Friday, March 28, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2008 – 1:54 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Housing Crisis, Financial Regulation in Spotlight as Congress Returns
  • Private Equity Firms Seek to Raise Profile in Washington
  • Bush Confers With Allies as Iraq Heats Up
  • Political Trivia for March 28
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Today in Washington

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

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

The President  meets with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd; later speaks on housing and participates in a roundtable on the HOPE NOW Alliance in New Jersey.

In Washington,  political analyst and former deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove addresses students in the George Washington University Young America’s Foundation lecture. 7 p.m., Room 213, 1957 E. St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Housing Crisis, Financial Regulation in Spotlight as Congress Returns

When Congress returns to work next week, lawmakers will dive into the debate over proposals to help struggling homeowners and create a new regulatory framework for the financial sector.  [Read More]

Private Equity Firms Seek to Raise Profile in Washington

The fight over taxing private equity fund managers may have calmed down for now but the industry isn’t leaving town.  [Read More]

Bush Confers With Allies as Iraq Heats Up

President Bush on Friday referred to the recent upsurge of violence in southern Iraq as a “defining moment” for that country’s elected government.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 28

President Dwight D. Eisenhower ran for his second term as a resident of which state?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Record and Herald News reports that a millionaire candidate for the Republican Senate nomination in New Jersey actually lives in New York City. “Andy Unanue — who launched his first bid for public office Sunday and has since been wooing GOP leaders via conference calls while on vacation in Vail, Colo. — said he did not know if he broke any laws or rules by continuing to vote and registering his car in New Jersey, using the Alpine address of his parents,” the paper reports. Unanue plans to take up residence in New Jersey by April, when he must file for the June 3 primary. Unanue faces state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and Ramapo College professor Murray Sabrin in the primary. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Frank R. Lautenberg in November.

The Wilkes Barre Times-Leader reports that Chris Hackett, who is seeking the GOP nomination to compete for Pennsylvania’s 10th District congressional seat, discharged his housekeeper last week after learning she was an illegal immigrant. The move came a week after a Hackett supporter chastised Hackett’s political opponent, Dan Meuser, for a fine levied against Meuser’s company more than a decade ago for hiring illegal immigrant workers. The paper reports that Hackett “did not reveal the woman’s name and did not turn her over to federal authorities.”The winner of the Republican primary will face freshman Democratic Rep. Christopher Carney in November.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ALABAMA: Governor to Leave Prison, Testify Before Congress
CALIFORNIA: Emission-Free-Vehicle Mandate Slashed
ARIZONA: Navajos Have Deal to Tap Wind Power
DETROIT: Poll: Nearly Half Say Mayor Should Quit
PHILADELPHIA: City Moving to Relax Residency Rules
NEW JERSEY: Governor: Rethink State's Municipal Subsidies
CHICAGO: Governor Wants Cubs to Stay at Wrigley

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2008 – 1:54 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Pelosi’s Clout Gives New Weight to Advocacy of Human Rights in China
  • House Democrats Seek New China Trade Strategy
  • Rep. Renzi Seeks Delay of His Trial on Corruption Charges
  • Puerto Rico Governor Indicted on Election Fraud Charges
  • Feinstein Questions Reassignment of Public Corruption Unit in L.A.
  • Political Trivia for March 27
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Today in Washington

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

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

The President  speaks on the war on terrorism at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio; attends Republican fund-raising receptions in private residences in Bellbrook, Ohio, and Sewickley, Pa.

In Washington,  The School of Advanced International Studies holds a discussion, “Understanding Exchange Rates: A Micro-Based Perspective on the Importance of Fundamentals,” with Martin D. Evans, professor of economics and finance at Georgetown University and a research economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research. 5 p.m., 1717 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Pelosi’s Clout Gives New Weight to Advocacy of Human Rights in China

Ever since she entered the House in 1987, Nancy Pelosi has been one of the most outspoken congressional advocates of human rights in China. Now that she is Speaker, the California Democrat’s words carry new weight.  [Read More]

House Democrats Seek New China Trade Strategy

Some well-placed House Democrats called on the administration Thursday to adopt a new trade strategy with China in order to address concerns of currency manipulation and a growing trade deficit.  [Read More]

Rep. Renzi Seeks Delay of His Trial on Corruption Charges

Embattled Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., has asked a federal judge in Arizona to delay his scheduled April 29 trial on conspiracy, fraud, extortion and money laundering charges stemming from a land-swap deal.  [Read More]

Puerto Rico Governor Indicted on Election Fraud Charges

The governor of Puerto Rico and several associates have been indicted on multiple criminal counts related to election fraud, the Justice Department announced Thursday.  [Read More]

Feinstein Questions Reassignment of Public Corruption Unit in L.A.

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is questioning the dismantling of the public corruption unit in the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 27

What was the last election year in which Republicans won a majority of New York’s U.S. House seats?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Scott Kleeb, a Democratic candidate for the seat being vacated by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., has had his driver’s license revoked. The former ranch hand lost his license this month “after he was slapped with his sixth traffic ticket in 22 months,” the paper reports. Nearly all his tickets were for speeding. Kleeb expressed regret over the tickets, noting that three occurred during his failed 2006 congressional bid when he was forced to drive more than 60,000 miles over 15 months and often behind schedule, the paper reports. The Hastings College teacher said he will have a driver on the campaign trail this year. He may apply for a new license beginning Sept. 5

The Star-Ledger reports that Princeton businessman John Crowley is prepared to enter the race for the Republican Senate nomination in New Jersey. Mercer County Republican Chairman Roy Wesley said, “Crowley has indicated, at least to me, that he’s interested in becoming a candidate for U.S. Senate.” Crowley would join a growing field of potential challengers for the seat held by Democrat Frank R. Lautenberg, who would be 90 at the end of his presumptive new term. Millionaire businessman Andy Unanue, State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and Ramapo College Prof. Murray Sabrin each have declared their intention to seek the Republican nomination.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that Martin Ozinga III, a Republican candidate for Illinois’ open 11th District House seat, has a history of contributing money to Democrats as well as Republicans. Ozinga faces Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson and Green Party candidate Jason Wallace in the race to replace Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Ill. Ozinga and the concrete companies he owns have contributed more than $30,000 since 2002 to the campaign of Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, among other Democratic candidates. His spokesman told the paper, “...What it demonstrates is that he’s a guy who’s going to stick to his core values but also be willing to reach across the aisle and get positive things done for his district.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Court to Reconsider Home-Schooling Limit
THE NATION: Motorcyclists' Death Rates Up with Looser Helmet Laws
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Two Big Projects Boost Solar Energy
DETROIT: Mayor's Scandal Costs City Another Conference
BOSTON: Schools to Get $10 Million City Bailout
WASHINGTON, D.C., REGION: Transit Faces $489 Million Repair Bill
ST. CLOUD, Minn.: Chlorine-Gas Leak Sickens 37 at High School

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2008 – 2:02 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bear Stearns Deal Draws Senate Scrutiny, Regulatory Questions
  • Republican Drops Out of New York House Race, Citing Health Concerns
  • Political Trivia for March 26
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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. March 31.

The President  participates in Defense Department briefings at the Pentagon; visits Colorcraft in Sterling, Va.

In Washington,  Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., holds a campaign rally, with Chelsea Clinton also attending. 6 p.m., DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and D Sts. N.W.

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Top Stories

Bear Stearns Deal Draws Senate Scrutiny, Regulatory Questions

Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee sought more details Wednesday about the Federal Reserve’s involvement in the sale of Bear Stearns to JP Morgan Chase amid talk of new regulation of financial institutions.  [Read More]

Republican Drops Out of New York House Race, Citing Health Concerns

Citing health concerns, Peter Cappuccilli has withdrawn from the race to succeed retiring New York Rep. James T. Walsh, leaving Republicans without a candidate to run against Democrat Dan Maffei.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 26

How often has Pennsylvania gone Democratic for president in the 12 elections since 1960?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Buffalo News reports that a veteran local television anchorman, Don Postles, “is the latest potential candidate under discussion in Republican circles to run for the seat of retiring Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds.” Postles, unaffiliated, “would have to receive special designation from GOP leaders to run on their line.” He would enjoy strong name recognition in a field of lesser known contenders. Two prominent state legislators, Assemblyman James P. Hayes and State Sen. George D. Maziarz, bowed out this week. Wealthy Democrat Jack Davis, who lost to Reynolds in 2004 and 2006 but has said he is prepared to spend $3 million of his own money this year, “said the Democratic candidate should be chosen by primary voters if Erie County Democrats endorse anyone but him.”

The Peoria Journal Star reports that astronomer Sheldon Schafer is running as a Green Party candidate for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill. Schafer is vice president of education at Lakeview Museum and teaches astronomy at Bradley University. Schafer says he will only be a part-time candidate and admits he’s facing long odds. He said he plans to use the Internet and other free media to relay his campaign messages. Republican state Rep. Aaron Schock and farm reporter Colleen Callahan, a Democrat, are the other candidates in the race.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK STATE: Comptroller: Dam Defects Go Unfixed for Years
DETROIT: Mayor, Ex-Aide Plead Not Guilty
WASHINGTON, D.C. REGION: Sewage-Plant Pollution Cuts Pushed
NEW YORK CITY: City Tightens Oversight of Cranes

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2008 – 2:33 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Solvency Threat to Social Security, Medicare Is Essentially Unchanged
  • Senators Demand Justice Probe of Passport Breach
  • Court Invalidates New York’s Passenger Rights Law, Leaving Issue to Congress
  • Superdelegates Search in Vain for Easy Way Out
  • Political Trivia for March 25
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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. March 31.

The President  meets with the 2008 Bassmaster Classic Champion and the 2008 Women’s Bassmaster Tour Champion; meets with the King of Bahrain; speaks at the celebration of Greek Independence Day and attends a National Republican Senatorial Committee Reception.

In Washington,  the USO of Metropolitan Washington will host a special awards dinner. Special guest Jon Stewart of The Daily Show will receive a merit award, presented by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. 9 p.m., Ritz-Carlton-Pentagon City, 1250 S. Hayes St., Arlington, Va.

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Top Stories

Solvency Threat to Social Security, Medicare Is Essentially Unchanged

The long-term financial outlook for Social Security and Medicare remained grim but essentially unchanged in 2007, trustees for the two huge entitlements said Tuesday.  [Read More]

Senators Demand Justice Probe of Passport Breach

Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee called Tuesday for an immediate Justice Department investigation into breaches of the passport files of the three leading presidential contenders.  [Read More]

Court Invalidates New York’s Passenger Rights Law, Leaving Issue to Congress

A federal appeals court Tuesday threw out a New York state law mandating certain rights for stranded airline passengers, saying only the federal government can regulate the airline industry.  [Read More]

Superdelegates Search in Vain for Easy Way Out

Most of the superdelegates who have yet to choose sides in the Democratic presidential primary appear to be waiting for someone else — the voters or party leaders — to select their party’s nominee.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 25

In what period did Pennsylvania cast its most electoral votes?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Courier Post reports that former Goya Foods Inc. chief operating officer Andrew Unanue, 40, has entered the race for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J. State Republican Chairman Tom Wilson said Unanue, a millionaire businessman who owns a New York nightclub, brings unique qualities to the race: “He’s somebody who excites people in terms of being a younger candidate, obviously he’s Hispanic, comes from a business background, so there are a lot of factors that are making a lot of people really excited his candidacy.” But Unanue’s two primary opponents criticized his inexperience.

Montgomery, Ala., television station WSFA reports that Democrat William Boyd dropped out of the race for his party’s nomination for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Terry Everett, R-Ala. Boyd’s decision leaves Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright and Cheryl Sabel in the Democratic race. Several Republicans are running, including state Reps. Jay Love and David Grimes, state Sen. Harri Anne Smith, Montgomery television station executive David Woods and Dothan residents Craig Schmidtke and John W. Martin.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Clerical Error Blamed in SLA Member's Premature Release
NEW YORK STATE: Governor Admits Long-Ago Drug Use
NEW YORK CITY: Finance Woes Postpone Transit Improvements
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL: Toyota Sponsorship Deal to Net Cities Cash, Cars
DETROIT: Prosecutor: Mayor Can't Avoid Trial by Resigning

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Monday, March 24, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2008 – 1:53 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Report Likely to Spotlight Medicare’s Fiscal Woes
  • Trustees’ Report Lacks Independent Input
  • Detroit Mayor Indicted on Perjury Charges
  • Political Trivia for March 24
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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. March 31.

The President  welcomes families to the annual White House Easter egg roll; participates in State Department briefings.

In Washington,  George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs’ Distinguished Women in International Affairs series will host a discussion on “The Art of Conflict Mediation” with Betty Bigombe, Ugandan peace activist and distinguished fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies’ Africa Program. 6:30 p.m., 7th floor, 1957 E St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Report Likely to Spotlight Medicare’s Fiscal Woes

A new report on the fiscal health of the nation’s giant retirement programs is expected to force the next president to propose major legislation to overhaul Medicare.  [Read More]

Trustees’ Report Lacks Independent Input

For the first time since 1990, the annual report on the financial status of Social Security and Medicare will come from a board of trustees composed entirely of administration officials.  [Read More]

Detroit Mayor Indicted on Perjury Charges

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, son of six-term Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., was charged Monday with perjury, obstruction of justice and official misconduct, the Associated Press reported.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for March 24

How many pairs of siblings currently serve in Congress?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Star-Ledger reports that Bergen County, N.J., businessman Andy Unanue appears to be seeking the Senate seat held by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J. A letter under Unanue’s name addressed to state GOP Chairman Tom Wilson was posted Sunday on politickernj.com. The letter argued “that Unanue’s experience as the former chief operating officer of Secaucus-based Goya Foods Inc. uniquely prepares him to take on New Jersey’s challenges.” Two Republicans already are in the race for the party’s nomination: state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and college professor Murray Sabrin.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that University of Wyoming professor Christopher Rothfuss announced he will run as a Democrat for the Senate seat of Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo. Rothfuss, a chemical engineer, said he wants to bring a scientist’s perspective to a body dominated by lawyers. “We need skilled professionals with a diversity of backgrounds that are better suited for the challenges of the 21st century,” Rothfuss said. “There are currently zero scientists in the Senate. Zero PhDs. One engineering degree. And 60 lawyers.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MISSOURI: Towns Brace for Cleanup as Floodwaters Recede
MASSACHUSETTS: Gentler Labels Sought for Failing Schools
ILLINOIS: Ex-Governor's Aide Moved to Halfway House
NEW YORK STATE: Governor Backs Manhattan Congestion Pricing
ALAMOSA, Colo.: Governor Lauds City for Stemming Salmonella Panic
BOSTON: Steroid Testing Mulled for Police
SAN FRANCISCO: City's Projected Budget Gap Widens

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