TPM News

Zeroing in on Rep. Steve Buyer's questionable charity, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington today asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Buyer "violated ethics rules by abusing a charity for private purposes and by trading legislative assistance for donations to the charity and a job for his son."

The watchdog is also asking the IRS to probe whether the Indiana Republican's Frontier Foundation "violated federal tax law by failing to operate for its stated public purpose of helping needy students and by doing little more than paying for the congressman to play golf with donors with interests before his committee."

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David Plouffe's official return to the Obama inner circle of advisors is as much to reassure nervous Democrats as it is to do the job he's been assigned to do.

Plouffe, who penned an op-ed in this weekend's Washington Post saying the party needs to emerge victorious and pass health care, has been regarded by Obama loyalists and supporters as a smart political outsider who helped the candidate make smart choices during the long presidential campaign. He will help oversee the White House effort to retain as many Congressional seats and governorships as possible for the Democratic party this fall.

The White House selectively leaked details of Plouffe's new "expanded" role to news outlets this weekend as Democrats are questioning Obama's decision-making. Congressional Democrats have called for Obama to take a stronger leadership role in the health care fight, political operatives say he allowed Republicans to win the messaging war over the bill and progressives say they haven't seen Obama demonstrate much if any of the change they voted for.

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Vice President Joe Biden is praising the decision by his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, to not run for his father's former Senate seat this year and instead to focus on prosecuting a high-profile case involving alleged child abuse.

"I know I sound like the proud father I am, but all of his life, Beau has put duty above any personal ambition, and this decision today is another example of that exceptional character trait," Vice President Biden said in a statement provided to TPMDC. "Jill and I are so proud of our son and feel fortunate as Delawareans that he is our Attorney General."

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A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a statement today on Beau Biden's decision to not run for his father's former Senate seat in Delaware. Here is the full text:

"Clearly, Beau Biden's decision not to run for the United States Senate represents a major recruiting setback for national Democrats, who have been counting on his candidacy to keep the Vice President's former seat in Democrat control. As we saw in Massachusetts last week, voters clearly stated that these seats belong to the people - not to either political party or dynasty. Voters want independent-minded leaders who will put their interests first and not simply serve as a rubberstamp for the out-of-control spending and big government agenda that we've witnessed in Washington under the Democrats' control. Congressman Mike Castle has a proven record of independence and bipartisanship that puts him in a strong position to win this seat in November."

Health Care for America Now is putting its money where its mouth is. Last week, the nation's largest reform campaign put itself on the side of major labor organizations, and leading members of Congress, saying the way out of the Democrats' health care conundrum is for the House to pass the Senate's legislation, and then pair it with a separate package amending key financing and structural aspects of the bill. This week, they're stepping up their efforts to make sure that happens.

The group has launched a new website to help supporters contact their members of Congress to deliver the following message. "I need quality, affordable health care, not politics. This is about health care for everyone, not a special election in Massachusetts."

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The Republican State Leadership Committee released a statement today naming Ed Gillespie, former Republican National Committee Chairman and counselor to President Bush, as its new chairman. Former Congressman and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds will serve as vice chairman. Read the full statement after the jump.

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Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said in an interview broadcast this morning on Good Morning America that "the president is going to have to scale back his agenda after we pass health care reform."

Nelson also blamed "the left wing" for getting the president off track.

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In a major setback for Democratic chances in 2010, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, a son of Vice President Joe Biden, has announced that he will not run in this November's special election for his father's former Senate seat.

In his official statement, Beau Biden cited the importance of his current work on a high-profile child abuse case in Delaware. Sources close to Vice President Biden suggested to TPMDC that Beau did not want to walk away from such a high-profile case.

"However, my first responsibilities are here in Delaware. I have a duty to fulfill as Attorney General -- and the immediate need to focus on a case of great consequence," Beau Biden writes. "And that is what I must do. Therefore I cannot and will not run for the United States Senate in 2010. I will run for reelection as Attorney General."

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