NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers (R-OH 15) “took a brief victory lap … after locking down the last of four House special elections for his party. … ‘I’d love to see where their momentum is at 0 and 4,’ Stivers said when asked what the race said about Democrats’ prospects of taking the House in 2018. ‘They poured $33 million into this seat and came away short. That just goes to show you that when you spend $33 million but you talk about issues that the American people don’t believe, you can’t win.’” (Politico)
“In a nearly 1,600-word Wednesday morning memo” from DCCC Chair Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM 01) to DCCC “staff … the New Mexico congressman shared polling conducted between late March and mid-June showing Democrats in position to make gains in a handful of competitive seats held by Republicans. Explaining that in some cases the pollsters tested specific Democratic challengers against Republican incumbents, Lujan said “many incumbents — who won with double digits last cycle — would be in the race of their careers, including” Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ 02), Brian Mast (R-FL 18), Kevin Yoder (R-KS 03), and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ 11).
“Lujan also told staff that starting this week, senior aides and allies will be deployed into target districts to ramp up candidate recruitment, and that Lujan himself is planning trips to states including Maine, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri.” (Politico)
LOOKING BACK. From former DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel (D) and former White House policy adviser Bruce Reed: “So how can Democrats ensure that 2018 delivers the success they failed to achieve in 2016? The stakes are too high to rely entirely on one side’s enthusiasm or the other side’s disenchantment. … Democrats don’t just need to choose the right battles, they also need to choose credible candidates who can win them. Candidate quality may not make the difference in a place like Montana’s at-large district, where Greg Gianforte won handily just hours after assaulting a reporter. Winning hotly contested swing seats, however, requires candidates who closely match their districts—even if they don’t perfectly align with the national party’s activist base.” (The Atlantic)
What We're Following See More »
"The Senate was expected to be back in session at noon, while House lawmakers were told to return to work for a 9 a.m. session. Mr. Trump on Friday had canceled plans to travel to his private resort on Palm Beach, Fla., where a celebration had been planned for Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office."
"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."