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Political Notebook

Milwaukee picked as site of 2020 Democratic National Convention

The 17,500-seat Fiserv Forum is home to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. (Carrie Antlfinger/Associated Press)
The 17,500-seat Fiserv Forum is home to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. (Carrie Antlfinger/Associated Press)(Carrie Antlfinger/Ap)

The Democratic National Committee has selected Milwaukee as the site of its national convention, placing a spotlight on a key Midwestern battleground state that Democrats lost for the first time in three decades in 2016 and see as central to the party’s efforts to reclaim the White House.

The convention will be held next year on July 13-16 in the newly built Fiserv Forum, a 17,500-seat arena that is home to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee was selected over a pair of larger Sun Belt cities, Houston, and Miami, to host the event.

Milwaukee organizers raised more than $10 million and reassured officials that they had secured sufficient hotel capacity for the event, ameliorating concerns that the city lacked the finances and infrastructure to support an event that regularly draws tens of thousands of out-of-town activists, officials, and media.

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Wisconsin holds a searing place in the Democratic Party psyche after Hillary Clinton, the party’s last presidential nominee, opted not to campaign in the traditionally blue state during the general election — a decision that some blamed for her 22,000-vote defeat in the state.

Democrats won back the governorship of the state in 2018, assuaging some concerns that Wisconsin was drifting away. Still, some in the party are urging the 2020 candidates to broaden their focus beyond the upper Midwest to the rapidly growing Sun Belt states.

Democratic officials worried about the optics of hosting a convention in Houston, a city dominated by the oil and gas industry, at a time when Democratic activists are focused on combating climate change.

Republicans will hold their convention Aug. 24–27, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.

New York Times

Gillibrand backs handling of aide’s sex misconduct claim

Democratic presidential contender Kirsten Gillibrand is standing by her Senate office’s response to a former staffer who resigned over the handling of her sexual harassment claims.

Politico reported Sunday that the female staffer alleged that one of Gillibrand’s closest aides made repeated unwelcome advances toward her and then retaliated after she reported him. The aide lost his expected promotion but not his job. Gillibrand’s office concluded the woman’s allegations ‘‘did not meet the standard of sexual harassment.’’

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The New York senator, who has been a forceful public advocate for victims of sexual misconduct, said Monday that it’s important to believe women who make allegations so that ‘‘serious investigations can actually take place, we can learn the facts, and there can be appropriate accountability.’’

Gillibrand says, ‘‘That’s exactly what happened at every step of this case last year.’’

The aide was fired after Politico presented the office with additional allegations.

Associated Press

No comment on if Trump thinks Dems ‘hate’ Jews

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday repeatedly refused to say whether President Trump really thinks Democrats ‘‘hate’’ Jewish people.

Before Trump left the White House on Friday for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, he said: ‘‘The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They’ve become an anti-Jewish party, and that’s too bad.’’ Later in the day, Trump told Republican National Committee donors that Democrats ‘‘hate’’ Jewish people, according to a person who heard the remarks but spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the president’s comments at a private event.

Trump’s comments followed an emotional debate on Capitol Hill about statements made by freshman Representative Ilhan Omar, a Muslim lawmaker from Minnesota who suggested Israel’s supporters were pushing lawmakers to take a pledge of ‘‘allegiance’’ to a foreign country — comments that some viewed as anti-Semitic.

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Democrats wrestled for days over whether a House resolution should call Omar out by name, what other types of bias should be mentioned in the measure and whether the party would tolerate dissenting views on Israel. When the final resolution passed the House, it did not mention Omar by name.

Sanders refused several times to say whether Trump really thinks Democrats ‘‘hate’’ Jews. ‘‘The president has been an unwavering and committed ally to Israel and the Jewish people and, frankly, the remarks that have been made by a number of Democrats and failed to be called out by Democrat leadership is frankly abhorrent and it’s sad,’’ she said.

In January, the House approved a Democratic measure disapproving of comments that Representative Steve King, Republican from Iowa, made about white supremacy. King had a long history of controversial rhetoric about immigrants, but it wasn’t until he defended white supremacy in an interview with The New York Times that Republicans in Congress moved to strip him of committee assignments and called for his resignation.

In August 2017, after violence erupted at a white nationalist ‘‘Unite the Right’’ rally in Charlottesville, Va., Trump said ‘‘both sides’’ were to blame, a comment some saw as a refusal to condemn racism.

Associated Press

Pelosi: Impeaching Trump ‘just not worth it’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is setting a high bar for impeachment of President Trump, saying he is ‘‘just not worth it’’ even as some on her left flank clamor to start proceedings.

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Pelosi said in an interview with the Washington Post that ‘‘unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.’’

While she has made similar comments before, Pelosi is making clear to her caucus and to voters that Democrats will not move forward quickly with trying to remove Trump from office.

Associated Press

LePage suggests Democrats mostly get money from Jews

Former Governor Paul LePage suggested Monday that the Democratic Party’s money comes from Jewish people, for the most part.

The Republican’s comments told WGAN-AM that Jewish people should be ‘‘insulted’’ by a Democratic congresswoman’s statements that some viewed as anti-Semitic. ‘‘The Jewish people in America have been great supporters of the Democratic Party,’’ LePage said. ‘‘In fact, that’s where their money comes from for the most part. They should be absolutely insulted for what she’s been saying.’’

LePage, who has previously grabbed headlines for remarks critics deem racist, said he felt ‘‘completely vindicated from anything’’ he has said in light of freshman Representative Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota. She suggested Israel’s supporters were pushing lawmakers to take a pledge of ‘‘allegiance’’ to a foreign country, reviving an anti-Semitic trope of dual loyalties.

LePage’s representatives didn’t respond to request for comment.

Associated Press