Senate Brief: 3 Weeks | GOP Recruitment Failures

Week of Monday, October 15.

IN BRIEF: Three weeks out from Election Day, the GOP’s sloppy recruiting is coming back to bite them. A cycle of lukewarm performances in must-win states has proven that even with a favorable Senate map, recruitment matters. 

This morning the Washington Post highlighted candidates in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan who have fallen far short of the party’s expectations. We agree.

But even beyond the states where Dems are running well ahead of their GOP opponents, candidates thought to be rock-solid have betrayed serious weaknesses.
In Missouri, the “GOP golden boy” Josh Hawley got off to a rough start by pissing off local Republicans with his entitlement and laziness. Now, he’s struggling to overcome a baked-in narrative about his burning desire to rid Americans of their health insurance.
In Indiana, “outsider” Mike Braun never really got off the ground. Just last month, Hoosier Republicans were marveling […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: T-Minus 4 Weeks.

Week of Monday, October 8.

IN BRIEF: 4 weeks out from Election Day, one issue has risen above the rest to define this cycle: healthcare. 

On the campaign trail, Republican Senate candidates are on defense, forced to answer to constituents who are terrified by GOP attempts to gut the Affordable Care Act. 

And they’re not doing a very good job. This week, Mike Braun gets a gold star for healthcare disingenuousness on the campaign trail.

For months, Braun has touted his company’s healthcare plan as a proof point for his commitment to affordable healthcare. Watch him talk it up here and here.
There’s just one problem: Braun’s employees say his healthcare plan was “not real insurance.” Politico reports that former employees of Braun’s company, Meyer Distributing, complained about the “horrendous” benefits that came with a $5,000 individual deductible and a $10,000 family deductible.
Braun has been asking Hoosiers for […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: Republicans On Kavanaugh Assault Allegation: Ignore, Dismiss, Distract

Week of Monday, September 17.

IN BRIEF: A sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is putting Republican Senate candidates in a pickle.

After months of blind support for Kavanaugh’s nomination, GOP candidates will face increased scrutiny on a nominee they thought was airtight. And if their reactions so far are any indication, don’t hold your breath for Republicans to do the honorable thing.

Josh Hawley was dogged by questions from reporters after the first Missouri Senate debate last Friday. Asked about the allegation, Hawley said the Senate should move forward and vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Asked “Do you believe the woman?,” he refused to answer and made a quick exit.
Dean Heller doubled down on his support for Kavanaugh in a local radio interview conducted hours after the allegation was made public, saying “America will be better off” […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: Breaking Down AZ-SEN’s “Trumpian Hugfest”

Week of Monday, August 27.

IN BRIEF: The “Trumpian hugfest” in Arizona’s Republican Senate primary is thankfully less than 36 hours away from being over forever. Let’s take a look at our contenders.

Martha McSally has distinguished herself with a string of egregious flip-flops on issues from DACA to Donald Trump. Faced with brutal attacks from the GOP’s right wing, outside groups have been forced to spend at least $4 million to drag her over the finish line. Expect her wishy-washy record to follow her through to November, where she’ll have to explain her ever-shifting positions to a much less forgiving electorate.
Kelli Ward is criss-crossing the state on a bus tour with a who’s who of conspiracy theorists and MAGA Twitter. When asked by MSNBC about guest speaker Mike Cernovich’s belief that “diversity” is “code for white genocide,”  Read more after the jump.

Republicans Try to Have It Both Ways on Healthcare, Fail Miserably

“Republican Senate candidates are failing miserably in their transparent attempts to have it both ways on Obamacare,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “In spite of their persistent pathetic pandering, this year’s crop of GOP Senate candidates is no exception to the decade-long Republican crusade against affordable healthcare. American voters will voice their disdain for such political antics at the polls this November.”

Politico: GOP’s midterm peril: What if they win on killing Obamacare?
By Burgess Everett | August 17, 2018

“Republican candidates are trying to have it both ways on Obamacare.”
“On one hand, Republicans are still campaigning against the law, arguing a strong election result will allow them one more shot at repealing the Affordable Care Act with GOP majorities in both chambers. And many high-profile Senate GOP candidates support a lawsuit that would scuttle Obamacare if successful in the nation’s courts, a case that will be heard by a federal judge in September.”
“Yet at the same […]

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Senate Brief: Rick Scott’s Toxic Algae Nightmare

Week of Monday, July 16, 2018

IN BRIEF: Rick Scott’s policies are poisoning Florida’s waterways with toxic algae, forcing businesses to close and families to evacuate — and even stopping one church from performing baptisms

The blue-green algae grows in Central Florida’s Lake Okeechobee because of years of Rick Scott’s negligent environmental policies that put special interest polluters first. The algae releases dangerous, foul-smelling vapors, is dangerous to touch and is toxic to ingest. Commerce along the affected waterways is brought to a standstill.
Rick Scott has a seven-year record of putting special interests ahead of Florida’s environment. He’s kicked the can down the road on toxic algae for seven years, kowtowing to his wealthy financial backers; he’s advocated for drilling off the Florida coast; he’s banned state government from even uttering the words “climate change”; and he’s weakened oversight of polluters.
That’s why Florida newspapers are blaming Rick Scott for the crisis. Sun-Sentinel says Scott is “to […]

Read more after the jump.

Marsha Blackburn is All Rhetoric, No Results on Tennessee’s Opioid Crisis

Blackburn raked in $800,000 from the dirtiest players in Big Pharma —
then authored legislation to give them a break

 

“Rep. Blackburn’s cynical political games and empty election-year promises are a slap in the face to Americans suffering from the opioid crisis,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Tennesseans will see right through this — and demand a Senator who stands with them, not with Big Pharma.”

The Tennessean: We deserve answers from Marsha Blackburn on opioids

By Dudley Taylor | July 12, 2018

This summer, “House committees tossed out 90 bills that members of Congress – led by Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn — then touted in a stream of press releases as the silver-bullet remedies for American families ravaged by opioid addiction.”
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to politics in an election year. The stark reality is that Blackburn has led a large group of our elected officials in Washington that […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: Mike Braun is Shamefully Silent on the Sexual Assault Scandal Rocking Indiana Politics

Week of Monday, July 9, 2018

IN BRIEF: Mike Braun is staying shamefully silent in the face of multiple accusations against Indiana’s Attorney General Curtis Hill of sexual assault and harassment. Numerous prominent Hoosier Republicans have called for his resignation, but despite the allegations, Mike Braun has remained conspicuously silent. To recap:

Attorney General Hill is facing an Indiana inspector general investigation after four women accused him of inappropriately touching them at an Indianapolis bar in March.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, House Speaker Brian Bosma, and Senate leader David Long — all Republicans — have called for Hill’s resignation.
But all the while, Rep. Mike Braun, the top Republican on Indiana’s ballot this year, has said nothing — showing voters that when push comes to shove, he’ll stand with his fellow political insiders rather than doing the right thing.  

ON THE HILL: When will Reps. Kevin Cramer, Martha McSally, Lou Barletta, Marsha Blackburn, and Jim […]

Read more after the jump.

Failure of Leadership: Voters Will Hold GOP Senate Candidates Accountable For Backing Family Separations

Kevin Cramer Admits His Stand Will Hurt Him: “I Know It Perhaps Sounds Not Very Compassionate”

While a majority of Americans watched the news of family separations with horror, Republican Senate candidates — scared of antagonizing their pro-Trump base — have spent the week cheerleading for Trump’s indefensible policy.

Candidates have doubled down as Trump has continued lying — alternately blaming their Democratic opponents, liberals, and “laws” for a policy entirely of Trump’s own creation that cruelly separates migrant children from their parents.

“The sight of of children being torn away from their parents is so painful it transcends partisan politics. Republican Senate candidates who have failed to call out this kind of cruelty are going to face furious voters of all parties in November,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Here’s what some of them had to say:

Corey Stewart (R-VA): “I think that’s the right policy. Now, the fact is we do have to enforce […]

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 […]

Read more after the jump.