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Pro-Harwell Ad Airs in Tennesesee

Democrats in Oklahoma and South Carolina are grappling with the new politics of gun rights.

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Zach C. Cohen
Feb. 21, 2018, 11:02 a.m.

CA GOV: Former presidential campaign official Amanda Renteria (D), in her first interviews as a candidate, “cast her campaign Monday as an effort to break a calcified political order with ‘joy and hope.’ … [S]he dismissed as a ‘Trump-like conspiracy theory’ the changes … that she entered the race to help draw Central Valley and Latino votes away from” former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D). (Sacramento Bee)

Businessman John Cox (R) released a statewide digital ad on Tuesday highlighting Villaraigosa’s 2008 decision to vouch for convicted murderer Esteban Nuñez, the son of former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D). (release)

KS GOV: Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s (R) GOP opponents criticized his claims “that his grip on the secretary of state’s office budget resulted in spending reductions of millions of dollars annually.” (Topeka Capital-Journal)

MS GOV: A new survey from JMC Analytics and Polling (IVR) (Feb. 15-17; 500 LVs: +- 4.4%) showed Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) leading state Treasurer Lynn Fitch (R) in a hypothetical 2019 matchup for the open seat. (release)

“In his strongest statement to date,” state Attorney General Jim Hood (R) “said he is doing all he can to get ready to run for governor” in 2019. “If his wife ‘comes around,’ Hood said he plans to run for governor.” (Jackson Clarion Ledger)

NE GOV: University instructor Tyler Davis (D) “filed a complaint with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office saying that [state Sen. Bob Krist, a former Republican] was a member of a different political party and therefore was not eligible to become a Democrat earlier this month.” (Omaha World-Herald)

OK GOV: State Attorney General Drew Edmondson (D) “said Tuesday that the state requirements for carrying a handgun should also apply to purchasing some semi-automatic rifles, a change that would prevent teenagers from buying so-called assault weapons. … When he ran for Congress in 1992, he accepted donations from the National Rifle Association. He said Tuesday he was a member of the organization but quit more than 20 years ago after its highly charged rhetoric about federal law enforcement officers.” (NewsOK)

SC GOV: Tech consultant Phil Noble (D) said state Rep. James Smith’s (D) “track record with the gun lobby should disqualify him from seeking the Democratic nomination. … Smith received an ‘A’ rating from the NRA in 2006, a B+ in 2008 and an ‘A-’ rating in 2010 and 2012.” (Charleston Post & Courier)

TN GOV: Tennesseans for Good State Government began running a TV ad praising state House Speaker Beth Harwell (R). FCC documents indicate “the PAC has paid more than $175,000 to run 415 ads on television stations in Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville. The ads are slated to continue running through early to mid-March.”

The ad raising “questions about coordination. Harwell is an officer of the PAC, which started in 2006. Until mid-December, Tennesseans for Good State Government was named Harwell PAC. In January 2016, the PAC contributed $10,000 to one of Harwell’s other political action committees. Further, the organization’s registration with the state’s campaign finance office lists Harwell’s home address and [Troy] Brewer’s name as the treasurer. … State law permits coordination between candidates and PACs, said Drew Rawlins, executive director of state Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.” A legal adviser for the PAC, Austin McMullen, “noted that state law prohibits ads from expressly advocating for or against an individual candidate.” (Nashville Tennessean)

A GOP operative noted, in response to McMullen’s point, that the FCC public file indicates the ad discusses the “Tennessee Governor Race.” (Hotline reporting)


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