Politics

Sen. Enzi denies his office benefited son's firm

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Sen. Mike Enzi said his son didn't benefit from the senator's position in landing a job with a company that received almost $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a carbon-capture project that never got off the ground.

Enzi, a Republican seeking his fourth term in office, was questioned about his son Brad Enzi's involvement in the Two Elk Energy Park on Thursday at a Wyoming Public Media debate in Riverton.

The study at the site of the Two Elk Energy Park, about 15 miles east of Wright in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming, received almost $10 million in economic stimulus grants from the Energy Department. The U.S. Department of Energy last year declined to release records on the project on the grounds that a legal investigation is underway and that releasing documents could compromise the probe.

Hawaii judge upholds timing of makeup primary

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A Hawaii judge has upheld the timing of a makeup primary for more than 8,000 voters despite a last-minute challenge from a Senate candidate who said they should have more time to recover from a tropical storm.

Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura ruled Thursday that the election should proceed Friday.

The ruling rejects a complaint from U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is running in a Democratic primary for U.S. Senate against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

2 Alaska GOP US Senate candidates debate

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The two more conservative Republicans running for U.S. Senate in Alaska sought to distinguish themselves Wednesday evening in a rare head-to-head debate less than a week before the primary.

Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell agreed on several issues, including that people are entitled to the Social Security benefits for which they made payments. They spoke of possible revisions to the system, including allowing people to take their Social Security benefits at a later age.

Miller and Treadwell agreed that the science on climate change is inconclusive. They warned of policies that they said would economically hurt the middle class or dictate what kind of car one could drive. Treadwell, though, said concerns like ocean acidification cannot be ignored.

Californians to vote on $7.5 billion water plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Driven to action by the state's historic drought, California lawmakers on Wednesday voted to place a $7.5 billion water plan before voters in November.

The measure marks the largest investment in decades in the state's water infrastructure and is designed to build reservoirs, clean up contaminated groundwater and promote water-saving technologies.

It replaces an existing water bond that was approved by a previous Legislature but was widely considered too costly and too bloated with pork-barrel projects to win favor with voters.

Senate Dems' campaign arms starts $9M ad buy in NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican Senate hopeful Thom Tillis cut $500 million from education budgets while giving tax breaks to his rich friends, the campaign arm for Senate Democrats said Wednesday, in the first piece of a $9.1 million ad campaign set to stay on the airwaves through November's elections.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's efforts to help endangered first-term incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan center on Tillis' tenure as speaker of the state House. Democrats have spent months combing through Tillis' voting record and now are starting an ad blitz to tell voters about the conservative GOP caucus he led in Raleigh.

But Democrats' criticism is not entirely accurate, and Tillis' campaign called the ads "shamelessly false."

McFadden wins GOP Senate nod in Minnesota

Businessman Mike McFadden swept to an easy victory for the Republican Senate nomination in Minnesota, where he'll face off against incumbent Democrat Sen. Al Franken in November. The race was one of the highlights of primaries held in three states Tuesday.

McFadden, who had received party endorsement back in May, argued he was the only candidate who could raise enough money to take on Franken. The one credible challenger he faced was state Rep. Jim Abeler, who ran a shoestring campaign from a reconditioned ambulance and raised only about $146,000. McFadden brought in $4.3 million.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce promised "aggressive" spending for McFadden when it endorsed him earlier this month, and the national party tapped McFadden to deliver its weekly radio address last Saturday.

Stuart Isett/Fortune Brainstorm Green photo

Steyer: Democrats need 'dropoff' voters this fall

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer said Tuesday that turnout of so-called "dropoff" voters who tend to skip mid-term elections will decide whether key Senate Democrats, including Mark Udall of Colorado, can win their races this fall.

"This is much more about showing up than it is about persuasion," Steyer, founder of NextGen Climate, said at a forum in Aspen hosted by the American Renewable Energy Institute.

Udall is facing a strong challenge from Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., in a race that is among a handful that are expected to determine which party holds a Senate majority during President Barack Obama's final two years in office.

"A lot of the people who most support energy and climate candidates like Mark Udall, are the biggest dropoff voters, for a variety of reasons," Steyer said. "They tend to be young -- his voters are probably more 'dropoff' than Cory Gardner's by a fair bit."

Bitterness defining Alaska's GOP US Senate primary

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Needing to net six seats in November to regain control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans ought to be able to count on reliably conservative Alaska as something of a gimme.

But they'll first have to settle on a candidate. And as the Republicans on next Tuesday's ballot snipe, bicker and fight their way toward the primary, some are worried their candidate — no matter who it might be — will emerge too weakened to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

Daines ad attacks ‘fringe environmentalists,’ Obama climate regs

Source: 
The Hill

He may not have a Democratic opponent at the moment since the withdrawal of Sen. John Walsh, but Senate candidate Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., has released a new ad anyway, which features a retired coal worker and attacks Obama administration climate change policies, The Hill reports.

Heitkamp a prominent Democratic backer of coal in Congress

Source: 
E&E

“Coal lady” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is a major voice for the industry on the Democratic side of the aisle on Capitol Hill, E&E reports, noting she’s sponsored a measure to promote new technologies like carbon capture and sequestration.

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