Conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats (R) will consider a Senate run, per spokesperson Dave Barnett. Barnett: “He would consider looking at it in the middle of October, and decide by the end of the year.” Vander Plaats “has sought statewide office before.” He ran in the GOP gubernatorial primaries in 2002, 2006 and 2010. “Vander Plaats emerged as an important statewide figure in part for his role in Mike Huckabee’s 2008 victory in the state, and then led a successful recall of judges who had backed marriage equality in Iowa.” (BuzzFeed)
IN BRALEY’S CORNER. Vice President Biden “called on Democrats to support” Rep. Bruce Braley’s (D) candidacy, “warning of threats to the party’s achievements if Republicans gain control of the chamber.” Biden made his remarks at a fundraising reception prior to Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D) annual Steam Fry. Biden: “Unless we can maintain this seat, unless we can begin to break down the majority in the House of Representatives, everything you have fought for for the last six years and beyond is in jeopardy. … This is now a party where the tail is wagging the dog, where Ted Cruz is running the show, a freshman, in terms of the ideas of the party.” (Des Moines Register)
GIFFORDS COMING. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) “will headline a fundraiser” for Braley’s campaign. She and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, will talk at Braley’s annual “Bruce, Blues, and BBQ” fundraiser on Oct. 27 in Des Moines. Since the attack that badly wounded her, “Giffords has advocated for gun control legislation. Over the summer, Giffords and Kelly toured seven states seeking support for federal legislation that would expand background checks on gun purchases. Braley and Giffords both were elected to Congress in 2006 and became friends. Earlier this year, Braley gave Giffords his guest ticket for the State of the Union Address so she could bring more family members to the event.” (AP)
— Julie Sobel
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Trump wants to move the two grants, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas grant and the Drug Free Communities Act, to the Justice and Health and Human Services departments, respectively. This would result in a $300 million plus reduction in funding, about 95 percent of the cost of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "'I’m baffled at the idea of cutting the office or reducing it significantly and taking away its programs in the middle of an epidemic,'" said Regina LaBelle, who served as ONDCP chief of staff during the Obama administration. This is the second time the Trump Administration has proposed gutting the agency.
A new report assembled by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has identified more than 500 potential conflicts of interest in President Trump's first year. First, the report notes, Trump spent 122 days at his properties during his first year. He has been accompanied by 70 federal officials and 30 members of Congress. "Second, far from this signaled access to power being an empty promise, those who patronize President Trump’s businesses have, in fact, gained access to the president and his inner circle." Lastly, about 40 special interest groups and 11 foreign governments have held events at Trump properties.