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Mitch Perry Report 5.13.15 — Bill de Blasio unveils a progressive contract with America

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In Washington yesterday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his progressive “contract with America,” a 13-point liberal platform in which every child has free kindergarten, wages start at $15 an hour, there would be national paid sick leave and family leave, higher taxes on the wealthy, opposition to unfair trade laws (such as the Trans Pacific Partnership) and comprehensive immigration reform.

“These 13 progressive ideas will make an enormous difference for families all over this country, for everyday Americans. They are bold steps,” the mayor said. “The only way we’re going to turn this country around is if we have the resources we need to actually give people economic opportunity again, and that will take progressive taxation.”

But forget about opposition coming from the Republican-led Congress, where most of these plans are dead on arrival. There’s also opposition from some fellow progressives.

Talk-show host Roland Martin blogs that this reform agenda doesn’t mention a thing about police brutality, mass incarceration, and the so-called school to prison pipeline.

Naturally, Newt Gingrich has an opinion, and it ain’t positive.

The former Georgia Republican congressman unveiled his original contract with America during the 1994 congressional elections, the elections that made him House speaker as the Republicans took over the House for the first time in 40 years.

As a conservative,” Gingrich told Newsmax, “I would like nothing better for the Democrats to jump off the cliff with an absolutely impossible and utterly unbelievable proposal.

“I wish him well,” he added. “I hope he goes around the country and convinces his fellow Democrats that a delusional policy of destruction is really a cool thing.”

Gingrich is correct on one thing — the GOP was able to implement some of the goals listed in his contract. With the Democrats in the minority in the House and Senate, there’s nowhere to go to get the de Blasio steps implemented.

In other news..

Jeb Bush was in the news a lot yesterday. The Democratic National Committee pounced on his inartful (to say the least) response to a question about fighting the Iraq war in retrospect. Then he announced that he was blowing off the Iowa Straw poll in August. Then again, he’s not even a candidate yet, so….

Rick Scott isn’t running for anything that we know of yet. But the governor is definitely collecting big paychecks from the likes of Jeff Vinik and Associated Industries of Florida for his Let’s Get to Work PAC.

According to the American Conservative Union, Alan Grayson had a more “conservative” voting record in 2014 than the man he may be facing next year in the Democratic Senate Primary, noted centrist Jupiter U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy. We explain how that’s possible.

And the co-chair of the 9/11 Commission — former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean — agrees with former Florida U.S. Sen. Bob Graham’s call that the Obama administration needs to declassify 28 pages of a congressional report on the 9/11 hijackers that doesn’t make Saudi Arabia look too good.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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