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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"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."