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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama to Speak in Dallas Today - President Obama is scheduled to speak on Wednesday in Dallas at a Democratic National Committee event, where around 60 people are expected to attend a dinner with the President and first lady.
The fundraising event is expected to net about $1 million, according to the report. During his trip to Texas, Obama will also attend the opening of former President George W. Bush's presidential library and a memorial for victims of the deadly fertilizer plant blast in Waco, Tex.  The Dallas Morning News has more here.

Obama Dines With Women Senators - President Obama hosted the 20 female U.S. senators for halibut, peach pie and a two-hour discussion of the economy and the federal budget Tuesday at the White House.
"The president enjoyed continuing his discussion with the senators about a wide range of items on the agenda, including working together to find common ground on budget issues and new initiatives to grow our economy, create jobs and strengthen the middle class," a White House official said.

Topics of conversation also included the bipartisan immigration bill under review in the Senate, last week's failed gun control vote and expanding education programs. has more here.


Tamerlan Tsarnaev Was On Classified Watch Lists - The name of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was listed on the U.S. government's highly classified central database of people it views as potential terrorists. But the list is so vast that this did not mean authorities automatically kept close tabs on him, sources close to the bombing investigation said on Tuesday.

The sources said Tamerlan Tsarnaev's details were entered into TIDE, a database maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, because the FBI spoke to him in 2011 while investigating a Russian tip-off that he had become a follower of radical Islamists.

The FBI found nothing to suggest he was an active threat, but all the same placed his name on the "Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment" list. The FBI has not said what it did find about Tsarnaev.

But the database, which holds more than half a million names, is only a repository of information on people who U.S. authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.

Because of its huge size, U.S. investigators do not routinely monitor everyone registered there, said U.S. officials familiar with the database. has more here.  


Case Dismissed on Original Ricin Suspect - On Tuesday, the federal prosecutors dismissed all charges against Mississippi Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis in the case of ricin-tainted letters that were sent to President Barack Obama and other officials. After he was released from jail, Curtis and his attorneys held a gonzo press conference outside the federal courthouse in Oxford that included allusions to their theory that he was framed by another man, a promise of mass foot massages, and the tale of a dog named “Moo Cow.”

Though she said she doesn’t know “specifics,” Curtis attorney Christi McCoy said she believed investigators dismissed the charges against her client because they identified another person they believe was responsible for the attempted poisonings.

“The government was able to basically find another suspect who they believe is the true perpetrator of this heinous crime,” said McCoy. has more here.


Schweitzer Considers Run For Bachus Senate Seat - The decision by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to retire rather than run for reelection in 2014 casts a spotlight squarely on former Democratic governor Brian Schweitzer, a colorful and popular politcian who sports a bolo tie and often speaks of Washington in very unflattering terms. Schweitzer unquestionably represents Democrats’ best chance of holding the Senate seat in conservative-leaning Montana.

A person familiar with Schweitzer’s thinking tells The Fix the Democrat is leaning toward running.  The Washington Post has more here.


Hanabusa To Run for Senate - Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, has decided to run for Senate and will likely make a public announcement in the Aloha State next week during recess, a source close to the congresswoman told CQ Roll Call.
The decision comes four months after Hanabusa was passed over for the appointment to the seat of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye and sets up what will be a spirited Democratic primary battle with appointed Sen. Brian Schatz. has more here.


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