THE BIG IDEA:
— Today is the final day of the second fundraising quarter. Presidential candidates, at least the serious and credible ones, spend the majority of their time raising money. The last-minute scrambles on the final day of March, June, September and December are always fun to watch. Chris Hughes, the owner of The New Republic, and his husband are hosting a Hillary Clinton finance event in Manhattan today. Marco Rubio is raising money this evening in Orange County; Ted Cruz, in Houston; Rand Paul, in Denver.
After months of prognostication and expectation-setting, we will learn a lot in the next two weeks about who is actually winning the money part of the silent primary (beyond Jeb Bush). Matea Gold, who covers money and influence for The Post, notes that this is the first time every top White House contender has a personalized super PAC that can raise unlimited donations from individuals and corporations. They don’t have to disclose until later than the July 15 deadline for federal candidates, but we expect that many of their numbers will “coincidentally” emerge in tandem with the campaigns themselves.
Here are five of the questions Matea is excited to get answers to: Do the pro-Jeb groups break $100 million? How far behind are the super PACs backing Rubio and Scott Walker? Do any surprise billionaire super PAC patrons emerge? How successfully has Clinton built up a small donor base – and how does hers compare to that of Bernie Sanders? And on the spending side, it will be fascinating to compare the early burn rates: how much are the top strategists making, and who has staff in which states? Read a full Q&A with Matea on what to watch for.
— The Export-Import Bank’s lending authority expires tonight. It’s a meaningful moral victory for conservative groups who have turned this into a litmus test on crony capitalism, and it shows the limits of the business lobby’s power within the GOP (namely the U.S. Chamber and NAM). But conventional wisdom on the Hill is that this is a temporary lapse. Mitch McConnell promised to allow a Senate vote on renewing the bank’s charter later this summer, and there appear to be enough supporters to withstand a filibuster. “Prospects in the House are less clear — though there, too, enough Republicans are thought to be willing to join with Democrats to renew the bank’s charter,” Mike DeBonis and Catherine Ho report this morning. “When the bank was last reauthorized, in 2012, a solid majority of House Republicans supported it, joining a unanimous bloc of Democrats in a vote of 330 to 93.”
The coming denouement will give Sanders a fresh wedge to attack Clinton as a corporatist Democrat. The drama has been on the right thus far, but until very recently, killing the bank was a lefty cause celeb. It makes sense when you think about it: big corporations like GE are receiving special government help to expand trade! During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama identified Ex-Im as a program he was willing to eliminate and described it as “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.” Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton continues to describe herself as “a very strong supporter.” Until the Club for Growth and others shifted the debate, Sanders was known as one of the most outspoken critics of the program in Congress. “Instead of providing low-interest loans to multi-national companies that are shipping jobs to China and other low-wage countries,” he said earlier this month, “we should be investing in small businesses and worker-owned enterprises that want to create jobs in the United States of America.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— Greece continued on a collision course to defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro IMF loan, as it entered the final day of its existing bailout. Though credit rating agencies signaled they won’t consider it a a major event if Greece defaults, the country is in uncharted territory as the first developed nation ever to default with the IMF. EU President Jean-Claude Juncker called Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Monday night to urge him to stand with “yes” in a Sunday referendum for further EU loans. That’s unlikely at this point, per the FT. Meanwhile, Greeks scrambled to withdraw their daily ration of 60 euros from banks and European stocks continued to fall on Tuesday.
— Obama proposed news rules to make 5 million more people eligible for overtime pay. “Employers can now often get around the rules: Any salaried employee who’s paid more than $455 a week — or $23,660 a year — can be called a ‘manager,’ given limited supervisory duties and made ineligible for overtime,” the AP reports. “Obama says that the level is too low and undercuts the intent of the overtime law. The threshold was last updated in 2004 and has been eroded by inflation … The long-awaited overtime rule from the Labor Department would more than double the threshold at which employers can avoid paying overtime, to $970 a week by next year. That would mean salaried employees earning less than $50,440 a year would be assured overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.” The president previews a speech he’ll give on this topic later this week in Wisconsin with an op-ed in the Huffington Post.
— New Benghazi emails show HRC actually encouraged Blumenthal to keep sending updates. “Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters last month that the memos about Libya she received while secretary of state from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime adviser whom the Obama administration had barred her from hiring, had been ‘unsolicited,’” Michael S. Schmidt notes. “But email records that Mrs. Clinton … apparently failed to turn over to the State Department last fall show that she repeatedly encouraged Mr. Blumenthal to ‘keep ’em coming,’ as she said in an August 2012 reply to a memo from him, which she called ‘another keeper.’”
— A suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy near the U.S. embassy in Kabul: It happened on the road running between the international airport and the American embassy in the Afghan capital. “It was not immediately clear how many people were killed or wounded in the early afternoon attack, although police on the scene said casualties were expected,” according to our reporters in country.
GET SMART FAST:
- The talks in Vienna simmered along Monday, as John Kerry and other western diplomats waited for Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to complete a day-long trip to Tehran. He is expected to return today. Today was the deadline for a final deal, but negotiators will keep talking.
- After the Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma can continue using a controversial sedative in its executions, the attorneys general of Florida and Alabama moved to resume executions.
- SCOTUS ruled 5 to 4 that the Constitution does not give legislatures exclusive control over congressional redistricting and said voters may vest the power in independent commissions by ballot initiative, where this option exists. “The court upheld a plan Arizona voters approved in 2000 that set up an independent commission to draw the boundaries,” writes Robert Barnes.
- SCOTUS temporarily blocked Texas from implementing a law that would have forced more than half the state’s 19 abortion clinics to close their doors this week.
- SCOTUS said the EPA failed to properly consider economic costs when they imposed expensive pollution controls on coal-burning power plants in 2011. The ultimate impact of the 5-4 decision on pollution is uncertain.
- Preparing for a potentially epic Florida Republican primary battle with Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush’s super PAC has been seeking advertising rates from TV stations inside the state.
- The two men who escaped from prison in New York originally planned to flee to Mexico, but the female jail employee who allegedly helped them escape got cold feet, so they had to improvise. (NBC)
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- “John Kasich expects to have more than $10 million in his campaign organization’s coffers when he formally announces” on July 21, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
- Hillary Clinton has hired Ron Lester to conduct polling of and research on African-Americans, a job he had for Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelect. LaDavia Drane also started work yesterday as Clinton’s black coalitions director. (BuzzFeed)
- “The Puerto Rico Treasury Department has paid lobbyists at Podesta Group — the firm founded by Democratic super-lobbyist Tony Podesta — at least $150,000 so far this year in part to lobby on a bill that would grant the U.S. territory the same protection under Chapter 9 bankruptcy as U.S. states. The government has eight lobbyists on retainer, including Podesta himself. Podesta’s firm has been working for the Puerto Rico government since June 2013 on various issues including statehood, transportation and infrastructure, earning a collective $1.15 million for their efforts.” (PowerPost’s Catherine Ho)
- Bernie Sanders tells New Hampshire audiences that three of his grandchildren live in the state.
“A college balks at Hillary Clinton’s fee, so books Chelsea for $65,000 instead,” by Philip Rucker and Rosalind S. Helderman: The University of Missouri-Kansas was looking for a “celebrity speaker” but balked at the $275,000 cost of luring Hillary Clinton. “So the school turned to the next best option: her daughter, Chelsea. The university paid $65,000 for Chelsea Clinton’s brief appearance on Feb. 24, 2014…More than 500 pages of e-mails, contracts and other internal documents obtained by The Washington Post…detail the school’s long courtship of the Clintons. They also show the meticulous efforts by Chelsea Clinton’s image makers to exert tight control over the visit, from closely editing marketing materials and the introductory remarks from a high school student to limiting the amount of time she spent on campus.”
“How Marco Rubio turned political star power into a soaring personal income,” by Tom Hamburger and Sean Sullivan: “During nine years in Tallahassee, as Rubio rose in prominence and ascended to the state House speakership, he became increasingly well compensated as he walked a narrow line between his work as a lawmaker and an employee of outside firms with interests before the state government. Although he began his legislative career as a man of modest means, Rubio in 2008 reached an income level that placed him in the top 1 percent of American earners. His outside work included helping real estate developers navigate city hall bureaucracies, assisting a law firm in adding ethnic diversity to its client base and lawyer roster, teaching college-level political science classes, and coordinating conference calls for a Washington lobbyist seeking federal funding for Miami hospitals.”
“Rubio’s annual income grew from about $72,000 when he was elected to the state House in 2000 to $414,000 in 2008, when his two-year speakership ended, according to financial disclosure forms and interviews with Rubio campaign staff members. About 80 percent of his total income during his tenure in the state House came from Florida law firms that lobby state and local governments, according to a Washington Post analysis of state financial disclosure forms.”
“In December 2003, Rubio was registered as a federal lobbyist for Becker & Poliakoff in Washington, according to records maintained by the U.S. House and Senate and never previously reported. The registration form, which includes Rubio’s signature, declares that he would concentrate on ‘budget appropriations and health care.’”
— “A Thurmond of the next generation seeks a new legacy in South Carolina,” by Karen Tumulty in Charleston: “What finally opened Paul Thurmond’s eyes and changed his heart was in the Gospel of Mark — the very New Testament passage that his state Senate colleague Clementa Pinckney and eight other members of Emanuel AME Church here were studying the night they were gunned down in an apparent racist hate crime. It was the parable of the sower, in which Jesus explains that if a seed falls on fertile ground, it can yield thirty- or sixty- or a hundredfold … ‘I kept praying about what had happened, and there was this really true belief that good could come out of this horrible tragedy,’ Thurmond said in a Monday interview. The next morning, with that verse fresh in his mind, the 39-year-old Republican legislator wrote the speech he would deliver the following day on the Senate floor, calling for the Confederate battle flag to be taken down from the state capitol grounds.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ: Chris Christie is still being talked about ahead of his announcement later this morning, despite his reduced standing. While past months have been marked by turmoil, a Zignal Labs analysis of Christie’s broadcast and social media coverage shows that he’s being taken seriously by the mainstream media, even if he doesn’t generate the same kind of heat on social media as some of his rivals. There were nearly 16,000 mentions of Christie across social, broadcast and traditional media on Monday. That includes more than 13,200 Tweets and 850-plus broadcast television mentions.
Christie’s overall mentions lagged behind some of his opponents, but his strong TV presence underscores the fact the MSM is covering him. It helps to be so close to the New York broadcast market. While nearly three times as many people were tweeting about Hillary Clinton as they were Christie, he nonetheless commanded 33 percent more broadcast television stories than she did.
On social media, the reception to Christie is more mixed. A look at Monday’s top tweets mentioning Christie shows the cross-section of what is being said about him – the good, the bad and the perfunctory:
–WHAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT:
Picture of the day:
Tweets of the day:
— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) June 29, 2015
If the environment were a bank, it would have been saved by now. — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 29, 2015
Instagrams of the day:
2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump released this characteristically over-the-top statement yesterday after NBCUniversal dumped him from its lineup:
NBC’s statement: “Respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign continues to try fundraising off the gay marriage decision.
Friends don’t let friends miss out on discounts Get 10% off this look with code LoveWon. (@HillaryClinton).
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
— New York Times, “Hillary Clinton Faces A More Liberal Democratic Fund-Raising Landscape,” by Nicholas Confessore and Derek Willis: Compared to 2008, “Democrats now get far less money from Wall Street, military contractors, health care companies and other industries that for decades ladled out cash more evenly to both parties, according to a New York Times analysis of data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group … As many as one-fifth of elite Democratic ‘bundlers’ … are active in gay-rights causes or are themselves gay or lesbian … Agribusiness and mining and oil interests, along with the financial services and health care industries, have shifted substantially more money to Republicans over the last three two-year election cycles … Almost two-thirds of money from investment banks and three-quarters of donations from credit card companies and lenders now flow to Republicans, and donations from hedge fund and private equity executives were a significant source of cash for Republican super PACs during the 2012 election cycle.”
— NextGov, “After hack, officials pull plug on Pentagon and OPM background check systems:” “A Defense Department Web system that tracks employee background investigations will be offline for an unspecified amount of time, while officials fix security holes in a civilian agency database connected to the tool…On Monday, officials announced that OPM’s e-QIP system, the online tool used for submitting background check forms, would be taken offline for four to six weeks.”
— New York Times, “State Marijuana Laws Complicate Federal Job Recruitment,” by Matthew Rosenberg and Mark Mazzetti: “For all the aspiring and current spies, diplomats and F.B.I. agents living in states that have liberalized marijuana laws, the federal government has a stern warning: Put down the bong, throw out the vaporizer and lose the rolling papers…It may now be legal in Colorado, in Washington State and elsewhere to possess and smoke marijuana, but federal laws outlawing its use — and rules that make it a firing offense for government workers — have remained rigid.”
— San Jose Mercury News, “California Senate passes vaccine bill on second vote; now heads to governor”: The legislation “would require almost all schoolchildren to be fully vaccinated in order to attend public or private school, regardless of their parent’s personal or religious beliefs. The only exception would be for medical reasons. Despite continued objection from a few Senate colleagues who have called the bill an overreach by the government, the Senate voted 23 to 14 to approve a handful of amendments added to the bill this month in the state Assembly, which passed the bill last week…If enacted into law, California would join only two other states — Mississippi and West Virginia — that permit only medical exemptions as legitimate reasons to sidestep vaccinations.”
— National Journal, “Lunch and Populism with Hillary Clinton’s least-likely advisor,” by Nancy Cook: “Teresa Ghilarducci is not your typical Hillary Clinton advisor. The New School professor and expert on retirement and pension issues has never worked in Washington, D.C. and touts an populist-based economic policy that runs much further left than anything Clinton has ever embraced. But, as Clinton tries to move away from the centrist economic legacy of her husband’s administration, with its welfare reform and deregulation of banks, Ghilarducci offers a fresh take—and a fresh face—on economic-policy debates long dominated by a small, sharp-elbowed cast of white men who have advised the Clinton or Obama administrations. How Ghilarducci’s influence evolves will provide a test case for how far left Clinton actually intends to go.”
— Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), “High Court: Arizona can’t require citizenship proof to register to vote”: “Without comment the justices upheld a ruling of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals which said neither Arizona nor Kansas can demand the federal Election Assistance Commission add a proof-of-citizenship requirement to the federal registration form the panel designed. In that ruling, Justice Carlos Lucero, writing for the unanimous three-judge panel, said Alice Miller, the commission’s acting director, was within her rights to reject the request by Ken Bennett, then the Arizona secretary of state, and Kris Kobach, his Kansas counterpart … The ruling goes against a 2004 voter-approved measure by Arizona voters mandating such proof.”
HOT ON THE LEFT
“A county clerk in Arkansas plans to resign effective Tuesday because of a moral objection to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
“Officials with the Department of State threatened to call security Monday on a Washington Free Beacon reporter who was attempting to report on a briefing held by senior Obama administration figures in Vienna on the eve of an expected nuclear agreement with Iran.”
–What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Christie announces around 11 a.m. in New Jersey and then goes straight to New Hampshire for a town hall meeting. Rand Paul, on a western swing, is going from Nevada to Colorado. Ted Cruz is embarking on his book tour. Rick Santorum has a town hall in Charleston. Donald Trump is in Bedford, New Hampshire. Mike Huckabee opens his Iowa HQ in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale. And then there’s all the fundraising we mentioned at the top.
–On the Hill: Recess
–At the White House: POTUS meets with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at 10:15 a.m., and then the pair hold a joint press conference just after noon. Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at 3:15.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This is not about politics. It’s about math.” — Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla on the island government’s inability to pay its debts
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— “More heat, humidity, and nearly daily shower and thunderstorm chances are the easiest ways to describe the next six days,” the Capital Weather Gang reports. “The holiday weekend is looking challenged with storm potentials especially on Friday and Saturday, while Sunday has our best chance for more sun and less rain at least.”
VIDEO OF THE DAY:
Ahead of Christie’s announcement, here’s a fun video that shows the New Jersey governor’s seven different moods.