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Voters Head To Polls In AZ, FL, OK

Primary elections in AZ & FL, OK runoff. Vox: “Tuesday brings some of the most anticipated primary elections of 2018 when Arizona and Florida go to the polls. Voters will also finally decide who the Republican nominee for governor will be in the Oklahoma runoff. In Arizona, there’s a contentious Senate primary for Jeff Flake’s open seat between three Republicans: Rep. Martha McSally, Dr. Kelli Ward, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The Democrat frontrunner in that race, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, is sitting back and letting the Republicans duke it out. There’s also a competitive Democratic primary for governor in the state, as well as two closely watched House races. There’s a whole bunch of competitive races in Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott is vacating the governor’s mansion to run against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. The Senate race will be drama-free on Tuesday, but there will be plenty of excitement in the race to replace Scott. There’s another establishment versus rising progressive Democrat dynamic playing out in the Democratic primary, while Trump-endorsed Rep. Ron DeSantis is running on the Republican side. Rounding everything out is Oklahoma, where Republicans Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt are facing each other in a runoff primary election for governor.”

AZ’s Garcia Surges, Weathers GOP Attacks

Attacks against Arizona governor candidate David Garcia intensify as primary nears. AZ Central: “Republicans and Democrats alike are stepping up attacks against candidate David Garcia, the apparent Democratic frontrunner in the race for governor. Millions of dollars — and thousands of words — have been devoted to taking Garcia down, suggesting he is viewed as a legitimate threat across party lines. Garcia is set to face challengers Kelly Fryer and state Sen. Steve Farley in the Aug. 28 primary, with the winner likely confronting incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in November. Farley has out-raised Garcia, according to campaign-finance reports, but Garcia is leading in the polls.”

CFPB Student Loan Watchdog Quits, Denounces Agency

Student loan watchdog quits, says Trump administration ‘turned its back’ on borrowers. NPR: “The federal official in charge of protecting student borrowers from predatory lending practices has stepped down. In a scathing resignation letter, Seth Frotman, who until now was the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says current leadership “has turned its back on young people and their financial futures.” The letter was addressed to Mick Mulvaney, the bureau’s acting director. In the letter, obtained by NPR, Frotman accuses Mulvaney and the Trump administration of undermining the CFPB and its ability to protect student borrowers. ‘Unfortunately, under your leadership, the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting,’ it read. ‘Instead, you have used the Bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America.’ The letter raises serious questions about the federal government’s willingness to oversee the $1.5 trillion student loan industry and to protect student borrowers.”

NC Must Redraw Gerrymandered Districts

NC congressional districts need to be redrawn, maybe before November election, court rules. Charlotte Observer: “A ruling by a panel of federal judges Monday raised the potential of drawing new congressional districts before November’s general election in North Carolina, or redrawing the districts and holding a new primary election in November and a general election before a new Congress is seated in January. The ruling by a three-judge panel, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, found in favor of plaintiffs Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, who claimed that the partisan gerrymander of congressional districts was unconstitutional. ‘The General Assembly expressly directed the legislators and consultant responsible for drawing the 2016 Plan to rely on ‘political data’ — that is, past election results specifying whether, and to what extent, particular voting precincts had favored Republican or Democratic candidates, and therefore were likely to do so in the future — to draw a districting plan that would ensure Republican candidates would prevail in the vast majority of the State’s congressional districts, and would continue to do so in future elections,’ the court wrote.”

Disney Workers Win $15 Minimum Wage

Sanders congratulates Disney World union workers on minimum wage victory. The Hill: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday congratulated Disney World workers for securing a $15 minimum wage during negotiations with Walt Disney Co. after previously chastising the company for failing to pay its employees ‘a living wage.’ ‘Congratulations to the courageous workers and their unions at Disney World for their historic victory. I applaud everyone who stood up to demand that workers at one of the wealthiest corporations in the world should have a decent standard of living,’ Sanders tweeted. CNN reported that the Service Trades Council Union reached an agreement with Disney to increase wages to $15 an hour by 2021. Workers will see a gradual increase over the next three years. The union, which represented Disney World staff, also secured $1,000 cash bonuses that they were assured earlier this year. Union members will vote on the agreement on Sept. 5. Disney said in a statement that the deal represents the ‘largest proposal ever offered’ by the company.”

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