Senate Brief: GOP Candidates Struggle with “Dissonant” Healthcare Messaging

Week of Monday, August 20, 2018.

IN BRIEF: GOP Senate candidates are trying to have it both ways on Obamacare. They’re failing.

Republican candidates running for Senate are campaigning against the Affordable Care Act while promising they’ll protect coverage for pre-existing conditions. In states from Indiana to Montana, GOP Senate candidates are still railing against the Affordable Care Act on the stump, yet consistently swear they’ll protect the law’s most popular provisions.
That’s not how this works. Republicans can talk all they want about how they’ll keep constituents with cancer or diabetes safe from exorbitant healthcare rates — but their continued support for gutting the ACA negates every single talking point.
If a GOP Congress repeals Obamacare, or if the Republican lawsuit against the ACA succeeds, that all but guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions will be scrapped. GOP Senate candidates are consistently on the record with support for the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. The success of […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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TOMORROW: American Bridge to Force Martha McSally to Listen to ProPublica Audio of Migrant Children

Tomorrow at 1:30 PM MST, American Bridge 21st Century will host an audio protest outside Rep. Martha McSally’s campaign event in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event is co-hosted by NextGen America.

American Bridge will force McSally to confront the ramifications of President Trump’s cruel immigration policy by playing audio recorded by ProPublica of migrant children separated from their families.

“McSally may have glossed over Trump’s cruelty in her public statements, but we will force her to confront the consequences of her inaction firsthand,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman.“The heartbreaking audio we will play sends a powerful message: voters will not forget that McSally refused to stand up to Trump with young lives on the line.”

WHAT: American Bridge audio protest

WHEN: TOMORROW, June 23, at 1:30 PM MST

WHERE: Denny’s
7000 E. Mayo Blvd
Scottsdale, Arizona

Read more after the jump.

REPORT CARD: McSally Gets an F on Family Separation

Rep. Martha McSally failed a basic leadership test this week: with young lives at stake, she chose to prioritize her political career over families cruelly separated by the Trump administration.

McSally’s feckless political opportunism hasn’t gone unnoticed. Here’s what Arizonans are reading this morning:

Arizona Daily Star: Steller’s Friday Notebook: Who took a stand, fell in line on familyseparation?
By Tim Steller | June 22, 2018

“The policy of deliberately separating children from their parents, turning children accompanied by their families into unaccompanied children — that’s not so complicated.”
“And it served as a gut check for Arizona politicians, one of those rare issues in immigration where…there was a clear right or wrong answer.”

“Rep. Martha McSally, the congresswoman who is running for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, said Monday: ‘We need to enforce our lawsin a consistent and humane manner, and DHS should […]

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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 […]

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McConnell Bails Out McSally’s Floundering Campaign

After a botched attempt to remake herself as an immigration hardliner, D.C. insiders are trying to makeover McSally’s image

Rep. Martha McSally has spent much of her Senate primary staving off attacks from her opponents that she’s too soft on immigration. In her desperation to win the primary, she’s committed herself to a new hardliner persona — even going so far as to scrub a video in which she praised DACA from her official pages. She won’t explain why she removed the video — and her office is perpetually unreachable.

McSally’s “virtually unrecognizable” flip-flopping is so egregious, Sen. Mitch McConnell and his allies are wading in in an attempt to rescue her campaign.

Politico writes:

“Allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dove into the middle of a major Senate race Thursday, airing ads to help remake Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) as a border […]

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CRICKETS: Martha McSally STILL Won’t Answer for Her DACA Flip-Flop

Rep. Martha McSally has endured weeks of bad press after she scrubbed her official accounts of a year-old video in which she endorsed a path to citizenship for DACA recipients — a position that doesn’t jibe with her new extremist views on immigration.

We went to Capitol Hill to ask McSally herself: “Why’d you take that video off your website?”

And McSally directed us to contact her team. But there’s just one problem: asked multiple times why the video was removed, McSally’s office has offered nothing but crickets:

CNN: “Representatives of McSally’s office and her Senate campaign did not respondto CNN’s multiple requests for comment.”
Arizona Republic: “McSally’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.”
The Hill: “McSally’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the 2017 video.”
Newsweek: “McSally’s office did not respond to a request for comment.”
Read more after the jump.

FLIP-FLOP: Martha McSally Scrubs Her Official Page of Evidence She Supported DACA

“Martha McSally’s taken her already blatant immigration flip-flop a step further — actually erasing evidence that she once supported a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “McSally’s political pandering is transparent and cynical. Even worse, in her rush to embrace a new right-wing persona to compete with her extreme primary opponents, McSally has harmed thousands of Dreamers.”

CNN: GOP Senate candidate Martha McSally’s office removes video of her praising DACA

By Nathan McDermott | June 7, 2018

Martha McSally “has removed from public view a video on YouTube of her defending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.”

“A press release from her office in June 2017, before her Senate bid, highlighted McSally’s questioning of then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly about immigration and border issues at a House committee hearing.”

“‘These children were brought here at no fault of their own. In Arizona, there are 57,000 of them,’ McSally said […]

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 […]

Read more after the jump.