Politics

6:21am

Sun August 19, 2012
Politics

Tax Debate Continues: Who Do Cuts Hurt And Help?

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 2:41 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Once again, taxes will be a major part of the battle for the 2012 election. Conservative ads out last week seek to savage what they call Obama's Tax Hike, a reference to letting the Bush tax cuts for wealthier families expire at the end of the year.

(SOUNDBITE OF A POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Liberals say raise taxes on the rich. But Reid's Senate passed Obama's tax hike, hurting so many small businesses.

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6:21am

Sun August 19, 2012
Politics

For The First Time, No WASPs This Election

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 2:41 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Four years ago, American voters were presented with a unique choice and elected Barack Obama the first African-American president. Now, for different reasons, the choice is again unique. This year, for the first time since the founding of the republic, there is no white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant represented on either major presidential ticket. What might that mean? Is the face of the American ruling class changing?

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5:01pm

Sat August 18, 2012
Politics

Political Spotlight Heats Up In Wisconsin

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 7:14 pm

Transcript

CHERYL CORLEY, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Cheryl Corley. Guy Raz is away.

Over the last two years, Wisconsin seems to have suddenly become an epicenter of national politics and, even more so, conservative politics. Governor Scott Walker survived a hotly contested recall effort following a big battle with the unions.

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6:31am

Sat August 18, 2012
Simon Says

If Politicians Went On Vacation, We'd All Get A Break

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 9:58 am

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan holds up a Green Bay Packers jersey during a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair.
Steve Pope Getty Images

If you toss a corn dog at a state or county fair this summer, you may bonk a politician.

Congress is in recess, but for politicians, it's not recess of the kind they have in grade school. Many pols, especially in a close election year, spend the summer shaking hands at meet-and-greets. They cock their heads to pay rapt attention during listening tours and community meetings, raise money, make speeches, hurl charges, countercharges and ask for votes.

Does that sound refreshing?

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6:31am

Sat August 18, 2012
Election 2012

King, Vilsack Take House Battle To The Fairground

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 2:14 pm

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa (right) flips pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while Terry Aupperle of Wiota watches. Aupperle lives in Cass County. He can't vote for King anymore because of redistricting.
Clay Masters Iowa Public Radio

One of the country's toughest congressional races is in Iowa between Republican Rep. Steve King and the state's former first lady, Christie Vilsack.

Iowa is losing a seat in the House after the election, due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly redrawn 4th Congressional District against a political newcomer.

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5:02pm

Fri August 17, 2012
It's All Politics

Five Social Issues On November Ballots

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 pm

Petitions for Referendum 74, which would provide a public vote on gay marriage, were submitted in June in Olympia, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP

In addition to choosing a president and members of Congress, voters in several states will weigh in on high-profile social issues on Nov. 6. Here are some of the key voter initiatives on ballots:

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4:54pm

Fri August 17, 2012
Election 2012

Once 'The Obama Of Alabama,' Now A GOP Headliner

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:57 pm

Artur Davis, with his wife, Tara, concedes the Democratic gubernatorial race in Birmingham, Ala., in 2010. Since losing that race, he has become a Republican and moved to Virginia.
Mark Almond AP

Four years ago in Denver, Artur Davis took the podium at the Democratic National Convention to speak up for Barack Obama.

"I am honored to second the nomination of the man whose victory tonight takes us closer to becoming what we know America can be," he said.

But now, as President Obama seeks re-election, Davis is on the list of scheduled speakers for the Republican National Convention.

The former Democratic congressman from Alabama, who tried and failed to become the state's first black governor, is now a Republican resident of Virginia.

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4:54pm

Fri August 17, 2012
U.S.

Budgets Tight, States Ask Voters To Raise Taxes

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 pm

California Gov. Jerry Brown, speaking in Sacramento on Wednesday, advocates a ballot initiative that would increase sales and income taxes. Several states have measures on the November ballot that seek to plug deficits by raising taxes.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Tax increases will join political candidates on the November ballot in several states struggling to plug some big holes in their budgets.

One of the most closely watched measures is in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown has staked his reputation on closing his state's multibillion-dollar budget gap.

On Wednesday in Sacramento, Brown officially kicked off his campaign to get voter approval to raise taxes via the Schools Public Safety Protection Act, also known as Proposition 30.

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4:12pm

Fri August 17, 2012
Presidential Race

Romney To Obama On Tax Deal: No, Thanks

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:02 pm

After weeks of saying he would not release his tax returns, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told reporters Thursday he had checked them and could report he had always paid at least 13 percent annual in federal income tax. But Romney still refuses to make public more of his tax returns, despite a new offer from the Obama campaign.

4:12pm

Fri August 17, 2012
Presidential Race

Week In Politics: Taxes And What Ryan Will Do

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to talk about this question of taxes and more with our Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and subbing for David Brooks this week, Reihan Salam of National Review. Welcome to you both.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

REIHAN SALAM: Thanks for having us.

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