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. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) has a new Senate campaign manager.

Gingrey has appointed Patrick Sebastian, formerly the New Jersey state director for the Republican National Committee, to run his campaign, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Thursday. Sebastian has also worked on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's re-election campaign and Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.

In November Gingrey's campaign suffered a mass exodus as four top staffers all quit at once. The staffers told TPM that the departures had to do with a "leadership struggle" within the campaign.

Gingrey is running in a big GOP primary for outgoing Sen. Saxby Chambliss's (R-GA) Senate seat.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is set to headline a fundraiser for Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), who's facing a primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), on Thursday.

The fundraiser is the latest broadside in an increasingly contentious Democratic primary between Schatz, who was appointed senator by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercromie (D) upon the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), and Hanabusa.

The primary is less about ideology than about a personal divide. Inouye had said he wanted his protégée Hanabusa to succeed him, but Abercrombie appointed Obama campaign veteran and former Lt. Gov. Schatz instead.

"Senator Schatz is pleased to have the support of the Mayor given his leadership on common sense gun safety legislation and strong promotion of clean energy production to slow the effects of climate change," Schatz campaign manager Clay Schroers said in a statement. "Senator Schatz's priority is always delivering for Hawaii, and effective leadership in the Senate for Hawaii means developing relationships with leaders across the country."

The fundraiser is one of the first public appearances for Bloomberg since he left the mayor's office. A day earlier Bill de Blasio (D) was sworn in as the new mayor of New York.

The conservative Americans for Prosperity released a trio of new ads Thursday going after Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) on Obamacare.

Americans for Prosperity, which was co-founded by David H. Koch and has gotten financial support from his brother Charles Koch, is spending $2.5 million on the ads, which are set to run over the next three weeks.

Each tailored ad attacks the senator for saying that under Obamacare Americans can keep their insurance plan if they like it.

"It's the lie of the year," a voiceover in the Shaheen ad said. That ad then features a clip of Shaheen saying "you can keep your insurance if you like it."

Similarly, the Landrieu ad first features President Barack Obama saying "if you like your current insurance you can keep your current insurance. Period. End of story." Then Landrieu is clipped on the Senate floor saying "those individuals who like the coverage they already have will be able to keep their current plan… This is a very accurate description of this bill."

In the Hagan ad, a woman named Sheila A. Salter describes how her health care policy was canceled under Obamacare.

"Kay Hagan told us, if you like your insurance plan and your doctors, you can keep them," Salter said. "That just wasn't true. Now I have a temporary policy that cost me 20 percent more."

AFP has already devoted millions in 2013 to attacking Landrieu and Hagan, who are top targets for Republicans in 2014. Republicans also feel that if former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) decides to challenge Shaheen in New Hampshire there's a good chance she could be defeated in 2014.

Watch the Hagan ad here:

Watch the Landrieu ad here:

Watch the Shaheen ad here:

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) said Monday he is tentatively supporting a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage in Arkansas to $8.50 an hour by 2017.

But Pryor, in an interview with Arkansas television station KATV, said he was not supporting a proposal by the Obama administration to hike the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2015.

Read More →

A fundraising email for Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) made a curious plea: donate $0.

A fundraising email sent to supporters by Booker's Senate campaign manager, Addisu Demissie, on Monday asked supporters to contribute $0 before the fundraising deadline. The email, with the subject line "Ten great stories of our campaign," is a listicle of ten moments from Booker's successful campaign to succeed deceased Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). Just before the list the campaign asks for a "$0 contribution before our year-end campaign finance deadline."

A source close to Booker's campaign team told TPM that the fundraising email was mistakenly sent out to about a third of campaign listserv's recipients.

See a picture of the email below.

A few days earlier Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) sent out a very straightforward fundraising email. With the subject line "Fundraising email" Franken wrote "Yes. This is a fundraising email. See, here's a contribution link: Can you give $5 or more today?"

This post was updated.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) has a recommendation for cleaning your gun: liberal tears.

Stockman, who's a longshot candidate running in the Republican primary against Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), tweeted out a picture of a gun with a spray can that read "liberal tears." The text with the picture read: "the best gun lubricant."

Gun control is one of the topics Stockman has been trying to win support among Texans on by being to the right of Cornyn. Although Cornyn was endorsed by the National Rifle Association earlier in December Stockman has been endorsed by the Gun Owners of America, a more aggressive pro-gun group.

The Obama administration strongly condemned terrorist bombings in Russia that resulted in 30 dead.

The attacks, a bombing on an electric bus in Volgograd and another bombing at a railway station a day before that, come as Russia prepares to host the Winter Olympic games in Sochi.

In a statement, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the United States is offering its "full support" to the Russian government in preparing for the Olympic games in Sochi in response to the terrorist attacks. Hayden's statement read:

The United States condemns the terrorist attacks that struck the Russian city of Volgograd and sends deepest condolences to the families of the victims with hopes for the rapid healing of those wounded.
The United States stands in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism. The U.S. government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators, and other participants.

Harold Simmons, a billionaire philanthropist and major Republican donor from Texas died Saturday at 82.

Simmons died Saturday night at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News reported on Sunday.

Simmons, who had been ranked as the 40th of wealthiest of the 400 richest Americans by Forbes, was a major donor to a number of Republican causes. Notably he gave $2 million to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that ran aggressive attack ads against then-Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) during his 2004 presidential campaign.

Notably Simmons gave money to causes opposed by conservatives. He donated thousands to both public broadcasting and Planned Parenthood.

The Democratic National Committee wants supporters to remember which lawmakers suggested impeaching President Barack Obama.

In the recent fundraising email, the DNC highlighted quotes by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), all of whom have suggested moving to impeach the president.

"What do these people all have in common?" the email read before quoting Inhofe saying "People may be starting to use the I-word before too long."

"We can have an impeachment hearing in the House and in my mind the president has committed impeachable offenses," Bachmann is quoted as saying in the email.

Bentivolio is quoted saying that if he could write a bill impeaching Obama "and submit it, it would be a dream come true."

And the DNC concludes the list with Farenthold saying "if we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it."

The list includes just a few of the lawmakers who have floated impeachment. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Trey Radel (R-FL), Steve King (R-IA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and now-Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), have also brought up the idea of impeachment before.

The Federal Election Commission is looking into four campaign donations Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) received possibly relating to the Texas congressman introducing legislation that would give gaming rights to an Indian tribe in the southeastern part of Texas.

Stockman is running in the Republican primary against Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

According to the Associated Press on Thursday, the FEC is investigating four campaign donations Stockman received after introducing a bill that would give gaming rights to the Alabama-Coushatta tribe. Those donations, in April and July, came after Stockman introduced legislation giving the Indian tribe rights to open a casino in southeastern Texas.

Two of the donations from a resident of Arizona totaled $5,100 and the other two donations, from an American Indian group in California, totaled $5,000. Stockman introduced the bill in March. According to the Associated Press, the donors cited Stockman's backing of the casino in their donations.

On Dec. 20 the FEC sent Stockman a letter about the "excessive donations" according to the Houston Chronicle. In that letter the FEC said Stockman had to either refund half of the money he received or "revise its accountings within 60 days of receiving the donations."

Stockman's campaign and office did not immediately respond to repeated inquiries by the Associated Press and Chronicle. A Stockman spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPM on Friday either.