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Pro-GOP Bloc Swept Out In NY

IDC and other New York legislative 2018 primary results. City&State: “Four years ago, a pair of Democratic challengers sought to knock out two state senators who were members of the Independent Democratic Conference to punish them for partnering with state Senate Republicans. The IDC incumbents, state Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx and state Sen. Tony Avella of Queens, prevailed. This year, it’s a different story. All eight state senators who had joined the now-defunct IDC faced primary challenges this year – and six of them have lost their primary bids, including their founder and leader, Klein, who lost to Alessandra Biaggi. Additionally, Zellnor Myrie beat state Sen. Jesse Hamilton in Brooklyn, Jessica Ramos ousted state Sen. Jose Peralta in Queens and Robert Jackson trounced state Sen. Marisol Alcantara in Manhattan. Among the former IDC members from New York City, only state Sen. Diane Savino of Staten Island was able to hold on. Of the two upstate lawmakers who had been part of the IDC, state Sen. David Carlucci held on, while state Sen. David Valesky lost his re-election bid. Although the breakaway group rejoined mainline Democrats in April, it did little to temper the newly awakened political engagement in the wake of the 2016 presidential election and anger towards the Democrats who shared power with Republicans.”

Progressive Figueroa Overwhelms Ulster County Sheriff

Sheriff to run as Republican after stunning upset by progressive challenger in primary. ThinkProgress: “New York State’s primary election news may be dominated by names like Cuomo, Nixon, Teachout, and the IDC, but the results of a little-known county sheriff’s race carry echoes of issues debated hotly at the national level. Ulster County Democrats resoundingly voted to nominate former state trooper Juan Figueroa for sheriff, dealing a political setback to incumbent Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum and setting the two men up for a final rematch in the November general election. With 100 percent of the county reporting in, Figueroa received 13,119 votes, or 81.9 percent of the vote, to Van Blarcum’s 2,885. Van Blarcum, a Democrat, waged a strong campaign to keep his party’s nomination despite having been endorsed by the Republican, Independence, and Conservative parties as well. Figueroa, a retired Marine and state trooper, challenged his own sheriff due to what he called Van Blarcum’s ‘divisive rhetoric’ on immigration, guns, Trump, and criticizing NFL players for protesting before games. Figueroa shocked many, including Van Blarcum, when he won the county party committee’s convention in May by a similar margin to Thursday’s electoral victory. ‘What’s unique about us is we know how to right a ship when it’s going the wrong way, and that’s what we’re doing tonight,’ he told his supporters. ‘Every generation has its defining moment. This is ours.'”

Congress Haggles To Avoid Shutdown

House And Senate negotiators strike deal to avoid shutdown threat. NPR: “House and Senate negotiators have agreed to a plan to avoid a shutdown fight weeks before the midterm elections in November. Members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees announced Thursday that they had a deal on a major funding package for the Defense and the Health and Human Services departments along with a short-term spending bill to fund agencies covered in separate legislation they are still negotiating. The funding would extend through Dec. 7. Both chambers are expected to vote on the measure before the Sept. 30 deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown. If approved, the agreement would postpone the debate over money for President Trump’s border wall until December, when a lame-duck Congress will be in place. House and Senate leaders worked closely with spending negotiators on the package, but the White House has not said whether Trump supports the bill.”

Booker Releases Kavanaugh Documents

Cory Booker faces potential expulsion from Congress as Brett Kavanaugh evades senators’ inquiries. Salon: “Booker released 28 documents that had not previously been seen by the American public regarding Kavanaugh’s time working for the White House counsel’s office under President George W. Bush, according to the Associated Press. The documents reveal that Kavanaugh played a large role in pushing through some of Bush’s judicial picks during that period, including some very controversial conservative judges. Booker pointed to these documents as evidence that Kavanaugh may have been less than forthright in his testimony when he downplayed his roles in those selections, arguing that the documents “raise more serious and concerning questions” about the judge’s behavior. The logic behind Booker’s decision to release these confidential documents becomes more clear when you look at Kavanaugh’s written responses to senators’ questions Wednesday night. On matters ranging from his views on LGBTQ rights and sexual misconduct accusations against a judge with whom he worked, Kavanaugh offered evasive responses to how he would rule on a number of key issues that might come before the court. The one area where he did offer specifics involved financial questions, with many observers drawing attention to how Kavanaugh carried between $60,000 and $200,000 in credit card debt in 2016 but became debt free except for his mortgage as of last year. When Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) spoke to Salon Wednesday about these issues, he said that ‘the American people should feel confident that whomever the president appoints to the Supreme Court would come to the bench without financial obligations that could affect their independence.'”

Kavanaugh Misled Senate Under Oath

Brett Kavanaugh misled the Senate under oath. I cannot support his nomination. WaPo: “Last week, I uncovered new evidence that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh misled the Senate during his earlier hearings for the D.C. Circuit Court by minimizing and even denying his involvement in Bush-era controversies. I gave him the opportunity to correct his testimony at his hearing last week; he chose instead to double down. I make no claim that Kavanaugh is a bad person. But when his prior confirmation to our nation’s ‘second highest court’ was in jeopardy, he repeatedly misled the Senate when the truth might have placed that job out of reach. Time and again, Kavanaugh appears to have misled the Senate under oath. Just as troubling is that there is still much we do not know. With the rush to confirm Kavanaugh, the Senate has vetted only 7 percent of his White House record. And Republicans are intent on keeping the rest hidden. On Thursday, Republicans repeatedly blocked subpoenas that would have answered these questions. And the White House is withholding an outrageous 102,000 pages of records, the ‘most significant portion’ of which relates to judicial nominations. The chance that these records do not contain evidence relevant to Kavanaugh’s truthfulness under oath? Approximately zero.”

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