Politics and Government

Politics and Government
7:19 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Coburn Announces 'Farewell Tour' Of Town Halls

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn plans a series of town hall meetings in Oklahoma as he prepares to resign from the Senate at the end of the current term.

The meetings will take place the first two full weeks in August. Coburn says one of the highlights of serving as senator is traveling the state and speaking with Oklahomans about issues that are important to them.

Coburn announced earlier this year that he would resign with two years remaining in his term. The Republican has served in the U.S. Senate since 2004.

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Have Had Vaccinations
6:38 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Feds Say Immigrant Children All Medically Cleared

Credit hit thatswitch / Flickr.com

The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year.

The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of unaccompanied minors in each state that have been placed with parents, relatives or family friends.

The federal government says that from Jan. 1 to July 7, 212 unaccompanied children have been placed with a sponsor.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Montana Senator Comes Under Fire For Plagiarism Allegations

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:22 pm

Sen. John Walsh of Montana was appointed to his seat in February, and he's preparing to face voters for the first time. The Democrat's bid will likely be complicated by allegations of plagiarism, reported by The New York Times. It seems that in a paper Walsh submitted for his master's degree from the U.S. Army War College, long passages were borrowed without attribution.

Politics
4:52 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Rep. Ryan Unveils His Anti-Poverty Plan, A Rebuke To LBJ Programs

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, speaking before the start of the Virginia GOP Convention in Roanoke last month, has unveiled a new plan aimed at tackling poverty in America.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:22 am

For much of this year, Republicans have talked about finding new ways to get Americans out of poverty but have offered few specifics — until now.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled his plan Thursday to fight poverty, which he says will help fix safety-net programs that he calls fragmented and ineffective.

Here are the highlights of Ryan's plan:

  • Allow states to experiment with federal aid, by merging things like food stamps, child care and welfare into what he calls an "Opportunity Grant."
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State Capitol
8:49 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Oklahoma Senate Leader Appoints Final Three To Repair Panel

Barricades surround the south steps of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Credit Meghan Blessing / KGOU

The leader of the Oklahoma Senate has approved three members to a committee that will oversee a $120 million renovation of the state Capitol.

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman announced the appointment of Republican Sens. Dan Newberry of Tulsa and Corey Brooks of Washington, along with Democrat Susan Paddack of Ada.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Montana Sen. Walsh Says PTSD May Have Played A Role In His Plagiarism

Sen. John Walsh, a Democrat from Montana.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 9:24 am

After The New York Times reported that Sen. John Walsh plagiarized at least a quarter of his master's thesis, the Montana Democrat is telling The Associated Press that post-traumatic stress disorder may have played a role.

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Politics
5:13 am
Thu July 24, 2014

A Strange Political Dustup Clouds Kansas Governor's Future

Paul Davis, third from left, the presumed Democratic nominee for Kansas governor, receives the endorsements of more than 100 current and former Republican politicians on July 15, 2014, in Topeka, Kan.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 10:40 am

Kansas's Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is locked in an unexpectedly tough re-election battle for doing exactly what he said he would do — cut taxes.

Citing mounting evidence that those tax cuts are creating a budget crisis – not stimulating the Kansas economy as promised — some in the state's moderate Republican establishment recently did the unthinkable: endorse a Democrat for governor.

That's not only endangering Brownback's re-election hopes, it's also tarnishing his plans to turn one of the reddest of red states into a national model.

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It's All Politics
6:05 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Democrats Make New Bid To Require Donor Transparency

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition reception in Washington in June. On Wednesday, he appeared at a Senate rules committee hearing to oppose a campaign finance bill proposed by Democrats.
Yuri Gripas Reuters/Landov

Senate Democrats have rolled out this year's model of the DISCLOSE Act. Or, if you want to be more formal: the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act.

It's the third version of DISCLOSE since 2010. Broadly speaking, it would force donor disclosure on the big-money, 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations that are flourishing in post-Citizens United politics. Unlike almost all other players in an election campaign, 501(c)(4)s are not covered by the disclosure laws. Their donors are never publicly named.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Campaign Finance Transparency Bill Gets Chilly Reception In Senate

A bill that would require transparency by nonprofit groups related to federal elections met with united opposition from Republicans Wednesday, at the first Senate hearing on what its supporters call the Disclose Act.

The legislation would require any politically active group that spends more than $10,000 to list its donors. It was introduced last month, with 52 senators listed as its sponsors or co-sponsors (including the chamber's two independents).

NPR's Peter Overby reports:

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It's All Politics
4:35 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Insurance For Fake Identities The Latest Skirmish Over Obamacare

Investigators were able to fraudulently sign up for coverage through HealthCare.gov, sparking criticism from Republican lawmakers.
J. David Ake AP

House Republicans went on the attack Wednesday over what they say is the latest bungling of the Affordable Care Act: fake identities used to get insurance.

Undercover investigators were able to get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance from the government's website 11 out of the 18 times they tried, according to a preliminary report from the Government Accountability Office.

Republicans on the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee say fraud and abuse will be rampant and may already be.

Democrats question all the fuss.

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