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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

New Mayor in Chicago -
first time in over half a century an incumbent mayor was not on the ballot and first time in decades it was not a Daley. Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel won yesterday with 55% of the vote, eliminating the need for a runoff election.

He now faces what most big city mayors are experiencing, a 500 million to one Billion budget deficit. He will be sworn in on May 16. has more here.


Union Battle in Wisconsin Spreading to other States -
Ohio and Indiana, two more "on the fence" states, which are critical to the presidential election, are following Wisconsin's lead. Many Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers remain in hiding and others are filibustering the Republican lead attempt to end collective bargaining. Stay Tuned as this outcome will have a major impact on the 2012 president election. The Washington Post has more here.


Budget Stalemate Continues -
Republican House Speaker John Boehner is rejecting a thirty day continuing resolution extension proposal put forward by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Meanwhile, the March 4 date when the current continuing resolution ends is rapidly approaching and if an agreement is not reached, a government shutdown would take place. has more here.


U.S. Nears Debt Ceiling -
the current 14.29 Trillion debt ceiling could be reached as early as April 5 according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. There is no sign from Congress as to when they will act to raise the limit, which allows the U.S. to legally borrow funds as they continue to battle with a continuing budget resolution for this year and the budget for next year. has more here.


Judge Upholds Health Care Mandate Provision -
the fifth ruling on challenges to the individual mandate provision. The rulings so far are 3-2 in support of the Obama administration health care law. Interestingly, the federal judges who have ruled in support were appointed by former President Clinton and the two who ruled against were appointed by Republican Presidents.

There is no question this issue is headed toward the Supreme Court, where conservatives currently hold an advantage. The NY Times has a good read here.


Democrats Start Up Super-Pac to Help 2012 Elections
- a third party operation, with the ability to raise unlimited funds, to counter the Republican Patriot Majority PAC, which was used successfully in the 2010 mid term elections. In addition to the president and House member elections, democrats have 23 U.S. Senators up for election to only 10 Republicans in 2012. has more here.

All of this begs the question, will we ever have meaningful campaign finance reform?


New Cabinet in Egypt Meets -
while protesters continue to call for more representative balance and the official end to "emergency law", which has prevented the formation of political parties. A new March on Tahrir Square on Friday is being called for by the Muslim Brotherhood, a much maligned and mostly misunderstood political party by western analysts. has more here.


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