National Journal Online

Rethinking The Ohio Dem Primary

The Senate primary season is beginning to look like the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament, as a string of stunning upsets might be right around the corner.

The DSCC has been busy crowing that divisive GOP primaries may serve to keep the GOP's pickup opportunities at bay, while the NRSC's noise has suggested that Dem primaries are far more serious than their own.

They may both be right.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 4:45pm

Pelosi Voices Support For Performance Rights

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday voiced support for trying to make progress on the music industry's call for musicians to be paid when their music is played on AM and FM radio stations. "In coming to Congress today, you are sending a message too often lost outside the recording studio, in the political debate, or on the airwaves - that ideas, music, and imagination are as valuable as any material invention. And artists deserve to be compensated for their work and rewarded for their contributions to our economy and our culture," Pelosi said during the music industry's GRAMMY on the

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 4:44pm

Dems Launch First Ads In Murtha Seat

The DCCC has launched its first ads in the race to hold on to the late Rep. John Murtha's (D-PA) seat, attacking the GOP candidate as willing to raise taxes on purchases across the board.

In the new ad, the DCCC accuses businessman Tim Burns (R) of wanting to raise taxes by 23%. It's a riff on a standard ad employed against GOPers who favor a flat tax rather than an income tax.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 4:27pm

Halter changes media strategy

After airing 5 television ads focusing largely on his own background and policy positions, LG Bill Halter (D-AR) has released 2 consecutive attack ads targeting Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D). Halter's camp is adjusting tactics too as spokesperson Laura Chopin opted against revealing certain information about Halter's newest ad.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 4:18pm

Hoyer Celebrates Less Pork

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., took a bow Thursday, responding to an annual report on congressional earmarks which found the number of pork projects declined in fiscal year 2009. "Today the conservative group Citizens Against Government Waste reported on the earmark reforms undertaken by Congress since the Democrats won the majority in 2006," said Hoyer in a statement.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 4:15pm

Dems Divided, But Open, On VAT

Congressional Dems are notably open to supporting some version of a value-added tax, according to the new National Journal Congressional Insiders poll, while GOPers were strongly opposed.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 3:55pm

Wireless Industry Exec Defends Spectrum Proposal

The head of the wireless industry association CTIA Thursday defended a FCC proposal aimed at encouraging broadcasters to voluntary give up spectrum to accomodate the growing demand for mobile Internet services. In a letter to the FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and the four other commissioners, Steve Largent responded to comments made earlier this week by National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Gordon Smith at his group's annual convention in which he accused the FCC of orchestrating a "spectrum grab" that could threaten the viability of free over-the-air television.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 3:22pm

Obamas Pay Into Fed Financing Fund

Adding together Pres. Obama, FLOTUS Michelle Obama, VP Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, all of whom also checked the requisite box, the WH just contributed $12 to the eventual GOP ticket that will run against them in '12.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 3:15pm

Crist Vetoes Bill, Hints At Indie Run

FL Gov. Charlie Crist (R) threw down the gauntlet today by vetoing a controversial education reform bill that had been championed by state GOP leaders.

The move was expected -- Crist had been hinting at a veto of Senate Bill 6 for days since it passed the GOP-controlled state House in a 64-55 vote last week. But it's the repercussions of Crist's action -- and the new trail that it may blaze for Crist's faltering SEN candidacy -- that remain to be seen.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 2:45pm

Panel Backs FOIA Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced bipartisan legislation Thursday to set up a commission to uncover why tens of thousands of requests for government information get sidetracked. Sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., the bill (S. 3111) was approved and sent to the full Senate on a voice vote. The legislation is in response to delays lasting sometimes years for requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 2:36pm