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

A trio of researchers have released a new study that found the recently gutted provision of the Voting Rights Act has played a major role in boosting African-American political representation on the municipal level around the country.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Rice University and Ohio University found that municipalities covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act -- which required certain jurisdictions to get federal approval (often referred to as preclearance) before changing their voting laws -- saw a more rapid increase in black political representation than municipalities that were not covered under the provision.

Section 5 was largely rendered moot by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder in June. In that case, the court found that the formula in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act that determined which jurisdictions would be subject to Section 5 preclearance was unconstitutionally outdated. Since then, with a divided Congress unlikely to agree on revising Section 4, the Justice Department has announced lawsuits against Texas and North Carolina for passing new, strict voting laws. Texas was previously required to get federal approval before changing its voting laws, and some counties in North Carolina were as well.

The study, available online and to be published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Politics, suggests that there could be a decline in black representation at the municipal level because of the Supreme Court's ruling.

"It's going to be like Karl Marx said, history repeats itself twice. First time it's tragedy, second time it's farce, and that's what's going to happen. We're going to see fewer minority candidates at least at the city council level," Ohio University Professor Anirudh V. S. Ruhil, one of the study's authors, told TPM on Monday.

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A conservative super PAC charged that Wyoming Senate Candidate Liz Cheney is inconsistent on gay marriage.

The ad included a clip of Cheney on MSNBC in 2009 saying she opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and supports the State Department extending benefits to same-sex couples.

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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) is appearing at a fundraiser alongside Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Saturday and it's starting to get a little more complicated than it probably should be.

Cruz and Cuccinelli are both scheduled to appear at a gala event hosted by the Family Foundation on Saturday night in Richmond. Cruz is the keynote speaker and Cuccinelli is slated to deliver special remarks.

Though the event has been scheduled for some time, Cruz's rising-star status and focal point as the leader in the government shutdown debate makes the timing of the event awkward for Cuccinelli, who is running for governor in an increasingly blue state. Cuccinelli has to make sure he doesn't alienate Virginia conservatives distancing himself from the darling of the right, but he also can't get too closely associated with the Republican who Democrats have been gleefully attacking as the biggest advocate of a government shutdown. So, in the case of the Family Foundation event, the Cuccinelli campaign is saying that it's not a campaign event, just an appearance of two prominent Republicans.

"No, it is not a campaign event," Cuccinelli spokesman Richard Cullen told TPM on Friday.

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Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control group founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and husband Mark Kelly, on Thursday waded into the Virginia governor's race.

In an email to supporters, the group attacked the Republican candidate, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, saying he has "spent a career making it easier for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to get their hands on weapons." The group noted that the National Rifle Association recently spent $500,000 on television advertising in the race.

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State Sen. Wendy Davis's (D) official entrance into the Texas gubernatorial race on Thursday afternoon pits her against a tough Republican opponent: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Abbott has thus far received less national attention than Davis, who drew headlines with her 11-hour filibuster to temporarily block anti-abortion legislation in June. If Democrats had a shot at capturing the statehouse, analysts proclaimed, Davis would be their best shot. But make no mistake, Abbott is the favored candidate in this race.

Abbott, who merely has to shrug off primary opponent Tom Pauken, has been called the "heir apparent" to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) since Perry announced he would not run for re-election. He has a sizable war chest of at least $20 million and strong support among the state's conservatives. It's expected that Davis will have to raise as much as $40 million to be competitive in the race.

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Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) got into a heated exchange with a National Park Service Ranger at the World War II Memorial over the closure of the park because of the government shutdown.

Neugebauer, one of a number of Republicans who have tried to use the closed memorial to bash the Obama administration and Democrats on the shutdown, confronted the ranger while surrounded by a crowd of onlookers.

Neugebauer asked the Ranger how she could turn World War II veterans away.

"How do you look at them and…deny them access?" the congressman asked.

"It's difficult," she responded.

"Well, it should be difficult," Neugebauer snapped.

"It is difficult," the Ranger said. "I'm sorry sir."

"The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves," Neugebauer said.

"I'm not ashamed," the Ranger said.

Members of the crowd then chimed in. One person shouted "This woman is doing her job, just like me."

"I'm a 30-year federal veteran -- I'm out of work," the man continued.

"Well, the reason you are is because [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid decided to shutdown the government," Neugebauer said.

"No, it's because the government won't do its job and pass a budget," the man responded.

Watch the video below: