Daniel Strauss

Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Daniel

Matt Bevin, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) conservative primary challenger, is trying to finally put questions surrounding his attendance of a rally in support of cockfighting to rest.

On Friday, following revelations that, despite his denials, Bevin was very likely aware that he attended the pro-cockfighting rally, the Kentucky businessman released a new statement saying that he did attend the event but does not support cockfighting.

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A top spokesman for the Republican National Committee got heated during an interview Friday on CNN, saying Republicans have been unfairly linked to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his racist remarks.

RNC communications director Sean Spicer denounced the comments from the rancher who became something of a conservative hero earlier this month during a standoff with the federal government over gazing fees. Bundy's star came crashing down on Thursday after the New York Times published quotes in which he wondered aloud whether blacks would be better off as slaves.

But Spicer also used the opportunity to criticize the media for injecting GOP politics into the story. He did not acknowledge, however, that several high profile Republicans, including possible 2016 presidential contenders, had praised the rancher before the racist comments became public.

"I think the comments that Mr. Bundy made with respect to race and other things were inappropriate and wrong, 100 percent out of line and not part of the discourse we need to have," Spicer said. "But that being said, what I find fascinating as the chief spokesman for the Republican Party is that when a guy has a problem with cattle grazing and has a discussion about the size of the federal government and the overreach of the federal government, makes a comment every reporter calls the Republican National Committee asking for comment."

Spicer went on to accuse the media of ignoring incidents that involved Democratic politics.

"When similar incidents happen time and time again on the left," he said, "there is zero coverage. Absolutely zero."

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A newly surfaced video of the rally that Matt Bevin said he thought was a general states' right event suggests that the Kentucky businessman had to know he was at a cockfighting rally.

Bevin, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the GOP primary, previously said he thought he was merely at a state's rights event.

But footage of the rally taken by a reporter for Kentucky's WAVE 3 News who went undercover at the event, shows that right before Bevin spoke, American Gamefowl Defense Director Dave Devereaux delivered remarks to the crowd in which he said they were there for the "sole purpose of legalizing gamecock fighting at the state level."

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The South Carolina Bar Association is calling for Gov. Nikki Haley's (R) reelection campaign to take down an attack ad that hits her Democratic opponent's background as a defense attorney.

The bar argues the ad wrongly attacks defense attorneys in bashing state Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D).

"That's a basic tenent of the Constitution," South Carolina Bar Association President Alice Paylor said on Wednesday according to the Post and Courier. "What they're attacking is the whole basis of the U.S. and the U.S. Constitution. According to them, I guess everyone accused of something is automatically guilty."

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Republican strategist Karl Rove added his name to the list of critics seeking to unskew a bunch of New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation polls which showed a number of Democrats in key Senate races running either neck-and-neck or ahead of their Republican competitors. Rove claimed the poll was "badly done."

The polls' findings provoked criticism from The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol, among others, who said that the surveys were wrong because of the findings on a subquestion over Arkansas voters.

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Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) leads current Gov. Rick Scott ( R) in the Florida governor's race, according to a new poll from the conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports.

The poll, released Thursday, found Crist leading Scott 45 percent to 39 percent with 6 percent saying they preferred another candidate and 10 percent who said they were undecided.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) primary challenger, Matt Bevin, called the top Senate Republican a "coward" exhibiting the same kind of childishness as an eighth grader in response to McConnell's campaign jabbing at Bevin's family over a new campaign ad.

After Bevin's campaign aired a new ad featuring his large family, the twitter handle @BailoutBevinKy, run by the McConnell campaign, tweeted out I was waiting for 'My dad went to MIT!'" a dig at Bevin suggesting that he was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Updated: April 24, 2014, 10:25 AM

Once it was the Internal Revenue Service, then it was the National Parks Service. Now, quickly, the Bureau of Land Management is becoming the agency of the federal government conservatives love to hate as a sign of federal overreach into local affairs.

The spark was a showdown between Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy in Nevada but, more recently, Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor, has taken an adversarial stance against the agency as well. On Tuesday Abbott sent a letter to the head of the BLM with a list of questions about a possible land acquisition near the Red River in Texas.

"As Attorney General of Texas, I am deeply troubled by reports from BLM field hearings that the federal government may claim — for the first time — that 90,000 acres of territory along the Red River now belong to the federal government," Abbott wrote.

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Families of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shooting denounced Americans For Prosperity for photoshopping a picture of President Barack Obama and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) into a new ad attacking Udall on Obamacare.

"The use of an image taken from the President's visit to Colorado to meet with us after our children were killed in the Aurora Theater shooting is an utter disgrace," the families said in a statement on Wednesday. "And to insinuate the somber expressions were for anything other than their compassionate response to our heartbreak is beyond unconscionable. Americans for Prosperity is exploiting our tragedy for political gain and this ad should be pulled from the air immediately. We hope Colorado television stations will exercise sound judgment and not air this ad until AFP removes the image."

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Update: Americans For Prosperity said Wednesday afternoon that the photoshopped image would be removed from the ad.

The Koch brothers'-backed outside group Americans For Prosperity photoshopped a picture of President Barack Obama and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) during a visit to a Colorado hospital after the shooting massacre in Aurora for a campaign ad attacking Udall on Obamacare.

The cut-and-paste job was first reported by Buzzfeed's Evan McMorris-Santoro on Wednesday.

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