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• Clintons’ corporate ATM cuts both ways
• ObamaCare problems may mean lost coverage, tax chaos in 2015
• Messy Mississippi gets even messier
• Power Play: Light blue state turning purple
• Calling all cars
CLINTONS’ CORPORATE ATM CUTS BOTH WAYS
Raising cash in staggering amounts, much of it from Wall Street, the Clintons’ fundraising machine has put 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the driver’s seat when it comes to the big bucks required to seek the highest office in the land. However, Hillary’s recent difficulty in explaining that her extraordinary wealth doesn’t disconnect her from most Americans shows that those big corporate bucks come at a political price. Republicans and some Democrats are worried, albeit for different reasons about the Clinton juggernaut, and a juggernaut it surely is. “Bill and Hillary Clinton helped raise more than $1 billion from U.S. companies and industry donors during two decades on the national stage through campaigns, paid speeches and a network of organizations advancing their political and policy goals, The Wall Street Journal found. Those deep ties potentially give Mrs. Clinton a financial advantage in the 2016 presidential election, if she runs, and could bring industry donors back to the Democratic Party for the first time since Mr. Clinton left the White House. Republicans, while capable of raising similar sums, worry the Clintons will take an early lead in the next presidential race, which is expected to total well above the $2 billion spent in 2012….In total, the Clintons raised between $2 billion and $3 billion from all sources, including individual donors, corporate contributors and foreign governments, the Journal found. Between $1.3 billion and $2 billion came from industry sources….The Clintons’ fundraising strength could cut two ways for Mrs. Clinton. Americans still blame large companies and Wall Street banks in particular for the financial crisis and the country’s lingering economic troubles…. The Clintons’ big donors also disturb some liberal Democrats. ‘It’s hard to imagine someone being willing to jail Wall Street bankers who broke the law if that same person is getting paid a lot of money by Wall Street bankers,’ Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said, referring to Mrs. Clinton’s paid speeches.”
[In C-SPAN’s BookTV interview, set to air July 5, Hillary Clinton tells C-SPAN's Steve Scully “a lot of [the news] is inaccurate or unimportant to [her].”]
OBAMACARE PROBLEMS MAY MEAN LOST COVERAGE, TAX CHAOS IN 2015
Fox News: “The Obama administration is struggling to resolve data discrepancies that could jeopardize coverage for millions who sought health insurance on the federal exchange HealthCare.gov, according to a watchdog report on the still-rocky implementation of ObamaCare… The government needs to determine applicants’ eligibility in order to verify they can enroll and, in some cases, get government subsidies. Without that step, coverage could be jeopardized. Critics fear these issues also could cause chaos during the 2015 tax-filing season, as many would have to pay back subsidy money they were not entitled to. According to the report, those running the federal marketplace are having trouble resolving problems ‘even if applicants submitted appropriate documentation.’…The report said that most of the problems dealt with citizenship and income information supplied by consumers that conflicted with what the federal government had on record. The report said the government's eligibility system was not fully functional. The data above doesn't even reflect what's happening with the state-run exchanges. According to the same report, four of the 15 state marketplaces reported they were ‘unable to resolve inconsistencies.’ They are: Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Vermont.”
[According to a new Bankrate.com study, 68 percent of voters say that ObamaCare will factor in how they will vote in November. The study also showed that 52 percent of respondents want to see Congress make minor or major changes to law.]
Company behind failed ObamaCare Web site, fails Colorado’s accounting upgrade - Another failed computer system under CGI’s belt. CGI is the same company behind the ObamaCare website debacle last year. Colorado’s $58 million computer upgrade contract with CenturyLink and CGI to improve the state’s accounting system (CORE) was supposed to be ready for use Tuesday. According to KDVR: “Internal records from the Governor’s [Office of Information Technology] division show CORE’s status as of May’s report was coded ‘red.’ Red is the worst rating possible, defined as ‘behind schedule, with no approved recovery plan(s).’ The status report shows CORE was only 65 percent completed. IT Engineers sum up the problems with the term ‘excessive project crashing.’ June’s status report was officially unavailable, but unofficial internal records we reviewed indicate the project might be as much as 71 percent completed. That’s still a long way from done.”
[Michigan jumps on the bandwagon. This week Michigan awarded CGI with a nearly $90 million bid to recreate the state’s administration system.]
BENGHAZI SUSPECT MUM, HEADS TO COURT
Five days after Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khatallah docked on U.S. soil, Khatallah will appear at a detention hearing in the U.S. District Court this morning. Fox News has learned that during interrogations en route to the U.S. on the USS New York, Khatallah spoke to authorities briefly but has refused to cooperate since. With or without Khatallah speaking, legal experts say this case will be difficult to prosecute since the FBI did not secure the crime scene or gather evidence. It will also be a challenge to bring a Libyan witness to the U.S. to testify. Although today’s hearing is largely procedural, since it is a likely that Khatallah will be held pending his trial, prosecutors will have to explain why Khatallah is a flight risk and danger to community.
[Watch Fox: Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge will report live at the U.S. District Court with the latest.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
Fifty years ago today, former President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act that established equality and ended Jim Crow laws for all Americans. Will Moredock of the Charleston City Paper sits down with Beverly Gadsden Birch and Bill Saunders, who both lived near Charleston in 1964, to understand the impact of this landmark legislation and racial challenges that continue half a century later. “Beverly Birch and Bill Saunders acknowledge that it has done much good, but also say that much remains to be done.…On the surface, the Civil Rights Act has certainly transformed American life. Blacks and whites are more integrated in work and education than ever before. Blacks vote in larger numbers and hold more political offices. They hold private and public sector jobs once reserved for whites. But these successes seem rather superficial compared to the deep and abiding problems that afflict the African-American community. Poverty lingers for generation after generation, visible in pockets as small as Charleston’s East Side and as vast as the City of Detroit….In the coming days, there will be much flag-waving and fireworks, much talk of faith and freedom, pride and patriotism. But if this country was conceived in liberty, it was also conceived in slavery. To ignore that fact is not only dishonest, it robs us of the opportunity to heal this country, to make it whole. The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is a good time to think about that. So is the Fourth of July.”
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 41.5 percent//Disapprove – 53.3 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 29 percent//Wrong Track – 62.5 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 42.8 percent// Republicans 41.4 percent
MESSY MISSISSIPPI GETS EVEN MESSIER
Two weeks after officials announced Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., the winner of the GOP Senate nomination, challenger state Rep. Chris McDaniel, R-Miss., seems nowhere near conceding. This morning, McDaniel blasted an e-mail to his supporters claiming Cochran ‘stole last week’s runoff election’ and asking for contributions to the Election Challenge Fund, that will contest Cochran’s ‘corrupt election.’ Under Mississippi primary runoff rules, no voter who participated in the Democratic primary may cast a ballot in a Republican runoff election. McDaniel is searching, determinedly, voters who violated this guideline. If McDaniel finds at least 6,693 invalid votes, he would effectively beat Cochran to face state Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss., in November. The Hill: “[McDaniel’s] campaign has more than 150 staff and volunteers fanned out across the state, comparing poll books from the June 3 Democratic primary to those from the June 24 GOP runoff to see if any voters showed up in both elections….McDaniel spokesman Noel Fritsch said that as of Tuesday afternoon the campaign had found more than 3,300 ineligible crossover votes, and counting.”
Cochran campaign denies vote buying, threatens lawsuit – While double-dipping voters is certainly a place for McDaniel to nullify ballots, a conservative blogger is now claiming Sen. Thad Cochran was trying to buy votes in the June 24 runoff. According to the blog, Charles C. Johnson reports that Stevie Fielder said the Cochran campaign promised to pay him to tell black voters they would be paid $15 per vote for Cochran. Johnson admits that he paid Fielder for the story. The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger: “Cochran campaign spokesman Jordan Russell called the accusations of illegal vote buying ‘baseless and false.’… Russell said the campaign hired Fielder for get-out-the-vote work. ‘We hire a lot of people — black, white, young, old — to help with get-out-the-vote efforts,’ Russell said...Russell said the campaign’s ‘standard rate’ for people knocking on doors and doing other GOTV work is ‘$25 a shift — $25 in the morning, then a lunch break, then $25 for the afternoon.’… Russell said Cochran is considering litigation over the allegations. ‘If I were these two men, who made the claims or wrote the story, I would be talking to a lawyer,’ Russell said. ‘Because we are most definitely talking to ours.’”
POWER PLAY: LIGHT BLUE STATE TURNING PURPLE
Since Colorado has been trending more blue in recent elections, it should have been a safe reelection for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. But Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., continues to gain on the incumbent senator. In the latest edition of “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt,” Chris considers the impact of other Colorado races and why their outcomes will keep Udall on the attack. Watch “The Race in 90 Seconds” here.
ROMNEY BOOSTS BROWN FUNDRAISING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Journal: “A fund-raiser hosted by 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney helped push Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown’s second-quarter fund-raising total to more than $2 million. The New Hampshire Journal has learned that Romney hosted an event for Brown in Chicago on Sunday night. The quarter ended on Monday and a source close to Brown said he raised more than $2 million between April 1 and June 30. Romney will formally endorse Brown [today in New Hampshire].”
HUCKABEE BACKS CASSIDY IN THE BAYOU
The (La.) Times-Picayune: “Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee endorsed [Senate hopeful Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.]…Tuesday. Said Huckabee: ‘Dr. Cassidy has spent nearly three decades treating patients in a hospital for the uninsured. His time there taught him that when the government has the power, patients suffer. That’s why Dr. Cassidy opposed Obamacare and put forward free-market alternatives that will empower patients, not Washington. Dr. Cassidy’s record of service and his Christian faith make him a powerful messenger of Louisiana values and conservative reform in Washington.’”
BEGICH PICKS UP MAYORS’ ENDORSEMENTS IN NEW AD
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: “Three Fairbanks-area mayors from past and present have lent their support to … Sen. Mark Begich[, D-Alaska,] in a campaign ad released [Tuesday]. Appearing in the ad are city of Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart, current Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins and former borough Mayor Jim Whitaker. ‘We’re all voting for Mark Begich,’ the three say in unison in the ad…Of Begich’s qualifications, Hopkins says ‘he took on the EPA and kept our coal-fired power plant open.’ Whitaker chimes in ‘that’s why we know he’s against the carbon tax.’…Eberhart adds ‘he fought to keep our squadron of F-16s at Eielson’ and Hopkins says ‘that saved 3,000 jobs.’ Whitaker and Eberhart finish off the endorsement with Whitaker saying that Begich has ‘clout’ and Eberhart saying that the state can’t afford to lose it.”
[Got any plutonium? - Longshot challenger Nick Troiano will start a “Back to the Future” inspired tour in a 1981 DeLorean around Pennsylvania today. Troiano hopes to gain enough signatures to be on the ballot to unseat Rep. Tom Marion, R-Pa. Troiano’s slogan takes a twist on Dr. Emmett Brown’s famous line, “We must get back to a politics that serves the people in order to save the future of our country.” No word yet on how Troiano plans to generate the 1.21 gigawatts he’ll need for the DeLoarean.]
Republicans have their sights set on six seats to win back control of the Senate from Democrats. So which seats are most likely to flip from blue to red? Based on your tweets and e-mails, the current consensus among Fox News First readers is: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia
Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.
LERNER TARGETED GRASSLEY AFTER GRASSLEY BLOCKED OBAMA NOMINEE
Daily Caller: “Ex-Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner tried to audit Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley after Grassley blocked President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Justice (DOJ) tax division, an executive branch insider told The Daily Caller. Grassley made it more difficult for the IRS and DOJ to work together to target conservative groups by blocking Obama’s political appointee Mary L. Smith from taking over the DOJ Tax Division, which prosecutes criminal cases for the IRS. Grassley held up the nomination in early 2010, just as Lerner and fellow IRS officials were mapping out their targeting strategy. The White House later withdrew Smith’s nomination. The source confirmed to The Daily Caller that the White House and IRS officials ‘were very upset at Senator Grassley and Republicans for blocking a vote on Mary Smith’s nomination.’”
[A Gallup poll found 79 percent of voters believe there is ‘widespread’ corruption throughout the government, a 20 point surge since 2006.]
HIGH COURT’S OBAMACARE RULING TO HIT SILVER SCREEN
EchoLight Studios, run by former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, will release a movie Sept. 1 that explores the Hobby Lobby case in which the Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare’s mandate that private businesses pay for insurance that covers certain kinds of contraceptives is a violation of religious freedom. According to The Hollywood Reporter: “The film, a documentary called One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty, has been in the works for several months. The movie makes the case that the free expression of Christianity has lately been taking a backseat to free speech, government expansion and political correctness, and the Hobby Lobby case is one example from the film… The movie, directed and produced by Ken Carpenter, features remarks by President Ronald Reagan and interviews with several experts on the topic of religious freedom, including former GOP presidential candidate and Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee.”
CALLING ALL CARS
Herbert Foster thought he had a smart way to throw police off their pursuit after he fled a traffic stop in Florida. Witnesses reported Foster running toward his home after the police pulled him over in Daytona Beach. The Daytona Beach News-Journal: “As deputies headed to the home, a caller reported Foster was hiding behind a sport utility vehicle. As officers got there, they saw Foster walking out but he then turned and took off running, the [police] report states. Shortly after, dispatchers got a call from someone reporting Foster drove from the area in a Ford Mustang. In a second call, the same person reported Foster was in Hollyland Park, reports show. But deputies, helped out by a police dog, kept searching the area they last saw Foster, finding him hiding. He ran again, but a helicopter followed until a deputy shot the suspect with a Taser… After Foster was caught dispatchers provided deputies the telephone number from where the 9-1-1 calls were made and the telephone turned out to be Foster’s.” Foster was charged with making fake 9-1-1 calls, possessing drugs, resisting an officer and driving with a suspended license.
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“One thing that isn’t over, they are going to track down the two Hamas guys who got away, who were responsible for this. Remember the Israelis spent a decade tracking down every one of the Munich massacre terrorists killing them wherever they were in the world. And that’s going to happen to these Hamas guys. These guys will be found, the Israelis have long memories.” –Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.