Welcome to the first edition of DSCC Friday Takeaways. We’re a little more than 600 days away from the 2018 election, and our weekly (for now) installments will share everything we think you should know heading into the midterms. We hope you find these emails helpful and, if nothing else, see them and know you made it through another week. For now, Happy Friday from your friendly DSCC Team.

TGIF FOR GOP. If Republicans slept easy Tuesday night, they were quickly awakened from the fantasy that the Trump Administration had reset after 40 days of crises. Newspapers across the country led with the story that embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions misled Congress on his meetings with Russian officials. Republicans – including would-be Senate candidates – must continue to answer questions on the White House’s unprecedented and potentially dangerous ties to Russia. We think the Grand Rapids Press put it best.

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KEVIN CRAMER’S “PENCHANT FOR SAYING INTEMPERATE THINGS.” That’s what the Grand Forks Herald had to say after Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND) insulted women who wore white to the Joint Address earlier this week.

First there was this

…did you notice how poorly several of them were dressed as well? It is a syndrome. There is no question, there is a disease associated with the notion that a bunch of women would wear bad-looking white pantsuits in solidarity with Hillary Clinton to celebrate her loss. You cannot get that weird.” 

Then this: 

“I think they should be celebrating the fact that there were women members of Congress sitting in a joint session.”

Also these:

KVRR: Rep. Cramer Under Fire for Calling White-Dressed Lawmakers “Silly” and Like a “Disease” 

KFGO 790AM Fargo-Moorhead: GOP congressman critiques female colleagues’ attire

West Fargo Pioneer: Kevin Cramer: Women wearing ‘bad-looking white pantsuit’ have a ‘disease

OH, BUT DON’T FORGET THIS: In 2013, Cramer fought against the inclusion of a tribal provision (introduced by Senator Heitkamp) in the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization that would make it easier to prosecute non-Native perpetrators who commit domestic violence crimes on tribal land. When confronted about his opposition to the provision by a Tribal council member, who is a survivor of abuse, Cramer “stated that he wanted to ‘ring the Tribal council’s neck and slam them against the wall.”

NOT READY FOR HIS SAD! ATTEMPT AT YET ANOTHER CLOSE-UP. Josh Mandel continues to be dogged by reports he spent $1.84M in public money on self-promoting TV ads, and purposefully spent the money in a way that would avoid government oversight.

Dayton Daily News: Ohio treasurer ran state-funded ads just before announcing Senate run Treasurer Josh Mandel spent $1.7 M tax dollars on TV ads featuring himself, Urban Meyer

ABC 6:  Mandel defends spending taxpayer money on TV ads

Fox 8: Ad campaign cost Ohio taxpayers $1.7 million

Dayton Daily News: State treasurer defends spending $1.84M in public money on TV ads

**Quick sports break: We’re less than one month away from Opening Day  **

HELLER HIDES FROM HIS CONSTITUENTS. During recess, Senator Heller wouldn’t meet with his constituents, so they came to him, attending a ticketed Chamber of Commerce lunch to learn when Senator Heller would meet with the people he represents. Heller said he would hold a town hall, but only if there was “no booing” and everyone was nice.

Why does this matter? Like all elected officials, Senator Heller works for his constituents and evading their tough questions shows he’s not up for the task. More Americans have health insurance than ever before, and the reckless GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is raising legitimate questions Republicans must answer… not hide from.


CT – Hartford Courant: Hundreds Welcome Murphy With Ovation, Express Concerns Over Trump Administration
FL – Orlando Political Observer: Bill Nelson rallies with Democrats in Orlando to save Obamacare
HI – Big Island Now: Sen. Hirono, Other Democrats Introduce Bill Rescinding Trump’s Deportation Order
IN – WIBC 93.1FM Indianapolis: Donnelly Will Be Tough to Beat
MI – Michigan Radio: Don’t underestimate Stabenow, again
MN – ABC 5 Minnesota: Klobuchar, Firefighters Lobby for National Cancer Registry
MN – Brainerd Dispatch: Klobuchar bill to encourage women in STEM signed into law
MT – Billings Gazette: Tester plugs bill for teacher shortage, veterans education
VT – Vermont Biz: Bernie Sanders pushes prescription drug importation bill to lower costs
VA – Augusta Free Press: Poll: Kaine with big leads in early look at 2018 U.S. Senate race
WI – Madison Cap Times: Editorial: Tammy Baldwin shows, even in Donald Trump’s D.C., coalition politics is possible

Enjoy the weekend,

Lauren Passalacqua

Ben Ray

Courtney Rice


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