Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • Amid widening criticism, Obama drops claim about foreign cash in the campaign

    obama bidenAre Democrats recalibrating their message on alleged foreign money in the 2010 elections?

    Days after making it a key part of his stump speech, President Obama on Monday dropped mention of the claim he and other Democrats have lately lodged about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce allegedly funding attack ads with contributions from foreign companies. The claim, which was also echoed in a Democratic National Committee ad, has been debunked by several media organizations, including the New York Times.

    On Monday, the nonpartisan Factcheck.org also slapped down the charge. Factcheck reporter Brooks Jackson wrote: "Accusing anybody of violating the law is a serious matter requiring serious evidence to back it up. So far Democrats have produced none."

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  • Blumenthal slams McMahon on WWE and steroids

    blumenthal adConnecticut Democratic Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal is finally going after GOP rival Linda McMahon's ties to World Wrestling Entertainment, accusing the former CEO in a new TV ad of "putting profits before people."

    The ad, which is Blumenthal's most negative spot yet in the race, marks the first time the Democrat has raised the broader cultural implications of McMahon's tenure at the WWE. Previously, Blumenthal has attacked McMahon for laying off WWE workers while she got a raise. But he had steared clear of allegations involving poor treatment of WWE performers and other controversies that have gotten much attention in Connecticut papers.

    In his latest spot, Blumenthal repeats the business argument but adds a new dimension to his case, accusing McMahon of paying lobbyists to help her "duck taxes, kill steroid and drug testing laws and avoid health and safety protections for her workers."

    You can watch the new Blumenthal ad after the jump:

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  • Angle says Islamic law rules two U.S. cities, including one that no longer exists

    AP100923122764Nevada GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle told a rally of tea party supporters last week that two American cities — Dearborn, Mich., and Frankford, Texas — operate under Islamic religious law.

    "We're talking about a militant terrorist situation -- which I believe isn't a widespread problem, but it is enough that we need to address, and we have been addressing it," Angle said, according to audio provided to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent. "First of all, Dearborn, Mich., and Frankford, Texas, are on American soil and under constitutional law. Not sharia law. And I don't know how that happened in the United States."

    In an interview with the Associated Press' Cristina Silva, Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly called Angle's comments "shameful" and "totally irresponsible." But that's not Angle's only problem: Frankford doesn't actually exist. As CNN reports, the former city in central Texas was annexed to Dallas in 1975. The only thing that's there now: an Episcopal church and cemetery.

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  • Obama and Dems step up attacks on the ‘shadow GOP’

    dnc adPresident Obama and the Democrats are doubling down on their attacks on the so-called shadow GOP, charging that Republicans are trying to "steal" the election with an avalanche of secret money. At a Philadelphia rally on Sunday, Obama also repeated his claim that some of that money may be from foreign sources — an allegation that has been disputed.

    Republicans "are being helped along this year by special interest groups that are spending unlimited amounts of money on attack ads … just attacking people without ever disclosing who's behind all these attack ads," Obama said Sunday. "You don't know. It could be the oil industry. It could be the insurance industry. It could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don't know because they don't have to disclose."

    Obama was referencing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which the liberal Think Progress charged last week with using dues from foreign members to fund attacks on Democrats. The chamber has denied it uses foreign funds on its politicking, but Democrats quickly seized on the report, with Obama himself citing it at two rallies last week.

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  • Meek says he won’t quit Florida’s Senate race

    meekDemocrat Kendrick Meek is strongly denying a Wall Street Journal report that he'll quit Florida's closely watched Senate race and throw his support to independent Charlie Crist.

    "All I can say is please," Meek told Miami CBS affiliate WFOR-TV on Saturday. "One columnist writes an article and folks start giving credence to what he says. The next job that I know I'm going to have is being the next United States senator from the state of Florida."

    On Friday, WSJ columnist Stephen Moore wrote that GOP leaders in Florida were "fretting that a deal might be in the works" to get Meek out of the race in order to boost Crist's chances against Republican Marco Rubio. A Mason-Dixon poll released Friday found Rubio with a 15 point lead in the race, with 42 percent support among likely voters compared to Crist's 27 percent. Meek came in at a distant third, with just 21 percent support.

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  • Ohio GOP candidate caught dressing up in Nazi garb

    iottAn Ohio GOP congressional candidate once viewed as a rising star in the party is under fire this weekend after photos surfaced of him participating in a Nazi reenactment group.

    As first reported by The Atlantic's Josh Green, Rich Iott, the GOP candidate in Ohio's 9th U.S. House district, was involved with a group called Wiking that pays tribute to the exploits of the lethal German Waffen SS unit during World War II. Iott, a tea party-backed candidate, admitted he was once a member of the group but only out of "purely historical interest" and that he wasn't trying to offend anyone.

    "They have to take it in context. There's reenactors out there who do everything. You couldn't do Civil War re-enacting if somebody didn't play the role of the Confederates," Iott told The Atlantic. "[This] is something that's definitely way in the past. ... [I hope voters] take it in context and see it for what it is, an interest in World War II history. And that's strictly all."

    But Democrats seized on the Iott photos, citing them as evidence that the GOP has embraced "fringe" candidates. Iott, who is challenging Rep. Marcy Kaptur, had been a member of over the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program, a list of the GOP's top recruits. But as TPM's Brian Beutler notices, Iott's name was removed from the list yesterday.

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  • James Jones quits as Obama’s national security adviser

    obama jones

    In a long-anticipated development, the White House announced today that Gen. James Jones, President Obama's national security adviser, will resign his post. Jones' deputy, Tom Donilon, will replace him.

    Jones is the sixth senior Obama adviser to announce his departure from the White House in recent months, though his resignation is no real surprise.

    For more than a year -- dating to back to the early months of the Obama administration -- Jones has been rumored to be on his way out of the White House. He had reportedly clashed with other Obama foreign policy advisers, including Denis McDonough and Mark Lippert (who quit the White House last fall), both of whom enjoyed a close relationship with the president dating back to the 2008 campaign. There were also rumors that Jones had been feuding with Vice President Joe Biden's staff and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

    The White House strongly denied the stories -- and as rumors of Jones' diminishing clout continued to spread, Obama officials sought to quell them by talking up his clout within the administration.

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  • Georgia candidate paid nearly $100K to bring Palin to rally

    palinhandelKaren Handel's campaign to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Georgia got a big boost when she was endorsed by Sarah Palin this summer.

    But it can be expensive to be a Mama Grizzly.

    As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Aaron Gould Sheinin reports, Handel paid nearly $100,000 to bring Palin to an August rally ahead of a crucial runoff in the race. According to newly filed campaign reports with the state Elections Commission, Handel's campaign paid $92,000 to an Ohio-based air charter to fly Palin to the Aug. 9 rally. The campaign also paid $13,000 to rent space at a local hotel to house the event. Handel narrowly lost the GOP nomination to Nathan Deal on Aug. 10.

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  • Specter will finally campaign for ex-rival Sestak (privately)

    specter sestakNearly five months after losing Pennsylvania's Democratic primary, Arlen Specter will finally campaign for his onetime rival Joe Sestak — at least in private.

    As first reported by the Morning Call's Colby Itkowitz, the former GOP-turned-Democratic senator will appear with Sestak at a private fundraiser in Philadelphia on Monday night. It will be the first time Specter has appeared with Sestak in the race, even though the senator told reporters months ago that he would support the Pennsylvania congressman.

    But Specter hasn't gone out of his way to help his former rival. Last month, Specter had just greeted President Obama on an airport tarmac in Philadelphia when Politico's Carol E. Lee, who was the White House pool reporter that day, asked him how he felt Sestak's campaign was going. "I'm late for the squash court, so I'm going to defer that to when I can answer in one spot," Specter replied, according to the pool report. Asked if that meant he believes Sestak's campaign is going "not very well," Specter paused. "Ah, I'm late for the squash court," he replied and walked away.

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  • Feds issue more subpoenas in the Edwards investigation

    JOHNEDWARDSFederal prosecutors have issued a new round of subpoenas in the probe into whether former presidential candidate John Edwards illegally used campaign funds to cover up an affair with a staffer who later gave birth to his child, according to the Associated Press.

    For more than a year, a North Carolina grand jury has been investigating Edwards and his campaign funds. Two years ago, the former Democratic senator and vice presidential nominee admitted to an affair with Rielle Hunter, who briefly worked as a videographer for his 2008 White House bid. In January, Edwards, after many public denials, also admitted to fathering Hunter's daughter, Frances Quinn, now 2.

    While grand jury proceedings are secret, attorneys close to the case have said the investigation is looking into payments that Edwards' political action committee made to Hunter in 2006 and 2007, as well as whether campaign funds raised for his '08 bid were used to hide his affair and subsequently pay for her prenatal care.

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