As Democrat Pete Buttigieg celebrated an easy victory in South Bend’s mayoral election Tuesday, he called students to take ownership of the city and work with the local government to solve its problems. Buttigieg was a favorite since the spring primary and defeated Republican Wayne Curry and Libertarian Patrick Farrell. “When I entered this race in January, not many people believed that a young man with a funny name who had never held office before could earn the confidence of a community at a turning point,” Buttigieg said in his victory speech. “But together we have shown that South Bend can transcend old barriers, move beyond old habits and take a chance on a new way forward.” As he addressed the crowd at South Bend’s West Side Democratic Club, Buttigieg said his victory begins “a different kind of campaign.” “Now we have to turn our attention to a new kind of campaign, not a campaign for a candidate, but a campaign for our city, a campaign to make our city stronger and better and safer and cleaner,” he said. Buttigieg said an immediate focus would be economic development. “We are going to gather the leadership of this community to deliver a new economic direction, building on our greatest strengths true to our tradition but looking for new sources of wealth and income and prosperity,” he said. “We must take new risks and create new opportunities. We must, we can, we will, and it all starts tonight.” Notre Dame and its students can play a critical role in the city’s development, Buttigieg told The Observer. “I really need students to get involved,” he said. “In order for our city to move forward, we need to harness the brain power and the energy and the labor of Notre Dame students who should really feel ownership of this city, whether they grew up here or not.” Buttigieg said the University’s recent efforts to engage with the local community are a step in the right direction. “It starts one-on-one,” Buttigieg said. “I’m going to be on campus frequently talking about some of the ways we can work together, and I’m going to be as receptive as I can be to student perspectives and University perspectives. We really need each other to succeed. One of the things I love about my timing is that the University has this newfound interest in engaging with the city, and I can’t wait to take them up on that.” While the College Republicans Club said it did not contribute to Curry’s campaign, many Notre Dame students worked with Buttigieg leading up to his election. Senior Matt LaFortune worked on Buttigieg’s staff as the field director for his campaign. He worked with Congressman Joe Donnelly’s campaign efforts last year and joined the Buttigieg campaign in August. “I helped organize the volunteer activities because we had a lot of volunteers interested in helping with Pete’s campaign,” LaFortune said. LaFortune, a South Bend native, said his responsibilities included organizing volunteers as they placed calls and canvased throughout the city. “The best part was being able to get to know a guy like Pete,” LaFortune said. “He is really going to bring a lot of change to South Bend … Being an ND student and also being from South Bend, I wanted to see a fresh start for this city, and I think Pete is going to do that.” A group of students from College Democrats were also active in the campaign efforts. Club members helped with phone calls and door-to-door campaign visits. College Democrats president Mike O’Brien said Buttigieg visited club meetings on several occasions, including one of the club’s first meetings of the year, to talk about the November election. “Being the mayor is a tough job, but his demeanor is one that, as it showed tonight, attracted a lot of people,” O’Brien said. “He has a lot of energy.” O’Brien said Buttigieg’s character throughout the campaign was an example for his own goals in politics. “Sometimes people talk about connections or money being the key to getting into politics,” O’Brien said. “Pete shows that being really passionate and having a lot of energy is actually what matters … if you are passionate and willing to make a difference, that shows through in your demeanor.” Sophomore Maria Wilson, a College Democrats member, said she helped with canvasing efforts for the Buttigieg campaign. “I think it is important to foster a great relationship with the community, and I think Pete will be a great mayor,” Wilson said. Even though Wilson is a not a native of South Bend, she said local politics should still matter to students on campus. “I don’t think you can look at national politics or international politics if you don’t look at local politics too,” she said. “The local government affects us in our day-to-day lives.”
American Studies professor Jack Colwell delivered the fourth and final lecture in the Mendoza College of Business Ethics Week series Thursday, stressing the public’s responsibility to stay informed and invested in politics without falling into the trap of “taking things for granted.” Colwell, who is also a political columnist for The South Bend Tribune, framed his discussion of ethics with the interaction between politicians and journalists, two entities that deeply affect the public experience of government. He said the role of the journalist has shifted to accommodate the partisanship and divisive nature of politics today. “Many viewers seek out the news that they want to believe,” Colwell said. “Objectivity is boring and fact-checking is biased if those facts dispute what you want to believe.” The business of journalism affects the content of the message the public receives, Colwell said, and voters today are very willing to avoid logic and rationality in order to doggedly adhere to their political parties of choice. “Voters want to believe what is claimed by candidates and commentators of their particular side of the political spectrum,” Colwell said. “They think the other side must be lying, must be cheating, must be stealing the election, must be defeated.” Colwell discussed the prevalence of negative political advertisements and their success in altering the public opinion of political figures. The ads’ target populations take the policies of their affiliated parties for granted and assume these loyalties should supersede practicality, he said. The parties’ unwillingness to compromise severely inhibits legislative productivity and polarizes news outlets, Colwell said. “In Congress, it is easy to spout anger at any time, for any purpose, in any way and that is not good for democracy,” he said. “Divisiveness and anger in politics is not totally uncommon … but [compromise] is something I fear we lack today.” Colwell said the increased number of news sources, legitimate or not, creates a disconnect between the reality of politics and public awareness. “Don’t think that [everyone] is providing unbiased news or objective news,” Colwell said. “I hate the term ‘news media.’ The term has come to encompass everything from The Wall Street Journal to tabloids at the supermarket … to Twitter to some blogger writing in the basement in his underwear. “The term now means anything and everything and thus, it now means nothing.” Colwell said the unbiased presentation of facts and political information is an important part of journalists’ duty, and society needs more qualified reporters to take on this mission. “We need reliable news in our democracy, even if it isn’t coming from newspapers delivered on our porch like it used to be,” Colwell said. “We need real journalists. We need real news. We can’t rely on what is said by that blogger in the basement, nor can we rely on what politicians say in their 30-second spots.” The ethical dilemma of the political media relates to the unbiased presentation of facts, Colwell said. The manipulation of public opinion to win elections is a dangerous, ignoble result of the media culture today. “It’s possible, though I won’t say probable, that the voters will stop taking things for granted,” Colwell said. “And if they do, the political consultants will respond. Their job is to win and the negative attacks have won [in the past], but if that changes, their strategies will change as w
OTTAWA — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and eight of his cabinet ministers will be in Ottawa today as part of a trip to meet their federal counterparts. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 9, 2019. The Canadian Press Kenney says Alberta should receive about $2.4 billion going back to 2014, and that the federal government is open to discussing the proposal.Advertisement Kenney will speak at the Canadian Club this afternoon and later host a reception. The fund helps provinces facing year-over-year declines in non-resource revenues, but Alberta says it is being shortchanged due to caps tied to the size of its population. He is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday to discuss issues ranging from pipelines to equalization. – Advertisement -Kenney has said he will bring up with Trudeau a resolution passed unanimously at the recent meeting of provincial leaders to consider changes to the fiscal stabilization fund.
Aaron Donald and … The new league year begins March 13 with the start of free agency, but the 2019 season unofficially started this week with the NFL Scouting Combine.Beat writers Matt Schneidman (Raiders) and Cam Inman (49ers) have got you covered in Indianapolis for their respective teams. Here are some other issues to be sorted out in a league-wide sense between now and free agency, the draft, minicamps, training camps and finally the playing of games.The Donald/Mack effect
Political parties in the State are making sure their ground-level staffers are primed for the forthcoming general elections. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is micro-planning by appointing ‘panna-pramukhs’ across the State, the Shiv Sena’s new handbook for ‘gatpramukhs’, the lowest level in the organisational hierarchy, is doing the rounds. It spells out tasks designated to around 25,000 gatpramukhs across Maharashtra. Panna pramukhs, on the other hand, are workers who will come in contact with voters who are on the electoral list.The Shiv Sena has published a special handbook which details the work expected from a gatpramukh. This includes keeping tabs on the voter’s list; keeping a record of the voters who have migrated or are dead; keeping a record of voters who have traditionally voted for the Sena and those who tilt towards other parties; communicating the party programme, initiatives and schemes to voters in the area; maintaining a cordial relationship with voters, ensuring their problems are solved; taking a lead in finding a solution to possible quarrels, and maintaining a clean image. These individuals are also tasked with continuously informing ward presidents and deputies about issues in the area assigned to them. “One might find the concept of the panna-pramukh very interesting, but the Shiv Sena has been implementing it successfully for over two decades. The gatpramukh is the reason the Sena is directly connected to voters across wards in Mumbai,” said a senior Sena leader. As per the party’s organisational structure, a gatpramukh is the lowest-ranking official but one of its most important; he or she maintains contact with voters in 15 to 20 houses on a daily basis. Sensing that all parties, especially the BJP, are focusing on micro-planning, the Sena too is investing more in its gatpramukh.According to the Sena leader, the party has appointed over 25,000 gatpramukhs across the State. “Each one of them is tasked with 15 to 20 families. They will be involved in everything from maintaining cordial relationships with them to bringing them out to vote. This isn’t new for us. The system has been in place in a majority of 48 Lok Sabha constituencies.”
Stating that the plight of the farmer was a much more critical issue than the question of the future chief ministerial post, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday cautioned that the ruling government would be in a serious spot if the farmer’s issues boiled over.“I am not bothered who will be the next Chief Minister and from which party. Unfortunately, this question has assumed significance for some people who think it is greater than the burning question of farmers. I am only concerned about the farmers of Maharashtra securing justice and their woes being redressed. Until this happens, I will continue to regard politicos as unworthy,” Mr. Thackeray said, addressing farmers in Shrirampur in Ahmednagar district.The Sena chief, who was taking stock of a help centre set-up by his party workers in the tehsil, said that the ruling government [BJP-Sena] must not be complacent following its Lok Sabha win and must strive to place the farmers’ woes high on its agenda.“The farmer is not a slave. There is a limit to his sacrifice and patience. Once they are exceeded, it could prove severely detrimental to those in power. I assure that the Sena will not rest till farmers are given their due,” said Mr. Thackeray.At the same time, the Sena president quashed suggestions of any schisms in his party’s alliance with the BJP, stating that the saffron coalition was strong and that detractors needn’t be concerned about the possibility of any rift.“I do not speak against the BJP-led government. Having said that, I want to state that one of the conditions of our alliance with the BJP was the issue of completely writing off loans for the farmers, and not a mere loan waivee. The Sena will ensure that every farmer avails of this benefit,” Mr. Thackeray said.He reiterated his warning that the Shiv Sena would take action against insurance companies and banks denying financial aid to farmers.“It is the responsibility of these companies to give them insurance money. But I have information that many are refusing to do so. I only want to warn them that they cannot escape justice like a Nirav Modi or a Vijay Mallya,” said the Sena chief.
Umar Akmal hit an 18-ball unbeaten 38 as Lahore Lions beat defending champions Mumbai Indians by six wickets in their opening qualifying round match of the Champions League Twenty20 in Raipur on Saturday.Put into bat, Mumbai produced a mediocre batting display as they could score just 135 for seven with Aditya Tare top-scoring with a 37 and the Pakistani side comfortably chased down the target with eighth balls to spare.Ahmed Shehzad (34) and Nasir Jamshed (26) laid a good platform by stitching 51 runs for the opening wicket, but they looked like losing way in the middle overs as Mumbai came back strongly on the back of some fine bowling and fielding.Lahore needed 26 runs from the last three overs and the match headed towards a tight finish. But, Akmal turned the game on its head with a superb show of batting as he struck four fours and two sixes from 18 balls as Lahore ran away with a win.Meanwhile, New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson showed his prowess in the shortest format as he powered Northern Knights to a convincing seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka’s Southern Express in a rain-curtailed opening game of the Champions League T20 in Raipur on Saturday.With heavy downpour and soggy outfield reducing the match to 10-overs per side, Southern Express managed 92 for five in 10 overs which was easily surpassed by the Northern side with three balls to spare. Williamson led the charge with a 29-ball-52. Earlier, openers Kusal Perera and Gunathilaka rode on their luck due to shoddy fielding from Northerns as Southern Express scored 92 for five in 10 overs.advertisementKusal smashed his way to 37 off 20 balls with seven boundaries as Gunathilaka contributed 39 off 26 balls with two fours and three sixes. The opening stand of 55 laid the foundation of a challenging score.Diminutive Kusal was quick to dispatch anything on his legs behind the square. His partner Gunathilaka was slow to begin as he was not timing the ball properly but later got into the groove. The openers were helped by some shoddy fielding as Northern dropped as many as six catches of the duo.