Friday, October 24, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, OCT. 24, 2008 – 2:23 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Jury Deliberations Temporarily Suspended in Stevens Case
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 24
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President receives a National Security Agency briefing at Fort Meade; signs the NATO Accession Protocols for Albania and Croatia; meets with the Secretary General of NATO Jaap De Hoop Scheffer.

In Washington, AIDS researcher Robert Gallo speaks at a symposium on HIV diagnosis and therapy. 3 p.m., National Press Club, 529 14th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Jury Deliberations Temporarily Suspended in Stevens Case

A federal judge has suspended until Monday jury deliberations in the trial of Sen. Ted Stevens because of a family emergency that required one of the jurors to leave early Friday.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 24

Which county containing a state capital went strongest for President Bush in 2004?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

A poll by SurveyUSA shows Democratic challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg with “the nominal lead in an effectively tied race with Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann.” The poll showed Tinklenberg with 47 percent of the vote and Bachmann 44 percent, a spread within the survey’s margin of error. Bachmann’s campaign suffered after she made remarks Oct. 17 on MSNBC that questioned the patriotism of Democrats and called for an investigation into whether members of Congress might be “anti-American.”

According to the Charlotte Observer, Republican Rep. Robin Hayes “is dealing with what could be a damaging distraction in the election’s final days – his remark about liberals hating working Americans.” Hayes made the remark Oct. 18 at a rally for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. On Thursday, Hayes said, “I made a mistake I should not have made,” and added, “I wasn’t thinking.” By the end of the day Thursday, “Hayes had to deny a report that his own party had forsaken him,” the newspaper reported. “But there’s at least one sign that national Republicans aren’t as invested as they planned to be — they’ve backed off buying television time to run an independent ad in the 8th Congressional District race.”

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that in a debate Thursday, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said his Democratic opponent Bruce Lunsford “won’t have the ability” to represent Kentucky in the Senate, while Lunsford countered that McConnell has done a poor job of it over the last 24 years. “McConnell mentioned projects and programs for which he secured federal funding, while Lunsford enumerated the costs of unpopular policies backed by McConnell and called for change,” the newspaper said. McConnell was shown to have a lead of 4 percentage points in a Herald-Leader/WKYT Kentucky poll released Oct. 22.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: AIG Collapse Threatens Transit Agencies’ Finances
DETROIT: Ex-Mayor Spent $286,000 with City Credit Card
CALIFORNIA: Fingerprinting Mandated for Registered Nurses
ALASKA: Palin Appointed More than 100 Donors to State Posts

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, OCT. 23, 2008 – 1:58 P.M.

In This Issue

  • FDIC Head Seeks Direct Help for Homeowners
  • Watchdogs Want To Curb Campaign Bundlers after Obama Tidal Wave
  • Michigan Lawmakers Want Bailout Used for Automakers
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 23
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate meets in Pro Forma session.

The President meets with participants of the U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative.

In Washington, the Free and Equal Elections Coalition holds a debate among third party presidential candidates. Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party and Ralph Nader are confirmed. 9 p.m., Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

FDIC Head Seeks Direct Help for Homeowners

The head of the FDIC Thursday stepped up her efforts to get the government to extend more direct help to homeowners hoping to avoid foreclosure, saying she was working “closely and creatively” with the Treasury Department on a mortgage guarantee program.  [Read More]

Watchdogs Want To Curb Campaign Bundlers after Obama Tidal Wave

Watchdogs are drafting ways to attempt in the next Congress to curb big-dollar presidential campaign bundlers without discouraging the wave of small-dollar contributions flowing in through the Internet.  [Read More]

Michigan Lawmakers Want Bailout Used for Automakers

Michigan lawmakers are calling on the Treasury Department to consider using the broad authority granted by Congress last month in a $700 billion bailout law to help the struggling domestic auto industry.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 23

How many U.S. senators appointed during the past 10 years won the ensuing elections for their seats?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The McClatchy News Service reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a slim 4 percentage point lead over Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford, although 48 percent of those polled said they had a negative view of McConnell. “...The Senate Republican leader would receive 47 percent of the vote compared to 43 percent for Lunsford,” the news service reports. The poll was conducted by the Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

WSOC-TV in North Carolina reports that Republican incumbent Senator Elizabeth Dole is in a dead heat with her opponent Democrat Kay Hagan, with the challenger leading in a Marshall Marketing & Communications poll 44 percent to 43 percent. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: State Pension Fund Takes 20 Percent Hit
WISCONSIN: Judge Halts Awarding of Emissions-Testing Contract
CALIFORNIA: Judge: State Shortchanging Foster Parents
DETROIT: Ex-Mayor's Spending Records Subpoenaed
ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va.: Budget Gap Grows by Millions

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, OCT. 22, 2008 – 2:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Sen. Stevens’ Fate Now in Jurors’ Hands
  • Waxman Blasts Credit Rating Agencies
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 22
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President meets with the president of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; participates in a photo op with recipients of the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor.

In Washington, Georgetown Law Forum will host a discussion, “Decision 2008: Nov. 4 and Beyond,” with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer; Clarence Page, columnist for the Chicago Tribune; Byron York, National Review correspondent; and others. Georgetown Law campus, 8:15 p.m., at 600 New Jersey Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Sen. Stevens’ Fate Now in Jurors’ Hands

A Washington jury began deliberating Wednesday over whether to convict Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens on seven felony charges of making false statements on his Senate financial disclosure forms.  [Read More]

Waxman Blasts Credit Rating Agencies

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman on Wednesday accused credit rating agencies of “colossal failure” in their assessments of the quality of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations, two of the investment vehicles that contributed to the financial meltdown.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 22

Who was the first presidential candidate to top 50 million votes?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Nashua Telegraph reports that Sen. John E. Sununu, R-N.H., and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen “politely accused one another of dishonesty on key issues during their first debate on live television Tuesday.” The daily said Shaheen, a former governor, “took advantage of a free-flowing format repeatedly to try and put Sununu on the defense. ... When Sununu, 43, took credit for cutting oil subsidies in the federal bailout bill, Shaheen quickly broke in. ‘You didn’t repeal all of the tax subsidies,’ Shaheen, 61, declared. ‘Yes, I did,’ Sununu shot back.”

The Fayetteville Observer reports that Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., apologized for saying “liberals hate real Americans” at a weekend rally for GOP presidential nominee John McCain. Hayes had first denied saying it, but acknowledged the remark Tuesday in a written statement that contained the apology. A spokesman for Hayes’ challenger, Democrat Larry Kissell, said “there isn’t much to say about Hayes’ speech.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
OAKLAND, Calif.: City to Shut Offices, Lay Off Workers
BOSTON: 10-Year Harbor Dredging Project Nearly Complete
THE NATION: 19 States Face Tough Decisions on Offshore Drilling

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, OCT. 21, 2008 – 1:52 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Select Committee Likely to Guide Overhaul of Financial Regulations
  • Lawyers Make Closing Arguments in Stevens Corruption Trial
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 21
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President speaks at the White House Summit on International Development, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center; attends National Republican Senatorial Committee reception.

In Washington, the Washington National Cathedral hosts an event, “America & the World — Picking up the Pieces,” a discussion on how the United States can connect with the rest of the globe. Participants include former national security advisers Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski; Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. 7 p.m., Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues N.W.

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Top Stories

Select Committee Likely to Guide Overhaul of Financial Regulations

House leaders will likely form a select committee to explore a rewrite of the regulatory structure that governs the financial industry, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said Tuesday.  [Read More]

Lawyers Make Closing Arguments in Stevens Corruption Trial

Prosecutors and defense attorneys Tuesday offered competing images of Sen. Ted Stevens as they closed their case in the corruption trial of the Alaska Republican, one of the Senate’s most influential figures.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 21

In what year did the total recorded presidential vote first exceed 10 million?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that a new poll suggests the health of Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., “is not weighing on the minds of South Dakotans.” In the Argus Leader Media/ KELO-TV survey, “Johnson won 57 percent to 34 percent, with 9 percent undecided,” according to the newspaper. Johnson, who says his speech does not match his intellect since he suffered a brain hemorrhage, will not debate Republican challenger Joel Dykstra. The lack of debates has become a talking point for Dykstra, the newspaper said, but voters do not seem to care. The poll also asked respondents about Johnson’s job performance, and “68 percent called it excellent or good, including 53 percent of Republicans surveyed,” the Argus Leader said.

According to The Arizona Daily Star, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, appeared Monday at a GOP event for Tim Bee, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona’s 8th District. Boehner reassured about 100 people at Pima County Republican Headquarters that Bee will be able to wield influence even if he’s in the House minority. “It really makes no difference whether you’re in a majority or minority, any member of the Congress can go work and make things happen on behalf of their constituents,” Boehner said, according to the newspaper. CQ Politics rates the race as “Leans Democratic.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: Cities Seeing Rise in Homeless Families
CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J.: Faulty Guardrail May Cost County $31 Million
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas: Tab for Ike’s Damage to Homes: $8.5 Billion
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va.: County to Impose One-Day Furlough
NEW YORK STATE: State Moves to Limit Use of ‘Bug Bombs’
CALIFORNIA: Study: State’s Green Push Will Boost Economy
TEXAS: Death-Row Cellphone Calls Bring Prison Lockdown

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Monday, October 20, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, OCT. 20, 2008 – 2:08 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bernanke Says Stimulus Plan ‘Appropriate’
  • Stevens Ends Testimony in Corruption Case
  • Heavy Voter Turn Out Nationwide Could Cause Delays at Polls
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 20
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate meets in Pro Forma session.

The President visits central Louisiana to participate in a roundtable discussion on the economy.

In Washington, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a panel discussion, “McCain, Obama and the Middle East: The Influence of Domestic Policy on U.S. Policy,” with Graeme Bannerman, former chief of staff to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Hussein Ibish, executive director to the Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab-American Leadership; others. 4 p.m., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Bernanke Says Stimulus Plan ‘Appropriate’

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Monday it “seems appropriate” for Congress to consider a new economic stimulus bill because of the struggling economy.  [Read More]

Stevens Ends Testimony in Corruption Case

Jurors have finished hearing all the evidence and testimony in the trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, who is accused of concealing more than $250,000 worth of gifts, the vast majority from a former oil-industry executive who was once the senator’s close friend.  [Read More]

Heavy Voter Turn Out Nationwide Could Cause Delays at Polls

Election officials around the country are bracing for huge voter turnout and a big spike in early voting may not be enough to prevent long lines at the polls come November 4.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 20

How many current or former House members are running for Senate seats they do not now hold?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Houston Chronicle reports that several factors are leading Democratic candidate Rick Noriega to believe that he has a shot at an upset over incumbent Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. The newspaper points to “an unsettled electorate that makes voter turnout hard to predict” as well as “Democratic excitement for presidential nominee Barack Obama” and “voter anger over the economy, gasoline prices and the Iraq war.” The Chronicle also notes that Cornyn has “less support than Republican presidential candidate John McCain among Texas voters.” Cornyn said he was aware of the economy’s role in the race. “The economy is clearly causing people some anxiety and is going to be reflected in how they vote on Nov. 4,” Cornyn said.

A SurveyUSA poll for Minnesota television stations found Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Democratic challenger Al Franken in a statistical dead heat. The poll, conducted last week, gave 41 percent to Coleman and Franken 39 percent, with Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley receiving 18 percent. Coleman’s lead of 2 percentage points was within the poll’s margin of error, SurveyUSA said. Other recent polls have shown Franken with a slight lead over Coleman. CQ Politics rates the race as “No Clear Favorite.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CALIFORNIA: Panel: Build Dams, Canals, Water Plants
NEW YORK STATE: Governor’s Top Aide Paid No Taxes for Years
ALASKA: Beluga Whales on Endangered List
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Agency’s AIG Deal May Bring Transit Cuts
PHILADELPHIA: Last City Union Gets One-Year Pact
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Team, City Settle Ballpark Rent Dispute

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