National Journal Online

After Ensign, Nevada Is A Battleground On Steroids

I just wrote about the national importance of the Nevada Senate race in my column this week, and Sen. John Ensign's sudden decision to resign early next month makes this state even more pivotal for the White House and congressional campaign strategists.

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 9:54pm

Ensign Announces Resignation

Updated at 7:29 pm

Two-term Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada on Thursday announced his resignation ending a once-promising career that had the former veterinarian and casino manager eyeing a possible presidential bid before an ugly sex scandal and subsequent ethics probe snuffed out his ambition and, eventually, his Senate tenure.

Ensign's resignation will clear the way for GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval to appoint GOP Rep. Dean Heller, already an announced candidate for Ensign's seat, to the Senate vacancy.

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 6:36pm

Van Hollen Sues FEC Over Disclosure Requirements

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday challenging Federal Election Commission regulations that allowed non-profit organizations to spend large sums of money on ads in the 2010 midterm elections without disclosing the identities of their donors.

In the suit, Van Hollen alleges that the FEC is in violation of disclosure requirements established under the McCain-Feingold law for groups that pay for "electioneering communications." The suit argues that non-profit 501(c) organizations should not be exempt from these regulations.

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 3:27pm

Corker Not Ruling Out Future Presidential Run

It's not going to happen in 2012, but could Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) be eying a presidential run further run down the road? "Maybe someday. But it's just not on my plate," he told the Nashville Tennessean's editorial board. More from Corker on what he would bring to the table as a national candidate:

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 3:07pm

Freshmen Take Millions In PAC Money

House Republican freshmen may beat their chests over how terrible Washington is, but they're learning the Beltway is a great place to raise money for their next campaigns. The new class is already acting like old pros, kicking off their re-election bids with millions in funding from political action committees and scooping up millions more from Washington-area donors.

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 12:58pm

New Poll Shows An Unknown GOP Field

Republican voters haven't formed strong opinions about most of the party's potential presidential candidates, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. And nearly 60 percent of Republicans can't point to a candidate about whom they are enthusiastic in a nascent and slow-starting GOP presidential campaign.

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 11:19am

Insiders Split On Who Leads In Budget Debate

Democratic and Republican political operatives are sharply divided on whether President Obama or Congressional Republicans currently hold the high ground in the budget debate, according to this week's National Journal Political Insiders Poll.

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 9:06am

Insiders: Democrats Will Pay For Rising Gas Prices

Political operatives in both parties overwhelmingly agree that Democrats will be hurt more than Republicans by the escalating cost of filling up at the pump, according this week's National Journal Political Insiders Poll.

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 9:04am

Hotline Sort: Raise The Stakes

Welcome back to Hotline Sort. Democrats have the big money edge in the Kentucky gubernatorial race, while the drama in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race continues. Former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) is eying a new gig; and someone famous is "cool" with President Obama's proposals. Here's today's rundown:

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 7:49am

Video: Trump Thinks The White House Needs A Makeover

Donald Trump is doing well in polls among Republican voters. Jimmy Kimmel thinks it's because Trump has the right message, "People are responding to his straight forward honesty, tough talk and utter lunacy."

Today's Must See Moment -- Fast forward to 0:55, Trump has a scoop for ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Take our Late Night Poll after the jump!

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 7:46am