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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

On Thursday night at Virginia Tech, the site where 33 people were massacred by gun violence in 2007, Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe (D) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) squared off over solutions for countering gun violence in their final debate.

McAuliffe highlighted his support for universal background checks, a popular reform that's been considered politically dead thanks to the lobbying strength of pro-gun groups.

"As governor, I want to make sure communities are safe, I never want to see another Newtown or Aurora, Virginia Tech ever again," McAuliffe said.

Cuccinelli has emphasized that during his time as attorney general, the state has excelled at screening people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns and prosecuting those with illegal gun possession. He also said he wants to increase funding for mental health services.

"We need to do more in that direction to make sure less of those tragedies happen because they're all tied to mental health failures," Cuccinelli said at one point during Thursday's debate. "I also would note that I am a strong advocate of enforcing our gun laws Virginia is literally one of the best states in the country to do that and I'll continue to do that as governor. I'm an "A" rated NRA candidate and I'm running against the only "F" rated candidate running statewide and that's Terry McAuliffe."

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The third Virginia gubernatorial debate took a turn for the whimsical on Thursday night when Republican candidate Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli likened Democrat Terry McAuliffe's plans for focusing on education and research to bringing a puppy home but not having a plan on how to keep it.

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Democrat Terry McAuliffe suggested that Virginia libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis should not have been excluded from the third and final debate in the race on Thursday.

"My campaign since day one said we'd love to have him in the debate," McAuliffe said in response to a question about whether Sarvis should have been allowed to participate in the debate.

McAuliffe added that  "a lot of the issues that Robert Sarvis campaigns on, he and I have talked on different issues."

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Former President George W. Bush donated $5,000 to Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) re-election campaign, according to Graham's latest campaign finance report.

"I am extremely grateful and honored to have President George W. Bush's support," Graham said in a statement according to The State newspaper of South Carolina. "With every passing day, Americans appreciate more and more President Bush's clarity on the War on Terror and his strong support of the private sector."

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Michigan Democrat Bobby McKenzie announced his candidacy for Rep. Kerry Bentivolio's (R-MI) House seat on Thursday. 

McKenzie's announcement means that Bentivolio, who caught national attention for saying it would be a "dream come true" to impeach President Barack Obama, now has a challenger in both the primary and general election.

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While Iowa State Rep.-elect Brian Meyer (D) was sitting in Applebee's Wednesday evening watching the World Series when he got an unexpected call from Vice President Joe Biden. 

"I was obviously surprised, and I didn't think anyone was paying attention to a little special election in the middle of Iowa," Meyer told The Huffington Post. "It was a pleasant surprise to hear from the vice president." 

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Republican Matt Bevin has been endorsed by the Gun Owners of America, Bevin's Kentucky Senate campaign announced Thursday.  

The Gun Owners of America is a pro-gun lobby that falls farther to the right than the National Rifle Association. According to Bevin's campaign, the lobby said "Matt Bevin will not be a follower, but a leader who is willing to uncompromisingly fight for our liberties."

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Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is now facing a primary challenge from Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum.

Linthicum announced his primary challenge Wednesday, according to The Oregonian. In an interview with the Oregon newspaper Linthicum said Walden has made a career out of being a politician.

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