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Inside the Beltway: Obama’s ‘founding’
The talk is a call to arms — and a cultural indicator that Republicans and conservatives should note. Democrats are borrowing a page from the tea party playbook, using dramatic language and historic reference. But this message is not from heartland folk. It is a contrivance from the most loyal of President Obama's loyalists.
"No one has ever done what we're trying to do: restore the balance of power to ordinary people by countering the special-interest groups with the most powerful grass-roots movement ever built," says Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action, the interest group formed from the data banks and leftover funds of Mr. Obama's 2012 campaign.
In his message, Mr. Carson seeks donations to the cause. "Will you be a founding member?" he asks.
"Organizing for Action is staring down our first quarterly fundraising deadline — ever. After March 31, we'll have a record of the founding members who helped build this organization from the start," Mr. Carson declares. "Chip in $5 or more and make sure you're one of the folks who will make history."
HUNTSMAN GOES REAGAN
Jon HuntsmanJr. is not done yet. Perhaps 2016 is whispering to him from somewhere offstage.
The former presidential hopeful appears Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for some serious talk, say organizers of the public event, who advise that the former Utah governor will "lay out a series of policy changes founded in our best traditions of liberty and opportunity." There is much mention of that Mr. Huntsman "first entered public service as a member of the Reagan administration."
The $45 lecture and dinner is sold out, incidentally. See the live webcast, right here: reaganfoundation.org.
LONE STAR REMEDY
Officials in the Levelland Independent School District some 30 miles west of Lubbock, Texas, will soon permit teachers to carry guns in the classroom if they pass a training course and obtain a concealed-handgun license. The new policy is in response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre.
"How do you describe a tragedy like that? It's devastating," Superintendant Kelly Baggett told ABC News. "It absolutely instilled fear in all of us and made us take a hard look at where we are with our safety and security."
It's big doings Thursday for one Manhattan billionaire.
"The day is expected to be the largest gun violence advocacy event in history and is part of the largest field campaign in U.S. history to address gun violence," proclaims Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the activist group founded by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has proclaimed that Thursday is National Demand Action Day for those who support "commonsense" gun law reform.
Mr. Bloomberg has garnered the support of Vice President Joseph R. Biden and has planned 100 grass-roots rallies around the nation, featuring "hundreds of mayors, law enforcement officials, faith leaders, gun violence survivors and family members." There's a petition of course, and $18 million broadcast campaign; the coalition has already hired organizers and opened advocacy offices in ten key states.
Mr. Bloomberg has taken a particular interest in the heart of Dixie, or thereabouts. His organization has begun airing advocacy ads in Arkansas demanding that Sen. Mark Pryor — a Democrat — take action to pass gun reform measures in his state.
"These ads bring the voices of Americans, who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks, into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence," says Mr. Bloomberg. "We demanded a plan and we got one. We demanded a vote and we'll get one. Now we're doing what we can to pass a bill that will save lives."
"The next election is 20 months away. The last thing we need is Washington, D.C., vetting our candidates."
— Comment from Sarah Palin in "Loaded for Bear," a two-minute video released Wednesday by SarahPAC, a political action committee raising funds for conservative candidates. See the video here: Sarahpac.com.
FCC WHEELER DEALER
Indeed, 37 Democratic senators have signed a letter asking President Obama to appoint Jessica Rosenworcel to direct the Federal Communications Commission; she is currently the commissioner of the federal agency. But money, rather than gender, may talk louder.
"The current front-runner, according to a number of sources, is Tom Wheeler, the managing director of a venture capital fund based in Washington," says Russ Choma, an analyst with the Center for Responsive Politics, who points to that Mr. Wheeler was the former president of the National Cable Television Association and a lobbyist for the Cellular Telecom and Internet Association.
"He's also a friend of Obama's political campaigns," Mr. Choma adds. "In 2012, he gave the maximum of $5,000 to the Obama campaign, but more significantly, he tapped his personal and professional networks to convince others to give to the campaign, 'bundling' at least $500,000 in donations. In 2008, he was also a bundler, pulling together a more modest figure somewhere between $200,000 and $500,000, and according to Center for Responsive Politics research, gave the maximum $33,100 to the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee."
POLL DU JOUR
• 65 percent of Americans disapprove of the U.S. Congress; 69 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of conservatives and 68 percent of liberals agree; 73 percent of whites, 48 percent of "non-whites" and 38 percent of Hispanics also agree.
• 30 percent of Americans overall have a positive view of Congress; 28 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of Democrats, 28 percent of conservatives and 29 percent of liberals agree; 23 percent of whites, 47 percent of "non-whites" and 56 percent of Hispanics also agree.
Source: An ABC News, Washington Post poll of 1,014 U.S. adults conducted March 20 to 24.
• Hooplas, ballyhoo, who's who to email@example.com.
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