Against early expectations, it’s looking like Michigan will be one of the major Senate battlegrounds in 2014.
Former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land posted her second consecutive strong fundraising quarter on Tuesday, when her campaign reported raising nearly $1.7 million in the fourth quarter alone. Since June, she has raised more than $3.7 million.
That’s an impressive haul for any challenger, even if about half of it has come from her own finances. But it’s especially noteworthy sum for Land, who many Republicans once regarded as lightweight contender with little chance of winning a blue state race. The party attempted to recruit a slew of other candidates for the race, including Reps. Dave Camp and Mike Rogers, even after Land entered the race. When they passed, many observers concluded Democrats — who have rallied behind Rep. Gary Peters as their presumptive nominee — were a safe bet to retain the seat held by retiring Sen. Carl Levin.
Those predictions have been turned on their head. Land’s fundraising and the deteriorating political environment for Democrats have combined to make the race competitive. Her emergence is also a key development for national Republicans, offering them a pathway to retake the Senate without having to win exclusively in seven red state seats currently represented by Democrats.
Danger still lurks for the GOP: Democrats mock Land for thus far declining to participate in any public events, and she already stumbled once last year when she suggested Obamacare shouldn’t be repealed outright. Her campaign had to hastily issue a correction, emphasizing that she supports repealing the health care law in its entirety. The reason many Republicans doubted her from the beginning could ultimately prove her undoing in a closely scrutinized race.
But for now, Land’s money alone guarantees she’s a serious candidate.
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and … the Justice Department” for potentially improper contributions to his 2013 campaign, including while he was a Clinton Global Initiative board member. ... Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from” former Chinese legislator Wang Wenliang. “U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to … elections. … But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status.”