Debate over the future of the military’s Guantanamo Bay detention center, and the candidates’ past actions related to that base in Cuba, “continued to dominate the race” 8/31.
Ex-Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who “was the chief prosecutor there” until ‘07, “bashed” ex-Sen. Dan Coats (R) over a TV ad Coats is airing in which he says he would oppose moving detainees to U.S. soil. His complaint: The lobbying firm for which Coats worked for five years also employed two lawyers who represented detainees on a pro bono basis — a fact Davis says caused the Coats ad to strike him as “the ultimate hypocrisy.”
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On a call arranged by Rep. Brad Ellsworth’s (D-08) camp, Davis pointed to the firm’s ‘09 annual report, which specifically mentions its pro bono work on behalf of six Yemen natives held in Guantanamo and its efforts to have those detainees tried in the U.S. According to Coats spokesperson Pete Seat, Coats was not aware the firm was representing those detainees.
Meanwhile, the Coats camp “continued its criticism” of Ellsworth, saying he brought on a surrogate to talk about Coats’ lobbying work because he is afraid to address the issue of whether he supports moving those Guantanamo detainees into the U.S.
Ellsworth spokesperson Liz Farrar said Ellsworth has not rejected the possibility of transferring some Guantanamo detainees into the U.S. for trial. She said he is open to considering ways to deal with detainees on a case-by-case basis, as the military says is appropriate (Bradner, Evansville Courier & Press, 9/1).
Coats said Ellsworth’s vote in support of closing Guantanamo was “poor judgment on his part, and another in a long list of votes and decisions that pretty much rubber-stamped whatever the Obama-Pelosi agenda called for.”
Coats said Ellsworth’s campaign has misrepresented his connection to the attys who worked on behalf of a half-dozen detainees at Guantanamo. Coats: “This was a service done by two lawyers out of 800 and some lawyers in offices around the country. … I didn’t even know these people were lawyers from King & Spalding until the other day” (Allen, South Bend Tribune, 9/1).
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"A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race."
In a statement, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH 12) confirmed a New York Times report that he would resign to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. "While I have not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018."
"The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level" since March 1973. According to the Labor Department Thursday, "claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 to 222,000." Additionally, "the less volatile four-week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250, lowest since late August."