Welcome to this week’s edition of the D.C. Memo. This week from Washington, Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination moves forward, political ad spending across Minnesota, and Minnesota likely isn’t the swing state the Trump campaign wants it to be. Let’s get on with this.
Minnesota’s senior senator opened up the hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated to fill Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat on the Supreme Court, by calling it a sham.
“I think it shows real messed up priorities from the Republican party,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said. “But I am here to do my job, to tell the truth.”
Klobuchar was referring to the fact that during the Obama administration, Republicans made it very clear they would not confirm a Supreme Court justice during a presidential election year. And yet, we are here.
Most of the hearing, in which Klobuchar, as a member of Judiciary Committee, extensively questioned Barrett, could be summed up with these statements from Barrett:
“I think that is a question for the political branches” or “I can’t express a view on that, as I’ve said, because it would be inconsistent with the judicial role” or “Justice Ginsburg herself gave the most famous articulation of the principle that constrains me from doing so, which is no hints, forecasts, or previews.”
How much money are campaigns spending in Minnesota on ads? MinnPost’s Greta Kaul took a look this week. Here are a few things she found.
- Michael Franz, the co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, said Sen. Tina Smith was heavily out-spending her opponent, Jason Lewis. He also said that a lack of spending from national outside groups they aren’t forecasting a competitive race.
- Anna Massoglia, a researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics, said digital ad spending is up (but nowhere near replacing television spending).
Minnesota is not really a swing state
The Trump campaign has said it intends to put a considerable amount of resources and time into winning Minnesota. President Donald Trump has visited the state several times, most recently right before the White House publicly admitted he has COVID-19. Trump came within two percentage points of beating Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016.
But polling in Minnesota has consistently favored Biden. And Politico’s David Siders spoke to a number of Minnesota Republicans who aren’t confident.
“I haven’t heard from anyone on the Republican side who’s to some degree confident,” said Michael Brodkorb, a former deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party. “I think the best you’ll hear from a Republican in Minnesota is they think that the race is close.”
By the numbers
- 10 (?): The Mankato Free Press obtained receipts of work radio host Al Travis Thielfoldt did for Rep. Jim Hagedorn. Thielfoldt told them he conducted as least 10 interviews with Hagedorn, while he was moonlighting as a consultant to Hagedorn’s campaign, but he seems to have coordinated more. Experts say he may have violated FCC regulations.
- 290: At least 290 Facebook employees and contractors have signed a petition demanding Facebook moderators receive hazard pay and benefits as they are forced to return to their office.
- $200,000,000: The Trump campaign almost went broke, after unreasonable predictions and projects could have sidelined the campaign, according to Business Insider.
Two staffers on Rep. Tom Emmer’s campaign have COVID-19
The Star Tribune reports that two staffers on Rep. Tom Emmer’s campaign have contracted COVID-19. Both staffers have gone into quarantine.
According to the campaign, both staffers had traveled extensively together as they put up yard signs for the campaign.
In other news
- Peter Callaghan for MinnPost: Tim Walz isn’t on the ballot in 2020. So why is he raising money as if he is?
- Astead Herndon for the New York Times: What Kamala Harris Learned About Power at Howard
- Evan Hill, Mike Baker, Derek Knowles and Stella Cooper for the New York Times: ‘Straight to Gunshots’: How a U.S. Task Force Killed an Antifa Activist
Quote of the week
“I actually wouldn’t mind being a queen around here. The truth be known, I wouldn’t mind doing it. Kind of a benevolent queen and making decisions so we could get things done,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, during the Supreme Court appointment hearing this week.
What I’m reading
Cecilia Ballí for Texas Monthly: Don’t Call Texas’s Latino Voters the “Sleeping Giant”
Political scientists have long called Latinx voters “The sleeping giant” of American politics, referring to both population growth and a lack of political engagement. But for Ballí, writing for Texas Monthly, the term is outdated and racist: Latinx voters, often written off by campaigns, are just waiting to be engaged with.
Alex Jung for Vulture: Going Sohla
Whether or not you followed the implosion at Bon Appétit’s Test Kitchen, this profile of Sohla El Waylly is worth reading (also highly suggest watching her new show, Stump Sohla, on the Babish Culinary Network).
That’s all for this week. Thanks for sticking around. Until next week, feel free to send tips, suggestions, and sound advice to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow at @gabemschneider. And don’t forget to become a MinnPost member.