AP: Franken Could Pick Up 200 Votes on Challenged Ballots
The Associated Press examined the 5000 challenged ballots still in play during the weekend and
that Democrat Al Franken might pick up about 200 votes as a result. Currently, Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) is
estimated to lead by about 192 votes. If Franken indeed gets 200 more votes, then he will lead by 8 votes
out of 2.9 million cast. The official review of the challenged ballots will
In addition, thousands of absentee ballots are yet to be reexamined.
Caroline Kennedy Wants Hillary Clinton's Senate Seat
Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy's only living child, is
in Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. This seat has been occupied before by people with no previous history of election
to public office. Caroline's uncle, Bobby Kennedy, won the seat in 1964 and Hillary Clinton won it in 2000.
However, one big difference with the current situation is that both of them got the seat by winning an election;
Caroline might get it by being appointed to it. However, Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) has given no indication who
he intends to appoint. Women's groups want Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Paterson himself would no doubt like to
be rid of state attorney general Andrew Cuomo, who is likely to challenge him in a primary in 2010.
Blagojevich Impreachment Process Has Started
The Illinois state legislature has formed a committee consisting of 12 Democrats and 9 Republicans to
whether Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) should be impeached. In addition, the state attorney general has appealed
to the state supreme court trying to get the governor declared unfit for office.
Obama Names Two More Cabinet Secretaries
President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name the head of the Chicago school system, Arne Duncan, as secretary of
education. Duncan has run the Chicago school system, for 7 years. With 400,000 students, it is the nation's third
largest. Obama is also expected to name Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) as secretary of the interior.
If Salazar joins the cabinet, Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO) will appoint his successor.
Foreign Auto Companies Have Received $3.6 Billion in Subsidies
While Congress debates the $14 billion loan package for the big three,
it is worth noting that foreign car companies received
worth about $3.6 billion, mostly from southern states. Furthermore, these were outright gifts
in the form of tax exemptions and the like, not loans. Republican senators from southern states who
are adamantly against the bailout rarely mention that the plants in their states are not exactly
based on pure capitalism as they have received massive subsidies to lure them there in the first place.
Two Republican Congressmen Plan to Retire in 2010
The retirements are already starting. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) have both
indicated that they will not run for reelection to the House in 2010. Both are thought to be interested in
higher office. King may run for senator or governor. Hoekstra is a possible gubernatorial candidate.
Open seats are always a problem for the incumbent party since they are far more likely to flip than seats
where an incumbent is running.
Reid Announces Committee Chairs
The Senate majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), has
who will be chairing which committee in the new Senate. Here is the lineup:
|| Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
|| Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
|| Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
| Armed Services
|| Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
| Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
|| Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
|| Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
| Commerce, Science, and Transportation
|| Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV)
| Energy and Natural Resources
|| Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
| Environment and Public Works
|| Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
|| Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
| Foreign Relations
|| Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
| Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
|| Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
| Homeland Security
|| Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
| Indian Affairs
|| Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
|| Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
|| Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
| Rules and Administration
|| Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
| Small Business and Entrepreneurship
|| Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
| Veterans Affairs
|| Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
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