Friday, April 20, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2007 – 2:28 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House-Senate Conferees to Meet Monday on War Spending
  • House Passes Bill Allowing Shareholders to Vote on Executive Pay
  • Waxman Threatens Multiple White House Subpoenas
  • Virginia Tech Shootings Spark Focus on School Safety
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Today in Washington

The House considers legislation (HR 1257) to allow shareholders to vote on executives’ pay.

The Senate considers legislation (S 761) to make the United States more competitive in math and science.

The President signs National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act (HR 1132); speaks on the war on terrorism at East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan.

In Washington, Trinity University holds its 3rd annual Academic Colloquium on national intelligence issues. Participants include Rep. Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, President of the National Defense Intelligence College Denis Clift, and former CIA Deputy Director Joan Dempsey, Main Hall, Trinity University.

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Top Stories

House-Senate Conferees to Meet Monday on War Spending

A formal House-Senate conference committee on the war spending bill will convene April 23 at 4:30 p.m., Democratic appropriators said today.  [Read More]

House Passes Bill Allowing Shareholders to Vote on Executive Pay

Shareholders of publicly traded companies would be allowed to cast nonbinding votes on compensation packages for top executives under legislation the House passed 269-134 today.  [Read More]

Waxman Threatens Multiple White House Subpoenas

A flurry of subpoenas for White House testimony and documents are ready to fly from the Democratic-run Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  [Read More]

Virginia Tech Shootings Spark Focus on School Safety

Prompted by Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech, Congress will hold two hearings on school safety next week as experts warned against the typical knee-jerk reactions that followed similar events.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CHICAGO: Mayor Ousts Transit Chief, Appoints Aide
BLACKSBURG, Va.: Former State Police Chief to Head Shooting Probe
ST. PAUL, Minn.: Embattled Fire Chief Takes Milwaukee Job
NEW YORK CITY: Ex-Judge Convicted in Bribery Case
MINNESOTA: Agency May Have Overbilled State $3 Billion
NEW YORK STATE: Governor Pushes Ambitious Energy Plan

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Democrats, disappointed by their failure to meet expected gains in Ohio in 2006, are wasting no time planning for 2008. Democrats are targeting three GOP-held districts: the 1st District, which includes most of Cincinnati and is represented by seven-term Republican Steve Chabot; the 2nd, a mostly suburban Cincinnati constituency that narrowly elected Jean Schmidt in a 2005 special election and in November 2006; and the 15th, a Columbus-centered district that is represented by eight-term veteran Deborah Pryce.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has changed his mind and is now considering a primary challenge to Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. Bruning said he is being encourage to challenge Hagel by Republican’s upset with the senator’s criticism of President Bush and the Iraq war. Hagel spokesman Mike Buttry said the senator would not let Bruning’s comments influence his decisions about his political future.

The Burlington Free Press reports that the Vermont Senate voted 16-9 this morning to urge the state’s congressional delegation to move to impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Impeachment supporters have lobbied the state House to take up the matter as well, though Speaker of the House Gaye Symington has said there is no time for full legislative debate and action on the issue in this session.

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GovSec: Government Security Conference

Who becomes a terrorist? What is homeland security? When’s the next attack? How can terrorism end?
Get the answers from all points of view from GovSec May 9 – 10, D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQWEB.

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Political Trivia

Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, D-Pa., was born and grew up in Nanticoke, just southwest of Wilkes-Barre. He attended Temple University and the Dickinson College School of Law, but did not graduate from either. He became a lawyer and worked as an attorney for almost 20 years. He was an administrative law judge for workers’ compensation cases, and served as the unpaid assistant city solicitor for Nanticoke for more than a decade. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2007 – 2:35 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Gonzales Says He Can’t Recall Key Meeting About Firing U.S. Attorneys
  • Snowe Wants Plan to Reverse Troop Surge If Iraqis Don’t Meet Benchmarks
  • House Panel Approves Dam Security Measure
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Today in Washington

The House considers D.C. voting rights legislation (HR 1905) and a related tax measure (HR 1906), as well as a bill (HR 1495) covering water projects across the country.

The Senate considers court security legislation (S 378).

The President speaks on the war on terrorism at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio.

In Washington, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies holds a session on the future of international news in the U.S. media, with NPR President Kevin Klose, 5:30 p.m., Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Gonzales Says He Can’t Recall Key Meeting About Firing U.S. Attorneys

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified today that he could not recall a Nov. 27, 2006, meeting at which he and senior Justice Department officials discussed the firings of several U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

Snowe Wants Plan to Reverse Troop Surge If Iraqis Don’t Meet Benchmarks

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, a leading GOP moderate, today unveiled a proposal that would require the top U.S. commander in Iraq to give Congress a plan for reversing President Bush’s troop “surge” if the Iraqi government does not meet certain benchmarks within four months of enactment.  [Read More]

House Panel Approves Dam Security Measure

A House Natural Resources subcommittee today approved legislation to require the federal government to pick up most of the security costs at hundreds of dams in Western states.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md.: Struggling County Hospitals Get Reprieve
BLACKSBURG, Va.: Campus Killer’s Troubled State Long Known
ROSEMONT, Ill.: Longtime Mayor Dies
THE NEW YORK CITY REGION: Transit Agency Hikes Fares 9.6%
NEW JERSEY: Probe: Fraud, Waste Beset Health Care Program
TEXAS: Troubled College’s Regents Refuse to Quit

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Democrat Joan Fitz-Gerald, the president of Colorado’s state Senate, confirmed that she will seek the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who is running for the state’s open Senate seat. Fitz-Gerald is the leading Democratic candidate in a Democratic-leaning district, which gave 58 percent of its votes in the 2004 presidential election to Democratic nominee John Kerry. Udall has typically prevailed in his House races by even wider margins.

The Boston Herald reports on a statewide poll suggesting that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., could have trouble in his re-election bid next year. Only 37 percent of 400 voters polled said Kerry deserves re-election; 56 percent said it’s time for someone else. Suffolk Political Research Center director David Paleologos called the loss of support for Kerry “early warning signs of a political storm.” Former state Democratic Chairman Philip Johnston said Kerry should be immune from any primary challenge. “He has a boatload of campaign money,” Johnston said. The April 12-15 poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The Oakland Tribune reports that GOP home-ownership consultant Charles Hargrave says he can defeat Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., next year. “Barbara Lee is going to be hard to beat, but I believe I have a platform, I have a plan and if I carry out that plan correctly I will beat Barbara Lee in 2008,” he said. Hargrave moved to Oakland from San Pablo since losing his 2002 and 2004 bids to unseat Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. Lee has represented the heavily Democratic 9th District since 1988, and took 86 percent of the vote in November.

---------------------------------

GovSec: Government Security Conference

Who becomes a terrorist? What is homeland security? When’s the next attack? How can terrorism end?
Get the answers from all points of view from GovSec May 9 – 10, D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQWEB.

---------------------------------

Political Trivia

The son and grandson of Navy admirals, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis with great family expectations, but finished fifth from the bottom in 1958. Still, he was a good Navy flier and, it turned out, a good patriot. Nine years after graduation, his plane was shot down and he was captured by the North Vietnamese. He spent the next five and a half years enduring torture and solitary confinement, an experience recounted in his best-selling memoir, “Faith of My Fathers.” (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2007 – 1:50 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Democratic Leaders Preparing to Yield on Iraq Withdrawal Language
  • Senate Republicans Block Medicare Drug Price Bill
  • High Court Upholds ‘Partial Birth’ Abortion Ban
  • House Panel Will Wait to Hear Gonzales Before Deciding On Immunity for Underling
  • Climate Change Panel Assesses Security Threats from Global Warming
  • And Finally ...
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Today in Washington

The House considers several measures under suspension of the rules, including a resolution offering condolences to victims and families of the shootings at Virginia Tech, as well as legislation (HR 1361) to overhaul the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program, and legislation (HR 1257) to allow shareholders to vote on executive pay.

The Senate is expected to vote to cut off debate on a motion to proceed to a Medicare drug pricing bill (S 3) and to consider court security legislation (S 378).

The President speaks at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In Washington, the SAIS Protection Project hosts a conference, “Middle East Agenda for Reform: Challenges and Opportunities.” Panel topics include U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the future of democracy in Iran, Kenney Auditorium, first floor, Nitze Building, 1740 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

House Democratic Leaders Preparing to Yield on Iraq Withdrawal Language

House Democratic leaders are preparing their rank and file for the likelihood that a final supplemental spending measure will contain the nonbinding Iraq withdrawal language favored by the Senate.  [Read More]

Senate Republicans Block Medicare Drug Price Bill

Senate Republicans today blocked a Democratic bill to allow Medicare to negotiate reduced prescription drug prices for seniors, holding fast against a motion to proceed to consideration of the measure  [Read More]

High Court Upholds ‘Partial Birth’ Abortion Ban

In a major shift, the Supreme Court today upheld a federal law banning a procedure opponents call “partial birth” abortion. The 5-4 decision clearly demonstrated the impact of President Bush’s two high court appointments on one of the most divisive social issues of the past half century.  [Read More]

House Panel Will Wait to Hear Gonzales Before Deciding On Immunity for Underling

The House Judiciary Committee postponed consideration today of resolutions requesting a subpoena and court-ordered immunity for a former Justice Department official who asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the U.S. attorney flap.  [Read More]

Climate Change Panel Assesses Security Threats from Global Warming

A new House climate change panel held its first substantive deliberations today, placing renewed emphasis on the national security threats posed by global warming.  [Read More]

And Finally ...

House Administration Committee Chairwoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, is being treated for cancer and will take a leave of absence from Congress until May 25, her office said today. Millender-McDonald, 68, who represents southern Los Angeles County and is serving her sixth term in Congress, declined to say what kind of cancer she is being treated for. During her absence, the next ranking Democrat on the committee, Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania, will serve as chairman.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
BLACKSBURG, Va.: Panel to Probe University's Response to Shooting
LOS ANGELES: Court Rejects Mayoral School Authority
RAMSEY COUNTY, Minn.: Commissioners Give Themselves 25% Raise
COOK COUNTY, Ill.: Feds Investigating County Jail
NEW JERSEY: Police: Governor's SUV Was Going 91 mph
MASSACHUSETTS: Governor Ousts Prisons Chief

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Democrat Bill Richardson reported raising $6.2 million in the first three months of this year for his 2008 presidential campaign. The amount seemed like a reasonable opening bid for New Mexico governor as he tries to keep pace with fundraising giants Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York or Barack Obama of Illinois, each of whom reported raising more than four times as much as Richardson. Richardson, a House member from 1983 to 1997 who also served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and as Energy secretary, has touted his public service in New Mexico as a major selling point.

Television station WDBJ in Roanoke, Va., reports that it’s still anyone’s guess who will be the major party nominees for Senate in 2008 in Virginia. Both Democratic former Gov. Mark Warner and incumbent Republican Sen. John Warner have flirted with the idea of running but made no definitive commitment. “I’ve not made any decision about what I plan to do politically,” said the former governor, who lost to Sen. Warner in 1996. Meanwhile, the incumbent says he’s “seriously considering running again for the Senate, and am listening to a wide range of Virginians.”

The Omaha World-Herald reports that fundraising by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., has provided no clear picture on what he’ll do next: seek re-election, run for president or retire. Hagel reported raising about $142,000 in the first three months of the year for a possible Senate re-election bid, with $230,214 cash on hand. His separate Sandhills PAC will report raising about $110,000 in the first three months of the year, a Hagel aide said.

---------------------------------

GovSec: Government Security Conference

Who becomes a terrorist? What is homeland security? When’s the next attack? How can terrorism end?
Get the answers from all points of view from GovSec May 9 – 10, D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQWEB.

---------------------------------

Political Trivia

Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., prides himself on being a practical joker. As governor, he participated in a segment of the TV show “Candid Camera” in which he told visitors to his office he was planning to change the state’s name to “something much more modern ... something like Zenmar or Quentron.” He also held a party for others named Ben Nelson that drew 12 from Nebraska, 10 from other states and one dog. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2007 – 2:25 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Panel Considers Subpoena for Rice to Testify on Iraq-Niger Connection
  • Judiciary Panel Weighs Immunity for Former Justice Official
  • Senate Appropriations Announces New Earmark Rules, Pre-Empting GOP Effort
  • House Panel Weighs Options to Stem Increased Foreclosures
  • White House Says Bush Will Veto Senate Medicare Bill
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Today in Washington

The House considers measures under suspension of the rules, including legislation (HR 1677) addressing taxpayer protections against identity theft.

The Senate considers legislation (S 372) to authorize fiscal 2007 intelligence funding.

The President speaks at a Tax Family Reunion; attends memorial service at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

In Washington, the Military Officers Association of America sponsors the 10th annual MOAA Awards. Participants include actor Gary Sinise, DuPont chief executive Chad Holliday Jr., Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and John W. Warner of Virginia; and Reps. Chet Edwards of Texas and Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, as well as others, 5:15 p.m., Russell Building, Room 325.

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Top Stories

House Panel Considers Subpoena for Rice to Testify on Iraq-Niger Connection

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee may discuss issuing a subpoena for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday if an arrangement for her testimony at a hearing on claims Iraq sought uranium from Niger is not reached before then.  [Read More]

Judiciary Panel Weighs Immunity for Former Justice Official

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a meeting Wednesday to weigh immunity for a former senior Justice Department aide who has preemptively asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the congressional probe of the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.  [Read More]

Senate Appropriations Announces New Earmark Rules, Pre-Empting GOP Effort

Senate Democratic leaders gave in today to conservative demands to bring a new level of transparency to earmarks, announcing that the Appropriations Committee would immediately adopt rules revealing the sponsors and the recipients of earmarks.  [Read More]

House Panel Weighs Options to Stem Increased Foreclosures

Lawmakers and regulators agreed today that Congress, local governments and private industry must act in concert to slow the record tide of foreclosures that continues to roil the economy.  [Read More]

White House Says Bush Will Veto Senate Medicare Bill

The White House today said President Bush will veto legislation to allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare, if it is passed by Congress.  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
BLACKSBURG, Va.: College Massacre Toll at 32
BOSTON: Violent Crime Down Sharply
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala.: Adviser: County Overpaid Banks Millions
WASHINGTON, D.C.: CFO Turns Down Amtrak Job Offer
SOUTH FLORIDA: Drought Shaping Up as One of the Worst
ARIZONA: State Health-Insurance Program in the Red
NEW JERSEY: Doctors: Injured Governor Doing Better than Expected

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that Republican state Sen. Jim Whitehead burnished his status as leader in the special election campaign to fill Georgia’s 10th Congressional District seat with his strong early fundraising. Just between mid-February — when he announced he would seek to succeed the late Republican Rep. Charlie Norwood, who died Feb. 13 — and the March 31 conclusion of the Federal Election Commission first-quarter reporting period, Whitehead reported raising $265,000 and had $243,000 in remaining cash on hand, far ahead of any of his opponents.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Mike Ciresi is expected Wednesday to declare his candidacy for the Democratic Senate nomination. The Minneapolis lawyer is best known for winning a $6.1 billion settlement with the tobacco industry and for an unsuccessful Senate bid in 2000. Ciresi would face Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., who is seeking re-election.

The Indianapolis Star reports that former Marion County Coroner John McGoff raised more money than Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., in the first three months of this year, but has a long way to go to pose a serious challenge to the incumbent in next year’s GOP primary. According to new campaign finance records, McGoff reported raising $97,920 through March compared with $30,340 for Burton. But Burton started the year with $723,588 left over from previous campaigns.

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GovSec: Government Security Expo & Conference

Who becomes a terrorist? What is homeland security? When’s the next attack? How can terrorism end?
Get the answers from all points of view from GovSec May 9 – 10, D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQWEB.

---------------------------------

Political Trivia

Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, now in his 18th term, is the son of an Ohio farmer and returns home every weekend to the cattle farm in Navarre that once was his dad’s. He calls it his “Garden of Eden.” His brother lives on a nearby farm also once run by his father, and Regula’s three grown children and their children “live about two minutes” away. In Washington, Regula drives around in a pickup truck. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Monday, April 16, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2007 – 2:06 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush, Democrats Dig in on War Spending
  • Gonzales Says He Has ‘Nothing to Hide’ About Prosecutor Firings
  • Senators Demand Fairness on Farm Subsidies
  • House Scraps Monday Votes
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Today in Washington

The House cancels votes scheduled for 6:30 p.m. because of the strong storms affecting the Northeast.

The Senate considers legislation (S 372) to authorize fiscal 2007 intelligence funding, and legislation (S 3) to allow the federal government to negotiate lower medication prices for the Medicare prescription drug program.

The President speaks on the Iraq war supplemental bill.

In Washington, James Carville, Democratic political strategist, joins John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and George Stephanopoulos, ABC News chief Washington correspondent, to participate in a roundtable discussion and answer questions as part of the Kennedy Political Unions 2006-07 “Power of Voice” lecture series, 8:15 p.m., Bender Arena, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush, Democrats Dig in on War Spending

President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid head to a Wednesday meeting at the White House with uncompromising stances on a war spending measure that includes Iraq withdrawal language.  [Read More]

Gonzales Says He Has ‘Nothing to Hide’ About Prosecutor Firings

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has told the Senate Judiciary Committee he did not fire any U.S. attorneys for partisan political reasons and has “no basis to believe” anyone sought to have a federal prosecutor fired for “improper” reasons.  [Read More]

Senators Demand Fairness on Farm Subsidies

A bipartisan group of senators have written the Bush administration demanding that any new international trade agreement be fair to American farmers.  [Read More]

House Scraps Monday Votes

As a strong spring storm battered the Northeast, the House called off votes that had been scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. today, leadership aides said.  [Read More]

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Government Security Expo & Conference

Who becomes a terrorist? What is homeland security? When’s the next attack? How can terrorism end?
Get the answers from all points of view from GovSec on May 9-10 at the D.C. Convention Center. FREE to Congressional staff with code: CQWEB.

Click here to learn more.

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that former Louisiana Sen. John B. Breaux said Friday he will not run for governor as planned this year, citing ongoing questions about his eligibility. Breaux, who has lived in Maryland since he retired from the Senate at the end of 2004, pulled out of the governor’s race after Louisiana Democratic Attorney General Charles C. Foti Jr. declined to issue a legal opinion on whether Breaux was a state “citizen” for the preceding five years, as required by the state constitution. Louisiana Republicans said Breaux was clearly ineligible to serve as governor, since he is registered to vote in Maryland.

The Palm Beach Post reports that Florida freshman Democratic Reps. Tim Mahoney and Ron Klein rank near the top of all Democratic freshmen in fundraising as they try to fed off being targeted for defeat by Republicans in 2008. According to campaign finance reports filed Sunday, Mahoney has collected $547,067 so far for his 2008 reelection campaign, versus $471,723 for his three Republican opponents combined. Meanwhile, Klein reported raising $611,446 during the first quarter of 2007.

The Des Moines Register reported that ex-New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani warned GOP activists in Iowa that they faced defeat at the polls in 2008 if they insist on a presidential nominee who always agrees with them on social issues. “Our party is going to grow, and we are going to win in 2008 if we are a party characterized by what we’re for, not if we’re a party that’s known for what we’re against,” Giuliani said. Republicans can win if they nominate a candidate committed to the fight against terrorism and high taxes, rather than a pure social conservative, he said.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CHICAGO: City Wins Race to Bid for Olympics
LOS ANGELES/LONG BEACH: Ports Push to Cut Diesel Pollution 80%
DENVER: Outsourcing Revives Airport Maglev Train Idea
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Amtrak Courts City CFO
DURHAM COUNTY, N.C.: Misconduct Charge Stands Against D.A.
CALIFORNIA: State Creates Vast Marine Reserve
NEW JERSEY: Injured Governor May Come Off Ventilator
TEXAS: Governor Seeks Conservator for Troubled College

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Political Trivia

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the youngest of nine children of Rose Fitzgerald, a congressman’s daughter, and Joseph P. Kennedy, an ambassador to Britain and the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was first elected in 1962, at age 30, to fill the remaining two years of President John F. Kennedy’s Senate term. The president had arranged for family friend Benjamin A. Smith to be appointed until his youngest brother was old enough under the Constitution to serve. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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