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Scott Bloch, the former Bush administration official who is appealing his sentence to one month in prison for misdemeanor contempt of Congress, has filed a class action lawsuit against the private security firm Blackwater, alleging they've withheld benefits from workers they classified as independent contractors.

Mike Scarcella reports that Bloch's suit was filed on behalf of four former security contractors working for Blackwater (now Xe Services) who say they were improperly classified as independent contractors.

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Members of a Louisiana State Senate panel voted Wednesday to issue a rare legislative subpoena, and gave the Jindal administration 24 hours to turn over a report it commissioned on the agency that manages state employees health insurance.

The administration's plan to privatize the agency, the Office of Group Benefits (OGB), has been under fire from critics for months, and questions have been raised over the fate of OGB's $500 million surplus. Recently, the fight has centered on the so-called "Chaffe report," a financial analysis of OGB prepared for the state by New Orleans-based Chaffe & Associates. Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater, in charge of the agency that oversees OGB, told members of the State Senate's Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee at a hearing last week that they could have copies, but later went back on that pledge. Those same Senators have now put some force behind their request.

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1||May 6, 2011: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk across the tarmac before departing from Fort Campbell, KY.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

2||May 5, 2011: Obama and firefighters toast during a lunch at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 Firehouse in New York. The firehouse, known as the "Pride of Midtown," lost 15 firefighters on 9/11 -- an entire shift and more than any other New York firehouse. Obama visited New York to pay respects to 9/11 first responders after the death of Osama bin Laden. ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

3||May 10, 2011: Obama shakes hands with people in the crowd following his remarks on immigration reform at Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

4||May 12, 2011: Obama and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talk after a meeting with the Senate Republican Caucus in in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner stands to the right.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

5||May 12, 2011: Obama and Biden meet with members of the National Association of Police Organizations and TOP COP honorees in the White House's Roosevelt Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

6||May 12, 2011: Obama meets with the Congressional Black Caucus in the State Dining Room of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

7||May 12, 2011: Obama meets with Senate Republicans in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

8||May 11, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama stands as the national anthem is played during the Senate Spouses luncheon at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington||Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy&&

9||May 9, 2011: Obama greets Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan during a meeting with heads of the Chinese Strategic Economic Dialogue delegation in the Oval Office.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

10||May 9, 2011: Obama walks through the Rose Garden of the White House for an outdoor meeting with senior staff. Walking with Obama, from left, are: senior advisor David Plouffe, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Counselor to the President Pete Rouse, and outgoing White House counsel Bob Bauer.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

11||May 9, 2011: Michelle Obama participates in the "Pit Crew Challenge" during an event with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition on the South Lawn of the White House||Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy&&

12||May 7, 2011: Michelle Obama receives applause following her commencement address to the 2011 graduating class at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

13||May 6, 2011: Obama disembarks Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, following his trip to Fort Campbell, Ky.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

14||May 6, 2011: Dr. Jill Biden walks down the Cross Hall en route to a Mother's Day Tea in the East Room of the White House. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden hosted the tea for military spouses, relatives and friends.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

15||May 6, 2011: Michelle Obama greets guests in the Blue Room of the White House during the Mother's Day Tea.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

16||May 5, 2011: A signed message from Obama is seen on a pamphlet during his meeting with 9/11 family members at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum preview site near Ground Zero in New York.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

17||May 4, 2011: Obama meets with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in the Oval Office.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

18||May 4, 2011: Obama and Biden head towards the Oval Office Private Dining Room for lunch.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

19||May 3, 2011: Obama meets with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the State Dining Room of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

20||May 3, 2011: Obama and Cabinet members applaud Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the successful mission against Osama Bin Laden.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

21||May 3, 2011: Michelle Obama greets students at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

22||May 3, 2011: Michelle Obama dances during a Flash Mob Dance at Alice Deal Middle School.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

23||Obama talks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) during a dinner with chairmen and ranking members of Congress in the East Room of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

24||Obama and Chief of Staff Bill Daley at a fiscal policy meeting in the White House's Roosevelt Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

Just a few days before his resignation was announced, Scott Kipper, the man handpicked to help the Jindal administration privatize Louisiana state employees' health insurance, was grilled by lawmakers about the plan. At a hearing on June 1, some members of the State Senate's Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee accused Kipper of being less than truthful in his testimony.

The administration has said that privatizing the Office of Group Benefits, which manages the health insurance of around 250,000 state workers, retirees and their dependents, would save taxpayers money, and get the state out of the health insurance business. But critics have countered that OGB isn't broken, and doesn't need fixing, and some have raised questions about the fate of the agency's $500 million surplus.

At the hearing last week, though, the senators were particularly focused on the so-called "Chaffe report," an evaluation of OGB recently prepared by a New Orleans company named Chaffe & Associates. Lawmakers wanted to know why the administration has kept the report private, and Kipper struggled to come up with answers they liked.

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As it stands now, the biggest threat to President Obama's reelection bid isn't a Republican challenger -- it's the economy, stupid.

Obama's overall approval rating -- and by extension his odds of winning reelection next year -- are inextricably tied to the health of the economy, as a number of recent polls have made very clear. While it's still a long way till election day, at the same time that economic pessimism has grown polls are showing Americans losing confidence in Obama's ability to turn things around.

The good news for Obama is that polls have not yet shown any of the Republican presidential candidates consistently topping him in hypothetical matchups, or even putting up much of a fight. So while these polls have reinforced the time-tested notion that the economy's health is crucial to a president's reelection bid, they've also illuminated how weak the current crop of Republican frontrunners are -- including presumed frontrunner Mitt Romney.

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Herman Cain was once one of TARP's strongest supporters. In fact, he still thinks the idea was a good one, in theory anyway. This puts Cain in direct opposition to the tea party followers largely responsible for his meteoric rise of late up the Republican presidential polls.

Cain acknowledges this could be an issue.

"If they want to nail me with my support for TARP -- you know what? I'm not going to be able to counter that," Cain told TPM in a wide-ranging interview last weekend. "Here's what we will do -- we will have a spot on our website that says, 'if you really want to know the truth about my position on TARP, go look at this two-minute video.' If they choose not to, I can't change that."

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The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, has now green-lit three recalls targeting Democratic state Sens. Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch -- but it was a close call, as the board grappled all through the day with a topic that isn't discussed too much in the media: Alleged election fraud that is perpetrated by Republicans.

The state Democratic Party and the three incumbents had filed extensive challenges to the petitions that were filed by the Republicans, triggering an extensive debate among the board members (retired judges who are selected through a mostly non-partisan process), the GAB staff lawyers, and Democratic and Republican Party attorneys over what the threshold was to disqualify petitions based on claims of fraud.

Adding to the political dimension the GAB had already certified six other recalls, all of them spearheaded by the Democrats to target Republicans who voted for Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union bill, but had to receive an extension of the review time from a judge for these three recalls, because the Dems had filed much more extensive challenges. As a result of the extension, these new recalls (or any necessary primaries) will take place on July 19, a week after the July 12 date for the recalls targeting GOP legislators.

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