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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Black Smoke Signals No Consensus on Pope - Black smoke billowed from a makeshift copper chimney atop the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday, signaling that the 115 cardinals of the Catholic Church eligible to vote for a new pope had again failed to muster majority support for a successor to benedict XVI and that balloting would continue until they do.

A first vote ended inconclusively on Tuesday, and the inky black smoke a day later indicated continuing divisions in two subsequent ballots on Wednesday among the cardinals over what kind of pope they want to confront the pressing, sometimes conflicting, demands for change after years of scandal. The NY Times has more here.


Obama Meets With House Republicans as Budget Battle Continues - the meeting today comes after President Obama meet with Senate Democrats yesterday.  In spite of the overtures by the president, there does not appear to be any movement at reconciliation between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) releasing his latest blanced budget proposal that includes defunding the Affordable Care Act and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wsah.) unveiling the Democratic budget proposal. has more here.


MSNBC "The Ed Show" To Disclose Identity of "47%" Videomaker - Tonight, Ed Schultz will interview the man who videotaped the "47 percent" video, that Mitt Romney, in a recent interview, claimed had a significant impact on his defeat in the 2012 presidential election.


Florida Republican Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll Resigns - Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll announced her resignation Wednesday, a day after she was questioned by authorities investigating an Internet cafe company that she once represented.

Carroll’s resignation letter to Gov. Rick Scott, dated Tuesday, offered no details about her reason for leaving. But Scott’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, said she was interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers Tuesday regarding her work with Allied Veterans of the World.

She resigned to ensure her ties to the company would not be a distraction for the administration, he said. Carroll, a Navy veteran, had owned a public relations firm that represented that company.

The owner of Allied Veterans was arrested Tuesday in Oklahoma on charges of racketeering. He is accused of making $290 million after supplying illegal gambling software in Florida and claiming the games’ proceeds would benefit a veterans group. Oklahoma authorities say the group actually received only 1 percent of the money. Chase Egan Burns, 37, and his wife, 38-year-old Kristin Burns, both face extradition to Florida to face the charges. An attorney for Burns did not respond to a request for comment.  You can read more here.


Background Checks Inch Closer To Approval - Senators negotiating a bill mandating background checks for all gun buyers are privately expecting the National Rifle Association not to fight the measure -- provided the legislation does not require private gun sellers to maintain records of the checks, NBC News has learned.

If that requirement is met and key Republican negotiator Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma signs on, the powerful gun lobby has signaled to lawmakers that they would not actively oppose the bill -- and not count votes in favor of it as part of its highly influential NRA lawmaker ratings -- according to Senate aides familiar with the stalled negotiations.

Such a deal could clear the way for a universal background check bill, a central tenet of President Barack Obama's gun control initiative, to pass the Senate with significant Republican support. Odds of passage in the House would brighten significantly as a result.  You can read more here.


Democrats Continue Robust Fundraising - The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $6.3 million in February, ending last month with $7.6 million in cash on hand.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee in February and ended the month with more money in the bank.

The DCCC took in $6.3 million in February to the NRCC’s $5 million haul. The DCCC had $7.6 million in cash on hand as of the end of last month, while the NRCC had only $4.4 million has more here and here.


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