THE BIG IDEA:
— Terrorism has emerged as the top concern among Republican primary voters, and Donald Trump is seen as the candidate best equipped to combat it. This is the main reason Trump has popped in the polls since his call last week for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration into the United States.
A fresh Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 38 percent of Republicans name terrorism as the single most important issue, compared with 29 percent who name the economy and just 6 percent who highlight immigration. “Asked to choose which candidate among the top five they would trust most to deal with threats of terrorism, half of Republicans cite Trump,” Dan Balz and Scott Clement write this morning.
Our poll finds Trump getting 38 percent among Republicans nationally, his highest mark yet. Ted Cruz of Texas has surged into second with 15 percent, effectively doubling his support since our poll last month. Marco Rubio and Ben Carson are tied for third, with 12 percent each.
Fifty-nine percent of Republicans agree with Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, even as 60 percent of all adults nationally say it is the wrong thing to do.
Wolf Blitzer, moderating tonight’s debate on CNN, plans to focus heavily on terrorism and ISIS. “We’ll get to other subjects as well,” he told his cable channel, “but that’s going to be a really important focus, because that’s where the American public is right now.”
Other surveys also back up the sudden salience of terrorism in the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. A Quinnipiac University poll of Iowa, which finds Trump and Cruz tied (28-27) among likely GOP caucus-goers, has 30 percent naming terror as their top issue, compared to 21 percent for the economy, 13 percent for foreign policy and 11 percent for immigration. In Iowa, asked who can best deal with terrorism, 33 percent of Republicans said Trump to 24 percent for Cruz and 9 percent for Rubio.
Gallup offers good benchmarks on how the current level of fear among voters compares to the weeks after previous terrorist attacks: Their own poll, published yesterday, found that one in six Americans, or 16 percent, now identify terrorism as the most important U.S. problem, up from just 3 percent last month. “This is the highest percentage of Americans to mention terrorism in a decade, although it is still lower than the 46% measured after 9/11,” writes Rebecca Riffkin. “In 2004, mentions rose as high as 19% after the Madrid train bombings, and then jumped again to 17% in 2005 after the London train and bus bombings. Since 2007, less than 10% of Americans — sometimes less than 1% — have mentioned terrorism in Gallup’s monthly updates, although mentions did spike again to 8% in early 2010 after the failed ‘underwear bombing.’”
Key data point that underscores what Trump is tapping into: “Americans’ trust in the government to protect them from terrorism is the lowest Gallup has measured.”
— So much for being the flavor of the month: Tomorrow is the six month anniversary of Trump kicking off his presidential campaign.
One month ago, Jeb Bush declared confidently to a room of anxious donors in Dallas: “Come December 15, Trump will be in decline.” Well, today is Dec. 15. And The Post poll puts Jeb at 5 percent to Trump’s 38 percent. “I’m super-worried for him,” a major donor who has hosted fundraisers for the former Florida governor tells Ed O’Keefe.
— Trump had a particularly nasty and tense rally in Las Vegas last night. “In some instances, there were chaotic physical confrontations,” Sean Sullivan wrote in a story that posted after 2 a.m. Eastern. “From the designated media work area, which is surrounded by barricades and which is where the Trump campaign requires reporters to remain during events, altercations within the crowd could be heard. BuzzFeed reporter McKay Coppins posted brief videos on Twitter of security personnel seeking to physically remove individuals who appeared to be protesters. In one exchange, several men were seen trying to remove a man on the ground who was yelling. ‘Light the m———-r on fire!’ another man is heard saying in that video, though it is not completely clear from the footage who is speaking at whom…. ‘We have a big night tomorrow,’ Trump said at the top of his remarks.”
— Close to home: The chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors will chair Trump’s Virginia campaign. Corey A. Stewart spearheaded the suburban D.C. area county’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants a few years ago, which he said led to turning over more than 7,500 people to federal authorities and a significant drop in violent crime.
Tellingly, Stewart broke with Trump on his plan to stop Muslims from entering the country just hours after the campaign announced his role: “I have a very strong relationship with the Muslim community in Northern Virginia,” he told The Post’s Jenna Portnoy in a phone interview last night. “I’m not going to agree with everything that Donald Trump says and this is probably one of them. I have a very good relationship — and it’s not something I will jeopardize. And I hope to be a bridge between Trump and the Muslim community.”
— More Republicans publicly say they won’t back The Donald: Rep. Reid Ribble (Wis.) told a local radio station that he won’t support Trump if he’s the GOP nominee, adding: “I have had dozens of Republicans and also fellow colleagues here in Congress say to me they will not support Trump no matter what.” Ribble said he wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton but perhaps for a Libertarian Party candidate, per BuzzFeed.
— The undercard debate is at 6 p.m. Eastern and the main event at 9 p.m. Other narratives to watch:
— “The GOP’s get-serious caucus heads into debate: ‘Showtime is over’,” by Philip Rucker: “Candidates such as Chris Christie — mainstream Republicans who have climbed the political ladder from one government office to the next — have been drowned out and out-polled, much to their frustration and humiliation, by Trump and other insurgents. But now they hope that [tonight] will be a clarifying moment to pivot into a more sober final phase. This get-serious caucus, which also includes Ohio Gov. John Kasich and [Bush], has been begging voters to evaluate candidates not on their rhetoric, personalities and projections of strength, but on their governing records, knowledge and worldliness.”
— “What happened to Carly Fiorina?” by Abby Phillip: Her campaign is foundering. “With Trump monopolizing media attention, and without the deep campaign organization of the other leading candidates, she is seeing her opportunity slip away…. A particular challenge for Fiorina, who has rooted her candidacy in economic issues and her business experience, is … [that] she has also struggled to reach voters focused more on national security after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— Negotiators were nearing a deal last night on a year-end spending and tax package “that would increase domestic and military funding, lift the ban on crude oil exports and extend several tax breaks for businesses and individuals,” Kelsey Snell reports.
- Disputes over funding levels seem to have been resolved but lawmakers are trying to work through the 50 policy riders wanted by Republicans.
- House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republicans last night that the deal “contains policy victories for the GOP, but not as many as lawmakers will want,” Politico reported, adding that GOP attempts to restrict the influx of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the country will not be included.
- The current stopgap spending bill expires Wednesday, so lawmakers will likely pass another short-term measure to avoid the government shutting down. Ryan has promised his members three days to read the deal and is expected to brief them at a House GOP Conference meeting this morning.
GET SMART FAST:
- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face a general court-martial for walking off his base in Afghanistan, meaning he could face life in prison after being held captive for five years. The 29-year-old is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The decision could result in punishment much more severe than the 12-month maximum recommended in September. (Dan Lamothe and Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
- The FAA announced it will require all drones to be registered and marked with their numbers, as a consumer group predicted 700,000 new drones will be gifted for Christmas. (Ashley Halsey III)
- The CDC advised doctors to prescribe opioids less frequently after a study blamed the addictive painkillers for a 16.3 percent increase in overdose deaths last year. (Lenny Bernstein)
- Seattle became the first American city to allow ride service companies like Uber to unionize. (Seattle Times)
- A federal judge in Ohio temporarily blocked the state’s Republican attorney general from seeking changes to the way Planned Parenthood disposes of fetal remains. (Columbus Dispatch)
- The State Department urged U.S. citizens to leave Burundi after 87 people were killed last week. (Kevin Sieff)
- “The Obama administration is expected as soon as this week to authorize the sale of two guided missile frigates to Taiwan … in spite of China’s opposition to the deal,” Reuters reports. “The sale would mark the first time in four years that the United States has shipped arms to Taiwan, the longest gap in such arms sales in nearly four decades.”
- The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that a class-action lawsuit against DirecTV over early-termination charges cannot go forward because it should be heard by a private arbitrator. (Robert Barnes)
- SCOTUS also put on hold an Alabama Supreme Court ruling refusing to recognize a lesbian mother’s adoption of three children in neighboring Georgia. (Barnes again)
- The jury began deliberations in the trial of the first Baltimore cop charged in the death of Freddie Gray. (Lynh Bui, Julie Zauzmer and John Woodrow Cox)
- A Chicago police commander was acquitted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after being accused of shoving a gun down a man’s throat. (Mark Guarino)
- A Missouri police chief resigned after fatally shooting a dog at a gun range. (Lindsey Bever)
- A Detroit man was charged in connection with the shooting of a U.S. District Court judge during a robbery. (Elahe Izadi)
- Apple is rumored to be releasing a new, smaller-screened iPhone — the 6c, according to 9 to 5 Mac, as well as a next-generation Apple Watch in March. (Hayley Tsukayama)
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany (R) threw his hat into the crowded Senate race to succeed David Vitter. (Baton Rouge Advocate)
- The House Ethics Committee cleared Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) of wrongdoing after he was accused of promoting private businesses, promoting the “League of Legends” video game and getting a sponsored wardrobe makeover. (Mike DeBonis)
- Mike Huckabee’s lead spokeswoman Alice Stewart is no longer with the campaign. The former Arkansas governor, relegated to the undercard debate, told CNN that she was “exhausted” and insisted her departure does not reflect a cash crunch.
- Rob Portman’s communications director, Caitlin Conant, is leaving to join her husband, Alex, on Marco Rubio’s campaign. (Sean Sullivan)
- Bill Cosby sued seven of the women who have accused him of rape for defamation. (Emily Yahr)
- Pete Rose will remain banned from baseball for life, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced. (Barry Svrluga)
THE BATTLE WITH ISIS:
— A Maryland man was arrested for allegedly taking $9,000 from ISIS to commit a terrorist attack inside the U.S., the FBI announced last night. Mohamed Yousef Elshinawy, 30, was taken into custody at his home in Edgewood last Friday. He told the FBI the money was to be used for “operational purposes”and cited the May attack on the prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Tex., Adam Goldman reports.
— The female shooter in San Bernardino, Tashfeen Malik, sent at least two private messages on Facebook to a small group of Pakistani friends in 2012 and 2014, “pledging her support for Islamic jihad and saying she hoped to join the fight one day,” the Los Angeles Times reports. They were written in Urdu.
— DHS will now routinely search social-media accounts of people applying for visas, the Wall Street Journal reports.
— The French preschool teacher who claimed he was stabbed by a masked man inspired by ISIS, which triggered a massive national manhunt, admitted last night he made up the story. (Michael Birnbaum)
— Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is in Turkey this morning, about 100 miles from the Syrian border, on a trip aimed at pressuring leaders of Persian Gulf Arab states to step up. The administration is dissatisfied with the commitments of other coalition nations, including gulf countries recently focused on the Yemen conflict. Saudi Arabia just announced a 34-nation group called the “Islamic military alliance” to fight terrorism, which it said will include Egypt, Pakistan and Yemen, and be based in Riyadh.
Our Missy Ryan relays that, on the flight to Turkey, “Carter said he had made suggestions about the kind of additional commitments that those countries could make but is hoping their leaders will be ‘creative’ when considering additional steps.” He’s visiting troops at Incirlik, where U.S. aircraft began launching strikes this summer.
— Secretary of State John Kerry is in Moscow today to meet with Vladimir Putin to discuss Russia’s role in the ongoing Syrian conflict. (Our Carol Morello is on the trip.)
- The Russians are ruthless and seemingly unconcerned about collateral damage. The U.N. says at least 20 medical facilities have been hit in Syria since Moscow launched its air war on Sept. 30. “Aid agencies are warning of a worsening humanitarian crisis as sharply intensified Russian airstrikes paralyze aid supply routes, knock out bakeries and hospitals and kill and maim civilians in growing numbers,” Liz Sly reports from Beirut. “Among the targets .. are the border crossings and highways used to deliver humanitarian supplies from Turkey, forcing many aid agencies to halt or curtail their aid operations.”
- Russia’s air force is not so good at precision bombing and has continued to hit U.S.-backed rebels. “Russia’s military tactics in Syria differ so much from those of the U.S. and its allies that it could be impossible to operate together,” U.S. and European officials tell the Wall Street Journal.
— In a pretty powerful moment during his visit to the Pentagon yesterday, President Obama read aloud the names of seven Islamic State leaders killed by recent U.S. airstrikes. “The list goes on,” he said. “We are hitting ISIL harder than ever.” So far, he said, the United States has dropped nearly 9,000 bombs. (Greg Jaffe)
— The truth on the ground is harder than politicians want to accept. Walter Pincus faults Sen. John McCain for suggesting it would be simple to build a large Arab ground force to take out ISIS in Iraq. He examines the challenges the Iraqi army, assisted by U.S. airstrikes, is having in retaking Ramadi, the capital of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province.
— “Liberal Hispanic activists assail Rubio, Cruz as ‘traitors’ to their culture,” by Mary Jordan: “Liberal Hispanic groups have launched a new campaign designed to turn Latino voters against the two Cuban American Republicans who have risen to the top tier of the GOP presidential field — assailing Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as traitors to their own culture. Radio and online ads, social media posts and public discussions with Hispanic leaders in swing states are accusing Cruz and Rubio of fighting against immigration reforms, a minimum wage increase and other changes that millions of Latinos support.… The shift in tactics to target Rubio and Cruz, in addition to Trump, reflects a concern among some Democrats that the prospect of a history-making Hispanic candidate atop the Republican ticket could draw many in that crucial voting bloc back to the GOP.”
— “Koch Industries, White House work to keep criminal justice reform viable,” by Juliet Eilperin: “In a private meeting last week, top officials from the White House and Koch Industries agreed a controversial change to white-collar prosecutions should go if it jeopardizes the viability of sentencing reforms on Capitol Hill … One measure that passed the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support … would require prosecutors in cases as wide-ranging as food tainting and corporate pollution to prove that defendants ‘knew, or had reason to believe, the conduct was unlawful,’ otherwise known as ‘mens rea.’” Mark Holden, Koch Industries general counsel, told Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett that since mens rea “is not [a] stumbling block to progress, then it would be important to communicate that publicly.”
— “Sanders: Sticking to script regardless of how it ends,” by John Wagner: In a packed college gymnasium on a weekend swing through eastern Iowa, Bernie Sanders made it abundantly clear that he intends to keep running the same campaign through caucus day that he has for the past seven months. While his rivals have pivoted to talk more about terrorism, the Vermont senator kept his focus on the economic issues at the core of his presidential bid, making no excuses to anyone who might suggest he do otherwise. …With the Iowa caucuses just around the corner, Judgment Day on Sanders’s purposeful and unapologetic approach will soon arrive in the place where it matters most to the fate of his upstart campaign. … Sanders boosters are hopeful that the result will more closely mirror the 2008 race in which President Obama won the Iowa caucuses by greatly expanding the number of people who attend.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— Pictures of the day:
The Trump campaign released a doctor’s note that described the GOP front-runner’s medical tests as “astonishingly excellent” and that said he would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” The whole thing is a gem:
Scott Walker’s mom saves everything. “Check out this #StarWars pillowcase,” he wrote:
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) made it home for the last night of Hanukkah. “Hope everyone who celebrated had a beautiful and meaningful holiday,” she wrote:
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) had plenty of snow to shovel back home:
— Tweets of the day:
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) remembered the victims on the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting:
First Lady Michelle Obama congratulated Serena Williams for her latest honor:
Here’s the cover of the winner of three Grand Slam titles:
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) got a moment in the spotlight as part of the Washington Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker”:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) celebrated his son’s birthday by posting an old photo:
— Instagrams of the day:
“Our son, Connor, is published!!!!” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote. “This is the first with many more to come. Very proud”:
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) congratulated Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) after he became the longest-serving governor in American history:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
— New York Times, “Marco Rubio’s wife: A partner ready to puncture his ego,” by Michael Barbaro and Kitty Bennett: “Friends describe Jeanette Rubio, who met the future lawmaker when both were teenagers, as a pivotal figure in his evolution — a grounding, disciplined and at times corrective influence who in many ways ushered Mr. Rubio into adulthood. She was the rare spouse who regularly traveled from South Florida to the state’s remote capital, Tallahassee, when Mr. Rubio was a state representative, reminding him of obligations to family in a city where late-night deal making and drinking were common. When her husband ran for the United States Senate in 2010, Mrs. Rubio communicated a message to his staff: Whenever humanly possible, his travel schedule should bring him home at night for family time, aides recalled. And her social conservatism, friends and colleagues said, has deepened Mr. Rubio’s own: Many of them detect Mrs. Rubio’s influence on her husband’s outspoken opposition to abortion in almost all cases.”
— Texas Tribune, “Hispanic Conservatives: Cruz ‘Perhaps Worse’ Than Trump,” by Patrick Svitek in Las Vegas: “After meeting with Cruz’s presidential campaign, Hispanic conservative leaders are expressing concern that the Texas senator is in favor of ‘self-deportation.’ … An influential group of Latino Republicans said campaign officials impressed upon them in a closed-door meeting that Cruz supports ‘attrition through enforcement.’ … ‘They don’t like to use the term self-deportation, but for all intents and purposes, that’s really what self-deportation means,’ said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership. ‘So we learned today, to our dismay, that Sen. Cruz believes in attrition through enforcement, or … no legalization whatsoever.’ The position, Aguilar later told reporters, is ‘perhaps even worse’ than Trump’s plan for dealing with people already in the country illegally. The group has already said it could not support Trump as the GOP nominee…”
“Asked about the campaign’s meeting with the group Monday, a Cruz spokeswoman said the discussion reflected the senator’s belief that the enforcing the law comes before everything else in the immigration debate. That includes deporting people who are illegally residing in the United States, said the spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier. ‘Enforcing the law is enforcing the law no matter how anyone wants to spin it,’ Frazier said.”
— Politico, “Mitch McConnell is promising that the Senate won’t get stuck in the doldrums,” by Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett: . “Topping his agenda is a push to pass all 12 appropriations bills, a goal that’s eluded Congress since 1994. The larger objective is to make the case to voters in 2016 that the GOP Senate is in capable hands —and so they should keep it that way. ‘I didn’t want the American people to think that if they joined us with a [Republican] president of similar views, there would be anything sort of frightening for the country,’ McConnell said. ‘And so that’s what we’ve been: a responsible, right-of-center governing majority.’”
— Vox, “Why Obamacare premiums are spiking in 2016,” by Sarah Kliff: “No matter how you slice the numbers, Obamacare premiums will rise significantly next year. The Obama administration estimates rates will rise 7.5 percent in 2016, compared with 2 percent in 2015. Insurance markets are complicated. But the story of Obamacare’s 2016 premium increase is actually pretty simple: Many health plans — even those with decades of experience selling insurance — underestimated how sick health law enrollees would be. This meant that in 2014, many insurers spent more paying out medical bills than members paid in premiums. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska lost $9 million covering just under 8,000 Obamacare enrollees that year. In Colorado, Rocky Mountain HMO found medical bills to be about 36 percent higher than premiums. Now insurers are raising their rates to make sure premiums do cover claims. In some states, that means double-digit rate hikes.”
— New York Times, “EPA broke law with social media push for water rule, auditor finds,” by Eric Lipton and Michael D. Shear: “The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in ‘covert propaganda’ and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded. The ruling by the Government Accountability Office drew a bright line for federal agencies experimenting with social media about the perils of going too far to push a cause. Federal laws prohibit agencies from engaging in lobbying and propaganda. … An E.P.A. official on Tuesday disputed the finding. … The E.P.A. rolled out a social media campaign on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even on more innovative tools such as Thunderclap, to counter opposition to its water rule, which effectively restricts how land near certain surface waters can be used. The agency said the rule would prevent pollution in drinking water sources. Farmers, business groups and Republicans have called the rule a flagrant case of government overreach.”
— Los Angeles Times, “Who bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal? It’s anybody’s guess,” by Nigel Duara: “The Las Vegas Review-Journal has been sold for a profit, a fact that is in itself remarkable amid print media’s declining fortunes. But with the sale comes a mystery: Who bought Nevada’s largest newspaper? The $140-million sale, completed late Thursday, transferred ownership of the paper and smaller weekly newspapers from New Media Investment Group to the similarly-named News + Media Capital Group, which has so far refused to identify its owner. … News + Media Capital Group, the new owner, paid seven times the paper’s earnings over the last 12 months, spurring rumors of a rich individual making a vanity purchase. The first name that came to mind, said University of Nevada, Las Vegas associate history professor Michael Green, was the casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who also owns a newspaper in Israel. The conservative bent of the paper and its prominence in an early-voting swing state make Adelson or another rich conservative a logical buyer.”
HOT ON THE LEFT
Mandy Patinkin says Ted Cruz is missing the point of “The Princess Bride” when he frequently quotes the movie. From Talking Points Memo: “This man is not putting forth ideas that are at the heart of what that movie is all about,” said Patinkin, who played the role of Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic. “I would love for Senator Cruz, and everyone creating fearmongering and hatred, to consider creating hope, optimism and love. Open your arms to these people, these refugees trying to get into our country, and open your hearts.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Rush Limbaugh attacked Donald Trump over the businessman’s criticism of Ted Cruz. From the Washington Examiner: “You cannot legitimately and honestly criticize Cruz’s competence, his intelligence, his abilities,” Limbaugh said. “He’s as bright and competent and capable and smart as anybody, and they all know it. A genuine conservative, even in the Republican field, would not go after Cruz this way. So that just raised a red flag for me, made me somewhat curious.”
— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: CNN holds a Republican debate in Las Vegas. The main debate will include Trump, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Bush, Fiorina, Christie, Kasich and Paul. The undercard includes Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki. Hillary Clinton delivers a speech on counterterrorism at the University of Minnesota and holds a fundraiser in Minnesota. Bernie Sanders stops in Dover, Rochester and Hampton, N.H.
— On the Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. The House is not in session.
— At the White House: President Obama delivers remarks at a naturalization ceremony.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Donald Trump could be a recruitment poster for ISIL because he is fanning the flames of hate.” — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on CNN
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— Breezy and sunny today, but it’s going to get chillier later in the week. “Mostly sunny skies with just a few intervals of clouds at times, and the sunshine helps temperatures to rise into the mid-6os by afternoon,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “While not as warm as last weekend, they’re still around 15-20 degrees warmer than normal! A stronger flow of air from the west and northwest kicks up winds to the 10-15 mph range with gusts up to 30 mph possible. The stiff wind triggers wind chills to make the 60s feel like 50s once in a while.”
— The Giants beat the Dolphins 31-24 on Monday Night Football. (ESPN)
— The Capitals knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-1. (Isabelle Khurshudyan)
— The Wizards fell to the Memphis Grizzlies, 112-95. (Jorge Castillo)
— Democratic drama in Maryland: Emily’s List filed a complaint with the FEC accusing Rep. Chris Van Hollen of illegally using the group’s financial disclosures to send donation requests directly to its donors in hopes of taking support away from Rep. Donna Edwards, his primary rival and their endorsed candidate in the race to succeed Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
More from Rachel Weiner: “Supporters in at least 11 states got a letter and solicitation from the Van Hollen campaign. The campaign letter, by former NARAL Pro-Choice America board Chairman Rosalyn Levy Jonas, refers to an email in which Emily’s List identified Van Hollen incorrectly as a Republican. ‘Sadly, Emily’s List, which I have always supported in the past, has become a party to . . . deception,’ Jonas said. Emily’s List says that the email was an honest mistake sent only to a test audience of 5,000 people and that it immediately offered to send a correction.”
Van Hollen campaign manager Sheila O’Connell is the former political director of Emily’s List. She called the complaint “a politically motivated and frivolous attack that we are confident will be dismissed.” But they would not directly deny relying on Emily’s List disclosures, Rachel notes, saying only that campaigns often rent or swap lists of potential donors.
— Of the $23.4 million that the Koch brothers gave to U.S. colleges last year, George Mason University received $16.8 million. “Charles Koch has long maintained close personal and financial ties to the university, which hosts a pair of research centers specializing in free market economics and individual liberty,” the Center for Public Integrity’s Dave Levinthal reports. The Catholic University of America also received six figures.
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
What do tailgaters at the Army-Navy game think of the prospect of a Trump presidency? Watch here to find out (warning: language):
Comedy Central poked fun at Ted Cruz’s story about being targeted as an amateur poker player in college:
First, a brawl on the floor of the Ukraine parliament. Now this: watch as opposition lawmakers fire off tear gas canisters inside Kosovo’s parliament: