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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"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."