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From the Cook Political Report: "Former Democratic Sen. John Breaux is seriously considering a bid for Governor of Louisiana. John Maginnis, editor of the highly regarded Louisiana Political Fax Weekly, initially reported the news this morning, and the Cook Political Report has independently verified that it is true. Apparently Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco has privately indicated a willingness to step aside if Breaux, or possibly another Democrat, such as Rep. Charlie Melancon, would run instead."
"None of this is a done deal, but Breaux is serious, and his candidacy would change the face of the race for Democrats."
House approves resolution slamming Bush plan for Iraq
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House of Representatives easily passed a non-binding resolution Friday rejecting President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.
The vote was 246-182.
Seventeen Republicans voted for the measure while two Democrats voted against.
on February 8, the South Dakota House voted against a bill to move the state’s presidential primary from June to February. The bill, HB 1272, had received a tie vote of 35-35 on February 7. The next day it was brought up again, and defeated 29-40.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the final hours before an expected vote Friday, lawmakers took to the House floor with impassioned arguments over a resolution rejecting President Bush's plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said the resolution opposing Bush's plan "may be non-binding, but it will send a strong message to the president: We here in Congress are committed to protecting and supporting our troops." Applause followed in the chamber.
"The passage of this legislation will signal a change in direction in Iraq that will end the fighting and bring our troops home safely and soon," she said.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, ranking Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, followed Pelosi and rejected that view. "One vision sees no hope for us in Iraq and counsels that we withdraw, just give up," she said. "By contrast, the other vision focuses on success."
She said the resolution, backed by many Democrats and some Republicans, "lacks hope" and "accepts defeat."
It was clear the resolution has enough support to pass. It will mark the first time the Congress has acted to reject a plan by the president during the four years of the war.
The House vote could set the stage for a showdown in the Senate. Democratic leaders said they plan to bring up the resolution for a key procedural vote Saturday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Sen. John Breaux may mount a bid for governor of Louisiana, the Cook Political Report confirms.
Breaux, a Democrat who represented Louisiana as a representative and senator for 32 years, did not seek a fourth senate term in 2004.
According to the Cook Political Report, current Louisiana Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco, whose first term is up in 2008, has "privately" said she would step aside if Breaux or another established Democrat expressed interest in running.
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson raised at least $2 million for his presidential campaign, a tally that puts him in good standing in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Almost 1,000 people attended the event Thursday night at a New Mexico resort, Amanda Cooper, Richardson's deputy campaign manager, said Friday. Individual contributors gave $2,300 -- the maximum individual donation allowed under federal law for the primary election -- and became "Friends of Bill." For $1,000, donors were dubbed "Supporters of Bill."
"We had a key group of 50 to 60 people committed to raising $25,000 each," said Cooper, who added that the campaign received some bundled checks with $25 contributions.
A former U.N. ambassador, Energy Department secretary and congressman, Richardson has an impressive resume, but faces tough odds against better-known candidates such as Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, and John Edwards.
As a second-term governor of a small state, Richardson does not have the national fundraising network of those rivals. He repeatedly has acknowledged his underdog status and said in announcing his intent to explore a presidential bid that he "will not have the money that other candidates will have."
Attendees at Thursday's event included Richardson and his wife, Barbara; Lt. Gov. Diane Denish; Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez; and University of New Mexico regents president and longtime Richardson supporter Jamie Koch.
Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis introduced a bill on February 15 to move the presidential primary from March to February. The bill doesn’t have a number yet. Thanks to The Green Papers for this news.
U.S. Supreme Court Disposition of 4 Election Law Cases Expected on February 20
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to hear four particular election law cases at its February 16 conference. The results will not be released to the public until February 20. The 4 cases include three ballot access cases: (1) Pennsylvania petition-checking procedures, filed by Carl Romanelli; (2) Illinois petition-checking procedures for initiatives, filed by the Protect Marriage Initiative organization; (3) New York petition requirements for candidates getting on a primary ballot for Delegate to Judicial Conventions. The 4th case is from Utah and concerns whether a state may require all initiatives on one particular subject to fail unless they receive a “yes” vote of two-thirds.
Arizona Senator Will Try to Improve Independent Presidential Deadline
Arizona State Senator Karen Johnson is the author of SB 1430, which moves the Arizona non-presidential primary from mid-September to early September. The bill has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. Johnson will try to amend her own bill on the Senate floor to improve the Arizona independent candidate deadline. For president, Arizona has the 2nd earliest independent deadline in the nation. The current Arizona deadline is in early June; only Texas has an earlier deadline.
Gingrich might enter '08 race in September, calls long campaigns 'stupid'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia, said Friday he would strongly consider a late entry into the 2008 presidential race if no other Republican candidate is catching the "right momentum."
"Callista and I and our family will stop and look and see what's the world at the end of September," Gingrich said during a forum at the National Press Club. "If there isn't somebody who has the right ideas and the right solutions and building the right momentum, we'll consider running."
Gingrich also criticized the increased longevity of presidential campaigns.
"I think the current process of spending an entire year running in order to spend an entire year running in order to get sworn in in January of 2009 is stupid," he said.
"The idea of spending all of this year criss-crossing to raise money, to pay off the consultants, to do the focus groups, to memorize the 40-second answer to 'and what would you do about Medicare?' -- I just think it's a terrible way to spend your time," Gingrich added.
-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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