AL GOV: Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox (D) “detailed his state lottery proposal that he said would generate $300 million in revenue for education.” (AL.com)
CA GOV: Sen. Kamala Harris (D) endorsed Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday. “She and Newsom have connections going back years. Harris was district attorney in San Francisco when Newsom was the city’s mayor, and both were first elected to statewide office in 2010. They also share the same political consultant, SCN Strategies of San Francisco. As state attorney general, Harris administered the oath of office to Newsom to begin his second term as lieutenant governor in 2015.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
Democrats familiar with former presidential campaign political director Amanda Renteria (D) “said she could be seeking to build name recognition for a future, more credible, run for statewide office, while supporters of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), one of two leading Democratic candidates for governor, feared her candidacy could undercut his support among Latinos and voters in the Central Valley. … Mike Madrid, a Republican consultant working with Villaraigosa, said on KQED … Thursday that ‘something just doesn’t smell right with what happened. … We know something else is afoot. … You don’t run for office and file 30 days out [before the filing deadline] with no endorsement, no infrastructure and no campaign website.’” (Politico)
San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez endorsed former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D). (release)
GA GOV: Citizens for Georgia’s Future “rolled out a pair of statewide ads Tuesday praising Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s (R) education policies and illegal immigration crackdown. … Citizens for Georgia’s Future said the $1.2 million ad buy will launch the two ads in the Atlanta, Albany, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah TV markets.”
“The group is set up as a 501(c)4 rather than a super PAC, which means it doesn’t have to disclose its donors. The group’s spokesman is Dan McLagan, a former senior aide to Sonny Perdue and a veteran GOP political operative known for his bruising political style and pithy one-liners.” (Atlanta Journal-Consitution)
Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is “open to a paper-based voting system, which his critics from both parties say is essential to ensuring the state’s touch-screen voting machines can’t be undermined. And he’s come under fire for past lapses that have left confidential voter data vulnerable.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
ID GOV: Former Apprentice contestant Troy McClain endorsed developer Tommy Ahlquist (R). (release)
KS GOV: Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) said Saturday that first son Donald Trump Jr. will campaign for him again, this time in Wichita. “[N]o other details were provided.” (Kansas City Star)
“Kobach angled for dominance Saturday night in the opening debate of the Republican gubernatorial campaign while a trio of lesser-known candidates. … Wichita oilman and banker Wink Hartman (R) and Wichita construction company founder Mark Hutton (R) drilled the [Sam] Brownback administration for fumbling the ball on taxes, highways, children’s programs and public schools. They agreed someone with decades of business experience is necessary to bring state government into balance.” (Topeka Capital-Journal) “Kobach spent only a small amount of time talking about the two issues that made him into a national figure — voter fraud and immigration.” Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) “withdrew from the debate about an hour before it was set to begin. His office said he was sick.” (Wichita Eagle)
NY GOV: Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R) “isn’t ruling it out” joining the race. “[S]ome Republicans are hoping he will reconsider” bowing out earlier this month. (Poughkeepsie Journal)
State Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R), “who has been critical of state economic development programs under Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo (D), personally benefited from a lucrative pre-Cuomo tax break he voted to enact.” (New York Daily News)
SC GOV: State Rep. James Smith’s (D) hired as his campaign manager Mike McCauley, who worked on campaigns for former President Obama, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Inez Tenenbaum, and “now-Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin’s 2002 unsuccessful bid for attorney general against” now-Gov. Henry McMaster (R).
“Kendall Corley, a campaign veteran who has worked for Obama and Benjamin, … is specializing in African-American voter outreach. He worked with the Democratic National Committee on voter grassroots efforts for” Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL). Angela Clyburn Hannibal, a daughter of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D), “helps with outreach to educators.” Scott Harriford “works on Smith’s events and scheduling.” “Alyssa Miller, a public affairs director for Planned Parenthood in the Carolinas and New York, … is helping in attracting women voters.” (Charleston Post & Courier)
“Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist is backing” McMaster over former state cabinet official Catherine Templeton (R) “in their fight over whether changing the state’s pension funding formula was a tax increase.” (Charleston Post & Courier)
SD GOV: Rep. Kristi Noem (R) and state Attorney General Marty Jackley (R) “released dueling pheasant-hunting initiatives within 40 minutes of each other Friday.” (Rapid City Journal)
TN GOV: Former state economic commissioner Randy Boyd (R) and Rep. Diane Black (R) topped the primary field with 28 and 22 percent respectively in a new poll by Whit Ayres of North Star Opinion Research (Feb. 5-11; 600 Republican LVs; +/-4%). Housing services executive Bill Lee (R), who commissioned poll, got 18 percent. (Tennessee Journal)
“Boyd says he has 45 sheriffs, police chiefs and district attorneys to advise him on public safety issues in Tennessee.” (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
TX GOV: Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) hired as her campaign manager Bill Romjue, who has worked campaigns for Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) and former Vice President Joe Biden. Her consultants include Gabby Adler of Gumbinner & Davies, JMM Strategy Group, Kevin McKeon of Putnam Partners, and Michelle Mayorga and Margie Omero of GBA Strategies. (release)
Valdez led Houston investor Andrew White (D) 43-24 percent in a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll (Feb. 1-12; 453 Democratic RVs; +/-4.6%). (release)
WY GOV: State Treasurer Mark Gordon (R) “said he intends to run” for the open governor’s seat. “Gordon said he was waiting to make a formal announcement until after the Legislature and some other budgeting projects at the treasurer’s office that he hoped to keep from being politicized.” (Casper Star-Tribune)
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"Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a 'lack of candor,'" McCabe launched a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions withheld information from Congress regarding his contact with Russian operatives. "Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them" during his testimony, "and called on federal authorities to investigate." When Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, "several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe."
The Senate passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, or SESTA, by a vote of 97-2. The bill now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it into law. SESTA lifts federal immunity for internet platforms involved in sex trafficking, "a move that prosecutors, victims and anti-trafficking activists are heralding as an essential step in cracking down on the crime." Opponents of SESTA argue had argued that lifting the immunity could open websites up to lawsuits based on user-generated content, which could lead to a crackdown on free speech.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg responded to reports that Cambridge Analytica had accessed the personal data of 50 million users, and kept the data after being told by the social media company to delete it. "I started Facebook," wrote Zuckerberg, "and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform ... While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn't change what happened in the past." On Monday, Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for “Mr. Zuckerberg and other CEOs” to testify "about social media manipulation in the 2016 election."