Gillibrand Heads to Iowa

Brown hired his first staffer in the state.

Jan. 18, 2019, 10:59 a.m.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) “will make stops across Iowa this weekend, announcing details of the trip just two days after launching a presidential exploratory committee. It will be Gillibrand's first visit to the first-in-the-nation caucus state as part of the 2020 primary process.” She’ll make stops in Sioux City, Boone, Ames, and Des Moines. (Des Moines Register)

BROWN. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) “has hired an experienced political operative in Iowa as he considers a run for president. Margaret Jarosz, who in 2016 worked as a regional field director for Bernie Sanders in the first caucus state, will serve initially as a senior trip adviser, with Brown planning his first visit to Iowa in the coming weeks. Her addition is a sign that Brown views Iowa as important to any White House bid. His Senate chief of staff, Sarah Benzing, also has considerable experience in the state and is viewed by many as his campaign manager-in-waiting.” (BuzzFeed)

BUTTIGIEG. “At 36, Pete Buttigieg is just over the minimum age required to be president of the United States. Outside South Bend, Indiana, the Rust Belt community where he’s been mayor since age 29, few people know his name.” Buttigieg: “I think most people are thinking: ‘Why not?’ They think all the rules have been broken, that anybody can run,’ said Buttigieg, who has said he’ll announce his decision on whether to run for president soon. ‘I think some of the rules have been broken, but there’s only one way to find out which ones.” (AP)

GABBARD. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) issued a lengthy apology for her past comments and actions against the LGBTQ community. Gabbard: “Many years ago, I apologized for my words and, more importantly, for the negative impact that they had. I sincerely repeat my apology today. I’m deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then, and my record in Congress over the last 6 years reflects what is in my heart: A strong and ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.” (release)

INSLEE. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced yesterday that he is “seriously considering running for president.” Inslee: “We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it. The Democratic Party must nominate a candidate who will put fighting climate change at the top of the agenda… our next president must summon the full energies of our nation to realize what the science is demanding of us. We must strive to achieve net-zero carbon pollution by midcentury, create a 100 percent clean-energy grid, and deploy new strategies and massive investments to transition off fossil fuels and decarbonize transportation, buildings and industries.” (Washington Post)

MCAULIFFE. “Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has dusted off his old state political action committee to accept big donations and cut checks to Democratic parties in early-voting states as he weighs a presidential run, campaign finance records show. McAuliffe’s PAC raised more than $300,000 in the second half of 2018 after not raising any money in first six months out of office. The PAC’s spending in recent months has included money for staff, travel and donations to the Democratic parties in Iowa and New Hampshire—both early voting states in presidential primaries.” (AP)

WARREN. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “is planning to travel to Puerto Rico next week, marking her first visit to the Caribbean island as a presidential hopeful at a moment of heightened political sensitivity around a Trump administration proposal to divert hurricane relief funding for the island toward the controversial border wall.” (CNN)

WARREN VS. BIDEN. If former Vice President Joe Biden gets into the race, there may be some tension between him and Warren. “Back in 2015, Biden was thinking about running in 2016, though he had not yet said so publicly. Warren was often mentioned as a potential candidate, despite her adamant statements that she did not plan to run… Every time Biden compared his views with Warren’s, he held himself out as pursuing “common sense” and having a positive vision of helping the poor and working class.” Biden: ““It’s not about punishing the rich, which is the fundamental premise of Elizabeth—who’s smart as hell and a good person… It’s about, What do we do about the fact that the middle class has lost an incredible amount of wealth and has not seen a pay raise?”

“Warren had been an antagonist of Biden’s in 2002, when she criticized him in a New York Times op-ed for his support of a bill that made it harder for consumers to declare bankruptcy.” Warren: ““Banking and credit lobbyists have been trying to change the bankruptcy laws for years,” Warren wrote. “The current bill was stuck in conference between the Senate and House until Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware—where many banks and credit-card issuers are incorporated—agreed to vote with Republicans on almost all the issues that were holding up the bill.” (Yahoo News)

FEC. “The list of Democrats launching presidential campaigns grows daily--at least seven people have declared their intentions and dozens more are considering running. But the agency that enforces federal campaign finance laws remains shuttered in the nation's longest-running government shutdown.

“Some 269 staffers, or nearly 90% of the 300-member workforce, at the Federal Election Commission have been furloughed since the shutdown began on December 22, according to the commission's publicly available shutdown plan.” (CNN)

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