RACE FOR THE HOUSE | CA-49

AAN Launches $2M Ad Blitz Touting Tax Bill

Some Dem strategists are worried about inexperienced candidates emerging as nominees in top battlegrounds.

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Ally Mutnick
Jan. 3, 2018, 10:49 a.m.

American Action Network is launching a $2 million ad blitz to tout the benefits of the tax overhaul bill. The 30-second spot touts an independent analysis that shows a typical family saving more than $2,000 a year. The ad will run in 23 GOP-held districts including those of Reps. David Valadao (CA-21), Brian Mast (FL-18), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Don Bacon (NE-02), Scott Taylor (VA-02), Andy Barr (KY-06) and Barbara Comstock (VA-10). (release)

CANDIDATE INFLUX. “Two years ago, 28-year-old Sara Jacobs was beginning her job as an unpaid staffer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign—a position she obtained with the assistance of a well-connected family friend. The granddaughter of Qualcomm cofounder Irwin Jacobs, she held 28 months worth of professional experience in jobs at the United Nations, the State Department, and UNICEF before landing the Clinton post. She quickly parlayed her work with Clinton into becoming a CEO of an educational non-profit—then disbanded the company after less than a year to pursue a closely watched race for Congress. It’s not the typical resume of a blue-chip recruit for the House of Representatives. Indeed, she looks like a millennial in a hurry, spending minimal time working lots of interesting jobs.”

“One of her campaign strategists told National Journal that EMILY’s List recruited Jacobs into the race—despite two other well-regarded candidates running—after trying and failing to encourage other women to enter the contest.”

“The Democratic primary against Issa provides a cautionary tale for Democrats facing a very promising environment heading into this year’s midterms. They have so many candidates running—including many outsiders with minimal experience in elective politics—that they haven’t fully vetted all of their records. Party officials are so confident in certain Republican members’ vulnerabilities they they’ve adopted a laissez-faire approach to the nomination process, letting all of their candidates prove their staying power in competitive primaries without putting a finger on the scale.” (National Journal)

REDISTRICTING UPDATE. “A Pennsylvania judge said Friday the state’s Congressional districts were drawn to give Republicans an advantage, but they did not violate the state Constitution, ruling in a high-profile gerrymandering case with the potential to have major consequences on the 2018 midterm elections. Judge P. Kevin Brobson of Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg noted that Republicans hold 13 out of 18 Congressional seats in Pennsylvania, a perennial swing state that has one of the most extensively gerrymandered maps in the country. Nonetheless, the judge said that Democrats who brought suit had failed to articulate a legal ‘standard’ for creating nonpartisan maps. The case now goes to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has agreed to fast-track it. If the court rejects Judge Brobson’s conclusion, it could order new maps drawn in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Pennsylvania is expected to be fiercely fought terrain next year in elections turning on President Trump’s popularity.” (New York Times)

VETTING PROCESS. “As the cloud of sexual-misconduct allegations continues to hover over Congress, it’s unclear how well either party is positioned to weed out candidates with potentially damaging pasts. … Former Rep. Steve Israel, who served two terms as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said both parties’ House campaign arms must upgrade what are already robust vetting operations.”

“In this environment, I think both committees are going to have to—if they haven’t already—beef up those research departments to take a solid look at potential sexual-harassment issues,” Israel said. “And I think both committees are probably willing to bear that expense to do more detailed and granular research before it’s too late.” (Hotline reporting)

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