Politics and Government

Politics
3:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Lay Of The Land Looks Steep For Senate Democrats

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:57 pm

With the House of Representatives expected to remain in Republican hands, the Senate will be the focus of midterm elections in 2014. The political landscape there appears unfavorable for Democrats.

The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Arizona's Rep. Pastor, A Democrat, Won't Seek Re-Election

After more than 20 years in Congress, Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., says he won't be running for reelection. He's seen here with Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., in 2010.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 3:16 pm

He has held his seat in the House of Representatives since 1991 But today Rep. Ed Pastor announced that he won't seek another term. Pastor, 70, announced his decision on Twitter, saying that it was time for him "to seek out a new endeavor."

"After 23 years in Congress serving the people of AZ, I have decided not to seek re-election this year. It has been an honor," he tweeted. "Thank you."

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Oklahoma Politics
2:16 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Email: Brogdon Now Focused On U.S. Senate

Credit Randy Brogdon / Facebook

A former state lawmaker has dropped his Republican primary challenge to Gov. Mary Fallin, and says he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Tom Coburn.

In a fundraising email Thursday obtained by eCapitol, former state Sen. Randy Brogdon says he started assembling a campaign organization to run for governor shortly after Christmas. He says he initially wanted to support U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine for the Senate post, but when Bridenstine decided to stay in the House, Brogdon started to “take the encouragement to run more seriously.”

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State Capitol
12:19 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Senate Approves Quarter Percent Oklahoma Income Tax Cut

The Senate passed a bill by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) that would lower Oklahoma's income tax rate to below 5 percent if the state’s economy continues to improve.
Credit Oklahoma Senate

KGOU's Kurt Gwartney reports Senate Democrats focused their questions about the tax cut bill on the lack of funding for core state services like education and public safety.

The state Senate approved a bill Thursday morning that would cut the Oklahoma income tax rate a quarter of a percent down to five. The bill passed on a 32-10 margin, with mostly Democrats opposing it.

Minority leader Sean Burrage (D-Claremore) argued nearly 40 percent of residents won't see any tax break, and would rather have the state pay for good schools, rather than receive less than $100 back on their income taxes. 

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It's All Politics
12:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Pentagon Cuts Promise Political Pain

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters at the Pentagon on Monday. Hagel and President Obama will need to fight through a wall of resistance to their proposed defense budget cuts, say former members of a defense base closing commission.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:17 pm

Cutting defense spending in Washington is about as popular as proposing Social Security cuts. In other words, not very.

Which explains why, following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement Monday that the Obama administration's new budget would propose shrinking the Army, closing bases and ditching weapons systems, the responses from Capitol Hill lawmakers have been some version of "over my dead body."

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Movies
4:12 am
Thu February 27, 2014

FBI's Abscam Videos Are As Unbelievable As 'American Hustle'

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:30 am

The Oscar contender is loosely based on the Abscam sting, which nailed a senator and six House members on corruption charges. The FBI videotaped some Hollywood-worthy scenes.

Politics
4:04 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Obama To Launch Initiative To Help Young Black, Latino Men

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:30 am

The program is to encourage young African American and Latino males facing a difficult environment and hard choices. The president is once again wading into turbulent racial waters.

Politics
2:26 am
Thu February 27, 2014

FEMA Flood Insurance Law Faces Partial Repeal Over Premiums

Levees, like this one in New Orleans, must be certified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before appearing on federal flood maps. This change has resulted in higher flood insurance premiums in some areas.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 9:38 am

The House is expected to vote as early as next week to partially repeal a 2012 law that overhauled the National Flood Insurance Program, which is tens of billions of dollars in debt.

The law was meant to make people living in flood-prone areas foot more of the insurance bill. But lawmakers didn't realize how many homeowners would be affected — or how hard they'd be hit.

You can find some of those homeowners in Bayou Gauche, about 30 miles west of New Orleans.

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6:18 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

A Think-Twice Proposal for Divorcing Couples

Lead in text: 
A house committee has approved a bill that would require couples with children considering divorce to take a course on the effects of divorce on children.
Feb. 26: Bill Would Require Marriage Program A House committee has approved a bill that would require certain couples who have children and are seeking a divorce to go through an Oklahoma Marriage Initiative program before the divorce is granted. House Bill 2249 by Rep.
It's All Politics
5:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Debbie Dingell Poised To Keep U.S. House Seat In The Family

Debbie Dingell with Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and then-presidential candidate Barack Obama during a 2008 campaign event in Flint, Mich. Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run for her husband's House seat.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:22 pm

Debbie Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run to succeed her husband, John Jr., for the southeast Michigan congressional seat that's been in the family since John Sr. was elected in 1933.

Though several news outlets reported her intentions, former Michigan state legislator Bill Ballenger of InsideMichiganPolitics.com retained a kernel of skepticism.

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