June 20, 2017 Last Updated 8:12 am

Winner of special election in Georgia today gets right to interpret results; The Sun-Times gets last minute bidder

Morning Brief: Extreme heat in Arizona is causing flight cancellations, while in Spain and France a mid-week heatwave will only be moderated by evening thunderstorms

The special election for Georgia’s 6th District is today and it is both not an understatement to say that it is an important election, and probably hyperbole to say that it is extremely important.

The race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel has long since been nationalized, with the election now the most expensive House race in history, with over $23 million raised.

As Nate Silver rightly concludes, it will be how the victors interpret their victory that will matter in the end. Democrats may well see a win as a sign that Donald Trump is weighing down the Republicans, and that taking back the House is in their reach in 2018. A Republican win may be seen as a signal that there is nothing they can do, including passing the AHCA that voters will condemn them for.

Silver sees the race as basically 50-50. Tom Price, who left the House to become Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, won the district by 23 percentage points in 2014, and the district leans strongly Republican. But Trump did not fare as well in November, and the last polls have Ossoff up, though within the margin of error.

I’ll be shocked if Ossoff pulls it off. Democrats continue to poll well… and vote only occasionally. Severe thunderstorms are predicted this afternoon, which will likely suppress the vote totals.



The takeover of the Chicago Sun-Times ran into bump in the road yesterday when an investor group led by former Chicago Alderman Edwin Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor beat the 5pm deadline and submitted a bid for the tabloid.

At the very least it will force tronc, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune, to pay more than $15 million for the tab — they may decide to sit back and let some other locals lose money for a while, or they may decide that enough is enough and overpay for the money losing daily.

The Tribune currently prints and distributes the Sun-Times, so the publisher would probably make more money not owning the paper than owning it. On the other hand, both the current owner of the Sun-Times and the new bidder likely decided owning the paper is more about influence than about profits anyways, so will not be dissuaded from trying to win the property.

But, it should be said, those that have acquired their local paper thinking that it would enhance their power locally have generally ended up being disappointed discovering that it did not accomplish the goal.

Chicago Sun-Times, Mitchell Armentrout:

Union group led by Edwin Eisendrath submits bid to purchase Sun-Times

An investment group led by former Chicago Ald. Edwin Eisendrath has submitted a bid against Chicago Tribune parent company Tronc Inc. to buy the Chicago Sun-Times and weekly Chicago Reader.

“We have received a bid from a group led by Edwin Eisendrath and we are currently evaluating the proposal,” Sun-Times Publisher and Editor In Chief Jim Kirk said in an email…

…The Chicago Federation of Labor, an umbrella group representing more than 300 labor unions in Cook County, with a collective membership of more than 500,000, is part of Eisendrath’s group…

…“We’re elated that there is at least one strong bid to counter Tronc,” said David Roeder, a consultant for the Chicago News Guild, which represents Sun-Times reporters and other media members. “We just hope the Department of Justice will look at this and see there are better alternatives to Tronc out there.”



The national and international media are having a field day about the fact that Phoenix may bit 120F today, forcing the the cancellation of many flights because the temperature exceeds what is deemed safe. But is it really a big story locally? It turns out that this time the media is not overplaying its hand — it is, indeed, a big story.

One reason the Arizona weather is such a big story is that the weather is also a big story in Europe. Both Spain and France is expected in a heat wave, with temperatures well over 100F in Madrid and elsewhere.

The Arizona Republic, Zachary Hansen (beware of Gannett’s auto-pay videos):

Nearly 50 flights canceled Tuesday as Phoenix nears 120-degree day

he extreme heat forecast for Phoenix on Tuesday now has caused the cancellation of nearly 50 American Airlines regional airline flights out of Sky Harbor International Airport.

According to a statement from American Airlines, the American Eagle regional flights use the Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees. Tuesday’s forecast for Phoenix includes a high of 120 degrees, and the flights that are affected were to take off between 3 and 6 p.m.

Larger jets that fly out of Sky Harbor have higher maximum operating temperatures: Boeing, 126 degrees, and Airbus, 127 degrees, American Airlines said in a press release. Aircraft made from those manufacturers dominate the industry and are commonly flown by airlines that serve Phoenix.

Accuweather, Eric Leister:

Brutal heat to engulf Spain, France this week

The historic heat that developed across much of Spain over the past week will continue this week with no relief in sight. Madrid set an all-time June high temperature on Saturday when the temperature reached 40.3 C (104.5 F) at Madrid-Barajas Airport…

…Elsewhere, extreme heat baked southern Spain as the mercury eclipsed 44 C (112 F) in Cordoba last week. High temperatures between 40 and 43 C (104 and 110 F) are expected this week…

…A cold front will cross northern France Thursday into Friday, triggering more widespread thunderstorms but also diminishing the heat.

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