Left Justified


William Ruckelshaus, Two-Time EPA Chief, Dead at 87

December 2, 2019 by Dan Kazan in Politics
William Ruckelshaus swearing in as the first Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Seen from left to right: President Richard M. Nixon, William Ruckelshaus, Jill Ruckelshaus (wife), Chief Justice Warren Burger.

Perhaps most famous for his resignation from his post as deputy attorney general rather than obey Nixon’s command to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal, Ruckelshaus was the nation’s first head of the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. He held that position until 1973, and then was reinstated in 1983 when Anne Gorsuch resigned over a scandal of mismanagement of the EPA’ s Superfund program.

Ruckelshaus was appointed to run the EPA by President Nixon in 1970, where he helped the enactment of some of the country’s most ground-breaking legislation to protect the environment. He made sure the powerful Clean Air Act was passed through Congress, and he oversaw the consolidation of a bevy of separate environmental programs into one powerful federal agency.

His second gig as EPA head required that he restore confidence in an agency that was reeling from the Gorsuch scandal.

Ruckelshaus’s real glory came during what became known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.” In 1973, as the deputy attorney general, he could fire Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor examining the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon’s role in it. When Nixon demanded that Ruckelshaus do just that, he resigned.

Former President George W. Bush’s EPA chief, Christine Todd Whitman commended Ruckelshaus’s bipartisan dedication to the environment and justice, saying he was “a truly special person.”

“His passion for the environment, his devotion to our country, his willingness to work across aisle to do what was right is a model for all times,” she said in a statement.

Clinton Supporters Urging Her to Run for President

November 13, 2019 by Dan Kazan in Politics
Hillary Clinton

As Democrats scramble to find the most likely candidate to beat President Trump in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, some enthusiastic supporters are begging Hillary Clinton to join the race. Clinton, however, is not so sure.

Most elections begin with a large stable of presidential hopefuls, who, as time passes, one by one, throw in the towel and leave the race. This year we see a different phenomenon. Yes, some have left the fray, such as Governor Jay Inslee of Washington and Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York. But others are considering joining, despite the late arrival at the starting gate, like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former US Attorney General Eric Holder. So maybe Clinton will join as well?

In response to the pressure to add her name to the list of presidential hopefuls, Clinton answers:

“I, as I say, never, never, never say never,” the former secretary of State said on BBC Radio 5 Live. “I will certainly tell you, I’m under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it.”

She added that at this time running is “not in my plans.”

Clinton has been fielding questions about her plans to run from journalists for weeks, especially since she began her book tour with her daughter Chelsea, promoting, “The Book of Gutsy Women,” which they wrote together.

In a delightful Twitter exchange with Trump, Clinton hinted that she could run against him, perhaps. “Don’t tempt me,” she tweeted in response to Trump’s tweet that “Crooked Hillary” get in the race to cut off the campaign of “Uber Left” Elizabeth Warren.

The former First Lady, Secretary of State and New York Senator, won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, but lost in the Electoral College. Clinton responded to the late date to enter the race again.

“I know, it’s way past time,” she said. “Look, I think all the time about what kind of president I would’ve been and what I would’ve done differently and what I think it would’ve meant to our country and our world. … Whoever wins next time is going to have a big task trying to fix everything that’s been broken.”

November’s Democratic Debates will Include Klobuchar and Gabbard

November 7, 2019 by Dan Kazan in Politics

As the campaign for president enters its next phase, the results of a new Iowa poll confirm that Tulsi Gabbard, representative from Hawaii, and Amy Globuchar, senator from Minnesota, will be included in the upcoming presidential debates to be held on November 20 in Atlanta.

U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention. Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

Klobuchar won 5 percent of Democratic voters support according the Iowa survey from Quinnipiac University. She also has amassed more than 200,000 individual donors, which qualifies her for the December debate.
Gabbard had 3 percent support in the Iowa poll, and had at least 165,000 donors, which qualified her for November’s debate.

Ten candidates will debate in Atlanta: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Warren and Andrew Yang. Only six candidates have already qualified for December’s debate: Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren.

The debate is scheduled to run for two hours, from 9pm to 11pm Eastern Standard Time.

The Qunnipiac poll found the following percentages of support for each candidate still in the running:

  • Warren 20 percent
  • Buttigieg 19 percent
  • Sanders 17 percent
  • Biden 15 percent