PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 332
Donald Trump is right: He is getting special treatment
Trump is being treated far better than most other criminal defendants
Trump currently faces three federal and state criminal cases, and although he claims unfair treatment, it is evident that he is receiving exceptional treatment not typical of other defendants. The authors of the article in The Conversation are experienced attorneys and legal scholars in both criminal and civil cases. They emphasize the advantages Trump is receiving, expressing a wish that their clients enjoyed similar benefits.
Unique treatment for Trump began prior to any charges, with letters from the Justice Department alerting him to investigations targeting him. This advance notice, especially in white-collar cases, is not routine, but criminal defendants do sometimes receive target letters that warn them of an impending indictment and sometimes give them the chance to testify. Trump’s release after his brief arraignments and his ability to negotiate processing dates illustrate the favorable treatment he’s receiving. This is in stark contrast to most defendants, who often face pretrial detention, leading to negative consequences. Three-quarters of federal criminal defendants are locked up to await trial. In addition, some defendants plead guilty to crimes even if they are innocent, in part because pleading guilty gets them home sooner.
Furthermore, Trump’s trials are being postponed to accommodate his schedule, a luxury many defendants don’t enjoy due to the “speedy” trial requirement. Prosecutors’ extensive detailing of allegations against Trump is another departure from the norm, whereas most defendants aren’t privy to such information early in the case.
The authors speculate that prosecutors’ distinctive approach may serve multiple purposes, given the high-profile nature of prosecuting a former president. While fairness in the criminal justice system calls for equal treatment of all defendants, exploring Trump’s exceptional treatment raises important considerations about how justice is administered to all accused individuals.
A new POLITICO Magazine/Ipsos poll suggests that Americans are taking the cases seriously — particularly the Justice Department’s 2020 election case — and that most people are skeptical of Trump’s claim to be the victim of a legally baseless witch hunt or an elaborate, multi-jurisdictional effort to “weaponize” law enforcement authorities against him. Furthermore, public sentiment in certain areas, including how quickly to hold a trial and whether to incarcerate Trump if he’s convicted, is moving against the former president when compared to a previous POLITICO Magazine/Ipsos poll conducted in June.
Biden’s Medicare Price Negotiations will Cut Patients’ and Government Drug Costs
Biden’s Medicare price negotiations are paving the way to cut patient’ and government drug expenditure. In a statement on Tuesday, Biden said “There is no reason why Americans should be forced to pay more than any developed nation for life-saving prescriptions just to pad Big Pharma’s pockets.”
The recently introduced price negotiation program, part of the Democrat-led Inflation Reduction Act, aims to save the government tens of billions in the coming years. Projections suggest potential savings of around $98.5 billion over a decade. This initiative could also lead to lower insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for all Americans. These price changes will take effect over the coming months and years, with some slated for 2025, 2026, and 2028. However, Republicans generally oppose Medicare’s direct negotiations, considering them to be government price controls. The pharmaceutical industry, its trade group, and the US Chamber of Congress have taken the issue to the courts.
- Eliquis, for preventing strokes and blood clots, from Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer
- Jardiance, for diabetes and heart failure, from Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly
- Xarelto, for preventing strokes and blood clots, from Johnson & Johnson
- Januvia, for diabetes, from Merck
- Farxiga, for diabetes, heart failure and chronic kidney disease, from AstraZeneca
- Entresto, for heart failure, from Novartis
- Enbrel, for arthritis and other autoimmune conditions, from Amgen
- Imbruvica, for blood cancers, from AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson
- Stelara, for Crohn’s disease, from Johnson & Johnson
- Fiasp and NovoLog insulin products, for diabetes, from Novo Nordisk
Climate Science and Democracy on Trial: Both Win!
Judge Kathy Seeley of the Montana District Court unequivocally ruled in favor of the 16 plaintiffs in Held v. Montana. She found that the state’s emissions are “responsible for as much carbon dioxide as is produced by Argentina, the Netherlands or Pakistan.” Montanans, she concluded, “have a fundamental constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes climate as part of the environmental life-support system.”
The plaintiffs argued that the government had violated their constitutional right by enabling rampant development of fossil fuels, contributing to climate change, and polluting the state.
This case affects future litigation
The Montana case could have broad implications in the fight to hold companies and governments responsible for climate change. Judge Seeley’s ruling is likely to provide an important building block for future litigation, including similar state cases in Hawaii, Utah, and Virginia, as well as a federal case pending in Oregon.
Around the world, there is a dramatic upswell of climate litigation. Global Climate Litigation Report: 2023 Status Review shows that people are increasingly turning to the courts to combat the climate crisis.
Not surprising that the ruling is being appealed by the state to the Montana Supreme Court. However, there will be an immediate impact despite the appeal, says Julia Olson, founder of the nonprofit group Our Children’s Trust, as it will encourage others to move forward in the courts and present the complex science issues in language that is both compelling and understandable.
Events and Opportunities
Serve on a Board or Commission for Michigan
Our state government is listening! Be heard in a major way by applying for one of the 100 open appointments on various committees and boards. Search the online portal by interest area here
Representative Jason Morgan’s office is hiring
ISO a full time Constituent Services Director and a paid fall internship. Spread the word and maybe apply yourself!
Friday, September 1. Virtual Phonebank for a two-hour shift with Common Cause
Sign up to mobilize voters for bold changes that benefit everyone with Common Cause on Wednesdays or Fridays here. Training included in two-hour shift. 4–6 pm
Monday, September 4. Labor Day aka “The Workers Holiday”
Did you know that Labor Day was first organized in 1882? That’s a whole bunch of picnics and parades! But, seriously, it is also representative of ongoing efforts for workers’ rights including livable wages, 40-hour work weeks, and more! Check out this quick video on its origin here!
Watch this 14 minute informative video breakdown on “how bad” the housing crisis in Michigan (above). CBS News Detroit
Tuesday, September 5. Rent is Too Da%n High
28% of Michiganders are renters and many are struggling. Almost 700 Michiganders have pledged to meet at the Michigan State Capitol Building about the following solutions, among others:
- Rent Control. Remove the state-wide ban on rent control so municipalities can take action to stabilize rents and protect tenants.
- Housing First. $1 Billion state funding to infuse into programs of direct service, rapid rehousing, and more.
- A Renter’s Bill of Rights. Fair chance housing for returning citizens, tenants’ right to organize and have counsel, relocations assistance, just cause eviction, a ban on hidden rental fees, and more!
Buses are going to the rally from Detroit and Ann Arbor. Details of departure and return time can be found at the links below:
- To reserve a seat on the Ann Arbor bus sign-up here.
- To reserve a seat on the Detroit bus sign-up here.
For more info or to get involved with the movement, visit mirentistoodamnhigh.com. Noon–4:30 pm
Monday, September 18. Messaging guru Anat with AG Nessel on Fake Electors and Trump Indictments
Anat Shenker-Osorio of ASO Communications will be joined by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to talk about research and guidance around the messaging we all use to talk about fake electors and the various indictments, including Trump. Register for this virtual event here. Noon
Tuesday, September 19. National Voter Registration Day SAVE the DATE
PEG is returning as a Community Partner, along with thousands of others ranging from local libraries and college campuses to national nonprofits, Fortune 500 companies, Silicon Valley tech giants, and more to join forces for a single day of star-spangled awesomeness, celebrating our democracy and the voting public that makes it possible. Through a coordinated nationwide civic blitz in traditional media, online, and good old-fashioned face-to-face voter engagement in communities across the country, we’ll spend 24 hours driving unparalleled awareness of voter registration opportunities to millions who may not otherwise register.
Stay tuned for local digital and physical mobilization efforts to make sure that all Americans are #voteready!
More things to do, read, watch, and listen to
Maui continues to feel the heat
The wildfires may have been put to rest, but the suffering continues. South Maui is available for tourists. Be sure to frequent businesses and tip generously as all of Maui is feeling the effects of Here are a few ways that you can help our fellow Americans living in Maui:
Get Support. Many organizations are continuing support through the end of September.
Donate Books, organized by California author, J.A. Sweeney here.
Donate directly to business owners here.
Mitigating Bias, Access to affordable, vetted information
Check out this media bias chart from Ad Fontes Media which shows you the leanings of different news organizations.Also, here’s a “throwback” video from Newsy about the Media Bias Chart that talks about what the Media Bias Chart is and what it can be in the future: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL-CHyzgK1Q
Below the chart, find a collection that our newsletter team has compiled replete with free or low-cost ways to access media!
Trusted, Free (No Paywall) Resources for Staying Informed
“A hard-hitting, nonprofit news site covering politics and policy across the state. We feature in-depth stories, briefs and social media updates, as well as top-notch progressive commentary.”
“A ‘grassroots organizing powerhouse’ [that] works to engage, educate, and activate our communities. We promote and protect Democratic values and help get Dems elected up and down the ballot.”
“an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust.”
“Co-host of Pod Save America and Author of Message Box, a newsletter about political strategy, Former Obama Senior Advisor, books, and other stuff.”
“The Boston College professor has penned a crisp summation of the news that is free of panicked hyperbole, heavy on context and warmth, and sprinkled liberally with historical tidbits.” – Boston Magazine
“Easy, effective political actions to take to stave off despair, effect positive change and elect more progressives.”
“A reflection on today’s news through the lens of hope.”
“Get the legal knowledge & analysis you need to be an advocate for democracy, along with a dose of savvy optimism.”
“A publication of the Center for Michigan, Bridge Michigan is Michigan’s largest nonprofit news service and one of the nation’s leading and largest nonprofit civic news providers.”
Subscribe to topic-specific newsletters here.
Free access to Detroit Free Press, Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports, NY Times, USA Today, and more. Search for the periodical’s title in the catalog; it will be listed as a database, with instructions for access.
Note: You may need to know your library account’s username (different from your email address or card number), for which you may need to contact AADL staff. AADL provides services at no charge to all residents of its service area.
“Ad Fontes Media rated The Hill as ‘Mostly Analysis OR Mix of Fact Reporting and Analysis’ with its political bias rated as ‘Middle.’”
“Covering American and international news for an online, global audience.”
“The world’s leading public service broadcaster. We’re impartial and independent, and every day we create distinctive, world-class programmes and content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the UK and around the world.”
“NPR is an independent, nonprofit media organization that was founded on a mission to create a more informed public.”
“We work to provide platforms for engaging and balanced discourse. Our editorial voice is inclusive and to the point, representing the voice of the nation. We’re the country’s trusted guide to what matters most.”
Free for first month, then $9.99/month. Includes CNN, WSJ, The New Yorker, Time, The Atlantic, and more.
More Good News
Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro Rebuilds Collapsed Portion of Interstate 95 in just 12 Days
Shapiro was already a very popular newcomer before the collapse and subsequent quick repair of the highway increased his approval rating even further. In late June, 57 percent of Pennsylvania voters approved of Shapiro’s job performance, while only 23 percent disapproved. Strikingly, 53 percent of independents and even 34 percent of Republicans gave their Democratic governor positive marks.
Shapiro made good on his promise to listen to – not just hear – concerns from struggling Pennsylvanians. He signed an executive order directing some $400 million from Biden’s infrastructure investments to “‘on-the-job training’ to expand broadband internet and fix roads, bridges, and pipes. ‘We’re the first state in the nation to do that.’” He also signed an executive order doing away with the college degree requirement for 92 percent of state government jobs. “I think that we’ve gotten too elitist in our attitudes that the only way you can succeed is if you go to college,” Shapiro said. “I just fundamentally think that is the wrong approach, and that’s something I’m trying to change.”
Shapiro and fellow Democratic governors, including Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Wes Moore in Maryland, Gavin Newsom in California, Maura Healey in Massachusetts, and Andy Beshear in Kentucky, are taking on right-wing culture warfare through inclusion and practical achievements. Let’s hope more will follow suit.
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.