GOP candidates for state Sen. Wendy Davis’s (R) legislative seat are already attacking her on abortion, foreshadowing a major line of attack for Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) if Davis chooses to oppose him for governor. (Texas Tribune) Abortion will be one of Texas Republicans’ main issues they use against Davis, who shot to prominence via a filibuster of an anti-abortion bill in June. But it’s not the only weapon in their arsenal. Other top hits that Davis would see in the governors race include:
— Conflict of interest allegations related to Davis’s law practice, its public clients, and votes she has cast on state contracts.
— Vote ratings on the left end (fourth-most out of 31) of the Texas state Senate and also the state Senate Democratic caucus.
— A host of individual budget votes from 5 years in the state Senate, during which time Republicans cut billions from state spending plans over the objections of legislative Democrats. Davis will counter with her efforts to support education funding (including a nationally lesser-known filibuster a few years ago) and other individual programs.
Also, as Davis will need to broaden her public image past the abortion filibuster if she runs, Dallas Morning News columnist Carl Leubsdorf argued that Davis missed an opportunity to boost business credentials by siding with Ft. Worth-based American Airlines (and against Abbott) by publicly opposing the blocking of the AA-US Airways merger. (Dallas Morning News)
Right now, Davis’s statewide image is tied up in her abortion filibuster and the ensuing hubbub. But that’s not the issue that helped her win a GOP-leaning state Senate district.
Meanwhile, local Democrats are actively recruiting potential replacement candidates in Davis’s district. (Dallas Morning News) And Davis is the subject of a “glowing” Vogue profile that highlights her personal biography. (Politico)
— Scott Bland
What We're Following See More »
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."