President Trump's campaign appears unconcerned by recent news from Twitter that it will no longer allow political ads on the platform. According to a Trump campaign official, it won't significantly impact the campaign, though it's "a mistake by Twitter," reports CBS News White House producer Fin Gomez and CBS News Political Unit associate producer Eleanor Watson. The campaign will still get their message out to likely voters on the platform since "POTUS does a pretty good job of communicating a message on Twitter as is."
IN THE STATES
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders filed for the New Hampshire primaries late this morning, officially adding his name to the "first-in-the-nation" primary ballot, reports CBS News campaign reporters Nicole Sganga and Cara Korte.
He thanked New Hampshire for granting him his first primary win in 2016.
"New Hampshire went first in giving us a victory!" Sanders exclaimed after signing his declaration of candidacy. Sanders won the 2016 New Hampshire primary by more than 20 points over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Sanders, a current front-runner in the Granite State, aimed to distinguish himself from the competition, in particular, former Vice President Joe Biden. "If my memory is correct, Joe Biden once said, and I'm paraphrasing, 'You got to be careful about people who have super PACs, and who they will end up being responsible for,'" Sanders told reporters. "In this campaign, Joe, as I understand it, has not done particularly well at getting a lot of donations from working class people."
The Vermont Senator doubled down on his opposition to Joe Biden's healthcare plan, saying, "I want Joe to explain to the American people. How much will the premiums go up? How much will copayments go up? How many more people will go bankrupt because they cannot afford medical bills, because they were diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, was some other illness?"
Sanders said his health care plan has "options" for Congress, when it comes to funding "Medicare for All," including income-based premiums paid for by employers or households, plus a more progressive income tax. "No proposal coming from a presidential candidate is going to be adopted word for word, line by line, by Congress. But we have done I think the right thing. We have presented a number of options." Sanders later added, "I'm sure Senator Warren will work on her proposal. We'll have more details and we'll go forward."
He has mixed feelings about Twitter's elimination of political advertisements on its platform, announced yesterday by co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. Sanders called Congress "woefully negligent" in dealing with social media platforms, adding, "Here's a problem. One guy, the guy who runs twitter, wakes up in the morning and says that's what we're going to do. Wow. That's a lot of power for one person to have."
ISSUES THAT MATTER
The Texas Democratic Party, DSCC and the DCCC are joining forces in a lawsuit to overturn what they're calling a ban on mobile early voting in Texas, reports CBS News associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice. According to Texas Democrats, mobile voting sites near college campuses helped spur an 18% surge in voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, and the youth early vote rose by 508% from the 2014 midterm.
However, in the last Texas legislative session, Texas Republicans passed House bill 1888 which went into effect September 1, requiring early voting locations to operate a full day and stay open the same number of days as the main early voting location in each county.
Democrats argue that counties don't have the financial resources to keep them all open permanently and as a result, there are fewer locations open in 2019. The Texas Democratic Party, DSCC and DCCC are now accusing Republicans of trying to make it harder for Texans to cast ballots especially around campuses and in rural areas and are now asking a federal judge for an injunction.
Meanwhile, Priorities USA filed a lawsuit challenging Michigan's signature matching law this week. That law requires election officials to compare signatures on absentee ballots with voter files signatures and to reject ones that don't match. The progressive organization is pointing out there's no process to rectify an absentee ballot rejected and different standards for the procedure in different townships and cities. The group argues the law violates the constitutional right to vote and are challenging it. This comes after Michigan voters in 2018 passed a ballot proposal allowing for no excuse absentee voting in the 40 days leading up to the election, meaning there could be a spike in absentee voting in future elections.
CYBERSECURITY: Federal party committees and political campaigns will now be eligible to receive free or reduced-cost cybersecurity services from the nonpartisan non-profit group Defending Digital Campaigns, CBS News Political Unit Associate Producer Ben Mitchell reports. The group officially launched today after receiving special permission to operate from the Federal Elections Commission in May. Defending Digital Campaigns is helmed by CEO Michael Kaiser, former Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, and the board includes a bipartisan pair of presidential campaign veterans: Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, and Matt Rhoades, Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign manager. On its website, the group says it hopes to remove "cost and expertise as barriers to security."
IN THE SENATE
On Thursday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee rolled out two new endorsements for 2020 elections, notes CBS News associate producer Eleanor Watson. In Kansas, the committee endorsed State Senator Barbara Bollier who is running in the Democratic primary to fill the seat left open by GOP Senator Pat Roberts' retirement. Emily's List also endorsed Bollier Thursday morning. In North Carolina, the committee endorsed Army veteran Cal Cunningham in the Democratic primary to take on GOP Senator Thom Tillis in the 2020 general election. In 2010, Cunningham lost the Democratic primary to Elaine Marshall in the Democrats' bid to unseat GOP Senator Richard Burr. This cycle, Cunningham has to compete against Erica Smith and Trevor Fuller in the primary before advancing to face Tillis in the general election.
IN THE HOUSE
After a 232-196 vote, the rules are officially set for the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Most Democrats and Republicans voted along party lines, with and one independent, Justin Amash from Michigan, voting in favor of the inquiry. Each of these three have their own terrain to navigate for 2020 says CBS News Political Unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro.
Representatives Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, are both from Trump-won districts. Van Drew confirmed to CBS News before the vote that he would vote no and received a "thank you" from Mr. Trump on Twitter for telling Fox & Friends, "Let the people impeach… we are going to have an election very shortly." He told CBS News yesterday "obviously he's going to be impeached" in the House and that he believes Trump will be "vindicated" in the Senate.
"I'm not sure that's what everybody wants as a result to be really honest with you. And I also think we've spent a lot of money and a lot of time and haven't been able to get a lot of things done," he said. A member of the 2018 freshmen class, Van Drew won by a 7-point margin over Republican Frank LoBiondo, who held the seat from 1995 to 2018.
Peterson has held his western Minnesota seat since 1990 but is in a district Trump won by 30 points in 2016, the highest margin of any Democrat-held seat. Currently, five Republicans have filed to run for the seat, one of whom (former state senator and Lt. Gov Michelle Fischbach) recently received the endorsement of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Peterson has more than $900,000 cash on hand and has defeated Republicans for 15 straight terms, though he had a close 4-point win against Republican Dave Hughes in 2018. A Democrat strategist said their two votes Thursday will not impact their 2020 races "in a measureable way."
Amash, a converted independent from the Republican party, won his district by more than 11 points in 2018. Mr. Trump, who Amash said back in May met the "threshold for impeachment" after the Mueller report, won his district by 10 points in 2016. Since first speaking out, Amash has been called a "loser" by Trump and has had more than six Democratic and Republican challengers jump in. He has brought in more than $444,000 for his campaign, but Republican challenger Peter Meijer is trailing close by with $410,149.
Presidential campaigns also weighed in on the House impeachment inquiry resolution. In a statement from the Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, "Every American can see this for what it is: an attempt to remove a duly-elected president for strictly political reasons by a strictly partisan, illegitimate process. Today's vote merely proves that the entire impeachment process was a sham from the beginning and Nancy Pelosi can't legitimize it after the fact."
Democrat candidate Pete Buttigieg Tweeted, "This president took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. So did every member of Congress. This president violated that oath, betraying our country and leaving our representatives with no choice but to uphold their own. Congress must move forward with impeachment."
Senator Cory Booker, who would be part of the impeachment trials if articles are passed by the House, tweeted he was "Proud of House Democrats for putting partisan politics aside and setting up a process that builds consensus by ensuring the American people see the damning evidence."
AND SOME FUN
BOO! AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN...
Cory Booker joined in the Halloween festivities Thursday by changing his Twitter name to "Gory BOOker" with an accompanying ghost emoji, Representative Katie Porter also took part by showing up to Congress dressed as "Batgirl." CBS News Political Unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee used All Hallow's Eve to launch McConnellGraveyard.com, a website highlighting bills passed by the House but not taken up for a vote by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Tombstones on the website feature details on House resolutions like the "Bipartisan Background Checks Act" dealing with gun violence or the "For the People Act" dealing with election and campaign financing, as well as how many days since it has been passed by the House.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries also decorated his office with a "Senate Legislative Graveyard," featuring a grim reaper, in allusion to the nickname McConnell has bestowed upon himself.