AL GOV: Former pastor Jason Childs (D) “citing a lack of funds, announced that he was withdrawing from the Democratic gubernatorial race.” (Alabama Political Reporter)
CA GOV: State Treasurer John Chiang (D) announced the addition of senior campaign staff and consultants.
Campaign Manager Preston Elliott previously managed campaigns for former Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). He recently served as deputy executive director at the DSCC and Nevada coordinated campaign director.
Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Fabien Levy worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D); former Sens. Barbara Boxer (D) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA); then-Rep. Kathy Hochul’s (D-NY); and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Lisa Cassinis will continue as finance director after a working for Feinstein, Chiang, and other statewide California campaigns.
Policy Director Morgan Miller was a senior staffer at the national AFL-CIO and worked at the National Democratic Institute, Rock the Vote, and Working America.
Chiang’s general consultants are Brandon Hall, Raghu Devaguptapu, and Orrin Evans of Left Hook. Hall’s notable campaigns include then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and former Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK). He was as also a regional political director and financial services director for the DCCC.
Devaguptapu worked for Rep. Ami Bera’s (D) and was political director the DLCC and the DGA.
Evans managed Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s (D) campaign and worked for Boxer, then-Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Courtni Pugh of Hilltop Public Solutions is a senior adviser. Pugh was as executive director of SEIU Local 99 and political director of the LA County Federation of Labor. She was also deputy state director for Clinton’s campaign. (release)
Chiang spokeswoman “Kate Chapek said the campaign decided to take down www.gavinfacts.com indefinitely as it revamps its messaging and approach in the run-up to the June primary.” (Los Angeles Times)
State Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte on former Rep. Doug Ose’s (R) entrance: “We have three excellent candidates running for governor. … And if all three stay in, we run the risk of having an all-Democrat runoff.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
NE GOV: Vanessa Ward (D) “called for the state’s Democratic Party chair to resign. … Preston Love Jr., co-chair of Ward’s campaign said … said NDP party chair Jane Kleeb has been unsupportive of Ward’s candidacy and accused Ward of having connections to the Republican party. Love also said Kleeb recently discontinued a rental agreement with his office, for space used by the NDP. The Ward campaign believes Kleeb is laying groundwork for her own run for governor.” (KETV)
TN GOV: Housing services executive Bill Lee (R) “announced over 100 business leaders from across Tennessee have joined to form the Business Leaders for Bill Lee Coalition.” (release)
TX GOV: Houston investor Andrew White (D) “said Texas should end the death penalty and if his elected governor in November he would use the limited powers of the office to stop executions when possible.” (Corpus Christie Caller Times)
“It would rank as one of the greatest political upsets of 2018 and a stunning rebuke to Trumpism: a gay Latina Democrat grabbing hold of the country’s biggest red state. But is Texas ready for” former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D)? (The Guardian)
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"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."