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Vox Sentences: Ossoff to the races in Georgia’s special election

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Georgia’s special election primary today; an early election called by May; Trump seeks reviews, industries dismay.


Ossoff to the races

Democratic Congressional Candidate For Georgia's 6th District Jon Ossoff Campaigns Ahead Of Tuesday's Special Election
Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, who is running to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
Getty Images / Joe Raedle
  • Polls closed in Georgia's Sixth District at 7 pm for the special election primary to replace former Rep. Tom Price, now secretary of health and human services.
  • The district is traditionally conservative, but Donald Trump won it by only one point in 2016. And Democratic special election candidate Jon Ossoff, a young newcomer endorsed by civil rights legend John Lewis, is raising the party's hopes. [New Yorker / Charles Bethea]
  • Ossoff isn't a slam-dunk candidate. He's never held an elected position, and he doesn’t currently live in the Sixth District, technically. (Though he did grow up there.) [CNN / Josiah Ryan]
  • Nor is GA-06 a slam-dunk district: Republicans have gerrymandered Georgia to keep the state solidly red. [Vox / Jeff Stein]
  • A record fundraising haul has helped Ossoff tremendously, though. His campaign raised over $8 million — more than 17 times what his closest competitors raised, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Aaron Gould Sheinin]
  • Ossoff is, in some ways, running against the GOP itself more against any one opponent — and not just because the Republican field has 11 candidates. (If Ossoff can get more than 50 percent of the vote, he’ll win the seat. Otherwise, the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party, will advance to a runoff.) [Washington Post / Robert Costa]
  • It's also that he's running against Trump— or at least hoping to ride a wave of anti-Trump sentiment to flip the district. [New York Times / Richard Fausset, Jennifer Steinhauer]
  • This hasn't always been his overt strategy. In fact, attacking Trump’s presidency directly is a relatively recent campaign development. [Vox / Jeff Stein]
  • Trump, for his part, has waded into the race, tweeting today that Ossoff is “VERY weak on crime and illegal immigration, bad for jobs and wants higher taxes.” [Politico / Louis Nelson]
  • But perhaps no attack on Ossoff has gotten as much attention as an ad paid for by a Republican Super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, which portrayed the candidate as a frat boy dressing up as Han Solo during the period of time that he was working for Rep. Hank Johnson. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution/ Greg Bluestein]
  • Regardless of how the race turns out, many will look to it to draw lessons about how Trump is impacting the Republican Party, how grassroots organizing is shaping the future of the Democratic Party, and how 2018 midterms might play out. [Washington Post / Aaron Blake​]

May be, May be not

Theresa May Announces A General Election
Theresa May announces a general election.
Getty Images / Dan Kitwood
  • On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Teresa May called for an early election on June 8 — an election in which she and her Conservative Party could pick up as many as 100 additional seats in Parliament. [Reuters / Elizabeth Piper, Kylie MacLellan, William James]
  • May was originally opposed to holding a special election, but said that she came around while “walking in Wales” before Easter. “I thought about this long and hard and came to the decision that to provide for that stability and certainty, this was the way to do it.” [Guardian / Anushka Asthana, Rowena Mason, Jessica Elgot]
  • May has every reason to be confident. In recent polls, her party has been up by 21 points over the Labour Party. And May is enjoying high polling herself: 55 percent of voters favor her over Labour challenger Jeremy Corbyn. [Independent / Caroline Mortimer]
  • May stepped into the role of prime minister after David Cameron resigned following the referendum on Brexit last summer, and while Labour is unpopular, the current Conservative majority in Parliament is slim. If May, and the Conservative Party, do well in the June election, her mandate to navigate Brexit negotiations with the EU and to lead the UK at home and abroad will be stronger. [BBC]
  • Here’s how her strategy could backfire: A third party, the Liberal Democrats, has gained steam as the pro-EU party while Labour has floundered. For Britons hoping Brexit negotiations will go easy on Europe — which could result in lax immigration rules and a British economy relatively integrated with Europe’s, compared with what May wants to negotiate — Liberal Democrats could look like the best representative option. If the party does well in this election, it will reveal the UK as deeply divided on Brexit, and undermine the authority of May and her party. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • In her remarks announcing the election, May leveled with the opposition, giving them “a simple challenge” directly: “You have criticized the government’s vision for ‘Brexit,’ you have challenged our objectives, you have threatened to block the legislation we put before Parliament. This is your moment to show you mean it, to show you are not opposing the government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game.” [New York Times / transcript of Theresa May’s address calling for vote]
  • Here’s what is at stake, from Andrew Sparrow at the Guardian: “The next seven weeks will allow May, who became prime minister without winning an election and whose premiership until now has been dominated by Brexit, to set out in full her vision for the domestic policy. The campaign and the result are likely to have far-reaching consequences not just for government policy over the next five years, but for Brexit, for the Labour party and for the union with Scotland too.” [Guardian / Andrew Sparrow]

Buy American, Hire American, Frustrate Americans

President Trump Visits Snap-On Tools In Kenosha, Wisconsin
President Donald Trump speaks to workers at the headquarters of tool manufacturer Snap-On.
Getty Images / Scott Olson
  • As Dara writes, for a president who “likes to say that he doesn’t want to announce in advance when he’s going to launch an attack,” President Trump “did just that” with his executive order on H-1B visas today. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • What Trump ordered is essentially a review of the H-1B visa program, which distributes 65,000 visas per year to highly skilled workers from abroad — and a 220-day review of the use of waivers by American companies to get exemptions from “Buy American” policies, which encourage the use of American steel and other materials as opposed to sourcing them from overseas for cheaper. [Wall Street Journal / Eli Stokols]
  • Trump officials say the president’s ultimate goal in reshaping the H-1B program is to require employers to demonstrate that potential foreign hires are “the most highly skilled” in their respective fields, or hire American workers. Companies that rely on the visas to attract talent from overseas aren’t pleased, and the president of one tech-sponsored research group told the New York Times that the move would likely be counterproductive if the goal is to hire Americans. “Companies would go offshore, like Microsoft did with Vancouver, Canada,” he said. [New York Times / Michael D. Shear]
  • As for the “Buy American” component, that too may usher in more problems than it solves. There are already laws requiring companies to “Buy American,” and the waivers to these rules make a lot of sense. For example: If an infrastructure project is in the public interest, or if buying from American producers would make a project unreasonably expensive, companies can get waivers. Requiring that companies buy American steel, no exceptions, for example, will make infrastructure projects much more expensive — which means fewer may get done. [Vox / Alexia Fernández Campbell]
  • Trump signed the order in Wisconsin, at a tool manufacturing company where he promised to help dairy farmers. Given the optics and the toothlessness of the executive order, the move could be interpreted as largely symbolic. [Journal Sentinel / Bill Glauber, Jacob Carpenter, Meg Jones]
  • But it’s also worth noting how ironic the staging was: The American dairy industry relies on thousands of immigrants, many of whom are undocumented, and has largely been anxious about the Trump administration’s immigration policies in particular. [NPR / David Sommerstein​]

Miscellaneous

  • The US aircraft carrier that was speeding toward North Korea to send a message to the country’s government? Not so fast. It was actually going in the opposite direction. [New York Times / Mark Landler, Eric Schmitt]
  • Scientists are reporting that a river in Canada that flowed for hundreds of years disappeared over the course of four days last year — the result of climate change and intense glacial melting. [Guardian / Hannah Devlin]
  • Millions of people are taking vitamin D supplements that they may not need, that may not help them, and that may make them sick. [New York Times / Gina Kolata]
  • How Google’s curated Knowledge Graph feature vacuumed up CelebrityNewWorth.com — and may destroy the very sources of information it relies on. [The Outline / Adrianne Jeffries]
  • Forest Trail Sports University launched as a for-profit school focused on “varsity and recreational athletics” without “instruction, tutors, records, certificates or degrees.” The sell was an opportunity for student athletes to get another shot at impressing scouts and earning scholarships. Instead, the students found decrepit housing, inadequate facilities, negligence, and incompetence. [ESPN / Peter Keating]

Verbatim

  • “Unlike with other shipworms, named because they ate their way into the sides of wooden boats, no one knew where the giant shipworm lived. ‘It’s sort of the unicorn of mollusks,’ Margo Haygood, a marine microbiologist at the University of Utah, told The Washington Post.” [New York Times / Mark Landler, Eric Schmitt]
  • “As an adult with average inclination toward oral hygiene, I have used hundreds of tubes of toothpaste the same way and never had a leaking problem. Something is specifically wrong with Crest Pro-Health.” [The Atlantic / Sarah Zhang]
  • “The Piggie Park is important in the history of barbecue, which is more or less the history of America. One reason is that its founder, Maurice Bessinger, popularized the yellow, mustard-based sauce that typifies the barbecue of South Carolina’s Midlands area. Another is that Bessinger was a white supremacist who, in 1968, went to the Supreme Court in an unsuccessful fight against desegregation, and, in 1974, ran a losing gubernatorial campaign, wearing a white suit and riding a white horse.” [New Yorker / Lauren Collins]
  • “When relief workers finally came ashore, however, they realised that the death toll was skewed. The islanders who had heard the stories about the Laboon or similar mythological figures survived the tsunami essentially unscathed.” [Aeon / Carrie Arnold]
  • “Over dinner, Judge told me that he now fears ‘Idiocracy’ was a little optimistic — maybe the country won’t even exist in 2505. Then he told me the best story of the night.” [New York Times Magazine / Willy Staley]

Watch this: I’m a Tea Party conservative. Here’s how to win over Republicans on renewable energy.

"This earth belongs to all of us." [Vox / Matteen Mokalla, Dean Peterson]


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