McCain Adviser Flips on Bush Tax Cuts

Heard in the CQ newsroom:

Though economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin spent the 2008 presidential campaign advising Sen. John McCain to defend the Bush-era tax cuts, he now thinks they should be allowed to expire on Dec. 31, 2010 due to “the prospect of an Argentina-style fiscal meltdown.” 

Said Holtz-Eakin: “If you ask: ‘Who pays the taxes?’, it’s the first step toward not having the answer be: ‘Our kids.'”

Ex-Lawmakers Sought by Lobbying Firms

Bloomberg reports that about one-quarter of the House and Senate members who retired or lost elections last year — 15 of 61 — have found new jobs with lobbying firms, “where business is booming as Obama pushes for multitrillion-dollar changes in federal banking, health care, energy and military procurement policies.”

“Ex-lawmakers are in demand even after Congress in 2007 passed legislation banning gifts and meals from lobbyists and barring senators from lobbying former colleagues for two years after leaving office. House members must wait one year.”

Virginia Race Still Too Close to Call

A new DailyKos/Research 2000 poll in Virginia finds Brian Moran (D) leading the Democratic primary for governor with 24%, followed by Terry McAuliffe (D) at 19% and Creigh Deeds (D) at 16%. 

However, a very large 41% of voters are still undecided meaning the race is very fluid.

In general election matchups, Moran fares best against GOP candidate Bob McDonnell (R), trailing by a single point 37% to 36%. McDonnel beats McAuliffe, 40% to 33%, and tops Deeds, 38% to 31%.

Quick Update on NY-20

According to Newsday, Jim Tedisco (R) now leads Scott Murphy (D) by just 24 votes in the latest count in New York’s 20th congressional district special election.  

This latest tally includes absentee ballots from Dutchess, Columbia and Greene counties where Murphy has gained a net 44 votes. The counting of absentee ballots started yesterday but not all counties are releasing the figures yet.

House Race Hotline: “If these numbers hold, it would be a bad early sign for Tedisco — and for his camp’s confidence that the party’s 700+ advantage in absentees will carry them to victory.”

Quote of the Day

“The president would never sit through two hours of Joe Biden. I don’t ever remember Biden being in the Oval. He was such a blowhard on all that stuff — there wasn’t a reason to bring him in.” 

— Former Bush Congressional liaison Candida Wolff, quoted by Fox News, on Vice President Biden’s claim of privately castigating President Bush in the Oval Office.

Vineyard Bound?

The Boston Globe hears rumors that the Obama family will vacation for two weeks in Martha’s Vineyard at the end of August. However, the White House wouldn’t confirm the first family’s plans.

“Coincidentally, the Clintons will be on the island at the same time, we hear.”

McAuliffe Trumps Moran Twice

Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe (D) raised $4.2 million in this year’s first quarter as he seeks the Virginia governorship, CQ Politics reports. With McAuliffe’s national network, a large portion of the money came from backers who don’t even live in Virginia.

Rival Brian Moran’s (D) campaign pounced saying that while they raised only about $800,000 last quarter, more than 90% of donations came from Virginia residents.

However, The Hotline reports that of McAuliffe’s total, $760,000 was from Virginians — even more than Moran’s total.

Thanks to George Bush

First Read: “While the Obama team regularly likes to blame the Bush administration for the economic problems it’s dealing with on a daily — if not hourly — basis, Obama would not have had such a great, arguably historic, debut on the world stage without Bush. The low bar Bush set internationally made this trip that much easier for Obama, and gives the new president, at least in the short term, a stronger hand than he would normally have had.”

Smith Seeks Return to Senate, from Florida

Former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) announced he is running for the Florida U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

Said Smith: “I have agonized as to whether to re-enter national politics. I have concluded that I can no longer ‘sit on the sidelines’ in this fight for the soul of America.”

Obama Will Tackle Immigration

Add comprehensive immigration reform to President Obama’s extensive legislative agenda for this year: The New York Times reports the new effort — “likely to rouse passions on all sides of the highly divisive issue” — would include looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal.

“Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.”

Mark McKinnon: “But get ready for a really ugly roar. In almost 30 years of politics, I’ve seen few issues burn this hot.”

Final Accounting on Palin Clothes

Politico notes a new campaign filing brings the total clothing costs for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) paid for by the RNC “down to about $173,000 and also makes it easier to spot clothing purchases that had previously gone undetected.”

“The RNC did not respond to requests for comment about the amended report or the fate of the clothes, which were to have been donated to charity.”

Stevens Files to Run in 2014

Former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has filed a statement of candidacy for the 2014 election, but an aide cautions against reading too much into the move, the APreports.

“Campaign treasurer Tim McKeever says the filing does not mean Stevens has decided to seek re-election. He says it simply was done to accept donations that came into the campaign after the November election.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Could you help a brother out? No more national conventions with 36 people of color in the room.”

— RNC Chairman Michael Steele, quoted by the Miami Herald, urging Florida Republicans to send delegates who “look like Florida” to the next Republican National Convention.

Romney Unloads Homes

According to the Boston Herald, Mitt Romney sold his ski house in Utah for “a little less” than the asking price of $5.25 million and has a tentative buyer for his suburban Boston house.

“The sale of the Utah and Boston homes has been described by political analysts as a way for Romney to prepare for another presidential race without having to explain why he owns excess real estate — the issue that brought ridicule on rival Republican candidate John McCain last fall.”

As for running for president in 2012, Romney told the Deseret News he’s “keeping the door open, but I’m just not walking through it. Time will tell what the future holds. It may be a decision I make down the road to become involved. I may make the decision not to become involved in another race.”

Explore posts in the same categories: National, Politics, Virginia

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