Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

When third-party ballot access meets partisan meddling: From the Politics Desk

By 37ci3 Jun8,2024

Welcome to the online version of From the policy deskevening bulletin that brings you the latest reporting and analysis from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill from the NBC News Politics team.

In today’s edition, senior political reporter Alex Seitz-Wald reveals efforts by operatives connected to a GOP consulting firm to help put Cornel West on the ballot in a major battleground. Plus, Andrea Mitchell, chief Washington correspondent and senior foreign affairs correspondent, breaks down the status of ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas.

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Operatives with GOP connections are helping Cornel West get on the ballot in a key state

By Alex Seitz-Wald

Cornel West’s independent presidential campaign broke. His former campaign manager says he knows nothing about ballot access. And the West spent more more about graphic design than petition-raising in his latest campaign finance report.

But thanks to self-organized local volunteers in key states and some help from outside operatives affiliated with a Republican consulting firm, tens of thousands of signatures have been collected on behalf of the famous left-wing academic.

Democrats fear West’s potential to steal votes from President Joe Biden where he is on the ballot in close elections, and some Republicans have criticized West and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and are openly discussing ways to boost other minor candidates like Jill from the Green Party. Stein with hope the disintegration of the anti-Donald Trump coalition.

In North Carolina, a new state party to get West on the ballot announced Monday that its “all-volunteer effort” has delivered more than 30,000 signatures, despite having virtually no oversight and not receiving “one cent” from West’s campaign.

But internal emails, social media posts and other evidence obtained by NBC News suggest an outsider — though it’s unclear who or how much, if anything, they spent — tried to help get West on the ballot in North Carolina. local allies were not fully aware of this.

Emails from election officials show that the pro-Western All Justice Party has authorized three people to collect and release signatures for them across the state — and all three are current or former employees of a Colorado-based Republican political firm called Blitz Canvassing.

Blitz Canvassing has worked for numerous Republican House and Senate candidates and has raised more than $14.6 million working for Never Back Down, the main super PAC supporting former GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to campaign finance reports.

Read more from Alex here →

Negotiations are underway between the state of Israel and Hamas, which is in a tense situation

By Andrea Mitchell

A week after the president announced what Israel described as a new cease-and-desist agreement, none of the players involved can even agree on who proposed it, let alone whether it could become a reality.

The US and Israel are taking opposite steps to pressure Hamas to accept the agreement: the US through diplomacy, Israel through military action. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has turned on the phone lines for all Arab leaders and the G7 to support the plan. Now Blinken is following up on those phone calls and announcing today that he will travel to the Middle East next week – his eighth trip to the region since Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel.

Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to the deal as a member of Israel’s War Cabinet, he has since avoided it and continued his attacks on Rafah.

U.S. officials say privately that Netanyahu’s tactics are misguided and largely a political response to prevent hard-right Cabinet ministers from overthrowing a coalition government if he ends the war. Arab diplomats told NBC News that both Hamas and Israel are ready for a “first phase” — a six-week pause in hostilities accompanied by the release of hostages and an exchange of Palestinian prisoners.

But they say that Hamas wants the ceasefire to be permanent in the second phase, and Israel will not accept this condition.

Israel also objects to Hamas playing any role in Gaza after the war. The US and Hamas do not want Israel to remain there as a security force. All this has further strained the already strained relationship between Biden and Netanyahu. The president further inflamed this tension by telling Time magazine People may conclude that “there is a reason”. Netanyahu prolonged the war for his own political survival.

Biden tried to clean it up later, Gabe Gutierrez told NBC News he doesn’t think Netanyahu is playing politics.

But with the administration sending Middle East negotiator Brett McGurk to the region — and CIA Director William Burns set to travel to Doha midweek to meet with his Egyptian and Qatari counterparts — securing a ceasefire and hostage release acceptable to both Israel and Hamas is an immediate demand. will do. diplomacy is at a higher level. Next week, we’ll report on Blinken’s push to reach a deal on the finish line.

🗞️ The best stories of the day

  • ⚖️ The prosecution stands: Naomi, the eldest daughter of Hunter Biden, came to the defense of Hunter Biden after the prosecution closed its case Friday morning. Biden is charged with possession of a weapon while using drugs. More →
  • 👷 New recruitment: The Republican National Committee has enlisted former Missouri party chairman Ed Martin, who sought to overturn Trump’s loss, to help craft the 2024 platform at the convention. More →
  • 💸 Kohl dash : Kohl’s, a Milwaukee-based department store chain, will not sponsor next month’s Republican National Convention there. More →
  • 😬 My bad: President Biden apologized to Ukrainian President Zelensky on Friday for delaying US military aid to the country in response to Russia’s new offensive. More →
  • ✂️ Cut, Cut, Cut: The Washington Post looks at how Trump would have unprecedented spending powers if re-elected. More →
  • 🧐 Check out this major anti-abortion rights group: NBC is investigating the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. More →
  • 🎁 Report everything you owe in the box on the left: New Supreme Court financial disclosures released Friday include Justice Thomas’ 2019 trip to Bali with billionaire Harlan Crow, Justice Brown Jackson buying concert tickets from Beyoncé and judges receiving book advances. More →

For now, here they are from The Politics Desk. If you have feedback – like it or not – send us an email politicsnewsletter@nbcuni.com

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