After push back from progressives that the new DNC transition advisory committee didn’t include enough liberals, “Sanders campaign veteran Melissa Byrne, who ran for DNC vice chair,” was asked to join. “And an updated press release reported that Nebraska Democratic Party chair Jane Kleeb, a Sanders supporter and Ellison supporter, was added to the committee.” (Washington Post)
2018 PRIMARIES. Earlier this year, Cenk Uygur, the host of lefty web series The Young Turks “launched ‘Justice Democrats,’ a project designed to replace ‘corporate’ incumbents with primary challengers.” (Washington Post)
“Justice Democrats’ unusual approach lets anyone nominate potential candidates online. They say they’ve received 8,300 nominations so far and raised $1 million with virtually no marketing. And they claim a large group of volunteers with experience on campaigns who will help coordinate a central political infrastructure to support their entire slate.” (NBC News)
BRAZILE ADMISSION. In an op-ed in TIME about Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee, former chairwoman Donna Brazile said she did send Hillary Clinton CNN town hall questions in advance. Brazile wrote: “My job was to make all our Democratic candidates look good, and I worked closely with both campaigns to make that happen. But sending those emails was a mistake I will forever regret.” (TIME)
“Hillary Clinton said she was ‘ready to come out of the woods’ during a St. Patrick’s Day speech on Friday night in Pennsylvania in front of an overflow crowd — an indication that she plans to shed the low profile she has kept since the election.” (New York Times)
2020 WATCH. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been holding more press availabilities lately, signaling a change of heart after being notoriously press averse. Over the years Warren’s media avoidance has allowed her to avoid questions such as who she voted for in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. (Politico)
“Trump said in an interview Saturday night” with Fox News “that he would gladly run against Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2020, calling that scenario ‘a dream come true.’” (Washington Examiner)
“Montana Democrats brought in” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), “one of their national party’s rising stars to headline their annual” fundraising dinner this weekend, “but the hundreds who gathered Saturday wanted to hear more from one of their own: musician Rob Quist, who must convince fellow Democrats that he can win back the state’s only congressional seat and help national Democrats push back against the Republican tide.” (AP)
Booker’s appearance in Montana was a reminder that some of the Democratic Party’s center of gravity is in the west these days, with leaders including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) leading efforts to oppose President Donald Trump. (Politico)
PRIORITIES USA IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. Priorities USA “has begun a paid digital ad campaign focusing on key New Hampshire Senate supporters of legislation to substantially tighten the state’s voter ID and registration process.” The super PAC “is launching ads on social media sites Twitter and Facebook urging voters to tell the Republican-controlled state Legislature to defeat Senate Bill 3, which it views as a restrictive ‘voter suppression’ bill.” (WMUR-TV)
STATE PARTY LEADERSHIP. Arkansas Democrats will elect a new state party chair this week. “The front-runners in the race for party chairman are House Minority Leader Michael John Gray, an Augusta farmer, and Denise Garner of Fayetteville, an executive at a nonprofit. Each says the future of the party will rely on empowering a base of county offices.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
In Indiana, “John Zody was re-elected Saturday as the Indiana Democratic Party chairman, staving off challenges from two other candidates.” (Northwest Indiana Times)
VIRGINIA DEMOCRATS. “Eric Holder, who served as U.S. attorney general under President Barack Obama and who is taking a lead role in a national Democratic redistricting effort, will headline the state Democratic party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in June.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
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"President Trump's deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh is leaving her current position to work with political groups whose help the White House is seeking as it plows ahead with an ambitious agenda, two sources familiar with the move told the Washington Examiner." On the one hand, Walsh is said to be a master fundraiser. On the other, she's butted heads with many of her colleagues in the White House.
Sen. John McCain is looking to strike a deal with Senate Democrats that would confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, while preserving the right of the minority party to filibuster some nominations. McCain is trying to reprise the "Gang of 14" deal, which temporarily preserved the 60-vote threshold for lower-court nominees. This time around, "a deal would require eight Democrats to vote to advance the nomination in return for a promise that in the future they would be able to block a nominee in extraordinary circumstances." But McCain admitted he's not optimistic.
The GOP held open for more than an hour a vote on a measure that would "allow states to block federal family-planning funds to Planned Parenthood." Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is recovering from back surgery, was summoned to the floor to make the vote 50-50, after which Vice President Pence broke the tie in favor of the measure. Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were the lone Republicans to vote against it.
"Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in an interview to be broadcast early Thursday said he does not want to work with Democrats on healthcare legislation, breaking with President Trump's recent comments."