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DSCC QUICK TAKES: MCCONNELL DELIVERS “CAMPAIGN GOLD” — REPUBLICANS “RACE” TO COVER TRACKS ON HEALTH CARE — MORE DEM ENDORSEMENTS

MCCONNELL DELIVERS “CAMPAIGN GOLD.” A new report from Politico outlines how Mitch McConnell’s comments on targeting entitlements and affordable health care are forcing Senate Republican candidates to answer for the GOP’s dangerous and unpopular agenda:

  • “Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are vital to West Virginia. And in an interview on Saturday as he prepared for the annual Apple Harvest Parade, Manchin called McConnell’s comments “absolutely ridiculous” and said his Republican opponent, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, would vote to curtail benefits ‘in a heartbeat.’ Manchin also dredged up Morrisey’s support during a 2000 congressional race in New Jersey for partially privatizing Social Security funds.”
  • “‘He’ll be a yes man, 1,000 percent, whatever they ask him to do,’ Manchin said of Morrisey and GOP leaders.”
  • “During a Friday night debate, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) accused Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) of trying to “balance our budgets on the backs of senior citizens.” In Missouri, the first question asked of Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley at a debate on Thursday was his stance on cutting Medicare and Social Security. And at a North Dakota debate the same day, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) badgered GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer about his willingness to reform those programs.”

Read more on how the “McConnell Effect” continues to drag down Republican Senate candidates.

MCSALLY FORCED TO ANSWER FOR HEALTH CARE RECORD. Fox News held Congresswoman Martha McSally’s feet to the fire for her record of voting to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions coverage:

WALLACE: Do you acknowledge that protection for people with preexisting conditions was significantly weaker under repeal and replace than it was under Obamacare?

MCSALLY: Chris, I am passionate about protecting people with preexisting conditions and forcing insurance companies to provide them health insurance. I voted to make sure that they had that — that coverage…

WALLACE: … because under repeal and replace, the bill that you voted for, if someone had a lapse in coverage of 63 days — and, of course, a lot of these are cases of preexisting condition are people who don’t have insurance and then want to buy it — if you had a lapse in coverage for 63 days, states could force those people, instead of buying it from an insurance company, to buy it from a risk pool.

And that meant that the premiums would be higher. That’s exactly the kind of thing that Obamacare tried to prevent.

BRAUN DODGES QUESTIONS ON HEALTH CARE. Despite trying for weeks to fool voters into believing that he cares about protections for pre-existing conditions, Mike Braun has now started avoiding questions from the press altogether. WTHR reports that while Joe Donnelly continues to hold Braun accountable on health care when they “attempted to get a clarification from Braun” they “were told he didn’t have time for questions.”

HAWLEY’S “TURBULENT” TENURE AS ATTORNEY GENERAL. Josh Hawley’s “turbulent” time as Attorney General came to light this weekend as stunning reports detailing widespread mismanagement of his office were released:

New York Times: “…a review of public records and internal documents, as well as interviews with current and former employees, reveals a chaotic tenure as attorney general that has been costly for state taxpayers. Judges have criticized the office over its slow pace of discovery, and Mr. Hawley’s staff had to renege on a settlement in a high-profile civil case.”

St. Louis Post Dispatch: “Critics say Hawley’s administration bled staffers and dedicated limited resources to firing salvos toward the federal government. They say he carried a lighter load than his predecessors.”

Our take: “Josh Hawley has always been out for himself and what these new reports show is how he’s used his taxpayer-funded office to get ahead – at the expense of Missourians. From leading a lawsuit to eliminate protections for the 2.5 million Missourians with a pre-existing condition to spending millions more on litigation, Hawley’s proven he cannot be trusted to the job Missourians hired him to do.”

See more of the headlines here.

But wait, there’s more…

REPUBLICANS “RACE” TO COVER TRACKS ON HEALTH CARE. The Washington Post reports that as Democrats’ messaging on health care continues to resonate with voters “Republicans race to back protections for preexisting conditions, after trying for years to gut the law that created the protections:”

  • “What began over the summer as a halfhearted attempt by Republicans to push back against Democratic attacks on the issue of health care has exploded into a full-throated reversal of their positions, particularly on protections for sick Americans.”
  • “In Missouri, Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley has been hammered by the woman he hopes to unseat, Democrat Claire McCaskill, for being among the attorneys general who have asked a federal court to render unconstitutional the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which compelled insurance companies to cover those with preexisting conditions.”
  • “In Texas, where he is trying to beat back a well-financed challenge by Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Ted Cruz said in a debate Tuesday that he would ‘protect preexisting conditions.’ Cruz forced a government shutdown in 2013 over his effort to repeal Obamacare.”
  • “On August, 10 Senate Republicans, including Dean Heller of Nevada, one of the most vulnerable GOP senators facing a re-election challenge next month, sponsored such a bill, but health-policy experts have pointed to loopholes in the measure. It requires insurers to sell plans to individuals with certain conditions, but insurers could exclude coverage for services associated with those conditions. For example, a person with cancer could not be denied coverage, but insurers would not be required to cover that patient’s cancer treatments.”

SELF-SERVING SCOTT’S SHAM BLIND TRUST MAKES HEADLINES. Self-Serving Rick Scott continues piling onto the over 500 bad stories he has earned in the first 180 days of his campaign.

Last week, the New York Times released a shocking report revealing that “an examination of Mr. Scott’s finances shows that his trust has been blind in name only,” and now a new report from the Orlando Sentinel details more troubling information about his financal ties:

  • “Gov. Rick Scott and his wife have financial ties to the hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico electric utility, according to federal campaign disclosure records, the same company Scott has been advising the island government about getting back to operation after being hit hard by Hurricane Maria last year.”
  • “The connection is the latest of Scott’s investments to come under scrutiny in the past few weeks, including his ties to the controversial SunPass contract, whose vendor has been fined hundreds of thousands for missing state deadlines. Critics allege Scott has been looking to make money off his role as governor.”

TESTER FOR SENATE LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE. Tester for Senate launched a new website, RosendaleOutToLunch.com, holding Montana Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale accountable for having “little to nothing scheduled on nearly half his work days” since he began campaigning for Senate.

DEM ENDORSEMENT ROUNDUP

  • ARIZONA REPUBLIC. For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Arizona Republic endorsed a Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema for Senate: “There may be no better example of politics by collaboration than Sinema…She leads with an arm extended to the other side and a promise to work together…In a Washington in which rancor and malice are disturbingly normal, Sinema is the antidote. Leaders like her can come from any party and they are needed more than ever. That’s why in the race to elect Arizona’s next United States senator, The Arizona Republic recommends voters chose Kyrsten Sinema.”
  • THE INDEPENDENT FLORIDA ALLIGATOR. Bill Nelson earned his seventh newspaper endorsement this weekend: “Nelson has consistently defended Florida’s environment, helping to negotiate legislation that bans offshore oil drilling that would tarnish Florida’s coast and then holding the line in defense of that legislation. He voted in favor of the ACA and for the stimulus package that reduced the effects of the economic collapse. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in contrast, has been a poor steward of Florida’s coastline with his inaction on harmful algal blooms and has a lengthy list of troubles with personal enrichment from his time as governor.”
  • MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: “Smith wasted little time, producing a flurry of lower-profile but substantive legislative proposals and forming relationships with senators in both parties….As a senator, she has displayed the same style and focus on outcomes that led her to be nicknamed the “velvet hammer” earlier in her career. Those are necessary qualities in a body where, it is no secret, a minority of senators do the heavy lifting on the toughest issues…Smith has demonstrated her depth of knowledge and dedication to issues important to Minnesotans.”
  • HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD: “But we believe it’s more important for Montana to have independent thinkers in Congress, and Tester votes his conscience even when it hurts. That’s the kind of leadership we need to overcome destructive partisanship in politics, and we hope to see more of it in Washington.”
  • LAS VEGAS SUN: “Jacky Rosen shines as a reason for hope that the Donald Trump- fueled polarization of U.S. politics can be overcome…Nevada deserves a senator like Rosen who has a firm grip on Nevada’s issues, believes strongly in working with others and who possesses an impeccable character and values. It is time to put the political bankruptcy of Heller’s behavior behind us and look toward a better future with Rosen. When it comes to vision, character and solutions, Rosen towers over Heller.”
  • SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN: “Heinrich does not back down on core issues. He can be counted on. Heinrich has backed sensible gun-safety legislation, voted to protect the Supreme Court from extreme justices and will fight for Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid social safety net programs. He understands that immigration is more complicated than simply building a wall or demonizing people living in the country illegally. Heinrich has in the past and will in the future vote to protect Dreamers, the young people who came as children. We expect him to work hard to help craft bipartisan, comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform that protects both borders and people.”
  • YOUNGSTOWN VINDICATOR: “Brown has earned a national reputation as the champion of the middle class and the working poor. In Congress, he has been one of the most vocal critics of China and other countries that have long dumped artificially low-priced products on the lucrative American market.”
  • CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS: “Brown, 65, is almost the definition of a known commodity. He has been a state representative, Ohio’s secretary of state, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and, since 2007, the U.S. Senate. Brown has remained a popular figure statewide, even as Ohio has trended in a Republican direction. That’s due, in no small part, to his stance on tariffs and trade deals, which have resonated with some voters who might not otherwise support the Democrat.”
  • PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: “Because of his ability to occasionally work across the aisle, and his willingness to defend human rights and America’s legacy as a nation of immigrants, Bob Casey should continue to represent Pennsylvania in a third term.  He is the right choice for Senate.”
  • HOUSTON CHRONICLE: “The West Texas congressman’s command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans make him one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years…a “Beto” victory would be good for Texas, not only because of his skills, both personal and political, but also because of the manifest inadequacies of the man he would replace.”
  • THE INTELLIGENCER AND WHEELING NEWS-REGISTER: “Manchin’s record has been of serving his constituents, whether in demanding an “all-of-the-above” energy policy instead of a war on coal or helping us cope with the substance abuse crisis — in concrete ways. In May, Manchin helped secure nearly $3 million for a new substance abuse treatment center in Wheeling. Time and again, Northern Panhandle residents have seen proof Manchin takes a direct interest in our area.”
  • THE (MARTINSBURG) JOURNAL: “Evidence of Manchin’s dedication to serving the Eastern Panhandle is provided regularly. This year alone, his work on the Senate Appropriations Committee has helped direct more than $30 million in federal funding to Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties. Included in that was $4.5 million for the Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority to construct a new operations center in Martinsburg.”
  • THE (CLARKSBURG) EXPONENT TELEGRAMTHE EXPONENT TELEGRAM: “He has demonstrated in his years of public service the ability to bring differing sides to the table and to broker solutions to trying situations. His willingness to cross party lines has been consistent throughout his days, first as West Virginia’s secretary of state, then governor and now as its senior senator.”
  • THE (HUNTINGTON) HERALD-DISPATCH: “Manchin has acknowledged that the Affordable Care Act needs some fixes and has declared he’s eager to work with his colleagues to develop those. But he has opposed simply repealing the ACA without having a workable plan in place. Certainly, that’s the best stance for West Virginians. The ACA and the accompanying Medicaid expansion in the state means that about 200,000 more people now have coverage than did a few years ago. That also means those now on Medicaid who have become addicted to drugs can get help covering the expenses of recovery treatment.”
  • PARKERSBURG NEWS AND SENTINEL: “On the national stage, however, Manchin’s seniority and ability to build coalitions among moderate Democrats and Republicans are the kind of leadership we need in the Senate. On what matters, Manchin represents his fellow Mountain State residents — regardless of what anyone, Democrat or Republican, in Washington demands.”

DEM AD WATCH

AZ – The ad, “Better Way,” contrasts Martha McSally’s partisan, aggressive campaign with Kysten Sinema’s collegial, bipartisan campaign.

MO – Claire McCaskill’s “Dark” ad highlights secret dark money from insurance and drug companies fueling Josh Hawley’s campaign.

NV – A Nevadan family whose son suffers from a heart defect describes how Dean Heller reneged on his promise to advocate for protections for pre-existing conditions in the ad, “Dean.”

ND – Heidi Heitkamp replays some of Kevin Cramer’s most damaging statements, like protecting sexual predators and accusing citizens of abusing the health care system through claiming coverage for pre-existing conditions, in the ad, “Own Words.”

IN THE STATES

AZ-12News: Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema talks about healthcare at campaign stop

AZ-Arizona Republic: U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema held a volunteer event with her veteran supporters

FL-WCJB: Senator Bill Nelson visits UF

MN-Fox21: Sen. Smith Visits Northland

MO-KOMU: McCaskill talks healthcare during Columbia visit

MO-Bloomberg: Claire McCaskill’s Opioid Work Deserves More Attention

MT-MTPR: In Possible Corporate Campaign Funding First, Patagonia Endorses Tester

ND-MyNDNow: Students meet with the senator for a Q&A

ND-MyNDNow: Native American voters discuss issues with Heidi Heitkamp

TN-Times Free Press: Turnout nears 300,000 as Tennesseans continue feverish early voting pace

WI-Daily Cardinal: Bon Iver, Baldwin rally Wisconsinites to vote, support ‘all human lives’

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