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 subcommittee hearing.
- And on Friday, multiple bombshell stories broke about Heller’s campaign paying his son over $50,000 for social media consulting – making Harris Heller one of the 20 best-paid social media consultants on a federal campaign in the past decade. There’s just one problem: Harris Heller has next to no relevant experience.
- And in West Virginia, a certain notorious ex-con is back to wreak more havoc in the GOP.
- Don Blankenship announced this morning that he was planning to mount a third-party Senate bid after losing the May 8th primary.
- From Politico: “Since the primary, the Republican Party has moved to prevent Blankenship from waging a drawn-out battle that could damage Morrisey’s prospects…Senior Republicans had long argued that a Blankenship primary win would essentially destroy their prospects of unseating Manchin.”
THREE TO WATCH:
- Getting compared to Joe McCarthy is probably a sign that it’s time to tone down the rhetoric, but Wisconsin’s Leah Vukmir is doing no such thing.
- In a state ravaged by the opioid epidemic, Governor Rick Scott took thousands of dollars from drug makers, owned nearly $300,000 in Johnson & Johnson stock, and awarded millions of dollars in incentives to pharmaceutical companies for doing business in Florida.
- Martha McSally’s election year back and forth on immigration is catching up to her. Last week, her about-face on DACA was front and center in the Arizona Senate primary. With the House locked in an immigration stalemate, will McSally stand by her “painfully obvious shift” on immigration?
- 19.6%: the projected increase of healthcare premiums for Hoosiers in 2019.
- 19.8%: the projected increase of healthcare premiums for Montanans in 2019.
- 20.8%: the projected increase of healthcare premiums for North Dakotans in 2019.
ONE FOR THE ROAD: We’re still shamelessly basking in the glow of the Royal Wedding. Congrats, Harry and Meghan.