Welcome to our new politics briefing. You can find it Monday through Friday at 5 a.m. and updated throughout the day.
Because black votes matter
The Clintons — Bill and Hillary — spread their gospel at African-American churches in Harlem and Queens Sunday, three days after the former president’s verbal confrontation with Black Lives Matter protesters in Philadelphia left hard feelings.
While Hillary Clinton has outpolled Bernie Sanders among black voters overall through the primary season, her opponent has made inroads among younger African-Americans.
Candidate Clinton spoke to the congregation at Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens. “I know some people are heartsick over the criminal justice system, and what it’s done,” she said, to loud applause.
Bill Clinton admitted at Abyssinian Baptist Church that there is legitimate criticism of the crime bill passed when he was president in 1994. “We overdid it putting too many nonviolent offenders in jail too long,” he said. Newsday reporters Olivia Winslow and Scott Eidler covered the Clintons’ day.
Reality check: Both credit owed the crime bill and blame for its ill effects get exaggerated in the heat of this debate. A Fordham University legal expert notes 1990's crackdowns were mostly by states and counties -- and crime began trending lower before the Clinton presidency.
Bernie’s beach day
Sanders drew a diverse but mostly young crowd of thousands to feel the Bern on chilly Coney Island, delivering his pledge to fight for the have-nots against the backdrop of the iconic boardwalk, Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports.
“A great nation is judged by how we treat the weakest and most vulnerable people among us,” said the senator from Vermont. He warmed up after the rally buying a hot dog at Nathan’s.
Before hitting the beach, Sanders worked the Sunday talk show circuit. On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sanders reaffirmed his retreat late last week from suggesting Clinton was “not qualified” to be president. But: he questions her “judgment.” Meanwhile the state's election rules, barring same-day registration, seem to advantage Clinton.
Newsday’s Dan Janison has five ideas on how Sanders can strengthen his game for the April 19 New York primary. They include taking pages from the 2014 playbook of Zephyr Teachout, a little-known law professor who mounted an impressive primary challenge to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
A New York state of play
If Clinton and Donald Trump win their parties’ nominations, it will mark an extremely rare instance in American election history: Two people from the same state going head-to-head for the presidency, writes Newsday’s Yancey Roy.
It’s happened just three times prior — and twice it involved New Yorkers; Roosevelts, in fact, in 1904 and 1944.
The L and I in Hillary
Clinton will be on Long Island Monday to talk about gun-violence prevention. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) will join her in the 2 p.m. session at the Landmark Theater in Port Washington.
She’s also going to the Suffolk Democrats’ $300-a-head spring dinner in Holbrook and a fundraiser for her own campaign at Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs’ Glen Cove day camp.
Clinton is sitting down with Newsday’s editorial board today. What would you like to ask her? Submit your questions using this form. The editorial board will choose questions from the submissions.
Heidi Cruz is due at Connect Church in Bellmore Monday afternoon on behalf of her husband Ted.
Obama: Clinton didn’t endanger security
President Barack Obama said on Fox News Sunday that it is strictly up to the Justice Department and FBI to decide the outcome of the investigation into Clinton’s State Department emails.
But as far as he’s concerned, her personal email use, while careless, “has not jeopardized America’s national security.” Obama also noted there are distinctions among classified material. “There’s classified, and then there’s classified.”
Fugitive National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden later tweeted: “If only I had known.”
Donald's deeds, done dirt cheap
Trump says he has given more than $102 million to charity in the past five years. But a Washington Post analysis of the 4,844 contributions he listed found none of them was a personal gift from Trump's own money.
Many of the items Trump listed were were free rounds of golf, given away by his courses for charity auctions and raffles.
The largest items he counted as contributions were land conservation agreements to forgo development rights on property Trump owns.
Trump’s tired of losing
Delegates, that is. Trump and his top aides stepping up complaints over his campaign getting outmaneuvered by Cruz’s in picking up delegates in states where the billionaire finished first.
“The system is corrupt,” Trump said at an airport rally in Rochester, Newsday’s Michael Gormley reports. Trump’s delegates honcho, Paul Manafort, accused the Cruz campaign of using “Gestapo tactics, scorched-earth tactics,” without providing specifics.
Responded Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier: “More sour grapes from Trump who continues to lash out in tantrums every time he loses. We are winning because we’ve put in the hard work to build a superior organization.”
What else is happening:
- Clinton tops Trump in the realm of trust in an AP-GfK poll -- when the two are matched on key issues including the economy and the Supreme Court.
- A mock front page by The Boston Globe editorial page editors imagines a day under a Trump presidency. Not exactly “morning in America.” Trump called it “stupid” ...
- Cruz and Sanders dominated the weekend delegate-choosing contests in Colorado and Wyoming, respectively ...
- Clinton needled endorser-come-lately Mayor Bill de Blasio and made fun of her own MetroCard misadventure at a press dinner ...
- “Saturday Night Live” also had a take on Clinton’s turnstile- stumper incident and her recent losing streak in primaries and caucuses ...
- The latest Fox News poll gives Trump and Clinton double-digit leads for the New York primary ...
- John Kasich says he would not have signed North Carolina’s “bathroom law” aimed at transgender people ...
- That Ryan scenario? The House speaker is running a national issues campaign that his aides deny is for the presidency.