TPM News

In a press release today, former MoveOn.org founding Executive Director Peter Schurman announced his candidacy for Governor of California. Here's the statement:

"Our Democratic standard-bearer must take bold stands on the key issues facing California - like closing our budget gap by making corporations, big commercial property owners, and the richest people pay their fair share," said Schurman.

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An upbeat Harry Reid told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren in an interview aired last night that more and more people are coming around to health care reform. He also defended the Nebraska Medicaid deal that secured Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-NE) vote in December.

"Now that the legislation passed, it is amazing how much different people attitude is. ... People have changed. Even the Republicans have changed their tone," the Senate majority leader said. "So everybody acknowledges with rare exception that what we did was terrific, and if there are some problems in out years we'll be happy to look at them."

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White House to Unveil More Restrictive Nuke Policy The Obama administration is set to unveil a new policy on nuclear weapons, which narrow the circumstances under which the United States would use such weapons. The Associated Press reports: "The U.S. officials said the administration's new policy would stop short of declaring that the United States would never be the first to launch a nuclear attack, as many arms control advocates had recommended. But it would describe the weapons' purpose as 'primarily' or 'fundamentally' to deter or respond to a nuclear attack. The officials said the document would say it is a U.S. goal to move toward a policy in which the 'sole purpose' of nuclear weapons is to deter or respond to nuclear attack. That wording would all but rule out the use of such weapons to respond to an attack by conventional, biological or chemical weapons. Previous U.S. policy was more ambiguous."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will host an Easter Prayer Breakfast at 9:40 a.m. ET. He will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10:45 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 12 p.m. ET. He will have lunch with Vice President Biden at 12:30 p.m. ET. He will meet with senior advisers at 2 p.m. ET, and he will meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at 4:30 p.m. ET.

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April 5, 2010: The Obama family hosts the annual Easter Egg roll on the South Lawn of the White House. Special guests include the cast of the TV show Glee, actress Reese Witherspoon, Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Ohno, author J.K. Rowling, and others. Pictures of last year's event are here.

President Obama plays referee as the roll begins.

Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com




The Obamas kick off the festivities with some introductory remarks.

Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com/




Apolo Ohno listens to the National Anthem, sung by Glee cast member Amber Riley.

Newscom/Sipa Press




Newscom/Sipa Press




Reese Witherspoon attended the event with her daughter Ava and her son Deacon.

Newscom/Sipa Press




Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com




Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com




Christina Bellantoni/TPM




The President reads Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs And Ham" as Malia, Sasha, and Michelle Obama look on.

Newscom/Sipa Press




The cast of the TV show Glee performed several songs throughout the day.

Newscom/Sipa Press




Matthew Morrison, also from Glee, sang "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."

Newscom/UPI






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com




J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Official White House Photo By Drew Angerer




The Obamas with the Easter Bunny (Deputy Director of Oval Office Operations Brian Mosteller) in the Green Room of the White House.

Official White House Photo By Pete Souza




Michelle and Malia Obama watch the cast of Glee perform.

Official White House Photo By Samantha Appleton

The man recently hired by Michael Steele as a Republican National Committee fundraiser was accused in 2005 by a political action committee he chaired of improperly using PAC money on personal nightclub bills, according to a copy of the complaint filed against him.

Bank records obtained by TPMmuckraker show that Neil Alpert, who began working as Steele's "special assistant for finance" last month, used the debit card of the PAC he chaired at Washington's Dream Night Club, which is also known as Club LOVE. An online review describes the club's "four levels of state-of-the-art diversions and urban scenery [attracting] entertainers, pro athletes and DC's sexiest civvies."

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Here are some key fundraising numbers from today and this past weekend:

• Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who is seeking to oust Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter, announced that he raised over $2.3 million, and has over $4 million in cash on hand.

• Freshman Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO), who was one of the eight House Democrats to switch from a no to a yes on the health care bill, raised over $500,000 -- and more than $355,000 of it came in the last two weeks of the quarter, after she'd announced her support for the bill. So clearly, the Dem base rewarded her for rejoining the party fold on this very crucial vote.

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The shake-ups are continuing at the Republican National Committee, in the wake of recent spending scandals, with chief of staff Ken MacKay resigning, Politico reports.

The Hotline reports that MacKay had fired the staffer who made now-infamous $2,000 expenditure at a bondage-themed night club in West Hollywood. However, RNC chairman Michael Steele wanted to take further steps. "The chairman felt it was critical to make a move swiftly to ensure that no improper expenses happen in the future," said RNC spokesman Doug Heye.

Late Update: RNC Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement: "The members of the Republican National Committee entrusted myself and every staffer to lead the loyal opposition against the destructive Obama agenda, build a stronger Republican party and win elections. This is a role I take with the utmost seriousness. With this in mind, I want to do everything in my power to ensure that the committee uses all its resources in the best possible fashion and for this reason I have appointed Mike Leavitt Chief of Staff. Through his experience in Maine working for RNC Victory 2004 and the Maine GOP; running my Senate race; working for Senator John McCain's presidential election in 2007 and his close work with Governor Bob McDonnell, Mike brings a strong ability to work to manage the building and win elections across the country."

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