TPMDC Morning Roundup

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Daschle “Deeply Embarrassed” By Tax Problems
Tom Daschle has sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, declaring himself “deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns.” Daschle also told the committee reviewing his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services: “I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama is meeting at 11 a.m. with Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, a Republican who has been advocating for passage of the stimulus bill. At 1:50 p.m. he and Vice President Biden will be meeting with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and at 4:45 p.m. ET Obama and Biden will be meeting with Congressional leaders to work on the stimulus bill.

The Minnesota Election Trial: Week Two
Today begins the second week of the Minnesota election trial, with Al Franken’s legal team set to cross-examine Ramsey County (St. Paul) election director Joe Mansky. Norm Coleman’s legal team secured an expert opinion from Mansky on Friday that it was highly likely that some absentee ballots were double-counted — a glitch that would have unfairly favored Franken, because of his edge among absentees overall — so expect Franken’s team to explore both alternative explanations and the difficulty in calculating such a problem.

Obama Predicts GOP Support For Stimulus
In an interview with Matt Lauer aired last night, President Obama predicted that a good number of Republicans will vote for the final stimulus bill when all is said and done. “I am confident that by the time we actually have the final package on the floor that we are going to see substantial support,” said Obama.

Gregg Appointment Could Come Soon
President Obama could potentially name Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) as his Secretary of Commerce as early as today. It looks like Gregg’s appointment would not affect the Senate balance of power, as Gregg appears to have arranged for his state’s Democratic governor to appoint a fellow Republican. Speculation at this point has centered on former Gregg chief of staff Bonnie Newman.

Parties Pick Candidates For Gillibrand’s Seat
Democrats have selected venture capitalist Scott Murphy to run for Kirsten Gillibrand’s former House seat, giving the Dems a candidate capable of spending a lot of money on the race. Republicans have already picked state Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco to run for this Upstate seat, which has historically been a GOP stronghold but has also moved to the Democrats in recent years.

DCCC Targeting House GOP’s Opposition To Stimulus
The DCCC has announced a new round of radio ads against 28 House Republicans, targeting them for their votes against the economic stimulus package. “Did you know Congressman Eric Cantor voted to bail out big banks, but opposed tax breaks for 95 percent of American workers?” the announcer says in one example ad.

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