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The Midterm Barometer: How New Jersey and Virginia can set the stage for 2018 elections

I know midterms aren’t for another year. I’m sorry, I can’t resist. The reason I point this out is that Virginia and New Jersey have their gubernatorial elections, while the Utah 3rd District is up for grabs. Recently, I’ve written articles about Alabama and early projections, but Virginia, and to a lesser extent New Jersey, are bellwether states that usually give an indicator as to how well parties may do in the midterms.  I would like to stress that reading too much into these races is foolhardy. These are not standalone elections but should be read as part of the grand narrative that 2017 special elections have written. Democrats have outperformed their polling averages by about eight percentage points. Currently, the Real Clear Politics polling average has Lt. Governor Northam defeating challenger Ed Gillespie by two points in Virginia, while challenger Phil Murphy is crushing Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno by… Keep Reading


Trouble in Paradise: What St. Cloud can do to improve on-campus housing

I’m not really one for “rant pieces”. The long, not entirely sensible, Facebook-esque pieces that don’t contribute to the public discussion, but seem to exist only for the narrow echo chamber do not count as journalism in my book. That being said, I would like to point out two large problems I see around campus.  The first is the absolutely disgusting housing for students living off campus. I have toured several Universities in three different states and in each of them, the few blocks surrounding campus were the safest and most beautiful parts of the city. This is not the case in St. Cloud. The various state of disrepair, chipping paint, and poor lighting scream apathy.   Obviously, students and renters could do more to pick up places around their homes. Structural problems, bad paint, and other things of that nature are the fault of the landlords. The permissiveness in allowing… Keep Reading


Why Gerrymandering creates political discrimination

Gerrymandering is the most useful tool for ensuring the continuation of political power. It turned my home state of Wisconsin from a blue-ish purple state into a ruby-red one, especially at the state level. Talking as a Democrat (a lover as Democracy, not a member of the Democratic Party), I see it as the biggest threat to our Republic. Every ten years, we have to take a census of the population. Based on who is accounted for, a state is awarded a number of Congressional seats. This is the same where each state redraws its legislative boundaries. Gerrymandering, in the broadest of terms, is to maximize the power of one party over the other for the next decade. The Supreme Court has struck down gerrymandering based on race in several different cases. The reasoning behind the Court’s decisions was the 14th Amendment: Equal Protection. By deliberately packing minority voters into… Keep Reading


Unpaid Internships are slavery

Many of us have had to work internships before, the vast number of which were unpaid. For me, it was a requirement for my Master’s and a way to gain valuable experience. There’s nothing wrong with requiring internships for graduation or to gain experience. I would argue that they are a vital part to bridging the academic portion of our studies to the real-world perspectives. The issue is nearly all of these internships are unpaid. The definition of slavery in the strictest sense is the buying and selling of people. Applying this to the student-employer relationship, it’s exploiting student labor without compensation. You see, Dear Reader, by forcing students to get internships, there’s no incentive for businesses to pay them. Laws on the books are lax in this regard because students don’t vote as much as older and richer members of society. As such, this is very low on the… Keep Reading


Why Mueller’s investigation must continue

In recent days, several Republicans in the House and Senate have come forward and said that special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation should be cut off because of the lack of indictments, political hit jobs, and secret nature of things. Democrats, on the other hand, want to protect Mueller. Let’s take these on point-by-point. The first indictments are coming down on Monday, including Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. This is not a political hit job; this is an effort to make certain that the President and his top advisers did not engage in collusion with Moscow. If they did, then they should be tried and convicted. Thirdly, this isn’t secret. The ongoing investigations are being reported on, even if all the facts aren’t released yet. Any defendants will be tried openly through the legal process. It should also be noted that when Kenneth Starr investigated President Clinton, Democrats were calling for… Keep Reading


Puerto Rico and poverty: how joining the U.S. could help

A lot of much-needed publicity has come to Puerto Rico following President Trump’s trip there. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of mockery with the President blaming Puerto Rico for “blowing up” the U.S. budget, shooting paper towels to citizens like they were basketballs, and not seeming to believe that water purification tablets actually worked. At the Chronicle, we pride ourselves in going under just the surface layer, and while I am definitely no fan of Trump’s, I’d rather contribute something to a legitimate conversation than repeatedly blast our Orange-In-Chief and be a part of the noise.  You see, Dear Reader, there are differences between U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories. Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands are commonwealths, but Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands are territories. These places are indirectly represented by Congress by having a Delegate in the House which may… Keep Reading


Good Girls Revolt cannot be Silenced

Here I sit. Hundreds of thoughts running through my head just days after brave women – victims of sexual harassment and abuse from Harvey Weinstein – came forth and stood tall and told the world they have had ENOUGH. As a woman, I have not lived my life without countless times of sexual harassment over the years and I would be surprised if any female in this world did not experience harassment in one form or another during their lives. It is an incredibly heartbreaking reality and I am so proud of all of the women who have come forward, expressing their deep, very dark experiences – including every single woman I have seen on Twitter and Facebook posting two very powerful words. “Me too.” As a journalist, I very lately stumbled across Good Girls Revolt on Amazon this past summer (it premiered in Oct. of 2016). Unsurprisingly, I fell… Keep Reading


Senate picks are happening way too early

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. The Alabama Senate Race has gotten me thinking of how the midterms might shape up. It’s essentially a law of American politics that the midterms are a referendum on the President’s job performance. With many scandals and low favorability ratings for both Republicans in Congress and President Trump, some Democrats are talking about their admittedly slim chances to reclaim the House and Senate. This is an article about the seats most in danger this upcoming midterm election.  1: Jeff Flake (R-AZ)  Flake has never been loved by the Republicans in Arizona. He talked tough in 2012 on a tea party-esque platform, but now also published a book attacking President Trump. He did not like the President at all and has been a critic of him. His primary opponent, Dr. Kelli Ward, has been endorsed by President Trump and has led in nearly every poll since… Keep Reading


Tax policy is a huge snooze-fest, but also really important

Especially among Republicans, you hear the promise of cutting taxes and making government run more efficiently, like a business. Democrats typically talk about making the wealthy pay their “fair share.” For the first time in sixty years, the President is trying to fundamentally change tax policy. I would love to spend pages upon pages critiquing President Trump’s tax policy proposal, but unfortunately, there isn’t much of a proposal to go off of. The President has said he wants to drop the corporate tax rate down to 20 percent, then 15 percent, continuously flip-flopping. He wants to cut the “pass-through” businesses, which includes mom-and-pop shops, law firms, and real estate development. Investments will be able to be deducted immediately, something that will help the economy. So if you’re rich, you’re fine. What about the poor and middle class? You see, these tax cuts may benefit a few middle-class families, but the… Keep Reading

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