I'm siding with the Prospect'sJamelle Bouie overPaul Waldman on Jon Hunstman's decision to enter the 2012 presidential field. Between his moderate record and Republican primary voters' sharp rightward swing since the Tea Party came along, there doesn't seem to be a viable path for Huntsman to win the GOP nomination.
Another day, another Republican appointee slides through the revolving door between the bureaucracy and the industries they regulate. Only four months after successfully marshalling through a merger between Comcast and NBC Universal, FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is leaving her government post to work at the new company. The Hillwrites:
Maggie Haberman at Politico has a gushing profile of Iowa GOP Chair Matt Strawn, a largely behind-the-scenes figure who could still play a role in 2012 Republican campaigns. Haberman's piece portrays Strawn as an expert political operative responsible for rebuilding the state party after a weak 2008 election.
Strawn had resuscitated a once-broken state party organization into a fundraising force with a string of midterm election cycle wins, and emerged as a rising star among Republicans who has built on his native Iowan roots along with strong insider credentials as a former congressional aide.
The Minnesota Vikings reached a deal yesterday to begin construction on a new football stadium in a town just outside Minneapolis. The $1.06 billion stadium will receive a mix of both public and private funding: The team will pay $407 million, and the rest will come from taxpayers. Ramsey County (which includes St. Paul) would institute a 0.5 percent sales tax increase to gain $350 in revenue, while the state government would raise $300 million for the project through targeted measures, such as a professional sports memorabilia tax.
The Texas Legislature passed two bills yesterday that on the surface look like good governance measures but are actually efforts to discourage the Democratic base from voting. The state Senate approved a bill requiring voters to present a photo ID before receiving their ballots on Election Day. Support for the measure fell strictly along party lines, with all 19 Republicans voting in favor while the 12 Democratic senators in the chamber opposed the bill. The law would give voters a host of acceptable forms including driver’s licenses, passports, or a concealed handgun license.