' at NCC]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 14:23:50 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/185*120/Headed+to+the+White+House+National+Consitution+Center.JPG

NBC10 and Telemundo62 have announced their joint sponsorship of “Headed to the White House,” a timely new exhibit at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center opening on February 12. The exhibit is designed to engage students, families and visitors of all ages with the presidential election season by leading them on an interactive journey through the political process.

“NBC10 and Telemundo62 are proud to partner with the National Constitution Center,” said Ric Harris, President and General Manager of NBC10 and Telemundo62.  “We’re excited to share fascinating stories about the democratic process and its impact on our viewers throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.”

Headed to the White House was created by the National Constitution Center and uses artifacts, interactive modules, multimedia and role-playing opportunities to guide visitors along the campaign trail and into the Oval Office. The exhibit is timed to coincide with the 2016 presidential election and the National Democratic Convention taking place this July in Philadelphia.

“Partnering with the National Constitution Center provides NBC10 and Telemundo62 access to historians and Constitutional experts with unique insight into the political process,” said Anzio Williams, Vice President of News for both stations. “We are especially excited to be able to share these insights with both our English- and Spanish-speaking audiences.”

Headed to the White House is scheduled to open Friday, February 12and will run through November 13. For more information, visit www.constitutioncenter.org. You can also buy tickets HERE.

Photo Credit: National Constitution Center]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Makes Electability Pitch Since N.H. Victory]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:11:11 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TrumpSouthCarolina-AP_446723142501.jpg

Donald Trump is making his first pitch of electability after a landslide victory in New Hampshire.

Trump told nearly 5,000 people in South Carolina that he could win beyond the Palmetto State, NBC News reported.

"You're next," Trump said to the South Carolinians assembled, citing his large margin of victory in the Granite State and promising that a win here would propel him on to run the table.

He also didn’t miss the chance to swipe at Hillary Clinton for her loss to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom he called “wacky socialist guy Bernie” 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Congressional Black Caucus to Endorse Clinton]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:38:21 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/508448996-Hillary-Clinton-necn-Viewer-Question.jpg

The Congressional Black Caucus PAC will endorse Hillary Clinton on Thursday, NBC News has confirmed.

The group will help her campaign to win over minority voters in upcoming primary contests.

Clinton has a strong advantage over rival Bernie Sanders among black voters, and the endorsement could help her solidify support in states where the group plays a key role, like in the upcoming South Carolina Democratic primary.

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn — an influential voice in the state — is still neutral, telling NBC News he will not endorse ahead of the state primary.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Won Despite Ignoring NH's Famed Retail Politics]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:31:53 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-509216262.jpg

The governors competing for the Republican presidential nomination all tried to outdo each other in time spent in New Hampshire, staking their campaigns on an electorate more moderate and less religious than in Iowa. But when the polls closed on the country's first primary, it was the candidate who barely stopped for a cup of coffee in the Granite State making the victory speech.

Businessman Donald Trump, who skipped much of the retail politics for which New Hampshire is known, the intimate meet-and-greets at diners, in living rooms and at town meetings, came out on top with 35 percent of the vote. He captured the lead when he announced he was running and held it throughout the race.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished second, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who finished fourth, both left New Hampshire for the next contest in South Carolina, while New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie, so often in New Hampshire that he was criticized for ignoring his own state’s problems, was dropping out.

“If you look at [Trump's] circumstances, you could say that spending time in the state doesn’t matter, and when he did come it was for very large rallies where there was no give-and-take between the candidate and the citizens,” said Linda Fowler, a professor of government at Dartmouth College. “On the other hand, John Kasich really did show that retail politics can still make a difference.”

Kasich began with 2 percent of the voters and ended up with 16 percent in a very crowded field, she said. The governor of a swing state who ran a campaign based on issues instead of insults, he was able to capitalize on his appeal to moderates unhappy with Trump and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, exit polling showed.

The outspoken Christie, meanwhile, was overshadowed by the even more brash and controversial Trump, and he struggled to gain his footing with voters. He finished sixth in the Republican pack.

“We came here to say that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters, and that it will always matter in leading our nation,” Christie told supporters Tuesday night. “That message was heard by a lot of folks and it was stood for by a lot of folks here in New Hampshire, just not enough. Not enough tonight.”

Christie, who focused most of his resources on a strong showing in New Hampshire, returned to New Jersey on Wednesday to announce he was suspending his campaign.

Bush was pushing ahead to South Carolina after a fourth-place finish despite also failing to stir much excitement around his campaign. At the start of the year, his super PAC, Right to Rise, still had about half of the $118 million it raised last year.

The three governors had trouble differentiating themselves, and some Republicans worried that Christie had the least chance of winning the nomination, Fowler said. In the past, retail politics have been critical for candidates — Sen. John McCain in 2000 and 2008, for example — but at the same time, the field was much less crowded.

“Meeting voters doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to support you, when they had so many options to choose from,” she said.

New Hampshire’s voters famously demand a chance to see the candidates up close. The state makes a case for its first-in-the-country status by pointing to the scrutiny candidates get as they criss-cross the state for the small gatherings.

On the Democratic side, the primary winner, Sen. Bernie Sanders, swept the state with 60 percent of the vote to 38 percent for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The two each made about 90 stops in the state, according to necn's candidate tracker.

Among the Republicans, in the hours before the polls closed, Christie was claiming to have topped Kasich in days on the ground in New Hampshire and town halls attended.

Kasich and Christie each spent about 70 days in New Hampshire to about 55 for Bush. During those visits, Kasich and Christie made 190 stops each at breakfasts, fundraisers, dinners and other events over the course of the campaign, while Bush made 111, according to the necn candidate tracker.

Trump, by contrast, had only 46 stops over 30 days, though his campaign intensified its ground game in the final days.

“We learned a lot about ground games in one week,” he joked after his win.

Fowler cautioned against drawing too much from Trump’s victory, relying as it did on his celebrity.

“It’s hard to generalize because his candidacy is breaking so many rules, not just the one about retail politics,” she said.

Meanwhile, by Wednesday, Carly Fiorina had also suspended her campaign. She had campaigned heavily in New Hampshire, making 149, stops but came in seventh, with only 4 percent of the vote. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Breaking Down the 2016 New Hampshire Primary]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:31:18 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-509278698-bernie-sanders-new-hampshire.jpg NBC10 Political Analyst Jim Schultz joined Keith Jones to discuss the 2016 Presidential Race and the results of the New Hampshire primaries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Free Ponies for All' Candidate Vermin Supreme Finishes 4th in NH Primary]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 11:22:21 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/verminsupreme.jpg

Pony-loving, boot wearing Vermin Supreme finished fourth among Democrats in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in a rout. Martin O'Malley, who dropped out of the race after the Iowa Caucus, finished a distant third.

But the fourth place finisher was a name familiar to many New Hampshire voters: Massachusetts resident Vermin Supreme, the perennial candidate best known for his campaign platform to provide free ponies to every American.

With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Supreme received 257 votes, only slightly less than half of the 622 votes O'Malley received. That's also more than Republicans Mike Huckabee (214), Rick Santorum (197), Jim Gilmore (132), George Pataki (79) and Bobby Jindal (50) tallied. In their defense, though, all but Gilmore had already dropped out of the race.

With his large beard and boot hat, Supreme has become somewhat of a cult figure in New Hampshire, where he spent a great deal of time attending candidate events and handing out candy. He was banned from the annual "Lesser Known Candidates Forum" at Saint Anselm College this year after he famously glitter-bombed the event four years ago, causing a mess that proved costly for the college to clean up.

He also hosted a giant party and concert over Labor Day weekend. "Burning Vermin: Vermin Supreme Labor Day Telethon Money Bomb," was held at a farm in Croydon, New Hampshire, and featured a pig roast, bands and readings by Supreme.

Photo Credit: necn/Marc Fortier]]>
<![CDATA[City Breaks Ground on $16.5M LOVE Park Renovation]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 09:18:27 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/LOVE+park+skater+guys.jpg

The City of Philadelphia will break ground Wednesday on a $16.5-million renovation of the city's LOVE Park in Center City.

The long-anticipated project will bring more green space to the park, at 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard near City Hall. Plans show a variety of trees, flowers and new crisscrossing fountains in the park.

The park, long a destination for tourists and locals who visit to snap photos in front of the iconic LOVE sculpture, is expected to be closed for a period of time as the renovation is completed. The revamp is expected to take more than a year.

The LOVE sculpture will be removed for a period but later reinstalled close to the same spot it's in now, according to PlanPhilly.

One group of longtime LOVE stalwarts, though, say they're losing out with the park's facelift.

Skateboarders, who favored the park for its concrete and stone steps, often used LOVE as a skate park, although skating there wasn't technically legal. The new green space, which will eliminate much of the concrete and stone, will make skating there a thing of the past.

The skaters who frequent LOVE Park have been expressing their discontent with the impending revamp on social media using hashtags including "#lastdaysoflove" and "#phillyhasnolove."

A group of skateboarders, all young men, many who said they'd been skating at the park near-daily for years, looked on wistfully Thursday as construction workers began to put up fencing around parts of the park.

"I didn't have any friends till I came to this place," a 23-year-old skateboarder from Germantown who goes by Q. Three said on Thursday as he looked around at the shiny silver fences breaking up the park. "I could've been in all kinds of street stuff."

For Mark Jackson, 24, from Hunting Park, skating at LOVE has always been an outlet for him, too.

"It's everything," Jackson said as he stood with Q, holding his skateboard.

They'd get chased out of the park by park rangers and police sometimes, they said, but in a city rife with drugs and guns, skateboarding -- even where it isn't legal -- was always a better alternative.

"Nobody comes to the park unless we're skating," Q. added. "This is our place. We shovel [snow], we fix the cracks."

The groundbreaking is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday.

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<![CDATA[Obama Returns to Illinois]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:00:07 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/obama-AP_481030974134.jpg

President Barack Obama arrived in Springfield on Wednesday morning prepared to make history, becoming the fourth U.S. president to address the Illinois General Assembly.

Nine years ago was Obama’s last time in Springfield for the frigid February announcement of his candidacy for president. Springfield was just as bitter cold for his arrival Wednesday as it was then, but the welcome for the president was warm. 

"It's great to see so many old friends," Obama said at the start of his address to a standing ovation. "I missed you guys."

Obama spoke on unity and bipartisanship before a body in Illinois that has been criticized for exhibiting neither characteristic. 

The address comes amid a historic state budget impasse in Illinois, something the president did not ignore in his speech. 

"When I hear voices in either party boast of their refusal to compromise as an accomplishment in and of itself, I’m not impressed," Obama said. "All that does is prevent what most Americans would consider actual accomplishments, like fixing roads, educating kids, passing budgets, cleaning our environment, making our streets safe."

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The nod to the budget crisis in Springfield received standing ovation from many in the crowd. 

Most of Obama's speech centered around what he called "better politics" and the need to fix the "poisonous political climate that pushes people away from participating."

He continuously emphasized the need for compromise between parties.

"In a big complicated democracy like ours if we can’t compromise, by definition we can’t govern ourselves," he said, noting that "trying to find common ground doesn't make me less of a Democrat or less of a Progressive." 

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama accepts that his call for better politics will be hard.

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"It is a lot easier to be cynical than to accept that change is possible," he said. "The president will again call on a politics of hard-won hope."

Rauner said in a statement before the speech he looked forward to "hearing (Obama) speak about finding common ground between Republicans and Democrats."

"Despite our political differences, the President and I share a passion for improving education, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, a belief in the benefits of term limits and redistricting reform for restoring good government, and a strong desire to see more economic opportunity for all Illinoisans," Rauner said. "I know we can achieve great things for Illinois by having mutual respect for one another and focusing on bipartisan compromise to achieve what’s best for the long-term future of our great state.”

Still, Rauner and other Republicans did not stand when Obama spoke of how collective bargaining is critical to the middle class. 

It has been nearly four decades since a president made such an address in Illinois, the last time being when Jimmy Carter spoke to the state’s lawmaking body in 1978. The difference in Obama’s visit is that he is the first president to have served in the General Assembly and also address them.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin stood with Obama in Springfield when he announced his historic run for president and arrived with the president as he landed in Springfield. 

“Working together, we can accomplish great things," Durbin said in a statement. "The promise of hope and change that President Obama brought to Springfield back in 2007 can only become a reality if we are willing to compromise and find common ground.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dune Wars Ruling Looms Down Jersey Shore]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 08:10:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000013930044_1200x675_620065347645.jpg The state of New Jersey wants to seize 87 Margate properties in an effort to widen beaches and build protective sand dunes.]]> <![CDATA[Trump, Sanders Topple Competition in New Hampshire]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 07:56:44 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-509278698-bernie-sanders-new-hampshire.jpg Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders claimed victories in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, but another Republican candidate may also be feeling satisfied with his results.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Christie Heads Home to Ponder Next Step in WH Bid]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 06:56:23 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_813214976550-christie.jpg

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading home to New Jersey Wednesday morning to "take a deep breath" and make a decision on his next step forward.

Christie, who finished back in the pack in New Hampshire, said Tuesday he would wait until the final votes were counted before deciding whether he would continue his presidential run.

"We leave New Hampshire without an ounce of regret," he said.

Christie, 53, a former prosecutor, was not able to emerge from a crowded field of candidates.

He congratulated Trump for his victory in New Hampshire, and said he had won elections he was supposed to lose and had lost elections he was supposed to win: "It's both the magic and mystery of politics."

Christie was elected in 2009 as New Jersey governor and easily won a second term.

"We can actually get a change of clothes," he joked, referring to a rumor last week about candidate Ben Carson's future that nearly scuppered the neurosurgeon's campaign.

Carson's campaign had told reporters during the Iowa caucuses that he would be heading home to get a change of clothes, which many took to mean he was dropping out, and may have affected the caucus vote.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[ICYMI: 5 Things to Know From the NH Primary]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:06:01 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Spotlight-Graphic-5Things-Th.jpg Here's a quick summary of what happened on Tuesday night at the New Hampshire primary.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Want to See Bruce Springsteen & Support Schools?]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 05:04:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/springsteen6.jpg

Philadelphia's mayor is donating his suite at Friday's sold-out Bruce Springsteen concert to a school district fundraising group.

The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia is offering Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney's suite tickets for $556 each on its website and says proceeds will support public education.

Springsteen is performing one night at the Wells Fargo Center as part of his tour showcasing his 1980 album "The River."

A mayoral spokeswoman says the suite has 18 seats. She says the mayor has a suite for all events at the center but doesn't plan to be there for the Springsteen concert. She says he also will donate the suite for shows by Carrie Underwood, The Who, Justin Bieber and Adele.

The 18 tickets normally are given to city staffers and other organizations.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>