Berkley Faces Ethics Investigation

The House Ethics Committee “plans to launch a formal investigation into allegations that Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) used her position to benefit the financial interests of her husband — a potential blow to her candidacy in one of the nation’s most competitive Senate contests,” the Washington Post reports.

Las Vegas Sun: “The ethics probe has dogged her tight Senate race against Republican Dean Heller. The decision by the committee to move forward with a full investigation means her campaign will be forced to contend with the issue through the fall.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“You have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. I can walk and chew gum at the same time.”

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), quoted by the Washington Examiner, explaining why he’s succeeded in working with Democratic leaders.

Why Super PAC Names Make No Sense

Former Obama aide Bill Burton explains to the New York Times Magazine that it took weeks to come up with the name Priorities USA Action for his Super PAC because “every slogan they considered had already been trademarked by Republicans.”

Said Burton: “We gave our lawyer 10 more names. Then like 50. We’re literally trying every combination of whatever. You can’t come up with a name that has the word ‘future’ in it that the Republicans don’t control. Romney’s Restore Our Future — that doesn’t even make sense, and that’s probably why they were able to get it.”

GOP Unnerved by Democratic Trackers

Democrats are “testing the outer limits” of using trackers in political campaigns, Politicoreports.

“While most serious campaigns on both sides use campaign trackers — staffers whose job is to record on video every public appearance and statement by an opponent — House Democrats are taking it to another level. They’re now recording video of the homes of GOP congressmen and candidates and posting the raw footage on the Internet for all to see.”

“That ratcheting up of the video surveillance game is unnerving Republicans who insist that even by political standards, it’s a gross invasion of privacy. Worse, they say, it creates a safety risk for members of Congress and their families at a time when they are already on edge after a deranged gunman shot former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords 18 months ago.”

Romney Campaign to Call Obama a Liar

Faced with a barrage of attacks on Mitt Romney’s business record, the Romney campaign will start to “aggressively push back” today, BuzzFeed reports.

The plan is that Romney’s surrogates would stop shying away from the word “lie” in responding to Democrats’ attacks on his business record, and plan to go on TV to call Obama a “liar.”

Said a campaign source: “They are very fed up with these attacks.”

View of a Romney Donor

The Los Angeles Times spoke to an unnamed Mitt Romney donor at a weekend fundraiser in the Hamptons:

“I don’t think the common person is getting it. Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them. We’ve got the message. But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

There’s No Right Way for Candidates to Vacation

The Altantic Wire: “The most important rule of presidential vacations is this: Never let people take pictures of you on vacation. Sure, it seems like it’d be okay — you’ll look relaxed, relatable, full of youthful energy. Except you actually look like a dork at best, or clueless and out of touch at worst. And you’re in danger of committing the greatest presidential image sin of all: Wearing shorts.”

The Republicans’ Crazy Party Platforms

Paul Begala digs through the state Republican party platforms for the craziest ideas he can find.

Quote of the Day

“We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.”

— Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), quoted by the Portland Press Herald, invoking Godwin’s Law in the debate over Obamacare.

Obama Winning the Ad Wars

A new USA Today/Gallup Poll of swing states finds President Obama “is the clear winner in the ad wars. Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney.”

Obama Fundraising Seriously Trails Romney

President Obama’s re-election campaign announced that it raised a combined $71 million in June with the DNC and various state parties. This compares to $106 million by Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Byron Tau: “To recap, that’s a $35 million gap between Mitt Romney and Obama in June — and a sign that the Obama campaign may continue to be outraised all the way until November.”

Warren Pulls in Nearly $9 Million

Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D) announced that she raised $8.67 million in the last quarter, “more than she has raised in any previous quarter and $1.7 million more than she raised in the first three months of the year,” the Boston Globereports.

“Warren is already the nation’s leading congressional fundraiser and the latest figures are likely to widen her lead.”

Is Romney Forgetting the First Rule of Politics?

The Note: “One of the first rules of politics is to define yourself before your opponent does it for you. The Obama campaign has made this its mantra with a relentless focus on making Mitt Romney out to be something of a cross between Gordon Gekko and George W. Bush.”

Most Think Obama Has Left Country Worse Off

A new poll for The Hill found 56% of likely voters believe President Obama’s first term “has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35% who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.”

The Make-Believe Debate Over Health Care

Bloomberg Businessweek: “In the lexicon of political insults, accusing somebody of raising taxes ranks up there as one of the worst. So it’s easy to see why Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have spent the past week twisting themselves into semantic contortions over whether the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate because it’s a tax means that the mandate is, in fact, a tax (Romney), or that it’s still a penalty being called a tax (Obama).”

“Amid all the sniping in the Land of Make-Believe, it’s easy to forget that in the real world, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you call it, there’s zero difference between a tax, a penalty, a fine, or a fee.”

“We’re Getting Wildly Differing Assessments”

ScotusBlog has a fascinating, second-by-second analysis of how the media reported the recent Supreme health care ruling, specifically focusing on how some got it right while others got it so wrong, like Fox News and CNN.

Romney Nears Final Stage of Veep Search

“With the prospective vice presidential candidates fanning out as campaign-trail surrogates, Romney and his closest counselors have entered the final stages of selecting the ultimate surrogate — a running mate,” the Washington Post reports.

“There are seven weeks remaining until the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and Romney has a few important strategic decisions to make before then: not only who to name as a vice presidential nominee, but also when and how to do so.”

Mixing Sports and Politics

Wall Street Journal: “ESPN has come up with a way to sell a bigger portion of its ad time to political campaigns. The sports network has struck a deal with a middleman that will result in more political ads appearing on ESPN programs, including NFL and college football games, in October and November–the critical period before the general election.”

Said one top ESPN executive: “There is ‘great demand’ for ad time from ‘political parties and the super-PACs.”

Democrats Hammer Romney on Swiss Bank Accounts

If you missed the Sunday political talk shows, the Democratic National Committee put out a75-second video with clips of Obama surrogates attacking Mitt Romney on his offshore bank accounts.

First Read: “This was clearly a coordinated assault — and a reminder that when the economic news is not good, the Obama campaign has little choice but to go down this road. For now, the Romney response is simply, ‘They are trying to distract from the bad economy,’ which has the added benefit of likely being true… But the other fact is these relentless attacks by Team Obama on Romney’s business career have started to take a toll. Will the attacks on his personal wealth also take a toll before the Romney campaign figures out a better way to respond?”

See more…

Obama Ready for New Fight Over Tax Cuts

“With a torpid job market and a fragile economy threatening his re-election chances, President Obama is changing the subject to tax fairness, calling for a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000,” the New York Times reports.

“Obama plans to make his announcement in the Rose Garden on Monday… The ceremony comes as Congress returns from its Independence Day recess, and as both parties and their presidential candidates head into the rest of the summer trying to seize the upper hand in a campaign that has been closely matched and stubbornly static… by calling for an extension for just a year, Mr. Obama hopes to make Republicans look obstructionist and unreasonable.”

First Read: “For Obama, today’s move allows him to change the subject after Friday’s weak jobs report. Perhaps more importantly, it enables him to draw a contrast with the Republicans and Mitt Romney, who just yesterday was raising money from wealthy folks in the Hamptons and who had spent his July 4 vacation at his New Hampshire lake house. But this is also dangerous ground for the president. We’ve been down this road before, and Obama has already caved once.”

Cuomo Talks Up Son for Higher Office

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said that his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), is “the best governor in modern times,” the New York Times reports.

He also suggested the younger Cuomo might someday “have an opportunity to serve at a higher level, to serve the people of the United States.”

“The moment was striking because — despite widespread discussion in political circles that Andrew Cuomo could be a strong contender for his party’s nomination in 2016 — the younger Mr. Cuomo has repeatedly sought to tamp down such talk. He has done so not because of any absence of ambition, but because he has carefully studied the presidential flirtation of the politician he knows best: his own father….”

McConnell Gives GOP 50-50 Chance of Winning Senate

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Republicans had even chances of winning control of the Senate in November, CNN reports.

Said McConnell: “50-50. I think it’s going to be a very close, competitive election.”

Republicans currently hold 47 seats in the Senate. Democrats hold 51, and two independent senators caucus with Democrats.

Meanwhile, McConnell talked to National Journal about how he’ll run the Senate if the GOP takes back the majority.

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

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