Politics Extra
Enquirer reporters give the scoop on what your politicians are doing

Jessica Brown,
Hamilton County reporter

Jon Craig,
Enquirer statehouse bureau

Jane Prendergast,
Cincinnati City Hall reporter

Malia Rulon,
Enquirer Washington bureau

Carl Weiser,
Blog editor

Howard Wilkinson,
politics reporter

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Must-see TV this Sunday

White House Budget Director Rob Portman is the guest this week on C-SPAN's weekly public affairs program, "The Newsmakers," which airs Sunday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Steven Dinan, White House correspondent for the Washington Times, and Deborah Solomon, economic policy reporter for the Wall Street Journal, will be on C-SPAN to question Portman. Topics they will discuss include rising healthcare costs, the growing need to control spending and pursue revenue-neutral programs, and the administration's commitment to working with Congress to control spending.

Streaming video of the interview and a transcript will be available Sunday at www.c-span.org.

Also on Sunday, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will appear on CNN Late Edition. His segment with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is expected to air at about 11:35 a.m. They will be discussing the violence in the Middle East.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Re-live the 2004 Election all over again

You already know the ending, so why not see it all again?

For just $17, a new documentary called "Swing State Ohio" follows President Bush and Democrat John Kerry, their staff, volunteers, regular people, students, lawmakers, supporters and Rob Portman across the Buckeye State, in the days leading up to Election Day 2004.

Two years ago... Has it really been that long?

Back then, Portman was just the U.S. trade repesentative and Ken Blackwell -- who is also featured in the film, just not as much as Portman - was just secretary of state. Now, Portman is budget director and Blackwell is running for governor.

What's interesting is how this film, which is surprisingly nonpartisan, sets all that up.

Rep. Sherrod Brown, who's running for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Mike DeWine, also is interviewed in the film, as is Lloyd Purdy, a tobacco farmer from Adams County.

Read more and watch the trailer here.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Big names coming to Cincinnati - UPDATED

The race for Cincinnati's 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House heats up next week as the candidates each host fund raisers here featuring well-known personalities.

Democrat John Cranley will kick off the week with a lunch on Monday with former President Clinton campaign strategist James Carville, who appears on CNN's The Situation Room.

Considering that Carville has been credited with helping Clinton overcome the odds to win election in 1992 over the first President Bush, it'll be interesting to see what kind of campaign advice he passes on to Cranley.

Monday's luncheon will be held at The Vernon Manor Hotel at 12:30 p.m. for $150 a head. Those willing to fork over $500 are invited to a private question and answer reception with Carville at 1:30 p.m. where they'll also get to take a picture with the famed strategist.

Then, later in the week, Cranley's opponent in the race - incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot, a Westwood Republican - will bring out the big guns. According to an invitation obtained by the Enquirer, Chabot will host First Lady Laura Bush for a breakfast fund raiser on Friday, Aug. 4.

The breakfast will be held at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal - the same place where President Bush made his case for invading Iraq during a nationally televised address nearly four years ago.

The cost to attend the Laura Bush event wasn’t immediately available, although the invite says there will be a photo opportunity with the First Lady.

UPDATE from the White House:

JULY 31 – AUGUST 4, 2006

Friday, August 4, 2006

10:00 a.m. MRS. BUSH delivers remarks at a Steve Chabot for Congress Breakfast.
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
Cincinnati, OH

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Who are these beautiful people?

Pictured: Cincinnati native Patrick Hughes, West Chester Rep. John Boehner and Boehner spokesman Kevin Madden.

A story in today's The Hill, an insider Washington newspaper, profiles The 50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill. And guess what? Ohio was all over the list.

Of the 50 staff members listed, six are from or have ties to Ohio, including House Majority Leader John Boehner of West Chester AND Boehner's press secretary, Kevin Madden of Yonkers, N.Y., who was ranked #2.

Madden, a new father and JFK look-alike, was the Bush-Cheney campaign's Ohio spokesman in 2004, so he has Ohio ties beyond Boehner, who hired the dashing, fast-talking, witty spokesman after winning his majority leader job earlier this year.

So what about Boehner?

According to the Cincinnati Post, he's the "Tan Man." According to Fox News Channel's Brit Hume, he has a "deep, booming voice." According to a female columnist, he has "electric blue eyes that can trump actor Paul Newman's." What does Boehner say? According to The Hill article, when told of his most-beautiful status, he said: "Not bad for an old fart."

Also on the list (in this order):

- Jamie McInerney, 25, is a native of Cleveland and a former intern for Rep. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from northern Ohio who is running against Sen. Mike DeWine. (His profile was written by Hill staffer Jackie Kucinich, who grew up in Columbus and is related to another Democratic congressman from northern Ohio.)

- Majida Mourad of Toledo is a former aide to then-Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and now is a partner and vice president at the Abraham Group.

- Matthew Skipper, 25, grew up in Canton and now works for Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich.

- Patrick Hughes, 23, is a native of Cincinnati who is an aide to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Here is where I point out that no one from Kentucky was not on the list. But if you're from the Bluegrass state, don't feel bad. Despite a few reporters on the 50 Most Beautiful list and the fact that Cleveland Plain Dealer's Sabrina Eaton somehow snuck into the background of Boehner's photo, no Ohio reporters - including those from the Cincinnati Enquirer's Washington Bureau - made the cut either!

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