POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/12

Grayson Will Run Again

WFTV says that former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is running for office again.

“Grayson may not be running for his old seat with redistricting under way right now, he may end up running for a newly created seat for Orlando. It’s still to early to know who he will be running against.”

Police Reports Show Different Side of Bachmann

The Miami Herald uncovers a trail of police reports involving Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

“She and her staff over the years have requested police protection or investigations when her house was egged; when protesters threw glitter on her or held up critical signs; when her campaign yard signs were stolen; when a man wrote an email perceived as a threat; and when she screamed that two women were holding her hostage ‘against my will’ in a city hall restroom.”

The series of police reports “show a side of a candidate rarely seen on the campaign trail, where Bachmann has described herself as having a ‘titanium spine.'”

Clinton Has Most Lucrative Year Giving Speeches

Bill Clinton “enjoyed his most lucrative year ever on the speaking circuit in 2010, capping a decade of paid speaking events that has earned him $75.6 million since leaving office in 2001,” CNN reports.

“Clinton received $10.7 million for 52 paid speaking engagements last year, a sizable increase from the 36 paid speeches he delivered in 2009 for a total of $7.5 million. The most the former president had previously earned in one year was in 2006 when he earned $10.2 million for 57 events.”

Lawmaker Points Gun at Reporter

Arizona state Sen. Lori Klein (R) pointed a loaded firearm at the chest of a reporter during an interview at the Capitol, the Arizona Republic reports.

She showed off the laser sighting on her raspberry-pink handgun by pointing the red beam at the reporter’s chest. The gun has no safety, but she insisted there was no need to worry.

Said Klein: “I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger.”

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“Here’s a guy who had his lips firmly planted on the president’s butt three months ago, and now is speaking ill out of ’em — out of those same lips. Can you trust a guy who turns this quickly?”

— South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian, quoted by Politico, on a DNC conference call about Jon Huntsman’s visit to the state.

He added, “I don’t think the DNC’s going to ask me to do these anymore.”

Killing Him with Kindness

President Obama went out of his way to praise House Speaker John Boehner at his press conference yesterday on the debt ceiling negotiations.

“And I want to say I appreciate Speaker Boehner’s good-faith efforts on that front… I think Speaker Boehner has been very sincere about trying to do something big… My experience with John Boehner has been good. I think he’s a good man who wants to do right by the country.”

Do you think Boehner appreciated it?

Hahn Maintains Lead in CA-36 Special Election

A new Public Policy Polling survey in  California’s special election finds Janice Hahn (D) leading Craig Huey (R), 52% to 44% with 4% still undecided.

Not What You Want to See in Your Hometown Newspaper

“The thought of Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) being president is a bit scary.”

— Oakland Press editorial not supporting native son McCotter in his presidential bid.

Tough Start to a Campaign

Neil Livingstone (R) and Ryan Zinke (R) kicked off their campaign for Montana governor and lieutenant governor by showing off “a 38-foot recreational vehicle decorated with their larger-than-life photos and campaign information” that they intend to drive across the state, the Billings Gazette reports.

“But then Zinke accidentally got the big rig rolling before he could stop it, and it slowly ran into a Helena supporter’s 1964 sky blue Chevrolet Camaro convertible.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’m prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done.”

— President Obama, at a news conference on the debt ceiling negotiations with congressional leaders.

Former Prime Minister Targeted in Hacking Attempts

Journalists from across Rupert Murdoch’s News International “repeatedly targeted” the former British prime minister Gordon Brown, “attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account, his legal file as well as his family’s medical records,” the Guardian reports.

“The sheer scale of the data assault on Brown is unusual, with evidence of attempts to obtain his legal, financial, tax, medical and police records as well as to listen to his voicemail. All of these incidents are linked to media organisations. In many cases, there is evidence of a link to News International.”

DeMint Plans Presidential Forum

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), “embracing his role as kingmaker in the Republican race for the White House, has organized a presidential forum scheduled to take place in Columbia, South Carolina on September 5,” CNN reports.

“The Labor Day event, called The Palmetto Freedom Forum, will be more of a question-and-answer session rather than a debate, event organizers said. The GOP candidates will be asked to offer concrete plans for fixing the debt and growing the economy.”

Record Unemployment Among Young People

National Journal: “Here’s a fact that should give economists — and maybe President Obama’s political team — heartburn: Two years after the Great Recession officially ended, job prospects for young Americans remain historically grim. More than 17 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds who are looking for work can’t find a job, a rate that is close to a 30-year high. The employment-to-population ratio for that demographic — the percentage of young people who are working–has plunged to 45 percent. That’s the lowest level since the Labor Department began tracking the data in 1948.”

Candidates Agreed Black Families Stronger Under Slavery

Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum “were left red faced Sunday for signing a pledge against same-sex marriage that also suggests black families were stronger during slavery,” the New York Daily News reports.

The offending passage: “A child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the U.S.A.’s first African-American President.”

Republicans Walk Away from $4 Trillion in Spending Cuts

First Read: “Six months ago, how many Republicans would have believed: 1) that the Obama White House would have backed a plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years; 2) that the president would agree to link the debt limit to spending cuts; and 3) that Obama would put Medicare and Social Security on the table? The Tea Party and deficit hawks like Jim DeMint would have won the argument when it comes to debt, and they would have achieved something — especially on Medicare and Social Security — they’d probably never get under a Republican president, unless he or she had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. But Republicans walked away from the deal, because they wouldn’t give up the one thing that Democrats were asking for in return: any increases in tax hikes for the rich.”

Quote of the Day

“Every time we try to do something big on this, you walk away.”

— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), quoted by the Huffington Post, accusing Republican leaders of “falling far short of their rhetorical bluster when the topic came to deficit reduction.”

Obama Continues Push for Big Deal on Debt

President Obama  held an 11am ET press conference this morning to provide an update on the status of debt ceiling negotiations.

The Wall Street Journal reports President Obama is still pushing for “the largest possible package, some $4 trillion over 10 years. Republicans, however, made a pitch for a scaled-down plan of roughly $2 trillion over 10 years that doesn’t include about $1 trillion in tax increases the White House is seeking.”

Howard Kurtz says “the odds of anything other than a short-term fix grew considerably longer over the weekend. Indeed, the Republicans seemed more deeply dug into their position than just days earlier.”

Mark Halperin: “As the president’s advisers have pointed out, the politics of getting a $2 trillion deal are just as tough (and in some ways tougher) than the politics of getting a $4 trillion deal. But continuing to press for the bigger bargain (assuming the House Republicans are dug in) risks burning up valuable time. The White House rhetoric suggests it thinks the public would prefer a grander bargain, but it is hard to see public pressure or polls moving Boehner/Cantor/etal off of their current posture.”

DeMint Names Names in New Book

A preview of Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) new book The Great American Awakening byMcClatchy reveals that the fierce conservative “casts tough judgments on various politicians he describes as friends.”

“He suggests that former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, an Upstate neighbor and an early political ally, deserved his defeat in last year’s GOP primary — to now-Rep. Trey Gowdy — because he’d strayed from conservative tenets… Among other prominent Republicans he calls friends but skewers on ideological grounds are former Sens. Arlen Specter (now a Democrat) of Pennsylvania and Bob Bennett of Utah; Sens. Dan Coats of Indiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas; and former Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware.”

Bachmann Grabs the Lead in Iowa

A new poll for the Iowa Republican finds Michele Bachmann leading GOP presidential contenders in the Hawkeye state with 25%, followed by Mitt Romney at 21%, Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain at 9%, Ron Paul at 6%, Newt Gingrich at 4%, Rick Santorum at 2% and John Hunstman at 1%.

Bachmann the Tax Collector

While Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) frequently touts her work as a “federal tax litigation attorney” on the campaign trail as a defining experience in her career, the Wall Street Journal notes another name for the position: “tax collector.”

“In stump speeches and interviews, Ms. Bachmann said her tax work helped lead her to the conclusion that the U.S. should “deep-six” the tax code… According to numerous tax lawyers, both in an out of government, IRS lawyers in Ms. Bachmann’s former job typically represent the government against delinquent taxpayers. The majority of these cases result in settlements.”

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