“[N]early three quarters of the 33 states facing budget shortfalls this fiscal year and next will elect governors by November 2018.”
“Republicans are … blaming two Democratic governors on the ballot next year for their respective states’ delays. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) skipped the NGA summit to continue talks with the legislature and Republican Speaker Mike Turzai, a likely challenger. Rhode Island state Rep. Joe Trillo (R), who is exploring a bid for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo, said … that a budget standoff … ‘shows no leadership’ from the governor. Raimondo countered Saturday that the onus was on Democratic legislators to ‘do their job, pass a budget, and put people first.’”
“Democratic candidates are also targeting a pair of red states, Kansas and Oklahoma, where term-limited GOP governors have grappled with structural deficits.
Term-limited Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) “faced opposition during negotiations from members of both parties who are eyeing her job. … Fallin called state House Democratic Leader Scott Inman, a 2018 candidate, an “obstructionist” because he “chose to lock up his caucus” against her proposals. And Republican Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb quit the Cabinet when Fallin proposed increasing fees to balance the budget. ‘The lieutenant governor, he’s been running for governor for a long period of time, and it’s just a political decision he had to make,’ Fallin said.”
The chairs of the DGA and RGA, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), both govern states that have yet to pass a budget.
Other notable incumbents who have grappled with budget issues: Govs. Bruce Rauner (R) of Illinois, Bill Walker (I) of Alaska, Charlie Baker (R) of Massachusetts, and Andrew Cuomo (D) of New York. (National Journal)
ROY’S THEIR BOY. Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and former Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL) “are among those who’ve debriefed with” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), “and DNC chair Tom Perez has expressed interest in learning from” his 2016 victory. (Politico)
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"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.
"The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms. Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of 'Project Lakhta,' a foreign influence operation they said was designed 'to sow discord in the U.S. political system' by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and the National Football League national-anthem protests."