WASHINGTON (CNN) - The head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Wednesday he had cautioned some liberal leaders to ease some of their toughest attacks on moderate Democrats.
"What I've been warning people very clearly is: beware of forming a circular firing squad," Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen told reporters at a Wednesday afternoon briefing. "We believe people should be focusing their efforts on expanding the Democratic majority - and that should be their singular focus."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made similar comments last week, criticizing ads pressuring some Democratic legislators to support President Obama's budget plan.
Van Hollen also predicted that venture capitalist Scott Murphy capture the majority of outstanding military and absentee votes in New York's 20th congressional district race.
(CNN) - It's spring training, when hope springs eternal for the coming season. That's true for baseball players and for political players.
The scouts are out there, eyeballing hot prospects for the next Republican pennant race. Right now it's wide open.
"We don't have one spokesman right now. That's just one of the features of not having either house in Congress or having the White House. You don't have an official place to be heard," former Massachusetts Governor and former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told CNN's Larry King recently.
Romney's the Republicans' power hitter. Republicans have a history of nominating candidates who ran and lost before - Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, John McCain. Romney ran in the last presidential campaign and did pretty well.
He wins straw polls of conservative insiders all the time, including the 2007 Iowa straw poll and the last three straw polls taken at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
"This is the time to pare back government spending. It is not the time to fulfill every liberal dream and spend America into catastrophe," Romney told CPAC in February.
(CNN) - Democrat Scott Murphy leads Republican Jim Tedisco by 25 votes in Tuesday's special election for New York's 20th congressional district, according to unofficial election night returns.
These results do no include absentee ballots, which must be received by April 7 for domestic voters and by April 13 for overseas and military voters.
The latest unofficial county-by-county totals from are available below.
(CNN) – It's ladies' night in London. While her husband is dining with presidents and prime ministers at a Group of 20 pre-summit dinner, Michelle Obama has plans of her own Wednesday evening.
The first lady is set to attend a rival banquet for summit spouses hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's wife, Sarah. Mrs. Brown is expected to seat Mrs. Obama between Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Olympic champion runner Kelly Holmes at the reception at the historic 10 Downing Street in central London. Other attendees will include supermodel Naomi Campbell, British sitcom actress Ruth Jones, and Web site mogul Martha Lane Fox.
After the meal, prepared by celebrity television chef Jamie Oliver, Mrs. Brown is expected to take the women to the opera.
Mrs. Obama and Sarah Brown met for tea Wednesday morning and toured a cancer center in London. The first lady will join President Obama in the afternoon at Buckingham Palace to meet with Queen Elizabeth.
As states try to deal with their own massive deficits, many are turning to higher taxes on the rich as the answer. A proposal here in New York would follow in the steps of California and Maryland in pushing the wealthiest into higher tax brackets - several percentage points above most workers.
New Jersey is considering raising its highest bracket to more that 10 percent from the current five-plus percent. And Wisconsin and Delaware are also considering higher tax brackets.
The head of one political group that supports the higher taxes tells the Wall Street Journal, “Most people are treading water. Others are drowning. That gave politicians the courage to say the rich have to pay their fair share.”
But critics say the higher taxes wouldn’t only affect those in the financial industry. They say small-business owners are concerned, since a lot of them report their business earnings on their personal income-tax returns.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - A brigade of President Obama's loyal followers are blitzing Capitol Hill on Wednesday to shore up support for his budget.
More than 200 volunteers enlisted by a special project of the Democratic National Committee fanned out across the Capitol to deliver hundreds of thousands of pledges of support for the president's agenda to Republican and Democratic members of Congress.
The effort is the culmination of an organized push by the Obama administration to leverage their muscular campaign organization to back the president's budget initiatives - in this case, his plans to invest in health care, education and energy.
The roughly 642,000 pledges were gathered during a two-week push by Organizing for America, the Obama administration's political apparatus housed at the DNC. The group picked up 100,000 signatures from neighborhoods around the country during a series of canvasses, and tapped into their robust e-mail list to sign up hundreds of thousands more.
OFA director Mitch Stewart called the stacks of pledges "a down payment on this agenda of change that we all fought so hard for over the last two years."
The delivery of the signatures to members of the Senate and House, he said, will let them "know that they have support for the president's agenda in their congressional district or in their state."
(CNN) - There's no winner yet in Tuesday's special election to fill the vacant seat in New York's 20th congressional district, and both Democrats and Republicans are trying to simultaneously project confidence - and lower expectations.
As of Wednesday afternoon, according to unofficial election results, Democrat Scott Murphy led Republican Jim Tedisco by 25 votes out of more than 150,000 votes cast.
There are still 10,000 absentee ballots to be counted, only 6,000 of which have been sent back to the board. Officials at the New York State Board of Elections say that local absentee ballots have until April 7 to be sent in, and military or overseas ballots have until April 13. It could take up to two weeks for a winner in the contest to be announced.
The Missouri-born Murphy, 39, is a millionaire venture capitalist. Jim Tedisco, 58, is a longtime New York state lawmaker and ranking Republican in the State Assembly. They're running to replace Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who gave up her House seat after New York Gov. David Paterson appointed her to Hillary Clinton's former Senate seat.
(CNN) - Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and high-profile surrogate for John McCain's presidential bid, told reporters Tuesday she's "seriously considering" a bid to unseat California Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010.
Fiorina, who served as a top economic adviser to McCain during the presidential race, also told reporters in a roundtable interview she hopes she can add "value and make a difference...irrespective of what my decision will be in California," according to published reports.
The comments came during her trip to Washington as chair of the board of the Technology Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank.
Should she ultimately jump into the Senate race, Fiorina would be the second high-profile former CEO running for statewide office in California. Former e-Bay CEO Meg Whitman announced last month she was exploring a run for California governor.
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO was largely sidelined from public appearances for the McCain campaign after telling an interviewer she didn't think either member of the GOP presidential ticket was qualified to run a major company.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain and New York Rep. Pete King are introducing a resolution on Wednesday that seeks to posthumously pardon Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion.
Johnson was convicted for violating the Mann Act in 1913, which made it illegal to bring women across state lines for "immoral purposes." At the time, Johnson was in a relationship with a white woman and he spent a year in jail.
The Republican lawmakers will be joined by Johnson's great niece, Linda Haywood, at a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon.
(CNN) - CNN has been awarded a Peabody Award for the network's "distinguished achievement and meritorious public service" in its coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, CNN President Jon Klein announced Wednesday.
The award - which recognizes achievements in radio, television, and cable - was presented to CNN for its "unparalleled coverage of a historic presidential election process," according to the Peabody Board.
The board specifically hailed CNN's "state-of-the-art technology and…small army of reporters, producers and analysts."
The award comes days after CNNPolitics.com was recognized as the best television-affiliated Web reporting of the year by the National Headliner Awards.