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· Obama-Backed, Holder-Led Group Raised More Than $11 Million in 2017; Will Target Republicans in 12 states
A redistricting group that is backed by former President Barack Obama and led by former attorney general Eric Holder raised more than $11 million last year and has set a new fundraising goal of $30 million to help their upcoming efforts to target Republicans in 12 states… Holder, is dedicated to "enacting a comprehensive, multi-cycle Democratic Party redistricting strategy"…
· Hillary Clinton, a favorite GOP foil, plans discreet 2018 strategy
… Her emerging 2018 strategy, according to more than a dozen friends and advisers familiar with her plans, is to leverage the star power she retains in some Democratic circles on behalf of select…
· Federal abuses on Obama's watch represent a growing blight on his legacy
... Given the tight control Obama exercised over every part of his administration and agenda, the idea that any of these appointees and loyalists freelanced their activities without at least his tacit approval or that of his White House strains credulity...
Obama-Backed, Holder-Led Group Raised More Than $11 Million in 2017; Will Target Republicans in 12 states
Holder says the group has a goal of raising $30 million this year
By Joe Schoffstall, Washington Free Beacon
February 11, 2018
A redistricting group that is backed by former President Barack Obama and led by former attorney general Eric Holder raised more than $11 million last year and has set a new fundraising goal of $30 million to help their upcoming efforts to target Republicans in 12 states.
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), a D.C.-based organization founded in 2016 that is chaired by Holder, is dedicated to "enacting a comprehensive, multi-cycle Democratic Party redistricting strategy."
The group was formed in part due to Obama's resentment towards the House Republican majority during a portion of his presidency and claims that gerrymandering, which both parties partake in, has led to "disastrous" policies.
"These gerrymandered districts have had disastrous policy consequences, leading to some of the most right-wing legislation in decades both in Congress and at the state level, including assaults on women's health, suppressing the vote for people of color, failing to address climate change, and refusing to stand up to the epidemic of gun violence," the group's website states. "These policies don't reflect the majority of voters, but because Republicans have rigged the system in their favor, voters are limited in their ability to do anything about it."
NDRC reports raising a total of $11 million last year spread between its numerous entities that include the NDRC, the National Redistricting Foundation, and the National Redistricting Action Fund. Holder said the group has a goal of raising $30 million in 2018.
The NDRC, which first became politically active by pouring more than $1 million into Virginia's gubernatorial race last year to back Democrat Ralph Northam, now Virginia's governor, has set their sights on Republicans and initiatives in 12 states.
The target list was released this week by NDRC and identifies Republican governors, legislators, and ballot initiatives in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin as their main focus.
The group also added eight states to their "watch list" including Arizona, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.
The NDRC did not return a request for comment on their 2018 plans by press time.
Before leaving the White House, President Obama held a strategy meeting that was attended by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) where the group had identified breaking up Republican controlled areas as a top priority.
Holder said the group's mission is personal to Obama because he resented how Republicans took over the majority in the House of Representatives and impaired his goals...
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Hillary Clinton, a favorite GOP foil, plans discreet 2018 strategy
By Robert Costa, The Washington Post
February 12, 2018
There was a long line for selfies with Hillary Clinton last week at a Georgetown soiree for Lanny Davis, a Clinton loyalist whose latest book blames former FBI director James B. Comey for her 2016 presidential defeat.
Clinton devotees — waiting patiently within earshot — speculated about her future. Maybe, one asked, she’d leave political winter behind and become President Trump’s foil? Another talked up a 2020 comeback.
Clinton smiled, but did not respond.
In the first electoral season since the stunning loss that extinguished her years-long drive for the presidency, Clinton, 70, has begun a discreet and low-profile reentry into the political fray.
Her emerging 2018 strategy, according to more than a dozen friends and advisers familiar with her plans, is to leverage the star power she retains in some Democratic circles on behalf of select candidates while remaining sufficiently below the radar to avoid becoming a useful target for Republicans seeking to rile up their base.
Most likely, they said, Clinton will attempt to help Democratic candidates who have a history of supporting her and her family, and expending her political capital in a number of the 23 congressional districts she won in 2016 but are now held by a Republican. Lending a hand to Democrats organizing at a grass-roots level is a priority, they added.
“She’s not going to be up front,” said Jaime Harrison, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party and an associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Harrison said Clinton told him in December that she was committed to turning out core blocs in the party, such as African Americans and Latinos. “She’s saying, ‘Listen, I’m no longer running but we need these groups to be strong and people to vote.’ ”
Within her orbit, there is an emphasis on Clinton moving cautiously rather than making headlines with a flurry of interviews and endorsements, as former vice president Joseph R. Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others with White House ambitions are doing at this stage.
The former first lady, secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee, who has been a polarizing political figure for a quarter century, has accepted that Trump and his allies on Fox News Channel will bring her up seemingly daily, almost as though she were president and mired in scandal, her friends and advisers say.
But Clinton’s team also understands that, although she remains popular with many Democrats, she could be a hindrance to candidates running in Trump country. Polls show that her overall image has not improved since the election. A Gallup survey in November found that 36 percent of adults viewed Clinton favorably, while 61 percent viewed her unfavorably, her highest negative ratings on record.
“The resistance is looking for the next savior of the Democratic Party and I don’t know how much demand [for Clinton appearances] there will be outside of the districts where she beat Trump,” said Patti Solis Doyle, who managed Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign...
Federal abuses on Obama's watch represent a growing blight on his legacy
By Monica Crowley, Opinion Contributor, The Hill
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill
In all of the discussions about the political weaponization of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, alleged corruption at the highest echelons of those agencies and serial abuse of the secret FISA process surrounding the 2016 election, one name has been conspicuously absent: President Barack Obama.
High-ranking officials and other major players in those agencies — which Obama oversaw — are increasingly embroiled in the growing scandal: James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Andrew Weissmann, Sally Yates, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr.
Given the tight control Obama exercised over every part of his administration and agenda, the idea that any of these appointees and loyalists freelanced their activities without at least his tacit approval or that of his White House strains credulity.
These kinds of abuses of power were nothing new, given the Obama team’s long history of this type of misconduct on everything from the Benghazi terror attack to the political misuse of the IRS. They weaponized the most fearsome government agencies to target, monitor and presumably illegally unmask political opponents, including members of Congress, journalists reporting unfavorable stories, Trump allies and average Americans.
These dark institutional offenses didn’t just materialize out of thin air. One of the criticisms of President Nixon was that even though he wasn’t aware of the Watergate break-in, he had created an environment in which such an action was acceptable.
Decades later, Obama created a climate in which the potentially criminal misuse of the DOJ and the FBI, as currently being unraveled, was not just acceptable but perhaps encouraged, thereby giving rise to what could be the most dangerous scandal in American history.
It’s increasingly apparent that these recently exposed abuses of power served two ostensible purposes: to secure Hillary Clinton’s candidacy by shielding her from prosecution stemming from the use of her unauthorized private server, and to derail the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump.
But something else, something more profound, drove their efforts: their urgency to preserve what Obama once called “the fundamental transformation of the nation” — a grand project much bigger than Obama himself or any other single figure. He largely fulfilled the long-held progressive ambition of changing the nation’s course, only to see Trump threaten to change it once again: not to return it to where it was pre-Obama, but to smash the corrupt existing order that had made their progressive advances possible.
Obama and the leftist movement over which he has presided could not tolerate a reversal of their gains (by Trump, no less!), so they got to work.
On the offensive side, these Obama officials — who obviously loathe Trump, as demonstrated by the glaring antipathy in the Strzok–Page texts and others’ communications — set out to damage him. Trump, they thought, gave them much material with which to work, plus they enjoyed a compliant media that stood ready to amplify spoon-fed narratives, regardless of their veracity. The acquisition of multiple FISA warrants — now known to be largely based on an unverified dossier prepared by a foreign spy, using anonymous Russian and close Clinton associates and paid for by her campaign and the Democratic National Committee — to subvert and impair Trump and his associates, succeeded beyond their wildest dreams...