Daily Beast: High Stakes for GOP Primaries

I spoke with Gideon Resnick of The Daily Beast about the upcoming primaries and their implications for the GOP in the November midterm elections.

While political pros have mocked the ads, Blankenship’s incendiary approach has earned him more press attention, if much of it negative, than his opponents Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

“Hard to expect the media to avert its eyes from the Blankenship circus, particularly in a click-driven environment, but I think there is a real tail risk,” Republican strategist Liam Donovan observed. “Dominating the conversation for negative reasons is still dominating the conversation, and with just days to go that really matters. It would be naive to think that wasn’t his goal in releasing this ridiculous ad.”

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Bloomberg Tax: Technical Corrections Wish List

I spoke with Laura Davison of Bloomberg Tax about the outlook–and wish list–for technical corrections in the wake of TCJA.

Lawmakers will likely have only a handful of opportunities this year to pass technical corrections, which tax practitioners say they need quickly, and definitely before the 2019 tax filing season. Lawmakers must pass legislation, which will include a tax title, reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration by Sept. 30. Another year-end vehicle for tax legislation could surface if Congress passes a short-term spending bill in the fall.

“At the end of the day, it’s still going to come down to the Democrats’ willingness to play ball, and specifically what their ask will be,” Liam Donovan, a tax lobbyist at Bracewell LLP in Washington, told Bloomberg Tax April 12.

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The Atlantic: Democrats’ Biggest Threat in 2018

I spoke with Ron Brownstein of The Atlantic about GOP tax cuts and the midterm elections:

The comparable risk for Democrats this year is that they will be caught in an endless succession of Trump-centered battles—both cultural (guns, immigration) and personal (Russia, White House chaos)—and fail to effectively challenge the GOP claim that its tax-cut plan is benefiting average families. Republicans expect that if voters believe the party is putting more money in their pockets, even many people recoiling from Trump’s performance will still vote to maintain GOP control of Congress.

That’s why so many Republican strategists believe that talking up the tax plan is the key to avoiding a worse-case scenario this fall. “For Republicans, it’s absolutely the most important thing,” said Liam Donovan, a GOP lobbyist close to the party’s congressional-campaign strategists. “There are other things they can’t control—this is something they can.”

Republicans have largely succeeded in convincing the American people that the new tax law is good for the economy in the abstract. But the extent to which it will be an electoral winner–or meaningful mitigator–depends on voters appreciating the direct impact on their paycheck and their families. In that regard they still need to close the sale.

You can read the full piece here.

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