POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/3

Want to Make Your Political Donation Count?

Jonathan Bernstein: “If you’re planning on making political donations this year, and you really want your money to help the cause, here’s what you should do: Instead of sinking cash into either presidential campaign, put it where it will really matter — into Congressional or state and local races.”

“Here’s why: The battle for the House and Senate may well shape up as toss ups, which means that control of Congress is hanging in the balance. This matters just as much, and in many ways more, than control of the White House. The least bang for your buck comes in presidential general elections. Your money will make a much bigger difference in practically every other type of election.”

 

Senate Votes to Ban Insider Trading by Lawmakers

The U.S. Senate passed a bill to ban insider trading of securities by lawmakers on a 96 to 3 vote, Roll Call reports.

The bill “engendered a broader debate over public ethics, including issues such as whether lawmakers should own stocks at all, given their ability to affect individual companies.”

 

The Unelectables

Matthew Dowd: “What happens in an election when two candidates who are unelectable run against each other in the fall? We are about to test that proposition.”

 

Enthusiasm Gap Dogs Romney

Voter turnout numbers “are pointing to a potential enthusiasm deficit for Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney,” the AP reports.

“In the four states to vote so far in the GOP nominating race, turnout has been strongest where people were energized to vote for somebody else.”

 

Shuler Will Not Seek Re-Election

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) will not run for re-election, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

“First elected in 2006, Shuler won handily in 2008 and 2010, but his 11th Congressional District was dramatically redrawn last year, removing the dependably Democratic heart of Asheville.”

 

What Happened to the Soccer Moms?

Dominique Browning: “Politicians spent hours analyzing what soccer moms thought about them. We were, after all, a huge voting cohort — whether we were Republican or Democrat, centrists or independents. But the children are now grown and on their own — it happened in the blink of an eye, it seems. So what happens to soccer moms when the games come to an end? Now, its time for them to understand a few things about — Yoo hoo! Over here, guys! — the largest new cohort of moms any politician has ever faced: The Legacy Moms. We are in our 50s and 60s. Our ranks are growing; the 45- to 65-year-old population overall grew a whopping 31.5% between 2000 and 2010 (and women are more than half that.)”

 

Boehner Downplays Tensions with Cantor

In the wake of a Politico story reporting that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) called for a “truce” between their offices,National Journal reports Boehner “sought to downplay talk of testy relations” but did admit there are “rumbles” between their staffs at times.

“Meanwhile, House Democrats are seeking to make political hay, and even comedy, over the prospect that the top two House Republican leaders, or their top staffers, may not be fond of each other but are trying to make up.”

 

Super PACs Disclose Donors

Stephen Colbert’s super PAC isn’t the only one that revealed its donors in the latest Federal Election Commission filings. Time looks at the contributors to some of the largest super PACs participating in the Republican presidential primary.

“The group supporting Mitt Romney, who swept Florida’s primary on Tuesday, identified bankers, investors and prominent businessmen who together contributed more than $30 million last year. The group’s three most generous donors gave $1 million each, or 400 times the amount they could legally give directly to Romney. All were hedge fund managers. The pro-Romney group Restore Our Future spent much of the money it raised on ads supporting the former Massachusetts governor or fiercely attacking his rivals… To be sure, the Romney-leaning super PAC isn’t alone in its high-dollar contributions to support candidates. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife gave $10 million this month to the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future super PAC, making the couple by far the key backers to a group that had only raised $2 million through the end of December.”

 

Romney Holds Big Lead in Arizona

A new Rasmussen survey in Arizona shows Mitt Romney way ahead in the GOP presidential race with 48%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 24%, Rick Santorum at 13% and Ron Paul at 6%.

The Arizona primary is on February 28.

 

Romney Relies on Small Group of Rich Donors

Washington Post: “One of Mitt Romney’s strongest assets as the GOP presidential front-runner is also a potentially serious liability in the race: his heavy reliance on a small group of millionaires and billionaires for financial support.”

“A quarter of the money amassed by Romney’s campaign and an allied super PAC has come from just 41 people, each of whom has given more than $100,000, according to aWashington Post analysis of disclosure data. Nearly a dozen of the donors have contributed $1 million or more.”

 

Value of Trump’s Endorsement

A recent Pew Research survey showed that just 8% of Americans said they’d be more likely to vote for a Donald Trump-backed presidential candidate while 26% said less they’d be less likely to do so.

 

Romney Way Ahead in Michigan

A new Ramussen survey in Michigan shows Mitt Romney leading the GOP field with 38%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 23%, Rick Santorum at 17% and Ron Paul at 14%.

The Michigan primary is on February 28.

 

Bowles Will Not Run in North Carolina

Former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles (D) will not run for governor of North Carolina, Politico reports.

Recent polls found that Bowles, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate twice, was the Democrat who ran most competitively against Pat McCrory (R).

 

Ending Two Wars

First Read on the political implications of the announcement the United States hopes to end its combat mission in Afghanistan next year: “It gives President Obama the ability to say — by his convention speech in early September — that the two wars he inherited are over or on the road to being mostly over.”

 

The Romney-Paul Alliance

Washington Post: “Despite deep differences on a range of issues, Romney and Paul became friends in 2008, the last time both ran for president. So did their wives, Ann Romney and Carol Paul. The former Massachusetts governor compliments the Texas congressman during debates, praising Paul’s religious faith during the last one, in Jacksonville, Fla. Immediately afterward, as is often the case, the Pauls and the Romneys gravitated toward one another to say hello.”

“The Romney-Paul alliance is more than a curious connection. It is a strategic partnership: for Paul, an opportunity to gain a seat at the table if his long-shot bid for the presidency fails; for Romney, a chance to gain support from one of the most vibrant subgroups within the Republican Party…. But there is also a growing recognition that the congressman plans to stay in the contest over the long term — and that accommodating him and his supporters could help unify Republican voters in the general election against President Obama.

 

Mitt Romney on the Poor

Jon Stewart weighs in on Mitt Romney’s lack of concern for the “very poor.”

See more…

 

Romney Poised for Blowout Win in Nevada

A new Las Vegas Review-Journal poll in Nevada finds Mitt Romney leading the GOP presidential race with 45%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 25%, Rick Santorum at 11% and Ron Paul at 9%.

However, Carl Bunce, the Nevada chairman of the Paul campaign, “dismissed the poll results, saying most Paul supporters refuse to participate or lie in surveys because of a bad experience in Nevada four years ago. He said Sen. John McCain’s campaign did robocalls to identify Paul supporters and then sidelined them at the state party convention.”

Meanwhile, Jon Ralston reports that a PPP poll currently in the field also shows Romney with a wide lead and Gingrich in second place.

 

Where Is Colbert Getting All That Money?

Comedian Stephen Colbert’s super PAC has raised some serious money since its inception, but a dig through its most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission reveals some less serious donors.

Satirical giving: There is everything from smaller donors like Pat Magroin from Lakeside, CA and Frumunda Mabalz from Fitchburg, WI, to bigger donors like the Sticky Fingers Band in Brunswick, ME and Bestdamntutoring.Com in Denton, TX.

The largest donation from July 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011 was for $9,600, with the vast majority of donations under $1,000.

 

 

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