Blog Posts by Chris Moody, Yahoo News

  • Romney campaign preps VP announcement: ‘Turn on your push notifications’

    Mitt Romney's campaign last week launched a smartphone app to reveal the name of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate's running mate, and on Tuesday they teased the big announcement a little more.

    An email went out to supporters who downloaded the app reminding users to "Turn on your push notifications" for the the program to work correctly.

    Here's the email from Romney campaign Digital Director Zac Moffatt:

    You already downloaded the Mitt's VP app -- thank you! America's Comeback Team could be announced any day now.

    But I just wanted to remind you that you still need to do one more thing in order to be the first to find out who Mitt has selected as his running mate.

    To get an exclusive notification of Mitt's VP selection before anyone else, you need to turn on your phone's push notifications.

    • On an iPhone, go to your settings application, then notifications. Ensure "Mitt's VP" is "In notification center."
    • On an Android, open "Mitt's VP" application and click on the gear icon. Ensure push notifications is set to on.

    So turn on your phone's push notifications now, and you'll be first to get the history-making scoop.

    Thanks,

    Zac Moffatt
    Digital Director
    Romney for President, Inc.
    http://twitter.com/ZacMoffatt

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  • What Rob Portman would say in a convention speech

    SHELBY, Ohio—As a prospective vice presidential short-lister, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is in the running for one of the most highly visible speaking slots at the Republican National Convention.

    Based on his response to a question about what he would discuss if granted one of those prime-time positions, it appears he's been thinking about it.

    Speaking to reporters while visiting a family-owned farm in Ohio on Wednesday, Portman offered a sneak peek at what his convention speech might look like:

    "I haven't been outlining one, but I can speak from the heart about what I'm seeing in Ohio. That is, a lot of small businesses, like this one, they're really concerned and worried. They're worried about their future, for their family, but also the future for their country. We've got a fundamental decision to make, and as you know, I come from a small business background and when I hear the president say, 'You didn't build that, somebody else did,' you know, I think about my dad or my grandfather. ... There's a different philosophy that Mitt Romney would bring to government, and that would be that Washington doesn't create jobs, Washington has to create the environment to allow the entrepreneurship, the innovation, the hard work to be rewarded and that's how we're going to get this economy back on track."

    "I'm hopeful for the future," he added, "but only if we can have new leadership and new policies in place, and that's what I'm going to be talking about not just at the convention but between now and the election coming up in November."

    Earlier this week, Republican Party officials announced speaking slots for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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  • Retired porn star Jenna Jameson supports Mitt Romney

    Retired adult film actress Jenna Jameson voiced support for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at a strip club Thursday, CBS San Francisco reports:

    "I'm very looking forward to a Republican being back in office," Jameson said while sipping champagne in a VIP room at Gold Club in the city's South of Market neighborhood. "When you're rich, you want a Republican in office."

    Jameson was being interviewed "exclusively" by a CBS reporter who was "on assignment" at "an event marking the 8th anniversary" of the San Francisco-area strip club.

    Jameson isn't the first in the business to praise Romney: Ron Jeremy recently called Romney "a good man" and "such an amazing father." In an interview with Yahoo News earlier this year, gay porn titan Michael Lucas said he would "of course" support the former Massachusetts governor.

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  • Boehner: President Obama ‘has never had a real job, for God’s sake’

    Republican House Speaker John Boehner ripped into President Barack Obama during an interview Thursday with Fox News Radio's "Kilmeade and Friends," accusing him of never having "a real job."

    From the interview transcript:

    Boehner: "Sometimes I have to catch my breath and slow down because the rhetoric in this campaign is just so over the top. And that's because the President's policies have failed. Listen — 93% of Americans believe they're a part of the middle class. That's why you hear the President talk about the middle class every day, because he's talking to 93% of the American people. But the President has never created a job. He's never even had a real job for [God's] sake. And I can tell you from my dealings with him, he has no idea how the real world, that we actually live in, works."

    The Ohio Republican was responding to a question about Obama's comments about building the economy "from the middle class" and not "from the top down."

    Correction: The original headline and story incorrectly quoted Boehner as saying "for Christ's sake." The quote was based on a transcript provided by Fox News radio. Boehner in fact said: "for God's sake."

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  • Liberal super PAC goes after GOP ‘Young Guns’

    A liberal super PAC released opposition research documents on 30 Republican congressional candidates Thursday, focusing on the GOP's "Young Guns" program, which promotes new candidates running for House seats.

    American Bridge 21st Century launched a website to host the documents, slamming the group as "GOP Young Duds," which includes research memos on each of the candidates compiled in a 122-page research book.

    "This year's so called 'young guns' are the most overhyped, under-performing individuals House Republicans have produced since, well, the original Young Guns," said American Bridge President Rodell Mollineau. "As voters become familiar with their records, it will become clear that these individuals have no right serving in the United States Congress."

    The Young Guns program was started in 2007 through the National Republican Congressional Committee by Reps. Eric Cantor of Virginia, Kevin McCarthy of California and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Young Guns Action Fund, a super PAC formed by former Cantor aides as a support network, was established last year.

    American Bridge recently released hundreds of pages of research on three of Mitt Romney's prospective vice presidential contenders. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee have also made similar documents public on House candidates.

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  • Estimate: Nearly $6 billion will be spent on elections this cycle

    OpenSecrets.org

    Total political spending on elections this cycle is estimated to reach nearly $6 billion, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks the influence of money in politics.

    The researchers who compiled the report gathered data through public disclosure documents submitted to the Federal Election Commission and tax documents filed by nonprofit groups that are not required by law to disclose their donors. The estimated amount—$5.8 billion—is $400 million more than the record-breaking amount spent in the last presidential election cycle in 2008. The report includes spending on congressional campaigns in its calculation and estimates that the presidential race alone will cost $2.5 billion.

    "Although a lot of money still remains to be raised and spent, the data already show that we're on track to break the extraordinary, record-setting sums spent in 2008," said CFRP Executive Director Sheila Krumholz. "That cycle was the first in which we crossed the $5 billion mark, and the big question now is whether we will already reach—or surpass—$6 billion just one cycle later. At a minimum, we'll come close."

    Since certain nonprofit groups that spend on campaign speech are not required by law to provide comprehensive reports on their activity, the estimate is not perfect, the researchers said.

    Outside spending, the researchers who compiled the report wrote, "is a wild card that makes predictions tricky."

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  • House passes bill extending tax rates for all income levels

    The House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a bill passed by the Senate that would extend current income tax rates to families earning less than $250,000 per year, and then approved a separate bill extending the rates for all income levels.

    Nineteen Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the Senate plan before the Republican bill to extend current rates to all income levels passed 256-171. The second measure had support from 19 Democrats; one Republican opposed it.

    The vote sets the stage for a battle over extending the tax rates set during George W. Bush's presidency that will likely be resolved in a lame-duck session after the November elections. If no action is taken, taxes on all income brackets will automatically increase on Jan. 1, 2013.

    The White House has vowed that President Barack Obama would veto a bill that extends tax rates on incomes over $250,000.

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  • Pro-Obama super PAC plans $30 million ad buy in the fall

    The main super PAC supporting President Barack Obama's re-election bid, Priorities USA Action, has reserved $30 million in fall air time in six states, Yahoo News has confirmed.

    The size of the ad buy indicates that the group, which has reported raising $20.7 million since it was founded by former White House aides in 2011, is expecting a major fundraising installment. The pro-Obama ads will run in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The group plans to buy airtime in all of the states except Pennsylvania in September, and will run ads there in October.

    Priorities USA is also contributing to a Spanish-language ad campaign in partnership with the Service Employees International Union in Colorado, Florida and Nevada, and they plan to continue the effort.

    While Obama's official campaign has more cash on hand than Romney's, swing-state spending among outside organizations supporting the Republican candidate is dwarfing the Democrats' efforts. Through super PACs and nonprofits, conservative groups have spent more than seven times as much on swing state ad campaigns as their liberal counterparts.

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  • Rubio bill would make Olympic prize money tax-exempt

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Wednesday that would exempt Americans competing in the Olympic Games from paying taxes on the prize money from their victory.

    Athletes are awarded a $25,000 honorarium for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third, but under Rubio's bill, the money would not be subject to taxes currently imposed by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS also taxes the cost of the medals themselves, Rubio said, which are worth an estimated $675 for gold, $385 for silver and $5 for bronze.

    "Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home," Rubio said in a statement. "We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it."

    Americans for Tax Reform, a group founded by conservative activist Grover Norquist, estimated that Olympic medalists face a tax burden of as much as $8,986 when they return from the competition.

    The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by stating that "gross income shall not include the value of any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games.''

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  • No more super PAC cash from Foster Friess?

    Foster Friess, a Wyoming-based businessman who has donated more than $2.3 million to conservative outside groups this year, suggested Wednesday he may slow down his political giving.

    Politico's Ginger Gibson reports from an event where Friess spoke in Washington, D.C., that he plans "to be a lot more careful" about the money he sends to groups supporting candidates:

    "My accountant told me I'm down to just enough money left now to take my wife to the movies for the rest of my life and buy buttered popcorn," Friess said. "So I'm going to be a lot more careful where I spend my money now."

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