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MORNING MESSAGE

Sen. Warren Just Stepped Up On Free College For All

Kat Legier

Senator Elizabeth Warren just stepped up to support Free College For All. And it’s not just a pose. How do I know? Because I got to ask her myself – twice. Just after Senator Warren announced she was running for president, I went to her Town Hall in Dover. I got in the question line, and asked her if she would support Free College For All for every student, including the undocumented and formerly incarcerated. At that time, she wasn’t sure On April 12, she came back for another event near the UNH campus. Once again, I got in the question line, so I could follow up on where she stood on Free College For All. This time, she recognized me right away. When I asked her if her position had changed, she immediately took my hand and told me that she was about to unveil a whole plan on Free College in a couple of weeks. Sure enough, Sen. Warren just unveiled her plan to eliminate tuition at all public two- and four-year colleges, and cancelling hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan debt. Under this plan, three-quarters of all households will see their federal student loans forgiven, which she says will help reduce the racial wealth gap. It’s still way too early to know who I’ll vote for – and Senator Warren is not the only candidate who’s trying to address our education crisis. But the fact that she has unveiled a plan to address this key concern, after engaging directly with me and other young people on the campaign trail, is very exciting. Senator Warren told me, personally, that the whole reason she changed her mind about Free College For All was because of youth like us, going these events, raising our voices and concerns and asking her what she plans to do about it. That’s how she realized how urgent it is to address this issue.

SCOTUS Hears Arguments On Census Citizenship Question

SCOTUS set to hear arguments with decades of implications. NPR: “The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Tuesday in a legal battle with lasting implications that could dramatically affect political representation and federal funding over the next decade. The justices are weighing whether to allow the Trump administration to add a question about U.S. citizenship status to forms for the upcoming 2020 census. In multiple lawsuits brought by dozens of states, cities and other groups, three federal judges at U.S. district courts have issued rulings blocking the administration’s plans for the question. It asks, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” All three judges — in New York, California and Maryland — ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ decision to include the question violated procedures for adding new census questions under administrative law. The judges in California and Maryland have also ruled that adding the question is unconstitutional because it hurts the government’s ability to carry out the constitutional mandate for a once-a-decade head count of every person living in the U.S.”

Trump Ignores IRS Deadline To Release Taxes

IRS faces a second deadline to release Trump tax returns to Democrats. CNN: “The Trump administration faces another deadline Tuesday to hand over six years of President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal gave the IRS until 5 p.m. to respond to the request, appealing directly to the tax agency after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — who oversees the IRS — stepped in to decline a similar request earlier this month citing ongoing consultation with the Justice Department. The Massachusetts Democrat has indicated that defying his request — as the IRS is expected to do — would be interpreted as noncompliance and lead to an escalation in the standoff between the administration and House Democrats over the President’s financial records.Democrats argue that it is up to Rettig, a Trump appointee, and not Mnuchin to release the returns. ‘It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns and return information,’ Neal wrote to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. ‘Please know that if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request.'”

IRS Surrenders Dark Money Oversight

IRS Surrenders Dark Money Oversight, Non-Profits Run Rampant. ProPublica: “In the past decade, people, companies and unions have dispensed more than $1 billion in dark money, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The very definition of that phrase, to many critics, epitomizes the problem of shadowy political influence: Shielded by the cloak of anonymity, typically wealthy interests are permitted to pass limitless pools of cash through nonprofits to benefit candidates or political initiatives without contributing directly to campaigns. Such spending is legal because of a massive loophole. Section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code allows organizations to make independent expenditures on politics while concealing their donors’ names — as long as politics isn’t the organization’s ‘primary activity.’ The Internal Revenue Service has the daunting task of trying to determine when nonprofits in that category, known colloquially as C4s, violate that vague standard. But the IRS’ attempts to police this class of nonprofits have almost completely broken down, a ProPublica investigation reveals. Since 2015, thousands of complaints have streamed in — from citizens, public interest groups, IRS agents, government officials and more — that C4s are abusing the rules. But the agency has not stripped a single organization of its tax-exempt status for breaking spending rules during that period. (A handful of groups have had their status revoked for failing to file financial statements for three consecutive years.).”

Border Militia Leader Allegedly Trained Group To Assassinate Obama And Soros

Leader of right-wing border militia allegedly said the group was training to assassinate Obama, Clinton, and Soros. Slate:: “The leader of a right-wing militia in the news recently over allegations it forcefully detained asylum-seekers at the southern border in order to hand them over to Border Patrol agents reportedly once said his group was training to assassinate President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros, an FBI agent said in an affidavit filed Saturday in support of the man’s arrest. Larry Mitchell Hopkins, also known as Johnny Horton Jr., was arrested Saturday on charges of possessing a firearm and ammunition as a felon and appeared in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Monday. He is currently the only member of the militia group to face any charges. The affidavit from the FBI agent came from reports to the agency’s public access line in October 2017 of ‘alleged militia extremist activity’ in Flora Vista, New Mexico, according to NBC News. Hopkins ‘allegedly made the statement’ that his group, the United Constitutional Patriots, was training for the assassinations ‘because of these individuals’ support of Antifa,’ but it’s not clear to whom he made the statements. Hopkins’ attorney denied those allegations.”

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