Could Tim Wu become New York’s first Asian American to hold statewide elected office?

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Columbia law professor Timothy Wu is running to be New York’s lieutenant governor. If he wins, he would be the first Asian American to hold statewide office in the state.

Next week on September 9th, New York voters will go to the polls to vote in the Democratic primary for the state’s gubernatorial races. Governor Andrew Cuomo will be running in his first re-election campaign after his successful 2010 bid for the state’s top spot which saw him running uncontested in the Democratic primary and trouncing Republican Carl Paladino in the general.

While there’s almost no doubt that Cuomo will be returning to the governor’s office this year, this year’s gubernatorial race in New York has still been one to watch: namely in regards to who will be standing alongside Cuomo this November. Cuomo’s running mate is Kathy Hochul, a former U.S. Congressman; before her term in the House, Hochul also served as Erie County Clerk for four years. After being defeated in her 2013 re-election campaign, Hochul joined the private sector working as a lobbyist for New York-based M&T Bank.

Hochul has been a lacklustre candidate for lieutenant governor, and virtually unknown outside of Buffalo political circles. Meanwhile, she’s had to spend most of the summer fighting against her own political past: in 2006, Hochul loudly advocated in favour of turning people suspected of undocumented status to federal authorities. Hochul has also voted several times against Obamacare and against gun control. Today, Hochul says she has reversed her position on undocumented immigration (2006 was a different time and place, she tells to Karen DeWitt of Norty County Public Radio) and now claims to be “1000%” in favour of DREAMers. Yet, these statements remain like an albatross around Hochul’s neck.

Meanwhile, another candidate — Columbia law professor Timothy Wu — has become the sudden rockstar of the New York state lieutenant governor’s race; and, if Wu is able to defeat Hochul next week and all other opponents in the general, he will become the first Asian American to hold statewide office in New York State.

So, who exactly is Tim Wu?

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KY Democratic operative launches torrent of racist anti-Asian tweets against Elaine Chao

Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.
Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Although these days, Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao is predominantly seen stumping with husband Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell, Chao has built an impressive history as a public servant in her own right, breaking through a number of barriers to Asian Americans in Washington.

Her career in politics began in the Reagan Administration when Chao, a Republican, worked as Deputy Administrator of the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation. She went on to serve as Deputy Secretary of Transportation and later as Director of the Peace Corps under President George H.W. Bush. Eventually, she was appointed as the 24th Labor Secretary under the junior Bush, and became the only Cabinet member of George W. Bush’s administration to serve out his full two terms. Chao is the first Asian American woman to be appointed to any of these positions, including as a Cabinet Secretary — the nation’s highest appointed office.

A staunch conservative, Chao has politics that are very nearly the polar opposite to my own. There’s very little I agree with when it comes to Chao’s philosophy (less that I agree with when it comes to her husband Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell), but no one can or should deny Chao’s accomplishments as a forthright and powerful Asian American woman in politics.

That’s why, in my mind, there is absolutely no justification for the racist, anti-Asian tirade of Kathy Groob, a Kentucky-based Democrat and founder of the Elect Women PAC, earlier this week.

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What does Eric Cantor’s primary loss mean for comprehensive immigration reform?

Eric Cantor is not having a good night.
Eric Cantor is not having a good night.

An hour ago, I had to stop the treadmill before I fell off it and broke my neck. See, I found out in the middle of my evening run that Representative Eric Cantor, the Republican House Majority Leader who had successfully held his seat for seven seats, was brutally trounced in his primary race tonight. Cantor lost the GOP primary election, and therefore his seat and his position as House Majority Leader, by 10 points to a politically unknown economics professor named Dave Brat.

Rep. Eric Cantor may be one of the top GOP legislators in DC, but he’s also one of the most conservative, and he hasn’t won many fans among moderates or the Left. So, tonight, a lot of progressive Democrats are gleefully celebrating Cantor’s surprise ouster.

But, before, we pop open that champagne, let’s stop and think about what this unexpected defeat might mean for national politics, and particularly an issue of deep significance tot his blog: comprehensive immigration reform.

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Governor Brewer vetoes SB1062, Arizona’s “Right To Discriminate” Bill

Governor Brewer vetoes SB1062.
Governor Brewer vetoes SB1062.

I guess my friend Mike Bryan of Blog for Arizona was right. Faced with mounting state-wide and national pressure from activsts, business leaders, her own advisors, and even members of the Arizona GOP, Governor Jan Brewer did the only thing that made sense.

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SB1062 “Right to Discriminate” bill will likely be vetoed by AZ governor

Anderson Cooper looks like he believes it.
Anderson Cooper looks like he’s about 2 seconds from a face-palm for the entire ten minute interview.

Last week, Arizona passed a disturbingly dense State Senate bill called SB1062. This is a bill that it’s authors have dubbed the “religious freedom” bill, but which is really a free pass for Arizonans to legally discriminate against anyone they feel like on ostensibly religious grounds.

The bill’s authors pedantically claim that the bill is exclusively intended to protect the right for Arizonan’s to exercise their religion, a right that Arizona state senator, SB1062 bill supporter, and possible talking tree stump Capt. Al Melvin could not convince Anderson Cooper last night was even in danger in the state of Arizona ( video after the jump).

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