EVERYTHING’S COMING UP HEALTH CARE. It’s no shock in the face of the GOP”s continued assault but Axios confirmed this week the GOP plan to try again to strike down protections for preexisting conditions, institute an age tax, and drive premiums higher still if they are successful in the midterms.

A blistering Bloomberg editorial said that the midterms will define the future of health insurance and in November “voters ought to take stock of the harm that has deliberately been done — piece by piece, with effects now and in future — to an initiative that the U.S. badly needed.”

What’s more, two new studies illustrate the benefits of Medicaid expansion, contradicting Republican attempts to mislead voters about the program.

Meanwhile, Democrats continue to champion the expansion of affordable, accessible health care. Our message is resonating and Republican Senate candidates are feeling the heat. Here’s what happened this week:

The Good:

  • Senator Smith in Minnesota embarked on a health care listening tour to talk with constituents across the state.
  • Senator Manchin held a roundtable on pre-existing conditions with West Virginia clergy to listen to their concerns about health care.
  • Senator Brown joined local community leaders to discuss his bill that addresses worker shortages caused by the opioid epidemic.

The Bad:

  • The Washington Examiner reported that Mike Braun tried to cover up his record of complicity in the healthcare sabotage to get applause at an event this week.
  • Matt Rosendale also faced heat on the airwaves this week for prioritizing insurance companies over patients, resulting in soaring premiums.

The Ugly:

  • Senator Heller flip flopped on health care again, telling the Washington Examiner that the failed GOP attempt to strip health care from millions was a “big mistake.” Last year he pledged his support for health care to his constituents then wrote and voted for the bill that would have repealed it.
  • Rep. Barletta said during an interview that he “would not comment on” the destructive Republican-led lawsuit to make protections for pre-existing conditions coverage unconstitutional only. Unfortunately for him, his record of voting for the destructive GOP health care bill that would have slashed coverage for pre-existing conditions speaks for itself.

A TALE OF TWO CANDIDATES:  FIRST, JOE DONNELLY.  Here he is addressing the UAW Local 685 in Kokomo, Indiana:

“I have two Jeeps…My daughter was heading off when she was a senior in high school to go watch a movie with friends. I was half asleep on a Friday night when she said, ‘I’m heading out, Dad.’ We had a compact car, but I looked up and said, ‘Take the Jeep. I’d feel much safer if you took the Jeep.’ It was Good Friday. I get a phone call about two hours later and it was my daughter. She had been hit head-on by a drunk driver. The airbags went off, the car was crumpled. The policeman said, ‘It’s a miracle your daughter wasn’t killed.’ It was a miracle, but it was also a Jeep Grand Cherokee that you made, you built.”

…AND HERE’S MADE-IN-CHINA MIKE BRAUN:  The AP reported today that Rep. Mike Braun’s personal auto parts company, Promaxx, heavily manufactures products in China.  From The AP’s Brian Slodysko:

But the revelation about the Chinese origin of much of his own products line, which Meyer trademarked with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, draws into question some of Braun’s statements on the campaign trail, where he seldom — if ever — mentions Promaxx.

When the subject came up during a GOP debate in February, Braun said: “I deal with American manufacturers. We buy their products. I don’t know where they get them made.”

“My business is never involved in anything overseas other than some of the companies that we distribute their products,” he said in December at a GOP breakfast in Bloomington, Indiana.

… the AP purchased from Amazon one of Braun’s brand of winches, a device used to pull stuck 4×4 vehicles out of the mud. The box that arrived was labeled “Made in China” in several places on the accessory and packaging.

Numerous other products, including running boards and a specialized Jeep hood, were similarly listed as manufactured in China on websites that retail Promaxx goods, including Amazon, CARiD and eBay.

This is just the latest bombshell on Braun’s self-serving business practices. See also:

Associated Press: Indiana candidate’s rhetoric, business record don’t line up.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Braun companies faced suits, discipline on pay.

Politifact: A look into the business practices of Indiana’s Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun.

IndyStar: Senate candidate Braun pushed legislation benefiting his industry as a state lawmaker.

BUT WAIT!  THERE’S MORE!  BRAUN GETS TO THE RIGHT OF RICHARD MOURDOCK.  Rep. Braun told the Indianapolis Star that he supports forcing survivors of rape and incest to carry their attacker’s child, and would force women to continue life-threatening pregnancies against their will.

Bottom line: Rep. Mike Braun is an out of touch, multi-millionaire who has fattened his own wallet at the expense of Hoosier workers and taxpayers.

HEADLINE: KEVIN CRAMER’S CAMPAIGN IMAGES SHOT FAR FROM FARGO. Talking Points Memo reports that many of the images Congressman Cramer used come “from around the globe, from Serbia to Indonesia, Hungary to the United Kingdom.” Not exactly the best way “to illustrate his made-in-America political views.” See the photos here.

“VICIOUS” #WISEN GOP PRIMARY BATTLE RAGES ON. Less than a week out from Wisconsin’s August 14 primary election, Republican Senate candidates Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson remain engaged in “a costly, divisive,” and “vicious” primary battle that’s “hurting Republicans in Wisconsin.”

While Vukmir continues to pull in endorsements from influential Wisconsin conservatives, insisting that she’ll be a Donald Trump rubber stamp, Nicholson is sitting back and letting his billionaire mega donor Dick Uihlein carry him across the finish line.  So far, Uihlein-funded groups have “spent nearly $11 million” to buy Nicholson the election — including a new Uihlein-funded $911,000 TV ad buy that will be hammering Vukmir on TV through election day.

As the GOP contenders continue to fight it out ahead of Tuesday’s primary, whoever wins will undoubtedly come out damaged and limping toward the general. More from Vox.

  • A vicious GOP primary, pitting a former Democrat running as an outsider against the conservative state establishment, isn’t improving their odds of beating Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in her first reelection campaign.
  • They’ve been climbing over each other to swing to the right and to embrace Trump, a questionable general election strategy in a state where the president is deeply unpopular.
  • Nicholson was a Democrat until the early 2000s — either 2000 or 2002, depending on which story you believe — and his parents actually gave the highest allowable donation to Baldwin in February, maxing campaign contributions to their son’s potential general election opponent.
  • …outside conservative groups like Club for Growth have criticized Vukmir as a RINO (Republican in name only). The state senator, in the legislature since 2002, has the support of the state GOP and has allied herself with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Nicholson has used that to paint his opponent as a creature of the political establishment and an “insider” against his outsider.

SELF-SERVING SCOTT’S RED TIDE CRISIS MAKES HEADLINES. The Washington Post reported on the Red Tide crisis ravaging the Florida coast this morning. During Rick Scott’s tenure as governor of Florida, his “budget cuts have reduced water-quality monitoring stations around the state, as well as the frequency of water sampling,”–critical resources that could have prevented the crisis from reaching this magnitude.

A Tampa Bay Times Column asserted this week that “no one is more responsible than Scott for the crisis and that “Scott has done little to prevent this out-of-the-norm outbreak this summer. You could even argue his policies have encouraged it.”


AZ – In “Protect,” Kyrsten Sinema highlights her continued fight to protect health care for Arizonans.

FL – Senator Bill Nelson squarely lays the blame of the escalating algae crisis on Rick Scott in his ad, “Algae.”

MO – Senator Claire McCaskill shares her hometown Missouri story in her ad, “Home.”

NV – Jacky Rosen hits spineless Senator Heller for his baseless attacks against her in her new ad “No Wonder.”

TN – Senator Phil Bredesen touts his bipartisan appeal in “What Republicans Are Saying About Phil Bredesen,” presenting the many warm words Republicans share for Bredesen.


AZ – AZFamily: Meet the candidates for US Senate: Kyrsten Sinema

IN – WSBT: Sen. Donnelly says he is looking out for the health of Hoosiers

MI – NBC25: Senator Stabenow round table focuses on improving veteran services


PA – Herald Standard: Casey talks pre-existing conditions protection at Highlands Hospital




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