Friday, October 31, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, OCT. 31, 2008 – 2:08 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Frank Wants Tighter Control of Banks’ Use of Bailout Funds
  • Stevens Says He ‘Was Not Convicted of Anything’
  • Kurdistan Would Welcome U.S. Troops Without Pact
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 31
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President departs the White House for Camp David.

In Washington, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies holds a discussion on “The Pakistan Peoples Party’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” with Pakistani Amb. Husain Haqqani, others. 3:30 p.m., University Club, 1135 16th St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Frank Wants Tighter Control of Banks’ Use of Bailout Funds

Banks that use infusions of federal funds for anything other than lending will be violating the terms of the financial rescue, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank warned Friday.  [Read More]

Stevens Says He ‘Was Not Convicted of Anything’

The political and legal fallout from Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’ conviction earlier this week of seven corruption-related felonies is continuing to build as the Senate’s longest-serving Republican presses ahead with his bid for a seventh full term.  [Read More]

Kurdistan Would Welcome U.S. Troops Without Pact

The president of Iraqi Kurdistan said Friday that his semi-autonomous region would welcome U.S. troops if Iraq and the United States cannot finalize an agreement governing U.S. troops in Iraq after 2008.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 31

For Halloween, which New York House member represents the site of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in Congress?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Bradenton Herald reports that “Rep. Vern Buchanan again has reached into his pocket to bolster his re-election campaign, campaign finance reports show.” The newspaper said that the Florida Republican, who faces a challenge from Democrat Christine Jennings, “put another $160,000 into his campaign account on Monday, according to a notice filed with the Federal Election Commission.” With the latest cash infusion, Buchanan has invested almost $1.25 million in the race for the 13th District seat. Unaffiliated candidates Don Baldauf and Jan Schneider are also in the race.

According to a survey by Rasmussen Reports, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., still holds a lead of 7 percentage points over Democratic opponent Bruce Lunsford. The poll shows McConnell with 51 percent and Lunsford with 44 percent. McConnell’s total “matches his highest level of support in the race — at the end of September.” CQ Politics rates the race “Leans Republican.”

A poll by SurveyUSA shows Republican Chris Lee with a lead of about 14 percentage points over Democrat Alice Kryzan in the race for the open House seat of New York’s 26th District. “There are other names on the ballot, including Jonathan Powers, who does not want his name on the ballot, but during the field period for this survey, a court ruled that Powers cannot have his name taken off the ballot,” SurveyUSA said. “It is conceivable that if all of the undecided voters, and those whose first choice might be Powers or another minor-party candidate, consolidate behind the Democrat, the contest could be closer than shown here. But, SurveyUSA’s best read on the district is that the Republicans will hold the seat.” CQ Politics rates the race as “Leans Republican.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MILWAUKEE: County’s Pension Debt Hits $700 Million
NEW YORK STATE: Wind-Firm Probes Lead to New Code of Conduct
THE NATION: Governors Press Feds to Aid Auto Industry Now
CALIFORNIA: State May Slash Water Delivery 85 Percent

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, OCT. 30, 2008 – 2:23 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Conservative Group Files Ethics Complaint Against Obama
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 30
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate meets in pro forma session.

The President visits Quantico, Va., to speak at a graduation ceremony for the FBI Academy and visit the Marine Helicopter Squadron One hangar.

In Washington, Georgetown University Law Center holds a discussion on the law and morality of interrogation, with former CIA agent John Kiriakou and Air Force Reserve Col. Steve Kleinman. 6 p.m., Gerwirz Student Center, 120 F St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Conservative Group Files Ethics Complaint Against Obama

A leading conservative group filed a Senate Ethics Committee complaint Thursday against Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, saying the Illinois senator accepted and failed to properly disclose “gifts” from Chicago land deals, a charge that implicitly invokes this week’s federal conviction of Sen. Ted Stevens for filing misleading personal disclosure forms.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 30

How many Southern states did Democrat Bill Clinton carry when he was re-elected in 1996?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Times-Tribune reports that Pennsylvania District 11 Democrat Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski said his campaign started again when the current economic crisis began. Kanjorksi is fighting for his political life against Republican Lou Barletta. During the Wednesday night debate, the newspaper reports, “... As each candidate tried to shade the dialogue toward his stronger issues — Mr. Barletta calling Mr. Kanjorski part of ‘the failed Congress,’ and Mr. Kanjorski drawing connections between the Hazleton mayor and President George Bush — the two men spent as much time sparring over numerous campaign allegations.” Kanjorski voted for the $700 billion Wall Street financial rescue plan; Barletta said he would have voted against it.

The Huntsville Times reports that incumbent Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who still is running hard to keep his seat despite a big lead, said the GOP is in “disarray.” Sessions, who leads Democratic opponent Vivian Davis-Figures by as much as 33 percentage points, according to a recent SurveyUSA poll, told the newspaper, “There’s been a failure to lead with clarity and we’ve been too interested in protecting our state and special interests and spent too little time promoting an agenda in the national interest. People sense that.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: States, Localities Seek Federal Budget Aid
TEXAS: Audit Slams Operation of State's Air Fleet
WASHINGTON, D.C., Region: Transit Agency Fights Bank’s $43 Million Demand
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Company Lobbies, Contributes to Keep Contract
NORTHFIELD, Minn.: Mayor Charged with Misconduct, Conflict of Interest

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, OCT. 29, 2008 – 2:30 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Senate Minority Leader Calls for Stevens To Resign
  • Lawmakers Urged to Help Cover States’ Budget Shortfalls
  • Report Faults FDA on Drug Liability Rules
  • Lawmakers Mull Stimulus Investment in Infrastructure
  • Lawmakers Pushed to Include $1 Billion for Airport Construction
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 29
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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 the Kurdistan Regional Government.

In Washington, the Center for Strategic and International Studies ( CSIS ) holds a forum on a new report, “The U.S. Japan Alliance: A New Framework for Global Security.” With visiting fellow Hideki Wakabayashi, the report’s author. 4 p.m., 1800 K St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Senate Minority Leader Calls for Stevens To Resign

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined the growing chorus of congressional Republicans calling for Sen. Ted Stevens to resign in the wake of his conviction earlier this week on seven corruption-related felonies.  [Read More]

Lawmakers Urged to Help Cover States’ Budget Shortfalls

State and local officials facing budget shortfalls urged the Ways and Means Committee Wednesday to include billions of dollars in state aid in a post-election economic stimulus package.  [Read More]

Report Faults FDA on Drug Liability Rules

Food and Drug Administration political appointees overruled top career officials in adopting agency rules that would limit the ability of patients to sue drug makers for injuries caused by their products, a congressional report released Wednesday said.  [Read More]

Lawmakers Mull Stimulus Investment in Infrastructure

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff were expected Wednesday to start piecing together the infrastructure investment component of a pending stimulus package.  [Read More]

Lawmakers Pushed to Include $1 Billion for Airport Construction

Airports and their trade groups are lobbying lawmakers to include up to $1 billion for airport construction projects in the upcoming stimulus package.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 29

In how many of the past 56 years has George W. Bush or a direct relative held major elective office?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Monroe (LA) News Star reports that Republican Senate candidate John Kennedy said he would provide a conservative voice in Washington at a time when there is a “growing probability” that GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain would not win his election. “I still believe [McCain] will win, but I’m not naive,” said Kennedy, who made three campaign stops in northeastern Louisiana on Tuesday. “But If I’m wrong, I think Louisiana now more than ever needs to send a conservative voice to Louisiana who will stand up for our state’s values and principles.” Kennedy is challenging incumbent Mary L. Landrieu, D-La.

Baltimore television station WMAR reported on the final debate Tuesday between Republican state Sen. Andy Harris and Democrat Frank Kratovil, who are seeking to replace outgoing Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, R-Md. The two squared off on the financial meltdown and health care, with Kratovil accusing Harris of believing, “despite what we have seen, that we need less regulation and not more.” Harris responded by saying, “We don’t need more regulation in general. We need smarter regulations.” On health care, Harris, a physician, said, “Mr. Kratovil believes that we should expand government-run health insurance as the solution for the uninsured. I couldn’t disagree more strongly.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
DETROIT: Former Mayor Begins Jail Term
CLEVELAND: Tower Developer Gets $500,000 Break
ARIZONA: State’s High Court to Rule on School Vouchers

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, OCT. 28, 2008 – 1:55 P.M.

In This Issue

  • McCain Says Stevens Should Step Down
  • Intelligence Budget Rose Almost 10 Percent in Fiscal 2008
  • Changes to Election Law Likely to Increase Litigation
  • Prospects Slim for New Iran Sanctions Next Year
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 28
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President has no public events scheduled.

In Washington, Ambassador Mark Dybul, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, will discuss current and emerging issues related to President Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). He will present a historical framework for PEPFAR and discuss the implications of its recent re-authorization. 3:30 p.m., Georgetown University Law Center, 550 First St. N.W.

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Top Stories

McCain Says Stevens Should Step Down

Republican presidential candidate John McCain Tuesday became the first high-profile political figure to explicitly call on GOP Sen. Ted Stevens to resign as a result of his conviction on seven corruption-related felonies.  [Read More]

Intelligence Budget Rose Almost 10 Percent in Fiscal 2008

The national intelligence budget rose to $47.5 billion in fiscal 2008, roughly a 10 percent increase from fiscal 2007, according to declassified figures released Tuesday by the country’s spy chief.  [Read More]

Changes to Election Law Likely to Increase Litigation

Lawyers preparing for election-related litigation can thank Congress for providing them some of their best ammunition.  [Read More]

Prospects Slim for New Iran Sanctions Next Year

Democratic leaders are split over pursuing tougher sanctions against Iran next year following their inability to move several punitive measures through the Senate during the 110th Congress.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 28

Of the 34 Senate seats scheduled for election in 2010, how many are now held by Republicans?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that “Republican presidential candidate John McCain has a comfortable lead over Democratic opponent Barack Obama in Louisiana, but McCain’s coattails do not appear long enough to help GOP Treasurer John Kennedy defeat U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., according to an independent poll released Monday by Southeastern Louisiana University.” The newspaper added: “The poll has McCain leading Obama 50.6 percent to 38.3 percent with support for other candidates at 1.7 percent, and the rest undecided or refused to say. The same voters, however, favored a third term for Landrieu, 53.2 percent to 33.9 percent, over Kennedy. Another 1.4 percent favored another candidate and 11.6 percent either refused to say or were undecided.”

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., joined the state’s Democratic leaders “in condemning a GOP campaign mailer that looks like a comic book for kids” but instead upbraids Democratic challenger Al Franken “for writing ‘a pornographic column in Playboy’ and ‘so-called comedy routines about raping women.’” The newspaper said Coleman urged Nevada Sen. John Ensign, who heads the national GOP committee responsible for the mailer, to see to it that remaining copies are destroyed. “Coleman’s campaign had no role in creating or mailing the ad, which does not mention him,” the Star Tribune said.

The Henderson Times-News of North Carolina reports that Republican candidate Carl Mumpower continued his “missing man” debates Monday, complete with a cardboard cutout of incumbent Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler. “Mumpower and Shuler were supposed to appear in late September at a forum in Murphy. Shuler canceled the forum after he was called back to Washington to vote on the $700 billion bailout bill,” the newspaper said. “The two are scheduled to be on an Asheville radio station together Thursday.” Shuler is considered to be a heavy favorite in the race for North Carolina’s 11th District seat in the House.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MISSOURI: Judge Strikes Down Halloween Limits on Sex Offenders
LOS ANGELES: Utility to Refund $160 Million to Other Agencies
KING COUNTY, Wash.: County to Close Offices for 10 Days in ‘09

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Monday, October 27, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, OCT. 27, 2008 – 2:01 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Stevens Jury Resumes Deliberations With Alternate Juror
  • Political Trivia for Oct. 27
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session

The Senate meets in Pro Forma session.

The President meets with the president Fernando Lugo of Paraguay; speaks at ceremony marking Theodore Roosevelt’s 150th birthday.

In Washington, Elizabeth Edwards, author and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, will lead a discussion examining the current health care system and discussing the role young people can have in the matter. The discussion will be moderated by Ezra Klein, Associate Editor at The American Prospect. 7 p.m., 2300 Eye St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Stevens Jury Resumes Deliberations With Alternate Juror

The jury in Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’ trial on corruption charges will have to begin its deliberations anew, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said Monday. But he left it to jurors’ discretion as to what that would mean.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Oct. 27

Which county that includes a state capital voted strongest for Democrat John Kerry in 2004?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

A Rasmussen Reports poll indicates that Democrat Jeanne Shaheen leads incumbent New Hampshire Republican Senator John E. Sununu 52 percent to 46 percent. Shaheen held a five-point advantage and she has been on top in nine of 10 polls conducted this year.

The Colorado Independent reports that Democrat Betsy Markey topped her Republican District 4 opponent Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, by a 2-1 margin in fundraising during the first two weeks of October. “Markey, a former Senate staffer, raised an average of $25,546 per day between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, far outpacing Musgrave, who collected $10,001 per day during the same period,” the newspaper reports. Musgrave’s battle was made harder last week when the National Republican Congressional Committee pulled $400,000 in TV airtime and Musgrave’s name appeared on a leaked GOP “death list” of seats the party believes are lost or are close to lost.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
INDIANA: Governor Drops Push to Privatize Lottery
CALIFORNIA New Rules Target Diesel Truck Pollution
NEW YORK STATE: Governor’s Top Aide Quits in Furor over Unpaid Taxes
MINNEAPOLIS: Feds: I-35W Bridge Was Doomed from the Start
THE NATION: Ethanol Transport Brings New Safety Challenges
DETROIT: Mayor Probes Predecessor’s Transfers of Appointees

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