“More so than any other leading Republican,” Gov. John Kasich (R) “is using his perch to promote a blend of conservative orthodoxy leavened with liberal policies meant to help the poor, the mentally ill and the uninsured. To hear him tell it, the 61-year-old onetime Lehman Brothers executive wants to rebrand the Republican Party by refashioning what it means to be a conservative in the 21st century.” Kasich has seen vigorous opposition from conservatives and praise from liberals for his push on Medicaid expansion. He has also “steered millions more dollars into local food banks, forced insurance companies to provide coverage for children with autism and signed legislation to make it easier for recently released felons to clear their names and find jobs.” Kasich: “I have a chance to shape what it means to be a Republican. … I have a chance to show what it means to be successful economically but also to have a compassionate side, a caring side, to help lift people up.”
Former GOP chair Ed Gillespie: “John is showing, perhaps more visibly than anyone, that conservatives can care deeply about those who are overlooked and are at risk of being left behind. … This is a very important thing for our party to demonstrate.”
Conservative leader Tom Zawistowski: “Kasich is so far off the reservation, it’s incredible.”
State Rep. Bill Patmon (D): “He is becoming the people’s governor.”
A June Quinnipiac poll showed his numbers rebounding greatly from their dismal lows in 2011. (Wall Street Journal)
BIGGER COMPLAINT. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D) “has expanded an ethics complaint involving practices of the state’s new privatized job-creation office.” In a letter Thursday, FitzGerald cited an AP report “detailing Kasich’s financial and political ties to a Fortune 500 steel processor whose subsidiaries are cleared” to get $619K in state tax incentives recommended by JobsOhio. “FitzGerald requested the commission add review of Kasich’s relationship to Worthington Industries to a complaint he’d already filed seeking panel input on potential conflicts of interest on JobsOhio’s board.” (AP)
LITTLE DEBBIE HELP. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz will join FitzGerald and others for a $500-a-plate fundraiser this month to benefit the Ohio Democratic Party. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
— Julie Sobel
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In a statement Friday, Sen. John McCain wrote, "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will effect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions." His "no" vote makes it much less likely Republicans will repeal and replace Obamacare by Sept. 30.
As anticipated, the Department of Education today withdrew the controversial Obama-era "Dear Colleague" letter on campus sexual assault, replacing it with new interim guidance. Most notably, the new guidance permits colleges to use a “clear and convincing” standard of evidence, rather than the preponderance of evidence standard that the 2011 letter seemed to mandate. "The new guidance also states that colleges may facilitate informal resolutions, including mediation, if all parties agree to participate in that process."
"The Trump administration will unveil more tailored restrictions on travelers from certain countries as a replacement to the controversial travel ban, according to a senior administration official. The new restrictions will vary by country. They could include a ban on travel to the United States, or new restrictions on obtaining a visa for citizens of particular countries." They are expected to be unveiled by Sunday.
In a live-streamed address from Silicon Valley, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a nine-point plan that the tech giant is rolling out over coming months to respond to "efforts by nation-states and private actors to use the social media platform to influence U.S. elections." Most importantly, the company will force all advertisers to disclose what ads they're running to all audiences. “When someone buys political ads on TV or other media, they’re required by law to disclose who paid for them,” Zuckerberg said. “But you still don’t know if you’re seeing the same messages as everyone else. So we’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook.”
As "part of a broader Trump administration order for anti-leaks training at all executive branch agencies," Environmental Protection Agency employees "are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information ... Relatively few EPA employees deal with classified files, but the new training also reinforces requirements to keep 'Controlled Unclassified Information' from unauthorized disclosure."