The Congressional Leadership Fund booked an additional $15 million worth of airtime in 11 districts on broadcast and cable. The reservations include three new districts, held by Reps. Leonard Lance (R-NJ 07), John Faso (R-NY 19) and the open CA-39. The group also upped its buys in eight additional districts. The full list: $2M in CA-39; $2.1M in NJ-07; $1M in NY-19; $2.5M in FL-26; $2.7M in IL-12; $1.8M in KY-06; $2.8M in ME-02; $1.2M in the Minneapolis market; $2.8M in MN-03; $4.1 million in PA-01; and $3.5 million in WA-08. CLF’s TV reservations now total $50 million, along with a $10 million digital investment. (Hotline reporting)
Meanwhile, the group’s executive director, Corry Bliss, “said the super PAC has raised $81 million as of the beginning of” June. (Politico)
SPECIAL ELECTION. Vice President Mike Pence “is heading to Ohio on Friday to … host a fundraiser for state Sen. Troy Balderson (R), who’s competing in an Aug. 7 special election in a district President Donald Trump won by 11 points in 2016, according to a person familiar with the vice president’s plans. … Next week, Pence is scheduled to host events for two imperiled House Republicans, New York Rep. John Katko and Pennsylvania Rep. Keith Rothfus. He is also slated to appear at a Republican Governors Association function.
“National Republicans are starting to engage in the contest in Ohio, fearful of another special election loss in a red seat.” (Politico)
NEW YOUNG GUNS. The NRCC added nine new candidates to the second tier of its Young Guns program. The new additions: 2016 nominee Justin Fareed in CA-24; pastor Mark Harris in NC-09; state Assemblyman Jay Webber in NJ-11; state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) in NM-02; former Rep. Cresent Hardy in NV-04; former Ohio State football player Anthony Gonzalez in OH-16; former Olympic medalist Marty Nothstein in PA-07; Orange County legislator James O’Donnell in NY-18; and economics professor Sean Flynn in CA-31. (release)
NEW COOK RATINGS. The Cook Political Report shifted five House ratings, three in favor in Democrats and two in favor of Republicans.
- CA-21, held by Rep. David Valadao (R), moved from “Lean Republican” to “Likely Republican.”
- CA-49, held by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa (R), moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Democratic.”
- CA-50, held by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R), moved from “Likely Republican” to “Solid Republican.”
- NJ-02, held by retiring Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R), moved from “Lean Democratic” to “Likely Democratic.”
- NJ-11, held by retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R), moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Democratic.”
ON THE AIR. Concerned Veterans for America launched a six-figure ad buy to promote the VA MISSION Act legislation. The ads praise a bipartisan contingent of members who helped advance the bill, including Reps. Ted Budd (R-NC 13) and Mike Coffman (R-CO 06). (release)
REDISTRICTING. “The Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a proposal to create a non-partisan commission to draw legislative lines in Michigan can go on the November ballot. The three-judge panel unanimously rejected opposition claims that the law was too vague and required a general amendment to the Michigan constitution. The proposal would create a 13-member redistricting commission comprised of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independent members who are not affiliated with any major political party to draw legislative lines.” (Detroit Metro Times)
HEALTHCARE. “The Trump administration’s legal push to strike down key parts of the Affordable Care Act is complicating the midterm November elections for Republicans who don’t want to look like they are taking health coverage away. … Moderate GOP lawmakers said the Justice Department’s brief, which supports much of the states’ position, has created an unwelcome emphasis on health care ahead of the midterms elections. Some said they disagree with the administration’s stance, and most said they would rather talk about tax cuts and other issues on the campaign trail. Republicans in competitive districts, including” Reps. Leonard Lance (NJ-07), John Faso (NY-19), and Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), “stressed on Friday their support for guaranteeing coverage for pre-existing conditions.” (Wall Street Journal)
GUN CONTROL. Army veteran Pat Ryan (D), who is running against Faso, “is just one of the several Democratic midterm candidates embracing gun control in conservative-leaning districts where the party formerly shied away from the issue. They say that their record gives them a credibility that lets them reach voters who would otherwise dismiss a Democrat. The pitches are often personal, as they draw on their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. In calling for an assault rifle ban, they can (and do) make the argument: I used these extremely lethal weapons in combat, no one knows better than me how dangerous they are and that they have no place on our streets.” (BuzzFeed News)
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"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.
"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."