Senate Republican midterm alarm over white hot Democrat fundraising

Money doesn't equal happiness, at least not for Senate Republicans.

After a dismal fall and winter where many Republican candidates failed to raise as much money as Democrats, the GOP finally found their groove in the first quarter of 2018. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican fundraising behemoth, entered the race against Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., early last week, while Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., posted a $1.1 million dollar haul in only six weeks — both of which give Republicans hope.

But Democrats still hold a massive advantage after incumbents and key candidates continued to pile up their own cash in the first three months of 2018.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, posted a $6.7 million quarter, while Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, raised $3.9 million and $3.3 million, respectively. The two incumbent Democrats each have over $11 million in the bank, agitating to Republicans.

"We have seen absolutely white-hot fundraising from Democrats up and down the board for over a year," said Josh Holmes, a former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "Lots more needs to be done. We're not anywhere near where we need to be."

In addition to Scott's entrance and Cramer, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, raised $3.3 million — less than half of O'Rourke's total, but both reported just north of $8 million in cash on hand.

Other Republicans have remained underwhelming on the fundraising circuit.

Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., posted $1.2 million in the first quarter, an uptick from the paltry $500,000 he raised at the end of last year. However, he has only $1.6 million in the bank compared to $10 million for Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.

"We have very robust numbers. If you look at our candidates, they've done very well," said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "A key indicator from my perspective is the amount our candidates are raising online. That's a sign of a lot of grassroots energy and activism."

Two top Republican candidates in key races, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Missouri Attorney Gen. Josh Hawley, both posted underwhelming figures in the eyes of top Republicans in the final months of 2017, raising questions about their campaigns in the process. Neither has released their openin

Read more: http://electionnewschannel.com/top-news/59903-senate-republican-midterm-alarm-over-white-hot-democrat-fundraising

Rep Massie Explains Why Congress Is More Broken Than It’s Ever Been’

America’s massive national debt is the most critical issue confronting the country Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie (R) asserted during an interview with Townhall.

This financial problem also loomed large back when he won his first election—the debt clock he placed in his office that once read $16 trillion now displays $21 trillion and he said there will be another trillion this year. He called it “a crying shame,” noting that Republicans hold the executive branch and both houses of Congress.

Rep. Massie said the government should spend less and explained that to achieve reductions Congress should return “to a regular appropriations process.”

Congress should vote on 12 individual appropriations bills instead of one massive omnibus bill, he explained.

“Congress is more broken than it’s ever been,” Rep. Massie declared.

While Congress should “have a budget” and should “be starting on appropriations bills,” Rep. Massie said Congress will spend the time leading up to the midterm elections “debating, amending and voting on pretend bills. They’ll call them messaging bills, but they’re really pretend bills because they’re going nowhere in the Senate,” he said. “And so that’s what Congress will do.”

But that is not what Rep. Massie wants them to do. “If Congress has one job it’s to allocate the tax dollars responsibly,” he said.

He wants Congress to pass the 12 individual bills, but he predicted that legislators in both parties will vote for a continuing resolution in the fall.

“They’ll take the 1.3 billion and they’ll cut, copy, paste on or about September 30th.” The congressman strongly criticized this prospect: “I think that’s despicable really.”

He previously viewed the Speaker of the House as the problem, but said that he thinks when Paul Ryan received the Speakership “he really tried to go back to regular order. I watched him at least make an effort and I watched my colleagues push back,” Rep. Massie said.

While they “ostensibly” wanted to constrain “their ability to participate in the debate and amendments because it limited the ability of the Democrats

Read more: http://electionnewschannel.com/top-news/59535-rep-massie-explains-why-congress-is-more-broken-than-it-s-ever-been

GOP launches aggressive Lyin Comey website ahead of release of former FBI chiefs book

The Republican National Committee launched an aggressive campaign to paint fired FBI Director James Comey as a liar, just days before the airing of his first interview since he was cut loose and shortly before the release next week of his tell-all memoir.

The RNC borrowed a term, coined by then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential primaries for “Lyin’ Ted Cruz,” and pegged it to the embattled former chief of the FBI.

The RNC’s new website is www.LyinComey.com, where the GOP plans to fact check Comey’s book and use “rapid response” to highlight any “misstatements” or “contradictions” in it, according to an RNC official.

“James Comey’s publicity tour is a self-serving attempt to make money and rehabilitate his own image,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. “Comey is a liar and a leaker, and his misconduct led both Republicans and Democrats to call for his firing. If Comey wants the spotlight back on him, we’ll make sure the American people understand why he has no one but himself to blame for his complete lack of credibility.”

The official told Fox News that the RNC has prepared a rapid response team to respond to claims made in Comey’s book, compiled a research team to fact check, and created a “war room” to monitor his appearances.

The website, at first glance, highlights in bold “LYIN’ COMEY,” with a cropped image of Comey’s eyes. The homepage features a cycle of quotes from prominent Democrats questioning Comey’s tenure.

“The FBI has no credibility,” the website quotes Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., as saying in January 2017.

“Maybe he’s not in the right job,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is quoted as saying in November 2016.

“…badly overstepped his bounds,” the site quotes Hillary Clinton as saying in September 2017.

“I do not have confidence in [Comey] any longer,” the site quotes Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as saying in November 2016.

The website highlights Comey’s claim, during his testimony on Capitol Hill l

Read more: http://electionnewschannel.com/top-news/59370-gop-launches-aggressive-lyin-comey-website-ahead-of-release-of-former-fbi-chief-s-book

Retirement Avalanche Continues Another House Republican Announces Hes Finished

House Speaker Paul Ryan is finished. He’s done with public life. He said he’s not willing to be a weekend dad anymore and wants to spend more time with his family, which is commendable. But let’s be honest here: it’s a terrible signal to send in an election year. It also adds to the problem that has made the GOP position for the 2018 elections shakier by the week: retirements. Since the Trump tax bill became law in December of 2017, there has been an avalanche of retirements. And now we have another: Dennis Ross (R-FL) has said he’s calling it quits too (via Tampa Bay Times):

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, told his staff this morning he is retiring.

"Eight years takes its time on you. … There's got to be an exit strategy at some point," Ross said in an interview, noting he planned on serving 10 years, or five terms.

Ross, a former state House member, said he was informing staff about his decision and looked up at Fox News to see Speaker Paul Ryan had decided to step down and that he was unaware of those plans.

He dismissed the suggestion that his retirement had anything to do with a possible Democratic wave, though the open seat will now become a target, while setting off a scramble among Republican hopefuls. 

Some retirements could be understood, but many have flipped solid GOP districts into toss-ups this year. If anything, these retirements have caused more damage to the GOP's election prospects than the lack of progress on fully repealing Obamacare. Luckily, the GOP has a tax reform bill that is geared towards the working and middle classes, which has benefited scores of American businesses and over three million workers. Still, the retirements could be seen as the silent killer for the GOP come November (via NYT):

The good news for Democrats is that several of the Republicans retiring from the most competitive districts were particularly strong incumbents. They are longtime, moderate incumbents with a history of running far ahead of the national party in their district. Many won re-election without any serious challenge, even when Barack Obama won their districts in 2008 or 2012.

In a strongly Democratic political environment like this one, Washington’s Dave Reichert and New Jersey’s Frank LoBiondo were arguably the two mo

Read more: http://electionnewschannel.com/top-news/59203-retirement-avalanche-continues-another-house-republican-announces-he-s-finished

Paul Ryan Says He Won’t Seek Re-Election Reports

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Rumors have swirled for months on whether he would step down.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) reportedly plans to tell colleagues Wednesday morning that he will not seek re-election this year, capping off months of rumors that he was mulling stepping down from his leadership post. 

Axios reported that Ryan would soon announce that he would not run in November, citing confidants. The Atlantic and Politico also confirmed that he plans to tell GOP House members Wednesday morning.

Republicans face an uphill battle in November’s midterm elections, with dozens of competitive seats and a record number of resignations and retirements, and Democrats eager to make the election a referendum on both Ryan and President Donald Trump.

Speculation circulated in December over whether Ryan would leave the top House job in 2018 after GOP efforts to push through a massive tax bill ― one of Ryan’s legislative priorities ― or after the midterm elections.

In late March, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) told a reporter that rumors had been swirling around the capitol that Ryan would soon step down and be replaced by Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

“You know, [former Speaker] John Boehner said the thing: ‘Hey, I checked all of the boxes I thought were important and I’m moving on to whatever else,’” Amodei told Nevada Newsmakers, referencing what he thought could be Ryan’s decision to leave office.

In response to those reports, aides to both Scalise and Ryan adamantly denied the rumors, and Scalise’s spokeswoman said the lawmaker “fully” supported his colleague to remain speaker.

Ryan reluctantly took on the job of House speaker following the abrupt departure of his predecessor, John Boehner (R-Ohio), in 2015. The Wisconsin lawmaker had a tumultuous tenure, faced with infighting among various factions of the GOP caucus and the political rise of Trump, for which he received much criticism, particularly for his often tepid responses to Trump’s incendiary comments.

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Read more: http://electionnewschannel.com/top-news/59151-paul-ryan-says-he-won-t-seek-re-election-reports

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