The seat of former Rep. Trent Franks (R), “who resigned over accusations of sexual harassment, has long looked sure to stay in GOP hands in the upcoming April special election. But local Democrats say they believe they’re in the middle of a political sea change that will turn Arizona into a midterm battleground and marquee presidential swing state.”
“It’s an admission Democrats elsewhere have been hesitant to make in a series of House special elections in deep-red districts over the last year. Hobbled and cash-strapped state parties have been little help, while national Democrats have sought to avoid embarrassment and a waste of resources when they know a long list of potentially more competitive targets are up for grabs in November. Arizona Democrats say they see the race in the 8th District” — where emergency room physician Hiral Tipirneni (D) won last Tuesday’s Democratic primary — “as a test run for their organizing efforts since President Donald Trump took office. A competitive contest in the Maricopa County suburbs west of Phoenix would confirm that a massive shift is taking place across the state.”
Tipirneni: “There’s a sleeping giant that’s awakening in our district, and people feel like they’re being talked to for the first time in a long time.”“This year, though, Democrats in the West Valley say they want to fight. … As chairwoman” of the Arizona Democratic Party, Felecia Rotellini said “she’s launched a 15-county plan reminiscent of former Democratic National Committee Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy. The goal, she said, is for voters to hear Democrats’ message everywhere in the state.” (CNN)
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"Congress is considering attaching a narrow background check bill for gun purchases to a must-pass government funding package before the end of the week, when thousands of high school students are expected to congregate in Washington for the March to End Gun Violence. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday said leadership was talking to its members about adding the background legislation, even as news broke of a new school shooting on Tuesday morning in Maryland."
"The House likely will not vote until Thursday on an omnibus spending bill, according to numerous lawmakers who attended a GOP conference meeting this morning. Some two dozen issues are still outstanding, members were told. The $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 measure must be passed before government funding runs out Friday."
"President Trump is preparing to impose a package of $60 billion in annual tariffs against China, following through on a long-time threat that he says will punish China for intellectual property infringement and create more American jobs. The tariff package, which Trump plans to unveil by Friday, was confirmed by four senior administration officials. Senior aides had presented Trump with a $30 billion tariff package that would apply to a range of products, but Trump directed them to roughly double the scope of the new trade levies."
"President Trump’s attorneys have provided the special counsel’s office with written descriptions that chronicle key moments under investigation in hopes of curtailing the scope of a presidential interview, according to two people familiar with the situation. Trump’s legal team recently shared the documents in an effort to limit any session between the president and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to a few select topics" on order to "minimize his exposure. ... The lawyers are worried that Trump, who has a penchant for making erroneous claims, would be vulnerable in an hours-long interview."