March 10, 2014
: "The United States is at a constitutional tipping point: The rise of an uber presidency unchecked by the other two branches."
"This massive shift of authority threatens the stability and functionality of our tripartite system of checks and balances. To be sure, it did not begin with the Obama administration. The trend has existed for decades, and President George W. Bush showed equal contempt for the separation of powers. However, it has accelerated at an alarming rate under Obama. Of perhaps greater concern is the fact that the other two branches appear passive, if not inert, in the face of expanding executive power."
: Only one country recovered from the financial crisis faster than the United States.
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Florida's 13th congressional district finds Alex Sink (D) leading David Jolly (R) by three points, 48% to 45%.
The special election is tomorrow.
The Washington Post
reports Jeffrey Thompson "was set to plead guilty Monday to funneling more than $2 million in illegal contributions to federal and local political campaigns, including Vincent Gray's (D) 2010 bid to become mayor."
Prosecutors also revealed for the first time that Gray knew about the "shadow campaign" -- "a secret and illegal effort to bolster Gray's mayoral run" and personally asked for Thompson's help.
Jennifer Duffy of the must-read Cook Political Report
joins us on the Political Wire podcast
for a state-by-state discussion of the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes
to get episodes automatically downloaded.
Special thanks to PillPack
, the first pharmacy that makes it incredibly easy to take all your medications at the right time, every time. It's a really great service.
Coming later this year: Stonewalled: One Reporter's Fight for Truth in Obama's Washington
by Sharyl Attkisson, who Politico
reports just resigned from CBS News.
: "You've probably seen this before from other sources, but the chart
... basically shows that for the past 40 years voting patterns haven't differed much by age. In fact, there's virtually no difference between generations at all until you get to the George Bush era. At that point, young voters suddenly leave the Republican Party en masse. Millennials may be far less likely than older generations to say there's a big difference between Republicans and Democrats, but their actual voting record belies that."
"Whatever it was that Karl Rove and George Bush did--and there are plenty of possibilities, ranging from Iraq to gays to religion--they massively alienated an entire generation of voters. Sure, they managed to squeak out a couple of presidential victories, but they did it at the cost of losing millions of voters who will probably never fully return. This chart is their legacy in a nutshell."
Federal prosecutors "have subpoenaed records from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey related to the business interests of its chairman, David Samson," the Wall Street Journal
"The demand for records comes as scrutiny of Mr. Samson--a close ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie--has increased since allegations emerged that the Port Authority closed George Washington Bridge access lanes for political purposes."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
in Georgia finds Rep. Paul Broun (R) leading the GOP Senate primary race with 27%, followed by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) at 14%, Rep. Jack Kingston (R) at 13%, David Perdue (R) at 12% and Karen Handel (R) at 9%.
In head-to-head matchups, with Michelle Nunn (D) and Broun were tied at 38%, while Nunn with slight leads over Kingston, Handel and Gingrey.
: "Today, 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry."
The Huffington Post
has photos of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) drinking "at a hotel party next to a man lounging in a bathtub."Dave Weigel
has a report from the party.
A new Public Opinion Strategies (R) poll
in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds a massive lead over primary challenger Matt Bevin (R), 61% to 23%.
: "For all the bad press over Bridgegate, Christie hasn't been abandoned by party leaders or major donors. True, some conservatives don't like him. But the media's criticism has prompted others to rally behind him. His CPAC reception hardly left the impression that he's unacceptable to the base. All things considered, Christie may be better positioned to win the Republican nomination than he was a year ago."
"As for that poll of Republicans swearing up and down they'd never vote for him? Don't believe it. In 2011, Gallup found that 26 percent of Republicans would "definitely not vote for" Mitt Romney, who, of course, went on to win the nomination and the vote of just about every Republican in the country."
"Oh, I'm probably .01 percent."
-- Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (R), quoted by the Chicago Sun Times
, when asked if he was among the one percent of wealthiest Americans.
"I don't think there's really this vast civil war in the Republican Party
that like many in the left suggest there is. I think we're a party with
a vibrant debate, adding ideas, solving problems, and I think that's
going to be -- I think we're going to be okay."
-- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), quoted by Huffington Post
"Two figures in a political payback plot that has overshadowed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) administration will attempt to convince a judge that they shouldn't be forced to turn over documents to a legislative panel," the AP
"Lawyers for former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and fired Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly have asked the judge to throw out their subpoenas. They say handing over personal emails, text messages and planning calendars would be like testifying against themselves."
"Hillary Clinton is bringing on Terry McAuliffe's political director from his successful gubernatorial run as a scheduler based in her personal office in New York," Politico
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and key allies "are suddenly sending signals he intends to jump into the 2014 Senate race in New Hampshire," CNN
"Brown has been debating for months about whether to challenge Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, torn, friends say, about whether he should instead run for president in 2016, or just forgo running for elective office again. Well a number of GOP sources in New Hampshire report receiving calls in recent days from Brown or his top allies, and there's word from GOP operatives that there are conversations about building a Senate campaign staff."
: "The uninsured rate for almost every major demographic group has dropped in 2014 so far [and] across all age groups ... except for those aged 65 and older."
Also on Wonk Wire
: Who is most likely to hate Obamacare?
A new Des Moines Register poll
in Iowa shows Gov. Terry Branstad (R) well head of challenger Jack Hatch (D) in the race for governor, 44% to 29%.
"You know things are bad at CNN when they say they may go to a print edition."
-- Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D), quoted by Politico
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said the Republican Party "would win more support from young voters by highlighting what he says are violations of privacy by the federal government, including the National Security Agency's surveillance programs," Bloomberg
Said Paul: "It's a message that can grow the party, and the party's got to grow bigger or we're not going to win again."
"Democrats and Republicans alike say the 113th Congress is shaping up to be the worst ever," The Hill
"Veteran lawmakers are used to partisanship and stalemate, but they say Capitol Hill has sunk to a new dysfunctional low. Congress has in some ways already closed for business until after the mid-term election. Any laws made between now and November will be minor."
: Can we overcome our current dysfunction?
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told ABC News
that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is a friend but they strongly disagree on foreign policy.
Said Cruz: "I'm a big fan of Rand Paul. He and I are good friends. But I don't agree with him on foreign policy. I think U.S. leadership is critical in the world. And I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force abroad. But I think there is a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did... The United States has a responsibility to defend our values."The Week
: Can Rand Paul avoid the Neville Chamberlain trap?
: "While it's important never to overstate the importance of a single
special congressional election, tomorrow's race in Florida will tell us a
lot about the power of the Republican Party's health-care attacks on
Democrats could have in 2014."Washington Post
: "The Tampa Bay peninsula will serve as the first real test of 2014 voter moods on Tuesday in a down-to-the-wire congressional race that each side is using to hone its messages for November. Republicans, returning to their 2010 and 2012 model, are trying to turn Democrat Alex Sink into a clone of President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), focusing heavily on Obama's health-care law. Democrats, for the first time since the law's bungled rollout last fall, are fighting back with a defense of the law that accuses Republican David Jolly of wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and 'take us back' to the era when preexisting conditions could lead to a denial of health insurance."