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Charlotte, NC to Host 2012 Democratic Convention

Michelle Obama announced today that Charlotte, N.C. beat St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis as the site of the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Republicans have chosen Tampa.

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IL Supreme Court Puts Rahm Back on Ballot

That didn't take long. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and ruled Rahm Emanuel may run for Chicago Mayor. It wasn't even close, the Supreme Court blasted the appeals court decision:

We wish to emphasize that, until just a few days ago, the governing law on this question had been settled in this State for going on 150 years....Things changed, however, when the appellate court below issued its decision and announced that it was no longer bound by any of the law cited above....Its reasons for departing from over 100 years of settled residency law are hardly compelling and deserve only brief attention.

All of that said, and putting aside the appellate court's conclusion that Smith [settled law] is not binding in this case, the appellate court's residency analysis remains fundamentally flawed. This is because, even under traditional principles of statutory analysis, the inevitable conclusion is that the residency analysis conducted by the hearing officer, the Board, and the circuit court [those who heard Emanuel's case before the appellate court] was proper.

I am not a Rahm supporter, but the Supreme Court got it right, in my opinion.

You can read the opinion here.

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Rahm Emanuel Back on Ballot , IL Supreme Court Agrees to Review Ruling

Bump and Update: The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case on an expedited basis, without oral argument, using the briefs filed in the lower court.

Bump and Update: Rahm gets his stay, he's back on the ballot for now.

Bump and Update: Rahm Emanuel filed his petition with the Illinois Supreme Court today. He makes six arguments, and relies in part on People ex rel. Madigan v. Baumgartner, the case I discuss below. You can read the petition here. No word yet on whether the Court will agree to hear the case or grant the stay he requested yesterday. [More...]

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Rudy Giuliani Says He May Make Presidential Bid

Rudy Giuliani will be on CNBC's Kudlow Report tonight. He's considering another run for the Republican nomination for President. Here's an excerpt, received by e-mail from CNBC:

LARRY KUDLOW: " Will you take a look at 2012, there are lots of rumors in New York City?"

RUDY GIULIANI: "I will take a look at 2012. It's really a question of, can I play a useful role? Would I have a chance of getting the nomination? Those are things that I'll have to evaluate as the year goes along.

LARRY KUDLOW: "But the door is open, that's what I'm hearing from you tonight?"

RUDY GIULIANI: "Yes, yes, Absolutely Larry."

He never could stand to be out of the limelight for long. Is this just a way for him to rev up demand (and fees) as a motivational speaker? [More...]

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Time to Target NY Rep. Peter King

The New York Times takes a well-deserved shot at Republican Peter King. So does Marcy (Empty Wheel.) The Albany Project reports redistricting could jeopardize his seat in 2012. Let's hope so.

King is about to become Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. He's on an anti-immigrant kick, promising legislation to arrest more undocumented residents. [More...]

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A New Potential GOP Candidate?

I've never heard of Jon Huntsman, but Newsweek spends four pages on the former Republican Governor of Utah who Obama made Ambassador to China. He's back in DC and apparently contemplating a run for the GOP nomination.

He's a moderate, who believes the GOP needs to attract younger voters by hitting on three issues: immigration, gay rights and the environment.

Like Mitt Romney, he's a Mormon, which ordinarily would prompt concerns about whether they would be competing for the same supporters and donors. Huntsman doesn't have to worry about that.

Huntsman wouldn’t have much trouble financing the first leg of a presidential campaign on his own: his father, whose company invented the “clamshell” container for McDonald’s to package its Big Macs, is a billionaire.


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Sunday Open Thread

Newt Gingrich today said he's more inclined to run than not to run for President, and may decide around February or March. Among Republicans, Gingrich named Mitt Romney as the Republican front-runner and Mike Huckabee as the most popular.

It looks like there will be a deal to extend the tax cuts.

Tonight: VH1 Divas: Support the Troops. Hosted by Kathy Griffin and filmed earlier this week, the show has gotten rave reviews. Performances by:

Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Sugarland, Keri Hilson, Paramore, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, as well as appearances by literally everyone from our First Lady Michelle Obama to "Snooki" and "The Situation" from "Jersey Shore," including comedian Jeffrey Ross, MC Lyte and Brandy.

If anyone is still watching Boardwalk Empire, tonight is the season finale. This is an open thread, all topics welcome

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Kamala Harris Wins CA Attorney General Race

LA District Attorney Steve Cooley has conceded the California Attorney General's race to San Francisco DA Kamala Harris.

The decision means that San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris will assume the post of California's top law enforcement official, giving Democrats a clean sweep of the statewide offices.

This is good news for medical marijuana patients in California. Harris' position:

As the chief law enforcement official of this great city, it is my duty to protect the most vulnerable among us from harm. That includes those who are sick and seek care through medicinal marijuana. I pledge to continue this important work.

Harris is far more progressive and smarter about crime than Cooley. This is good news for California.

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Latino Vote Critical for Bennet in Colorado

Via Colorado Independent:

Eighty-one percent of Latino voters in Colorado voted for Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. Split the Latino vote down the middle between Bennet and Republican Ken Buck and Buck wins easily. Even if Buck had only received 30 percent of the Latino vote, he would have won the election.

Results here, from Latino Decision which reports 10% of Colorado voters are Latino. [More...]

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Tea Party Backed Candidates Only Won 32% of Races

The media comes to its senses: MSNBC reports only 32% of tea party candidates won.

For all the talk of the Tea Party's strength - and there will certainly be a significant number of their candidates in Congress - just 32% of all Tea Party candidates who ran for Congress won and 61.4% lost this election. A few races remain too close to call.

It's also important to distinguish between a candidate who is a tea-partier and those merely endorsed by tea-partiers. The tea-party can be said to have played a role in the wins of the first, but not necessarily the second. [More...]

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Ken Buck Concedes and Congratulates Bennet

When Sen. Michael Bennet held his victory rally earlier, one thing was missing: a concession from challenger Ken Buck. Buck issued this statement this afternoon.

Buck said that while the final margin in the race is very small, Colorado voters have spoken and he wishes Senator Bennet well.

Buck said, “my Senate campaign has been the experience of a lifetime. I will be forever grateful to the thousands of Coloradans who helped make this grassroots journey possible.”

CBS calls the win "razor-thin", but I don't think it is. Last night at 12:45 am, the candidates were 5-6,000 votes apart. At times last night they were 4,000 votes apart. That was razor-thin. Today, with 97% of the vote in, Bennet leads by 15,000 votes, large enough to avoid an automatic recount. It's not a big win, but it's a clear one.

At least CBS acknowledges the Tea Party had a rough night in senate races. [More...]

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Live Stream of Michael Bennet's Victory Speech

Senator Michael Bennett rally at Noon, Civic Center Park in Denver. (Update: I removed the embed since it was a live stream and the rally is over.) Here's what was said and some followup on what message to take from Coloradans' vote yesterday:

Udall opened, standing next to Bennet, saying the outcome of the race was never in doubt. Everyone laughed. Diana DeGette, Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter were right behind them.

Bennet speaks. He has been moved by the people of Colorado and their support. (Later he repeats, adding humbled and inspired.)

He says the Pundits don't know what happened in Colorado. They are scratching their heads, looking for a message for the rest of the country. He's going to help them out. [More...]

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Denver Post Says Sen. Michael Bennet Wins

The latest: the Denver Post has called the Senate Race in Colorado for Michael Bennet.

Updates to follow, I hope they are right.

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Colorado Senate Race : Still Too Close to Call

Final Update: 12:45 am: Ken Buck has moved back into the lead by about 6,000 votes. Which means there could be an automatic recount. Senator Bennet decided to release a statement rather than address his supporters in person at the end of the night (He had addressed them earlier in the evening.)

Seems to me they are crunching numbers, and if they think the only votes outstanding are from rural pockets of Colorado, that's not a good sign for Bennet. On the other hand, parts of Adams county are still out and that's got a bigger population and more Democrats than pockets of rural Colorado. Looks like this race won't be resolved before morning.

Media Goofs on Vote Counts [More...]

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Colo. Rep. John Salazar Loses House Seat

Rep. John Salazar has lost his House seat to Republican challenger Scott Tipton. Four years ago, Tipton ran against Salazar and lost by 60,000 votes. This time he won by 10,000 votes.

Salazar didn't start campaigning until August. He's been playing catch-up ever since. Tipton tied his ads to Nancy Pelosi, with the tag line "Say No to Nancy Pelosi," accusing Salazar of voting with her too often. From the Aspen Daily News: [More....]

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