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Morning Reads: Trump Cuts the GOP Off; Roger Stone’s ‘Vote Protectors’ Trick

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Trump Cuts the GOP Off

Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on October 25, 2016, in Sanford, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Cutting them off –> The Trump campaign has stopped holding high-dollar fundraisers, the proceeds of which benefit other Republican candidates, and claims it is pulling in enough money from online fundraising. In contrast, Hillary Clinton has at least 41 fundraisers scheduled before Election Day.

Meanwhile, the GOP is making a last-ditch attempt to save their Senate majority. Alex Isenstadt reports for Politico: “In an indication of the challenge confronting Republicans, nearly all of [the GOP’s] Senate Leadership Fund’s spending, which stretches from Oct. 19 until Nov. 8, will come in defense of GOP-held seats. The group’s biggest expenditure will be in Nevada, where it will spend around $7.5 million. That contest is razor thin, and Republicans have grown concerned that their candidate, Joe Heck, has lost ground after withdrawing his support for Donald Trump.”

Democrats, too, increasingly are focused down-ballot as they grow more and more assured that Clinton will win the presidency.

Voter intimidation –> The Huffington Post’s Christina Wilkie reports: “Vote Protectors, the anti-voter-fraud group hosted by Donald Trump ally and political dirty trickster Roger Stone, plans to send volunteers to monitor polling places in nine cities with high minority populations on Election Day, Stone said last week. Untrained poll-watchers have intimidated voters in previous elections. But Vote Protectors is going further than its predecessors.” Stone denied knowledge of some of the group’s proposed tactics, which include videotaping at polling places, “exit polls” and official-looking ID badges.

Lobbying rules –> Anna Palmer and Andrew Restuccia at Politico write: “Hillary Clinton’s presidential transition team has put in place strict rules that limit the influence of lobbyists in crafting the nominee’s policy agenda, POLITICO has learned, an early indication that Clinton is unlikely to abandon all of the lobbying restrictions imposed by Barack Obama.

“The secretive transition operation, which has tried to keep a low profile in order to not appear overly confident in a Clinton victory, is limiting how federal lobbyists can work with the transition teams that are tasked with planning for the transfer of power at dozens of key agencies, according to several sources familiar with the operation.” BUT: “The Clinton campaign’s policy operation, which is a separate entity from the transition team, continues to be the point of contact for companies, consultants and lobbyists to send policy memos.”

Trump’s Dakota Access investment –> The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, has spent $103,000 to elect Trump and given an additional $66,800 to the Republican National Committee, The Guardian reports. What’s more, “Trump’s financial disclosure forms show the Republican nominee has between $500,000 and $1 million invested in Energy Transfer Partners, with a further $500,000 to $1m holding in Phillips 66, which will have a 25 percent stake in the Dakota Access project once completed. The information was disclosed in Trump’s May filing to the Federal Election Commission, which requires candidates to disclose their campaign finance information on a regular basis.”

Blame to go around –> Several thousand California National Guardsmen are being asked to return re-enlistment bonuses and student loan repayments to the Pentagon, which claims they were were not qualified to receive the cash. Congress is outraged, but it turns out that the California National Guard notified Congress about the problem back in 2014 — and Congress did nothing. ABC News reports: “According to a congressional official, the California National Guard brought up the issue of bonus repayments in a 2014 letter listing their overall priorities, but that there was no specific follow-up done with relevant congressional offices… The letter also includes suggested legislative language to address the problem.”

Update: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has suspended efforts to collect the bonuses.

Congratulations –> Paul Beatty has become the first American writer to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction. His novel, The Sellout, is a satire of American race relations and his writing has been compared to the best of Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift. Describing the book, Alexandra Alter at The New York Times notes, “A raucous tragicomedy that explores the legacy of slavery and racial and economic inequality in America, the novel felt deeply resonant at a moment when police violence against African-Americans has incited protests around the country and forced Americans to confront the country’s history of racism.”

Have they looked under the refrigerator? –> “Kyrgyzstan politicians seeking to amend the national constitution have not been able to find it,” Damien Sharkov at Newsweek writes. “… The document was reported missing earlier this month after Kyrgyz members of parliament began debating an upcoming referendum to amend the constitution, which was created in the wake of Kyrgyzstan’s revolution in 2010.”


Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.