National Journal Online

Alpert Hire Raises Eyebrows

Neil Alpert, a new fundraising consultant retained by the Republican National Committee's embattled chairman Michael Steele, is already causing some heartburn inside the RNC and outside on K Street due in part to his past. Alpert was once told to repay almost $70,000 by the District of Columbia over spending and other improprieties related to two local baseball groups he chaired. He's been retained by the RNC for about $150,000 a year to help Steele "return his phone calls," says one lobbyist familiar with the new hire. A second source concurs that Alpert's main job is "make sure that Steele

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 4:46pm

HRH Rankings: A Good Year For The GOP

We're just seven months from Election Day, and all indications continue to point to a strong cycle for House Republicans. Overall, the national environment favors the GOP, as the USA Today/Gallup survey, released earlier this week, showed generic Republicans leading their Democratic counterparts. Polls in individual districts mirror this advantage, as even established Democrats are struggling to keep their numbers up.

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 4:19pm

CA Split On Services For Immigrants

CA voters are split on whether illegal immigrants should be able to use taxpayer-funded social services, such as public education and hospital care, according to an LA Times/USC poll released today. It's an issue that has a long history in CA and has already popped up as a major and controversial subject in CA elections this year.

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 3:49pm

USTR Highlights Telecom Trade Barriers

The Office of U.S. Trade Representative released a report Monday highlighting barriers facing U.S. telecommunications equipment and service providers singled out several countries for charging high rates or imposing surcharges that make long distance calls to those countries more expensive. The annual review pointed in particular to the surcharges, taxes or high termination rates, the amount a foreign telecom provider charges a U.S. telecom operator to deliver a U.S.

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 3:33pm

PhRMA No. 2 Stepping Down

Now that health care reform has been signed into law, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America's executive vice president for government affairs and public affairs Mimi Simoneaux Kneuer is leaving. Kneuer, who has been at PhRMA for more than five years, said she is planning to depart in May and will take the summer off to spend time with her family. She then will consider what is next for her career, which has long been tied to former GOP Louisiana Representative and current PhRMA CEO Billy Tauzin. (Tauzin announced he is leaving the trade group in June.) "I am

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 3:20pm

Monday Fund-Day

A look at first quarter fundraising numbers slowly leaking out today:

Ex-Rep. Tom Campbell (R) raised $1.6M during his first quarter in the race, according to his campaign. The camp pulled in $600K over the last 3 weeks.

Ex-Rep. Pat Toomey (R) pulled in $2.3M last quarter in his bid against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA). Toomey ended the quarter with $4M in the bank.

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 2:43pm

Baker Hits Boozman As DC Insider

State Sen. Gilbert Baker (R) is using his first ad to cast himself as a DC outsider and his rivals -- in both the Dem and GOP primaries -- as insiders complicit in government overspending.

"Washington is broken, and Congress is the problem," Baker says, citing bailout legislation and health care reform. "Here in Arkansas, we have small-town, conservative values."

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 1:35pm

Former Intel Chief Defends Fiorina's Tenure At HP

As she battles for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in California, Carly Fiorina also has been fighting to defend her tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard from critics who have sought to tarnish her business experience. A few weeks after the granddaughter of HP co-founder David Packard sharply criticized Fiorina's tenure at HP and her conservative credentials, Fiorina's campaign Monday promoted a different view on the issue from former Intel Chairman and CEO Craig Barrett.

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 1:17pm

Gillibrand Scores Holdout's Nod

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has won the backing of one of the biggest elected Dem holdouts that had been skeptical of her run.

Kings Co. Dem chair/Assemb. Vito Lopez (D), who considered backing ex-Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D) while he weighed a primary challenge to the junior senator, endorsed Gillibrand this morning.

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 12:52pm

Paul Stays On Offense With Huge Buy

Ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R) is casting his rival as a creature of DC, thanks to a fundraiser Sec/State Trey Grayson (R) held at a major DC lobbying shop.

In the new spot, reportedly a 1,000-point buy in every market in KY, Paul condemns Grayson's Feb. 23 fundraiser at DC Navigators, the lobbying firm that works with AIG.

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 12:29pm