When Henry Waxman was elected to the House of Representatives, he was 35 years old. Now, at 74, the congressman says he’s ready to pass the torch.
“After 40 years in Congress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark, ideally someone who is young enough to make the long-term commitment that’s required for real legislative success,” he said in a statement announcing his retirement Thursday.
Just a few hours after news of Waxman’s departure broke, a potential (and young) candidate has spoken up: Sandra Fluke.
“I’m flattered that I’m being discussed as a potential candidate,” Fluke, 32, told KPCC, a California radio station. “A number of folks I respect very deeply have reached out today and encouraged me to run. I am strongly considering running.”
Her name should ring a bell. Two years ago, in February, Fluke was barred from testifying at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about contraception. Chairman Darrell Issa said that because Fluke was not a member of the clergy, she could not appear on the ultimately all-male panel, which was supposed to discuss contraception in relation to religious freedom.
So House Democrats convened an unofficial hearing themselves. Fluke, then a third-year law student at Georgetown, spoke in support of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurance companies cover contraceptives like birth control.
A few days later, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” on his show.
“What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?” Limbaugh said. “It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
In March, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, under pressure from Democratic lawmakers and considerable public outcry, said Limbaugh’s comments were “inappropriate.” Limbaugh eventually apologized for his “word choices.”
Fluke has plenty of time to think about a run, and she’s not the only one. Steve Lopez at the Los Angeles Times suspects that Zev Yaroslavsky, a longtime Waxman political ally who sits on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, will soon be vying for Waxman’s open seat. Bobby Shriver and Sheila Kuehl, who are running to replace Yaroslavsky on the board, could jump into the race, too.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."