Here are some of the topics this week’s panel tackled on 4 The Record.
- Democrats running for president run their full court press before the Iowa caucuses.
- The U.S. embassy in Iraq comes under siege by supporters of Iran.
- The president’s impeachment trial still seems to be stalled.
All of these things came up for discussion with Scott County Democratic Party Chair Elesha Gayman and former Rock Island County Republican Party Chair Bill Bloom.
I raised the idea last week that the delaying tactics by both parties could be smart political strategies without getting into the nature of the disagreement about the details of the trial.
The key difference is whether witnesses will testify at the Senate trial and the type of testimony that will be allowed.
No witnesses testified at Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.
They were deposed privately and then some of that was presented at the trial.
Both sides had it as an option, but they were limited to three witnesses and didn’t exercise it.
It’s interesting to note both parties are taking the opposite position now than they did during the Clinton trial.
Gayman and Bloom discussed why this is such a sticking point this time especially when the result is expected to be the same.
Instability in Iraq this week heightened tension with Iran.
This latest episode started with the death of a U.S. contractor killed by a rocket attack in Baghdad.
The U.S. blames it on a militia group supported by Iran.
The United States carried out airstrikes on targets in Syria and Iraq in response.
Then militia members and supporters marched on the U.S. embassy and burned down a large guardhouse building.
Most protests in Iraq have been against the Iraqi government for its economy and the foreign influence from Iran.
The embassy demonstration came from a different group.
The situation outside the embassy subsided then a United States drone strike on an airport in Baghdad killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.
Iran vows retribution.
Bloom and Gayman talked about how much more this can escalate and how concerned Americans should be.
We are now less than 30 days away from the Iowa caucuses.
Some of the Democrats running for president reported some significant fundraising totals for the fourth quarter.
Bernie Sanders reports raising $34.5 million, Pete Buttigieg $24.7 million — that’s $2 million more than Joe Biden — Elizabeth Warren was at $17 million on December 27 hoping to reach $20 million for the quarter, but she hasn’t reported final numbers yet, Andrew Yang $16.5 million and Amy Klobuchar more than $11 million.
All of them fall short of Donald Trump’s $46 million for the quarter and doesn’t have to spend it during the primaries.
These totals show that several candidates have staying power financially.
Gayman and Bloom debate if it hurts the Democratic party’s chances of unifying around one candidate.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.