Friday, March 21, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2008 – 1:57 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Lawmakers Demand Answers in Passport File Breach
  • Senate Chairmen Call for HUD Secretary’s Resignation
  • Obama Draws Backing from Ex-Rival Richardson
  • Senators Wary of USDA Move to Ease Ban on Beef Imports From Argentina
  • Political Trivia for March 21
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m., Monday, March 31.

The Senate  holds a pro forma session; reconvenes for business at 2 p.m. March 31.

The President  is at Camp David for the weekend.

In Washington,  American University’s Department of Anthropology and the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Council host two days of panel discussions on various aspects of “Represention, Power and Social Justice.” Folk poet Alix Olson holds a poetry slam at 6:3 0 p.m., Ward 2 of Ward Circle Building, Butler Board Room, Butler Pavilion, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Lawmakers Demand Answers in Passport File Breach

The State Department reached out Friday to assure Capitol Hill that breaches of passport records for the three presidential candidates had been handled appropriately.  [Read More]

Senate Chairmen Call for HUD Secretary’s Resignation

Two key senators called Friday for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson to resign for refusing to answer their questions on allegations of wrongdoing in public housing contracts.  [Read More]

Obama Draws Backing from Ex-Rival Richardson

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama on Friday picked up the support of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who began the year as a rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.  [Read More]

Senators Wary of USDA Move to Ease Ban on Beef Imports From Argentina

A pending Agriculture Department rule that would open U.S. markets to some Argentine beef imports is forcing prairie state lawmakers to juggle their support for free trade with their advocacy of American ranchers.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 21

What was the last election year in which a party had a double-digit net gain of Senate seats?  [Read More]

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Advanced Media Relations

Learn how to pitch your story creatively to reporters, coordinate and prepare for interviews, deal with the media hog and the media mouse, and use the FOIA to your advantage. Students work with each other and our experienced faculty, discussing best practices and professional strategies for handling internal and external challenges. Our Advanced Media Relations course is geared toward practicing public relations professionals with at least three years' experience.
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street N.W.
WHEN: May 7, 2008, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $495
Full program description and secure online registration, or call our registrar at 202-678-1600.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.

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Political Clippings

In his Sioux Falls Argus Leader column, David Kranz writes that state Rep. Joel Dykstra appears to be the candidate best positioned to win the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. Dykstra emerged as the leading candidate to challenge Johnson once former Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby — the choice of national GOP leaders — decided not to run. Observers think his chances of unseating Johnson are slim, but Dykstra is confident of his position in the race.

The York Weekly reports that Peter Bearse “author of ‘We the People,’ a book that predicted average citizens would rise up to exert more influence on the outcome of American elections, and showed them how, has announced his independent candidacy for the 1st Congressional District seat currently held by” Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H. “He says he’s the only candidate in the race with the knowledge and experience to deal with both the economic and international problems plaguing the nation.” Bearse is a local coordinator for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and is a former economic adviser to two New Jersey governors.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
FLORIDA: State Moves to Lease 78-Mile Interstate
CONNECTICUT/NEW YORK STATE: Feds OK Floating Natural-Gas Plant
COLORADO: Officials Backing Off from Costly Time-Off Change
CALIFORNIA: Governor Drops Brother-in-Law, Eastwood from Parks Panel
KING COUNTY, Wash.: TB Cases at 30-Year High
ST. CLOUD, Minn.: State Closes Mississippi River Bridge
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Towns Calling for State Tax Reforms

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2008 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Key Senators Demand Action on Backlog of Citizenship Applications
  • House Members Get More Time to File Earmark Requests
  • Lobbyists Find Finance Roles in Congressional Campaigns
  • Rep. Reynolds of New York to Retire
  • Political Trivia for March 20
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m., Monday, March 31.

The Senate  is not in session; reconvenes for business at 2 p.m. Monday, March 31.

The President  meets with the prime ministers of the Bahamas, Barbados and Belize before heading to Camp David, Md.

In Washington,  the Center for Strategic and International Relations holds a forum with Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama discussing relations with the United States and the economic landscape of Southeast Asia. 4:30 p.m., B-1 conference level, 1800 K St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Key Senators Demand Action on Backlog of Citizenship Applications

Seeking to spur action on a growing backlog of citizenship applications, three senior Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats are pressing the Bush administration to explain how and when the logjam will be cleared.  [Read More]

House Members Get More Time to File Earmark Requests

House members have been given a few extra days to submit earmark requests, after a flood of last-minute submissions swamped the Appropriations Committee.  [Read More]

Lobbyists Find Finance Roles in Congressional Campaigns

A small number of lobbyists are super insiders. They don’t just donate money to their favorite congressional causes — they serve as treasurers of the lawmakers’ campaign committees.  [Read More]

Rep. Reynolds of New York to Retire

Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-N.Y., said Thursday he will not seek re-election to a sixth term.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 20

Who was the last Democrat who won Pennsylvania’s presidential primary but did not get the party’s nomination?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The East Valley Tribune reports that former state Rep. Steve May dropped his Republican primary challenge to Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz. May told the daily he needs to focus his attention on business matters after the planned sale of his company, Wisdom Natural Brands, fell apart. Shadegg announced Feb. 11 that he would not seek re-election, but changed his mind 10 days later. May was the only potential GOP contender to remain in the race. Democrat Bob Lord also is running for the seat, along with independent Annie Loyd.

The Tennessean in Nashville reports that Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has officially filed papers to begin his re-election campaign. Alexander, who estimates he has raised $3 million for his re-election bid, told the daily he is looking forward to getting back next year and persuading his colleagues to work in a more bipartisan, civil manner, or, as he put it: “Act like grown-ups and get to work on the big issues facing this country.” Former Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke and former Knox County Clerk Mike Padgett have said they will seek the Democratic nomination.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: States Becoming Battlegrounds over Clean Power
COLORADO: Time-Off Policy Change Could Cost State Millions
KENDALL COUNTY, IL.: County Tops Fastest-Growing List
SAN FRANCISCO: Layoffs Likely from New Round of Spending Cuts

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CQ Today Midday Update

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008 – 2:02 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Protests and Positioning Mark Iraq Invasion Anniversary
  • Firefighting Burns Through Forest Service Budget
  • Political Trivia for March 19
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m., Monday, March 31.

The Senate  is not in session; reconvenes for business at 2 p.m. Monday, March 31.

The President  speaks on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War; later meets with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

In Washington,  groups opposed to the Iraq War are staging protests across the city throughout the day.

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Top Stories

Protests and Positioning Mark Iraq Invasion Anniversary

The fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq brought anti-war protests Wednesday and efforts by lawmakers and presidential candidates to frame the issue on their own terms.  [Read More]

Firefighting Burns Through Forest Service Budget

This year’s wildfire season is about to begin, and Congress is scrambling to figure out how to stop it from consuming the U.S. Forest Service’s budget.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 19

How many of the nation’s capital cities have schools playing the NCCA men’s basketball tournament?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports that industrialist Jack Davis is close to deciding whether to try to challenge Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-N.Y., for a third time. Davis, a Democrat, said the results of telephone polling this week will guide his decision. Davis, the Democratic nominee in 2004 and 2006, faces two other candidates in the party’s primary this year: Iraq war veteran Jonathan Powers and Buffalo attorney Alice Kryzan.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that former state Rep. Terry Marquardt has dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination in New Mexico’s 2nd District. His withdrawal leaves five candidates on the June primary ballot: Aubrey Dunn Jr., Ed Tinsley, Greg Sowards, Monty Newman and Earl Greer. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., is running for Senate.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Republican leader in the Illinois state House is warning the party’s battling interests to stop the infighting, citing the loss of a GOP House seat once held by former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert as a “big wake-up call.” Rep. Tom Cross, a Hastert protege, said he hopes the rift caused by dairy magnate Jim Oberweis’ primary victory over state Rep. Chris Lauzen can be healed by November, though he has no plans to mediate the dispute. Oberweis lost a March 8 special election to Democratic Rep. Bill Foster, and many fear the same will happen in November.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ARKANSAS: A.G. Orders All Payday Lenders to Shut Down
THE NATION: Harvard Law Slashes Tuition for Public-Sector-Bound
NEW JERSEY: Troubled Medical School Re-Accredited
THE NORTHEAST: 10 States Set CO2 Cap-and-Trade Auction
MICHIGAN: Judge: Affirmative-Action Ban Constitutional
SAN FRANCISCO: Report: Zoo Was Unprepared for Tiger Attack
MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZ.: $360 Million Court-Expansion Project OKd
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIF.: County Tries to Recover $80 Million Investment
PHILADELPHIA: 1-95 Column's 'Poor' Condition Known for Months

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008 – 2:21 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Higher Education Act Overhaul a Magnet for Lobbying
  • Supreme Court Rejects Washington State Primary Challenge
  • Congress Urged to Renew User Fees for FDA Review of Animal Drugs
  • Political Trivia for March 18
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; reconvenes at 2 p.m., Monday, March 31.

The Senate  meets in pro forma session; reconvenes for business at 2 p.m. Monday, March 31.

The President  is in Florida attending a Republican National Committee luncheon in Jacksonville; then touring the Blount Island Marine Terminal and speaking about trade policy; later attends a Republican National Committee reception in Palm Beach.

In Washington,  Research!America holds its 12th annual Advocacy Awards Gala honoring those who helped create policies that support health research. Awardees include Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.; Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif.; and Kenneth Cole, chairman, AmFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. 6:30 p.m., Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, 1301 Constitution Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Higher Education Act Overhaul a Magnet for Lobbying

House and Senate negotiators have pushed off completion of a higher education overhaul until after the March recess, but interest groups representing students, colleges and state officials are furiously lobbying over provisions of the legislation still hanging in the balance.  [Read More]

Supreme Court Rejects Washington State Primary Challenge

The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected a broad constitutional challenge to Washington state’s open primary system.  [Read More]

Congress Urged to Renew User Fees for FDA Review of Animal Drugs

Worried that their concerns may get lost in the election-year agenda, livestock producers are urging Congress to move swiftly to reauthorize the user fees that underwrite federal reviews of new animal drugs.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 18

In which state do Irish-Americans make up the biggest share of population?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Peoria Journal Star reports that Democrat Colleen Callahan’s GOP ties could benefit her bid to replace Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill. Callahan, a longtime farm broadcaster, served as agricultural adviser to John Morris, an unsuccessful candidate for the GOP nomination and even held a fundraiser for LaHood in 2006. “We had no problem doing that and make no apologies for having done that,” she said. The Republican nominee, state Rep. Aaron Schock, also “has demonstrated the ability to get crossover votes in his legislative district, which has more Democrat voters than Republican.”

The Deseret Morning News reports that Dell “Superdell” Schanze, former owner of Totally Awesome Computers who is famous for his quirky commercials and public jousts with police and the media, is running for governor as a Libertarian. Schanze had filed to run as a Republican in the race for Salt Lake County mayor, but dropped that bid to challenge GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. “One thing is for sure, if I am elected, Utah will be one seriously fun place to live,” Schanze said.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MINNESOTA: Court Shoots Down Video-Game Law
NEW YORK STATE: New Governor Admits Affairs
INDIANAPOLIS/MARION COUNTY: Pension-Debt Shift to Save City $1 Billion
NEW YORK CITY: $50 Nylon Sling Suspected in Crane Collapse
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: Ship's Pilot Charged in Oil Spill
THE NATION: Critics: Gun Buybacks Ineffective

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Monday, March 17, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2008 – 2:16 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats Want More Aid for Housing Market
  • Democrats Eye Budget Process to Move Medicare Changes
  • Irish Leader Celebrates Bipartisan St. Patrick’s Day
  • Political Trivia for March 17
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Today in Washington

The House  is not in session; reconvenes Monday, March 31.

The Senate  is not in session.

The President  meets with Irish leaders and speaks at a St. Patricks Day reception at the White House; attends a St. Patricks Day luncheon at the Capitol; meets with financial markets advisers at the White House; and greets a group of Children’s Miracle Network Champions.

In Washington,  the Center for Strategic and International Studies hold an event, “Social Entrepreneurship: Global Challenges, American innovation, with founder Jonathan Greenblatt of Ethos Water. 3:30 p.m., B-1 conference level, 1800 K St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats Want More Aid for Housing Market

Democratic lawmakers called Monday for the government to do more to help the ailing housing market following bold steps by the Federal Reserve over the weekend to stem a wider financial crisis,  [Read More]

Democrats Eye Budget Process to Move Medicare Changes

Frustrated by Senate Republicans’ success in blocking Democratic legislative priorities, Democrats may seek to employ the budget process to advance Medicare legislation this year.  [Read More]

Irish Leader Celebrates Bipartisan St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern walked a political middle ground Monday as he made the rounds of Washington to mark the feast day of his nation’s patron saint.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 17

What Irish county is the ancestral home of the Kennedy political family?  [Read More]

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SOUTH CAROLINA: Ex-Treasurer Gets Prison on Cocaine Charge
NEW YORK STATE: For New Governor, the 'Jerry Ford Effect'
THE ATLANTA REGION: Cleanup Begins in Tornado-Hit Downtown
LOS ANGELES: Hospital Firing 13 for Spears Record-Snooping
OKLAHOMA CITY/SEATTLE: Arena Deal Aims to Woo Sonics

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Political Clippings

The Denver Post reports that Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., “made a pivotal political move just before he started his three-year campaign for the U.S. Senate” by joining the House Armed Services Committee. The panel’s former chairman said his motivation seemed clear. “Part of it was planning for a Senate race,” said former Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo. “Defense is a big thing for the state of Colorado. I think he felt a deficit there.” Udall said he joined the committee for “a seat at the table” as the Iraq war dragged on. “I looked at what was happening in Iraq,” he said, and thought about “where can I really make a difference here? It was obvious to me it was the Armed Services Committee.”

The Billings Gazette reports that Republican state Rep. Michael Lange filed papers Friday as a Senate candidate. Lange, a former Republican leader in the state House, announced in June that he would seek the GOP nomination in June. He faces two other candidates in the June primary election: engineering consultant Kirk Bushman, a political newcomer, and truck driver Anton Pearson. The nominee will challenge five-term incumbent Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who has a $9 million campaign war chest.

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This Week in Health Policy on the Hill

Health on the Hill with kaisernetwork.org and CQ are weekly audio updates from CQ reporters highlighting the latest health policy developments on Capitol Hill. A podcast of the report is also available.
TOBACCO: House panel passes legislation to permit federal regulation of tobacco.
MEDICAL RESEARCH: Researchers tell lawmakers that shortfalls in medical research funding will hurt medical innovation.
AIDS: Senate panel approves reauthorization of global AIDS legislation.
BUDGET RESOLUTION: House and Senate budget resolutions include health care provisions. | Read the online report | Health on the Hill audio links

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