POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/18

Two Democrats Charged in Tea Party Election Fraud

Two former Democratic party leaders in Michigan “are facing a total of nine felonies for allegedly forging election paperwork to get fake Tea Party candidates on November’s ballot,” WJBK-TV reports.

Democrats Set Ambitious Goals for Fundraisers

“The nation’s top Democratic contributors were given an ambitious set of marching orders, with a select group of 450 donors each asked to raise $350,000 before the end of the year,” the New York Times reports.

“The amount is significantly higher than donors have previously been asked to contribute. In the last campaign, the Democrats were asked to raise $250,000 for the entire campaign cycle.”

Check Up on Your Congressional Delegation

CQ-Roll Call is now feeding congressional news into state specific Facebook pages.

 

Reagan Supported Collective Bargaining

Josh Green: “You often hear it said that if Ronald Reagan were around today, he would be deemed insufficiently true to the conservative cause to win his own party’s presidential nomination. Well, according to this video, if Reagan were around today he could forget about being elected governor of Wisconsin, too — just listen to him cry out ‘Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost!'”

See more…

Rubio Plays the Socialist Card

Adam Smith notes that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on the campaign trail had “an uncanny ability to throw red meat to tea party Republicans petrified over Barack Obama’s agenda without stepping over the line toward Crazy Town and potentially turning off independent and swing voters. He managed, for instance, to imply Obama had a Socialist agenda without ever to our knowledge using the S word.”

“Until now. Fundraising letters tend to embrace extra-heated rhetoric, and in a solicitation for the RNC Rubio calls Democrats socialists.”

Independent Voters Prefer Charlie Sheen Over Palin

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Sarah Palin trails Charlie Sheen by five points among independent voters in a highly unlikely match up for president, 41% to 36%.

Despite her deficit with independents Palin does lead Sheen 49% to 29% among all voters.

In a related piece, John Avlon analyzes the recent Palin implosion in various polls.

Quayle Defends Obama on Golf

In a Fox Business Network interview, Former Vice President Dan Quayle defended President Obama from Republican criticism that he plays too much golf when there are so many troubles around the world.

Said Quayle: “I’m glad he’s out playing golf. I happen to be a golfer. I think presidents deserve down time. And believe me, he is in constant communication with what’s going on… I mean, what do you want him to do, stay in his house and be on the phone with the ambassador to Japan all the time?”

Nothing Left to Steal

Attempting to make a point about Maine’s dire financial position, Gov. Paul LePage (R) admitted that when he was 12 years old he used to hide out and steal Halloween candy from children, the Lewiston Sun Journal reports.

Said LePage: “Isn’t that awful? And now I’m governor of Maine. Now that I’m governor of Maine, there’s nothing left to steal.”

Still a Shadow Campaign

Larry Sabato updates his 2012 Republican presidential ratings and notes “little has changed in this slow-starting campaign.”

Key takeaway: “The potential contender who insists he’s not running but who has the most juice in his revved engine is Chris Christie. Should he change his mind later in 2011, it is possible he could storm the field.”

More Than Half Were Online Politics Consumers

Pew Research: “More than half of all voting-age adults used the internet politically in one way or another during the 2010 campaign — the first time more than half the population has done so in a midterm election.”

“For adult Americans who go online, the internet is the second-most prominent source of campaign news, behind television but ahead of newspapers.”

Obama Bracketed

First Read: “Republicans had a field day yesterday with the president’s appearance on ESPN, laying out his NCAA bracket and then attending a DNC event for big-money fundraisers at a Washington hotel last night at a time when Japan is in a nuclear crisis and the situation in Libya remains dire. It’s notable that the ESPN appearance was the president’s only one of the day, and that they ironically canceled an event in which the president was to receive an award in conjunction with ‘Sunshine Week,’ to promote government transparency.”

“The president is obviously engaged on the crises… But they should be aware that perception could become reality for swing voters, especially if some of this starts landing in late-night monologues; the last few days haven’t been stellar ones for those in charge of Obama’s presidential image. Paging Michael Deaver?”

Trump Has Doubts on Obama Citizenship

Donald Trump told ABC News he had some doubts over whether President Obama is a natural born United States citizen.

Said Trump: “Let me tell you, I’m a really smart guy. I was a really good student at the best school in the country. The reason I have a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him.”

He explained: “When you interview people, if I ever got the nomination, if I ever decide to run, you may go back and interview people from my kindergarten. They’ll remember me. Nobody ever comes forward. Nobody knows who he is until later in his life. It’s very strange. The whole thing is very strange.”

Heinrich Early Leader in New Mexico Senate Primary

A new Tulchin Research poll finds that Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) “enjoys an early lead in a potential Democratic Senate primary against others who are considering running, but the race remains wide open.”

In a hypothetical four-way matchup, Heinrich led with 32%, followed by former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D) at 25%, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D) at 15% and State Auditor Hector Balderas (D) at 5%.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I have much more than that. That’s one of the nice things. I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich. So if I need $600 million, I can put $600 million myself. That’s a huge advantage.”

— Donald Trump, in an ABC News interview, on self-funding a possible presidential bid.

Jindal Launches First Campaign Ad

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) doesn’t have a declared opponent for this fall’s election, but he begins making his case for re-election today in a new television ad, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

The ad “will feature Jindal discussing the state’s economy and his opposition to tax increases — essentially a truncated version of his stump speech.”

DeMint Defends Romney on Health Care

Sen. James DeMint (R-SC) defended Mitt Romney for the health care law he passed while Massachusetts governor, The Hill reports. Instead, he blames Democrats in the Massachusetts State Legislature for adding many of the features to Romney’s plan that many Republicans criticize.

Said DeMint: “It just depends on how he plays it. For me, I think he started with some good ideas that were essentially hijacked by the Democrat Legislature.”

Lawmaker Crashed Into Parked Car

Rep. David Wu (D-OR) crashed his vehicle into a parked car last year, “but passed a police field sobriety test and the incident never showed up in a police report,” thePortland Oregonian reports.

The incident “is the latest in a string of revelations about the congressman’s life last year. Wu has apologized for what he calls a rough October, saying he was under extreme professional and personal stress but had received appropriate medication and counseling. In 2008, he was hospitalized for observation after a bad reaction to Ambien and Valium.”

Banks Have Repaid 99% of Bailout Funds

After more repayments this week, the Treasury announced taxpayers have recovered about $244 billion of the $245 billion in TARP funds disbursed to banks, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Treasury currently estimates that bank programs within TARP will ultimately provide a lifetime profit of nearly $20 billion to taxpayers

Crank Caller for Congress?

Roll Call reports that Ian Murphy, the blogger who posed as conservative billionaire David Koch in a prank phone call to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), will likely lock up the Green Party ballot line in New York’s upcoming special election in the 26th congressional district.

“Republican nominee Jane Corwin at this point is favored, having avoided mistakes of previous New York special election candidates and secured the support of the Conservative Party … Murphy’s entrance is no laughing matter for Democrats, however. Their best hope in capturing the 26th district seat in the heavily Republican region is a divided GOP electorate. Corwin also faces two Republicans who have launched third-party bids. Millionaire former Democrat Jack Davis is one of them and will likely appear on the ballot under the tea party line. But Murphy’s place on the ballot could ensure a partially divided electorate on the left as well. Democrats are in the process of interviewing candidates and could settle on a nominee by the end of the week.”

The seat was formerly held by Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY), who resigned in early February after racy photos of him surfaced on Craigslist personals.

 

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