“Democrats struggled to narrow the field Saturday in several U.S. House races critical to the party’s hope of taking back Congress in the midterm elections. None of the five candidates in the Orange County district currently held by” retiring Rep. Darrell Issa (R-49) “gained enough support to win the party’s official endorsement” at a San Diego convention last weekend. “Democrats also failed to unite behind a candidate in the race against” Rep. Steve Knight (R-25) and for the seat of retiring Rep. Ed Royce (R-39). (AP)
But stem cell-biologist Hans Keirstead (D) snagged an endorsement in the race against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-48), as did UC Irvine law professor Dave Min (D) in the race against Rep. Mimi Walters (R-45).
In CA-49, environmental attorney Mike Levin (D) “received 53 percent from the congressional district’s delegates on Saturday. In CA-25, 2016 nominee Bryan Caforio also received 53 percent.” And in CA-39, 2012 nominee Jay Chen (D) received 47 percent. None met the 60-percent threshold to nab an endorsement. (Orange County Register)
“The DCCC has done polling showing Democrats could easily be shut out in some of these crucial California contests. At least two polls of voters in the 39th and 49th districts show it’s entirely possible two Republicans would break through and leave Democrats with a missed opportunity.”
DCCC Vice Chairman Ted Lieu: “We don’t have the power to force anyone out. We are trying to do this in a respectful manner because this is America. But if you’ve got candidates that are polling at 2% or 4% in some districts … there’s zero path to victory.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
But the candidates are being egged on consultants, pollsters and media consultants. “Dave Jacobson, a Democratic strategist working with several House campaigns, said delegates ‘will refuse to be dictated to by the Washington power brokers and top-down politics.’
“Rather than suppressing Democratic votes, and a healthy debate among wide-ranging fields of Democratic candidates, Washington Democrats should focus like a laser on attacking Republicans who are promising to advocate for the Trump agenda,” he said. (Politico)
MORE ON RUSSIA. “Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates just admitted to lying to U.S. investigators about a March 19, 2013, meeting between his boss, Paul Manafort, and an unidentified U.S. congressman. Public filings show a meeting that day between Manafort and” Rohrabacher. “After the guilty plea on Friday, a spokesman for Rohrabacher, who has sought better relations with Russia, said: ‘As the congressman has acknowledged before, the meeting was a dinner with two longtime acquaintances –- Manafort and Weber –- from back in his White House and early congressional days.’” The topic of Urkraine came up only in passing, he said. (Bloomberg Politics)
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"When a Russian news agency reached out to George Papadopoulos to request an interview shortly before the 2016 election," deputy communications director Bryan Lanza encouraged him to respond. "You should do it," Lanza wrote in a September 2016 email, "emphasizing the benefits of a U.S. 'partnership with Russia.'" The Trump campaign has "sought to paint the 30-year old energy consultant as a low level volunteer" in the campaign, but recently disclosed emails show that Papadopoulos had contact with "senior campaign figures" in the Trump campaign, "such as chief executive Stephen K. Bannon and adviser Michael Flynn," who encouraged him to "broker ties between Trump and top foreign officials."