National Journal Online

FCC To Hold Field Hearing On Comcast-NBCU Merger

The FCC's review of the proposed $30 billion merger of Comcast and NBC Universal will include a "public forum" about the transaction in Chicago on July 13, the commission announced Thursday. The session will be held at Northwestern University Law School and will provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions. The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a field hearing on the deal for Monday in Los Angeles.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 12:28pm

Fiorina Back On Top In CA

Want to know who leads the CA SEN race? Just take a listen to the tenor of each candidate's advertisements.

After nearly 5 straight months of ads attacking one of her GOP rivals, ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina (R) has launched a new spot taking direct aim at the incumbent, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D). In a new spot, Fiorina mocks Boxer for calling global warming a national security threat.

"Terrorism kills. And Barbara Boxer's worried about the weather," Fiorina says in the ad. "We've had enough of her politics. I'll work to keep you safe."

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 12:27pm

Angle Leads New Suffolk Poll

Assemb. Sharron Angle (R), once consigned to the lower rungs of the second tier, has surged to the head of the pack just a week before a primary that will determine which GOPer faces Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid this fall.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:50am

Senate Panel To Hold Antitrust Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee will hold a hearing next week on enforcement of antitrust laws, a forum that might provide renewed scrutiny of some recent and controversial tech and telecom-related mergers. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Christine Varney are scheduled to appear at the Wednesday hearing. A spokeswoman for Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl, D-Wis., said he will likely raise some high-tech and Internet issues at the hearing, although details of the hearing's expected topics are still under development.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:40am

Wamp Has Ties To Group He Pitches

Everywhere he goes, Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) talks up the value of the Tennessee Valley Corridor, a model he says has brought business to his state and one that he would copy as TN's next governor.

But Wamp, who helped found the TVC, has connections to a public relations group that plots strategy for the TVC, according to new reports. Now, some GOPers allied with Wamp's rivals are beginning to question whether his insistence in seeing TVC's models perpetuated raise potential conflicts of interest.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:16am

Facebook Launches Politics Page, CEO Defends Site

Just in time for the 2010 elections, Facebook Thursday launched a new politics page that will highlight all the things that politicians are doing on the social networking site. "The page will highlight how politicians, elected officials, and political campaigns across the United States are using Facebook to better connect with citizens," the firm said in a news release. Many politicians use the site to reach out to constituents. President Obama has more than 8 million Facebook fans, while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin provides regular posts on her thoughts for her 1.5 million fans.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:37am

Political Jobs Spat Should Worry Dems

Pres. Obama's political team hasn't had a lot of great days lately. And their ineffectiveness and inability to score political wins should worry Dems who face tough midterm elections this year.

Last week, the WH answered questions over whether they offered Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) a job to stay out of the Senate race. This morning, the WH acknowledged it had discussed potential job opportunities with ex-CO House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), who is running against another WH-backed candidate.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:01am

Kirk Vs. Blumenthal: Which Is Worse?

Rep. Mark Kirk (R) is on defense this week for exaggerating an award his unit received during his service as a military intelligence officer. There are eerie parallels between Kirk's military fumbles and CT AG Dick Blumenthal's (D) Vietnam-era exaggerations earlier last month.

But the reaction to Kirk's scandal by pundits, the media and national politicians is muted, especially compared to the firestorm that erupted after Blumenthal's.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 9:05am

State Department Embracing Social Media

From this morning's Earlybird: • AP reports on how the State Department is using social media tools to expand its diplomatic outreach in addition to traditional channels. A Comcast executive says he sees little evidence that cable viewers will give up their subscriptions and move online to watch television programming, the Hill reports.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 8:40am

Groups Ramp Up Spending For Midterms

From this morning's Earlybird: • "Interest groups are gearing up to spend record amounts of money on this year's congressional and state elections, as liberals seek to shore up Democratic defenses and conservative and business groups plan a well-funded push on behalf of Republicans," the Washington Post reports. • "The American Medical Association will unveil" today "a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at pressuring waffling senators to approve a $23 billion freeze on scheduled Medicare cuts to physicians," The Hill reports.

Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 8:40am