TIME 2016 Election

Ted Cruz Wanted to Be This Character in The American President

Ted Cruz American President Michael J Fox
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, U.S. 2016 presidential candidate and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on oversight, agency action, federal rights and federal courts, pauses while speaking during a hearing in Washington, D.C., on June 4, 2015.

The 2016 candidate opens up about his early years in politics

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz offered a glimpse into his early political career on Sunday, recounting his years as an “arrogant little snob” long before he became a fierce Texas senator and conservative firebrand.

Cruz, who is touring to promote his campaign and his new book, A Time for Truth, said on NBC’s Meet the Press that he “desperately wanted” to hold a senior position at the White House while serving on George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000.

“Frankly, I wanted to be … Michael J. Fox’s character in The American President, a young, idealistic staffer in the Oval Office, saying, ‘Mr. President, do the right thing,'” Cruz said. “And that didn’t happen, and it became clear it wasn’t going to happen because I had burned too many bridges.”

Cruz also recalled how, in his 20s, he had learned to be less “cocky”—otherwise, he said, thousands of grassroots activists wouldn’t have propelled him to victory during his 2012 Senate campaign.

“You can’t run a grassroots campaign if you’re an arrogant little snob,” Cruz said. “I needed to get my teeth kicked in.”

Read next: How Ted Cruz Plans to Disrupt the GOP Presidential Primary

[NBC]

TIME Race

Leaders Seek Solutions, Next Steps for Civil Rights Momentum

Sybrina Fulton trayvon martin
Amanda Edwards—Getty Images Activist Sybrina Fulton participates in a panel conversation at the Manifest: Justice pop-up art space on May 6, 2015 in Los Angeles.

The best way to channel "black lives matter" energy, many said, is by getting out to vote

As the 2016 election draws near, leaders of civil rights organizations are thinking about how to move the conversation generated through the black lives matter movement into more intense civic engagement.

“I say protest and push for policy change,” Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, told TIME. “In order to make change happen that we have to get out the vote.”

Campbell was one of many leaders on hand at the 2015 Essence Festival in New Orleans during the Fourth of July weekend, where many of the more than 150 speakers used the platform to issue calls to action to members of the black community.

During an address on Friday, Sybrina Fulton, mother of the late Trayvon Martin, challenged the gathered crowd to get out to vote and join nonprofit organizations that champion causes they support. All of the guests on a panel Saturday, including Nicole Paultre Bell, wife of Sean Bell, and Van Jones, called civic engagement an obvious next step for activists who’ve taken to the streets to have their voices heard. Deepak Chopra, who opened Saturday’s Empowerment Series, called on the black community to ask a series of questions—chief among them, “How can I serve?”

“People don’t think black folks are going to turn out because President Obama is no longer on the ticket, but we were voting long before that,” Campbell said. “My job is to make sure our voices are challenging anyone running for office.”

The audience at the weekend event, though—largely female, with ages ranging from old enough to have marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and young enough to have only lived at a time when there’s a black president—represents a potent voting block when its members turn out. In 2012, the increase in black voter turnout—which surpassed the white vote for the first time since 1996—was due to the swaths of black women who hit the polls. Voter turnout among young black voters, however, was down in 2012.

The black lives matter movement has made a real impact in driving the national conversation around race—as was apparent in the general theme of the weekend’s events—but the challenge going forward, said National Urban League President Marc Morial, is translating the grassroots momentum apparent on the ground into action that can impact the upcoming election.

“The advent of organic social media organizing is a new technique that’s creating an opportunity for a new generation to get its voice heard, but that doesn’t replace traditional work,” Morial said. “Movements don’t exist without changes, without an end goal of changes in public policy.”

Morial said his organization has invited 2016 presidential candidates including Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson to an upcoming conference the organization is hosting in Tampa.

“What we’re trying to do is advance the conversation early around these issues—economic opportunity, criminal justice reform, schools and education—where do you stand? What are your points of view?” he said.

TIME Congress

Congress Goes Back to Work With a Busy Agenda—and a Deadline

Pennsylvania Avenue at dusk
Getty Images

A government funding fight is shaping up as another big partisan brawl

(WASHINGTON)—After July Fourth fireworks and parades, members of Congress return to work Tuesday facing a daunting summer workload and a pending deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown in the fall.

The funding fight is shaping up as a major partisan brawl against the backdrop of an intensifying campaign season. Republicans are eager to avoid another Capitol Hill mess as they struggle to hang onto control of Congress and try to take back the White House next year.

Already they are deep into the blame game with Democrats over who would be responsible if a shutdown does happen. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has denounced Democrats’ “dangerously misguided strategy” while House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California accuses Boehner and his Republicans of pursuing “manufactured crises.”

The funding deadline does not even arrive until Sept. 30, but lawmakers face more immediate tests. Near the top of the list is renewing highway funding before the government loses authority July 31 to send much-needed transportation money to the states right in the middle of summer driving season.

The highway bill probably also will be the way lawmakers try to renew the disputed federal Export-Import Bank, which makes and underwrites loans to help foreign companies buy U.S. products. The bank’s charter expired June 30 due to congressional inaction, a defeat for business and a victory for conservative activists who turned killing the obscure agency into an anti-government cause celebre.

Depending on the progress of the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, lawmakers could also face debate on that issue. Leading Republicans have made clear that they are prepared to reject any deal the administration comes up with.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Sunday that Iran “should have faced a simple choice: they dismantle their nuclear program entirely, or they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear facilities.”

“It was actually both the fact of sanctions in 2013 and the threat of even tighter sanctions that drove them to the negotiating table,” Cotton, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“That’s why we shouldn’t have let up those sanctions,” he added. “We should have insisted on the very simple terms that President Obama himself proposed at the outset of this process. Iran dismantles its nuclear program entirely and then they will get sanctions relief.”

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said any agreement with Tehran must be “comprehensive.”

“It’s got to prevent Iran from any steps towards producing a nuclear weapons,” said Cardin, also appearing on ABC. “That means you have to have full inspections, you have to have inspections in the military sites. You have to be able to determine if they can use covert activities in order to try to develop a nuclear weapon.”

Beyond the issue of Iran, the Senate opens its legislative session with consideration of a major bipartisan education overhaul bill that rewrites the much-maligned No Child Left Behind law by shifting responsibility from the federal government to the states for public school standards.

“We’re seven years overdue” for a rewrite, said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, the bill’s chief sponsor.

The House also is moving forward with its own, Republican-written education overhaul bill, revived after leadership had to pull it earlier this year when conservatives revolted.

Even if both bills pass, though, it’s uncertain whether Congress will be able to agree on a combined version to send to President Barack Obama. Indeed the prospects for any major legislative accomplishments arriving on Obama’s desk in the remainder of the year look slim, though there’s talk of the Senate following the House and moving forward on cybersecurity legislation.

That means that even though Obama was so buoyed when Congress sent him a major trade bill last month that he declared “This is so much fun, we should do it again,” he may not get his wish.

But all issues are likely to be overshadowed by the government funding fight and suspense over how — or if — a shutdown can be avoided.

Democrats are pledging to oppose the annual spending bills to fund government agencies unless Republicans sit down with them to negotiate higher spending levels for domestic agencies. Republicans, who want more spending for the military but not domestic agencies, have so far refused. If there’s no resolution by Sept. 30, the government will enter a partial shutdown.

It’s an outcome all involved say they want to avoid. Yet Democrats who watched Republicans pay a steep political price for forcing a partial shutdown over Obama’s health care law in 2013 — and come within hours of partially shutting down the Department of Homeland Security this year — claim confidence they have the upper hand.

“Given that a Democratic president needs to sign anything and you need Democratic votes in both chambers, the writing is on the wall here,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

Republicans insist Democrats are running a risk by opposing spending bills for priorities like troop funding — but are not yet discussing how they will proceed if Democrats don’t back down.

As a result it looks likely current funding levels could be temporarily extended beyond Sept. 30 to allow more time to negotiate a solution.

And it’s not the only consequential deadline this fall. The government’s borrowing limit will also need to be raised sometime before the end of the year, another issue that’s ripe for brinkmanship. Some popular expiring tax breaks will also need to be extended, and the Federal Aviation Administration must be renewed. An industry-friendly FAA bill was delayed in the House recently although aides said that was unrelated to the Justice Department’s newly disclosed investigation of airline pricing.

In the meantime, the presence of several presidential candidates in the Senate make action in that chamber unpredictable, Congress will be out for another recess during the month of August — and in September Pope Francis will visit Capitol Hill for a first-ever papal address to Congress.

TIME Chris Christie

Christie Won’t Pledge to Undo Iran Deal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a town hall meeting at the American Legion Dupuis Cross Post 15 July 2, 2015 in Ashland, New Hampshire.
Darren McCollester—2015 Getty Images New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a town hall meeting at the American Legion Dupuis Cross Post 15 July 2, 2015 in Ashland, New Hampshire.

Even though he doesn't like it.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Saturday that while he is deeply troubled by the emerging Iranian nuclear agreement, he would not pledge to undo it should he take office.

Speaking to Republicans on July 4th in this lakeside vacation town, Christie sought to differentiate himself from the other 15 GOP candidates for president, casting himself as a leader who would carefully consider all options.

“I’m not one of those guys who’s going to say to you, ‘on Day One I will abrogate the agreement,'” Christie said, noting that the American president could not just act alone when China, Russia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom are also parties to the deal, should one emerge. “On Day One, I will look into it and try to decide, depending upon where we are at that moment.”

As Christie was speaking, American and international negotiators were continuing talks in Vienna to complete the deal before this week’s deadline. Christie said he would have long since walked away from the table, arguing that Iran cannot be trusted to implement the agreement.

“If I was negotiating this deal right now, I would be gone,” he said. “I would be away from the table. I would be going back to our allies and saying these are not reliable negotiators on the other side—not the people we can count on to keep their word. They haven’t shown us that.”

But Christie added he could not commit to revoke an agreement without prior investigation.

“If I’m saddled with the deal as president, then on the first day I’ll be saying to my national security advisor, to my Secretary of State and to my head of national intelligence: give me all the information I need to let me know all the options I have to try to put this genie back in the bottle, and then we’ll make a decision,” he added.

The comments follow a pattern for Christie, who has tried to draw subtle differences between himself and the rest of the GOP field on a range of policy proposals. Christie told a crowd of more than 100 at the breakfast event to “be careful” of candidates who make promises about what they’ll do on “Day One.”

“I have grave, grave doubts that this is an agreement I will be willing to stand behind, but I also don’t want to be the kind of president who tells all of you something in a campaign and that either doesn’t do it, hoping you forget that I told you I would actually do it on the first day,” he said. “Or, who does it only because I promised it, even if at that moment it’s not what’s in the best interests of America.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Hopeful For Iran Nuclear Deal Next Week

Democratic presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a grassroots-organizing event at the home of Dean Genth and Gary Swenson on May 18, 2015 in Mason City, Iowa.
Scott Olson—2015 Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a grassroots-organizing event at the home of Dean Genth and Gary Swenson on May 18, 2015 in Mason City, Iowa.

The Democratic frontrunner speaks on a campaign swing through New Hampshire

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that she is hopeful that a nuclear agreement with Iran can be reached before next week’s deadline, indicating support for the draft agreement that may or may not come into force.

Speaking to a crowd of about 850 largely college-aged supporters on the campus of Dartmouth College, Clinton addressed the latest deadline for the P5+1 nuclear talks in Vienna, July 9, saying “these things always come down to the wire.”

“I so hope that we are able to get a deal in the next week that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program because that’s going to be a singular step in the right direction,” Clinton said. The previous June 30 deadline was extended to give negotiators more time to try to hammer out lingering disagreements between the Iranian government and the governments of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany.

“But even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran,” Clinton said. “They are the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism, they use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel. So even if we are successful on the nuclear front, we still are going to have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to rein in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness.”

Critics of the ongoing negotiations and draft agreement contend that it does not go far enough in reducing Iran’s stockpile of radioactive materials and enrichment program. Clinton had previously adopted a measured tone on the talks, expressing support, but raising questions about whether Iran would uphold its end of the agreement.

In April, she said she would back a deal that “verifiably cuts off all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon, imposes an intrusive inspection program with no sites off limits, extends breakout time, and spells out clear and overwhelming consequences for violations.”

“The onus is on Iran and the bar must be set high,” she added at the time.

One way or another, Clinton is likely going to have to own the agreement, as the seeds of the current round of talks began under her tenure in the Obama administration. Her chief foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan helped carry out the secret back-channel negotiations to lay the groundwork for the Joint Plan of Action announced in 2013.

Clinton also spoke about the Affordable Care Act, seeking to keep alive a potent Democratic turnout tactic a week after the Supreme Court decided against undermining the law.

“I am so thrilled that we are at a point where all calls about repeal, repeal, repeal mean nothing unless they elect a Republican president,” Clinton said, addressing the crowd from a concrete stage in front of a shady lawn on the college campus known as the “BEMA” — “big empty meeting area” — just across the river from Democratic rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’, home state.

“If the country elects a Republican as president, then they will repeal the Affordable Care Act,” she warned. “That is as certain as I can say unless we take back the Senate and take back the House. I hope we can do both, but on the safe side, let’s elect a Democratic president who is committed to quality, affordable healthcare.”

All Republican presidential candidates have vowed to repeal the law, but privately many of their aides acknowledge that a complete repeal would be nearly impossible to pull off, given how entrenched it has already become in the American healthcare system five years after passage. Republicans on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, have largely abandoned serious efforts to upend the law, owing to Obama’s staunch veto threats.

“Let’s break that and have a Democratic president to continue the policies that actually work for the vast majority of Americans,” Clinton said.

Clinton promised that she would begin to unveil her proposals for the economy in “about 10 days.”

 

TIME 2016 Election

Romney to Host Rubio, Christie for July 4th

Two 2016 hopefuls join the 2012 nominee at his vacation home

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is hosting two of his would-be successors Friday night at his home for the July 4th holiday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are marching in the Wolfeboro, N.H. Fourth of July parade—the largest in the state—on Saturday morning, just blocks from the Romney family vacation home in the bucolic lakeside town.

“Governor Romney heard that his friends, Governor Christie and Senator Rubio, along with their families, would be in Wolfeboro over the July 4th holiday weekend,” a Romney spokesperson said. “He and Mrs. Romney opened their home to their friends and look forward to celebrating America’s birthday.”

Both Christie and Rubio attended Romney’s E2 Summit in Park City, Utah last month and are hoping to win over his supporters and donors in the first-in-the-nation primary state. Romney told reporters at the summit that he intends to remain neutral through the primaries.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry are also participating in New Hampshire July 4th festivities on Saturday, but will be staying elsewhere.

TIME 2016 Election

Hispanic Leaders Say Republican Party Must Condemn Trump

Trump Organization Inc. CEO Donald Trump Announces Whether He Will Run For President
Bloomberg/Getty Images Donald Trump announcing he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on June 16, 2015.

Some Republican candidates are avoiding the issue

(WASHINGTON) — Hispanic leaders are warning of harm to Republican White House hopes unless the party’s presidential contenders do more to condemn Donald Trump, a businessman turned presidential candidate who’s refusing to apologize for calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers.

Trump’s comments, delivered in his announcement speech last month, have haunted the GOP for much of the last two weeks and dominated Spanish-language media. It’s bad timing for a Republican Party that has invested significantly in Hispanic outreach in recent years, given the surging influence of the minority vote.

Yet several Republican candidates have avoided the issue altogether, while those who have weighed in have declined to criticize Trump as strongly as many Hispanic leaders would like.

“The time has come for the candidates to distance themselves from Trump and call his comments what they are: ludicrous, baseless and insulting,” said Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican who leads the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership. “Sadly, it hurts the party with Hispanic voters. It’s a level of idiocy I haven’t seen in a long time.”

The political and practical Trump-related fallout has intensified in recent days.

The leading Hispanic television network, Univision, has backed out of televising the Miss USA pageant, a joint venture between Trump and NBC, which also cut ties with Trump. On Wednesday, the Macy’s department store chain, which carried a Donald Trump menswear line, said it was ending its relationship with him. Other retailers are facing pressure to follow suit.

The reaction from Republican presidential candidates, however, has often been far less aggressive.

In a recent interview on Fox News, conservative firebrand Ted Cruz insisted that Trump should not apologize.

“I like Donald Trump,” said Cruz, a Texas senator who is Hispanic. “I think he’s terrific. I think he’s brash. I think he speaks the truth. And I think that NBC is engaging in political correctness that is silly and that is wrong.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said simply that Trump is “wrong.”

“Maybe we’ll have a chance to have an honest discussion about it on stage,” Bush said last weekend while campaigning in Nevada.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who often talks about his re-election margins with Latino voters, called Trump’s comments “wholly inappropriate” during a news conference. In a subsequent radio interview, Christie described Trump as “a really wonderful guy (who’s) always been a good friend.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who declined to address Trump’s comments directly for more than two weeks, took a more pointed tone in a statement Thursday evening. “Trump’s comments are not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive,” said Rubio, a Hispanic. “Our next president needs to be someone who brings Americans together — not someone who continues to divide.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday: “I don’t think Donald Trump’s remarks reflect the Republican Party.”

Among others, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former technology executive Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have been silent.

“We’re listening very, very closely, not just what candidates say but what they don’t say — the sins of commission and the sins of omission,” said Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, who called Trump’s comments “xenophobic rhetoric.”

Trump is showing no sign of backing down.

“My statements have been contorted to seem racist and discriminatory,” he wrote in a message to supporters on Thursday. “What I want is for legal immigrants to not be unfairly punished because others are coming into America illegally, flooding the labor market and not paying taxes.”

“You can count on me to keep fighting,” he continued.

In his announcement speech, Trump said Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Such rhetoric resonates with some of the Republican Party’s most passionate voters, who have long viewed illegal immigration as one of the nation’s most pressing problems. Yet GOP leaders have urged conservatives to adopt a more welcoming tone in recent years as Hispanic voters increasingly sided with Democrats.

Not since the 2004 re-election campaign of President George W. Bush has a Republican presidential candidate earned as much as 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Mitt Romney got a dismal 27 percent in the 2012 contest against President Barack Obama.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton cast Trump’s remarks as “emblematic” of a larger perception within the Republican Party.

“A recent entry into the Republican presidential campaign said some very inflammatory things about Mexican immigrants,” she said in an interview last month. “Everyone should stand up and say that’s not acceptable.”

Meanwhile, the attention has helped Trump sell some books. “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” first published in 1987, and a release from 2007, “Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life,” were both in the top 2,000 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list as of midday Thursday. “Think Big,” co-written by Bill Zanker, was Amazon’s top seller for personal finance.

TIME Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justices Earn Free Trips and More on the Side

Six of the court’s nine members received paid trips to Europe in 2014

Before inspiring celebration, debate and dictionary searches last week, the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court managed to squeeze in some globetrotting—on someone else’s dime.

Six of the court’s nine members received paid trips to Europe in 2014, including to Berlin, London and Zurich, as reported on the justices’ annual financial disclosure reports released Thursday. The excursions are just some of the many perks that come with having the final word on the nation’s laws.

The reports—which detail the stock holdings, travel, spousal income, gifts and debts of the nine Supreme Court justices—show the many ways that the judges can pad their finances beyond their judicial salary. Associate Supreme Court justices earn a salary of $244,400, while the chief justice earns $255,500, according to the Federal Judicial Center. The judges hold significant investments that have helped turn most of them into millionaires.

The justices do not have to disclose the costs of their reimbursed travels, which included a three-week multi-stop trip that Justice Anthony Kennedy took to Salzburg, Austria, San Francisco and Aspen, Colo., last July, paid for by the Aspen Institute and the University of the Pacific. New York University also paid for Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to travel to Florence, Italy. Chief Justice John Roberts taught a class on the history of the Supreme Court to students of the New England School of Law in London.

All of the justices received at least some free travel, even if not international.

Teaching and giving one-off lectures was a common side venture for the justices, seven of whom reported income from universities. Kennedy was an adjunct professor at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, Justice Samuel Alito taught at Duke University Law School and Justice Elena Kagan was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer both reported income from book royalties, though Scalia’s books seem to be selling far better, earning more than $33,000 in 2014, compared with the $7,000 Breyer reported. However, Scalia’s books did not sell as well as they did the year before, when he reported nearly $77,000 in royalties.

Besides their side gigs as teachers and book authors, six of the nine justices were also landlords. For example, Scalia’s property in Charlottesville, Va., netted him at least $5,000 a year in rent, while Breyer’s property on the island of Nevis in the West Indies earned less than $1,000 a year in rent. Justice Clarence Thomas reported owning one third of a rental property in Georgia but said he received no rent in 2014.

The reports reveal that the majority of the justices do not own individual stocks, reducing the likelihood that a conflict of interest would require a justice to remove him or herself from ruling on a case.

Only Alito, Roberts and Breyer own individual stocks, and all three have recused themselves from cases involving companies in which they were invested. Roberts stepped aside in at least two cases involving Time Warner Inc., in which he owned at least $350,000 worth of stock. Breyer sat out of a patent case because of at least $50,000 in Cisco Systems Inc. stock.

Alito sold his Coca-Cola Co. stock on April 16, 2014, just before the court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit against Coca-Cola on April 21, allowing him to rejoin the rest of the court for the case after recusing himself from the initial proceedings.

The disclosures were released Thursday, the day before the Fourth of July holiday and after delivery of the final opinions of the term. Typically the court has made them available in mid-June. The disclosures appear to have been delayed by Alito’s filing, which was amended on June 30, a month and a half after the May 15 filing deadline.

Though Roberts has hailed “modern technology” for making the financial interests of public officials more transparent, the federal judiciary remains old-school in its disclosure system. To check out the financial interests of the more than 3,200 federal judges, members of the public must request the documents by snail mail from court administrators in Washington, D.C., pay for reproduction costs, then either pick them up in person or have them shipped. By comparison, Congress makes its members’ reports available in a searchable database.

Click here to view the Supreme Court justices’ complete disclosures.

This story is from The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative media organization in Washington, D.C. Read more of its investigations on accountability in government or follow it on Twitter.

TIME 2016 Election

Rick Perry Addresses Republicans’ Legacy on Race

Former Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry addresses the National Press Club Luncheon July 2, 2015 in Washington.
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Former Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry addresses the National Press Club Luncheon July 2, 2015 in Washington.

"For too long, we Republicans have been content to lose the black vote because we found we didn’t need it to win"

The speech was billed an address on the economy. But by the time he finished, it was clear that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry was here to talk about race.

About a lynching of a black man that took place 99 years ago in his home state of Texas. About his party writing off black voters because Republicans didn’t need them to win elections. About the GOP’s embrace of states’ rights over civil rights. In a sweeping, 30-minute speech to the National Press Club, the former Texas Governor offered a mea culpa for discrimination in America and pitched an aggressive reboot for Republicans’ relationship with black voters.

“We cannot dismiss the historical legacy of slavery, nor its role in causing the problem of black poverty,” Perry said during an appearance that at times was an indictment of how the nation treats minorities and a litany of promises to fix that. “And because slavery and segregation were sanctioned by government, there is a role for government policy in addressing their lasting effects.”

A charismatic speaker and shrewd politician, Perry needs such a dramatic move to convince voters that he is not the bumbling White House hopeful that he was in 2012. During that earlier bid, he stumbled during debates and delivered uneven performances with voters. Seeking redemption, Perry is trying again to win the nomination with a campaign that could force his party to confront sometimes-uncomfortable realities.

“There has been—and will continue to be—an important and legitimate role for the federal government in enforcing civil rights,” Perry said, adding he was among those who favored autonomy for states to address the issue. “For too long, we Republicans have been content to lose the black vote because we found we didn’t need it to win. But when we gave up on trying to win the support of African-Americans, we lost our moral legitimacy as the party of Lincoln, as the party of equal opportunity for all. It is time for us to once again reclaim our heritage as the only party in our country founded on the principle of freedom for African-Americans.”

Black voters backed President Obama’s re-election bid in 2012 to the tune of 93%. In 2008, Obama carried 95% of the black vote.

Perry’s gambit to win over African-American voters is not an original play. Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican also seeking the GOP nomination, has made urban outreach a central part of his campaign. Paul often travels to historically black colleges and meets with black pastors on the road. Yet the Texas twang of Perry talking about the GOP and its legacy with African-Americans was at time discordant with his typical fixation on cutting taxes and regulations.

“Democrats have long had the opportunity to govern the African-American communities,” Perry said. “It is time for black families to hold them accountable for the results.”

Citing higher poverty rates, lower-performing schools and fewer opportunities, Perry said Obama’s tenure as the nation’s first black president made history but did little to improve life for African-Americans. “I’m proud to live in a country that has an African-American President. But President Obama cannot be proud of the fact that the prevalence of black poverty has actually increased under his leadership,” Perry said.

By contrast, Perry pointed to his 14 years as Texas’ governor when its economy boomed. African-American graduation rates climbed from 27th out of 50 states in 2002 up to first in the country when he left office earlier this year. From 2005 to 2007, more blacks moved to Texas than to any state other than Georgia. (Hurricane Katrina destroying next-door Louisiana in 2005 helped that.) Perry also closed three prisons and reformed sentencing guidelines for non-violent drug offenders. “Each one of those new resident was welcomed to Texas, with open arms,” Perry said.

Asked after his speech about the debate underway in South Carolina about the Confederate flag, Perry said it was up to legislators in that state. Yet he also noted that, as Governor, he removed a plaque commemorating the Confederacy and moved it to a museum. Texas also stopped issuing Confederate license plates. “It makes sense to come up with ways to bring this country together,” Perry said.

Perry began his appearance by discussing the ugly lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas. Washington, who was black, pleaded guilty to raping and murdering his employer’s white daughter during trial and was convicted. The judge sentenced him to death—a sentence carried out in front of Waco City Hall, where he was tortured, mutilated and burned in front of a crowd of thousands.

Perry ended his speech with an acknowledgement: “America has never been perfect. No country composed of imperfect beings ever could be. 
But there is no country that has achieved more than the United States of America.”

TIME 2016 Election

Jim Webb Enters 2016 Race Leaning on Foreign Policy

"There is no greater responsibility for our President than the vital role of Commander in Chief"

Jim Webb on Thursday afternoon became the fourth candidate to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, emphasizing his foreign policy chops in a 2,000-word announcement of his unlikely bid.

“I understand the odds, particularly in today’s political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money,” Webb said. “I know that more than one candidate in this process intends to raise at least a billion dollars—some estimates run as high as two billion dollars—in direct and indirect financial support.”

Webb is a long shot for the Democratic nomination: most polls show Webb hovers around 2% among Democratic voters. He lacks the name recognition of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is surging in early state polls.

The secretary of the navy under Republican President Ronald Reagan, Webb is also a decorated Vietnam veteran. He was an outspoken critic of the Iraq War during his term in the Senate, and he has often touted his military experience as a key qualification. In his statement, he emphasized his opposition to armed entanglements in Libya and Iraq.

Webb said in his statement that he is running to offer both “a fresh approach” and “experienced leadership.” As president, he said, he would reinforce alliances with NATO and in the Middle East, as well as challenge China in the South China Sea.

Webb is the only Democratic candidate to strongly emphasize foreign policy in his platform.

“There is no greater responsibility for our President than the vital role of Commander in Chief,” said Webb. “I have spent my entire life in and around the American military.”

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com