President Trump, California, NPR discussed on All Things Considered
Culver City, California. I'm Dwayne Brown. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis paid a visit today to some of the more than five thousand troops deployed to the US border with Mexico as in Paris, David welna. Tells us it's the first time Madison gone there since he authorized the move last month in the border town of Donna Texas secretary Mattis defended the pre-election deployment of active duty troops to the border. It's very clear that supporting mortar place our border patrol his necessary right now, Madison the forces are needed to install barbed wire and fly helicopters on Capitol Hill, New Mexico democratic Senator Tom udall said those jobs could be done by the national guard. I don't think these troops should really be down there. I think if the border states are saying that there should be additional sport. They should do it through the national guard udall said he certain the troop deployment was an election stunt that President Trump is now stuck with David welna NPR news, Washington. Shares up Pacific Gas and electric dropped more than twenty percent today. After the California utility said it could face a significant financial hit if it's found liable for sparking the state's deadliest wildfire last week in northern Cal. At least forty eight people have been confirmed dead and the campfire that laid waste to the town of paradise north of Sacramento and hundreds more still missing this is gonna be an easy task. But the operations will be thorough and exhaustive director Mark Ghilarducci with the governor's office of emergency services says his crews get more containment around. Wildfires officials are working on recovery plans. We're moving fast and all of this. I with tremendous response. Great work by all the firefighters and Cal fire into now, the recovery process as we're starting to work with local communities, the frame that up massive Woolsey fire north of Los Angeles is more than forty five percents around it. You're listening to NPR news. You're listening to KCRW news. I'm Steve take us. Let's update you on those numbers too. Because new numbers have come out in the camp wildfire in northern California. According to Cal fire officials and law enforcement officials who are investigating and obviously going through and sifting through a lot of the the rubble there. What's left of the town of paradise now saying fifty six people are confirmed dead in northern California in Butte county, one hundred thirty people remain missing in the camp wildfire with that number expected to go up the death toll there at fifty six right now. And again that death toll is expected to go up. Three people have died lost their lives so far in southern California. As part of the Wolsey fire that's burned since last week other news happening today the tight race for a southern California. How seat is getting even tighter Republican young Kim is leading her democratic challenger gilson's narrows by just one hundred twenty two votes. That's for the thirty ninth district largely in Orange County. But also, including L A. And San Bernardino counties as well that's a lot closer than even yesterday's tally. Meanwhile, in the forty fifth democrat, Katie Porter's leading over incumbent Republican Mimi Walters after trailing her on election day and in the central valley. First time candidate Josh harder has defeated four-term Republican Jeff Denham if Cisnero Cisneros rather keeps trending upward in Puerto holds her lead. The Orange County area could be completely blue in the house of representatives for the first time in recent memory. It is looking like a more like the Democrats could flip Orange County's entire delegation now at least two Republicans that are left standing or accusing their opponents of election dirty tricks KCRW, Eric Roy has more. As Ballard county continues. Irvine GOP congresswoman Mimi Walters has slipped behind law. Professor Katie Puerto by a couple of hundred votes Walters is now accusing Democrats of trying to steal the election in fundraising emails obtained by business. Insider Walters tells supports that Democrats are already preparing for a recount to try and steal this Republican seat in another manner. Walter says we must make sure that only valid votes from registered voters are counted. Meanwhile, Republican young Kim's lead over democrat gil-su's Netto see shrieking in an Orange County district that straddles LA county came as accused nets of tampering with ballots and harassing voters. KCRW Eric Roy reporting six thirty four I'm on an onto the point Newt Gingrich and his impact on congress, basically trying to strip away all of the civilising aspects of our politics of our institutions to LeVine wherever you get your podcast support for NPR comes from focus features, presenting boy, erase starring Lucas hedges, Nicole Kidman and. Russell Crowe based on the true story of a son who must overcome the fall out of being outed to his parents now and select the and from C three providing a software platform that enables organizations to deploy artificial intelligence in IOT solutions of industrial scale, C, three dot AI. Quick check on traffic, low Holly, just keep in mind that Pacific Coast Highway is still closed between lust post says en Las Flores canyon. And all the canyon roads are still closed due to the fire the Malibu area, Holly Adams. Thank you six thirty five right now from NPR news. This is all things considered. I'm ari. Shapiro chang. Chang. Congress may be on the verge of a major overhaul of the criminal Justice system. And it seems to go against President Trump's tough talk on crime. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is hoping to push the Bill across the finish line as they return for the upcoming lame duck session, the president weighed in on that idea this afternoon Americans from across the political spectrum. Can unite around prison reform legislation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens chance at redemption NPR, national Justice correspondent Carrie Johnson has been following this issue for years and years. Hey, Keri hilson. So this Bill it doesn't exactly seem to gel with President Trump's past rhetoric about upholding law and order just explain this to me how does being more lenient on some drug sentences fit in with his whole tough on crime talk inside the White House, the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner has made sentencing in prison reform a top priority. He has a personal connection because his father served prison time, right? Jared Kushner's arranged roundtables for President Trump to get him used to the idea. Now, the former attorney general Jeff Sessions was a staunch opponent of leniency for drug criminals. But remember Jeff Sessions was forced down last week at Justice, and his replacement acting attorney general Matt Whitaker doesn't seem to have trouble. With this proposal over the weekend, though, another important voice chimed in the fraternal order of police. They're the biggest law enforcement union, the F O P endorsed Donald Trump during the campaign, and they have a lot of clout. Okay. So that opened the door even wider. I mean, there's been so much back and forth between lawmakers on this Bill. Can you just catch us up for a moment? What exactly is inside this legislation? Now, there's a lot of language about making education and Dr training available to violent prisoners and giving them a chance to earn credits to get out sooner. That idea was not controversial. But this deal also includes some changes to criminal penalties. Here's what we know. So far it'll help inmates who were punished under an old law that gave them harsher sentences for crack cocaine rather than powder cocaine that law hit the African American community, very hard disproportionally. Those people will be allowed to go back and ask just to let them out of prison and moving forward for new defendants. This plan would also reduce some mandatory minimum sentences and. Give more power to judges to use their discretion. So what's been the reaction to this Bill? So far, I reached out to Holly Harris, she's executive director of the Justice Atkin network, which lobbied for changes to the Justice system. Here's what she had to say. We're very hopeful that this Bill will also lead to two second chances for so many individuals who need treatment who who really want to get job training who want to return to society support their families find good jobs improve their education secure adequate housing now. Holly Harrison, she knows a lot of people got discouraged when nothing happened in congress during the Obama years, but she says Senator Chuck Grassley Republican Senator dick Durbin democrat really held together and help push this plan the groups fan the group named families against mandatory minimums also supports the proposal. They point out more than nine and ten people in federal prison eventually returned to the community. So it just makes sense to provide more options for them in prison importantly, the Senate majority leader. Her Mitch McConnell has been lukewarm about this idea for a long time earlier today, he said the Senate has a lot to do this year appropriations and the farm Bill, but this show of support today from President Trump may help move Justice reform higher up on the list that the things that the Senate will do before they break, I guess, we'll just have to wait and see NPR's national Justice. Correspondent Carrie Johnson. Thanks kerry. My pleasure. Another story line that came out of the midterm elections is about voter frustration with the way districts are drawn in most states politicians draw the lines that determine where you vote and that can lead to partisan gerrymandering drawing, the lines to favor a certain party last week voters in Michigan and Colorado approved measures that take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and put that task in the hands of independent commissions to find out more about how these conditions work. We are speaking now with Michael Lee, he's with the Brennan center for Justice in New York. Welcome. Thank you for having me all these ballot measures were. Seeing is this a sign that there is growing interest in redistricting reform in rolling back during Mandarin. Absolutely. There's been more energy around this issue than any time that I can remember there if you add Ohio where a measure passed in may have been five measures on the ballot and four or five of them. We'll have passed this year, and there's never been energy like that. And is this growing energy because the twenty twenty cents is is coming up is that why I think the energy around. This issue comes from the fact that people both Democrats and Republicans and people who bar affiliated with either party increasingly understand that something is broken in our democracy. And that the way that minds are drawn have a big part to do with that and a few years ago. This issue resonated with nobody in polling, you it didn't move odors one way or the other than I think people have been really frustrated with the way that they were drawn this decade. And I think a lot of people are looking forward to new ways of doing it in the future. And some of those new ways are for states to redraw district lines by using. What's called these independent commissions? Can you tell us how these missions work? Well, they vary a bit. But the general idea is that you select people through a process, it's very do selecting a jury there's a screening process or not picked by lawmakers, and then they get to work, and they draw lines of holding lots of public hearings are generally fairly strict transparency requirements around these which is something that doesn't occur right now. Where lawmakers all the maps, and then they have to pass it on a bipartisan basis in that itself. Ensures that the maps are going to be fair because you have to compromise it for us you fail, and there are some states that have been using independent commissions for years. Now do voters seem to be happy with the results. Absolutely. I mean there had been virgins on commissions in relatively small states like Montana, and I'd Aho before but California adopted commission for the most recent mount drying process, and it's a large demographically complicated state, and the result is much more competition. Much more compact districts districts. Do a better job of keeping communities together. And that produce more wins by women by people of color by people who don't have access to big money and a lot of that is due to the way that the maps are drawn and they're drawn much more fairly. Well, a lot of those outcomes that you're citing would seem to favor Democrats are Republicans fighting some of these changes. Well, it's favored Democrats recently. But the maps are drawn, and and you can measure this. I if Republicans start to do better if they figure out how to message to voters if they start to figure out how to win votes from people of color or for younger voters,.