WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republicans are hoping to tap into Americans' aversion to paying taxes to rally its conservative base and raise money for the 2010 midterm elections.
The National Republican Congressional Committee will send a charged fundraising e-mail Tuesday afternoon - less than 12 hours before tax day - asking supporters to make a donation to the committee as a way to help "restore fiscal sanity and end the 'Pelosi recession.'"
Guy Harrison, the NRCC's executive director and author of the note, is referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California. Democrats have been accusing congressional Republicans of failing to offer any sound solutions to help reverse the economic crisis.
The e-mail, provided to CNN before it was sent out, also allows recipients the ability to help find a "Tea Party" event taking place in their area. These tea parties are being staged by activists on tax day as a way to protest President Obama's fiscal policies and send a message to Democrats and Republicans that they need to hold the line on spending.
Minnesota has become a joke — unless you live there and would like your voice represented in the United States Senate. 161 days after the election and they’re still trying to figure out who won the senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.
A three-judge panel has now ruled against Coleman, saying that “Franken is entitled to receive the certificate of election” after defeating Coleman by 312 votes. But it’s unlikely that the Minnesota secretary of state will issue that certificate until all legal challenges are exhausted.
I’m exhausted watching this… looks like a Three Stooges movie. Coleman has 10 days to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court; and if he loses at the state level, there’s always the federal level.
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MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – A day after a much-awaited trial court ruling named Democrat Al Franken the winner of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, an attorney for former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman said they still plan to appeal to the state's high court.
Coleman lawyer Ben Ginsberg emphasized the need for a full review of the ruling over the need for a speedy appeals process. "I would be surprised if it's before next week," he said. "I mean, we're reviewing the 65-page opinion, and I think we'll take time to be sure we review and frame the issues correctly before we file the notice."
The Coleman camp's arguments were shot down from just about every angle in the lower court's decision. But Ginsberg said he has confidence the Minnesota Supreme Court will see their case differently, and focus more on the equal protection argument Coleman had been pursuing all along.
He added that, based on what he's seen in the state Supreme Court's historical rulings, the high court justices will be more conscious of the "rights of voters."
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – President Obama on Tuesday outlined the administration's efforts to restart the economy and warned that tough times and decisions lie ahead, according to prepared remarks of a speech he'll present in Washington.
Obama pointed to more job losses and foreclosures as well as "difficult and unpopular choices" when it comes to restructuring the auto industry and insurance giant American International Group (AIG). The government has already sunk $182 billion into propping up AIG.
The Obama administration is under pressure to address the financial crisis on many different fronts. While job losses and foreclosures continue to mount, the credit markets remain frozen.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Republican senator charged with overseeing the 2010 elections endorsed Sen. Arlen Specter for re-election in a letter sent to Pennsylvania Republicans last month.
The March 26 letter was made public Tuesday, one day after former Rep. Pat Toomey announced he would challenge Specter again for the Republican Senate nomination. Toomey, who is considered to be more conservative than Specter, unsuccessfully ran a primary campaign against the incumbent senator in 2004.
"As I survey the political landscape of the upcoming 2010 elections, it's clear we need more candidates that fit their states," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, wrote in the letter. "While I doubt Arlen could win an election in my home state of Texas, I am certain that I could not get elected in Pennsylvania. I believe that Senator Specter is our best bet to keep this Senate seat in the GOP column.
"A vote for Arlen Specter is a vote for denying Harry Reid and the Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate," added Cornyn, who is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Cornyn's emphasis on needing Specter to help deny Democratic senators a filibuster proof majority is interesting. Specter is considered by many to be a soft Republican vote in helping the GOP use the filibuster as a tool to block Democrats on some issues this year.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the international community Tuesday to commit dollars and manpower to help Haiti recover from a year of hurricanes and food riots.
"It is our task to open the door of opportunity for Haitians and send a message of what could occur," she told a group of more than 40 nations and international organizations gathered for a donor's conference for the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation.
Clinton spoke a day before leaving for Haiti, after which she will travel to the Dominican Republic and then join President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americans in Trinidad and Tobago.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office earlier this year, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal corruption charges.
A federal grand jury indicted him this month on 16 felony counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators.
(CNN) - Former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino has taken a job with Burson-Marsteller, the political consultancy firm headed by former top Clinton advisor Mark Penn.
In a statement published on Burson-Marsteller's Web site, Penn said Perino "has performed one of the most demanding jobs in Washington."
"We know the skills and judgment she honed in her time at the White House will serve our clients well," he also said in the statement.
Perino isn't the first prominent ex-Bush advisor to sign up with Penn's firm. Karen Hughes, who managed the White House's communications office during President Bush's first term, joined Burson-Marsteller last summer.
Penn resigned as chief strategist of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential bid last April after, in his role as CEO of Burson-Marsteller, he appeared to lobby for a trade agreement Clinton opposed.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Listen closely and you'll hear squeals of disgust from a watchdog group tracking congressional pork in the nation's capital.
Citizens Against Government Waste is out with its annual "Pig Book" - a list of lawmakers whom the group considers the most egregious porkers, members of the House and Senate who use the earmarking process to funnel money to projects on their home turf.
Fittingly perhaps, the list includes nearly $1.8 million for swine odor and manure management research in Iowa.
"In fiscal year 2009, Congress stuffed 10,160 projects into the 12 appropriations bills worth $19.6 billion," the group said in a report released Tuesday. The amount marks a 14 percent increase over 2008.
The "Pig Book" also names dozens of what it considers the most blatant examples of pork-barrel spending.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The U.S. policy shift toward Cuba makes no mention of the "harshest of measures" - the economic blockade - former Cuban leader Fidel Castro says.
U.S. President Barack Obama "has announced the relief of some hateful restrictions," Castro said in a statement carried by the official Cuban News Agency on Monday night.
"But not a word was said about the harshest of measures: the blockade. This is the way a truly genocidal measure is piously called, one whose damage cannot be calculated only on the basis of its economic effects, for it constantly takes human lives and brings painful suffering to our people."
Earlier, Obama lifted all restrictions on the ability of individuals to visit relatives in Cuba, as well as to send them remittances.
The move represents a significant shift in a U.S. policy that had remained largely unchanged for nearly half a century. But several key components of America's embargo on the island nation will be preserved. Travel restrictions for Americans of non-Cuban descent will also remain in place.