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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Politics

19 Feb 2016
On June 7, Coachella Valley voters will go to the polls to cast their votes in the California primary—and the Republican Party is going all-out to reclaim the 36th Congressional District seat, currently held by Dr. Raul Ruiz, a Democrat. So far, two Republicans have declared their intentions to take on Ruiz (who did not return repeated requests for comment for this story). “When I entered the field, there was no Republican who had thrown their hat into this race and stayed in the race,” novice candidate Dwight Kealy told Independent. “We’re looking at a district where a strong Republican should have a good showing. Historically, it’s been a Republican district.” That historical advantage was altered dramatically in 2012, when Ruiz, then a novice candidate…
15 Feb 2016
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The year 2015 was not easy for Palm Springs government, especially after City Hall was rocked by an FBI raid targeting documents related to then-Mayor Steve Pougnet’s relationship with various developers and businessmen. Then came a contentious and at times ugly election season, which ended with businessman and former military man Rob Moon defeating City Councilmember Ginny Foat by 11 percentage points in the eight-way mayoral race—a result that shocked many political insiders. The Independent recently caught up with Rob Moon at Townie Bagels to talk about his first three months in office. I asked him if anything had surprised him about being mayor. “The only thing that’s been difficult has been keeping up with the e-mails,” Moon said. “I probably get 150 a day,…
09 Feb 2016
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The “protest pit” outside of the Republican Presidential Debate at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., on Saturday evening was a fenced-in area in a field about a quarter mile down the road from the main entrance to the campus. Bumper to bumper traffic ran in front of the pit—odd, given that NH State Police were letting few cars on the campus. Most were told to turn around. No one that Republican leadership didn’t want in was getting anywhere near the Carr Center, where the debate was taking place. Powerful lights shone down on the scene from one side—lending it an eerie cast. Behind the fence facing the road were a couple hundred supporters for a few of the Republican candidates. But that was just…
08 Feb 2016
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There has been a relentless stream of town halls, meet-and-greets, panel discussions and rallies in New Hampshire in advance of the Jan. 9 primary—but we were probably at the only event where “Party in the USA” blared from the speakers as the crowd filed into their seats. We were definitely at the only happening hosted by Trevor Noah. A disembodied voice asked us to kindly turn off our cell phones, though the request was blatantly ignored by a crowd full of people who were furiously Snapchatting the scene as Noah and correspondents from The Daily Show—Jessica Williams, Ronny Chieng and Hasan Minhaj —took to the stage. It was an off-air event, after all, so how else would we prove to friends that we were there?…
05 Feb 2016
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There’s a man with a dark complexion hocking “Bomb The Hell Out of ISIS” lapel pins. His heart’s not really in it. The next vendor over from him isn’t legitimately feeling the energy, either, his long hair and thick Boston accent a dead giveaway that he’s a foreigner in Trump country. In any case, the prices on “Make America Great Again” merchandise are non-negotiable—for hats, $20 or $25, depending on whether the letters are embroidered or ironed on, and $5 for flags. There’s no bargaining with these leeches. No pocket knives. No guns. No food. No water. No pepper spray. The guy in front of me snickers at the instructions, and asks his friends to hold his place in line as he presumably goes to…
05 Oct 2015
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They call it a party, though there’s no music or dancing. But there’s plenty of politics in the air to liven up the rectangular, windowless room—with free drinks from an open bar to help loosen the lips. Saturday night has arrived at the California Republican Party’s fall convention, which took place last month at Anaheim Marriott. The Saturday shindig put on by the Bay Area GOP will feature an announcement about the state party’s preliminary 2015 platform, which will be ratified by a vote the next morning. Luis Buhler, publisher of BayAreaGOP.com and former vice chair of the Bay Area GOP, delivers the tentative platform to the room. Things get interesting when the platform’s “equal opportunity” wording comes up. “The platform committee added language opposing…
27 Sep 2015
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It was a simple, four-step exercise: 1. We came up with a list of 10 questions—five serious, issue-based questions, and five questions that are a little more light-hearted—to ask all of the candidates for city office. 2. We set up interviews with all of the candidates. 3. We asked the candidates the 10 questions. That’s exactly what Palm Springs resident Jimmy Boegle did over the last couple of weeks. He interviewed every one of the 14 Palm Springs candidates—eight mayoral candidates, and six City Council candidates. Now, comes the last step. 4. Report the answers to those 10 questions. Here’s what all of the candidates have to say. We only made minor edits on the candidates’ answers for grammar and style; in some cases, we…
27 Sep 2015
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Name: David Brown Age: 46 Occupation: Dry cleaning manager Interview: Phone 1. When you stand at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Road and Palm Canyon Drive, and look northwest, what comes to mind? At first glance? Construction. Hopefully, when they’re completed, it’s going to be a nice, completed project. Right now, when I look at it, you’re seeing construction, framework, ironwork and a big crane. All that’s kind of distracting from the mountains, but at the same time, hopefully when this project is done, what they’ve built … is a nice project for the city. We have not seen a model master, which would be nice. 2. Does Palm Springs have a crime problem? If so, what should be done about it? They need to…