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L a nc as t er Co un t y D e mo cr a t ic P a r t y N ew sl e tt er Web:

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https://www.lancasterdemocrats.com/ Email: LCDPSCnews@gmail.com

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Volume 4 Issue 1 January 2020

Inside this Issue 1. Meeting and Events Calendar Pages 2-3 2. Editorial and Opinions Pages 4-5 3. SC Politics Page 6-9 4. 2020 Presidential Candidates Pages 10-13 5. Candidates and the Issues Pages 13-16 6. Candidates and the Debates Page 17 7. Circus without Bread Page 18 8. Events Pages 19-22 Pages 23-25 9. Traveling Democrats 10. Democrats Care Page 26 Pages 27-28 11. Action Teams 12. Political Cartoons Pages 29-30 13. Final Page 31 Click link on above contents to navigate to desired section LCDP Executive Board Keith T. Grey, Sr. Kathy Baker Verta Looper Position Open Effie Seaborn Tamara Garris Cary Kimmel Mitch Norrell Jennifer Jewett William St. Louis

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Chair 1st Vice Chair 2nd Vice Chair 3rd Vice Chair State Exec. Committee Woman Alt. State Exec. Committee Woman State Exec. Committee Man Alt. State Exec. Committee Man Secretary Treasurer


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Meeting and Events Calendar The Lancaster County Democratic Party

Meets on the first Thursday of each month. The next meeting will be on February 6 at 7 PM, at Del Webb Library in Indian Land Keith Grey, Chair, www.lancasterdemocrats.com

LCDP Executive Committee Meeting Sun City Democrats

Meets on the third Tuesday each month. The next meeting will be on January 21 at 7 PM, at the LCDP Headquarters, 210 South Main Street.

The LCDP Membership Action Team LCDP Democratic Women MLK Parade Lancaster Issues Town Hall Seventh Presidential Debate Poll Monitor Training LCDP Meet the Candidates/Issues Event SC Democratic Primary The other Early States Precinct Reorganization LCDP County Convention National Democratic Convention

Meet on the second Wednesday of each month in the Sun City Lake House. The next meetings will be on January 15 and February 12 at the Lake House. For information contact Jeanne Huber, President, Sun City Democrats (jghswiss@aol.com). is kicking off a LCDP-North Dems Social at Towne Tavern in Indian Land on January 15, 2020, 68 PMto bring together Democrats in the northern precincts of the county. This social will occur every 3rd Wednesday of the month.The Central Dem Good Times meeting will take place on Monday, January 27, 6-8 PM at Punky’s on Main in Lancaster. Thursday, January 16, 6:30 PM, at Sun City Tavern on the Lake Saturday, January 18, 3 PM, Main Street, Lancaster Thursday, January 23, 6:30 PM, Barr St. Auditorium January 14, Des Moines, Iowa

Thursday, February 13, 6-8 PM, Lancaster County Council Chambers Tuesday, February 18, 6:30 PM, Barr Street Auditorium

Saturday, February 29 The three other early primary or caucus states are Iowa (Feb. 3), New Hampshire (Feb. 11), and Nevada (Feb. 22 Saturday, March 14, Locations TBA Saturday, March 28, 2020, Hope on the Hill, Lancaster July 13-16, 2020

If you know of events that would be of interest to our members, please send them to the newsletter email to be included in the next issue. For current events and meetings, also check out the Events section on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LancasterSCDems

The LCDP invites you to join us for the Dr. Martin Luther King “I have a dream” Parade Saturday, January 18, 2020 3 PM, Lancaster, SC

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SC Democratic Primary Feburary 29, 2020


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Poll Monitor Training Thursday, February 13 6-8 PM Lancaster County Council Chambers

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LCDP Meet the Candidates/Issues Event Tuesday, February 18 6:30 PM Barr Street Auditorium

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Editorial and Opinions Section Please again this year consider writing an opinion article as your time permits. We would like to hear from everyone. Your article does not have to be lengthy. These articles serve several purposes--information, opinion, and perspective--and are another way we can get to know each other. Please submit them to Martha Robinson at lcdpscnews@gmail.com, Attn: Associate Editor, Martha Robinson. Thanks!!

Martha Robinson Letter: Drug-price bill needs Senate consideration The Democratic-controlled House just passed a bill that would reduce drug costs for all Americans. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to meet big-pharma’s demands and has not scheduled the bill to committee or floor discussion in the Senate. This bill was passed on a rare bipartisan basis, and even President Trump supports it. But McConnell appears to value the big bucks he can get from big pharma over the needs of the American people. The bill would allow Medicare to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers and cap the U.S. price of over 250 meds (including insulin) at 120 percent of the price charged to Canada. It also would allow private insurers to buy drugs at Medicare-negotiated rates and cap out-ofpocket costs for seniors at $2,000 a year. Drug manufacturers who refused to low their prices would be slapped with a 95 percent excise tax. It is a bill that should be and must be acted on (The Lancaster News, December 21, 2019). Cary Kimmel, Indian Land

President Trump and the Evangelicals By Martha Robinson

To many Christians like myself, and hopefully, even for others who are not Christians, the first article below, in the fairly small but iconic publication, Christianity Today, is long overdue, and may be a small gift for the coming year. In spite of the Christian right’s espousal and support of Trump, the author makes his case for the impeachment of Trump and encourages many conservative Christian readers who are quite uncomfortable with Trump’s lack of morals. The author makes an eloquent argument for impeachment, saying that he had only recently come to this opinion. Of course, Trump lashed out at the article, calling the magazine a “far-left” publication, and Ralph Reed, founder of “Faith and Freedom, “ said equally absurd things. Once again, to his discredit, so did Franklin Graham, who has made the same mistake his father Billy lamented by becoming involved in politics. The power games of some of these preachers, leaders of megachurches who somehow lead their sheep into blindly following Trump, are reminiscent of what the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (who was involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler) wrote achingly about describing manipulation of Christians in Nazi Germany. The article is eloquent, and well worth the read if you haven’t already read it. The links below the Cristianity Today link are shown because they give content and background for the article in Christianity Today. The Wikipedia article offers a great overview of evangelicalism. The third link, in which the author reviews two books, describes different movements within evangelicalism and tells how evangelicals became a force in politics in American history, from the Puritans to the opposing views of Christians in the north vs. the south about slavery, to school prayer, adoption of creationism, and abortion. It is important to know that there are some progressive and liberal evangelical organizations, such as Sojourners, which view Trump as a severe threat to both what they define as faith in action and to democracy and oppose him and most of his policies on every front. The fourth linked article, which is in the progressive journal The Nation, can be found on Google. It is written by Dr. Rev. William Barber and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and it complains about “the Herods” of this world’s political backlash to the political challenge of the “Gospel.” The authors passionately question why “open racism and demonization of immigrants” was not already addressed by the writers who write for Christianity Today and why these abominations have not already been a “deal-breaker” for Trump’s Christians followers. (Franklin Graham and others did actually oppose the child separation at the border.) Many Christian groups have come to see the Republican party as “pro-family” and “pro-life” as a “result of forty years of manipulation by political operatives” ( and I add, with the help of 4


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right-wing media and Fox News!) The writers argue that “prophetic Christianity insists that faith is always political and must advocate for the poor, the immigrant and the vulnerable.” The authors plead for a renewal of these efforts and values to rebuke Trumpism and its threat to true faith and to our democracy. Christianity Today: “Trump Should Be Removed from Office” Wikipedia: “Evangelicalism” New York Times: “Why Evangelicals Support Donald Trump” The Nation: “True Religious Faith Demands an Unwavering Rebuke of Trumpism” Those Who Sow the Wind Reap the Whirlwind—The US in Iraq By Judy Langston We are still reaping the whirlwind from the wind George W. Bush sowed when he justified an invasion of Iraq in 2003 on falsified tales of weapons of mass destruction and dangerous terrorist groups. This unjust war has cost countless thousands of lives, including the people whose human rights Bush said he wanted to protect. On Sunday, December 29, American forces carried out airstrikes on the Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq and Syria, killing 25. The justification given was that it was retaliation for the rocket attack against a military base in Iraq that killed an American defense contractor. The problem with that rationale is that the American forces do not really know who carried out the attack and are only guessing that it was an Iraqi militia that is receiving support from Iran. Both Iran and the Kataib Hezbollah have denied responsibility. Additionally, the Kataib Hezbollah is not the only militia in Iraq that has been accused of receiving some support from Iran. All of the militias in Iraq, whether they are pro-or contra-Iran, have been fighting together to contain ISIL, the terrorist group that is also the declared enemy of the US. So the situation is complicated, and on the surface, it does not appear reasonable that US policy should be to attack without first determining beyond a reasonable doubt who is the culprit. The Iraqi government has condemned this attack “as a violation of the country’s sovereignty.” Iraq’s President Barham Salih said “that his country has no desire to be party to a Middle East conflict or become a battleground where others settle scores. Nor will it allow itself to be a launchpad for aggression against its neighbors.” Understandably, the Iraqi people were not pleased to have Iraqi soldiers killed within their own country; so protestors attacked the American Embassy. Violent as that may be, it is a restrained response compared to what this country would do if another country shot some of our soldiers on American soil. Sadly, it appears that the US has Iran in the crosshairs of its weapons and is building a justification glued together by lies for the invasion of Iran, just as Bush did to invade Iraq. But the consequences of such an agenda may be more than this country can afford to pay. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani declared that Iran “will respond decisively and strongly to any transgression of its security and territorial integrity.” He said, “Our region is on the edge of collapse, as a single blunder can fuel a big fire.The United States is no-one’s neighbor in the region nor the guardian of any State. The solution for peace, security and stability should be sought within the region. and regional issues are bigger than the United States’ ability to resolve them.” On January 2, a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport killed Gen.Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, and five more. A statement issued by the US accused General Soleimani of being behind plots to kill Americans. But executing a high-ranking member of Iran’s government while he was in the sovereign country of Iraq and without benefit of a trial, in my opinion, makes the US a terrorist organization like those we claim to be fighting. This assassination, allegedly carried out to protect Americans, is more likely to cost many American lives as Iran and the region retaliates. Additionally, according to Scott Ritter, Soleimani was an official diplomat in transit, normally a protected status. This could remove barriers to open season on our own traveling diplomats. Will this be the “blunder” that “fuels the big fire” predicted by Iran’s President Rouhani? From where I sit watching blood spill on my television screen, it appears to me that “peace, security, and stability” are not the true goals of the US, as the actions of our government increasingly leave behind destroyed countries, devastated peoples, escalating world tensions, and hatred of Americans.

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South Carolina Politics

Gloria Bromell-Tinubu, PhD 2020 Candidate for US Senate (Running against Lindsey Graham)

Website

Ramin Mammadov 2020 Candidate for US House District 5 (An introduction to Ramin is on the next page) Jaime Harrison 2020 Candidate for US Senate (Running against Lindsey Graham)

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Note: Ramin will be officially announcing his candidacy for US House District 5 to the news media on January 17. Meet Ramin Mammadov

First and foremost, it is important to know that I am a devoted father and loving husband. I believe that family is the most important treasure there is. Long before any thoughts of public service entered his head, Ramin grew up in a humble, hardworking family that fled from their homeland when the Nazis invaded in WWII. As a result, he learned an importance of community at the young age. Ramin moved to the United States from Azerbaijan two decades ago, settling in the suburbs of Michigan. He worked while attending Oakland Community College in Royal Oak, Michigan. Later on, Ramin was accepted to Michigan State University, where he graduated in December of 2006 with his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. Shortly after graduation, Ramin successfully landed a job in information technology which brought him to the Carolinas. For the past fifteen years, Ramin has been working as a Quality Assurance Specialist helping financial service companies of all sizes identify and solve complex issues. Ramin is married with two children and is a member of Temple Solel Synagogue in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Now, Ramin Mammadov is ready to draw on his experience to serve the people of Congressional District 5 and the nation with distinction. Statement of Candidacy My name is Ramin Mammadov. And I would like to announce my candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 5th District of the great state of South Carolina. It will not be an easy race. I believe I represent a new generation of leadership that prioritizes service and community. When one wins, we all win. I believe public service should NOT be defined by age, race or gender. Public service must be led by example and by leadership. Our nation’s problems must be solved by creative and thoughtful approaches based on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Why I am running for Congress The United States helped me as a young immigrant. Now I am ready to give back and serve my country and the American people. I am running to rebuild unity and provide the voice for those whose voices aren’t heard. Too often partisanship and special interests have done nothing but leave more people behind. As your next Congressman, I will bring a fresh approach to solving complex problems, because I genuinely want to create a better future for everyone in the 5th Congressional district.

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Jaime Harrison in Sun City

On the evening of January 8, one hundred and eighty people turned out to see US Senate candidate Jaime Harrison speak at the invitation of the Sun City Democrats Club, and they were not disappointed. If anyone had not decided to support his campaign when they came in, it is highly likely that they left firmly located in his camp. For nearly an hour and 45 minutes, Jaime kept the audience enthralled with his eloquent speech that combined humorous stories about his life experiences, all of which contained a gem of wisdom; the passion of his convictions that most of us also share; a vision of his plan if he is elected; how very different that will be from what we don’t have now with Lindsey Graham; and what he is going to do to get elected and make that dream a reality. An awesome speaker, Jaime speaks smoothly without notes, from the heart, with conviction ringing in his voice, and with no stumbles or hesitation. Like a Barack Obama or a Bill Clinton, he can keep his audience hanging on his every word and with no wish to sneak a look at watches or cellphones to check the time. As a candidate, Jaime is also extremely qualified. Not only does he have a degree from Yale University and from Georgetown Law School, but he is so intelligent that he impressed Yale enough to be offered a scholarship that paid almost all of his tuition and expenses. He has served as an aide to South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, and he was the first African American chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Recently, he broke a record in SC by raising 3.5 million dollars within three months from approximately 67,000 individual donors at an average of $27 each. Although Jaime now has a highly successful life, he knows what it is to grow up in poverty. The son of a single mom who dropped out of school at 16 when she became pregnant with him, he was reared by his grandparents. His grandfather has a fourth-grade education and his grandmother an eighth-grade one because they also had to drop out of school to take care of family. Sometimes he had to eat cereal with water because they could not afford milk, and live in the dark because they could not afford to pay the electric bill. But poor as they were, he said they were richer than Bloomberg in values. His grandfather told him you always have to work hard for everything you get, but the impossible is always possible. His grandmother taught him that even if you have little, you still have an obligation to take care of others. She demonstrated this by feeding friends and family with a big dinner every Sunday, and even providing them with a plate of leftovers to take home. In addition to being intelligent, experienced, and well-educated, he is also enterprising and never gives up. His scholarship for Yale paid all but $2500, which was a very small amount considering the cost of Yale. However, his family had no way to raise that much money. They were not even eligible to take out a loan. But Jaime had an idea. He had once met Earl Middleton, the first African American elected to the SC House. Middleton gave Jaime his business card and told him if he ever needed anything, to give him a call. Jaime said he tended to keep stuff like that, so he called. Middleton gave him a job for the summer to earn the $2500 and even bought him a laptop to take to college with him. So he headed to Yale, alone, but with the comfort of knowing the whole community was behind him. To illustrate how much we need to remove Lindsey Graham from office, Jaime tells a story about how it used to be. At one point his mother wanted to move out on her own, but she needed a job. Someone suggested that she write to her Congressman, and so she wrote to Fritz Hollings and Strom Thurmond. Both responded, and it was actually Thurmond who set up the interview that got her the job. Neither of them asked the color of her skin or if she were Republican or Demo8


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crat. They just knew she was their constituent and required their help. That’s what the job was about back then, but not now. If you write to Graham, you receive the same canned letter, no matter the subject. He spends time golfing with the president, being interviewed on Fox News, and planning the next war instead of working for what his constituents need back in SC. He is not concerned at all about the SC hospitals that are closing, the condition of the roads, and the SC students who are weighed down by loan debt. A bill to close the Charleston loophole authored by Representatives Jim Clyburn and Joe Cunningham passed the US House and is sitting on Lindsey Graham’s desk because he is Chair of the Judiciary Committee. Graham has indicated that he does not intend to take up the legislation. Whatever his opinion of the legislation may be, it is unjust to not allow his Senate colleagues to have an opportunity to consider it. And this is despite the fact that nine of Graham’s own SC constituents died in the Mother Emanuel shooting. Jaime says that now when people turn on their TV, all they hear is vitriol. They work hard, pay taxes, and still struggle to live. Candidates make promises but nothing ever changes. We have to work hard to gain their trust. But despite that, people are hungry for a change. Enough is enough. Although official filing for candidacy does not take place until March, an exciting initiative that will begin this month is called “Harrison Helps.” There is a full-time staffer assigned to this project, and they will be going into every county in SC to see how people can be helped. For example, in one earlier event, $7,000 was raised to pay for school supplies. One grateful mother told Jaime that she had been very worried because she did not know how she was going to be able to afford her child’s school materials. Jaime plans, with the help of volunteers, to hold many types of help events all over the state, like helping people complete resumes so they can find a job. He says if we help people now, we don’t know what they may be able to become—He believes in the SC motto “dum spiro spero” which means, “while I breathe, I hope.” He also plans to spend extensive time in every county in the state, knocking on doors, talking to people and listening to their concerns. In order to win, he says we must 1.register voters, 2. Educate voters on the issues, and 3. Mobilize voters and get them to the polls. Ending his presentation, Jaime expressed a wish that I am sure we all share. He said, “What I want the day after the election is for all of you to get up, get your coffee, turn on the TV, and flip over to the Fox News program ‘Fox and Friends.’ And there on the couch will be Sean Hannity and Tucker Carson with a box of tissues between them. Then look down. The ticker scrolling across the screen will say, ‘OMG! Donald Trump is going back to Mar a Lago and Lindsey Graham is carrying his bags.’ ”

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2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

Michael Bennett US Senator from CO (2009-present) Age 55

John Delaney Rep. to US House from MD (2013-2019) Age 56

Bernie Sanders US Senator from VT (2007-present) Age 78

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Joe Biden Vice President of the US (2009-2017) Age 77

Tulsi Gabbard Rep. to US House from HI (2013-present) Age 38

Elizabeth Warren US Senator from MA (2013-present) Age 70

Michael Bloomberg Mayor of New York, NY (2002-2013) Age 77

Amy Klobuchar US Senator from MN (2007-present) Age 59

Pete Buttigieg Mayor of South Bend, IN (2012-present) Age 37

Deval Patrick Governor of MA (2007-2015) Age 63


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2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

These are candidates who are not career politicians. Tom Steyer Hedge Fund Manager and Philanthropist Age 62

Andrew Yang Founder of Venture for America Age 45

Now there are 12. Click on the picture to go to the candidate’s Wikipedia page and on the name to go the campaign website. Dropped out: Bill de Blasio, Cory Booker, Steve Bullock, Julián Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mike Gravel, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Wayne Messam, Seth Moulton, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Joe Sestak, Eric Swalwell and Marianne Williamson. Profiles of all candidates may be viewed on our website.

Candidates on the SC Primary Ballot In order to be on the South Carolina primary ballot, a candidate must have submitted an application by December 4, 2019 and paid a filing fee of $20,000. South Carolina’s filing fee is the largest in the nation. All of the above candidates except Michael Bloomberg, will be on the ballot. Bloomberg, who just announced his candidacy this past November 24, says he plans to skip the early primaries and caucuses and begin with Super Tuesday. Consequently, South Carolinians will not have an opportunity to vote for him. The South Carolina Democratic Primary will be held on December 29, 2020.

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Deval Patrick

Andrew Yang

Deval Parick, former governor of Massachusetts (2007-2015), has arrived late to the presidential candidate circus, just announcing his candidacy on November 14, 2019, after five debates have already taken place and most of the other candidates have been hot on the campign trail for almost a year.

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur, attorney, and founder of Venture for America, a nonprofit fellowship program to train young potential entrepreneurs. On November 6, 2017, he launched his campaign for presidency of the United States.

When Patrick made his announcement, he said, "In many ways, it has felt to me watching the race unfold that we are beginning to break into camps of nostalgia on the one hand and big ideas -- my way or no way -- on the other. We have to be about how we bring people in, how we bring people along and how we yield to the possibility that somebody else, or even some other party may have a good idea, as good or better than our own." His entrance into the race was a surprise because he said in December of 2018 that he would not run for president because the the cruelty of the process would be too hard on those close to him. Deval Laurdine Patrick was born on July 31,1956, in Chicago. His father abandoned the family in 1959, so he was brought up by his mother. Patrick graduated from Harvard College in 1978, spent 1979 in Africa with the United Nations, and then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1982. He is married to Diane Bemus Patrick, and they have two daughters (Wikipedia). Website: Facebook Twitter Instagram Announcement Video

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Yang’s main campaign proposal is to give all American citizens over the age of 18 a “Freedom Dividend” of $1000 per month as a form of universal basic income. He wants to do this to offset the loss of jobs and income due to increasing automation. The other two core elements of his platform are Medicare for All and “Human-centered Capitalism.” His campaign slogan is “Humanity First.” There are over 100 other issues that he supports on the platform listed on his website, but the three above are the main planks of his message. His supporters have been dubbed the “Yang Gang,” and they have gained a lot of attention for him on all of the social media platforms. Andrew Yang was born on January 13, 1975, in Schenectady, New York. His parents were immigrants from Taiwan, and, if elected, he would be the first U.S president of East Asian ancestry. He earned a BA degree from Brown University and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School. He has worked as a corporate attorney and as an executive or founder for several startup or early-stage growth companies. Yang lives in New York City with his wife, Evelyn, and their two sons. His oldest son is autistic (Wikipedia). Website Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube


Lancaster County Democratic Party Newsletter Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City (20022013) and CEO of Bloomberg L.P., announced his candidacy on November 24, 2019. That brings him to the table even later than Deval Patrick, who declared he was running 10 days earlier, on November 14. It will be difficult at this point for both candidates to make inroads in public attention, since their opponents have such a head start in this race. Mike Bloomberg says he is running for president because we have to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. He believes he can win because he is a problem solver and a winner and for proof points to his experience as mayor. He says he will be the only candidate who will not take a penny from anyone, he will work for a dollar a year, and he offers the leadership to turn plans into reality. The issues on his platform can be viewed on his campaign website. Although Bloomberg has been a Democrat most of his life, he switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor of New York in 2001. He won a 2nd term in 2005, then two years later left the Republican Party. He won his 3rd term for mayor as an independent but on the Republican ballot line. He rejoined the Democratic Party in 2018. Michael Bloomberg was born on February 14, 1941, in Boston. His family is Jewish. Bloomberg has a BS degree in electrical engineering from John Hopkins University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He was married to Susan Brown from 1975 to1993 and they have two daughters. In March 2019, Bloomberg th was ranked as the 9 -richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of 57.1 billion dollars (Wikipedia). Website Facebook Twitter Instagram Announcement Video YouTube

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Taxes Fear of taxes is usually a Republican thing. They believe that if Democrats get into power, they will bankrupt the country paying for welfare giveaways. Democrats appear to be more willing to pay taxes if they are fair, not just a perk for the wealthy, and we get a good return for our money, like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and fixing the potholes in the roads. Most of us, not being billionaires, feel safe from the consequences of the tax programs being proposed by some of the Democratic presidential candidates. However, there are probably few of us who truly understand how those tax programs will work, that is if the candidate actually gets elected and is able to find a way to get Congress on his or her side. And, billionaires or not, we may be affected more than we think by some of the proposals. Two questions that need to be asked are what income range they consider to be the beginning of wealthy, and whether they will take into consideration that what may be considered wealthy in South Carolina with our lower cost of living would be barely making ends meet in expensive cities like New York, DC, and Honolulu. Also, income taxes are not the only taxes we pay that may be affected by the candidates’ plans. There are Social Security taxes, property tax, inheritance tax, tax on capital gains and others. Not all of the candidates have worked out a plan yet, other than saying they are going to pay for everything by taxing the wealthy and corporations. The ones who have published information on their plans are listed below. •

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Michael Bennet – Bennet’s plans all are about tax incentives and credits rather than what the tax rates will be and who will pay them. He wants tax credits for the use of zero-emission vehicles and transit systems and for business and home use of energy technology. He wants to increase the tax credits for insurance purchased in the ACA marketplace, and also the child tax credit. He would expand the earned income tax credit for workers without children and give a tax credit to caregivers. He would repeal the 20% tax deduction for qualified business income. Joe Biden – Biden would return the top tax rate on ordinary income (like wages, business, and interest) to its preTrump tax cut high of 39.6%. Currently, it is 37%. This rate applies to individuals who earn over $500,000 and married couples who earn over $600,000. All of the other rates below that top rate would remain as they are under the Trump tax plan. He would increase the top rate on long-term capital gains from the current 20% to 39.6% for taxpayers earning more than $1 million. Currently, those who earn over $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples) have to pay an additional 0.9% payroll tax. That would not change. Biden would remove the $132,900 cap on social security taxes. Currently, once an individual reaches $132,900 in income, they do not have to pay Social on Social Security taxes for the remainder of the year. Without the cap, they would continue to pay 7.65% no matter how much is earned. On tax returns, it is likely that Biden would cap the value of itemized deductions at 28%, since this was advocated during the Obama administration and Biden is proposing to triple the child tax credit. When he was Vice President, Biden promised to end the S-Corporation tax loophole. He has not said if this is still the plan, but he himself used that loophole to save nearly half of a million dollars in 2017-18. He has proposed to eliminate the stepped-up basis in estate taxes. He has promised to increase the tax rate for corporations and eliminate tax loopholes. He is proposing a tax credit of $6,000 for caregivers of elderly relatives, and a credit for small businesses that provide a retirement plan for their employees. Michael Bloomberg – Although Michael Bloomberg says he supports increased taxes on the wealthy, he does not propose the type of wealth tax suggested by Sanders and Warren because he said they have been tried in other countries and they do not work. At this point, there is not much information on what type of tax plan he would propose but has indicated he will publish one soon. Pete Buttigieg – Buttigieg has proposed higher personal income taxes for the top brackets, a “wealth tax” on the most wealthy Americans, Social Security payroll taxes for persons earning $250,000 and $500,000 for couples, a 35% corporate tax rate, higher taxes on prescription drug companies that don’t join in the negotiations to reduce drug prices (65% and increasing each quarter by 10% up to 95%), eliminating some corporate tax breaks, a financial transactions tax, a carbon tax with rebates to Americans, eliminating subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, tax incentives for energy-efficient industries, expanding tax credits for electric cars, tax credits for employers who hire formerly incarcerated people, and a 50% tax for interns who live in rural areas. He also wants to create “public option 401K plans.” John Delaney – Delaney proposes implementing a 100% percent excise tax on the price difference between prices paid on prescription drugs in the US and OCED average and funding opioid recovery programs with a 2cent tax on morphine milligram equivalents in prescription pain pills. He wants to tax investment income at a higher rate, increase income taxes, simplify the tax code and eliminate loopholes, extend payroll tax cuts for working families, let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, and eliminate the inheritance tax. He believes the wealth tax proposed by the other candidates is unconstitutional. Tulsi Gabbard – Gabbard has said that taxes are theft if they are being used for things that do not serve our interests. Taxes should fund basic needs, not layers and layers of bureaucracy and wasteful wars that are making


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the world less safe. She said, “Another Tax Day, another year corporations like Amazon pay $0 taxes. The rich & powerful pay to play & write laws so they don't have to pay taxes. Trump has made this corruption even worse, turning the swamp into a cesspool. As President, I will change this and put people before profits.” She has supported tax incentives for businesses that help pay off student loans, lower prescription drug costs, low-income housing, veteran-owned small businesses, donations to political campaigns by ordinary Americans, and renewable energy creations and use. She said in her October town hall meeting in Columbia, SC, that she would tax the wealthy and corporations, and she would take into consideration the high cost of living locations in determining what income level is considered wealthy. She would save money for social programs by ending the endless regime-change wars and eliminating the enormous amounts paid to the for-profit war machine. Amy Klobuchar – Klobuchar would raise the corporate tax rate to 25%, eliminate tax breaks that would encourage American businesses to move overseas, and give tax credits for investment in public infrastructure and clean energy and to employers who contribute more to their employees’ retirement plans. She would increase the personal income tax rate back up to 39.6%. She would impose a payroll tax on individuals earning above $250,000 to extend the funds for Social Security and give tax credits for long-term care of aging relatives. She would raise capital gains tax for people in the two highest income tax brackets. She would also expand earned income tax credit, require hedge fund managers to pay more tax on investment earning, impose a carbon tax, tax tech companies that sell their customers’ personal information, give tax credits for the purchase by families in distressed neighborhoods, put a 2 cents per milligrams tax on the manufacturers and importers of opioids, and repeal the medical device tax. Deval Patrick – There is not much on record for Deval Patrick yet, but when he was Governor of Massachusetts, he was not shy about raising taxes to cover needs. Bernie Sanders – He proposes a wealth tax on households earning over $32 million (the top 1%). Sanders would apply the current 12.4% combined Social Security tax rate to all income above $250,000. The Social Security taxes would apply to income earned from investment, and not just to employment earnings. Sanders would restore the corporate tax rate to its previous level of 35%. He would also end the lower tax rate for capital gains, triple the deduction for teacher expenses, increase taxes on the fossil fuel industry, give tax credits to employers who hire people who lost their job due to the “Green New Deal,” and tax media ads to fund local, nonprofit media. Tom Steyer – Steyer has proposed a 1% “wealth tax” on assets greater than $20 million, and an increase in the estate tax. Elizabeth Warren – Warren has proposed a wealth tax of 2% on families with assets of over $50 million and an additional 3% on a net worth of above $1 billion. Warren would also tax social security earnings above $250,000 at a 14.8% rate for Social Security contributions, including both employers and employees. This would pay for an extra $200 a month for those who receive Social Security or disability benefits. This would also expand benefits for widowed spouses and family caregivers. It is estimated that the wealth tax will only touch 75,000 Americans, but her Social Security tax could affect around seven million. And like Sanders, her plan proposes that Social Security taxes apply to income earned from investment, and not just to employment earnings. She would restore the corporate tax rate to its previous level of 35%. She would also tax capital gains for the most wealthy (1%) households, tax amounts employees pay for health insurance as wages (since that money would no longer be deducted from paychecks on a pre-tax basis), increase large-employer contributions to employee health insurance, impose a 35% tax on foreign earnings, tax foreign firms based on their U.S. sales, impose a 0.1% transactions tax on the sale of stocks and bonds, and increase the earned income and child tax credits. Andrew Yang – Yang would pay for a basic income of $1000 per month for every adult American with a 10% VAT (a value-added tax is a consumption tax levied on products at every point of sale ); a tax on financial transactions; a tax on capital gains and added interest; a $40 per metric ton carbon tax; and by removing the wage cap on the Social Security payroll tax, which in 2019 was $132,900. He also proposes to allow taxpayers to specify that 1% of their tax contribution go to a specific project to make paying taxes fun.


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Which candidates have qualified for the seventh (January) debate? In order to participate in the January debate, a candidate must have at least 225,000 unique donors, with at least 1000 donors in 20 individual states, and obtain at least 5% in four polls recognized by the committee or 7% in two of the early primary states—Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. The seventh debate will take place on January 14 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Candidate Michael Bennett Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg Michael Bloomberg John Delaney Tulsi Gabbard

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Qualified or Not Not Qualified Qualified Qualified Not Qualified Not Qualified Not Qualified

Candidate Amy Klobuchar Deval Patrick Bernie Sanders Tom Steyer Elizabeth Warren Andrew Yang

Qualified or Not Qualified Not Qualified Qualified Qualified Qualified Not Qualified


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President Trump’s Circus without Bread December 18, 2019—President Trump became the third president in American history to become impeached. As the impeachment vote was taking place, Trump was at a campaign rally in Michigan ranting against the Democrats who accused him and calling for their defeat in November. As usual, his rant was full of insults and rude language aimed at those who oppose him. He also commented during his Michigan rally that deceased Democratic Representative John Dingell was “looking up from hell.” The remark hurt Dingell’s widow and brought criticism from both parties, but the president never repents his words. December 18, 2019---South Carolina’s own albatross, Lindsey Graham, has said he will kill the impeachment effort quickly xwhen it reaches the Senate. Almost exactly 21 years ago to the day, President Bill Clinton was impeached. . December 18, 2019—A federal appeals court ruled that the ACA mandate that people have health insurance was unconstitutional. However, the issue was sent back to a court in Texas to determine which parts of the ACA can survive without the mandate. If the health law is thrown out entirely, about 17 million people will lose their health insurance and possibly 50 million more with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage. December 20, 2019—Evangelicals believe salvation is achieved by faith in the sacrifice of Christ for all mankind, so it is hard to understand why so many of them support an immoral person like President Trump, who,apparently, has no benevolent feelings toward mankind and has taken pride in being “sinful.” According to an NPR broadcast, the many evangelicals in Nigeria adore him, not for himself, but because they believe he is the arm of God due to his anti-homosexual and antiabortion stances. That’s probably true of American evangelicals as well. However, there may be a chink forming in Trump’s evangelical wall. If you missed Martha Robinson’s article and links in our opinions section on page 3 which explain and clarify the evangelicals’ relationship with President Trump and how that might be changing, please check it out. January 1, 2020—According to a CNN poll, President Trump has spent at least 252 days at a Trump golf club and 333 days at a Trump property since he has been President of the United States. That might be okay, since he does not do much of anything that is good for the country when he is actually in the White House, except that he criticized President Obama for playing golf while he was president. Trump said when he was campaigning in 2016, "I mean he's played more golf than most people on the PGA Tour, this guy." President Obama played 333 rounds of golf during his entire eight years in office. That works out to 41 rounds per year. In just looking at the 252 Trump golf club days where he played who knows how many rounds each day, that works out to 84 days on a Trump-owned golf course per year, and that’s not even including the 333 other days at a Trump property.

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Events All across the nation, the MoveOn organization held rallies in support of impeachment on December 17, 2019. Here are photos of the one held in Rock Hill, which was attended by many of our own members.

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The Spratt Issues Conference The Spratt Issues Conference, held in Greenville on December 14, was attended by 5 members of the Lancaster County Democratic Party—Keith Grey, Kathy Baker, Cary and Rita Kimmel, and Alan Sattler.The keynote speaker was Rev Leah D. Daughtry. Following the opening session, the agenda included two breakout sessions and two rotations during which SCDP caucuses met. Breakout sessions included topics such as “How to be a 2020 National Delegate” and “Race in America.” Presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard spoke at the conference and also visited the caucus meetings, greeting attendees and answering questions.Other speakers included Jamie Harrison and Gloria Tinubu, who are both running for the senatorial seat of Lindsey Graham, and several other political candidates running for various offices. Archie Parnell, 2018 candidate for Congress, gave a breakout presentation entitled “Sharing the Burden: 2020 Democratic vs. Republican Tax Plans.” Total conference attendance was estimated to be around 300 people.

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Jill Biden’s Visit to Lancaster Campaigning for her husband, presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, Jill Biden visited the Craft Stand in Lancaster on December 13. She spoke of his past political victories,like his Violence against Women Act,and his vision for the future, which would include repairing and expanding the ACA. She said her husband has wide support among independents and Republicans, as well as Democrats, and if he is elected our best days are ahead of us.

Jill Biden with Verta Looper

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The LCDP January Meeting The keynote speaker at the January 2 meeting of the Lancaster County Democratic Party was State Representative Mandy Powers Norrell. There is always excitement when Mandy is on the agenda, and this time was no exception. Members came out in the rain on the second day of the year to hear her speak. She began by inviting everyone to visit her in Columbia after the state legislature returns to session on January 14. She said just call and let her office staff know you are coming. Following that, she brought us up to date on some of the current legislation that is either pending for consideration or has been signed into law. • The Workplace Freedom Act would add LGBTQ to the list of unlawful discriminations because currently they are not protected by that law. • A bill that would define “consent” in regard to sexual activity. There is not now a sufficiently clear definition to protect against sexual predators in all circumstances. • A bill to require that the suicide hotline number be added to all new student ID cards from middle school through college for all public schools and universities. The teenage suicide rate is high, and having this number so easily accessible might give a distraught teen one last resource to save his/her life. • A bill to add trafficking as an affirmative offense for prostitution. This would increase the penalties for pimps and johns and decrease the penalty for the prostitutes themselves, who are often more victim than offender. • A bill to end child marriage in South Carolina has now been signed into law. Up until now, a child as young as 11 could be married if parents signed off on it. This new law raises the age of marriage to 16 with parental consent and to 18 without it. • Some in the legislature want to do away with concealed weapon permits and allow anyone to carry. This could come up again for consideration. • A bill to require South Carolina to have reciprocity with the concealed weapons permits of all states may come up again. It was passed in the House last time but killed in the Senate. South Carolina requires training and a license to carry, but many other states do not. • The abortion bill that died in the Senate during last session will be at the top of the list to be considered this session. It will hopefully be killed again, but the process will bottle up the schedule so that some other good legislation may not make it to the table for consideration. • South Carolina has a law against texting and driving but the fine is only $25, so many people ignore it. Bills come forward to make talking on a cellphone illegal but are quickly killed because legislators are not willing to take away citizens’ rights within their own vehicle. • Mandy co-sponsored the bill to ratify the ERA with Gilda-Cobb Hunter, and it comes up every year but has not yet been ratified. She thinks this year it will happen, but it is likely that Virginia will do so first, and that will be sufficient to make it official without South Carolina. Mandy ended with an enthusiastic endorsement for Jamie Harrison, who is running for Lindsey Graham’s Senate seat. Mandy’s speech was followed by brief presentations from three of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns. These were Pam Mefferd for Tulsi Gabbard, Jackson Johnson for Pete Buttigieg, and Lemuel Anderson for Bernie Sanders. 21


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Traveling Democrats By Jennifer Jewett Ralph Renninghoff spent this past fall touring US national parks and has shared some of his photos with us.

Badlands NP in Dakota

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis

The Lodge on Crater Lake on September 30 in the snow

22 Old Faithful in Yellowstone


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Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe

Mount Lassen in Mount Lassen National Park

El Capitรกn in Yosemite

Tufa formations at Mono Lake outside of Yosemite

23 Yogi bear in Sequoia National Park

A waterfall in Yosemite


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Bryce Canyon

Ralph in front of General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

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Saguaro cactus in Saguaro National Park


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Democrats Care

By Martha Robinson The Lancaster County Animal Shelter I spoke with Alan Williams, the director. He has a very small staff, including the Assistant Manager, Carissa Valenti, a part-time and a full-time clean-up person, and a vet technician. I have visited the shelter and have been impressed with the love the staff has for animals. The staff works as a team, often doing each other’s jobs, etc.. A volunteer coordinator keeps volunteers busy giving the dogs walks. The shelter is mandated to have an open-door policy and has served about 2000 animals during the past year. Mr. Willaims, a former supervisor for Springs, gave the impression that perhaps this job is harder, emotionally and physically, but it is also very rewarding. A salaried employee, he puts in 50-60 hour weeks. The staff greets the animals by name and really provides a personal touch.Sometimes they may keep a particularly fearful animal near them to help him adjust. The shelter takes in 3000-5000 animals a year, with 2000 of them being dogs. The shelter is somewhat remarkable, compared to other counties, in that they presently have only a ten-percent rate of euthanizing animals. This technically qualifies it as a “no-kill” shelter. They have a great Facebook presence and work with other rescue agencies (rescue agencies in NY, NJ, PA, and MD) to offer as many animals a home as possible. Almost daily trips to the vet are necessary to treat illness or to spay or neuter. The price of adopting a dog (100 dollars) or a cat (80), includes this service. Microchips are offered for ten dollars. Mr. Williams says that part of the problem of overpopulation is due to no laws restricting how many pets one can own. Pit bulls have been a big problem, as they are often abandoned. They have a large population of these pit bulls. Sometimes animals are severely neglected or abused and the agency must pay for medical bills. When these expenses are high, other rescue agencies help pick up these bills. According to Mr. Williams, the new animal shelter, for which the staff has advocated, will offer a “whole new system” including a part-time vet on site. He said that the County Council has been most helpful. Mr. Williams also expressed great gratitude for strong support from the community in the form of donations, blankets and food. Presently the ASPCA is working on a small building that will help reduce overcrowding. The people of Lancaster County should be proud of this agency and its efforts!

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LCDP Action Teams By Jennifer Jewett Budget/Funding Events Get Out The Vote Media/Public Relations Membership Outreach Party Liaison

Team Leaders Ken Gillis Judy Langston Bonnie Peterson Joel Schaeffer Lea Gillis Verta Looper William St. Louis Membership – Lea Gillis

The Membership Action team is kicking off a LCDP-North Dems Social at Towne Tavern in Indian Land on January 15, 2020, 6-8 PM, to bring together Democrats in the northern precincts of the county. This social will occur every 3rd Wednesday of the month.The Central Dems Good Times meeting will take place on Monday, January 27, 6-8 PM at Punky’s on Main in Lancaster. Outreach – Verta Looper The Outreach Team of the Lancaster County Democratic Party has focused its energy on organizing a Lancaster County Democratic Women’s Council. Its organizational meeting was held in September 2019, and the December meeting concluded with the approval of bylaws, annual dues of $20.00/person, and a plan to open a checking account by the January 2020 meeting. Dues will include local, state, and the National Federation of Democratic Women memberships. I greatly appreciate the input from all the women who were able to attend and participate in the meetings. Cherie Mabrey and Hattie Ross, York County Democratic Women’s Council, have provided invaluable assistance, as well as N.C. Regional Director Barbara Faison. The purpose of the Council includes promoting and supporting the principles of the Democratic Party and encouraging women to become actively involved and leaders in the Party. Meetings will be scheduled on the third Thursday of each month, 6:30 p.m., with locations rotating between the Lancaster and Indian Land areas. The next meeting is scheduled for January 16 , 6:30 PM, at Sun City Tavern on the Lake due to the pending renovation of the Del Webb Library. Arrive at 6 PM if you wish to order dinner. Officers will be elected at this meeting. Please join us. For more information contact Verta W. Looper, 404-4084075 or Rita Kimmel, 949-230-7925. Please RSVP to vwlooper@aol.com or rita.kimmel@gmail.com, by Friday, Janth uary 10 if you plan to attend, so we can confirm set-up. We wish everyone a new year of wellness and joy. Media & PR Action Team – Joel Schaffer We need help. We are trying to build a team of editorial/opinion writers who can help us unseat Graham and Norman. Rather than retweet and repeat articles we read on the internet, our focus in 2020 will be to create original & provoking content. Below is an example of how we can publish original content from the news and views we all read. Connect The Dots We weren’t there but, the concept of placing a handgun in front of a group of women when dining seems to be some form of NRA-inspired behavior. Violence against women is historical and insidious. The Violence Against Women Act (1994) has been renewed several times and recently came up for a 4th renewal in April of 2019. The headline from the New York Times brings us up to date ... “ House Expands Domestic Violence Gun Controls in Rebuke to N.R.A.” - SC5 Congressman Ralph Norman voted “no”. Is Ralph Norman fully under the control of the NRA? It appears to be a simple explanation of his deeds, his voting and proclivity to flash his lethal weapon. 26


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You can connect the dots. Would Ralph Norman even try to remedy the mass killing of children such as those in Parkland and go against NRA dogma? Are his true sympathies for a woman’s health and safety apparent in his support for banning abortion regardless of rape, incest and the threat to a mother’s life? Is voting for Ralph Norman in the best interest of women and families or is he no more than an ambassador of the NRA? This is an example of a fact-based opinion piece offering innuendo and citing questionable beliefs and policies. It works against the re-election of Ralph Norman. Please, join our team. There are no meetings, there are no regular time demands. Simply take your talents and knowledge and become a writer for us. We will review it all and publish what we can. We can add your name as author or publish it under the party umbrella. It is our hope that once we put something online, our base will not only like it but link it and forward it. It is our way of crowd campaigning for the two people who end up challenging Norman and Graham.

Events - Judy Langston We will have a vehicle in the Dr. Martin Luther King parade, which begins at 3 PM on January 18. If you would like to ride with us, please let us know at LCDPSCnews@gmail.com. Otherwise, please turn out and cheer us on.

If you don't make things happen, then things will happen to you. ~ Anonymous

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On the day Congress voted to impeach, President Trump was at a campaign rally in Michigan. Among the remarks included in his rant was the insinuation that the late congressman John Dingell is now residing in hell. His wife, Debbie, is serving out his term, and she said that President Trump’s insult was very hurtful, especially since she was facing her first Christmas without the husband she loves.

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We hope 2020 brings you joy and a new Democratic president.

Return to Page 1

Happy New Year and Dr. Martin Luther King Day Judy Langston, Newsletter Editor Jennifer Jewett and Martha Robinson, Associate Editors Suzanne Penuel, Copyeditor

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January 2020 LCDPSC Newsletter V4 I1  

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January 2020 LCDPSC Newsletter V4 I1  

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