I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we are going to talk more about those protests that have been spreading in the Muslim world connected to a provocative video that has now gone viral. We'll talk about whether this is about a clash of civilizations or values or something else.
After an investigation that lasted two years, the House Ethics Committee has cleared Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of charges that she tried to influence regulators when a bank that her husband owns stock in went looking for a federal bailout in 2008.
Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, acting chairman of the ethics panel, announced the decision this morning.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:22 am
If you didn't get your fill of the debate about the best ways to evaluate and compensate teachers from the strike in Chicago, you can now tune in to hear similar arguments in Idaho.
Voters there are going to decide the fate of three different state laws that would phase out tenure, offer financial incentives to top-performing teachers and strip teachers of collective bargaining rights.
All of these laws are being challenged by what are known as popular referendums: when citizens challenge laws that have already been passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:21 am
Fundraising reports filed last night by the presidential campaigns show President Obama with a slight advantage in fundraising last month, while Republican Mitt Romney has the edge by some other measures.
Each candidate is raising money for his own campaign committee, plus his national party committee and a joint fundraising committee or two.
So what you see depends on what you look at.
In cash on hand, the overall Romney organization finished August with more than $168 million β that's $43 million more than the overall Obama organization.
President Obama says he hasn't given up on overhauling immigration law despite opposition from Republicans in Congress. Obama faced some tough questions during a forum on Univision including what would be different if he won four more years in the White House.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been busy after a tape emerged of him telling wealthy donors that nearly half of Americans see themselves as victims dependent on the federal government. Now he's trying to make those remarks part of a broader argument: What is the proper role of government and who should pay for it?
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Fundraising reports filed last night by the presidential campaigns look like recent public opinion polls - they show President Obama with a narrow advantage in monthly fundraising last month, although Republican Mitt Romney has the edge by some other measures.
For those of you who feel you've had quite enough of the political ads airing every night on your TV screens, well, get ready for another sort of deluge.
In the coming weeks, candidates will bombard your mailboxes with ads. It may seem old-fashioned, but the consultants who devise direct-mail campaigns have become sophisticated about knowing whom to reach and what to say.
"It's almost because of the changing media landscape that direct mail remains relevant," says Anil Mammen, who runs a small direct-mail shop in Washington, D.C.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:46 pm
President Obama may have the overwhelming support of Latino voters in his race against Republican Mitt Romney, but that didn't get him a free pass during his appearance Thursday at Univision's presidential candidate forum.
Obama faced repeated tough questions from the hosts of the forum on the Spanish-language channel, and from some in the audience, for his failure to deliver on his promise as a candidate in 2008 to push comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.
Republicans continue to press the Obama administration for more details on how they would cut billions from the defense budget if sequestration is put into place in January. The Department of Defense will now have to explain why it has not planned for an event that is becoming increasingly likely.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. This week, President Obama and Mitt Romney are trying to burnish their credentials with Latino voters. Yesterday, Romney appeared on a special Univision broadcast fielding questions from hosts and the audience. Today, the president did the same at a studio in Miami. NPR's Scott Horsley was there and joins us now.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:03 pm
With less than seven weeks to go before the presidential election, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is leaving his job as co-chairman of the Mitt Romney campaign to take a top Washington lobbying job.
Pawlenty, 51, will become the next CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, whose 100 members include many of the nation's largest banks and insurance and securities companies.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:13 am
There appears to be no question that President Obama will win the lion's share of Hispanic support. But there are still very big questions to be answered about how many votes such support will translate into.
"What we know is that we don't know," says Ruy Teixeira, a political analyst at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.
"If you're the Obama campaign, there's cause for concern, because at least so far, [Hispanic support] is not translating into encouraging data on the turnout front," he says.
There's a growing bipartisan consensus that criminal justice policy needs to change, because of the costs and social consequences of keeping more than 2 million Americans behind bars. Host Michel Martin discusses the parties' platforms on criminal justice with the Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer and Marc Levin of the group Right On Crime.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney promised to pursue a permanent fix for the country's "broken" immigration system during a Univision forum. Despite pointed questioning, Romney offered few details about how he would deal with millions of immigrants who are already in this country illegally.
And in one of the closest Senate races in the country, it looks like two politicians may be reversing their positions. Massachusetts Republican incumbent Scott Brown had maintained a slim lead in the polls for months, now suddenly he's trailing his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in four of the five most recent voter surveys. From member station WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch reports it may be the result of an unusual convention bounce.
Both presidential campaigns are focusing on just a few swing states, and the relatively few remaining undecided voters. One of those states is Virginia, where a key swing constituency is military veterans.
Troops and veterans have long been considered a natural part of the Republican base. But President Obama is pushing hard for the veterans' vote to help him in a state he captured in 2008.
Here are some other guidelines for connecting with voters: Never explain anything. Subtlety is your enemy. Every campaign needs a theme. Keep it simple. Rhyming is good. And, pretend you are the voice of the people. These maxims may sound like fundamentals of today's political campaigns but they were the ideas of the country's first political consultants, Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker. They got their start in California in the 1930s.
From the race for president, now to Congress. It's caught in a serious time crunch, not to finish its legislative business, though it hasn't done much of that this year. No, the real squeeze is in the campaign fundraising. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, lawmakers are trying to fill up lobbyists' schedules with events hoping to extract a few more dollars for their re-election bids.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. In the presidential campaign, it was relatively quiet on the stump today, but it was anything but on the cable channels. Pundits and spinmasters continued to chew over that Florida fundraiser and Mitt Romney's controversial line about America's 47 percent.
Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.
"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.
When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act β how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:02 pm
President Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney by 8 points nationally β 51 to 43 percent among likely voters β as the race heads into the final stretch, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.
Obama's advantage, particularly among women, blacks and voters younger than 30, puts him "in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates," Pew reported.