SENATOR-ELECT DOUG JONES. Every single county swung in Democrats’ direction Tuesday night – and those results reflect the impressive campaign operation Senator-elect Doug Jones built. He put in the hard work, traveling more than 8,100 miles across the state. He remained laser-focused on “kitchen table” issues, making sure the race always put Alabama first. His team made smart strategic decision to invest in paid media early – going up on TV the week after the September runoff and staying on air through Election Day – and building the most robust GOTV operation the state has seen in decades. Candidates matter and so do the campaigns they run. Congratulations to Senator-elect Doug Jones!
DSCC MEMO: REPUBLICANS HAVE A PROBLEM & IT ISN’T ROY MOORE’S FAULT. Following a stunning Democratic win in one of the reddest states in the country, Republicans are rushing to blame Moore’s candidacy for all of their problems. But a new DSCC memo explains why that isn’t the case. Bottom line: Republicans do have a problem, but it goes much deeper than Roy Moore’s flawed candidacy. Trends that emerged in Alabama – massive recruitment failures that have led to destabilizing primaries where even the most extreme candidates can count on the national Republican Party’s support – are happening in Senate races across the country. Some highlights:
DSCC TIES GOP SENATE CANDIDATES TO MOORE IN NEW ADS. As first reported by Mic, the DSCC is launching new digital ads, “They Did Nothing,” to make sure voters know Republican Senate candidates refused to stand up to Roy Moore’s dangerous, out-of-touch record, which includes writing a course on why women shouldn’t run for public office, thinking that repealing Constitutional Amendments that gave women the right to vote and abolished slavery would “eliminate many problems.” The ads are running in Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania as part of an ongoing six-figure digital buy.
An example of the ad is below:
GOP GUIDE TO SCAMMING THE MIDDLE CLASS. Republicans are set to unveil the final text of their tax scam. Here’s how they did it, in three steps:
Step 1: Ignore Promises to Put the Middle Class First.
Washington Post: As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class.
The GOP tax plan on the cusp of becoming law diverges wildly from the promises President Trump and top advisers said they would deliver for the middle class.
The bill was supposed to deliver benefits predominantly to average working families, not corporations, with a 35 percent tax cut… But the final product is looking much different, the result of a partisan policymaking process that largely took place behind closed doors, faced intense pressure from corporate lobbyists and ultimately fell in line with GOP wish lists.
Over several months, tax cuts for families were either stymied or scaled back. And corporate benefits only grew.
Washington Post: GOP considers letting tax cuts for families expire sooner.
Congressional Republicans are looking at shortening the duration of tax cuts that their plan would give to families and individuals, a leading lawmaker said Thursday.
That change would free up more revenue for additional changes to their tax overhaul, but it could also heighten complaints that the bill prioritizes cuts for corporations over households.
Under a tax overhaul bill passed by the Senate earlier this month, tax cuts for all American households would expire at the end of 2025. But Republicans are now considering having those tax cuts expire in 2024.
Step 2: Don’t Pay Attention to Details.
Washington Post: Precision sacrificed for speed as GOP rushes ahead on taxes.
Republicans are moving their tax plan toward final passage at stunning speed… leaving the measure vulnerable to the types of expensive problems popping up in their massive and complex plan.
Questionable special-interest provisions have been stuffed in along the way, out of public view and in some cases literally in the dead of night. Drafting errors by exhausted staff are cropping up and need fixes, which must be tackled by congressional negotiators working to reconcile competing versions of the legislation passed separately by the House and the Senate. And the melding process underway has opened the door to another frenzy of 11th-hour lobbying as special interests, including President Trump’s rich friends, make one last dash for cash.
Step 3: Skew Benefits Towards the Wealthy and Corporations.
Washington Post: Congressional Republicans in advanced talks to reduce the tax rate for top earners to 37 percent as part of final tax bill.
Congressional Republicans are in advanced talks to lower the top tax rate for individuals from 39.6 percent to 37 percent as they finalize a massive $1.5 trillion tax package, said three people familiar with the negotiations.
The move follows complaints from wealthy taxpayers in New York and elsewhere that their taxes could go up under the legislation because of other changes it makes to the code. The change, if finalized, would amount to a major tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.
Flashback: Washington Examiner: GOP donors in New York sour on party’s tax plan.
Wealthy Republican donors in the Northeast are closing their wallets, livid with the party for supporting a federal tax overhaul that penalizes their lifestyle… In gruff phone calls and angry emails, loyal GOP financiers have declined invitations to fundraisers and refused meetings with prominent Republican officials. The rejection has been especially acute in New York, a liberal bastion, but a major source of the party’s campaign cash.
The result? The most unpopular piece of legislation in decades.
HELLER TAKING EVEN MORE HEAT AT HOME. Senator Heller can’t seem to catch a break. After bragging that he “helped write” the GOP’s deeply unpopular tax plan, the Reno News & Review editorial board blasted the plan, saying “every time we turn around, the GOP is pitching a new way to give unearned money to the one percent… Heller really should not brag about writing this bill, but parents and students should keep it in mind next year when he asks for their votes. What was in his mind when he made life more difficult for them?”
MANDEL “TAKING LIBERTIES WITH THE TRUTH.” Cleveland.com reports that Josh Mandel “won’t relent” in repeating a “debunked” claim about Senator Brown. When confronted that the claim was false, Mandel’s spokesperson repeated the lie. As Cleveland.com points out, Mandel “gained a reputation for playing fast and loose with facts” when he ran against Brown in 2012. Same old Josh, always running for office, always lying to get ahead.
MTSEN’S FAGG FAILS TO FOLLOW THE LAW. For a former judge, Montana Senate candidate Russell Fagg sure has a problem following the law. The Missoula Current reports that Fagg “failed to complete a public financial disclosure report as required by law” for weeks after he became a candidate. Fagg is already under investigation for running a shadow Senate campaign while still sitting as a judge.
IN THE STATES.
IN – Connersville News Examiner: Donnelly’s main focus: jobs
(MORE) IN – WBIW: President Trump Signs Donnelly’s Provision Into Law Requiring Comprehensive Strategy To Confront North Korea National Defense Bill
(MORE) IN – ABC 57: Sen. Donnelly recognized for working across aisle
MO – Fulton Sun: McCaskill calls on Congress to renew rural school funding
MT – Stars and Stripes: Democrats, vets’ advocates call for VA funding in year-end spending bill
NE – Scottsbluff Star Herald: Businesswoman challenging Fischer in Senate race
NV – Las Vegas Review-Journal: Rosen introduces bill to close gun loophole in military code
PA – CBS Philly: Senator Casey Pushes To Have Funding For CHIP Restored
WI – Wisconsin Gazette: Tammy Baldwin calls on Trump to release ‘Buy America’ report, as he promised
TWEET OF THE WEEK.