Chicken Fried Politics

LATEST COVERAGE

TEXAS U.S. REP. WILL HURD IS LONE SOUTHERN REPUBLICAN TO SUPPORT CONDEMNING TRUMP

Will Hurd

Hurd, who represents a West Texas district carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016, was one of only four Republicans who voted for a resolution condemning President Donald Trump for “racist” tweets directed at four left-wing congresswomen, which passed the House on a largely party-line vote on July 16. Five Southern Democrats who represent districts Trump carried voted for the resolution, including Lucy McBath from Georgia, Kendra Horn from Oklahoma, Joe Cunningham from South Carolina, and Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria from Virginia. (Posted July 16)

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WILL SOUTH CAROLINA’S MARK SANFORD PULL TRIGGER ON TRUMP PRIMARY CHALLENGE?

Mark Sanford

A year after losing his Lowcountry congressional seat to a primary challenger endorsed by President Donald Trump, Sanford is considering trying to once again resurrect his political career with a long-shot challenge against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020. “Sometimes in life you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say, whether there’s an audience or not for that message,” Sanford said in an interview with the Post and Courier newspaper, where he teased his intentions. “I feel convicted.” (Posted July 16)

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TWITTER WAR ESCALATES BETWEEN ANDREW GILLUM AND FLORIDA MEGA DONOR JOHN MORGAN

Gillum

Morgan

Morgan and Morgan may be “for the people,” but for Andrew Gillum, not so much. John Morgan, the Orlando lawyer and political mega donor who stars in TV ads for the law firm that bears his family’s name, has stepped up a nasty Twitter war with Gillum, the party’s defeated candidate for Florida governor in 2018, over Gillum’s decision to transfer leftover campaign money into a non-profit that doesn’t have to disclose how it spends the money. How nasty? Morgan signed off one Sunday tweet with, “Thank God for Florida that @GovRonDeSantis won.” Gillum fired right back: “I don’t live on your plantation and I don’t take advice from Trump impersonators & DeSantis suck ups.” (Posted July 15)

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NORTH CAROLINA U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 3 GOP RUNOFF: GREG MURPHY DEFEATS JOAN PERRY

Greg Murphy

In a setback to the cause of adding to the thin ranks of Republican women in the U.S. House, Republicans in North Carolina’s 3rd District have chosen State Rep. Greg Murphy as their nominee for a special election for one of two vacant seats in the state’s delegation. Murphy, a urologist from Greenville, defeated Joan Perry, a pediatrician from Kinston, who received significant financial support from outside groups pushing to elect more Republican women to the House. (Posted July 9)

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MCBATTLE 2020: AMY MCGRATH WILL TAKE ON MITCH MCCONNELL IN KENTUCKY U.S. SENATE RACE

McGrath announces Senate race on Twitter

After nearly unseating a sitting Republican congressman in 2018, Democrat Amy McGrath has set her sights on a much bigger target in 2020 — the most powerful Republican in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The retired Marine fighter pilot announced July 9 that she will challenge McConnell next year, setting the stage for a marquee Senate battle with national implications that will submerge 4.5 million Kentuckians in a sea of negative advertising. McGrath pulled no punches in her launch video, saying the senator “was elected a lifetime ago and has, bit by bit, year by year, turned Washington into something we all despise.” McConnell’s campaign responded in kind, launching a website WrongPathMcGrath.com. (Posted July 9)

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SNOOP GOV? KENTUCKY GOVERNOR MATT BEVIN BUSTS A RHYME IN NEW CAMPAIGN ATTACK

The querulous contest for Kentucky governor has descended to a completely new level of weird — with awkward Republican rap. In an effort to criticize Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear for accepting fundraising help from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, Tim Kaine, Republican Governor Matt Bevin posted a video in which he busts into rhyme, rap style. (Posted July 8)

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FORMER U.S. REP. SCOTT TAYLOR ATTEMPTS COMEBACK AGAINST U.S. SENATOR MARK WARNER

Taylor

Just six months after being ejected from Congress, Taylor has announced he will run against Warner in Virginia’s 2020 Senate race, rather than seeking a rematch with Democratic U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, who ousted the Republican from his 2nd District seat in 2018. The former Navy SEAL launched his campaign with a video calling for “a fresh start in the Senate,” along with criticism of Warner’s role in investigating the Trump-Russia “illusion of collusion.” Warner is seeking his third term in the Senate. (Posted July 8)

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U.S. REP. MATT GAETZ OF FLORIDA FACES INVESTIGATION OVER TWEET TO MICHAEL COHEN

Gaetz

The House Ethics Committee will investigate whether Gaetz violated ethics rules when he posted a tweet directed toward President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on the eve of his testimony to Congress. In the February 26 tweet, Gaetz asked, “Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat.” An subcommittee will investigate if the tweet was meant to threaten Cohen or influence his testimony. Gaetz, who denied the tweet was a threat, deleted it and apologized. (Posted June 28)

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10 TAKEAWAYS FROM 2ND DEMOCRATIC DEBATE: HARRIS SCORES HIT ON BIDEN ON RACE ISSUE

Harris takes on Biden (From MSNBC)

The second flight of 10 Democrats debated in Miami Thursday night, with U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California scoring a direct hit on former Vice President Joe Biden on the always hot-button issue of race. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, in his own indomitable style, stuck to his battle-tested positions on the need for a political revolution to take America back from the greedy, unscrupulous capitalist class, and he and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg did no harm to their prospects. None of the candidates at the back of the pack had a breakout performance, but viewers were left wondering why new age guru Marianne Williamson and tech bro Andrew Yang were on the stage. (Posted June 27)

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10 TAKEAWAYS FROM 1ST DEMOCRATIC DEBATE: WARREN SURVIVES, CASTRO THRIVES, BETO DOESN’T

Texan Julián Castro gives breakout performance at Democratic debate (From MSNBC)

Ten Democrats took the stage in Miami Wednesday night for the first of two nights of debate among the more than two dozen candidates running for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the only candidate among the top five in national polling in the first debate, got through the evening unscathed, while former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, one of two Southerns in the race, had a breakout performance. The other Southerner, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, did himself no favors with vague and often rambling responses that couldn’t disguise the fact that he generally wasn’t answering the moderators’ questions. But the surprise of the evening was how little time the Democrats spent castigating the man they all love to hate, Donald Trump. (Posted June 26)

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REPUBLICANS’ ALABAMA HEADACHE RETURNS: ROY MOORE RUNNING FOR U.S. SENATE

Moore announces Senate run

Moore, the state’s former chief justice, will try again in 2020 to get elected to the U.S. Senate, three years after his campaign for the same office imploded amid sexual misconduct allegations — and despite a Twitter plea from President Donald Trump to stay out of the race. “Can I win? Yes, I can win. Not only can I, they know I can. That’s why there’s such opposition,” Moore said at his June 20 announcement, referring to Republican leaders who will now face the headache of dealing with Moore in the GOP primary as they try to reclaim the seat from Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones. (Posted June 20)

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP LAUNCHES RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN WITH MASS RALLY IN ORLANDO

Trump at 2020 kickoff

To shouts of “Four More Years” and “Build The Wall” from an exuberant capacity crowd, Trump formally kicked off his 2020 campaign June 18 with a stem-winding speech in the key swing state of Florida. “We did it once, and we’re going to do it again,” Trump told the crowd at the Amway Center in Orlando, many of whom had waited hours in the summer sun and braved thunderstorms for the chance to get inside. “And this time, we’re going to finish the job.” Trump denounced the Democratic Party as “more radical, more dangerous and more unhinged than at any point in the history of our country.” (Posted June 18)

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INSIGHT: ARE CRACKS APPEARING IN WALL OF RESISTANCE TO MEDICAID EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH?

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

After Obamacare made its way through Congress in 2009, triggering the Tea Party rebellion, Republican-controlled Southern statehouses became a redoubt of opposition to what critics saw as meddlesome socialist overreach.

So when the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the Obama administration could not force states to expand Medicaid to cover more of their low-income residents, most Southern states took advantage of the decision and didn’t.

Today, nine of the 14 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid are in the South, leaving more than 2.3 million low-income Southerners who would qualify for Medicaid have no health care coverage at all. But there are some signs that the blanket opposition to expanding Medicaid may be retreating, albeit slightly and slowly, across the South. (Posted June 17)

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