A single party controls the legislature and the governor’s mansion in 37 states, many of which are so liberal or conservative that either Democrats or Republicans hold permanent majorities. And that pushes some parties and advocacy groups that have little to do with each other in Washington together at the state level.
— The results have shown in recent primaries. The League of Conservation Voters and its Idaho state league celebrated big victories in last month’s Republican primaries, funding independent campaigns to boost two state legislative candidates against a state rep. and state sen. who were among local enviros’ biggest opponents.
— LCV has only endorsed a few federal Republicans in the last six years — only Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) in 2012, plus defeated ex-Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) — but it’s still working with GOPers at a state and local level. In Alabama, the state teachers’ union helped push three Republicans through state House primaries — though it spent about $7 million to do it and got shut out in state Senate primaries.
— Typically Republican-aligned groups work the same angles in Democratic-dominated states. The California Chamber of Commerce, for example, picked sides (and won) in several 2012 state Assembly general elections pitting two Democrats against each other, but it had been involved boosting moderate Democrats in primaries long before the state’s top-two primary.
Political alliances between parties and some of the big advocacy groups may seem cut and dry in Washington, but there’s another level of complexity in the states — especially where one-party rule naturally limits who you can work with.
— Scott Bland
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A Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, one of several such islands at the center of territorial disputes with other nearby nations. The U.S. called it a "freedom of navigation exercise." Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang "said China had lodged stern representations to the U.S over the patrol and that such moves were not conducive to peace and stability in the South China Sea."
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican candidate for the state's lone House seat, was cited for misdemeanor assault Wednesday night after he allegedly body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. Jacobs entered a room in which Gianforte was preparing to give an interview to Fox News, and asked Gianforte about the recently released CBO score on health care legislation, at which point, according to an account from Fox News's Alicia Acuna, Gianforte put both hands around Jacobs's neck and slammed him to the ground. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office put out a statement saying there was probable cause for the citation but not the injuries required for it to be considered a felony. Gianforte's aide put out an erroneous statement saying Jacobs grabbed Gianforte by the wrist after aggressively putting a recorder in Gianforte's face.