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BLOG ARCHIVE: FEBRUARY 16-28, 2009.

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

DEMS QUESTION OBAMA'S IRAQ RESIDUAL FORCE PLAN; DEMS EXPECT FRANKEN BE DECLARED SENATE WINNER IN APRIL; HUCKABEE SOUNDS OFF AT CPAC; TAYLOR NOT A TEAM PLAYER.

IRAQ. Some leading Democrats are expressing some concerns over President Barack Obama's plan to leave 50,000 troops in Iraq after the withdrawal from the country next year of "all United States combat forces." US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said: "That’s a little higher number than I expected." US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the withdrawal "has to be done responsibly, we all agree, but 50,000 is more than I would have thought.” D-NY). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also commented: "I don't know what the justification is for ... 50,000 troops in Iraq. I do think that there's a need for some. I don't know that all of them have to be in country.”

MINNESOTA. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is calling on now-former US Senator Norm Coleman (R) to concede last year's race for US Senate to humorist Al Franken (D). Franken continues to hold a narrow 225 vote lead and most court rulings have gone in his favor. Reid explained that -- in his own 1998 Senate race -- now-US Senator John Ensign decided to concede defeat to Reid rather than pursue a recount. "John Ensign wound up as a real hero in Nevada," Reid said, who noted Ensign won a Senate seat in the following election. Coleman's legal challenge to Franken's victory is continuing in the courts. "The projections -- and they're not locked in -- are that this should all be finished by the very beginning of April," said US Senator Chuck Schumer, who expects Franken to soon join him in the Senate.

P2012. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) told attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference that he was not happy last year when John McCain suspended his Presidential campaign due to the economy. Huckabee, a likely 2012 candidate for President, felt that McCain's vote for the first bailout was the end of his Presidential campaign. Huckabee said he continued to back the GOP ticket, however, because he was being a good soldier. Huckabee also didn't have nice words to say about MSNBC. "It's not MSNBC, but the MS-B-S channel," cracked Huckabee, about the cable channel that conservatives love to hate.

MISSISSIPPI. Congressman Gene Taylor (D) sharply attacked his own party's President over the proposed new spending programs. “I don’t like it ... Change is not running up even bigger deficits that George Bush did. That’s what George Bush did very well. Apparently that’s what President Obama is doing,” complained the Taylor, a Blue Dog Democrat who voted against the Obama stimulus bill. The remarks aren't a big surprise. Taylor -- along with subsequently defeated Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-FL) -- were among the only sitting Democratic incumbents in the nation who refused to endorse Obama's candidacy last year.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.27.09 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

A MUST READ: UTAH GOVERNOR SUGGESTS WAY OUT OF WILDERNESS FOR GOP.

One of our readers posted an item in yesterday's blog thread that I thought intriguing enough to make the focus of today's posting. Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) -- a businessman, heir to a billionaire fortune, former US Ambassador, former Reagan White House aide, Mormon, and a father of seven -- says the Republican Party must moderate on social issues and abandon the current negativity or risk a slow national political death as a party. And he's also one of the more intriguing possible GOP White House contenders for 2012, as he wants to push the Republicans in a new direction. Here are some excerpts from Huntsman's provocative interview with Politico:

Q: What is your take on the stimulus? Will you take all the money?

HUNTSMAN: It's easy to criticize the bill and if you don't like it, you don't have to take the money. It's pretty simple. ... We will take the money.
...
Q: You said the stimulus wasn't large enough. In addition to the tax cuts that you mentioned, are there other measures you would have liked to see included in the bill?

HUNTSMAN: Well, the size of about a trillion dollars was floated by Mark Zandi, who's a very respected economist. I tend to believe what he is saying about the size of the package, which didn't necessarily hit the mark in terms of size.
...
Q: What do you make of the rhetoric coming out of the Democratic Party or the Obama administration on fair trade and “Buy American” laws?

HUNTSMAN: That's shades of Smoot-Hawley, 1931. When America closes its doors, so does everybody else. We are the primary engine of growth in the world and we are the only beacon of free trade left, and open markets.
....
Q: Are you saying that congressional Republicans are irrelevant?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I'm saying, to a lot of states like ours, there isn't much guidance coming out of Congress that necessarily impacts anything we do. But I'll tell you this about the overall debate: we will be irrelevant as a party until we become the party of solutions and until we become the party of preeminence.

Q: Is it a party of "no" right now?

HUNTSMAN: I'm not sure that it can be defined in any way in particular, because there's nothing there with which to define it. And it won't be defined until it breaks through with some real, practical solutions. "No" isn't a solution.
...
Q: You've changed your position on gay rights. [Huntsman recently endorsed civil union legislation which would grant identical marriage rights to same-sex couples.] What prompted that?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I've always been in favor of greater equality. My first year in office I ran a reciprocal beneficiary rights piece of legislation. It failed, but my first year in office I wanted to see if we could do more in the name of individual rights. And I've always thought that we were a little bit behind in terms of equality for people born under the same constitution.

Q: In December you talked about people 40 and under having a very different view on the environment. Is there a similar generational gap on gay rights?

HUNTSMAN: You hit on the two issues that I think carry more of a generational component than anything else. And I would liken it a bit to the transformation of the Tory Party in the UK. They went two or three election cycles without recognizing the issues that the younger citizens in the UK really felt strongly about. They were a very narrow party of angry people. And they started branching out through, maybe, taking a second look at the issues of the day, much like we're going to have to do for the Republican Party, to reconnect with the youth, to reconnect with people of color, to reconnect with different geographies that we have lost.
...
Q: Why do you think winning back the intelligentsia matters?

HUNTSMAN: I think we've drifted a little bit from intellectual honesty in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt, for example, where they would use rigorous science to back up many of their policies, and in this case many of their environmental policies. Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. We declared the war on cancer. A lot of intellectual rigor went into the policies of those days, and we've drifted a little bit from taking seriously the importance of science to buttress much of what we're doing today.

Q: It sounds like what you're saying is that Republicans need to win the educated class of America.

HUNTSMAN: Absolutely. ... I'm not sure that we have connected fully, meaningfully and in any complete way on the issues of the day.
...
Q: Are we going to see you in Iowa and New Hampshire next year, do you think?

HUNTSMAN: If there are some good motocross races.

Q: Has a presidential campaign crossed your mind?

HUNTSMAN: You know, it's hard to speak in those terms today, because we just had an election. Politics is a lot of serendipity. You're in the right place and the right time and you've got the right message, and it either connects for you or, or it doesn't. And I think whoever emerges as the standard-bearer for the Republican cause in four or eight years will have to first prove that they can be a person who delivers results in the incubator or laboratory of democracy, as opposed to someone engaging in gratuitous rhetoric.

Q: Is there a place in a Republican primary who has views on gay rights, immigration, the environment, foreign policy, that are not exactly orthodox conservative?

HUNTSMAN: Well, that will all be determined in the next few years, because it won't just be me, it will be a whole lot of people who will probably want to expand the horizons so that we include more people into our party. There's no other way to get it done. And, you know, so long as we always believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and so long as we can hold firmly to the principles that keep entrepreneurs viable – because, in the end, that's the one thing, other than our constitutional freedoms, that really make us a unique country.

Can someone who believes his party is currently ideologically bankrupt and the GOP base is essentially "a very narrow party of angry people" succeed in trying to build a national movement to fix his party? Agree or disagree with Huntsman -- but it's a very bold political move which sets him sharply apart from Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and the other social conservatives who are seeking to rebuild the Republican Party by moving it further right.
Daily Report by Ron Gunzburger- 02.26.09 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OBAMA ADDRESSED CONGRESS, NATION; BURRIS WON'T RESIGN; SOLIS CONFIRMED; PALIN REIMBURSES STATE; DETROIT MAYOR PRIMARY RESULTS.

THE PRESIDENCY. President Barack Obama, enjoying high approval ratings, spoke to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. The speech focused almost entirely on the economy, and alternated between a frank discussion of the problems we are now facing and his hope for where the recovery plans will take our nation. He also announced his plan to withdraw "all US combat troops" from Iraq by August 2010 -- although as many as 50,000 US troops will remain there after that date in non-combat capacities for a period of time. The speech was well received by most pundits across the political spectrum. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) delivered the Republican response. In his first national televised introduction to most Americans, a smiling Jindal told his own story, criticized the recovery program as "irresponsible", and set forth a uncompromising conservative message of blocking any growth of government in dealing with business, energy and health care.

ILLINOIS. US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) -- representing the Senate Leadership -- met with US Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) on Tuesday. Durbin directly pressed Burris to resign, but the suggestion was immediately rejected. In fact, Burris refused to even give the alternative commitment Leadership wanted: a public declaration he will not run for the seat in 2010. Instead, Burris told Durbin he has not yet decided on his political plans for next year. Durbin told Burris he will not support his candidacy if he runs for the full term.

ALASKA. CNN reports that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) will reimburse the state nearly $7,000 for travel expenses for related to nine state-funded trips she took with her children. This will settlement a 2008 ethics complaint claim. After the payment, Palin will be fully exonerated.

OBAMA CABINET. Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA) was confirmed as the new US Labor Secretary on Tuesday by a vote of 80-17. A special election will take place later in the spring to fill her vacant CD-32 seat. The district is safely Democratic.

DETROIT. Voters on Tuesday cast ballots in a special primary election to replace former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who resigned last fall and pled guilty to two felony charges. In a very low turnout contest, voters decided which two of the 15 candidates would advance to the May 5 run-off election. Businessman Dave Bing finished first with 29%, followed by interim Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. at 27%, former Deputy Mayor Freman Hendrix was third with 23%, Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans had 10%, and all others finished far behind in the single digits.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.25.09 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

A LOCKE FOR COMMERCE POST; PALIN SAYS MEDIA PLOTTED TO GET HER; SHELBY WONDER IF OBAMA IS REALLY AMERICAN; ROMNEY LAYING GROUNDWORK; INDY JUMPS INTO NJ GOV RACE.

OBAMA CABINET. CNN reports that fomer Washington Governor Gary Locke (D) -- the first Chinese-American to serve as a US Governor -- is expected to be named this week to as the next US Secretary of Commerce. Locke was Governor from 1997 to 2005. Locke was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries and was originally on the shortlist to be Interior Secretary.

PALIN. "We are going to seek and ... destroy this candidacy of Sarah Palin's because of what it is that she represents,' is how the Alaska Governor now described the national media's reaction to her Vice Presidential candidacy last year. In a new documentary, Palin discusses how she believes a conspiracy took place among members of the media to undermine her candidacy.

WHITE HOUSE. US Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is complaining that he hasn't seen President Barack Obama's birth certificate. Shelby isn't so sure that Obama is legally eligible to be President. "Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven't seen any birth certificate. You have to be born in America to be President. Obama could put the urban legend to rest by simply releasing his actual birth certificate, but he has declined to do so," said Shelby to an Alabama newspaper over the weekend. On Monday, Shelby's office backpedlled and said he has no doubt's about Obama's eligibility to serve. The newspaper, however, said it stands by its story and that Shelby made the remarks questioning Obama's constitutional eligibility.

P2012. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is strongly leaning towards making a second run for President in 2012. Romney is already lending financial support to several Republican US House members targeted by the DCCC. Romney is already planning to make the rounds in support of these candidates as part of his efforts to lay the groundwork for a 2012 run.

NEW JERSEY. Former State EPA Administrator Chris Daggett has entered the race for Governor as an Independent. Daggett, who served in the Regan Administration, is an environmentalist who voted for Barack Obama in 2008. At this point, it is hard to tell which party benefits most if Daggett qualifies for the general election ballot.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.24.09 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BUNNING'S VULNERABILITY GROWS; THE RETURN OF BOB SMITH; FEDS QUESTION BURRIS; BARBOUR SAYS OBAMA RUNNING "PERPETUAL CAMPAIGN"; CONDIT SCANDAL REDUX.

KENTUCKY. US Senator Jim Bunning (R) is already expected to face a tough fight for reelection next year, as leading Bluegrass State Democrats are lining up to run. Over the weekend, Bunning helped to contribute to his reputation for making erratic comments. Speaking at a Lincoln Day event over the weekend, Bunning said that US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg will be dead from pancreatic cancer within the next nine months. Bunning also complained the NRSC isn't doing enough financially to help him and other embattled conservative incumbents. In related news, The Hill reports that State Senate President David Williams is considering making a primary challenge to Bunning. Williams was in DC Friday meeting with NRSC officials. Williams, an ally of US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), has high name recognition in the state. McConnell has openly expressed his hopes that Bunning will retire next year -- after the unexpectedly close call he survived in 2004. Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) says he would run for the Senate seat if Bunning retires, but will not challenge Bunning in a primary. Bunning insisted again this weekend that he will seek re-election in 2010.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Well-placed sources close to former US Senator Bob Smith (R) tell Politics1 that Smith has shifted away from his earlier plan to run for US Senate in Florida, where he has lived for the past few years. Instead, Smith -- who has maintained a home in New Hampshire -- now plans to return to the Granite State and run for US Senate in the GOP primary next year if former US Senator John Sununu Jr. runs for Judd Gregg's open seat. One of Smith's consultants, who asked not too be named, said Smith will emphasize his pro-gun rights, pro-life and pro-environment stances against Sununu. Smith lost for renomination to Sununu in the bitter 2002 primary, so part of Smith's motiviation for running against Sununu would be to inflict as much political damage as possible on Sununu.

ILLINOIS. The latest development in the saga: US Senator Roland Burris (D) was questioned by federal agents on Saturday in his attorney's office. Don't look for Burris to voluntarily resign, despite overwhelming calls for him to do so. Everyone who knows Burris said it is simply outside his nature to ever resign the seat.

WHITE HOUSE. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R) said Sunday that President Barack Obama is already running for re-election based on the location of visits he has made to push the stimulus package. Barbour -- a former Republican National Chairman and a potential 2012 White House candidate -- says Obama and his White House advisor David Axelrod are politicizing the visits as part of a "perpetual campaign." Obama has made recent visits to Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and Arizona. The White House responded by saying Obama is visiting those states because they are among the hardest hit by the nation's massive economic and home foreclosure crisis.

SCANDAL REDUX. Former Congressman Gary Condit (D-CA) is writing a book about his life, now that police are planning to charge another man in the murder of former Condit intern Chandra Levy. Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant already serving a 10-year prison sentence for two assaults in Washington's Rock Creek Park where Levy's remains were found, will be formally charged this week with the crime. Condit lost his 2002 re-election primary after news broke that he had an affair with the then-missing Levy, and was a possible suspect in her disappearance. His evasive behavior caused some of the speculation, including his bizarre night drive around DC to dispose in random dumpsters of various gifts he had received from Levy. Condit successfully sued Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne for libel for a series of published articles which said Condit planned Levy's kidnapping and murder. Dunne recanted and settled to case, paying a large amount of damages to Condit.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.23.09 | Permalink |

WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE.

ILL GOV CALLS ON BURRIS TO RESIGN; CLYBURN INJECTS RACE INTO STIMULUS DEBATE.

ILLINOIS. Governor Pat Quinn (D) on Friday called on US Senator Roland Burris (D) to resign, saying it would be in the best interest of the state. Burris also lost his Chief of Staff, who resigned Friday to return to his former position in the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

CONGRESS. US House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) unexpectedly -- and uncomfortably -- injected race into the economic stimulus debate. Clyburn stated that “opponents of the stimulus bill are insulting African-Americans.” Clyburn quickly tried to explain himself: “Let’s take, for instance, Louisiana. Governor Jindal has been in my office a number of times. He has called me a number of times asking for billions of dollars in assistance to stand communities back up as a result of hurricane Katrina and Rita. Yet he says there is something wrong with this money for the stimulus that comes from the same pot, that he sees nothing wrong when he’s trying to stand back up after Katrina." Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC), another stimulus opponent who was criticized by Clyburn, responded: "Rep. Clyburn and I disagree on this. He thinks it's a good idea. I think it's a horrible idea."
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.21.09 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

PALIN'S PROBLEMS; CRIST STRONG; PATAKI PONDERS; BENNETT'S CHALLENGERS ... AND MORE BURRIS NEWS!

ALASKA. After a thorough review, state officials ordered Governor Sarah Palin (R) pay her back taxes related to per diem reimbursements she claimed while staying in her home. The Washington Post first reported last September that Palin had billed the state for nearly $17,000 worth of meals and other living expenses while staying in her Wasilla home during the first 19 months in office.

NEW YORK. Former Governor George Pataki (R) met with NRSC officials this week to discuss a possible run next year against newly appointed US Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D). Congressman Peter King has also met with the NRSC to discuss his own possible candidacy.

ILLINOIS. The spokesman for US Senator Roland Burris (D) resigned on Thursday. Also, this quote Thursday to the Chicago Sun-Times for US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL): "Short of Roland Burris resigning or resolving this issue -- if he can, and I don't know if he can -- I don't know what will stop it. I'm tired of this Blagojevich burlesque that's been going on for so long. The people of our state should be spared this."

FLORIDA. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that Governor Charlie Crist is the GOP frontrunner for the vacant US Senate seat in 2010. Crist leads Congressman Connie Mack -- his nearest opponent -- by a 53-13 margin. Other Republicans considering the Senate campaign include former State House Speaker Marco Rubio and Congressman Vern Buchanan. Asked without Crist in the race, Mack leads Buchanan 34-11, with Rubio at 6%. The poll shows Crist has an overall approval rating of 68% -- with an 67% approval rating among Democrats.

UTAH. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, US Senator Bob Bennett (R) will face primary opposition next year. Former Juab County Prosecutor David Leavitt (R) -- brother of former Governor Mike Leavitt -- has already announced his plans to run. The newspaper also mentioned Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and former gubernatorial counsel Mike Lee as two other potential primary challengers. Shurtleff -- if he passes on the Senate race -- is also a potential candidate for Governor in 2012 when incumbent Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) may elect to retire. In related news, the Tribune reports that Huntsman has avoided nearly all GOP events in the state over the past month since he announced his support for same-sex civil union legislation.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.20.09 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BURRIS RESIGNATION CALLS GROW; ROY BLUNT JUMPS INTO MO SEN RACE; MEEKS LANDS KEY LABOR ENDORSEMENT IN FL SEN RACE.

ILLINOIS. Interim US Senator Roland Burris (D) has been busy this week digging himself deeper into an ethics and potentially criminal hole. US Senate leaders wouldn't allow Burris to take his seat until he testified before the Illinois Legislature's impeachment panel on the allegations that now-ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) tried to sell the appointment to the seat. In his sworn testimony, Burris stated that he had not been approached by anyone to give any money to Blagojevich or his political committee. Remember his great quip at the time to the media: "I ain't got no money to pay-to-play." Last week, Burris submitted an affidavit to the Illinois House panel which he said "supplemented" his earlier testimony. The change: Burris admitted he had been approached by the Governor's brother and told to raise $10,000 for Blago's political committee. The story evolved further this week as Burris now says he did try to raise money for the committee but was unsuccessful, so he didn't give anything for the appointment. However, he still faces a likely perjury probe in Illinois and is the subject of an official US Senate Ethics Committee inquiry opened on Tuesday. Calls are already growing for Burris to resign from Illinois newspapers and Republicans. Leading Democrats are also now distancing themselves from Burris -- not that they ever embraced his controversial appointment. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released a statement highly critical of Burris. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked if the President believes Burris should resign. The response: "I'm not going to get ahead of investigations and say anything like that yet." Burris has reportedly canceled all events on his schedule for Thursday.

MISSOURI. Congressman Roy Blunt (R) will officially launch his US Senate campaign on Thursday in a series of rallies around the state. Blunt -- the former US House Minority Whip -- is likely to face a GOP primary challenge from former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, plus possibly one or two others. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan faces no significant opposition for the Dem nomination for US Senate. Incumbent Kit Bond (R) is retiring next year. As for Blunt's open CD-7 seat, former Governor Matt Blunt (R) -- Roy's son -- is mentioned as a potential candidate. State Representative Shane Shoeller (R) is also looking at the CD-7 race for this solidly Republican seat.

FLORIDA. Congressman Kendrick Meek (D) got an unexpectedly early boost in his run for the Democratic nomination for US Senate. The influential SEIU endorsed Meek over State Senator Dan Gelber and heavyweights like Congressman Ron Klein and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio who are still weighing the primary race.
Daily Report by Ron Gunzburger - 02.19.09 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BRUNER-FISHER PRIMARY SET IN OHIO; GOV PATERSON, SEN GILLIBRAND BOTH TRAIL IN NY PRIMARY MATCHUPS.

OHIO. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D) officially jumped into the open US Senate race on Tuesday, just a week after Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher (D) filed paperwork to form a US Senate exploratory committee. Her move prompted Fisher to officially announce his full-fledged candidacy on Tuesday evening. Emily's List immediately endorsed Brunner, while Governor Ted Strickland endorsed Fisher. The biggest development was the news that Congressman Tim Ryan (D) will not enter the race and is instead endorsing Fisher. Ryan is viewed as a young Democratic rising star, so his decision to pass on the Senate race may hint he is instead interest in running for Governor in 2014 when Strickland is term-limited. Former Bush Administration Budget Director and former Congressman Rob Portman to date is the only major announced GOP candidate. US Senator George Voinovich (R) is retiring.

NEW YORK #1. Governor David Paterson (D) seems to have lost whatever goodwill with the public from when he ascended to the office last year -- with much of the damage seemingly self-inflicted from his clumsy handling of the US Senate seat vacancy last month. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Paterson trailing Attorney General Andrew Cuomo by a lopsided 55-23 vote in a Democratic primary matchup. The Q-poll also tested the strength of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) in the gubernatorial general election. Giuliani trails Cuomo by a 51-37 vote, but is tied 43-43 if Paterson is the Democratic nominee.

NEW YORK #2. The Q-poll also tested the 2010 US Senate special election. Newly appointed US Senator Kristen Gillibrand surprisingly trails Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy by a 34-24 vote in a Democratic primary. McCarthy -- a staunch gun control advocate and widow of a gun murder victim -- is upset that Gillibrand has a 100% approval rating from the NRA. In a general election pairing, Gillibrand easily defeats Congressman Peter King (R) by a 42-26 vote. The poll did not test King against McCarthy.

NEW YORK #3. Sources tell Politics1 that the NRCC is planning to spend at least $100,000 in support of State Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R) in the CD-20 special election next month. Meanwhile, wealthy venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) began running his first TV spots this week.

VIN'S NOTE: I want to apologize for the information reported yesterday about a potential primary challenger to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. Although sources told us that a viable candidate would challenge him, dozens of people heavily involved in New Jersey politics have rebutted our claim throughout Tuesday. They have reiterated that all the major South Jersey Democrats are strongly supporting Corzine's re-election.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.18.09 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

McAULIFFE TAKES SHOTS AT TRIPPI; FRANKEN DECLARES SELF "SENATOR-ELECT"; SOUTH JERSEY DEMS WANT PRIMARY CHALLENGER FOR CORZINE.

VIRGINIA. At the annual Virginia Capitol Correspondents Dinner, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe took a swipe at a primary opponent's senior campaign consultant. McAuliffe aimed his snide shot at Joe Trippi, who is advising former State House Democratic Caucus Chair Brian Moran. McAuliffe said Trippi had approached him before the race began and offered to work for him. "I said to him: 'You really want to help me? That's what you want to do? You want to help me, Joe? Great. ... [Then] go work for Brian and go do for him what you did for President Dean and President Edwards.'" Moran, sitting in the audience, quickly called out: "How's President Hillary Clinton?" The third Democratic contender -- State Senator Creigh Deeds -- avoided this round of insults.

MINNESOTA. After winning a key round of court rulings on Friday -- in which the judges ruled against reviewing 12 of the 19 categories of questioned ballots requested by former US Senator Norm Coleman (R) -- humorist Al Franken (D) has started to use a new title for the first time. In a press release issued Monday, Franken's office is now listing him as "Senator-elect Al Franken." Coleman's office shot back by blasting "Al Franken’s 'Senator-for-a-day' public relations stunt." While Franken still holds a 225 vote, and appears to be winning the drawn-out legal challenge, he has yet to be officially certified the winner.

NEW JERSEY. Sources tell Politics1.com that the maverick South Jersey Democratic political organization is considering running a viable primary challenger against incumbent Governor Jon Corzine in the Democratic primary. The South Jersey Democratic machine fielded Congressman Rob Andrews against incumbent US Senator Frank Lautenberg in the 2008 primary. Despite the serious challenge, the state's Democratic establishment rallied behind Lautenberg and he defeated Andrews by a 60-34 margin. Corzine -- like Lautenberg two years ago -- suffers from low approval ratings and is potentially vulnerable. Former US Attorney Chris Christie is the leading candidate for the GOP nomination. Upon speaking with additional sources, the Corzine challenger candidate referenced in this story would not be considered a viable primary candidate against the Governor. Additionally, it appears that those behind the move represent only a small splinter faction within the South Jersey Democratic organization. Many in the South Jersey Democratic leadership note they are backing Corzine.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.17.09 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BURRIS MAY FACE PERJURY PROBE, TOUGH PRIMARY FOE; CONGRESSMAN BURTON TO FACE CROWDED PRIMARY FIELD IN '10.

ILLINOIS. US Senator Roland Burris (D) may have perjured himself when he testified in January before the Illinois House committee which investigated the impeachment of now-ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich. Burris -- testifying under oath on the pay-for-play allegations of the Governor trying to sell the open US Senate seat appointment -- adamantly stated that nobody approached him on behalf of Blagojevich seeking money in exchange for being appointed to the vacancy. Burris filed a "corrective" affidavit last week with the Illinois House clarifying that Blagojevich's brother did ask him for $10,000 in political contributions in exchange for the appointment. However, Burris said neither he nor his supporters donated any money in exchange for the appointment. State House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D) told the Chicago Sun-Times that Burris' new account is "very odd. I don’t know there is anything actionable here, but I would like to check the record." He may also face a probe on this same matter before the Senate Ethics Committee. Also adding to Burris' woes is the likelihood he will face a serious 2010 primary challenge from State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. The ambitious 32-year-old is a multimillionaire heir to a large banking fortune. Giannoulias was in DC last week to meet with US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and begin hiring a campaign staff. Durbin and Giannoulias are political allies, and Giannoulias will accompany Durbin on a trade mission to Greece this week. GOP Congressmen Mark Kirk and Peter Roskam are both also looking at the Senate race.

INDIANA. After winning a surprisingly close 52-45 primary renomination victory in 2008, The Hill reports that Congressman Dan Burton (R) has no shortage of serious primary challengers for 2010. Former Marion County Coroner John McGoff -- the '08 challenger -- has already announced his plan to seek a rematch. State Representative Mike Murphy and former Dan Quayle aide Brose McVey have also filed paperwork to run. Indiana Republican Party Executive Director Luke Messer is also looking at the seat. Despite his seniority, Burton has a reputation as a bit of a fringe gadfly. He also was hit in his last campaign for the high absenteeism in his House voting record. CD-5 is solidly Republican, so the winner of the GOP primary will be expected to easily hold the seat in the general election.
Daily Report by Ron Gunzburger - 02.16.09 | Permalink |

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June 1-15, 2008
May 16-31, 2008
May 1-15, 2008
April 16-30, 2008
April 1-15, 2008
March 16-31, 2008
March 1-15, 2008
February 16-29, 2008
February 1-15, 2008
January 16-31, 2008
January 1-15, 2008
December 16-31, 2007
December 1-15, 2007
MORE BLOG ARCHIVES


POLITICAL BLOG ROLL:

KINDA NEUTRAL:
ABC News: The Note
CNN: Political Ticker
CQ Politics
MSNBC: First Read
Pollster.com
PolitiFact.com
The Hill
Rothenberg Pol. Report
Stateline.org
Governing.com
Hotline On Call
Hotline's Blogometer
The Politico
WatchBlog
Jake Tapper
FactCheck.org
Marc Ambinder
WSJ: Best of the Web
D.C.'s Political Report

Political Wire
Larry Sabato
James Kotecki
PressThink
US News & World Report
Time Magazine
Newsweek
Politics-Line
Vot3r.com
memeorandum
Campaign Circus
Politizine.com
Foreign Policy Watch
Media Bistro

DEM/LEFT:
DNC Blog
DCCC Blog
DSCC Blog
DailyKos
Lefty Blogs
Talking Points Memo
TPM Cafe
The Raw Story
DownWithTyranny!
Democracy for America
Senate Guru
Swing State Project
Campaign Diaries
Fishbowl America
Mother Jones
Frameshop
Democratic Strategist
Think Progress
AmericaBlog.com
Amer Prospect: Tapped
Huffington Post
BAG News Notes
Eric Alterman
FishBowl DC
Fired Up! America
TalkLeft
TNR: The Plank
ZNet
Joe Trippi
Media Matters
Juan Cole
Wonkette
MyDD
Credo Action
Crooks & Liars
Mathew Gross
Progressive Dems: Blog
Eschaton
Off the Kuff
Tom Tomorrow
The Washington Note
Agonist
TruthOut
Liberal Oasis
Firedoglake
The Homo Politico
Good As You
Down With Tyranny
BuzzFlash
Taylor Marsh
Brad Blog
Nation-Building
TruthDig
Dem Underground
Open Left
Rod 2.0
Pam's House Blend
Bad Attitudes
GoLeft.tv
at-Largely
The American Street
BlogActive

GOP/RIGHT:
RNC (GOP.com)
NRCC Blog
NRSC Blog
Club for Growth
TownHall.com
Real Clear Politics
SayfieNews.com
Mickey Kaus
Virginia Postrel
RedState
WSJ Opinion Journal
Free Republic
Instapundit
Drudge Report
Pajamas Media
Hugh Hewitt
Daniel Drezner
News Busters
Daily Pundit
Extreme Mortman
NRO: The Corner
NRO: Campaign Spot
Reason: Hit & Run
Outside the Beltway
Little Green Footballs
World Mag Blog
Right Wing News
Right Pundits
Volokh Conspiracy
Brothers Judd
David Frum
Save the GOP
Enter Stage Right
PoliPundit
Power Line
The Next Right
Hedgehog Report
Right Voices
Right Bias
Booker Rising
Conservative Grapevine
Don Singleton
StoneZone
Diggers Realm

OTHER:
Ballot Access News
Indep. Political Report
ThirdPartyWatch.com
Kn@ppster
Green Party Watch
News for Greens
Infoshop News


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