Georgia House candidates clash over health care, COVID-19

ATLANTA (AP) — Candidates in two closely contested suburban Atlanta U.S. House districts continued to clash Tuesday over their views on health care, the pandemic response and the size of government.

Those disagreements were aired in two debates sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club. One was between 6th Congressional District incumbent Lucy McBath, a Democrat, and Republican Karen Handel, the woman McBath unseated in a narrow 2018 victory. Slightly less sharp was a debate between candidates in the neighboring 7th District, where Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux is trying to claim an open seat after falling just short of beating Republican incumbent Rob Woodall in 2018. With Woodall stepping down, Republican Rich McCormick is trying to hold the seat for his party.

Both races are among the most competitive in the nation, with Democrats gaining ground in what was once reliably Republican turf. The 6th District, Georgia’s most affluent, stretches across parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties. The rapidly diversifying 7th District includes parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.


McBath labeled Handel as a threat to health care access, saying it’s not a “privilege” but a “right as an American.”

“Your record on health care is absolutely dismal,” McBath told Handel. “You have supported bills that would drive up the cost of health care for people that have pre-existing conditions, not only their treatment, their care and prescription drugs.”

Handel said that portrayal was unfair, and said McBath herself could have done more in Congress to protect people from suffering insurance consequences because of earlier disease or infirmity.

Handel attacked McBath, saying it was the Democrats’ fault that Congress hadn’t been able to approve a new bill for COVID-19 relief

“There is nothing preventing Democrats like you and Speaker Pelosi from getting to the table on that COVID relief package. You don’t want to pass it because you want to pack it full of controversial proposals,” Handel said. “You could get it done if you had the will.”

McBath, though, said she was “proud that the House is still trying to work with the Senate” on additional spending.

McBath sidestepped a question from Handel asking whether McBath would favor adding more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. She instead criticized Republicans for pushing through the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

″I’m very concerned about Judge Barrett’s policy agenda, wanting to possibly dismantle the Affordable Care Act that millions of Americans are dependent on, and also her stance on choice,” McBath said, saying she wanted to protect abortion rights.

For her part, Handel said “it’s no secret I’m pro life” and backed Barrett’s confirmation. “A president is elected for four years, not three-and-a-half years or three years and nine months,” Handel said.

The attacks were somewhat less sharp in the 7th District debate, where Bourdeaux continued to argue for expanded health care and blamed Republicans for mismanaging the COVID-19 outbreak, while McCormick again argued that the district needs a low-tax, low-regulation approach.

“Politicians and regulations are not the solution to the

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CCAGW PAC Endorses Five Tennessee House Candidates

Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee (CCAGW PAC) announced its endorsement for Reps. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Mark Green (R-Tenn.), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) and John Rose (R-Tenn.) for re-election.

CCAGW PAC based its endorsements on the candidates’ lifetime score in CCAGW’s 2019 Congressional Ratings.

All five candidates have exemplary lifetime ratings that have made them a lifetime “Taxpayer Hero.” Rep. Green has a lifetime rating of 99 percent, Rep. Rose has a lifetime rating of 97 percent, and Rep. Burchett has a lifetime rating of 96 percent all based on their first year in Congress. Rep. Kustoff has a lifetime rating of 93 percent. Rep. DesJarlais has a lifetime rating of 91 percent and was named a “Taxpayer Super Hero” with a perfect 100 percent rating in 2019.

“During their tenures in the House, Reps. Burchett, DesJarlais, Green, Kustoff, and Rose have been strong and reliable votes to curb government waste and reform Washington,” said CCAGW PAC Chairman Tom Schatz. “On top of their impressive voting records, they worked with their colleagues to enact and retain historic tax cuts, support deregulation, and help ignite America’s economic boom. I urge Tennesseans to re-elect them to Congress.”

CCAGW PAC is affiliated with the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a 501(c)(4) organization. CCAGW PAC’s mission is to support political candidates who will fight to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in government and represent the best interests of taxpayers.

Paid for by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201013005969/en/

Contacts

Alexandra Abrams (202) 467-5310
[email protected]

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Udall Leads Short List of Candidates for Biden’s Interior Secretary

(Bloomberg) — Retiring Senator Tom Udall is leading a short list of candidates to run the Interior Department if Joe Biden wins the presidency next month — a role that would put him to work in a building named for his father.

Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, is a top contender to be Biden’s secretary of the Interior and would consider the role if asked, according to people familiar with the matter who sought anonymity to discuss the personnel search.



Tom Udall wearing a suit and tie: Senate Passes Measure To Limit Trump On Iran That Faces Veto


© Bloomberg
Senate Passes Measure To Limit Trump On Iran That Faces Veto

Senator Tom Udall

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

“It’s hard to find someone who’s been a bigger champion of public lands than Tom Udall, whether you’re talking about in his state, New Mexico, or nationwide, advocating for the Arctic refuge and fighting climate change,” said Athan Manuel, director of the Sierra Club’s land protection program. “It’s in his genes.”

Representative Deb Haaland, another Democrat from New Mexico, and Representative Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona who leads the House Natural Resources Committee, also have won praise from environmental groups and been recommended to head the Interior Department.

The agency acts as the nation’s landlord, overseeing grazing, recreation, energy development and other activities on about a fifth of the U.S. The department also is in charge of the national park system and regulates energy development in coastal waters, including offshore wind farms and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tom Udall’s father, Stewart Udall, was Interior secretary from 1961 to 1969 and is credited with a major expansion in federal land protection, including the creation of dozens of wildlife refuges, national parks and recreation areas. He died in 2010, and the agency’s headquarters building in Washington was named for him three months later.

Under President Donald Trump, the Interior Department has encouraged mining and drilling for oil and gas on federal real estate, while creating new hunting and fishing opportunities at wildlife refuges and hatcheries. Under Biden, the department would take a sharp left turn, pivoting to focus aggressively on conservation while clamping down on drilling.

“If we’re going to save the human species and save animal species, we need to take dramatic action,” Udall said Monday, during an online event environmental groups organized to celebrate the lawmaker’s legacy.

Udall spokesman Ned Adriance declined to answer questions about the senator’s potential role as Interior secretary. “Right now, Senator Udall is focused on a strong finish to his Senate term, and he’s also working hard to help the Biden-Harris ticket win New Mexico, win the West and win the election,” Adriance said.

Udall has laid out plans to enlist federal lands in the fight against climate change — transforming the territory into uninterrupted habitat for vulnerable species and a sponge for carbon dioxide instead of a prime U.S. source of fossil fuels and the greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning them.

Read: The Crown Jewel of the Shale Patch Braces for a Biden Ban

It’s a prospect that terrifies

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Seven Interior state candidates to participate in forum hosted by environmental, racial justice groups | Local News

Seven of the 16 candidates running for election to Interior seats in the Alaska Legislature will be participating in a Climate, Jobs and Justice political forum hosted by a group of Alaska environmental and social justice nonprofits and organizations tonight.

The forum will be held online from 5-7 p.m. and is hosted by Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, The Alaska Center, Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, Greater Fairbanks Chapter NAACP 1001, the Nanook Diversity & Action Center, Native Movement, Native Peoples Action and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai’i.

The following candidates have confirmed plans to participate: 

House District 1 Democratic candidate Christopher Quist

House District 2 Democratic candidate Jeremiah Youmans

House District 4 Democratic Rep. Grier Hopkins

House District 5 Democratic Rep. Adam Wool

House District 6 Democratic candidate Julia Hnilicka;

House District 6 nonpartisan candidate Elijah Verhagen

Senate District B nonpartisan candidate Marna Sanford.

According to event organizers, an invite was sent to all candidates running for Interior seats in both the state House and state Senate. All seven Republican candidates and two nonpartisan candidates either declined to participate or did not respond to the invite for the forum, organizers said.

The forum will discuss issues ranging from climate action, workers advocacy, social and economic justice and healthcare access.

“The top priorities for the people of Alaska, including health care access, racial and economic justice, climate action, Alaska Native rights, and workers’ rights, don’t always get the attention they deserve. We’re excited to offer this nonpartisan forum to center these critical issues and expand the conversation with our community leaders,” said Rose O’Hara-Jolley of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai’i on behalf of the organizers.

To ensure proper precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum will be held online via Zoom. 

Community members interested in participating can register in advance at

bit.ly/ClimateJobsJustice

StateForum.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics. 

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CCAGW PAC Endorses Four Louisiana House Candidates and Sen. Bill Cassidy

Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee (CCAGW PAC) announced its endorsement of Reps. Garret Graves (R-La.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) for re-election to the House of Representatives, and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) for re-election to the Senate.

CCAGW PAC based its endorsements on the candidates’ lifetime score in CCAGW’s 2019 Congressional Ratings.

Based on their exemplary lifetime ratings, all five representatives have earned lifetime “Taxpayer Hero” awards. Rep. Mike Johnson has a lifetime rating of 95 percent. Reps. Higgins has a lifetime rating of 93 percent as does Rep. Scalise, who also had a perfect 100 percent “Taxpayer Super Hero” rating in 2017. Reps. Graves has a lifetime rating of 90 percent. Sen. Cassidy has a lifetime rating of 81 percent, including a perfect 100 percent “Taxpayer Super Hero” rating in 2015.

“During their tenures in the House and Senate, Reps. Graves, Higgins, Johnson, and Scalise, and Sen. Cassidy have been strong and reliable votes to curb government waste and reform Washington,” said CCAGW PAC Chairman Tom Schatz. “On top of their impressive voting records, they worked with their colleagues to enact and retain historic tax cuts, support deregulation, and help ignite America’s economic boom. I urge the constituents of the five representatives to re-elect them to the House and all Louisianans to re-elect Sen. Cassidy to the Senate.”

CCAGW PAC is affiliated with the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a 501(c)(4) organization. CCAGW PAC’s mission is to support political candidates who will fight to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in government and represent the best interests of taxpayers.

Paid for by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201001005221/en/

Contacts

Alexandra Abrams (202) 467-5310
[email protected]

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Schakowsky vs. Sangari: 10 questions for the candidates running for the 9th District of the U.S. House of Representatives

COVID-19 has destroyed too many jobs. It has also shattered families, exposed the flaws in our healthcare system, and diminished the United States’ leadership role in the world. Remember, the world watched as the President suggested we all drink bleach and shine ultra-violet light through our bodies. Our economy, and our credibility, must be rebuilt, and it must start now. Our phones ring throughout the day with constituents who have lost their jobs and don’t have the money to make ends meet or keep their homes. Their jobs may not be there when the economy recovers. Unemployment insurance, personal stimulus monies, and small business support cannot be neglected. Donald Trump’s lack of leadership, knowledge, science-driven policy has paralyzed the United States’ ability to reverse the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot “re-open” our economy until the public health situation is under control, and our kids are back in school, no matter how much wishful thinking we possess. How can it be that we are 4% of the global population, yet we have 25% of the world’s COVID-19 cases and casualties? We are approximately 6 months into this tragedy and we may soon experience a 2nd wave. President Trump does not have this under control. The upcoming election cannot come soon enough. We need Joe Biden in the White House to act immediately to bring science into the conversation (not conspiracy theories and lies) and coordinate our nation’s governors, mayors, local officials, business leaders, tribal leaders, religious leaders, science and technology leaders, and others, to implement a national strategy to tackle this virus aggressively once and for all. I want to return to the U.S. Congress because the House of Representatives will play a key role in developing and launching the necessary programs to compliment President Biden’s efforts. This includes establishing a strong contact-tracing and reporting regime; assuring that our medical solutions are science based, and that a safe vaccine comes to the market as soon as possible; making certain our front line healthcare workers have all the necessary PPE to assure their safety; cautiously work to reopen our economy and our schools in safe ways; and protect the most vulnerable amongst us – particularly our nation’s seniors. All of this must be achieved before we can expect to re-grow a robust American economy capable of creating jobs and putting America back to work. Among the legislation that needs to pass is HR 2, the Moving Forward Act which creates a comprehensive infrastructure program that includes among many other things surface transportation program, mass transit, rail, rebuilding rural grant program, and investments in many other sectors. As a labor union member myself, I will support the legislation that facilitates workers joining and creating unions and makes union busting harder to accomplish. Union workers across the board earn significantly more that nonunion workers in the same jobs. If we are to rebuild the middle class, we need to empower labor unions to collectively bargain and to protect their members.

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Quigley vs. Hanson and Wilda: 10 questions for the candidates running for 5th District of the U.S. House of Representatives

Illinois’ 5th district deserves a representative in congress who will stand up against corruption, not enable it, fight to expand healthcare, not strip it from those who need it most, work to combat the dangers of climate change, not deny that they exist, and work tirelessly to ensure our city and region has the funding necessary to maintain and improve our infrastructure and standard of living. While in Congress, I’ve helped bring billions of federal dollars back to the Chicagoland area for CTA modernization, new Metra trains, rebuilt roads and bridges, and to combat disruptive aircraft noise around O’Hare International Airport. As Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) subcommittee, I am well positioned to continue to ensure that key Chicago construction projects like the Red Line Extension, the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project, and McCook flood abatement reservoirs continue without delay. In addition, as Chairman of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee, I’ve worked tirelessly to support community based financial institutions, ensure our elections remain secure and free of interference, and against unconscionable cuts to the Postal Service. Finally, as a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I was a key member of the investigation into President Trump’s efforts to pressure a foreign leader to attack Vice President Biden for his own political gain and if elected, I will continue to lead the effort to keep our Intelligence Community independent and protect those that work so hard to keep us safe.

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NH AFL-CIO Announces Endorsed Candidates For New Hampshire House

HOOKSETT, NH — The New Hampshire AFL-CIO has announced a series of endorsements made by this year’s Legislative Conference. This event takes place in even-numbered years to allow all of the affiliated union locals that make up the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. This year, they endorsed full slates for both the New Hampshire Senate and Executive Council and a bipartisan slate of 224 candidates for the New Hampshire House.

“The New Hampshire AFL-CIO leadership does a lot of research putting together this slate, especially for the House candidates,” NH AFL-CIO Pres. Glenn Brackett said, “Between an analysis of voting records that included 156 votes and a twenty-six question survey, the NH AFL-CIO Legislative Committee acquired a granular understanding of where candidates for the New Hampshire General Court stand.”

The New Hampshire AFL-CIO plans an aggressive fall campaign letting their members and members of organized labor know who will and will not support the economic interests of workers and safe workplaces during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The House candidates are listed below and you can find the entire list of New Hampshire AFL-CIO endorsed candidates at their website at www.nhaflcio.org or on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nhaflcio.

A complete list of our endorsed candidates for the New Hampshire House –
1 Belknap Robert Joseph Jr Democrat
2 Belknap Diane Hanley Democrat
2 Belknap Natalie Taylor Democrat
2 Belknap Dara McCue Democrat
3 Belknap Carlos Cardona Democrat
3 Belknap Gail Ober Democrat
5 Belknap Stephen Larimer Copithorne Democrat
5 Belknap Duane Hammond Democrat
6 Belknap Douglas Trottier Democrat
6 Belknap Don House Democrat
9 Belknap Charlie St. Clair Democrat
1 Carroll Anita Burroughs Democrat
2 Carroll Stephen Woodcock Democrat
2 Carroll Tom Buco Democrat
3 Carroll Jerry Knirk Democrat
4 Carroll Caroline Nesbitt Democrat
8 Carroll Eve Klotz Democrat
1 Cheshire Lucy Weber Democrat
1 Cheshire Michael Abbott Democrat
1 Cheshire Paul Berch Democrat
1 Cheshire Catharyn Harvey Democrat
2 Cheshire John Mann Democrat
3 Cheshire Daniel Eaton Democrat
4 Cheshire Lawrence Welkowitz Democrat
5 Cheshire John Bordenet Democrat
9 Cheshire Douglas Ley Democrat
9 Cheshire Richard M. Abel Ames Democrat
10 Cheshire Lucius Parshall Democrat
11 Cheshire Patricia Ann Martin Democrat
12 Cheshire Barry Faulkner Democrat
15 Cheshire Bruce Tatro Democrat
16 Cheshire Joe Shapiro Democrat
3 Coos Larry Laflamme Democrat
3 Coos Henry Noel Democrat
4 Coos Evalyn Merrick Democrat
5 Coos Edith Tucker Democrat
7 Coos Troy Merner Republican
2 Grafton Timothy Egan Democrat
3 Grafton Denny Ruprecht Democrat
6 Grafton Kevin Maes Democrat
8 Grafton Suzanne Smith Democrat
8 Grafton Joyce Weston Democrat
10 Grafton Roger Dontonville Democrat
11 Grafton Timothy Josephson Democrat
12 Grafton Russell Muirhead Democrat
13 Grafton George Sykes Democrat
13 Grafton Richard Abel Democrat
13 Grafton Laurel Stavis Democrat
13 Grafton Susany Almy Democrat
14 Grafton Elaine French Democrat
15 Grafton Ed Rajsteter Democrat
16 Grafton Francesca Diggs Democrat
17 Grafton Joshua Adjutant Democrat
1 Hillsborough Marjorie Porter Democrat
2 Hillsborough Rachel Cisto Democrat
2 Hillsborough Jen Paveglio Democrat
4 Hillsborough Jennifer Bernet Democrat

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Minnesota candidate’s sudden death forces February special election for competitive House seat

The death of a minor party candidate running a long-shot bid for a competitive U.S. House seat in Minnesota will force a February special election, thanks to a bizarre quirk in state law.

Adam Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party’s candidate running against Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), died suddenly earlier this week. No cause of death was given.

His passing comes just 40 days before an election, close enough that state law will require the election be delayed.

The Minnesota state legislature passed a measure in 2013 that would delay a contest if a major party candidate dies within 79 days of Election Day.

The law came after the 2002 death of Sen. Paul Wellstone (D), who died in a plane crash that also killed his wife, his daughter and five others.

In the event of a death, the law requires a special election be held on the second Tuesday of February — in this case, Feb. 9, 2021, about a month after the new Congress is seated.

In a statement, Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) offered condolences to Weeks’s family — but he said the law is clear.

Major party status is conferred on parties whose candidate for statewide office receives at least 5 percent of the vote in a preceding general election. The Legal Marijuana Now Party won its status after their candidate for state auditor won 5.3 percent of the vote in 2018.

The delay will mean voters in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District — based in the St. Paul suburbs — will be without a member of Congress when the chamber reconvenes in January.

Craig, a first-term lawmaker swept to office in the midterm elections, won almost 53 percent of the vote in 2018. She faced Republican Tyler Kistner, a Marine Corps veteran who had raised just over $1 million through late July.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump’s refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: ‘What country are we in?’ Romney: ‘Unthinkable and unacceptable’ to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE beat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic groups using Bloomberg money to launch M in Spanish language ads in Florida The Hill’s Campaign Report: Presidential polls tighten weeks out from Election Day More than 50 Latino faith leaders endorse Biden MORE in the suburban district by just 1 percentage point in 2016.

Democrats in Minnesota and Washington were consulting with lawyers late Thursday as they sought to understand their legal options. National Republicans did not immediately return a request for comment.

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House Appropriations candidates float possible return of earmarks

When Democrats took control of the House in January 2019, they didn’t add a similar ban to their caucus rules or the House’s official rules package, technically leaving the door open to earmarks. But House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., who is retiring at the end of the year, opted not to allow the practice in last year’s spending bills.

[House Democrats won’t resurrect earmarks this year]

Lowey came back to the issue with a series of caucus meetings in January. She ultimately decided against bringing back earmarks after meeting with vulnerable Democrats, who had concerns despite assurances that the process would be transparent and that project funding would be spread around more evenly than in the past.

Smoke-filled rooms

The term “earmarks” still has negative connotations, conjuring images of smoke-filled rooms and wasteful projects like the famed “bridges to nowhere” in the 2005 highway bill connecting sparsely populated parts of Alaska. That’s one reason both parties have tried to rebrand the practice, with Republicans referring to earmarks as “congressionally directed spending” and Democrats renaming them “community project funding.”

Decisions by Kaptur and Wasserman Schultz to support earmarking, and by DeLauro to leave the door open, wouldn’t guarantee that House leadership would bring back the practice during the 117th Congress, especially if moderate Democrats push back. Nonetheless, restoring earmarks has high-level support on both sides of the Capitol, including from House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, who served on Appropriations for 24 years and continues to hold his seniority.

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