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 candidate in the South Dakota Senate race said Wednesday's Supreme Court decision striking down key campaign contribution limits was the worst decision by the high court since the Dred Scott case in 1857.

"Today's decision of the United States Supreme Court to strike down any real limit on the purchase of our democracy by big money may be the worst decision made by any Supreme Court since the Dred Scott case reaffirmed slavery in 1857," Democrat Rick Weiland said in a statement on Wednesday, after the court handed down the decision.

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Republican Matt Bevin, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) tea party primary challenger, spoke at a cockfighting rally which he said he thought was an event advocating more general states rights.

On Bevin's campaign itinerary he listed a Saturday morning event at The Arena in Corbin, Kentucky as a "states rights rally." But according to organizers, the event was very clearly a pro-cockfighting event.

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is marking Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling cutting down the limits on how much money and how many political candidates donors can give money to as a victory.

"It's not like people are going to be able to write out million-dollar checks to the Republican Party or to an individual candidate," Priebus said Wednesday, a few hours after the ruling, in an interview with MSNBC. "All we're saying is the idea that you have aggregate limits -- in other words, you can't give the full amount to ten candidates running for office around the country, or you can't give the full amount to the Congressional committee, the Senate committee in the RNC, doesn't make any sense."

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Updated: April 2, 2014, 12:47 PM

In the Supreme Court's new ruling striking down limits on the total amount someone can contribute to political committees or political candidates, the justices made a counterintuitive argument: organizations that make campaign contributions more transparent actually eliminate the need for the laws the Supreme Court just eroded.

The ruling specifically cited the existence of work from the Center for Responsive Politic's OpenSecrets.org and the National Institute on Money in State Politics' FollowTheMoney.org.

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Attorney General Greg Abbott, state Sen. Wendy Davis's (D) Republican opponent in the Texas gubernatorial race, cited controversial conservative scholar Charles Murray in a explaining his plans on pre-kindergarten education this week.

Abbott cited the scholar in an education plan his campaign unveiled this week on how he would reform pre-Kindergarten through third grade education in Texas. The citation comes in the second paragraph of the introduction of the education proposal.

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A South Carolina lawmaker wants to make sure if his state has an official fossil, God gets credit for creating it.

The lawmaker, state Sen. Kevin Bryant (R), is pushing an amendment that would add language designating a mammoth fossil as the state fossil that reads "as created on the sixth day with the beasts of the field."

"I just had a notion that we ought to consider acknowledging the creator as we acknowledge one of his creations," Bryant said according to Reuters.

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A tea party Senate candidate is going after one of his Republican primary competitors over a supporting ad that does not include the phrase "repeal Obamacare."

North Carolina Senate candidate Greg Brannon's (R) campaign is attacking North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC) Senate campaign over a new ad by American Crossroads in support of the state House Speaker, establishment Republicans' preferred candidate in the race.

The narrator in the ad said Tillis has the "conservative guts" to replace Obamacare with "honest healthcare reforms." The ad however does not say Tillis wants to repeal Obamacare and that's where the Brannon campaign pounced.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is hosting a fundraising event on Thursday in which the host committee includes the founder of a substance abuse boot camp that closed because of charges of serious abuse, Mother Jones reported on Tuesday.

The fundraiser in question is Mel Sembler, who founded Straight Inc. in 1976. Over 17 years the Straight Inc. drug treatment facilities were repeatedly accused of abuse. As Mother Jones notes, there was at least one Straight Inc. staffer accused of kidnapping adult patients and abusing them in mental, physical, and sexual ways. There were two state investigations that backed up that charge.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is becoming something of the cavalry for embattled Democrats this cycle.

The liberal favorite and senior senator from Massachusetts has gotten into the habit of coming to the aid of candidates in tough re-election fights or who could use a narrative change.

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David Koch, one of the brothers that help fund major Republican initiatives, ran and helped fund a presidential campaign in 1980 that called Social Security "The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme."

That's according to a new report in Buzzfeed that highlights Democrats' research that Koch was the vice presidential nominee and main driver of the presidential campaign of Libertarian candidate Ed Clark. Social Security is called the "ultimate pyramid scheme" in Clark's campaign book, titled A New Beginning.

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