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

Rep. Paul Broun's (R-GA.) Senate campaign bashed Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA.) for complaining about his congressman's salary.

Gingrey is running against Broun and other Republican candidates in the Senate primary in Georgia.

"While most Americans are struggling to make ends meet and battling higher healthcare costs, it's disappointing that Congressman Gingrey, whose reported net worth exceeds $3 million, complains about being 'stuck here (in Congress) making $172,000 a year,'" the Broun campaign said in a statement released Wednesday. "Congressman Paul Broun is fighting to exempt all Americans from Obamacare, to get Georgians back to work, and to jump start the economy so that our country can return to the path to prosperity. Georgians needs a senator who understands what it’s like to balance a budget, not one who is more concerned with their salary than the needs and economic challenges faced by most Georgians."

Earlier on Wednesday National Review reported that during a closed-door meeting with fellow Republicans Gingrey complained that while his staff has the option of jumping ship for lobbying jobs that pay $500,000 he is "stuck" in Congress making just "$172,000 a year."

The comment reportedly came during a discussion on an Obamacare requirement that pushes members of Congress and their employees into participating in federal health care exchanges. In a follow-up interview with the magazine, Gingrey said he did not recall his precise comments but the point he was trying to make is that "it is completely unfair for members of Congress and Hill staffers to get this special treatment that the general public are not getting."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has a challenger in the 2014 Republican primary for his House seat.

Businessman Eric Gurr is challenging Boehner for the speaker's congressional seat, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Gurr told the paper he decided to run against Boehner after he backed U.S. military action in Syria.

"It was a tipping point," Gurr said. "I'm not a big fan of getting involved in the internal politics of another country."

Gurr also took issue with Boehner's approach to immigration reform, which the Speaker said needed a more incremental approach than the bipartisan Senate bill. 

"They keep saying the immigration system is broken," Gurr told the Enquirer when asked about his opposition to the Senate bill. "That's absolute nonsense."

Gurr, the CEO of computer consulting firm the Best & Brightest Inc., admits that his chances of beating Boehner are slim given the speaker's influence and deep fundraising resources. Boehner has repeatedly easily won reelection in Ohio's 8th congressional district.

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), who's running for Senate in Georgia, complained that while his staff can jump to K Street and make $500,000 a year by lobbying, he's "stuck" in Congress making a bare $172,000 a year.

The comments, relayed by congressional aides to National Review, came during a closed door meeting among Congressional Republicans on Obamacare.

The lawmakers were debating a proposal that would exclude members of Congress and their staff from a part of Obamacare that requires them to engage in federal health care exchanges. A number of lawmakers complained that participating in the exchanges would be costly. Gingrey, according to NR, stood up and said that Congressional aides "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street."

"Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year," he added.

In a followup phone interview with National Review Gingrey told the conservative magazine that he did not remember making the comments. The Georgia congressman said his point was that "it is completely unfair for members of Congress and Hill staffers to get this special treatment that the general public are not getting."

Gingrey added that he "was engaged in a dialogue with some members of our conference who truly believe that Congress should get special treatment. And some also believe that staff members should get special treatment. I happen not to believe that."

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joked that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) was "lucky" that former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley (D) decided to drop his primary challenge against Quinn.

Clinton made the comments during a charity fundraising luncheon in Chicago on Wednesday. According to the Chicago Tribune, Clinton joked that Quinn "has just been entered into the Guinness World Records Book as luckiest politician."

The jab came a few days after Daley, a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton years before he served President Barack Obama, announced that he would stop running against Quinn in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Since dropping out Daley has repeatedly denied that he was dropping out of the race because he didn't think he could beat Quinn, despite polls showing him trailing the incumbent governor. Instead, Daley said he was not ready for the "enormity" of the task of running for governor.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) are virtually tied at the head of the likely Republican 2016 presidential field in New Hampshire, according to a new poll.

The Public Policy Polling survey released on Wednesday has Paul with 20 percent support among New Hampshire primary voters and Christie with 19 percent. Behind those two are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 14 percent, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH) with 12 percent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) with 10 percent and both Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) and Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) were tied at 7 percent.

The latest poll is a dramatic change from April when PPP found Rubio lead with 25 percent support. Support for Paul also dropped 8 percentage points from the April poll. For Christie, the most recent poll showed increased support. In April, PPP found he had 14 percent of likely voters. Similarly, Bush's support was at 7 percent in the previous poll.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 14 to 16 among 1,038 New Hampshire voters. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

A Democrat campaigning for Sen. Ed Markey's (D-MA) former House seat aired his first campaign ad in which he came out as a liberal Democrat to his tea party-identified father.

The ad, which began airing on Comedy Central, CNN, and MSNBC on Wednesday, features state Rep. Carl Sciortino Jr., who is openly gay, discussing the conversation he had with his father where he first came out as a liberal Democrat.

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A Republican reportedly jumping into the race for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-NH) Senate seat on Wednesday wrote a blog post on his website in 2009 that more women in the workplace were to blame for increasing gun violence.

The blog post, which was first reported by Buzzfeed and can be viewed here, tied the increasing number of women in the workplace to increasing mass shootings.

"The collaborative, flexible, amorphously-heirarchical American economy is shutting out ordinary men who were once the nation's breadwinners in living-wage labor and manufacturing jobs," former state Sen. Jim Ruben (R-NH) wrote in the post. "Because status success is more vital to the male psychology, males are falling over the edge in increasing numbers."

Rubens wrote that the "collaborative" and "flexible" economy has allowed more women to enter the workforce. The fact that the economy has changed, Rubens also argued, has had a dangeous effect on men, causing a small portion of them to commit more acts of violence. 

In a follow-up interview on Wednesday, Rubens defended the blog post.

"The point of this, if you read the whole thing, is that manufacturing jobs, which have been the basis for higher-wage working men during the post-World War II era have been in decline," Rubens told Buzzfeed. "Men are more sensitive than women to external indicators of status, which is one of the points in my book — which you might want to read so you can understand the whole point of this — and it’s very important to all people, women and men, to have jobs, functions, and roles in life that are fulfilling and productive and engaging."

Rubens said he's supportive of having women in the workplace and added that the shrinking number of manufacturing jobs has caused men to engage in violent shootings.

"It's a tiny fraction of males that become stressed for whatever reason and engage in acts of extreme violence," Rubens said. "If you look through individual psychology of mass shooters over the past 10-20 years, you can see that in the profile. Often it's a person who has been subjected to extreme stress in the form of social rejection, job loss and associated mental health issues."


Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) announced that he will not run for Senate, essentially setting the field for outgoing Sen. Carl Levin's (D-MI) seat.

First reported by National Journal on Tuesday night, a source close to Amash confirmed to TPM that he wouldn't be running. "He has been leaning against a run for a couple of months but decided to finalize the decision over the weekend," he said.

Amash is the last of a crop of House members with a national profile who were considering entering the race. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI), House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), and Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) were also considering jumping into the race but passed.

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) endorsed Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) for Senate on Tuesday.

The endorsement, announced through Rubio's Reclaim America Political Action Committee, is the first one the junior senator from Florida has made this cycle.

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Republican Matt Bevin is using a National Republican Senatorial Committee aimed at Sen. Mark Pryor (R-AR) to bludgeon his opponent in the upcoming Kentucky Senate primary against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The ad, released earlier on Tuesday, attacks Pryor for voting for Obamacare and to raise the debt ceiling six times. The ad paints Pryor as a secret liberal "camouflaged" as a moderate.

Bevin's campaign tied the attacks to McConnell saying that, like Pryor, McConnell voted to raise the debt ceiling multiple times.

"We agree 100 percent with the NRSC that we don't need liberal, big-government senators like Mark Pryor or Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate," Bevin spokeswoman Sarah Durand said in a statement. "We need strong conservatives in the Senate like Matt Bevin who will fight for taxpayers when Congressional leaders - be they Republicans or Democrats - try to push liberal policies through."

Asked about the Bevin campaign's email highlighting the ad, NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring said McConnell has a strong record of pushing for spending cuts in a debt ceiling increase deal, unlike Pryor or President Barack Obama.

"Mitch McConnell personally fought [for] and succeeded in getting $2.1 trillion in spending cuts attached to the last debt limit increase, while liberal Senators like Mark Pryor were simply trying to give President Obama a blank check," Dayspring said in an email to TPM. "In fact, before Mitch McConnell took on President Obama to make sure that any increase in the debt limit was accompanied by spending cuts and reforms, Washington had previously just increased the debt limit blindly. It is because of conservatives like Mitch McConnell that now before any increase in debt limit by the Obama Administration, there is a worthy debate about cutting spending and additional reforms to lower the deficit and debt."