Ohio's new top utility regulator is sworn in
Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) has sworn in a former state budget director and lawmaker as Ohio's top utility regulator. The Republican governor swore in Thomas Johnson as chairman of the Public Utilities ...

New Jersey panel could call Christie to testify
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey legislative committee investigating traffic jams orchestrated by Chris Christie's aides plans to start calling people who work for him to testify beginning next month — and it hasn't ruled out asking to hear from the governor himself.

Obama's departing health chief mulls U.S. Senate run: report

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sebelius answers a question while she testifies before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President's budget proposal for FY2015, on Capitol Hill in WashingtonDeparting Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who took withering criticism over the botched rollout of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. Sebelius, a former Kansas governor, is weighing overtures from Democrats who want her to run for the Senate seat occupied by Republican Pat Roberts, the newspaper said, quoting unidentified Democrats. A run for the Senate would be a bold move in a solidly Republican state after Sebelius oversaw the introduction last October of the policy known as Obamacare, becoming a lightning rod for critics of the health insurance reform law. Republicans have made problems with the health care law, which they view as a step towards socialized medicine, as the central theme of their campaign to wrest control of the Senate away from Democrats and strengthen their grip on the House of Representatives.



Paul, Rubio lead potential Republican 2016 contenders in spending

Senator Rand Paul speaks during the inaugural Freedom Summit meeting in Manchester, New HampshireBy Gabriel Debenedetti WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Groups supporting Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio lead the pack of potential Republican presidential candidates in spending money and investing in possible campaigns this year, more than 20 months before the first votes are cast in 2016. No politician has yet declared his or her candidacy, but first-quarter fundraising numbers submitted to the Federal Election Commission and released this week show backers of Rubio and Paul spent several hundred thousand dollars to help both senators in the first three months of 2014. Kentucky Senator Paul's RANDPAC group spent over $580,000 in the first quarter, much of it on fundraising, consulting, and travel expenses as the first-term lawmaker crisscrossed the country spreading his libertarian message and courting groups that do not traditionally support Republicans. Paul has built a national infrastructure largely on the back of his father Ron Paul's network from previous presidential campaigns.



Ex-con, ex-governor Edwards raises $33,000 in Louisiana run for Congress

File photo of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards announcing run for congress in Baton RougeFormer Louisiana Governor, Edwin Edwards, a convicted felon now running for the U.S. Congress, has raised nearly $33,000 in donations since launching his campaign last month, according to a contribution report. The 86-year-old Democrat, who was Louisiana's longest serving governor, revealed he has 12 donors to his campaign for the state's Sixth Congressional District, according to a first quarter contribution report filed before the midnight Tuesday deadline. He faces a crowded field for the seat now open since incumbent Congressman Bill Cassidy, a Republican, plans to run for U.S. Senate against three term incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat. Among the donors to Edwards' campaign, which launched on March 17, is his wife and assistant treasurer of the campaign, Trina Edwards, who donated about $3,100, the report shows.



A Kathleen Sebelius Senate Bid Is a Pretty Terribelius Idea

A Kathleen Sebelius Senate Bid Is a Pretty Terribelius IdeaThere's some parallel dimension out there in which Kathleen Sebelius' tenure as HHS Secretary was an unalloyed success, the sort of thing that would propel her to victory in the Kansas Senate campaign that, according to The New York Times, she is currently considering. I made a joke last week about how Sebelius' last name had been amended to the more media-friendly and more accurate "Sebelius-Who-Oversaw-The-Botched-Obamacare-Rollout." Every story about her decision (using the word "her" somewhat loosely) to leave that position included somewhere in the first paragraph a mention of the complete debacle that was the Healthcare.gov launch. Kathleen Sebelius is the person who mulliganed the Obamacare rollout. In 2002, she beat her Republican opponent handily in a state that voted for George Bush for president by a wide margin two years prior.



Grimes raised $2.7 million in first quarter
Alison Lundergan Grimes raised more money than Mitch McConnell in the past three months, but the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate still trails the Senate Republican leader by a 2-to-1 margin in available ...

The Obamacare Win That Wasn’t?

The Obamacare Win That Wasn’t?The health-care law will cost the country $100 billion less than predicted, which sounds like a good thing—but you won’t hear Republican detractors say so.



Sen. Ted Cruz: Too early to worry about 2016
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says it's too early to be thinking about 2016 and that he's working right now to make sure his party regains control of the Senate this year.

Bill signed allowing surprise inspections of Arizona abortion clinics

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer makes a statement saying she vetoed the controversial SB1062 bill at the Arizona State Capitol in PhoenixBy David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into a law a bill allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without first obtaining a warrant, handing another victory to abortion foes. The Republican-backed bill, which gained final legislative approval from the state Senate last week, removes a provision from state law requiring a judge to approve any spot inspections conducted at the nine clinics in Arizona licensed to perform abortions. No other medical facilities in the state require such a warrant for unannounced inspections. "This legislation will ensure that the Arizona Department of Health Services has the authority to appropriately protect the health and safety of all patients," gubernatorial spokesman Andrew Wilder said in announcing that Brewer, a Republican, had signed the measure.



Senators press Delphi for answers on recalled GM cars

A man walks past a row of General Motors vehicles at a Chevrolet dealership on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MichiganLawmakers probing how General Motors used faulty ignition switches in many vehicles are turning their scrutiny to the supplier of the part, Delphi Automotive. A group of senators on Tuesday wrote to Delphi Chief Executive Officer Rodney O'Neal, asking for information about whether the parts supplier pushed back against GM after the automaker apparently did not accept a proposed fix to the switches. "It is our understanding that a fix was proposed by Delphi regarding the ignition switch in 2005 but GM did not adopt the change," the letter said. "As we continue evaluating the GM recall it is critically important that we understand the decisions made by Delphi and the company's interaction with GM." Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat, signed the letter along with three fellow senators - John Thune, the top Republican on the panel, Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Dean Heller.



Texas candidate faces thorny death penalty choice

FILE - In this March 4, 2014, file photo, Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate General Greg Abbott, left, talks to supporters in San Antonio. Both Abbott and his Democratic opponent Wendy David are courting conservative voters and both support capital punishment. But Abbott is due, as attorney general, to issue a legal decision on whether the public can know where Texas gets its executions drugs. It's a dilemma that could put him in a difficult position with some voters _ and in a strange twist, one that Davis can't easily exploit. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The death penalty is like gun rights in Texas politics: Candidates don't dare get in the way of either. But Republican Greg Abbott, the favorite to succeed Gov. Rick Perry, must soon make a decision as attorney general that could disrupt the nation's busiest death chamber.



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