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2020 Daily Trail Markers: RNC sends cease-and-desist to fundraising site

Congress briefed on election security


ON THE $$$: A battle could be brewing in the world of Republican fundraising. This week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) sent a cease-and-desist letter to the fundraising website Give.GOP and its founder's separate donor management company, Anedot. The letter accuses them of utilizing the RNC's registered trademarks without permission, with the RNC demanding the site stop using the party's official elephant logo and any other similar marks. The letter provided to CBS News Political Unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice also states the RNC has not received any funds contributed to the RNC through Give.GOP, and requested documents about how those will be processed. 

Give.GOP, which launched earlier this month, was being marketed to help Republican candidates and committees with grassroots fundraising, but it has no connection to another recently launched fundraising tool, WinRed, which has the backing of President Trump and the RNC. 

"Over the past several years, the RNC has spent millions of dollars building a top-notch data apparatus for state parties and candidates to utilize for free," said RNC chief of staff Richard Walter in a statement. "Consistent with RNC policy of using technology to support the Republican Party as a whole, we will only invest in federal candidates and state parties that use RNC data and the WinRed platform." 

Give.GOP confirmed it received the cease and desist letter and appears to have removed the GOP elephant logo from its website. In response to the question over receiving donations, Give.GOP counsel Matthew Sanderson said, "Give.GOP has timely transmitted all donor contributions and information to the proper recipients in compliance with Federal Election Commission rules.  No donor has chosen to give to the RNC since the launch of Give.GOP."


HISPANIC VOTE: New data from Univision shows Hispanic turnout on average almost doubled between 2014 and 2018 in seven states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. CBS News Political Unit associate producer Ellee Watson reports Hispanic turnout increased regardless of party affiliation, but independent Hispanic voters were especially energized to vote in 2018, more than doubling turnout on average in the seven states analyzed.


SENATE SEATS: CBS News Political Unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice says Democratic Kentucky Senate candidate Amy McGrath raised $2.5 million within 24 hours of launching her campaign against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Her campaign says it's the most money ever raised in day one by a Senate campaign. All of it came from online donations, with the average contribution being $36. 

The cash haul is more than what multiple presidential candidates raised in the entire second quarter. Several 2020 contenders including Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Seth Moulton sent out fundraising emails in support of McGrath. McConnell's camp has raised more than $11M for this election cycle so far.

IN THE HOUSE: With Dr. Joan Perry's loss in North Carolina's 3rd Congressional district, Republicans will have to wait until 2020 to see if they can add to the 13 GOP women, a 25-year-low, in the House. Dr. Greg Murphy, boosted by Freedom Caucus Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan as well as a last minute Sean Hannity endorsement, grabbed about 60% of the ballots last night. GOP women-centered PACs that collectively spent about $1.2 million on Dr. Perry's campaign were disappointed but reaffirmed their focus to get more Republican women past the primaries. 

A source at the Women for Women Action Fund (WFW-AF), which funneled about $900,000 to Dr. Perry, told CBS News Political Unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro this race has made it clear early primary support makes a difference. "We're in it to win it, and not stopping here," the source said. WFW-AF's ultimate goal is to add 20 more Republican women to the House in 2020, their "20in20" plan, and said they have been in recruiting talks with about 100 women nationwide. 

The next, and so far last, House special election this year stays in North Carolina. A result of the ballot fraud found in 2018, this special primary election takes place Sept. 10 between Democrat Dan McCready and Republican Dan Bishop. The NC-03 general election will also be held that day, as Murphy will face-off against Democratic candidate Allen Thomas and libertarian Tim Harris.

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