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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama proposes reduction in corporate taxes in exchange for new jobs and infrastructure programs - The White House cast the new plan as a “grand bargain for the middle class,” as well as a new way to ease the partisan gridlock expected to intensify this fall with battles over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling.

“If we’re going to break free of the same old arguments, where I propose an idea and Republicans say no just because it’s my idea, let me try offering something that serious people in both parties should be able to support,” Obama said at an warehouse in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he outlined his new offer: “A deal that simplifies the tax code for our businesses and creates good jobs with good wages for the middle-class folks who work at those businesses.” has more here.


Consumer confidence drops in July - U.S. consumer confidence pulled back in July as consumers were less optimistic about the outlook for the economy and labor market, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes slipped to 80.3 from an upwardly revised 82.1 in June.

The report was shy of economists' expectations for the index to hold steady at June's original reading of 81.4.

The expectations index dropped to 84.7 from 91.1. Still, consumers were not so gloomy about their current standings, with the present situation index rising to 73.6 from 68.7, the highest level since May 2008. has more here.


Alison Lundergan Grimes begins senate campaign to unseat McConnell - The Democratic Party’s 15-month effort to take down Mitch McConnell began in earnest here Tuesday evening, with 34-year-old Alison Lundergan Grimes declaring that the veteran Senate Republican leader embodies a “disease of dysfunction” in Washington.

In a carefully scripted campaign rally that featured a video endorsement from former President Bill Clinton, speeches from prominent state Democratic leaders and remarks from the candidate’s 83-year-old maternal grandmother, Elsie Case, the party tried to project a sense of unity that Grimes is best-equipped to take out the powerful GOP leader who has dominated the state’s political world for three decades. has more here.


Former Senator Harry Byrd Jr. Dies - Former Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr., the Democrat-turned-independent who began his career as a staunch segregationist and preached fiscal restraint in Washington long before it became fashionable, has died. He was 98.

Byrd's son, Tom Byrd, is president and publisher of The Winchester Star, which first reported the death. Tom Byrd's office confirmed that the former senator died Tuesday.

Byrd served 17 years in the U.S. Senate, replacing his powerful father, Harry Flood Byrd, a U.S. senator from 1933 until failing health forced him to retire in late 1965. Gov. Albertis

Harrison appointed the younger Byrd, a longtime state senator who, like his father, supported segregation.

In 1966, Byrd won a special election for the remaining years of his father's term. Switching from Democrat to independent, Byrd won re-election in 1970 and 1976.

Even as an independent, Byrd got more votes than the Democratic and Republican candidates combined. It was only the second time an independent won a U.S. Senate seat.  NBC News has more here.


Weiner campaign continues to unravel - Anthony Weiner¹s communications director apologized Tuesday night for bashing a former intern in a scathing interview laced with four-letter words.

"In a moment of frustration, I used inappropriate language in what I thought was an off the record conversation," Barbara Morgan said in a statement to CNN. "It was wrong and I am very sorry."

Morgan added that she called and apologized Tuesday night to the former intern, Olivia Nuzzi.

Talking Points Memo, a left-leaning news organization, published a report late Tuesday night, quoting Morgan as she responded to a New York Daily News article written by Nuzzi, who described an unflattering account of Weiner¹s New York City mayoral campaign.

"(Morgan) went off on a curse-filled rant about Nuzzi, describing her as a fame hungry 'b**ch' who 'sucked' at her job. Morgan also called Nuzzi a 'sl*tb*g,' 'tw*t,' and 'c**t' while threatening to sue her," the TPM article stated. has more here.


EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock will not run for Senate in Montana - EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock announced Tuesday that she will not run for Montana’s open Senate seat, further dwindling a short list of potential candidates for the Democratic nomination.

“Montana raised me, and it will always be my heart,” said Schriock, a Montana native and former top aide to Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. “It has been truly incredible to hear from so many folks who believe in me. I would love to say yes, but this is not the right time.”

Schriock was one of a handful of Democrats floated as potential candidates two weeks ago, after former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer made the surprise decision not to run. Just days later, state Auditor Monica Lindeen took herself out of contention.

Schweitzer’s decision left the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus in jeopardy. It’s now one of the top pickup opportunities for Republicans, who must net six seats to win the Senate majority in 2014. has more here.


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