Thursday, June 08, 2006
Political Hot Topics
AL-ZARQAWI DEAD: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind behind hundreds of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq, was killed Wednesday evening by an air strike northwest of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday. Washington Post: Insurgent Leader Al-Zarqawi Killed in Iraq

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN FAILS: A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, backed by President Bush and conservative groups, was soundly defeated in the Senate yesterday after proponents failed to persuade a bare majority of all senators to support the measure. Washington Post: Gay Marriage Amendment Fails in Senate

SPECTER'S TELL-ALL LETTER: A senior Republican lawmaker went public on Wednesday about his often tense and complicated relationship with the Bush White House in a remarkable display of the strains within the party. The lawmaker, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, accused Vice President Dick Cheney of meddling behind his back in the committee's business, bringing into the open a conflict that has simmered for months. New York Times: Specter's Uneasy Relationship with White House is Revealed in a Letter to Cheney

GOP CALM FOR NOW: Fearing humiliation in a race that drew national attention, the National Republican Congressional Committee pumped about $5 million into the race to replace imprisoned former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. But by late Tuesday night on the West Coast, it proved to be money well-spent after former congressman Brian Bilbray won with 49 percent of the vote in the traditionally Republican district... The results settled Republican nerves, which have been set on edge by months of nearly relentless bad omens, including corruption scandals and dismal poll ratings for President Bush and the GOP leadership in Congress. Washington Post: Victory in California Calms GOP

FRIEND OR FOE? FALWELL AND MCCAIN CAN'T DECIDE: The recent marriage of two former political foes may already be over. Or at least the relationship got a bit more complicated with today's Senate vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment. But yesterday, before the vote, Falwell gave his thoughts on the potential fallout from the Marriage Protection Amendment fight. "I want to see where everyone stands. It's my opinion that anyone in the Senate running on the national level will be committing political suicide by voting against it," he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Falwell's strong statement has obvious implications for McCain. Either Falwell will continue to speak positively about McCain and project an openness to supporting him for president. Or, Falwell will back away from the Senator, work actively to make sure he does not win in 2008, and match his actions with his statement about the importance of the marriage vote. Political Wire: Vote Likely to Strain Falwell-McCain Marriage

STILL NOT CLEAR WHICH WAY DEMS WILL LEAN ON JEFFERSON'S COMMITTEE SEAT: The Ways and Means Committee seat of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) officially remained in limbo Wednesday night, but after the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee met early Wednesday evening, it seemed more likely that Jefferson's colleagues would move to expel him from the exclusive panel -- a move that could set up a clash between Democratic leaders and Jefferson's allies in the Congressional Black Caucus. Roll Call: Steering Panel Inches Toward Forcing Jefferson From Committee Seat

THERE'S NO CHOICE IN THE ABORTION ISSUE FOR SOUTH DAKOTANS: Four Republican state senators who voted against South Dakota's abortion ban lost their primary elections, raising questions about support for an effort to repeal the controversial state law. "There's certainly no good news in the outcome for pro-choice advocates," Bob Burns, a political science professor at South Dakota State University, said Wednesday. USA Today: Republicans Opposed to Abortion Ban Lose in S.D.

DONATIONS GO TO JERRY'S STEP KID: A political fundraising committee headed by a defense contractor has paid thousands of dollars in fees to the stepdaughter of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands) at a time when the contractor has been lobbying Congress for funding. Lewis' stepdaughter, Julia Willis-Leon, has been paid more than $42,000 by the Small Biz Tech Political Action Committee, according to campaign finance records. The PAC is led by Nicholas Karangelen, founder and president of Trident Systems Inc. Los Angeles Times: Powerful Lawmaker's Relative Linked Financially to Contractor

GOOOOALLLLL! DEMS TRY TO SCORE WITH HISPANIC VOTERS: World Cup soccer is "mas que un partido" -- more than a game -- to a group of Democrats. It's a chance to win over Hispanic voters. The New Democrat Network is starting a $2 million Spanish-language campaign of radio and television ads urging Hispanics to get involved in the political process. The five-month effort begins with ads during the World Cup soccer games that begin this weekend in Germany... The ads will run on Univision, Telefutura, Fox Sports en Espanol and Futbol de Primera, the radio soccer network of well-known broadcaster Andres Cantor. Cantor -- known for his trademark exclamation "GOOOOALLLLL!" -- will be featured on an early radio ad. AP News: Democrats Court Hispanics During World Cup
Posted By Xuan Thai, CNN Washington Bureau: 6/08/2006 10:36:00 AM ET | Permalink
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