* NEW: * GOP MIDTERM MESSAGE: PRE-EXISTING CONDITION COVERAGE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The latest move by Republicans and the Trump administration to sabotage the health care system doesn’t just gut coverage for pre-existing conditions, but says those protections are unconstitutional. We already know Republicans will not stop their health care sabotage, even though report after report has shown these policies are making health care more expensive for American families. Health care is the top midterm issue for voters and now every single Republican Senate candidate will be forced to defend this disastrous, harmful action.
***The question every Republican Senate candidate must answer: Do you agree that pre-existing condition coverage is unconstitutional?***
SPOILER: Every single Republican Senate candidate is already on-the-record backing the GOP’s health care agenda that would slash coverage for pre-existing conditions, spike premiums, and impose an age tax on older Americans.
OFFICE OF BAD TIMING: WSJ/NBC POLL FINDS HEALTH CARE TOP ISSUE FOR VOTERS. From NBC: “Asked about their top issues for November, 22 percent of voters said health care was their first choice.” BONUS:“And 48 percent of voters indicate they’re more likely to support a congressional candidate who promises to provide a check on President Trump, compared with 23 percent who say they’re less likely to support such a candidate.”
THAT’S NOT ALL: GOP JEOPARDIZES MEDICARE. A new report this week shows the #GOPTaxScam is jeopardizing Medicare. It’s the latest plank in the Republican agenda that makes life more expensive for the middle class, all so Republicans can pay tribute to the big corporations and wealthiest few who bankroll their campaigns.
MARYLAND MATT ROSENDALE HAS SOME QUESTIONS TO ANSWER. Out-of-state special interests now have their own candidate in the Montana Senate race, where Maryland real estate developer Matt Rosendale barely eked out a win against a crowded primary field. Rosendale – who wasn’t the GOP’s first choice – has a lot to answer for, like why he signed a document under penalty of perjury stating he was a resident of Maryland while running for office in Montana and why he calls himself a rancher when he’s never ranched his land himself or owned any cattle. These vulnerabilities dragged down Maryland Matt’s post-primary coverage:
Associated Press: None of the four GOP candidates running Tuesday was the party’s first choice.
Helena Independent Record: Fagg…repeatedly dinged Rosendale and Downing for not being from Montana originally.
Missoula Current: Fagg, in turn, questioned Rosendale’s credentials and suggested the victor’s claims that he is a Montana rancher ‘all hat and no cattle’ since he leases out the ranch and raises no livestock.
MTN: Fagg…noted that Rosendale moved to Montana 15 years ago and will be tagged by Democrats as a carpetbagger.
SPEAKING OF… CHARGES OF CARPETBAGGING IN #MTSEN, #WVSEN. The National Journal reports on a curious trend among the Montana and West Virginia Republican Senate candidates: they’re dogged by “charges of carpetbagging.”
MARTHA MCSHIFTY DELETES DACA VIDEO. Martha McSally’s strategy of telling voters whatever she thinks they want to hear continues to backfire: after caving to primary pressure and backing off a bipartisan DACA bill, McSally was caught deleting a video where she defended DACA. From CNN:
The office of Arizona Republican Rep. Martha McSally has removed from public view a video on YouTube of her defending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
McSally is currently running in the Republican primary to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake against former state senator Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who are both hardliners on immigration.
This pattern is why conservatives are skeptical of McSally and are the subject of a new attack from her primary opponent Kelli Ward, who calls McSally “worse than” Jeff Flake.
HEADLINE: KEVIN NICHOLSON IS NEW TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BUT NOT POLITICAL CONTROVERSY. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on Kevin Nicholson’s “serious political ambitions” and how “his partisan conversion [to the Republican party] may have roots in an impeachment clash with fellow college [Democratic] activists.”
NICHOLSON BENEFITS FROM OUT-OF-STATE HELP. Both financially and with getting on the ballot, Nicholson “has been the beneficiary of immense out-of-state support.” “Nearly three-quarters of the signatures turned in by the Nicholson campaign were gathered by seven people who don’t live in the state.”
SCOTT’S PUERTO RICO PROBLEMS. Following Governor Rick Scott’s comments that he doesn’t know what he’d do differently in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, which came right after a new Harvard study revealing far more individuals died than had previously been reported, the DSCC released a video in English and Spanish highlighting Scott’s all-talk-no-action record on Puerto Rico. In typical self-serving fashion, Scott immediately rushed to make it seem as if he was a friend of Puerto Rico, donating 25 used police cars to the island, but the AP was quick to point out the “curious… timing of the messaging.”
SCOTT “IMPLORES NELSON TO GET TO WORK – THEN LEAVES FLORIDA FOR FUNDRAISING.” From the Tampa Bay Times: “A day after Gov. Rick Scott criticized Sen. Bill Nelson for protesting being in Washington in August, Scott hits the road for a fundraiser about as far from Florida as you can get — in San Francisco.” In case Scott needs help, here are some actions he could take to improve the lives of Floridians, rather than going to court to avoid disclosing his personal assets or pursuing his own self-serving agenda:
St. Augustine Record: Scott “has also worked diligently to trash our education system — pre-K to graduate school — by reducing funding to the system that once was admired by many across the U.S… In the end, Scott and the Republicans have disabled our school system and that of the rest of the state. Our teacher pay is now near the bottom in the 50 states.”
Tampa Bay Times: “An analysis being released today by RewardExpert ranks Florida as the ninth-worst state to live in for low-income families and individuals. The study evaluated states based on government assistance programs, and the number of those that receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, cost of living, average income, taxes, minimum wage, housing prices and debt collection and family leave laws.”
HEADLINE: CRAMER LETS DOWN FARMERS. A third generation North Dakota farmer writes that “Cramer has left us in the dust by cheering on a trade war that would harm our ag producers” and lambasts Cramer for his membership in the Republican Study Committee, a “far right-wing group” that has advocated for policies that would devastate North Dakota’s farmers.
HAWLEY’S SHAM INVESTIGATION IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Josh Hawley has already been taken to task for his sham investigation that cleared the former governor of any wrongdoing in his use of an encrypted messaging app, but now there’s new evidence of just how much of a sham it was. A separate lawsuit has found that 20 members of Greitens’ official staff used the app – “much higher than was unearthed” by Hawley. It’s further proof of how the “GOP golden boy” has failed to do his job and stand up for Missourians.
TULLY: GOP ATTACKS ON DONNELLY DON’T STICK. IndyStar columnist Matthew Tully writes that “nothing has stuck” from Republican attempts to attack Senator Donnelly with a “juvenile nickname.” Why? “Donnelly is a moderate and bipartisan senator who works on serious issues in a time of pettiness in politics. The name-calling only makes him look better.”
DEM AD WATCH.
PA – Senator Casey’s first TV ad of the cycle highlights his efforts to aid the families of those affected by the opioid crisis.
MN – Follow Senator Smith around Minnesota as she goes door to door, hearing what her fellow Minnesotans are concerned about – and coming up with solutions together.
RENACCI SAYS HE’S AN OUTSIDER BUT FUNDRAISES WITH INSIDERS. After disingenuously touting his status as an outsider, Congressman Jim Renacci (R-Lobbyist) attended the ultimate DC insider fundraiser this week with “very special guests” Majority Leader McConnell, NRSC Chair Senator Gardner, and seven other Senators.
** DON’T MISS: NowThis spotlights Rep. Jacky Rosen and the #NVSEN race. WATCH. **
IN THE STATES.
AZ – KTAR: Rep. Sinema hopeful immigration vote gridlock coming to end
FL – Orlando Sentinel: Former Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Rossello endorses Bill Nelson
(MORE) FL – Tampa Bay Times: With hurricane season under way, Nelson and Rubio press feds on senior issues
IN – Indy Star: Indiana AFL-CIO: Sen. Joe Donnelly works for Hoosiers
(MORE) IN – Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette: Trump thanks Donnelly on right-to-try
(EVEN MORE) IN – Chester Tribune: Steel Union leaders gather here to back Senator Joe Donnelly
MO – STAT: McCaskill introduces a bill to force pharma to disclose payments to patient advocacy groups
MT – New York Times: At Home on the Farm With Senator Jon Tester
ND – AG Week: Former ag secretary Vilsack endorses Heitkamp for Senate
PA – YourErie.com: Senator Casey introduces legislation to help grandparents who are primary caregivers
WI – Milwaukee Business Journal: Using Wisconsin as example, Sen. Baldwin proposes $50M a year grant program for water tech innovation
TWEET OF THE WEEK.