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2020 Daily Trail Markers: 2020 Democrats hope powerful Nevada Union can help serve them a win

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CBS News Political Unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice reported on the Biden campaign's claim that the Trump campaign is trying to poach its online donors. In a fundraising email sent to supporters Thursday, the Biden campaign pointed out that if someone types "donate Joe Biden" into a Google search, the first link to appear is one that directs them to donate to Donald J. Trump for President. Here's her report.

The Nevada caucuses, which are the third presidential Democratic nominating contest, are less than six months away, and Democratic presidential candidates are ramping up efforts to court a mammoth Las Vegas labor union that has played an important role in the caucus outcome in the past. CBS News campaign reporter Alexander Tin reported on the fight for the support of the influential Culinary Union, which played a key role in the 2008 campaign. 

FROM THE CANDIDATES              

PETE BUTTIGIEG

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg released a plan to expand mental health services and to combat addiction Friday morning, according to CBS News campaign reporters Nicole Sganga and Jack Turman. The policy sets the goal to prevent one million "deaths of despair," which includes deaths due to drugs, alcohol and suicide, by 2028. 

Buttigieg's plan also aims to provide mental health care and addiction treatment to at least 75% people who need care or treatment by the end of Buttigieg's first term in office and to break the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction. 

"We need to make it as normal and as okay to talk about mental health issues as it is to talk about physical health issues," Buttigieg told Sganga in an interview in New Hampshire.  The plan earned the praise from Andy Slavitt, who was the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2015-2017. 

"With a declining life expectancy and evidence of addiction and despair affecting so many communities, Pete's plan is hopeful, specific, and comprehensive," Slavitt said in an email statement. "He turns the page ahead of the current national debate (how to cover more people) and to one of the biggest holes that we have — our deeply underfunded, under resourced mental health care system."

TULSI GABBARD

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's campaign released a memorandum calling for transparency in the Democratic National Committee's debate requirements, says CBS News campaign reporter Jack Turman. The memo says that decisions on debate qualifications "should not be made in secret by party bosses." 

Gabbard added, "For the sake of democracy, those decisions must be made openly, with clear and consistent standards and a sufficient window of opportunity for candidates to demonstrate genuine grassroots momentum and enthusiasm." 

To qualify for fall presidential debates, candidates need to meet the 130,000 unique donor requirement and receive at least 2% in four DNC-approved polls. Gabbard has met the donor threshold and has received 2% in two DNC-approved polls.

KAMALA HARRIS

The campaign's South Carolina spokesperson confirmed Erika Alexander, known as "Maxine" on the 1990s sitcom "Living Single," will be joining the Harris campaign for a happy hour chat on LGBTQ equality. CBS News Campaign Reporter Stephanie Ramirez says the chat is one of two events the Harris campaign is participating in on Friday and Saturday as part of the 14th Annual South Carolina Black Pride Week. 

Harris herself is not expected to be in South Carolina, but her husband Doug Emhoff will be. Emhoff is expected to make an appearance at Clemson University to help kick off the campaign's organizing efforts on college campuses across the Palmetto State. The senator will be in neighboring North Carolina this weekend. 

STATELY COVERAGE

DOWN SOUTH

In one of the first stops of the "Open for Business" tour launched by the RNC and Trump Victory operation, South Carolina business owners met with congressional, state, and local leaders to discuss the economy. 

CBS News Campaign Reporter LaCrai Mitchell notes the state's unemployment rate has been on a downward trend since 2011. Today it's around 3.5%, and small business owner Scott Maxwell says it's in large part because the economy under President Trump is working. 

"For the first time in my adult life I've actually received a reduced tax break and tax incentives…I was able to buy more equipment and hire more people," said Maxwell. "Small business owners like myself [are] typically all in — win or fail — and we're the people in America that really need those breaks because if I can build one more house…it impacts so many people." 

OUT WEST

A number of candidates were in California today for remarks at the DNC's Summer Meeting in San Francisco. But according to CBS News Campaign Reporter Alex Tin, only a handful of candidates – Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar – are campaigning at public events, in addition to their stop at the party cattle call. 

With its move this cycle up to Super Tuesday, some Californians could cast ballots in their massive primary as early as February. But despite some massive turnouts at events for some of the top-polling candidates in the California, few campaigns have yet to make serious investments in organizing the Golden State beyond hiring a handful of staffers.

UP FOR DEBATE

TOUGH TALK

While the Democratic National Committee is holding its summer meeting in San Francisco, several presidential candidates took time there to criticize the DNC over its fall debate requirements which could keep the majority of contenders off the debate stage in September, says CBS News Political Unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice

"The DNC process is stifling debate at a time when we need it most," Senator Michael Bennet told the room with DNC Chairman Tom Perez sitting right behind him. "If we wanted to be the party that excluded people, we'd be Republicans." 

After leaving the podium he went on the slam the time constraints, arguing they limit real debate on issues. Bennet has yet to meet the fall debate requirements. 

Congressman Seth Moulton, who announced he's dropping out of the race today, also slammed the DNC rules that kept him of the debate stage for both rounds of debates so far. Moulton said there are a lot of important perspectives being left out because of the system the DNC set up. 

Marianne Williamson, when asked, said there was too much mystery around the polling for her taste. Candidates have until August 28 to reach the 130,000 donor threshold and 2% in four qualifying polls to take part in the next debate in Houston.

                                                                           

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