Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Political Hot Topics
IRAN SHOWING INTEREST IN DEAL: A package of incentives that represents a major initiative by world powers to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear program contains ''positive steps'' but also some ''ambiguities,'' the country's top nuclear negotiator said Tuesday...The incentives package offers economic and political rewards if Tehran relinquishes domestic uranium enrichment, which is used to generate power but can also produce weapons-grade uranium for nuclear warheads. It also contains the implicit threat of U.N. sanctions if Iran remains defiant. New York Times: U.S. Offers Deals on Trade to Entice Iran

LET THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES BEGIN: Congressional campaigns have begun early and with unusual intensity this year in many districts across the country, reflecting a consensus in both parties that Republicans could lose control of the House and perhaps the Senate. A special election in a bedrock Republican Congressional district in San Diego on Tuesday ... has sharpened the early intensity and could provide the clearest evidence so far about whether Democrats can capitalize on the unsettled political climate. New York Times: House at Stake, Midterm Election Gets Early Start

PUSH BACK ON PRESIDENTIAL POWER: Republican and Democratic House leaders join forces to protest the FBI search of a congressman's office. The Senate Intelligence Committee demands fuller briefings from the CIA. The Supreme Court hears a landmark case challenging presidential war powers. After five years of a concerted White House campaign, there are tentative signs that Congress and the courts are beginning to push back against what has been the greatest expansion of presidential powers in a generation or more. USA Today: Congress, courts push back against Bush's assertions of presidential power

NEW POLL SHOWS GOP AND DEMS LIKE TO TRAVEL -- A LOT: Over 5 1/2 years, Republican and Democratic lawmakers accepted nearly $50 million in trips, often to resorts and exclusive locales, from corporations and groups seeking legislative favors, according to the most comprehensive study to date on the subject of congressional travel. From January 2000 through June 2005, House and Senate members and their aides were away from Washington for more than 81,000 days -- a combined 222 years -- on at least 23,000 trips, according to the report, issued yesterday by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity. About 2,300 of the trips cost $5,000 or more, at least 500 cost $10,000 or more, and 16 cost $25,000 or more. Washington Post: Privately Funded Trips Add Up on Capitol Hill

CLINTON IN HIGH DEMAND: In what promises to be his most intensive campaign season since he left office, former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to appear at more than two dozen fund-raisers for Democrats around the country, hoping to collect at least $20 million for his party's drive to recapture Congress. "In contrast to Republican candidates who are running away from George Bush, our candidates are clamoring for him in every part of the country," said Senator Charles E. Schumer. New York Times: Clinton Is the Life of the Democratic Party

DELAY LEAVES WITH LITTLE FANFARE: Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) will leave Congress this week with a pronounced lack of fanfare. The former majority leader ends his almost-24-year congressional career this week when he officially resigns Friday. The controversial Texan leaves Capitol Hill under a cloud of doubt about the election-year prospects for his Republican colleagues, and his last week in the House promises to be an understated affair. The Hill: DeLay departure will be a deliberately low-key affair

FINALLY, IT'S CA 50 DAY: On Wednesday, either Brian Bilbray or Francine Busby will probably be packing their bags for Washington -- as the newest member of Congress. The campaign for Tuesday's special-election runoff has been characterized by blistering television ads, visits by national party leaders, and astonishment that the race appears so close despite the district's heavily Republican party registration. Busby has focused her campaign on restoring ethics to Congress, while Bilbray has emphasized his toughness on illegal immigration. San Diego Union-Tribune: Bilbray and Busby taking it to the streets

SUSPENSEFUL ENDING IN CA: WESTLY AND ANGELIDES: Squabbling to the end, Steve Westly and Phil Angelides stormed across the state in a final burst of campaigning Monday as millions of Californians mulled their choice in today's Democratic primary for governor. The combination of a tight race and an unusually high number of late-deciding voters added suspense and, for the candidates, urgency to the campaign's closing hours. Los Angeles Times: Campaign's End Brings a Scramble for Votes

MONTANA'S WIDE OPEN PRIMARY: Montana is one of a minority of states that have an open primary -- voters do not register by party and they can select which primary nominating ballot to mark. Today is primary election day and, regardless of which party a voter identifies with, there is at least one reason for every one of the 89,008 registered voters in Yellowstone County to go to the polls ... At the top of the ballot for Republicans and Democrats is the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., whose home is Billings... In all, there are 10 candidates for the seat that Burns won in 1988. Billings Gazette: Hot races, issues on today's ballot

LOW VOTER TURNOUT IN AL IS GOOD?: Alabama residents will go to the polls Tuesday to elect Democratic and Republican nominees for governor... State political experts predict a low voter turnout despite the controversial marriage amendment and a potentially high profile governor's contest. Dr. William Stewart, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama, said the state campaigns have failed to generate much voter interest. "A low-key primary may be a good sign in that it shows Alabama has made significant progress toward being a two-party state with the main action in the general election," he said. Huntsville Times: Low-key primary is winding down

IOWA EXPERIENCES SOMETHING NEW: With no term limit on its top office, the state has had only three leaders in the last 40 years. Think of it this way: In almost 40 years, the Vatican and the U.S. Supreme Court have changed leaders as often as Iowans have elected a new governor. Since 1969 -- the year man first walked on the moon -- Iowa has had just three governors, which is the same number of new popes and chief justices during that time. So today is a bit of an occasion in Iowa. Until today, Iowa voters have only had two chances since 1968 to pick candidates for governor without an incumbent seeking re-election. Des Moines Register: Changes rare in Iowa governor's office
Posted By Xuan Thai, CNN Washington Bureau: 6/06/2006 09:23:00 AM ET | Permalink
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