Podesta Blasts Trump’s Distortion of Reality in Op-Ed

WASHINGTON, DC -- NOVEMBER 9: Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff, John Podesta, being interviewed for Discovery Channel's, "The President's Gatekeepers," November 9, 2012, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

John Podesta, the former chairman of Hillary for America, published an op-ed in The Washington Post attacking President Donald Trump for his continued distortion of the facts and attacks on the media. In the piece, Podesta calls out Trump for calling anything that does not portray him in the best light “fake news.” He has said this about poll numbers, his businesses, his connections to Russia, and any of his nominees. Podesta calls Trump’s attacks on the media “dangerous” as he is trying to turn people against the media and the political system. “He’s not just trying to spin the bad news of the day; all politicians do that. He seeks nothing less than to undermine the public’s belief that any news can be trusted, that any news is true, that there is any fixed reality,” he says. Read the full op-ed HERE.

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News Source: The Washington Post

Hillary Clinton to Release New Book, Speak at Alma Mater

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Hillary Clinton is returning to public spotlight. She has attended a few events since she lost the presidential race in November, but today several upcoming events were announced. The biggest announcement was from publisher Simon & Schuster who will publish a collection of personal essays by Clinton this fall. The book is described to include a number of her favorite quotes to “tell stories from her life, up to and including her experiences in the 2016 presidential campaign.” Simon & Schuster also announced a children’s book version of Clinton’s book, It Takes a Village, will be released in September. The new edition will feature illustrations by Marla Frazee and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

It was also announced that she will be returning to the speech circuit with several events planned in the coming months. The most notable will be a commencement address at Wellesley College, her alma mater. Clinton gained notoriety for becoming the first student speaker at her own commencement in 1969. Other speeches on tap for Clinton include an event at the United States Postal Service honoring fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, a speech organized by Vital Voices on International Women’s Day, and a speech at a New York LGBT Community Center. Clinton will also resume her paid speeches through the Harry Walker Agency. For a list of Clinton’s upcoming events, see our Scheduled Events page.

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News Source: NBC News, Time, The Hill

Podesta Pens Op-Ed about the FBI

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The chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, John Podesta, published an op-ed in The Washington Post criticizing the FBI for its handling of Clinton’s email investigation and the hacking of his emails as well as the emails of the Democratic National Committee. Read Podesta’s full op-ed below:

Something is deeply broken at the FBI
By: John Podesta
December 15, 2016

The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets. The former acting director of the CIA has called the Russian cyberattack “the political equivalent of 9/11.” Just as after the real 9/11, we need a robust, independent investigation into what went wrong inside the government and how to better protect our country in the future.

As the former chair of the Clinton campaign and a direct target of Russian hacking, I understand just how serious this is. So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT “help desk.” As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: “We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.”

What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.

This trip was part of what FBI Director James B. Comey described as a “painstaking” investigation of Clinton’s emails, “requiring thousands of hours of effort” from dozens of agents who conducted at least 80 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of documents. Of course, as Comey himself concluded, in the end, there was no case; it was not even a close call.

Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.

Comey justified his handling of the email case by citing “intense public interest.” He felt so strongly that he broke long-established precedent and disregarded strong guidance from the Justice Department with his infamous letter just 11 days before the election. Yet he refused to join the rest of the intelligence community in a statement about the Russian cyberattack because he reportedly didn’t want to appear “political.” And both before and after the election, the FBI has refused to say whether it is investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.

There are now reports that Vladimir Putin personally directed the covert campaign to elect Trump. So are teams of FBI agents busy looking into the reported meeting in Moscow this summer between Carter Page, a Trump foreign policy adviser, and the Putin aide in charge of Russian intelligence on the U.S. election? What about evidence that Roger Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks and knew in advance that my hacked emails were about to be leaked? Are thousands of FBI person-hours being devoted to uncovering Trump’s tangled web of debts and business deals with foreign entities in Russia and elsewhere?

Meanwhile, House Republicans who had an insatiable appetite for investigating Clinton have been resistant to probing deeply into Russia’s efforts to swing the election to Trump. The media, by gleefully publishing the gossipy fruits of Russian hacks, became what the Times itself calls “a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.”

But the FBI’s role is particularly troubling because of its power and responsibility — and because this is part of a trend. The Justice Department’s Inspector General issued a damning report this summer about the FBI’s failure to prioritize cyberthreats more broadly.

The election is over and the damage is done, but the threat from Russia and other potential aggressors remains urgent and demands a serious and sustained response.

First, the Obama administration should quickly declassify as much as possible concerning what is known about the Russian hack, as requested by seven Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Second, the administration should brief members of the electoral college on the extent and manner of Russia’s interference in our election before they vote on Dec. 19, as requested by a bipartisan group of electors.

Third, Congress should authorize a far-reaching, bipartisan independent investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission. The public deserves to know exactly what happened, why and what can be done to prevent future attacks. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) have introduced legislation to authorize such an investigation.

Finally, Congress should more vigorously exercise its oversight to determine why the FBI responded overzealously in the Clinton case and insufficiently in the Russian case. The FBI should also clarify whether there is an ongoing investigation into Trump, his associates and their ties to Russia. If ever there were a case of “intense public interest,” this is it. What’s broken in the FBI must be fixed and quickly.

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News Source: The Washington Post

Hillary Clinton: Why You Should Vote for Me

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The following op-ed appears in Monday’s issue of USA Today:

Hillary Clinton: Why you should vote for me
Hillary Clinton
USA Today
November 6, 2016

In January, America is going to have a new president. Things are going to change — that much is certain. The question is, what kind of change are we going to have?

We can build an economy that works for everyone, or stack the deck even more for those at the top.

We can keep America safe through strength and smarts — or turn our backs on our allies, and cozy up to our adversaries.

We can come together to build a stronger, fairer America, or fear the future and fear each other.

Everything I’ve done, as first lady, senator, or secretary of State, I’ve done by listening to people and looking for common ground, even with people who disagree with me. And if you elect me on Tuesday, that’s the kind of president I’ll be.

Here are four priorities for my first 100 days — issues I’ve heard about from Americans all over our country.

First, we will put forward the biggest investment in new jobs since World War II. We’ll invest in infrastructure and manufacturing to grow our economy for years to come. We’ll produce enough renewable energy to power every home in America within a decade. We’ll cut red tape for small businesses and make it easier for entrepreneurs to get the credit they need to grow and hire — because in America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it. We’ll pay for it all by asking the wealthy, Wall Street and big corporations to finally pay their fair share. And this commitment will go far beyond the first 100 days. Creating more good jobs with rising incomes will be a central mission of my presidency.

Second, we will introduce comprehensive immigration reform legislation. The last president to sign comprehensive immigration reform was Ronald Reagan, and it was a priority for George W. Bush. I’m confident that we can work across the aisle to pass comprehensive reform that keeps families together and creates a path to citizenship, secures our border, and focuses our enforcement resources on violent criminals. This is the right thing to do, and it will also grow our economy.

Third, to break the gridlock in Washington, we need to get secret, unaccountable money out of our politics. It’s drowning out the voices of the American people. So within my first 30 days, I will introduce a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. We should be protecting citizens’ rights to vote, not corporations’ rights to buy elections.

Fourth, we need to get started on end-to-end criminal justice reform. Too many people have been sent away for far too long for non-violent offenses. I believe our country will be stronger and safer when everyone has respect for the law and everyone is respected by the law.

There’s so much more we need to do together, and we certainly won’t get it all done in the first 100 days. But we’re going to roll up our sleeves and get to work for American families — and I’ll never, ever quit.

I want to be president for all Americans — Democrats, Republicans and independents; Americans of every race, faith and background.

My opponent has run his campaign on divisiveness, fear and insults, and spent months pitting Americans against each other. I’ve said many times that Donald Trump has shown us who he is. Now we have to decide who we are.

Because it’s not just our names on the ballot this year. Every issue we care about is on the ballot, too. This is about who we are as a country — and whether we are going to have change that makes us stronger together, or change that pushes us further apart.

It all comes down to this. I love our country. I believe in our people. And I think there’s nothing we can’t achieve if we work together and invest in each other.

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News Source: USA Today

Chelsea Clinton: Three Reasons to Vote for Hillary

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Earlier this week, US Weekly published an article by Chelsea Clinton entitled “3 Reasons to Vote for My Mom.” The magazine asked the daughters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to write a short article explaining why voters should support their parent, and only Chelsea responded. What Chelsea wrote is below:

  1. She cares about children — not just her own (me!).

Growing up, I never doubted I was my mom’s first priority. My mom’s first questions over dinner always focused on what I’d learned that day and what I hoped to learn and do tomorrow. She would then share what she’d worked on as a lawyer and an advocate. I loved knowing what legal aid was in first grade and about health-care reform in eighth grade. I remember being so proud of what my mom was doing to achieve more and better opportunities for all kids, including her efforts to improve public schools in Arkansas.

I have so many memories as a kid of tagging along with my mom to work some Saturdays after my Brownie troop meeting or soccer game — a trade-off she made so she could be at those family dinners, those meetings and those games — and looking up to her (figuratively and literally!) as she worked so hard as a lawyer and champion for kids. My mom ensured I knew how lucky I was. Ensuring that every child has the chance to live up to their God-given potential is the driving motivation of my mom’s life. It’s why she’s still working on paid family and medical leave, early childhood education and health-care reform — and why she’ll combat climate change, make college actually affordable and so much more. She knows the future is at stake for all our kids.

  1. She keeps fighting — and never forgets who she is fighting for.

I have seen my mom do some pretty remarkable things — and, yes, I am biased — including helping to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program [or CHIP, which offers low-cost health coverage to children]. In 1994, when I was 14, my mom’s efforts on universal health care were unsuccessful. It was hard to watch, but I wasn’t surprised when my mom didn’t give up. She dusted herself off and got right back out on the front lines to advocate for kids. A few years later [in 1997], CHIP was created. I don’t think it ever occurred to her to stop fighting, because she never forgot what’s at stake. Today, CHIP provides more than 8 million children with the health care they need.

  1. She’s an example to girls.

Politics has taken on a new urgency for me since becoming a parent. Politics now feels more personal than ever before because I know who we elect both shapes the legislation that gets passed and sets an example for our children.

So, while I am unabashedly and unapologetically biased toward my mom, I couldn’t imagine a better president for our children and grandchildren. I am going to vote for the candidate whose actions and words tell my daughter, Charlotte, and my son, Aidan — and all children — that a girl can grow up to be president. And that would be true whether or not Hillary was my mom. I can’t wait to cast my vote for her on November 8 and hope you will too.

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News Source: US Weekly

Kaine Calls Gun Violence a “Public Health Crisis” in Op-Ed

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On Tuesday, an op-ed by Tim Kaine was published by Time magazine in which he talks about gun violence and its threat to the public. Read the full editorial below.

Tim Kaine: Gun Violence Is a Public-Health Crisis

Time Magazine

November 1, 2016

In every elected office I have held over the past 20 years, gun violence has been a serious issue. When I was mayor of Richmond, Virginia, our city had one of the highest homicide rates in the country. When I was governor, our commonwealth experienced the worst campus shooting in U.S. history. And as I serve in the U.S. Senate and our country falls victim to one mass shooting after another, Congress has yet to pass any commonsense gun safety legislation. Like many Americans, I own a gun and am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment, yet my experiences have shown me that supporting the right to bear arms should never stop us from ensuring our communities are as safe as possible.

The worst day of my life was April 16, 2007. I had just arrived in Japan for a two-week trade mission. There was a knock on my hotel room door to inform me of an active shooter on the campus of one of my state’s universities, Virginia Tech. Half a world away, I watched the horrific tragedy unfold on television and made plans to return home as soon as possible. Thirty-two innocent lives— from all around the world, from all walks of life, students and professors alike—were lost that day. Seventeen others were shot and wounded, and another six were injured leaping from classroom windows to escape the carnage.

In the months and years that followed, we worked across the state to take concrete steps to reduce gun violence. The shooting revealed glaring weaknesses in campus security protocols at colleges and universities, in mental health standards, and in the system for background checks before gun purchases, so I convened a multidisciplinary panel to identify actionable solutions. We changed standards for mental health treatment and increased funding for community services while improving campus security and efforts to assist college students suffering from mental illness.

I also worked to make improvements to our background check system, issuing an executive order to ensure that those declared mentally ill and dangerous would be entered into a national database and barred from purchasing weapons. Unfortunately, efforts to close the gun show loophole—which allows anyone, including felons, potential terrorists, and domestic abusers, to purchase weapons without any background check—were undermined in the Virginia legislature, largely under pressure from the National Rifle Association.

When I arrived in the U.S. Senate in January 2013, our country was again reeling from another devastating tragedy: on December 14, 2012, twenty children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. A group of Democrats and Republicans came together after this tragedy to draft compromise legislation that would have closed the gun show loophole and encouraged states to help strengthen the existing background check system. After months of debating, I was sure that this time would be different, that this time my colleagues would have the courage to stand up to the NRA and pass meaningful gun control reform to make our entire country safer. But the same special interests that prevented us from closing the gun show loophole in Virginia in the wake of Virginia Tech were at it again. Ultimately, a minority in the Senate prevented a majority from passing this meaningful, commonsense gun safety legislation.

More recently, in December 2015, the Senate failed to stand up to the NRA and rejected another commonsense bipartisan measure that would have made it illegal for people on the no-fly list to be prohibited from purchasing weapons. If someone has been deemed too dangerous to be allowed on an airplane, why should they be permitted to purchase a firearm?

We have to make a decision about what matters to us. When gun deaths in Virginia outnumber automobile deaths, we have to treat this like the public health crisis it is. Will we have the courage to stand up to a gun lobby that no longer represents the views of American gun owners but instead represents the gun manufacturers?

An overwhelming number of Americans—many of them gun owners—support commonsense efforts to reduce gun violence like background checks, but the NRA and the gun lobby vehemently oppose any efforts to make our country safer and to promote responsible gun ownership. It is in the gun manufacturers’ financial interest to sell as many guns as they can to whomever they can, whenever they can and wherever they can. That motive is what blocks so many states and even Congress from passing background check laws that would keep us safer.

Gun violence has been ever-present throughout my time in public service, but my past experiences have taught me that no matter how tough our problems may be, they pale in comparison to the combined will of the American people who are determined to make our communities safer. I look forward to the day when we, as elected officials and as Americans, live up to our responsibilities and put an end to this crisis.

Tim Kaine is a U.S. Senator from Virginia and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

Excerpted from Guns in the Hands of Artists, copyright © 2016 by Jonathan Ferrara. First hardcover edition published Nov. 1, 2016, by Inkshares. All rights reserved.

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News Source: Time

Kaine Pens Op-Ed on Importance of Religious Mission Service

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Tim Kaine published an op-ed in the Deseret News on the importance of religious mission work in America. In his essay, Kaine references his own missionary work as a Roman Catholic and talks about other religious organizations with strong missionary ties around the world. Kaine reflects on the lessons he learned working in Honduras saying, “Today, I recognize selfless leadership in all corners of our nation, by people in all kinds of clothing and of all skin colors, religions and incomes. And I take courage in the fact that men and women from all backgrounds still come together in good faith to address the challenges we face.” Read Kaine’s op-ed HERE.

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News Source: Deseret News

Chelsea Clinton Pens Op-Ed About Progress

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Chelsea Clinton published an essay earlier this week on the site Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. In the editorial, Chelsea argues that it is the responsibility of every generation to keep pushing America forward. To illustrate her point, she outlines a number of key points in Hillary Clinton’s career. Chelsea speaks about her mother’s work for the Children’s Defense Fund, her work as First Lady of Arkansas to improve the public school system, her effort to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and her time as Senator from New York. Chelsea concludes by saying that the most important thing everyone can do to ensure progress is to vote. Vote for president and down ballot local races because voting is what gives us a voice our our political system. Read the full editorial HERE.

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News Source: Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

Hillary Clinton Answers New York Times Readers’ Questions

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The editorial board of The New York Times asked readers to select from a list of questions the one that they would most like both presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to answer. The three questions that received the most votes were about climate change, income inequality, and gun violence. Read Clinton’s answers below, or click HERE to read both candidates’ answers.

1. It is widely accepted scientific fact that climate change is real and potentially catastrophic. What specific action will you take in the next four years?

Hillary Clinton: Climate change is real, and we have a moral obligation to leave our children and grandchildren a better planet. I believe we can fight climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs at the same time.

Some nation is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. It’s either going to be Germany, China or us, and I want to make sure that it’s us. And we can do it in a way that means no one gets left out or left behind.

I’ve laid out specific plans to modernize our electric grid with enough renewable energy to power every home in America within a decade, including 500 million solar panels by the end of my first term. I want to launch a Clean Energy Challenge to partner with cities, states, and rural communities that are ready to lead on clean energy, clean transportation, and energy efficiency, and help them go further.

We’ll invest in resilient infrastructure that will protect communities like those in North Carolina, Iowa, and Louisiana that have seen terrible floods just this year. We know that low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by pollution and by extreme weather, and climate change is only going to make that worse. So I will make environmental and climate justice a priority, including eliminating lead as a major public health threat within five years.

We’re already less dependent on foreign oil than we have been in decades, but we can go further, reduce oil consumption by a third, and do more to power America with home-grown wind, solar, and advanced biofuels.

And I have a real plan to invest in creating jobs and building stronger economies in coal country. America’s coal communities have kept our lights on and our factories running for generations, and I won’t let them be left in the dark.

Finally, I believe the United States needs to continue to lead the global effort to combat climate change. I will fulfill the pledge President Obama made in the Paris Climate Agreement and seek to go further by cutting emissions up to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. We need to implement the breakthrough we achieved just last week in the Montreal Protocol to phase down super-polluting HFCs and avoid as much as half a degree of warming.

Not only does America need to lead, we need to do more to work with our neighbors. We trade more energy with Canada and Mexico than with the rest of the world combined. That’s why I want to negotiate a North American Climate Compact to cut emissions and accelerate the clean energy transition across the continent.

I won’t let the climate deniers stand in the way of progress, or let us give in to the climate defeatists who say this challenge is too big to solve. We can and will take on climate change, build a clean energy economy, and leave our kids and grandkids a safe and healthy world—because there is no Planet B.

2. What would you do to reduce the extreme income inequality in this country?

Hillary Clinton: Too many hardworking Americans have the deck stacked against them. No one who works hard should have to raise their kids in poverty, or worry they won’t be able to retire with dignity.

But the majority of the income growth since the Great Recession has gone to people at the top. Working people haven’t gotten a raise in 15 years. Right now, the top one-tenth of one percent of Americans own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined. We haven’t seen this level of wealth inequality since right before the Great Depression.

We need an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. For starters, I’ll raise the federal minimum wage and guarantee equal pay for women. And we’ll promote profit-sharing—the workers who help make their companies profitable should be able to share in that success the way executives do.

We need to create more good jobs that pay enough to raise a family. So we’ll make the biggest investment in good jobs since World War II—jobs in infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, and clean energy. We need to make sure that jobs in home health care, child care, and other fields provide good pay and good benefits, and make it easier for workers to organize and bargain collectively in all industries. We need to do more to support small businesses that create so many new jobs. And we need to make it easier for people to be good employees and good parents by guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for every worker.

We also need to go after intergenerational poverty. Every child in America should be able to live up to his or her God-given potential, no matter who your parents are or what ZIP code you grew up in. That’s why I’m going to make pre-school universal for every four-year-old in America.

It’s also why we’re going to embrace approaches like South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn’s 10-20-30 plan, where 10 percent of federal investments are made in communities where 20 percent of the people have been living in poverty for the last 30 years. Let’s address the systemic problems that have kept too many in poverty for far too long.

Lastly, we need more fairness in our tax system. By closing the loopholes and requiring those at the top to pay their fair share in taxes, we can help cover the cost of vital investments that will create jobs and opportunity for middle-class families and help lift millions out of poverty. Around two-thirds of the burden of my tax plan falls on the highest earning 0.1 percent of taxpayers.

Here’s what we won’t do. We won’t raise taxes on people making less than $250,000. And we won’t spend trillions of dollars giving huge new tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations. They’ve seen the gains in recent years—they should pay their fair share to make the investments that will grow the economy for everyone.

3. What would your administration do to reduce gun violence and mass shootings?

Hillary Clinton: We lose an average of 90 Americans every day because of guns. Since I launched my campaign for the presidency in April of 2015, that means more than 50,000 people have been killed by gun violence in America.

I’ve met some of their families, and countless others whose lives have been forever changed by gun violence. I’ve traveled the country with mothers like Lucy McBath, whose 17-year-old son Jordan was shot and killed for playing music. I’ve been inspired by advocates like Erica Smegielski, whose mother Dawn died trying to protect her students at Sandy Hook School. And I’ve prayed with residents in cities like Charleston, one of the many communities across our country that have been devastated by this epidemic.

For decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics too hot to touch. But as I’ve listened to the stories in every corner of our country, one question has stayed at the front of my mind: How can we just stand by and do nothing?

That simple answer is: We can’t.

So here’s what I think we need to do. First, we need to expand background checks to include more gun sales, like those at gun shows and over the Internet. There’s no reason a domestic abuser should be able to go online and buy a gun with no questions asked. And we need to close other loopholes, like the so-called “Charleston Loophole” that allows dangerous people to buy guns without a background check if that check isn’t completed within three days.

Second, we need to hold the gun industry accountable, and end laws that shield them from liability when they break the law. We saw that just this month, when one of those laws was used to block the families of the Sandy Hook shooting from having their day in court.

Finally, we need to keep military-style weapons off our streets. They are a danger to law enforcement and to our communities.

By taking these common sense steps, we can keep our children safe and respect the Second Amendment. The vast majority of Americans support measures like these. So our challenge isn’t finding common ground. It’s getting politicians to listen to their constituents rather than the gun lobby.

For that to happen we need to say, loudly and clearly, that gun violence is an issue that matters. And we need to vote accordingly.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow Clinton on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and Instagram. Also, be sure to subscribe to the campaign’s official Podcast, With Her.

News Source: The New York Times