Senate Brief: Republican Senate Candidates Lock In Historically Unpopular Midterm Platform

Week of Monday, June 25, 2018

IN BRIEF: Less than 140 days before Election Day, Republicans have locked in a historically unpopular campaign platform: brutal treatment of migrant children, their tax bill that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy and big corporations, ending protections for pre-existing conditions, and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

This platform is catastrophically unpopular with voters across the country — and voters’ dislike for Republican policies cuts across political lines:

Family separations: 68% of independents — and 66% of all voters — oppose the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border.
Tax law: Approval of the Republican tax law slid to 34% this month, the fourth straight declinein Monmouth University’s polling this year.
Pre-existing conditions: 72% of independent voters — and two-thirds of all voters — oppose the Trump Administration’s position on pre-existing conditions in a legal case that could gut coverage for millions. A Kaiser Health poll last summer found 70% of Americans favored keeping protections for pre-existing […]

Read more after the jump.

NEW ADS: GOP’s Toxic Health Care Hypocrisy

Republicans Promised To Protect Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions — Then Supported A Law That Could Jeopardize Care For Millions
Today, Bridge Project launched a national digital ad campaign targeting Republican Senate candidates after the Trump administration argued that insurance protections for pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional. The administration’s assertion is a result of the tax bill Republicans passed last year that included reducing Obamacare’s individual mandate tax penalty to zero.

The ad campaign, which starts running statewide in targeted races on social media this week, targets Republican Senate candidates in Nevada, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, and West Virginia.

Every Republican Congressional incumbent up for reelection or seeking higher office this cycle voted for the Republican tax bill — while promising to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are co-counsels on the lawsuit that threatens to strip pre-existing condition coverage from millions of Americans.

“Republicans own […]

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LOCAL VOICES: GOP Senate Candidates Come Under Fire On Their Home Turf

Here’s what voters in North Dakota, Florida, Missouri, and Nevada are reading in the opinion pages about their Republican Senate candidates:

Bismarck, North Dakota farmer Krisanna Peterson writes: Kevin Cramer Lets Down Farmers

“I’m so disappointed that Kevin Cramer, who claims to represent his state’s farming community, is a member of” the right-wing Republican study committee.
“Growing up in a third generation farm family” the RSC’s 2019 budget “was downright frightening for me to read.”
“The committee proposed a massive cut to the farm bill’s crop insurance program, shifting the costs on to farmers who are already struggling to make a living.”
“How can we trust our lone vote in Congress to stand up for farmers when he’s joining up with such a dangerous, ideological committee?”
“Cramer already left us in the dust by cheering on a trade war that would harm our ag producers. Now, this looks like the final blow.”

Florida State Representative […]

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NEW VIDEO: All Talk Dean Heller is Missing in Action

Heller today: “We shouldn’t go home until the job is done”

Today American Bridge launched a new digital video that highlights Nevada Senator Dean Heller’s abysmal job performance. According to reporting by the Nevada Independent, Dean Heller promised to work “full time, 24/7,” but he hasn’t even held a single hearing for the two subcommittees he chairs, both of which he touted as ways to help Nevadans.

Of his chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure, Dean Heller said, “I will utilize this important role to advocate on behalf of Nevada and advance policies that promote infrastructure, like Interstate 11, bolster domestic energy and mineral development, and facilitate innovation in the high-tech job sector.”
And of his chairmanship of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment, Heller said, “Serving as chairman of this subcommittee allows me […]

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LATEST in NV-SEN: Dean Heller Now Facing A Legal Complaint for Campaign Payments to His Son

“In Dean Heller and his campaign’s haste to explain away unethical payments to Heller’s son, they’ve backed themselves right into legal trouble,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Dean Heller can’t even seem to orchestrate a coverup right.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Dems say work by Dean Heller’s son violates campaign law

By Ramona Giwargis | May 24, 2018

“State Democrats are accusing GOP Sen. Dean Heller of failing to report potentially illegal discounted services his campaign received from his son’s music production company.”
Heller “admitted to receiving ‘a cheap discount’ from Harris Heller for creating content for his campaign, including photos, videos and social media posts. The campaign paid Heller’s son’s production company, Heller Enterprises, $52,500 for its services since 2016. The campaign paid another digital advertising firm more than $50,000 for ads in a single month.”
“If the price of the services from Heller Enterprises was reduced, federal election law requires it must be reported […]

Read more after the jump.

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 […]

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Dean Heller Hasn’t Held a *Single* Subcommittee Hearing Since He Was Given The Gavels

“Can anyone explain why lazy Dean Heller deserves his taxpayer-funded salary? Anyone?” asked American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Nevada Independent: Despite early promises, Heller has yet to hold hearings in either of his congressional subcommittees

By Riley Snyder | May 18, 2018

“Over the past two years, Republican Sen. Dean Heller has publicly urged his fellow senators and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to work ‘full time, 24/7‘ to advance President Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s agenda in the U.S. Senate.”
“But that enthusiasm hasn’t translated to Heller’s role chairing two Senate subcommittees, which have yet to meet over the last year and a half since Heller was appointed to lead them and touted his ability in news releases to help Nevada through those roles.”
“A review of committee calendars for both the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure and the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee […]

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Desperate Dean Heller Tries to Play Both Sides, Fails

“After a string of desperate partisan ploys designed to please both ends of his party, Heller has come up empty-handed,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Nevada Republicans have said it best: Heller’s incessant flip-flopping reeks of election-year convenience.”

Dean Heller, Buffeted on Both Sides, Tries to Save His Nevada Senate Seat
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg | May 13, 2018

“There was not an overabundance of enthusiasm for Senator Dean Heller when the Nevada Republican Men’s Club gathered for its monthly luncheon.”
“Karl Johnson, a precinct director for the Clark County Republican Party, wrinkled his nose and raised his eyebrows when asked about Mr. Heller’s prospects for re-election.”
“Paul Workman, a banker who supports Mr. Heller, said conservatives are complaining to him about the Republican senator’s shifting stances on health care.”
“Linda Cannon, a candidate for the Nevada State Assembly, summed up the views of many. ‘I’m going to hold my nose and vote for him,’ she said.”
Heller “is […]

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Senate Brief: Wisconsin Republicans’ Race to the Bottom Reaches New Lows

Week of Monday, May 14

IN BRIEF: What the hell is going on in Wisconsin? Leah Vukmir officially received her party’s endorsement for U.S. Senate this weekend at the Wisconsin Republican Convention, but this primary is far from over — and both candidates are increasingly embroiled in controversies of their own making.

Losing the party’s endorsement must have been the cherry on top of a horrible week for Kevin Nicholson.

It was a landslide: Vukmir took the convention by 72%.
Grassroots Wisconsin Republicans rallied behind Vukmir, while “Nicholson remains powered by millions of dollars in spending from groups and individuals outside Wisconsin.”

Nicholson continues to face backlash on all sides after nearly two weeks of attacks against veterans, during which he’s refused to back down on questioning the “cognitive thought process” of veterans who vote for Democrats.

Here’s a handy highlight reel of Nicholson’s anti-veterans media […]

Read more after the jump.

NEW AD: Why Won’t Dean Heller Stand Up To Scott Pruitt?

Today, American Bridge is launching a new digital ad that exposes incumbent Nevada SenatorDean Heller’s (R-NV) failure to protect his constituents from Scott Pruitt’s corruption.

The ad will run on social media in Nevada, targeted to midterm voters. The 30-second video asks: “Why is Senator Dean Heller afraid to fight for us?” and urges voters to call Heller’s Capitol Hill office to demand he 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. “Dean Heller has refused to stand up to him — at the expense of millions in taxpayer dollars. Nevada voters deserve to know why Heller stands with Swamp Creature Pruitt over Nevadans.”

WATCH the ad below:

Watch the full ad here.

Read more after the jump.