CO-02: “The Bernie Sanders-inspired advocacy group Our Revolution Boulder will be sizing up the candidates vying to replace” Rep. Jared Polis (D) “in Congress at a forum next weekend” and “at least four candidates running in the 2nd Congressional District have confirmed.” (Colorado Politics)
Meanwhile businessman Peter Yu (R) entered the race for the heavily Democratic seat. “Yu grew up in Loveland, where his family owned and operated a Chinese restaurant for nearly 20 years. Yu attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, and now has a career in business. Yu says his love of what the U.S. has offered his family, who emigrated to the United States, was the inspiration for his bid for the House seat.” (Loveland Reporter-Herald)
MA-03: The Republican field for retiring Rep. Niki Tsongas’ open seat has dwindled after Groton resident Scott Gunderson (R) and Fitchburg resident Lou Marino (R) dropped out. Gunderson threw his support to businessman Rick Green (R). (Lowell Sun)
MD-06: “Two wealthy candidates running for” Rep. John Delaney’s (D) open seat —2016 MD-08 candidate David Trone (D) and 2016 nominee Amie Hoeber (R)— “have both spent millions of their own money in previous campaigns and are now competing in a crowded race that may mark their last opportunity to claim a House seat for years.” Trone’s “money alone could put Maryland’s 6th District on a list of the most expensive House contests. But this year Trone isn’t the only candidate in the race with deep pockets. Hoeber’s husband, a former communications executive, contributed $3.2 million to a super PAC that supported her campaign for the 6th District last year when she ran against Delaney.” Her campaign consultant said she will again invest personal funds in the race. (Baltimore Sun)
OK-01: Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) “must be renominated by President Donald Trump if he wishes to be administrator of NASA after the Senate opted Thursday night not to retain his nomination. “A Senate rule states all nominations are returned to the president at the end of a year unless the Senate agrees unanimously to waive the rule. At least one senator objected to the nominations of Bridenstine.” (NewsOK)
PA-01: Former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary (D) announced a run for Rep. Bob Brady’s (D) seat. “He resigned from local office amid a sexual harassment scandal and went to prison for lying to the FBI. His office was seen as so corrupt that voters abolished it. Now he wants a fresh start — in Congress.”
“Even though I made some mistakes, I’m not a mistake,” he says in his announcement video. “A federal jury in 2014 found Singletary not guilty of the public corruption charges but convicted him of lying to federal investigators. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison and was released in November 2016.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
TN-07: “Ten mayors across the 7th congressional district announced their endorsement of” state Sen. Mark Green (R) “for Congress. Making up the first round of mayoral endorsements are mayors of the district’s two largest counties–Williamson and Montgomery.” Green also “recently announced the endorsements of … 100 conservative leaders across Tennessee, and a 147-member finance committee,” and he also has the support of Club for Growth. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) is running for Senate, leaving the seat open. (Clarksville Online)
TX-26: Labor company president Veronica Birkenstock, who is making a bid for Rep. Michael Burgess’ (R-26) seat, “runs Practical Employee Solutions, which facilitates H-2B visas for temporary foreign workers. And she has one very notable client: the Trump International Beach Resort in Miami.
“Practical Employee Solutions has filed H-2B visa applications for more than 100 temporary foreign workers to fill positions as maids, waiters, pool attendants, and bartenders at the resort. President Donald Trump makes liberal use of the program for his resorts and golf clubs, including his ‘winter White House’ at Mar-a-Lago, which in July put in applications for 78 new seasonal foreign workers. … Beyond helping facilitate the temporary work supply for Trump’s resorts, Birkenstock is also a Trump campaign fundraiser who was once listed as a member of the president’s Labor Department transition team.”
Birkenstock, who is running to Burgess’s right, “has cozied up to big names in Trumpworld, aligned herself with candidates like recently defeated” former Alabama state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R), “and taken a ‘drain the swamp’ approach that emphasizes the incumbent’s 15 years in Washington and Congress’ general ineffectiveness. … But she also appears to recognize that her professional record may be a potential liability in a Republican primary. Birkenstock’s campaign website has an entire page devoted to debunking “myths” about H-2B visas, which grant foreigners a temporary stay in the U.S. to work seasonal, non-agricultural jobs.”
“While it’s unclear how involved Trump himself might be in boosting Birkenstock’s campaign, other PES’ clients have provided an early financial boost. Birkenstock received double the legal maximum from Donald Semmler, a former Marriott executive whose new company, Local Hotel Adventures LLC, has enlisted PES’ services to request H-2B visas for 18 foreign workers.” (The Daily Beast)
WI-01: Former White House advisor Steve Bannon (R) “has cut ties with” 2016 challenger Paul Nehlen (R), who is running against Speaker Paul Ryan. “Although Nehlen received favorable coverage from Breitbart in the past, the candidate’s recent slew of anti-Semitic remarks were the final straw for an organization accused of emboldening white supremacy. … Breitbart published a statement condemning the candidate’s behavior online.” (New York Observer)
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"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."
The United States and South Korea have suspended "another major joint military exercise to give the diplomatic process with North Korea 'every opportunity to continue.'" Exercise Vigilant Ace, which last year "involved 12,000 US troops and some 230 military aircraft from the US and South Korea," was due to take place in December. Trump has canceled other operations in the past, which Gen. Robert Abrams said "had resulted in a 'slight degradation' to the readiness of US and Korean troops," but were a "prudent risk" to improve improve relations with Pyongyang.
"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided to take part in an anti-terror finance meeting with Saudi security officials and their Middle Eastern counterparts in Riyadh later this month, opting to attend despite growing global outrage over the suspected murder of a U.S.-based journalist at the hands of Saudi operatives, according to three people familiar with his travel plans. The security gathering next week is separate from a Riyadh financial summit that Mnuchin announced on Thursday he would not attend."
"Steve Penny, the former president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, has been indicted on a felony count of tampering with evidence" in the sexual assault case against disgraced USA gymnastics physician Larry Nassar. Nassar was found guilty in January of sexually abusing dozens of young gymnasts, and was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. Penny, who was arrested on Wednesday in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, "is accused of ordering the removal of documents from the Karolyi Ranch in Texas," where much of Nassar's abuse occurred.
Defense attorneys involved in the Mueller probe say the public "shouldn’t expect a comprehensive and presidency-wrecking account of Kremlin meddling and alleged obstruction of justice by Trump — not to mention an explanation of the myriad subplots that have bedeviled lawmakers, journalists and amateur Mueller sleuths. ... Perhaps most unsatisfying: Mueller’s findings may never even see the light of day."