Friday, November 07, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, NOV. 7, 2008 – 2:45 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Byrd Stepping Down as Appropriations Chairman, With Inouye Taking Gavel
  • Democrats Plan Tax Breaks as Part of Economic Stimulus
  • Chairman Dingell Names Powerful Whip Team in Bid To Keep Gavel
  • Senate Finance Chairman Gets Jump on 2009 Health Care ‘Goals’ and ‘Options’
  • Highway Lobbyists Encouraged by Success of Ballot Initiatives
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 7
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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, but remains in Washington.

In Washington, the Jane Goodall Institute holds an awards celebration honoring outstanding individuals and organizations committed to making a positive difference in the world for all living things. Guests and awardees include actor Pierce Brosnan, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., actor Abigail Breslin and Dr. Jane Goodall. 6 p.m., Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

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Top Stories

Byrd Stepping Down as Appropriations Chairman, With Inouye Taking Gavel

Democrat Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, the longest-serving senator in history, announced Friday he will step down as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee in the 111th Congress.  [Read More]

Democrats Plan Tax Breaks as Part of Economic Stimulus

As job losses mount and President-elect Barack Obama huddles with his economic team, House Democratic leaders are considering plans to include tax cuts targeting middle-income Americans as part of an economic stimulus package in January.  [Read More]

Chairman Dingell Names Powerful Whip Team in Bid To Keep Gavel

House Energy and Commerce Chairman John D. Dingell, D-Mich., on Friday identified a “whip team” of lawmakers helping him fend off a challenge from Henry A. Waxman of California for the committee gavel.  [Read More]

Senate Finance Chairman Gets Jump on 2009 Health Care ‘Goals’ and ‘Options’

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, who has a history of going his own way on major policy matters, Friday announced plans to unveil his own “specific goals and policy options for comprehensive health care reform in 2009” next week — without waiting for the detailed proposals of President-elect Barack Obama.  [Read More]

Highway Lobbyists Encouraged by Success of Ballot Initiatives

Supporters of a major boost in federal transportation spending are taking heart from the approval of ballot initiatives around the country in which voters agreed this week to tax themselves to fund infrastructure investments.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 7

Which state gave Barack Obama his highest vote percentage in Tuesday’s election?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Senate candidates in Georgia are gearing up for a likely Dec. 2 runoff even as thousands of absentee ballots remain to be counted. Both Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss and his Democratic opponent, Jim Martin, were raising money and rallying supporters Thursday as if the runoff already was officially underway. Meanwhile, Libertarian Allen Buckley, the third-place candidate, said by early next week he will have a campaign “commitment” form he will ask the two top vote-getters to sign in exchange for an endorsement.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Rep. Thelma Drake, R-Va., has joined a federal lawsuit by the McCain-Palin campaign seeking to ensure absentee ballots by military personnel serving overseas are counted, noting that it may be her only chance to secure re-election. Drake trails Democrat Glenn C. Nye III by 7,916 votes in the 2nd District, but some 28,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted. The lawsuit contends that absentee ballots were not mailed overseas in time for them to be returned by Tuesday.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
THE NATION: States Broker Craigslist Sex-Ad Crackdown
ARIZONA: Illegal-Immigrant Deportations Soar
NEW YORK STATE: Prosecutors: No Charges Against Spitzer
NEW YORK CITY: City to Bring 14 Sewage Plants into Compliance
CORAL GABLES, Fla.: Embattled City Manager Resigns

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, NOV. 6, 2008 – 2:12 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Emanuel to Move to White House as Chief of Staff
  • Blunt To Step Down as Minority Whip; Endorses Cantor
  • Democrats’ Oregon Win Boosts Senate Gain to Six
  • As Bush Lines Up Late Regulations, Congress Has Choice About Intervening
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 6
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate meets in pro forma session.

The President  meets with his Cabinet and makes remarks on the presidential transition.

In Washington, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen will speak at the 18th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference: Issues for the New Administration. The conference is hosted by the American Bar Association, and serves to educate the public about current and potential new issues in national security. 6:15 p.m., Renaissance Washington, 999 9th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Emanuel to Move to White House as Chief of Staff

Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois has accepted President-elect Barack Obama’s offer to become the next White House chief of staff, two senior Democratic aides said Thursday.  [Read More]

Blunt To Step Down as Minority Whip; Endorses Cantor

House Republican Whip Roy Blunt said Thursday he will step down from the GOP leadership, and endorsed his chief deputy to replace him in the No. 2 spot.  [Read More]

Democrats’ Oregon Win Boosts Senate Gain to Six

Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley now appears to have won his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Gordon H. Smith, a victory that bumps the Democrats’ Senate gains in the 2008 elections to six seats.  [Read More]

As Bush Lines Up Late Regulations, Congress Has Choice About Intervening

The Bush administration is poised to finish a series of controversial, last-minute regulations before leaving office, and Congress will have to decide whether to exercise its rarely used authority to rescind the new rules.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 6

Four men elected president have lived in Illinois — who did so for the shortest time?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that “well-polished political celebs and teams of scraggly ground troops from both major parties could invade Georgia over the next few weeks if the U.S. Senate race between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democratic Jim Martin ends up in a full-blown runoff.” Thousands of votes were still being counted late Wednesday. The vote will be certified next week. “Martin on Wednesday said he has already contacted President-elect Barack Obama about campaigning for him in Georgia,” the newspaper reports. “And Chambliss would likely call on the likes of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and hunting buddy and oil-tycoon-turned-green-energy promoter T. Boone Pickens.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, “U.S. Rep. William Jefferson’s formula for victory in Tuesday’s Democratic Party runoff was not complicated or surprising. He relied on racial numbers -- and loyalty.” The District 2 incumbent “found refuge in his traditional base of voters in majority-black neighborhoods, who turned out in large numbers on the same day the nation elected its first African-American president.” Jefferson defeated Helena Moreno 57 percent to 43 percent. He is expected to win the Dec. 6 general election against four little-known opponents.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
FULTON COUNTY, Ga.: Accused of Dog Cruelty, Animal-Shelter Director Quits
NEW YORK CITY: Mayor Halts Tax Rebates, Mulls Tax Hike
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Governor Appoints Former L.A. Mayor to Bench
OREGON: New Logging Plan Coming Up Short
CALIFORNIA: Lawsuits Seek to Undo Gay-Marriage Ban

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, NOV. 5, 2008 – 2:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Democrats, Republicans Scramble for House Leadership Posts
  • Some Scandal-Tainted Lawmakers May Survive
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 5
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate is not in session.

The President makes a brief statement about the election results.

In Washington, Stephen Hess, George Washington University distinguished research professor and senior fellow emeritus in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, leads one of a series of briefings focused on the U.S. presidential transition, modeled after his book, “What Do We Do Now? A Workbook for the President-Elect,” 4:30 p.m., 805 21st St. N.W.

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Top Stories

Democrats, Republicans Scramble for House Leadership Posts

House members in both parties Wednesday scrambled to be considered for leadership jobs as possible changes emerged.  [Read More]

Some Scandal-Tainted Lawmakers May Survive

Several lawmakers whose legal and ethical woes had threatened their political futures appeared Wednesday to have survived challenges to their re-election, while others were unable to overcome the taint of scandal.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 5

What was the last year in which the Democrats exceeded 56 Senate seats?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Democratic challenger Al Franken plans to “exercise his right to a recount” in his race against incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn. “With 100 percent of the 4,130 precincts reporting, Coleman had an unofficial margin of several hundred votes out of nearly 2.9 million cast,” the newspaper said. “Recounts are required in races with a winning margin of less than one half of 1 percent.” Franken “also said his campaign is investigating alleged voting irregularities at some polling places in Minneapolis, and that ‘a recount could change the outcome significantly.’”

The Portland Oregonian reported early Wednesday that “expert number crunchers” expect Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley to win over incumbent Republican Sen. Gordon H. Smith, “perhaps handily.” Portland pollster Tim Hibbitts “outright called the race for Merkley, based primarily on how many votes remain uncounted in Democrat-rich Multnomah County,” the newspaper reported. Preliminary results early Wednesday showed Smith up by about 8,000 votes, with both candidates receiving 47 percent of the vote, the Oregonian said, as of about 10:45 a.m. Eastern time.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s Senate race could be decided by numerous ballots that might take days to count. As of Wednesday morning, “4,000 votes separate the candidates,” incumbent Republican Ted Stevens and Democratic challenger Mark Begich. “Still to be counted are roughly 40,000 absentee ballots, with more expected to arrive in the mail, as well as 9,000 uncounted early votes and thousands of questioned ballots,” the newspaper reported as of noon Eastern time. “The state Elections Division has up to 15 days after the election to tally all the remaining ballots before finalizing the count.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: Mayor: End Tax Rebate, Cut City Workforce
ILLINOIS: A.G. Probing Road-Salt Price Spikes
LOS ANGELES: Jury: Ex-Officials Mismanaged Housing Funds, Lied
HAWAII: Ousted Tourism Chief to Get $291,000
ARIZONA: Cities Reject State Crime-Lab Fees

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, NOV. 4, 2008 – 2:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Voting Irregularities Noted in Some Areas
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 4
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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, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosts an election night party and discussion. Robert Guttman, director of the SAIS Center on Politics and Foreign Relations will give introductory remarks, and throughout the evening, SAIS faculty will provide ongoing commentary on election results. 6:30 p.m., 1740 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Voting Irregularities Noted in Some Areas

Voters faced long lines around the country Tuesday morning, but early reports of problems were sporadic.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 4

How many Senate, House and governors’ races, combined, are scheduled for the 2009-2010 election cycle?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani rallied in St. Paul for Republicans John McCain and Sen. Norm Coleman at the same time that New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Duluth helping Democrats Barack Obama and Al Franken.” The two New York politicians were throwing themselves into the Minnesota races, where presidential contender Obama appears to enjoy a substantial lead in the polls. But Coleman and Franken are locked in one of the most contentious races in the nation.

A SurveyUSA automated poll shows North Carolina Senate Democratic challenger Kay Hagan with a 7 percentage point lead over incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole. Hagan lead 50 percent to 43 percent.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
ALASKA: Second Probe Clears Palin
CHICAGO: ‘Fast Eddie’ Pleads Guilty
NEW YORK CITY: City, Biggest Union Reach Contract Deal
OHIO/PENNSYLVANIA: Tech Development Gets a Regional Push
ATLANTA: City Hires CFO, Consultants to Fix Finance Department

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Monday, November 03, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, NOV. 3, 2008 – 2:07 P.M.

In This Issue

  • FCC Poised to Open ‘White Spaces’ to Wireless
  • Dismissed Stevens Juror Appears in Court
  • Political Trivia for Nov. 3
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session.

The Senate meets in pro forma session.

The President has no public events scheduled.

In Washington, Georgetown University Law Center hosts a discussion on “how systemic risk has affected this country’s financial markets and what can be done to prevent it from causing a worldwide financial system collapse,” with Steven L. Schwarcz of Duke Law School, Laura Ellen Kodres of the International Monetary Fund, Erik Sirri of the Securities and Exchange Commission, others. 3:30 p.m., Gewirz Student Center, 120 F St. N.W.

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Top Stories

FCC Poised to Open ‘White Spaces’ to Wireless

In an effort to recreate the success of Wi-Fi, but on a much broader and faster scale, the Federal Communications Commission appears poised to open unused television airwaves to unlicensed wireless devices.  [Read More]

Dismissed Stevens Juror Appears in Court

One of the 12 jurors originally picked to decide the corruption-related felony charges against Sen. Ted Stevens told a federal judge Monday that she lied about her father’s death to get out of deliberations.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Nov. 3

Who was appointed to the Senate seat vacated by John F. Kennedy, the last incumbent elected president?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The San Antonio Express reports that Republican Lyle Larson “acknowledges he is the underdog” in his race against Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez, D-Texas, but he believes that the turnout in Republican enclaves might be enough to offset Rodriguez’s popularity elsewhere in the sprawling 23rd District. “On the campaign trail, Larson . . . offers up his ability to reach across party lines to get things done as the perfect antidote to the partisanship gripping Washington,” the newspaper said. Rodriguez has outraised and outspent Larson in the race, which CQ Politics rates as “Leans Democratic.”

According to the Virginian-Pilot, Quentin Kidd, a Christopher Newport University political scientist, says the race in Virginia’s 2nd District is “too close to call at this point” and “whoever wins is going to be surprised and feel lucky.” The campaign of Democratic challenger Glenn Nye “points to favorable internal poll numbers and the likelihood of high voter turnout of supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as factors in Nye’s favor,” the newspaper said. The campaign of incumbent Republican Thelma Drake, meanwhile, “banks on different polls and says the 2nd District’s conservative leanings favor the two-term Republican congresswoman and former state delegate.” CQ Politics rates the race as “Leans Republican.”

A poll by the University of New Hampshire and WMUR-TV shows Democrat Jeanne Shaheen with a lead of 6 percentage points over incumbent Republican Sen. John E. Sununu. The survey forecasts Shaheen with 48 percent of the vote and Sununu with 42 percent of the vote, a spread that has been relatively consistent over the past week. 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
NEVADA: Governor Cleared in Corruption Probe
TEXAS: FEMA Vows to Speed Up Ike Recovery
NEW YORK CITY: Judge Blocks Hybrid Mandate for Taxis
DETROIT: State to Monitor Schools’ Finances
NILES, Ill.: Longtime Mayor Pleads Guilty in Kickbacks

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