Today’s Hotline features our quarterly fundraising rundown. For a sampling, here are our winners and losers:
— On the Senate side, Alison Lundergan Grimes proved her fundraising potential, bringing in $2.5M and outraising the Senate Minority Leader. Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton (R) matched Sen. Mark Pryor (D) in his first quarter as a Senate candidate. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) continues to impress, more than doubling GOP challenger Thom Tillis‘ haul. Democrat Michelle Nunn‘s name paid dividends, outraising all of her challengers in the Georgia Senate race. In Michigan, Terri Lynn Land (R) beat expectations, raising $1.05 million and outdistancing Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI).
— Others fell short of expectations. Rep. Bill Cassidy‘s (R-LA) fundraising dropped off considerably, raising just $700,000 after bringing in $1.1 million in the second quarter. Conservative congressmen Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey couldn’t even hit $300K in Georgia; neither could Karen Handel. Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) was outraised by Liz Cheney (R), even though her $1M haul was ordinary given her family connections. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) hasn’t released his numbers yet, often a troubling sign.
— House winners include: Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), newly-targeted by Dems, raised an impressive $550K. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) topped $500K, while his GOP rivals raised little. Republican Mia Love raised more than Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) for the second straight quarter. Both Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Dem challenger Andrew Romanoff (D) are among their party’s fundraising standouts. Gwen Graham brought in nearly $500K against Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL).
On the downside, Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) was outraised by his primary opponent. So was Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), by a huge margin. Despite representing swing seats, Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Jon Runyan (R-NJ) barely topped $100K. David Rouzer, Rep. Mike McIntyre‘s (D-NC) opponent, only raised $91K. Kevin Strouse, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick‘s (R-PA) hyped Dem challenger, brought in only $151K. And expect to hear retirement rumors from Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), outraised by his second-time Dem challenger, and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), who only brought in $40K.
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As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."