<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Politics]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:00:43 -0400 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:00:43 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Voters Express Frustration on Upcoming Midterm Elections]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:35:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008343666_1200x675_349445699876.jpg NBC Senior Political Editor Mark Murray shares his insight on the upcoming elections, including voter frustration and which races are still too close to call.]]> <![CDATA[Sherwood's Notebook: Vote, Vote, Vote]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:49:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/mayor-composite-2.jpg

Will Democrat Muriel Bowser sweep to a commanding win for mayor by a 15 to 20 percent margin over competitor David Catania? Her top supporters believe so.

Will Catania — boosted by motivated black and white voters who want a more activist mayor — pull off a stunning upset in this Democratic town? His supporters hope so.

Will late-entry candidate Carol Schwartz, mired in third place all summer, get just enough legacy votes to deny Bowser or Catania a victory? Her supporters hope for more than that.

And how many registered voters hoping to legalize marijuana will turn out to vote for Initiative 71 and then take time to vote in the mayor’s race? No one really knows.

Welcome to the most interesting general election our city has seen in 20 years.

Bowser won the Democratic primary in April and immediately turned aside reporter questions about a Catania campaign, charging that the media just wanted to create a campaign contest it could cover.

Bowser spent the next five months with limited public appearances, pretending Catania didn’t exist, declining to accept invitations to neighborhood forums and raising goo-gobs of cash for her get-out-the-vote effort. Initially, her top campaign aides openly had suggested Catania wouldn't even run, that Catania's chance at mayor died when Bowser defeated wounded Mayor Vincent Gray in April.

Meanwhile, Catania doubled down. He filed hefty voter petitions to get on the ballot. He began holding small meet and greets, and he accepted — as any challenger would — every forum, debate or public appearance he possibly could. As the chair of the D.C. Council’s Education Committee, Catania had met with more than 130 parent and school groups around the city. His promise to step up school reform resonated with many of them, but now, will they vote for him?

(The Post had an interesting story Monday on motivated parents.)

The opinion polls consistently have shown Bowser as the leader, almost safely ahead. Still, the pool of undecideds and voters willing to switch their allegiances nag at some on her campaign.

Given that Bowser is the Democrat in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, most think she should easily win this race. Bowser is well-organized and has focused on getting out the vote. Her supporters in Ward 3 this past weekend waved Bowser signs and others reading #WeDoVote. A fear is that voters inclined to support Bowser, but not inspired by her, simply will stay home. Catania voters by and large appear motivated. But are there enough of them?

A number of political professionals and observers expect another racially split election. Bowser should easily win the majority of the black vote, they say, but how much of a turnout will there be? Political activists in wards 7 and 8 say Bowser will carry those areas easily, but the turnout might be slimmer than she wants.

Catania has support among African Americans familiar with his work on schools and the United Medical Center, but the polls suggest he needs far more of the African-American vote than the poll responses indicate he’ll get. And he does need a bigger-than-expected turnout of white voters to win the election.

At the D.C. Chamber of Commerce dinner Saturday night, Bowser was basking in support from the array of business leaders. A few of them privately said they were surprised by the quiet support Catania was getting. But again, is it enough?

Jack Evans' first-timers. Jack Evans was already the Ward 2 D.C. Council member when his children were born. Throughout their childhood, they handed out campaign literature for their dad.

But on Nov. 4, triplets Katherine, John and Christine will cast their first votes ever in an election. They'll turn 18 in November. So, who are they going to vote for in the mayor’s race?

“It’s a secret ballot, a secret ballot,” their father said, but proud that his children will be voting.

It is a proud day for them, their father and all families that vote in our city.


Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.
 



Photo Credit: Andy Jones / News4
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<![CDATA[Candidates For Md. Governor React To "Vote Flipping" In Early Voting]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:25:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008334550_1200x675_349122627804.jpg News 4's Mark Segraves reports on Maryland's race for governor and complaints of “vote flipping” in several counties in Maryland]]> <![CDATA[Gov. Christie Campaigns for Hogan]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:51:46 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008329568_1200x675_348851267976.jpg NBC Senior Political Editor Mark Murray discusses New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's support for Larry Hogan's campaign in Maryland.]]> <![CDATA[Differences Show in Gov. Debate]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:01:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/Baker+Coakley+Debate.jpg

On Monday, Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley showcased their differences in the Massachusetts gubernatorial debate moderated by NECN's Latoyia Edwards at Worcester's Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Coakley addressed reports that she is behind in some polls in a state that has favored Democrats historically; however, earlier Monday, the New York Times placed Coakley with 45 percent in favor of the Democrat and 41 percent in favor of the Republican.

"I believe this race is pretty close right now," Coakley said. "I'm confident we're going to win on Nov. 4."

It didn't take long for the candidates to begin disputing the hot topic of the Massachusetts economy. Baker said that the difference between him and Coakley is he will not raise taxes for the citizens of the Bay State.

"He has a typical Republican playbook of cut taxes for big businesses," Coakley said, adding that she will invest in the people, rather than give breaks to corporations.

Another topic that has the state divided is the question of Boston hosting the 2024 Olympics. Baker said he believes it's a great planning exercise, while Coakley supported the plan fully.

"I say go for the gold," Coakley said.

Health care and the problems that Harvard Pilgrim have faced was another point of disagreement. Coakley told Baker that the turnaround resulted in layoffs and lost care, as he made choices Coakley said she would not have made.

"You look at the bottom line and don't see people," Coakley explained.

"So, you don't have any suggestions about how you would have dealt with the problems at Harvard Pilgrim?" Baker asked Coakley, prompting an applause from his supporters.

"That's not the point," Coakley said. "You are always looking at the bottom line, and so that's one example of it."

The candidates soon segued into Baker's quest to seek 100 percent support of Massachusetts voters, specifically the support of women.

"I don't have a group called 'Men for Martha," Coakley shot back. "I look at the people who haven't had a seat at the table."

There were a few questions that Baker and Coakley agreed on in the lightning round, including support of the casino law and the freezing of coalition rates. In addition, both candidates said they will stop running for public office if they lose the 2014 gubernatorial race.

NECN, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Telegram & Gazette and Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts hosted Monday's debate.



Photo Credit: NECN
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<![CDATA[Countdown to Midterm Elections]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 13:56:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008314751_1200x675_348365891851.jpg NBC political writer Carrie Dann tells you how things are shaping up only eight days before elections.]]> <![CDATA[Jeb Bush Still Hasn't Made Decision on 2016]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:19:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/474646291.jpg

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush still "has not made a decision" about whether he'll run for president in 2016, a spokesperson said after the GOP politician's son seemed to suggest over the weekend that a bid is likely.

"Governor Bush has not yet made a decision on whether or not he will run in 2016. He will thoughtfully consider it following the mid-term elections, and make a decision late this year or in the early part of next year," Bush's spokesperson, Kristy Campbell, told NBC News.

But in an interview with ABC News' John Karl, son George P. Bush said his father is " still assessing it."

"I think it's -- it's more than likely that he's giving this a serious thought and moving -- and moving forward," George P. Bush said.

"More than likely that he'll run?" Karl asked.

"That he'll run. If you had asked me a few years back, I -- I would have said it was less likely," the younger Bush responded.

In an interview with Fox earlier this month, former President George W. Bush said he thinks his brother "wants to be president."

"Yes, I think he wants to be president," he said. "I think he'd be a great president. He understands what it's like to be president -- for not only the person running or serving, plus family," he said.

Jeb Bush, 61, was Florida's governor from 1999 to 2007. He has been popping up in recent ads supporting current Florida Gov. Rick Scott in his re-election bid.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Midterm Elections Will Cost $4 Billion]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:36:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008276841_1200x675_346726979626.jpg NBC Political Writer Carrie Dann explains how the 2014 midterm elections will be the most expensive in U.S. history.]]> <![CDATA[Ex-Campaign Treasurer for Michael A. Brown Pleads Guilty]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:33:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/Michael+A+Brown.JPG

A former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty Thursday to income tax evasion and violations of campaign finance laws, according to a press release from the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office.

Hakim J. Sutton, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion, a federal offense, and one count of knowingly filing a false and misleading campaign finance report.

Sutton was the principal owner of the Sutton Group, a political consulting service for D.C. and other areas. Sutton served as the treasurer and custodian of records in 2011 and 2012 for Michael A. Brown’s campaign for an at-large seat on D.C. Council.

Between July 2011 and May 202, Sutton wrote 36 checks from the campaign bank to his personal bank accounts, adding up to approximately $115,250 diverted from campaign funds.

Some of the money Sutton transferred was compensation for Sutton’s role in the campaign, according to court documents. However, Sutton must now pay the IRS $18,231 for the income tax returns he failed to file in 2011 and 2012, according to the release. 

Additionally, Sutton failed to reference checks he wrote to himself in a series of reports he filed during his time as treasurer with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Officials expect Sutton to face 10 to 16 months in prison and a fine of $30,000 for federal income tax evasion and up to two years in prison for knowingly filing a false campaign finance report.

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<![CDATA[More Early Voting Sites to Open in D.C. Saturday]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:44:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/185*120/voting+generic.jpg

Eight additional early voting locations will open for District of Columbia residents on Saturday.

Each site will be opened from from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. through Nov. 1. The polling locations will not be open on Sundays. One Judiciary Square, the downtown office building that houses the D.C. Board of Elections, opened for voters on Monday. 

Below is a list of early voting sites in the District:

  • Chevy Chase Community Center
    5601 Connecticut Ave NW Ward 3
    Multi-Purpose Room
  • Columbia Heights Community Center
    1480 Girard St, NW Ward 1
    Gymnasium
  • Dorothy I Height-Benning Library
    3935 Benning Rd, NE Ward 7
    Meeting Room
  • King Greenleaf Recreation Center
    201 N St, SW Ward 6
    Gymnasium
  • Malcolm X Elementary School
    1351 Alabama Ave SE Ward 8
    Multi-Purpose Room
  • One Judiciary Square
    441 4th St, NW Ward 2
    Old City Council Chambers (1st floor, right side of building)
  • Sherwood Recreation Center
    640 10th St, NE Ward 6
    Gymnasium
  • Takoma Park Recreation Center
    300 Van Buren St, NW Ward 4
    Multi-Purpose Room
  • Turkey Thicket Recreation Center
    1100 Michigan Ave, NE Ward 5
    Gymnasium

In the April 1 primary, 15 percent of participants voted early. In the 2012 general election, early voters accounted for 19 percent of the ballots cast.

The top race on the ticket is for mayor. Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser is the favorite to replace Mayor Vincent Gray after defeating him in the primary. Three out of four registered voters in the District are Democrats, and the city's Democratic nominee has never lost a mayoral election.

Polls show that independent David Catania is Bowser's top challenger.

Voters will also vote on:



Photo Credit: Getty Images / Logan Mock-Bunting
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<![CDATA[Incumbents Could Be in Trouble in Midterm Elections]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:10:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/225*120/2014-10-22_1346.jpg NBC political writer Carrie Dann discusses possible outcomes of the upcoming midterm elections based on current trends.]]> <![CDATA[Rivals Debate in NH Senate Race]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:06:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2014-10-21-21h11m54s10.jpg

Scott Brown continued to hammer away at Democrat Jeanne Shaheen's record in Washington as the incumbent repeatedly accused her Republican opponent of fear mongering during a debate in New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race Tuesday.

Brown accused Shaheen of "outsourcing independence" by voting for policies backed by President Barack Obama. Shaheen, meanwhile, sought to distance herself from the president, who has low approval ratings in New Hampshire.

"In some ways I approve, in some ways I don't approve," of the president's decisions, Shaheen said when asked to answer "yes or no" if she approves of Obama's job in office.

The latest efforts to contain and prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the United States also became a hot topic, as Brown pushed for a travel ban from West Africa. Shaheen reiterated a comment from a day earlier that she would consider one if it would make a difference. That position was a reversal from last week, when she said she didn't think the idea "makes sense." 

The Democratic incumbent accused her rival of fear mongering on the Ebola virus, border security and the threat of terrorism posed by ISIS.

The two rivals remain locked in a close race as they headed into Tuesday's televised debate, which was hosted by New England Cable News, the Concord Monitor and the University of New Hampshire. A recent WMUR Granite State poll showed Shaheen leading her GOP challenger 44 percent to 38 percent among likely voters at the start of the month. Seventeen percent remained undecided.

The competitive race has attracted campaign cash and headlines from across the country, as one of several competitive seats Republicans are targeting in their bid to win control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

Chuck Todd, NBC's "Meet the Press" host, moderated the debate from the Capitol Center for the arts in Concord.

Shaheen said she was proud of her vote for the Obama's landmark heath care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act, while Brown insisted Granite Staters wanted to repeal Obamacare.

Sparks also flew on the topics of immigration and border security.

"The border is secure when people don't come across it," Brown said to the applause of supporters after Todd asked him to define a secure border.

Shaheen attacked Brown's record on abortion rights, which he says he supports; Brown, while senator for Massachusetts, supported the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer with moral objections to opt out of requiring to cover birth control in 2012.

When Brown said Shaheen was anti-nuclear as the subject of rising energy costs came up, she countered, "No, I'm not!"

Brown suggested repeatedly that Shaheen backs a new national energy tax, an assertion PolitiFact has deemed "mostly false."

In a final lightning round, Shaheen said her priority after being re-elected would be to refinance student loans; Brown said he would push the U.S. Senate to come up with a budget. Both declined to say they'd back their respective party heads in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for another term in leadership. 

Barbs were also thrown after Brown defended his decision to run in New Hampshire this year instead of seeking to win back the Massachusetts seat he lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012 by saying he didn't run "because I live here." 

"I don't think New Hampshire is a consolation prize," Shaheen said.

 


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<![CDATA[Early Voting Begins in D.C.]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:47:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/2014-10-20_1845.jpg News 4's Tom Sherwood reports on the first day of early voting in DC ahead of the Nov. 4 election. ]]> <![CDATA[Rival Gets Hands on Campaign Book]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:40:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/carl+demaio+scott+peters.JPG

A new bombshell dropped Friday in the race for California’s 52nd Congressional District when both candidates confirmed a Carl DeMaio campaign strategy book, allegedly stolen during an office break-in, found its way into the hands of incumbent Scott Peters’ staff.

It is the latest revelation in an already ugly race peppered with attack ads and sexual harassment allegations.

The two had a chilly meeting Friday morning at a taping of NBC 7’s Politically Speaking, as DeMaio walked right by Peters’ hand outstretched for a handshake.

During the session, DeMaio discussed the burglary and vandalism at his campaign headquarters on May 28. Cords and cables were cut, water was poured over laptops and printers, computer screens were smashed in and one important item was taken: DeMaio’s campaign playbook.

The candidate confronted Peters about the book on “Politically Speaking.”

“And Mr. Peters, I just want to ask a very simple question. Did your campaign come into possession of our strategy book, all of our direct mail pieces in the last five months?” asked DeMaio.

Peters responded with: “In early June, information was forwarded to our campaign which we immediately turned over to the police.”

DeMaio pressed the issue, asking Peters why he did not let his opponent’s campaign know that he had seen DeMaio’s playbook all along.

“I’ve obviously never seen it,” said Peters. “We turned it directly over to the police within 24 hours of getting it because what was contained in it was potentially part of a criminal investigation.”

He added his campaign manager “looked at it enough to know what it was.”

On Friday evening, Peters' Communication Director Alex Roth sent out the following statement about the revelation:

"To clarify, we do not know what a campaign playbook is; nor has our campaign ever received anything that could be characterized as 'a campaign playbook' as Mr. DeMaio called it. To reiterate, our campaign staff received information in early June that we immediately transmitted in its entirety to the police.This is nothing more than an attempt by Mr. DeMaio to divert attention away from the Filner-esque sexual harassment allegations that have been made against him.”

During the show's taping, Peters said he felt as if he had been cast as the perpetrator of the break-in, which was portrayed with Watergate-like overtones when it first happened.

DeMaio told his opponent he does not believe Peters had anything to do with the burglary.

Instead, he blames former aide Todd Bosnich.

Bosnich has publicly accused DeMaio of sexually harassing him while he worked for the former San Diego City Councilman, releasing the results of a polygraph test that he says support his claims.

Called the allegations “outrageous lies,” DeMaio said Bosnich is trying to get revenge for being fired as a suspect in the break-in.

However, the candidate said he will not take a polygraph exam to rebut Bosnich’s allegations.

CNN reports Bosnich's lawyers sent the news outlet the results to a second polygraph test Friday in which Bosnich was asked if he broke into the campaign headquarters last May. The test shows Bosnich's "no" answers were "truthful and found "no deception."

Bosnich confirmed the story to NBC 7 via text message.

DeMaio's spokesman David McCulloch defended the candidate, saying in a statement, "Both Carl DeMaio and Tommy Knepper — named in a series of vile smear attacks — have taken lie detector tests that have shown these smears are baseless. Meanwhile, Mr. Peters admitted on NBC7/39 this morning that his campaign received stolen property from our campaign — begging the question: who provided this sensitive campaign material?"  

McCulloch later clarified that statement that the lie detector test taken by DeMaio was one in August 2013 after a former colleague accused DeMaio of lewd acts in San Diego's City Hall.


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<![CDATA[President Obama Has Appointed an "Ebola Czar"]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:03:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008214120_1200x675_344125507750.jpg Senior Political Editor Mark Murray has more on the newly apponted "Ebola Czar" Ron Klain.]]> <![CDATA[Campaign Ad Featuring James Foley Pulled]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:58:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tlmd_james_foley_ejecucion_isis_syria.jpg

A conservative ad campaign that featured James Foley, the New Hampshire journalist slain by ISIS, moments before his execution, will be pulled, the group responsible for the ad said.

Secure America Now President Allen Roth said in a statement that his group didn't intend to upset Foley's family with the ad attacking Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and that they "apologize for any pain we inadvertently caused.“

“It has been brought to our attention that a news report image of American hostage James Foley that appeared in a Secure America Now video has upset his parents, so we have decided to take the video down," the statement continued. “The purpose of the video was to draw attention to Washington’s failure to secure our borders from real threats by terrorists. That remains our objective and we will continue to engage in this public debate.”

Foley, a Rochester native, was beheaded by Islamic State militants in August, nearly two years after he was kidnapped in Syria. His parents say the ad was "deplorable" and told NECN in an emotional interview that they were demanding that the ad be pulled from New Hampshire.

Secure America Now used the image in a 15-second Internet ad attacking Shaheen, who is locked in a tight race against Republican Scott Brown, and other Democratic incumbents in critical Senate races nationwide.

"It makes me very sad that people would use the brutality of our son's death for their own political purposes," Mrs. Foley said.

Shaheen issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon condemning the ad.

"This is a disgraceful ad that dishonors the memory of a respected journalist and New Hampshire native," she said. "It hurts all who loved and knew Jim, and the people behind this ad owe the Foley family and apology."

According to Elizabeth Guyton, communications director for Scott Brown, Brown said, "This is completely inappropriate and disrespectful to the Foley family.”

Roth says the group did not contact the Foley family before making the ad public.

Secure America Now emphasized that the Foley execution video and the image have been used in other campaigns across the country several different times.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Gov Urges Energy Savings by State Government]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:29:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/1001+Terry+McAuliffe.jpg

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is stressing energy efficiency throughout Virginia state government.

The Democrat signed an executive order on Thursday to reduce the energy footprint of state government, and named a chief energy officer to oversee the effort.

McAuliffe has made energy efficiency a cornerstone of his four-year energy plan released this month. The executive order instructs executive branch agencies, authorities and departments to actively pursue energy efficiencies. The order extends to higher education, as well.

In issuing the order, McAuliffe singled out the Department of Motor Vehicles as an example. He said the DMV has achieved annual energy savings of $284,000 through a program that partners state agencies with private sector vendors to reduce energy use.

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