8:20 AM, Aug 29, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen is hitting her likely opponent for the U.S. Senate, Scott Brown, in a new TV ad over the Republican's ties to "Big Oil"—even while Shaheen invests in energy companies herself.
The 30-second spot from Shaheen's campaign says Brown, while representing Massachusetts in the Senate, voted to give companies in the oil industry "$20 billion in taxpayer subsidies."
"Big Oil gave Scot Brown thousands of dollars within days of his votes," the voiceover continues. Watch the ad below:
Brown's votes, in 2011 and 2012, were against bills that would have ended tax subsidies for energy exploration. Nearly every Senate Republican voted against ending those subsidies, and even some Democrats, like Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich, joined the GOP on those votes.
Shaheen, meanwhile, invests in some of the same oil companies her ad decries as "Big Oil." On her 2013 financial disclosure forms for the U.S. Senate, Shaheen reports her husband is invested in a mutual fund called Thornburg Value R5, an investment worth up to $100,000. The fund invests in a few oil and gas companies, including Chevron, Inpex (a Japanese firm), Weatherford International, and a French energy corporation called Total SA.
Total is notable in that the firm was charged by American and French authorities last year over an "international bribery scheme" related to the company's attempts to enter the Iranian oil market. According to the Justice Department, Total bribed an Iranian official in exchange for access to oil fields in that country to use for development. The company agreed to pay over $245 million in fines to the U.S. government as part of a penalty deal. Here's more from Justice:
In sum, between 1995 and 2004, at the direction of the Iranian official, Total corruptly made approximately $60 million in bribe payments under the agreements for the purpose of inducing the Iranian official to use his influence in connection with Total’s efforts to obtain and retain lucrative oil rights in the Sirri A and E and South Pars oil and gas fields. Total mischaracterized the unlawful payments as “business development expenses” when they were, in fact, bribes designed to corruptly influence a foreign official. Further, Total failed to implement effective internal accounting controls, permitting the consulting agreements’ true nature and true participants to be concealed and thereby failing to maintain accountability for assets.
The Shaheen ad suggests the Democrat may sense the race between herself and Brown is tightening. After trailing considerably in the polls for several months, Brown has now found himself within striking distance. One recent poll found Shaheen leading Brown by just two points after the Republican ramped up his attacks on President Obama's immigration record—and Shaheen's closeness with the president.
The case for censuring the president is being bruited about in Washington. Sep 8, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 48 • By TERRY EASTLAND
In case you’ve not been paying attention, an issue for House Republicans as the midterm elections draw near is what to do about a president they believe has offended the Constitution by usurping legislative power and failing to carry out his duty to faithfully execute the law.
Democratic senator lives with parents.4:02 PM, Aug 28, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Washington Post reports that Democratic senator Mary Landrieu doesn't own a home in her state of Louisiana, instead listing her residence on federal election forms as either a mansion she owns in Washington, D.C. or her parents' home in New Orleans. Landrieu, who is facing a tough reelection battle in November, is registered to vote at the New Orleans address.
Or does it?7:14 AM, Aug 27, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Do Washington Republicans smell blood in New Jersey? The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the GOP's Senate campaign apparatus, issued a press release Wednesday knocking New Jersey's Democratic senator Cory Booker for being a "tax & spend liberal."
The release groups Booker with another incumbent Democrat, Alaska's Mark Begich, as two former mayors (of Newark and Anchorage, respectively) with liberal records. Here's an excerpt:
8:01 AM, Aug 26, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The National Republican Senatorial Campaign has developed a multi-level online computer game. The game, called "Mission Majority," is programmed to look like an 8-bit-era video game and features an elephant named Giopi (sounds like "GOP") as a playable character. The player runs and jumps, collecting "keys" to Republican victory and vanquishing bad guys like "taxers" and "mudslingers." A successfully destroyed baddie emits an embarrassing audio clip from Democrats like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mark Pryor, and Bruce Braley.
Majority don't trust Fed to fix it.1:01 PM, Aug 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Things are getting more expensive, and the American people know it. A new poll from Rasmussen Reports found three-quarters of Americans say they are concerned about inflation, with 81 percent saying they are paying more for groceries and 71 percent saying they expect to pay even more for groceries a year from now. Here's more:
"A rout?"11:01 AM, Aug 22, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Shelley Moore Capito leads her Democratic opponent Natalie Tennant by 17 points, according to a new poll of the West Virginia Senate race from Rasmussen Reports. An even 50 percent say they support Capito, the congresswoman and daughter of former governor Arch Moore, while just 33 percent say they support Tennant, the secretary of state.
When it comes to dealing with Congress, he would prefer not to.Sep 1, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 47 • By FRED BARNES
President Obama insists Republican opposition to his policies has forced him to boycott Congress and resort to governing by executive order. This is only partially true. Yes, Republicans strongly oppose his initiatives. But refusing to deal with Congress was Obama’s decision, his choice.
9:01 PM, Aug 18, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
How does a Democratic Senate candidate running in a conservative state in 2014 try to win? There are many strategies, from Louisiana’s incumbent senator Mary Landrieu emphasizing her ties to the energy industry to Michelle Nunn of Georgia running as a business-friendly moderate willing to work with Republicans. Behind the various strategies is an underlying principle: These Democrats should distance themselves as far as possible from their unpopular party and its head, the increasingly unpopular Barack Obama.
10:17 AM, Aug 18, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Thom Tillis of North Carolina says the Senate needs "more people who had to sweat for a living" in a new TV ad. The 30-second ad features the Republican Senate candidate speaking directly to the camera inside a diner.
"Washington has completely lost touch with working Americans," Tillis says. "The federal budget's a joke, and senators never pay the price." Tillis, who is challening incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan, says he's worked as a paper boy, a short-order cook, a warehouse clerk, and "eventually, a partner at IBM." Watch the ad below: