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The TAKE with Rick Klein
The campaign worries for this fall reside mainly on the right. But much of the remaining primary action is on the left, as intra-party squabbles that have been on display for half a year play out in a last batch of voting this week.
Tuesday is primary day in New Hampshire, with Rhode Island following Wednesday and New York’s state-level primaries held Thursday. Progressive challengers in each northeastern state have made things interesting for establishment favorites — including the incumbent Democratic governors in Rhode Island and New York.
But New Hampshire could host the most interesting race of the late-primary season, not least for the state’s outsize role in picking presidential nominees.
A congressional district that seems to catch every wave — it’s gone R-D-R-D-R-D in the space of just a dozen years – has an 11-way free-for-all for the Democratic nomination to replace a retiring incumbent. The establishment favorite is being challenged by, among others, a female former Marine captain and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ son (who, intriguingly, does not appear to have caught on in the race).
Democrats in the Granite State get one last shot before 2020 to help define the party’s image in the era of President Donald Trump.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
As the Atlantic Coast braces for yet another rough hurricane season, leaders on the Pacific Coast in California have sealed a sweeping climate deal.
In response to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, the California bill and executive order signed Monday set two goals for the state: to use 100-percent clean electricity and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.
“In California, Democrats and Republicans know climate change is real, it’s affecting our lives right now, and unless we take action immediately – it may become irreversible,” a top Democratic state senator, Kevin de León, wrote in a statement about the California goals.
The move marked yet another aggressive break in policy between the federal government and the country’s most populous state.
In the last year, the Trump administration has taken repeated steps to roll back the federal fight against climate change by proposing changes to fuel and population standards for cars and weakening rules about emissions from coal-fired plants.
While scientists shudder at suggestions that climate change directly causes extreme weather events, research strongly supports the idea that, because the temperature of the atmosphere is hotter these days, those weather events tend to stay in one place longer, gathering steam and essentially making strong storms stronger.
Later this week, climate experts, activists, and lawmakers are set to gather in San Francisco at the Global Climate Action Summit. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is set to talk about the impact of Hurricane Maria and hurricane experts will discuss the future of extreme weather.
The TIP with Meg Cunningham
A Koch-backed organization, the non-profit Americans for Prosperity, is launching a new super PAC ahead of the 2018 midterms — one that can raise and spend unlimited funds to back candidates, bypassing nonprofit campaign limitations – though the contributions must all be disclosed.
“Americans for Prosperity has been a difference-maker supporting policy champions in tight races, and AFP Action is a new tool that will allow us to expand those efforts and make an even larger impact,” super PAC spokesman Bill Riggs said in a statement.
Americans for Prosperity is a grassroots organization operating in 36 states. Nonprofits can participate in lobbying or legislative activities, but are not allowed to support or contribute to a candidate’s campaign for public office.
The creation of the new super PAC — Americans for Prosperity Action — will allow AFP to coordinate support for candidates it likes in contentious races. AFP stated at a donor retreat over the summer that it’s nonpartisan, though it historically has supported only GOP candidates.
The group has said it cannot support North Dakota GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer in his bid for the U.S. Senate because of his “inconsistency” on key topics such as trade and spending, part of an overall effort to be more selective.
“Bottom line, we need lawmakers to do more, so we need to expect more out of them,” said Emily Seidel, another top AFP official. “That’s why we’ve got a message for lawmakers across the country. We are raising the bar, raising expectations. That’s how this network will achieve more.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Certainly if there was an individual, if that individual is in meetings where national security is being discussed or other important topics, they are attempting to undermine the executive branch which would be problematic and something the Department of Justice should look into,” — White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday, when asked about President Trump’s call for the Justice Department to investigate who wrote last week’s anonymous New York Times Op-Ed.
ABC News’ daily podcast, “Start Here.” Tuesday morning’s episode features a look at the political landscape eight weeks out from the midterm elections with ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks – could the Senate be in play for Democrats? ABC News’ Pete Madden tells us new details about alleged Russian agent Maria Butina. And, ABC News’ Conor Finnegan breaks down the Trump administration’s decision to shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, D.C. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
NEED TO READ
Trump Jr.: Father only trusts small group in White House after op-ed. Amid explosive allegations that some White House officials are actively working against President Donald Trump’s agenda, Donald Trump Jr. told ABC News the number of people in the White House that his father can trust is smaller than he’d like. (Tara Palmeri) https://abcn.ws/2N3wPO7
Bob Woodward reveals what shocked him most in new Trump book. Woodward said the book reveals shocking details about the inner-workings of Donald Trump’s administration, but the most shocking parts are centered around the president’s willingness to break with long-standing policy traditions. (Karma Allen) https://abcn.ws/2N6uNfO
Bernie Sanders’ son struggles to gain traction in New Hampshire congressional bid. When Levi Sanders announced his run in New Hampshire’s first congressional district, a lot of people thought one major endorsement would be imminent — from his father, 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. (Dominick Proto) https://abcn.ws/2QlUqaG
Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina was paid to pursue access to Vladimir Putin for TV show. Dozens of pages of email correspondence between August 2015 and November 2016, obtained exclusively by ABC News, reveal Butina’s hand in a pair of potentially explosive projects: appearing to arrange a meeting for a delegation of high-ranking members of the National Rifle Association with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and working with the Outdoor Channel to develop a television show highlighting Putin’s “love of the outdoors” that would feature the Russian President himself. (Pete Madden and Matthew Mosk) https://abcn.ws/2wY0r54
Trump admin preparing for second summit with Kim Jong Un: White House. The Trump administration is coordinating a second meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un after the president received a “very warm, very positive” letter from the North Korean dictator that requested another face-to-face sit-down, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. (Conor Finnegan) https://abcn.ws/2x6s9fA
Trump administration shutting down Palestinian office in Washington DC. The move is the latest in a pressure campaign on the Palestinians by the White House, including slashing funding, as it prepares to roll out its long-awaited peace proposal for the Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestine Liberation Organization’s office has served as a de facto embassy for the Palestinian people. It’s unclear when the notice will take effect. (Conor Finnegan) https://abcn.ws/2MiGVp2
White House says DOJ should investigate Times Op-Ed writer, but won’t say what law was broken. “Certainly if there was an individual, if that individual is in meetings where national security is being discussed or other important topics, they are attempting to undermine the executive branch which would be problematic in something the Department of Justice should look into,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. (Meridith McGraw) https://abcn.ws/2O67qzI
Top White House economist says Trump’s GDP and unemployment claim was wrong. White House economist Kevin Hassett fact-checked a seemingly extraordinary claim about the country’s GDP growth rate overtaking the unemployment rate for the first time in more than 100 years. The only catch…the claim was made by his boss, President Trump. (Meridith McGraw) https://abcn.ws/2QjTcwo
Florida GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis resigns congressional seat to focus on hotly contested gubernatorial race. DeSantis, 39, is locked in a tight race to be Florida’s next governor with Democrat Andrew Gillum, the African-American, 39-year old Tallahassee Mayor who is running on a progressive policy platform and won an upset victory last month in a crowded primary. (John Verhovek) https://abcn.ws/2CEynsL
Shotgun-toting Manchin shoots anti-Obamacare lawsuit in new ad for re-election bid in West Virginia. “I haven’t changed,” Manchin asserts in the ad. “I might be a few years older and I’ll still take on anyone that messes with West Virginia. Now the threat is Patrick Morrisey’s lawsuit to take away health care from people with pre-existing conditions. He is just dead wrong and that ain’t going to happen.” (Kendall Karson) https://abcn.ws/2NwjvkF
Omarosa releases audio tape of Trump asking: ‘Russia seems to have turned around.’ Manigault Newman, who appeared on ABC’s “The View”, claimed Trump and the administration lied to the American people about the nature of the Robert Mueller investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. (Erica Y. King) https://abcn.ws/2oUJ5lm
“After six months, 19 election days and seven live blogs, it’s time to say goodbye to primary season.” FiveThirtyEight is out with their latest (and until 2020, their last) primary preview as New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York go to the polls this week. https://53eig.ht/2NuJc56
“Although these days more Americans say they’re enthusiastic about voting in a midterm election than at any point in the last two decades, come Election Day, nonvoters…will still probably be the norm,” NPR reports in this graphic analysis. https://n.pr/2QhWYXb
Adam Clymer, reporter and editor for The New York Times and other publications—and who was once the subject of a vulgarity by President George W. Bush—died Monday. He was 81. Read his New York Times obituary: https://nyti.ms/2N75sCQ
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.