What Stepping Into This Role Means to Me, And To The Future

Never settle. Those words have resonated with me throughout my career. I’ve always had the urge to do more, to accomplish more, to go further, and to aim even higher than I have. Some of what I’ve sought out in my years of refusal to settle have personal–they’re achievements and accomplishments I seek to reach. Others are broader–not settling for what we as human beings are presented with by the world around us. Some of them are both–bringing me to my overarching goal of standing for what I believe, backing those whom have earned my trust, and making positive steps towards a stronger, better America.

In that very same vein, I am proud to announce to you that I have been appointed by the New York GOP as the National Finance Co-Chair. In the position, I’ll take a leading role in the nation-wide fundraising efforts of the New York GOP. It’s a role that I’m excited to step into, spearheading the efforts to help to reshape the state of New York.

The road towards pushing back against the efforts of Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo is going to be bumpy, but any New Yorker can tell you that they are no stranger to rough road conditions. New York has gone blue in the general election every year since Reagan in 1984, but a strong state–and a strong country–comes in part due to strong leadership. I look forward to combining efforts with the fantastic team of GOP officials that has been assembled.

For me, this position is one in which I hope to make a tangible difference. Through the hard work put into this country by myself and the long, storied list of those before me, I’ve sought to leave this party, this state, and this country better off than when I entered it. This opportunity presented to me by the New York GOP is one that won’t go to waste.

I’m not writing this blog post to boast about my new position, nor am I writing it to pat myself on the back. I’m writing it because I’m honored by this appointment, appreciative of the opportunity to stand alongside such a prestigious and hardworking group of men and women, and proud to help to shift this state in the right direction.

 

NYGOP Announces Appointment of Yuri Vanetik as National Finance Co-Chair

Via New York GOP

The New York Republican Party today announced the appointment of esteemed business leader, political strategist, and philanthropist Yuri Vanetik as national finance co-chair who will help lead the Committee’s national fundraising efforts in advance of the important 2017 New York City mayoral and 2018 gubernatorial elections.

In addition to his impressive business, public service and philanthropic accomplishments, Mr. Vanetik has deep ties as a national political activist and fundraiser, having held key finance leadership positions with the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Republican Governors Association and the California GOP. He also served as the California co-chair and All American Vice Chair for Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign, as kitchen cabinet advisor and part of the finance leadership of Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, as well as numerous senior finance and leadership roles for gubernatorial, senatorial, and congressional campaigns, including that of Mitt Romney, Meg Whitman and Dana Rohrabacher.

“We are excited to welcome Yuri Vanetik to the NYGOP team as our national finance co-chair,” said State Chairman Ed Cox. “One look at Yuri’s impressive background and it’s easy to see what a tremendous asset he will be to helping us grow the Republican Party here in New York. With fellow New Yorker President Trump in the White House and two top national races ahead of us, we have an incredible opportunity to build on our successes. New Yorkers have seen the failed leadership of Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo, and Yuri’s efforts will help ensure we have the resources we need to win.”

“Whether in business, in politics or in charity, I’ve spent my life building coalitions and I’m honored to take on this important role for the New York Republican Party,” said Yuri Vanetik. “Chairman Cox and the leaders across the state have built a strong bench of extraordinary Republican elected officials and played a critical role in securing President Trump’s victory. Those successes have put us in a unique position to cultivate a national network and show how we are winning in traditionally Democratic areas, here in the state of New York. I’m looking forward to the work ahead,”  Vanetik pointed out.

Yuri Vanetik is the managing partner of Vanetik International, LLC, a private investment and business management firm based in Newport Beach, CA.  Mr. Vanetik is also a principal at Dominion Partners LLP and Dominion Asset Management, LLC, a real estate investment fund based in Newport Beach and Beverly Hills, CA. He has held numerous public service positions, including as the current Commissioner of the Orange County Sheriff’s Council, a member of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Special Services Bureau, a member of the Board of Governors of the Homeland Security Council for Region 1, and the former California Lottery Commissioner and Criminal Justice Commissioner, among others. Yuri Vanetik has served in numerous not-for-profit organizations, including as a trustee for the Kennedy Center National Symphony,  Executive Committee of the American Red Cross, the board of the Gen Next Foundation and on the Political Committee of the New Majority. He is a Lincoln Fellow of the Claremont Institute, a national think tank for the study of politics, and on the advisory board of the Pacific Research Institute. Mr. Vanetik was born in the former Soviet Union and moved to Southern California as a child where he continues to live today with his family.

Mitigating Voter Fraud

In Los Angeles County as a whole, roughly 60,000 people pass away every year from a variety of causes. Of those 60,000 deceased members of LA County, roughly 215 of them will cast a vote to help decide who will take political office. These votes, which seemingly occur postmortem, are not a case of early balloting and an unfortunately timed demise. They’re a case of blatant voter fraud, an issue that puts a blight not only on the election, but on the idea of democracy as a whole.

 

The idea of a few hundred dead people casting ballots understandably may raise a few eyebrows. Don’t get confused though–this isn’t a case of taking a literal interpretation of the Facebook posts that feature jokes along the lines of “if you vote for Trump/Clinton you must be brain dead!” These are cases of legitimate people using the identities of deceased people to cast fraudulent ballots to influence who assumes the Oval Office in January.

 

Unfortunately, the deceased casting ballots is far from a rarity–the 215 cast in LA County alone made up only a fraction of the dead voters that showed up to California’s polls for the primaries. The state’s 55 electoral votes are tops in the nation, making up a little over 10 percent of the 538 total electoral votes cast nationwide. Considering that just 270 electoral votes are needed to capture the presidency, the Golden State’s 55 votes could make up over 20 percent of what a candidate needs to assume office. It’s easy to see how big an influence that voter fraud could have in determining which candidate hits the 270 mark come November 8.

 

It’s not incorrect to mull over the fact that perhaps something should be done about preventing the deceased from voting. Without comprehensive voter ID laws, however, it’s difficult to properly regulate. This comes back in large part to the idea of preventing voter fraud on a grand scale, as not all forms of voter fraud are as easy to spot as a dead person casting a ballot.

 

There have been numerous cases of voter fraud in recent years including everything from duplicate voting, bribery, threats and false registrations.

 

As it currently stands, there are a number of qualifiers (and disqualifiers) that dictate whether one is able to cast a vote. You must be a United States citizen, you must meet your particular state’s’ residency requirements (which differ state to state) and you must be 18 years of age or older. The necessity of being alive is implied, rather than explicitly stated.

 

The degree of proof that you meet the above criteria that you are required to display varies largely state to state.

 

Yuri Vanetik voter ip map

 

Currently, 19 of the 50 states require no identification upon arrival at the booth. One of the 19, perhaps not coincidentally, is California. In 33 states some form of identification is required, though some are not nearly as strict as others. In some, the non-strict definition of identification allows for a poll-worker to vouch for a voter’s identity, or a voter can sign an affidavit indicating they are who they claim to be.

 

Voter ID laws that require strict forms of photo ID help to reduce voter fraud–that is a near certainty. However, it’s often argued that these laws can be racist and cause the disenfranchisement of voters, as not all citizens are able to afford photo IDs.

 

The logical next step would be a simple government program that provides photo identification cards to all citizens who are of eligible voting age who fall below a certain income level. A program of this nature would effectively eliminate voter fraud in all forms and provide necessary ID free of charge only to those who necessitate it (which is, by all accounts, a fairly low number as it stands now).

 

Analyzing recent trends points to the country moving towards the adoption and enforcement of more stringent voter ID laws in the near future.

 

voter ID laws 538 Yuri Vanetik

 

The plain and simple truth of the matter of potential voter fraud is that it jeopardizes the integrity of a democracy. Whether the fraud is in the form of duplicate-voting, illegal “assistance,” or deceased voters, every vote cast illegally and unethically could be the one that negates the ballot you just cast. It’s time to take positive steps towards eliminating voter fraud in the United States and restoring the integrity of our country.

12 Angry Men Belong In A Theater, Not An American Courtroom

This article was originally published on Investors.com.

A Missouri jury recently determined that a collections firm improperly sued a Kansas City woman over a $1,000 debt — and rewarded her a staggering $82 million in punitive damages.

In Virginia, a Navy veteran just regained his freedom after 30 years behind bars, thanks to DNA evidence which proved that two separate juries had wrongfully convicted him of murder.

Disproportionate and inaccurate jury verdicts like these are far too common in today’s justice system. By tasking inexperienced and ill-prepared citizens to determine liability, guilt and innocence — and sometimes life and death — the current system robs defendants, plaintiffs and victims alike of fair trials with rational outcomes.

It’s time to modernize America’s legal system by adopting professional juries and holding them accountable for their decisions.

Guaranteed by the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments, today’s jury system traces its roots to medieval England. Back then, as the American Bar Association explains, residents viewed citizen juries as “a protector of the accused against the government’s very harsh criminal laws.”

Today’s juries, though, no longer decide if criminals deserve the gallows. Instead, they’re tasked complexities like deciphering whether an alleged mob boss is guilty of racketeering or if one software company infringed on another’s patent.

People with the relevant expertise to decide such questions, such as lawyers and judges or scientists and executives, are hardly ever picked for jury duty.

As a prominent Chicago judge once explained, a defense attorney has the best chance of success if he can “befuddle 12 inexperienced and sentimental jurors.” Therefore, “if a prospective juror discloses intelligence and competency, he is promptly excused.”

Put another way, attorneys purposefully and with impunity select people who have no idea what they’re doing.

In any other field, this would be absurd. Imagine if modern hospitals relied on 12 random people, selected from a local phone book, to determine medical treatment — and refused to consider the counsel of doctors and nurses.

Lack of expertise and intelligence among jurors allows guilty people to literally get away with murder.

Consider Casey Anthony. Despite a constantly changing alibi — and decomposing traces of a human body in her car trunk and extensive Google searches of “how to make chloroform” — she was let off the hook in the death of her two-year-old child.

Or consider O.J. Simpson. It’s a shame he’s in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, because otherwise, he could continue his hunt for the “real” killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

No mother or father should have to watch their child’s killer walk free because jurors fell for defense attorneys’ unethical tricks.

Conversely, juries often convict innocent people or destroy family businesses and professionals’ careers by awarding exorbitantly punitive damages in cases where none are warranted. DNA evidence has helped free nearly 350 wrongfully imprisoned people over the past 25 years.

Due to incompetence, low intelligence and poor guidance by the court, jurors rob ordinary people of the chance to build successful careers and raise families. They turn America’s justice system into a charade where the only winners are the lawyers.

The jury system isn’t just hurting those on the stand, though. It’s also breaking those on the bench.

Seventy percent of all jurors feel stressed during trials, according to a National Center for State Courts report. Some jurors report symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jurors face financial hardship, as well. There is no federal law requiring employers to pay workers away on jury duty, and states pay jurors a pittance for their service. New York’s leaders, who recently passed a $15 per hour minimum wage, pay jurors just $40 a day.

Surely, those serving justice should earn at least as much as those serving hamburgers.

And for self-employed Americans — those in the “gig” economy who comprise about 10% of the nation’s workforce — a day in the courtroom is a day without pay.

Packing 12 ordinary citizens into a jury booth no longer produces just outcomes for all involved.

It’s time to grow a pool of professional jurors, who would be properly salaried employees or contractors, and receive extensive training designed to help them maintain their psychological well-being during high-stakes trails and deflect deceitful attorney tactics.

Such professional training would be especially crucial in complex business cases — it’s completely unreasonable to expect jurors off the street to grasp convoluted securities or intellectual property law, for instance.

In the current, utterly arcane system, impartiality is confused with unaccountability.

Admittedly, well-educated, highly trained professionals wouldn’t constitute a representative sliver of society. However, neither do today’s trials, given the way defense attorneys, prosecutors and ultimately most lawyers regularly exploit juror ignorance and inexperience. Today’s trials are often nothing more than a poorly rehearsed circus sideshow.

Professionalizing jurors likely would require a constitutional amendment. But that’s exactly why the Founding Fathers created an amendment process — so that citizens can reform systems that no longer function.

When Americans enter the courtroom, they expect justice. Unfortunately, the system fails and is in desperate need of reform.  It’s time that our legal system evolved to actually give it to them. We should scrap the existing juror selection system and install real professionals properly trained to deal with the complex cases that fill today’s courtrooms.

It’s Not Just Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders—The Whole World Is Turning On Its Elites

This post was originally published in the Daily Beast.

U.S. politics and its voters are often insular and inward looking, but right now the same issues Americans care about are creating a firestorm in other parts of the world.

By now, it’s undeniable: America’s frustration with political elites is upending party loyalty. And now, this phenomenon is taking on global proportions.

According to a recent poll, nearly half of Bernie Sanders’s supporters will not vote for Hillary Clinton, while 22 percent are backing Donald Trump. “I’m a registered Democrat,” one respondent explained, “but I cannot bring myself to vote for another establishment politician like Hillary.”

Based on media coverage, it’s easy to label this distaste purely domestic. However, from the U.K.’s “Brexit” referendum to political movements in France, Italy, and the republic of Georgia, voters have been rising up against an out-of-touch, technocratic elite.

In each of these cases, political insiders have responded with doomsday predictions. Voting against the establishment, they argue, will lead to a swift collapse of our most precious institutions. The anti-establishment movement is not devoid of risk, but when the status quo is failing, it must be challenged. Embracing these protest movements as opportunities to enact reform is the only way our institutions can endure.

However distinct they may be, the Western world’s growing anti-establishment movements carry a remarkably consistent message. Namely, that our political institutions too often favor a small class of privileged elites, at the expense of average citizens.

For Americans, this view is most evident in Trump’s unlikely rise to the GOP nomination. His signature proposals, after all, reject the establishment belief in increased trade and immigration as unalloyed economic goods.

Similarly, Sanders’s electoral success was based mainly on his willingness to admit the inadequacies of our current economic model.

Both campaigns tapped into the scathing anger of a U.S. middle class that hasn’t seen family income growth in 20 years.

Look overseas, however, and you’ll see the same complaints being lodged by citizens throughout Europe. The U.K.’s decision to exit the European Union last month was the most pronounced expression of anti-establishment discontent to date.

The so-called Brexit vote reflected festering economic frustrations. According to two leading labor economists, anti-EU sentiment reigned in areas that have recently lacked wage growth.

As Nigel Farage, former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, put it, “Brexit” supporters, “rejected the multinationals, they rejected the merchant banks, they rejected big politics and they said actually, we want our country back, we want our fishing waters back, we want our borders back.”

In the end, more than 53 percent of Britons voted to leave the EU. And they did so despite global pleas from everybody from President Obama, to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, to Prime Minister David Cameron that doing so would wreck the political establishment.

In France, meanwhile, the steady rise of Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front party, reflects the same growing impatience with the political status quo. Capitalizing on an unemployment rate that’s hovered above 9 percent since the ’80s, Le Pen has long campaigned on a message of stricter immigration laws and Euroskepticism. She has emerged in recent weeks as the leader in France’s 2017 presidential polls.

Italy’s anti-establishment party, the Five Star Movement, is also making enormous gains. Started by comedian Beppe Grillo, the party opposes both globalization and EU membership. According to three new polls [July 6], M5S is now Italy’s most popular political party.

And in the distant Caucuses, the republic of Georgia, where nearly 70 percent of the population claims unemployment, famous opera singer Paata Burchuladze has embarked on a campaign to be the country’s next prime minister. With an endorsement from United States, the newly-established State for the People party aims to “completely change the paradigm of the relations between the people and the state.” As he sees it, Georgia’s political class, specifically the Georgian Dream party, has failed to serve the interests of average people.

He’s tapped into something powerful by challenging leadership that has been accused of imprisoning political foes and attempting to free political prisoners involved in terror acts.

While the policy proposals of each of these movements may vary significantly, the grievances animating these campaigns are broadly similar. Voters are making a deliberate decision to reject an elite ruling class in favor of political outsiders more attuned to the concerns of ordinary citizens.

Far from a threat to the neo-liberal order, these insurgencies may be the key to retaining the integrity of our political systems.

Georgia Needs Western Help to Stave Off Putin

This post was originally published in Newsweek.

By Paata Burchuladze and Yuri Vanetik.

 

Rolling tanks and firing artillery recently shattered a delicate truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The latest flare-up of this decades-old conflict claimed more than a hundred lives—and tensions remain sky-high despite a cease-fire.

Meanwhile, the terrorist group ISIS orchestrated two deadly attacks in the Russian republic of Dagestan. Russia itself continues to menace the Republic of Georgia, which it invaded less than a decade ago.

Given these recent events, it’s no exaggeration to say that the Caucasus—the crucially important region between the Black and Caspian Seas that encompasses Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and parts of Russia—is at risk of becoming even more volatile. It is still possible to diffuse the situation before the area devolves into conflict, but doing so will require more active leadership from the United States and the EU.

Georgia should be the top priority. A nation of just under 4 million bordering the Black Sea, Georgia is suffering from sustained economic stagnation, political instability and breakdown of rule of law, all while under constant threat from Russia.

A new opinion poll found that nearly 70 percent of Georgians consider themselves unemployed. And the poverty rate among the jobless is 24 percent.

One of the key causes of these problems is a lack of skills among the workforce—a direct result of Georgia’s failing training and education systems, which were ranked 119th in a World Economic Forum study of 134 countries.

Georgia has also been wracked by deep political dysfunction. Officials selectively enforce laws. Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili continues to wield power without accountability.

Despite these hurdles, Georgia remains the most promising stabilizing force in the Caucasus, thanks to its increasingly pro-Western orientation. Last year, for instance, Georgia strengthened its ties with Europe through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.  Its relationship with the United States, meanwhile, continues to grow, especially since the establishment of the U.S.- Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership in 2009.

Georgians are eager to enter into alliances with the West. At present, more than half of the country’s citizens favor joining both NATO and the European Union—stances espoused by the “State for the People” political party, recently launched. The party is set to contest this fall’s parliamentary elections.

Admission into the EU would boost Georgia’s economy, and NATO membership would leave the country far more secure.

By working more closely with Europe and the United States, Georgia will gain powerful allies able to offer support and advice for political, economic, and educational reforms and future development.

Benefits from a deeper partnership will flow westward, too. Georgia, which enjoys strong diplomatic ties with all of its neighbors except Russia, could serve as an invaluable intermediary in helping the United States and Europe quell the turmoil in the Caucasus.

Closer ties would also boost western economies. A free trade agreement with the United States, for instance, would further open Georgia’s markets to American firms. U.S. exports to Georgia, which include cars, clothing, and restaurant franchises, already total $300 million. And Georgia could serve as a gateway to Iran, Pakistan, India, China and other important regional markets.

Forging stronger ties with Georgia would serve Europe’s energy interests. Georgia offers the only route for delivering natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe that bypasses Russia, which currently exerts enormous leverage over Western European nations due to those countries’ dependence on Russian gas imports.

Europe and the United States have an opportunity to tamp down a potentially explosive situation, while gaining a valuable ally—and an economic partner—in the region. A strong and prosperous Georgia can serve as a bridge between the East and the West, becoming a stabilizing influence in the Caucasus.

Paata Burchuladze is the founder of the Republic of Georgia’s State for the People party. He was previously an opera singer and led several charitable groups. Yuri Vanetik is a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute and serves on the national board of Gen Next and the Gen Next Foundation.

Gary Johnson, The 15 Percent, & A Fight For Recognition

yuri-vanrtik-flag

Depending on what news network you choose to indulge in, you’ve likely been exposed to a hefty amount of political advertising and not-so-subtle agenda pushing for either Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, or Hillary Clinton, the accompanying Democrat.

What you likely won’t see, however, is much information on Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico. This is because, by virtue of being a third party candidate, Johnson is typically cast aside as a viable candidate and largely ignored by political pundits on every news source from MSNBC to Fox.

And, with the lack of major news coverage and a distinct “Democrat” or “Republican” label associated with his campaign, Johnson hasn’t yet garnered the necessary 15 percent in national polls to be included in the nationally televised Presidential debates. And that, my friends, is a crime.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, an organization funded and created by the two major political parties who happen to be included in every debate, established the 15 percent rule in large part to stomp on the throats of third party candidates. The rule, which has been named as the primary reason the US has not–and perhaps will not–see a third party candidate in the White House anytime in the near future.

If this rule were done away with, as has been proposed–and subsequently shot down–quite a few times, third party candidates like Johnson or the Green Party’s Jill Stein could, theoretically, stand a chance in a general election against the powerhouse left and right.

Right now it’s important that we, as Americans, take a page out of George Washington’s book and willfully disregard the two-party system that has been engrained in our political system seemingly since the dawn of time. Candidates like Johnson and Stein provide an outside-the-box option when we’ve been made to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And for the first time in decades, there’s a chance that we’ll see a mass movement in exactly that direction.

Gary Johnson is, by most accounts, the epitome of a Libertarian. Between 1995 and 2003 he served as the governor of New Mexico as a Republican. Billed as a “Ron Paul libertarian,” Johnson abandoned his bid for the Republican nomination in 2011, choosing instead to vie for the Libertarian nomination, which he secured in both 2012 and 2016.

Johnson has gained attention from voters from both the left and the right as leaning socially liberal and fiscally conservative, placing the slashing of government involvement and spending on a pedestal. A proponent of personal liberties and staunch opponent of the War on Drugs (finally), Johnson is as anti-big government as you’ll find in someone running for political office. He has spoken out as a proponent of gun ownership and the Second Amendment, particularly in the wake of the horrific Orlando shooting.

These views–coupled with the fact that, for many Americans the choice between Hillary and Trump is akin to choosing between strangulation and decapitation–have helped Johnson see a small jump in his polling numbers recently. In May, FiveThirtyEight offered that we ought to pay attention to Johnson, as he was polling at 10 percent against Trump and Clinton. As of about a week ago, Johnson’s numbers jumped to about 12 percent in a Fox News poll.

While he may still have quite a bit to go nationally, Johnson is succeeding in recognition in younger audiences, perhaps snatching up some of the Bernie Sanders supporters who have jumped the ship that is the Democratic party. According to SurveyUSA, among the 18-34 year old voters in Utah, Johnson leads both Trump and Clinton with 32 percent of young people claiming they’d cast their vote in his favor come November.

What’s more convincing may be a quote from FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Eaten.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if Johnson won in Utah. Both Clinton and Trump are hated there, and Johnson could thread the needle,” Eaten said. “He’d be the first third-party candidate to win a state since George Wallace in 1968.”

While Gary Johnson may not have the publicity, financial backing or media coverage that Hillary and Trump have received ad nauseum, his message, Live Free, could resonate with voters come November 8.

Trump Lets Personality Take Front Seat in Kelly Interview

When Donald Trump took to Twitter on May 17 to encourage his 8.28 million followers to tune into Fox News that evening for his interview with political pundit Megyn Kelly, most of us had an inkling that the highly-anticipated interview more than likely went well.

Yuri-Vanetik-Tweet

An astute observer could decipher from the above Tweet that, at the very least, Donald walked away from the interview confident, as he is want to do.

The potential for combustion was certainly there, developing at a speed on par with gas-leaking stove, as Kelly and Trump have exchanged blows and insults for the better part of four months.

Since the feud between the Fox News correspondent and host of “The Kelly File” flared up during the GOP debates in March, tension has been high. In a move that surprised some but confirmed what many more saw coming, the two have seemingly buried the proverbial hatchet for good.

Some may have considered the meeting between the two “boring.” Insults were kept to a minimum and Trump’s policies were, as a whole, avoided by Kelly. But what did emerge from the metaphorical “wreckage” of what was thought by some to have the potential for high-energy debate between the two wasn’t Donald’s polling numbers, political policies or gravitas, but his personality.

Trump spoke to his alcoholic brother’s death, something to which not every political fanatic–Democrat or Republican–may have been privy. As Kelly continued to lob softball questions Trump’s way, focusing primarily on his “tone,” his Twitter account, and his treatment of minorities and women, he handled most with poise and grace that we haven’t been accustomed to seeing.

Through Kelly’s pointed questions, Trump was able to show the slightly more “personable” side of a man many consider to be hateful and bigoted due to his policies. He even went so far as to compliment Kelly on reaching out to schedule the interview, saying he likely wouldn’t have done the deed himself.

As the battleground for the nomination has recently shifted its focus to the woman-vote, Trump’s admiration for powerful women could help him win over a few of the undecided female population come November.

During the interview, Trump repeatedly expressed his all-or-nothing mentality towards November’s election.

“If I don’t go all the way and if I don’t win, I will consider it to be a total and complete waste of time, energy, and money,” he said to Kelly. This statement encapsulates the forward approach that Trump has taken in his campaign, placing the Presidential nomination on a plateau that comes in stark contrast to the attitudes of some of his competition.

And according to recently released polling data, the top of that plateau just got all the more reachable. A Fox News poll released May 18 puts the presumptive Republican nominee ahead of Hillary Clinton in national polling 45-42. This comes on the heels of an April poll that saw Clinton with a 7-point advantage.

As the gap between the two likely nominees continues to grow more and more narrow, it becomes increasingly evident that the United State’s borders are not the only thing that Donald Trump is intent on closing.

 

Watch the full Donald Trump – Megyn Kelly interview below:

Why Trump might actually SAVE the GOP

By: Yuri Vanetik and Thomas Tucker, GOP strategists

South Carolina senator Lindsay Graham, a virtual spokesman for the Republican establishment, once contended that choosing between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump was akin to deciding whether to be poisoned or shot.

Judging by his recent endorsement of Cruz, Sen. Graham prefers arsenic. Jeb Bush, another establishment candidate crushed by the Trump bulldozer, also just reluctantly endorsed Cruz, explaining that the Texas senator is the only one who can possibly “overcome” Trump.

As Trump marches towards his seemingly inevitable nomination, the biggest question isn’t how the GOP power-brokers can stop him. It’s why they would want to.

Far from destroying the GOP, Trump could save it by attracting disaffected working-class voters who are sick of D.C.’s incompetent pseudo-elitists. Our broken political system desperately needs disruptive reforms that will improve everyday Americans’ lives. Trump, who has already disrupted a corrosive political status quo, is independent enough to kill the special interests’ sacred cows and make government function again.

Virtually every sector of the economy has experienced private-sector disruption that, in the end, benefits ordinary Americans. Uber has demolished the taxi industry and made transportation simple, flexible, and cheap in cities. Airbnb is delivering similar benefits for tourists and vacationers who formerly overpaid for hotels. Amazon’s advances in logistics and same-day delivery have revolutionized shopping.

Meanwhile, the Washington bureaucracy is still running on floppy disks. Interest groups fight tooth-and-nail to hold onto concessions they’ve been granted, from tax credits for solar panels to subsidies for ethanol. They try to limit any innovation or disruption that would threaten their entrenched positions. The status quo that — at best — dwells in a muck of mediocrity always prevails.

This political and economic system is failing most Americans.

Income inequality poses a structural threat to the economy, and the manufacturing sector has been gutted. Yet most GOP candidates mindlessly recite a 30-year old prescription of debt-financed tax cuts and free trade deals, which — despite other benefits — would exacerbate both problems.

Meanwhile, the left’s rote response to every policy challenge is more money. Consider public education. Our schools are in shambles. Would liberals be willing to curb the power of teachers unions and introduce performance-based incentives to boost the quality of educators? Fat chance.

Regular Americans are sick of this pandering to special interests. “We’re voting with our middle finger,” is how one Trump supporter summarizes voters’ disgust with traditional politicians and the status quo. As difficult as it is to stomach Trump, the efficacy of his inadvertent anti-establishment movement is hard to challenge.

Policy makers’ insistence on political correctness only worsens the dysfunction. Potential solutions are taken off the table if they raise uncomfortable truths.

Enter Trump. In classic street entrepreneur fashion, he identified an inefficient market: an incompetent bureaucracy; and sclerotic competitors: super-PAC dependent politicians who will say anything but the truth.

Trump has blown up politics-as-usual. A sultan of the reality-show anti-intellectual soundbite, Trump generates so much free publicity he doesn’t need to raise tens of millions for advertising. His admittedly vicious, petty, over-the-top attacks and counter-punches have largely shielded his own record from scrutiny and laid low candidates who billed themselves as tough leaders able to take on America’s enemies.

He delivers his brilliantly simple sales pitch — “throw the bums out and let me make America great again” — in the same straightforward language voters use themselves, without backing himself into a corner with specific policy recommendations.

In that same fashion, his promises to shed the ideologues and run his administration like a business — put “the best people” in power and negotiate “great deals” — are deeply appealing to a society in which two in three people have confidence in small business but only 8 percent approve of Congress.

Of course, Trump doesn’t have all the answers, and merely running the government like a business won’t solve all our problems, especially the national debt. Without serious and painful reforms, ballooning entitlement programs will bankrupt the United States. That’s not a Republican fact or a Democrat fact. It’s a math fact — one Trump has yet to publically acknowledge.

But at least Trump has given a voice to the millions of Americans who believe that the status quo is broken and that the system needs overhauling, not tweaking. His version of disruptive populism appears to engage the angry, frustrated masses.

The American people deserve a government that operates with 21st-century efficiency. With Trump’s huge victories across a diverse range of states, it looks increasingly likely voters may be inclined to give him a chance to build the type of an administration he claims to envision.

This story can be found here:

Why Trump might actually SAVE the GOP

South Carolina senator Lindsay Graham, a virtual spokesman for the Republican establishment, once contended that choosing between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump was akin to deciding whether to be poisoned or shot. Judging by his recent endorsement of Cruz, Sen. Graham prefers arsenic.

Commentary by Yuri Vanetik and Thomas Tucker. Yuri Vanetik is a Lincoln fellow at the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank, and serves on the national boards of Gen Next and the Gen Next Foundation, nonprofits that work to expand educational, economical, and global security opportunities. Thomas Tucker is a cofounder of The New Majority California, a political action committee that promotes fiscal responsibility. Follow them on Twitter @yurivanetik and @NewMajorityCA.

How Social Media Has Changed Politics

How Social Media

The growth of technology, specifically social media, has drastically changed the way political campaigns are run. Social media properties, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, have effectively changed how candidates are able to deliver their message and interact with Americans.

Candidates and elected officials are now more accessible than ever before, having the ability to publish content and broadcast it to millions of people with the click of a button. Furthermore, they can use analytics to determine how their message is being received by the public in real time.

As the presidential primary races heat up, let’s take a look at how social media is changing American politics and how candidates are using these tools to communicate their message.

Direct Contact With Voters

There are a growing number of social media tools that allow politicians to speak directly to voters without having to spend any money. Using Facebook and Twitter, candidates can express their opinions on policy and current events or share the latest news from the campaign trail. Snapchat has been another major player this campaign cycle, giving Americans an inside look at the life and thoughts of candidates in ways that were never possible before. Nowadays, owning a smartphone is the norm, and candidates have the ability to share messages directly with millions of Americans from across the country.

Campaigning Goes Viral

Not only can candidates communicate directly with Americans, but social media gives Americans the ability to communicate with each other as well. Social media tools give like-minded voters and activists the ability to easily share news and information on campaign events with each other. During presidential debates, you can find thousands of people communicating with each other in real time having political debates of their own. Nowadays if a candidate says something important (or idiotic) then everybody in the country will hear about it, instantly.

Tailoring The Message To The Audience

With so many people communicating with each other on social media platforms, political campaigns have the ability to tap into a wealth of information about the people who are engaging in the digital political process. Through various analytical tools, political campaigns can effectively customize their message based on selected demographics. Essentially, a campaign may find that one message is more appropriate and useful for voters under 30 years old, while another message is more effective with those over 60. This helps political candidates spend money in the right places and utilize their time in the best way possible.

Reaching Younger Voters

One of the major struggles for candidates has been to mobilize young voters to exercise their right to vote and participate in the political process. Social media was built by young people and is heavily used by young people. That is why social media is such an effective tool for candidates to share their message with new voters. Social media has energized a large number of younger voters, and this has had a profound impact on recent elections. President Obama was the first politician to truly tap into the power of social media during his two successful campaigns, and he certainly will not be the last.