SENATE GOP’S DASHED DREAMS? That’s what the National Journal writes on the Republicans’ midterm outlook as a “poisonous environment” overtakes the GOP. The fallout from their ongoing intraparty war, coupled with a class of second- and third-tier recruits and meager fundraising numbers is leading to a “pessimistic forecast for the GOP.” Take a look:
GOP UNVEILS TAX PLAN, “RICH AND CORPORATIONS GAIN THE MOST.” Yesterday the Republicans unveiled their secret tax plan and we’re beginning to understand why they’ve kept the details under wraps: it “offer[s] little aid for many in [the] middle class,” while the wealthy and multinational corporations – the same individuals who fuel the Republican Party – “gain the most.” And the voters have noticed:
SCOTT “BIG WINNER UNDER GOP TAX PLAN.” That’s how the Tampa Bay Times describes Scott’s payout bonanza under the GOP’s tax plan. Reminder: Scott also pushed for ACA repeal, which Politico reported would have given him “a windfall tax cut of anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000.” It’s another reminder that Scott is a self-serving politician: only looking out for himself while others pay the price.
“BEDLAM” IN AZ GOP PRIMARY. Senator Flake’s sudden decision to retire further exposed “deep fissures” within the GOP, with the Arizona Republican primary as ground zero. While Congresswoman McSally has “emerg[ed] as the GOP establishment’s favorite,” Bannon and anti-establishment forces have declared her candidacy as a nonstarter, preferring perennial candidate Kelli Ward. Meanwhile, former Governor Brewer has thrown her support behind Jay Heiler – setting up what is sure to be “another scorched-earth primary battle” in the GOP’s civil war.
Arizona Republic: Senate poll: GOP voters uncertain who they want to replace Jeff Flake.
New York Times: ‘Bedlam Out Here in Arizona’ After Jeff Flake Departs Senate Race.
U.S. News: Razing Arizona: McSally Eyeing GOP Senate Battle.
Business Insider: The GOP establishment is rallying around a new frontrunner to replace Jeff Flake — but she’s been repeatedly critical of Trump.
OPEN ENROLLMENT BEGINS AMIDST GOP’S “HOSTILE TAKEOVER.” That’s how a health policy expert from the American Enterprise Institute described efforts undertaken by Republicans and the Trump administration to sabotage health care markets at the start of open enrollment, which began this week. One year out from the midterms, with higher premiums and less options, voters will remember who is to blame and will hold the GOP accountable for their broken promises and harmful agenda.
“HELLER NEXT IN GOP CIVIL WAR.” Nevada is emerging as “the next key battleground between the GOP establishment and party insurgents” as Bannon-backed candidate Danny Tarkanian challenges Senator Heller. Heller “faces a tough climb” in the primary – a result of his early disagreements with Trump – and in the general election – a result of his efforts to sabotage the health care markets and implement a plan that even his state’s Republican Governor has opposed.
GOP PRIMARY CLASHES CONTINUE. Nevada isn’t the only race where establishment and insurgent candidates are clashing:
WISCONSIN: Bannon-backed candidate Kevin Nicholson “walk[ed] a political tightrope” this week when questioned about his support for Speaker Paul Ryan. State Senator Leah Vukmir, whose ties to conservatives in-state are strong, has called on Nicholson to apologize. Meanwhile, conservative talk radio in the state remains hesitant about Nicholson’s conservative bonafides and his millionaire out-of-state backers.
WEST VIRGINIA: Congressman Evan Jenkins and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are sparring for space in the outside lane, with Jenkins accusing Morrisey of being a “former pain pill lobbyist” and Morrisey accusing Jenkins of being hypocritical.
MANDEL’S TV AD SCANDAL AN ISSUE IN OTHER OH RACES. Josh Mandel’s shady use of taxpayer funds is now infiltrating the current Ohio State Treasurer race, with one candidate saying Mandel’s claim of not having any records of his decision to spend $2 million in taxpayer money is “not believable.”
#GOP4JONES. Turned off by his divisive views, the “Republicans for Doug Jones’ movement is gaining ground around the state as some voters urge their fellow conservatives to cross over to the Democratic side in order to keep Moore out of the Senate.”
Meanwhile, Roy Moore Retreats: AL.com’s Kyle Whitmire blasts Moore for becoming “more scarce than a Trump cabinet nominee ducking a Mueller subpoena.”
SAY WHAT?! #TNSEN EDITION. Talking Points Memo reports that Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn invited “an avowed neo-Confederate secessionist,” Rev. David O. Jones, to deliver the opening prayer to the House in 2004. Jones has also donated to Blackburn. When pressed about her friendship with the Reverend, Blackburn refused to comment.
IN THE STATES.
Washington Post: The Daily 202: Red state Democrats are proposing lots of ideas to cut taxes and work with Trump
IN – WBIW: Donnelly To Senate Leadership: We Need Robust Funding To Address The Opioid Crisis
MN-Brainerd Dispatch: Klobuchar aims to raise awareness for carbon monoxide poisoning
MT – Glasgow Courier: Tester’s Talks Security, Vet Benefits
ND – AG Week: Heitkamp bill would fine tune farm safety net program
PA/MI – Augusta Free Press: Warner, Casey, Stabenow introduce job training tax credit proposal
VA – Augusta Free Press: Kaine, colleagues urge Trump to rescind proposed national park fee increase
WV – Metro News: Manchin conducts town hall meeting in Berkeley Springs
(MORE) WV – AP: Manchin Website Lists Job Openings for West Virginians
WI – WEAU: Sen. Baldwin introduces sexual harassment protection legislation
TWEET OF THE WEEK.