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

Secretary of State John Kerry said that a new bill pending in Arizona that would permit segregation against LGBT people based on one's religious beliefs is comparable to a collection of harsh anti-LGBT laws in Uganda because both are "contrary to fundamental basic human rights."

Kerry made the comments Wednesday in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. His comments are perhaps the most direct comments from a top-ranking Obama administration official on Arizona's SB 1062 bill. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is mulling whether to veto the bill before the Saturday deadline, when the bill will become law if she does nothing.

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Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) holds a very slight lead over all her possible challengers in the Republican primary, according to a new poll.

The poll, from American Insights, however founded a high number of undecided voters. Against House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC), Hagan leads 38 percent to 35 percent. In a matchup with Rev. Mark Harris, Hagan leads 39 percent to 35 percent and against tea partier Greg Brannon Hagan gets 38 percent while Brannon gets just 36 percent.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was caught fundraising for a tea party group that openly opposes Republican leadership and backs challenges to incumbent senators, something that should be a conflict of interest for Cruz, who is a vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Politico obtained a fundraising pitch penned by Cruz for the The Madison Project, one of the anti-establishment conservative outside groups that have been a persistent thorn in top Republicans' side this election cycle. Politico got the memo from someone who received it last month.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) told MSNBC that he hasn't seen a controversial Arizona bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers on the basis of religious belief.

In an interview with host Chuck Todd on Wednesday Scott was repeatedly asked whether he thought Brewer should sign the bill. Other Republicans have said she shouldn't. Each time he was asked, Scott refused to answer saying he hadn't seen the legislation.

"Chuck, I've not seen that bill," Scott said in response to a question from MSNBC's Chuck Todd on the bill.

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Former President Bill Clinton stumped for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is running for Senate in Kentucky, and he said that Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, "just pout if [their] party is not in the White House and make as many problems as [they] can."

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The Conservative Political Action Conference has revoked the booth belonging to the group American Atheists at the right-wing convention beginning later this week.

The group, which advocates on behalf of atheists across the country, was scheduled to do outreach with a station at this year's CPAC conference.

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A Republican Senate candidate interviewed by The Dallas Morning News denied that he said ranchers should be allowed to shoot "wetbacks" on sight.

The candidate, Chris Mapp, did not deny using the racial epithet, just using it in the context of shooting by ranchers. His post came after interviews with the Dallas Morning News and the San Antonio Express-News. In a lengthy, rambling Facebook post on Saturday, Mapp wrote:

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Democratic Senate candidates in key 2014 primary states have two big concerns right now: one is what kind of Republican gets the GOP nomination and the other is Americans for Prosperity. And it's the second that might be a bigger problem for Democrats this fall.

The group has continually hit red-state Senate Democrats -- not just on Obamacare but also on topics important to their respective states. Recently the group released a new ad hitting Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) on the environment.

Unlike virtually every other conservative outside group that's spent most of 2014 fueling one side of the GOP Civil War, Americans for Prosperity -- backed by the wealthy billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch -- has acted like the adult in the room, pouring money into attacking the presumptive Democratic candidates. This tactic has kept Democrats in a more defensive crouch than what would normally happen while an opposing party's primary rages on.

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