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Your politics briefing: Democrats’ disarray, Trump poll vault

Democrats are worried about bringing the party together

Democrats are worried about bringing the party together after Bernie Sanders' supporters demonstrated in Nevada on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Credit: AP / Chase Stevens

Berning down the house

Democrats are growing more worried that the rage of Bernie Sanders’ supporters — on display last weekend in a chair-throwing melee in Nevada — is going to spill over to the national convention two months from now in Philadelphia.

If it does, hopes of projecting unity as they send expected nominee Hillary Clinton into the fall battle against Donald Trump may be left in shreds on the floor.

“I hold Sanders somewhat responsible for this, because he comes across on TV as a very angry old man, riling people up,” said Bob Mulholland, a pro-Clinton California superdelegate, to The Washington Post.

Sanders responded defiantly to calls from Democratic officials to rein in his followers, complaining the delegate-selection process has been “rigged” against him.

Maine legislator Diane Russell, who favors Sanders, said it’s hard to amicably concede defeat “if you don’t feel like the game was working fairly.”

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told CNN Tuesday night that Sanders’ response on Nevada was “anything but acceptable.”

Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver on Wednesday accused Wasserman Schultz of “throwing shade on the Sanders campaign from the very beginning” — but he called Nevada an “aberration” and told CNN: “I think whoever the ultimate nominee is, we want to unify the party.”

Fox poll: Trump now in lead

Trump has jumped ahead of Clinton — 45% to 42% — in a new Fox News poll. Last month, Clinton was up by 48% to 41%. The survey also found majorities of voters feel both front-runners lack strong moral values and will say anything to get elected.

In a Sanders-Trump matchup, the Vermont senator led 46% to 42%, The 4-point advantage was much narrower than his 14-point lead in April.

Trump judges judges

In an unusual move to quell doubts among conservative Republicans, Trump put out a list of 11 potential nominees he would consider for the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

His campaign said the list of eight men and three women was “based on constitutional principles, with input from highly respected conservatives and Republican Party leadership.”

One of them, Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee, is the brother of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a Ted Cruz ally who has not endorsed Trump. Another, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, last month likened Trump to “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader in a Twitter post.

Haunted house, glass house

Democrats are already disowning former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s observation that Trump’s past comments on women will likely haunt him because “there are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women.”

The remarks by Rendell, a Clinton supporter and former DNC chairman, to The Washington Post “were completely off-base and inappropriate,” said a spokeswoman for Katie McGinty, the Democratic Senate nominee for Pennsylvania. Rendell is chairman of her campaign.

Trump’s fundraising challenge

The Republican nominee’s new joint fundraising effort with the Republican National Committee faces hurdles — not the least of which is the derision Trump hurled at big-money donors earlier in the campaign.

“It’s very important to repair these relationships and to get the organization going,” Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute in Washington, told Newsday’s Emily Ngo.

Obama bump for Clinton?

President Barack Obama’s job approval has been ticking upward, which means Clinton could be helped, not hurt, by association with his legacy.

See story by Newsday’s William Goldschlag

Life in the 1 percent

Since declaring his presidential candidacy in June, Trump has found time to take positions in 48 additional companies, partnerships or corporations, according to his latest financial disclosure.

Bloomberg News said Trump had positions such as president, chairman, member, director or trustee in 542 entities. Trump said the filing would show more than $557 million in income from Jan. 1, 2015, to May 16.

A new Clinton disclosure showed Hillary and Bill Clinton earned $6.725 million in paid speeches in 2015. Her biggest payday was a speech to eBay on March 3, 2015, for $315,000.

What else is happening:

  • Trump, who hasn’t released his own tax returns, is requiring his vice president hopefuls to submit theirs, NBC News reported ...
  • More than 100 lawsuits and other disputes about unpaid taxes and amounts owed are part of Trump companies' legacy, USA Today found...
  • Mitt Romney is no longer actively recruiting a third-party candidate, though he hopes one will emerge, according to Yahoo News ...
  • Trump is within 76 delegates of clinching the GOP nomination with his win Tuesday in Oregon, but may have to wait for the June 7 primaries to go over the top ...
  • The GOP "establishment" has succumbed so quickly to takeover by the billionaire, his loyalists are sure to steer the party for years, Politico reports.
  • Before facts came in, Trump decided the EgyptAir flight disappearance was an act of terrorism that "we" could have been prevented by being tough.
  • The Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, says he has signed up former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld as his running mate ...
  • On his deathbed, the late Utah GOP Senator Bob Bennett sought to apologize to Muslims for his party's nomination of Trump, according to the Daily Beast...
  • PolitiFact found Trump was right in one complaint about an ad by the pro-Clinton Priorities USA super PAC on his remarks about women — an expletive he mouthed was aimed at businesses that left the U.S., not at women ...
  • For Fox News, Trump recycled an unproven nearly 40-year-old sex-assault allegation against Bill Clinton...
  • U.S. intelligence officials see evidence of hackers, possibly working for foreign governments, snooping on the presidential candidates...
  • Trump met with Nixon-era Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has been close, ABC News reports, with Clinton — a relationship that has been attacked by Sanders ...

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