- - Monday, May 16, 2011

SURVEY

Obama’s bin Laden bounce starts to fade, poll shows

The jump in approval ratings that President Obama got in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden is gone, according to the Gallup Daily tracking poll.

The Los Angeles Times reports that, as of Friday, the president’s approval rating is 46 percent, the same number he had in the three days before the raid on bin Laden’s hideaway at the beginning of the month.

The president’s numbers jumped six points after the successful raid into Pakistan.

In the current tracking poll numbers, his disapproval numbers were at 44 percent, almost the same as before the raid.

Gallup Daily tracks the percentage of Americans who approve or disapprove of the job the president is doing and results are based on a three-day rolling average.

LABOR

White House OMB staffers seek to join union

Staffers at the White House budget office say they want to be represented by a labor union.

About half of the career work force at the Office of Management and Budget filed a petition on Monday seeking to join the nation’s largest federal employee union.

A spokesman for the American Federation of Government Workers says OMB employees want more input over working conditions. OMB staffers are often called in to work evenings and weekends.

If the petition is approved by a federal agency, a vote could be held this summer.

OMB spokesman Kenneth Baer says the Obama administration strongly supports the right of workers to unionize.

The union would not represent any political appointees, or supervisors or managers.

CAMPAIGNS

Romney raises $10.25M in 1-day phone-bank blitz

LAS VEGAS — Mitt Romney wants his money to show his might.

The all-but-declared Republican presidential contender, who has kept his head low for much of the year as he collected cash, raised $10.25 million in a single day Monday after bringing together his network of wealthy donors to dial for dollars in a city with no shortage of them. It’s a hefty one-day total that Mr. Romney’s team hopes will show his strength in the emerging GOP field.

Mr. Romney’s phone bank fundraiser at the Las Vegas Convention Center, much like one during his first attempt at the Republican nomination, was the centerpiece of a series of fundraising events that included a conference call with volunteers who were asked to solicit their friends and neighbors for donations.

“This is a big kickoff for us, for our fundraising effort. It’s kind of a celebration,” Mr. Romney told the more than 400 supporters tuned in to watch him host a brief town-hall-style broadcast on Facebook. “It’s important to me that we get that started, the ball rolling today.”

WHITE HOUSE

President collects millions from book sale royalties

President Obama was worth millions of dollars in 2010, mostly because of royalties from sales of his books, financial disclosure forms showed Monday.

Mr. Obama had between $100,001 and $1,000,000 from “Audacity of Hope,” a book tied with his run for the White House in 2008, and between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 from “Dreams from My Father,” a memoir about his upbringing, according to the forms.

Both books were published before Mr. Obama became president.

In tax returns released in April, the Obamas reported an adjusted gross income of $1,728,000.

MINNESOTA

GOP’s Severson looks to unseat Sen. Klobuchar

ST. PAUL, MINN. — Former Minnesota state Rep. Dan Severson has become the first Republican to declare a challenge to Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012.

Mr. Severson, a 56-year-old retired Navy pilot, served four terms in the state House before running unsuccessfully last fall for secretary of state. He announced his candidacy for Senate on Monday on the steps of the state Capitol.

Ms. Klobuchar is a formidable opponent for Republicans.

She won her seat in a 2006 blowout, and she has maintained strong public approval ratings throughout her term. She had more than $2.5 million in campaign cash as of mid-April.

AIR QUALITY

EPA delays tougher boiler, incinerator rules

The Environmental Protection Agency is delaying indefinitely regulations to reduce toxic pollution from boilers and incinerators.

The move comes in response to a request from industry groups.

The announcement Monday was another setback for a rule the agency claims will avert thousands of heart attacks and asthma cases each year. In February, the EPA announced changes to make it much less costly to comply with the standards without diminishing the public health benefits.

FOREST SERVICE

Ex-Clinton aides criticize plan on water, wildlife

Critics of proposed guidelines for protecting clean water and wildlife on nearly 200 million acres of national forests say the Obama administration has gone against the president’s pledge to let science be the guide.

Speaking from Washington on Monday, two former Clinton administration officials said the U.S. Forest Service needs to strengthen the proposed national forest planning rule.

Jim Furnish, a former deputy chief of the Forest Service, says the rule requires taking science into account but gives managers the option to ignore it.

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