“Funny or Die and Billy Eichner are launching a nonprofit ‘Glam Up The Midterms’—a campaign focused on under-40-year-old voters in the midterm election.” The group “will spend $8 million on the most competitive congressional districts. Their plan: use online mobilization tactics and an analytics program to engage younger voters and hold live comedy events. The team includes: political strategists Lou Frillman and Tim Lim and Funny or Die’s Brad Jenkins and David Litt.” (Politico)
LANDSCAPE. “Despite facing a difficult House map predicted for the 2018 midterms,” NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers “thinks the GOP will hold onto its majority. One big reason?” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her her tendency to say “outrageous things.” Stivers: “Nancy Pelosi has stayed in the spotlight. Her ‘crumbs’ comment is something I think we can use pretty effectively.” (USA Today)
MONEY MATTERS. The NRCC “broke its record for fundraising in an off-year and had more money in the bank—$43.6 million to the Democratic committee’s $38.9 million — those numbers don’t tell the whole story. Under federal election law, party committees can accept contributions of as much as $101,700 from big donors, but there’s a catch. That money, for the parties’ legal and headquarters accounts, can’t be used to influence federal elections. The NRCC has raised more than $20 million in money it can’t use to influence elections, but that still counts as money in the bank on its FEC filings. The DCCC has raised less than $5 million for those accounts, meaning more of its money can be spent trying to actually win seats in November.” (Bloomberg)
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"Former veteran Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James Wolfe pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of making false statements to federal agents." Wolfe was indicted "earlier this year on three counts of making false statements to the FBI, which questioned him about his contacts with reporters ... According to the indictment, in October 2017 Wolfe gave a reporter ... information about an unidentified man who had been served with a subpoena to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The reporter published stories about the subpoena and the man's upcoming testimony in a closed committee hearing."
"The federal deficit widened last year amid higher government spending—including rising interest costs on the debt and increased funding for the military—and flat revenues following last year’s tax cut. The government ran a $779 billion deficit in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the Treasury Department said Monday. That is the largest annual deficit in six years and 17% higher than the $666 billion deficit in fiscal 2017. As a share of gross domestic product, the deficit totaled 3.9%, up from 3.5% a year earlier and the third consecutive increase."
"The BBC has determined there is enough evidence to be confident that at least 106 chemical attacks have taken place in Syria since September 2013, when the president signed the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and agreed to destroy the country's chemical weapons stockpile."