Daily Kickoff: Clinton’s favorite billionaire | Rep. Issa’s ‘It Takes Chutzpah’ bus tour | Amid election-year vitriol, follow Bill Davidson’s example

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HAIM HEADLINE — “Team Clinton’s favorite billionaire” by Gabriel Debenedetti: “There are thousands who fashion themselves top contributors, hundreds who consider themselves friends of the former president and secretary of state… But there is only one Haim Saban… It’s his apparent level of campaign involvement, between his frequent reminders to Podesta, Mook, and campaign vice-chair Huma Abedin about the electoral power of Latinos, the occasional questions about Clinton’s public pronouncements on Israel — he has famously said “I’m a one-issue guy and my one issue is Israel” — and even his scattered bits of advice about nitty-gritty political warfare… His position near the top of Clinton’s world is unquestionable.” [Politico

SCENE LAST NIGHT — in Los Angeles: The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) raised a record $38 million at its annual Western Region Gala last night at the landmark Beverly Hilton. For the 10th year, FIDF National Board Member and major supporter Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, chaired the star-studded gala. The top donation of the event was $6 million from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

SPOTTED: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Larry King, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert De Niro, Casey & Laura Wasserman, Bob & Amy Book, Serge & Florence Azria, GUESS founders Maurice & Paul Marciano, Julie Bowen, Gerard Butler, Joanna Krupa, Leo David, Peter Weintraub, Tony & Linda Rubin, Nily Falic, and Miri Nash. Pics: Saban with Kraft [JI] • Saban with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Larry King [JI]

“Meet Trump’s New Jewish Outreach Adviser, an Iranian Immigrant and Trump Employee” by Nathan Guttman: “David Peyman may very well be the Jewish Trump adviser you’ve never heard of. He assumed his position as director of Jewish outreach for the Trump-Pence campaign just over a month ago. The weeks leading up to November 8 have found Peyman mostly on the road, traveling between New York and Jewish voter concentrations in South Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania… What really gets him riled up is the claim that the Trump campaign has unearthed anti-Semitic sentiments and hateful speech. “That’s a big lie that the media has spewed,” Peyman shoots back before delivering a lengthy point by point defense of Trump and his relationship with the Jewish community. “I wear a kippa to work every day, I wear a kippa to Trump Tower, I’ve taken every single Shabbat off,” he added.” [Forward]

DEEP DIVE: “Why Vladimir Putin’s Russia is backing Donald Trump” by Kurt Eichenwald:“When Trump launched into an inexplicable attack on the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in combat, the Kremlin assumed the Republican nominee was showing himself psychologically unfit to be president and would be forced by his party to withdraw from the race. As a result, Moscow put its hacking campaign temporarily on hold, ending the distribution of documents until Trump stabilized, both personally and in the polls, according to reports provided to Western intelligence.” [Newsweek] 

“Trump wants ex-Goldman partner Mnuchin to run U.S. Treasury” by Ginger Gibson, Grant Smith and Susan Heavey: “Fox Business Network, citing unnamed sources from inside the Trump campaign, said the New York businessman has told his team he wants Mnuchin to lead the U.S. Treasury Department if he wins the Nov. 8 election.” [Reuters

“Word that Trump would go with Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary suggests that in choosing between his populist political persona and his life story as a rich kid turned businessman, a President Trump would be little different than, say, a President Romney,” said Jeff Hauser, director of the Revolving Door Project. “It’s hard to see Mnuchin cracking down on Wall Street. Indeed, one imagines Mnuchin’s banking agenda would be to rehabilitate Trump’s reputation with Wall Street.” [Politico

Jacob Kornbluh reporting from the campaign trail — Ari Spero, a middle-aged Orthodox Jew from Philadelphia, at a campaign rally with Melania Trump: “I’ve been around for many years and we always knew that Trump has an extremely good history of being supportive of Israel. I remember when I was young, we thought that Trump was short of the name ‘Trumpeldor’ (Joseph Trumpeldor, a national Zionist hero) because he was always pronouncing wonderful things about Israel when other people weren’t and we thought maybe he has some type of Jewish background. He has a history of being pro-Israel. He’s proven himself. On the other hand, Hillary has a history of being anti-Israel – the way that she berated Prime Minister Netanyahu in front of the whole world because he had some apartments that were built in Jerusalem.” [JewishInsider

Scene at Trump campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida: “Make Tefillin Great Again” [Twitter

“Donald Trump Flips A New York Democrat In North Carolina” by Mat Honan: “If you happened to tune in to Donald Trump’s speech here on Thursday, you would have seen a few Hasidic men sitting behind him, one holding a sign that read “Democrat for Trump.” The Democrat for Trump was a 25-year-old Hasidic Jew from Rockland County, New York, flown in by the campaign and the North Carolina Republican Party, he said, for the event… Prior to the rally, Shimmy (who declined to give his last name) told BuzzFeed News that he hadn’t made up his mind who he would vote for. “I’m a registered Democrat,” he said. “My friends are Trump supporters.” Afterward, in the parking lot, BuzzFeed News caught up with Shimmy and his friends… As for Shimmy the undecided? “I’m voting for Trump.””[BuzzFeed

“‘Central Park Five’ and the KKK: Clinton paints Trump as a racist” by MJ Lee: “He has spent this entire campaign offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters,” Clinton said. “He retweets white supremacists and spreads racially tinged conspiracy theories. And you better believe he is being heard loudly and clearly.” [CNN

“Trump Supporter Accuses Clinton of Being Anti-Semitic” by Jacob Kornbluh: “I know people who’ve been victimized by this, people who worked for her who are Jewish who’ve borne the brunt of it, who’ve heard the way she curses out Jews every moment of the day,” Jeff Ballabon, a Republican activist and a supporter of Trump, said in an interview with the Nachum Segal Network on Thursday. “I mean she cannot go – literally, in the words of friends of mine who worked for her, she can’t go an hour without calling somebody a bleeping Jew or a bleeping Jew bleep, whether they’re Jewish or not. She uses the word ‘Jew’ as a curse.”

— NYC Councilman David Greenfield: “That’s just honestly the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. You can’t go on a national radio show, Jeff, and make public allegations that are unfounded against Secretary Clinton – there’s not a single person who’s made a public allegation that relates to anything that you’ve just said…. No one’s ever accused her of being anti-Semitic, and no one’s ever accused her of saying things that are offensive to Jews in her private life, and the reason is because it’s never happened.” [JewishInsider

“Eric Trump: David Duke ‘deserves a bullet’” by Chris Massie and Andrew Kaczynski: “I’d get killed for it but I think I’ll say it anyway,” the Republican nominee’s son said after host Ross Kaminsky of 630 KHOW Denver radio suggested Duke deserves a bullet to the head. “The guy does deserve a bullet. I mean, these aren’t good people. These are horrible people. In fact, I commend my father. My father’s the first Republican who’s gone out and said, ‘Listen, what’s happened to the African-American community is horrible and I’m going to take care of it.'” Reached for comment, Duke told CNN, “That’s a good one, I’m in the middle of project right now.” Duke requested CNN call him back in an hour, saying, “I have to think about it.” [CNN] • Eric Trump jokes he’s ‘laying low’ after saying David Duke “deserves a bullet’ [CNN]

“Team Clinton to outspend Team Trump by $20 million in final week” by Theodore Schleifer: “The most high-profile new players in the homestretch are two groups funded primarily by Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate from Las Vegas, to benefit Trump and Republicans. Future 45, a super PAC, and its affiliated nonprofit, 45Committee, will currently spend about $8 million in late television, including some Spanish-language ads. One spot Thursday features a woman impersonating Hillary Clinton repeatedly smashing phones and computers with hammers and drills, a reference to her email controversy.” [CNN; NBCNews

David Horovitz: “I’m worried for America, and since Israel depends centrally on America, I’m also a little worried for Israel, which needs a credible, stable, reliable America at its back. I’m worried that we are watching a great democracy being battered before our eyes — watching a contest for the presidency being waged without mercy and without respect, with norms and limits flouted, propriety and decency trampled.” [ToI]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “The Lakewood Vaad: Vote this way” by Shannon Mullen: “Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton can count on the Lakewood Vaad’s support in the Nov. 8 election. The influential council of local Orthodox Jewish religious and business leaders issued its endorsementsThursday, and as is its custom, the Vaad isn’t publicly supporting a candidate in the presidential race. The group’s annual endorsements are watched closely as a bellwether of how the local vote in this heavily Orthodox enclave will go.” [APP

DOWN BALLOT — “Newsday poll: Zeldin builds 21-point lead over Throne-Holst” by David M. Schwartz: “One Democrat doing well in the district is U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, who leads Republican Wendy Long 57 percent to 36 percent. “Voters on the East End of Long Island are tilting heavily toward Republicans, with the one Democratic island known as Schumer Island,” Greenberg said.”[Newsday• The only Jewish Republican in Congress trails his Democratic opponent by 14 points (51-37) among Jewish voters [Crosstabs]

“Race narrows for Florida candidates who differ on Israel” by Josh Solomon: “As far as I know, by in large nobody considers Murphy a terrible person or a terrible legislator, or terrible on [Israel]; it’s just that I think Sen. Rubio is a friendly incumbent,” NORPAC president Ben Chouake said. “He not only has a good record, but he has an outstanding record on our issue.” [JPost]

“Soros spends $2 million to defeat Arpaio” by Scott Bland: “Soros has contributed $2 million to a group working to defeat Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona… Soros’ spending against Arpaio, a high-profile liberal bogeyman, is his single biggest investment in a local race this year, as well as the billionaire’s first effort against a sheriff.” [Politico

“Darrell Issa Turns Obama’s ‘Chutzpah’ Gibe Into a Compliment” by Kristina Peterson: “Issa (R., Calif.) is launching an “It Takes Chutzpah” bus tour Thursday after Mr. Obama called him “the definition of chutzpah.” “Just a few days ago President Obama came to my district and said that my record of holding government accountable all these years took a lot of Chutzpah — and I’ve got to say I agree,” Mr. Issa said in a statement Thursday announcing his bus tour… The bus tour will include a stop at a “street faire” in Carlsbad and a “It Takes Chutzpah” barbecue and rally in San Juan Capistrano.” [WSJ

**Good Friday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com*

MUST READ: “Amid election-year vitriol, an example to follow” by Ethan Davidson: “There’s been a lot of talk lately about what a man does or doesn’t say and do, and what makes a man. I knew a man once. My father, Bill Davidson, enlisted in the Navy so that he could fight the Japanese in the South Pacific. Pretty manly. When the Detroit race riot of 1943 broke out, the epicenter was right where our family owned some apartment buildings. My father and his mother waded out into the middle of the rebellion to collect the rents.  In all, 34 were killed and hundreds were injured — but the rent was due. So, you collect the rent.”

“At various times, my father was a pilot, a football player and an amateur stock-car racer… Those things all seem pretty manly. But you know what was really manly? During the 1980-81 seasons, when the Pistons were terrible and lost 61 of their 82 games, fans rained popcorn and beer on my dad. Every night! They’d shout “Davidson! Sell the f***ing team! You don’t know what you’re doing!” He sat there and endured the abuse for the entire campaign. He never complained. In fact, he never said a damn word. He knew he was the baddest man in the place. He didn’t have to prove it to anyone. And so it was impossible to get under his skin. That’s a man… You know what my father advised about women? When he was best man at my wedding, he told me, “Just remember, when you win an argument with your wife, you lose.” As Election Day approaches, try to act like a human being. And try to treat others like human beings.”[DetroitFreePress]

TOP TALKER: “Police shoot Erin Schrode at #NoDAPL Protest in Standing Rock” by Katherine Krueger: “Erin Schrode, an activist and journalist, was doing an interview at the edge of the Cantapeta Creek when police shot her with a rubber bullet. In her video of the incident, Schrode can be heard screaming, “Ow!” before crumbling to the ground. “I couldn’t fathom that I’d just been hit. Why would they target me? Why would they shoot anyone?” she said. “There was absolutely nothing violent, aggressive, provocative going on at the protests yesterday.”” [Fusion; attn:]

Schrode tells Jewish Insider: “I also did an interview with two Native Americans who were brutally arrested last Thursday and thrown in dog kennels, who likened it to concentration camps in Nazi Germany. They had numbers scrawled on their arms. “It was like a scene out of a Nazi concentration camp. That’s all I can relate it to.””

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week — Padis Brilliance 2012 Cabernet: I have known Ernie Weir of Hagafen Vineyards for more than 25 years. Ernie is one of the great pioneers of the kosher wine industry. I was sitting in a New York City steak house, Reserve Cut, with a dear friend this past week and I happened upon a bottle of wine I had never seen before (this is quite the rarity). We were so deep in conversation that I hardly noticed ordering it. Ernie’s new wine opened a new gate of pleasure for me. Ernie created this special kosher vintage for an otherwise non-kosher winery owned by his friends in Napa.

The Padis Brilliance 2012 Cabernet was utterly brilliant. It is a young wine so I was expecting heavy tannins on the finish to be the main attraction. That is not where the excitement came from, but rather an explosion in my mid-palate which sent great cherry and plum to the front of my mouth and dark chocolate, spice and dryness to the back. It was only in the finish that the presence of the tannins kicked in. This wine will still be good 20 years from now but it will never last in my collection (not with my impulses anyway). If you have, or can get a bottle, drink it. This should be eaten with a 22 ounce marbled Wagyu steak. Do not plan on sleeping the night you have this experience. [NapaWineProject]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: President and CEO of the Hudson Institute, Ken Weinstein turns 55… U.S. Representative for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district, formerly a Republican but now a Democrat, John Yarmuth turns 69… BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith turns 40… COO/Managing Director of the NFL Players Association, Ira Fishman… Bob Rubin… American-born Rosh Yeshiva of the Kamenitz Yeshiva of Jerusalem, Rabbi Yitzchok Scheiner turns 94… Singer, poet and actor, best known as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, Art Garfunkel turns 75…

French public intellectual, media personality and author, Bernard-Henri Lévy turns 68… Economist and director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs turns 62… Communications and Project Coordinator at Los Angeles based Creative Community for Peace, Tara Khoshbin… Business Insider’s Jacob Shamsian… Chairman of Israel’s Yesh Atid Party with 19 seats in the Knesset, former Finance Minister Yair Lapid turns 53… Founder and CEO of health organization FCancer working for early detection and prevention of cancer, Yael Cohen Braun turns 30…

Psychologist, and wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sara Netanyahu turns 58… Belgian theoretical physicist, a Holocaust survivor and 2013 Nobel prize laureate, François Englertturns 84… Columnist, writer, political adviser and author of Start-Up Nation Dan Senor turns 45… Former aide to President Bill Clinton and a long-time advisor to Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal turns 68… President and CEO of American Jewish World Service (1998-2016), formerly Manhattan borough president, Ruth Messinger turns 76… Research scientist at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, Barbara Volsky turns 66… Actress best known for her lead role in the 1984 film “Footloose” and the television series “Fame,” Lori Singer turns 59…

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