GOP

Virginia GOP challenger confident in close House race that has outspent presidential campaigns

Millions of dollars have been spent so far on three congressional campaigns in hotly contested Virginia districts  — with one surpassing even the 2020 presidential campaigns and another close behind.

Advertising in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District topped $11 million earlier this week, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. The 2nd District racked up more than $8 million.

Those races are roughly in the ballpark of the combined costs of advertising for President Trump and Joe Biden, which total more than $9 million.

VIRGINIA SENATE DEBATE SEES WARNER, GADE GLASH ON TRUMP, RACE, HEALTH CARE

“I believe it’s one of the most expensive congressional races in the country already,” Joe Desilets, the campaign manager for the 7th District’s GOP candidate Nick Freitas told Fox News Thursday. “Just on TV and radio, there’s over $13 million between past and future spending in this election, and obviously there’s a ton more in mail, digital, and other campaign spending.”

Recent polls show him neck-and-neck with incumbent Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who is serving her first term after flipping the district in 2018.

Freitas’ campaign and supportive PACs have spent more than $4.4 million so far, compared to Spanberger’s $6.6 million. But Freitas is breaking GOP fundraising records, according to Desilets.

“We feel great about where the race is right now, and it’s clear that the Democrats are increasingly worried,” Desilets said. “Every time we turn around, they add another million dollars in attack ads.”

VIRGINIA SENATE RACE SEES UNDERDOG GOP CHALLENGER CONFIDENT DESPITE UPHILL BATTLE

Spanberger, a former federal law enforcement officer and ex-CIA case officer, is the first Democrat to win election in the district since 1968.

This combination of Sept. 29, photos shows President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

This combination of Sept. 29, photos shows President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential

GOP senator defends not wearing a mask at Rose Garden Supreme Court event

Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn appeared on ABC’s “The View.”

GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who attended the White House Rose Garden event two weekends ago now tied to at least 14 coronavirus cases, on Thursday defended her decision not to wear a mask at the event.

During an appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, said that while the event is a good reminder to Americans to take precautions, she was tested right before the event and behaved safely.

“I had been tested right before I went to the event I had my mask on and actually had it there on my arm when i walked into the event,” Blackburn said. “I took it off to walk into the event but you know it’s a great reminder to us wash your hands, wear gloves if you need, be certain you are using sanitizer.

PHOTO: Sen. Marsha Blackburn speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 30, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 30, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 30, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Blackburn, who said she has since tested negative for coronavirus, was at the White House during the event to witness Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Barrett’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Blackburn is a member, are set to begin on Monday.

Former GOP chair Michael Steele calls Trump ‘the superspreader’ in the White House

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele referred to President TrumpDonald John TrumpState Department revokes visa of Giuliani-linked Ukrainian ally: report White House Gift Shop selling ‘Trump Defeats COVID’ commemorative coin Biden says he should not have called Trump a clown in first debate MORE as a “superspreader” on Tuesday as a growing number of White House officials test positive for the coronavirus.

Steele knocked Trump after footage emerged online showing the president taking off his mask after returning to the White House on Monday, despite his positive COVID-19 diagnosis several days earlier. Trump spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center getting treatment for the disease.

At the time, Trump appeared to be posing for photos on a balcony at the White House. Not long after, the president could be seen leaving to enter the building without his mask on.

“He takes his mask off in contravention of everything we know. He is the superspreader. He is the problem in the White House, and everyone wants to tiptoe around it,” Steele said on MSNBC, where he serves as a political analyst.

“People are getting sick. We don’t know how and to what degree they will be sick over the next few weeks, and yet he’s standing there, thumbs up, like, you know, ‘I got a cold’ and ‘I got the sniffles,’” he said.

Trump drew widespread criticism on Monday after urging Americans not to “be afraid” of the disease, which has infected more than 7 million people in the country and has been linked to more than 210,000 deaths.

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently,” the president said in a video, in which

Democratic chair of House committee investigating Speaker Michael Madigan accuses GOP of ‘wearing two hats,’ says no more meetings until after election

Accusing his Republican counterparts of engaging in “political theater” ahead of the Nov. 3 election, the Democratic chairman of a special Illinois House committee investigating the conduct of longtime Speaker Michael Madigan said Tuesday that the panel won’t meet again until the polls close.



Emanuel Chris Welch et al. looking at a laptop: State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch addresses issues concerning seclusion in Chicago Public Schools during a meeting of the Illinois State Board of Education at the Thompson Center in Chicago, Nov. 22, 2019.


© Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch addresses issues concerning seclusion in Chicago Public Schools during a meeting of the Illinois State Board of Education at the Thompson Center in Chicago, Nov. 22, 2019.

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch of Hillside said in a statement that the three GOP lawmakers on the special investigating committee, formed in response to a petition from House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, “are wearing two hats.”

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“While sitting on a committee that is charged with conducting an impartial investigation based on the petition filed by Leader Durkin, the Republican members of this committee are also engaged in competitive political campaigns in which they have chosen to campaign almost exclusively against the speaker,” Welch said.

Welch took issue in particular with two committee members, Reps. Grant Wehrli of Naperville and Deanne Mazzochi of Elmhurst, participating in a campaign news conference on Monday, “effectively confirming their assumption of guilt and chiding Democratic opponents for not jumping to the same conclusion.”

Wehrli and Mazzochi are both engaged in competitive reelection battles against Democratic challengers who have received sizable campaign contributions from funds tied to Madigan, who also chairs the state Democratic Party.

Republicans have accused Welch of acting in defense of Madigan by blocking a vote last week to issue subpoenas to compel testimony from the powerful Southwest Side Democrat and other witnesses.

Earlier Tuesday, the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Tom Demmer of Dixon, accused Welch of trying to slow-walk the investigating by requesting

GOP senators ask CBO how much immigration provisions in House stimulus bill will cost

A group of Republican senators have asked the Congressional Budget Office to calculate how much measures in the House stimulus bill that directly benefit illegal immigrants would cost the American taxpayer.

“It is unfortunate that instead of working to help the American people, Speaker Pelosi and her majority in the House of Representatives are taking this opportunity to advance the economic well-being of illegal immigrants,” Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; and Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., wrote in a letter to the CBO’s director.

HOUSE DEMOCRATS’ STIMULUS BILL INCLUDES STIMULUS CHECKS FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, PROTECTIONS FROM DEPORTATIONS

”Among other things, H.R. 6800 allows illegal immigrants to claim stimulus payments. In addition, Speaker Pelosi’s bill also provides illegal immigrants with taxpayer funded healthcare services,” they write.

The HEROES ACT, which passed the House last week, includes a number of items that will benefit illegal immigrants, with a provision that would allows some illegal immigrants — who are “engaged in essential critical infrastructure labor or services in the United States” —  to be placed into “a period of deferred action” and authorized to work if they meet certain conditions.

It also grants protections to those employers who hire those undocumented immigrants, ordering that “the hiring, employment or continued employment” of the defined group is not in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. That lasts until 90 days after the public health emergency is ended.

It’s language that was also included in the first House Democratic stimulus bill proposed back in May — a bill that was ultimately rejected in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Also in the legislation is language that would allow the a second round of stimulus checks, $1,200 per adults and $500 per dependant, to be extended to those without a social security number — including those