Senate Brief: GOP Gone Wild

Week of Monday, May 21

IN BRIEF: Dysfunction reigns supreme across Republican Senate campaigns. From lackluster performances by party leadership’s hand-picked candidates to infighting still plaguing GOP ranks, the prospect of a strong Senate map isn’t looking so assured for national Republicans.

A week after the Pennsylvania Senate primary, GOP candidate Rep. Lou Barletta’s campaign came under fire – from fellow Republicans –  as “lackadaisical” and “disorganized.”

According to the Washington Examiner, senior Republicans raised red flags about Barletta, even after he won the GOP primary with the last minute addition of a robocall from President Trump.
One Republican strategist said of Barletta: “the sense is, nobody knows what the fuck he’s doing.”

Meanwhile, Nevada’s Dean Heller just can’t seem to do anything right.

Reporting from the Nevada Independent found that in spite of bragging about the bacon he’d bring home to Nevada as chairman of two Senate subcommittees, Heller never convened a single […]

Read more after the jump.

Lou Barletta’s Bad Week 1

Fresh off his primary win, Lou Barletta is bending over backward to alienate, bore, or confound every Republican in Pennsylvania. Check out some of the press coverage Barletta’s winning strategy has received in his first week as Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

Washington Examiner: Pennsylvania Republicans hit the panic button over Senate nominee Lou Barletta
Al Weaver & David M. Drucker | May 17, 2018

“Senior Republicans are sounding the alarm about Rep. Lou Barletta’s, R-Pa., struggling Senate campaign in Pennsylvania, fretting that his lackadaisical, disorganized effort will hand a third term to incumbent Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.”
“The congressman is taking fire from Republicans at home and in Washingtonwho worried that he is relying too much on the president to boost his flagging Senate bid.”
“Barletta has been a disappointing fundraiser and been too slow to ramp up a capable statewide campaign operation, his critics charge.”
“’The sense is, nobody knows what the fuck […]

Read more after the jump.

NEW ADS: Pennsylvania Primary Winners Barletta & Wagner Head Into General Tarnished by Opponent Attacks

Paul Mango: If Scott Wagner’s the nominee, “this election is going to be over before Memorial Day — not Labor Day — Memorial Day”

Today, immediately following the Pennsylvania Senate and gubernatorial primary elections, American Bridge released new digital ads targeting newly minted Republican Senate candidate Lou Barletta and gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner. The ads ask Pennsylvania voters – if their nominees’ fellow Republicans have so thoroughly denounced them, how can any Republican voter have confidence in their candidacies?

The 30-second ads will play this week on social media in Pennsylvania, targeted to Republican midterm voters.

American Bridge spokesperson Zach Hudson said, “While a primary defined by personal character attacks, violent assaults on trackers, and a race to the bottom on who is a bigger cheerleader for Donald Trump has finally come to an end, the bad news is just beginning for Lou Barletta and Scott Wagner. Even Republicans say Barletta and […]

Read more after the jump.

NEW AD: Why Won’t Lou Barletta Stand Up To Scott Pruitt?

Today, American Bridge is launching a new digital ad that exposes Pennsylvania Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta’s (R-PA) failure to protect his constituents from Scott Pruitt’s corruption.

The ad will run on social media in Pennsylvania, targeted to midterm voters. The 30-second video asks: “Why is Congressman Lou Barletta afraid to fight for us?” and urges voters to call Barletta’s Capitol Hill office to de

“In his brief tenure as EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt has undertaken a relentless and unprecedented campaign of corruption,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp. “Lou Barletta has refused to stand up to him — at the expense of millions in taxpayer dollars. Pennsylvania voters deserve to know why Barletta stands with Swamp Creature Pruitt over Pennsylvania.”

WATCH the ad below:

Watch the full ad here.

Read more after the jump.

NEW ADS: Why Won’t GOP House and Senate Candidates Stand Up To Scott Pruitt?

Today, American Bridge is launching a series of new digital ads that expose Republican House and Senate candidates’ failure to protect their constituents from Scott Pruitt’s corruption.

The ads will run on social media, targeting Florida Senate candidate Rick Scott, Nevada Senator Dean Heller, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Lou Barletta, Arizona Senate candidate Martha McSally, Ohio Senate candidate Jim Renacci, Congressman Tom MacArthur (NJ-03), and Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06). The 30-second video urges voters to call the lawmakers’ offices to demand they stand up to Scott Pruitt.

“In his brief tenure as EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt has undertaken a relentless and unprecedented campaign of corruption,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp. “Republican House and Senate candidates have refused to stand up to him — at the expense of millions in taxpayer dollars. Voters deserve to know why Republican candidates are standing with Swamp Creature Pruitt over their interests.”

 

WATCH the ads below:

Why is Gov. […]

Read more after the jump.

New Ad: Saccone Blames Families And Turns Deaf Ear To Opioid Crisis

To demonstrate the high stakes of Tuesday’s election for Western Pennsylvania communities suffering from the opioid epidemic, American Bridge is launching a new Facebook ad underlining how dangerous Rick Saccone’s do-nothing approach to the opioid crisis would be in Congress.

The ad, which is backed by a 5-figure buy, follows Politico coverage indicating that White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway, “was taken aback when NBC reported that Saccone had said last year that the government was limited in what it could do to stem the opioid epidemic.”

To watch the new ad, “Rick Saccone: Wrong for Western Pennsylvania,” click HERE.

“The opioid epidemic is slamming Western Pennsylvania harder than almost any part of the country,” said American Bridge President Bradley Beychok. “And instead of showing that he understands the growing threat and agonizing pain of this emergency as it takes so many lives, Rick Saccone says the families are to blame.  Rick Saccone doesn’t care about fighting this […]

Read more after the jump.

Lou Barletta Trashes His Own Record On Crime

On the radio last week, Lou Barletta essentially trashed his own record on crime to defend his do-nothing policy on gun violence, saying making something illegal only helps criminals like drug dealers and makes their business “skyrocket.”

 

That’s right, on Sue Henry’s radio show, Lou Barletta undermined his entire career of bragging about tough-on-crime policies as Mayor of Hazelton.

 

“Rep. Barletta’s ridiculous defense for doing nothing to protect Pennsylvanians from gun violence is either completely disingenuous, or he had a brief bout with amnesia,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp. “If Barletta truly believed what he said, that means the tough-on-crime policies he promoted as mayor of Hazelton and loves to talk about only helped ‘gangs and drug dealers.’”

 

Listen to the full clip radio here.
Full transcript:

 

“It’s unfortunate, and nobody really wants to talk about this. But as a mayor I saw it. You know when we make something […]

Read more after the jump.

“Rattled” Republican establishment scrambles to help career politician Rick Saccone as he struggles to connect with Western Pennsylvania voters

Two national reports today underline that the Republican establishment in Washington is desperate to “prop-up” career politician Rick Saccone, who’s campaign is stalling as Saccone fails to demonstrate that he will stand-up for middle class families and Western Pennsylvania workers instead of the special interests that he has put first throughout his time in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

In recent days, Reuters also spoke with Trump voters in Pennsylvania’s 18th district, who expressed a lack of enthusiasm for Saccone.  These Trump supporters said that they view the tax plan Saccone is promoting as a “giveaway” for the rich and that only throws “a bone” to them.

This comes as polling shows the race is tightening.

“Follow the money – the Republican establishment is in full-on panic mode because career politician Rick Saccone is not connecting with Western Pennsylvania voters,” said American Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates. “Saccone’s failure to gain traction […]

Read more after the jump.

Career politician Rick Saccone spends Valentine’s Day in DC with his true loves: lobbyists and special interest groups

How is career politician Rick Saccone spending Valentine’s Day?  In Washington, D.C. at a closed-door meeting – arranged by a federal lobbyist – with a special interest group that advocates for privatization of government services and jobs.  The Saccone campaign has refused to publicly comment on the candidate’s presence at this gathering today.

“Attending a secret fundraiser in DC has to the swampiest way to spend Valentine’s Day that anyone has ever heard of,” said American Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates. “Rick Saccone’s long political career has been defined by putting special interests ahead of the people he’s supposed to be fighting for and by taking advantage of his elected office to benefit himself at the expense of his constituents in Western Pennsylvania.”

Today’s meeting comes as Saccone is under fire for misusing his seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to benefit himself financially – […]

Read more after the jump.

QUICK CLIP: Lou Barletta Doubles Down on Social Security and Medicare Cuts

Rep. Lou Barletta took to local radio this week to double down on his desire to cut Social Security and Medicare—lifelines that millions of Americans depend on and have paid into their whole lives–and balance the country’s debt on the backs of the middle class.

 

In an interview he did on on KDKA radio yesterday, Barletta said, “We need to look at entitlement packages and reform. They’re on auto pilot right now, where that’s really what’s driving our debt and they’ve been unwilling to have a discussion about that…”

 

Listen to the clip here.

 

“Entitlements,” of course is code for Social Security and Medicare, the hugely popular benefits that Americans have earned, and that middle class families and seniors depend on. They are also not the main cause of our national debt.

 

Meanwhile, a little more than a month ago, Barletta voted for huge tax giveaways to millionaires, billionaires and corporations that added $1.8 trillion to the country’s debt. 

 

“Lou […]

Read more after the jump.