Mike Pence to try to beef up anemic fundraising in Utah swing

Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence arrives in Utah Thursday to raise campaign money for a GOP ticket that has struggled to draw dollars from the Beehive State as many major Utah donors have, thus far, been watching from the sidelines.

Pence, the governor of Indiana, is scheduled to speak at Sen. Mike Lee’s third annual Utah Solutions Summit about the role higher education can play in meeting the demands of the workforce. Lee was a backer of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and has not endorsed the Trump-Pence ticket. He — along with U.S. Rep. Mia Love, Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov Spencer Cox — did not join a letter signed by other Utah elected officials this week backing Trump’s policies.

At noon, Pence is scheduled to speak at a $10,000-per-person lunch hosted by Scott Keller, a prominent real estate investor and major bundler for Mitt Romney’s two presidential campaigns. Earlier in the campaign, Keller also hosted fundraisers for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and gave money to Cruz, Kasich, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

He had not, as of the end of July, given money to Trump’s campaign.  Read More…..

In an unusual election, even Utah could be up for grabs

Utah is the best state to demonstrate the problems besetting Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

A recent study found the state was the third most Republican in the country: The GOP enjoys a 30-point head start in every election. No Democrat running for president has won here since 1964. In fact, the closest any Democrat got there in the past 12 presidential elections was Bill Clinton in 1992, when he lost by 19 points. Mind you, Clinton finished third that year in Utah, behind independent candidate Ross Perot.
Yet given Trump’s unique unpopularity, many in Utah are saying — and acting like — the state could be up for grabs. Even Trump concedes his campaign needs some help, telling a group of Florida evangelical leaders last week that “I’m having a tremendous problem in Utah. Utah’s a different place.”

And this is a different election. In 2012, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the state by 45 percent, his biggest win anywhere. This time Trump is ahead of Clinton by just 12 percentage points in the latest – Read More…..

Man on a mission: Chuck Warren aims to combat political cyber squatting with dotVOTE

In the political world, Chuck Warren is a warrior on a mission to combat cybers quatting – the purchasing of online domain names for profit, mischief, or worse.

Warren, a prolific fundraiser for Republican politicians and candidates, is managing director and partner at Monolith Registry, the registry for the .VOTE domain. He has partnered with www.afilias.info – the second-largest domain registry in the world – to create an online venue for real information about real candidates and elected officials.

“There are a lot of tricksters out there,” he said in a recent phone interview with MassLive / The Republican.

Warren’s banking on .VOTE and its Spanish cousin, .VOTO, to reduce domain name confusion by creating an easily recognizable Internet space where voters can find reliable information about candidates and politicians. The nonpartisan sites are available to all candidates from all political parties, according to Warren.

“Your name, your politics, your official .VOTE domain name,” the website says.

There are plenty of high-profile tales about politicians who don’t own the Internet domains bearing their own names, which has led all sorts of confusion and devilment.

Take the case of Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO. The website CarlyFiorina.org doesn’t take Internet users to her campaign website, but rather to a site that states: “Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I’m using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard.”

To illustrate the point, the domain owner includes 30,000 frown-face symbols for the alleged number of people Fiorina laid off during her reign at HP.

Fiorina isn’t the only public figure to get cybersquatted. It’s also happened to Charlie Baker, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Chris Christie. And they’re just a few of the prominent politicians who’ve fallen victim to the high-tech phenomenon.

JebBushforPresident.com is a site pushing same-sex marriage issues, not the political record of the former Florida governor hoping to be our next president. And ChrisChristie.net is a site run by a certified mortgage planning specialist, not the New Jersey governor who’s also running for president.

“This problem is not limited to national candidates; local elected officials in Massachusetts have left themselves open to cybersquatting by not owning their own name,” said Rick Gorka, a communications consultant and former aide to Mitt Romney.

Gorka said .VOTE aims “to prevent cybersquatting by only allowing the real person to register their name. No one else would be permitted to do so.”

For better or worse, cybersquatting is part of the new political landscape, a form of social media warfare that can resemble a never-ending political attack ad. Until someone pulls the plug on a particular domain, that is.

“Both sides do it, of course,” Gorka said, referring to Democrats and Republicans. “It’s all fair game in the wild, wild west of online campaigning,” he added.

Meanwhile, Warren hopes .VOTE will become the online equivalent of “the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for political candidates,” he said. “Like the blue dot on Twitter,” he added. “We just released it a couple of months ago, so it’s going to take a couple of (election) cycles to catch on.”

The .VOTE domain is not just for politicians and political parties, however. States are also using the domain, including Alabama and Arizona, both of which have registered election websites with .VOTE.

“There’s a growing market,” Warren said.

Purchasing domain names is a key way for public figures to keep tabs on their public image, according to ABC News. For example, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg preemptively bought over 400 domain names related to his name, ranging from Mikebloomberg2013.nyc to Bloombergistooshort.nyc, ABC reports.

New .vote domain name meant to cut confusion

ChrisChristie.net is a website run by a certified mortgage planning specialist, not the governor of New Jersey.

CarlyFiorina.org doesn’t take you to the presidential hopeful, but instead says: “Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I’m using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard.”

A lot of websites out there use candidates’ names. A lot of them aren’t associated with the candidates. One company is trying to make verifying the official site of a candidate easier by offering a new domain: “.VOTE”.

Read the full article here

How Hillary matches up with Republican candidates in Nevada

A recent poll, by dotVOTE (www.polls.vote) of 857 likely voters in Nevada, shows that Hillary has some work to do in the Silver State. Nevada, an early presidential primary state, has chosen the eventual president in every election going back to 1976, when Nevada voted for Gerald Ford in a narrow loss to Jimmy Carter.

The early survey has Hillary trailing 5 potential republican nominees. She trails Jeb Bush by 3, Scott Walker (the leading Republican candidate in Nevada) by 6, Marco Rubio by 9, Rand Paul by 5 and Ted Cruz by 5. But, with almost a quarter of all likely voters still undecided, these numbers could move quite a bit over the next year.

The poll was conducted the evening of April 15, by IRV technology from a random sample of voters. Geography, party and gender were weighted into the results to improve accuracy, and respondents were screened based on their intention to vote in the 2016 General Election. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.35%, with a 95% confidence interval.

Nevada Presidential head to head Results.

NEW POLL FINDS CLINTON AND WALKER EARLY LEADERS FOR PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION IN NEVADA

Las Vegas – In a survey of Nevada’s likely primary voters, Scott Walker and Hillary Clinton lead all presidential candidates by wide margins. Walker leads the Republican field nearly 3 to 1, with 26% support.  Bush and Cruz each polled at 9%, Rubio and Paul showed 8% support, while Carson was at 7%, Huckabee at 5% and Christie at 1%. A quarter of the respondents were undecided.

Hillary Clinton comfortably leads the Democratic field with 55% support, while 14% chose Elizabeth Warren. Other potential candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, polled at 3% and the rest of the field was at or below 1%. Just under a quarter (22%) of the respondents were undecided.

In the race for US Senate Republicans overwhelmingly prefer Governor Sandoval. Democrats may quickly find themselves in a two candidate race, led by Representative Dina Titus at 44%, followed by former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto at 20%, and no other democratic candidate polled above 5%.

The rest of the Republican field for Senate was led by Mark Hutchison with 10%, followed by Bob Beers (7%), Brian Krolicki (6%) and Adam Laxalt (3%).  In the crowded Republican field respondents were asked for a second preference. Mark Hutchins led with 25% of respondents preferring the Lt. Governor as their second choice, followed by Brian Sandoval (17%), Brian Krolicki (10%), Bob Beers (7%) and Adam Laxalt (6%).

The survey was conducted by Silver Bullet, LLC. (www.silverbulletllc.com) on Tuesday, April 7th from a random sample of likely primary voters. The top 8 Republican Presidential candidates were listed in order by the average support in recent national polls. You can see the full results of the poll for Republicans here and Democrats here.

From TedCruz.ca to TaylorSwift.porn: How the golden age of domain-trolling was born

The 2016 race has scarcely begun, and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz already has an image problem.

Typing tedcruz.com into your URL bar returns a black page that says “SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA” in unequivocal all-caps. Tedcruzforamerica.com redirects to Healthcare.gov. TedCruz.ca confirms that the U.S. senator from Texax was, indeed, born Canadian. Tedcruz2016.com is pretty harmless — a carousel of scenic photos, with the promise that a real site is “coming soon” — but its owner has nothing to do with the Cruz campaign, and who knows what he or she is actually up to.

Never fear, Cruz fans: Your champion did eventually find an open domain name, in the cold and less-trafficked waters of the .org domain.

TedCruz

But the fact that his trolls conquered so much ground speaks to how popular this type of Internet tomfoolery has recently become. And in two short months, it’s going to get even worse: That’s when three of the most controversial new top-level domains — .porn, .adult and .sucks — are released to a merciless public. Taylor Swift already snapped up Web addresses on those domains to make sure no one uses them against her.

But as ICANN, the group that oversees and regulates domains, continues to make more of them available, the Internet is only getting bigger and more troll-able. New domains — .singles, .holiday, .guitars, .buzz, .gripe — have rolled out almost every week since ICANN began this latest round of domain expansion in October 2013. If you’re trying to protect your brand or reputation, good luck: T. Swift may have taylorswift.porn, but that still leaves taylorswift.sexy and taylorswift.pizza.
What is domain trolling, exactly? And how is it even legal? Given the strong anti-impersonation protections that most social networks supply, the ability to register an entire Web site in someone else’s name seems kind of … medieval.

And yet, there’s very little stopping jokesters, investors or less scrupulous entrepreneurs from buying up desirable Web addresses and either holding them for ransom or using them to straight-up troll.

“You can register anything you want in a domain name,” sums up Karl Kronenberger, a partner at the Internet law firm Kronenberger Rosenfeld.

Ihatethewashingtonpost.com? Yep.

Caitlindewey.sucks? Unfortunately.

These rules can vary by domain, of course, since each domain is managed by a different company. (Monolith Registry, the company that manages .vote and .voto, bans deceptive names and swears to vet all site registrants diligently.) And, to be clear, a lot of so-called domainers have legitimate business motives: They buy, develop and “flip” domains the way you would any other asset.

 

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

Do Utah Republicans think President Obama loves America?

Salt Lake City, UT – In a poll of 687 Active Republican by Silver Bullet, LLC voters in Utah 52.2% responded that they do not believe President Obama loves America while 25.8 of the respondents answered that they did believe Obama loves America. Early this week, a National Survey by You Gov of all voters found that 47% of Americans thought Obama loved America, 38% disagreed and 20% were not sure.

The Utah poll was conducted by IVR on Wednesday evening calling only recent voters registered with the Republican Party. The findings differed some from the poll conducted by YouGov which polled 236 Republicans, finding 69% believing that President Obama did not love America – compared to 52% in Utah.

poll chart

The Utah poll also asked if the respondents thought that High School Students should be required to pass the same civics exam new citizens must pass to become American citizens. Of those polled 73% felt that High School students should be required to pass the Naturalization Civics Exam.  The current bill, SB60 sponsored by Senator Howard Stephenson, would require such a law.  The bill has passed the Senate and awaits a vote from the full body of the House before it can be signed into law.

The final question addressed the 2016 presidential nomination for the Republican Party.  Jeb Bush leads the pack with 21.5%, Scott Walker is not far behind at 18% and no other candidate neared 10%, 29% of respondents are undecided on their choice for nomination.


For questions please contact Alex Iorg, 801-400-8160 or at alex@silverbulletllc.com

AWAKENING THE PANAMERICAN VISION IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

Presidential Aspirants Should Focus on Our Own Backyard

By Chuck Warren, Originally posted at Panampost.com

globe-north-south-americaPresidential candidates have never lacked for opinions on how to fix problems abroad, whether it’s confronting the Middle East, strengthening ties with Europe or creating economic opportunities in China. The consistent failure lies in losing focus on the current situation in the Americas, due to apathy or the immediacy of a foreign-policy crisis.

By and large, we’ve lost sight of the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, the first true PanAmerican, who said of Mexico and Cuba, “We consider their interests and ours as the same.” Our neighbors to the south should be our closest allies, and it is to our own long-term peril if we continue to take them for granted. As the satirist Horace so eloquently stated, “It is your business when the wall next door catches fire.”

For many years now, our hemisphere has been on the back burner because of the happenings in Russia, China, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. As a result, the long-time neglect of the Americas has allowed open wounds to fester. Inconsistently, we’ve attempted to halt opium production in Afghanistan while allowing cocaine and guns to sell across our border.

Of course, we continually need to keep our eyes on the rest of world, but the Americas should be our top priority. If Uganda falls apart, it is a bad thing — but if Costa Rica falls apart, the problem could very well land on our shores, affect our trade, and disrupt our peace. Greater scrutiny should accompany the closer problem.

One has only to look at history to find reinforcement. In addition to Jefferson, early US statesmen like Henry Clay and Alexander Hamilton spoke positively of a PanAmerican identity. In recent years, we’ve lost what our forefathers understood well: the strengthening of diplomatic ties and of US influence within this hemisphere is important because of the many dangers that lie at our back door.

The obvious first step is for Republican presidential candidates to stop spreading conspiracy theories about a so-called North American Union and start promising to pay special attention to the yearly General Assembly of the Organization of American States. Alternatively, promise to call a special PanAmerican Congress to identify and address our hemispheric issues and act upon them.

It is then vital for the next Republican presidential nominee to develop a plan of renewed outreach to, and engagement with, the rest of the Americas. There are many countries that sit in the United States’ backyard — our neighbors — who depend on us for a variety of things, whether it’s defense or trade, economic partnership or common values. It only makes sense for the United States to be closest, in terms of trade and interaction, with countries located geographically closest to us. Consider too, those countries where we share significant linguistic advantages (37 million US residents speak Spanish) and where many of us share a Judeo-Christian outlook that is more common in the Americas.

This plan needs to fundamentally identify the hemispheric issues such as the indigenous peoples and how to treat them, legitimate economic opportunities and investment, defense partnerships and training, coastal erosion, environmental protection, immigration reform, and historical preservation. The Republican presidential nominee should be prepared and anxious to engage in dialogue on these issues with leaders from other countries in this hemisphere.

Natural disasters and cultural awareness bring additional opportunities to show interest in our neighbors. Hurricanes, earthquakes, typhoons, and other crises regularly impact more than one country at a time. Hurricanes rip their way through country after country. The earthquake in Haiti only impacted one country directly, but the response came from many neighboring states. In July, the PanAmerican games kick off in Canada — one of the largest athletic events in the world after the Olympics and deserving of recognition from US leaders. Our president, now and in the future, must not miss the chance to create hemispheric goodwill and a foundation of friendship by paying special attention to the issues, concerns, and happenings of the many nations in our hemisphere.

Increased trade can only benefit us at this point. Republican presidential candidates often talk a good game about free trade without actually having a plan in place for improvement. We only rise above lip service by having specific plans in place to protect the existing free-trade agreements and by identifying how to expand or improve upon them in the future. This definitive action would also show US voters the direction needed. There are more than 950 million people in the Americas, and a renewed effort to pass a PanAmerican free trade agreement, similar in structure to NAFTA, would benefit the ability of US businesses to reach hundreds of millions of consumers with a higher GDP per capita than China.

Fighting to bring down drug violence, arms shipping, and smuggling of illegal materials are also issues of hemispheric agreement. Any Republican presidential candidate should have a plan about how to combat terrorism, not just in the Middle East, but also here in the Western Hemisphere. For instance, he should have a plan for helping Colombia defeat FARC, helping Peru shut down the Shining Path guerrilla, and combating the large drug cartels that have set up shop in Mexico. In each of these cases, the violence of the terrorists or narco-terrorist groups spills over the borders and into other countries. A Republican presidential candidate who wants to be seen as forward thinking and dynamic will put these groups on notice and have a plan in place to weaken or destroy them.

Increased focus on creating high-school student exchanges among countries in the Western Hemisphere could create more cross-cultural bonds, alongside more student visas for students from this hemisphere looking to attend college in the United States. We want the best and brightest students, and they want to be educated in the best universities in the world; it’s a win-win opportunity.

There are many ways unmentioned to strengthen these alliances, these friendships. If you want to improve the neighborhood, you start with your own backyard. You follow the time-honored wisdom of setting your own house in order, knowing it will bring strength. Republican presidential candidates have not only the opportunity, but the responsibility to prove that outreach to the Americas combined with international experience and knowledge is the trifecta that will prove the United States to be a formidable leader … and trusted friend.


Chuck Warren is a prolific fundraiser for Republican candidates, including serving as the National Republican Congressional Committee finance chair for Utah and Arizona, as well as on the Utah and National Finance Committee for Romney for President. He is a managing partner with Silver Bullet LLC, a public affairs, crisis communication, and initiative qualification company (@SilverBulletLLC).

Washington Post Distinguished pol of the week

By Jennifer Rubin

Last year, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) won reelection easily, 55 to 39 percent, even as he continued to advocate for immigration reform (suggesting that actual voters in red states are not knee-jerk, anti-reform zealots). Most important, he was omnipresent on foreign policy.

In denouncing President Obama’s suggestion that he could go around Congress with an Iran nuclear deal and warning about a North Korea-style giveaway, imploring the president to do more to aid Ukraine, chastising him for hostility toward Israel and condemning his incoherent plan to fight the Islamic State, Graham has been front and center in the fight to turn around disastrous policies. In an interview with Israel Hayom, he said: “I would like to see a peaceful end to their program. I don’t mind the Iranians having a nuclear power program for peaceful purposes, but I am very concerned about giving them an enrichment capability. Fifteen nations have nuclear power programs but they do not enrich uranium. That’s why I want any deal to come before Congress for our vote and approval. I fear a North Korea outcome.” He also urged President Obama to reconsider losing policies:

I think American foreign policy should be re-evaluated. The campaign promise that Obama made to withdraw all troops from Iraq should have been modified based on sound military advice. One of the contributing factors for the rise of ISIS was our withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and I hope that we don’t make the same mistake in Afghanistan.

“President Bush made his fair share of mistakes, but he corrected. I believe that the reason we are now going back into Iraq is because Obama was too focused on a campaign promise and didn’t adjust based on reality on the ground. I fear that we want a deal with the Iranians too badly.”

Graham will be a critical player in 2015 in seeking a bipartisan, veto-proof majority on Iran sanctions and in addressing the dangerous gap between the military’s missions and its resources. If he can be a bridge-builder in Congress and check the president’s worst instincts, America will be safer and the world more peaceful.

So for an impressive reelection campaign and a year of leadership on national security — and with hope he will help steer Congress and the administration in the right direction — we can say well done, Senator Graham.