NEW DSCC “BUMPER ADS” TARGET HOUSE REPUBLICANS. Our latest round of six-second, nonskippable YouTube “bumper ads” target seven states and twelve House Republicans floated as potential Senate candidates and hold them accountable for a plan that will jeopardize coverage for preexisting conditions – like pregnancy care and drug addiction treatment. They are: Reps. Tiberi (OH), Upton (MI), Cramer (ND), Kelly and Barletta (PA), Messer and Rokita (IN), Jenkins, Mooney, and McKinley (WV), and Wagner and Hartzler (MO). If any of these lawmakers decide to run for the Senate, this won’t be the last time they see these. Here’s a look at the Indiana ad:
Here’s how it’s playing in the states:
IN – Indianapolis Star: Democrats use health care vote against Hoosiers considering Senate run
MI – Detroit News: Democrats target Rep. Upton with digital ad
OH – Toledo Blade: DSCC attacks Tiberi in “bumper ad”
PA – Politics PA: DSCC Launches Youtube Ads Targeting Barletta and Kelly
WV – Charleston Gazette Mail: Political ad season has begun
Reminder: We launched our first round of “bumper ads” against Senators Flake and Heller last week immediately following the House vote on the AHCA.
BOOKMARK THESE STORIES. Anyone who thought the Senate health care plan would be different? “Don’t hold your breath.”
TPM: GOP Senators Signal They’re On Board With Big Medicaid Cuts
Washington Post: Senate hard-liners outline health-care demands with Medicaid in the crosshairs
ND VOTERS CONFRONT REP. KEVIN CRAMER. North Dakota voters confronted Rep. Kevin Cramer for supporting the AHCA and wrongly promising that individuals with pre-existing conditions wouldn’t lose coverage. Then he accused people with pre-existing conditions of trying to “game” and “abuse” the system. No wonder things got heated:
KFYR: Tensions flared during ‘Coffee with Cramer’ in Mandan
MY ND Now: Coffee with Cramer Gets Heated
KFGO: Two ejected after confrontation at Cramer town hall in Mandan
Associated Press: 2 Ejected When Cramer Town Hall Turns Rowdy, but No Arrests
NO-SHOW REP WAGNER. Missourians in Rep. Wagner’s district invited her to a town hall to answer questions about the health care plan she supported. Instead of showing up, she called it “insulting” and ridiculed the attendees as “radical leftists.” Not the best way to win friends and influence people.
RECRUITMENT STRUGGLES… This week’s look at how Republicans aren’t exactly lining up to take on strong Democratic incumbents.
Associated Press: Senate GOP struggles to find challengers for some Democrats
Associated Press: Wisconsin Republicans worry about crowded Senate primary
Washington Post: The AHCA dampens GOP Senate aspirations
Washington Post: A lot of Republican rhetoric on health care this weekend may haunt the party in 2018
…AND PRIMARY PROBLEMS. Yep, they’re underway in two states:
#INSEN – You’ll read this again – AP: City pays Indiana congressman’s wife $20k/month.
#WVSEN – Morrisey slams Jenkins for being a former Democrat.
UPTON’S “RECKLESS” HEALTHCARE GAME. Rep. Upton’s hometown newspapers aren’t letting him forget the role he played in pushing through the Republican’s toxic healthcare plan to gut protections for pre-existing conditions. If Upton runs for the Senate in 2018, he can be sure he’ll see these headlines again.
South Bend Tribune: Our opinion: Fred Upton plays a reckless game with health care bill.
“Upton’s role in this mess can’t be overlooked. He emerged as a central force and he had the ear of the key players in the debate. He should have urged more time, more caution, more study, more cooperation. But he ended up caving to, or playing, partisan politics. His compromise idea was dubbed the “Upton Amendment.” It’s nothing to be proud of. Is Upton still the type of legislator we need in hyperpartisan Washington? Not the version that showed up in Washington last week.”
Detroit Free Press: GOP is playing a dangerous game with health care.
“[Republicans’] decision to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their speaker was not so much callous and cruel as it was cynical and calculated. But the prize for the most nauseatingly disingenuous performance goes to U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican from St. Joseph, who protested loudly that he couldn’t support a bill that failed to protect constituents with pre-existing illnesses, then sold his vote (and credibility) for an amendment that did more to camouflage the defect than to remedy it.”
MLive.com: AARP says Upton amendment to House health care plan is not an improvement
“AARP, an organization representing millions of older Americans, isn’t on board with the House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act passed out of the chamber last week. In a letter sent to members of Congress prior to the U.S. House vote on the American Health Care Act Thursday, executive vice president and chief advocacy officer Nancy LeaMond said the legislation would be a step backward in the health care reform debate and could result in higher premiums or a loss of health care for many older Americans. The group was critical of the amendment put forward by Michigan Congressman Fred Upton… [writing] “The Upton amendment would do little to reduce the massive premium increases for those with pre-existing conditions.”
FLAKE AND HELLER UNSURE ON SPECIAL PROSECUTOR. How do you say something and say absolutely nothing at all? Just look at how Senators Flake and Heller have handled questions about Comey’s firing. The Washington speak is having the expected effect of angering people back home: Flake’s primary challenger Kelli Ward accused Flake of “suffering from derangement syndrome” for not standing with Trump and conservative talk radio has roundly criticized Heller.
HELLER “IN A BIND” (AGAIN). Once again, Dean Heller has found himself “in a bind” over whether to support the Republican healthcare plan and his Planned Parenthood flip flop. The Hill puts it best: “Heller is stuck in a bind between a conservative base that’s long been promised ObamaCare repeal and more moderate voters who could exact political revenge if he helps roll back ObamaCare and its Medicaid expansion…If Heller opposes the plan too loudly, he’ll expose himself to a primary election challenge. But if he’s seen as too close to it, he’ll lose the moderates who backed Clinton in 2016.” TBD on whether Heller chooses to appease the far-right of his party or do what’s right for Nevadans.
ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER MANDEL MISSTEP. Mandel spent the week fending off accusations of “showboating” after he signed a ready-for-camera pledge to term-limit himself if elected to the Senate – conveniently forgetting that he made a similar pledge in 2010 when elected State Treasurer, only to run for the Senate in 2012. The Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board called out Mandel’s “leaky memory,” saying his “recent missteps — along with ramped up social-media attacks that cast suspicion on Muslims — are a poor reflection of his suitability for higher office. Mandel should pledge to run a more credible campaign.”
IN THE STATES.
FL – Wear TV: Sen. Nelson addresses health care, cybersecurity and more in Pensacola
IN – Goshen News: Donnelly, Brooks set the pace for bipartisanship
PA – York Dispatch: In York, Casey vows fight in Senate to save Obamacare
VA – Huffington Post: Tim Kaine Cries At Health Care Hearing, Says GOP ‘Couldn’t Care Less’ About People
WV – The Exponent Telegram: Sen. Manchin applauds community effort during coal miner town hall
(MORE) WV – The Exponent Telegram: Manchin presented with National Manufacturers Association Award
TWEET OF THE WEEK.