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2Day in #OpenGov 8/13/2013

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NEWS:

  • Progress Kentucky, a Democratic super PAC that received controversy for alleged bugging of Senator Mitch McConnell's meetings, is shutting down. The super PAC raised only $15,000 in the first two quarters, but in a race that could amount to being the most heavily fundraised in history, people in the super PAC may have to look elsewhere to defeat McConnell. (Washington Post)
  • Ted Cruz jumping on the "Rail against mainstream media" bandwagon? After RNC Chair Reince Priebus criticized NBC for its favorable treatment of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Cruz said that mainstream media were "in love" with Clinton. (Washington Post)
  • Eliot Spitzer is viewed quite unfavorably by the public: 68% say his and former Rep. Anthony Weiner's comebacks are "embarrassing," and nearly 60% view him unfavorably. However, recent polls in late July and early August show him up anywhere from four to nine points against Scott Stringer, his main primary opponent. (Washington Post)
  • The League of Conservation Voters, an environmentalist group, have begun their $2 million ad launch against Sen. Ron Johnson and three House Republicans (Mike Coffman, Dan Banishek, and Rodney Davis.) Coffman faces a serious challenge from state House speaker Andrew Romanoff. (Washington Post)
  • Since former Gov. Brian Schweitzer announced that he will not be running for Senate, Democrats have scrambled to find a candidate for the Montana Senate seat, with current Senator Max Baucus extensively fundraising for the state party. Montana Democrats were dealt another blow when former Rep. Pat Williams said he was not running for the seat due to his age and health concerns. (Roll Call)

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2Day in #OpenGov 8/12/2013

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by Justin Lin, policy intern NEWS:

  • With each passing day, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) looks less likely to be repealed, but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is continuing efforts to either repeal or defund the ACA. He is giving speeches during the August recess at various places in Florida against the Affordable Care Act. Whether or not Rubio's plans will go unfulfilled remains to be seen, with many Republicans scoffing at the practicality of defunding the ACA. (Washington Times)
  • Former congressman Anthony Weiner has come out with his first ad, for which his campaign has reportedly spent $500,000 in air time. In the ad, Weiner railed against the "powerful voices" who did not want him to run for the office, saying in the ad that he is committed to helping the middle class. (Politico)
  • Freshman Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AL), who is running for the Alabama Senate seat, is benefitting from his position on the Financial Services Committee to raise much needed dollars for his Senate campaign. The difference in fundraising is dramatic: for the entire 2011-2012 campaign, Cotton raised $2.2 million. In the first two quarters of this year, Cotton raised $1.1 million already and has over $1 million in cash on hand. (Roll Call)
  • Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who is not running for reelection for his Senate seat, is hosting a fundraiser that will go towards the state Democratic party. Baucus's retirement leaves a traditionally red state up for grabs, so Baucus has been busy raising money, having already raised $200,000 for the  party this year. (Roll Call)
  • Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Iowa to be the keynote speaker of Senator Tom Harkin's annual steak fry fundraiser. Biden's venture to Iowa, a state well known for setting the tone of many presidential campaigns, marks his interest in running for the presidency, say Democratic officials. (New York Times)

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2Day in #OpenGov 8/9/2013

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by Justin Lin, policy intern NEWS:

  • It seems that Sen. Rand Paul and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have quite the interesting relationship. Joe Scarborough, a former member of the House, called the relationship between McConnell and Paul a "marriage of convenience" designed to boost Paul's chances of election come 2016. According to Jesse Benton, who worked for both Rand Paul and Ron Paul, tolerating McConnell is to boost Rand Paul's chances of election. (Washington Times)
  • House Democrats who are looking to pass some sort of re-expansion of the Voting Rights Act may receive support from Eric Cantor, the House Minority Leader. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) has stated that he anticipates cooperation from Cantor, though other House Republicans have not expressed much interest in restoring the aspects of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court. (The Hill)
  • Barack Obama recently called his relationship with John McCain as that of a "classic romantic comedy." McCain responded with a little ribbing by saying that a more fitting comedy would be I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners. In an interview with CNN's John Brennan, McCain pointed to potential areas that both sides of the aisle can work together. (Politico)
  • According to Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), around 40-50 GOP House members are in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, meaning the bill would pass the House if brought to the floor for a vote. However, with regards to immigration, House Speaker has promised to only bring votes to the floor that have received support from a majority of support from those in the House Majority. (Washington Post)
  • Many Americans are quite disgruntled with Congress and don't think they deserve their August recess. In a poll by Fox News, 82% of those surveyed said that they did not think Congress worked hard enough to merit the break. The same poll found that 48% believed that President Obama deserved his vacation, with 80% of Democrats believing he worked hard enough. (Politico)

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2Day in #OpenGov 8/5/2013

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by Justin Lin, policy intern NEWS:

  • According to a recent Quinnipac poll, Chris Christie was viewed the most favorably in the country, topping out at 53.1 "degrees." He beat out Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and President Barack Obama, but amongst Republicans Christie was only at eighth place. (Politico)
  • It is often hard to say who exactly is involved with immigration reform in the House, and there may be more than 10 representatives working on the bill right now, an extraordinarily high number. House Speaker John Boehner has been criticized for a hands off approach, but Boehner's aides have responded by pointing out that he is delegating the process out to trusted colleagues in the House. (National Journal)
  • The August recess has arrived, which makes the time ripe for lobbyists to arrive in the home districts of certain congressmen and congresswomen. Congress faces many battles in the coming September, with the debt limit hike and immigration reform, among other issues. In addition to lobbying groups, different liberal organizations plan to show up at certain districts and make a lot of noise. (Washington Post)
  • Many GOP governors have been urging against trying to force a government shutdown, arguing that doing so would hurt the economies in their respective states and would leave the party to shoulder much of the blame. The governors also discussed the Affordable Care Act and many GOP governors pointed out the legislative difficulty of repealing the law. (New York Times)
  • Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmentalist from California, is heavily supporting Terry McAuliffe for governor of Virginia. Steyer has decided to personally advocate for McAuliffe because he considers Cuccinelli's views on environmental issues objectionable, but Cuccinelli has already fired back, with a spokesman saying that Steyer is another advocate of the "war on coal." (Politico)
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