Trump pushes hundreds to run for Congress

Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by Camille, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

    Hopefully these will turn out to be good candidates and not the liberal version of the batshit teaparty folks. The article says they are strong candidates tho...

    Up to 1,000 Democratic candidates are about to make the 2018 congressional primaries completely insane

    The 2018 midterms are still 561 days away, but an unprecedented early surge of Democrats have already declared their candidacies for the House of Representatives, setting up what will likely be one of the longest and most crowded series of House Democratic primary campaigns in memory.

    Already 408 Democrats have thrown their hats into the ring, a 58 percent increase over the 259 who had declared by this point in the run-up to the 2014 midterms. And several hundred more candidates are likely to join races across the country as the Democratic Party and multiple outside progressive groups recruit their own candidates. This tsunami of Democratic challengers will likely make it more difficult for President Donald Trump to pass his legislative agenda as members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — will be wary of casting votes that provide ammo to progressive Democratic challengers.

    Contrary to fears among some liberals that the anti-Trump resistance movement would start and stop with marches and memes, the surge of energy and potential candidates is letting dispirited Democrats dare to believe they could win the 24 seats they need to reclaim the House majority for the first time since 2010.

    A spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC, or “D-trip” as it’s often called in Washington) told VICE News that the committee is in serious talks with more than 300 prospective candidates in about 70 Republican-held and open districts around the country. About 90 percent of those recruits, the DCCC said, have yet to file declarations of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

    And this is just the beginning. The liberal group Brand New Congress, for example, is recruiting and training dozens of candidates across the country to primary-challenge Democratic and Republican incumbents, with a goal of eventually recruiting 200 House candidates. The progressive women’s group Emily’s List told VICE News that they expect to recruit several dozen candidates as well, some of whom will come from the DCCC’s pool.

    Normally, DCCC recruiters must fly across the country for several months and camp out in swing districts interviewing and prodding “good profile” candidates to run. But the DCCC has been inundated with what they say are very strong recruits from districts across the country, including traditional Republican strongholds.

    “I know what it’s like when you have to go out in these districts and spend months and months before you find someone who’s willing to run,” said DCCC spokesperson Meredith Kelly. “That is not at all the case this cycle. People are coming to us.”

    At least 140 new Democrats have already begun their campaigns since Trump’s inauguration, many in places where Democrats aren’t usually expected to compete. Some of them are people who have run previously and lost, but the majority are political novices, many of whom emerged from newly minted anti-Trump groups. Many also do not fit the Democratic Party’s typical focus-grouped profile for recruitment.

    They include several 27-year-olds, a former writer for The Onion, a 34-year-old Ph.D. student whose campaign staff is made up mostly of friends from Semester at Sea, and a woman who, fitting the times, goes by the name Mad.

    Patrick Nelson, a 27-year-old former field director for New York's 21st district, is running to beat 32-year-old Republican Elise Stefanik.
    Patrick Nelson, a 27-year-old who served as a delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention last summer, was a staffer in the New York State Assembly and worked for the last two Democratic candidates in New York’s 21st District, both of whom lost.

    Fed up, he decided to announce his own candidacy this year, and announce early. When asked about his qualifications, he told VICE News that he “would hesitate to think there is any person in the world that has knocked on more doors or called more people than I have in the 21st District. People of our generation have created multi-billion-dollar businesses; we are very capable.”

    If Nelson wins the nomination next year, he will face off against the youngest member of Congress, 32-year-old Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik.

    Glen Miller, also 27, is running in Indiana’s 8th District. Asked about his previous experience, he said he “was very vocal on social media” during Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination.

    Interviews with more than a dozen novice Democratic candidates showed they are united by both their dislike of Trump and their distrust of the Democratic Party establishment following Clinton’s loss last November.

    “I don’t think they are going to hire me to run the next campaign, so I’m going to hire myself,” said Brian Santa Maria, 35, a former writer for The Onion and a digital advertising professional who is running in Minnesota’s 3rd District, one of the DCCC’s top targets. “My expectation is that there will be some names from the local party popping up in the next month, but the establishment tries to be everything to everybody, rather than be honest and sincere and letting the people find you.”

    Brian Santa Maria, 35
    The candidates, mirroring Trump, appear to have little reverence for the normal campaign playbook. For example, candidates typically don’t declare their candidacies until after April 1 or the beginning of another quarter so that their first quarterly finance report doesn’t show a low number.

    “We welcome candidates with an outside-the-box background to run against career politicians,” Kelly said. “We also need those candidates to show they can run strong campaigns.”

    The sheer volume of candidates all over the congressional map promises to challenge the national party over whom to support and where to send money. At the moment, the DCCC is prioritizing Republican-held districts where Hillary Clinton won or was close to winning last November.

    These districts tend to be more suburban, college-educated, and racially diverse, suggesting that the party will focus first on furthering Clinton’s gains with those demographics rather than winning back the white working-class voters that abandoned Democrats in droves.
    The DCCC’s list of its 59 top targets includes three districts that are fully or partially in Orange County, California, once the suburban hotbed of American conservatism. Brian Fallon, Clinton’s former campaign spokesperson and a senior adviser to the Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA, praised this approach, tweeting that the path to a House majority “runs through the Panera Breads of America.”

    The party is facing backlash for its decision to throw enormous support behind Jon Ossoff, a moderate candidate promising to bring a “Silicon Valley of the South” to Georgia’s suburban 6th district, and give almost no support to James Thompson, a professed Sanders-loving military veteran running in Kansas’ rural, conservative 4th District.

    The DCCC changed course Thursday with a six-figure investment in the upcoming Montana special election after previously being reluctant to devote many resources there. But it’s unclear if that is a bone thrown to a frustrated progressive base or a shift in strategy. The 2018 midterms will present many more tough calls, and the DCCC will have limited resources to dole out. Progressives are eager to fight Trump, but their money is being dispersed among hundreds of self-styled “resistance” groups.

    Some of those outside groups are raising money for Democrats in reliably red districts that normally wouldn’t receive much support from the party. In Utah’s 3rd District, one of the most conservative in the country, Democratic candidate and political neophyte Dr. Kathryn Allen has already raised more than $500,000 — one of the highest first-quarter totals ever for a first-time candidate — through the political crowdfunding site Crowdpac.

    The DCCC argues that it needs to spend its time and money where it can actually win, while many progressives and new candidates think the national party is no longer a reliable judge of Democratic strength.

    “Democrats on the ground have been waiting for someone to save us, and that the DCCC will find someone to save us, and that’s not happening, so it was time to get off the sidelines,” said Randy Wadkins, a chemistry professor at the University of Mississippi who is running in the state’s conservative 1st District.

    The anti-Trump resistance is so decentralized that dollars are already flowing Wadkins’ way even though the race is not considered competitive by political forecasters. He has raised $13,630 through Crowdpac from donors around the country in his first few weeks, a fraction of what he knows he will ultimately need.

    “I refuse to believe it’s a lost cause,” he said.

    Additional reporting by Morgan Conley.
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  2. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    There's got to be some real Jewels in that thousand. At least, 24 !!!
    PAYNE and Camille like this.
  3. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Dems inch closer to House takeover
    with Miami Republican's retirement


    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, announced retirement today.

    By Katie Glueck and Alex Roarty
    Sunday, April 30, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- Democrats could hardly contain their joy at the unexpected retirement announcement by Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on Sunday, and even Republicans had to admit it will be hard for them to hold that Miami-area seat in 2018.

    Ros-Lehtinen, a moderate Republican, has cut a particularly independent profile as the rest of her party raced to the right. Her heavily Democratic district backed Hillary Clinton by 20 percentage points in November, and Republicans who know the district well questioned whether another GOP candidate could thread that needle.

    "It puts this seat in serious risk for Republicans," said Ana Navarro, a Miami-based GOP strategist who considers Ros-Lehtinen a friend. "This is my district. Other than Ileana, who is so liked, she got a pass from GOP voters for being a moderate and got a pass from Democrats for being a Republican, I cannot think of one likely candidate who can win, both a GOP primary and the general election."

    Democrats were already strategizing about how tomake inroads in the more than 20 Republican-held congressional districts that Clinton won as they plot a course aimed at re-taking the Congress. They need to win 24 seats in 2018 to win back a House majority, and even before Ros-Lehtinen's retirement news, Democratic operatives were predicting a big midterm election year, thanks to President Donald Trump's low approval ratings and the challenges that the president's party historically faces in midterm elections.

    In April, the party nearly won two special election House seats -- in Kansas and Georgia -- in districts Republican candidates won by more than 20 points in last year's election.

    "For years, Democrats have coveted this seat that is fundamentally Democratic in its DNA, but the congresswoman was independent and untouchable," said Jesse Ferguson, a former top official at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "It's going to be beyond tough for a Republican candidate, who has to own Donald Trump in this district. "

    Indeed, current officials running that committee, whose mission is to win House races, boldly predicted a Democratic takeover of Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in November 2018.

    “It's been clear for years that the Republican party was out of step with the values of Miami families, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s retirement announcement is testament to the fact she recognized how wide that gap had grown,” said DCCC spokesman Cole Leiter. “As one of the most Democratic districts held by a Republican Representative, this district was always going to be competitive. Now it is all but guaranteed to be won by a Democrat who will finally provide the hard working people who live there the representation they deserve.”

    “As more vulnerable Republicans recognize the distance between their party and their districts, this retirement could well be the first of many,” Leiter said.

    Non-partisan analysts also said Sunday that the 27th District race is one Democrats should now win. Kyle Kondik, a congressional race handicapper at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, moved the race from "likely Republican" to "leans Democrat."

    "This is a huge early break for House Dems," Kondik wrote on Twitter. "But this is also a must-win seat now for the majority."

    Vincent Foster, the president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Miami-- a major gay-rights Republican group -- said the community was losing a "great ally" in Congress, and acknowledged that Ros-Lehtinen may have been a uniquely good fit for the district, in a way that could be hard to replicate.

    "As a Cuban, as a mother of a trans son, as a big supporter of the Jewish community, a big supporter of the pro-Israel issue, she really stands for all of those issues her constituents and a lot of Miami stand for," Foster said. "So it's going to be hard for somebody who can fit those roles and be so genuine in all of those convictions."

    He expressed hope that the GOP would field a credible candidate, though no names immediately came to mind.

    "There's going to be a void right now, and trying to find someone who's right on LGBT issues, and going to be so strong on them to replace her-- Democrats have been gunning for her spot for years, raising millions of dollars as well, especially in the last campaign," he said.

    Still, Republicans quickly and easily acknowledged that, given Clinton's double-digit win over Trump in the district, a decent Democrat candidate would be formidable.

    "If Clinton carried that district with her liabilities, her baggage, in what was basically a Trump wave in Florida, then after Trump's performance in office, you would think a credible Democratic candidate would be able to do very well," said Mac Stipanovich, a longtime GOP operative and lobbyist in Florida, and a frequent Trump critic.

    Asked for comment on the retirement, the National Republican Congressional Committee offered a statement from the committee's chairman, Steve Stivers.

    "Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is simply a force of nature," Stivers said. "Her tireless work ethic was only matched by her charismatic personality. She represented her South Florida district well and she will be dearly missed in Washington. I wish her and her family the best."

    Katie Glueck: 202-383-6078, @katieglueck


    Camille likes this.
  4. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

  5. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

    I don't think they do. Progressives were treating her like the enemy, THAT'S why she lost. They called her everything but a child of God for months, people believed it, and then couldn't get on board once she won the primary. Bernie is still trying to be separate from dems, with all the benefits of association but none of the commitment. And dems are letting him get away with it.
    QueEx and VAiz4hustlaz like this.
  6. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    I remember that like it was only last November. I kept thinking, this is an election AND we really have something to lose, given Orange stood to be the new white. And, that old Tina Turner refrain kept resounding in my mind, "what's love got to do, got to do with this . . ."

  7. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    "There are 23 Republican members of the House who represent districts that supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential race. Nine of those Republicans voted against the bill, as you might expect. Fourteen of them voted for it."

    - Excerpt from: "How’d the GOP get its bill [TrumpCare] passed? Republicans with tough 2018 races fell into line." (Washington Post)

  8. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    What goes around, comes around . . .

    May 07, 2017 - 07:30 AM EDT
    Democrats turn tables on GOP in ObamaCare messaging war



    Democrats have assailed the way House Republicans handled ObamaCare repeal, describing the legislative process as a sham.

    For Republicans, much of the criticism should have a familiar ring, as it echoes the attacks that the GOP leveled against Democrats in 2009 and 2010 during the Affordable Care Act (ACA) debate.

    Republicans rode a wave of anger over ObamaCare to electoral victory in 2010, and haven't relinquished their House majority since. Now Democrats have been using the GOP's own playbook against them.

    Democrats "can start the ads now," said Julius Hobson, an attorney and former lobbyist with the American Medical Association. "Now you get to attack every GOP House member and say he or she was the margin of victory to take away your healthcare benefits," just like the Republicans did when ObamaCare passed.

    Accusations of hypocrisy flew fast and heavy from Democrats this week, as the House passed an ObamaCare repeal bill after struggling with the contents for more than two months.

    The bill was passed without an updated score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the non-partisan scorekeeper of legislation, and lawmakers had little time to review the updated text before the floor vote.

    Republicans "got [the bill] out of the House, albeit by a narrow margin, but they violated every norm and pledge about how to get legislation through the House" that they've made, said Jim Manley, a former spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

    During the debate over ObamaCare, Republicans repeatedly accused Democrats of rushing a massive bill through Congress without knowing what was in it, or how much it would cost.

    Those criticisms came from none other than Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), now the Speaker of the House.

    "Before members even had time to read the 1,000-page bill, it already has cleared two major House committees," Ryan (R-Wis.) wrote in a 2009 op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Those members of Congress who voted for this bill already in their committees did so without knowing what the legislation costs."

    House Republicans reject accusations they've rushed the bill.

    "We've been talking about repealing and replacing ObamaCare for seven years. That's the first time that I've had anybody say that we rushed anything," House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Wednesday.

    Democrats railed against Republicans this week for passing the healthcare bill without an updated CBO score.

    On March 18, 2010 - three days before the final ACA vote in the House - the official Twitter account of the House GOP asked, "Will Speaker Pelosi 'Wait for the Final Number' from the CBO?" The score was released that day.

    The GOP legislation, known as the American Health Care Act, would allow states to opt out of covering ObamaCare provisions preventing insurers from charging sick people higher premiums and mandating minimum insurance coverage requirements so long as high-risk pools are offered.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted the bill would actually "strengthen" coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, though he added it is "literally impossible" to predict the effects of the bill.

    After the House passed the bill, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said "forcing a vote without a CBO score shows that the Republicans are afraid of the facts."

    The CBO hasn't analyzed any aspects of the bill since it was pulled from the floor in March. The agency at that time determined that 24 million people would lose insurance coverage over 10 years if the legislation passed.

    Another popular claim from Republicans was that ObamaCare was negotiated and passed in the dead of night, behind closed doors and without one Republican vote. Democrats can counter they held numerous hearings, town halls and industry listening sessions.

    The House GOP worked for seven years to repeal the ACA, but held just two marathon markups of the bill that they passed last week, along with a quick session at the Budget Committee.

    Republicans might also recognize the impassioned floor speech Pelosi made just moments before the vote on Thursday.

    In a back-and-forth with Democrats, Pelosi echoed the infamous "hell no" speech given by then-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) moments before the 2010 House vote on ObamaCare.

    "I'm sure somewhere Boehner was hoisting a glass of his favorite red wine and laughing," Hobson said. "If you stay in this business long enough, you'll see the roles reverse."

    Camille likes this.
  9. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    NH State House seat flips to Democrat. Went 51-44 Trump. First ever Democrat elected in Wolfeboro!

    First ever Democrat elected in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and
    where Trump won 51-44 and Mitt Romney won 56-43 in 2012.

    First flip for Democrats under Trump.

    What’s awesome, Donald Trump won here and it’s NEVER gone Democrat!

    I’m feeling this for Rob Quist on Thursday.

    This is great news!

    NOTE: I know, its just a "state" house seat, but, its an interesting start! Qx​

    Camille likes this.
  10. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    The House Republicans who could lose their jobs over Obamacare repeal

    The Obamacare repeal vote on Thursday could send dozens of House Republicans to electoral doom next fall — a mirror image of the shellacking Democrats suffered after passing the law seven years ago.

    Strategists in both parties already believed the House could be up for grabs in 2018, as it often is two years into a new presidency. But the Obamacare repeal vote was as emotionally charged as they come on Capitol Hill, and a handful of Republicans in districts won by Hillary Clinton may have very well written their political obituary by voting yes.

    These Republicans now have targets on their backs. Lawmakers like GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, who narrowly won reelection in 2016 even as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried his district, will undoubtedly face pressure over their votes.

    "We saw what happened when healthcare reform — an issue impacting one-fifth of our economy — was rushed through Congress along extremely partisan lines in 2009," GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a freshman who opposed the bill Thursday, said in a statement.

    A single congressional vote can certainly rock the power structure on Capitol Hill. For former President Barack Obama and Democrats, it was cap-and-trade and health care reform in 2009 and 2010 — Republicans swept the house the next year. For Bill Clinton, it was his tax-raising 1993 budget — Republicans took both chambers in 1994. George W. Bush’s backlash midterm waited until his second term, but his ill-fated plan to reform Social Security played a key role in the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress.

    And for President Donald Trump and this generation of House Republicans, the narrow passage of Obamacare repeal — which polls poorly, is likely to be rewritten in the Senate, and includes provisions that are projected to raise costs for older voters, who reliably get out to the polls during midterms — could hurt them in 2018.

    “The negatives in this bill are more than just one talking point or one television ad,” said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist who ran the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm in 2014. “It is an entire campaign’s worth of negatives that these Republicans are taking ownership of as they walk the plank.”

    Democrats have readied a slew of talking points against the legislation: It weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, it allows insurers to charge older people five times as much for health insurance, it includes massive tax cuts for the wealthy and for insurance executives, and it has been projected to cause 24 million people to lose insurance coverage over the next decade.

    Republicans argue they are fulfilling a promise to the American people by repealing Obamacare, and the party is already gearing up to defend its vulnerable members.

    The nonprofit American Action Network and its sister super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund — outside groups aligned with Republican leaders — are prepared to spend millions on television ads and have already opened field offices in districts for many vulnerable members. (The groups pulled support for GOP Rep. David Young in March when he came out against the previous version of the Republican health care bill.)

    “We will do everything in our power to defend and protect all members who stand with President Trump and Speaker [Paul] Ryan to fix our nation’s broken health care system,” American Action Network executive director Corry Bliss said.

    During that 1993 budget vote, Republican members famously and facetiously waved goodbye to Democratic Rep. Marjorie Margolies after she cast the deciding vote for the plan, following a phone call from Bill Clinton. On Thursday, Democrats sang “Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” as the vote count hit 217.

    Here’s who they were serenading:

    Rep. Darrell Issa of California (Hillary Clinton won 51 percent in his district while Issa won 50 percent in 2016)

    Issa, the former House Oversight chairman who delighted in tormenting the Obama administration, won reelection to his seat in Orange County by just 5,000 votes in 2016. He, along with a slew of other vulnerable Republicans in the California delegation, voted for the bill — at least partially out of loyalty to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. His opponent last cycle, retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, has already launched a second challenge. But such is the opportunity Democrats sense in fast-changing Southern California that another Democrat, Mike Levin, has also jumped into the race. Fellow Orange County Republicans like Rep. Mimi Walters and Dana Rohrabacher, whose districts also went for Clinton (and who also voted for the GOP bill), have already attracted multiple Democratic primary challengers as well.

    Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona (Clinton: 50 percent, McSally: 57 percent in 2016)

    Republicans have always considered McSally, a former Air Force fighter pilot, to be one of their brightest rising stars and most capable battleground-district fundraisers and campaigners. She defeated popular Democratic Rep. Ron Barber — a Gabrielle Giffords staffer who was injured in the mass shooting that also injured Giffords — by fewer than 200 votes in 2014. Reports indicate she was all-in on the GOP health care legislation, telling her fellow Republicans in a conference meeting to get this “f---ing thing” done, and McSally authored an amendment to force Congress to follow the law. But McSally's district is a prototypical Sun Belt battleground seat, and Democrats note she’s on tape multiple times promising to protect people with pre-existing conditions, an area where Democrats argue this legislation falls short.

    Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida (Clinton: 57 percent, Curbelo: 53 percent in 2016)

    Curbelo may be the most vulnerable House Republican in 2018. Clinton easily won his district, which is heavy on both older and Hispanic voters who could also see big coverage losses under the legislation. (Rep. David Valadao, another Republican in a Latino-heavy district who voted for the bill, will see nearly 80,000 coverage losses in his district by 2026, according to projections from the liberal Center for American Progress that Democrats will undoubtedly wield against him.) Another problem for Curbelo: Retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from the district next door, has loudly criticized the GOP health care bill, which could amplify and validate Democratic attacks on Curbelo over the legislation.

    Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois (Clinton: 50 percent, Roskam: 60 percent in 2016)

    On Thursday morning, Democrat Kelly Mazeski, a breast cancer survivor, entered the contest — one of a slew of candidates with pre-existing conditions or personal experience with the travails of the health care system Democrats expect to see run this cycle. Roskam comes from an increasingly diverse district in the western suburbs of Chicago that has trended Democratic at the presidential level. He faced tough races in the past, though redistricting shifted his district into more safely Republican territory six years ago. “It's time the people of Illinois' 6th District hold Peter Roskam accountable for voting to make Americans pay more and get less for their health care,” Mazeski said in announcing her bid.

    Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota (Clinton: 51 percent, Paulsen: 57 percent in 2016)

    Paulsen represents a district in the western suburbs of Minneapolis which Democrats have narrowly carried at the presidential level since 2008. The DCCC has long made him a target, especially because he originally won his seat in a three-way race where an independent drew support away from the Democratic candidate. But his reelection bids have all been easy: The 56.9 percent he drew in 2016 was his lowest vote total. Still, Paulsen only came off the fence in the final hours before the vote, perhaps indicating he sees some vulnerability in his decision.

    CORRECTION: The original version of this story misstated Rep. Darrell Issa's margin of victory in 2016. He won reelection by 1,621 votes.

    Camille likes this.
  11. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    How to Win

    The Kind of Democrat Who Can
    Win in the South—or Anywhere

    It’s how I won in Columbus, Georgia.
    People want progress.
    They just want it to be implemented in a pragmatic way.


    Teresa Tomlinson
    Mayor, Columbus, Georgia

    06.11.17 12:00 AM ET

    In Columbus, Georgia, we believe in good government, and we have a long history of it. At the local level, we do not care for the partisan hooey - a technical term – that may impede the delivery of that good government.

    Columbus is a city of 200,000 people, ninety-miles southwest of Atlanta. Columbus is a highly diverse, minority-majority community, and home to the international headquarters of Aflac and TSYS. It also is home to one of the world’s largest military training bases, the Ft. Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence.

    As a longtime Democrat, I’ve had the privilege of being elected twice to the non-partisan position of Mayor of Columbus. There, I learned something useful to our current national dialogue: people embrace progressive ideals, they simply want them pragmatically implemented.

    Sure, this pragmatism is more work because the elected leaders cannot rely on either the partisan appeal or moral objective of the proposed policy, but must provide a transparent assessment of how the policy and its process impacts all citizens. The resulting information touches everyone and presents an opportunity for broader consensus.

    It turns out that citizens like progress. They are excited by the future, and they embrace leaders who can take them there. Citizens want a government that works and to which they feel connected. Basically, citizens want pragmatic progressive leadership.

    All of this made me think: In this Trumpian alternate universe we are enduring, are we ready to re-commit to the better governing policies of the Democrats, if pragmatically applied?

    As voters in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia begin voting in the June 20 Jon Ossoff/Karen Handel run-off, politicos and uber-engaged voters around the country are wondering if this election will signal a new dawn in our long partisan darkness. It could be that a new pragmatic leadership style is emerging: one that is easier on the eyes and ears of independents, suburban moderates, blue-collar workers, and millennials.

    The Pragmatic Progressive is a strong Democrat in economic
    and social/civic policy, but understands these policies benefit
    many beyond their base and are not afraid to go into the lion’s
    den, if need be, to let them know so.

    A Pragmatic Progressive – and Ossoff sure seems like one - can explain to you why Democratic policies are not special-interest politics but are sound economic strategies for citizens at every economic level. A Pragmatic Progressive believes government is meant to be a partnership with you, your business, and your community. It is government’s role to create a framework within which a citizen can prosper.

    A Pragmatic Progressive believes -- that there is no special or privileged group that is entitled to better or more advantageous government than another. Every citizen is entitled to government respect and access. Every person is an economic and community asset. A Pragmatic Progressive believes the worker is as important and as valuable as the investor, and our governmental policies should reflect that.

    A Pragmatic Progressive knows -- that our common prosperity lies in the strength of the middle class. Expanding the middle class through economic principles of fair (not favored) taxation stimulates the economy, increases investment, creates growth and opportunity, lowers unemployment and improves workforce quality. The expenditure of government funds should not be justified as an entitlement, but rather as an investment that can be defended with an articulable return.

    Such a progressive accepts science, technology and fact. She understands that global markets and policies are essential to innovation and the free market at home. He wants the United States to be an economic leader in the world and appreciates that global political and economic stability is in our best interest. That stability requires that the United States be a major, but measured, participant in world affairs, on both national security and economic matters. A Pragmatic Progressive knows that immigration is essential to our economic growth.

    The red/blue dichotomy has become an oversimplified, lazy way to talk about what we actually believe, and that is one of the reasons we are having such difficulty in American political discourse today. A Pragmatic Progressive does not reject reasoned, well-targeted Republican policies out of hand. Yet, a Pragmatic Progressive recognizes that many policies urged by conservatives are not conservative policies at all, but rather are highly invasive government-expanding ideas based on using government as a weapon of individual power, such as the so-called Religious Freedom Bills.

    A Pragmatic Progressive does not believe in the conservative adage, coined by William F. Buckley, that we should “stand athwart history and yell stop.” The human condition is to move forward, to embrace progress and to shape our future, not hide from it or deny it or fight it. We cannot simultaneously hate our government and love the United States of America that it comprises. We cannot simultaneously hate our government and proclaim to love the men and women who give their lives for it. A Pragmatic Progressive cannot be a member of a party that believes our government – the United States of America - is so potentially “tyrannical” that citizens must preemptively stockpile weapons against it.

    Government is important.

    Our government is us.

    Our form of government is the greatest civic experiment of mankind, and to this point it has been a successful experiment. We need policies that reflect that and leaders who understand it. We need more Pragmatic Progressive Democrats.

    Jon Ossoff’s unlikely success thus far has signaled that the dawn is coming. The only question is: Will it arrive on June 20?

  12. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Does this Virginia gubernatorial race tell us anything about the 2018 Congressional midterms ???

    “Trump Effect” is seismic for both Democrats, GOP in Virginia primary
    By Robert McCartney

    June 13, 2017 at 11:09 PM


    Virginia's Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won the Democratic nomination for governor by a large margin against former congressman Tom Perriello on June 13. The race was tighter on the Republican side with Ed Gillespie narrowly beating Trump state campaign chairman Corey A. Stewart for that party’s nomination. (The Washington Post)

    The polarizing presidency of Donald Trump shook both parties in the Virginia gubernatorial primary Tuesday and ensured that the “Trump effect” in politics will be a dominant theme in the race in November.

    Hostility to Trump spurred strong turnout among Democrats, raising their hopes that primary winner Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam can retain the governor’s mansion for the party.

    On the GOP side, enthusiasm for the president lifted outspoken Trump supporter Corey Stewart to an unexpectedly strong finish in his race against the GOP establishment’s favored candidate, Ed Gillespie.

    Although Stewart came up short, his showing in the primary creates a new challenge for Gillespie in the general election. Gillespie had hoped to keep some distance from Trump to help him with Virginia’s notably centrist voters. But now he may need to warm up to the president to bring along the Republican base.

    Stewart, the Prince William County Board chairman, did dramatically better than polls had projected and underlined the depth of support for Trump in the GOP. He wouldn’t concede and said he wouldn’t help Gillespie in the fall, making Gillespie’s road more uncertain.

    “We’ve been backing down too long,” Stewart told cheering supporters Tuesday night. “We’ve been backing down too long in defense of our culture, and our heritage and our country.”

    With passionate Democrats eager to send a message of opposition to Trump, and many Republicans determined to defend him, the results pointed to a Virginia campaign certain to attract national attention and funding as a major, early electoral test of the president’s standing.

    Related: Northam wins Democratic gubernatorial primary in Virginia

    For Democrats, a major takeaway was the surge of voters energized by outrage over what they described in interviews as Trump’s shortcomings. More than 536,000 people cast ballots in the Democratic primary compared to about 314,000 in the GOP race. Virginia has an open primary, which means that voters do not vote by party affiliation, but they can only request one party’s ballot.

    Many Democrats said they would have been satisfied with either Northam or the man he defeated, former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, as nominee for governor. The critical thing, they said, was winning in November to register their dissatisfaction with Trump.

    Fairfax middle school teacher Tiffany Swanson was one of several who said at the polls she couldn’t remember the last time she voted in a primary election. But she made a point of doing so Tuesday because of Trump.


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  13. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    June 13, 2017 at 11:09

    In Georgia House Race, Parties Battle for New Swing Voters

    Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel seeking votes
    of Republicans uneasy with Donald Trump ahead of Tuesday’s poll

    CHAMBLEE, Ga.—A Georgia House special election has turned into a defining clash between the two political parties, with both sides targeting a new cadre of potential swing voters: Republicans uneasy with the rise of President Donald Trump.

    In the final days before Tuesday’s election, Democrat Jon Ossoff is honing a middle-of-the-road message that is a far cry from [and instead of] his campaign’s inaugural promise to “make Trump furious.”

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  14. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    The GOP’s one-man fire brigade
    After four special election wins, Republicans are relying on the Congressional Leadership Fund’s Corry Bliss to safeguard the House majority.


    06/23/2017 07:25 PM EDT

    Corry Bliss had never managed a House race before he took the helm of the Congressional Leadership Fund, but now Corry Bliss is coming off four straight victories. | Getty

    Karen Handel wasn’t the only big winner in Tuesday’s special election. Republican operative Corry Bliss, who heads the super PAC officially blessed by House GOP leadership, arguably had just as much riding on the outcome.

    He had never managed a House race before he took the helm of the Congressional Leadership Fund, which poured more than $10 million into the recent special elections. But now Bliss is coming off four straight victories, and he’s credited withquelling Republican fearsthat President Donald Trump will drag down the party's prospectsin the 2018 midterm elections.

    “He’s on a hot streak,” said Mark Isakowitz, chief of staff to Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, whose reelection campaign Bliss led to a 21-point victory last year.

    Sitting in his office the day after Handel’s win, hesays the special election wins mean “probably nothing” about the party’s fortunes in next year’s midterm elections.

    But Bliss has proselytized relentlessly about the declining importance of television, which Trump used to great effect, and the rising importance of ground game, something Barack Obama and Democrats werequicker to exploit than their Republican counterparts. He was bitterly critical of what he regarded asthe Republican National Committee’s weak field program last year in Ohio, where he built an independent field operation on Portman’s behalf— a move that ruffled feathers at the Republican National Committee.

    The senator waltzed to victory, but Bliss clashed repeatedly with then-RNC chairman Reince Priebus and his chief of staff, Katie Walsh, over Portman's field program; and Priebus and Walsh later waved off Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan from hiring Bliss to run the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Sources close to Bliss and Priebus say they have a cordial relationship now.

    “[Bliss] is very intense, and he is outspoken andunafraid of saying what he thinks, and he
    doesn’t care if people are offended or not,” said
    famed GOP ad-maker Larry McCarthy.

    The results in Georgia appear to have validated Bliss’ unconventional approach. While super PACs rarely invest in field programs, CLF poured more than $2 million into the one in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, a risky strategy that allowed Democrats to outspend Republicans on television.

    The traditional mindset is: You can’t be outspent on TV,” Bliss says. “We made the determination that was not necessary to win and that we could be more impactful doing data and field work.”

    One example: In liberal DeKalb County, CLF targeted 8,100 voters whom it had identified as "reluctant Republicans" and saw a marginal shift in Handel’s direction as a result. Overall, while Democratic turnout in the district was high, Republican turnout was even higher.

    Bliss' reputation as a crisis manager preceded this year’s special elections. He was dispatched at the last minute to save Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts’ flailing campaign in 2014 and showed up at campaign headquarters with one sheet of paper on which he’d printed “Harry Reid, Harry Reid, Harry Reid,” according to Chris LaCivita, who ran the campaign with him.

    “This is your strategy for the debate,” Bliss told Roberts.

    Dating back to Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president’s party loses an average of 27 seats in the midterm elections, a number that would cost the GOP its House majority in 2018. Bliss recognizes that the challenge next year is to defy history at a time when the major battle is likely to be over control of the House — and the Democratic Party is highly motivated by deep animosity toward the president.


    Attached Files:

  15. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

    There was another thread on the uptick of dem candidates, but I can't find it, so I'm putting this here.

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  16. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Wins in Virginia and across the country buoy the party's hopes about the 2018 midterms

    Democrats euphoric after Tuesday election romp

    11/07/2017 11:00 PM

    Ralph Northam supporters cheer during a Virginia Democrats election night watch party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., on Nov. 7. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

    Jubilant Democrats struck a defiant tone after sweeping victories across the country on Tuesday night, led by Democrat Ralph Northam’s surprise pummeling of Republican Ed Gillespie in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.

    Surveying their first electoral sweep in half a decade after a soul-crushing 2016 campaign and a desultory start to the Donald Trump era, Democratic leaders reset their expectations for the 2018 midterms. They're now expecting a fundraising and candidate recruitment surge, powered by grass-roots fury at the Trump administration.

    While most Democrats stopped short of predicting the party will take the House next year, they noted in Gillespie the failure of a candidate who tried balancing between Trump-style populism and establishment Republicanism.

    “We were all under a lot of pressure saying we need to win this thing, we need a boost. But we gave a rocket boost tonight,” said outgoing Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, celebrating at Northam’s election night party. The result in the race to replace him, he said, “is a rejection of Trump, of the hatred and bigoted fear that they always bring into these campaigns.”

    I certainly didn’t see this ass-kicking coming; this is pretty stunning,” added Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

    Republicans have two problems: their president and their agenda. And I don’t think either of those liabilities are disappearing anytime soon.”​

    The shifted landscape remains forbidding for Democrats. They must flip 24 Republican-held seats to win the House, and are forced to defend 10 incumbent senators running for reelection in states that Trump won in 2016. They must also handle a range of painful internal tactical and policy divisions threatening to rupture their unity at any moment.

    After Northam's win, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, chairman of House Democrats’ campaign wing, immediately started calling potential Democratic House candidates who were on the fence about whether to run.

    "Doesn’t matter if you’re watching CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC: There’s good news for Democrats, [and] this is a nightmare scenario for Republican incumbents, especially in Virginia,” Luján said, pointing to Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock as an example of an incumbent Republican whose path to victory suddenly looks much tougher.

    The House is absolutely in play; everything is absolutely moving in our direction,” Luján said.

    Full Story:

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    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking♥️ Super Moderator


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking♥️ Super Moderator

    Donald Trump and his Republican Party were sent a clear message last night that fear, hate, and division will be answered by defeat. The midterms will be here before you know it.
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  19. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Voters Increasingly Favor Democrats for Congress, New Poll Shows

    Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds 50% prefer Democrats to lead Congress after next year’s midterms; 39% prefer Republicans

    Democrats’ 11-point lead on who should control Congress marked the first double-digit advantage for the party since late 2008.

    Wall Street Journal
    By Janet Hook
    Dec. 17, 2017 9:00 a.m. ET

    Voters increasingly want Democrats to control Congress after the 2018 elections, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that offers several warning signs for the Republican Party.

    Asked which party they prefer to lead Congress after next year’s midterms, 50% said the Democrats and 39% said Republicans. That 11-point lead is wider than the 7-point advantage Democrats held in October, and it is the first double-digit advantage for the party since late 2008, ahead of the Democrats’ win in the presidential election that year.

    The poll also found that 59% of Democratic voters are showing the highest levels of interest in the coming midterms, compared with 49% of Republicans.

    Pollsters who conducted the survey said that taken together, the two findings show that Democrats have an edge in enthusiasm at this early stage of the campaign.

    Flipping Houses
    Public opinion on which party should control Congress has been a predictor of past 'wave' elections. Democrats have needed double-digit leads to make big gains, due to turnout trends and district lines that often favor Republicans.

    At the same time, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating ticked up 3 percentage points in the new survey from October, to 41%, due in part to higher marks from members of his own party. Some 56% in the new poll disapproved of his job performance.

    In the past, a Democratic advantage on the question of who should control Congress hasn’t translated into electoral gains unless the lead reached double digits. The party led by 10 percentage points on average in 2006, ahead of retaking control of the House and Senate that year, and it led by 14 points on average in 2008, when Democrats gained more than 20 House seats.

    Smaller leads haven’t accompanied significant pickups in congressional elections, in part because of voter turnout among some Democratic groups is lower than among Republican groups, and due to congressional district lines that in many places favor Republicans. For Republicans, a small lead on this question can signal big electoral gains. The party’s advantage was only 2 percentage points on average in 2010 ahead of a 63-seat pickup that gave the party control of the House.

    The 10-point Democratic advantage on the second measure of enthusiasm—the share of voters highly interested in the next election—was expected, said Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who conducted the survey with Democrat Fred Yang. Mr. McInturff said the party out of power usually shows the greater enthusiasm to vote in the next election.

    Still, he said, “even if expected, a double-digit margin here is an important indicator of Democratic intensity.”

    Mr. Yang said the Democratic edge in election interest “reaffirms” the party’s experience in last week’s special election for Senate in Alabama and the Virginia gubernatorial election last month. Democrats won both, due in part to strong turnout in Democratic-leaning suburban areas close to cities and among African-American voters.

    Mr. Yang said that his party’s victory in Alabama was due in part due to the weakness of the Republican candidate, Roy Moore, who had been accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers, and that he was “not sure” the outcome would have been the same against a less flawed GOP nominee. But at the same time, he said, “it is clear that Democrats are energized,” with signs emerging that “strong Democratic turnout is becoming a national trend.” Mr. Moore denied the accusations of misconduct.

    Democrats need to pick up 24 seats in the House to take the majority. In the Senate they need a net gain of two seats, after new Alabama Sen. Doug Jones is sworn in, but must also defend many seats in Republican-leaning states.

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  20. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

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  21. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Republican Control of the Senate Hangs by a Thread

    A series of freak circumstances could change the course of politics in 2018.


    Only one Republican senator ultimately didn’t vote for the tax bill—and it wasn’t because of concerns about the debt, or the tilt of the bill toward the wealthiest Americans. It was because John McCain was back home in Arizona, battling life-threatening brain cancer.

    One other Republican barely did. Mississippi’s Thad Cochran did make the vote, after missing votes throughout the fall, due to a persistent urinary tract infection. The health of the 79-year old Cochran has raised questions about whether he will be able to serve out his term, which has three more years to run.​

    Should the health of these two senators force them to step down, the political consequences could be hugely consequential.

    Arizona would have two Senate seats in play in 2018. Democrats have already targeted the seat of retiring Republican Jeff Flake, finding encouragement in the narrow results of Arizona’s presidential contest (Trump won with a 3.5 percent plurality, contrasted with Mitt Romney’s nine point win in 2012). Capturing both seats could be enough to put Democrats in control of the Senate (assuming they hold all of the seats they’re defending next year—10 of them in states Trump won).

    While Mississippi is deep red, Cochran barely survived a 2014 primary challenge from State Senator Chris McDaniel. The Tea Party favorite actually ran slightly ahead of Cochran in the first primary, then lost the runoff by only 7,500 votes. An open seat in Mississippi could trigger an intense fight that could wind up with a fringe candidate sufficiently unappealing to put that safe GOP seat in play. Just ask Alabama.​

    This speculation might seem morbid, but there’s a point that has to be kept in mind as the 2018 midterms loom.

    Beyond the traditional measurements—

    * generic ballots,

    * the president’s approval rating; and

    * the state of the economy—
    there are matters of fate that can and have played decisive roles in who takes the reins of power.

    And in a Senate so narrowly divided, those matters loom especially large; everything from:

    * a Supreme Court nomination to

    * the future of heath care to

    * the scope of financial and environmental regulation
    may hang on a single vote.

    Rest of the story:

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  22. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Camille likes this.
  23. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    BUT this will mean nothing if WE don’t take full advantage of the situation.

    Camille likes this.

    IT IS WHAT IT IS Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    get in there first and take it from there. all due respect, that defeatist mentality is one our biggest problems
  25. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    The top 10 House races to watch in 2018
    Key districts around the country that will define next year's battle for control of the House.


    12/25/2017 07:31 AM EST

    GOP Rep. Peter Roskam won reelection handily in 2016, but his Chicagoland district saw a big shift, with President Donald Trump losing it by 7 points after Mitt Romney carried the seat by 8 points in 2012. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

    House Republicans are in trouble heading into 2018.

    President Donald Trump’s unpopularity, voter distaste of Washington and a highly energized Democratic base have combined into a toxic brew for the GOP and its 24-seat House majority. A record number of Democratic candidates are piling into swing districts from Southern California to northern Maine and from the Florida Keys to suburban Seattle, and Republicans trail by double-digits in many national House polls.

    That gamble, which positions him outside national Democrats, hasn’t hurt him in Washington. The DCCC has already listed him as a top-tier candidate, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s PAC donated to Davis’ campaign.

    But ultimately, the battle for the House is a district-by-district affair. And a handful of seats scattered across the country reveal the trends that will dominate those battleground races for the next year, including huge Democratic primaries, Republicans’ growing suburban problem, and the outbreak of sexual misconduct allegations roiling more and more campaigns every week.

    Here are POLITICO’s 10 most important House races of 2018 — and why they matter in the battle for the House:

    • Illinois’ 6th District: Revenge of the suburbs

    GOP Rep. Peter Roskam won reelection handily in 2016, but his Chicagoland district saw a big shift, with President Donald Trump losing it by 7 points after Mitt Romney carried the seat by 8 points in 2012. And since Trump took office, elections in Virginia, New Jersey and a handful of congressional special elections around the country have seen local candidates fall to or even below Trump’s levels in the suburbs.

    That’s a big warning sign for Roskam and other Republicans in suburbs of New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Kansas City and more heading into 2018. Democrats have to wade through a crowded primary before they face Roskam. Kelly Mazeski, who picked up an EMILY’s List endorsement and raised the most money last quarter, is leading the pack, though anything can happen in a field of seven candidates. But even a bruised Democratic opponent may not stem the tide against Roskam and other suburban congressmen.

    “Increasingly socially progressive, suburban voters have been drifting away from the GOP for years,” said Ian Russell, former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee deputy executive director. “Trump dramatically accelerated this movement, and the tax bill will only further alienate them.”

    Utah’s 4th District: The reach seats

    Democrats are not just targeting suburban seats, though. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is among a growing cadre of Democratic candidates hoping to turn Trump country blue, along with Paul Davis, a former candidate for governor of Kansas.

    In Utah, McAdams won his first mayor’s race in 2012, when Mormon Republicans were out in force to back Mitt Romney. And while Romney got 60 percent in Salt Lake County, McAdams got 55 percent. “I have a reputation as someone who gets things done by working across party lines,” McAdams said, adding that he expects the same ticket-splitting in his bid against GOP Rep. Mia Love.

    These campaigns will look different than some “resistance”-style Democratic candidates around the country. Davis kicked off his campaign for Kansas’ open 2nd District seat by saying he wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi as speaker because “we need new leadership in both political parties,” he said. That gamble, which positions him outside national Democrats, hasn’t hurt him in Washington. The DCCC has already listed him as a top-tier candidate, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s PAC donated to Davis’ campaign.

    No district exemplifies the coming internecine fights quite like GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock’s, whose northern Virginia seat is trending increasingly blue. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

    • Virginia's 10th District: Enormous Democratic primaries

      Trump inspired a wave of candidates to run for Congress, including a lot of first-timers who have nevertheless raised big money in 2017. Now, many of them are preparing to battle one another in crowded primaries that could leave the winners weakened and drained of resources.

      No district exemplifies the coming internecine fights quite like GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock’s, whose Northern Virginia seat is trending increasingly blue. Five Democrats finished the last fundraising quarter with over $150,000 apiece and have established different bases of support. The Democratic veterans group VoteVets is backing Dan Helmer, while state legislators are supporting state Sen. Jennifer Wexton. Lindsey Davis Stover and Alison Friedman, both former Obama officials, have tapped those networks for help. Democrats argue that primaries gin up excitement and participation, but Republicans will be on watch for when these races inevitably get negative.

      California’s 39th District: The most expensive race of 2018?

      GOP Rep. Ed Royce’s district has never been a top Democratic target before — but Hillary Clinton carried it in 2016, and Democratic candidates have flooded in, including some who are spending their own personal fortunes.

      Six candidates running in this diversifying Southern California seat raised more than $4.1 million in one quarter last year, and there are still more than five months to go until the primary. Two Democrats — Andy Thorburn, a health insurance executive, and Gil Cisneros, a former naval officer who won the lottery — are self-funding much of their bids, while Mai Khanh Tran, a physician, has been endorsed by EMILY’s List. Meanwhile, Royce, a committee chairman, has been stockpiling campaign money for years preparing for the possibility of a strong challenge.

      All signs point to record spending here, as Democrats hope to chip into the Republican stronghold in suburban Southern California — and the cost of TV advertising in suburbs of major cities like Philadelphia, Seattle, Miami and Phoenix will drive up the price of campaigning in dozens of other districts around the country. So don’t forget your wallet.

      Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who was first elected in 2014, weathered $6 million in outside spending against him in this blue-leaning seat last year by creating distance from President Donald Trump. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

    • Florida’s 26th District: Can a moderate Hispanic Republican survive Trump?

      Hillary Clinton won this Miami enclave by 16 points, the largest margin in a district controlled by a Republican. Meanwhile, moderate Cuban-American Rep. Carlos Curbelo won it by just under 12 points. Curbelo, who was first elected in 2014, weathered $6 million in outside spending against him in this blue-leaning seat last year by creating distance from Trump.

      But Democrats hope that distance will evaporate now that Trump is the head of his party and the GOP is forced to defend 23 districts that Trump lost in 2016 — starting with Curbelo’s. Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who picked up an EMILY’s List endorsement, doesn’t face a contested primary, which felled Democrats’ favorite candidate last cycle. Whether Curbelo’s personal brand and efforts to separate from the president still work during the Trump administration will be a key question deciding the 2018 elections.

    • Minnesota’s 8th District: Democrats in Trumpland

      There is no question Democrats will be on offense in 2018. But under the radar, Republicans are optimistic about competing for a handful of Democratic-held seats that Trump won handily during the last election.

      Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) is used to this, having faced tough races in each of the last three elections. Some of his colleagues, like Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright, saw their districts turn sharply against their party in 2016 and will face tough challenges for the first time. Either way, their rural, predominantly white districts are quickly trending away from Democrats.

      Nolan still takes a progressive posture on some policies, like supporting Medicare for all. “I’m confident about my view on all of those issues and I don’t retreat from them, even though you’re getting pressure to retreat,” Nolan said. And Republican Pete Stauber, a St. Louis County commissioner, beat Nolan in fundraising last quarter. Cartwright, who was first elected in 2012, hasn’t faced a serious challenger before, and now he’s up against John Chrin, who nearly outraised him last quarter. If Republicans can win a handful of these districts, it will make Democrats’ efforts to net 24 seats and retake the House all the more difficult.

    • Texas’ 7th District: Are you awake yet?

      Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) has won his last nine congressional races by more than 56 percent, but the ground is moving underneath him and all signs point to him not recognizing that yet. He hasn’t hired a full-time campaign manager, The New York Times reported. And last quarter, he was outraised by not one, but two Democratic challengers — Alex Triantaphyllis and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.

      “Culberson has not been engaged with this community,” Triantaphyllis said. “Republicans do have reason to be concerned.”

      One of congressional Republicans’ big concerns heading into 2018 is whether candidates who have never faced a tough race before understand how bad the political environment is — and how it could end their careers. Culberson’s sluggishness mirrors former Florida Rep. John Mica, who also didn’t build out a campaign machinery to combat Stephanie Murphy, who beat him by 3 points last year.

    • Nevada’s 4th District: Sexual harassment in 2018

      Three battleground seats were upended by sexual harassment scandals in the last month. Two leading Democratic candidates in Kansas and Pennsylvania dropped out of their primaries. Andrea Ramsey exited after a 2005 harassment suit surfaced, while former staffers accused state Sen. Daylin Leach of inappropriate touching. In Nevada, Rep. Ruben Kihuen said he wouldn’t run for reelection after a former campaign aide and a former lobbyist said that he sexually harassed them.

      They’re still battleground seats in a year that favors Democrats, but they might be heavier lifts without an incumbent and the taint of sexual harassment scandals. More broadly, they could be just the first of many campaigns derailed by sexual misconduct over the next year.

    • New York’s 24th District: Who’s afraid of John Katko?

      While Democrats have seen a flood of interested candidates in battleground districts around the country, there are still a few holes in the roster.

      GOP Rep. John Katko’s seat has been a top Democratic target since he captured it in 2014, but he has not drawn a top-tier Democratic challenger for 2018 yet after huge victories in his last two races. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner continues to toy with the idea, and she said she is reconsidering it since Katko supported the GOP tax bill. California Rep. David Valadao is another Clinton-district Republican who hasn’t seen the same glut of Democratic challengers as many of his colleagues.

      Watch some holes in the Republican recruitment map, too: The Congressional Leadership Fund said it plans to target Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack for the first time, after Trump carried his district last year, but no serious Republican contenders have launched bids against Loebsack yet.

    • Iowa’s 1st District: Democrats’ old path meets their new campaigns

      Ever since Democrats lost the House majority in 2010, they’ve seen Iowa as a key piece of the path back. But the state has gotten only more Republican since then, with the GOP holding three of four House seats and Trump crushing Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.

      In 2018, Abby Finkenauer — a state legislator who hails from a union family and is challenging GOP Rep. Rod Blum — is the Democrats' best hope to make a comeback in the state’s delegation. Trump won the seat by 3 points, but former President Barack Obama carried it twice before that. More critically, Democrats would love to diversify their chances of a House win beyond a suburban sweep, given how strong some Republican incumbents are in those districts. Finkenauer’s roots in the union community and renewed Democratic enthusiasm could put her over the top, but Blum and the GOP will hope that the party’s recent gains in blue-collar districts in Iowa, Wisconsin and elsewhere can withstand a tough political environment.

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  26. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    The top 10 Senate races of 2018

    Democrats have the momentum, but Republicans are still favored to hold the chamber because of a favorable map.


    A brutal political environment for Republicans — along with some potential missteps by Nevada's Dean Heller — make him the most vulnerable senator in 2018. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    Republicans entered 2017 dreaming of dramatically expanding their Senate majority. But after a bruising year capped off by Democrat Doug Jones' upset victory in Alabama, the GOP is staring at a 2018 with diminished ambitions.

    Still, the GOP will be on offense in 2018. Despite a favorable political environment driven by President Donald Trump's poor public standing, Democrats still only have two real pick-up opportunities next November, in Nevada and Arizona. Texas? Too expensive to attack with so much ground to defend. Tennessee? The party landed its dream recruit in former Gov. Phil Bredesen, but Trump won the state by 26 points in 2016.

    While the field is tilted toward Democrats, the map still isn't. Democrats are still defending five states Trump won by double-digits, and another five he won more narrowly. In some of these states (Pennsylvania, Michigan), public polling has indicated Trump’s popularity is slipping and there’s a population of college-educated voters who dislike the president to lift Democratic incumbents. Polling in other states (Missouri and Indiana) indicate the president is holding strong and will likely be an asset for GOP candidates.

    Here’s POLITICO’s list of the top 10 Senate races of 2018, ranked by how likely they are to change parties:

    1. Nevada — GOP Sen. Dean Heller running for reelection

    Hillary Clinton only won Nevada by 4 points last year, while Trump won some of the Democratic-held states on this list by much larger margins. But a brutal political environment for Republicans — along with some potential missteps by Heller — make him the most vulnerable senator in 2018. Heller’s dramatic reversal of Obamacare repeal — staunchly opposing its initial versions, only to support Graham-Cassidy — was seemingly tailor-made for Democratic admakers, even if it helps him fend off Danny Tarkanian, his conservative primary challenger. Republicans will try to tie Rep. Jacky Rosen, his likely Democratic opponent, to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. But it’s unclear that’s a winning strategy in a blue-tinted state in a Democratic year.

    7. Ohio — Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown running for reelection

    A likely rematch of Brown's 2012 victory over state Treasurer Josh Mandel will be fought on altered terrain. That year, Brown appealed to the same blue-collar voters that embraced Trump in 2016. Mandel, meanwhile, has spent the past six years making as many enemies as allies in GOP politics: He endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio over his home-state governor, John Kasich, and hasn’t endeared himself to Republicans in Washington. If he defeats businessman Mike Gibbons in the primary, Mandel, a strong fundraiser, will have the money to challenge Brown across Ohio’s expensive television markets.

    8. Florida — Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson running for reelection

    GOP Gov. Rick Scott is crucial to his party's 2018 Senate strategy. If the two-term governor enters the race, his showdown with Nelson will instantly become one of the nation's marquee Senate races. Republicans imagine Scott, who has immense personal wealth and is a strong fundraiser, outspending Nelson and forcing Democratic groups to spend in Florida’s multiple expensive markets, limiting their ability to defend other incumbents or go on offense. But if Scott doesn’t run, both parties expect Nelson will more or less cruise to reelection. When might Scott announce his decision? "[H]e'll make [an announcement] when he damn well wants," a political adviser told POLITICOearlier this year.

    9. Montana — Democratic Sen. Jon Tester running for reelection
    Of the triumvirate of Manchin, Heitkamp and Tester mentioned earlier, both parties think Tester is the safest for now. Trump's 56 percent vote share in Montana is smaller than in North Dakota or West Virginia. Tester, who returns from D.C. to work on his farm every weekend, has a strong brand. The front-runner to challenge him is state Auditor Matt Rosendale, but he’ll have to defeat businessman and veteran Troy Downing, and a number of other Republicans, in a primary.
    10. Wisconsin — Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin running for reelection

    Republicans in Wisconsin, who have taken over state government and helped guide Sen. Ron Johnson to an upset win in 2016, will insist Baldwin should be higher on this list. Baldwin is clearly left of the state’s political center. But she can also emphasize her points of agreement with Trump on trade, outsourcing and other issues. Wisconsin (along with Pennsylvania and Minnesota, two other Rust Belt states in which Trump made gains that have Democratic senators facing reelection in 2018), also has a significant population of suburban white college-educated voters who have turned against Republicans in special elections this year. State Sen. Leah Vukmir and businessman and veteran Kevin Nicholson are competing in the primary to take on Baldwin.

    Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas

    Democrats expected Sen. Debbie Stabenow to stay safe in Michigan, although Republicans warn veteran John James could be a stronger-than-expected candidate if he wins the GOP primary. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will take over one of Minnesota’s Senate seats from Al Franken at the start of January, and she could face a tough race if former Gov. Tim Pawlenty gets in. In a worse political environment, Sen. Bob Menendez’s recent trial on corruption changes might make his New Jersey seat vulnerable. Right now, he should be safe unless the Justice Department decides to retry him. Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey’s rhetoric has moved dramatically to the left heading into his reelection bid, but he’ll start with a big cash on hand advantage over Rep. Lou Barletta, a Trump ally. Bredesen is a top-flight recruit for Democrats in Tennessee, but whether the state will still embrace his moderate Democratic brand is up in the air. Rep. Beto O'Rourke is campaigning hard against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, but the state is likely too expensive for Democrats to help him.
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    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking♥️ Super Moderator

    Major Democratic Donor Tom Steyer Outlines his Plans for the 2018 Midterms.

    We're in Washington, D.C. as major Democratic donor Tom Steyer outlines his plans for the 2018 midterms. Steyer has spent millions on ads pushing for the impeachment of Pres. Donald J. Trump, who in response called him "wacky & totally unhinged."
  28. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Rash of retirements dim GOP hopes of keeping the House

    Democratic momentum is building as Reps. Darrell Issa and Ed Royce become the
    latest Republicans to hang it up.


    A flurry of Republican retirements in recent weeks has further weakened the party’s hold on the House heading into the midterms — and the exodus probably isn’t over.

    California GOP Reps. Darrell Issa and Ed Royce both bailed on their reelection campaigns in the past 48 hours, bringing the total of Republican-held open seats to a staggering 29 districts, a figure that includes lawmakers seeking higher offices. The Issa and Royce retirements open up seats that Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 presidential race and will be more difficult — and expensive — for Republicans to defend, particularly if the party is swept under a Democratic wave.

    “There’s no putting lipstick on that: They’re both competitive districts,” Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in an interview Wednesday.

    Stivers, who said he believes the party will keep control of the House, still cautioned that more retirements could be coming — a statement likely to rattle Republicans’ nerves.

    “We’re talking to a handful [of members],” Stivers said. “There’s not much hand-holding now because people have pretty much made their decision. Filing days are coming, so I think we’re pretty much through it.”

    Those pending filing deadlines — California’s is on March 9 — mean members who have been on the fence, or who are facing dauntingly poor poll numbers, could join Issa and Royce in heading for the exits in the coming weeks. The early indicators of a wave election are glaring: Democrats won a handful of off-year and special elections in 2017. Even where they fell short of victory, the party performed better than expected. President Donald Trump’s approval ratings are stuck around 40 percent. And Democrats have a double-digit lead on the House generic ballot in most polls.

    “This is the final window, so I expect the next month or so, we’ll see the last wave of retirements,” said former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who chaired the NRCC for two cycles in the 1990s and 2000s. “This is not 2006, and it’s not 1994 yet. But I do think the atmospherics are factored into these members rationale for retiring.”

    The 44 House members not seeking reelection this year — 29 in Republican-held seats and 15 in Democratic-held seats — puts 2018 in the company of past wave-year elections when control of the House changed hands.

    In 1994, 49 House members retired and Republicans netted 54 seats, according to Brookings Institution's Vital Statistics on Congress. In 2006, 28 lawmakers retired and Democrats picked up 30 seats. And in 2010, 32 members retired and Republicans won 63 seats.

    Not all Republican retirements carry the same weight in the battle for the House. Some committee chairmen calling it quits are prevented by internal party rules from remaining at the helm of their committees in the next Congress if Republicans hold the majority. Those include Reps. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Lamar Smith (Texas), Bob Goodlatte (Va.), Bill Shuster (Pa.) and Gregg Harper (Miss.) — each of whom represent safe Republican seats.

    But Issa and Royce — along with retiring Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Dave Reichert (Wash.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Dave Trott (Mich.) and Frank LoBiondo (N.J.) — represent competitive districts. Clinton carried the seats currently held by Issa, Royce, Ros-Lehtinen and Reichert. A fifth GOP-held Clinton seat will likely open up later this week, with Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) expected to announce she will run for the Senate.

    Taken together, Republicans see all the retirements and open seats as an indication that the 2018 elections are likely to follow historical patterns: The president’s party loses, on average, 23 seats in the House in the first midterm election of a new administration, going back to Franklin Roosevelt.

    “It’s obviously the sign of an ugly cycle ahead,” said Adrian Gray, a Republican pollster. “Oftentimes, these ugly cycles appear early, and people see writing on the wall.”

    Davis, the former NRCC chair, agreed.

    “Every time another Republican retires, it makes it better for House Democrats — no denying that,” he said. “This is not what you want to see because, when we’ve seen these types of retirements in the past, as a general rule, a bad year follows.”

    Democrats must also contend with a handful of open battleground seats. Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen is running for Senate, Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz is running for governor and New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is retiring. All three represent districts that Trump carried in 2016.

    The sheer number of GOP open seats isn’t only troubling for what it portends historically, though. The vacancies force Republicans to spend heavily in a growing number of districts without the advantages of incumbents’ built-in name recognition and fundraising network.

    Republicans believe their fundraising — bolstered by strong money hauls by the Congressional Leadership Fund, the flagship House GOP super PAC —serves as a firewall against an energized liberalbase and long list of open seats. Congressional Leadership Fund and its associated nonprofit, American Action Network, announced this week that they had raked in $66 million over the course of 2017.

    “Any time you've got to recruit new candidates and raise money from the ground up, it’s a more expensive proposition. But Republicans are posting historic numbers, and they’ve seen this coming from a mile away,” said Chris Grant, a Republican consultant. “To that the extent there’s any storm, they’re prepared to weather it.”

    That storm is easy to see building, even if the long-range forecast for November is less clear. Trump’s approval rating is just under 40 percent in the RealClearPolitics average. Democrats have an 11.5-point lead on the generic ballot, on average — a lead consistent with making up the two-dozen seats the party needs to win control later this year.

    Trump’s poll numbers were warning signs for Issa and Royce in California, said Rob Stutzman, a GOP consultant there.

    “There’s no denying that this is real evidence of how difficult Republican success can be in California,” said Stutzman. “But as with retirements elsewhere, for Republicans in districts that Trump lost, [Trump's] performance is a substantial factor.”

    Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Wednesday that the retirements on Issa, a very wealthy self-funder, and Royce, who had $3.5 million in his campaign account as of Sept. 30, are signs that some Republicans are deciding money can’t save them.

    “Momentum is on our side as Democrats this cycle. History is on our side. But while I see a clear path to the majority, these are all tough elections,” Luján said. “But the very nature that you see members of Congress in California [retiring] like Congressman Royce and Congressman Issa — both who have robust resources in their reelection accounts as well as personal wealth — I think sends a loud signal.”

    Stivers, his GOP counterpart, acknowledged that “history is against us, and the presidential polling, too.” But he noted that Democrats failed to flip any GOP-held districts in special elections last year.

    Despite the retirements, Stivers said Wednesday he thinks that Democrats are still “10 to 15 seats short” of really putting the House up for grabs.

    “They’re getting more seats in play,” Stivers added. “I think at this point they need another 10 to 15 seats [to put the House] in play. They’re still not there yet. But they’re moving in the right direction, clearly.”

    Heather Caygle and Steven Shepard contributed to this report.

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  29. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    Wisconsin Upset Raises Hopes for Democrats in 2018 Races

    © Patty for Senate Campaign, via Associated Press Patty Schachtner, a Democrat and the St. Croix County medical
    examiner, defeated Representative Adam Jarchow, a Republican, in a special election for a Wisconsin State Senate

    A Wisconsin Democrat won a State Senate seat on Tuesday night that had been held by a Republican for 17 years, setting off a flurry of political predictions across a state that President Trump won.

    Republicans warned that it was a “wake up” call for their party as elections loom in the fall, while Democrats cheered the upset victory as a sign of hope that Wisconsin was back in contention.

    In the state’s first special election of 2018, Patty Schachtner, a Democrat and the St. Croix County medical examiner, beat Representative Adam Jarchow, a Republican member of the State Assembly, by nine percentage points, according to preliminary election returns, decisively taking the seat in a rural western region near the Minnesota border.

    “Everything is in play now,” Melanie Conklin, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said on Wednesday. “This is a district that has been a very red district for a long time, and the numbers last night were very blue.”

    The election comes at a tense political moment for the state, with a governor’s race and United States Senate seat at stake in the fall; questions about gerrymandering of state political maps in the courts; and with political observers around the nation watching all sorts of local and state races for signs of what 2018 races may bring for both parties.

    In Wisconsin, political analysts and others by Wednesday were weighing how much to make of the outcome here: Should this be seen as merely meaningful as a local election with issues unique to a single district, or as a larger sign of what Republicans should expect ahead?

    Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican who won election in 2010 and is seeking re-election in November, took to Twitter on Tuesday night with a somewhat ominous assessment: “Senate District 10 special election win by a Democrat is a wake up call for Republicans in Wisconsin,” he wrote. “Can’t presume that voters know we are getting positive things done in Wisconsin. Help us share the good news.”

    Speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, said: “Typically, we’ve held this seat, and we lost this seat last night. So, yeah, I think we should pay attention to it.”

    HER MESSAGE: For her part, Ms. Schachtner attributed her victory to a positive tone of her campaign amid negative mailers from outside the state. “My message has always been be kind, be considerate and we need to help people when they’re down,” she told The Associated Press.

    The state has seen its share of political tumult over the past decade: The State Capitol was controlled by Democrats before Mr. Walker’s election in 2010, when Republicans also took control of both chambers.

    Once they held a majority, Republicans redrew legislative districts in their favor. The Supreme Court is now considering whether the redistricting of the State Assembly violates the Constitution.

    In 2016, Mr. Trump won Wisconsin by less than one percentage point; in St. Croix County, he beat Hillary Clinton by 17 percentage points. The district has typically leaned Republican, though Barack Obama won it in 2008. The 10th district, which includes parts of five counties, hugs the western border of the state, just across from the Twin Cities.

    In another special election in Wisconsin on Tuesday, Rick Gundrum, a Republican, beat a Democratic challenger by 14 percentage points in a heavily Republican district northwest of Milwaukee.


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  30. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

    QueEx likes this.
  31. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

  32. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

    I can't speak on the quality of the candidates but here is a list:

    Click the first tweet and follow down:
  33. Camille

    Camille Kitchen Wench #TeamTots #TeamQuaid Super Moderator

    QueEx likes this.
  34. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    Republican campaign arm intensifies incumbent protection efforts

    February 16, 2018 05:00 AM

    As Republicans brace for a challenging midterm election cycle, the National Republican Congressional Committee is boosting another round of candidates who will receive assistance through a program dedicated to incumbents in competitive seats.

    The NRCC's "Patriot program" gives additional structural aid to designated incumbents in targeted races, including by expanding fundraising opportunities. The committee will announce Friday that the latest additions to the NRCC program, in its third wave of the cycle, are Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky, Rep. Mike Bishop of Michigan, Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois, Rep. John Culberson of Texas and Rep. Scott Taylor of Virginia.

    The announcement comes as Republicans grapple with a number of retirements in competitive seats, and historical trends suggest trouble for the president's party in the midterms.

    "The NRCC is proud not only to back these Patriots, but to do everything in our power to ensure they can continue to serve their communities in Congress," NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement.

    Other Republicans already in the program include Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Reps. David Valadao and Jeff Denham of California, and Rep. Will Hurd of Texas. The full list can be found here.

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a similar program, known as the Frontline effort. Their list of candidates is here.

    Read more here:

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  35. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Should we be promoting donations, or not ?!?


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