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

As Election Day in the Virginia gubernatorial election nears, new polling increasingly shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a significant lead over Republican opponent Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the race.

Though the reasons for Cuccinelli's flagging campaign are complex, one of the stalking horses may well be his very record as attorney general. He's known for using his position to aggressively pursue the pet issues of social conservatives. McAuliffe's campaign began using his socially conservative record as attorney general against him, especially as those cases are beginning to fall apart in court.

Here are four legal battles that are coming back to haunt Cuccinelli.

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Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder (D) endorsed Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race on Thursday.

The endorsement is something of a boon for the McAuliffe campaign as he refused to endorse Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate, four years ago. In an interview with TPM in 2009 Wilder said that if Bob McDonnell (R), now the governor of Virginia, won the race, "Virginia won't sink into the seas." And in May Wilder said that McAuliffe had "to get gravitas" in the race against Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate in the Virginia gubernatorial race.

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) may throw the weight of his gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns into the Virginia governor's race, according to a report in TIME magazine on Thursday.

The TIME cover story said that Bloomberg is considering whether to "sink more money into the Virginia governor's race this year to support the candidate more in favor of gun control." Democrat Terry McAuliffe has voiced support for strengthening background checks, while his opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), has taken a pro-gun position.

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Count Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) among the number of lawmakers showing openness to a short-term debit limit increase deal.

After news broke that House Republicans would be discussing a six-week debt limit increase plan Bachmann, the Tea Party favorite, suggested that she could support the deal. The plan reportedly does not include a provision that would end the government shutdown.

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The Associated Press quickly retracted a story published Wednesday night that reported that Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe lied to a federal official investigating a fraud scheme.  

The report identified McAuliffe as the individual referred to as "T.M." in a 2011 indictment related to the criminal investigation of Rhode Island estate planner Joseph Caramadre, the man who reportedly created a scheme to steal death benefit annuities from people.

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Republicans are sending a small group of lawmakers up to meet with President Barack Obama on Thursday rather than the entire conference. Obama had invited the entire Republican conference to meet with him on Thursday.

Read the announcement from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) press secretary Brendan Buck below. There are few Tea Party Republicans in the group.

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Tea Party Nation is taking back its endorsement of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Republican primary for McConnell's Senate seat.

Writing on the group's website on Wednesday, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips referred to a report by Glenn Beck that described a closed door meeting in which McConnell said supporters of conservative groups FreedomWorks and Senate Conservatives Fund are traitors to the Republican Party. Those groups have criticized a number of top Republican lawmakers (including McConnell himself) over efforts to defund Obamacare.

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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) said he does not think associations with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are hurting his gubernatorial campaign.

"I don't think he's dragging me down," Cuccinelli said according to Virginia ABC affiliate WJLA. "He's a Texas senator…(so) it doesn't have a whole lot of resonance in my race."

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Democrats in the Colorado state Senate on Wednesday elected Sen. Morgan Carroll as the chamber's president, according to the Denver Post.

Carroll's election to the post was an expected development after the previous Senate president, John Morse, lost his seat in a successful recall election in September. Morse and Colorado State Sen. Angela Giron (D) were recalled in September after they helped pass new gun restrictions.

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Updated at 12:25 p.m.

The head of the political arm of the Heritage Foundation said Wednesday that the federal government should raise the debt ceiling and fund the government only if Obamacare is fully defunded.

The comments, by Heritage Action for America CEO Micahel Needham, came during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

"It's going to fundamentally change the way of life for the American people and that is why we should raise the debt limit, fund the government, and not fund Obamacare," Needham said.

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