Liz Halloran http://wesa.fm en High On Tea Party Hit List, Idaho Congressman Looks To Hold On http://wesa.fm/post/high-tea-party-hit-list-idaho-congressman-looks-hold Mike Simpson has been atop the Tea Party hit list for much of this election year.<p>And Tuesday's primary contest between the Idaho Republican congressman and Tea Party challenger Bryan Smith had been billed as a big one in a string of GOP primary mashups that would signal the sway of the Tea Party faction — or the ability of traditional conservatives like Simpson to fight back in a deep red state.<p>"It's been a real-deal campaign here in Idaho," says Skip Smyser, the conservative founder of Boise-based government relations firm Lobby Idaho.<p>In the campaign's waning days, however, internal Sat, 17 May 2014 18:12:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 29395 at http://wesa.fm High On Tea Party Hit List, Idaho Congressman Looks To Hold On In Idaho, A Debate Like You've Never Seen Before http://wesa.fm/post/idaho-debate-youve-never-seen <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQlPcwiruaY</p> Thu, 15 May 2014 18:50:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 29282 at http://wesa.fm In Idaho, A Debate Like You've Never Seen Before In Caustic Nebraska Senate Race, GOP Battle Lines Are Blurred http://wesa.fm/post/caustic-nebraska-senate-race-gop-battle-lines-are-blurred Conservative <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary.php?cycle=2014&id=NES2">money has poured</a> into Nebraska's Republican Senate primary race.<p>Big GOP names like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are on opposite sides.<p>And the attack ads have been brutal — including one that took a page directly from the Swift-boating of John Kerry's military record during his 2004 presidential run.<p>But that doesn't mean the contest to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Tue, 13 May 2014 10:52:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 29125 at http://wesa.fm In Caustic Nebraska Senate Race, GOP Battle Lines Are Blurred The Congresswoman Whose Husband Called Her Home http://wesa.fm/post/congresswoman-whose-husband-called-her-home Fifty-six years ago this weekend, newspapers across the nation told a sad tale of a family seemingly imploding.<p>At the center of the story was Coya Knutson, the opera-singing daughter of a Norwegian farmer, and the first woman from Minnesota elected to Congress.<p>Voted in on her own merits, not appointed to keep a late husband's seat warm for a successor, the trailblazing mother could only watch as vengeful party rivals, a manufactured scandal, and a feckless, alcoholic husband combined to sabotage her career.<p>It all came to a head on the eve of Mother's Day 1958.<p>Never heard of the cha Sat, 10 May 2014 09:58:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 28992 at http://wesa.fm The Congresswoman Whose Husband Called Her Home She's A Doctor, Mom, and Republican - But Conservative Enough? http://wesa.fm/post/surgeon-mom-republican-conservative-enough Monica Wehby is the Senate candidate Republicans have been waiting for: a camera-ready pediatric neurosurgeon, mother of four, in a party that desperately needs to elect more women.<p>Make that a candidate<em> some</em> Republicans have been waiting for.<p>The GOP establishment that wants her to be the party's Senate nominee in Oregon this fall has showered her with big money, attention and <a href="http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/elections/2014/05/01/mitt-romney-endorses-monica-wehby-gop-primary/8577727/">endorsements</a> from the likes of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and mo Wed, 07 May 2014 17:47:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 28837 at http://wesa.fm She's A Doctor, Mom, and Republican - But Conservative Enough? This Could Be The Year Iowa Sends Its First Woman To Congress http://wesa.fm/post/could-be-year-iowa-sends-its-first-woman-congress In its 168 years, Iowa has never elected a woman to Congress or picked one as its governor.<p>For many residents who pride themselves on a <a href="http://councilbluffscommunityalliance.wordpress.com/iowa/iowas-progressive-history/">progressive civil rights history </a>that predates statehood, that political reality has become an exasperating distinction shared with only one other state — Mississippi.<p>"It's very irritating to be grouped with Mississippi," says Roxanne Conlin, a Democrat and former U.S. Tue, 06 May 2014 12:39:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 28767 at http://wesa.fm This Could Be The Year Iowa Sends Its First Woman To Congress Back From Recess, Congress Opens With Scandal http://wesa.fm/post/back-recess-congress-opens-scandal A former FBI agent turned congressman from New York gets indicted on charges ranging from evading taxes and employing undocumented workers to lying under oath while a member of the U.S. House.<p>A married congressman from Louisiana announces he won't run again, just weeks after being caught on video in a passionate clutch with a married staffer.<p>And this in the wake of the recent resignation of former GOP Rep. Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:53:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 28355 at http://wesa.fm Back From Recess, Congress Opens With Scandal A Path Out Of Prison For Low-Level, Nonviolent Drug Offenders http://wesa.fm/post/path-out-prison-low-level-nonviolent-drug-offenders Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.<p>Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.<p>Cole listed six factors the Justice Department will use to "prioritize clemency applications" as part of the administration's effort to address long mandatory minimum sentences meted out after Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:30:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 28057 at http://wesa.fm A Path Out Of Prison For Low-Level, Nonviolent Drug Offenders Rand Paul Bids To Loosen Democratic Hold On African-American Vote http://wesa.fm/post/rand-paul-bids-loosen-democratic-hold-african-american-vote For more than a year, GOP Sen. Rand Paul has been staking out positions on issues that resonate in the black community, including school choice and prison sentencing reform. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:35:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 27928 at http://wesa.fm Rand Paul Bids To Loosen Democratic Hold On African-American Vote Obama Seeks Wider Authority To Release Drug Offenders http://wesa.fm/post/obama-seeks-wider-authority-release-drug-offenders Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Obama administration is formulating new rules that would give it, and the president, far more latitude to pardon or reduce the sentences of thousands of drug offenders serving long federal prison sentences.<p>The move comes amid a broad national reconsideration of mandatory minimum sentences approved by Congress in 1986, when America's big cities were in the grip of a crack cocaine-fueled crime wave.<p>"The White House has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications, to restore a degree of justice, fairness, and proport Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:20:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 27931 at http://wesa.fm Obama Seeks Wider Authority To Release Drug Offenders Bloomberg Seeks To Alter Gun Debate With $50 Million, And Moms http://wesa.fm/post/bloomberg-seeks-alter-gun-debate-50-million-and-moms Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's plan to invest $50 million in what he describes as a mom-driven grass-roots effort to support pro-gun-safety candidates grabbed headlines Wednesday, and energized gun control activists.<p>The commitment, the former New York City mayor says, aims to beat back the profound political influence of the National Rifle Association in 15 targeted states — to "make them afraid of us," he told NBC's <em>Today </em>show.<p>"This is what the American public wants," Bloomberg said, referring to his group's intended focus on gun-purchase background checks.<p>Polls show that B Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:49:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 27690 at http://wesa.fm Bloomberg Seeks To Alter Gun Debate With $50 Million, And Moms Backlash Over State Party's Progressive Agenda May Hobble Udall http://wesa.fm/post/backlash-over-state-partys-progressive-agenda-may-hobble-udall Colorado Democrat Mark Udall's bid for a second term has become the most unexpectedly competitive U.S. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:06:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 27596 at http://wesa.fm Backlash Over State Party's Progressive Agenda May Hobble Udall 'Kissing Congressman' Video Puts Scandal In Unusual Focus http://wesa.fm/post/kissing-congressman-video-puts-scandal-unusual-focus Embattled GOP Rep. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:48:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 27310 at http://wesa.fm 'Kissing Congressman' Video Puts Scandal In Unusual Focus Congressman's Lament: $174,000 Isn't Enough To Make Ends Meet http://wesa.fm/post/congressmans-lament-174000-isnt-enough-make-ends-meet In what world does an annual salary of $174,000 meet the definition of underpaid?<p>That would be in the nation's capital, where soon-to-be-retired Rep. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:05:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 27046 at http://wesa.fm Congressman's Lament: $174,000 Isn't Enough To Make Ends Meet Who's Who In Senate-CIA Report Showdown http://wesa.fm/post/whos-who-senate-cia-report-showdown The world could soon get its first official look at the CIA's post-Sept. 11 interrogation and detention activities now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to make public a blockbuster report about the agency's secret program.<p>The Senate panel's<strong> </strong>move to declassify key parts of the 6,300-page document comes just weeks after a rancorous battle erupted between the committee's Democratic chairwoman, Sen. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:14:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 26982 at http://wesa.fm Who's Who In Senate-CIA Report Showdown Conservative Media Watchdog: Univision, Telemundo Favor Liberals http://wesa.fm/post/conservative-media-watchdog-univision-telemundo-favor-liberals The nation's increasingly powerful Spanish-language television networks show a distinct liberal bias in covering domestic news, a conservative media watchdog group asserted Tuesday.<p>The Media Research Center says that its<a href="http://www.mrc.org/press-releases/media-research-center-launches-mrc-latino-first-spanish-language-conservative-media-w"> four-month analysis</a> of weekday evening newscasts aired on Univision and Telemundo showed that the networks' domestic coverage was "dominated by partisans" from the left.<p>Authors Ken Oliver-Mendez and Rich Noyes, who were particularly critic Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:06:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 26846 at http://wesa.fm Conservative Media Watchdog: Univision, Telemundo Favor Liberals No Break From Politics On Obamacare Deadline Day http://wesa.fm/post/no-break-politics-obamacare-deadline-day The sign-up period for 2014 individual insurance coverage required under President Obama's Affordable Care Act expires Monday, much as it began.<p>There were HealthCare.gov website snafus, White House pleas for enrollees, and the need for "navigators" to help those enrollees work their way through the often-balky federal insurance exchange site. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 22:07:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 26791 at http://wesa.fm No Break From Politics On Obamacare Deadline Day Senate Slugfest Highlights Hawaii's Changing Political Landscape http://wesa.fm/post/senate-slugfest-highlights-hawaiis-changing-political-landscape It says something about the changing politics of Hawaii that Democratic powerhouse Daniel Inouye's deathbed pick of a successor was ignored by his own party.<p>The question is what.<p>The December 2012 death of the long-serving senator — and one of the state's founding fathers — has exposed cracks in Hawaii's solidly Democratic façade, leading to a contentious Senate primary that has placed age, gender and ethnicity at center stage.<p>The combatants are two respected liberals: Sen. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 26460 at http://wesa.fm Senate Slugfest Highlights Hawaii's Changing Political Landscape Top Democrat Insists Party Will Hold Senate — But Turnout Is Key http://wesa.fm/post/top-democrat-insists-party-will-hold-senate-turnout-key As increasingly confident Republican leaders predict big midterm election gains, the head of Democratic National Committee put on her game face Tuesday and insisted the party will hold control of the Senate.<p>The Democrats' grass-roots organization, said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and what she characterized as the GOP's continuing alienation of women, minority, LGBT and middle-class voters, bodes well for her party this fall.<p>"Our best weapon may just be Republicans themselves," said Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the DNC, at a press conference. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:43:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 26061 at http://wesa.fm Top Democrat Insists Party Will Hold Senate — But Turnout Is Key One Year After Party 'Autopsy,' GOP Touts Progress http://wesa.fm/post/one-year-after-party-autopsy-gop-touts-progress One year ago, a frank <a href="http://goproject.gop.com/RNC_Growth_Opportunity_Book_2013.pdf">Republican Party assessment</a> of why it came up short in the 2012 presidential election included a stark recommendation.<p>Embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform, the post-mortem authors urged, or get used to a party whose appeal "will continue to shrink to its core constituents only."<p>That bold assertion was decidedly offstage Monday, as the party orchestrated a full-on media effort to mark advances it says it's made as a result of recommendations contained in the 2013 Growth and O Mon, 17 Mar 2014 21:57:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 26021 at http://wesa.fm One Year After Party 'Autopsy,' GOP Touts Progress Hispanic Activists Vow To Keep Pressing White House Over Deportations http://wesa.fm/post/hispanic-activists-vow-keep-pressing-white-house-over-deportations Five months before his 2012 re-election, President Obama announced that his administration would stop deportations of more than a half-million young adults, often referred to as "Dreamers," brought illegally to the U.S. as children.<p>Latinos subsequently turned out to vote in record numbers that fall. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 23:27:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 25887 at http://wesa.fm Hispanic Activists Vow To Keep Pressing White House Over Deportations New Climate For Drug Sentencing, Guidelines Expected To Change http://wesa.fm/post/new-climate-drug-sentencing-guidelines-expected-change The nation's highest law enforcement official Thursday endorsed the "All Drugs Minus Two" proposal — as it's known by prison sentencing reformers — to change the way drug crime sentences are handed down.<p>Attorney General Eric Holder backed <a href="http://famm.org/mandatory-sentencing/state-and-federal/u-s-sentencing-commission/reforming-the-guidelines-for-drug-offenses/">the concept</a>, which has garnered support from across the political spectrum, in testimony before a commission examining federal prison sentencing guidelines. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 19:32:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 25813 at http://wesa.fm New Climate For Drug Sentencing, Guidelines Expected To Change Obama's Overtime Move Designed To Excite Base, Swing Voters http://wesa.fm/post/obamas-big-move-overtime-pay-keyed-swing-base-voters President Obama's planned move to expand the pool of the nation's employees covered by overtime pay laws was hailed Wednesday by Democrats as key to their midterm election strategy.<p>And it was just as predictably criticized by conservatives as an overreach by a president who recently characterized income inequality as the "defining challenge of our time."<p>The president plans to exercise his executive authority on Thursday, leapfrogging Congress to direct the Labor Department to come up with guidelines that would set a new, higher income threshold at which employers are required to pay over Wed, 12 Mar 2014 18:56:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 25748 at http://wesa.fm Obama's Overtime Move Designed To Excite Base, Swing Voters Florida Election Tests Midterm Messaging http://wesa.fm/post/florida-election-tests-midterm-messaging There's a congressional election in Florida on Tuesday that's worth watching — even if you don't live in the Tampa Bay-area district where it's taking place.<p>It's not because the winner of the neck-and-neck special election between Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly will affect the GOP's stranglehold on the U.S. House this cycle. It won't.<p>Rather, the contest to succeed the late longtime Republican Rep. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 11:37:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 25654 at http://wesa.fm Florida Election Tests Midterm Messaging Race To Stop 'Revenge Porn' Raises Free Speech Worries http://wesa.fm/post/race-stop-revenge-porn-raises-free-speech-worries It's called "revenge porn" — the posting of nude or sexually explicit photos or videos online to degrade or harass someone, usually a former spouse or lover.<p>And states from Arizona to New York are racing to make it a crime.<p>It's a development that has heartened privacy advocates but alarmed free speech watchdogs who see constitutional peril in many bills being considered.<p>"This is a delicate issue," says Lee Rowland of the American Civil Liberties Union, who says the legislation is "spreading like wildfire." "The ACLU is concerned both with the protection of privacy and free speech righ Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:18:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 25432 at http://wesa.fm Race To Stop 'Revenge Porn' Raises Free Speech Worries