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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Turkey Prime Minister Erdogan Pushes protestors out of Istanbul Square - After more than a day of chaotic clashes, Taksim Square was largely cleared of protesters on Wednesday, with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan taking harsh action against the demonstrations that have created the biggest crisis in his 10 years in power.
Erdogan was scheduled to meet with a select group of protesters later Wednesday, but in the day leading up to the meeting riot police swept into Taksim Square, using vast clouds of tear gas and water cannons to clear away thousands of protesters who had gathered there to protest what they say are encroachments on their personal liberties. The central Istanbul square had largely shut to traffic since May 31, when major protests started, but police cleared away barricades the protesters had erected and stripped a central monument of revolutionary banners that had covered it.  The Washington Post has more here.

Americans Oppose Intervention in Syria - Asked to pick a response to stop the killing of civilians in Syria, just 15 percent in the NBC News/Wall Street poll say they favor U.S. military action, and only 11 percent want to provide arms to the opposition.

Asked to pick a response to stop the killing of civilians in Syria, just 15 percent in the poll say they favor U.S. military action, and only 11 percent want to provide arms to the opposition.

By comparison, a plurality of respondents -- 42 percent -- prefer to provide only humanitarian assistance, and 24 percent believe the U.S. shouldn't take any action.

Perhaps more significantly, those attitudes cut across party lines and almost all demographic groups.

"Whether you voted for Romney or Obama, they have the same opinion on Syria," said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with the Democratic firm Hart Research.  NBC News First Read has more here.


Senate Votes to Take Up Immigration Bill - Thirty Republicans, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), voted to take up the measure in the 84-15 vote, revealing a deep well of potential support.

The vote tally was a promising sign of bipartisanship, and the legislation appeared to have strong momentum after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) predicted Tuesday that immigration reform would become law by year’s end.

The bill will first have to emerge from the Senate, however, where many of the Republican “yes” votes on Tuesday warned they would not support the measure in a final vote unless its border security language was strengthened.

It also remains unclear whether an immigration reform bill will pass the House, where there is strong opposition among conservatives to the Senate bill. has more here. 


Daley's Entry Makes Illinois Governor Race Interesting - Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley’s decision to jump into the Illinois governor’s race gave Democrats their first top-tier candidate against hobbled Gov. Pat Quinn. But the ex-Commerce Secretary and banker is hardly assured of being the Prairie State’s next governor.

Daley poses an immediate threat to Quinn, the unpopular Democratic incumbent who has yet to announce he’s running again. But the biggest unknown is still Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who’s seen as a likely candidate but hasn’t decided. has more here.


Bloomberg Asks Donors Not To Give to  Democratic Senators Who Voted Against Gun Background Checks - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in a sharp escalation in the battle over gun control, is seeking to punish Democratic senators by taking away the one thing they most need from New Yorkers: money.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bloomberg will send a personal letter to hundreds of the biggest Democratic donors in New York urging them to cut off contributions to the four Democratic senators who helped block a bill in April that would have strengthened background checks on gun purchasers.  The NY Times has more here.


Noem Says She Will Not Run for Senate - Republicans are now on track to avoid a costly, high-profile primary in the South Dakota Senate race next year.

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., announced Tuesday she will seek re-election rather than take on former Gov. Mike Rounds in the primary for the open seat. Her move clears a major hurdle in the GOP’s path to picking up the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

“I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me and pledged support for a potential campaign for the U.S. Senate,” Noem said in a statement. “However, after spending the weekend discussing our future with Bryon and our children, we decided that right now we are in the best position to serve South Dakota as a member of the U.S. House.” has more here.


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