Good Deeds, Aug. 31

Good Deeds, Aug. 31 #956

Following are fundraisers, donations and other charitable events happening in the Midlands. Email your information about good deeds to connect@owh.com or call 402-444-1040.

Locks of Love: Three-year-old Maci Anderson had her first big haircut Thursday night, donating the hair cut off to Locks of Love. Maci is following in the footsteps of big sister Lexi, 7, who has twice donated her hair. Lexi’s and Maci’s mom, Jenny, lost a friend to colon cancer in 2000 and has vowed to help cancer patients ever since. Maci’s hair was cut by Chrissy Stephens at JB’s Salon in La Vista. Maci says she loves her new haircut.

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Another record-setting run for Ward at the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler

Another record-setting run for Ward at the Charlottesville Women's Four Miler #418

Just like the past three years, former Albemarle standout Rachel Ward broke away from the army of female athletes and led from wire to wire, this time shattering her previous course record by a whopping 44 seconds.

War in Europe

War in Europe

“Ukraine must be cleansed of idiots,” he wrote—and then called for the “genocide” of the “race of bastards.” But Novorossiya will … Indeed, in military exercises in 2009 and 2013, the Russian army openly “practiced” a nuclear attack on Warsaw. Top …

Ukrainian servicemen stand in position during fighting with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian town of Ilovaysk on Aug. 26, 2014.

WARSAW, Poland—Over and over again—throughout the entirety of my adult life, or so it feels—I have been shown Polish photographs from the beautiful summer of 1939: The children playing in the sunshine, the fashionable women on Krakow streets. I have even seen a picture of a family wedding that took place in June 1939, in the garden of a Polish country house I now own. All of these pictures convey a sense of doom, for we know what happened next. September 1939 brought invasion from both east and west, occupation, chaos, destruction, genocide. Most of the people who attended that June wedding were soon dead or in exile. None of them ever returned to the house.

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McChrystal wades into midterm races

McChrystal wades into midterm races #265

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal has a newfound interest in politics ahead of this year’s midterms, increasing speculation that he might run for office himself one day.

Earlier this month, the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan backed Massachusetts House challenger Seth Moulton, a Marine Corps veteran who is running against Democratic Rep. John Tierney in the Sept. 9 primary.

<!–more–>Speaking at a campaign event for Moulton, the four-star general said he did not belong to any political party and had never endorsed a candidate before. 

“But I thought it was time to change it and change it for one person,” McChrystal said.

 A week later, he also announced his support for retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Irv Halter (D), who is trying to unseat Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn.

 “I trust people that prove to me their character, and I trust Irv like few others. If we can follow leaders like Irv Halter, we’ll do well,” McChrystal said in a statement backing the longshot Democratic challenger. 

It’s the first overtly political foray for McChrystal since he was forced to resign as the leader of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2010 in the wake of a Rolling Stone article where he made disparaging comments about the Obama administration’s strategy in the country.

Former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress, said the endorsements are a natural extension of McChrystal’s commitment to public service, similar to his work with the Franklin Project at The Aspen Institute, which encourages a year of national service among young people. 

“Whether or not that translates into him running for public office is hard for me to say, but he’s never brought that up to me, and I don’t think that’s his motivation behind it,” Murphy told The Hill. 

McChrystal’s endorsements for both veterans come from personal ties to the two challengers.

Moulton, who served four tours in Iraq, didn’t meet McChrystal until he was attending graduate school at Harvard University.

“We got to know each other because we share a belief in national service,” Moulton told The Hill, adding that he didn’t specifically ask for McChrystal’s endorsement. Nonetheless, the former general has appeared at one public event and two fundraisers for Moulton.

Tierney is one of GOP’s top targets this fall, facing a looming rematch with Republican Richard Tisei. Two years ago, he faced ethics questions stemming from his in-law’s gambling convictions, and he narrowly edged out Tisei. Last year, the House Ethics Committee dropped its investigation into whether Tierney failed to disclose his wife’s income on financial disclosure forms. 

Though Moulton is running competitively with Tierney, McChrystal hasn’t been critical of the incumbent. Moulton says he speaks to McChrystal every two weeks about the campaign and leadership. MyChrystal has become one of his mentors.

“There’s no question the McChrystal endorsement got Seth Moulton the most coverage he’s had to date. Period. End of sentence. Nothing else has been close,” according to Massachusetts-based Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh.

The general’s stamp of approval will likely help Moulton pick up more elderly voters and veterans in the upcoming primary, where turnout is expected to be exceedingly low. But the race between the two is hard to handicap because of “precious little polling available” on the race, according to Marsh.  

If Moulton does defeat Tierney, Marsh said she would “be surprised if he didn’t bring McChrystal back in” for the general election against Tisei in a bid to win over unenrolled voters.

In Halter’s case, the two men served together in Afghanistan as well as several rotations on the U.S. Joint Staff at the Pentagon, and he approached McChrystal for his support. 

However, there is “no implied plan to do anything more” for the campaign, according to Halter.

While the retired general’s endorsements generated headlines for both candidates, a national military figure like McChrystal might not have much of an impact. 

McChrystal himself has been adamant that he does not want to run for office, but both Moulton and Halter said they would welcome that idea.

“I think that, like a lot of people, he feels that things in Washington have gotten so bad, it’s time for him to stand up and get involved,” Moulton said.

Asked if McChrystal should run one day, Moulton replied that the retired general is “one of the best leaders I’ve ever known, and we certainly need better leaders in government.”

Halter said he “certainly didn’t get the view that [McChrystal] is looking to do that himself.”

On the other hand, “Stan McChrystal’s a leader. Our government needs leaders, so from that perspective, sure,” he added.

Murphy said if McChrystal does run, “he has a heck of a lot to offer” and predicted the Rolling Stone article wouldn’t be an issue.

“If he called me and said, ‘I’m running for office,’ I’d be the first to sign up to help him,” according to Murphy, who served with McChrystal’s brother at West Point.

McChrystal’s sudden interest in politics is a positive development for veterans, Murphy added, noting that only about 20 percent of congressional lawmakers today have served in the military, down from nearly 80 percent 40 years ago. 

“He’s not running against anybody. He’s running and supporting people he believes in,” Murphy said. “Most of us in the military would run through a brick wall for each other.”

A spokeswoman for the McChrystal Group, the retired general’s business services firm, said he is traveling this week and could not respond to questions submitted by The Hill.

For more details, visit thehill.com

Clinton to stump for Michaud as gubernatorial contest ramps up

Clinton to stump for Michaud as gubernatorial contest ramps up #779

In that race, Mitchell’s fast decent to third place coincided with Clinton’s last-minute visit to Lewiston before Election Day.

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The free event at Ocean Gateway in Portland has already reached capacity.

Former President Bill Clinton will campaign with U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, in Portland next week.

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Clinton will be the top draw at a rally and reception for Michaud at Ocean Gateway.

The free rally reached its capacity of 750 less than three hours after the Michaud campaign announced Clinton’s visit and posted an RSVP link on the campaign’s website, michaud2014.com/Clinton, spokeswoman Lizzie Reinholt said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

The rally is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2. The campaign said it will maintain a waiting list for tickets in the event of cancellations, but it can offer no guarantee of admission.

The 42nd president has attended similar events for other Democratic candidates seeking high-profile offices. In 2010, Clinton headlined two events for Democratic nominee Libby Mitchell, who eventually finished third in the five-way contest for governor.

Clinton’s visit comes as the current race is expected to increase in intensity. The three major candidates – Michaud, Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler – have been campaigning for more than a year. However, state elections here tend not to grab the public’s attention until after Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer.

On Tuesday, Michaud’s campaign touted the event’s reaching capacity as evidence that Mainers were ready to remove LePage from the Blaine House.

“I’m extremely honored and excited that President Clinton is coming to Maine to lend his support to my campaign,” Michaud said in a statement. “I’ve always admired President Clinton for his ability to work across the aisle to get things done, which is something we’ve been missing here in Maine under Gov. LePage. Based on the reaction our invitation has received, it’s clear voters in Maine are extremely excited about this race and ready for a change.”

Republicans portrayed Clinton’s visit as a signal that the 2014 contest would be a repeat of 2010. In that race, Mitchell’s fast descent to third place coincided with Clinton’s last-minute visit to Lewiston before Election Day. During that event Clinton urged a crowd that filled about one-third of the Lewiston Armory not to give up hope. He warned younger voters that not voting for Mitchell was akin to playing “Russian roulette” with their future.

Clinton’s visit to Lewiston was his second of the 2010 campaign. Lewiston proved a significant battleground in the race. LePage decisively carried the city, which is dominated by Franco-Americans and typically elects Democratic state lawmakers.

Alex Willette, LePage’s campaign spokesman, said Tuesday that Michaud, a six-term congressman, is bleeding support in his own 2nd Congressional District and that Clinton’s visit was designed to “prop up his campaign.”

“This visit feels very similar to 2010 when President Clinton stumped in Maine in an attempt to stem the loss of support for Libby Mitchell and we saw how that unfolded,” Willette said in a statement. “Congressman Michaud’s career as a go-along to get-along politician requires presidential star power to get the attention of the Maine people, unlike Governor LePage, who has a proven record of reforming government and getting Mainers back to work.”

Clinton has made numerous stump stops for an array of candidates since finishing his second term in January 2001. While his presidency was rocked by a sex scandal with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Clinton has remained relatively popular with the American public. A poll commissioned last spring by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal showed that 55 percent of Americans held a favorable view of the former president, a rating identical to that of the pope.

Clinton has campaigned for President Obama and more recently for Kentucky Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes. Grimes is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Clinton’s stop in Kentucky was portrayed in some media accounts as an attempt to insulate Grimes from Obama, whose popularity there has fallen.

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Tuesday Primaries: 4 Things to Watch in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma

Tuesday Primaries: 4 Things to Watch in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma #760

Gallego is running in the decisive Democratic primary Tuesday for Arizona’s 7th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The end of the midterm primary season is nigh, and Tuesday marks the penultimate date of intra-party brawls this cycle.

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Most notably, Rep. Ann Kirkptrick, D-Ariz., will at last her learn her general election rival as 1st District’s GOP voters pick a nominee in this competitive race. To the west, suburban Phoenix Republicans will nominate their challenger to freshman Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

Another pair of House contests in Arizona and Oklahoma will almost certainly pick future House members in districts with highly partisan voting populations. EMILY’s List and a GOP effort to help female candidates also have skin in these contests.

Florida polls close at 7 p.m. EST, while Oklahoma’s close at 8 p.m. EST. Arizona latest polls close out the night at 10 p.m. EST. Check out Roll Call’s “At the Races” blog for live results as soon as the first polls close.

The National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman has targeted Arizona’s 1st District with vigor. But Washington, D.C., operatives are increasingly grim about this seat because all three GOP contenders have proven flawed.

Public polling for the primary shows inconsistent results. But the self-described business-friendly wing of the party — Main Street Advocacy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — are putting radio and television money behind state Speaker Andy Tobin’s candidacy. Still, even if he does prevail, most observers agree he ran a poor primary race and his campaign is in weak financial shape.

The legislative district of Tobin’s rival, state Rep. Adam Kwasman, covers a conservative stronghold. But he earned national headlines earlier in the summer when he misidentified children riding on a bus to YMCA camp for migrant minors.

Finally, there’s rancher Gary Kiehne, a candidate whose greatest strength is his self-funding capacity. But over the course of the primary, Kiehne repeatedly racked up off-color comments that would keep national Republicans up at night if he’s the nominee.

The GOP’s candidate conundrum in this sprawling, eastern Arizona district is even more frustrating for national Republicans because Mitt Romney carried it by two points. The race is rated Tilts Democrat by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

But national Democrats are holding off on the gloating, arguing the district is such difficult terrain that Kirkpatrick could lose to nearly anyone, especially if the national landscape doesn’t favor Democrats.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Wendy Rogers faces former Arizona State University quarterback Andrew Walter for the honors of challenging Sinema, a freshman Democrat, in November.

Like the 1st District, Republicans are similarly pessimistic about their prospects here. What’s more, the region’s dominant newspaper isn’t a fan of either, declining to endorse in the primary.

Rogers is a participant in Project GROW, a national Republican effort to help female candidates, including in primaries. But Rogers has made some inflammatory comments during her previous House bid, which made many Republicans give Walter a second look.

Sinema has spent her freshman term building up a massive war chest and tacking to the center of this competitive district east of Phoenix. Republicans on Capitol Hill have started to view the race as less about November, and more about weaking Sinema for a stronger challenger in 2016.

Arizona’s 9th District is rated Democrat Favored by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Two races — a primary in Arizona and a runoff in Oklahoma — will all but determine the next member hailing from these open seats.

In Oklahoma’s 5th District, former state Sen. Steve Russell and State Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas face off to replace GOP Rep. James Lankford. The two-term congressman won the GOP primary for Senate in June and will most likely succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who will resign from Congress later this year.

Also in the June primary, Russell edged Douglas, 27 percent to 24 percent — a margin of less than 1,000 votes. Since neither candidate reached the 50 percent threshold in the primary, Douglas and Russell must face each other again on Tuesday.

Russell, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army, has played up his military service in the race. He commanded the operation that captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003. Douglas has received a boost from some of the House Republican women, as well as business groups like the Chamber of Commerce.

Whomever emerges from the primary will almost certainly be the next member of Congress from this Safe Republican district that Romney carried with 59 percent in 2012.

Back in Arizona, Democrats anticipated a brawl in the race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor. Former state Rep. Ruben Gallego and former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox did not disappoint.

A longtime local official, Wilcox has decades’ worth of name recognition, the backing of EMILY’s List and Pastor’s endorsement. But the betting money is on Gallego’s better-organized effort.

Arizona’s 7th District is rated Safe Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

All seems to be quiet in Florida on Tuesday, especially in the wake of a judge approving small changes to the state’s congressional map for 2016.

Sunshine State operatives said there aren’t any warning signs of incumbent peril in the primary. Then again, that’s what they said two years ago.

Miami Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo is expected to cruise to the nomination to face Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia for Florida’s 26th District in the fall. In the 18th District, former state Rep. Carl Domino is the best bet to win the GOP nod to take on Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy.

For more details, visit atr.rollcall.com