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Lead story of today's New York Times

In a deeply reported article on "How Trump's Billion-Dollar Campaign Lost Its Cash Advantage," the N.Y. Times' Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman found some unusual spending by the Trump campaign.

Why it matters: Money concerns are very real for President Trump's campaign — an unusual predicament for a sitting president, and one that worries veteran Republican operatives.

Details:

  • "Super Bowl ads that cost $11 million."
  • "$156,000 for planes to pull aerial banners in recent months."
  • "Nearly $110,000 to Yondr, a company that makes magnetic pouches used to store cellphones during fundraisers so that donors could not secretly record Trump and leak his remarks."
  • "[M]ore than $1 million in ads aired in the Washington, D.C., media market," which the Times characterizes as a "Trump-pleasing expense."
  • "[A]bout $4 million into the Trump family businesses since 2019."
  • "Hershey Company, the chocolate-maker ($337,000), which cover costs for items such as the White House-branded M&Ms given away by administrations of both parties."
  • Former campaign manager Brad Parscale "had a car and driver, an unusual expense for a campaign manager."

Keep reading (subscription).

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2020 - Technology

Facebook's pre-election restrictions didn't dent political ad reach

Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans saw more political ads on Facebook in the week before the 2020 election than they did the prior week despite the company's blackout on new political ads during that period, according to Global Witness, a human rights group that espouses tech regulation.

Why it matters: The presidential election was a key stress test for Facebook and other leading online platforms looking to prove that they can curb misinformation. Critics contend measures like the new-ad blackout barely made a dent.

Federal judge says Florida ban on "sanctuary cities" racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing "sanctuary city" policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.