Cameron Joseph Profile picture
Senior political reporter @vicenews. Contributor @The_Almanac of American Politics. Bylined & large.
24 Mar
Do... do the Playbook authors remember Trump barring reporters (and, hell, lawmakers) from child detention centers two years ago?
The story they're linking to shows the opposite of what they're saying. Trump said he'd start allowing press into detention centers after the CBP BARRED THEM for years. They'd allowed press into ONE facility, after immense pressure.…
Like, these were the headlines back then:…
Read 6 tweets
19 Mar
Trump State Department official Freddie Klein's alleged role in the Capitol insurrection isn't the first time he's shown pro-coup tendencies.

Klein repeatedly praised the Argentine military junta.

Turns out his uncle was a senior junta official.…
Three former State Dept. colleagues told me that Klein defended the Argentine dictatorship, which killed ~30K of its own citizens in the Dirty War.

"The views expressed were very sympathetic to a notorious human rights-abusing regime that came to power in a coup," one told me.
Klein's uncle, Guillermo Walter Klein Jr., was a powerful figure in that junta, the right-hand man to the regime's top economic official.

He was prominent enough that leftist guerrillas tried to assassinate him, blowing up his home in 1979. It made international news.
Read 6 tweets
22 Feb
We've hit a historic new high in partisan polarization in the House. Just 9 Republicans hold districts Biden won, and just 7 Dems carried districts Trump won. Not a single Dem holds a House seat that Trump won by 5+ points.

(Reposting to fix typo in the Dem #)
That's a HUGE drop even in the last few years. There were 38 crossover districts after the 2016 elections (13 D, 25 R). Now there are just 16.

As recently as 2009, there were 83 crossover districts — 49 Ds in seats Obama lost in '08, 34 Rs in Obama districts.
Credit to @DKElections for the always-valuable and newly released presidential results by congressional district (and for catching my typo in the Dem #s from the previously posted thread):…
Read 5 tweets
8 Feb
One more name for the list of potential Alabama Senate candidates: Former Trump state chairman Perry Hooper tells me he's thinking about running. "There may be 20 people running by the time the primary gets here. Hell, I may even look at it. I’m the Trump guy in Alabama."
Hooper said he's "had people calling me since the rumors started" about @SenShelby kicked up a few months ago, doesn't sound super likely to run and plans to decide in the next 3-4 weeks. "I'll look at it. But it’s a lot of things I have to weigh."
Hooper was Trump's '16 state chairman and helped out with the post-election legal efforts to reverse Biden's Nevada win.

He's also a former state lawmaker whose dad was Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. Not high name ID but he's well-connected both in-state and with Trump.
Read 5 tweets
3 Feb
Source tells me that roughly half the House GOP conference gave Marjorie Taylor Greene a standing ovation after she rose to speak a few min ago.
Fwiw other sources saying it was likely less than half the conference but all say it was a substantial chunk of the conference. And came after MTG (sort of) apologized.
Full story on how the GOP decided to embrace BOTH their loudest QAnoner and the most prominent impeachment supporter after a long, tense meeting:…
Read 4 tweets
2 Feb
In about 24 hours, House Republicans will meet for the first time to discuss whether to punish Marjorie Taylor Greene — or Liz Cheney. Whatever they do, it'll say a lot about where the party is headed.…
The most likely outcome: They don't do anything.

McCarthy hasn't indicated he'll move to strip Greene of her committee assignments, and it sounds like Cheney's foes don't have the votes to oust her from her leadership role. But there's a helluva lot of uncertainty.
R's from across the party told me they're not thrilled with how Kevin McCarthy has handled this so far. One GOP Hill aide said that by not acting decisively on either front, "He’s self-created this snowball of shit and now it’s coming to a head."
Read 5 tweets
14 Jan
Okay, why the hell did @politico hand its top newsletter @playbookplus over to @benshapiro for today? That newsroom is filled with such talented folks. We're 1 day after impeachment, a week past insurrection and stuff days to inauguration. 4 years and they've learned nothing.
Seriously. It's not like Ben Shapiro doesn't get enough attention. His pieces basically dominate Facebook. And I think he's worth reading. But wtf.
Ben has a big megaphone and represents what a lot of Republicans are thinking so he's worth reading to understand where they're coming from. He doesn't need to be handed the keys to an influential newsletter for that.
Read 4 tweets
22 Oct 20
Just dropped a big investigation with @VICENews:
The U.S. will have almost fewer 21,000 Election Day polling places in 2020 than four years ago.

That's a 20% drop from 2016.…
The deepest cuts were driven by COVID and shifts to vote by mail and voting centers. But many states are just cutting while doing little to nothing to expand VBM.

40 of the 45 states that weren't already vote by mail saw cuts, and 35 are not sending mail ballots to everyone.
This was a biiig lift - it took bugging 50 secretaries of state/election boards (and DC!) for their info and comparing it to 2016 and 2012 @No_Little_Plans deserves kudos for doing most of that.
Read 6 tweets
24 Sep 20
.@realDonaldTrump is running an ad claiming he built "the best" economy in US history and will do so again. That ad uses footage of him at a steel plant that recently laid off hundreds — part of industry-wide layoffs that predate COVID.…
U.S. Steel issued layoff warnings to 737 Granite City, Ill. steelworkers in late April. Hundreds were let go. Though the company wouldn't tell me exactly how many, at the time they were planning 2,700 layoffs nationally and warned 6,500 people they could be let go.
"We suffered a lot. We were essential [workers], and had to get rid of some guys," United Steelworkers local president Dan Simmons told me. "It's cost us quite a bit. It’s been a tough year."
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep 20
.@realDonaldTrump has signaled strongly that he won't concede if he loses this election. I gamed out what could happen next. There are some really alarming scenarios.…
The key tipping-point Electoral College states (AZ/MI/PA/WI) all will use heavy vote by mail this election and all but AZ can't start counting ballots 'til election day means long counts expected - and Trump could lead big on election day even in states where he'll lose.
On top of that, mail ballots are a lot more likely to be rejected for technical reasons (missing signatures/envelopes/witness signatures/etc)— and a lot more likely to face litigation over whether they should count post-election.
Read 8 tweets
17 Aug 20
Happy virtual convention week. I took a look at how this'll be the most visible test so far of whether Dems' virtual campaign can match up in crucial Wisconsin, as their ground game has been moved online while the GOP keeps knocking doors & holding events.…
Part of this disparate approach is driven by necessity. WI Dem @JoeZepecki: "For every voter really longing for face to face communication there could be three that are really turned off by the depravity of sending someone out into a community and risking spreading coronavirus."
WisDems chair @benwikler: "“Trump waltzing around like there’s no pandemic underway and Democrats taking every precaution to show we’re not spreading coronavirus — that sets up exactly the right contrast."
Read 7 tweets
13 Aug 20
Some progressives are still howling #KamalaIsaCop. But many actual police hated her for years because of her refusal to seek the death penalty for a cop-killer. This case will almost certainly come up again now that she's Biden's VP pick.…
As has been widely reported, @SenFeinstein called out @KamalaHarris at the officer's funeral. Thousands of cops applauded. Chris Cunnie, a former cop who was sitting near Harris at the funeral and later worked for her, told me the reax to Feinstein's comments "was like a bomb."
But folks seem to forget how much this dogged Harris in subsequent years. Longtime Harris staffer Tim Silard told me that when cops spotted Harris as he rode in SF Pride parades w/ her, “year after year, as the car drove down the parade route they’d turn their backs to her."
Read 6 tweets
10 Aug 20
As @Bencjacobs catches, @kanyewest's presidential campaign just filed an affidavit confirming my scoop from last week that @realDonaldTrump lawyer Lane Ruhland dropped off his ballot signatures in Wisconsin. This doc is rife with irony.
"People of color have long been marginalized in this country. In seeking to remove Kanye West from the ballot and silence the voices of those who signed to place him, the Complainants are continuing this marginalization simply because Mr. West’s views" aren't Dem
Also argues that Ruhland dropping off the signatures at 5:00:14pm counts as "not later than 5pm."
Read 4 tweets
31 Jul 20
People were right to freak out about @realDonaldTrump's election tweets - but for less obvious reasons. He's turned mail voting into a partisan issue, and with lots more Dems set to vote by mail and mail ballots more likely to get tossed, a crisis looms.…
Polls show Dems are 2x as likely to vote by mail as R's this year. That means Trump could be up considerably on election night before #s swing dramatically in Dems' favor in the days/weeks afterwards. Trump will likely lie, claim fraud. But the bigger threat: disenfranchisement
Usually, mail ballots get tossed at 1%-4% rates depending on the state, but that's not that big a deal since it's usually roughly equal D&R. This year they're gonna be much more heavily Dem — and that rate could double, if things look like they did during this year's primaries.
Read 6 tweets
29 Jul 20
So @realDonaldTrump's rapid response director, @AndrewHClark had some interesting stuff to say about his boss in '16 (and afterwards)...…
Clark was never a #NeverTrump guy - but made clear he wasn't a fan on many occasions.
In Nov '16, he explained why he was "tepidly" backing Trump: "I am honestly not voting for Donald Trump. I did not support him in the primary, I was very upset when he won the nomination."
He was blunter in his IJR columns.
"It's time to put our voting preferences aside for a minute and admit it: Donald Trump is gross. He's not the kind of man you'd want your daughter or your best girl friend to date....At worst, he's committed sexual assault and broken the law."
Read 4 tweets
26 Jul 20
Happy 100 days until the election. @realDonaldTrump has been consistently behind by a wide margin for months as covid drags him down, and Republicans are growing even more worried about the damage he could do to them down-ballot.…
Things are pretty bad,” said one GOP strategist involved in a number of down-ticket races. “If Trump doesn’t turn things around we’ve got real problems.”

Trump is far behind in public/private polls in MI (where he's not even on air with his recent ad buy!), PA, WI. Needs one.
Trump also trails consistently in AZ/FL, down slightly in NC, in a dead heat in IA/OH/TX/GA. Proof his campaign is worried: they're spending on ads in all these states. This is putting the Senate, once a stretch for Dems, easily in reach.
Read 5 tweets
23 Jul 20
.@IlhanMN Omar's campaign recently sent out a mailer accusing her primary opponent of being "in the pocket of" Wall Street, the GOP and big pharma. The only donors the mailer cites by name are Jewish.…
The mailer has set off a heated conversation within her district's Jewish community.

“My immediate thought when I saw the mailer was ‘here we go again.’ This had both implicit and explicit anti-Semitic tropes,” @RabbiAviOlitzky told me.
Some of her Jewish supporters think it's ridiculous.

Evan Stern: “The campaign is just speaking truthfully and honestly about opposition to its agenda and the counter-movement against progressive change in this country... It’s bullshit.”
Read 6 tweets
8 Jul 20
Texas Republicans are one week away from holding a 5,000-plus person indoor convention in Houston, where COVID cases are spiking dramatically.…
Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey: "We can’t live in a world where there’s never again a live in-person concert or convention... That would be anti-American and I am proud and pleased to be part of a group trying to make sure that dystopian future never becomes a reality."
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) is threatening to try to cancel the convention, but it's unclear if he has the legal authority to do so. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has been radio silent about whether he might step in, basically deferring to the state committee.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jun 20
Today, on Juneteenth, @SpeakerPelosi is removing from Congress the paintings of 4 Confederate House speakers. But 12 Confederate statues remain — and the Senate will have to agree to remove them from display if the states don't act. Who are these guys?…
Some obv ones — Confederacy President Jefferson Davis (MS) and VP Alexander Stephens (GA), who famously declared it was built on the "great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition"
Some of the lesser-known ones are just as vile — if not worse.

Wade Hampton (SC) raised $ for the KKK and became governor in 1876 after his Red Shirt white supremacist allies led a terror campaign to keep Black people from voting.
Read 5 tweets
18 Jun 20
I talked to more than a half-dozen senior GOP strategists about @realDonaldTrump’s current election standing and what he’s doing to down-ticket races. Some choice descriptions: “sucks,” “catastrophic,” “dire,” “ominous.”…
GOP strategists say their state/district polling is just as brutal as what we're seeing in national public surveys. Trump's far behind in MI, WI, PA, trailing in AZ, FL and NC, and barely ahead in GA, TX, IA, OH. That's the whole map.
Republicans' best hope is that there's still 4 months until the election. But things could get worse, too...
“Are we at the bottom or has the bottom not even dropped out yet?” wondered one. “I don’t know what gets us out of this. People are probably just fucking sick of it.”
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun 20
.@RepBobbyRush tells me he's not so sure looters broke in — he thinks the cops might've. "I’m wondering who ruined the window in the first place? It might have been a member of the Chicago Police Department that initially ruined the window."
More @RepBobbyRush: “These officers, in the midst of their duty to protect businesses in the African American community, they decided they were going to abdicate that responsibility and seek a place of relaxation and refuge which happened to be my office."
"It’s not a big stretch for me to say the disrespect that was shown in Minneapolis on that awful day is the same kind of disrespect that was shown in my office in the wee hours of the morning on June 1st."
Read 4 tweets