Archives for Politics

Another Bush out there — a tea party one

The latest scion of one of America’s most powerful political dynasties is trying to convince voters he’s something other than what his famous surname suggests. George P. Bush, Jeb Bush’s 37-year-old son who is a grandson of one former president and nephew of another, is launching his political career by running for Texas’ little-known but powerful land commissioner post. But rather than campaigning on the mainstream Republicanism embodied by the family name, Bush says he’s “a movement conservative” more in line with the tea party. As if to underscore the point, he says he draws the most inspiration not from
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Chamber of Commerce jumps into races in Idaho, W.Va.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching ads backing eight-term Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, who faces a primary challenge in Idaho, and two GOP candidates in West Virginia as the business organization ramps up its political activity for next year’s congressional elections. The Chamber’s involvement in Idaho marks the second time in recent months that the group has taken sides in the internal Republican fight pitting the GOP establishment against conservative activists. The group backed Bradley Byrne over tea party favorite Dean Young in a special congressional runoff primary in Alabama, pumping at least $200,000 into the race. Byrne won
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Worried Democrats distance themselves from Obamacare

Democrats running for re-election in Arkansas, Louisiana and other Republican-leaning states faced enough problems before President Barack Obama’s popularity swooned in November. Now they are awkwardly distancing themselves from him a year before the election, seeking the right balance between independence and betrayal. A popular president can help his party’s candidates for Congress and governor candidates in mid-term elections. But Democrats increasingly worry they could suffer losses, much as they did in 2010, Obama’s first mid-term elections. In a twist few expected, Republicans are still hammering the issue that fueled their successes in 2010: the health care overhaul they call
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Liberals retaking control in New York

With Bill de Blasio taking office as mayor in January, New York City appears poised for a resurgence of liberal policies. After 20 years of Republican leadership, not only will America’s largest city have the most liberal mayor in a generation, helping him implement change will be a progressive-leaning City Council and a longtime liberal ally in the new public advocate. The city was governed for the last 12 years by Michael Bloomberg, a political independent who was first elected as a Republican, and for eight years before that by Republican Rudolph Giuliani. To observers as well as Democratic legislators,
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Same sex couple ready to marry legally in Hawaii

Some same-sex couples plan to get married as soon as they’re able to do so legally in Hawaii on Monday. A ceremony for six couples at the Sheraton Waikiki is one of several wedding events planned soon after 12:01 a.m., when a new law allows gay couples to marry in the state. Couples who want to get married as early as possible Monday won’t have to wait until Hawaii’s Health Department opens its doors at 8 a.m. Same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses at 12:01 a.m., department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said. Okubo said the state’s marriage license application
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Gay couple allowed to marry early in Illinois

In Illinois, the 16th state to legalize and recognize gay marriages, a Chicago woman dying of cancer wed her female partner six months before the law actually takes effect. The cancer patient, Vernita Gray, 64, and Patricia Ewert, 65, married in a private ceremony in their Chicago home just two days after a federal court granted an emergency marriage license. Illinois’ gay marriage law, signed by Gov. Pat Quinn last week, does not take effect until June 1, 2014. The couple had sued, arguing the delay discriminated against them by preventing the couple from marrying before Gray’s death. “I’m so
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Republicans see Obamacare as a never-ending gift

In its current disarray, Obamacare is providing Republicans with a steady stream of stories that any campaign manager would consider priceless: tales of ordinary people, some dreadfully ill, with canceled health insurance thanks to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. But what if the HealthCare.gov website gets fixed soon, as the Obama administration has promised, and canceled policies get replaced long before the November 2014 mid-term congressional elections and the 2016 presidential contest? What if the memories fade? Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), said he isn’t worried. There’s more Obamacare trouble to come, he said, and more
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Pro-gun Colorado senator resigns amid recall effort

A Colorado lawmaker facing a possible recall election over her support for gun control resigned on Wednesday in a move that will allow Democrats to appoint a successor and block Republicans from wresting control of the state Senate. The resignation of Evie Hudak, a former educator who represented Denver’s northwest suburbs, comes after two other Democratic senators were unseated in September, leaving that party with a mere 18-17 majority in the state Senate. All three Democratic lawmakers were targeted for recall after they supported a package of laws to strengthen gun control following the mass shootings last year in a
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Crackdown on political activity by tax-exempt groups

The Obama administration Tuesday launched a bid to rein in the use of tax-exempt groups for political campaigning. The effort is an attempt to reduce the role of loosely regulated big-money political outfits like GOP political guru Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the pro-Obama Priorities USA. The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department said they want to prohibit such groups from using “candidate-related political activity” like running ads, registering voters or distributing campaign literature as activities that qualify them to be tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations. The agencies say there will be a lengthy comment period before any regulations will
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Immigration: A political challenge for Republicans

For most Republicans in the U.S. Congress, a large gathering of Hispanic voters to discuss immigration would be politically perilous – an invitation to complaints about the party’s longtime resistance to measures aimed at helping undocumented immigrants. But when Republican Rep. Jeff Denham walked into a meeting with hundreds of his Hispanic constituents at a church in California’s Central Valley this month, he was met with applause, praise and a hand-lettered “Thank You” sign. Denham, 46, is a rarity in the U.S. House of Representatives: one of only three Republicans in the chamber’s 231-member majority who support a Democrat-sponsored bill
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