Tuesday, December 1st 2020   |

The Tell by Ron Kampeas

Little Trump fires everywhere: The president fuels potential problems for his successor

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump is still hoping to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory, running a battery of failed lawsuits and intensive pressure campaigns on electoral officials. Absent the unlikely that he overturns the election, Trump is setting what one official called “fires”: plunging the United States into controversies that it will be hard for Biden to exit and seeding the government with personnel who will...

Why some Jews are worried about Trump’s last months in power

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Just when you think the Trump era is over, it keeps rising out of the lake and coming back. I wrote today about how Donald Trump is planning perhaps the most consequential exit from the political stage ever.

His failure so far to even acknowledge Joe Biden as the president-elect means Biden is missing out on critical national security briefings which would better prepare him for...

It ain’t over ’til it’s over: Jewish takeaways from a wild election week

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — I’m writing this just as the Pennsylvania secretary of state announced that the bulk of ballot counting may be done by the end of Thursday. If trends continue, Joe Biden could be president-elect by the time you see this.

Or not. Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes would give Biden 273, the majority he needs. There are four other states in contention. North Carolina still looks solid...

Democrats, Republicans, incumbents and challengers: My Jewish guides for election night 2020

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Over the last week, we’ve rolled out four stories about the 48 Jewish candidates running in congressional races: four Democrats running as challengers for Senate seats; 10 Republicans, including two incumbents and eight challengers; 23 Jewish Democratic incumbents and 11 Jewish challengers.

Plenty of the candidates are out and proud about their Jewishness and even say that they are motivated by Jewish values or experiences....

The 4 Jews running for Senate seats this year

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — There are 47 Jews who are nominated in races for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. 

Today we start rolling out our omnibus profiles of every one of them, starting with the four Democratic challengers vying for GOP-held Senate seats. 

The first time I did this, two years ago, I was struck by the degree to which these candidates and incumbent members of...

In 2020, making votes count is radical

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — “We want to make sure that every vote is counted,” Melanie Roth Gorelick told me this week for a story I wrote about Jewish organizations preparing for elections on Nov. 3.

In the year 2020, that’s become a radical statement.

Gorelick is the vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups.

In...

Why Jews will be thinking of peyote during this year’s Supreme Court session

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — If David Lynch had directed a film about this year (wait, you mean he didn’t?), he might have started it with a foreshadowing scene of a group of indigenous Americans ingesting a psychedelic on a starry night long ago in the Pacific northwest.

No, really. Mention “peyote” in certain wonky Jewish circles in Washington and it won’t be seen as an invitation to party,...

Jewish Democrats drew outrage with their new ad — then Trump made their point in the debate

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) —The Proud Boys, an extremist right-wing group, had some company in getting a boost from Donald Trump during his first presidential debate with Joe Biden on Tuesday night. In a twist, it was a group of Jewish Democrats that got a lift from the president’s failure to call out white supremacists.

Just hours before the debate, the Jewish Democratic Council of America...

Who’s giving the most in 2020 campaigns? Here’s a rundown of the biggest Jewish donors.

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Fifteen of the top 25 biggest political donors this cycle are Jewish or of Jewish origin. I picked through the top 100 on the Open Secrets website for a glance at those 15, including Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Bernie Marcus and Donald Sussman. The biggest donor by far is Tom Steyer, the hedge funder-philanthropist who ran a presidential campaign this year...

Looking back at a crazy Jewish year of politics

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — To prepare for Rosh Hashanah, take a break, my editor said. Let’s take this moment to look back at the crazy year in politics, he said.

So I did — but it wasn’t a restorative break. In 5780, the news didn’t stop.

Shana tova to my readers, and here’s hoping we’ll get a bit of a...