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Perry Stein

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Perry

A Maine Republican state Senate candidate defended a video Tuesday that includes footage of him dancing in a Speedo-style swimsuit, saying it was part of a national ad campaign he previously worked on as professional actor.

“I am confident that voters in my district will appreciate my private sector work experience. Unlike my opponent, I’m not a career politician,” candidate Mark Brakey explained in a press release, according to the Bangor Daily News. “If Ronald [Reagan] can become president after Bedtime with Bonzo, I am sure voters won’t mind seeing my dance moves in a commercial for Vita CoCo.”

The former executive director for the Christian Civic League in Maine, Mike Hein, sent a version of the video out to media outlets, slamming Brakey's "family values." In a post on the YouTube video, Hein wrote “well, well, well. If it isn’t Mr. ‘Family Values Matter’ State Senate candidate himself flamboyantly prancing around in his underwear.”

Watch the video below. Brakey is the actor in the red Speedo dancing in front of a mirror.

In his speech on responsible home ownership in Phoenix Tuesday, President Barack Obama tied comprehensive immigration reform to building a durable housing market, saying "when more people buy homes and play by the rules, home values go up for everybody."

"Step three is something you don’t always hear about when it comes to the housing market – and that’s fixing a broken immigration system," Obama said, according to a White House transcript. "It’s pretty simple: when more people buy homes, and play by the rules, home values go up for everybody. According to one recent study, the average homeowner has already seen the value of their home boosted by thousands of dollars, just because of immigration.

"Now, with the help of your Senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, the Senate has already passed a bipartisan immigration bill that’s got the support of CEOs, labor, and law enforcement," he added. "And considering what this bill can do for homeowners, that’s just one more reason Republicans in the House should stop dragging their feet and get this done."    

Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican who has made national headlines recently for claiming that for every young undocumented immigrant who becomes a valedictorian, there are 100 more who cross the border as drug mules, may be the latest person to throw his hat into the 2016 presidential ring. 

The immigration hawk is quietly planning meetings with GOP leaders and activists this month in South Carolina, an early primary state, CNN reported Tuesday. 

He will also attend the Charleston Meeting, a closed door event with right-leaning politicians and business leaders. Sources told CNN that the event is organized by author and activist Mallory Factor. 

Republican Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney improperly obtained a state resident fishing license based on inaccurate information in her Game and Fish Department application, the Star-Tribune reported Monday.

Records show that the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney received a license 72 days after closing on her Wyoming house in May 2012, having just relocated from Virginia. State law requires that residents live in the state 365 consecutive days before they are eligible to receive a resident hunting or fishing license, which are cheaper than out-of-state licenses, according to the Star-Tribune.

The Senate candidate, who is mounting a primary bid against Sen. Mike Enzi (R), claims that the application erroneously recorded her as a 10-year resident of the state.

“The clerk must have made a mistake,” she told the Star-Tribune. “I never claimed to be a 10-year resident.”

Store clerks are required to ask applicants a list of questions, which include proof of address, birth date and length of residency. The employee who interviewed Cheney is no longer employed at the store where she obtained it, however, and officials aren't sure how the discrepency occurred, the Star-Tribune reported.

Cheney may also be charged a fine if officials determine that she submitted inaccurate information.

PBS announced Tuesday that Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will be co-hosts and managing editors of the nightly show "NewsHour," marking the first time that a network has had a female co-anchor team. 

The show currently has a rotating anchor format.

Woodruff will solo host the show on Fridays while Ifill hosts Washington Week. 

"This marks an exciting new chapter in the history of PBS NewsHour," said Linda Winslow, executive producer for PBS NewsHour, in a statement. "Gwen and Judy have been the heart and soul of NewsHour for years, so it's wonderful to formalize these new roles and give them an opportunity to provide even more input on the content and direction of the show."

Virginia Flaggers, an organization that works to promote the state's Confederate past, announced over the weekend that it will fly a 15-foot wide Confederate battle flag on a small patch of land by I-95 outside Richmond, Mother Jones reported.

The flag "will serve to welcome visitors and commuters to Richmond, and remind them of our honorable Confederate history and heritage," an annoucement on the Flagger's website read.

The flag is slated to be unveiled Sept. 28 and the group is fundraising for the necessary $3,000 to display the flag.

Former President Bill Clinton touted his vegan diet in the August/September issue of AARP Magazine and urged Americans in an interview to abstain from eating meat products as well, saying it's good for "your own well-being" and "your country."

Clinton, who became a vegan three years ago after he had emergency heart surgery and has since lost nearly 30 pounds, said "the way we consume food and what we consume" are driving up health care costs to unaffordable levels.

"You have to make a conscious decision to change for your own well-being, and that of your family and your country," he added.

The soon-to-be-owner of the Washington Post and founder of Amazon sold 614,938 shares of his company's stock last week for a return of about $185 million, according to Quartz.

The Post Co. announced Monday that Bezos would be buying its flagship paper for $250 million in cash, which may be a reason for the stock sale.

Wired's Tim Carmody first spotted the sale of the stocks last week.

 

Ezra Klein, the editor of the Washington Post's big traffic driver Wonkblog, laid out his thoughts on the sale of the paper to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos Monday, saying he is "shocked" but "hopeful."

Klein wrote in a post that one of the drawbacks of the sale is all the potential conflicts of interest that could arise from the paper's owner running one of the largest and most influential companies in the country.

"Amazon’s political interests extend across everything from state sales taxes to the minimum wage to trade with China," Klein said. "It’s doubtful that Bezos intends to aggressively use The Post to advance Amazon’s legislative goals. But over time, who knows? The Post has had to navigate similar tensions in recent years with our Kaplan division, but this will be of a new scale."

He also wrote that the Post's local coverage could suffer, since Bezos resides in Washington state and likely doesn't have as much vested interest in local coverage as the Post's current longtime owners, the Graham family.

Don Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Co., wrote a letter to Washington Post employees Monday explaining why he decided to sell the flagship paper that has been in his family for four generations to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

"Our revenues had declined seven years in a row. We had innovated and to my critical eye our innovations had been quite successful in audience and in quality, but they hadn’t made up for the revenue decline," he wrote. "Our answer had to be cost cuts and we knew there was a limit to that. We were certain the paper would survive under our ownership, but we wanted it to do more than that. We wanted it to succeed."

Read the full letter here.

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