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New York Democrats land top-tier challenger to GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.Daily Kos's profile photo


NY-22: On Tuesday, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi became the second Democrat to join the race against first-term Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney in this upstate New York seat, which contains Utica and Binghamton. Brindisi has represented Utica in New York’s Assembly since a 2011 special election victory, and he is reportedly the strong preference of both state and national Democrats.

The assemblyman is known as a moderate, which could prove to be a key asset with swing voters in this historically Republican region. However, his “A” rating from the NRA is unlikely to please progressive Democratic primary voters, but so far Brindisi only faces little-known SUNY Binghamton computer science professor Patrick Madden in the primary, whose campaign has yet to gain traction.

Obama lost New York’s 22nd Congressional District by mere fractions of a percentage point in both 2012 and 2008, but this disproportionately white working-class seat veered rightward to a 55-39 Trump win. However, Tenney prevailed just 46-41 in a heavily contested three-way race last year that featured a self-funding independent who pledged to caucus with the GOP.

Brindisi sits in one of the reddest Assembly seats held by a Democrat, and his district moved further to the right last year, lunging from 51-47 Obama to 54-41 Trump in 2016. However, he’s nonetheless won re-election unopposed every year since 2012, suggesting his crossover appeal has helped deter strong GOP challengers. The 22nd will likely be a tough seat for Democrats to flip, but Tenney’s hard-right image and her support for Trumpcare could give Team Blue an opening.

One major wildcard for 2018, though, is wealthy former Rep. Richard Hanna. As one of the least-conservative House Republicans, Hanna nearly lost the 2014 to primary to Tenney and avoided what would have been a tough rematch by retiring last year. Hanna recently said he was considering challenging his successor as an independent next year, which could help Democrats by stealing away center-right voters from Tenney—something that appears to have happened in 2016 when Martin Babinec took 12 percent of the vote as an independent. However, after Hanna endorsed Hillary Clinton, he might just as easily take more from Democratic voters if he runs, but there’s no indication of how likely he is to get in.


AL-Sen: Appointed Republican Sen. Luther Strange’s latest ad on immigration continues to throw red meat to the base ahead of the Aug. 15Senate special election primary. The spot features a clip of Trump chanting “build that wall” before segueing to argue how “Big Luther” Strange supports Trump’s agenda. (Strange earned the creative nickname thanks to his 6’9” frame.) Strange says he wants to defund “liberal sanctuary cities” in order to pay for the Mexico border wall, boasts of how he “sued and stopped Obama’s illegal amnesty play,” and closes by urging the deportation of non-citizen immigrants involved in violent crimes.

But while Strange forges ahead, Politico’s Alex Isenstadt reports that all is not well in the land of the GOP national party organizations. He relays that both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Strange have requested that Trump approve RNC spending in Alabama’s primary, but have so far been frustrated with the lack of a response. Two McConnell-aligned super PACs have already devoted $2.4 million to the race, though, and Democrats certainly won’t be displeased that Senate Republicans are spending resources in a dark-red state that could have otherwise gone toward targeting Democratic incumbents in general elections elsewhere.

IN-Sen: Republican state Sen. Mike Delph previously hadn’t ruled out running against Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, and a recent Howey Politics newsletter finds Delph considering a campaign with piqued interest. Delph, who hails from the True Conservative™ wing of the GOP, previously deferred to other candidates in both the 2012 and 2016 Senate races, ostensibly to prevent a split in the hard-right vote. However, he says he’s already met with the NRSC and true-believer groups like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund about a possible campaign next year. Delph stated that his decision “won’t be a long, drawn-out process. Going into the fall, we’ll know what we’re going to do.”

If he runs, Delph will likely compete in the primary with Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, who have both previously said they’re considering the race and both look very much like candidates in all but name. Meanwhile, state Rep. Mike Braun is also considering it, while a few lesser-known Republican candidates are already formally in the running.

MT-Sen: Yellowstone County District Judge Russell Fagg recently decided to retire from the bench this coming October to start his own law practice, but he had also said he was open to running for office. On Tuesday, Fagg confirmed that the particular office was the Senate, after he formed an exploratory committee for a bid against Democratic incumbent Jon Tester. Fagg stressed that he still won’t resign until the fall, which means we likely won’t get an official announcement of a Senate campaign until then, lest Fagg run afoul of state ethics laws that prevent a sitting judge from participating in a campaign.

Fagg has served as a judge for over two decades and was previously a Republican state legislator before that, so he could have some pull in a Republican primary. (Previously, he’d appeared interested in the GOP nomination in Montana’s May House special election, but ultimately didn’t run.) If Fagg does indeed join the Senate race, he would face businessman Troy Downing, state Sen. Albert Olszewski, and a few lesser-known candidates in the Republican primary. However, some top Montana and national Republicans have reportedly still been looking for a more prominent challenger against Tester, and it’s unclear if Fagg is whom they have in mind.

NV-Sen: Republican Sen. Dean Heller is likely the country’s most vulnerable GOP incumbent facing re-election in 2018 by virtue of being the only one whose state voted for Hillary Clinton, and a new PPP survey for Planned Parenthood finds Heller could indeed lose his seat next year. PPP’s poll, the first publicly released survey of the race, shows Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen beating Heller 42-41, while the incumbent sports an underwater approval rating of just 35 percent and a disapproval rating of 44 percent. Rosen has yet to formally launch her candidacy, but news outlets widely reported last week that she’s expected to do so soon with the support of key national Democrats.

As we always note, any lone poll must be interpreted with caution. However, given the historical tendency for the party in control of the White House to suffer downballot losses in midterm elections, no Republican incumbent wants to find himself already stuck in the low 40s and trailing his prospective opponent over a year ahead of the election in a state Clinton carried 48-46.

Heller could also be facing blowback from the congressional GOP’s healthcare repeal bill, which PPP says Nevada voters oppose 55-31. While Heller recently made waves when he came out against the bill—although with the hugely important caveat of “in this form”—that personal opposition might not be enough to overcome his party’s association with the unpopular measure, which could cost many Nevadans their health insurance.

Nevada’s unique ballot system could also put Heller between a rock and a hard place vis-a-vis swing voters and the hard right, since the Silver State lets voters choose “none of these candidates” as an option. If Heller’s opposition helps sink Trumpcare, angry Trump diehards might opt to vote none of the above in protest, allowing Democrats to prevail with a plurality. That would be a bitter twist of irony for Heller after he only won his initial election by 46-45 in 2012 against a Democrat who faced attacks over ethics troubles, with “none” taking 5 percent.


NY-Gov: GOP state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is the Senate’s deputy majority leader, had previously refused to rule out running for governor next year, and he now says he’s “seriously considering” it. Republicans face daunting obstacles in this dark-blue state next year with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo likely to seek a third term, but a few others have nonetheless also expressed interested in possible campaigns, including Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro; ex-hedge fund manager Harry Wilson, who narrowly lost the 2010 state comptroller’s race; and wealthy businessman Carl Paladino, whom Cuomo trounced in the 2010 gubernatorial race.


IL-12: Following a recent New York Times story that reported he was likely to run for Illinois’ 12th Congressional District next year, Democrat Brendan Kelly, the state’s attorney for St. Clair County, confirmed that he’s “strongly considering” a bid on Monday. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the DCCC itself has been recruiting Kelly to run. St. Clair is by far the largest county in this greater St. Louis-area district, making up roughly 38 percent of its population, which could give Kelly a solid base of support.

While Team Blue had drawn this longtime Democratic seat to favor themselves during 2011 redistricting, it lurched from 50-48 Obama to 55-40 Trump as Republican Rep. Mike Bost won his second term by a 54-40 margin against a decently funded Democratic foe last year. It’s unclear just how fruitful of a target this disproportionately white and working-class seat will be for Democrats in 2018, but a potential Kelly candidacy and Bost’s support for Trumpcare could give the party an opening with wayward Obama-Trump voters here.

VA-10: The Washington Post reports that two more candidates recently joined Team Blue’s crowded primary to take on Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock next year. The first candidate, Alison Kiehl Friedman, worked at the State Department from 2009 to 2015 to combat human trafficking and previously served as a staffer to ex-Rep. Jane Harman. The second Democrat, Deep Sran, is the son of Indian immigrants who holds a doctorate in educational psychology and is the founder of the local Loudoun School for the Gifted. Both appear to be first-time candidates.

Comstock won a fiercely contested race 53-47 last year even as her suburban D.C. seat swung from 50-49 Romney to 52-42 Clinton. However, as one of the country’s most highly college-educated districts, the 10th is fertile territory for resistance to Trump next year. In addition to Friedman and Sran, the Democratic field includes state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, who was reportedly recruited by the DCCC and EMILY’s List; former Veterans Administration official Lindsey Davis Stover; former Fairfax teachers union president Kimberly Adams; former Naval intelligence officer David Hanson; and Army veteran Daniel Helmer.

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environmentally friendly … is your member of Congress participating?

PlasticbagsrecycleHave you started reclaiming, reusing, recycling, repurposing and or reducing items from your life that will cut the amount of material going into landfills or buying locally to hopefully reduce your eco-footprint as well? I’m in; even PBO alluded to a big change being needed for the next generation.

Now, well, lets say again we all need to worry about the fishing in our oceans, lakes and seas which sadly is on a path toward collapse as overfishing, polluters. plastics and the corporate fishing industry need a refresher on regulatory rules least we remind them to protect our wild and marine life for the next generation

yep, It’s a rant

Unfortunately, Congress, is under Republican control in both chambers.  The House, where legislative purse strings are under stress and if you listen closely, they sound like they had different school books, syllabus and teachers, so, the path

aquabountysalmonto a sustainable 21st Century living is going to be a struggle.

Though after NAFTA the struggle for American workers was bad it also made most us all rely on goods made in foreign lands with questionable ingredients and on the cheap; I for one have looked at my clothes and sighed after finding brands that once said mostly “made in the USA”   went to the dark side. I guess cheap really is not only addictive, cheap labor and cheap material affects and effects the quality of our lives UCScleanairactpix


and are quite Addictive, but the question is –  will authorities at the top recognize that NAFTA needs reforming due to an increase of carbon foot-print,  allowing foreign companies to possibly use toxic chemicals, use less than 100% organic and in some cases, let our children play with toys made with excessive amounts of lead pass through to the consumer…uh, that would be a yes!  We need a quick acceptance an apology and a big change implemented in every state regulating not just what comes into the US of A, but how, what is dumped, recycled and where; it makes sense on so many levels given what we now know about pollution, climate change, landfills and the effects on Americans …and our at risk population, whether folks want to admit it or not a reality check is needed.

Washington State, along with a few others decided they are all in on banning plastic bags though the effort needs to be much more vigorous as cooperation from big corporations who do not always implement the process fast enough, but we have to start somewhere right.


However, it is obvious that as those at the top debate and delay changes in our man-made and natural global warming experiences, they are leaving minorities and the poor out of the conversation of sustainable living, let alone offer up alternatives or commit to viable restorations of communities most impacted by bad urban planning. frackingWe have all heard or know that certain populations are definitely unable to control the negative impact that some big corporations are having on their communities or environments as more and more cases are revealed, aired and reported. It is disturbing to know that some cases are over twenty – thirty years old or older, the sad truth that there were are too many middle class, minority and poor communities built on or near freeways,  landfills, gas lines, ex-chemical plants, manufacturer plants or smokestacks with dirty air while providing jobs at those same facilities though the people had no idea that they and the lives of their families could be negatively affected and life in some cases probably cut short. The abuse of land in rural and or urban settings is not just offensive it is still unchecked and just one more thing the EPA needs to revisit.Deforestation-Amazon-1024x667_1_460x230


The idea of sustainable living is not new, yet, it means something different depending on what State you live in and how your officials deal with the agencies we are supposed to trust whether the issue is about fracking, housing,ground water, GMO ,salmonella etc. or bird flu.  Most people I know love all kinds of food and are careful about at home preparation, but I do believe that the way food is inspected, accepted and processed is still suspect and an update in federal laws regarding food inspection are overdue.  I hope we all agree that our food should not be considered a state’s rights issue; it is a keep the American population safe& healthy issue. I come from a fishing based family that believed in staying away from so-called store freshly caught and to always smell the fish, ask if wild or hatchery and if it’s wrapped in plastic question it all because it may look like the real deal but … I will admit I remember when most if not all seafood caught,  was “bought and sold fresh” and or” wild” but not farmed because my family preferred to buy at the market or buy at the pier, but mostly from my family fishing for it. When farm fisheries started popping up my family felt it might be a good way to keep wild off the endangered list, but unfortunately some collateral damage was created when some reports of  nasty toxic developments at some not all farmed hatcheries were found .


folks did not know in the early stages the influx of farmed fish to grocery stores and restaurants meant insufficient labeling or the profound lack of available information for consumers to make independent and or intelligent decisions by leaving out info whether it’s about fish, beef, chicken, clothes or toys they are selling comes from the most “environmentally friendly” way possible instead of taking risks that could hurt liveschickenofthesea

Nativegrl77 2/1/2013 and in 2018 seems like things are worse

Deodorant Ingredients to Avoid

photo ~John Foxx/Getty DCL

by Megan Winkler

With ingredients that have been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, hormonal imbalance and neurological issues, I think it’s time we start looking a little more closely at what’s going into our deodorant. I’m pretty horrified at the information I dredged up on the topic. I know this isn’t a glamorous topic, but it’s an important one. So important, in fact, that I’m going to try a natural deodorant recipe out this week. But before I get to the recipe, let’s talk about what we’re applying to our armpits on a daily basis.


Yeah, we’ll start off with a big one. Aluminum—as in the metal—is used to block pores from releasing sweat. The problem is, aluminum has been linked to breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men and an increased chance of Alzheimer’s. Now to be fair, the Food and Drug Administration has never said it’s a carcinogen, but there is definitely a case for drawing a correlation between the two. It might be something to look out for.


Parabens are synthetic preservatives that are sometimes present in health and beauty products. There are two interesting bits of information that I’d like for us to consider with regards to this ingredient. The first is that the Centers for Disease Control conducted a study to see how many of us have parabens in our system. Of 100 subjects tested, 100 percent—each and every one of them—showed paraben presence in their urine. This research told scientists a lot about how easily chemicals enter our body via the skin. The other bit of information is that parabens have been linked to hormonal imbalance in early puberty. Food for thought.


The petroleum-based ingredient propylene glycol is present in many antiperspirants and deodorants. It’s the ingredient that gives deodorant a slick consistency so we can slather it on our skin. Bad news is that in large quantities it can do damage to the central nervous system, the heart and the liver. To be fair, this is like saying that broccoli in large doses is lethal, but no one would ever eat that much anyway, so it’s a moot point. The amount of propylene glycol used in the average stick of deodorant is probably completely safe, but it’s worth mentioning.


Phthalates help ingredients to dissolve, and because of this they are sometimes found in deodorant. Unfortunately, phthalates are also linked to birth defects and the disruption of hormone receptors in the body. Yuck!


After finding out that triclosan was classified as a pesticide by the FDA and as a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, most companies that produce deodorants and antiperspirants have removed this ingredient from their formulas. It’s still a good idea to read the product label just to make sure triclosan isn’t hiding inside.


I did some research to see if I could talk about some great mainstream companies that have eliminated these ingredients from their products, but with the exception of Old Spice, none of the companies I investigated even go so far as to display the ingredients for their deodorants online.

There are a few all-natural deodorants on the market, but I found a couple of homemade recipes via Wellness Mama that are supposed to be amazing, assuming the above information doesn’t sit well with you either. Using coconut oil, baking soda, shea butter, and some optional arrowroot and essential oils, you can make your own quite easily. Simply melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler and add the other ingredients to create an all-natural alternative that really works. Another option is to combine coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch in a small glass jar. Neither recipe requires refrigeration, which is nice.

Roadless forests under attack–help stop new coal mining on roadless lands!

Give today!

Our roadless forests are under attack!

A thicket of aspen in the Sunset Roadless Area. (Ted Zukoski / Earthjustice)

Arch Coal just got the go-ahead to bulldoze for dirty coal in one of our pristine roadless national forest areas.
Help us fight back!

Arch Coal is at it again.

On April 6, the Forest Service announced it was paving the way for the second-largest coal company in the United States to bulldoze across thousands acres of pristine roadless forests in order to mine up to 350 million tons of coal.

When final, this deal will allow Arch Coal to reap huge profits while adding hundreds of millions of tons of climate pollution to our atmosphere—all at the expense of thousands of acres of beautiful, wild and public roadless forest.

I’m furious. And today, I’m asking for your help.

We’ve successfully stopped Arch Coal in the past. We can do it again.

Will you help us stand up to dirty industry with a gift of $5 or more?

As someone who has hiked in the Sunset Roadless Area for over a decade, I can tell you that this land is beautiful, and it provides important habitat for wildlife such as black bears and rare lynx in addition to beaver ponds, aspen stands, and giant spruce.

But unless we fight back and win, Arch Coal will soon turn this special place into an industrial zone of drill pads and roads—destroying wildlife habitat and valued recreation and hunting areas—all to benefit a single corporation.

Additionally, burning the 350 million tons of coal the company would extract would dramatically undercut efforts to slow the pace of climate change.

My team and I are determined to protect this critical habitat and ensure vital long-term protections for our other national forests…but we need your urgent gift today to see this and other difficult legal battles through.

For decades, Earthjustice has taken the lead to fight dirty energy and protect roadless forests across the country, but today we need your help.

We’ve stopped Arch Coal before. Help us win once again.

Thank you,

Staff photo

Ted Zukoski
Earthjustice, Rocky Mountains Office

History, Rebellion and Reconciliation : NMAAHC

NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian’s National Museum
of African American History and Culture
presents a national conversation by hosting a daylong symposium,

HRR Logo.jpg

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:45am to 8:30pm EDT
National Museum of the American Indian
Rasmuson Theater
Independence and 4th St SW
Washington, D.C.

 Metro: Orange and Blue lines, L’Enfant Plaza or Federal Center SW
The symposium will be live streamed via Ustream

Admission is free and open to the public; however, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and reservations are recommended. Reserve your free tickets by visiting Eventbrite. Please note if you wish to attend all panels, be sure to reserve a ticket for each panel.

A police shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., this summer, along with other shootings by police officers around the county, led to weeks of protests in communities around the country. “We need to explore what this moment in our nation’s history means, especially in terms of leadership,” said Lonnie Bunch III, NMAAHC director. “What impact does generational change have on leadership and faith communities? What are the lessons to be learned from Ferguson, particularly within the context of community mobilization?”
Symposium Schedule

9:45am, director Lonnie Bunch opens the symposium and welcomes guests, followed by a discussion with Rev. Willis H. Johnson, pastor of Ferguson’s Wellspring Church. Willis will describe the conditions that led to the distrust between law enforcement and the city’s African American community.

10:30am-12:30pm, panel #1, “Ferguson: Impact, Importance & Long-Range Hopes.” This panel explores the evolution of the media, community leadership and activism as they relate to communities organized against excessive police force and economic inequality. Panel moderated by Juan Williams, journalist and Fox News political analyst. Panelists include: Lisa Crooms, Howard University law professor; Opal Tometi, founder of Black Lives Matter; Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr., pastor Wellspring Church, Ferguson.

1:30pm to 2:30 pm, “On Art and History: A Conversation with Ava DuVernay.” Selma director, DuVernay, will discuss filmmaking and the creative responses to historic events such as the Selma to Montgomery march.

3:00pm – 5pm, panel #2, “Ferguson & Faith in the 21st Century.” This panel addresses the past, present and future roles of faith organizations as advocates for social change. It also examines changing roles of faith leaders. Moderated by Rex Ellis, NMAAHC associate director of curatorial affairs, the panel includes: Jeff Johnson, journalist and motivational speaker; Renee Harrison, Howard University School of Divinity professor and former Los Angeles police officer; Lerone A. Martin, assistant professor of Religion and Politics, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University, St. Louis; Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, pastor, theologian, author, and community organizer; Stephanie Wolfe, dissertation fellow, John C. Danforth Center.

6:30pm – 8:30pm, panel #3, “#Words Matter: Making Revolution Irresistible.” This panel features the response of the creative community to excessive police violence, racism and communal demands for equality. Moderated by Jared Ball, associate professor of Communications, Morgan State University. The panel includes: Mark Bolden, psychologist and co-moderator; Jasiri X, Spoken Word artist; Jamilah Lemieux, senior digital editor, Ebony magazine; Jef Tate: DJ, Words, Beats and Life.

Other Presentations during the Symposium

12:30pm – 1:30pm, “Citizen” works by award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, interpreted on film by director John Lucas. The film shorts, titled Situation #1through 5, are based on Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric.

5:00pm – 6 pm, view a slide presentation of social justice related objects from the museum’s collection and select artists, accompanied by a mix from DJ Jef Tate of “Words, Beats and Life.”

For questions about the symposium, email NMAAHCpubpgms@si.edu.

View the daylong symposium at Ustream. A dialogue on social media will be held throughout the symposium. The public may follow the museum on Twitter @NMAAHC to participate in the discussion using #HRRlive or #WordsMatter.

For more information, visit www.nmaahc.si.edu or call (202) 633-1000(202) 633-1000.