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What We Learned: Thanks, But No Franks What We Learned: Thanks, But No Franks

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Politics

What We Learned: Thanks, But No Franks

April 3, 2011
-- The campaign finance reports are in for the West Virginia gubernatorial race, and former Secretary of State Betty Ireland (R), the presumptive Republican frontrunner, was outraised by businessman Bill Maloney (R): Ireland raised $79,391 to Maloney's $139,170. Combine that with Maloney loaning his campaign twice as much as Ireland ($250,000 to $125,000) and he's got $330,376 in the back compared to her $162,095. It remains to be seen if Maloney can use that cash advantage to build his name recognition and close the gap in the month and a half left before the primary. -- A video of Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) saying he was "struggling" on his $174,000 salary may have created a political problem. According to the American Community Survey, the average family in his district has an income of just over $55,000. With unemployment still high and the average income being a third of Duffy's salary, Duffy did little favor to himself trying to get the tape removed from the airwaves. Expect Democrats to remind voters of the video this cycle. -- We got our first glimpse this week of the once-every-10-years cage fights that will occur thanks to redistricting. Iowa's first maps threw observers a curveball -- pitting not two, but four incumbents against each other. The remaining Republicans, Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham, would have to battle, while Democrats Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack are lumped together. Leonard Boswell was thought to be the most vulnerable in the remapping, but he could still face a primary challenge from former state First Lady Christie Vilsack. Still, these aren't the final lines, but legislators have rarely rejected the panel's proposals, and have only so many chances and ways to vote them down or amend them. For both parties, this could be as good as it gets. -- Missouri and Louisiana have given us glimpses of their plans too, as Reps. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) and Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) would be put in the same district. Carnahan faces an uphill battle against Clay, whose old district covers most of the new one; plus, he's likely to have CBC support. In Louisiana, new Rep. Jeff Landry's (R) tea party support that helped him win in 2010 may not help him against veteran Rep. Charles Boustany (R), but it could be an early glimpse of how much the tea party will play in redistricting fights. -- The New York Times reported that that GE owed nothing in federal income taxes in 2010. GE made $14 billion last year, $5 billion in the U.S. Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), on Wednesday, called GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to step down from his position as head of the White House's jobs panel. Meanwhile, GE refuted the accusation, saying once their return is filed in September, they will owe some federal taxes. On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney addressed the issue saying President Obama "believes" reform needs to happen in the corporate tax system." And while both ABC and CBS, on their respective nightly news programs, addressed the issue early in the week; NBC's "Nightly news with Brian Williams" didn't address the topic until Thursday evening. GE owns 49% of NBC Universal.
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