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A roundup of campaign news items of interest for Friday, August 9, 2019:

CASTRO PLAN WOULD FOCUS ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM: Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro would educate local law enforcement on how to recognize signs of extremism and invest in programs designed to combat hate and domestic terrorism as part of an overall strategy for addressing white nationalism and gun violence, his campaign said.

The plan from the former U.S. housing department leader from Texas also includes requiring state and local governments to maintain hate crime data. His plan for addressing gun violence includes requiring background checks on all gun sales, a ban on the import of assault weapons, requiring a seven-day waiting period on all gun purchases, and a gun buy-back program.

“White supremacist terrorism is a threat to our safety made more deadly by easy access to guns,” Castro said in a statement. “The horrific tragedy in El Paso was not an isolated incident. White nationalism is on the rise and the gun violence epidemic is a national crisis. Our time to act is now.”

Castro also would ban high-capacity magazines, direct the federal government to research and collect data on gun violence, double the tax on gun and ammunition purchases, and support gun storage requirements.

YANG WOULD DEFINE DOMESTIC TERRORISM: Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s plan to address gun violence and domestic terrorism would include working with Congress to pass a federal statute creating a clear, federal domestic terrorism offense and provide “appropriately harsh punishment,” according to the Yang campaign.

“Gun violence is a symptom of many underlying diseases. As a people, we need to come together, recognize all causes of gun violence, and implement policies that will combat this scourge,” Yang said in a social media post accompanying the policy announcement. “I’m a parent of two young boys. I want to look them in their eyes every day when they walk out our front door and be able to tell them that they’re safe.”

The New York entrepreneur’s plan for gun safety includes a licensing system and waiting periods, universal background checks and red flag laws, a clear definition of and ban on assault weapons, a voluntary buy-back program, and a ban on post-market devices that increase ammunition capacity.

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Yang’s campaign said he also would improve political rhetoric coming from the White House and work to limit the influence of lobbyists, including by working with Congress to limit lobbying by former members of Congress.

BUTTIGIEG INTRODUCES PLAN FOR RURAL HEALTH CARE: His “Medicare for all who want it” plan is the centerpiece of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s plan for rural health care, his campaign announced.

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The plan from the South Bend, Indiana, mayor also includes working to expand primary care and mental health care workforces in rural areas, encouraging new and sustainable care models for rural hospitals, making it easier for women to access pre- and post-natal health care, and expanding opioid addiction treatment in rural areas.

“It is time to break with the politics of the past, meet the urgency of this moment, and usher in a new era for rural America,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “We need to lift rural communities up as places of opportunity, both for this generation and future ones. That work begins with securing the health of all rural residents.”

GILLIBRAND LAUNCHES TV ADS: Democratic presidential candidate Kristen Gillibrand’s campaign has made a $1 million buy for a 30-second campaign ad that will air in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Titled “Imagine,” the ad highlights the U.S. Senator from New York’s “strong progressive priorities and values,” according to her campaign.

“My promise to the American people is that I will restore compassion, courage and humanity to the White House,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “Despite what we feel today, it's not impossible to have affordable health care for all, to protect our environment, to keep our kids safe and to root out the corrupting influence of money in our politics. As our campaign gains momentum, I’m excited to share my message with Iowa caucus-goers and New Hampshire voters.”

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