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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

The White House has received more than 120 applications from health insurance plans looking to sell on the new federal health care exchange, according to a White House memo released Thursday.

The success of the Affordable Care Act partially hinges on competition in order to keep premiums low, and, according to the memo, "the early signs are promising and demonstrate a significant increase in competition and an array of options for consumers everywhere."

One out of four insurers that have applied to sell insurance in the marketplace is new to the individual insurance market and at least one new provider has been added in 75 percent of states with a federally run marketplace.

The White House estimates that about 90 percent of target enrollees will have five or more different insurance company choices.

People can start enrolling in the exchanges on Oct. 1. The federal government will fully run the health care exchanges in 19 states and will work with 15 other states to help them run a marketplace. Seventeen states (including D.C.) have opted to run their own exchanges. 

White House Health Care Competition Memo 5-30-13

One of the faces of Utah's gun lobby was arrested on domestic violence allegations earlier this week.

If Clark Aposhian, chair of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, is convicted, he would be forced to relinquish his arsenal of firearms, his concealed weapons permits and his concealed-carry instructor's license. He may also, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, have to step down from his chairman position.

Aposhian and his attorney say the domestic violence accusations are baseless. 

The gun rights advocate has been making headlines since the Sandy Hook shooting for leading concealed-weapons permit classes to help arm Utah teachers.

Correction: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated that Aposhian was charged.

It seems Ken Cuccinelli's campaign isn't too happy with the attention a survey from Public Policy Polling, a Democrat-leaning polling firm, has been receiving. And for good reason. The Wednesday poll had the Republican gubernatorial candidate trailing Democrat Terry McAuliffe by 5 points.

In response, the Virginia attorney general's camp touted a poll of their own: this one from the Republican-leaning firm, "Republican Republican Republican (RRR)." The mock poll showed Cuccinelli leading McAuliffe by a whopping 12 points, carrying an impressive margin of error of 0.00 percent.

As the story goes in the tongue-in-cheek press release the campaign sent out this morning, Cuccinelli strategist Chris LaCivita formed RRR last week, pledging only to conduct surveys on behalf of Republicans.

“I am just tickled that the results of our first survey shows Ken Cuccinelli with such a commanding lead,” LaCivita said. “I may be a little biased, but we tried very hard to appear objective. It is our hope and expectation that members of the media will cover our first survey as thoroughly as they have recent surveys by Democrat firms.”

The "poll" also found that only one person responded favorably when asked about McAuliffe. That respondent, it turns out, "owns an electronic car company in China and is living in America temporarily thanks to an EB-5 visa provided by GreenTech Automotive."

The PPP poll showed McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli 42 percent to 37 percent. These results were nearly identical to a recent non-partisan Quinnipiac University poll, which had McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli 43 percent to 38 percent.

Update: PPP responded on Twitter to RRR's "poll" results shortly after this article was posted.

Another anti-immigration reform group is bashing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for backing immigration-reform legislation.

The Miami Herald reported that Floridians for Immigration Enforcement-- an organization that describes itself as Floridians "striving to eliminate illegal immigration incentives"-- put up a billboard along a Florida highway lambasting Rubio for supporting a bill that would allow "33 MILLION FOREIGN WORKERS in the next 10 years!"

This is just one more example of the blowback that Rubio has received from conservative groups for his immigration stance.

A immigration hardline group in Califnornia, Californians for Population Stabilization, has been running TV spots in Florida attacking Rubio for his role in crafting the immigration legislation.

President Barack Obama is expected to tap former Justice Department official James Comey as the next FBI director, according to NPR.

He will succeed outgoing director Robert Mueller, who took over the post just days before September 11, 2001.

Comey, a Republican, served as the deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and threatened to resign over warrantless wiretapping of Americans. Also a highlight on his resume: as the top federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, he filed the charges against Martha Stewart for lying about stock trades that landed her in prison.

The White House would not confirm the selection and told NPR that it could take several days before any formal announcement is made.

 

 

The FBI is investigating two letters targeting New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that tested postive for ricin, the New York Times reported Wednesday afternoon.

“The writer, in letters, threatened Mayor Bloomberg, with references to the debate on gun laws," a spokesman for the New York Police Department said.

One letter addressed to the mayor arrived late last week at the offices of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in New York City. A second later also containing the highly toxic poison was sent to the Washington headquarters of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the gun control advocacy group that Bloomberg helps run and finance.

Bloomberg never received the letters and there is no sign that anyone became ill from contact with the poison.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to hold an off-the-record meeting with the Washington bureau chiefs of major news outlets this week to discuss Department of Justice policy guiding investigations that involve journalists, but New York Times Editor Jill Abramson said Wednesday that the paper of record would not be participating.

"We will not be attending the session at DOJ," Abramson said in a statement obtained by the Huffington Post. "It isn’t appropriate for us to attend an off the record meeting with the attorney general. Our Washington bureau is aggressively covering the department’s handling of leak investigations at this time."

At this point, it is unclear if other news organization will follow suit.

Update: The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reports that Martin Baron, executive editor of The Post, will be attending the meeting.

Late Update: The AP will not be attending the off-the-record meeting, Dylan Byers of Politico reported.

Comedian turned politician Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has officially drawn his first major Republican challenger for his 2014 reelection bid.

Businessman Mike McFadden announced in a video Wednesday that he would be running for the seat.

"I think my dad would be a great senator because he sees Minnesota's infinite potential and dares to dream big," McFadden's daughter said in the video that touted the wealthy executive's work ethic and family values.

McFadden is largely unknown to Minnesotans and a recent poll from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found Franken 15 points ahead of McFadden, 51 percent to 36 percent. Franken boasted double digit leads over all potential GOP rivals.

On the off chance that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who announced Wednesday that she would not seek reelection, decides to run for the seat, she would be facing a significant uphill climb as the poll found her trailing Franken by 17 points.

But still, Franken may yet face considerable challenges. In an epic 2008 showdown, Franken beat incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman by a mere 312 votes.

The PPP survey polled 712 Minnesota voters and has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

President Barack Obama offered a warm welcome to the newest member of the Democratic Party Wednesday--Independent Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator who announced that he would be running for reelection in 2014 as a Democrat.

Obama's statement on the party change-up:

 

"I’m delighted to hear that Governor Chafee is joining the Democratic Party.  For nearly 30 years, Linc Chafee has served his beloved Rhode Island as an independent thinker and leader who’s unafraid to reach across party lines to get things done.  I enjoyed working with Linc when he was a Republican in the United States Senate, and I look forward to continuing that collaboration on the issues that matter not just to the Democratic Party, but to every American.  Creating good jobs that pay good wages.  Access to health care that’s there for you when you get sick.  An affordable college education even if you’re not rich.  An economy that rewards hard work, no matter who you are, what you look like, or who you love.  And above all, a fair shot to leave our kids a better life than we’ve known.

 

“I’m thrilled to welcome Linc to the party of Jefferson and Jackson, Roosevelt and Kennedy – and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead."

A day after her husband formally endorsed Rep. Ed Markey (D) for the Massachusetts Senate seat, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Boston to urge voters to support the congressman in the state's special election to replace Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Listen to this Massachusetts: you simply cannot elect Barack Obama by a landslide and lose this Senate seat!” she said. “Remember all of those times when I’ve asked you to have my husband’s back. This is one of those back-having times, right now."

Markey is running against Republican Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL who spent years in private equity. A recent poll from Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling showed Markey leading Gomez by seven points, 48 percent to 41 percent.

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