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

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said he would vote for a clean debt ceiling increase proposal on Monday.

After Politico reporter Manu Raju tweeted Monday evening that Kirk supported ending debate on a clean debt limit increase and furthermore an 'aye' on the actual bill, Kirk's office confirmed the senator's position to TPM. 

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House Republicans won't agree to a debt limit increase deal that includes anything less then a full delay or complete defunding of Obamacare, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) said.

"They may try to throw the kitchen sink at the debt limit, but I don't think our conference will be amenable for settling for a collection of things after we've fought so hard," Garrett said, according to National Review on Monday. "If it doesn’t have a full delay or defund of Obamacare, I know I and many others will not be able to support whatever the leadership proposes. If it’s just a repeal of the medical-device tax, or chained CPI, that won’t be enough."

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The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of a decision by a lower court striking down Virginia's anti-sodomy law, which Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) had hoped to keep in place.

Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, and other proponents of the law argue that it is necessary for combatting sexual predators of children, according to The Washington Post.

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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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