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Wake Up To Politics - September 21, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

5 Days until the first Presidential Debate (Sept. 26)

9 Days until the Government Funding Deadline (Sept. 30)
48 Days until Election Day 2016 + my 15th birthday (Nov. 8)I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!

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Need to Know

  • Trump Trails Clinton in August Fundraising Amid a month of missteps by the Clinton campaign, the Democratic nominee still managed to outraise Donald Trump in August, according to Federal Election Commission reports released Tuesday night.
  • The Clinton campaign raised a record $59.7 million in August, and burned through $48 million to end the month with $68.4 million in cash on hand.
  • By comparison, the Trump campaign ended the month with $38.4 million stockpiled, after raising $40.6 million and spending $28.9 million.
  • Despite the trend set in the Obama era of Democratic domination of small donors vs. big money flowing to Republicans, Hillary Clinton's fundraising came mostly from big donors last month. The Democrat saw a huge drop in donations of $200 and less, from $24 million in July to $17 million in August.
  • Meanwhile, Donald Trump's campaign received donations from nearly as many individual donors as Clinton: 2.1 million to her 2.3 million. According to the Washington Post, $70 million of the Trump Victory Fund's $90 million in August fundraising came from small donations.
  • Clinton's wealthy donors also benefited the Democratic Party up and down the ballot: the nominee raised $81 million for the Democratic National Committee and the state parties that joined the joint fundraising committee Hillary Victory Fund.
  • However, a closer look reveals that financial support for Clinton relies mainly on a small circle of billionaires: Priorities USA, the top super PAC supporting Clinton, raised $23.4 million in August -- $9.5 million comes just from the combined donations of five top donors, including George Soros.
  • Enthusiasm for Trump appears thinner among the deepest-pocketed Republican donors: casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and wife Miriam, the biggest donors of the 2012 election, gave $20 million to Senate Republicans in August -- so far, Adelson has spent nothing on Trump, although the billionaire is expected to give $5 million to a group supporting the Republican nominee in the coming days.
  • Hillary Clinton also had her biggest spending month of the campaign, going through almost $50 million in August. Of that amount, 68% -- over $33 million -- was used for ad production and airtime, contributing to her domination of the airwaves since the conventions. Clinton also spent $5 million to pay 789 staffers, many more employees than the Trump campaign employs, and almost $1.3 million in polling (a large increase from $244,173 the month before), among other expenses.
  • August was Trump's first advertising month of the campaign; as a result, he spent nearly $12 million more than he had any month of his campaign so far.

Politics Planner

  • White House President Obama spends his final day on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City attending the U.S.-Africa Business Forum and meeting with world leaders.
  • At 11:15am, Obama will address the second U.S.-Africa Business Forum, hosted by the Commerce Department and Bloomberg Philanthropies, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
  • As it did in its first meeting in 2014, the Forum will "once again bring together African heads of state and government and U.S. and African CEOs," according to a White House statement.
  • "It will be an opportunity to forge new partnerships to continue to address the continent's most pressing challenges and to build a stronger, more sustainable future for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic," the statement continued.
  • At 1:05pm, the President will sit down with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
  • At 2pm, he will meet with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, before he departs New York at 3:25pm and arrives back at the White House at 4:40pm.
  • While the General Assembly, this President's last, has been something of a victory lap for Obama so far, his Africa summit and Netanyahu meeting are more reminders of shortcomings. According to a Bloomberg Politics report published today, "President Barack Obama’s signature initiative for Africa -- a $9.7 billion plan to double electricity access in the world’s poorest continent -- has fallen well short of its goals, so far producing less than 5 percent of the new power generation it promised."
  • Of the 10,000 promised three years ago, less than 400 megawatts of power were yielded by Power Africa, a failure that Obama will have to acknowledge in his address today.
  • Meanwhile, Obama prepares to leave office never having fulfilled one of his top foreign policy goals: an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. According to CBS' Mark Knoller, this will be the 14th -- and possibly last -- Obama/Netanyhau meeting, an end to a strained relationship between two allies.
  • The meeting comes just a week after the United States agreed to give Israel a record-setting $38 billion in military aid over 10 years; however, Obama is also expected to raise concerns with Netanyahu about recent Israel settlements in the West Bank.
  • Congress The Senate meets at 9:30am today, and will resume consideration of the short-term continuing resolution (CR). The stopgap funding measure was advanced by a 89-7 vote on Tuesday, even though negotiations have yet to produce deal (a legislative vehicle, a different bill that will be completely substituted once there is a text for the actual CR, was really voted on).
  • Government funding is set to run out on September 30 if no deal is reached. So far, the CR is almost certain to last until December 9 and include $1.1 billion to combat the Zika epidemic.
  • However, it is still uncertain if emergency aid for the Flint, Michigan water crisis (being pushed by Democrats) and the Louisiana flooding (being pushed by Republicans) will be attached.
  • Meanwhile, the House meets at 10am today, with votes not expected until 2pm. Most notably, the House Judiciary Committee holds an impeachment hearing for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen today - in which Koskinen himself will testify.
  • Koskinen's appearance before the panel makes the chamber actually impeaching him unlikely, as admittance on his part that the IRS targeted conservative groups would likely mollify a majority of House Republicans.

Today's Trivia

  • Tuesday's Answer Yesterday, the trivia question asked for the two future Presidents who were members of the Virginia House of Burgesses.
  • The answers: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
  • GREAT JOB...Marlee Millman, Matt Neufeld, Anne Gorenstein, Rashida Doctor, Thomas Alpert, Anne DePalma, Brad Chotiner, Rick Isserman, Miles Kwiatek, Loren Prince, Jeff Melanson, Dan Filliol, Scott Bennett, and Joan Zucker!!!
  • Honorable mention to Gail Smith, Devon Morris, and Joe Bookman. All three answered Jefferson, but missed Washington. Other responses for the second answer: James Madison and James Monroe (who both served in the Virginia House of Delegates once the colony became a state) and John Adams (who did serve in Massachusetts' colonial legislature).
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation", St. Louis Public Radio, the Political Junkie podcast, and on StoryCorps; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki"; and read about Gabe in Politico, the Washington Post, Independent Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Salon, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light.