POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/25

Wealthy Americans Renouncing Citizenship at Record Pace

The New York Post reports America’s rich are renouncing their citizenship at record levels.

“Startling new data from Uncle Sam show that defections by Americans are expected to double this year, largely to avoid any stiff tax bills resulting from the proposed 55 percent hike on the rich — as well as the likely expiration on Dec. 31 of the Bush era tax cuts. As many as 8,000 US citizens are projected by immigration officials to renounce in 2012, or about 154 a week, versus 3,805 in 2011, or about 73 per week.”

Romney and Milken

The Boston Globe probes Mitt Romney’s business dealings with “junk bond king” Michael Milken.

“What transpired would become not just one of the most profitable leveraged buyouts of the era, but also one of the most revealing stories of Romney’s Bain Capital career. It showed how he pivoted from being a relatively cautious investor to risking his reputation for a big payoff. It is one that Romney has rarely, if ever, mentioned in his two bids for the presidency, perhaps because the Houston-based department store chain that Bain assembled later went into bankruptcy.”

“But what distinguishes this deal from the nearly 100 others that Romney did over a 15-year period was his close work with Milken’s firm, Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. At the time of the deal, it was widely known that Milken and his company were under federal investigation, yet Romney decided to go ahead with the deal because Drexel had a unique ability to sell high-risk, high-yield debt instruments, known as ‘junk bonds.'”

Quote of the Day

“I don’t want to be vice president.”

— Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), quoted by Roll Call.

Muslim Brotherhood Wins in Egypt

“Election regulators named Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood the winner of Egypt’s first competitive presidential elections, handing the Islamist group a symbolic triumph and a new weapon in its struggle for power with the ruling military council,” the New York Times reports.

“But Mr. Morsi’s recognition as president does little to resolve the larger standoff between the generals and the Brotherhood over the balance of power over the institutions of government and the future constitution.”

New Timing Hinted on Health Care Ruling

The New York Times reports the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s health care law may not come on Monday as many have assumed.

Most Oppose Health Care Law But Support Its Provisions

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds most Americans oppose President Obama’s healthcare law, 56% to 44%, even though they strongly support most of its provisions.

“A glaring exception to the popular provisions is the ‘individual mandate,’ which forces all U.S. residents to own health insurance. Sixty-one percent of Americans are against the mandate, the issue at the center of the Republicans’ contention that the law is unconstitutional, while 39% favor it.”

Said pollster Chris Jackson: “That’s really the thing that has come to define the (reform) and is the thing that could potentially allow the Supreme Court to dismantle it if they decide it’s not constitutional.”

Lawmakers Regularly Trade Stocks Involved in Legislation

“One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules,” a Washington Postanalysis has found.

“Almost one in every eight trades — 5,531 — intersected with legislation. The 130 lawmakers traded stocks or bonds in companies as bills passed through their committees or while Congress was still considering the legislation. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, 68 to 62.”

One-Quarter of Voters Still Up for Grabs

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds one-quarter of American voters are still persuadable on who they’ll vote for in the presidential election.

“Until then, Obama and Romney will spend huge amounts of time and money trying to win their votes, especially in the most competitive states that tend to swing between Republicans and Democrats each presidential election. Obama and Romney face the same hurdle, winning over wavering voters without alienating core supporters they need to canvass neighborhoods and staff telephone banks this fall to help make sure their backers actually vote.”

Romney’s Mormon Army Mobilizes

The Financial Times looks at how Mitt Romney campaign is planning to deploy an army of Mormon supporters from Utah “to states where the presidential race is close, such as neighboring Nevada and Colorado. Such efforts could be crucial in battleground states that will decide the election.”

“The missionary work that is at the heart of the Mormon religion — 1m have left home for two years to convert others to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — could be good preparation for a Romney door-knocking and phone-calling outreach effort, given the long hours and rejection that such endeavours often entail.”

Blame Game Starts Ahead of Health Care Decision

Washington Post: “Some prominent legal scholars say a series of tactical decisions by President Obama’s legal team may have hurt the chances of saving his landmark health-care legislation from being gutted by Supreme Court conservatives.”

“The warnings are a preview of the finger-pointing certain to ensue if the law is overturned. That could come sometime this week, when the justices are expected to decide on the constitutionality of the health-care law and its centerpiece provision mandating that all Americans purchase insurance or pay a penalty.”

Romney’s Veep Will Be Surprise if History Repeats

Scott Conroy: “While every eventual GOP nominee in the last five non-incumbent presidential cycles began the race as a favorite, the same cannot be said of their VP picks, all of whom were initially regarded inside the Beltway echo chamber either as blips on the political radar or not on the screen at all.”

Republicanpalooza

New York Times: “The Romney campaign, whose fund-raising prowess has defied assumptions about President Obama’s financial advantages, offered wealthy donors and bundlers an extraordinary level of access to the candidate, his staff members, advisers and family this weekend at a three-day retreat that even seasoned political contributors said dwarfed previous presidential powwows.”

“Mr. Romney’s political operation seemed to all but shut down and relocate to the mountains of Utah. At least 15 senior campaign figures flew in for what blue-blazered guests from Texas, North Carolina and New York dubbed Republicanpalooza, delivering briefings on the effectiveness of Mr. Romney’s and Mr. Obama’s commercials and spinning them through the latest polling data, which they said showed the race as a dead heat.”

“In a simultaneous demonstration of the party’s fund-raising might, the industrialist billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch held a conference for conservative megadonors at a resort outside San Diego… The Koch conference touched off an unexpected — and for the Romney campaign, somewhat unwelcome — competition for top-flight moneyed supporters.”

An Obamacare Hint

The Daily Beast says Supreme Court justices might have tipped off in a decision last week how they will rule on President Obama’s health care plan.

White House Braces for Health Care Decision

President Obama and the White House “have put on brave faces,” the New York Timesreports, insisting that their health care law “and the mandate at its center will be upheld when the court rules this month. In private conversations, they predict that the bulk of the law will survive even if the mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance does not.”

“But even if the White House is a fortress of message discipline, it cannot disguise the potential heartbreak for Mr. Obama, who managed to achieve a decades-old Democratic dream despite long odds and at steep cost.”

“In grappling with what the court may do, Mr. Obama and his advisers now appear to be far past the denial stage (when they dismissed constitutional challenges) but nowhere near acceptance (they still believe the law will be upheld.) Instead, they have quietly entered a surprising new state that might be called Learning to Live Without Universal Coverage.”

Republican Lawmaker Accused of Campaign Violations

CNN has confirmed there are “no fewer than four congressional and federal investigations” into Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) “business practices, his campaign finances and his alleged attempt to try to stop a witness from talking.”

“Now that witness is stepping forward in an exclusive interview with CNN. Buchanan’s former business partner says the congressman schemed to launder money from his car dealerships into his campaign coffers, and then tried to get others to cover it up.”

Romney Hit Again on Bain Capital

The Super PAC supporting President Obama’s re-election has a devastating new adattacking Mitt Romney over his record at Bain Capital.

See more…

Romney Was Always a Winner

The New York Times takes another deep look at Bain Capital.

“The private equity firm, co-founded and run by Mitt Romney, held a majority stake in more than 40 United States-based companies from its inception in 1984 to early 1999, when Mr. Romney left Bain to lead the Salt Lake City Olympics. Of those companies, at least seven eventually filed for bankruptcy while Bain remained involved, or shortly afterward, according to a review by The New York Times. In some instances, hundreds of employees lost their jobs. In most of those cases, however, records and interviews suggest that Bain and its executives still found a way to make money…”

“Bain structured deals so that it was difficult for the firm and its executives to ever really lose, even if practically everyone else involved with the company that Bain owned did, including its employees, creditors and even, at times, investors in Bain’s funds.”

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