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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"President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments" to former Playboy model Karen McDougal "who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump." The FBI seized the recording during an April raid of Cohens office. "The Justice Department is investigating Mr. Cohen’s involvement in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Mr. Trump ahead of the 2016 election," which may violate federal campaign finance laws. Days before the election, Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks denied any knowledge of the payment, and said that the allegations were "totally untrue."
Conservative Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, a former CIA agent, says in a New York Times op-ed this morning that Russian intelligence is "manipulating" President Trump. "The leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad," he writes.
"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.
"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."