GA GOV: Gov. Nathan Deal (R) endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) "on Monday in the race to succeed him, giving the Republican candidate key support from a popular incumbent in his July 24 race against Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R)." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Kemp and Cagle are “neck and neck in Georgia’s Republican race for governor less than two weeks ahead of the vote, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll (July 5-12; 796 LVs; +/- 3.5%) released Friday.” The poll showed “Kemp with a lead of 44 percent to 41 percent over Cagle” and 15 percent undecided.
“The tight race is a troubling sign for Cagle, who has struggled to improve upon the 39 percent of the vote he earned in the May primary despite a significant fundraising advantage. The poll shows Kemp has built slight leads among men and older voters, while Cagle has the edge with younger voters.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Trust “was the main message the two Republicans vying to become Georgia's next governor tried to convey Sunday in a televised debate with just over a week left before their heated primary runoff is decided July 24.” Kemp “continued to assail Cagle over a secret recording released last month in which Cagle can be heard saying he backed what he called ‘bad public policy’ to block monetary support from a political rival. … Kemp said the tapes showed that Cagle is willing to put politics above policy.”
Cagle: “Secretary Kemp along with Clay Tippins conspired to really set me up in my office and secretly record me. Who does that?"
“Kemp denied working with Tippins to make the recording. … Cagle also went on the offensive, accusing Kemp of missteps in his handling of sensitive voter data as secretary of state. Cagle pointed to a 2015 incident in which Kemp's office inadvertently released the social security numbers and other identifying information of millions of Georgia voters on disks sent to members of the media and political parties.”
“Kemp called Cagle "Pinocchio" over the claims, saying he was distorting information. Kemp said a member of his staff was responsible for the error, that person was fired and procedures were changed to ensure it didn't happen again.” (AP)
HI GOV: The 20-point lead Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) “enjoyed over Gov. David Ige in the Democratic primary for governor just four months ago has evaporated, with Ige pulling ahead one month before election day, according to a new Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii Poll” (July 6-11; 494 LVs; +/- 4.5%). “44 percent of likely voters surveyed said they would vote for Ige, while only 40 percent said they would pick Hanabusa, according to [poll] conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy. Another 16 percent said they are undecided. … That is a dramatic reversal from mid-March, when just 27 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they would vote for Ige, and 47 percent chose Hanabusa. Another 11 percent said in March they would vote for former state Sen. Clayton Hee, who has since withdrawn from the race.” (Honolulu Star Advertiser)
KS GOV: Scott Poor, who has ties to businessman Greg Orman’s (I) campaign, mocked state Sen. Laura Kelly’s (D) job experience in a series of Facebook comments. “Kelly was the director of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association for 19 years and is now a Topeka state senator. The organization advocates for parks and leisure service professionals. She worked as a recreational therapist prior to that, which involved using recreation to help children with mental illness.”
In one comment, Poor asked if Kelly was “certified to work with the monkey bars as well as the teeter totter?” In another, Poor wrote, “Have you ever had a real job? Oh … I forgot, you were lobbyist for the playground sector.”
Business filings list Poor as one of the directors for Orman for Kansas, Inc.
Kelly spokeswoman Johanna Warshaw: “The derogatory and condescending comments posted by Greg Orman’s attorney and advisor are disappointing and embarrassing. Trying to diminish the career of Laura Kelly — a highly respected state senator and ranking member of the budget committee — is outrageous.” (Wichita Eagle)
Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) spoke at a pro-ICE rally held in Wichita on Saturday. Kobach blamed undocumented immigrants attending college on instate tuition costs as the recent for a rise in tuition in the state.
Kobach: “You could have gotten rid of the tuition hike for 2018 if we weren’t giving that money to subsidize illegal aliens."
Kobach also said that deporting undocumented immigrants will help Kansans get jobs.
Kobach: “It’ll fix our job security. The government doesn’t create jobs. But there is one way that government can actually affect the number of jobs: If you want to create a job for an American citizen tomorrow, deport an illegal alien today." (Wichita Eagle)
NE GOV: Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced three debates with state Sen. Bob Krist (D). However, Krist’s team is critical of the schedule, believing it intends to “limit the number of eyeballs” that can see the two candidates.
The debates are at the Nebraska State Fair on Aug. 30, sponsored by the Omaha World-Herald and KMTV; in Wayne on Sept 21. supported by Wayne Area Economic Development and both candidates will appear at the Nebraska Jewish Political Forum in Omaha on Oct 7.
Krist campaign communications director Dan Parsons said the Wayne and Omaha events “were chosen instead of a televised debate sponsored by KETV in Omaha that Krist already has agreed to and a proposed debate that would be aired by KOLN Channel 10/11 in Lincoln and carried statewide over its Gray Television affiliates in Omaha, Hastings, North Platte and Scottsbluff.”
Parsons: “While we both agreed to participate in the State Fair debate, there have been no discussions regarding future debates, rules, locations or format ...Instead, Governor Ricketts has taken a 'my way-or-the highway approach,' which is an attitude reflected throughout his administration. ...This is how an out-of-touch and arrogant candidate acts, not the governor of a great state.”
Ricketts campaign communications director Matthew Trail: “These invitations, which were extended to both campaigns, were accepted to debates that are open to voters based on Governor Ricketts' schedule.” (Lincoln Journal Star)
NY GOV: “For eight months in 2014, a longtime top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Joe Percoco, left the state payroll to manage the governor's re-election campaign. Yet during that time, the taxpayer-funded phone line in Percoco's former government office was routinely used for campaign-related business in violation of state regulations, according to records obtained by the Times Union. During that time, records show the governor's office phone assigned to Percoco was used 68 times to call Cuomo's campaign office in Manhattan.”
“Percoco's attorney said that Cuomo's campaign manager never made campaign-related calls on the government phone and that others — he did not identify them — may have used the phone for that purpose. However, records of Percoco's state-issued building pass show that he was present in the governor's office when calls to the campaign headquarters were made. … New York's Public Officers Law prohibits the use of ‘property, services or other resources of the state’ for political campaigns.”
“Percoco's presence in the governor's office while working for the re-election campaign was revealed in his recent federal trial, which ended with his conviction on bribery and corruption charges. … Cuomo has denied knowing that Percoco — a decades-old family friend and one of the governor's closest confidantes — had used the office and phone for campaign work. If Cuomo had been aware of that conduct, he could be exposed to ethical and, potentially, criminal consequences.” (Albany Times Union)
“The conviction of Alain E. Kaloyeros, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s economic development guru, on federal corruption charges on Thursday has provided a timely and powerful cudgel to a raft of critics and political opponents running to replace him. Nowhere was that more apparent than at a news conference on Friday convened by” actress Cynthia Nixon (D). “She suggested that the governor’s apparent lack of oversight to hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts and avowed ignorance of his top aides’ dealings should be reason enough for him ‘to step down’ or be voted out of office.”
Nixon: “For any other governor in America, this would be earth-shattering, but in Andrew Cuomo’s Albany, it was just a Thursday.”
“Indeed, Mr. Kaloyeros’s conviction — taken in concert with the March conviction of Joseph Percoco, Mr. Cuomo’s former campaign manager and executive deputy secretary — painted a deeply unflattering portrait of the Cuomo administration’s inner workings, including a propensity for verbal abuse, juvenile nicknames, Mafia references, secrecy, fear and professional insecurity.”
Cuomo: “I don’t know what I could have done differently to prevent the situation … Can you stop people from doing criminal things? No. But you can have a system in place that says if you do something wrong, we will be as aggressive as the law allows in prosecuting you.” (New York Times)
SC GOV: Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is footing the bill for President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign trail visits to South Carolina on his behalf. “The campaign paid $97,001.96 to the Republican National Committee last month to cover the costs of Air Force One flying into Columbia and Air Force Two flying to Myrtle Beach, according to a state disclosure filing last week.”
McMaster previously paid $21,400 for a visit from Trump in October which means the governor has spent more than $118,000 on Trump and Pence visits. Additional expenses could be imminent from the Secret Service for the most recent stops. (Charleston Post and Courier)
TN GOV: Some Tennessee residents “are reporting receiving potentially illegal text messages that are attacking” former state cabinet member Randy Boyd (R) and businessman Bill Lee (R). “The text message attacks against Lee have been about his previous donations to Democrats. … The attacks against Boyd seize on a USA Today Network - Tennessee story that found his personal business avoided paying millions of dollars in U.S. and international taxes due to a legal but controversial loophole.”
“Such attacks against Boyd and Lee have also been used in recently launched television ads by their GOP competitor,” Rep. Diane Black. “On Friday, Black denied any knowledge of the text attacks on Boyd and Lee.”
“It is not clear how many people received the text messages or how the phone numbers for recipients were obtained. State law requires political communications to include a disclosure of who has funded them. In addition, federal law prohibits political campaigns from sending unsolicited text messages without the recipient's prior consent.” (Nashville Tennessean)
VT GOV: Gov. Phil Scott (R) “took in $93,000 in the past three months, bringing his total campaign haul to $214,000. He has already spent $177,000, so his cash on hand was less than $40,000.”
Former utility executive Christine Hallquist (D) reported taking in $89,000 in contributions within the past three months with a total of $132,000 for her campaign so far. She has approximately $23,000 cash on hand.
Water quality advocate James Ehlers (D) reported having less than $10,000 cash on hand after raising $29,000 in the financial period. His campaign has raised slightly under $50,000 overall.
Southern Vermont Dance Festival director Brenda Siegel (D) “raised less than $9,000; her campaign also received in-kind donations of more than $8,000. After expenses, Siegel's campaign had roughly $1,000.”
Student Ethan Sonneborn (D) raised $1,093 and had no expenditures. Grocer Keith Stern (R) hasn’t filed yet. (Seven Days)
What We're Following See More »
President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen said he "was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. At the same candidate’s direction, he said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, which was later repaid by the candidate. He didn’t identify the candidate or the person who was paid, but those facts match Cohen’s payment to Clifford and Trump’s repayment."
A jury has found former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty [of] five counts of filing false tax returns, one count of not filing a required IRS form, and two bank fraud counts. ... The jury said it was deadlocked on the other 10. U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those other charges."
A D.C. judge "has tossed out a defamation lawsuit brought by three Russian oligarchs against former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele over his discussion of them in the dossier he prepared during the 2016 US presidential election campaign describing Donald Trump's links to Russia. The men — Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, and German Khan — are investors in Alfa Bank and had sued Steele and his company, Orbis Business Intelligence Limited, alleging that the dossier defamed them by linking them to Russian efforts regarding the presidential election." The judge cited D.C.'s anti-SLAPP act in his ruling.