Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Democrats shun help from Obama

President Barack Obama doesn’t go there anymore. The days of Obama traipsing around the country to states like Montana, Indiana or Arkansas in freewheeling campaign mode — and with sky-high popularity lifting Democratic candidates — are long over. With his approval rating sliding, the president in the next few weeks is primarily sticking to big cities — Milwaukee, Cleveland and Philadelphia — and other party strongholds, like Connecticut, where he can help fellow Democrats in the midterm election homestretch. Who’s campaigning for Democratic candidates in Arkansas on Wednesday? Former President Bill Clinton, ex-governor of the state. “Judging from the polls
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Democratic woes put at least 75 House seats in play

Their control of the House in peril, Democrats are scratching to survive in races all across the country. Disgruntled voters, a sluggish economy and vanishing enthusiasm for President Barack Obama have put 75 seats or more — the vast majority held by Democrats — at risk of changing hands. The party could become a victim of its own successes during the past two elections, when candidates were swept into power by antipathy for President George W. Bush and ardor for Obama. Now, eight weeks from Election Day, the Democrats are bracing for the virtual certainty of lost House seats and
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Murkowski: ‘I’m not a quitter’

A week after conceding the tight GOP primary to Joe Miller, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she’s not a quitter and is “still in this game.” Murkowski told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she’s been inundated with calls and e-mails from supporters and overwhelmed by people just coming up to her, asking her not to leave the race. She said she had been ready to consider her future outside the Senate on Aug. 31, when she conceded, but has been humbled by the outpouring from Alaskans, is listening and weighing her options. She said that if this was “all
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John Boehner: Speaker in waiting?

John Boehner could walk down most American streets without turning a head. But the perpetually tanned, chain-smoking Ohioan might be the next House speaker and a huge force in national politics, trying to manage an increasingly libertarian-leaning Republican caucus while leading the opposition to President Barack Obama. For those who know Boehner (pronounced BAY’-nur), the question is which version of the House Republican leader will emerge as speaker if the GOP takes at least 40 seats from Democrats in November. Will it be the policy-minded lawmaker who sometimes shows bipartisan tendencies? Or will it be the partisan of recent months
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Murkowski defeat dooms Alaska’s Congressional seniority

The defeat of Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski by an upstart fiscal conservative in Alaska’s GOP primary could mark a significant shift for a state that has so long relied on federal pork to survive. The outcome was also an unexpected blow to the seniority Alaska has enjoyed in the Senate. Even as the far northern state stubbornly adheres to its reputation for independence, it relies more heavily on federal spending than any other state, thanks largely to congressional powerhouses such as the late Republican Sen. Ted Stevens. But a shift in that approach could come in the form of
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Murkowski throws in the towel

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was booted from office in the Republican primary Tuesday by a little-known conservative lawyer in arguably the biggest political upset of the year. Joe Miller, backed by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express, became the latest newcomer to the national political stage to take down an incumbent in 2010 amid deep dissatisfaction with the Washington establishment. Miller’s win was a major victory for the tea party movement and marked the first time it had defeated a sitting senator in a primary. Tea partiers had knocked off Utah Sen. Bob Bennett at a state convention in May,
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Congressmen probed in pay-for-votes scheme

House investigators have recommended that three lawmakers be further investigated to determine whether political contributions were improperly linked to votes on the huge financial overhaul bill. The independent House Office of Congressional Ethics recommended that the member-run House ethics committee pursue potential rules violations by Republicans John Campbell of California and Tom Price of Georgia and Democrat Joseph Crowley of New York. The ethics office recommended no further investigation of five other lawmakers in the same probe: Democratic Reps. Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota and Mel Watt of North Carolina, and Republicans Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Chris Lee of New
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No NRA endorsement for Reid

Sen. Harry’s Reid’s support for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees has cost him the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in his re-election bid. The NRA is a force in rural states like Nevada where many voters own guns and hunt. The absence of the NRA’s blessing represents a setback that Reid’s campaign was quick to address Friday by noting that NRA executive Wayne LaPierre once called him a “true champion of the Second Amendment.” Christopher W. Cox, chairman of the NRA’s Political Victory Fund, said Friday that the organization strongly opposed the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the
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Former RNC chair: Yep, I’m gay

Former Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman says in a magazine interview that he is gay. Mehlman, who was campaign manager for President George W. Bush in 2004 and then RNC chairman after Bush’s re-election, told The Atlantic in an interview published online Wednesday that he came to the conclusion he is gay recently and wanted to talk about it publicly because he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage. He also thought questions would arise when he participates in an upcoming fundraiser for the group challenging California’s ballot measure opposing those marriages. “It’s taken me 43 years to get
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Ethics-challenged Waters still popular on home turf

Congressional ethics charges have tarnished Maxine Waters’ reputation in Washington. But in the struggling, mostly Hispanic and black neighborhoods she represents, residents still hold the 10-term Democratic congresswoman in high esteem. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t even be in school,” Carol Jones, 51, said after finishing classes for the day at the Maxine Waters Education & Career Center, one of the institutions the congresswoman has supported during her decades in state and federal government. “Whenever somebody is doing something good for the community, they’ll find something to make them look bad,” said Jones, who is enrolled in high-school
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