I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination.Harry Reid • “Doubling down,” as they say, on his allegation that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for ten years. Reid sourced this claim to an anonymous investor in Bain, Romney’s old company, and in a conference call with reporters today, said that he’s “had a number of people tell me that [Romney paid no taxes].” When asked to back up his claim, Reid replied: “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?” On the one hand, it’s easy to attribute an incendiary allegation to an anonymous source, as Reid has done. On the other hand, the only way to confirm or discredit this allegation is—you guessed it—for Romney to release his tax returns. source (via • follow)
There was a unanimous decision in the drafting committee to include it in the platform…everybody was for it.Retiring Rep. Barney Frank • On the inclusion of gay marriage as part of the official Democratic Party platform. The 15-member Democratic Party platform draft committee unanimously approved language supporting marriage equality, and according to Frank, a member of the committee, the vote wasn’t even close. The draft still has to be approved by the full platform committee, which meets in two weeks; then, delegates at the Democratic National Convention will have to vote in favor of it it. Huffington Post, which talked to two sources on the matter, claims that “the deal is more or less final.” Reacting to the news, the president of the National Organization for Marriage said that Democrats “can kiss the presidential election, the House and now the Senate goodbye.” What do you think—will this help or hurt Democrats in November? source (via • follow)
» Trying to learn from St. Paul: In 2008, the Republican National Convention was held in St. Paul, Minn., where protesters often got violent and police confrontations were common. No one was seriously injured, but many were arrested (including journalists). Because St. Paul was one of the smallest cities to host a national political convention, its security and enforcement was slightly unprepared. Tampa is taking no chances this year. ”We’ve extensively studied St. Paul,” said Tampa City Attorney Jim Shimberg. “We’ve had meetings with folks in St. Paul, to find out what went well and what went wrong.”
» The spike in donations has put the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on track for a historically-high month, only a few weeks removed from a record-breaking $5.6 million in donations during May. The donation numbers also add legitimacy to Democratic claims that the ruling galvanized the left every bit as much as it galvanized the right. Though, even when combined with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s similarly high $2.3 million in donations, the numbers seem small compared to the more than $5.5 million raised by Mitt Romney in the first 24-hours after the decision.
He needs to broaden the message out when talking about immigration, to make it an economic issue as much as it is a question of the rule of law, have a broader message and have a more intense message.Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush • Putting his experience with voters in Florida to good use by giving Mitt Romney some advice on how to handle the state. We know, now more than ever, that Bush will not be anyone’s running mate in this election, but that doesn’t stop him from giving his two cents. He goes on to say: “Great countries should be able to control their borders, plain and simple, and we haven’t done it to the extent that we should, although there has been significant improvement in the last seven, eight years — also because we’ve had a lot fewer people trying to cross the border, because our economy stinks.” source (via • follow)
After I lost, my friends, I slept like a baby — sleep two hours, wake up and cry.Senator John McCain • Drawing laughter during a speech in Ohio, where he offered his endorsement of Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Mandel, currently state treasurer of Ohio, faces incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in a race that has drawn national attention due to the amount of outside money pouring into the Republican’s campaign. Many conservatives hope to take back what they currently see as winnable-seat, because progressive and labor groups that have traditionally supported Brown in the past have yet to contribute any meaningful support to the campaign. source (via • follow)
» According to the Virginia Republican, he didn’t realize he would be donating to the Campaign for Primary Accountability (CPA) when he made a deal with Illinois Republican Aaron Schock to aid fellow Illinois freshman Adam Kinzinger’s re-election bid. Kinzinger faces veteran Republican Don Manzullo, now that the two men find themselves representing the same district following recent congressional redistricting. The CPA is an anti-incumbent Super PAC which has targeted a number of Republicans who are up for re-election in November, leaving many inside the GOP wondering just what the House Majority Leader was up to.
» Jumping the gun? Harry Reid’s spokesman says that it “sounds like Sen. McConnell is getting a little ahead of himself.” Republicans’ chances of retaking the Senate got worse last month when Olympia Snowe unexpectedly announced her retirement, and worse still when Bob Kerrey decided to run for his old seat in Nebraska several weeks ago. Oh, and Elizabeth Warren is now polling ahead of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Obviously, a lot can—and will—change between now and November, but McConnell’s comments should be probably be seen more as a PR move to invigorate the Republican base than anything else.
» Bye bye, Ben: Bowing out from what was expected to be a heavily-contested race in Nebraska, Democrat Ben Nelson has decided to retire from his seat in 2012, a move likely to disappoint those concerned with the Democratic Party’s ability to maintain control of the Senate. Nelson was one of the most rightward leaning members of the Democratic Senate (perhaps less so than Joe Manchin), having supported the Bush tax cuts and railing against the health care reform law as a “government takeover” before ultimately supporting it, with some big conditions: recall that infamous “cornhusker kickback?” Yeah, that was him.
I would really love to spend six months to a year in the Amazon basin, just being able to spend the day watching tree sloths.Newt Gingrich • In a 1995 Vanity Fair profile. There are lots of fun tidbits in this piece. Even back then, Gingrich was thinking of a presidential run, but his then-wife Marrianne didn’t approve. “I don’t want him to be president,” she said, “and I don’t think he should be” (he eventually divorced her). Newt often describes himself oddly journalistic terms, as if he’s a pundit writing an op-ed column, and this was true in 1995 as well. He says here that he’s “a mythical person,” “a psychodrama living out a fantasy,” and that “what makes me unusually intense is that I personalize the pain of war, the pain of children being killed.” source (via • follow)