Washington Brief: Joe Manchin’s Daughter and the EpiPen Ordeal

Today’s Presidential Brief

  • Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton continues to face criticism over her emails, this time having to do with access granted to top donors to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of State. (Financial Times) But because she’s facing such an unpopular Republican rival, rather than actively combat the attacks, Clinton is trying to simply run out the clock. (Politico)
  • Trump is working on his play for minority voters. He’s scheduling urban visits and seeking the advice of black Republicans. (The Washington Post) Black and Latino Democrats, speaking with reporters by phone yesterday, aren’t buying it. (Morning Consult)
  • Trump’s spot at the top of the ticket has shaken up expectations about the electoral map, turning a number of places once viewed as swing states blue and making other deeply red states show shades of purple. (The Washington Post)
  • There are 75 days until Election Day and 32 days until the first presidential debate.

Today’s Congress Brief

  • Congress is in an awkward position as it demands answers on the EpiPen price hike: The CEO of the company that raised the number is Sen. Joe Manchin’s daughter. (Bloomberg)
  • A PAC supporting Republican Sen. John McCain’s primary opponent, former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward, said it has spent big this month, even though it has not reported its independent expenditures to federal election regulators. (Morning Consult)
  • Rep. Frank Guinta was slapped by the Federal Election Commission in 2015 over accepting excessive campaign contributions from his parents. This year, he is claiming his parents’ money as his own.
    (The Huffington Post)

Today’s Chart Review

Mark Your Calendars (All Eastern Times)

Donald Trump Rally in Jackson, Miss. 7:00 p.m.
Hillary Clinton Campaigns in Reno, Nev. TBA
Donald Trump Rally in Manchester, N.H. 1 p.m.
No Events Scheduled



Earthquake leaves at least 37 dead in central Italy
BBC News 

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck central Italy, leaving at least 37 people dead and 150 missing, as rescuers search for survivors.

Graduate Students Clear Hurdle in Effort to Form Union
Noam Scheiber, The New York Times 

Punctuating a string of Obama-era moves to shore up labor rights and expand protections for workers, the National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday that students who work as teaching and research assistants at private universities have a federally backed right to unionize.

Zika Images Show ‘Worst Brain Infections That Doctors Will Ever See’
Michaeleen Doucleff, NPR 

Microcephaly is just the tip of iceberg of what Zika does to a fetus’s brain.


Turkish forces launch offensive in northern Syria against Isis
Mehul Srivastava and Erika Solomon, Financial 

A US official on-board Mr Biden’s flight to Ankara told Reuters that the US-led coalition is backing the Turkish operation. The offensive will overshadow talks between Turkey and Mr Biden.

Gawker’s Gone. Long Live Gawker.
Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times 

While Peter Thiel may have killed Gawker, its sensibility and influence on the rest of the news business survive. Just about everywhere in media today, for better and worse, Gawkerism is thriving.


Think Hillary Clinton Will Win in a Landslide? Don’t Bet on It
Jeremy W. Peters and Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times 

The vote may be more favorable to Mr. Trump than the worst-case-scenario prognosticators suggest for a very simple reason: Landslides do not really happen in presidential elections anymore.

Clinton is dogged by ties to charity’s donors
Courtney Weaver, Financial Times

Even people sympathetic to the Clintons said the new emails raised questions about what sort of access the donors had enjoyed while the candidate was secretary of state.

Hillary Clinton’s run-out-the-clock strategy
Annie Karni, Politico 

Clinton’s team thinks “they can ride out” any negative reaction to a set of new emails that show Clinton Foundation officials trying to set up State Department meetings for donors during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat.

Horrified by Trump, Democrats getting nostalgic about Romney
Josh Lederman, Associated Press 

“He was in it for the right reasons,” Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s 2012 deputy campaign manager, said of Romney. “He truly believed in wanting to make this country better. We just differed significantly on how to do that.”

Donald Trump’s new electoral map: Missouri is now a swing state and Virginia isn’t
Phillip Bump, The Washington Post 

It’s only been about a week since Trump shook up his campaign staff in an effort to turn things around, and therefore it’s a little early to start suggesting that the shake-up did or didn’t work. But it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Donald Trump goes after minority voters with urban visits and a softer tone
The Washington Post 

Trump is planning trips to urban areas – with stops at churches, charter schools and small businesses in black and Latino communities – and is developing an empowerment agenda based on the economy and education, aides said.

Is Donald Trump Reversing His Stance on Immigration? 
Priscilla Alvarez, The Atlantic 

Donald Trump is stepping back from one of the main themes of his presidential campaign: a promise to crack down on illegal immigration. He is now pledging to pursue an immigration policy that resembles President Obama’s.

How Donald Trump Blew Up the ‘Gaffe’
Charles Homans, The New York Times Magazine 

A gaffe is an inevitable expression of the paradoxes of scrupulously objective political reporting, pressures that have held reporters hostage for decades. Until Trump, of all people, set us free.

Inside the exclusive events helping to fund Clinton and the Democratic Party
Matea Gold and John Wagner, The Washington Post 

Clinton has touted her growing support from small contributors, whose donations of $200 or less made up nearly 40 percent of her campaign’s $62 million haul in July. But the former secretary of state devoted much of this month to seeking big money.


The Senator’s Daughter Who Raised Prices on Anti-Allergy EpiPen
Anna Edney and Billy House, Bloomberg

Members of Congress are in an unusual position as they demand an explanation for Mylan NV’s 400 percent price hike for the EpiPen and focus attention squarely on its CEO: Heather Bresch, daughter of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Super PAC Says It Spends Big Against McCain, but Is It Following the Law?
Eli Yokley, Morning Consult 

A political action committee supporting Republican Sen. John McCain’s primary opponent has spent big this month, its leader said, even though it has not reported that spending to federal election regulators.

Drug-Treatment Advocate Attacks Hassan in GOP-Funded Ad Campaign
Brian Wallstin, NHPR 

In a 30-second TV ad paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a member of HOPE’s board of directors, says Hassan “mishandled” the opioid crisis, adding that the governor’s decision to veto a Republican-crafted budget last year was “all about the politics.”

Behind Marco Rubio, a powerful ally: Private prison operator Geo Group
Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times 

Geo Group employees and political action committee contributed $30,400 to Rubio’s Senate campaign while the PAC gave $50,000 to the super PAC supporting Rubio, records show.

Marco Rubio takes aim at New York’s Chuck Schumer on campaign trail in North Florida
Jeremy Wallace, Tampa Bay Times 

Forget either of the Democrats challenging U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio or even his Republican primary opponent on the ballot next week. During a pair of campaign stops in North Florida, Rubio made clear who he is really trying to stop: Chuck Schumer.

NC Senate race heats up with challenger Deborah Ross
Sam Killenberg, Daily Tar Heel 

Sen. Richard Burr, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 2005, is trailing Democrat Deborah Ross by two points among registered voters in an NBC/WSJ/Marist poll released on Aug. 12. Last month, the same poll gave Burr a seven-point lead.

Gun control politics continue in PA senate race
The Associated Press 

A group called CeaseFire Pennsylvania said Tuesday that it believes Katie McGinty will make gun-violence prevention “a cornerstone” of her work in Washington.

Duckworth calls Mark Kirk ‘Unhinged’ After Obama Comments
Natasha Korecki, Politico 

The criticism, Duckworth said, was not a reference to Kirk’s capabilities following a debilitating stroke.

Bayh screws up Indiana address during local interview
Louis Nelson, Politico 

The former senator’s fumbling of his own Indiana address comes amid attacks against him that he no longer lives in Indiana.



How big a House wave? Watch these races …
Stuart Rothenberg, The Washington Post 

Following changes in the “generic ballot” poll question is one way to track the fight for the House, but an alternate way is to look at key races at various levels of competitiveness that should indicate whether a wave is developing.

GOP Lawmaker, Already Punished For Claiming Parents’ Money As His Own, Does It Again
Matt Fuller, The Huffington Post 

Rep. Frank Guinta is once again claiming the $355,000 he paid back, ostensibly to his parents, is actually his own asset.

Congressional Black Caucus Rebukes Trump’s Outreach to Minorities
Jon Reid, Morning Consult 

CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield said he was insulted when Trump asked during the speech what minority voters have to lose by voting for him.

Congress to Try to Ease the Tax Burden of Bringing Home the Gold 
Carl Hulse, The New York Times 

The House will vote on legislation to exempt Olympians representing the United States from paying taxes on their medals and financial awards.

GOP already attacking Democrat Randy Perkins in key congressional race
George Bennett, Palm Beach Post 

The National Republican Congressional Committee is already in general election mode with a digital attack on Democratic establishment favorite Randy Perkins.



Tension mounts between Kentucky governor, judge
Adam Beam, Associated Press 

Gov. Matt Bevin says he will appeal the latest court ruling blocking one of his executive orders in yet another sign of mounting tensions between an elected Kentucky judge and the state’s Republican governor.

California bill to repeal ‘tampon tax’ heads to governor

The bill, which would add tampons, sanitary napkins and other menstrual products to a list of necessities like food and prescription medicines that are not taxed, won unanimous support in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

Race for Delaware lieutenant governor unusually fierce
Matthew Albright, The News Journal 

Six people from up and down the state are scrapping to win the Sept. 13 nomination battle. In their quest for Delaware’s second-highest office, their campaigns have collectively spent almost $475,000 this year.

Illinois governor’s office warns of crippling pension payment hike
Dave McKinney and Karen Pierog, Reuters

A Monday memo from a top Rauner aide said the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) board could decide at its meeting this week to lower the assumed investment return rate, a move that would automatically boost Illinois’ annual pension payment


Congress scolds pharmaceutical company’s price hike on EpiPens
Ed Silverman, STAT 

Move over, Martin Shkreli. Get in line, Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Congress appears to have found another drug maker to scold over high prices.

Conn. defense industry hurt by Congress’ inaction on spending bill
Ana Radelat, Connecticut Mirror 

Connecticut lawmakers are facing a major obstacle in their attempts to boost the number of helicopters, airplane engines and submarines made by the state’s defense contractors: greater than-ever congressional gridlock over the defense budget.

Defense industry bucks tradition with donations to Clinton
Austin Wright and Jeremy Herb, Politico 

The Democratic presidential nominee is leading Republican rival Donald Trump by a ratio of 2-to-1 in campaign donations from employees working for defense giants like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

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Opinions, Editorials & Perspectives

Election Update: Leave The LA Times Poll Alone!
Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight 

It’s harmful for the profession as a whole when poll-watchers are constantly trying to browbeat “outlier” polls into submission. That can encourage herding.

Congress must fund Zika fight
Editorial Board, Concord Monitor 

Speed is crucial in combating a potential epidemic. With time, the number of people and mosquitoes infected can increase exponentially. Congress has already wasted precious time.

My plan to boost small businesses
Hillary Clinton, LinkedIn 

We’ll start by cutting the fees and red tape that make starting a business too complicated and too expensive. It shouldn’t be harder to start a business in America than it is in Canada or France.

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Retailer data breaches put your personal information, including your credit and debit cards, at risk. So why do retailers continue to oppose security measures to protect you? Learn the truth about consumer security from EPC.

Research Reports & Polls

A Strong Performance By Trump Might Not Save Some GOP US Senators
Dr. Eric Ostermeier, University of Minnesota 

Since 1972, 12 of the 27 Republican U.S. Senators to lose during presidential election cycles did so while the GOP White House nominee carried their state.

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