With Scott Bland, Zach Montellaro and 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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ONE WEEK TO GO — “GOP senators grumble over Trump, RNC backing Moore,” by POLITICO’s Seung Min Kim and Kevin Robillard: “Senate Republicans are still trying to keep their distance from Alabama Republican Roy Moore, creating a fresh break with President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, which have re-embraced Moore less than a week before a key special Senate election despite accusations of child molestation against the GOP candidate. Both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC controlled by allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said they planned on staying out of the contest. Several Republican senators protested the RNC’s decision furiously on Tuesday.” Full story.
— “Bannon welcomes Moore back to GOP fold at Alabama rally,” by POLITICO’s Kevin Robillard: “At a rally here Tuesday in a barn at Oak Hollow Farm, in an affluent suburb on the eastern shore of the Mobile Bay, Bannon, Moore and a host of other staunch backers of the president took turns taking shots at the media, the GOP establishment, and Moore’s Democratic opponent, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones. The rally here was a replay of a rally Bannon and a host of other conservative figures held for Moore on the eve of the September runoff. Both men delivered their standard pitches: Bannon’s speech, heavy on talk about rolling back free trade and restricting immigration, told the crowd they were leading a revolution. Moore delivered a speech heavy on religious rhetoric and social conservatism.” Full story.
— “In major speech, Doug Jones portrays election as referendum on decency,” by AL.com’s Howard Koplowitz: “‘We need to look at this as parents, not voters. Will we tell our daughters that if you are abused and if you speak out, you will be believed, and Alabama will stand with you regardless of when you come forward?’ Jones said in a speech live streamed on his Facebook page. “Or will we tell our young sons this behavior, this disturbing behavior is O.K.? If you’re powerful enough or important enough, Alabama will simply look the other way. … By any objective standard… It is crystal clear that these women are telling the truth and Roy Moore is not.” Full story.
— “Republican Flake tweets check made out to Alabama Democrat’s campaign,” by POLITICO’s Nolan D. McCaskill: “A Republican senator on Tuesday posted a picture of a check made out to the campaign of Democratic Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones. Sen. Jeff Flake tweeted an image of a completed check for $100 for Jones’ Senate campaign. The check to Jones’ campaign … is for ‘Country over Party,’ Flake wrote on Twitter.” Full story.
— “Pro-Jones super PAC hits Moore on charity spending,” by Campaign Pro’s Daniel Strauss: “The latest ad from a super PAC supporting Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race frames Republican Roy Moore as a candidate that isn’t actually ‘for us.’ The 30-second statewide TV ad comes a week before the special election between Jones and Moore. The ad will be aired by Highway 31, a recently formed super PAC backing Jones. ‘Roy Moore says he’s for us … but what he does says otherwise,’ the narrator in the ad says. ‘Moore got paid $180,000 a year from his personal charity. A health care plan, a bodyguard and a private jet for part-time work.’” Full story.
MEANWHILE, A RESIGNATION — “Conyers vs. Conyers? Congressman backs son for seat,” by The Detroit News’ Jonathan Oosting, Michael Gerstein, and Melissa Nann Burke: “As the longest-serving member of Congress effectively resigned Tuesday amid sexual harassment allegations, U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. tried to keep his legacy alive by endorsing his oldest son, John Conyers III, to succeed him in Congress. It was an unexpected move by the Detroit Democrat in what promises to be a heavily contested primary in the heavily Democratic 13th District. State Sen. Ian Conyers of Detroit — the 88-year-old congressman’s great-nephew who has been in the state Legislature for a little over a year — has already announced plans to run. … Other names circulating Tuesday as potential candidates included state Sens. David Knezek of Dearborn Heights and Coleman Young II of Detroit, former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, Westland Mayor Bill Wild, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and Councilwoman Mary Sheffield.” Full story.
NOT RESIGNING — “Nevada Democrat accused of sexual misconduct says he won’t resign,” by ABC’s John Parkinson and Mary Bruce: “Amid allegations of sexual harassment, embattled freshman Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen vowed he will not resign from his post, despite calls from Democratic leaders that he step aside. Instead, Kihuen is digging in with a shocking allegation of his own, taking aim at the leaders of his own party, [saying they] knew last year about a former campaign staffer’s allegations of misconduct but stood by his campaign nonetheless. Kihuen questioned why they are calling for his resignation now. … ‘I do find it interesting that the DCCC, Leader [Nancy] Pelosi and Chairman Ben Ray Lujan — they knew about these allegations last year,’ Kihuen said. ‘They looked into them. They didn’t find anything, and they continued investing millions of dollars in my campaign. They went out there and campaigned for me.’ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who are both demanding Kihuen’s resignation, adamantly deny knowing about the allegations against Kihuen before BuzzFeed published a report last week.” Full story.
Days until the 2018 election: 335
HE’S RUNNING — “Ex-Ohio AG, CFPB leader Richard Cordray announces run for Ohio governor,” by the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jessie Balmert: “Touting support from former President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leader Richard Cordray announced he would run for Ohio governor. ‘I’m announcing today that I’m running to be the next governor for the state of Ohio,’ Cordray said Tuesday at a packed Lilly’s Kitchen Table, a diner in his hometown of Grove City.” Full story.
BIG GET — “Lexington Mayor Jim Gray running for Congress,” by The Lexington Herald-Leader: “After months of will-he, won’t-he whispering among Kentucky Democrats, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray made it official early Tuesday: He’s running for Congress. … Gray enters the race as the presumed favorite in a Democratic field that includes former Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath, state Sen. Reggie Thomas and perennial candidate Geoff Young. … Gray has the ability to self-finance a campaign, having spent $2.5 million of his own money over the course of his Senate campaign, but he’s playing catch-up.” Full story.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN 2018 CAMPAIGNS — “Wisconsin Republicans say Tony Evers ‘bowed to union pressure’ in Middleton teacher case,” by the Madison Capital Times’ Jessie Opoien: “The Republican Party of Wisconsin says state Superintendent Tony Evers ‘bowed to union pressure’ and did not do all he could to keep a teacher accused of harassing a colleague and watching pornography out of the classroom. But a Department of Public Instruction spokesman says the agency had no legal authority to do so at the time, and only in rare cases would the agency have the authority to revoke a license because of sexual harassment. Evers is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2018. A spokesman for his campaign said Republicans are rehashing old news to avoid their own weaknesses on the issue of sexual misconduct. The Republican Party of Wisconsin has gone after Evers relentlessly for the 2009 case, in which DPI and Evers did not revoke the license of Middleton-Cross Plains middle school science teacher Andrew Harris after he viewed sexually explicit images on his school computer.” Full story.
— Expect this to be a big part of the 2018 governor’s race in Wisconsin, says one Republican with knowledge of party plans: “It’s a fair bet that this attack will be a central component of Republicans’ messaging strategy over the long haul. From the day-to-day knife fight to the long arc of paid advertising if it becomes necessary, Tony Evers will be facing this question as long as needed.”
STAFFING UP — The Democratic National Committee has hired Robin Curran as its new email director. According to DNC spokeswoman Xochi Hinojosa, “The email director oversees our communications with grass-roots supporters, donors, and volunteers. As part of their role, they determine our overall strategy, testing, and optimization of the DNC email program.” Curran comes from Revolution Messaging and previously served as the digital production director for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
DEPT. OF BIO VIDEOS — Pat Ryan releases video on military career: Democrat Pat Ryan, who’s vying to challenge New York Rep. John Faso, is out with a biography video that describes his military career and criticizes Faso for his position on health care. “I remember the commander of this unit looking at me and saying, ‘Pat, this is going to save lives,'” Ryan says, explaining a technology company he started. Watch the video here.
CODA – QUOTE OF THE DAY: “When it happens to one of us, we’re guilty until proven innocent.” — Rep. Marcia Fudge on the difference in how Congress handles sexual misconduct allegations against black lawmakers compared with white lawmakers.