Friday, April 13, 2007
CNN Political Ticker AM
For the latest, breaking political news, check for updates throughout the day on the CNN Political Ticker. All politics, all the time. Compiled by Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau
Making news today...
Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) "scoffed" at the claim that the emails were lost: "I've got a teenage kid in my neighborhood that can go get 'em for them," he said. (AP)
At 1:15 pm ET, the president and Mrs. Bush participate in a meeting with parochial education leaders and parents in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. They depart for Camp David at 2:10 pm ET.
Also on the Political Radar:
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
TOUR EXTENSIONS ADDS NEW ELEMENT TO WAR FUNDING DEBATE: Senate Democrats seized on the troop announcement and the sensational attacks in Baghdad on Thursday as evidence that the president and his inner circle are in denial about what is going on in Iraq. The Democrats said that the decision to keep American forces there, for what they described as the longest tours of duty since World War II, will only bolster the Democratic position in the fight with the administration over Iraq policy. "This really hurts," said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, about the longer deployments. "People understand this." New York Times: Action on Troops Reshapes Bush's Debate With Congress
RNC MISSING "AT LEAST FOUR YEARS' WORTH" OF ROVE'S EMAIL: A lawyer for the Republican National Committee told congressional staff members yesterday that the RNC is missing at least four years' worth of e-mail from White House senior adviser Karl Rove that is being sought as part of investigations into the Bush administration, according to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. GOP officials took issue with Rep. Henry Waxman's account of the briefing and said they still hope to find the e-mail as they conduct forensic work on their computer equipment. But they acknowledged that they took action to prevent Rove -- and Rove alone among the two dozen or so White House officials with RNC accounts -- from deleting his e-mails from the RNC server. Waxman (D-Calif.) said he was told the RNC made that move in 2005. Washington Post: Rove E-Mail Sought by Congress May Be Missing
JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN HAS DOUBTS: The White House's claim that e-mails sent on a Republican Party account might have been lost was challenged Thursday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, who quipped that even his teenage neighbor could find them. "They say they have not been preserved. I don't believe that!" Leahy shouted from the Senate floor as the dispute over the firing of federal prosecutors continued at a high pitch. "You can't erase e-mails, not today. They've gone through too many servers," said Leahy, D-Vt. "Those e-mails are there; they just don't want to produce them. We'll subpoena them if necessary." Later, Leahy and his committee's ranking Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, said the White House and lawmakers should agree on an independent forensic expert to try to recover the messages. AP via Yahoo! News: Leahy doubts Bush aides on lost e-mails
SOME MISSING MISSIVES MAY DEAL WITH FIRED ATTORNEYS: The White House said Thursday that missing e-mail messages sent on Republican Party accounts may include some relating to the firing of eight United States attorneys. The disclosure became a fresh political problem for the White House, as Democrats stepped up their inquiry into whether Karl Rove and other top aides to President Bush used the e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee to circumvent record-keeping requirements. New York Times: Missing E-Mail May Be Related to Prosecutors
IMUS FIRING A BLOW TO THE DEMS: They came by the hundreds that hot August day in tiny Johnson City, Tenn., gathering on an asphalt parking lot to meet Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. It was not just that he might become the state's first black senator. More than that, even in Republican eastern Tennessee, the Democratic congressman was a celebrity — a regular guest on Don Imus' radio show. And today, with Imus' career in tatters, the fate of the controversial shock jock is stirring quiet but heartfelt concern in an unlikely quarter: among Democratic politicians. That's because, over the years, Democrats such as Ford came to count on Imus for the kind of sympathetic treatment that Republicans got from Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. Equally important, Imus gave Democrats a pipeline to a crucial voting bloc that was perennially hard for them to reach: politically independent white men. Los Angeles Times: Democratic politicians lose a soapbox with Imus
WORLD BANK STAFFERS BOO WOLFOWITZ OVER GIRLFRIEND PAY, PROMOTIONS: World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz publicly apologized yesterday for the "mistake" of personally orchestrating a high-paying job and guaranteed promotions for a bank employee with whom he is romantically involved, as new details of his role in the arrangement emerged and staff members angrily demanded his resignation. Wolfowitz attempted to address about 200 staffers gathered in the bank's central atrium but left after some began hissing, booing, and chanting "Resign... Resign." He had approached the gathering after holding a news conference in which he said, "I made a mistake for which I am sorry." Bank insiders confirmed reports from the bank's staff association that Wolfowitz directed personnel officials to give Shaha Riza, his longtime companion, an automatic "outstanding" rating and the highest possible pay raises during an indefinite posting at the State Department, as well as a promotion upon her return to the bank. Washington Post: Wolfowitz Apologizes For 'Mistake'
IS WARNER'S $500 A SIGN? By most standards, $500 is not a lot of money. In a Senate campaign it's about the equivalent of a nickel that's been left on a set of train tracks. Thus, Sen. John Warner's (R-Va.) first-quarter fundraising sum of $500 is setting off yet another round of speculation that the aging senator will retire, leaving an open seat in 2008... According to a report published by the Federal Election Commission, Warner received no money from individual contributions, political action committees or party committees. The report also said the senator disbursed more than $30,000 for the period and still has $667,272 cash on hand. Warner's office released a statement from the senator late Thursday afternoon in which Warner said he is "seriously considering" a reelection bid, but right now, he is focused on his duties as a senator. The Hill: Warner's paltry first-quarter figures raise eyebrows
SECOND SANCHEZ QUITS CHC: Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Calif.) suspended her membership in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Thursday afternoon, citing a need for "structural reforms to ensure that the caucus is more equitable and inclusive of all its members." She is the second member of Congress to leave the group this year as lawmakers lobbed charges of chauvinism within the group, mismanagement of the group's political arm and too great an emphasis on seniority. Sanchez's sister, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) resigned earlier this year after accusing the group's chairman, Rep. Joe Baca, another California Democrat, of referring to her as a "whore" during a meeting in California. (Baca has denied making the comment.) The Politico: Linda Sanchez Leaves Hispanic Caucus
MUST LOVE DOGS: A bomb had struck the Iraqi parliament earlier in the day, but it would take more than that to bring the United States Senate to heel. "For many in America, pets are more than just companions -- they are members of the family," Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) said at the start of his Appropriations subcommittee's hearing yesterday into contaminated pet food. "An important part of the family," agreed the ranking Republican, Bob Bennett (Utah). "Members of the family," echoed Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). "Our pets are our companions, our soul mates and our hedge against emotional turmoil." Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, tried to establish dominance over the pack by raising a can of Alpo for the cameras -- but not before Byrd broke free of his leash. Washington Post: Byrd Doggedly Expresses His Love for Man's Best Friend
CORZINE INJURED IN CAR ACCIDENT: Gov. Jon Corzine suffered numerous fractures to his leg, breastbone, collarbone and ribs last night when the SUV carrying him from Atlantic City to the governor's mansion swerved and bounced off a wayward vehicle along the Gar den State Parkway, then slammed into a guardrail, officials said. The state trooper driving the governor, and an aide to Corzine riding in the car, also were injured in the accident, which occurred shortly after 6 p.m. in Galloway Township. A police helicopter flew Corzine, 60, from the crash scene to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where surgeons worked last night to repair the broken bones... Corzine spent about two hours in surgery and was transferred just before midnight to the intensive care unit in critical but stable condition, hospital officials said. A spokesman for the governor, Anthony Coley, said Corzine suffered 12 broken ribs and fractures to his collarbone, left leg, sternum and a lower back bone. The injuries, he said, "were not life-threatening" and Corzine didn't appear to have suffered brain or spinal cord damage. Newark Star-Ledger: Corzine Injured in Parkway Crash
OBAMA WINS MOVEON POLL: MoveOn.org's supporters voted Sen. Barack Obama the Democratic presidential candidate they think can best lead the country to get out of Iraq, while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton lagged behind in fifth place, the liberal online organization announced yesterday. Mr. Obama won 28 percent of the 42,882 votes cast, former Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, took second place with 25 percent and Mrs. Clinton garnered 11 percent. It was a strong showing for Mr. Edwards who, like Mrs. Clinton, voted to authorize the Iraq war in 2002, but has since done a far better job of repairing relations with Internet and anti-war activists than Mrs. Clinton, the New York Democrat who has refused to call her vote for the war a mistake. The poll was taken after MoveOn supporters watched a "virtual town hall" -- recorded remarks from seven Democratic candidates on what they would do about the war in Iraq -- either online on their own, or at more than 1,000 organized house parties. Washington Times: MoveOn supporters put Obama on top
CLINTON TO LAY OUT REFORM PLAN: Pledging to rebuild "the competence of government and the confidence of the American people," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says she wants to streamline the functions of the federal government and boost its accountability to taxpayers. The Democratic presidential front-runner was to offer details of a government reform plan Friday in a speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. She was expected to propose cutting 500,000 government contractors for a savings of up to $18 billion a year. In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton said the government needed to become more consumer-friendly, cost-efficient and transparent in the way it does business. AP via Yahoo! News: Clinton to give ideas for rebuilding gov't
KUCINICH SAYS FELLOW DEMS "MASKING THEIR SUPPORT" FOR THE WAR: U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich criticized fellow Democratic presidential candidates Thursday for waging a "fake debate" over the war in Iraq, saying they are masking their support for the war. "You cannot claim you are for peace and vote to fund the war," Kucinich said in an interview in Des Moines. "It's totally contradictory." Kucinich, of Ohio, met at the Iowa Statehouse with House and Senate Democrats. He conceded his long-shot status for the presidency but said public anger about the war in Iraq could work to his advantage. Des Moines Register: Kucinich assails rivals over 'fake' war debate
SWANN WEIGHING HOUSE BID: Lynn Swann is thinking about running for Congress. The former Pittsburgh Steelers star, a Republican who lost Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race last fall, said Thursday he has been approached to run for the Pittsburgh-area seat held by Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire. "I'm still collecting information," Swann, of Sewickley Heights, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "People are still talking to me about it." Swann would not say who has talked to him or when he plans to make up his mind. "It's a process. It's not a matter at this point about whether it's something I thought about doing in the past or would think about doing in the future," Swann said. "It's a matter of getting information and keeping an open mind." AP via Yahoo! News: Swann considers run for Congress
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