TPMDC Morning Roundup

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March 18, 2011 5:01 a.m.
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$350,000 Goal Is Set For Obama Re-election Donors
The New York Times reports: “The top contributors to President Obama’s re-election campaign were given an ambitious set of marching orders on Thursday, with an elite group of 450 donors each asked to raise $350,000 this year to help finance what is likely to be the most expensive political race in the nation’s history…The amount is more than twice what top Democrats were asked to raise four years ago, several participants of the meeting said, and the donors could be given an even bigger goal next year.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama will receive his daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. Then at 10:55 a.m. ET, he will be interviewed by WSOC Charlotte, WSVN Miami and WPVI Philadelphia, to preview his trip to Latin America. Later, the First Family will depart from the White House at 10:15 p.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 10:35 p.m. ET, en route to Brasilia, Brazil.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden will travel in the morning to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At 1 p.m. ET, he will attend an event for the Democratic Congressional CAmpaign Committee.

Lobbyists Flock To Capitol Hill Jobs
The Washington Post reports: “A surge of lobbyists has left K Street this year to fill jobs as high-ranking staffers on Capitol Hill, focusing new attention on the dearth of rules governing what paid advocates can do after moving into the legislative world…New tallies indicate that nearly half of the roughly 150 former lobbyists working in top policy jobs for members of Congress or House committees have been hired in the past few months. And many are working on legislative issues of interest to their former employers.”

Pentagon Defends Foreign Aid As Essential To National Security
The Hill reports: “Senior Pentagon officials are making an impassioned argument against cuts to America’s foreign aid budget, putting them at odds with conservatives in the House…The State Department has pushed back against the proposed cuts, and senior Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, have become vocal and powerful allies.”

Citizens United Not Enough For Right
Politico reports: “Not satisfied by the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that opened the floodgates to corporate-sponsored election ads, conservative opponents of campaign finance regulations have opened up a series of new legal fronts in their effort to eliminate the remaining laws restricting the flow of money into politics. They have taken to Congress, state legislatures and the lower courts to target almost every type of regulation on the books: disclosure requirements, bans on foreign and corporate contributions and – in a pair of cases the Supreme Court will consider this month – party spending limits and public financing of campaigns.”

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