Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) – As critics take aim at Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele over his handling of the party's war chest, the committee told its members Wednesday that it plans to raise more than $107 million in 2010.
The ambitious projection means that the RNC would need to raise nearly $60 million in the second half of the year.
In the first six months of 2010, the RNC collected more than $49 million. In contrast, the Democratic National Committee raised $53.8 million during the same time period.
The projection, made in a document distributed by RNC officials at the group's summer meeting in Kansas City, comes as the committee is being forced to compete for donor dollars with a growing number of independent expenditure groups which are spending money to help defeat Democrats in November.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama's family may be out of town, but his supporters are certainly showing the love on his 49th birthday.
Volunteers with Organizing for America, the successor organization to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign group, are throwing 528 birthday parties across the country, according to the OFA website.
In addition to celebrating the president's milestone, the parties are aimed at recruiting new volunteers who will help "get more first-time 2008 voters back to the polls in November," the OFA invitation said.
OFA operates within the Democratic National Committee.
"The elections in November make this a particularly busy time for us," said Carol Sheffield, a community organizer for OFA in West Virginia. "We want to get as many people as we can to help."
Washington (CNN) - A federal judge in California ruled Wednesday that Proposition 8 - California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage - is unconstitutional.
Q: What happens next?
A: The losing side is hoping the judge immediately issues a stay to stop the ruling from going into effect until appeals are filed. Supporters of the voter-approved referendum in particular were concerned that if they lost, same-sex marriages could be performed before the judge rules on the stay request, which could take several weeks.
(CNN) - A federal judge in California on Wednesday overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying the voter-approved rule violated the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians.
The decision, issued by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco, is an initial step in what will likely be a lengthy legal fight over California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
At stake in the trial was whether California's ban on same-sex marriage violated the constitutional rights to equal protection and due process of two gay couples that want to marry.
Updated: 5:25 p.m.
(CNN) - What a difference a year makes.
Last summer the White House enlisted former President Bill Clinton to help in trying to convince Rep. Joe Sestak to not mount a Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who had just switched from the Republican to the Democratic party.
Fast forward to the summer of 2010 and Sestak is the party's Senate nominee and Clinton will now head to Pennsylvania to campaign with the former Navy admiral.
Sestak's campaign announced Wednesday that Clinton will headline a Sestak rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania next Tuesday afternoon. The same day Clinton is scheduled to be the main attraction at a fundraiser for Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, the Democratic nominee in the state's 15th congressional district. Callahan faces off against incumbent GOP Rep. Charlie Dent in November.
Washington (CNN) - Just over three weeks after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People passed a resolution accusing the Tea Party movement of harboring racist elements, a group of African-American conservatives joined hands in a chorus saying: "we are not racists."
On Wednesday, over two dozen black conservative leaders sang the praises of the controversial, grassroots movement during a carefully-organized press conference at the National Press Club in Washington. But the tone grew coarse as the assembled Tea Party supporters, one-by-one, offered scathing rebukes of those who say the movement is rife with racism.
"The Tea Party movement represents one of the greatest citizen uprisings in our young nation's history," prominent activist Selena Owens said as she opened up the event.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Washington's big debate – whether or not to extend the Bush-era tax cuts – heated up Wednesday, and appeared headed for a showdown when Congress returns from its summer break next month.
Top Democrats will tackle new tax legislation in September when they return from summer break, according to a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Democrats want to try to extend the middle-class tax cuts passed back in 2001 and 2003 during the George W. Bush administration. But they want to let cuts lapse – essentially hiking taxes – for individuals making more than $200,000 and families making $250,000 annually.
Republicans accused Democrats of trying to quash the economic recovery.
Washington (CNN) – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has endorsed yet another candidate-this time it's Brian Murphy, Maryland Republican candidate for governor.
In a statement posted on Palin's Facebook page, "I'm honored to endorse Brian Murphy for Governor of Maryland. Brian is a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment commonsense conservative and a firm believer in the free market and the cause for energy independence."
"As a former energy industry executive and current small business owner, Brian has the private sector experience that is so lacking in government today. He knows how to incentivize industry to get our economy moving again. Together with his running mate for lieutenant governor, Mike Ryman, Brian will provide Maryland with principled and results oriented leadership," said Palin.