Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • Judge says Alaska can certify Senate results by Jan. 3

    ak senate updateAlaska will have a U.S. senator in place when the new Congress convenes Jan. 5, even if the legal wrangling between Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski isn't over.

    A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that the state can certify the results of the state's hotly contested Senate race by Jan. 3 even if the court battle continues well into the new year, the Associated Press reports.

    Unofficial results released last month found Murkowski, the GOP incumbent who ran as a write-in candidate, leading Miller by 10,328 votes. But Miller has filed suit to hold up certification of the vote, questioning the legitimacy of 8,159 write-in ballots.

    Still, some of Miller's own supporters have questioned the point of his legal challenge. Even if the ballots Miller is challenging are tossed out, Murkowski would still win the race by more than 2,100 votes.

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  • Donors threaten RNC boycott if Steele wins a second term

    steele mccainIf Michael Steele wins another term as chairman of the Republican National Committee, the RNC might continue to face major cash flow problems in the upcoming 2012 campaign.

    Some of the party's biggest political donors and fundraisers are threatening to continue their unofficial boycott of the RNC if Steele wins, telling Politico's Jonathan Martin they simply don't trust the embattled chairman with their cash.

    "The donor community has virtually no faith or confidence in Michael Steele to be the keeper of the keys," Al Hoffman, former finance chairman of the RNC, told Martin. "I have a hard time finding any major donor who would trust him to straighten out the RNC and run a principled and ethical fundraising operation. … Who's going to give to him as long as he's at the helm? Not me. My own slogan is now 'Anybody but Steele.'"

    Wayne Berman, a top Washington lobbyist who is one of the party's biggest fundraisers, also trashed Steele, saying a second term would alienate the GOP's "major financial supporters and most active fundraisers." "His arrogant style, cult of personality and embarrassing mismanagement are sources of great discontent with major fundraisers of the party," he told Martin.

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  • LAST TICKET: Bon Jovi lands a White House gig; McConnell tears up on the Senate floor

    Here are the stories we took note of today, but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • President Obama appointed Jon Bon Jovi to a White House advisory panel on community service. (Washington Wire)

    • John Thune took a shot at Mitt Romney for opposing the tax cut compromise. (Politico)

    • Now Mitch McConnell is getting weepy! (The Note)

    • Richard Holbrooke and Jerry Seinfeld were neighbors. (The New Yorker)

    • Mark Sanford again hints at a political comeback. (Political Wire)

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  • Look out, Lieberman: McMahon might run for Senate again

    mcmahon liebIs Linda McMahon thinking about running against Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) in 2012?

    According to Roll Call's Steve Peoples, the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO has requested a meeting with Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, to discuss her options.

    "I don't know what her message is going to be, but I sort of suspect she isn't finished," Cornyn tells Roll Call.

    McMahon spent nearly $50 million of her own cash on a Senate bid in Connecticut that she lost last month to Democrat Dick Blumenthal. But McMahon has hinted that her political aspirations aren't over. Three weeks ago, McMahon ran a TV ad in Connecticut to "thank" her supporters and said she was doing polling to find out where she went wrong.

    Her immediate target could be Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent who is considered one of the most vulnerable senators up for re-election in 2012. The question is: Would Republicans back McMahon over Lieberman, when he has long been counted as a GOP ally?

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  • Handicapping a second act for Michael Steele at the RNC

    Steele win

    Can Michael Steele win a second term as chairman of the Republican National Committee?

    That's what many Republicans are wondering a day after the embattled RNC chair surprised critics and declared his intention to seek re-election after a fairly rocky first term. For months, key Republican powerbrokers have been complaining about Steele's performance. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour -- a former RNC head who now chairs the Republican Governors' Association -- has accused Steele of falling down on the job when it come to fundraising.

    But on Tuesday, Barbour and other Steele critics have been noticeably silent about the RNC chairman's decision to seek another term. Ditto for many in the GOP's field of possible 2012 presidential contenders, including Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, all of whom would no doubt be influential should they weigh in on who should lead the party during the upcoming campaign.

    As we reported Monday, Steele faces an increasingly crowded RNC chair race, but that could actually end up working in his favor, if the votes of committee members are split among a wide enough field of rivals.

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  • To pay wife’s campaign debts, Bill Clinton offers donors a prize: himself

    clintons debtFormer President Bill Clinton is offering up a chance to spend the day with him in New York City if supporters contribute to his wife's 2008 presidential campaign, which is struggling to pay off lingering debts.

    "There is nothing I enjoy more than good conversation with good people. Every day, my life and work are enriched by the people I meet, and that's why I am sending you this special invitation," the former president writes in a mass email sent to Hillary Clinton's campaign list.

    According to the email, donors who contribute $5 or more will be entered to win a trip to spend the day with the former president. "Hillary's campaign is so close to paying off the last of her debt, but she's not there yet," Bill Clinton writes. "Will you consider helping her in this last phase?"

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  • Pawlenty sends Christmas cards to Iowa Republicans

    pawlenty card

    Tim Pawlenty still won't say whether he's running for president in 2012, but here's a sign: According to the Iowa Republican's Craig Robinson, the outgoing Minnesota governor is sending Christmas cards to Republicans in the state.

    (Photo of the Pawlenty card via the Iowa Republican)

  • Crossroads GPS targets House Dems on tax vote

    tim bishopCrossroads GPS — the conservative group that spent millions in undisclosed donations to elect Republicans in 2010 — is preparing to jump into the 2012 campaign.

    As Politico's Alex Isenstadt first reported, the group will launch a $400,000 radio ad campaign this week targeting vulnerable House Democrats on an upcoming vote to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts.

    The ads will air in the districts of 12 House Democrats from swing districts who barely won re-election last month and look to be vulnerable again in 2012. The list includes Gerry Connolly of Virginia, Tim Bishop of New York , Ben Chandler of Kentucky and Heath Shuler of North Carolina.

    "And whose side is Congressman Tim Bishop on?" the ad targeting the New York Democrat says, per Politico. "Will he side with Nancy Pelosi to raise job-killing taxes or with struggling families and the small businesses that can create the jobs we need?"

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  • Michael Steele is running for a second term as RNC chair

    steele reelect

    Michael Steele isn't going away quietly. Despite earlier rumors to the contrary, the embattled Republican National Committee chairman told a conference call of GOP officials tonight that he will seek another term as RNC chair.

    "Yes, I have stumbled along the way, but have always accounted to you for such shortcomings," Steele said, per a prepared statement obtained by Politico's Mike Allen. "No excuses, no lies, no hidden agenda."

    The RNC chairman spent nearly a half-hour defending his tenure, trashing critics who talked "smack" about his troubled fund-raising efforts. He urged GOP officials not to "look backwards" and to allow him to "finish" the job he'd started. "Our work is not done," Steele said. "My commitment has not ended."

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  • Veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke has died

    holbrooke obit

    As ABC's Jake Tapper first reported, Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has died. Holbrooke, a longtime Washington diplomat who served as ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton, was rushed to the hospital Friday after suffering a torn aorta.

    Earlier tonight, Obama praised Holbrooke at a gathering of diplomats in Washington, calling him "a tough son of a gun." "He is certainly one of the giants of American foreign policy," Obama said.

    (Photo of Holbrooke by Gurinder Osan/AP)

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