The Senate GOP is still struggling to recruit candidates. Their problem this time? Money.

“Republicans are struggling to get their top recruits for Senate to actually take the plunge — and no wonder. No politician wants to hitch their political fate to the Senate GOP’s devastating health care bill that is unpopular in every state in the country. They’d rather collect corporate campaign checks and hope things get better. Here’s news for Republican hopefuls: this is just the beginning of the horrible headlines you’ll be running against,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Roll Call: Why House Members Aren’t Rushing to Announce for Senate

By Simone Pathe | June 18, 2017

“It’s no secret that a handful of House members are mulling bids for the Senate next year,” but most “are in no rush to officially announce their Senate campaigns.”
“Sixteen months is a long time to face the barrage of attacks that comes with running statewide.”
“And in an uncertain political environment, candidates may […]

Read more after the jump.

GOP Senate Primaries Are Getting Nasty and Crowded

Two stories out this morning expose how weak Republican Senate candidate recruitment efforts are this cycle. Expensive, damaging primaries are starting to look inevitable as top-tier politicians stay on the sidelines and second-string candidates crowd the field.

Roll Call reports that devastating primary fights may be ahead in three must-win states for Senate Republicans as state attorneys general are weighing Senate bids.

In West Virginia, “the sparring is out in the open” with Rep. Evan Jenkins and A.G. Patrick Morrisey attacking each other almost daily.
In Missouri, “Some Republicans in Missouri are pushing Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Senate” against GOP Rep. Ann Wagner, amid hand-wringing that Wagner’s long career as a D.C. insider may be a serious liability.
And in Indiana, Attorney General Curtis Hill is considering joining the nasty fray between Rep. Todd Rokita and Rep. Luke Messer. Hill, “who’s been peppering his Lincoln Day Dinner speeches with […]

Read more after the jump.

Hypocrisy Alert:  GOP Senate Hopefuls Cared *A Lot* About Classified Information Last Year

Back in 2016 and earlier, ambitious Republican politicians scored political points by feigning outrage over the handling of classified information. Now these Republicans are running for U.S. Senate — or are weighing campaigns — and what action are they taking about Donald Trump’s dangerous recklessness with classified intelligence?

Nothing.

(Or, if you’re Jeff Flake and Dean Heller, worse than nothing: excuses for doing nothing that give Trump a free pass).

Let’s turn back the clock and take a look at what Republican Senate hopefuls said about the mishandling of classified information…

Pennsylvania: Rep. Lou Barletta: “A crime”
Florida: Gov. Rick Scott: Spent $1 million on ads about classified emails
Indiana: Luke Messer: “Dishonesty and poor judgment”
Missouri: Rep. Ann Wagner: “Cannot be trusted
North Dakota: Rep. Kevin Cramer: “Appoint a special prosecutor to formally investigate”
Pennsylvania: […]

Read more after the jump.

Night Of The Living Ted

Just when you thought it was over, Ted Cruz joined his faithful sidekick Glenn Beck to announce that he’s lyin’ in wait for an election night miracle in Nebraska.

As Reince Priebus frantically tries to bring Republicans together behind Trump, “Washington’s most hated man” stubbornly refuses to endorse his party’s presumptive nominee. Ted can’t help but stoke the remaining embers of the GOP’s dumpster fire primary.

Don’t worry Reince, we’ve still got you covered with the Bailey’s.

Read more after the jump.

What Donald Trump Won’t Tell West Virginia Tonight

The story isn’t what Donald Trump will say in West Virginia, but what he has already said. No matter what comes out of Trump’s mouthtonight, West Virginians need to know who he is: a man that was born on third base but thinks he hit a triple, and that doesn’t care at all about working class Americans.

What Trump said about coal miners:

“If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people don’t have the imagination–or whatever–to leave their mine. They don’t have it.” 

[Playboy Magazine, March 1990]

Trump’s freeze on the minimum wage:

“We’re not going to be able to compete against the world…we have to leave [the minimum wage] the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard…”

[Boston.com,11/10/15]

“If you start raising that minimum wage, you’re going to make a lot of our companies even […]

Read more after the jump.

West Virginia Doesn’t Have A Budget, But Bill Cole Has Time For A DC Fundraiser

On day 31 of the West Virginia budget crisis, President of the Senate Bill Cole was hard at work in Charleston seeking a resolution to the crisis drumming up cash for his gubernatorial run at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C.

Bill Cole has promised to deliver a budget “sooner than later,” but he sure didn’t seem to be in a hurry to get back to Charleston as he leisurely strolled into the Husch Blackwell Law Offices.

Read more after the jump.

California Dreamin’ Cole Heads To Palm Springs To Pick Up Koch Cash

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole got a break from West Virginia winter last weekend as he joined the billionaire Koch brothers for a retreat at the luxury Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa in sunny Palm Springs. Between facials at the spa and rounds on the legendary Indian Wells golf course, Cole addressed the Koch network on his own extreme agenda, including his plans to make West Virginia a right-to-work state.

Cole’s attendance at the top secret retreat can only mean one thing – the Kochs have anointed yet another handpicked candidate to shill for their extreme, self-serving agenda. With Americans for Prosperity spending on his behalf, and having been named a preferred candidate of the Koch-affiliated money-bundling Aegis PAC, Cole has already benefited from the Koch network’s support. Like previous Koch retreat alums Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, and the like, he’s sure to make the Koch brothers’ agenda his own back at […]

Read more after the jump.

Ain’t No Party Like A Shutdown Party: Your 2014 GOP

A year ago today was a dark day for Washington. Like, literally dark — the Republican Party turned off the lights to the federal government, holding the economy hostage to try to score political points. It didn’t work.

In fact, all the government shutdown did was suck $24 billion out of the US economy, while leaving the Republican Party deeply damaged. It’s easy to associate the shutdown with the likes of Ted Cruz, the man who drives the GOP strategy. But it’s not just Ted Cruz who supported the shutdown. It’s nearly every Republican Senate candidate in key races and a slew of 2016 frontrunners.

Their support manifested itself in different ways. Cory Gardner voted for the shutdown, risked default by voting against raising the debt ceiling, voted to prolong the shutdown, and then hobnobbed with Karl Rove and his big-money donor friends while America paid the price for his actions.

View supporting research after the jump.

Breaking: Koch Industries’ Outsourcing and Job Loss

In a recent television advertisement Koch Industries touted the growth of the company to create “60,000 American jobs.” The true story paints a picture of Koch Industries’ long history of job losses and outsourcing, resulting in nearly 3,000 American jobs sent overseas.

Outsourcing

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal job training program that provides assistance to workers who lose their jobs as a result of competing foreign imports or direct outsourcing.  An analysis of TAA cases, news articles, shipping records, and layoff notices revealed examples of outsourcing at 13 Koch Industries facilities, and potential outsourcing at additional facilities.

  • In 2003, Koch laid off 150 employees at a KoSa plant in Shelby, North Carolina.  In 2004, the Department of Labor certified that a portion of 150 employees who had been laid off at a plant in Shelby, NC, were eligible for TAA as a result of outsourcing to Mexico.  Former employees at the Shelby facility later filed suit against Koch claiming that the company pushed workers to, according to a former worker, “leave gracefully” or “be victims of downsizing.” (Source)
  • In 2004, Koch outsourced 175 jobs from an Invista plant to Mexico, less than a month after purchasing the plant. Koch Industries had promised to retain all employees.  In late 2006 and early 2007 more workers jobs were outsourced to Mexico, as detailed by the US Court of International Trade. (Sources 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • In 2004, some 35 workers were laid off at an Invista plant in Athens, Georgia.  In 2006, they were certified eligible for TAA because of outsourcing to Mexico. In 2008, the plant laid off an additional, 50 employees. (Source)
Read more after the jump.

Unequal Pay Day

It’s 2014. Paying women the same as men for the same work should be a no-brainer, right? Not for many right-wing Republicans. The extreme conservatives highlighted in American Bridge’s new website UnequalPay.com have gone to absurd lengths to block and even undo equal pay protections for women: voting against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, paying female employees less than their male counterparts, and arguing that women don’t really want equal pay anyway, so what’s all the fuss about? The list of these shameful tactics and faulty arguments goes on and on.

In honor of this year’s Equal Pay Day, check out American Bridge’s new website and read below for a few highlights of Republican office holders and candidates whose opposition to equal pay protections should give female voters serious pause at the ballot box.

View supporting research after the jump.