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LIBERAL STARTUPS ARE ABOUT to get an infusion of money. New Media Ventures, a seed fund and network of investors, is rolling out a $1.2 million round of grants and investments in 13 liberal startups, previewed first in Score. The list includes hot pro-Democratic groups that you’ve probably heard of: MobilizeAmerica, Resistance Labs and Run for Something.
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NMV has also seen an influx of progressive-leaning organizations applying for grants and investments, I report: “The 2016 application process, which was before the election, had about 100 groups applying for funding. This 2018 class had just under 740 applicants. ‘Not only are people going out and marching and signing petitions … they’re also starting new projects and building companies,’ said Shannon Baker, the director of partnerships at NMV. ‘[They’re] quitting their day jobs and putting themselves on the line.’ …
“The firm also emphasizes that its grant and investments send a larger signal to like-minded donors and would-be investors that the organizations it is backing are legitimate. Julie Menter, NMV’s managing director, said that the fund’s network of investors and donors gave $3 million to last year’s class of progressive organizations after NMV’s initial $1 million round. Founders say that donors take them more seriously once NMV backed them.”
The full list, which is split between investments in for-profit companies and grants to nonprofits: BallotReady, EARN, Equality Labs, MobilizeAmerica, The Movement Cooperative, mRelief, Jolt, Pay Your Tuition, Resistance Labs, Run for Something, Spread the Vote, Swayable and Weird Enough Productions.
You can email the rest of the great Campaign Pro team at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter: @PoliticoScott, @JamesArkin, @MaggieSeverns, @ec_schneider and @DanielStrauss4.
Days until the 2018 election: 124.
Upcoming election dates — July 17: Alabama primary runoffs. — July 24: Georgia primary runoffs.
Upcoming primary filing deadlines — Delaware: July 10. — Louisiana: July 20.
NOT GOOD — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University from 1986 to 1994, was accused by former wrestlers of turning a blind eye to a team doctor molesting athletes and students. NBC News’ Corky Siemaszko: “The university announced in April that it was investigating accusations that Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, abused team members when he was the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s. Jordan … has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the abuse until former students began speaking out this spring. His denials, however, have been met with skepticism and anger from some former members of the wrestling team.
“Three former wrestlers told NBC News that it was common knowledge that Strauss showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments, and said it would have been impossible for Jordan to be unaware; one wrestler said he told Jordan directly about the abuse.”
— Jordan’s denied knowing about the abuse in an interview with POLITICO’s Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan: “It’s not true. … I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it. And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.”
** Presented by AARP: There’s only one true deciding factor in this year’s elections: 50-plus voters. They won’t be ignored and their votes are up for grabs. Medicare, Social Security, support for family caregivers, and prescription drug costs are all on the line—so you can be sure they’ll be voting in record numbers.
GOING VIRAL — What does it take to make the new viral campaign spot? Washingtonian’s Amanda Whiting talked with Cayce McCabe of Putnam Partners, who made the latest ad du jour (or door?) for Democrat MJ Hegar in Texas’ 31st District: “There’s a balancing act in making ads for these long-shot races, ads that need to get out the vote while inspiring interest in donors beyond the district limits. ‘The number one thing that voters want right now is authenticity,’ says McCabe, which to him means making the ad that fits the candidate rather than the district, all while still being as ‘local’ and ‘genuine’ as possible. For example, in the case of ‘Doors’, sticking with the abbreviation ‘UT’ when University of Texas might be more clear to that broader, viral audience.”
MIDTERM MESSAGING — As midterms fast approach, Republicans have settled on a new target: the tech industry. POLITICO Pro’s Ashley Gold: “Republicans including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel are making increasing noise about a host of Silicon Valley slights against conservatives, ranging from Facebook’s stripping of ad revenue from the video-blogging duo Diamond and Silk to a Google search result that paired the California GOP with ‘Nazism.’ …
“The complaints come even as tech executives scramble to prove they don’t harbor anti-conservative prejudice. In one previously unreported incident in April, right-leaning digital experts were invited to a Facebook-catered lunch at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute. Facebook later launched a bias review meant to audit whether the company is biased against conservative users and content, with the assistance of former Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl. But the industry may find peace with conservatives elusive. The reason: The bias message appears to be a winning one for firing up the GOP base and countering a feared Democratic ‘blue wave’ in November.”
BATTLEGROUND WATCH — The DCCC has its eyes on South Carolina’s 1st District. McClatchy’s Emma Dumain: “National Democrats sent a Washington operative to South Carolina’s First Congressional District this week — a second visit in just three weeks since Republican incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford lost his primary election. … The Democratic effort appears to be a sign the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s official fundraising arm for House candidates, is preparing to make crucial investments in Democratic candidate Joe Cunningham’s campaign.”
FIRST IN SCORE — EARLY FUNDRAISING NUMBERS — Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in Texas’ 7th District raised more than $1 million in the second quarter and has nearly $800,000 on hand, according to the campaign.
NOT HAPPENING — A judge tossed a suit that tried to tie the Trump campaign to Russia and Wikileaks. POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein: “A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump’s campaign and former Trump adviser Roger Stone conspired with Russia and WikiLeaks to publish hacked Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 presidential race. U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle said in a ruling Tuesday evening that the suit’s efforts to tie the Trump campaign and Stone’s alleged actions to the nation’s capital were too flimsy for the case to proceed in a Washington, D.C., court.
“‘The Trump Campaign’s efforts to elect President Trump in D.C. are not suit-related contacts for those efforts did not involve acts taken in furtherance of the conspiracies to disseminate emails that harmed plaintiffs,’ wrote Huvelle, an appointee of President Bill Clinton.”
NOT INTERESTED — Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she would not seek the state party’s endorsement in the general election, in the name of party unity. More, per Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman: “‘Republicans would like nothing more than to see Democrats fighting each other, and a formal endorsement in our race will divide our party at the exact time we need to come together and focus on the general election,’ she wrote [in a letter to party leaders]. ‘You can help prevent that by voting no endorsement.’” She’s facing fellow Democrat Kevin de Léon in November.
A NEW POWER CENTER — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is quickly becoming a rallying point for progressive Democrats across the country. HuffPost’s Daniel Marans and Kevin Robillard: “A little over a week since her upset of Joe Crowley, the Democratic Party boss of Queens County, Ocasio-Cortez finds herself as an unlikely kingmaker. She’s used her newfound power to boost the political fortunes of a slew of candidates ― most but not all of whom are backed by the Justice Democrats, a group that played an integral role in Ocasio-Cortez’s bid and is dedicated to unseating corporate Democrats.
“But there are also signs establishment Democrats are hoping her newfound fame can boost the party’s general election fortunes as well ― EMILY’s List and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have both reached out to Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign. (Gillibrand congratulated her on the phone the day after the big win.).”
DEMS IN DISARRAY? — Well, kind of. Rhode Island Democrats are fighting over endorsements of Assembly candidates who are challenging incumbents. WPRI’s Ted Nesi reports that those endorsements have progressives furious with the party machine: “The controversy is the latest evidence of a deep divide in the Rhode Island Democratic Party, which holds every federal and statewide office as well as durable supermajorities in the state legislature, at the price of massive differences in policy and perspective across its membership.”
CODA — “I’m actually getting more invitations. People are saying, ‘Come to my party. We don’t approve of what’s going on,’” Alan Dershowitz responding to people mocking him on Twitter after he wrote an op-ed saying he getting shunned in Martha’s Vineyard, to the Martha’s Vineyard Times.
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They’re frustrated with broken government. And they’re fed up with politicians who’d rather get into fights than get results. The issues they care about most including Medicare, Social Security, support for family caregivers and prescription drug costs, are all on the line. America’s 50-plus voters have put the candidates on notice. Anyone who ignores them will feel it on Election Day. aarp.org/vote **