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Rep. Barney Frank: Wisconsin recall was ‘a big mistake’

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Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on Wednesday said it was a bad move for Democrats and unions to attempt to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

“I think the people on the Democratic side made a big mistake and the funding thing was a big deal,” Frank told The Hill. “My side picked a fight they shouldn’t have picked. The recall was upsetting to people, the rerun of the election with [Democratic Milwaukee Mayor] Tom Barrett — it’s not a fight I would have picked.”

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Walker, along with Republicans Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and state Sens. Scott Fitzgerald, Terry Moulton and Jerry Petrowski all defeated their challengers on Tuesday night.

“Despite the disappointing outcome of tonight’s election, there is no question that over the past year this recall effort sent a message to Scott Walker that his brand of divisive politics is offensive and wrong,” DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said. “Thousands of Wisconsinites mounted this effort in the face of a flood of out of state, secret and corporate special interest money—amounting to a massive $31 million war chest for Governor Walker to just $4 million on our side.”

The recall elections were the culmination of months of effort by state Democrats and labor unions who spearheaded a backlash against the first-term governor, who ran afoul of public opinion last year. Shortly after taking office, the well-funded tea party favorite joined Republicans in the state senate in attempting to strip public labor unions of their ability to collectively bargain.

Last year, Wisconsin Democrats picked up two seats in the state Senate after defeating incumbent Republicans in recall elections. But Democrats fell short of the three seats needed to gain a majority.

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Trump’s anti-corruption defense blown away by State Department official in newly released testimony

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President Donald Trump's contention that his efforts to get dirt on the family of former Vice President Joe Biden were part of an anti-corruption focus was undermined by testimony that was released by Congress on Monday.

The testimony was released by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), the acting chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, both advisors to Ambassador Kurt Volker on Ukraine policy, testified before the Committees about concerns they had with efforts to press Ukraine into announcing specific investigations which would help President Trump politically," the three chairpeople said in a joint statement. "Ms. Croft also testified that Ukrainian officials approached her quietly about the hold on security assistance in the July or August timeframe, before the hold had been made public.”

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Volker’s deputy told Congress Ukrainians found out Trump froze their military aid ‘very early on’ — before the public knew: report

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According to transcripts released on Monday by House investigators, Catherine Croft, a special adviser for Ukraine and deputy to Kurt Volker, testified that Ukrainian officials became aware of President Donald Trump's decision to freeze military aide appropriated by Congress "very early on" — and long before the public became aware of the delay.

Croft, according to the transcript, told the House that Ukrainian officials "approached me quietly and in confidence to ask me about an [Office of Management and Budget] hold on Ukraine security assistance," and that she was taken aback by how quickly they became aware of it.

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2020 Election

Deval Patrick considering a last-minute presidential bid: report

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Yet another Democrat is considering a late entry into the 2020 presidential campaign.

"Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has told Democratic officials that he is considering making a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race, according to two Democrats with knowledge of the conversations, the latest evidence of how unsettled the party’s presidential primary is less than three months before the Iowa caucuses," The New York Times reported Monday.

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