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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

House of Representatives

Georgia race: GOP vows to unite, beat Ossoff after forcing runoff with Trump's help

Judson Berger

By Judson Berger
·Published April 19, 2017
· FoxNews.com

Democrats put their hope in political upstart Jon Ossoff to deliver a rebuke to President Trump in Tuesday night’s Georgia congressional election. It didn’t quite work.

Now, after forcing the front-runner into a June 20 runoff, Republicans are vowing to unite and defeat the Democrats’ chosen candidate in two months.

Trump, who used a robocall and his Twitter account in the contest’s closing days to push Republicans to the polls, taunted Democrats on Wednesday morning, casting the upcoming final contest as “Hollywood vs. Georgia.”

Ossoff was the clear leader once the dust settled in Tuesday’s crowded special election for the Georgia House seat once held by Republican Tom Price, now Trump’s health secretary.

He garnered 48 percent. Top Republican vote-getter Karen Handel, former Georgia secretary of state, got just 20 percent.

But Ossoff’s haul fell short of the majority threshold required to outright win, despite him getting support from prominent Democrats and celebrities and attracting millions of dollars in outside donations. He raised over $8 million, compared with Handel's roughly $460,000. Under the so-called “jungle primary” system, the top two candidates – Ossoff and Handel – will head into the June runoff.

The two-candidate race immediately changes the dynamics in the contest.

Heading into Tuesday, 18 candidates were competing -- 11 Republicans, five Democrats and two independents. Democrats mostly consolidated support behind Ossoff, a 30-year-old filmmaker and former congressional aide. Republicans, by contrast, were sharply divided and split their vote among several contenders.

With just two candidates in the race, Republicans are vowing to close ranks behind Handel’s candidacy.

“Republicans are united and ready to do everything we can to elect Karen to Congress,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement.

Handel told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning that she’s already spoken to most of her GOP competitors in a push to unite the party.

“This district has a long legacy of Republican leadership,” she said. “What’s at stake here is bigger than any one person, and we will unite.”

She credited Trump with helping get out the vote and vowed, “I will prevail.”

Ossoff is sounding equally confident. At an Atlanta rally Tuesday night, he said, “We will be ready to fight on and win in June if necessary.”

He slammed Republicans for their “dark money” and negative ads – Handel countered that most his funding came from outside the district, and reprised criticism that Ossoff doesn’t even live in the Sixth District.

Ossoff has acknowledged he lives just outside the district, so his girlfriend is closer to work.

The result Tuesday night tees up another hard-fought contest in June likely to draw even more national interest. Some Republicans have suggested Trump could personally campaign in Georgia now that it’s a two-person race, while Democrats plan to keep up the pressure – after falling short in another recent House special election in Kansas.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement Wednesday morning that the Georgia outcome showed voters are “fed up with Republican leadership.”

“Jon Ossoff is in a strong position to become the first Democrat to represent the Georgia 6th in nearly 40 years. And while Republicans have their backs against the wall, Democrats will keep their foot on the gas through Election Day because the residents of Georgia’s 6th district deserve a representative who will fight for them,” he said.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "Georgia Vs. Hollywood" narrative is quite interesting.

This is the race that has seen millions upon millions of outside dollars pour in from outside the State. By all rights the Democrats should have won on the first ballot with the sheer capital behind the candidate, especially considering that Hillary Clinton won Cobb County in the Presidential Election.

However making the runoff about California trying to buy seats in Georgia seems effective.
It will be interesting to see how the turnout is.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Limbaugh has made the point that the Democrats are attempting to create the impression that the country now recognizes it has made the wrong choice, and that it will allow them either neuter Trump, or get rid of him. Thus, the coordinated effort to force him to reveal his tax returns. Thus the journalistic theme that his government is in chaos, and that it is failing on every front -- Obamacare, tax reform, etc. SAnd thus, the violence at Berkeley and any other campus where they can get footage of determined resistance, going to violence.

In fact, Trump has been busily checking off his list of promises. He has assembled an all-star cabinet, and foxed the Democrats on his Supreme Court nomination. The Obama energy regulations have been rolled back, and illegal immigration has been seriously curtailed, particularly the border runners, which are down 70%. (A very high proportion of the escapees into Canada are illegals from the USA who have criminal records, and are almost certainly ICE targets.) He has reversed American foreign policy and is heading to a confrontation with North Korea and the Syrians. And he has started beating the tom-toms on NAFTA.

In fact, his presidency is unusually active and organized. In the wake of the Obama administration, he looks even better than he deserves. His favourability ratings have risen to about 50%, up from 35-40% a couple of weeks ago.

It's a fascinating study in practical politics in the 21st century.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump supporters don't have buyer's remorse but some Clinton voters do: Poll

Aaron Blake, Washington Post

First posted: Sunday, April 23, 2017 12:28 PM EDT | Updated: Sunday, April 23, 2017 01:15 PM EDT

U.S. President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House April 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. The president was returning from a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin where he visited Snap-on tools. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Anecdotal stories about disillusioned supporters of Donald Trump are overdone. The fact is that, on a broad scale, Trump supporters say they aren't disappointed. In fact, a poll showed they were more pleased than disappointed, by about 5 to 1:

"...The Pew Research Center released a poll showing very little buyer's remorse among Trump voters. The poll showed just 7% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say Trump has performed worse than they expected him to. Fully 38% - five times as many - say he has performed better."

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll confirms this - in spades. And, in fact, it shows more buyer's remorse for Trump's opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton. And were the 2016 election held again today, it shows Trump would avenge his popular-vote loss.

While just 4% of Trump's supporters say they would back someone else if there was a redo of the election, fully 15% of Clinton supporters say they would ditch her. Trump leads in a re-do of the 2016 election 43% to 40% after losing the popular vote 46-44.

That 15% is split between those who say they would vote for Trump (2%), Gary Johnson (4%), Jill Stein (2%), and either other candidates or not vote (7%).

It's not hugely surprising that the losing candidate in an election would see this kind of drop-off. People don't like voting for losers, and if you look closely at polls after an election, some voters won't even admit to having cast their ballots for the losing candidate. The winning margin for the victor is generally exaggerated.

But against the backdrop of stories about how Trump hasn't delivered what his supporters thought he would, it's notable how much his backers are sticking by their candidate, relative to his opponent. There is basically no real defection to the one candidate who could have delivered a different result.

Of course, you can still be disappointed in Trump and not say you wish you had voted differently. But this poll also reinforces the idea that Trump supporters aren't even disappointed. Not in the least, in fact.

Just 2% of those who voted for Trump say he has been a worse president than they expected. Only 1% say he has been "much worse," and 1% say he has been "somewhat worse."

In contrast, 62% say he has been better than expected, with one-third (33%) saying he has been "much better."

That's not disillusioned Trump supporters; that's quite the opposite. And we have yet to see a poll that suggests there are a bunch of disgruntled Trump voters out there, stewing over


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Limbaugh has made the point that the Democrats are attempting to create the impression that the country now recognizes it has made the wrong choice, and that it will allow them either neuter Trump, or get rid of him.

I agree,
The narrative from the Democrats seems to be that they take no responsibility for the reasoning why they lost in 2016 and they are willing to welcome back the proverbial prodigal sons and daughters back into the fold. I would argue that is a challenging approach to take.

If and When the President passes his tax plan and if that tax plan is significant, its going to be challenging for the Democrats moving forward.

If a change in the tax code represents a few hundred dollar a month to the average American worker, campaigning to claw that back is going to be an uphill battle.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A new, but predictable development ...

Freedom Caucus Confirms Support For Revised Obamacare Replacement Bill
by Tyler Durden
Apr 26, 2017 1:04 PM

Moments ago the House Freedom Caucus announced their support for a revised version of an Obamacare replacement bill that includes the so-called "MacArthur Amendment." Here is the official statement from Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows:

"Over the past couple of months, House conservatives have worked tirelessly to improve the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to make it better for the American people. Due to improvements to the AHCA and the addition of Rep. Tom MacArthur’s proposed amendment, the House Freedom Caucus has taken an official position in support of the current proposal.

The MacArthur amendment will grant states the ability to repeal cost driving aspects of Obamacare left in place under the original AHCA. While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs. We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to improve the bill. Our work will continue until we fully repeal Obamacare.”

This is really going to drive the Democrats, and their house organs, the New York Times and the Washington Post crazy.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump Tax Proposal:

The proposal calls for reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to three for individuals, which would be set at 10%, 25% and 35%. Today's rates are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% and 39.6%.

But here's the thing: The White House has yet to specify how much of one's income would apply to each of the three rates that Trump is proposing. So it's impossible to say what the change would mean in dollars and cents for anyone.

During the campaign, Trump had originally called for those rates to be 10% 20% and 25%. He later amended his plan, calling for somewhat higher rates to match what House Republicans have been calling for: 12%, 25% and 33%.

The proposal also calls for doubling the standard deduction.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday morning that the new tax proposal will offer "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of this country." Without greater detail from the White House, that's impossible to verify.

Much lower business rates: Trump wants to slash the top tax rate for all businesses to 15%, as he proposed during the campaign. That's well below the top rate of 35% for corporations today, although the real top rate they pay is less after tax breaks.

A drop to 15% would also be a huge drop from the 39.6% top rate paid by owners and shareholders of so-called pass-through businesses. Those run the gamut from mom-and-pop shops to law firms and hedge funds. In a pass-through business, the owners and shareholders report profits on their personal tax returns.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ilena Ros-Lehtinen: Longtime Florida rep to retire from Congress

Published April 30, 2017
· Fox News

Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is retiring from Congress, Fox News learned Sunday.

Ros-Lehtinen has been a House member since 1989 and will not seek re-election next year. She is a former chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The Congresswoman explained her decision in an interview with The Miami Herald on Sunday. She called it "a personal decision based on personal considerations."

"The most difficult challenge is not to simply keep winning elections; but rather the more difficult challenge is to not let the ability to win define my seasons."

Ros-Lehtinen’s congressional district will be a battleground in 2018. Democrat Hillary Clinton won it over Donald Trump by 20 percentage points, and Ros-Lehtinen was able to win it by 10 percentage points.

She said she's confident that she would be re-elected if she chose to run again.

"I will not allow my season in elected office be extended beyond my personal view of its season, simply because I have a continuing ability to win. We all know, or should know, that winning isn't everything. My seasons are defined, instead, by seeking out new challenges, being there as our grandchildren grow up, interacting with and influencing public issues in new and exciting ways."

Ros-Lehtinen is considered a moderate Republican, who has not supported House Republican leadership’s recent ObamaCare overhaul plans and is not a strong supporter of President Trump.

Born in Havana, she is well-known for being a fierce critic of Cuban politics. The late Fidel Castro nicknamed her "la loba feroz" or "the big bad she-wolf."

For years, Ros-Lehtinen represented the Florida Keys, including gay-friendly Key West, and advocated for LGBTQ rights. Eventually, her transgender son, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, made his way into the public spotlight. Last year, he and his parents recorded a bilingual public-service TV campaign to urge Hispanics to support transgender youth.

In her remaining 20 months in Congress, Ros-Lehtinen said she will keep pushing for one of her long-running goals for Germany to offer restitution to Holocaust victims.

"And I will continue to stand up to tyrants and dictators all over the world," she told The Miami Herald. "I take that as a badge of honor, when they blast me and don't let me in their countries."

News of her retirement swept through Florida political circles.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee used her announcement to criticize her party. "It's been clear for years that the Republican party was out of step with the values of Miami families, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's retirement announcement is testament to the fact she recognized how wide that gap had grown."

"Illeana Ros-Lehtinen is simply a force of nature,” said Ohio GOP Rep. Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which helps get party members elected and re-elected to the House. “She represented her South Florida district well and she will be dearly missed in Washington. I wish her and her family the best."

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., called her a "trailblazer."

"She's been a relentless advocate for human rights, and a powerful voice on the need to address the dangerous Iranian regime, defend allies like Israel, and so much more," he wrote. "Ileana's retirement is well-deserved, but I'm glad we are not losing her yet. We've got important work to do for the American people over the next year and a half, and I know Ileana will continue to play a leading role."

Ros-Lehtinen currently chairs the subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and sits on the intelligence committee.


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Republicans: Montana special election 'closer than it should be'

It's the latest example of a tight race in a traditional GOP stronghold.

By Elena Schneider and Gabriel Debenedetti
| 05/24/2017 05:17 AM EDT

BOZEMAN, MT - MAY 21: Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate Rob Quist (L) and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) greet supporters during a campaign rally on May 21, 2017 in Bozeman, Montana. Rob Quist is campaigning with Sanders ahead of a May 25 special election to fill Montana's single congressional seat. Quist is in a tight race against republican Greg Gianforte. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democratic congressional candidate Rob Quist and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders greet supporters at a campaign rally May 21 in Bozeman, Mont. | Getty

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Republican Greg Gianforte’s closing motivational speech to voters ahead of Thursday’s special House election in Montana is the same thing GOP strategists are whispering in private: “This race is closer than it should be.”

It’s a recurring nightmare of a pattern for Republicans around the country, as traditional GOP strongholds prove more difficult and expensive for the party to hold than it ever anticipated when President Donald Trump plucked House members like Ryan Zinke, the former Montana Republican now running the Interior Department, for his Cabinet. Gianforte is still favored to keep the seat red, but a state Trump carried by 20 percentage points last year became a battleground in the past few months.

Democrat Rob Quist, a folk singer and first-time candidate, has raised more than $6 million for his campaign, including $1 million in the past week alone as energized Democratic donors pour online cash into political causes this year. Quist hopes that enthusiasm also contributes to an outsize turnout — as it did in special elections in Kansas and Georgia earlier this year — for the oddly scheduled Thursday election, happening just before a holiday weekend.

"I remember talking to people when it first started who said this was a slam dunk, Gianforte’s it. And it’s not there anymore,” said Jim Larson, the Montana Democratic Party chairman. “It is a lot closer than people ever thought it would be.”

Gianforte, a technology executive, has led consistently in polls for the special election, but Quist has narrowed that lead to single digits in recent weeks, according to private surveys. “Gianforte has an edge, but it’s not going to be a slam dunk,” said one national GOP strategist.

Republicans have called on Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. to calm their nerves about turnout and prevent Democrats from having the only energized voting bloc in the special election. Both have rallied voters with Gianforte, and Pence recorded a get-out-the-vote robocall. Gianforte, who said little about Donald Trump when Gianforte ran for governor and lost in 2016, has cast himself as a willing and eager partner of the president this time around.

On Tuesday, surrounded by Trump stickers — and some Trump hat-wearing supporters — Gianforte said he was eager "to work with Donald Trump to drain the swamp and make America great again," invoking two of the president's campaign slogans. Pence's robocall may give another boost to Republican turnout efforts.

But the environment has changed since Trump’s presidential win last fall. One senior Republican strategist warned that, based on the party’s performance in special elections so far, if Republicans “cannot come up with better candidates and better campaigns, this cycle is going to be even worse than anybody ever thought it could be.”

“The fact that we're talking about Montana — a super red seat — is amazing,” said John Lapp, who led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 cycle. “It's also amazing how much money Republicans have to pour into these seats to defend them. It's still a steep climb in Montana, but we know that the reaction there means that there's a tremendous amount of Democratic energy across the country, a tremendous amount of fundraising that will then feed into races that are much fairer fights."

Democrats hope the passage of House Republicans’ health care bill just three weeks before the election will put the wind at Quist’s back. It has been the subject of Quist’s closing TV ads, and he has called the plan “devastating” to Montana.

GOP outside groups have ensured that Republicans have a spending advantage, though, airing more than $7 million worth of TV ads, versus about $3 million from Democrats. House Majority PAC, Democrats’ main House outside group, on Tuesday added a last-minute $125,000 TV ad buy to the race, on top of $25,000 announced last week.

But those ads may have reached a point of diminishing returns in a state that prefers retail politics, said Matt Rosendale, the Republican state auditor.

"The airwaves are saturated, and when people see political commercials come on, they completely block it out. I think there’s a lot of money wasted on it," Rosendale said. "It’s a necessity in Montana to meet people. You have to be able to go out and meet with them, look them in the eye and answer difficult questions face-to-face."

Operatives in both parties privately grumble about the quality of their candidates, with each arguing their paths to victory might be clearer with a standard-bearer carrying a little less baggage.

Mike Pence is pictured.

Pence records robocall for Montana special election

By Gabriel Debenedetti

Republicans acknowledge that Gianforte has flaws Democrats exploited mercilessly in last year’s gubernatorial race, likely cementing negative feelings about him from some voters. Gianforte is dogged by reports that he sued Montana to block access to a stream in front of his ranch, kicking up a public lands dispute that hits home with Montana voters and has “probably followed him into this House race,” said Jeff Essman, the state’s GOP party chairman.

Democrats, too, acknowledge that Quist isn’t without his problems. Republican TV ads repeatedly attack Quist’s various personal financial problems, including "a defaulted loan, tax liens, collections, foreclosure notices.” Republican groups dug into Quist’s medical records and questioned his musical performance at a nudist colony.

"I haven’t seen this kind of opposition research on both sides on a House race in a long time,” said one Democratic strategist who’s worked in the state. “This is what you get when candidates are chosen in a nominating process and there's no vetting. Some people would say Quist is authentic, an outsider, a la Donald Trump, but Quist has a problematic record because he hasn’t spent his career in politics being careful."

Quist called in his own big-name reinforcements to activate the Democratic base and cater to the populist streak in the state, as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders headlined a handful of rallies alongside Quist last weekend.

It’s a gamble, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said, that could alienate some in the state, where Trump remains popular.

"Rob Quist is too liberal for Montana — he is very liberal. Democrats who have won statewide in Montana tend to be moderate, and Quist is no moderate,” said Daines, who campaigned alongside Gianforte in the final stretch of the race. “Who did he parade across Montana this weekend? Bernie Sanders.”


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Republicans pour late cash into Montana special election

By Alex Isenstadt
| 05/17/2017 05:37 PM EDT

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With the White House enveloped in crisis, a Republican-friendly group is rushing a last-minute $200,000 ad buy onto the Montana airwaves ahead of next week’s special congressional election.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will air TV commercials boosting Republican candidate Greg Gianforte. The spots will begin running on Thursday and will last through the election on May 25, one week later.

It’s the first investment the Chamber has made in the race. Over $8 million has been spent on the Montana special, most of it in support of Gianforte. Two conservative outside groups, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund, have combined to spend around $3.5 million to date.

Democratic groups, seeing the race for the conservative-leaning seat as a reach, have largely stayed out of the contest.

Gianforte, a technology executive, is facing off against Democrat Rob Quist, a folk singer and first-time candidate. The two are vying to replace Republican Ryan Zinke, who resigned from the seat earlier this year to become Secretary of the Interior.

Republicans remain confident they will hold onto the seat. But Gianforte has stumbled in recent weeks, giving conflicting answers about his support for the health care bill passed by House Republicans.

A GOP loss in a state President Donald Trump won by more than 20 points in 2016 would send shockwaves through the national political landscape, energizing Democrats and raising questions about Trump’s impact on congressional Republicans.

Republicans, concerned about the race and looking to gin up turnout, have dispatched high-profile surrogates. Donald Trump Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence have stumped for Gianforte in recent weeks.


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crow Tribe endorses Greg Gianforte for Congress

By MATT HUDSON mhudson@billingsgazette.com

May 19, 2017

Gianforte in Crow

Buy Now

LARRY MAYER, Gazette Staff

Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte stands during the flag song with Miss Crow Nation Shaunita Nomee and Junior Miss Crow Nation Nai Nai Wyles. Gianforte was endorsed by Crow Tribal Chairman A.J. Not Afraid and former chairman Darrin Old Coyote during a tribal meetings Friday.

Crow Tribal Chairman A.J. Not Afraid threw his administration's support behind the Republican candidate for Montana's Congressional seat during a Friday meeting in front of residents.

The candidate, Greg Gianforte, was on hand and appeared at two events in Crow Agency. One was a tribal government meeting; the second was a more informal barbecue held by former tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote.

At the first event, held in the Crow multi-purpose building in Crow Agency, Gianforte briefly ran through a number of policy points, including the creation of a west coast coal port to serve Crow exports.

"The Crow people and all of Montana need a strong voice in Washington, D.C.," Gianforte said.

Coal resonated through Not Afraid's endorsement on Friday. The Absaloka Mine is a major revenue source for the tribe, and the slowdown in industry-wide coal production has hit the Crow as well.

He said that he felt Gianforte's voice would have the best chance to carry the Crow's concerns, which include resource development. Despite gloomy market conditions, the resurgence of the coal industry has been the topic of speeches by President Donald Trump, Gianforte and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Vice President Mike Pence declared the "war on coal" is over before stumping for Gianforte last week in Billings.

Another priority issue for Not Afraid is health care, and he said he hopes to see funding for more services at the local Indian Health Service facility.

"Those have been cut over the course of time," Not Afraid said. "Health care isn't fully provided at this time."

There have been concerns over what Trump's federal hiring freeze would have on the already understaffed IHS. There is also concern about the preservation of Obamacare subsidies for tribal health, which are attached to expanded Medicaid funding.

The Quist campaign says a Medicaid rollback could affect as many as 9,000 Native Americans in Montana.

Gianforte spoke generally on Friday, saying that he was in favor of protecting those with pre-existing conditions and keeping premiums low. The candidate has previously offered ambiguous views on the Trump-backed Obamacare replacement legislation.

Not Afraid said Friday he shares the concerns about system funding but felt that Gianforte was the best choice.

He also said that the Democratic candidate, musician Rob Quist, didn't get his vote in part because he didn't get to meet him.

"Without a discussion on what's needed in Indian Country, we haven't had an opportunity to touch base," Not Afraid said.

Quist was on the Crow Reservation on Wednesday but didn't meet with the tribal chairman. A campaign spokeswoman said it was part of his "hands off our health care" tour of the state, which included John "Bowzer" Bauman of the musical group Sha Na Na.

A campaign spokeswoman said that Quist met with tribal members alongside state Rep. Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, a Democrat from Crow Agency.

He said in an April appearance in Billings that he would make it a priority to get assigned to the House Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee.

The election is May 25, which is the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( no real story in Montana , the GOP candidate has held the seat , although race was closer than last couple of elections in Montana . the GOP candidate is also facing a bizarre assault charge after a confrontation with a reporter )

Gianforte wins: Montana House candidate facing assault charge wins special election

Published May 26, 2017
Fox News

Republican Greg Gianforte won Montana’s special election Thursday despite being charged with assaulting a reporter just hours before polls opened across the state.

With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Greg Gianforte led Democrat Rob Quist by more than 24,000 votes out of nearly 270,000 ballots cast.

Gianforte said in his victory speech late Thursday that his victory is a victory for all Montana. He also used the platform to apologize to the reporter he allegedly assaulted on election eve and a Fox News team that witnessed the encounter.

“When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it. That’s the Montana way. Last night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can’t take back, and I’m not proud of what happened. I should not have responded in the way that I did, and for that I’m sorry. I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that I am sorry Mr. Ben Jacobs."

It had been unclear if Gianforte's assault charge would impact the race. About a third of eligible voters in Montana had already cast their ballots in early voting, and others said it didn't influence their vote.

Shaun Scott, a computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena, said the assault charge was barely a factor in his decision.

"If you have somebody sticking a phone in your face, a mic in your face, over and over, and you don't know how to deal with the situation, you haven't really done that, you haven't dealt with that, I can see where it can ... make you a little angry," Scott said Thursday.

Approximately a third of Montana's eligible voters had cast absentee ballots before Gianforte was cited Wednesday by the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office following a confrontation with Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. Witnesses, including a Fox News crew, said Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck and slammed him to the ground while yelling "Get the hell out of here!"

The last-minute controversy unnerved Republicans, who also faced close calls this year in the traditionally Republican congressional districts in Kansas and Georgia. A runoff election is scheduled for next month in Georgia between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel after Ossoff fell just short of winning outright.

Gianforte showed lukewarm support for Trump during his unsuccessful run for governor in Montana last fall but did an about-face and turned into an ebullient Trump supporter after he started campaigning for the congressional seat vacated by Republican Ryan Zinke, when he was tapped by Trump to serve as Interior Department secretary.

Gianforte urged Montana voters to send him to help Trump "drain the swamp," brought in Vice President Mike Pence and first son Donald Trump Jr. to campaign for him and was supported by millions of dollars of ads and mailers paid for by Republican groups


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem here is that it was a winnable seat for the Democrats;
Not quite Georgia winnable, but winnable none the less.

This isn't a seat the Democrats would need if they win the house;
However if you are Jon Tester and looking at re-election in 2018, this isn't great news.

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the feeling that the reporter was making a lot out of a little, if you know what I mean. I mean, if a big guy actually 'body-slams' you, you don't say into your microphone, Did you just body slam me?

That said, 70% of the voting was done through mail-in ballots. So the effect of that incident was diminished.

The fact is that the Democrats aren't winning winnable seats because they are putting these local elections in the national spotlight. The publicize them widely, which brings donations in from all over the country, not just the usual supporters of a local House representative. They use a lot of money on TV ads. And they tip the journalists that they expect to cash in on the revulsion decent people feel for Trump.

It has worked before. But now it creates a flow of donations to the other side as well. The Democrats are locked into the pose that Donald Trunp is just too crude to be their president, and they don't understand that other people feel differently. On the ground, I think a lot of voters have been pleasantly surprised whether they voted for Trump or not.

There is no groundswell of indignant repenters, wanting Trump impeached. So, voters react to the manipulation, as well as the TV ads. And Republicans are hanging on to these seats even in the face of a huge effort on the other side. That's the real meaning of these elections.

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( democrats are now planning to target close to 80 GOP seats in a desperate attempt at seizing power in Washington )


Democrats now targeting 79 House race, but do they have the money and message?

Joseph Weber
By Joseph Weber Published May 30, 2017
Fox News

Democrats are banking on Trump fatigue and discontent with the GOP-led Congress as they vow to compete in 79 House races next year, but the ambitious plan to retake the chamber will also require a big dose of cash.

Capitol Hill Republicans’ struggles with ObamaCare reform and the flood of negative news about the White House may give the Democrats an opening to win back the House. Needing to capture at least 24 net seats in 2018 to take the House, party leaders identified 59 potentially competitive races in January and 20 more last week.

“No district is off the table,” New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, co-chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said at a press conference last week.

Lujan said the group has raised more money online so far this year than in all of 2015, but added, “I know (Republicans) will outraise us.”

Jesse Hunt, national spokesman for the Republican National Congressional Committee, on Tuesday told Fox News: “It appears House Democrats haven’t given up on the old shotgun approach. Throwing out races to see which ones stick is the same strategy that’s kept them in the minority since 2010.”

Republicans have controlled the Senate since 2014 and won control of the House seven years ago in the same kind of midterm wave election Democrats are hoping to ride next year.

Democrats missed a rare opportunity last year to retake the Senate, considering Republicans had to defend two dozen senators seeking reelection.

But they’ve wasted no time this year trying to capitalize on the voter resentment from Trump’s upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton -- holding town hall events in which they question Trump leadership and argue that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance under Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal-and-replace efforts.

New York Rep. Joe Crowley, who leads the DCCC with Lujan, said at the press conference last week on Capitol Hill that Dems are eyeing even more seats.

“The number in play is (really) well over 80,” Crowley said.

He also said the group has more than 350 candidates lined up for the races and is targeting such high-profile GOP incumbents as Fred Upton, of Michigan; David Brat, of Virginia; and Arizona’s Martha McSally, considered a rising star in the party.

Brat, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, the chamber’s most conservative wing and major ObamaCare critic, is seeking a third term representing Virginia's 7th congressional district, which has voted Republican for nearly a half century.

“Dave is keeping his promises, and doing what he said he would do,” Brat campaign spokeswoman Sara James told Fox News. "The DCCC has no position when it comes to the $20 trillion debt or the $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities we're facing. … We have a plan to win again that people can get excited about because it will make their lives better -- and the DCCC has outdated politics, at best.”

Rory McShane, Republican strategist with Harris Media, argued Tuesday that the Washington press corps “keeps pushing this notion that there’s some kind of groundswell. But we haven’t seen it. Democrats have no national message other than ‘We don’t like Trump.’ ”

Still, the possibility that Democrats could ride public opposition to ObamaCare reform is not unfounded.

After the House passed its Obama Care overhaul bill in earlier this month, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report downgraded the likelihood Republican winning in 20 House races next year.

“Not only did dozens of Republicans in marginal districts just hitch their names to an unpopular piece of legislation, Democrats just received another valuable candidate recruitment tool,” wrote Cook’s expert on House races, David Wasserman, who also suggested early signs of a wave election.

Lujan said last week that competing in the Midwest will be a big part of the DCCC’s plan, following criticism last year that the party has long overlooked once-loyal voters in those states.

“The heartland is critically important to the strategy we’ve laid out,” he said. “We’re going to earn trust where we have lost trust.”

Lujan also attempted to downplay Democrats having yet to win a 2017 special House election, amid so much purported enthusiasm.

He argued Washington Republicans have had to spend tens-of-millions to defend several “deep red seats” already this year and expressed measured optimism about Democrats next month winning the House seat in Georgia left open when GOP Rep. Tom Price become secretary of Health and Human Services.

“The very nature that we're even having a conversation about these seats ought to concern them," Lujan said.

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2018 - US Midterm Elections

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