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Making News Today…
Iowa GOP, South Carolina Democrats choose dates
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Iowa Republican Party will hold its caucus on Jan. 3, while the South Carolina Democratic Party will ask the Democratic National Committee to move its primary to Jan. 26, the two state parties announced Tuesday.
What remains unclear is what date New Hampshire will hold its primary for both parties, and if Iowa Democrats will join their GOP colleagues on Jan. 3 or hold their caucus on another date.
Less than three months before the first votes are cast for president, the nominating calendar is still not set in stone. Full Story
– CNN’s Mark Preston and Chris Welch
Nevada Democratic Party keeps caucus date Jan. 19
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Nevada Democratic Party announced late Tuesday it would hold its caucus on January 19, ending a debate over whether to petition the national party to move the presidential nominating contest a week earlier.
Jill Derby, chair of the Nevada Democratic Party, said the caucus date "best showcases our state as the first test of the Western vote, the Hispanic vote and the labor vote." Full Story
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
Democrats hold onto Mass. House seat
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The widow of the late Sen. Paul Tsongas won a special election Tuesday to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Massachusetts. Meehan resigned from Congress earlier this year to become the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Democrat Niki Tsongas defeated Republican Jim Ogonowski in a hard-fought battle for this Congressional seat in a district bordering New Hampshire. Full Story
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
GOP candidates woo anti-tax group
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Mitt Romney take their fight to the Club for Growth Wednesday as the rivals for the Republican presidential nomination present competing arguments over who is the more fiscally conservative candidate.
Giuliani and Romney have been arguing over who has a better record of lowering taxes and reigning in government spending. They will be joined at the conference by former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who is also seeking the GOP nomination.
The Club promotes limited government and advocates for such things as making President Bush’s tax cuts permanent and scrapping the current tax code. Full Story
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
GOP DONOR: "I'M JUST NOT HAPPY WITH THE DIRECTION OF OUR PARTY. I THINK WE HAVE A HUGE CREDIBILITY PROBLEM, WHICH I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY OF THE CANDIDATES SHOW THE ABILITY TO RISE ABOVE.": More than a third of the top fundraisers who helped elect George W. Bush president remain on the sidelines in 2008, contributing to a gaping financial disparity between the GOP candidates and their Democratic counterparts. Washington Post: Many GOP Donors Yet to Open Wallets
GOP CAN NO LONGER IGNORE CLIMATE CHANGE: While many conservative commentators and editorialists have mocked concerns about climate change, a different reality is emerging among Republican presidential contenders. It is a near-unanimous recognition among the leaders of the threat posed by global warming. New York Times: Global Warming Starts to Divide G.O.P. Contenders
GIULIANI AND OBAMA SPAR OVER NEGOTIATIONS WITH ROGUE STATES: Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday ridiculed Democratic rival Barack Obama for saying he would meet, without precondition, with leaders of renegade nations. AP via Chicago Tribune: Giuliani Tells Obama "You're No Reagan"
OBAMA'S PROMISE TO UNITE, MAY NOT BE WHAT VOTERS WANT TO HEAR: A hush fell over the crowd as Sen. Barack Obama crossed the field, his white shirt glowing in the sun, waves of cornstalks rustling behind him. Once inside the open barn on the county fairgrounds here, he offered a message as uplifting as the backdrop, promising a new era of consensus instead of partisan divide. Washington Post: Does Obama's Message Match the Moment?
HILLARY LEADS IN REFUNDS: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign has cut nearly $1.3 million in refund checks to hundreds of donors since July 1 — more than triple what the rest of the Democratic field returned to supporters combined, new campaign filings show. Washington Times: Hillary Leads in Donor Refunds
RICHARDSON'S ANGLO-LATIN BALANCE: Shortly before Bill Richardson was born, his father, a headstrong American banker who worked and lived in Mexico City, told his pregnant wife in the fall of 1947 to pack for a brief trip across the U.S. border. Chicago Tribune: Richardson: Born Negotiator
EDWARDS BATTLES FOR VOTES IN HOME STATE: At a dinner held recently by county Democrats here, the master of ceremonies introduced John Edwards, the guest speaker, as the “native son” of South Carolina. New York Times: Edwards Plays His Roots Card in Bid to Win South Carolina
EDWARDS ACCUSES CLINTON OF BEING IN "GENERAL ELECTION MODE": Presidential candidate John Edwards accused rival Hillary Clinton Tuesday of acting like she’s already won the Democratic nomination. Des Moines Register: Edwards: Clinton Thinks She's Already Won
CANDIDATES' PROMISES WILL COST TAX PAYERS: Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have proposed vast policy programs costing billions of dollars. Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson have vowed to extend President Bush's tax cuts and continue the multibillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan indefinitely. Quad City Times: Major Presidential Candidates Will Spend
"THE EARLY VOTES COME OUT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, IOWA AND SOUTH CAROLINA, BUT THE EARLY MONEY COMES OUT OF CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK AND TEXAS AND THE OTHER POLITICAL ATMS OF OUR COUNTRY": Donations from California, New York, Texas and Florida account for $1 out of every $3 raised by the 2008 presidential candidates, new campaign-finance data show. USA Today: Four Most Populous States “Political ATMs”
2007 NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY, A REAL POSSIBILITY: Notice to all national political reporters, campaign operatives and presidential candidates: You may not be home for the holidays. Politico: NH Inches Toward December Primary
VETS HIT CAMPAIGN TRAIL IN THE GRANITE STATE: Joshua Denton steps onto Aldrich Road for his first day canvassing for Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards. He carries campaign literature in his Army-issued green canvas map case and wears a bracelet etched with the name John L. Hartman, a comrade killed in Baghdad on Nov. 30, 2006. Boston Globe: Iraq Veterans Align Themselves With Presidential Candidates Whose War Views Mirror Their Own
MCCAIN: "I DON'T THINK IT'S INEVITABLE THAT WE'RE IN A CONFLICT WITH IRAN… BUT I CERTAINLY SEE IT AS ONE SCENARIO THAT COULD, AND I EMPHASIZE COULD, TAKE PLACE IF WE ARE NOT EFFECTIVE": Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Tuesday he prays every night the United States doesn't go to war with Iran, and he blamed Russia and China for standing in the way of a diplomatic solution. Quad City Times: McCain Prays for No War with Iran
ROMNEY, CLINTON CASH IN, WITH HELP FROM IOWA: New campaign finance records released today show that presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton are leading in the battle for Iowans' pocketbooks. Des Moines Register: Romney, Clinton Raise Most From Iowans
CLINTON APPEALS TO WOMEN THROUGH FAMILY LEAVE PROPOSAL: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday proposed giving $1 billion in grants to states that enact paid family leave laws and said that she would support requiring employers to provide workers seven days’ annual paid sick leave. New York Times: Clinton Proposes Big Grants for Family Leave
CLINTON WON'T RETURN SENATE CONTRIBUTIONS RELATED TO HSU UNLESS ASKED: Hillary Rodham Clinton returned more than $800,000 in contributions donated to her presidential campaign that were arranged by alleged swindler Norman Hsu. But campaign officials said Tuesday they had no plans to return more than $260,000 that many of the same donors gave to her Senate political accounts. LA Times: Not All Hsu-Linked Funds Rejected
WOODSTOCK EARMARK HAS TIES TO POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Days after a Senate committee approved $1 million for a Woodstock concert museum, the project's Republican billionaire backer and his family contributed $29,200 to help the Democrats who requested the money, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer. USA Today: Timing of Gifts Stirs Earmark Debate
BROWNBACK TO OFFER APOLOGY FOR SLAVERY: Senator Sam Brownback, a Republican trying to inject new life into his beleaguered presidential campaign, plans to offer a resolution this week for Congress to apologize for slavery and segregation. Boston Globe: Brownback to Pitch Proposal Apologizing for Slavery
GOP CANDIDATES TAKE HARD STANCE ON IRAN: The top Republican presidential candidates yesterday repeatedly threatened attacks on Iran if it pursues nuclear weapons, drawing lines between themselves and the Democratic candidates on what's likely to be the major foreign-policy issue of the next presidency. Washington Times: Republican Hopefuls Take a hard Line on Tehran
TOP TIER GOP CANDIDATES NO SHOWS AT RNC FUNDRAISER: Two of the four leading Republican contenders left before speaking to a fundraising dinner Tuesday night for the Republican National Committee (RNC) that brought in $5 million for the party, and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) missed the event altogether because of Senate business. The Hill: GOP Candidates Bail on RNC Fundraising Dinner
NRCC TO TAP RETIREES FOR CASH: The National Republican Congressional Committee is actively working to tap the campaign war chests of retiring GOP Members who are collectively sitting on nearly $5 million — more than double what the cash-strapped NRCC last reported having in the bank. Roll Call: NRCC Eyes GOP Retirees' Millions
WHITE HOUSE TO RELEASE SURVEILLANCE DOCS TO SENATE: The White House agreed yesterday to give Senate intelligence committee members and staff access to internal documents related to its domestic surveillance program in a bid to win Democratic lawmakers' support for the administration's version of an intelligence measure. Washington Post: White House to Give to Give Senate Panel Surveillance Program Documents
MUKASEY TO FACE TOUGH QUESTIONS, DESPITE SUPPORT: With even Democrats expressing support for the nominee, the confirmation hearing today for Atty. Gen.-designate Michael B. Mukasey may seem short on drama. LA Times: Restoring Morale a Crucial Test for Mukasey
A QUESTION FOR MUKASEY BY ARLEN SPECTER: When he appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee today as the nominee to become the nation's 81st attorney general, Michael Mukasey will be peppered with questions about recent events and perceived dysfunction at the Justice Department. WSJ: A Question for Mr. Mukasey by Arlen Specter
FOOD COMPANIES TO BE INVESTIGATED FOR OVERCHARGING GOODS SOLD TO ARMY: Prominent American food companies are under scrutiny in a federal probe of possible fraud and corruption in the military's food-supply operations for the Iraq war. WSJ: Food Companies Face U.S. Probe Over Iraq Deals
“TURKEY OBVIOUSLY FEELS THEY ARE GETTING POKED IN THE EYE OVER SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED A CENTURY AGO AND MAYBE THIS ISN’T A GOOD TIME TO BE DOING THAT”: Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members from both parties have begun to withdraw their support from a resolution backed by the Democratic leadership that would condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians nearly a century ago. New York Times: Support Wanes in House for Genocide Vote
On the Trail:
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney address the Club for Growth's fall conference at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, delivers a speech at the National Women's Finance Council Summit at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani accepts an endorsement at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. before addressing the Club for Growth conference. Later, he travels to Iowa to hold town hall meetings in Des Moines and Muscatine. In the evening, he meets with students at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards continues his two-day, nine-county "Barnstorm through Rural America" with a community meeting to discuss his plan to support first responders at the Rock Rapids Volunteer Fire Department. Later, he talks to Iowans about rural issues in Sibley and Estherville. He wraps up his tour with a visit to a local family's hog farm in Cylinder.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns in Iowa, starting with an "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall in Clinton and a walking tour of DeWitt. Later, he holds another town hall meeting in Davenport and before flying to Columbus, Ohio. He addresses the Club for Growth conference by satellite.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, campaigns through South Carolina with town hall meetings at retirement communities in Columbia and Ft. Mill.
* Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee delivers a speech at the Primary Insight Candidate Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire. Later, he tours BAE Systems and meets with employees in Nashua and speaks at an AARP "Divided We Fail" issues forum in Manchester. In the evening, he will be interviewed by Myron Kandel on New Hampshire Public Television.
* Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, honors Domestic Violence Month by unveiling new initiatives to fight domestic violence at Creative Visions in Des Moines, Iowa. Later, he attends a house party in Sioux City.
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