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The Trailer: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’: A wave of PAC money buries left-wing Democrats

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In this edition: The PACs that want to suppress left-wing Democrats, three takeaways from this Tuesday’s primaries, and a talk with a Democrat who thinks this is the year when her party can win Nebraska again.

Turns out that money is pretty important in politics, and this is The Trailer.

Summer Lee got a head start on her run for Congress. She announced early, hinting that she’d run for the new Pittsburgh-based 12th Congressional District even before Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) decided to retire. She racked up endorsements — union locals, 14 of her colleagues in the state legislature, Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Justice Democrats, the group that recruited Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to run for Congress, saw her as a future member of the “Squad.”

“We know that the attacks will come,” she explained in an interview at her campaign headquarters in Pittsburgh last month. “If they don’t, we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”

The attacks did come — TV ads and direct mail, with millions of dollars behind the efforts, portraying Lee as a risky left-winger who would undermine the Democratic Party if she won the safe blue seat. The Democratic Majority for Israel poured in $400,000; the United Democracy Project, a PAC funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, spent more than $2 million to damage Lee and help Steve Irwin, an attorney endorsed by Doyle.

A tidal wave of PAC money is transforming Democratic primaries, blindsiding left-wing candidates who went into the cycle targeting a handful of safe seats. Last year’s U.S. House special election in Cleveland, where last-minute money helped beat former Sanders presidential campaign co-chair Nina Turner, left a playbook behind — one that some pro-business and pro-Israel groups hope they can use to defend like-minded candidates against liberal challenges.

“Our goal is to build the biggest bipartisan coalition in Congress for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” said Patrick Dorton, a spokesman for the United Democracy Project. “We’re monitoring 10 to 15 more races with candidates who are out of the mainstream of the Democratic Party on the issue of U.S.-Israel relations and inconsistent with the pro-Israel positions of President Biden.”

Sanders is campaigning with Lee in Pittsburgh today, highlighting the money being spent to stop Lee, who won her first race with the support of Democratic Socialists of America.

“She is putting forward a bold, working class agenda,” Sanders told The Trailer in a statement. “She is not backing down in the face of outrageous super PAC attacks. It’s no wonder why the donor class is afraid of her getting to Congress.”

But there are more seats where the left’s plans to elect the most Sanders-like candidates possible in seats virtually guaranteed to elect a Democrat are being threatened. 

In North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, which includes the city of Durham and which Biden won handily, millions of dollars have helped state Sen. Valerie Foushee (D) campaign against Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, a former Sanders supporter who would be the state’s first Muslim member of Congress.

“We had an inkling that these types of groups would come in,” Allam said in an interview this week. She received threatening messages, she added, after PAC messaging referred to her as too “radical” for the seat. “This is the most progressive district in North Carolina. Why do we have a Democratic primary going down this road?”

United Democracy PAC is also invested in Texas’s 28th Congressional District, where it has spent $1.2 million to help Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) defeat challenger Jessica Cisneros. Cuellar is the only antiabortion Democrat in the House. 

Other PACs with no particular focus on Israel have been spending to defeat left-wing candidates, often by portraying centrist candidates as more effective liberal legislators. While Cisneros has worked to make her race a referendum on abortion, Mainstream Democrats, a PAC supported by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, is running ads that muddy the issue, highlighting Cuellar’s opposition to a complete abortion ban.

“This money is being spent in a nakedly cynical matter,” said Maurice Mitchell, the president of the left-wing Working Families Party, which has endorsed Lee, Allam and Cisneros. “They have made the calculation that progressives are more dangerous than the far right. It’s unfortunate, but to me, it’s also a demonstration that what we’re doing is working.”

Other strategists are more worried about the effect that the PACs are having on their candidates. Jeff Weaver, who managed the 2016 Sanders campaign, helped Turner in her May 3 primary — a rematch with Rep. Shontel M. Brown (D-Ohio), who had beaten her narrowly in last year’s special election. Turner was competitive in an initial poll with Brown, and tens of thousands of potential voters had been newly drawn in to the district. 

What happened next, said Weaver, was “The Empire Strikes Back.” In the race’s final weeks, the AIPAC-affiliated Pro-Israel America PAC put half a million dollars behind Brown’s reelection. Combined, DMFI and United Democracy spent another half million on ads against Turner.

“The idea is that Democrats are going to get slaughtered in the midterms, the remaining caucus in the House is going to be super liberal, and that’s going to hamper us forever,” Weaver said, explaining the rationale he was hearing from Democratic consultants who want to keep the left out of office. “So, they say we’ve got to spend our money to kill progressive candidates, and save Democratic seats, so that the party is more centrist.”

Left-wing groups have not been able to match the PAC spending, and in some races, they haven’t even tried. Their first response has been condemnation, with supporters of their candidates, and sometimes other Democrats in the primary, denouncing the money flowing in to their races.

“We’re the party that opposes dark money, and we’re the party that is swimming in it right now,” former “American Idol” contestant Clay Aiken, who is also running in the North Carolina seat, said Wednesday. Not long before that, state Rep. Marcia Morey (D), who had endorsed Foushee, retracted her support, explaining that she thought Foushee would “disavow undue outside influence of bundled PAC money.”

Asked about the Morey unendorsement, AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann said that the group was “proud to join with Democratic leaders such as Congressmen G.K. Butterfield and Hakeem Jeffries in supporting Valerie Foushee, who is a strong advocate for the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

Foushee’s campaign sent The Trailer the same response the campaign had been giving every media outlet that asked; like many Democratic leaders, she was being supported because of her “unequivocal support for a two-state solution in the Middle East and her belief that Israel is a critically important strategic ally — and the only democracy — in the region.”

In Pittsburgh, some of Lee’s most prominent supporters, including Mayor Ed Gainey, responded to the spending with an open letter condemning it. The material in the United Democracy ads was true, highlighting Lee’s criticism of President Biden when she was backing Sanders for president. But how, they asked, could an AIPAC-linked group accuse Lee of undermining her party?

“As Democrats from across the commonwealth, we find it shameful that you would team up with a corporate super PAC that has endorsed over 100+ pro-insurrectionist Republicans to attack and smear our Democratic colleague, state Rep. Summer Lee, as not a Democrat,” Lee’s supporters wrote. 

It didn’t stop the money, or change up the strategy for keeping Lee out of Congress. On Thursday, as Sanders traveled to Pittsburgh, Doyle held a call with reporters to amplify Irwin’s message. Voters could choose a pragmatic Democrat, or a socialist who’d hurt the party. 

“You don’t get anything done if you are with Bernie Sanders and the squad,” Doyle said.

Weeks ago, when she talked with The Trailer, Lee anticipated that closing argument. With enough money, she said, donors probably thought they could keep anyone like her out of Congress.

“Some of this is about creating a chilling effect, to keep people from running in the first place,” Lee said. “How would you run, or how would you start to build power, if you know you’ll have to go up against these millions of dollars?”

“Trump-backed Herbster, accused of groping, loses to Pillen in Neb.; Mooney wins in W.Va.,” by David Weigel

The May 10 primaries, R.I.P.

“San Francisco’s economic elite is gunning for Chesa Boudin,” by Abe Asher

The campaign to unseat a criminal justice reformer.

“As Senate became more polarized, messaging votes lost their power,” by Paul Kane

Pulitzer prize-winning commentary on the Senate Democrats’ big strategy.

“How the ‘most conservative governor in North Carolina history’ became a RINO,” by Natalie Allison

Pat McCrory in his labyrinth.

“The esoteric social movement behind this cycle’s most expensive House race,” by Ian Ward

Why effective altruists want to build power in Congress.

“The Ohio model for purging progressives,” by David Dayen and Alexander Sammon

Inside the PAC money flood.

Conservative candidates triumphed in Tuesday’s Republican primaries — though not all of them were endorsed by former president Donald Trump. In West Virginia, thanks in large part to Trump’s support, Rep. Alex Mooney prevailed against a fellow Republican in the district they’d been crammed into after redistricting. In Nebraska, businessman Charles Herbster lost despite an early endorsement from Trump and an 11th-hour rally. 

Those were the basics. Here are a few takeaways on the results.

Trump didn’t win, but he kept it close. It took an endorsement from Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), millions of dollars in PAC ads and multiple groping allegations against Herbster to help lift University of Nebraska regent Jim Pillen to victory. Pillen won by 3.7 percentage points, right in line with his campaign’s polling, beating Herbster by around 9,500 votes. 

That was an embarrassment to Trump, a personal friend of Herbster who defended him from the groping allegations that hit him, and which Herbster denied, in the race’s final weeks. But the first-time candidate, who was able to self-fund most of his campaign, held strong in conservative western Nebraska, and ended up running respectably around Omaha and its suburbs. He was never going to beat state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, who represented an Omaha suburb and ran strongest in the region. But Herbster ran ahead of Pillen there — and he eventually carried Cass County, where Trump had flown in to hold a May 1 rally.

A more disciplined Trump-endorsed candidate might have won the primary. One of the first warning signs that something was amiss with Herbster was the departure of state Sen. Theresa Thibodeau from his campaign. As we wrote on Tuesday, she quit in July after determining that the candidate was not fit to be governor, and ran a race of her own. She ended up with 6.1 percent of the vote, well more than the margin between Pillen and Herbster, after running strongest in rural counties that Herbster needed to carry.

More Republicans are voting this year. It was true last week in Ohio, and true again Tuesday — and in all three states, some of the expanded turnout came from former Democrats. 

As of Wednesday evening, 261,518 ballots had been tallied in the Nebraska GOP’s gubernatorial primary, the largest turnout for that race since 2006. Just 93,081 ballots were cast for Democrats, their highest total turnout since 1998, when the party still held the governor’s office. And on its own, that gap might not mean much. Republicans had an expensive, competitive primary, while Democrats had a contest between state Sen. Carol Blood and a fringe candidate.

The race in the Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District was more balanced. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) faced a more MAGA-centric challenger, who spent little money, and Democratic state Sen. Tony Vargas was always favored to beat his opponent, a mental health counselor who raised enough money to make him work for the nomination. But 64,223 votes were cast in the Republican primary, which resulted in Bacon’s renomination, while 41,191 votes were cast in the Democratic primary. Two years ago, when national Democrats were more serious about contesting the seat — which Joe Biden carried — 75,637 votes were cast in the Republican primary and 73,932 were cast for Democrats. 

It’s tricky to make a similar comparison in West Virginia, because the new 2nd Congressional District didn’t exist in this form before the state legislature drew new maps. But in 2014, when Mooney won the current 2nd Congressional District, about 35,000 votes were cast in the Republican primary and about 85,000 votes were cast statewide to nominate now-Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). This week, at least 82,656 votes were cast in the Mooney-McKinley race. If there is bad news for Republicans, it’s just that no other state has seen Democrats leaving to join the GOP at such a rapid pace.

“Stop the steal” voters aren’t giving up. Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen is the sort of Republican who wins reelection without breaking a sweat. He won the job easily in 2018, after a comfortable victory in the Republican primary. And after Trump won Nebraska by 19 points, he didn’t target Evnen for defeat like he would the chief election officials in states he lost.

And yet, Evnen won renomination with just 44 percent of the vote, with the rest going to candidates who suggested that the 2020 election was stolen, a false claim. They didn’t raise much money; Robert Borer reported about $40,000 in donations before the primary, while Rex Schroder didn’t publish a finance report. But Borer told the Nebraska Examiner that Biden’s victory in the 2nd Congressional District, which netted him one electoral vote, was rigged, and Schroder said that if elected, he’d order audits in the two counties that make up that district, as well as Lincoln’s Lancaster County, which Biden also won. 

Trump didn’t need to say anything. Republican voters, on their own, were angry with a secretary of state who defended the 2020 election, and looked for alternative candidates.

Club for Growth Action, “Survival.” Days before Pennsylvania’s primary, the Club for Growth rushed to help Kathy Barnette’s U.S. Senate campaign, seeing grass-roots energy that wasn’t being matched with ad money. Barnette, an activist who has claimed that the 2020 presidential election (and perhaps her own race for Congress) was rigged, even though audits have not found evidence of fraud that would have altered the outcome, had been ignored by the race’s self-funded candidates, though she got local conservative endorsements and rose in the polls. This ad is pure positive, at least toward fellow Republicans, cutting together Barnette’s answers from a televised debate to tell the story of how American opportunity “allowed a little Black girl to crawl her way from underneath a rock.” 

Katie for Congress, “A Fighter for South Carolina.” Katie Arrington lost a 2018 race for Congress after unseating a Trump-criticizing Republican in her primary. She’s returned as the Trump-endorsed candidate against Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.); the latter annoyed the former president by giving mixed messages on how much she supports him. Arrington’s spot chastises Mace for seeking media attention, describes her pledge to turn down congressional benefits and then, finally, reveals the Trump endorsement.

George P. Bush Campaign, “Contributions.” Trailing Attorney General Ken Paxton in public polls, and unable to convince Donald Trump to back away from the incumbent, Bush’s closing runoff message is the one he’s tried to make for a year. “This race isn’t about my last name: It’s about Ken Paxton’s crimes,” says Bush, talking about his military service and turning the topic back to Paxton’s indictments. Bush says he’ll return “integrity” to the office, though that pitch has struggled against Paxton’s use of the office to take on newsy conservative fights.

Scott Pruitt for Senate, “I’m Back.” If you’re a Trump-era Republican accused of misconduct, you have a strategy ready to go — accuse liberals of making it all up. It didn’t work for Charles Herbster in Nebraska, but the first ad from former EPA chief Pruitt, now running for U.S. Senate in Oklahoma, suggests that the scandals that drove him from office were smears. “I had enemies. The New York Times. The Washington Post,” Pruitt says, before tossing a newspaper in a garbage can. “They think they canceled me, but guess what? I’m back.”

“If the Pennsylvania Republican primary election for U.S. Senator were held today, who would you vote for?” (Fox News, May 3-7, 1001 Pennsylvania GOP primary voters)

Mehmet Oz: 22% (+7) 
David McCormick: 20% (-4) 
Kathy Barnette: 19% (+10)
Carla Sands: 8% (+2) 
Jeff Bartos: 7% (-2)
Sean Gale: 2 (+2)
George Bochetto: 1% (-) 
Don’t know: 18% (-13)

There’s more going on in this race than Trump’s endorsement, but Mehmet Oz hasn’t benefited from the MAGA seal of approval the way that lesser-known candidates have. That played out in real time for reporters who covered Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania last week, where Oz’s name was sometimes booed. And it’s been noticeable at conservative events, where Barnette has been incredibly popular. Voters who say they are locked in to their choices are disproportionately going for Barnette. Supporters of Oz and McCormick have gone back and forth, a suggestion that the two self-funders, and the PACs that support them, have confused some Pennsylvanians with waves of attack ads. A warning sign for Oz: Nearly half of primary viewers have an unfavorable impression of him.

“If the Republican primary election for governor were held today, who would you vote for?” (Fox News, May 3-7, 1001 Pennsylvania GOP primary voters)

Doug Mastriano 29% (+11 since March) 
Lou Barletta: 17% (-2) 
Bill McSwain: 13% (-2)
Dave White: 11% (-3) 
Jake Corman: 5% (-1) 
Melissa Hart: 4% (+4) 
Joe Gale: 2% (+2) 
Charlie Gerow: 1% (+1)
Nche Zama: 1% (-)
Don’t know: 15% (-10)

What would a Republican primary be without a collective action problem? Democrats see Mastriano, who brought protesters to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and has been subpoenaed by the congressional panel investigating the attack, as the weakest nominee that the GOP could put forward. Republicans have not united around any alternative, and a month of outside ad spending that was designed to help McSwain hasn’t pushed him ahead. That’s left Republicans without a clear alternative, as Corman showed this week, when he quit the race to endorse Barletta, the party’s unsuccessful 2018 U.S. Senate nominee. The resilience of three conservative candidates from northeast and southeast Pennsylvania has scrambled any anti-Mastriano vote.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the U.S. Supreme Court is doing? (Monmouth University, May 5-9, 807 adults)

Approve: 38% (-4 since March)
Disapprove: 52% (+10)
Don’t know: 10% (-6)

Voters don’t get to elect members of the court, but this poll finds some evidence for what Democrats have been hoping — that voters who didn’t believe Roe v. Wade could be overturned will be shocked if it is. Since March, disapproval of the court from Democrats has jumped 21 points, to 75 percent, and disapproval among independents has surged from a 37 percent minority to a 57 percent majority. Democrats have repeatedly moved back toward approval of the court after decisions that went their way, like last year’s opinion that knocked back the GOP’s last legal effort to undo the Affordable Care Act. The potential Dobbs decision, leaked last week, is having the opposite effect.

Kentucky. Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined the 2023 campaign for governor Wednesday, and the best evidence of his potential strength was the reaction from Secretary of State Michael Adams: “I will now consider running for attorney general, and also consider pursuing reelection.” Adams had been considering his own bid for governor.

Cameron, 36, was the first Black candidate ever independently elected statewide, when in 2019 Gov. Andy Beshear (D) won narrowly and the rest of the GOP slate romped home. A former aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Cameron was seen as a likely-or-inevitable successor if McConnell retired in 2026, though becoming governor wouldn’t slam that door shut. His launch video framed Beshear as a liberal who “does not reflect our values,” ready to be replaced by someone “bold enough to defend innocent life” — a reference to the governor’s veto of an antiabortion bill, which was overridden by the Republican legislature.

Florida. A Republican-appointed circuit court judge blocked part of the state’s new congressional map, which gives Republicans a significant advantage in the closely divided state. Judge Layne Smith sided with groups that called the map a racial gerrymander, obliterating a seat around Jacksonville that was designed to elect a Black member of Congress, and had been reliably won by Democrats. The rest of the map, which wiped out Democratic seats around Tampa Bay and Orlando, has not been halted.

California. Los Angeles mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino quit his campaign Thursday, immediately endorsing developer Rick Caruso in the June 7 primary. Buscaino, a former police officer, had run on a promise to clean up the city and crack down on crime, pointing to the work he’d done in his distract to clear a homeless encampment and move residents to a shelter. But he had struggled for support even before Caruso began spending millions of dollars on the race, and was polling in the low single digits when he quit.

“Today’s decision did not come easy, but the future of Los Angeles is my priority,” Buscaino, a city council member, said in a statement. “Together we will make Los Angeles cleaner and safer for all.”

OMAHA — Carol Blood didn’t know who she’d be running against until late Tuesday night. The 61-year-old Nebraska state senator cruised to the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination, as a war broke out in the Republican primary between competing factions. That ended with a narrow victory for Jim Pillen, a farmer and University of Nebraska regent endorsed by outgoing Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Blood sat down with The Trailer before the primary to talk about her race, and after the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion that would reverse Roe v. Wade, she answered a few questions about that. This is a lightly edited transcript of the conversations. 

The Trailer: Why are you running, and how do you win in a red state in a bad Democratic year?

Carol Blood: I’ve won four campaigns as a Democrat in a Republican district. To put it in perspective, I’m next to Offutt Air Force Base, so we have very active Republicans who are very true to their party. When I knock on the door, I don’t knock on the door to talk politics. I knock on the door to make a friend. I always say: Extend grace, and listen first. I’m going to listen to your concerns, your problems, your anger. And then I’m going to thank you for the dialogue. 

I’m not going to try and change your opinions, because, really we can’t change opinions like that. It’s about grass-roots campaigning. I did one TV commercial last time, and to be really frank, I kind of regret spending that much money. Statistically, I’ve always just done better paying canvassers and phone bankers a living wage. There is so much smoke and mirrors in politics — the more I meet people, and drive around, the more I realize people are oblivious to all the things that are going on.

CB: Here’s an example. An ethanol plant decided it was going to process neonicotinoid coated corn. It created a waste product that was full of toxins and chemicals. So the company stockpiled it, and the ground in the town of Mead was poisoned. I was invited there, and one of the first things I did was organize a town hall for me and other senators. Only one Republican senator showed up. In fact, the senator that represents that area was in another town, with our governor, talking about sex ed.

That’s like a big issue. So we talk about that. A lot of people didn’t know that during the unemployment crisis, during the pandemic, that our system was hacked by Nigerian crime rings and the Russian mob. We paid tens of millions of dollars to two crime rings, and we were oblivious to it until we started getting complaints. They didn’t admit it to us until I found out and I made them come to a public hearing. And their excuse was, it happened in other states. 

TT: What are you running on instead?

CB: Every election cycle, there’s some big, fancy, sexy, property tax relief bill, and that’s what everybody runs on. I’ll be honest, I support those bills in the legislature, because if someone’s going to get money, I want to make sure my constituents get money. 

But what’s really interesting is that it didn’t really include the middle class. It’s like that old George Carlin routine: They don’t want to lift us up, because who’s going to do their grunt work? Who’s going to serve them in a restaurant? Who’s going to fix their cars? 

I had a kind of circuit breaker bill. It’s going to be a tough year for farmers, so: Say that your income goes from up here to down here. You automatically get a tax break. Right? Makes sense. It’s done in other states. I was told nobody would support that because Nebraskans would never know who gave them the money. I don’t think there’s ever been a Republican in Nebraska in the last 20 years that hasn’t run on corporate tax relief. So if we took that away, what would they run on? 

Why are they talking about federal issues? We have so many serious issues here in Nebraska that we’re not addressing. It’s smoke and mirrors, it’s a magic trick, and it works.

TT: What else do you call smoke and mirrors?

CB: I don’t know if you covered any of the anti-mask, anti-vaccine stuff, but they tried to get us to come together in the summer for a special session. The senators that put that together, that tried to force this — one of them was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. There’s all this pandering to the masses without really doing anything. 

I hear about critical race theory, I hear about sex ed. We just had a senator on the floor of the legislature talk about furries. Did you see that?

TT: Yes, the rumor is that a school let a child who “identified” as a cat use a litter box. It’s spread to a number of states and nobody’s ever seen evidence that it’s real.

CB: My favorite thing is when somebody says: Well, there’s a white paper on this. I ask: Is that peer-reviewed? Use common sense. Are there really kids using cat boxes in schools? If you put that into Google, you’re going to get the answers you want.

TT: Why do you think that more people identify as LGBTQ than ever before? The conservative answer is usually that this has been pushed by a left wing that dominates the culture.

CB: I feel that we’re in an environment now where people feel safer, like they can do it. There’s a lot of same-sex couples who lived together for decades, when people would say, “Oh, Bob and Joe save on rent and they live together. These two old maids never got married, so they share a house.” We went from minding their own business to hearing about everybody’s business, you know? 

TT: We now know that Roe may be overturned, and Jim Pillen’s position, when that happens, is to ban abortion in Nebraska. What’s your position? It’s 2023, you’re governor, what are you in favor of?

CB: I don’t want to live in a police state. We have to be careful to not just talk about a woman and her bodily autonomy, but the right to privacy. Do we want people to snitch on doctors? That’s not what Americans is all about. I’m worried about what’s coming next.

TT: What would be coming next?

CB: I think other things can be unwound with the same legal theory. I would be concerned if I was a single mom or a single dad. I think I’d be concerned if I was LGBT or if I was a person of color. I think we are opening the door to something that we don’t understand. This is Pandora’s box. In Nebraska, we successfully prevented those bills from getting passed this year. But it’s my understanding that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, our existing governor is going to pull us back into a special session, to debate a bill that is so poorly written that it’s going to do nothing but hurt Nebraskans. 

So, a police state is when you have to look over your shoulder with the concern that someone is going to literally report you to the government. Imagine that I’m an IVF doctor. We know that the chances are pretty good that there’ll be embryos that cannot be implanted. If the mother chooses to dispose of those embryos, as opposed to freezing those embryos. Oh, and the doctor could be charged with a felony and being incarcerated for 20 years.

TT: The trap I’ve seen candidates fall into is this: They get asked what limits they want on abortion, they don’t get specific, and ipso facto, they must be against any limits through the ninth month of pregnancy. So what limits do you favor?

CB: There are already limits in Nebraska. I support good legislation that doesn’t make Nebraskans collateral damage.

I always worry about the abortion question, to be really frank. I think it’s really important that we do point out the decline in abortions. I got a lot of hate mail after I voted against the trigger law, but I explained to everybody what part of it did. Once I did that, the majority of people who reached out to me said: I’m still pro-life, but you’re right, that bill can’t be passed like that. That’s not right.

… five days until primaries in Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, North Carolina and Pennsylvania
… 12 days until Texas runoffs, primaries in Arkansas, Alabama and Georgia, and the special primary in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District
… 30 days until the special House primary in Alaska
… 47 days until the special election in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District
… 63 days until the special election in Texas’s 34th Congressional District
… 174 days until the midterm elections

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