BOEHNER’S DEMISE CONSISTENT W/ GOP RIGHTWARD SHIFT.  When someone as conservative as John Boehner is no longer acceptable to lead the Republicans, the party is surely headed for self-inflicted irrelevance by way of far-right extremism. And as the House Republicans devolve into total chaos, they will undoubtedly drag the already dysfunctional GOP Senate along with them, which is a major problem for vulnerable 2016 Senators like Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Ron Johnson, Mark Kirk and Pat Toomey who are already furiously trying to rewrite their out-of-touch records. But it should really surprise no one that John Boehner isn’t far enough to the right for today’s Republican members of Congress. After all, as the NYT editorialized this week, GOP Senators have been hell bent on “denying women, especially poor women, the health care they need; pandering for primary votes among Tea Party regulars; and obstructing the budget process and the smooth functioning of government.”


GOP SENATORS REPEATEDLY PLAY POLITICS WITH WOMEN’S HEALTH AS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN LOOMS.This week, GOP senators shamefully voted twice to attack women’s health, prioritizing partisan politics over responsible governing. Instead of working across the aisle to avoid a government shutdown that would be terrible for the country, they wasted time with partisan show votes that were doomed to fail. Voters across the country will remember the GOP’s brand of irresponsible governing, and vulnerable senators will pay the price in 2016.


DSCC LAUNCHES DIGITAL ADS TARGETING GOP SENATORS OVER LOOMING GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. On Monday, the DSCC launched digital ads on Twitter and Facebook highlighting the predicament vulnerable Republican Senators find themselves in as some in Congress push for a government shutdown over the issue of funding for Planned Parenthood. Senators Ayotte, Blunt, Burr, Johnson, Kirk, McCain, Paul and Portman were targeted. These senators faced headlines across the country as the government shutdown creeps closer.


CNN: Democrats target Republican Senate candidates over Planned Parenthood


The ads ask whether the senators — eight of whom voted last month to block federal funds to the organization because it performs abortions — were willing to back calls from the right flank of the GOP to shut down the government over the issue.


A CNN poll released last week shows why Democrats think the issue will resonate. The poll found that 71% of all responders believe it’s more important to fund the government that to strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood. Importantly, for anyone running an election in a highly competitive state, 74% of independent voters say the government should not be shut down over the issue.


…Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is a main target of the ads because Democrats believe they have a good chance to knock off the Republican who is seeking a second term. Democrats suggest Toomey and other targeted Republicans might “flip flop” on the issue to placate swing voters in their states.


Charlotte Observer: Ad lays shutdown over Planned Parenthood at Burr’s feet

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Democratic group attacks Rob Portman in ad

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Politics of a government shutdown comes to Missouri, Illinois

Politics PA: Dems Target Toomey over Potential Government Shutdown


DSCC ONCE AGAIN OUTRAISES NRSC. The DSCC outraised the NRSC in August, raising $3.3 million, the best off year August in the history of the committee. Despite being in the minority, the DSCC raised $700K more than the NRSC, outraising them for 6 out of the 8 months this cycle. The DSCC has outraised the NRSC by nearly $4.3 million this cycle, and now has $8.8 million cash on hand.


Roll Call: Democratic Committees Top GOP Counterparts in August Fundraising

              Washington Examiner: Senate Dems outraise GOP in August


THIS IS WHAT “THE MAJORITY IS WORKING” MEANS? The NRSC loves to claim that “The Majority is Working,” but everyone else seems to disagree. This week, Politico wrote that Mitch McConnell is on his way to setting a record for “legislative futility.”Congrats?


Mitch McConnell is on course to set a record in legislative futility.


On Tuesday, the Senate majority leader again forced a vote on a bill to fund the Defense Department — and again it failed due to a Democratic filibuster. The roll call marked the fifth time McConnell (R-Ky.) has held a fruitless procedural re-do on legislation, the most in a year since 1997, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.


If he holds one more, he will have overseen the most rejected repeat attempts to end debate on bills of any majority leader since 1983, the last year in a CRS database. Filibuster votes at a 60-vote supermajority threshold were not used routinely until the 1990s, and there have been never been more than five repeat cloture votes in a year in the Senate’s history, according to Senate Democrats.


WALKER DROP OUT SHOULD HAVE GOP CANDIDATES RUNNING SCARED. Scott Walker’s brief presidential campaign ended this week, and GOP Senate candidates should have cause for concern. Walker’s failure is a clear warning to Republicans like Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, and Kelly Ayotte that a record of pandering to special interests and consistently attacking the middle class is going to catch up to you.


WALKER’S FAILURE CUTS DEEPEST FOR RON JOHNSON. Walker’s failure is a major hit to vulnerable Ron Johnson whose campaign is in such big trouble that back in April, a senior Republican strategist admitted that Johnson “would probably lose without Scott Walker…With Scott Walkers obviously we have a shot.” Ouch.


WHEN THE DSCC AND KENTUCKY REPUBLICANS AGREE. After spending $250,000 to make it clear that the Kentucky Senate seat is his second choice, Rand Paul is facing doubts from GOP operatives over his strategy to run for President and Senate. This week, Roll Call reported that Republican operatives are afraid that Paul’s clear disregard for his Senate seat will create an opening for Democrats in 2016.


Paul’s shallow support in Congress mirrors the kind of support his presidential campaign has earned in GOP primary polls. That has prompted some concerns to be raised about his strength in what should be a safe re-election race for a Republican.

One Kentucky Republican operative said that unlike Sen. Marco Rubio — the Florida Republican also from the class of 2010 who placed “all his chips on the table” by opting against a run for re-election — the perception is that Paul has relegated his re-election to merely a “second choice.” 


“The Senate seat in Kentucky should not be a consolation prize,” the Republican said.

As Paul has struggled to gain momentum in the early states, a veiled choir of Republicans back home — speaking loudly, but privately — have voiced grave concerns that Paul is providing Democrats a loose thread that could help them unravel his re-election plans, and in turn, their grip on his seat.

Sadie Weiner, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, echoing the language used privately by some Republicans there. “Kentucky voters deserve better than a senator who views them as a consolation prize.”



COLORADO – DENVER POST SLAMS AD ATTACKING MICHAEL BENNET AS “POLITICAL SLEAZE.” An ad by a shady special interest group attacking Michael Bennet was called “political sleaze” in an editorial by the Denver Post.

ILLINOIS – MUST READ STORY. Even with this week’s crazy news cycle, Mark Kirk is still going to make the front page. Read Capitol Fax’s story about how Mark Kirk’s campaign took a huge risk to attempt to get in front of a damaging story.

OHIO – ROB PORTMAN’S BEN CARSON PROBLEM. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Rob Portman’s significant connection to GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson and how problematic it may be for Portman as Carson continues to make offensive remarks.

MORE OHIO – NO JOBS ROB SHUTDOWN WATCH TOUR CONTINUES. As the shutdown gets closer, Ohio Democrats continued the “No Jobs Rob” tour across the state. Watch the news recaps here, here, and here.

NORTH CAROLINA – BURR APPROVAL RATINGS UNDERWATER. A new poll by High Point University shows just how vulnerable Richard Burr is. Only 26% of North Carolinians approve of Burr’s job performance, with 40% disapproving.

WISCONSIN – ATTACK ON FEINGOLD CALLED “FALSE.” An ad by the Club for Growth in Wisconsin that claimed Russ Feingold “robbed social security” was rated false by FactCheck.Org. They said that Feingold “did no such thing.”

TWEET OF THE WEEK. This week’s Tweet of the Week goes to Norm Ornstein, reminding Americans that this is certainly not your father’s Republican party: @NormOrnstein: “By any yardstick, John Boehner is very conservative-a Reagan conservative. Resignation shows how far beyond conservative his party has gone”

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