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DSCC TAKEAWAYS – VETS DEMAND BLUNT APOLOGIZE – A *NEW* BLUNT LOBBYING FIRM – AYOTTE’S ALREADY BENEFITED FROM $5 MILLION IN OUTSIDE CAMPAIGN SPENDING – NEW SENATE RANKINGS, SAME SAD STORY FOR GOP MAJORITY – FEINGOLD’S BIG WEEK – BURR DODGES DEBATES

VETERANS DISAPPOINTED AT BLUNT’S UNDISCLOSED DRAFT DEFERMENTS. After Roy Blunt’s previously undisclosed draft deferments made front page news in Missouri (and made headlines across the state), veterans delivered letters to Blunt’s Missouri offices, expressing their disappointment. Missourian Jack Hembree said in an interview: “It’s a character issue for me. Why did he feel like he needed to conceal that for all these years?” Read more here and watch the report from KRBK Springfield below.

BLUNT SON & CAMPAIGN MANAGER OPENS A NEW LOBBYING FIRM. It just keeps getting worse for Roy Blunt in Missouri. Just days after facing heat for supporting the same cable companies his son lobbies for, Blunt is once again confronted with headlines relating to the conflicts of interest at the heart of his reelection campaign. St. Louis Public Radio reports that Blunt’s campaign manager son has started a new firm that “will focus solely on lobbying.”

BONUS: Two of Senator Blunt’s former staffers merged their own lobbying shops and announced a new client list that includes the NRA, Halliburton, and Koch Industries. Check out the congratulations card we imagine Senator Blunt sent his former staffers here.

AYOTTE FACT CHECK: SHE’S ALREADY BENEFITED FROM MILLIONS IN OUTSIDE $$. Now that Kelly Ayotte has benefited from millions of dollars from dark money groups, she claims she wants to stop outside spending. This is clearly a desperate election year attempt to rewrite her record, so let’s look at the facts:

FACT:  Senator Kelly Ayotte has already benefited from more than $5 million in outside spending from GOP groups on TV, radio and digital ads to prop up her campaign and attack Governor Maggie Hassan – including more than a million dollars from Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity.

FACT: Politico reported that this spending has made her “one of the biggest beneficiaries of outside money in the 2016 Senate landscape. A network of GOP nonprofits and PACs spent millions of dollars on advertising against Hassan before she even declared she would run.”

FACT: Ayotte has accepted more than $35,000 in Koch cash, a reward for voting with Americans for Prosperity nearly 90% of the time in her first four years in the Senate.

FACT: Ayotte has opposed efforts to reverse the damaging Citizens United ruling and truly put a stop to dark money in politics.

NEW SENATE RANKINGS SHOW GOP IN TROUBLE… No surprise here: National Journal Hotline’s latest Senate rankings put Republicans in eight of the 10 most likely to flip seats – and the top five most vulnerable are all GOP, in order:  Illinois (Mark Kirk), Wisconsin (Johnson), New Hampshire (Ayotte), Florida and Ohio (Portman).

… AND THE NRSC MAY LOSE ITS CHOSEN CANDIDATE IN INDIANA. The NRSC has struggled with recruitment in Florida, Nevada and Colorado – and now they face losing their chosen candidate in Indiana. Politico reported that Congressman Todd Young may not have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions, which would disqualify him from the ballot. Multiple Indiana media organizations have reviewed Young’s petitions and concluded that he is short of the necessary signatures – which would leave far right-winger Marlin Stutzman on the Republican primary ballot. Not good.

FEINGOLD NABS BIG ENDORSEMENTS. Russ Feingold earned big endorsements this week:

The League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club both praised Feingold’s strong record of supporting clean energy and fighting to combat climate change;

The American Federation of Teachers – Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Education Association Council lauded for his commitment to public education.

Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women highlighted Feingold’s record as a “lifelong champion for women’s health.

UAW, SEIU, LIUNA, and AFSCME all endorsed Feingold, citing his commitment to creating an economy that works for middle and working class Wisconsin families.

WHY PAT TOOMEY WILL LOSE. An op-ed in PennLive details why Pat Toomey will find himself out of a job after Election Day 2016.

PennLive: Here’s why Pat Toomey will lose in November: Marcel Groen

In politics today, it’s rare that we find agreement on anything. But when it comes to Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race this year, everyone recognizes that Pat Toomey faces a stiff challenge.

He’s voted with the Republican Party 94 percent of his time in congress. That number cripples the claim that Toomey works “across the aisle to get things done,” as Gerow put it.

…His work to pass mandatory background checks for gun buyers was undermined by an indefensible vote in December to allow terrorists on the no-fly list to purchase firearms.

Toomey has voted against assistance for veterans, healthcare for women and resources to fight drug abuse.

He supports plans to privatize social security and end consumer protections, while opposing plans to make college more affordable and student debt more manageable.

REMINDER: TOOMEY AND PORTMAN HAVE VOTED AGAINST INCREASING SUBSTANCE ABUSE FUNDING. This week, a Senate Committee met to review legislation to address addiction and treatment – a sudden election year interest for many Republicans facing tough campaigns back home, including Rob Portman and Pat Toomey. But, it is important to remember that in December both Senators had the opportunity to increase funding for mental health and substance abuse services, but voted against the bill and opted instead to protect tax breaks for millionaires and corporations. Both Senators should be ashamed that they chose to protect their millionaire friends instead of thousands of Americans struggling with substance abuse.

IN THE STATES

NORTH CAROLINA – Senator Richard Burr is trying to avoid a debate with his Republican challengers in the North Carolina primary. While Burr ducks for cover, Deborah Ross has already participated in a candidate forum and is planning on participating in more before the March 15 primary.

ARIZONA – Ann Kirkpatrick sat down with Tucson Local Media for a wide-ranging interview where she outlined the many differences between herself and John McCain. Check out the interview here.

OHIO – This week, Ted Strickland added to his long list of endorsements from across Ohio. Strickland was endorsed by the Youngstown Warren Black Caucus and the Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 group.

NEVADA – Catheirne Cortez Masto was endorsed by the Latino Victory Fund, which emphasized the importance of sending America’s first Latina to the Senate.

ILLINOIS – The Democratic candidates for Senate in Illinois met before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on Monday, and Tammy Duckworth impressed with her pointed attacks on Mark Kirk. Check out the coverage from the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald, and theAssociated Press.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Refinery29 interviewed Maggie Hassan about her decision to get involved in politics, calling her a “shining example.” Read the interview here.

FLORIDA – Florida GOP Senate candidates all stayed mum when asked to respond to questions about Marco Rubio’s anti-women abortion position, but we know exactly what their out-of-step views are. Check them out here.

MORE FLORIDA – We took a look at who Carlos Beruff is, the millionaire businessman weighing a candidacy for the GOP primary. Spoiler alert: He’s just as out-of-touch as the rest of the already declared candidates.

TWEET OF THE WEEK – This week’s Tweet of the Week goes to Roll Call’s Eli Yokley for summarizing why the Blunt draft deferment news is so startling: @eyokley: “.@RoyBlunt says there’s no news here. But somehow, after 20yrs in Washington, they’re just coming to light:blogs.rollcall.com/news/facing-af… #MOSen

AND, A CELEBRATION: The DSCC wishes our fearless Communications Director Sadie Weiner and her fiancé Zach Weinburg a very happy wedding weekend!

Enjoy the Weekend!

Sadie Weiner
@sadieweiner|

Lauren Passalacqua

@laurenvpass |

Lara Sisselman

@larasisselman |

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