Nov 16, 2017

New PAC will challenge Obama's redistricting efforts

A 2015 photo of then Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The right-leaning consulting firm Champion Group, led by former Americans for Prosperity CEO Luke Hilgemann and COO Sean Lansing, is launching a "Defend Freedom" PAC today to bolster Republican efforts in state elections with an eye on 2020 redistricting.

Why it matters: This Republican PAC is an answer attempts from Barack Obama and others to win back state legislatures and, ultimately, control the redrawing of the electoral map in 2020.

Background: Barack Obama has made redistricting a post-presidency focus, launching the Democrat National Redistricting Committee along with Eric Holder, which has raised $11 million in its first 6 months. The Virginia elections proved that Democrats' strategies for wining back state legislatures are effective.

Big picture: District lines have generally favored Republicans for the past 20 years, and the GOP has been accused of gerrymandering along racial and cultural lines, with several cases being challenged in court. Democrats' victories in Virginia state elections earlier this month were crucial and will fuel their future efforts to gain legislative power (and therefore redistricting power) in the states, which could be a devastating scenario for the GOP.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

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