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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa (left), 47, listens June 6, 2013, in Trenton, N.J., as Gov. Chris Christie announces that Chiesa will temporarily fill the U.S. Senate seat that opened up this week after Frank Lautenberg's death. (Associated Press)

N.J. Gov. Christie picks state A.G. to fill U.S. Senate seat

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday tapped Jeffrey S. Chiesa, the state's Republican attorney general and a longtime adviser, to the Senate seat left open by the passing earlier this week of Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, sending Mr. Chiesa to Washington just in time for high-profile legislative scraps over immigration and taxpayer-funded farm subsidies. Published June 6, 2013

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican (Associated Press)

GOP Sen. Graham says he's 'glad' NSA is collecting phone records

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday that he is "glad" that the National Security Agency is collecting millions of telephone records — including his own — from one of the nation's largest telecommunications companies in an attempt to combat terrorism. Published June 6, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican (Associated Press)

Sen. Marco Rubio: Immigration bill does not have votes to pass

Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday that there aren't 60 votes to pass the immigration bill he wrote and that the Senate will have to embrace even stiffer enforcement in order to win voters' confidence and sway lawmakers reluctant to repeat the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty. Published June 4, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican (Associated Press)

GOP talks up school choice as good policy and good politics

A Republican Party still reeling from the November elections is hoping that advocating for school choice can help the GOP recapture moderate voters, arguing that the issue provides a natural link between their limited-government philosophy and the average voter's desire for good local schools. Published May 29, 2013

** FILE ** New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shakes hands with President Obama. (Associated Press)

Chris Christie balances short-term gains with long-term questions

In yoking himself to President Obama on Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie likely helped himself with the New Jersey voters he's wooing for re-election this year — but their public embrace could come back to haunt the Republican if he seeks the GOP's presidential nod in 2016. Published May 28, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul, visiting New Hampshire, said of the Republican Party: "We need to look like the rest of America. We need to be able to appeal to the working class." (Associated Press)

Rand Paul tries to bind N.H. GOP, libertarians; can learn tough lessons from father

With its "Live Free or Die" motto, New Hampshire would seem to be tailor-made for the libertarian-flavored presidential campaign that Sen. Rand Paul is taking for a trial run. But, as his father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, learned in 2012, translating the typical New Hampshire voter's skepticism about big government into Republican primary votes is easier said than done. Published May 20, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, is giving the presidential nomination course a test run with appearances in Iowa and New Hampshire.
(Associated Press)

Rand Paul gets an early start on 2016 in New Hampshire

Stand with Rand in 2016? That's the question diehard Republicans will be mulling over Monday when Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul brings his presidential ambitions to New Hampshire, where he will be headlining a state GOP dinner. Published May 19, 2013

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., chairwoman of the Tea Party Caucus, listens at left as while Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a news conference with Tea Party leaders about the IRS targeting Tea Party groups, Thursday, May 16, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

Tea party groups join with GOP in IRS protest on Hill

Republican lawmakers joined forces Thursday with tea party leaders on Capitol Hill, calling for a thorough investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups for special scrutiny and demanding that the Obama administration come clean about what it knew about the scandal. Published May 16, 2013

"History is filled with stories of political comebacks ... and [Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican] has the capability to rehab her image and change the focus to her work instead of these other issues," said Keith Keith Appell, a GOP consultant.

Michele Bachmann back in the headlines

Nearly 18 months after she faltered on the snowy fields of Iowa in the GOP presidential primary, Rep. Michele Bachmann is making a return to the headlines this week, sponsoring the bill to repeal President Obama's health care law and giving a forum to tea party groups who say the IRS led politically motivated audits against them. Published May 15, 2013

**FILE** Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul. (Associated Press)

Ron Paul: Benghazi a result of U.S. 'interventionism'

Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul criticized Democrats and Republicans Monday for ignoring what he sees as the true cause of the Benghazi attacks: their mutual support of military interventionism overseas and its unintended consequences. Published May 13, 2013