Archives for Politics

Outside groups spending big bucks in Georgia Senate race

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shelled out $920,000 for TV and online ads promoting Rep. Jack Kingston in the crowded race for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat. At the same time, a grass-roots conservative group in neighboring South Carolina spent $515,000 on commercials supporting rival Republican and business executive David Perdue. Other groups are showering millions more on the fiercely competitive campaign. Corporations and other special interests are spending big bucks — more than $6 million as of May 8 — to influence the election to replace retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Primary elections in Georgia are Tuesday, with seven
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Is Ben Sasse a tea party type in name only?

With Republican Ben Sasse, tea party groups figured out the riddle of winning elections in 2014: Claim a Republican as a member of the tribe, even if his approach to politics doesn’t line up exactly with their own. That’s not an option in next week’s Georgia and Kentucky primaries and later in other Republican bastions where the groups already have committed to true ideologues with tea party credentials as authentic as Sasse’s were convenient. None have the look of a runaway winner, as Sasse was Tuesday in Nebraska’s five-way primary. It sets up a November that could, for the first
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GOP-leaning business execs skeptical now about Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is dismissing his administration’s traffic scandal as “a footnote” in his political future. Some in the GOP’s elite business class may be close to dismissing him as a serious contender for the party nomination in 2016. Shortly after Christie discussed his White House ambitions in Washington on Wednesday, Republican donors gathered for a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas shared a decidedly pessimistic view of Christie’s presidential prospects. Even self-proclaimed Christie fans said his political brand probably has suffered permanent damage, acknowledging they’ve been forced to look elsewhere for a business-friendly presidential contender. State and
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GOP Presidential wannabes court donors by focusing on poverty

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan courted some of Wall Street’s most powerful political benefactors on Monday, insisting that love, friendship and “traditional marriage” can combat poverty better than government programs. The prospective Republican presidential contenders were featured guests at an award ceremony hosted by the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning think tank led by high-profile Republican donor Paul Singer. Like others gathered in the midtown Manhattan ballroom Monday night, Singer already has begun sizing up the evolving 2016 field after helping to pump millions of dollars into the last presidential race. Bush and Ryan offered a
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Rubio pushes federal retirement plan for all workers

Younger voters would face higher retirement ages but all Americans could join federal retirement accounts in a plan proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio, the latest in his series of national policy prescriptions. Rubio, a first-term Republican senator from Florida who is weighing a presidential bid, is set to deliver a speech Tuesday about retirement programs. He is proposing an overhaul of federal programs to help younger workers save for their retirement, as well as protect programs for older voters who had assumed those programs would be there after they ended their careers. Rubio, who previously addressed poverty, higher education and
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Rubio claims Democrats threaten ‘American Dream’

Reaffirming his national political ambitions, Sen. Marco Rubio accused Democrats on Friday of threatening the American dream as he campaigned across New Hampshire, appearing in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state for the first time in 18 months. The Florida Republican also jabbed at former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, considered the overwhelming favorite to win the next Democratic presidential nomination if she chooses to run, in a speech to hundreds of Republicans gathered along New Hampshire’s seacoast. “They’re threatening to nominate someone now who wants to take us to the past — to an era that’s gone and never
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GOP honchos change Presidential debate rules

Lunging for control of the GOP ahead of high-stakes elections, the Republican National Committee on Friday took steps to end free-for-all presidential debates and vowed to punish potential contenders who participate in rogue forums. At the same time, an independent organization with deep ties to the conservative Koch brothers has elected to spend $125 million on the battle for control of the Senate this fall, giving the 168-member central party meeting a stark reminder that outside groups will have significant sway over Republican political fortunes through the 2016 presidential race. One of those potential presidential contenders, Sen. Rand Paul of
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Rubio back on Presidential campaign swings

Fighting to revive his political prospects, Sen. Marco Rubio is returning to the presidential campaign circuit and beefing up a political organization that could lay the groundwork for a White House bid. In the clearest sign yet of his interest in a presidential run, the Florida Republican plans to visit New Hampshire on Friday, his first appearance in an early-voting state in more than a year. He is set to headline a pair of fundraisers in Republican-rich counties and meet with local officials, efforts that will grant him an audience with activists and donors in the home of the nation’s
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GOP political committee wants more control

The Republican National Committee wants to take more control over how the party picks a nominee. The RNC is meeting Wednesday in Memphis, Tennessee, to choose members who will effectively set the calendar for 2016’s long list of potential presidential contenders. If party chairman Reince Priebus gets his way, the GOP will pick its nominee more quickly than during past contests and have fewer debates in which candidates could criticize each other. The RNC is also set to put in place penalties for candidates who don’t follow the committee’s plans. Senior Republican National Committee officials described the agenda ahead of
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Graham, Nunn fight to carry on their fathers’ names

  It’s not easy being a Democrat at the Worm Gruntin’ Festival. The event, named for a popular method of coaxing worms above ground, takes place in Florida’s conservative Panhandle amid gator kabobs, fishhook earrings and a tent with venomous snakes. But on a campaign stop, U.S. House candidate Gwen Graham had something going for her: her last name. Voter after voter recounted fond memories of her father, Bob, who towered over Florida politics for more than a quarter-century as governor and U.S. senator. Nearby, in south Georgia, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn finds the same experience among voters
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