After Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) wasn’t invited to a day-long New England Maker Summit on Nov. 17, he “used the snub in an emailed solicitation for contributions under the heading, ‘The fix is in.’
“By day’s end, all seven politicians were disinvited in an email that made no mention of Drew’s complaint that he was being ‘blackballed’ from a debate. … Drew said a debate involving politicians from both parties would have been unusual. More conventional are two separate events scheduled for December, one for Democrats and another for Republicans. They will be the first opportunity for political activists to see the candidates and potential candidates side by side.” (Connecticut Mirror)
LIMITS OF A TRUMP BACKLASH. “Connecticut Democrats are approaching the pivotal election year of 2018 with distinct advantages in money, organization, voter registration, and a base energized in large measure by the backlash against Donald J. Trump, as was demonstrated last week in municipal elections.
“But beneath those advantages runs a deep current of dissatisfaction with” Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) and the state’s “General Assembly over the state’s chronic fiscal struggles and its inability to fully rebound from the Great Recession of 2008, an economic and psychic shock resonating a decade later. … Connecticut is a state that is teetering politically. Reliably blue in presidential and congressional elections, it is a battleground at the State Capitol. Malloy’s election as governor in 2010 was the first by a Democrat since 1986, his winning margin of 6,404 votes was the smallest in 56 years, and he is ending the penultimate year of his final term with an approval rating higher than only one other governor”—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). Without a Democratic front-runner, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (D) “has struggled to decide whether to join the race, as has House Republican leader Themis Klarides.” (Connecticut Mirror)
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President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, kicking off a widely-anticipated diplomatic summit that "consists of a one-on-one meeting and a larger working lunch, and will conclude with a joint news conference." During his opening remarks, President Trump did not mention Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, instead focusing on the World Cup, China and nuclear weapons. His one-on-one meeting with Putin is expected to last around 90 minutes.
"The mercurial veteran GOP political operative, Roger Stone, has acknowledged that he is the unnamed Trump campaign regular who corresponded with an alleged Russian hacker, as described in a new indictment against a dozen Russians returned Friday by a federal grand jury." He told ABC News that he previously admitted to the contact to House investigators. He called the correspondence "benign."
"A dozen Russian intelligence officers have been charged with conspiring" to hack into Democratic organizations, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and state election boards and private companies providing ballot verifying software for the 2016 presidential election, announced Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The Russians corresponded "with several Americans," Rosenstein said, who clarified that there was "no allegation in this indictment" that the Americans knew they were speaking with Russian hackers.
"President Trump described the European Union as 'a foe' in an interview with CBS News on Sunday, ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland. "I think we have a lot of foes," Trump said. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they are a foe."