With Breanne Deppisch
THE BIG IDEA:
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Being a field organizer for Hillary Clinton at The Ohio State University means being rejected a lot.
Tyler Hoisington, 24, is one of four full-time, paid staffers focused on registering new voters on the campus of this battleground state’s flagship university, which has 65,000 students. Over more than two hours yesterday, he knocked on every door on both sides of four city blocks, including a few multi-level apartment buildings. Despite his best efforts, he could not get a single person to either register to vote or sign a card committing to support the Democratic nominee for president.
It was a stark illustration of apathy and ambivalence five weeks before Election Day. Millennial voters, who were so instrumental in Barack Obama’s victories, are lukewarm at best about Clinton, even four months after she vanquished Bernie Sanders.
Obama held his first rally of the 2012 reelection campaign here on the campus of OSU, drawing a crowd of 10,000 – mostly students. That thrill is gone.
Two African American females were smoking cigarettes on their front porch when Hoisington asked if they were registered. “I keep that kind of thing to myself,” one said coldly, turning away to continue her conversation.
Two guys down the street answered and said they are excited to vote – for Libertarian Gary Johnson.
An African American upperclassman came to his front door bleary-eyed and shirtless. He said he was not registered. Hoisington encouraged him to sign up, explaining that it would take just one minute to fill out the form on his clipboard. “Nah, man, I’ll pass,” he said. The organizer pressed: “Are you sure? It’s really important.” The potential voter paused for a moment, as if about to relent. “Yeah, man,” he said. “I’m sure.”
“That doesn’t happen too often,” Hoisington said after the door closed. “Most people just lie and say they’re already registered.”
The onetime high school wrestler, who has grown out his hair, stepped over broken bottles and maneuvered around beer pong tables outside grungy off-campus row houses. Four fraternity brothers walked by on the street. One carried a 12 pack of beer. Another held a can of Natural Light. Hoisington introduced himself. “I’m all in for Donald Trump, man,” one of the young men said before belching. The organizer shrugged it off and kept walking.
And so it went. This is the unglamorous drudgery of field work, but it is also the way to win. The fight to re-activate the Obama coalition is playing out not just in rallies and with television ads but in door-to-door conversations like these.
Clinton’s campaign has more than 300 paid staffers in this state alone, fanned across 57 offices, vastly more than Trump’s campaign, which will not even reveal its number.
“Striking out,” Hoisington said, as he slogged from one street to the next. “This is the slowest start I’ve had.”
-- Hillary herself returns to Ohio today for the first time since Labor Day. She will deliver a speech on the economy in Toledo and then lead a voter registration drive in Akron. The goal of her visit is to draw attention to the state’s Oct. 11 voter registration deadline (that’s next Tuesday). Then early voting begins the next day. Bill, who was here last week, comes back to the state tomorrow for a two-day bus tour.
Obama carried this state twice, partly by expanding the electorate. The Clinton campaign has tried innovative approaches to build on his success, such as registering people at PokemonGo gathering points.
Almost everyone on the ground agrees that Trump is slightly ahead and would probably carry Ohio if the election was today. Because the state is older, whiter and less educated than the national average, Clinton has focused on trying to shore up Pennsylvania, lock down Virginia and put North Carolina on the map. Ohio is lower on the priority list than in typical years, but it is still very much a toss-up.
The battle lines in the Buckeye State are clear. The Clinton campaign is trying to peel off center-right, college-educated suburban women who are uneasy with the GOP nominee while the Trump campaign works to win over as many blue-collar, non-college-educated, lower-propensity voters in places like Youngstown and Toledo as possible.
Minorities and millennials are the X-factors. African Americans made up about 10 percent of the vote when John Kerry lost Ohio in 2004 and closer to 15 percent when Obama won. To help with both, the Clinton campaign is rolling out the endorsement of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star LeBron James today to coincide with her visit to Akron. "Only one person running truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty,” James writes in the Akron Beacon Journal.
-- Polls show just how heavy Clinton’s lift is with young voters. Our latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that voters under 30 prefer Clinton by 2 points nationally, compared with a 30-point preference for Obama four years ago. This tracks with every other survey: Gallup found that only one in three adults under 30 approve of the Democratic nominee. In Quinnipiac’s last poll, 31 percent of likely voters from ages 18 to 34 supported Clinton – compared to 29 percent for Johnson.
In Ohio specifically, the latest CBS-YouGov poll has Clinton winning 51 percent of voters under 30, down 6 points from the summer. Obama won 63 percent of Ohio voters under 30, according to 2012 exit polling.
There is also a yawning enthusiasm gap in The Post/ABC poll. Only 41 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they are certain to vote, compared to 75 percent of those 30 or older:
A recent analysis by the liberal group Project New America found that in several battleground states—including Ohio, Florida and North Carolina—Sanders holdouts likely constitute a constituency larger than the margins that decided the 2012 presidential race, Bloomberg reported last week.
-- Hoisington, the organizer whom I tagged along with yesterday, supported Sanders during the primaries. He is also an introvert, and he credits working for Clinton with helping him come out of his shell. He graduated from the University of Redlands in California two years ago and was working at a Half Priced Books back home in Dallas when a friend told him about the job opportunities on the Clinton campaign. He applied about two weeks ago, and Hillary for America flew him up to Ohio the very next day.
As he walked down Summit Street, not far from campus, Hoisington said that he still runs into a lot of Sanders diehards. Are they persuadable? “Not all the time,” he sighed. “So the angle I try to take is, ‘I know you might not like Hillary or Trump, but the two really aren’t comparable.’ But in their eyes they are. In their eyes, they’re equally evil. Which is nuts to me.”
“I definitely have been able to change a few people’s minds, but a lot revert to just Gary Johnson,” he added. “So I say, do you not believe in climate change? And a lot of people say, well, can you prove climate change? It’s really frustrating.”
He worries that what’s playing out in Ohio is similar to what allowed Brexit in the U.K., when a lot of people voted to leave the European Union not understanding the implications.
There are no signs out for Clinton or Trump in the neighborhood he canvased yesterday, but there were a few “Sushi for President” signs. They’re a gag from a local Japanese restaurant trying to drum up business.
Hoisington arrives for work at 9:30 a.m. on weekdays, and he’s lucky to be done before 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. most nights. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., he phone banks. The local organizers set a daily goal every morning for how many new voter registrations they can get that day. Some days teachers invite them to come speak to their classes for the first five minutes, so they set the goal a little higher. If they have not met their goal after phone banking, the organizers go to areas where students hang out and try to get a few more.
When he asks students who they’re supporting, most refuse to tell him. “The Trump people don’t want to say because they’re embarrassed,” he guessed. “The Hillary people a lot of times are bashful. Maybe because the Trump people are so loud?”
-- The polling and the anecdotal reports like these have set off alarm bells at headquarters in Brooklyn, and the campaign has dramatically stepped up outreach to young voters in recent weeks. This is why the former secretary of state played along with actor Zach Galifianakis for an episode of the goofy “Between Two Ferns” web series. “No one will work harder to make your life better,” Clinton told students at Temple University in Pennsylvania two weeks ago.
Sanders campaigned with Clinton in New Hampshire last week, and he’ll make solo appearances for her this week in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin – where he’s more popular than her and can help drive early turnout. Elizabeth Warren is also hitting the trial hard in the final weeks to limit defections to third-party candidates.
The Trump campaign tried to make hay this weekend of a hacked audio recording that was taken during a February fundraiser (and probably leaked by the Russians), in which Clinton says that many millennials backing Sanders are "children of the Great Recession" who are "living in their parents’ basement.” “If you’re feeling like you’re consigned to being a barista, or some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn’t have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing,” Clinton told a concerned donor. “So I think we should all be really understanding of that.” (Dave Weigel explains how Republicans are intentionally taking this out of context.)
The Vermont senator defended Clinton Sunday during appearances on ABC and CNN. "Secretary Clinton and I do disagree on issues. But what she was saying there is absolutely correct,” he told George Stephanopoulos. “And that is you’ve got millions of young people, many of whom took out loans in order to go to college, hoping to go out and get decent-paying, good jobs and you know what? They are unable to do that. And, yes, they do want a political revolution.”
-- At the last house on the last street Hoisington was assigned to walk, across from a Shell station, a guy answered and told him he’s registered but undecided. “It’s really up in the air,” the student told him. The organizer was excited to engage. But the student inside didn’t want to talk politics. He wanted to get back inside to watch the Cleveland Browns play the Washington Redskins. As he closed the door, Hoisington tried to convey one point. “Just watch the debates,” he said. “Please watch the debates!”
Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Colombia voted to reject a peace deal with FARC rebels by a razor-thin margin of 50.24 to 49.75 percent, throwing years-long negotiations into chaos and threatening to prolong the country’s half-century war. Sunday’s outcome also amounts to a huge setback for the U.S. and Obama administration, which had backed Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and pledged to boost U.S. aid to the country by nearly 50 percent, to $450 million a year. The fate of that funding proposal is also now up in the air. (Nick Miroff)
-- Five thieves in ski masks robbed Kim Kardashian at gunpoint in Paris, tying her up in the bathroom of her luxury residence before making off with millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry. From Reuters: The attackers struck around 3 a.m. after threatening the night guard with a handgun. The men then held a gun up to Kardashian’s temple before tying her up, a police source confirmed. The robbers stole $5.6-$6.7 million worth of jewels and a ring worth about 4 million euros. The source said the attackers fled on bicycles, and police later found the night guard in the staircase with his hands and feet bound. As news of the event spread, husband Kanye West abruptly left his New York performance mid-song. "I'm sorry I have a family emergency, I have to stop the show," he told the audience. (Emily Yahr)
-- The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi for his work on a fundamental process for autophagy, or “cell recycling.” According to the Stockholm-based prize committee, his work involves a series of experiments using baker's yeast that helped expand our understanding of how cells adapt to starvation and respond to infection. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
-- First in the 202 – New Ann Kirkpatrick ad ties John McCain to Trump: With Trump heading to Arizona tomorrow and polls showing the presidential race somewhat close, the Democratic nominee for Senate has a new spot linking the GOP incumbent with his party’s presidential nominee. It opens with the Miss Piggy comment and then features a clip of McCain saying he supports Trump during a TV interview. “He’s said it more than 60 times,” a narrator says. “There was a time when John McCain put country ahead of party. But 33 years in Washington have changed John McCain.” (Watch here.)
-- The Clinton campaign is going on the radio in Miami today with an ad highlighting Newsweek’s report that Trump violated the Cuba trade embargo. “This is a serious insult to our community,” the narrator says, accusing the GOP nominee of enriching the Castro brothers. (Listen here.)
GET SMART FAST:
- An incoming state representative from Ferguson, Mo., who is set to begin her first term in January, has publicly accused a soon-to-be colleague of rape. The two would soon be the only black lawyers in the Missouri legislature and they had set up a meeting to discuss how they might work together, Cora Faith Walker told the St. Louis Dispatch. She says they had two glasses of wine, and she woke up the next morning in a bed at the same apartment, with no memory of what happened. The alleged perpetrator has not been arrested or charged. (Amy B Wang)
- The GOP nominee for Oregon governor told incumbent Democrat Kate Brown that educated women are “less susceptible to abuse” following Brown's revelation during a debate that she had been a victim of domestic violence. "A woman that has great education and training and a great job is not susceptible to this kind of abuse by men, women or anyone," said Bud Pierce, a practicing oncologist. (Amber Phillips)
- The New Jersey transit agency was under scrutiny for “dozens” of safety violations before last week’s deadly train crash in Hoboken. The violations, uncovered by a federal audit in June, were described as “operational,” meaning they dealt with train operations rather than with physical problems such as infrastructure. The train's black box recorder picked up no information and the conductor says he has no recollection of the crash.(Ashley Halsey III)
- The LAPD’s fatal shooting of a black teenager sparked angry protests this weekend, coming on the heels of recent police shootings in Charlotte, Tulsa, and El Cajon. Los Angeles authorities said the 18-year-old was shot after a car chase, but they have not disclosed whether he was carrying a weapon or other critical details. (Kristine Guerra)
- Congress continues to expand its probe into EpiPen maker Mylan, investigating whether the generic drug manufacturer (in addition to price gouging) also knowingly and improperly underpaid state Medicaid programs. (Catherine Ho)
- India ratified the Paris climate deal this weekend, joining other major emitters such as the United States, China and Brazil in officially signing on to the agreement. Their vote comes days ahead of a possible European Parliament referendum, which would put the deal past the 55 percent threshold required for it to take effect. (Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis)
- British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that her country will begin the process of withdrawing from the E.U. by the end of March, outlining a two-year plan for a clean Brexit, slated for completion in spring 2019. (Griff Witte)
- Dozens were killed in Ethiopia after security forces fired tear gas and warning shots into a crowd of political protesters, provoking a stampede. Early reports suggest up to 100 people were crushed by the fleeing crowds. (Paul Schemm)
- One of the planes displayed during North Korea’s first air show this summer was manufactured in New Zealand using U.S. parts, prompting an investigation by New Zealand’s foreign ministry. The discovery underscores the difficulties of implementing sanctions when North Korea’s long border with China remains so porous. (Anna Fifield)
- An 11-year-old student was recommended for a mental health screening after he drew a picture of a lynching alongside a “Black Lives Matter” quote for a school assignment. His intention was to show that “racism is not dead,” but an alarmed teacher misread the broader message and attempted to send him to a crisis center instead. (Donna St. George)
- A Long Island community is reeling after four high school students were found dead. Police suspect the notorious Salvadoran gang, MS-13, is behind the killings. (Amy B Wang)
- Siberian officials are considering killing off 300,000 reindeer by Christmas – an ill-timed holiday deadline that was proposed in the aftermath of a fatal anthrax outbreak this summer. (Amy B Wang)
- A hunt for a pair of missing Van Gogh paintings came to an end after 14 years, capping off a sprawling investigation that has left nearly as many people behind bars. Officials say the two paintings – which mark important biographical times in the artist’s life -- were found in the safe of a drug kingpin. (Cleve R. Wootson Jr.)
DONALD'S GOT 99 PROBLEMS, AND HIS TAX RETURNS ARE ONE:
-- A bombshell New York Times report that Trump lost $916 million in 1995 – and could have used the losses to avoid paying federal income taxes for nearly two decades – dominated the news cycle on Sunday.
-- The Trump campaign does not challenge any of the facts in the story or the authenticity of the tax return anonymously mailed to a reporter, though lawyers for the real estate developer unsurprisingly threatened to sue. “An attorney for Trump issued a statement that indirectly confirmed the story, reading, in part, "Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required. Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for president and he is the only one that knows how to fix it." (Paul Farhi)
-- “As to Trump’s claim that because he understands the rigged tax system he alone can fix it — none of Trump’s suggested fixes would affect his ability to avoid paying taxes,” Ruth Marcus writes in a fantastic column. "There are sound policy reasons to let businesses deduct operating losses, and to carry over those losses into other years … But the real estate business, with its highly leveraged investments, huge interest deductions, opportunities for depreciation and tendency to realize most income as capital gains, can particularly benefit from — or manipulate, depending on your perspective — these provisions. Trump in charge of the tax code would not be a case of Nixon goes to China. It would be a case of Trump, as always, doing what’s best for Trump.”
--Tax experts weighed in on the revelations, telling Lisa Rein and Kelsey Snell that it's impossible to know whether Trump used the huge loss to shield himself from paying taxes over the next 18 years. One point of contention is whether either the courts -- through bankruptcy settlements -- or Trump's creditors participated in any "debt forgiveness," meaning that Trump would have been required to count the difference as income and pay taxes on it.
-- The revelations give Clinton a fresh opportunity to hit Trump for what her campaign has characterized as his poor business practices. And the allegations offended many voters in Ohio, David Weigel and Jenna Johnson report from Toledo: “It’s disgusting,” said 65-year-old business owner Steve Crouse. “As a businessman, he’s got that right to do that. It’s the way the laws were set up. But it’s not right. I would feel guilty if I didn’t pay anything. It’s flat-out cheating the government. You’re using all the roads, the fire department, the police, so you should pay for that.”
“And the tax returns gave Clinton an argument that would not have worked against Romney: that Trump’s swagger covered up a record of business failure. In the 24 hours since the tax leak, the $916 million loss has proven the toughest aspect for Republicans to spin. ‘He ain’t that good,’ said Alex Pickett, 52, while waiting for a bus that would take him to a downtown church. ‘Can’t be that good if he lost that much money.’”
-- The Fix’s Chris Cillizza writes that all the bad stories add up to Trump's single worst week of his campaign: “Trump has, during the course of this campaign, repeatedly demonstrated an inability to cut his losses. Instead, he quadruples down on those losses. Trump did that again — and again — over the past six days. And the result was one of the worst weeks of not only his campaign but of any presidential candidate I can remember.”
-- Donald's surrogates, including two former U.S. attorneys, lauded their man for dodging taxes on the shows:
- Rudy Giuliani called Trump a “genius”: "The reality is, this is part of our tax code. The man's a genius. He knows how to operate the tax code to the benefit of the people he's serving," Giuliani said on CNN. He went on to insist Trump would not be to blame, saying instead that "the law is responsible for it.” "If you have a set of laws, you live by those laws,” he said. “And the reality is, you are ignoring completely the fiduciary obligation he has to all the people around him to run his business at the lowest possible expense."
- Chris Christie said the report is actually "a very, very good story" for his boss: “What it shows is what an absolute mess the federal tax code is, and that’s why [Trump] is the person best positioned to fix it,” the New Jersey governor said on Fox News Sunday. “There’s no one who’s showed more genius in their way to move around the tax code.”
- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, meanwhile, eviscerated Trump, calling him a “billion-dollar loser” who won’t release his taxes “because they’ll expose him as a spoiled, rich brat who lost the millions he inherited from his father.”
-- New York Times columnist Frank Bruni slams Trump’s “pathetic fraternity”: “The Trump campaign has shown me many things that I never thought I’d see and others that I’d never seen so clearly, including the readiness of power-hungry men to trade dignity for relevance and swap pride for a place at the table, even if the table is a despicable one. Christie made that deal with shocking alacrity, apparently on the theory that by getting to the table first, he could snag the best seat. Rudy Giuliani made that deal, too, and Trump has been his ticket to a renewed and terrifying omnipresence. In this wretched race there’s a leitmotif of cockamamie cameos from men who are stars no more. It’s amazing how alike some of the manservants clinging to Trump are: His campaign is like some Canyon Ranch for bullies needing revitalization. ‘Sensible’ isn’t an adjective you associate with either man these days. Both sacrificed it to their orange overlord.”
-- The New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore documents nine times that Trump has taken to Twitter to denounce people who avoid paying their taxes and to talk about the “significant pain” that paying taxes has caused him:
- “Half of Americans Don’t Pay Income Tax”: Trump adopted this popular – and potentially very ironic -- argument during the 2012 presidential campaign.
- “Higher Taxes ASAP”: In 2015, Trump criticized tax loopholes available to hedge funds and private equity firms, attacking them for “paying practically nothing.”
- “Not as I do”: “In April 2012, after Mr. Obama released his tax returns, Mr. Trump attacked the president for calling for tax hikes yet paying what Mr. Trump suggested was a paltry tax rate of 20.5 percent. ‘Do as I say not as I do,’ he taunted. (In retrospect, Mr. Trump may have been referring to himself.)”
-- Vox’s Ezra Klein notes that whatever is in Trump’s tax returns must be worse than what the Times reported: “All the Times has is three pages of Trump’s records from 1995,” he said. “Everything else is informed speculation … Think about how dangerous that was for the paper. Trump could have released his tax returns and proven them wrong. Trump could have shown their speculation to be mere speculation, and used it as a cudgel to discredit their reporting on his campaign. But the Times bet correctly. Trump still isn’t releasing his returns. The Trump campaign has decided it prefers the picture the Times is painting — a picture where Trump didn’t pay taxes for 18 years — to the picture Trump’s real records would paint.”
-- “Some tax experts are stuck not by the fact that Trump is claiming net operating losses, but by the sheer size of them,” says Politico’s Brian Faler. “A $916 million loss in one year is really, really big, and is sure to raise questions about Trump's business acumen. Of course, savvy business tax planners want to report big losses to the IRS, in order to cut their tax bills. It's impossible to know, though, how Trump came up with the $916 million figure … ‘A claim of a $916 million [net operating loss] would catch the attention of even the least ambitious IRS agent,’ said [Tax Foundation economist Alan Cole]. ‘Presumably it was then audited and confirmed. So there’s a good chance that he really lost a whole lot of money.’ Remember: Businesses pay taxes only when they make money, so it would be ironic if Trump — who often brags of his business prowess — ended up paying very little taxes because he doesn’t actually make very much money.”
-- Clinton did not mention the issue during an appearance in North Carolina yesterday, but she's not being shy about bashing The Donald on Twitter, his favorite medium:
According to @NYTimes, Trump may contribute less to our military and college students than the undocumented immigrants he wants to deport.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 3, 2016
Three pages of Trump's tax returns confirm he's a business failure who's gotten rich at your expense. Imagine what he’s hiding in the rest. pic.twitter.com/E3Wt3KRleN— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 3, 2016
Donald Trump might have gone decades without paying taxes—but he’s not afraid of telling other people to pay theirs. https://t.co/O2FeLvNJGm— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 3, 2016
-- CAN HE REBOUND? Trump today plans to contrast how he and the Clintons amassed their fortunes. From Philip Rucker: “In Colorado, Trump plans to argue that he built a global real estate empire and employed thousands of people, while the Clintons got rich delivering paid speeches to financial institutions and other corporate interests. ... 'We’re going to shine the spotlight very brightly on how the Clintons made their money,' adviser Jason Miller said. 'They were so broke when they left the White House that they couldn’t pay either of their mortgages … yet they’re [now] worth a couple hundred million dollars.'"
The next big opportunity to change the trajectory of the race will be next Sunday’s debate, a town-hall style event at Washington University in St. Louis. Trump spent Sunday at his Bedminster, N.J. golf club huddling with Giuliani, Christie and a handful of other advisers and family members in order to prepare for the second showdown. He has also blocked off time in his schedule this week for preparation sessions. Christie -- who has held countless town-hall forums of his own -- is playing a major role in prep. “It was question and answer, question and answer,” Giuliani told Robert Costa. “Chris had a lot of advice and was very helpful. He’s one tough debater.”
-- “Trump’s organization did business with Iranian bank later linked to terrorism,” by the Center for Public Integrity’s Sasha Chavkin, Michael Hudson, and Dave Levinthal: “Trump’s real estate organization rented New York office space from 1998 to 2003 to an Iranian bank that U.S. authorities have linked to terrorist groups and Iran’s nuclear program. Trump inherited Bank Melli, one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks, as a tenant when he purchased the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, … The Trump Organization kept the bank on as a tenant for four more years after the U.S. Treasury Department designated Bank Melli in 1999 as being controlled by the Iranian government. U.S. officials later alleged that Bank Melli had been used to obtain sensitive materials for Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. authorities also alleged that the bank had been used between 2002 and 2006 to funnel money to a unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that has sponsored terrorist attacks — a period that overlapped with the time the bank rented office space from Trump.”
-- Creepy --> “Inside Trump’s Surveillance Operations,” by Buzzfeed's Aram Roston: “The suburban house on Water Mark Place in Sterling, Virginia, doesn’t look like a [Trump] residence: no classical columns, no gold accents. But sources say it has one feature, common to many Trump properties … an extensive and closely-monitored surveillance system.” Trump’s adjacent golf club also has an extensive web of surveillance cameras that is “far beyond” what is routine for a golf club, former employees said. Two said the cameras were monitored “intently, almost invasively,” and workers reportedly occasionally get called by security in New York if they were in an unexpected place. “The elaborate surveillance arrangement is consistent with a pattern … In his bedroom at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump (reportedly) had a switchboard that allowed him to eavesdrop on any landline there.” One major surveillance equipment contractor described 360-degree “low profile cameras that look like smoke detectors,” saying the “first phase” of its contract involved installing over 100 cameras, and it continued later with even more video surveillance.
-- “Trump Is Handing a Windfall to Mexican Immigrant Families,” by Bloomberg's Isabella Cota: “Mention the name Trump to Gerardo Lozano, and it doesn’t take long for him to explode. Lozano, 58, short and wiry with thick glasses, is an undocumented Mexican immigrant. For 15 years, he’s worked in the U.S., doing roofing, landscaping, whatever comes his way. But what Lozano doesn’t know about Trump’s candidacy is that, strangely enough, it has benefited him greatly. The value of those paychecks he earns, when converted into pesos and wired back home to his family in Mexico, is soaring. That’s because Trump’s harsh discourse toward Mexicans … has rattled markets and pushed the peso down against the dollar month after month. It all adds up to a mini-windfall for the Lozanos and countless other Mexican families spread out across both sides of the Rio Grande, and it is one of the great ironies of the 2016 presidential campaign. [Trump], the man whose improbable political rise was built largely on his pledge to crack down on illegal immigrants, is inadvertently assisting many of them.”
-- “How Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ moved from capitalism to sexism,” by the Associated Press's Garance Burke: “In his years as a reality TV boss on 'The Apprentice,' he repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, according to show insiders … rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he’d like to have sex with. [One] former crew member … recalled that Trump asked male contestants whether they would sleep with a particular female contestant, then expressed his own interest. ‘We were in the boardroom one time figuring out who to blame for the task, and he just stopped in the middle and pointed to someone and said, ‘You’d f… her, wouldn’t you? I’d f… her. C’mon, wouldn’t you?' ‘Everyone is trying to make him stop talking, and the woman is shrinking in her seat.’” Twelve former contestants or crew spoke on the record about what Trump’s so-called inappropriate behavior. Another nine discussed concerns regarding Trump’s treatment of females, but said they did not want to be identified because of non-disclosure agreements, or concerns about wrecking their careers.”
THE DAILY HILLARY:
-- Clinton visited a Charlotte church on Sunday, pledging to fight for “end-to-end reform” of the criminal justice system after the fatal shooting of Keith Scott sparked days of violent unrest. From John Wagner: “Our entire country should take a moment to really look at what’s going on here and across America,” Clinton said. “Imagine it through our children’s eyes. It makes my heart ache when kids ... are going through this and trying to make sense of the absolutely senseless.’” Clinton delivered the last several minutes of her remarks with her arm around a 9-year-old girl she had invited to the pulpit, who had recently addressed the Charlotte City Council about police violence and the experience of seeing African American parents being prematurely buried. Clinton listed several reform initiatives she has pushed in her candidacy, including training police to “de-escalate” potentially violent situations, and enacting additional gun-control measures. Those who say problems can be solved “simply by more law and order” are overlooking systemic racism that still exists in the country, she said, making an unnamed reference to Trump.
-- The San Diego Union-Tribune became the latest conservative newspaper to throw its support behind a Democratic candidate for the first time, repudiating the Republican nominee and urging readers to vote for Clinton instead. "Upon inauguration on Jan. 20, he would be in charge of the executive branch of a global superpower and possess enormous authority, operating with no coherent worldview besides 'I alone can fix it,’” the editorial board wrote. "Imagine that. Imagine President Trump." (Cleve R. Wootson Jr.)
-- George W. Bush’s daughter Barbara Bush became the latest in her family to signal support for Clinton, attending a fundraising event for the Democratic nominee in Paris on Saturday night. She also posed for a picture with Huma Abedin, who hosted the event alongside Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. (CNN)
-- Wall Street Journal, “Among Seniors, Clinton Grows More Appealing,” by Michael C. Bender: “Ruth Mary Baudhuin watched Lawrence Welk as a young girl, listened to fellow Philadelphian Chubby Checker on the radio and eventually grew into her parents’ Republicanism … But the 68-year-old retiree, like many older voters, no longer recognizes her party. So she’s backing [Clinton], ending her streak of supporting every Republican presidential nominee since Gerald Ford. Mrs. Baudhuin’s change of heart isn’t an anomaly when it comes to America’s oldest—and most reliable—voters. Among voters 65 and older, the most recent round of major media polls show Mr. Trump running between 11 and 18 percentage points behind [Romney in 2012] … No Democratic presidential candidate has won older voters since Al Gore in 2000, exit polls show. Mrs. Clinton has her own demographic dilemma, as her campaign works feverishly to energize the nation’s youngest voters …. Yet the biggest partisan shift this year may be America’s older citizens, who are choosing between a pair of candidates from their own peer group for the first time in 168 years.”
-- New York Times, “How Hillary Clinton Grappled With Bill Clinton’s Infidelity, and His Accusers,” by Megan Twohey: “Confronting a spouse’s unfaithfulness is painful under any circumstance. For [Hillary], it happened repeatedly and in the most public of ways, unfolding at the dawn of the 24/7 news cycle, and later in impeachment proceedings that convulsed the nation. Outwardly, she remained stoic and defiant, defending her husband as a progression of women and well-funded conservative operatives accused Mr. Clinton of behavior unbecoming the leader of the free world. But privately, she embraced the Clinton campaign’s aggressive strategy of counterattack … What is clear is that Mrs. Clinton was in a difficult spot. She was aware that her husband had cheated earlier in their marriage, but by her telling, she also believed him when he denied the accusations levied by Ms. Flowers and others.”
Quote du jour: “Mickey Kantor, the chairman of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, said that Mrs. Clinton wanted to separate fact from fiction and to size up the women making the claims. And that determination to fight back inspired others in the campaign to do the same. ‘She’s the firefighter running to the fire, not away from it,' Mr. Kantor said."
-- “Tim Kaine’s Long, Conflicted History With The Death Penalty,” by Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner: “In 2005, Tim Kaine faced a tight race for governor. He was running against Jerry Kilgore, [who] was hitting him hard on the death penalty. ‘The thing that redeems that is the presence of God in every person,’ Kaine had said, discussing the death penalty and his Catholicism. But less than three months later, Kaine would be faced with the convergence of two threads in his life — his work as a capital defense lawyer and his promise to enforce the death penalty. Over the course of the past three decades, Kaine’s experience with the death penalty is far more complex and nuanced than that of any other major party candidate for the presidency or vice presidency in the modern era …. Kaine has represented multiple people on death row, seeking to highlight what he has described as a ‘shockingly unequal’ system, and he also has governed one of the few states that has continued to carry out executions regularly over the past decade.”
-- A Washington Post/ABC News poll found nearly three times as many respondents declared Clinton the winner of last week’s debate as Trump, with 53 percent saying they believe Clinton took home the victory on Monday. Twenty-nine percent said the same of Trump; 47 percent also said Trump got the facts wrong in the debate, while 24 percent said the same of Clinton. More than 3 in 10 believe Trump “lied on purpose.”
The debate appears to have only slightly impacted their standing with voters: Trump’s unfavorable ratings climbed from 59 to 64 percent, while his favorability numbers declined by just a single point, 35 to 34 percent. Meanwhile, Clinton’s favorability ratings increased from 41 to 45 percent.
-- In New Mexico, an Albuquerque Journal survey shows Clinton up 4 points (35-31) with former Gov. Gary Johnson getting 24 percent.
-- “Florida’s Changing Latino Population Veers From G.O.P. ,” by Julia Preston and Lizette Alvarez in the NYT: “For decades, being Latino in Florida almost always meant being Republican. Miami was the undisputed capital of Cuban exiles who had fled the Communist government — they were most of the state’s Latinos — and by the 1980s a large majority had registered with the Republican Party. But a glimpse at the state voter rolls these days, where the names Samuel Del Valle, Maria Flores and Oswaldo Muñoz all appear as Democrats or independents, makes clear how much has changed in one of the nation’s most important swing states."
WHO IS TO BLAME?
-- “Jeff Zucker’s singular role in promoting Trump’s rise,” by Margaret Sullivan: “Looking for someone specific to hold responsible for the improbable rise of [Trump]? Although there are many options, you could do worse than to take a hard look at Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide. It was Zucker, after all, who as the new head of NBC Entertainment gave Trump his start in reality TV with ‘The Apprentice’ and then milked the real estate developer’s uncanny knack for success for all it was worth. … Make no mistake: There would be no Trump-the-politician without Trump-the-TV-star. One begot the other. [And] ten years later, it was Zucker, now the head of CNN, who gave Trump astonishing amounts of free exposure in the Republican presidential primary … He has called himself a ‘ratings machine,’ and in the world of TV, ratings equal profit. Twice, Zucker made Trump a winner. And twice, Trump made Zucker a winner. But what about the rest of us?”
-- Paul Ryan is preparing to launch a frantic cross-country tour over the final five-week stretch before Election Day aimed at saving the GOP’s congressional majority, Paul Kane reports. “The Wisconsin Republican will hit 17 states and 42 cities from several corners of the nation … while raising money and stumping for more than a dozen House and Senate candidates … Unlike most of the speaker’s previous political travel — which focused on closed-door fundraisers — Ryan’s appearances will include many public events with Republicans who are facing difficult reelection prospects. The whirlwind trek comes as Ryan, 46 … has defied even his own prediction that he would not be the same type of voracious fundraiser as his predecessor, [John Boehner]. “Ryan’s political prowess has come in part from being his party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, introducing him to a vast array of wealthy conservative donors … In addition, he’s benefited from many of those big donors abstaining from financially supporting Trump this year and instead focusing on protecting the House as well as the Senate majority.”
-- Obama chose five moments from the last eight years of his presidency that he believes will have an outsized historical impact. Here are two, as explained during an interview with New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait:
- On the BP oil spill: “The BP oil spill was the first event that taught me about a particular news cycle where there’s a real problem that can and will be solved but that garners, for whatever reason, 24/7 attention. And there’s this sense of doom that gets ramped up … We started having gallows humor about the pelican, that it seemed like they had one pelican that they showed over and over again, covered in oil. It just was draining — or maybe the better analogy is ‘leaking’ — political capital every single day.”
- On working with Republicans: “When I came into office, my working assumption was that because we were in crisis, and the crisis had begun on the Republicans’ watch, that there would be a window in which they would feel obliged to cooperate on a common effort to dig us out of this massive hole. Probably the moment in which I realized that the Republican leadership intended to take a different tack was actually as we were shaping the stimulus bill … It established the dynamic … for a much sharper party-line approach … that I think is going to have consequences for years to come.”
-- “Drinks, junkets and jobs: How the insurance industry courts state commissioners,” by Michael J. Mishak: “When the Arkansas insurance commissioner weighed the merits of a hospital’s billing complaint against United Healthcare, her interactions … extended far beyond her department’s hearing room. During months of deliberations, Commissioner Julie Benafield Bowman met repeatedly with United Healthcare lawyers and lobbyists over lunch and drinks ... [before ultimately deciding] in United Healthcare’s favor — a 2008 ruling that stood to save the company millions of dollars. Nearly two years later … Benafield had moved on: She was working for United Healthcare, having joined at least three of her predecessors representing insurers in Arkansas.” It’s a common career move: An investigation found that half of the 109 state insurance commissioners who left their posts in the past decade went on to work for the industry they used to regulate. “Consumer advocates and some commissioners say the tight bond between regulators and the insurance industry — reinforced by campaign contributions, lavish dinners and the prospect of future employment — diminishes consumers’ voices as insurers press rate increases, shape regulations and scuttle investigations.”
--"With Flint victory, African American lawmakers increase their clout in Congress," by Karoun Demirjian and Mike DeBonis: "The Congressional Black Caucus has emerged as the driving force behind several dramatic standoffs in Washington this year – most recently spurring successful efforts to secure funding for the water crisis in Flint, Mich. as part of a budget deal that sent lawmakers home for the elections ... Black lawmakers trace the current upswing in influence to a bitter debate over allowing Confederate flags on federal grounds forced Republicans to yank a spending bill off the House floor. New York Democrat Hakeem Jeffries called that episode, and the 25-hour sit-in over gun control, 'probably the two most dramatic moments that we’ve had in the House since the government shutdown' in 2013."
-- “How do you stop migrants? In Hungary, with ‘border hunters,’” by Anthony Faiola: “During a recruiting fair at a police proving ground here, a gaggle of teenagers ogled a display of machine guns, batons and riot gear. A glossy flier held out the promise of rugged patrols in 4x4s … night-vision goggles and migrant-sniffing dogs. Because that’s how Hungary’s new ‘border hunters’ roll. This nation that once sat behind the Iron Curtain is offering a rare glimpse into a world where the build-a-wall mentality to keep migrants out rules the land. They may as well hang a sign at the border, critics say: Welcome to Hungary — the migrant’s dystopia. Trump may want a wall, but Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – a vocal fan of Trump’s immigration plan -- has built one. Now, the nation is launching a massive recruitment drive for 3,000 ‘border hunters.’ … Yet in a country where the Gestapo once hunted Jews and Cold War-era secret police ferreted out dissidents, some here say that the government is in danger of instilling a different kind of fear.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
In case you missed it, Trump was on a Twitter rampage the last few days:
For those few people knocking me for tweeting at three o'clock in the morning, at least you know I will be there, awake, to answer the call!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
I won the debate if you decide without watching the totally one-sided "spin" that followed. This despite the really bad microphone.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2016
The so-called Commission on Presidential Debates admitted to us that the DJT audio & sound level was very bad. So why didn't they fix it?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2016
Here's what he wrote after the New York Times reported Trump could have avoided taxes for years:
I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them. #failing@nytimes— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2016
I have created tens of thousands of jobs and will bring back great American prosperity. Hillary has only created jobs at the FBI and DOJ!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2016
He also targeted Clinton for her leaked criticism of Bernie Sanders's "revolution" (though the leaked comments were from February):
Bernie should pull his endorsement of Crooked Hillary after she decieved him and then attacked him and his supporters.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2016
Twitter user "Southpaw" wondered if Marla Maples was connected to the NYT leak:
2 questions:— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) October 2, 2016
1. On the NJ page, does the arrow from a "sign here" flag pointing to Marla's signature give us any info about the source? pic.twitter.com/AOlvlAIp1y
The rumor was circulating all weekend:
I had a good weekend, but not as good as Marla Maples probably had.— Josh Barro (@jbarro) October 3, 2016
Rudy Giuliani was confronted about his own marital infidelities when he criticized the Clintons. And his response was that everybody does it!
Chuck Todd: You have your own infidelities.— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) October 2, 2016
Rudy Giuliani: Everybody does. pic.twitter.com/ELqMthMDPN
Voices on the right were not impressed:
The editor of The Weekly Standard:
The founder of RedState, who now writes for the Resurgent:
A senior Trump surrogate, when confronted on a Sunday Show about Trump’s infidelities, argued everybody does it. Seriously.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 2, 2016
Ted Cruz's former Senate chief of staff:
Ah! 2016 in short - let's define the (too) many (philanderers) into everybody! Inspirational. Really. Good stuff, GOP. https://t.co/Ssq1TmYkDX— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) October 2, 2016
A prominent Iowa radio host:
Adultery while being a Republican is now okay. Trump's evangelical advisory council say so, so say we all. https://t.co/8j6q45fXbl— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) October 2, 2016
Hillary added King James to her list of supporters, hoping he'll hold some sway in Ohio:
Trump's new D.C. hotel was spray-painted with Black Lives Matter slogans:
Louisiana Senate candidate and noted anti-Semite David Duke criticized Lester Holt's moderation of the debate while noting that his wife is Jewish:
Spotted at a Clinton event in Paris -- Barbara Bush:
Chloe Grace Moretz campaigned for Clinton in Michigan:
Trump and Clinton wished Jewish followers a happy new year:
Melania and I extend our warmest greetings to those observing Rosh Hashanah here in the United States, in Israel, and around the world.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2016
L'Shana Tovah to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah! May the coming year be filled with sweetness and joy. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 2, 2016
Cory Booker found himself at a special intersection in Florida:
John Thune's dad met his 20th great-grandchild:
Here's a question you've probably never thought about:
Finally, remember all those baby giant pandas on display in China last week? Check out the one that fell off the stage!
HOT ON THE LEFT
“Lead contamination in LA housing project said to put 300 kids at risk,” from The Guardian: “Lead contamination in LA housing project said to put 300 kids at risk: “It’s a sunny Saturday morning in South L.A., but Nuvia Perez is keeping her three boys inside. ‘They don’t go out to play,’ said Perez, 37, whose front door faces a 21-acre former industrial site in the heart of Jordan Downs, a housing project. More than a year ago, family nurse practitioner Amanda Markusson noticed a cluster of elevated blood lead levels in the kids she treats near Jordan Downs and started recording test results. Markusson says she has recorded blood lead levels as high as 13-15 micrograms per deciliter, well above (CDC) thresholds … The test results recorded by Markusson are one of several indicators of elevated lead and arsenic levels surrounding a former industrial site, in a region with highest reported cases of lead poisoning in LA County.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
“Duke University Now Offers ‘Safe Space’ For ‘Male-Identified’ Students To Contemplate Porn,” from the Daily Caller: “A Duke University feminist group is offering an extensive campus lecture series this fall about ‘toxic masculinity’ which will include an address by pornography expert Matthew B. Ezzell entitled ‘Pornography makes the man.’ The Duke Men’s Project — a new, nine-week program sponsored and paid for by the Duke Women’s Center — hopes to redefine masculinity among men at the … private school … The ‘male-identified students’ participating in the Men’s Project ‘meet weekly to discuss themes and learning objectives planned by the leadership team,’ [a member said]. ‘Toxic masculinity’ ‘encourages men to suffer in silence from depression,’ The Chronicle’s op-ed goes on to insist.”
On the campaign trail: Trump campaigns in Pueblo and Loveland, Colo. Clinton campaigns in Toledo and Akron. Pence is in Ashland, Va.
At the White House: Obama participates in a discussion with Leonardo DiCaprio and Dr. Katharine Hayhoe. Biden campaigns for Clinton in Florida.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets in pro forma session. The House is out.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"No comment." -- New York Times reporter Susanne Craig when asked on CNN if there are more stories coming about Trump's taxes
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- “The day should more or less define perfection,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts (yay!). “We have considerable sunshine, which is much appreciated after four and half days of cloudy skies. Temperatures are exquisite as highs reach the mid-to-upper 70s.”
-- The Redskins beat the Browns 31-20.
-- “Company run by David Trone broke campaign contribution limits, state prosecutors say,” by Bill Turque: “A company run by David Trone, the Potomac wine magnate who was a candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District this year, made more than $250,000 in illegal contributions to political candidates between 2011 and 2014, state prosecutors say. Before he mounted the most expensive self-funded congressional campaign in history — spending more than $13 million in his Democratic primary loss … he was best known as a major-party fundraiser, hosting [Obama, Clinton] and a long list of other political figures at his home. The Maryland State Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday that it had issued 12 citations to Retail Service and Systems Inc., charging that the company or its subsidiaries violated what was then the $4,000 limit on giving to a single candidate. According to an affidavit from the prosecutor’s office, the improper contributions were made by Trone’s companies to the 2014 gubernatorial campaign of then-Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, his running mate Ken Ulman, and the 2014 reelection campaign of State Comptroller Peter Franchot.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
"Saturday Night Live" is back.
Here's the cold open with Alec Baldwin as Trump:
And a Clinton vs. Trump-themed spoof of Family Feud, with appearances by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Vladimir Putin:
Watch as Trump went off-script at a Pennsylvania rally:
Here he imitates Clinton stumbling ill on 9/11:
A video of Trump's two-hour deposition in his lawsuit against celebrity chef Jose Andres came out Friday. Our video team pulled out the five most interesting minutes:
Seth Meyers took a closer look at Trump's blunders and other election developments:
Nathan Lane recapped the debate:
Clinton's team is circulating this clip of Trump and Alicia Machado (click to watch):
TRUMP: She had a little problem...where she gained a little weight...— Ian Sams (@IanSams) September 30, 2016
MACHADO, interrupting: I don't think so.
Trump released a new ad attacking Clinton (which we saw on TV in Ohio):
Ivanka Trump cut a commercial trying to humanize and soften her dad:
Joe Biden gave Jimmy Fallon his take on the debate:
Biden also spoke about his aviators while eating ice cream:
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were caught on a kiss cam at an Atlanta Braves game: