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.

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.

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. […]

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Senate Brief: The First GOP Senate Primaries Happen Tomorrow. They’ve Been A Disaster For Republicans.

Week of Monday, May 7

IN BRIEF: Start your engines. The first Senate primaries of the year happen tomorrow, and they’ve been a disaster for Republicans. No matter who wins the primaries in West Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio tomorrow night, the winner has absorbed lasting damage that voters won’t forget.

In West Virginia, the contest labeled “America’s wildest Senate primary” hit a fever pitch with the candidates pulling no punches in their desperation to  tear each other down:

“Jenkins and Morrisey spent the final stretch of the race savaging each otherin debates and TV commercials,” a dynamic that has senior Republicans scared, Politico reported.
Meanwhile, in another episode of “Don Blankenship said What?!”: Blankenship’s latest racist ad that prompted headlines like, “The Worst Senate Candidate in America,” and “I’m All for Ragging on Mitch McConnell, But This Is Nuts.
On Sunday, Morrisey  Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: GOP Primary Candidates Are Taking Off The Gloves Ahead of May’s Primaries

Week of Monday, April 30

IN BRIEF:  As the first GOP Senate primaries and conventions approach, Republican candidates are taking off the gloves and irreparably damaging their opponents.

In West Virginia, Republican candidates are tearing each other down, with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey attacking Rep. Evan Jenkins for switching parties, while Jenkins is hammering Morrisey as a New Jersey carpetbagger.

But don’t forget: before this primary, Morrisey, Jenkins, and disgraced coal baron Don Blankenship were thick as thieves, supporting one another’s causes.

In Wisconsin, a debate between Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir “turned caustic” as Vukmir questioned Nicholson’s conservative credentials and demanded an apology from Nicholson for his attacks against her. “We know more about Kevin’s track record as a Democrat than we do about his track record as a Republican,” Vukmir said.

This debate was hosted by American for Prosperity, so was supposed to be a risk-free zone for the candidates: […]

Read more after the jump.

SENATE BRIEF: The Shaky Foundations of Rick Scott’s Senate Bid

Week of Monday, April 9

IN BRIEF: Florida’s going to be close – duh. But Rick Scott’s decision to run for U.S. Senate will go down as one of the great mistakes in recent political history. When Scott announces a bid for Senate (via Facebook Live, no Republican enthusiasm required) he will stake his candidacy on his stewardship of Florida’s economy. But regular Floridians are well aware of what top economists are saying: under Rick Scott, Florida’s economy is rewarding the wealthy and big corporations, while millions of Floridians struggle make ends meet.

Consider this shocking report from the Tampa Bay Times: a majority of Florida counties (36 out of 67) have fewer jobs today than they did at the beginning of 2008. Meanwhile, “new jobs are paying workers significantly less than the jobs they replaced.”

Listen closely. You can already hear the cracks in the foundation of Rick Scott’s candidacy:

Rick Scott takes credit for […]

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Tarkanian’s Scorched Earth Anti-Heller Campaign Continues

Danny Tarkanian is continuing his scorched earth interview series, this time on Nevada’s Heidi Harris Show. Tarkanian blasts the Washington establishment for forcing him out of the race and says that “they are just underestimating the outrage people have in Nevada for Heller” — because Heller has disappointed his base. Tarkanian’s far-right base will “never vote for Heller even though they’re strong Republicans.” The host backs up Tarkanian, saying “I have certainly seen that…Boy people just don’t want to vote for him.”


Q: Why did Trump want you to get out of the way to protect Dean Heller?

DT: “That is why I never thought President Trump would do this. First of all, they say he is a very loyal person and there’s been nobody that’s been more supportive in Nevada than I have been and they also say he holds a grudge and remembers […]

Read more after the jump.