October 12th, 2010
04:39 AM ET
4 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news:  www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN Poll: Most disapprove of both GOP and Democrats in Congress
Most Americans disapprove of how both the Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are handling their jobs, according to a new national poll. And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that the public does not seem optimistic about the economy if either the GOP or the Democrats control Congress next year.

CNN: Heated debate between Wisconsin Senate candidates
The candidates for Senate in Wisconsin stuck to their talking points in an animated debate Monday night. Republican Ron Johnson blamed the three-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold for what he said were the failures of Washington, and Feingold said Johnson offered no solutions to the problems. "He doesn't have any answer, he doesn't have any plan, he just wants to say we've got all this debt and all these problems, but he gives you absolutely no idea of what he would do about it," Feingold said. "It's not the responsibility you need from a U.S. Senator." "I have a very specific proposal," Johnson said. "We repeal the health care bill. That will save trillions."

CNN: Kentucky Senate candidates face off
How much is too much? Government spending and reducing the deficit were the major themes of the second Kentucky Senate debate on Monday between Democratic candidate Jack Conway and Republican candidate Rand Paul. Conway, the state's attorney general, spent the majority of the debate attacking Paul's positions on cutting government programs. …Paul, an eye surgeon and the son of Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, defended his positions on cutting government spending as vital to reducing the deficit.

Anchorage Daily News: Miller vows silence on personal background
Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller said Monday he will not answer any more questions about his personal background for the rest of the campaign. "We've drawn a line in the sand. You can ask me about background, you can ask me about personal issues - I'm not going to answer," Miller said. Miller made the statement to reporters following Monday's Anchorage Chamber of Commerce candidate forum at the Dena'ina Center. Standing with his wife, Kathleen, Miller delivered a seven-minute address in which he complained he had been mistreated by the Alaska news media and announced he would no longer be answering personal questions. He took no questions, then quickly left down a nearby stairwell.

The Hill: Bill Clinton to make campaign stop for Reid
Former President Bill Clinton will travel to Nevada Tuesday to campaign for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Clinton, who has made frequent stops for Democratic candidates this cycle, will participate in a Las Vegas pre-early vote rally, according to Reid's campaign. "The rally will highlight the clear choice Nevada voters have between Senator Reid’s track record fighting to create jobs and Sharron Angle’s extreme and dangerous agenda," the announcement says.

Wall Street Journal: Redistricting Battles Spur Wave of Cash
Republicans and Democrats, hoping to pick up seats in Congress through redistricting, are pouring money and political muscle into statehouse races in about 16 states.State legislatures will next year redraw congressional districts based on the 2010 census. Cutting out a wealthy suburb or looping in an ethnic neighborhood can turn a district from Republican to Democratic, or vice-versa. If done across the board, redistricting can tip a congressional delegation red or blue for a generation.

CQ Politics: GOP Tries to Capitalize on Expanding House Field
Despite months of preparations by the House campaign committees, the latest party spending — largely to fund TV ad buys — demonstrates the Congressional playing field remains relatively fluid three weeks before Election Day. Over the weekend, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s independent expenditure arm reported spending more than $8.2 million, the bulk of which went to fund TV commercials targeting Democrats in 29 districts. The committee is engaged in 56 districts and has spent more than a half-million dollars apiece in 11 races. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent about $12 million of the $52 million committee insiders have said will be spent by Election Day. Republicans have spent nearly $20 million of an estimated $45 million.

The Hill: Boehner: GOP majority would propose spending cuts weekly
Should they take control of the House in the midterm elections, House Republicans would propose a spending cut every week, their leader said Monday. …Boehner's comments indicate that House Republicans intend to make good on a central part of the "Pledge to America" governing document they rolled out last month.

CNN: Fiorina: Palin is qualified to be president
Carly Fiorina, the Republican Senate candidate in California gifted Sarah Palin a high compliment on Monday. "I certainly think she's qualified to be president of the United States," Fiorina said in an interview on CNN's The Situation Room. But when the former Alaska governor, who endorsed Fiorina in the primary race, visits California Saturday with Michael Steele, Fiorina won't be in attendance. Instead, she said, she will be campaigning with Republican Sen. John McCain at an event for veterans.

CNN: Palin endorses John Raese for Senate
Sarah Palin's post-primary season has been busy. Republican John Raese, who faces Democrat Joe Manchin in the West Virginia Senate election can be added to Palin's growing endorsement list. She backed his candidacy in a new Facebook note along with eight other candidates in six states across the country. In primary races, Palin's endorsement record stands at 19 wins and 11 losses. Her official impact as an endorser will be determined on November 2, midterm election day.

CNN: National Democrats cancel ads in Ohio district
If Rep. Steve Driehaus didn't already face an extremely difficult re-election bid, a move Monday by national Democrats is making the freshman's task even tougher. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling the plug on television commercials for Driehaus after this week. A Democratic source confirms reports earlier Monday by the Rothenberg Political Report and by the National Journal's Political Hotline that the DCCC has canceled its media buys after this week. But the DCCC will still finance get out the vote efforts in the district.

CNN: Poll: Brewer holds advantage in Arizona gubernatorial battle
Republican Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona has a narrow lead over Democratic challenger Terry Goddard in her bid for a full term in office, according to a new survey. A Rocky Mountain Poll released Monday indicates that Brewer faces stiff competition from Goddard, the state's attorney general, when it comes to registered voters, with Brewer holding a 38 to 35 point advantage among registered voters, with more than one in five undecided.

Austin-American Statesman: White still answering questions about Houston land deal
Democrat Bill White says one reason voters should replace Gov. Rick Perry next month is that Perry has used his office to help his friends and political donors. As an example, White and other Perry critics often point to the state's now-abandoned efforts to condemn thousands of acres of farmland for toll roads and other projects that were part of the Trans-Texas Corridor plan. But in one of the more controversial chapters of his six-year tenure as mayor of Houston, White faced accusations in his last couple of years in office that he encouraged condemnation proceedings to help a campaign contributor, albeit on a smaller scale.

San Jose Mercury News: The coalition that is fighting to defeat Prop. 23 has a formidable weapon in its arsenal: Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has pointedly refused to endorse fellow Republican Meg Whitman in the race to succeed him and has stayed largely quiet on most of the major ballot measures. But he is campaigning across the state with remarkable passion to defeat Proposition 23, a measure that would suspend California's landmark global warming bill, one of the signature achievements of his administration.

NATIONAL
For the latest national news:  www.CNN.com

New York Times: Offshore Wind Power Line Wins Praise, and Backing
Google and a New York financial firm have each agreed to invest heavily in a proposed $5 billion transmission backbone for future offshore wind farms along the Atlantic Seaboard that could ultimately transform the region’s electrical map. The 350-mile underwater spine, which could remove some critical obstacles to wind power development, has stirred excitement among investors, government officials and environmentalists who have been briefed on it.

INTERNATIONAL
For the latest international news:  http://edition.cnn.com

CNN: Chilean president: Looking forward to imminent mine rescue
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera says he is looking forward to the imminent rescue of the 33 miners trapped for more than two months nearly half a mile below ground. Officials have said rescue crews will begin Wednesday - and perhaps even earlier - pulling the men to safety. "I hope that by tomorrow [Tuesday] or Wednesday, the miners will not only be able to see sunlight, but embrace their wives and girlfriends, parents, mothers and children," Pinera told CNN en Espanol on Monday.

CNN: U.S. grenade may have killed British hostage, PM says
A British aid worker who died during an operation to rescue her from kidnappers in Afghanistan may have been killed by a grenade thrown by American forces trying to free her, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday. Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, will launch an investigation into the failed attempt to rescue Linda Norgrove, 36, Cameron said.

CNN: Tuesday marks 10th anniversary of USS Cole
On October 12, 2000 a suicide bomber attacked the USS Cole as it refueled in Yemen. A rubber boat packed with explosives detonated, killing 17 and wounding at least 37 more. Ten years later the destroyer – also known as DDG 67 – is still on active duty.

BBC: Status change means Dutch Antilles no longer exists
The Dutch Caribbean dependency the Netherlands Antilles has ceased to exist with a change of the five islands' constitutional status. Curacao and St Maarten have become autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, joining Aruba, which gained the status in 1986.

BUSINESS
For the latest business news:  www.CNNMoney.com

Wall Street Journal: Wall Street Pay: A Record $144 Billion
Pay on Wall Street is on pace to break a record high for a second consecutive year, according to a study conducted by The Wall Street Journal. About three dozen of the top publicly held securities and investment-services firms—which include banks, investment banks, hedge funds, money-management firms and securities exchanges—are set to pay $144 billion in compensation and benefits this year, a 4% increase from the $139 billion paid out in 2009, according to the survey. Compensation was expected to rise at 26 of the 35 firms.

In Case You Missed It

CNN's John King looks at political shifts in the country that show deep division and cynicism.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/10/11/jk.guaranteed.gridlock.cnn

GOP-backed groups are spending millions on campaign ads and not revealing who's behind the money. CNN's Dana Bash reports.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/10/11/bash.gop.backed.ad.spending.cnn

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