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The Left Column


Senate Candidate Did Not Disclose DUI Convictions

(Political Wire) “In U.S. Senate candidate Luke Messer’s (R) first successful run for public office, he had to persuade a caucus of local party insiders that he was the right man to replace state Rep. Roland Stine, a beloved schoolteacher who was killed by a drunken driver less than a month earlier,” the Indianapolis Star reports.

“That position would launch his political career and eventually land him a spot as a top Republican in Congress.”

“But Messer had a secret: He himself had two drunken driving convictions.”


150 cases of harassment and threats where Donald Trump's name was invoked.

(Propublica) Our partners @Reveal verified more than 150 cases of harassment and threats where Donald Trump's name was invoked. These are just a few of those cases.

Have you experienced a similar hate incident? Tell us about it here: https://propub.li/2HLTyrR


DUers of Color: Tell Your Story

There have been several discussions the past few days about the incident in which two black men were arrested for "defiant trespass" at a Starbucks on the command of a white manager because they didn't buy anything while waiting for a friend. Some of the discussions have been very interesting and enlightening, but there has also been a very troubling level of dismissal by some who have denied the existence of rampant discrimination against African Americans - in fact, some have actually blamed US for not being more compliant with the police or for unfairly blaming white people for racism where it doesn't exist.

It is clear that, despite considering themselves progressives, many Democrats just aren't aware of the racial dynamics in this country, perhaps because they've never actually experienced or witnessed it themselves.

So, I thought it would be helpful for DUers of color to tell our stories, to offer examples of how we've encountered discrimination, profiling or other indignities and to describe how this felt and/or how it affected you...


Federal judge finds Kris Kobach in contempt of court

(Topeka Capital-Journal) U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson has found Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt for failing to comply with her orders in a lawsuit over the state’s voter registration law.

Robinson didn’t impose a fine but ordered Kobach to pay for damages caused by his failure to comply, including attorney fees.

Robinson in 2016 issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the state’s proof of citizenship requirements, but the state continued to send notices to new applicants telling them they wouldn’t be allowed to vote. Before the November 2016 elections, Kobach told Robinson that counties would send postcards to notify those affected that they would be allowed to participate.


More than 40 Dem House challengers outraising GOP incumbents

(The Hill) More than 40 House Democratic candidates outraised Republican incumbents in the first fundraising quarter of 2018, another booming fundraising period for the left.

By comparison, Republican challengers outraised Democratic incumbents in just two seats, according to the Cook Political Report.


7 more House Races shift towards Democrats

(Cook Political) Speaker Paul Ryan's retirement plans could complicate the House GOP's fundraising math. In 2017, Ryan's joint fundraising committee brought in $44 million and transferred $32 million to the NRCC. His exit could leave GOP donors skittish. But even before last week, Democratic donors had been demonstrating far more enthusiasm on a race-by-race basis, a fact reflected in the newest House fundraising reports.

The newest FEC filings spell danger for Republicans. In the most recent fundraising period, Democrats outraised Republicans in at least 60 GOP-held seats, more than twice the 23 seats Democrats need for a majority. Meanwhile, the reverse is true in just five Democratic-held seats. That's going to force the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund to bail out a lot of cash-strapped GOP candidates come the fall.


Top Republican ADMITS Trump Won Wisconsin by Keeping Democrats From Voting

(Mother Jones) Election officials and Democrats in Wisconsin have repeatedly argued that the state’s strict voter ID law allowed Donald Trump to win the state in 2016 by keeping thousands of voters—predominantly in Democratic-leaning areas—from the polls. Now a top Republican official in the state is saying the same thing.

“We battled to get voter ID on the ballot for the November ’16 election,” Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, who defended the law in court, told conservative radio host Vicki McKenna on April 12. “How many of your listeners really honestly are sure that Sen. [Ron] Johnson was going to win reelection or President Trump was going to win Wisconsin if we didn’t have voter ID to keep Wisconsin’s elections clean and honest and have integrity?”


Poll suggests GOP lawmakers in New Jersey could be wiped out in November

(The Hill) Every Republican House member from New Jersey is in danger of losing their seat in this year’s midterm election, according to a new Monmouth University poll.

The survey released on Monday finds Democrats with a 19-point advantage statewide on the generic ballot, with 54 percent of respondents saying they plan to or are leaning toward voting for Democrats, compared to only 34 percent for Republicans.

Monmouth pollers say this puts all five of New Jersey's GOP-held seats at risk.


Trump Moves to Gut the Post Office

(Prospect) Whether Amazon actually is getting a special deal on shipping is open to intense debate. The company also happens to enjoy a discount on stamps, which they then mark up to their own marketplace sellers, a pure arbitrage deal to earn profits from a publicly issued product.

But these issues have almost nothing to do with the Trump executive order. The Amazon spat is a cover for the formal unveiling of a long-wished right-wing project to destroy the post office and have private industry take over its infrastructure, which taxpayers funded long ago. All the executive order really does is create a report; it would take a willing Congress to deliver the final hammer blow. But that report, with a government imprimatur, will become part of that right-wing wish list, living on for decades in think tanks and private shipping company boardrooms as a fervent dream.

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