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Update: Roll Call reports that Ensign will announce his retirement at today's press event.

Embattled Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) will hold a press conference today at 3 PM ET in order to discuss his "political future," according to a report by local station KSNV. He is up for re-election in 2012 and a number of candidates from both parties have been discussed by observers as possible opponents in the primary and general election.

The junior Senator from Nevada has been caught in a long-running scandal concerning an affair with a married staffer and questions surrounding whether he helped the husband of the aide in question, also a staffer, get a lobbying job after he discovered their relationship. While Ensign says the Department of Justice is no longer investigating the issue, the Senate Ethics Committee is still looking into the issue.

At a January 9/12 event with local tea partiers, the Republican House Speaker in New Hampshire, Bill O'Brien explained his problem with young voters.

"They go into these general elections, they'll have 900 same day registrations, which are the kids coming out of the schools and basically doing what I did when I was a kid, which is [vote liberal]," he said. "They don't have life experience and they don't have life experience and they just vote their feelings and they're taking away the town's ability to govern themselves, it's not fair."

The remarks were caught on tape by a tracker with the New Hampshire Democratic party, but up until today they haven't caused O'Brien much embarrassment.

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Wisconsin Democrats are continuing their fire on Gov. Scott Walker's infamous phone call with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as Republican financier David Koch, in which Walker spoke of his passion for busting the public employee unions. And in their latest move, the Dems have announced that they are filing an ethics complaint with the state's Government Accountability Board -- accusing Walker of serious violations of the law.

"It [the call] showed Scott Walker as a grandiose plotter who thinks of himself as a national figure in the effort to distort the balance of power between working people and big corporations who seek to transform Wisconsin into a low-wage, low-benefits backwater," state Dem chairman Mike Tate said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. "But I'll leave it to you to discuss the political damage it has done to Walker and his corporate masters.

"What we are here to discuss is the fact that in his phone call, Scott Walker clearly violated campaign finance and ethics laws meant precisely to prevent the kind of shameful activity in which Walker was engaged."

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I don't think this is the sort of earned media Mitt Romney had in mind for the New Hampshire market.

That's from Sunday's Boston Herald. I'm not sure what would have happened if Romney had committed a couple years ago to being that one Republican guy who says Obamacare's not that bad, and that everybody else has lost their minds. Quite possibly it wouldn't have worked and he'd have been driven out of the party. But at least he'd have a coherent stand to take. Now he's stuck with this albatross around his neck and my sense is it's too heavy for even the scrappiest communicators in politics to lift it off him.

Health care reform advocates are wise to the hidden middle-class taxes that passed the House last week, and are doing their best to kill them.

The groups Families USA and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have argued publicly against the proposal, and House and Senate Democrats have circulated memos on the Hill to raise awareness of the impact the proposal will have.

As explained here, the penalties are designed to offset the cost of repealing a tax requirement on businesses. They work in several ways, but one would have particularly adverse consequences for middle-income consumers, and for the popularity of the health care law itself.

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The leading conservative newspaper in Massachusetts is not buying Mitt Romney 2012. At least that's the takeaway from this weekend's coverage of Romney's New Hampshire speech, which most in the press corps have viewed as the starting gun for Romney's second presidential run.

Romney, of course, was governor of The Bay State from 2003 to 2007 and highlighted his time in office with his signature on a state health care reform plan that looks awfully like the one President Obama signed into law last year. That fact has gotten Romney into more than a little hot water with the tea party faithful on the national stage, who want to know nothing from his mandates and required coverage options.

Romney's been backing away from the Massachusetts health care plan for a while now, and his speech in New Hampshire this weekend included yet another attempt.

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