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Featuring breaking political news and commentary on local, state, and national issues.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof 

Obama Keeps Pressure on Republicans for Sequester Deal - President Obama has scheduled eight local tv networks today as he keeps up the pressure on Republicans to avoid the automatic cuts scheduled for March 1.

"By speaking to anchors from stations around the country, the President will have an opportunity to focus on the harmful local impacts that will be felt if congressional Republicans refuse to compromise," a White House official said in a statement.


Obama Pushes For $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan - The White House outlined the plan in a press release Wednesday, saying Obama wants to spend $40 billion on “most urgent upgrades” to highways, bridges, public transportation systems and airports.

The remaining $10 billion of the plan would go toward the creation of a national infrastructure bank. has more here.


81% of Americans Disapprove of Congress - Americans' approval of Congress is at 15% in February, one percentage point higher than in January and exactly matching the 15% average for all of 2012. More than eight in 10 Americans (81%) disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.

Congressional job approval continues to be at the low end of the historical spectrum. The February reading of 15% matches last year's average, which was the lowest yearly average in Gallup's history extending back to 1974. More broadly, Americans' approval of Congress has been low for several years now, averaging 17% in 2011 and 19% in 2010. has more here.


McAuliffe/Cuccinelli Tied in Virginia Governor Race - Former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe and state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) each claim the support of 38 percent of Commonwealth voters in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup tested by Quinnipiac.   Quinnipiac has more here.


Allen Retires in Wake of Petraeus Scandal - John Allen’s decision to retire instead of pursuing the top U.S. command in Europe opens up a vacancy in one of the most coveted military jobs in the world and confirms that scars are still visible after the David Petraeus scandal.

The four-star Marine general, who until this month was the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, officially retained the support of the White House after President Barack Obama nominated him last year to take the NATO command, even after he’d been ensnared in the adulterous web that forced out Petraeus last year as director of the CIA. has more here.


NRA To Target Democratic Senators Up For Reelection in 2014 - The National Rifle Association will launch a print advertising campaign targeting mostly Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, according to sources close to the group.

On Thursday, full-page ads are scheduled to run in local newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. They will be supplemented by digital advertising in these states and 10 others, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota.

Additionally, the group has scheduled full-page ads to run Feb. 25 in regional editions of USA Today, reaching parts of 15 states.

The campaign is estimated to cost north of $375,000, sources said. has more here. 


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