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Democratic presidential hopefuls push for $15 minimum wage campaign promise or political rhetoric?

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Democratic presidential hopefuls push for $15 minimum wage campaign promise or political rhetoric?

LAS VEGAS — Democratic presidential hopefuls are hitting the campaign trail touting their plans to better the economy while pushing for a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. But is it a promise they can keep — or simply political rhetoric?

“Well, clearly the statement of a $15 minimum wage is a political statement. It’s a part of the campaign,” said Stephen Miller, professor & director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Center for Business and Economic Research. He said the reality is “a really complicated story.”

A little more than half the states have a higher minimum wage than the federally required $7.25, with New Jersey recently implementing a plan to gradually increase its wage to $15 by 2024.

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But to more than double the federal minimum wage across the board is a bit more complicated.

“Going to a $15-minimum wage, you’re not going to do that in one step – it’s going to have to be multiple steps over multiple years. Whenever you have a cost increase, then that affects business decisions and businesses are substituting capital for labor,” Miller said. “You know, if you’re an employee and you’re still working and it’s a $15 minimum wage, then you win, I suppose. But there are other people that that will be let go, that won’t have a job.”

2020 presidential candidate Julian Castro meets with DREAMer families in Las Vegas, NV.

2020 presidential candidate Julian Castro meets with DREAMer families in Las Vegas, NV.
(Ben Brown / Fox News)

The U.S. Small Business Administration declined to comment to Fox News when asked about Democrats push to raise the federal minimum wage.

“Today a minimum wage fulltime job in America will not keep a momma and a baby out of poverty,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts told a packed crowd at a rally in Las Vegas last month. “That is wrong and it is why I’m in this fight.”

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Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro  echoed those sentiments, telling Fox News after a sit-down lunch with Dreamer families in Nevada that “there’s so many improvements to our economy and to the quality of life that we need to make in this country, including by raising the minimum wage.”

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is still mulling over a presidential run, also stopped in Nevada as part of his “Dignity of Work” tour where he asserted himself as a champion for worker’s rights.

Sen. Sherrod Brown talks advocates for worker's rights during a meeting with union workers in Las Vegas, NV.

Sen. Sherrod Brown talks advocates for worker’s rights during a meeting with union workers in Las Vegas, NV.

“Dr. King said no work was menial if it pays an adequate wage, and far too many Americans are working so hard and not making a decent wage,” Brown told Fox News at a rally last week.

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Democratic strategist Kevin Chavous said it’s a more than just a talking point.

“I believe it’s something that will resonate with voters because Democrats can present themselves as sort of the party of workers and party trying to do their best to lift up those who need the most help,” Chavous told Fox News.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a rally in Las Vegas, NV., last month where she called on increasing the minimum wage.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a rally in Las Vegas, NV., last month where she called on increasing the minimum wage.

But some say smaller companies cannot afford to pay higher wages — it could even put some out of business.

“As far as big companies, say like Amazon and Google, I’m sure they can give them the $15-minimum wage, but as far as local companies, as far as local stores, that may be an issue.” Aremy Tirado, a college student in Nevada, told Fox News.

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Although Chavous recognizes that “most respected economists have acknowledged that this proposal may cause some jobs to be lost,” he said to look at areas like California and New York, where a higher minimum wage has already been instituted, albeit still a few bucks below the $15 mark.

“I think that the momentum around the campaign is only going to get stronger and stronger as people continue to fall behind and struggle to provide basic necessities for their families,” he noted.

Miller said he expects to see a push for minimum wage changes if Democrats take control of Congress and the Oval Office, but said it is “unlikely that it would be $15.”

“You might see that be boosted a couple of bucks,” he said.

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Bernie Sanders’ hiring of non-American campaign advisers may violate federal election laws, complaint says

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New spokeswoman for Bernie Sanders won't be able to vote for him in 2020 -- she's an illegal immigrant

Bernie Sanders was hit a complaint this week, claiming his presidential campaign violated federal election laws by employing non-Americans in advisery positions.

A new complaint by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) notes that three members of the Sanders campaign are foreign nationals, which appears to be a violation of federal election laws that prohibit foreign interference.

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Maria Belén Sisa, Sanders’ deputy national press secretary who joined the campaign last month, was among the staffers named in the complaint, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Sisa claims to be an illegal immigrant whose residency is protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program for assisting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Sisa recently caused an uproar after invoking an anti-Semitic “dual allegiance” trope of Jewish Americans while defending Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and questioning whether American Jews, including Sanders, were loyal to the United States.

The complaint notes that Sisa not only got a salary from Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, she also contributed money to it and is now serving in “an advisory position” in the 2020 campaign – all of which are “direct and serious violations” of federal election laws.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations,” the complaint reads.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations.”

— The complaint

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According to the FEC rules, foreign nationals, who aren’t lawfully admitted permanent residents, cannot directly or indirectly participate in political campaigns. Such individuals are also barred from making political contributions.

The complaint also names two other foreign nationals on the Sanders’ 2016 campaign, immigration activists Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, who worked as the campaign’s national Latino outreach strategist and press secretary for Latino outreach, respectively.

“Due to the high profile of Cesar Vargas, Erika Andiola, and Maria Belén Sisa as leading activists in the undocumented community, there is reason to believe that respondents are ‘foreign nationals’ within the meaning of 52 U.S.C. § 301219b)(2), and in violation of 11 C.F.R. § 110.20 (i) and A.O. 2004-26, directly or indirectly participated in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2016,” the complaint continued.

“There is reason to believe, having previously employed Ms. Sisa, that Bernie 2020 is currently, and knowingly, permitting a ‘foreign national’ … to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2020.”

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The complaint calls on the FEC to investigate both the 2016 and the current presidential campaigns and take action to curb the violations.

“The Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations,” the complaint read. “Further, the Commission should enjoin respondents from any future violations and impose any necessary and appropriate remedies to ensure respondents’ future compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.”

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Democrats vow to keep investigating Trump despite Mueller's conclusions, no new indictments

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Congressional Democrats vowed Friday to keep investigating President Trump, his family, and associates despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapping up his Russia investigation with no new indictments.

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‘There needs to be a reckoning’ for those who spread Russia collusion narrative: Mollie Hemingway

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MSNBC’s Chris Matthews livid over Mueller report: ‘How could they let Trump off the hook?’

Those who spent the last two years pushing the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election need to be held accountable, the Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway argued Friday.

Earlier in the day, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed in its report on the Russia investigation to the Department of Justice and it was announced that no new indictments would be forthcoming.

During Friday’s All-Star panel segment on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Hemingway — along with Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti and Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason — weighed in on the breaking news that reverberated throughout Washington.

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Hemingway began by noting that the “Russia narrative” predates the Mueller probe, having begun circulating during the 2016 election after the creation of the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier, which pushed the theory that then-Republican candidate Donald Trump was a “Russian agent.”

“We have, for the last three years … frequently [witnessed] hysteria about treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election,” Hemingway told the panel. “The fact [is] that there are no more indictments coming and the fact [is] that all of the indictments that we’ve seen thus far have been for process crimes or things unrelated to what we were told by so many people in the media was ‘treasonous collusion’ to steal the 2016 election.”

“If there is nothing there that matches what we’ve heard from the media for many years, there needs to be a reckoning and the people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government who were not critical and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable,” she added.

“The people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government … and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable.”

— Mollie Hemingway, senior editor, the Federalist

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Mason told the panel that there’s likely “some relief” in the White House, particularly from Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and top adviser. And while he insisted it was “too early” to draw major conclusions, he later added that those who attacked Mueller’s credibility throughout his investigation will have to walk back their hostility if he concludes that there was no collusion, including President Trump.

Meanwhile, Continetti suggested that the Mueller report could be the “greatest anticlimax in American history,” and that the entire investigation could be “for nothing” because it was “an investigation without a crime.” He did, however, insist that the “battle will continue” as the White House will fight Congress on transparency of the Mueller findings.

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