With Zach Montellaro, Elena Schneider
The following newsletter is an abridged version of Campaign Pro’s Morning Score. For an earlier morning read on exponentially more races — and for a more comprehensive aggregation of the day’s most important campaign news — sign up for Campaign Pro today. (http://www.politicopro.com/proinfo)
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MOORE PROBLEMS — “Moore buried under TV ad barrage,” by POLITICO’s Scott Bland and Daniel Strauss: “Doug Jones and Roy Moore both released new television ads on Monday. But many Alabama voters will see only one of them. That’s because of the massive disparity in TV ad spending between the two candidates in the Alabama special election to a Senate seat, where Jones, the Democratic candidate, is outspending Moore roughly 7-to-1. … Fueled by millions of online dollars pouring in to defeat Moore, Jones’ campaign has flooded the airwaves with over $5.6 million of TV ads overall in the general election campaign. Moore has answered with about $800,000 in ad spending, according to Advertising Analytics.”
“Jones’ campaign built a big financial advantage even before women came forward accusing Moore of sexual misconduct in early November. … A new campaign finance report from ActBlue, the widely used Democratic digital fundraising platform, shows Jones raised nearly $2.9 million online in October alone. But the firestorm that ensued after numerous allegations surfaced against Moore galvanized even more financial support for Jones, giving him the resources to relentlessly pound Moore on-air as a child predator.” Full story here.
— Pro-Moore super PAC backed by Uihlein: A pop-up super PAC that has spent six figures supporting Moore in recent months received the majority of its funds from Wisconsin-based conservative megadonor Richard Uihlein, according to a new FEC filing. The PAC, called Proven Conservative PAC, has spent $147,649 since being formed in August and received $100,000 from Uihlein. One of Uihlein’s donations came on Nov. 22, more than a week after the first allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore surfaced, according to the new disclosure.
RETIREMENT ALERT — Gutierrez won’t seek reelection, via POLITICO Illinois’ Natasha Korecki: “Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) a leading national voice on immigration reform, will not seek reelection and is expected to announce his decision [this] morning, three Democratic sources with knowledge of the decision told POLITICO. Gutierrez is expected to announce he’s withdrawing his nominating petitions [today].”
“The sources say that former Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia will begin circulating petitions for Gutierrez’s post. Gutierrez’s spokesman, Douglas Rivlin, said he couldn’t comment.” Full story here.
AIR WAR — Tax reform ads fly ahead of votes this week: A slew of liberal and conservative groups are out with television ads pressuring senators ahead of this week’s Senate votes on tax reform. The DSCC is airing an ad featuring families receiving notices saying their tax bill is going up. “How much will the Republican tax scam cost you?” the ad’s narrator asks after the spot notes the elimination of the state and local tax, student loan and medical deductions. Watch it here.
— The Chamber of Commerce airs holiday-themed spots in three states: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is up with holiday-themed radio ads pressuring three GOP senators to support the bill: Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. “What’s the best gift [the senator] can give this holiday season?” the narrator of the 60-second spots asks. “The gift of tax relief.” Listen to the ads here, here and here.
— Business for Responsible Tax Reform pressures Corker: Business for Responsible Tax Reform is up with a 30-second ad targeting Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker that notes the tax reform bill increases the deficit. Watch the ad here.
— Not One Penny targets Trump: Not One Penny, a coalition of Democratic groups, is out with a television ad set to air during “Fox and Friends.” The ad notes President Donald Trump’s frequent Twitter messages and challenges him to tweet about tax breaks for golf course owners. Watch the spot here.
— AAN adds $2.5 million in TV, digital ads on tax reform: American Action Network is out with a $2.5 million TV and digital ad effort, thanking GOP House members in 29 House districts who voted for the Republican tax bill. The ad will air in largely battleground seats. Check out the full list of districts here. Watch the ad here.
— National Immigration Forum launches DACA ad: The National Immigration Forum is spending five figures to run digital ads in five states and D.C. criticizing Republicans on DACA. The ads focus on a young, undocumented immigrant named Bernardo Castro. More here.
Days until the 2018 election: 343
Playbook Interview with Marco Rubio — Join POLITICO Playbook Co-authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman for a Playbook Interview with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on end-of-year Senate priorities, policy, politics and the news of the day. Nov. 29 — Doors open 8:00 a.m. — The Liaison Capitol Hill. RSVP: here.
LONG-SHOT BID — “Former Kelly aide to mount last-minute Alabama Senate bid against Moore,” by POLITICO’s Cristiano Lima: “A former top aide to White House chief of staff John Kelly intends to launch a last-minute write-in campaign in the race for Alabama’s open Senate seat. Retired Marine Col. Lee Busby, 60, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., said Monday he plans to challenge Democratic candidate Doug Jones and embattled Republican Roy Moore for the state’s open seat. He also launched a bare-bones website counting down to the Dec. 12 special election.” Full story here.
MOORE ON THOSE ADS — Moore denies allegations in new TV ad: “A new ad announced by Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s campaign says the accusations that he pursued multiple women when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s are ‘false allegations,’” Strauss reports. Full story here. And read about Jones’ latest ad here.
— Pro-Jones super PAC dropped $1 million over last weekend: “Highway 31, the super PAC supporting Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race, has disclosed spending another $1.1 million on ads boosting the candidate and hitting Republican Roy Moore,” reports Strauss. Full story here.
NEW ON THE AIRWAVES — Pittenger talks ‘War on Christmas’ in TV ad: North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger is out with a new TV and digital ad, which started airing over Thanksgiving weekend, about Christmas. “Christmas — a time we honor the birth of Jesus Christ, yet some choose political correctness, attacking our faith and values, refusing to say ‘Merry Christmas,’” the ad’s narrator says. “Let’s join together to honor the birth of Jesus Christ and Christmas traditions.” Pittenger, directly addressing the camera, concludes: “I’ve dedicated my life to sharing God’s love through Jesus Christ. Let’s end political correctness and put the true meaning of Christ back into Christmas.” Pittenger is up against a well-funded primary and general election opponent, both of whom outraised him last quarter. Mark Harris, a pastor who nearly beat him in a primary in 2016, is challenging him again. Watch the ad here.
— American Chemistry Council’s new spot backs Barrasso: The American Chemistry Council’s new ad praises Sen. John Barrasso as “Wyoming’s conservative force.” Watch it here.
SOMETHING TO WATCH — “Puerto Ricans could transform Florida politics, and parties are taking notice,” by NBC News’ Carmen Sesin: “So far, over 189,000 Puerto Ricans have migrated to the state after the hurricane left unimaginable destruction throughout the island. Planes arriving from Puerto Rico remain full and some estimate as many as half a million people will eventually make their way to Florida. Although some, particularly the older generations, will eventually return to the island, experts believe most will remain here. Central Florida is their preferred destination, but areas like South Florida and Tampa are also seeing an influx of Puerto Ricans.” Full story.
GETTING THE NOD — Club for Growth PAC backs Fulcher in ID-01 primary: “The Club for Growth PAC is endorsing former state Sen. Russ Fulcher in the crowded Republican primary to replace Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador, who’s running for governor. … Fulcher initially launched a gubernatorial bid but dropped out in June and endorsed Labrador. Fulcher, who also ran for governor in 2014, led the pack of GOP candidates in fundraising last quarter, bringing in more than $100,000.” Full story.
2018 WATCH — “Virginia Republicans anticipating state Del. Nick Freitas to announce run for U.S. Senate,” by the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Patrick Wilson: “Virginia Republicans are anticipating that a state lawmaker will join the GOP primary race for a chance to challenge U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., next year, according to GOP insiders. The new contender would be Del. Nicholas J. Freitas, R-Culpeper, an Iraq combat veteran first elected to the General Assembly in 2015 and easily reelected this year. Freitas would join Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, in seeking the GOP nomination.” Full story.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This so-called off-the-record conversation was the essence of a scheme to deceive and embarrass us,” Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron said, explaining why the newspaper published an off-the-record exchange with a woman who appears to have tried to scam the paper with a false Roy Moore allegation while acting on behalf of the conservative group Project Veritas.