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McConnell signal to Republican Senate candidates: Distance from Trump if necessary – CNN

Posted: July 31, 2020 at 6:40 pm

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CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/brianna-keilar-profile" target="_blank">Briannau003c/a>u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/brianna-keilar-profile" target="_blank"> Keilaru003c/a> breaks down u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/2019/11/17/politics/trump-soft-on-russia/index.html" target="_blank">37 times Trump was soft on Russiau003c/a>.","descriptionText":"Despite his claim that he is tough on Russia, u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/29/politics/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russian-bounties/index.html" target="_blank">President Donald Trumpu003c/a> says he has not discussed US intelligence reports accusing Russia of offering bounties to Taliban fighters to kill US troops with President Vladimir Putin. 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The dire economic news, the potential for significant long-term damage, the very real deadline -- nothing has jarred loose the talks over the next coronavirus relief package.","descriptionText":"The unemployment benefit that has kept millions afloat amid the worst economic crisis in decades is set to expire. 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The video ends with Trump saying he's going to fill out an "absentee ballot," and then completing a provisional ballot in his limo. CNN's Don Lemon gives his take about the clip and President Trump's complaints about mail-in voting.","descriptionText":"An "Access Hollywood" video from 2004 shows Billy Bush and Donald Trump visiting multiple polling stations around New York City as Trump tries to find his polling place. The video ends with Trump saying he's going to fill out an "absentee ballot," and then completing a provisional ballot in his limo. CNN's Don Lemon gives his take about the clip and President Trump's complaints about mail-in voting."},{"title":"Trump continues assault on mail-in voting at WH briefing","duration":"02:29","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/07/30/trump-briefing-mail-in-ballots-election-bts-collins-sitroom-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/07/30/trump-briefing-mail-in-ballots-election-bts-collins-sitroom-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200730183916-trump-briefing-july-30-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/07/30/trump-briefing-mail-in-ballots-election-bts-collins-sitroom-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"President Trump continued to express concerns about mail-in voting in the coming November election during a White House briefing. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/kaitlan-collins" target="_blank">Kaitlan Collinsu003c/a> reports.","descriptionText":"President Trump continued to express concerns about mail-in voting in the coming November election during a White House briefing. 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John Lewis, former President Barack Obama received a standing ovation for his remarks about voting rights ahead of the 2020 election. "},{"title":"Walsh on Trump tweet: I don't give a damn if he's joking, he said it","duration":"01:10","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/07/30/joe-walsh-donald-trump-tweet-2020-election-sot-vpx-nr.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/07/30/joe-walsh-donald-trump-tweet-2020-election-sot-vpx-nr.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200730155521-joe-walsh-intv-7-30-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/07/30/joe-walsh-donald-trump-tweet-2020-election-sot-vpx-nr.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh reacts to a tweet by President Donald Trump in which he suggests delaying November's presidential election.","descriptionText":"Former Illinois Rep. 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McConnell signal to Republican Senate candidates: Distance from Trump if necessary - CNN

Posted in Republican | Comments Off on McConnell signal to Republican Senate candidates: Distance from Trump if necessary – CNN

Republican senators propose $1,000 stimulus checks – CNBC

Posted: at 6:40 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. listens at left as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a news conference prior to a town hall-style meeting in Aston, Pa., Monday, April 23, 2012.

Jae C. Hong | AP

A second set of stimulus checks could be on the way, but the ink on the deal hasn't dried yet.

On Thursday, a group of Republican senators introduced a bill that would lower the sum the government sends out to $1,000. Previous Republican and Democrat proposals have called for $1,200 checks to adults and $500 to dependents.

Under the terms of the new bill, the $1,000 checks would be sent to all Americans, regardless of their age or dependent status.

The bill is called the Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act. It was proposed by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Mitt Romney, R-Utah; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

In order to qualify, both adults and dependents would need valid Social Security numbers. Under the bill, a qualifying family of four could potentially receive $4,000 $600 more than they received in the CARES Act.

Unlike the CARES Act, this proposal would include all adult dependents, including college students and individuals with disabilities.

"Much of the burden of the pandemic has fallen on parents and children," Cassidy said in a statement. "This legislation prioritizes their needs by providing resources for school supplies, childcare, and other unexpected expenses."

Single and married taxpayers with no children would receive less compared to the first stimulus checks. Single individuals would get up to $200 less, while married couples would see up to a $400 reduction.

Democrats have also advocated for raising dependent pay with the second round of stimulus checks. The HEROES Act, passed by the House in May, called for $1,200 per dependent for up to three per family. Under that plan, families could receive as much as $6,000 total.

Under this new Republican proposal, the income qualifications would be the same as the first checks. Individuals with income of up to $75,000, heads of households making up to $112,500 and married couples earning up to $150,000 would be eligible for full stipends. Checks would be reduced by 5% for every dollar above those thresholds.

Consequently, the thresholds at which the checks would phase out would be slightly lower than the first round, according to the Tax Foundation. Individuals with income above $95,000 would not receive payments, rather than the $99,000 cut off in the CARES Act. Those who are married and filing jointly would not receive checks for income over $190,000, down from $198,000 in the first round.

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Republican senators propose $1,000 stimulus checks - CNBC

Posted in Republican | Comments Off on Republican senators propose $1,000 stimulus checks – CNBC

Will Herman Cains Death Change Republican Views on the Virus and Masks? – The New York Times

Posted: at 6:40 pm

The death of Herman Cain, attributed to the coronavirus, has made Republicans and President Trump face the reality of the pandemic as it hit closer to home than ever before, claiming a prominent conservative ally whose frequently dismissive attitude about taking the threat seriously reflected the hands-off inconsistency of party leaders.

Mr. Cain, a former business executive and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, had an irreverent, confrontational style that mirrored the presidents own brand of contrarian politics. In his more recent role as a public face for the presidents re-election campaign, he became an emblem of Trump-supporting, mask-defiant science skeptics, openly if not aggressively disdainful of public health officials who warned Americans to avoid large crowds, cover their faces and do as much as possible to limit contact with others.

His view was shared by many conservatives, who have applied a hard-nosed, culture-war mentality to the virus, the most serious public health crisis in a century.

Mr. Trump wrote in praise of Mr. Cain on Twitter on Thursday, calling him a Powerful Voice of Freedom and all that is good.

But Mr. Cains death showed how ill suited that mind-set is to the countrys current predicament. More than 150,000 Americans have died in a pandemic that is ravaging parts of the country where conservative leaders long resisted taking steps that have slowed the virus elsewhere, such as mask mandates and stay-at-home orders.

Those include places like Tulsa, Okla., where Mr. Cain attended a Trump campaign rally in June and showed his disregard for safety precautions on social media shortly before receiving a diagnosis for the virus.

With a uniformity that has defied rising death tolls in their own backyards, Republicans at the federal, state and local levels have adopted a similar tone of skepticism and defiance, rejecting the advice of public health officials and deferring instead to principles they said were equally important: conservative values of economic freedom and personal liberty.

From Arizona to Texas, as infection rates soared and hospital beds filled up, Republican governors stood in the way of local governments that wanted to do more. They overruled city mask mandates, arguing that it amounted to a form of government overreach. They said that requiring businesses to close or limit their capacity would strangle the economy and save few lives. They accused the news media and political opponents of exaggerating the risks to hurt the presidents chances for re-election.

They scorned the experts and mocked those who heeded the governments warnings. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, a close ally and vigorous defender of the president, walked around the Capitol in March wearing a Hazmat-style gas mask as he prepared to vote on coronavirus relief legislation.

The governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, posted a picture of himself eating dinner with his family at a crowded restaurant a few days after the World Health Organization formally declared a pandemic. Its packed tonight! his caption read.

And this month in Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson scoffed at the idea of a mask mandate, telling a cheering crowd of supporters, You dont need government to tell you to wear a dang mask.

Yet the virus more than occasionally reminded them that it strikes people of all political stripes indiscriminately.

After his mask stunt, Mr. Gaetz learned that he might have been exposed to someone who was infected and attended the Conservative Political Action Conference. He said he would enter quarantine, and he did not end up having the virus. Mr. Stitt tested positive for the virus this month, the first governor in the country to do so. He continues to resist pressure to issue a mask order, calling it a personal preference.

And this week, adding to the list of people with direct access to the president who have tested positive was Robert C. OBrien, the national security adviser. Others include Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News commentator who is dating Donald Trump Jr. and is helping lead the Trump campaigns fund-raising efforts.

Among some conservative defenders of the president, there is a sense that complaints about masks and other mandates as a threat to personal freedom are overblown.

Grover Norquist, a conservative activist who lobbies for lower taxes and regulations and has served on the board of the National Rifle Association, said that using Mr. Cains death to attack Republicans is going two steps too far. But he added, Theres a difference between not being excited about being told what to do and refusing to do it altogether. But on something like this, when youre out in public, you should wear a mask because its not about you.

Yet there have been few indications that the spate of coronavirus cases among Republicans is leading to any kind of major reckoning in the party. After Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas tested positive this week, he blamed his diagnosis on wearing a mask.

Mr. Trump, who has spoken of being rattled by the death of an old friend who contracted the virus, has been photographed only rarely with a mask on and has repeatedly said he does not consider wearing one the appropriate step for him. He has allowed, however, that he is supportive of mask-wearing by others.

The visuals that emerged from the White House from the beginning of the pandemic suggested an attitude that was, at best, not overly cautious. At an event at the White House in March with executives from Walmart and Walgreens in which Mr. Trump praised his administrations preparedness, he shook hands and patted the backs of multiple people, prompting critics to complain that the president was sending mixed signals to the public.

When the virus re-emerged after it initially appeared to have been subdued, it took weeks of public pressure and private lobbying by advisers and friends before Mr. Trump more frankly acknowledged the toll the resurgent virus has taken across the American South and West.

Even some of the harshest critics of Republican leadership said they did not think that Mr. Cains death would cause much reflection inside the party.

Evan McMullin, who ran against Mr. Trump as a third-party candidate in 2016, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Cain was the first senior casualty of the science denial Trump cult.

In an interview, Mr. McMullin said he had little hope this was a wake-up call. I wish that was the case, he said. Many voters who support the president live in a totally different, alternate information environment in which the news of Herman Cains death his visit to the Trump rally, his decision to not wear a mask wont reach them.

Mr. Cain was eager to display his disregard for the experts and their warnings. Before the Trump rally in Tulsa, which local public health officials had urged the campaign to postpone, Mr. Cain urged people to Ignore the outrage and to defy the left-wing shaming!

Mr. Trump did at one point reschedule the rally, but only after an outpouring of anger that it had been scheduled for the day of Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the emancipation of slaves.

When the rally went forward on June 20, Mr. Cain, one of the most prominent African-American Trump supporters and a member of his Black Voices for Trump coalition, posed for a photo with other Black attendees. None, including him, wore masks.

A few hours before the event, the campaign had disclosed that six Trump campaign staff members who had been working on the rally had tested positive for the coronavirus during a routine screening.

Mr. Cain tested positive on June 29. On July 2, his staff announced that he had been hospitalized. Weighing in on the no-mask policy for a Trump rally planned at Mount Rushmore on July 3, Mr. Cains Twitter feed was approving: PEOPLE ARE FED UP!

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Top Senate candidates respond to their race called the countrys nastiest Republican primary – WATE 6 On Your Side

Posted: at 6:40 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) Is Tennessees Republican primary for U.S. Senate the nastiest in the country as the national publication POLITICO calls it?

It was a question for the two top GOP candidates today in midst of their negative ad blitz.

William Francis Hagerty IV is not a regular guy. He is entitled, self-dealing. His friends in the ruling class are not like you and me, said one ad for Manny Sethi that has been playing statewide.

Trump conservatives cant trust Manny Sethi. Sethi served on the board of the Massachusetts Medical Society, an organization that supported Obamacare, said an ad getting similar airplay for Bill Hagerty.

The commercials are just a bit of the ad blitz from the two frontrunners in Tennessees Republican Senate primary. They are part of POLITICOs nastiest pronouncement and so is Hagertys pronunciation of Sethis name while questioning his opponents conservative credentials.

During an early voting event on July 17, Hagerty repeatedly pronounced his main opponents name as SED-dee instead of SEH-thee.

While appearing on This Week with Bob Mueller on Thursday, Hagerty who served as the presidents U.S. Ambassador to Japan did not mention his opponent by name while repeating themes seen in the ads.

We have a situation where you have a Democrat running in a Republican primary, Hagerty told News 2s Mueller. You have someone defending Obamacare.

At exactly the same time Thursday, Sethi who is a Vanderbilt trauma surgeon, held a town hall in a Nashville suburb where he tried to counter President Trumps endorsement of Hagerty for the Republican Senate nomination.

Now more than ever, we have got to support the president, got to have his back, Sethi told the town hall event.

Like Hagerty, Sethi was asked about the race becoming the countrys nastiest Republican primary and he, too, returned to themes seen in ads.

Yeah, I think its really unfortunate, began Sethi. Its driven by my opponent and his millions of dollars of swamp money.

As the primary approaches, those ads will continue to be everywhere with whatever the candidates want to say about each other.

As for issues they might face as a U.S. Senator, both the Republican candidates expressed skepticism at extending federal unemployment payments of $600 a week.

Bob Muellers entire interview with Hagerty can be seen Saturday at 6 p.m. on News 2.

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I Hope This Is Not Another Lie About the Republican Party – The New York Times

Posted: at 6:40 pm

After Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential race, the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, commissioned an internal party study to examine why the party had won the popular vote only once since 1988.

The results of that so-called autopsy were fairly obvious: The party needed to appeal to more people of color, reach out to younger voters, become more welcoming to women. Those conclusions were presented as not only a political necessity but also a moral mandate if the Republican Party were to be a governing party in a rapidly changing America.

Then Donald Trump emerged and the party threw all those conclusions out the window with an almost audible sigh of relief: Thank God we can win without pretending we really care about this stuff. That reaction was sadly predictable.

I spent decades working to elect Republicans, including Mr. Romney and four other presidential candidates, and I am here to bear reluctant witness that Mr. Trump didnt hijack the Republican Party. He is the logical conclusion of what the party became over the past 50 or so years, a natural product of the seeds of race-baiting, self-deception and anger that now dominate it. Hold Donald Trump up to a mirror and that bulging, scowling orange face is todays Republican Party.

I saw the warning signs but ignored them and chose to believe what I wanted to believe: The party wasnt just a white grievance party; there was still a big tent; the others guys were worse. Many of us in the party saw this dark side and told ourselves it was a recessive gene. We were wrong. It turned out to be the dominant gene.

What is most telling is that the Republican Party actively embraced, supported, defended and now enthusiastically identifies with a man who eagerly exploits the nations racial tensions. In our system, political parties should serve a circuit breaker function. The Republican Party never pulled the switch.

Racism is the original sin of the modern Republican Party. While many Republicans today like to mourn the absence of an intellectual voice like William Buckley, it is often overlooked that Mr. Buckley began his career as a racist defending segregation.

In the Richard Nixon White House, Pat Buchanan and Kevin Phillips wrote a re-election campaign memo headed Dividing the Democrats in which they outlined what would come to be known as the Southern Strategy. It assumes there is little Republicans can do to attract Black Americans and details a two-pronged strategy: Utilize Black support of Democrats to alienate white voters while trying to decrease that support by sowing dissension within the Democratic Party.

That strategy has worked so well that it was copied by the Russians in their 2016 efforts to help elect Mr. Trump.

In the 2000 George W. Bush campaign, on which I worked, we acknowledged the failures of Republicans to attract significant nonwhite support. When Mr. Bush called himself a compassionate conservative, some on the right attacked him, calling it an admission that conservatism had not been compassionate. That was true; it had not been. Many of us believed we could steer the party to that kinder, gentler place his father described. We were wrong.

Reading Mr. Bushs 2000 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention now is like stumbling across a document from a lost civilization, with its calls for humility, service and compassion. That message couldnt attract 20 percent in a Republican presidential primary today. If there really was a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, we lost.

There is a collective blame to be shared by those of us who have created the modern Republican Party that has so egregiously betrayed the principles it claimed to represent. My jaccuse is against us all, not a few individuals who were the most egregious.

How did this happen? How do you abandon deeply held beliefs about character, personal responsibility, foreign policy and the national debt in a matter of months? You dont. The obvious answer is those beliefs werent deeply held. What others and I thought were bedrock values turned out to be mere marketing slogans easily replaced. I feel like the guy working for Bernie Madoff who thought they were actually beating the market.

Mr. Trump has served a useful purpose by exposing the deep flaws of a major American political party. Like a heavy truck driven over a bridge on the edge of failure, he has made it impossible to ignore the long-developing fault lines of the Republican Party. A party rooted in decency and values does not embrace the anger that Mr. Trump peddles as patriotism.

This collapse of a major political party as a moral governing force is unlike anything we have seen in modern American politics. The closest parallel is the demise of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, when the dissonance between what the party said it stood for and what citizens actually experienced was so great that it was unsustainable.

This election should signal a day of reckoning for the party and all who claim it as a political identity. Will it? Ive given up hope that there are any lines of decency or normalcy that once crossed would move Republican leaders to act as if they took their oath of office more seriously than their allegiance to party. Only fear will motivate the party to change the cold fear only defeat can bring.

That defeat is looming. Will it bring desperately needed change to the Republican Party? Id like to say Im hopeful. But that would be a lie and there have been too many lies for too long.

Stuart Stevens is a Republican political consultant and the author of the forthcoming book It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump, from which this essay is adapted.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. Wed like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And heres our email: letters@nytimes.com.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

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Some Republicans Have Gotten More Concerned About COVID-19 – FiveThirtyEight

Posted: at 6:40 pm

This month, for the first time since April, our tracker of public opinion around the coronavirus shows that the share of Americans who say they are very concerned that they or someone they know will become infected with COVID-19 is higher than the share who say they are somewhat concerned.

That rise in concern is understandable, too, when you consider the spike in new coronavirus cases that began in mid-June, especially in the South and West. Just this past week, California, Florida and Texas, along with a handful of other states, saw record spikes in fatalities.

And the fact that the geography of the virus is changing its no longer just a blue-state virus may mean behaviors and political attitudes are shifting once again. To be clear, there are still deep political divides in how concerned people are about the virus, but there are also some signs that Republicans may be growing more concerned.

For example, as many states started lifting restrictions in April, the share of Republicans who said they were staying at home declined, while the share of Democrats saying they were staying put remained roughly the same. As you can see in the chart below, the share of Republicans who reported staying home as much as possible has ticked up by at least 10 points since the start of July. The latest poll from YouGov/Huffpost to ask this question did, however, also show a decline of 4 percentage points from the previous week, so its possible that the changes in Republican behavior could be plateauing or declining again.

The YouGov/Huffpost polls show increased support for coronavirus-related restrictions, too. In early June, only 23 percent of Americans said there were not enough restrictions where they lived, but in the latest poll, that number had grown by 14 percentage points to 37 percent. That includes an increase of more than 10 points in every region except the Northeast, where the coronaviruss spread has slowed down. And the share of Republicans who believe there are not enough restrictions, while still relatively small, has doubled from 10 percent in early June to over 20 percent in late July.

These shifts are small, as Republicans still lag behind Democrats on both of these metrics. But its significant because it comes at a time when public approval of the governments handling of the pandemic has fallen to new lows.

According to our tracker, Trumps approval rating on his response to the crisis has steadily declined since April. That even includes Republicans, whose approval of how he is handling the crisis, while still high at 78 percent, has declined roughly 5 percentage points since mid-June, when cases began spiking.

Recent polls have also shown that Republican governors are getting lower marks on how theyve handled the pandemic, especially in hard-hit states like Texas, Florida and Arizona.

To be sure, Democrats are still more concerned about the coronavirus than Republicans, but that uptick in our tracker isnt being driven by just Democrats. Republicans are also showing signs of increased concern around the virus. Some of that may be because as the virus spreads to different parts of the country, more Republicans are coming into contact with it, which may change their perceptions of it. Take what an Ipsos/Axios poll recently found. While only 35 percent of Republicans who had no personal experience with the virus said they are either very or somewhat concerned about COVID-19, concern over the coronavirus rose to 51 percent among Republicans who knew someone who died from it. Additionally, more than half of Republicans who knew someone who died from the virus said they always wore a mask, while only 38 percent of those who had no personal experience with the virus said they always wore a mask.

And perhaps that nuance underscores something Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux wrote about for FiveThirtyEight earlier this month. Republicans and Democrats are divided on how they see the virus. But theyre less divided on the actual steps they can take to stay safe whether thats social distancing, trying to stay home more or wearing masks in public places. Its possible that partisan opinion on the coronavirus isnt entirely baked in yet.

According to FiveThirtyEights presidential approval tracker, 40.6 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 55.1 percent disapprove (a net approval rating of -14.5 points). At this time last week, 40.3 percent approved and 55.6 percent disapproved (a net approval rating of -15.3 points). One month ago, Trump had an approval rating of 40.3 percent and a disapproval rating of 56.4 percent, for a net approval rating of -16.1 points.

In our average of polls of the generic congressional ballot, Democrats currently lead by 8.3 percentage points (49.1 percent to 40.8 percent). A week ago, Democrats led Republicans by 8.2 points (49.4 percent to 41.2 percent). At this time last month, voters preferred Democrats by 9 points (49 percent to 40 percent).

Check out all the polls weve been collecting ahead of the 2020 elections.

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Meet The Republican Candidates In Missouri Senate District 31 – KCUR

Posted: at 6:39 pm

The frontrunners for a heated Republican primary for Missouris Senate District 31 both support President Donald Trump, want to end abortion and promise to cut waste in the budget.

However, the candidates diverge on their support for tax credits and what they would protect if a budget shortfall forces cuts. A PAC tied to the Senate Conservative Caucus a six-member group thats opposed some of Republican Gov. Mike Parsons priorities around workforce development has poured more than $225,000 to support Cass County auditor and former state representative Brattin. He gained national attention in 2014 after introducing legislation that would have required women wanting an abortion to get written approval from the man who impregnated her.

Brattin faces off against Rep. Jack Bondon who has the endorsement of groups like Missouris Farm Bureau, Missourians for Life, the Missouri Chamber PAC and the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police. Bill Yarberry, a farmer, is also running in the Republican primary. District 31 is heavily Republican and spans Cass, Henry, Bates and Vernon counties. Republican Sen. Ed Emery is termed out after representing the district for eight years.

The winner will face Democratic candidate Raymond Kinney, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Heres where the candidates stand on the key issues:

JACK BONDONOccupation: Current State RepresentativeCampaign Website: https://jackbondon.com/

Coronavirus: Bondon said the governments job is to give businesses and individuals information about the virus, however, he disagrees with a government mandate.

A one size fits all policy, whether it comes across the city as big as Kansas City or across the entire state, is not the wisest choice, Bondon said. The wisest choice is to leave the decisions to the private sector, private businesses who are part of that community.

Budget: Bondon said he wants to protect programs that serve people who are vulnerable to the virus from budget cuts. He said its too early to know the full extent of the revenue shortfall so he cant yet say what he would cut.

Senate Conservative Caucus: Bondon said like Sen. Ed Emery he wont belong to the Senate Conservative Caucus. Bondon describes himself as a conservative fighter, but he wont promise or sell away my vote to a voting block and forego the opportunity and the responsibility of representing the people right here at home.

Abortion: Bondon said he wants to see all abortion ended across this entire state.

Tax Credits: Bondon supports tax credits for businesses on a case by case basis.

Certain tax credits can prove their worth and have a multiplier effect across the entire state economy, Bondon said. When we see good tax credit programs that work, they create jobs, and pay far more back into the economy than was given, I support those.

RICK BRATTINOccupation: Cass County Auditor and Former State RepresentativeCampaign Website: https://jackbondon.com/

Coronavirus: Brattin said local governments shouldnt be able to say what businesses are essential and shut down nonessential businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

People need to be able to choose what they believe is their best approach, Brattin said.

Budget: Brattin called funding for schools, roads and public safety essential government functions that should be prioritized. Brattin said there's plenty of waste in government that we could really narrowly tailor cuts, but declined to give specifics.

Senate Conservative Caucus: A PAC tied to the Senate Conservative Caucus has donated to a PAC supporting Brattin. When Brattin was a state representative, he helped create the House Conservative Caucus.

Abortion: Brattin received national attention after introducing a bill in 2014 as a state representative that would bar physicians from performing an abortion until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion. The bill provides an exception if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.

Tax Credits: Brattin isnt in favor of tax credits for businesses and said it hurts the states revenue.

All these corporations hire the big lobbyists to write their special law, to get them the special kickbacks, Brattin said. ... the mom and pop shops and the everyday taxpayer are the ones that are gonna fund everything.

BILL YARBERRYOccupation: FarmerCampaign Website: n/a

Coronavirus: Yarberry said the only real hope to addressing the coronavirus is a vaccine.

Budget: Yarberry said he supports tax cuts but only if the state budget can afford it. Yarberry said if the state budget is in a crisis he would support reversing a corporate income tax cut that went into effect this year. Yarberry also said he wants the number of state representatives to be reduced to save money.

Senate Conservative Caucus: Yarberry said political labels are often misleading and he thinks of himself as not the most liberal and not the most conservative but the most common sense.

Abortion: Yarberry said he supports providing counseling for women who have an unwanted pregnancy.

I hate to sound like a politician, but I actually can see both sides of this issue, Yarberry said. As a Christian, of course, I think abortion is wrong and I most likely would vote that way.

However, Yarberry said hes worried about going back to the bad old days when desperate people got not medical doctors to perform abortions.

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US views of China more negative among Republicans than Democrats in mid-2020 – Pew Research Center

Posted: at 6:39 pm

Americans in both major parties now see China much more negatively than in the recent past, but Republicans are more likely than Democrats to express skepticism across a range of measures, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The survey, conducted in June and July, comes as Donald Trump and Joe Biden both make China a key campaign issue ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.

Below are five key facts exploring these partisan differences in more detail.

This analysis focuses on Republicans and Democrats views of China on a range of topics including how China has handled the coronavirus pandemic, the state of bilateral relations, and attitudes about the country more broadly. When analyzing the partisan differences, we looked at those who identify as Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party together, and the same is true for Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party. Data comes from a nationally representative survey of 1,003 U.S. adults conducted by telephone from June 16 to July 14, 2020. Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.

Republicans have long held more unfavorable views of China than Democrats, but unfavorable views have climbed rapidly among both parties over the past year. In the new survey, 83% of Republicans and those who lean to the Republican Party say they have an unfavorable view of China, compared with 68% of Democrats and Democratic leaners record highs for both groups. The 15 percentage point gap between the parties is also among the widest in Pew Research Center surveys dating to 2005. Republicans are also much more likely than Democrats to say they have a very unfavorable view of China (54% vs. 35%).

Republicans are much more critical of Chinas role in the coronavirus outbreak. Republicans are almost 30 percentage points more likely than Democrats to say China has done a bad job handling the coronavirus outbreak (82% vs. 54%). They are also much more likely to say China contributed to the global spread of the pandemic. Around three-quarters of Republicans (73%) say Chinas early handling of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan contributed a great deal to its global spread, compared with around four-in-ten Democrats (38%).

Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to describe China as an enemy, though this is a minority position in both parties. Around four-in-ten Republicans describe China as an enemy (38%) rather than as a competitor (53%) or partner (8%). Among Democrats, 19% describe China as an enemy, while 61% call it a competitor and 19% say they consider the country a partner.

The share of Republicans who describe China as an enemy has increased 21 percentage points since 2012, compared with a more moderate increase of 8 points among Democrats.

When it comes to views of economic ties with China, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to describe them as bad (73% vs. 63%).

Republicans generally support taking a tougher policy approach to China than Democrats. When it comes to Americas economic and trade policy, U.S. adults overall are divided over whether it is more important to build a stronger relationship with China (51%) or get tougher with it (46%). But Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to support getting tougher with China (66% vs. 33%). They are also about twice as likely (71% vs. 37%) to say the United States should hold China responsible for its role in the spread of coronavirus, even at the expense of worse relations.

Democrats, in turn, are more likely than Republicans to say that the U.S. should promote human rights in China over prioritizing economic relations with China. But at least seven-in-ten in both partisan coalitions hold this opinion.

Americans have little confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping, but Republicans are especially critical. Overall, around three-quarters of Americans (77%) have little or no confidence in President Xi to do the right thing in world affairs, including 55% who have no confidence at all in the Chinese leader. The share with no faith in Xi has increased by 10 points over the past four months and is more than double the share who said this in 2019. While Republicans and Democrats were equally likely to lack confidence in the Chinese leader in 2018 and 2019, there is a now a partisan gap: Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they have little or no faith in Xi (82% vs. 75%). Republicans are also more likely to say they have no confidence at all in Xi (61% vs. 51%).

Note: Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.

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$1,200 checks? Money for schools? Breaking down what Republicans and Democrats want in the coronavirus stimulus plan – USA TODAY

Posted: at 6:39 pm

Congress has approved roughly $2.5 trillion since March to rescue an economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And it doesn't look like it will be nearlyenough.

Lawmakers are working on a fifth round of stimulus relief that could dwarf the four previous rounds of assistance combined.

The Democratic-led House has passed the HEROES Act, a roughly$3.4 trillion bill that would provide a second round of direct payments to millions of Americans, provide nearly $1 trillion to revenue-strapped states and local governments, and provide billions forhousing and food assistance.

The Republican-controlled Senate has introduced its counter-proposal, the HEALS Act, a $1.1 trillion package that also includes direct payments but no federal aid for housing, food or state and local governments. It has yet to pass the chamber.

The latest on the negotiations: Dems, GOP lash out as stimulus package talks turn sour, $600 unemployment boost ends

Here are some of the key similarities and differences between the two proposals.

The Democratic bill proposes extending the currentbenefit of $600 per week(which ends July 31) through December, a federal bonus on top of what states pay. The Republican plan proposes cutting that amount to $200 through September and then limiting the maximum benefit (state and federal combined) to 70% of an applicants pay moving forward.

Both bills would provide another stimulus check to millions of Americans under the same rules as the CARES Act: $1,200 for individuals earning up to $75,000 (phasing out at $99,000); and $2,400 for married couples earning up to $150,000 (phasing out at $198,000). The Democratic bill would be more generous for dependents ($1,200 for each dependent up to three versus $500 for each dependent in the GOP bill).

Democrats propose nearly$1 trillion in direct aid to help states, counties and cities whose budgets have been decimated by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican bill has no such aidthough it does provide states and local governments more flexibility in how they use aid provided in earlier stimulus bills.

The Democrats' proposalprovides roughly $200 billion in housing assistance to help renters and homeowners affected by coronavirus avoid eviction/foreclosure. The GOP bill includesno such aid.

The Democrats provide about $60 billion to reopen schools, compared to $70 billion in the GOP bill. Each also provides about $30 billion to assist colleges.But the Democratic bill says thenearly $1 trillion in aid for stateand local governments could be usedfor education as well. The GOP bill does not and says that a portion of the education aid must go to help private schools reopen as well.

Democrats are proposing roughly $380 billion on ways to combat the coronavirus.Most of that would beused on two priorities: $100 billion to reimbursehospitals and other health care providers for pandemic-related costs, and $98 billion to assist laid-off workers pay for the health coverage they lost because of the economic steps taken to control the pandemic. The Republican plan sets aside$111 billion, much of it to help federal agencies and private companies develop vaccines and therapeutic remedies ($50 billion) or to help medical providers cover costs ($25 billion).

Senate Republicans release info on $1 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package

The new GOP plan includes another check for Americans and continued help for the unemployed.

USA TODAY

There's a big gulf on COVID-19 testing and contact tracing as well with Democrats proposing $75 billion and Republicans $16 billion.

The Democrats provide $290 billion in business assistance but largely in tax credits to companies that keep employees on the payroll and in tax breaks for pandemic-related expenses. The Democraticplan also includes a number of other priorities, including $190 billion in "hazard pay" for essential workers nationwide, $35 billion for food assistance to poor families, and $3.6 billion to help states run their elections in November. The GOP proposal does not include money for those but it does provide $158 billion in grants and loans to help small businesses stay afloat.

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Five Republicans to watch in Washington’s primary election – Crosscut

Posted: at 6:39 pm

Gov. Jay Inslee will be the top vote-getter, but keep your eye on the proportion of the vote he collects. If a Democratic incumbent governor in a Democratic state with a huge fundraising advantage collects less than 45% of the vote, then he is vulnerable in November. Just how vulnerable depends on the Republican opponent running against him. There are 17 GOP candidates, of which five three of whom have never run for office before have at least a hypothetical shot at winning. That means the primary winner may take no more than 12% of the total vote.

Here they are.

The Mainstream Republican: Dr. Raul Garcia. What perfect timing for an emergency room doctor who is critical of Inslees handling of the coronavirus to run for office. Garcia owns a medical clinic in Yakima, which has been one of the hardest hit counties for COVID-19 fatalities. In his 40s, he is good looking and intelligent. The states mainstream Republican movement flocked to Garcia because of his pedigree, his Hispanic ancestry and his relatively moderate politics:He is pro-abortion rights, pro same sex marriage and encourages people to mask up in public and does so most of the time himself. But, like many who fled Fidel Castros Cuba, he is strongly anti-socialist, and is alarmed at Seattles slide from liberalism into what he considers a dangerous left-wing ideology.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Raul Garcia speaks to the crowd during a Stand For Liberty Rally in Ellensburg, Kittitas County on June 14, 2020. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

His coalition includes Eastern Washington conservatives such as Republican Senate Leader Mark Schoesler, Yakima state Sen. Curtis King and a slew of agricultural businesses headed by the Farm Bureau. He started late, but hes surging. If he wins, it will happen at the finish line.

The Outside Populist:Tim Eyman. On paper, Eyman should be running away with this. He probably has higher statewide name recognition than any statewide officeholder besides Inslee, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and maybe even Attorney General Bob Ferguson. And yet polls have shown him stuck in low double figures or less, sometimes running behind Joshua Freed and Loren Culp. Why the falloff?First, some people dont agree with his over-the-top politics. Others are wary of the ethical issues that have chased him over the years. And even for many who agree with him, Eyman is considered to be most effective changing the status quo from the outside, not the inside.

Tim Eyman, right, at an election night party in Bellevue on Nov. 5, 2019. His daughter, Riley, is at left. Eyman had been celebrating the passage of his latest ballot measure, I-976, which is designed to cut annual vehicle-registration fees in Washington state to a flat $30. (Jason Redmond for Crosscut)

The Reagan Republican:Joshua Freed. Joshua Freed started early, raised more money that anyone else (in part because he gave his own campaign $700,000), and has campaigned energetically across the state. In a crowded field, he is getting squeezed in Eastern Washington by Culp and Garcia, partly because he looks like what he is: a wealthy Western Washington developer, with a background in suburban politics. He puts his money where his mouth is, vocally opposing Seattles heroin injection sites and the states new sex education law, and funding the campaigns to strike them down. (The heroin injection initiative was set aside by the courts, but Referendum 90 to strike down the sex education law will be on Novembers ballot.) After treading water for a few weeks Freed has come on strong lately, with a heavy ad buy promising to be a governor who will restore order in the streets when cities are incapable of doing so, and issuing a plan for schools to begin opening again in September. (Disclosure: I have endorsed Freed for governor.)

Former Bothell Mayor Joshua Freed, who is running for governor as a Republican, has criticized Jay Inslee's response to the pandemic and fears for the economy, in videos on Twitter and Facebook. (Joshua Freed campaign)

The Trump Republican:Loren Culp. If Joshua Freed speaks to the head, then Loren Culp speaks to the heart. Culp was minding his own business as police chief of a tiny police force of two, including the police dog (but he retired), in the tiny Eastern Washington town of Republic. Then, in 2018, the voters passed Initiative 1639 to tighten up gun laws, and raise the age for buying a rifle from 18 to 21. Culp publicly announced he wouldnt enforce the law in his town. And boom: Suddenly the resister to the resistance became a celebrity, interviewed on Fox News and other national media. Culp, 59, has a military background and talks a lot about the state and federal constitutions, sounding reminiscent of Barry Goldwater back in 64. But he also talks about out-of-touch elites in politics and government, sounding a lot like Donald Trump in 2016. His rallies sometimes attract over 1,000 people. He has 60,000 friends on Facebook, more than either state political party. He doesnt know many people in state government, hasnt received a single endorsement from any legislator and doesnt appear to know much about the details of state government. His supporters, who want a fresh start in Olympia after 36 years of dominance from Democrats, dont seem to care.

Loren Culp poses for a photo with supporters at a campaign stop in Colville. (Loren Culp campaign)

The Unlucky Populist:Phil Fortunato.Believe it or not, Phil Fortunato is the only elected official running among Republicans. And its killing his campaign. The state senator from Enumclaw started early and strong, but once the legislative session began, he was prohibited from raising campaign money. By the time it ended, Eyman had entered the race, outflanking him among the anti-tax crowd, and Culp was catching fire, outflanking him among the gun rights coalition. A shame because hes run a substantive campaign, complete with a bold platform for conservative policy reform at the state level. Fortunato is a populist who understands how government works a rarity in politics at any level these days.

Phil Fortunato meets with voters during a campaign stop. (Phil Fortunato campaign)

According to pollster Stuart Elway, the man to beat is Culp, who told me last Wednesday that he believed the state of Washington would choose Donald Trump in November, and elect him, Culp, governor as well.But President Trump, who collected 38% of the vote four years ago, isnt going to collect a majority of the vote in the Evergreen State this year, and Culp wont likely be more popular than the president.But Garcia and Freed are finishing strong, and both could conceivably cobble together a much larger coalition.Is that enough to win?If Jay Inslees draws 45% or lower next Tuesday, then yes.

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Five Republicans to watch in Washington's primary election - Crosscut

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