Archives for Politics

Pat Roberts shakes up his re-election team

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts has shaken up his struggling re-election team in Kansas, replacing a longtime confidante as campaign manager and getting help from national operatives in a race that’s suddenly a battleground in the fight for Senate control. The campaign overhaul comes after Roberts’ bruising primary fight and the stunning attempt by his Democratic challenger this week to cancel his candidacy in the face of a strong bid by an independent candidate. Roberts confirmed Friday that Leroy Towns — whom the three-term senator once described as his “alter ego” — has stepped down as executive campaign manager, though he
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Democrats steal a page from GOP campaign book

Borrowing a Republican idea, a group including former senior Obama and Clinton advisers is unveiling a novel proposal to let states take the lead in controlling health costs. Individual states would set their own targets to curb the growth of health care spending. If they succeed, they’d pocket a share of federal Medicare and Medicaid savings, ranging from tens of millions to $1 billion or more, depending on the state. The plan, released Thursday, comes from the Center for American Progress, a public policy think tank closely associated with the White House. The center’s former president, John Podesta, currently serves
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Begich’s ad screwup threatens campaign

Sen. Mark Begich’s re-election bid was going better than his fellow Democrats had hoped. That was, until his campaign ran an inflammatory ad that he was forced to pull off the air. With one 30-second commercial about a hideous crime, the freshman senator complicated his campaign prospects and inspired Republicans to take a new look at whether the race in Alaska should be part of their effort to take control of the Senate. Begich began the year both as one of the Senate’s most endangered incumbents and a lynchpin to his party holding onto their majority in the chamber. He
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McConnell’s campagin manager quits in scandal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager resigned Friday amid fallout from a scandal in Iowa involving a presidential campaign he worked for in 2012. Jesse Benton said he didn’t want to become a distraction as McConnell tries to win a tough re-election campaign in Kentucky. “This decision breaks my heart, but I know it is the right thing for Mitch, for Kentucky and for the country,” Benton said in a statement. Benton’s resignation, effective Saturday, comes barely two months before Kentucky voters choose between McConnell, a five-term incumbent and the top-ranking Senate Republican, and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.
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Charlie Christ becomes a successful Democrat

If there were any doubts that former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist would be accepted by Florida Democrats, they were cast aside as he overwhelmingly earned the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Scott on a day when four states chose candidates for statewide office. Crist easily defeated former state Sen. Nan Rich on Tuesday, while Scott coasted in his own primary toward a general election matching the state’s last two Republican governors. It’s a contest that’s already been brutally negative with Scott spending millions on ads attacking Crist since he announced in November that he was seeking his old
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Doug Ducey wins in Arizona GOP primary for governor

State Treasurer and former CEO Doug Ducey won the Republican primary for Arizona governor Tuesday, riding to victory with a campaign that focused on his blend of government and business experience in serving as a state official and building an ice cream company into a national brand. Ducey started Cold Stone Creamery in Arizona and built it into a well-known chain before selling the company in 2007 and getting into politics. He has been state treasurer for the last four years, serving as the chief steward of Arizona’s finances during a period that included the collapse of the housing market
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Voters from four states head to polls today

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is set to find out how much momentum he has for a political comeback, as Democratic primary voters decide whether to nominate the former Republican for a chance to reclaim his old job. Florida is one of four states where voters will cast primary and runoff ballots Tuesday. With a huge advantage in fundraising and name recognition, Crist is a heavy favorite over former Senate Democratic leader Nan Rich. The question is whether his victory margin will match those advantages or instead suggest that he’s struggling to connect with core Democrats. Republican Gov. Rick Scott
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Rand Paul: Hiillary Clinton is ‘a war hawk’

Calling Hillary Rodham Clinton “a war hawk,” Sen. Rand Paul says that if the former secretary of state seeks the presidency, some voters will worry that she will get the U.S. involved in another Mideast war. Paul is a leading anti-interventionist in the GOP and is considering running for president. Last year he opposed President Barack Obama’s call for military action in Syria. In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Paul predicted a “transformational election” if the Democrats nominate “a war hawk like Hillary Clinton.” “I think that’s what scares the Democrats the most, is that
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Ex-Gov. McDonnell continues to blame wife for his woes

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who says that at one time he got in the habit of working late to escape his wife’s wrath, has once again taken refuge — this time at the rectory in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. That’s where he has been living since about a week before the start of the public corruption trial in which his wife, Maureen, is a co-defendant, McDonnell testified Thursday. “I knew that there was no way I could go home after a day in court … and revisit things every night with Maureen,” McDonnell said during an often emotional day
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Another tea party defeat: This time in Alaska

Former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan became the latest mainstream Republican to turn back a tea party challenger, winning the Alaska GOP primary to become his party’s candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the fall. Republicans see the Alaska race as a key contest in their attempt to capture the Senate majority from Democrats. Sullivan entered the primary the presumed front-runner, with the backing of national GOP powerbrokers and a huge cash advantage over his rivals. He had the support of Karl Rove and groups like Club for Growth. Democrats clearly see him as a serious threat;
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