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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

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is sending out attack emails targeting more than five dozen House Republicans for creating a "manufactured crisis" by voting for legislation that funds the government only if Obamacare is defunded.  

The emails, which the House Democrats' campaign arm is sending out Thursday, are something of a counter to the GOP's attempts to label a vote against the continuing resolution legislation as essentially a vote to shutdown the government. 

Here's one email, targeting Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY): 

4 Days Until Congressman Tom Reed’s Government Shutdown – But House Republicans Are Offering Only Chaos

With just four days until Congressman Tom Reed’s government shutdown, he and his Republican Congress have no solution to their manufactured crisis – but continue to jeopardize the entire economy just to give insurance companies free rein to charge the people of New York more for their health care. 

 

According to The Hill newspaper: “GOP leaders have not put forward any clear plan for a spending measure, and some Republicans said they wanted to see what the leadership hoped to do.”  

And while Congressman Reed will get a paycheck for his failure and chaos, hardworking families around the country will pay the price:

  • If  Congressman Reed gets his government shutdown, he will still get paid, but millions of middle class workers whose jobs depend on the government operating could not get paid for as long as the shutdown lasts.
  • If Congressman Reed succeeds in defunding the Affordable Care Act, the deficit would increase by $109 billion over 10 years.

“While Congressman Tom Reed plays political games in Washington, the clock is ticking for thousands of New York jobs – which he is risking all so that insurance companies can have free rein again,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Reed’s priorities are completely out-of-touch with the people of New York because he is willing to risk the livelihoods and financial stability of hardworking families, all to pad insurance companies’ profits.”

 

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), the tea party firebrand who lost to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) in the last election, is now toying with the idea of running for Senate -- if, and only if, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) decides to run for president in 2016.

"If that became an open seat, of course I would run," West told The Tampa Bay Times. "I have a good statewide appeal and a lot of people would like me to get back on Capitol Hill."

The comments, made in a report published on Thursday, contrast rumors that West had been considering a primary challenge against Rubio. But West said that did not seem like "a viable option" currently.

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The number of Americans who identify as tea party supporters is at a near-record low, according to a new poll.

The Gallup Poll released on Thursday found that just 22 percent of Americans call themselves tea party supporters. Meanwhile, 27 percent identify as tea party opponents. A majority, 51 percent, said they did not have an opinion.

The finding is just one percentage point short of the survey's record low for the question. In 2011 21 percent of Americans identified as tea party supporters and 21 percent identified as opponents.

The poll's findings are also in contrast to late 2010 when, after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, 32 percent said they supported the tea party. At the time 30 percent identified as opponents of the tea party and 38 percent said they did not have an opinion.

The poll's findings come as lawmakers try to overcome opposition from groups supported by the tea party on passing a continuing resolution bill to keep the government open.

The Gallup Poll was conducted from Sept. 5 to 8 among a random sample of 1,510 adults 18 years and older. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe sought to hone in on issues that might widen the polling gap between him and his opponent, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), among women voters, during a gubernatorial debate on Wednesday night.

During multiple questions by moderator and MSNBC host Chuck Todd, McAuliffe tried to paint Cuccinelli as a conservative extremist who's out of touch on women's issues and gay rights.

"He sponsored personhood legislation that would outlaw most forms of contraception, would make the pill illegal," McAuliffe said. "He's referred to gay Virginians as self-destructive and soulless human beings. He was one of only three attorney generals when the Violence Against Women's was being reauthorized in the United States Congress -- 47 attorney generals signed the letter -- violence against women, not controversial. He is one of three that refused to sign it. It has been a pattern."

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was endorsed by conservative radio host and former George H. W. Bush administration Secretary of Education Bill Bennett on Wednesday, who said McConnell's primary opponent is "not serious" and would likely lose in the general election.

"Mitch McConnell is a conservative stalwart and we have fought alongside each other in many battles over the years," Bennett wrote in an endorsement on his website published Wednesday. "He has a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union and is one of the most conservative and consistent leaders I have ever worked with."

"I am proud to wholeheartedly endorse Senator McConnell for re-election and call on conservatives across the country to do the same," he concluded.

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"Angels In America" playwright Tony Kushner, Bari Mattes, who has served as a fundraising adviser for Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D),  and Goldman Sachs' first openly gay partner David Dechman are co-hosting a fundraiser for Democrat Sean Eldridge, husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who recently announced his candidacy for Congress.

The fundraiser will be held at Dechman's Park Avenue Penthouse in New York on Wednesday evening. Recommended donations for Eldridge's campaign are $5,200, $2,600, and $1,000.

The fundraiser comes just a few days after Eldridge announced his candidacy for Rep. Chris Gibson's (R-NY) congressional seat.

See the invitation for the fundraiser here

Another battle between mainstream and right-wing Republicans is brewing -- this time in the special election for former Rep. Jo Bonner's (R-AL) congressional seat.

On Tuesday night, the primary election for the seat narrowed the field of nine Republicans to just two: former state Sen. Bradley Byrne, who was widely expected to come out on top, and real estate developer Dean Young. According to unofficial primary results published Wednesday morning, Byrne had gotten 35 percent of the vote and Young had 23 percent.

Because none of the candidates in the primary was able to get more than 50 percent of the vote, Byrne and Young will have to face each other in a runoff election on Nov. 5. The winner of that runoff will face real estate agent Burton Leflore (D) in the special general election on Dec. 17.

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Tea Party group Freedom Works Political Action Committee endorsed Republican Bryan Smith's campaign for Rep. Mike Simpson's (R-ID) congressional seat.

"Bryan Smith is strong fiscal conservative with close ties to the grassroots all across his district. He is not a career politician. He is local leader in his community who understands the problems we are facing and wants to help find real solutions," FreedomWorks PAC President Matt Kibbe said in the endorsement on Tuesday. "Bryan’s mission in Congress is to stop the out of control spending that Congressman Simpson has been propping up for years. Smith will be a road block for either party that tries to continue to spend us into a more debt.  Idahoans need a strong voice in Congress, and Bryan Smith is their man."

The endorsement is one of the latest developments in a race that has been framed as a proxy battle between the Tea Party and more mainstream wings of the Republican Party. Simpson is often mentioned as a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

In August, Boehner headlined a fundraiser for Simpson. Freedom Works made a handful of endorsements on Tuesday. The PAC also endorsed Republicans Igor Birman in California, Bruce Poliquin in Maine, and Dan Bongino in Maryland.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) released his first re-election ad on Tuesday.

The ad, which comes more than 13 months before Snyder's next election, is called "Michigan Is Back."

The ad focuses on Snyder's policy agenda during his first term: reducing the state's debt and improving Michigan's economy.

"This new governor has kept his word, ignored politics and produced incredible results," the voiceover in the ad said. "Our one and a half billion-dollar deficit? Gone. Michigan’s economy? Best in ten years. Best employment numbers in four years. In record time, Michigan is back on a solid foundation."

The ad will air for about two weeks starting on Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The campaign for Democrat Mark Schauer, who is running against Snyder, said the ad shows Snyder is concerned about his re-election chances, according to the Associated Press. A recent EPIC-MRA poll found Snyder leading Schauer, 44 percent to 36 percent.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said on Twitter that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has made Washington worse since he arrived.

Castro's tweet came the same day that Cruz conducted an extended speech on his opposition to Obamacare.

A number of top Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), criticized the plan by Cruz and others to filibuster a continuing resolution bill that already passed the House which also defunds Obamacare. The Senate is likely to strip the defunding provision from the continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.

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