Archives for Politics

GOP wins, Obamacare loses in Florida special election

After months of railing against President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, Republicans scored a key victory in a hard-fought congressional race that had been closely watched as a bellwether of midterm elections in November. Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a Florida special election Tuesday that largely turned on the federal health care law, with both sides using the race to audition national strategies in one of the country’s few competitive swing-voting districts. The implications of the dueling messages for control of Congress in November inspired both parties to call in star advocates like former President Bill Clinton
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Aides in Christie scandals seek to quash subpoenas

Lawyers for two key figures in a political payback plot ensnaring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration will be in court to try to convince a judge not to force them to turn over text messages and other private communications to state legislators investigating the matter. The subpoenas seek documents involving the intentional blocking of traffic near the George Washington Bridge in September, which created hours-long back-ups in nearby Fort Lee, apparently to punish the town’s Democratic mayor. A parallel criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking to uncover whether federal laws were broken. The legislative panel wants
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Maryland governor bitch slaps Republicans, tea party

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley introduced himself to California Democrats Saturday with a scathing indictment of the tea party and a call for a stronger middle class to move the country forward. The potential 2016 White House candidate, speaking to hundreds of Democratic delegates at a party convention in Los Angeles, said he’s weary of the cynicism and government-by-obstruction that frequently stalls work on Capitol Hill. He singled out tea party Republicans for espousing “a small view” of America that he compared to the “trickle-down economics” of the Reagan era. “We call it selling America short,” said O’Malley, who received a
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Tea party vs GOP establishment in Michigan race

Over cocktails and chocolate-covered strawberries, a group of west Michigan Republicans gathered at a Tudor-style home in Grand Rapids and vented frustrations with Congressman Justin Amash and his Tea Party tactics that they blame for Washington’s gridlock. “The Republican establishment has lost confidence in Justin,” said Mark Bissell, chief executive of vacuum manufacturer Bissell Inc. “We’re sort of feeling like we’re not represented, because he is so far out there,” lamented small businessman Dan Bogo. The venue was a fundraiser last month for Amash’s Republican primary opponent, Brian Ellis, the head of an investment firm who bills himself as “West
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Archaic election laws control Washington DC elections

In 2010, Vincent Gray received 72,648 votes in the District of Columbia’s Democratic mayoral primary. That was good enough for a nearly 10-percentage point victory over incumbent Adrian Fenty, but it meant that just 22 percent of the city’s registered Democrats cast ballots for Gray. This year, with Gray weakened by scandal as he seeks re-election against seven challengers, the primary winner appears likely to receive far less support. With the primary approaching April 1, that’s led to some questions about the way the nation’s capital, long overwhelmingly Democratic, elects its local leaders. Washington is one of a dwindling number
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Kamala Harris: A rising California political star

California Attorney General Kamala Harris sought to engage and energize fellow Democrats on Saturday and warned them not to become complacent with their domination of state politics. A rising star widely expected to seek higher office, Harris, 49, urged Democrats to “stay awake” at her party’s annual convention in Los Angeles, drawing a standing ovation as she urged attention to civil rights issues and consumer protection. “There is a difference between having a dream and being asleep,” said Harris, who was key in developing consumer protections for homeowners facing foreclosure in the wake of the mortgage meltdown. “Let’s not just
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Election-year prospects poor for tea party hopefuls

Four years after the tea party rocked the political world by ousting several prominent Republicans in Congress, the ultra-conservative movement finds itself with slimmer prospects as it moves into the new election season. In Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primaries in Texas, the movement mostly settled for having an impact on key races rather than actually winning them. That may become a pattern in other states as primaries continue into the fall, many national GOP strategists believe. Though the hard-right flank is still powerful in the conservative heartland, its candidates face a different environment than was present in 2010 and 2012, when they
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Is the tea party out of steam?

Four years after the tea party rocked the political world by ousting several prominent Republicans in Congress, the ultra-conservative movement finds itself with slimmer prospects as it moves into the new election season. In Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primaries in Texas, the movement mostly settled for having an impact on key races rather than actually winning them. That may become a pattern in other states as primaries continue into the fall, many national GOP strategists believe. Though the hard-right flank is still powerful in the conservative heartland, its candidates face a different environment than was present in 2010 and 2012, when they
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CPAC: More focus on liberties than social issues

The nation’s largest annual gathering of conservative activists comes to a finish Saturday but not before a final group of Republican all-stars takes the stage. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin headline the third and final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings thousands of activists, opinion leaders and Republican officials to suburban Washington. Other participants Saturday include Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and a host of up-and-coming conservatives from across the country. Saturday also features the results of the conference’s annual symbolic presidential preference straw
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Hillary Clinton: Equality for women is ‘unfinished business’

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared Friday that achieving equality for women and girls is “the great unfinished business of the 21st century.” The potential 2016 presidential candidate galvanized the U.N. commemoration of International Women’s Day, repeating her resounding declaration as first lady at the 1995 U.N. women’s conference in Beijing that “human rights are women’s rights — and women’s rights are human rights.” Clinton said that important progress has been made, citing the increasing number of girls in school and women in elected office, and the repeal of many discriminatory laws. “Yet for all we have achieved
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