Justin Miller

 Justin Miller is a writing fellow for The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Things Are About to Get Really Ugly for the Labor Movement

Unions were finally on an upswing. Now, they’re staring down the barrel of the GOP’s gun. 

(Photo: AP/Evan Vucci) Vice president-elect Mike Pence watches as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during an election night rally in New York. T he nation’s union movement is suffering from collective whiplash. As the Rust Belt states fell late last Tuesday night, so too did labor’s hopes for a Democratic president who had promised to lift up working people. Instead it was forced to confront the reality of an explosive faux-populist taking power in tandem with a pro-business GOP Congress that has been waiting for its chance to dismantle a beleaguered, but recently rising, labor movement. The promising signs of a rejuvenation for workers’ interests and rights in recent years have all come under a dark cloud of uncertainty and dread. For starters, with Trump promising to be a regulatory “reformer,” Republicans and their business lobbyist colleagues hope to roll back every single one of President Obama’s labor initiatives that were, slowly but surely, tilting the regulatory system...

What Workers and Their Friends Should Watch for on Election Day

From pro- (and anti-) worker ballot measures to state legislature races to unions’ swing-state GOTV, there’s a lot for the labor movement to keep an eye on. 

AP/Tampa Bay Times, Skip O'Rourke
(Photo: AP/Tampa Bay Times, Skip O'Rourke) Roderick Livingston protests in front of the McDonald's in Tampa, Florida in 2015. E lection Day is finally here (phew!), and as usual, there’s a lot at stake for working Americans. On the presidential level (at the risk of stating the obvious), there is a huge chasm between Clinton and Trump when it comes to backing a progressive, working-families agenda. While Donald Trump has promised to be a voice for the (white male) working class, his proposed policies won’t magically bring back manufacturing and offshored jobs. In fact, his proposals would be downright disastrous for working people. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, supports a $12 federal minimum wage and mandatory paid sick and family leave, advocates ambitious policies that would boost infrastructure spending and lift up workers in the child- and home-care industries, and promises to push through immigration reform, which would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented...

Trump Bashes Minnesota’s Somali Immigrants

(Photo: Flickr/Lorie Shaull)

Somali-American candidate for Minnesota State Representative, Ilhan Omar speaking at a Hillary for MN event at the University of Minnesota in October. 

Less than 72 hours before Election Day, Donald Trump decided to hold an airport rally in the safely blue state of Minnesota. Why? Apparently, to bash the 70,000 Somali immigrants who have sought refuge, and put down roots, in the state.

“Here in Minnesota, you’ve seen first-hand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with very large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval and with some of them then joining ISIS and spreading their extremist views all over our country and all over the world,” Trump said on Sunday, as he preached the need for his policy of so-called extreme vetting of refugees.

Trump was clearly trying to exploit isolated incidents within Minnesota’s Somali American community, like the arrests of nine Somali youth who were charged for intending to go to Syria to join ISIS in 2014, or the knife attack by a Somali man in central Minnesota in September.

“Everybody’s reading about the disaster taking place in Minnesota,” he declared. “You don’t even have the right to talk about it.”

Indeed, Trump was so busy trying to stoke fear and xenophobia as a voter-turnout strategy that he forgot to mention the 1,000 Somali workers who help make the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, where he was speaking, function. Nor did he mention the nearly 3,000 mostly East African–owned businesses in the state or the estimated $800 million annual buying power of the African immigrant community in the Twin Cities alone, as ThinkProgress points out.

Perhaps most conveniently of all, he also forgot to mention that Ilhan Omar—who fled violence in Somalia, toiled in refugee camps, and was eventually accepted into the United States as a refugee—is about to become the nation’s first Somali American legislator. After beating a longtime incumbent in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (Minnesota’s Democratic Party) primary, she is all but certain to be elected as the state representative for a Minneapolis district that includes the state’s largest Somali refugee community.

Omar blasted Trump for his bigoted rhetoric in a Facebook post:

The $50 Million Potential of the 'First True Silicon Valley Candidate'

How a high-tech darling tried, and failed, to get the Clinton campaign to take sides in an intra-Democratic Party race.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP/Ben Margot) Ro Khanna, Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative from California's 17th District, during a break in the California Democrats State Convention Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. O ne of the most competitive House races this Tuesday is between two Silicon Valley Democrats—Mike Honda, a progressive incumbent, and Rohit “Ro” Khanna, a start-up-style challenger who has become the darling of the tech industry. Khanna has frequently been portrayed as a smart, young candidate in the same vein as President Barack Obama, and an emerging leader who can bring the Democratic Party boldly into the 21st century. But behind the scenes, Khanna’s candidacy has been pitched to party power-brokers as a way for Democrats to capture a highly lucrative stable of wealthy tech donors that is primed to become a cornerstone of the party’s fundraising base—so long as attacks from party progressives doesn’t scare them into the eager arms of the Republican Party. “Ro Khanna...

Big Money Floods High-Stakes Gubernatorial Contests

Corporate interests are funneling hundreds of millions into a dozen state-level gubernatorial battles.

Missouri Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens speaks to supporters in Chesterfield, Mo. His campaign for the open seat has been fueled by huge political contributions. (Photo: AP/Michael Thomas) W ith most of the nation focused on the spectacle that is the presidential election, the battle over governors’ mansions across the country has drawn less notice, despite high stakes and big spending on both sides. There are only a dozen gubernatorial races this year, compared with three times that many in 2014, and spending is down. But the hundreds of millions spent by candidates, parties, and outside groups is being lavished on a smaller number of races. And the races have become a magnet for six-figure contributions from super-rich pharmaceutical, casino, and financial sector donors. The stakes are highest for Democrats, who hold eight of those 12 gubernatorial seats, and who are desperately trying to retain their hold on the few blue-state governorships they hold in such...

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