September 24, 2021

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Senate GOP Campaign Arm Continues to Promote Hawley Event

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SENATE REPUBLICANS’ CAMPAIGN ARM continues to promote a fundraiser for Sen.

Josh Hawley’s

Fighting for Missouri PAC, even after the hotel that was scheduled to host it backed out because of Hawley’s objection to certifying

Joe Biden’s

election victory on Jan. 6. The National Republican Senatorial Committee advertised Hawley’s Feb. 12-15 Orlando “family-friendly” fundraising weekend in its weekly events email, seen by the Journal, and sent to supporters on Wednesday. After being alerted to the promotion, an NRSC spokesman wouldn’t confirm or deny the scheduling of the fundraiser, and a Hawley spokeswoman and a consultant listed as the contact for the event didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Facing public criticism for hosting the event, Loews Hotels & Co. canceled on Hawley earlier this month and said it wouldn’t host Hawley’s event at any of its hotels. A customer-service representative at the Loews resort in Orlando said she had no information about the event being moved. Hawley’s PAC spent around $100,000 during the 2020 elections, primarily to help fellow GOP senators and Senate candidates. Hawley has blasted companies that have backed away from him in the past month, saying he “will not bow to left wing corporate pressure.”

Hawley, widely viewed as a possible presidential aspirant, told Business Insider this week that he was “not running” for president in 2024, and demurred on whether former President

Donald Trump

should run again or make way for a new GOP standard bearer.

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OFFSHORE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT sees a swift shift in winners and losers following Biden’s inauguration. While offshore oil-and-gas developers deal with a freeze on new fossil-fuel leases on federal property, offshore wind developers see a chance to rebound from years of Trump administration opposition. Vineyard Wind, a $2.2 billion project off the coast of Massachusetts, was paused by the Trump administration just days before it was expected to get final approval last month. The Trump administration also proposed limiting offshore wind development for hundreds of miles on the East Coast from Florida to Virginia while pushing for more offshore drilling.

This week, Vineyard Wind announced plans to restart the permitting process, signaling that it expects a more-favorable approach from the Biden administration. It also said it had addressed some of the concerns about the project from the commercial fishing industry, which has opposed aspects of the development. Biden’s offshore wind agenda got a head start from Congress: The pandemic stimulus package passed in December extends the 30% tax credit for offshore wind projects that begin construction before 2026. Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order to “accelerate clean energy and transmission projects under federal siting and permitting processes,” which should ease the development of wind projects on federal land and waters.

ANTI-DEATH PENALTY prosecutors and activists push Biden to put a permanent end to the federal death penalty after Trump reversed a moratorium and executed 13 people in his final year in office. The coalition, which includes the attorneys general of Minnesota, New Mexico and Delaware and a longer list of local prosecutors, encourages Biden to take unilateral steps given the uphill climb legislation would face in Congress.

Those steps include commuting sentences of those currently on death row, dismantling the death chamber in Terre Haute, Ind., and encouraging the Justice Department to instruct prosecutors not to seek the death penalty in future cases. Biden is an opponent of the death penalty and on the campaign trail promised to push for legislation outlawing it at the federal level. The Trump Justice Department said its use of the death penalty was carrying out the sentences approved by judges and juries for “staggeringly brutal murders.”

SOME HOUSE REPUBLICANS’ private email addresses were recently leaked to a group involved with the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Jan. 6 violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a lawmaker whose inbox was inundated with emails. Lawmakers typically don’t use the generic House email addresses generated for staff. Some lawmakers decided to change their personal email addresses after they started being overwhelmed with messages, which lately have focused on ousting House GOP Conference Chairwoman

Liz Cheney.

WHITE EVANGELICALS finished the Trump administration as his most unwavering supporters, with 62% support among the group, according to a regularly-conducted survey by the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute. White evangelical approval of Trump has remained mostly steady, and the 62% support roughly matches his average throughout 2019, before several of the most controversial events of his presidency: his first impeachment, his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his encouragement of the Capitol riot. White Catholics, by contrast, are less likely to favor Trump since the election: In November their approval of Trump stood at 51% and has now dropped to 39%.

MINOR MEMOS: Official Republican Party platform survey asks respondents if they identify as a Republican or a Socialist, with no other options provided….White House Press Secretary

Jen Psaki

takes a shot at the name of Trump administration’s vaccine software platform “Tiberius,” saying it sounds like “some sort of magical creature” (like “Operation Warp Speed,” it’s a Star Trek reference)….State Department redacts former Secretary

Mike Pompeo’s

favorite pizza toppings in Freedom of Information Act release.

Write to Gabriel T. Rubin at [email protected]

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