“CAUGHT ON TAPE” – WHY THE GOP CAN’T EXPECT ‘WELCOME HOME’ PARTIES. Congress is heading into a two-week recess but as the Washington Post reported, “the Republicans’ legislative struggles on healthcare will be front and center” –  and we have the highlight reel to prove it. The DSCC released a new web video of Republicans House members from Indiana, Missouri, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, and Michigan who are on-the-record praising the GOP’s toxic healthcare plan.


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The Republican health plan has given Americans a rare area of agreement: they think it stinks. But the GOP seemed determined to show this week that they could do still worse:
CNN: Revived GOP health care talks could hurt those with pre-existing conditions.
Huffington Post: Emerging GOP Obamacare Repeal Would Mean Sick People Pay (Much) More.
New York Times: Republican Health Proposal Would Undermine Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions.
Slate: Trumpcare May Be Back From the Dead, and It’s Uglier Than Ever.
The Week: The GOP has a new health-care plan. And it’s somehow even worse than before.

As the National Journal points out, “the GOP is having a tough time enlisting viable candidates,” and this will only make it harder.

DEMOCRATS POST STRONG 1ST QUARTER FUNDRAISING NUMBERS – AND “TRUMP SERVES AS “ROCKET FUEL FOR DEMOCRATIC FUNDRAISING.” The early fundraising reports for Democrats show they’re posting big numbers ahead of the midterms:

HEITKAMP’S $1.6 MILLION “MORE THAN ANY OTHER” #NDSEN CANDIDATE IN OFF-YEAR Q1. Heidi Heitkamp raised $1.6 million in the first three months of the off-year, more than any other North Dakota Senator or Senate candidate in history. She has more than $2 million cash on hand.

NELSON “OFF TO A STRONG START” RAISING MORE THAN $2 MILLION. Bill Nelson raised more than $2 million from 4,500 individual donors and has $3.6 million cash on hand.

BALDWIN “GEARING UP” With $2.2 MILLION QUARTER. Tammy Baldwin raised $2.2 million and reports $2.4 million cash on hand.

In non-political news that we can use – the AP Planner let us know that TODAY is National Beer Day.

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Go out and celebrate because, after this week, I’m sure we all need one.

DUH – GOP GIFT TO INTERNET COMPANIES NOT POPULAR WITH… ANYONE. Civis Analytics found that 83 PERCENT of voters oppose Senator Flake’s bill wiping out internet privacy protections – the one he wrote and Senator Dean Heller sponsored. Another poll from Huffington Post/YouGov says nearly 75 percent of Americans want the President to veto the measure.

Here’s what they GOP doesn’t want to see in your browsing history: The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them. (Spoiler: Between Flake & Heller, internet companies gave more than $100,000)

SPEAKING OF: IS JEFF FLAKE TIRED OF WINNING YET? Senator Flake has had a busy last month. First, he endorsed the draconian cuts to Medicaid in the GOP’s health care plan. Then, he caught heat from all sides for his bill that allows internet service providers to sell your personal data to the highest bidder and for his vote to deny women and children access to lifesaving care through Title X funding. Now he’s been called a “school yard bully” by his home-state newspaper for his “holier-than-thou” attitude when it comes to preserving the rules of the Senate. With all this, we’ve got to wonder — is Flake tired of winning yet?

Phoenix New Times: Flake’s Bill Allowing Internet Companies to Sell Your Private Data Passes Congress.
Sierra Vista Herald: Privacy is our concern, Sen. Flake
Eastern Arizona Courier: Editorial: See what your neighbor does online, just $19.99
Arizona Republic: Letter: Sen. Flake puts companies above us
New York Times: Republicans Attack Internet Privacy
Arizona Republic: Montini: Man up, Sen. Flake, admit Republicans are sticking it to Democrats
Phoenix New Times: Here’s How John McCain and Jeff Flake’s Votes Could End Up Screwing Over 30,000 Arizona Women

Don’t Miss Pic of the Week
A horse-sized duck is getting in on the action, protesting yesterday outside of Senator Flake’s Arizona office.

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TIBERI SLAMS MANDEL. Representative Pat Tiberi doesn’t talk about Josh Mandel often, but he couldn’t stay silent on yet another example of Ohio’s no-show treasurer’s wasteful spending. He called “the cost of a government transparency project” run by Mandel as “crazy,” and urged constituents to call their state legislators to question Mandel’s double-spending. This tops off a rough couple of months for Mandel, who has been repeatedly called out for his self-promotional use of taxpayer dollars to air TV ads for himself.


SCOTT’S QUID PRO QUO. Rick Scott is at it again. A new investigative report by WFTV Orlando details that donors to Scott’s political action committee, which has been spending money on TV ads to defend his pet project Enterprise Florida, have “active contracts” with Enterprise Florida, meaning Scott and his cronies are “using [Florida] tax dollars to help fund their business expansion.” This isn’t the first time Scott’s pet project has been involved in controversy. Previous reporting by WFTV Orlando has found that “big chunks” of Enterprise Florida tax dollars have gone to companies whose leaders sit on Enterprise’s board of directors. It was also revealed that Enterprise Florida awarded tax incentives to a company that has repeatedly failed to even pay its workers. 

Our take: This report epitomizes exactly who Rick Scott is: a typical Tallahassee politician who only ever looks out for himself. Even Scott’s fellow Republicans say he’s more interested in protecting his rich and powerful friends than preventing Florida’s middle-class families and businesses from being hit with millions of dollars in expensive tax increases and fees. Instead of engaging in quid pro quos to funnel taxpayer dollars to his political cronies and elite allies, Scott should explain to the people of Florida why he’s playing “political games” with their healthcare by refusing to expand Medicaid. 

IN – WISH 8: Sen. Donnelly to Dem colleagues: ‘I don’t work for you’
FL – Village News: U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson files bill to help seniors in Puerto Rico with cost of prescription drugs
MA – Glamour: Senator Elizabeth Warren Has Millions of Young Fans, a New Book, and Swagger to Spare
MN – Star Tribune: Franken, Klobuchar join Dems to urge Trump veto of internet privacy repeal
OH – WTOV9: Senator Brown pushing to extend healthcare benefits for mine workers
MORE OH – ABC 22 Now: Sen. Brown reintroduces legislation to end pay discrimination
WI – WEAU 13: Baldwin roundtable addresses rising prescription costs


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Lauren Passalacqua

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