Leaked Democratic Party Emails Show Members Tried To Undercut Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders featured heavily in the hacked Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks Friday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders featured heavily in the hacked Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks Friday. Mike Groll/AP hide caption

toggle caption Mike Groll/AP

With just one weekend to go before Hillary Clinton is expected to accept her party’s nomination for president, WikiLeaks on Friday released almost 20,000 emails sent and received by Democratic National Committee staff members from January 2015 to May 2016 – leaving journalists scouring for information potentially damaging to the party.

WikiLeaks officials say the emails come from the accounts of “seven key figures in the DNC,” among them Communications Director Luis Miranda (10,770 emails), National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3,797 emails) and Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer.

The leak, released via Twitter, links to a Web page that allows readers to search the DNC email database. WikiLeaks says the release was “part one of our new Hillary Leaks series,” a hint of more information to come.

The emails include communication with journalists and discussions about the news media and incentives provided to party donors who’ll be attending next week’s Democratic convention, as well as details about their backgrounds, including, in some cases, criminal histories.

Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016

Many of the emails discussed how to undermine Clinton’s rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and overall revealed some negativity toward him. There were also emails about when the Sanders campaign improperly accessed Clinton campaign’s proprietary voter information that was housed at the DNC.

Says the Associated Press:

“The emails show that after the furor over the voter records was resolved, hostility simmered from top DNC officials over the Sanders campaign.

In mid-May emails with Miranda, his deputy, Mark Paustenbach, questioned whether the DNC should use the voter record furor to raise doubts about the Sanders campaign.

‘Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never had his act together, that his campaign was a mess,’ Paustenbach wrote. Miranda spurned the idea, although he agreed with Paustenbach’s take: ‘True, but the Chair has been advised not to engage. So we’ll have to leave it alone.’ “

In response to the leaks, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said Saturday that the emails show “what many of us have known for some time, that there were certainly people at the DNC who were actively helping the Clinton effort and trying to hurt Bernie Sanders’ campaign.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted Friday, “The Wikileaks e-mail release today was so bad to Sanders that it will make it impossible for him to support her, unless he is a fraud!”

Meantime, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says the breach was a “serious incident” and a private contractor has been hired to sweep the organization’s network had “moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network.”

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California's Governor Denies Parole To Former Manson Follower

Former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten confers with her attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, not shown, during a break from her hearing before the California Board of Parole Hearings in April in Chino, Calif.

Former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten confers with her attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, not shown, during a break from her hearing before the California Board of Parole Hearings in April in Chino, Calif. Nick Ut/AP hide caption

toggle caption Nick Ut/AP

California Gov. Jerry Brown has denied parole to former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, 66, who is serving a life sentence for her part in the cult’s notorious killing spree in Los Angeles in 1969.

In April, a California parole panel had recommended that Van Houten — the youngest of the cult leader’s so-called family — be granted parole after decades of good behavior in prison, as we reported.

But Brown disagreed. “She remains an unacceptable risk to society if released,” he said in his decision, as Reuters reported.

“The shocking nature of the crimes left an indelible mark on society,” Brown said. “The motive – to trigger a civilization-ending race war by slaughtering innocent people chosen at random – is equally disturbing.”

Van Houten has admitted to stabbing Rosemary La Bianca more than a dozen times, and her accomplices killed La Bianca’s husband, Leno. She was 19 at the time. The Los Angeles Times has more:

“Van Houten was part of a group that stormed into the LaBiancas’ home in Los Feliz. As Charles ‘Tex’ Watson stabbed Leno LaBianca, Van Houten and another woman held down Rosemary LaBianca.

“After Watson stabbed Rosemary LaBianca with a bayonet, he handed a knife to Van Houten. She testified to stabbing Rosemary in the back at least 14 more times. The blood of the victims was used to scrawl messages on the walls, as had been done at the Benedict Canyon home.”

Brown noted in his statement that Van Houten “earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees while in prison, where she has received positive commendations from staff,” as Reuters reported.

As member station KPCC reported, Van Houten has argued that she was “emotionally troubled and under the sway of LSD and Manson’s charismatic personality.”

Manson "family members" Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Leslie van Houton (from left to right).

Manson “family members” Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Leslie van Houton (from left to right). Bettmann/Bettmann Archive hide caption

toggle caption Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

But Brown wasn’t convinced, according to Reuters. “Van Houten’s statements give the false impression that she was a victim who was forced into participating in the Family without any way out,” he said.

Van Houten’s attorney, Richard Pfeiffer, told the Times that it wasn’t clear if she had heard the news yet. However, he said she “had prepared for Brown to reverse the parole board’s decision, given the governor’s track record of denying parole in high-profile cases, and that she is readying for a future parole hearing.”

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Russian Balloonist Circumnavigates The Globe, Claims World Record

Fedor Konyukhov waves to spectators before lift off from the Northam Aero Club on July 12 in Northam, Australia.

Fedor Konyukhov waves to spectators before lift off from the Northam Aero Club on July 12 in Northam, Australia. Paul Kane/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Paul Kane/Getty Images

A 65-year-old Russian adventurer has piloted a balloon around the world solo and non-stop in 11 days, claiming a new world record.

If the record is confirmed, Fedor Konyukhov has shaved a full two days off the previous record set by American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2002. The World Air Sports Federation, which makes the determination, congratulated Konukhov and said it was waiting for an official claim to ratify the record.

Fedor Konyukhov lifts off from the Northam Aero Club on July 12, 2016 in Northam, Australia.

Fedor Konyukhov lifts off from the Northam Aero Club on July 12, 2016 in Northam, Australia. Paul Kane/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Paul Kane/Getty Images

As we have reported, this was no easy feat: “[He] has had a minuscule amount of sleep in an open gondola hurtling at high speeds through below-freezing air that is too thin to breathe.”

Video from 720 ABC Perth shows the balloon, dubbed Morton, make contact with the Earth in what appears to be a rough landing – then, the balloon dragged and bounced down an open field.

“It’s absolutely fantastic! He’s down, and he’s OK! It’s unbelievable!” fellow aviator Dick Smith said in the ABC video. Konyunkhov emerged from the gondola wearing a helmet and embraced his friends and family.

According to The Associated Press, he then “flew by helicopter back to Northam, where his first shower in 11 days was a priority.”

The final stretch of his journey was extremely challenging, where he got caught in thunderstorms and was “surrounded by nonstop electrical activity,” according to his website. He was also without heating for at least a day and a half – and temperatures dropped to at least minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Konyunkhov was also pushed by a jet stream towards Antarctica, and his team posted his haunting dispatch:

“It is scary to be so down South and away from civilization. This place feels very lonely and remote. No land, no planes, no ships. Just thick layer of cyclonic clouds below me and dark horizon on the east. …This will be the coldest night since the start.”

Konyunkhov said he has completed a long list of adventures, as we have reported:

“He has climbed Everest twice. He has sailed around the world solo multiple times. He has trekked to both poles. He has completed the Iditarod dog race. He has traveled the Great Silk Road by camel. And, he also enjoys painting, has written books and is reportedly a Russian Orthodox priest.”

And, he reportedly passed directly over the field in Western Australia where he initially took off from 11 days before – an extremely difficult feat in a balloon that’s very challenging to steer.

“It’s a very risky undertaking – the fact that he came right back across the Northam airfields where he took off from – no one has ever done that,” Smith told ABC. “It’s so incredibly rare, that it’s about a one in a billion chance.”

The balloon’s landing was seen as one of the riskiest part of the round-the-world feat. Less than a day before the end of his journey, the team said “it is impossible to predict where exactly Fedor will land,” and “all possible scenarios [are] being considered.”

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WATCH: Tim Kaine Makes Campaign Trail Debut: 'I Like To Fight For Right'

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives with Sen. Tim Kaine at a rally at Florida International University Saturday.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives with Sen. Tim Kaine at a rally at Florida International University Saturday. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

toggle caption Mary Altaffer/AP

Appearing on stage together for the first time since Friday’s vice presidential announcement, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine push for voters of color by highlighting his record on diversity and civil rights.

Clinton said Kaine has “lived” the values diversity. That, she argued, is in contrast the GOP ticket and last week’s Republican National Convention. “Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not,” she said.

She also used a line she has used to describe herself in an attempt to appease Sanders and other progressive supporters who feel Clinton and Kaine are too moderate. “When he’s a progressive who likes to get things done, I mean it.”

Kaine went through his bio as a civil rights lawyer and public office.

“I like to fight for right,” he said.

He addressed the crowd briefly in Spanish, and a little Spanglish:

“Benievenidos a todos en nuestro pais, verdad, porque somos Americans todos,” he said. (“Welcome to all in our country, right, because we’re all Americans.”)

“We’re going to be compañeros de alma (soul mates) in this great lucha (fight) ahead,” he said.

But Kaine mostly used his time to enthustically endorse Clinton and draw sharp contrasts with Donald Trump. Calling her the “opposite” of Trump, he said “Hillary Clinton doesn’t insult people, she listens to them. What a novel concept.”

Sanders supporters not won over

Clinton and Kaine will be officially nominated this week at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Ahead of its start Monday, some Bernie Sanders supporters there expressed reservations about Kaine’s record and worry that he’s not progressive enough.

Referring to Kaine as “more conservative than Hillary Clinton,” Sander supporter Cameron Sato of Honolulu told NPR that “by picking someone who’s that progressive … they’re not necessarily pushing the agenda in the way we want to see it.”

“I would have campaigned for Hillary Clinton, I would have busted my but … if she had picked Elizabeth Warren,” he said.

“It makes me wonder, is she really going to follow through with all those progressive platforms and things she’s claiming she’s going to get passed through,” said Asami Kobayashi also of Honolulu.

Both said Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine make it harder to vote for her.

Ben Jealous, former head of the NAACP, however feels that Kaine can be pivotal in helping Clinton win over African American and Latino voters.

Jealous favors Bernie Sanders — and is at the convention pushing to eliminate superdelegates — but says Clinton’s “pick has is made” and that he’ll support her.

The key to getting minority voters on board, he said, is playing to Kaine’s strengths as a former civil rights leader, mayor of a black city and his ability to speak Spanish. That record, he says, will give the party an opening to “invest in turning out black and brown vote.”

But it’s up to Democrats to use that record to their advantage, he says. “In order for Tim Kaine’s pick to be as valuable as it can be,” he continued, “that’s what her campaign, that’s what the DNC that’s what our party needs to be investing in right now.”

“And, by the way, we need to do that to beat Donald Trump,” he said.

Asma Khalid contributed to this report.

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St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

July 23, 20161:10 PM ET

Paul Janeway regularly gives the kind of performance that compels you to pay attention. There’s no denying that the man who once trained as a preacher in Alabama was meant to be fronting a soul band. During an early-afternoon set at the Newport Folk Festival, Janeway put St. Paul & the Broken Bones through its paces, storming the stage with electric presence and a thunderous voice that pays tribute to — but doesn’t imitate — his idol, Otis Redding. At one point during “Broken Bones and Pocket Change,” he tore the sequined loafer off one of his feet and pressed it to his face, leaving a visible print on his right cheek, before collapsing onto the ground to howl the rest of the song.

Janeway’s stage antics can sometimes obscure the band’s talented horn players and rhythm section, so let’s give them some shine. Trumpeter Allen Branstetter, saxophonist Jerome Amori Ansari and trombonist Chad Fisher pivoted from convincing Memphis licks to chorale-like sections, while guitarist Browan Lollar, drummer Andrew Lee and bassist Jesse Phillips held down a rock-solid, laid-back groove throughout the set. The Newport Folk Festival performance was the band’s last show in the U.S. before its second album, Sea Of Noise, comes out in September, and it teased the new album with a few fresh songs, such as the funky, hopeful “Flow With It” and the more explicitly political anthem “All I Ever Wonder.”

Set List
  • “Take The Ticket And Ride”
  • “Don’t Mean A Thing”
  • “Sugar Dyed”
  • “Waves”
  • “I’ve Been Working”
  • “Half The City”
  • “Broken Bones And Pocket Change”
  • “All I Ever Wonder”
  • “Flow With It (You Got Me Feeling Like)”
  • “Sanctify”
  • “Like A Mighty River”
  • “Call Me”
  • “Try A Little Tenderness”
CREDITS

Audio: Joshua Rogosin, Suraya Mohamed, Loretta Rae; Photography: Adam Kissick

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Violent Femmes, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

July 23, 20161:08 PM ET

Even though Violent Femmes played the Newport Folk Festival midway through a bright summer afternoon, the rock band’s new song “I Could Be Anything” made the sunny field feel like a packed pub, where beer has made everyone friends, and revelers bellow out drinking songs with arms thrown across shoulders.

The off-again, on-again veterans from Milwaukee, who recently released their first studio album in 16 years, threaded their Newport Folk set with wildly diverse songs from their catalog of 30-plus years. Original members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie led the band’s careening, playful ride through a smattering of polka, blues and acoustic tunes, with Gano shifting from snot-nosed punk to earnest believer on folk-gospel songs like “Jesus Walking On The Water.” But (obviously) it was mainstay songs like the off-the-wall hit “Blister In The Sun,” crowd favorite “Add It Up” and the xylophone-driven “Gone Daddy Gone” that bonded old and new fans together like a friendly round of lagers.

Set List
  • “Blister In The Sun”
  • “Kiss Off”
  • “Good For/At Nothing”
  • “Love Love Love Love Love”
  • “Country Death Song”
  • “I Could Be Anything”
  • “American Music”
  • “Jesus Walking On The Water”
  • “You Move Me”
  • “Memory”
  • “I Held Her In My Arms”
  • “Issues”
  • “Gone Daddy Gone”
  • “Add It Up”

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Where Tim Kaine And Hillary Clinton Stand On Key Issues

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine laugh at a campaign rally in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14.

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine laugh at a campaign rally in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton has chosen Tim Kaine to be her vice presidential running mate. The Virginia senator has been an elected official — including mayor, governor and senator — for over 20 years and was once the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He was also on President Obama’s shortlist of running mates in 2008.

Kaine could be considered a traditional pick for Clinton, given that he is a political veteran from what is considered a battleground state, although it leans toward Democrats.

When it comes to the issues, Kaine and Clinton agree on a lot, although some on the left have criticized Clinton’s pick as not progressive enough and too similar to her on too many fronts.

Here’s where Kaine and Clinton stand on some key issues:


They Disagreed On Trade

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 other nations, has gotten a lot of attention on the campaign trail since the countries involved reached a consensus in October and signed the agreement in February. People who support the deal say it will stimulate the economies of the participating countries. Critics say it will move U.S. jobs overseas.

In an October PBS NewsHour interview, Clinton said she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“I have said from the very beginning that we had to have a trade agreement that would create good American jobs, raise wages and advance our national security and I still believe that’s the high bar we have to meet,” Clinton said in October. “I don’t believe [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] is going to meet the high bar I have set.”

Kaine supported the agreement and voted in favor of giving President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the agreement. He has recently changed his stance and now echoes Clinton’s sentiment, saying he can’t support TPP in its current form.

They Agree On Women’s Reproductive Rights

Clinton and Kaine agree on both abortion rights and on supporting Planned Parenthood but Clinton has been a more outspoken, calling restrictions to Planned Parenthood “a concerted, persistent assault on women’s health across our country” in a June Planned Parenthood Action Fund speech.

Hillary stands up for Planned Parenthood—and women’s rights. pic.twitter.com/eZ5LRJyasg

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 23, 2015

In a March Fox News town hall debate, Clinton defended her pro-choice stance on abortions:

“Under Roe v. Wade, which is rooted in the Constitution, women have this right to make this highly personal decision with their family, in accordance with their faith, with their doctor,” Clinton said. “It’s not much of a right if it is totally limited and constrained.”

Kaine has called himself a “traditional Catholic,” and has says he opposes abortion personally. However, the senator said in a June Meet The Press interview that he doesn’t let his personal beliefs affect his position on the issue. He said he believes the decision of whether or not to have an abortion shouldn’t be dictated by the government:

“I deeply believe, and not just as a matter of politics, but even as a matter of morality, that matters about reproduction and intimacy and relationships and contraception are in the personal realm. They’re moral decisions for individuals to make for themselves. And the last thing we need is government intruding into those personal decisions.”

Both politicians have spoken out in support of Planned Parenthood. In a statement after he voted against defunding the women’s health organization in August 2015, Kaine said that for many women, “Planned Parenthood health centers are their only source of high quality health care.”

Planned Parenthood provides many critical, preventative services. Here’s just some #StandWithPP pic.twitter.com/TmPRd7GJ1X

— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) December 2, 2015

In Clinton’s June speech for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, she called for an increase in federal funding to the organization and thanked them for “being there for women no matter their race, sexual orientation or immigration status.”

They Agree On Gun Control

In this election cycle, Hillary Clinton has vehemently called for heightened gun control. She has promised to expand background checks, close any loopholes to purchasing guns such as those stemming from gun shows or internet sales, and restrict access to assault-style weapons. She has said she would stand up to the National Rifle Association as president.

I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now. -H https://t.co/SkKglwQycb

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 2, 2015

Clinton hasn’t always been so outspoken on the issue. When she ran against then-Senator Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries, she tried to appeal to supporters of gun rights by “fondly recalling that she had learned to shoot as a child,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

But she has been a longtime gun control advocate, supporting the 1993 Brady Bill which mandated federal background checks and waiting periods on gun sales. She also supported gun control measures during her 2000 Senate run.

Kaine has also been strong on gun control. That may be due to his familiarity with the issue: Kaine — and his views on gun control — were thrust into the spotlight while we was Virginia’s governor in 2007. That year, a shooter killed 32 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

Kaine was in Japan at the time and flew back early to travel to the university. Last Month, when Democrats held the Senate floor for 15 hours to spur action on gun control legislation, he spoke of his experience in the aftermath of the shooting:

“That was the worst day of my life, and it will always be the worst day of my life — comforting the families of the victims, talking to the first responders who went into a classroom where bodies littered the floor and who heard in the pockets of deceased students and professors cell phones ringing as parents who had seen it on the news were calling their kids, just knowing they were at Virginia Tech to ask them if they were all right — calls that would never be answered.”

During that speech, Kaine defended the Second Amendment. He has said he is a gun owner himself, but according to a statement on his website, he supports “common sense legislation” to expand background checks, restrict assault-style weapons and expand mental health services.

They Disagree On The Authorization of Military Force

Clinton is famously thought of as “hawkish.” She pushed for military intervention in Libya and backed President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

During a November debate on CBS, when asked whether she would declare war on ISIS, Clinton said the U.S. already has “an authorization to use military force against terrorists. We passed it after 9/11.” When asked if that covers ISIS, she added, “It certainly does cover it.”

That’s not quite right: as NPR has reported, the original law authorizing military force was signed in 2001 and gave the president the power to use force against groups which aided the September 11 attacks, not simply terrorists.

And that’s where Clinton and Kaine seem to disagree. Kaine says the president is not already authorized to use force, saying ISIS does not fall under the original authorization. He has pushed the Obama administration to get re-authorization from Congress in its fight against the terrorist group.

YouTube

A new authorization has not been reissued to include ISIS and Kaine has argued that until that happens, Obama’s ISIS campaign is unconstitutional. In September 2014, Kaine, who has a son in the Marines, called on Obama to seek authorization on the Senate floor:

“During a time of war, we ask our troops to give their best even to the point of sacrificing their own lives. When compared against that, how much of a sacrifice is it for a President to engage in a possibly contentious debate with Congress about whether military action is a good idea? How much of a sacrifice is it for a member of Congress to debate and vote about whether military action is a good idea? While Congressional members face the political costs of debate on military action, our service members bear the human costs of those decisions. And if we choose to avoid debate, avoid accountability, avoid a hard decision how can we demand that our military willingly sacrifice their very lives?”

They Agree On Education Reform

Education is another area in which Clinton and Kaine used to disagree and are now aligned.

When Clinton was a New York senator, she helped draft the No Child Left Behind act, which aimed at upping student achievement. She voted in favor of the act in 2001. By 2008, though, Clinton was critical of NCLB and has said she supports its replacement, the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, which she said has a “better balance on testing.”

Kaine was critical of NCLB earlier on. In response to President Bush’s 2006 State Of The Union address, Kaine, a governor at the time, said the education act was “wreaking havoc on local school districts.” He has criticized the bill for having unintended consequences, like its focus on high-stakes testing. The new act includes provisions written by Kaine that focused on promoting career and technical education.

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