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

She's like a singing Sarah Palin.

Meet Christine Jones, Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate. She's got a strong conservative streak, some trouble with geography, and apparently a desire to sing her way to the governor's office.

All of this was on display Wednesday night when the deep-pocketed former executive of the internet company GoDaddy serenaded the audience at a charity event for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R). Jones, who could play a major role in the 2014 GOP primary, told the crowd she has been trying to win the sheriff's support.

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Campaign spending reports are yet another victim in the government shutdown, with key reports delayed as a result of furloughed federal workers.

Like other federal services, staffers for the FEC website were dramatically reduced during the shutdown. At one point just four employees were reportedly working for the agency during the shutdown. Moreover, certain documents on the FEC website were not available for the public to access and clicking on parts of the website resulted in a dead link with a "not found" message instead. As of Friday morning, some reports on the site were still not available.

The shutdown spanned a period that included a quarterly filing deadline for congressional candidates and the last few days before the New Jersey special election, in which Cory Booker (D) emerged victorious on Wednesday. The FEC set filing deadlines for a number of special elections prior to the shutdown in Alabama (Nov. 5), Louisiana (Oct. 19), Massachusetts (Oct. 15), and New Jersey (Oct. 19).

When workers returned on Thursday, they waived a fine for late filers and has made staff available this week to help those filers submit their disclosures. The shutdown was especially ideal for donors who wanted to quietly inject money into a race with a special election during the shutdown without anyone knowing.

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A judge in Virginia on Friday rejected a request by state Democrats to reinstate about 40,000 voters from state voter rolls. 

The judge's ruling is the latest in an ongoing legal battle between state Democrats, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) over the rolls because the voters registered in other states. Critics of the purge argue that it's an attempt to help Cuccinelli win the gubernatorial election; he's currently trailing behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in the polls. But U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton on Friday said that Democrats had not provided sufficient evidence to prove that the purge was politically motivated. 

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Updated: October 18, 2013, 11:45 am

The Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed Republican Matt Bevin in the Republican primary for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) Senate seat.

 "Matt Bevin is a true conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are destroying our country," Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in a statement on Friday.  "He is not afraid to stand up to the establishment and he will do what it takes to stop Obamacare. We know that winning this primary won't be easy. Mitch McConnell has the support of the entire Washington establishment and he will do anything to hold on to power. But if people in Kentucky and all across the country rise up and demand something better, we're confident Matt Bevin can win this race."

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A Republican running for New Jersey state Senate denied Thursday that he told a group of gun rights activists to arm themselves if his Democratic opponent came knocking on their doors -- but a video of his comments tells a different story.

TPM reported earlier in the day that a video showed the candidate, Atlantic County, N.J. Sheriff Frank Balles, had told a group of Second Amendment activists during a speech on Oct. 7 to "get your gun" if incumbent state Sen. Jim Whelan (D) came to their doors.

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Democrat Terry McAuliffe continues to widen his lead over Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the gubernatorial race, according to a new NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll released on Thursday.

The poll found McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli 46 percent to 38 percent. That's a three-point increase from the poll's previous results last month, when McAuliffe lead 43 percent to 38 percent. The most recent poll also found Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis pulling in 9 percent of likely voter support. 

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Updated: October 17, 2013 2:04 pm

Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) jumped into the Senate race for Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-MS) seat on Thursday and was immediately endorsed by two prominent conservative organizations.  

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Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes leads Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in a new poll. 

The Public Policy Polling survey, released a day after McConnell inked a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to avert a debt default, shows Grimes leading McConnell 45 percent to 43 percent in the 2014 race.

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UPDATE: 11:56 a.m. ET

If there's one lesson Republicans say they learned from the government shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations it's that the only real way to fight Obamacare is to have greater control of Congress and a winning majority in the Senate.

"At the end of the day I think what we learned more than anything in this entire exercise is that if we truly want to repeal Obamacare we need more votes," Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer told TPM.

As the top party leaders in Congress solidified a deal to end the shutdown and prevent economic catastrophe some Republicans spent the last few hours of the impasse pointing fingers at each other. Some blamed outside groups like Heritage Action for America or the Senate Conservatives Fund. Others pointed toward the tea party. And still others explained the debacle as not going far enough to fight Obamacare in the final deal.

But beyond the finger-pointing, the substantive takeaway for campaign operatives is that a better approach would have been to pursue what was achievable given that Republicans control only one chamber of Congress. To do more, they say, they're going to need more conservative senators willing to go as far as Ted Cruz.

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