David Lauter at LAT:
One of California’s most hotly contested congressional races — the campaign between incumbent Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and his Democratic challenger, Harley Rouda — is starting off as a dead heat, according to a new poll that shows a Democratic edge on enthusiasm countering the Orange County district’s Republican leanings.Jordan Graham at The Orange County Register:
Rouda, who barely squeaked through the June primary to emerge as Rohrabacher’s opponent, has a 46%-43% edge among potential voters, the poll found — a nominal lead well within the survey’s margin of error.
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The survey by Monmouth University is the first public, nonpartisan poll of the district since the June primary. The poll is one of a series that Monmouth, in West Long Branch, N.J., is conducting of key congressional races nationwide. The nonpartisan survey has compiled one of the country’s best records for accuracy in recent years.
Orange County GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher met in Russia in 2015 with a woman later charged by federal officials for allegedly acting as an unregistered agent of the Kremlin in a covert endeavor to shape American politics.
News of the 2015 meeting — confirmed Tuesday by Rohrabacher’s office — came the same day he told Politico that Monday’s indictment of 29-year-old Maria Butina was “bogus” and “stupid,” saying he believes the allegations are part of a larger plot to undermine President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia.
The Justice Dept. accused Butina of establishing back-channel lines of communications to American politicians in recent years “to penetrate the U.S. national decision-making apparatus to advance the agenda of the Russian Federation.”
The indictment states that as part of that plot, Butina had discussions with a Russian official – reported to be Alexander Torshin, an influential deputy governor of the Russian central bank – about his plans to “meet with a U.S. Congressman during a Congressional Delegation trip to Moscow in August 2015.”Gideon Resnick at The Daily Beast:
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) lashed out Monday against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen after appearing in a damning segment featured in Cohen’s new Showtime series Who Is America?
The segment in question features a number of Republican members of Congress endorsing a fictional program to train preschoolers to fire guns as a means to preventing school shootings. All Rohrabacher says in the segment is: “Maybe having many young people trained and understand how to defend themselves and their school might actually make us safer here."
Among the other members featured are freshman Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who remained skeptical of the proposal from Baron Cohen’s character, Col. Erran Morad, a self-proclaimed Israeli anti-terror expert.
Rohrabacher, who is viewed as an endangered incumbent in an Orange County district won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, wrote in a statement: “Cohen’s people apparently used footage from an interview I submitted to earlier this year for a bogus Israeli television company supposedly celebrating the country’s 70th anniversary.”