SPOTLIGHT

Political TV Premiere Season

Aug. 12, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

It’s that time of year: The party com­mit­tees are hit­ting the air­waves, join­ing can­did­ates and su­per PACs on TV. The NR­CC and DCCC got in­to the act today in three of this cycle’s most in­ter­est­ing GOP-held seats. — Re­pub­lic­an strategists con­sist­ently cite FL-02‘s Gwen Gra­ham (D) as the top Demo­crat­ic chal­lenger of the cycle, and now the NR­CC is mak­ing her the first tar­get of its fall in­de­pend­ent ex­pendit­ure pro­gram. One of Gra­ham’s strengths is her lack of a polit­ic­al re­cord, but that didn’t stop the NR­CC from con­nect­ing her to Obama­care and Nancy Pelosi. That’s been the GOP play­book against out­sider Demo­crats for the past few elec­tions, with mixed res­ults. — Mean­while, House Demo­crats headed to the north­east to launch their IE pro­gram. The DCCC isn’t run­ning ads against in­dicted Rep. Mi­chael Grimm (R) to run up the score; this race is far from over des­pite the Re­pub­lic­an’s leg­al troubles. That’s partly be­cause those troubles haven’t sank in yet in the crowded NYC me­dia mar­ket, which is what the DCCC is go­ing to spend its time and money on while Domen­ic Rec­chia (D) tries to over­come the gap between Staten Is­land, which dom­in­ates the dis­trict, and his ho­met­own Brook­lyn. — In NJ-03, a dis­trict with a long stretch of coast­line af­fected by Su­per­storm Sandy, the DCCC is pick­ing up where Tom Ma­cAr­thur‘s (R) primary op­pon­ent left off, hit­ting Ma­cAr­thur as a dis­aster in­sur­ance prof­it­eer. The ex­pens­ive Phil­adelphia me­dia mar­ket proved too costly for the DCCC to make a worth­wile TV in­vest­ment there last cycle, but open NJ-03 is prov­ing too en­ti­cing an op­por­tun­ity to pass up, even though Ma­cAr­thur’s per­son­al money gives him an ad­vant­age in the race. (Un­less the DCCC turns it in­to a weak­ness, that is.) Though all 3 tar­get dis­tricts are GOP-held, the IE cam­paigns will soon ex­pand in­to many Demo­crat­ic seats. And this com­mit­tee activ­ity ap­plies to the Sen­ate, too: The NR­SC re­leased a new spot in Geor­gia today link­ing Michelle Nunn (D) and Pres­id­ent Obama, and it’s set to be­gin ad­vert­ising in Iowa in two weeks, fol­low­ing the DSCC in­to the race. Around the coun­try, in the House and the Sen­ate, the gen­er­al elec­tion is truly here.— Scott Bland

What We're Following See More »
ATTACHED TO UNRELATED BILL
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"House Republicans have gone back to the drawing board on end-of-year tax legislation. On Monday morning they introduced new legislative text to reform retirement savings, delay Obamacare-related taxes, and provide technical corrections to the tax overhaul law they passed last year. If enacted, the bill would also provide tax benefits for communities that have suffered through natural disasters, including last month’s wildfires in California." The measure is attached to "a separate but unrelated bill to clear its potential path to becoming law."

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SAYS THEY'RE BLACKMAILING HIM
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"The conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi filed a lawsuit on Sunday accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of blackmailing him to lie about President Donald Trump in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The suit, which seeks $350 million in actual and punitive damages in U.S. District Court in Washington, was filed six days after Corsi entered a formal complaint with the Justice Department alleging prosecutorial misconduct by Mueller." Corsi alleges that Mueller illegally leaked information from the grand jury, and that Mueller's team "threatened him with prison unless he agreed to testify falsely that he served as a liaison between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the Republican political strategist Roger Stone."

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BOTH SIDES' POSITIONS HAVE HARDENED OVER BORDER
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COHEN ASSISTING INVESTIGATION
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In the wake of Michael Cohen's guilty plea, "the federal prosecutors in Manhattan shifted their attention to what role, if any, Trump Organization executives played in the campaign finance violations, according to people briefed on the matter. Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s self-described fixer, has provided assistance in that inquiry, which is separate from the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III."

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FINANCIAL CRIMES, PLUS LYING TO CONGRESS
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"Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, should receive a “substantial” prison term of roughly four years, federal prosecutors in New York said on Friday. Mr. Cohen, 52, is to be sentenced in Manhattan for two separate guilty pleas: one for campaign finance violations and financial crimes charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, and the other for lying to Congress in the Russia inquiry, filed by Mr. Mueller’s office."

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