FOR THE RECORD. Wagner’s campaign countered that its purported 109 missed votes “is a comparably lower 99 votes,” and that 83 “of those votes took place when Wagner was attending a three-day conference.” (PennLive)
LOOKING AHEAD. “For the four Republicans who hope to challenge” Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) reelection “bid next year, the first playoff game before the May 15 primary election will be the state party’s endorsement. That endorsement vote, scheduled for Feb. 10, could determine who stays in the primary race and who gets to brag that they won the endorsement while drawing upon the financial benefits of the party’s backing. Should the party be unable or unwilling to endorse, it would be the first time in 40 years.”
“A looming four-way contest puts the 347 state Republican Party committee members in the sticky position of choosing between two people — … Wagner and state House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) … — who have played outsized roles in helping elect Republican lawmakers.”
“Starting Jan. 6, the state party’s regional caucuses will begin meeting with the candidates and holding straw votes ahead of a formal state committee vote. Regional caucus meetings will wrap up Feb. 3, a week before committee members meet in Hershey to decide party endorsements.” (AP)
CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED. The Human Rights Campaign “released new polling data conducted by Hart Research Associates, … showing that likely voters across Pennsylvania overwhelmingly support LGBTQ-inclusive policies and are less likely to vote for a candidate who does not.” (release)
THE OTHER CLINTONS. Clinton County Commissioners Jeff Snyder and Pete Smeltz are backing former health care consultant Paul Mango (R). (Lock Haven Express)
What We're Following See More »
"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."