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Ear to the Ground

Rand Paul Gives Money to Treasury, McCain Gets Heckled at Town Hall, and More

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Posted on Feb 22, 2013

Twitter Taunting: With one week left until austerity reductions, President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday to deal with the impending spending cuts that are set to take effect March 1. It was the first outreach in weeks by the president to top congressional Republicans about the sequester. But alas, no progress was made, and the only thing that came out of it was Obama’s and Boehner’s spokesmen going at each other on Twitter. Evidently, this is what our political discourse has become. (Read more)

Giving Back: Rand Paul is doing his part to pay down the U.S. debt—at least an itty bitty portion of it. The Kentucky senator returned $600,000 to the Treasury Department in unspent operating costs. This is the second year in a row Paul has written out a six-figure check to the government. “I ran to stop the reckless spending, and I pledged to the people of Kentucky that I would work to keep their hard-earned money out of the hands of Washington bureaucrats whose irresponsible spending has threatened our country’s economic health,” Paul said. (Read more

Right Side of History: Good on him. Republican Jon Huntsman has come out in support of marriage equality, bucking his party’s largely anti-gay line. What’s more, the former presidential candidate is urging his fellow GOPers to do the same. In a column in the American Conservative, Huntsman writes that “conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry.” He continues, writing that, “All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall.” (Read more)

On Board for More: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will run for his Nevada seat again when his term is up in 2016. Reid was asked by the media about his plans after delivering an annual speech to state lawmakers. His response: “Sure, why not?” He wasn’t, however, as candid when the press corps asked whether he thought Gov. Brian Sandoval would run against him, or whether Reid could beat the Republican. “Hey, I don’t get involved in fights I don’t have to,” he said. (Read more)

Citizens Unite Against Citizens United: A liberal super PAC is calling for the end of ... itself. Progressive phone company CREDO Mobile, which has consistently opposed super PACs, began its own to counter big-spending, right-wing groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. But the company’s ultimate goal is to put its own super PAC—and all others—out of business. “We think Citizens United should be overturned and all Super PACs—including our own—should be banished from politics for good,” explained Sarah Lane, communications manager for CREDO. “But while we’re working to make that happen we can’t cede the playing field to the bad guys like the Koch brothers who have already used Citizens United to install a tea party Republican majority in the House.” CREDO’s super PAC goal for now: persuade voters in California to support a referendum asking Congress to amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 ruling. (Read more)

Video of the Day: Things got a bit heated in Arizona this week when Republican Sen. John McCain hosted a town hall meeting in which he defended his immigration plan against residents who were upset over border security. Needless to say, this wasn’t the reaction McCain expected to get back home.


—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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