NPR Political Coverage

It's All Politics
3:15 am
Mon September 1, 2014

A Political Family, Funding And Running On Both Sides Of The Aisle

The Ricketts family poses on the Chicago Cubs field in 2010, a year after they bought the team. From left, Laura Ricketts, Joe Ricketts, Marlene Ricketts, Todd Ricketts, Tom Ricketts and Pete Ricketts.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 7:55 am

Rich families sustain American politics. Some produce candidates; others supply money. And in rare instances, a family will do both.

Meet Nebraska billionaire Joe Ricketts, founder of Ending Spending, an independent political organization that's among the top 10 spenders this election cycle. Three of his four children are politically active, including one who's running for governor.

A Billionaire With Political Punch

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It's All Politics
8:27 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

McConnell's Campaign Manager Resigns To Avoid Being 'Distraction'

Jesse Benton, once a political strategist for Ron Paul, resigned as campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:44 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign manager has resigned, citing "inaccurate press accounts" about his role in past campaigns.

The scandal in question revolves around former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to hiding — and lying about — payments he received in 2012 to switch his endorsement from Rep. Michele Bachmann to then-Rep. Ron Paul.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Texas Voter ID Law Goes To Trial

A voter in Austin, Texas, shows his photo identification to an election official in February.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:06 pm

Dozens of lawyers will gather in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday for the start of a new challenge to the state's controversial voter ID law.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, but it's unlikely to be the end of what's already been a long, convoluted journey for the Texas law — and many others like it.

First, some background:

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It's All Politics
6:54 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Former Iowa Lawmaker Admits To Getting Payoff Before 2012 Caucuses

Kent Sorenson says he was paid for his endorsement of Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential campaign — and that the exchange was hidden from the public.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:24 pm

A former Iowa state senator says he concealed money he took for shifting loyalty from Rep. Michele Bachmann to then-Rep. Ron Paul during the 2012 presidential campaign.

There's always a certain amount of weirdness in the Iowa presidential caucuses, and in the 2012 cycle the peak weirdness might have come just before New Year's. Republican state Sen. Kent Sorenson, the Iowa chairman for Bachmann's campaign, jumped to the Paul campaign six days before the voting — immediately setting off rumors that he had taken a payoff for switching sides.

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It's All Politics
5:11 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

CBO Forecast: There's Good News And Bad News

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf is reflected on a tabletop as he speaks about the office's annual Budget and Economic Outlook during an October 2013 news conference in Washington. A CBO study released Thursday projects a slight increase in the 2014 budget deficit.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:54 pm

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is giving both Republican and Democratic partisans fresh fodder for the talking points they've already staked out on the economy.

The country's gross domestic product, according to its new report, will grow at just 1.5 percent this year — proof, say Republicans, that President Obama and Senate Democrats have been unable to bring the country out of recession.

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

State Democrats Play Defense Ahead Of Midterm Elections

MHJ iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:29 pm

Democrats are bracing for the 2014 election, now fewer than 10 weeks away.

What has them worried this year?

There's the president's slumping approval scores, the public view that the country is on the wrong track, and frustration that the economic recovery hasn't eased the nation's economic anxiety.

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It's All Politics
3:27 am
Mon August 25, 2014

In New Hampshire, An Unexpected Tight Race For Senate

Paul Moccia of Atkinson, N.H., waits for New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown to be endorsed by Mitt Romney at an event in Stratham, N.H., on July 2.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 2:59 pm

When discussing competitive U.S. Senate races, New Hampshire isn't at the top of the list. Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana — they all have tight contests. But now it seems even New Hampshire may be in play.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a former longtime New Hampshire governor, finishing up her first term in the U.S. Senate. Polls consistently find she's still personally popular, even after millions of dollars in attack ads run against her. And yet a recent WMUR Granite State poll finds she has a race on her hands.

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NPR Story
4:56 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Outside Group Mirrors Successful Strategies Of Political Parties

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 1:31 pm

This is a big political year in Iowa. A U.S. Senate seat is up for grabs, and the Republican Party has opened 11 field offices statewide. But there's also a new team working the state — the Virginia-based group Americans for Prosperity.

Along with other nonprofit groups affiliated with libertarian billionaires David and Charles Koch, AFP is campaigning against the Iowa Democrats' Senate candidate, Rep. Bruce Braley.

It looks a lot like what a political party would do.

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It's All Politics
9:07 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Perry Says Ground Troops Must Be An Option Against Iraq Militants

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks Thursday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 9:47 am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, just days after being indicted for alleged abuse of power, has set himself apart from other GOP presidential wannabes in another way — by announcing that he's willing to send U.S. ground forces back to Iraq.

Perry, in a speech at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington today, said the Islamic State is such a large threat to Jordan, Israel and even the United States that a return of "boots on the ground" in Iraq ought to be up for consideration.

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It's All Politics
11:18 am
Fri August 15, 2014

In Hawaii, Storm-Battered Area Becomes A Kingmaker

Sen. Brian Schatz is greeted by supporters as he enters his campaign headquarters on Aug. 9 in Honolulu.
Marco Garcia AP

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 11:42 am

Most of Hawaii voted last Saturday in the contentious Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. The result? Sen. Brian Schatz appeared to win by a slim 1,635-vote advantage over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

But there was a complication.

Two precincts on the Big Island's far eastern tip were unable to vote due to damage from Tropical Storm Iselle. Since those precincts could provide the margin of victory in such a razor-close race, voters in the Puna area will settle the election Friday when they cast their ballots.

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