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Monday, May 13, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Durbin says Republicans targeting Clinton over Benghazi with 2016 in mind - The Senate’s second-ranking Democrat suggested Sunday that Republicans are going after former secretary of state Hillary Clinton over last year’s deadly attack in Benghazi with an eye on hurting her image ahead of the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Unfortunately, this has been caught up in the 2016 presidential campaign–this effort to go after Hillary Clinton,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” “The reason she wasn’t interviewed was she didn’t have any direct-line responsibility for the decisions that were made, but they want to bring her in because they think it’s a good political show, and I think that’s unfortunate.”  The Washington Post has more here.


Obama hails Pakistan's first democratic election - President Obama hailed Pakistan on its election this weekend, calling it a "significant milestone" for the nation's democracy.

In a statement released Sunday, the president congratulated the Pakistani people on their parliamentary elections, which marked the first time the nation transferred power from one elected government to another.

"The United States stands with all Pakistanis in welcoming this historic peaceful and transparent transfer of civilian power, which is a significant milestone in Pakistan’s democratic progress," he said. "By conducting competitive campaigns, freely exercising your democratic rights, and persevering despite intimidation by violent extremists, you have affirmed a commitment to democratic rule that will be critical to achieving peace and prosperity for all Pakistanis for years to come." has more here.


Minnesota set to approve same-sex marriage - The Minnesota Senate is expected to give final approval on Monday to a bill that would make the state the 12th in the United States to allow same-sex couples to marry and only the second in the Midwest.

Leaders in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 39-28 majority, have said they believe they have the support to approve a bill legalizing gay marriage. They set a vote for Monday on the measure that members of the state House approved last week.

Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has said he would sign the bill, which would make Minnesota the third state this month to legalize gay marriage after Rhode Island and Delaware. The law would take effect August 1. has more here.


Republicans blast IRS for targeting conservative groups - Republicans blasted the Internal Revenue Service on Sunday for targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, calling for a full investigation and pressuring the Obama administration to hold the agency accountable.

“The bottom line is they used key words to go after conservatives. This is something you have to institute changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said on “Meet the Press.” “There’s got to be accountability for people who were telling lies about it being done.” has more here.


Massachusetts Senate race remains tight -  In the special election contest to replace the vacant John  Kerry seat, a new poll conducted for Republican Gabriel Gomez’s campaign shows Gomez trailing Democratic Rep. Ed Markey by just three points.

The May 5-7 poll of 800 likely special election voters by OnMessage, Inc., a Republican political consulting firm, found Markey leading Gomez 46 percent to 43 percent, with 11 percent undecided. According to an OnMessage polling memo, respondents “were stratified by county based on previous election results to reflect historic voter trends.”

The survey found Markey’s name ID at 45 percent favorable/35 percent unfavorable to Gomez’s 43 percent favorable/15 percent unfavorable.

Markey held a 73 percent-12 percent lead over Gomez among Democrats, while Gomez held a 94 percent to 3 percent lead among Republicans. The contest remains very competitive because the Republican held a 50 percent to 36 percent advantage among Independents. has more here.


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