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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

Los Alamos County clerk Sharon Stover has decided to challenge a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Stover's decision on Tuesday means she will have to appear in court to argue why she should not have to offer the marriage licenses. A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Stover had previously said she would decide on Tuesday afternoon whether to issue the licenses or challenge the matter in court.

Stover's decision makes her county the first one to be challenge the series of state court orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Six other counties have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in recent weeks. Some of those counties only began offering licenses after clerks were ordered to do so by state courts.

Correction: This post originally described Stover as having disobeyed the court order. In fact, the judge had directed the clerk to either issue licenses or appear at a court hearing to make the legal arguments for why licenses should not be issued. Stover decided to argue the case in court.

Minneapolis, Minn. Mayor R.T. Rybak (D) has a message for gay couples in nearby states: while you wait for your legislature to pass a new gay marriage law, you can come get married in Minnesota.

"We're talking to same-sex couples in neighboring states where it's on the docket," Rybak spokesman John Stiles said according to NBC 5 in Chicago. "Our message is that they should adopt it. Until then, we're here to seal your business."

On Thursday Rybak will officially announce his advertising campaign (which includes print and digital ads touting that gay marriage is legal in Minnesota) in Chicago's Boystown Center.

A month earlier Rybak drew national attention for officiating 46 weddings on the first day Minnesota's same-sex marriage law was in effect.

Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio (R) announced on Tuesday that he not run for mayor of San Diego and instead continue his campaign for Congress.

"Today, I reaffirm my commitment to be San Diego's voice in the U.S. congress," DeMaio said at a press conference.

DeMaio's announcement means he sticking with his challange against Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic congressmen in the country. He had previously been believed to be planning to run for mayor after San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) left the office. 

DeMaio previously challenged Filner but lost in a runoff in November.

President Barack Obama has some work to do to recover from his past mistakes on Syria, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a short statement on Tuesday, offering no indication whether he would support military intervention in the country.

"The President has some work to do to recover from his grave missteps in Syria," Ryan said. "He needs to clearly demonstrate that the use of military force would strengthen America's security. I want to hear his case to Congress and to the American people."

Ryan's statement comes as Obama meets with top lawmakers to rally support for taking military action in Syria in response to chemical weapons use there. On Tuesday Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders as well as the chairs of relevant committees to discuss action in Syria.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) are in what may be the most heated spat between one governor trying to poach companies from the other governor's state.

In the last week of August, Perry aired radio ads and made an appearance in Missouri, apparently to capitalize on Nixon's decision to veto a bill halving the state's corporate tax rate lowering its income tax.

"Vetoing a tax cut is the same thing as raising your taxes. But there is a state where businesses flourish and jobs are created: Texas," Perry said in one of the ads.

Perry's reported $200,000 advertising campaign, which includes both TV and radio ads, argues that Texas is straight-up better than Missouri thanks to its lack of income tax and pro-small business policies.

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Republican Senate Wyoming candidate Liz Cheney released a statement Friday saying she does not support same-sex marriage, even though Cheney's sister is married to her longtime partner.

"I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage," Cheney said in the statement according to CNN. "I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves."

Cheney's campaign said the statement on Friday is in response to a "push poll" of Wyoming voters asking whether they are aware that she "supports abortion and aggressively promotes gay marriage."

Cheney is running in the 2014 Republican primary for Sen. Mike Enzi's seat. Cheney's sister, Mary, is married to Heather Poe, Mary's longtime partner. Mary Cheney first publicly announced her sexuality in 2000, when Dick Cheney was then-Gov. George W. Bush's nominee for vice president.

Thirty-one county clerks in New Mexico have joined a lawsuit asking the New Mexico Supreme Court to clarify whether same-sex marriage licenses are legal under the state's constitution.

The clerks are signing on to a lawsuit filed by a group of same-sex couples against a New Mexico count clerk as interveners. The two other clerks of the state's total 33 clerks are already involved in the case.

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A New Mexico judge has ordered a Republican county clerk on Thursday to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or appear in court next week.

The Los Alamos County clerk, Sharon Stover, told TPM Friday she will review the ruling with her attorneys before deciding whether to begin issuing marriage licenses.

The ruling comes as six New Mexico county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples over the last week or so. Some of the clerks began issuing licenses after judges presiding over same-sex marriage lawsuits ordered them to do so. The counties that have begun offering licenses are Taos, Doña Ana, Santa Fe, Valencia, San Miguel and Bernalillo.

Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) reported raising $1.2 million in a six week period.

Davis, the state senator that gained national prominence after waging a more than 11-hour filibuster against a 20-week abortion ban bill in the state's legislature, raised roughly 40 percent of the haul from donors outside Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News.

From June 25 to July 30, Davis raised $793,800 inside Texas and about $470,000 from outside here state according to her finance report. The states with the biggest donations were California, where Davis raised $103,694, New York where she raised $68,764 and the Washington D.C. region where she raised $59,000.

The donations were mostly small contributions. The biggest donations came from Planned Parenthood and labor unions.

Davis is currently mulling whether to run for reelection or run for governor. She plans to announce her decision in September.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said he plans to be involved in the 2016 Republican presidential race but probably not as a presidential candidate.

"I am not an active candidate for president of the United States," King told The Des Moines Register on Thursday. "I am laying plans to try to move the country in the right direction."

King had recently visited early primary states South Carolina and New Hampshire prompting speculation that he had begun planning to run for president in 2016. King has not totally shot down the prospect but he said his goal, right now, is to serve as a "guardrail of constitutional conservatism."

The Iowa Republican also said he plans to host Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at a pheasant hunt in Iowa in October. King said he's impressed with Cruz, who has also been mentioned a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

"I think he has a very good, deep and sound constitutional understanding and he has a good feel for the direction and the culture and the character of Americans," King said. "We wanted to bring him here to Iowa and help him get introduced."

During the 2012 Iowa caucus campaign in 2012 King hosted Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) at pheasant hunts.

The Register was unable to confirm the Cruz pheasant hunt with the senator's office. A spokeswoman said Cruz's scheduling staff was not available when the Register reached out to the senator's office Thursday night.

In July, King raised eyebrows and made national headlines for saying that for every illegal immigrant "who's a valedictorian, there's another hundred out there that weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

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