San Francisco, California (CNN) - An unidentified heckler interrupted President Obama's fundraising speech Tuesday night by calling for the administration to move faster on repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars openly gay and lesbian soldiers from military service.
The unidentified man shouted during Obama's speech, causing the president to pause and chide him.
"Maybe he didn't read the newspapers, because we're working with Congress as we speak to roll back 'don't ask, don't tell,' " Obama said at the event for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama heads west Tuesday afternoon to lend Sen. Barbara Boxer a hand. It's the president's second trip to California in a month to help the fellow Democrat raise campaign cash for her re-election battle.
Obama will headline three fundraisers in San Francisco for Boxer and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The events are scheduled to be held at the Fairmont Hotel, in the city's affluent Nob Hill district, and at the home of Ann and Gordon Getty, wealthy philanthropists who head their family's billion dollar trust.
Last month the president was the main attraction at two fundraisers in Los Angeles for the three-term senator and for the Democratic National Committee. A Democratic source confirmed to CNN that those two events raised at least $3 million in campaign cash.
Boxer faces what's expected to be a tough bid this year for a fourth term in office. A poll released last Friday by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) indicates that 50-percent of Golden state voters approve of the job Boxer is doing as senator, with 38-percent saying they disapprove.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama heads west Monday afternoon to headline two political fundraisers for his party and for a fellow Democrat. It's the president's second night of fundraising over the past four days.
Obama is the main attraction at two events in Los Angeles for the Democratic National Committee and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. According to the White House schedule, the president will deliver remarks at a fundraising reception Boxer and the DNC at the California Science Center. Then Obama heads to the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles, where he will speak at a fundraising dinner for Boxer and the DNC. A Democratic source confirms to CNN that the two events will raise at least $3 million in campaign cash.
Last Thursday, Obama headlined two DNC fundraisers in Miami that brought in around $2.5 million for the party, according to a Democratic source.
The Democratic National Committee says it raised at least $13 million in March. Its counterpart, the Republican National Committee, reports raising $11.4 million last month.
Washington (CNN) - As the primary calendar heats up, President Obama will attend fundraisers from coast to coast over the next few days.
The president, already in Florida Thursday afternoon for a speech at the Kennedy Space Center where he'll outline his plans for the future of America's space program, heads south to Miami later in the day to headline two Democratic party fundraisers.
The first event, at $30,400 per couple, is at the home of singer Gloria Estefan, according to a Democratic source. The second fundraiser will be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with tickets ranging from $250 to $1,250. Jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding will be performing. The source tells CNN that both events combined could raise around $2.5 million for the Democratic National Committee.
The Democratic National Committee raised at least $13 million in March, a Democratic source tells CNN. Its counterpart, the Republican National Committee, reports raising $11.4 million last month.
Obama is the main attraction Monday at two joint fundraisers in Los Angeles for the DNC and fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer. The three-term senator faces what's expected to be a difficult re-election campaign this year.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, hopes to keep her seat. But a fresh poll suggests she may have a steep hill to climb.
In the latest Field Poll released Thursday, a slight majority of Californians hold a negative view of her.
Fifty-one percent view the senator unfavorably, with just 38 percent having favorable views of her. That's a 12-point jump in Boxer's unfavorable rating in the poll in January.
Meanwhile, Boxer appears to be losing ground in hypothetical match-ups between her and three potential Republican challengers: Rep. Tom Campbell, R-California, former Hewlett-Packard Chairman and CEO, Carly Fiorina, and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.
Washington (CNN) - A second term for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke became more uncertain Friday as two leading liberal senators announced they would vote no, and many other Senate Democrats said they were undecided.
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, both issued statements announcing their opposition to Bernanke.
"Under the watch of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve permitted grossly irresponsible financial activities that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Under Chairman Bernanke's watch predatory mortgage lending flourished, and 'too big to fail' financial giants were permitted to engage in activities that put our nation's economy at risk," said Feingold.
Sen. Boxer said she's voting no because Bernanke "played a lead role in crafting the Bush administration's economic policies, which led to the current economic crisis."
"Our next Federal Reserve Chairman must represent a clean break from the failed policies of the past," she said.
Washington (CNN) - U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, the lone Democratic holdout on the Senate health care reform bill, has reached an agreement with Democratic leaders, several Democratic senators said Saturday on Capitol Hill.
Nelson, a social conservative from Nebraska who opposes abortion, does not want taxpayer funds to pay for that medical procedure. His vote is crucial for Democrats, who want to avoid a GOP filibuster.
The senators were said to be caucusing on the terms of the agreement.
Asked whether he was on board with it, Ben Nelson replied, "Yeah."
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, who was one of the key senators involved in the talks with Ben Nelson, confirmed that she's satisfied that the language of the agreement achieves its goal.
"My goal was to try to reach some compromise so we could move forward on health care, where the basic premise was we could separate federal funds from private funds. I think we achieved that."
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, agreed, saying the deal follows the principles of the Hyde amendment, which prevents federal funds from being used for abortions.
"Anyone who is in the exchange who also gets a federal subsidy because they're poor, if they choose a private insurance policy and want any kind of abortion coverage, they have to write that part of the premium from their own personal funds," the Florida senator said.
The health bill proposes a health insurance exchange for those unable to afford health coverage or don't have coverage. No federal funds could be used to cover abortions for people participating in the exchange, the bill says.
In addition, under national plans that would be administered by the Office of Personnel Management, there has to be, if a state chooses those, at least one that does not offer abortion coverage.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The chair of the Senate Ethics Committee said Sunday that a preliminary investigation has begun into the conduct of Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign.
Ensign admitted earlier this year to an extramarital affair with a married campaign staffer. A recent report by the New York Times suggests that Ensign went to great lengths to aid the staffer’s husband, who also worked as an aide in Ensign’s Senate office, and, in the process, may have encouraged the possible violation of Senate rules regarding lobbying.
“I can’t discuss this with you other than to say that there’s a preliminary investigation going on,” California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer told John King on CNN’s State of the Union. “And we will look at all aspects of this case as we do whenever there’s a case before us and try to get to the bottom of it as quickly as we can in fairness to all.”
Asked about the specific issues the investigation is looking into, Boxer said she was not permitted by Senate rules to do so.
Asked whether Ensign could serve effectively with an ethics investigation pending, fellow Republican Sen. John Kyl of Arizona said he would “wait and see what happens” with the Ensign investigation.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A leading Senate Republican said Sunday that the Obama administration should consider keeping marginal tax rates at current levels in order to help small businesses who may be struggling in the midst of a down economy.
“Don’t allow taxes to go up,” is how Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl responded Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union when asked what the president could do to help with job creation as the national unemployment rates inches closer to ten percent.
“Targeted tax relief for Americans would be the quickest way out of this recession,” Kyl also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “If you, for example, were to ensure that the top marginal rates do not increase, you’ll have small businesses ... be able to invest in their companies [and] hire more people. They are the job creators in the country and I think that will begin to get us out of the recession.”
Kyl rejected two major Democratic agenda items – health care reform legislation and an energy bill that would create a cap-and-trade system for emissions – as viable methods for helping the economy. Kyl said both initiatives, if enacted, would cause the economy to lose jobs.
Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California disagreed.
Boxer, who recently introduced an energy bill in the Senate, said that legislation intended to deal with climate change and promote American energy independence would result in increased private capital coming into the economy.