Congress couldn't come up with the votes to form a commission to raise taxes yesterday, but in a surprising outcome, voters in usually anti-tax Oregon chose to raise taxes on high-income households and corporations. The stae voted 54%-46% yesterday to raise taxes on high-income households and corporations. Oregon's $10-minimum corporate tax hadn't changed since 1931. Expect Democratic lawmakers around the country to see this as validation that "tax the rich" may be palatable to voters in 2010. And that left-of-center populism can be just as potent as an anti-big government message.
FLORIDA: "Marco Rubio may be leading, but Charlie Crist has the cash to fight back. The Florida governor turned in a third-straight prodigious fundraising quarter between October and December, raising more than $2 million to bring his cash on hand to $7.5 million after just three quarters. The release of the numbers was timed to coincide with a Quinnipiac poll that showed Crist trailing Rubio 47-44 this morning," The Hill writes.
Crist said he "will be with" President Obama on Thursday if he can "work it out logistically," the St. Petersburg Times reports. The President will visit the University of Tampa where he may announce an award of high-speed rail money for the state.
MICHIGAN: "U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak said Tuesday he won't seek the Democratic nomination for Michigan governor this year and instead will run for re-election to Congress," the AP reports.
NEVADA: "Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may be trailing in the polls against prospective Republican challengers, but he still enjoys a major financial advantage as the 2010 campaign season gets underway," CQ Politics says. "Former state Republican party chairwoman Sue Lowden emerged as the top fundraiser in Nevada Senate GOP primary in the fourth quarter of 2009, her first quarter in the race. But her $800,000 haul is a pittance compared with the $7.5 million Reid raised through the first three quarters of the year and the $8.7 million cash on hand he had at the end of September. Reid has yet to release his year-end totals."
NEW YORK: "It's getting personal," the New York Daily News writes of the back and forth between Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and potential challenger Harold Ford. "A day after Harold Ford slammed New York's senators as 'parakeets' for always parroting the Democratic Party line, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand accused the ex-Tennessee congressman of running an 'in-the-gutter' campaign. 'I think it is an insult to New York that he comes and just starts calling names for everyone he feels like attacking,' Gillibrand said of fellow Democrat Ford, who is weighing a primary bid against her. 'I wouldn't allow my 6-year old to engage in that kind of name-calling,' she said, calling the 'parakeet' squawk 'unacceptable' for an aspiring senator."
And the New York Post being the New York Post (it's comical, really) says Gillibrand "went ballistic" on Ford and the headline says, "Parakeet flips the bird." Here's what she said, per the Post: "I really don't know who Harold Ford thinks I am but I'm not gonna be pushed aside [by] his banker buddies," she told The Post in an unsolicited phone call. "This guy aspires to be a US senator? Him calling me names doesn't hurt me but it affects New York because it distracts from issues."
TEXAS: Gov. Rick Perry's camp announced he would not be visiting the editorial boards for any Texas newspaper before the March 2nd primary election, the El Paso Times' Texas Capitol blog reports. A Perry spokeswoman told the paper, ""The best use of the governor's time is to be talking directly to Texans as opposed to traveling across the state to different newspapers to sit in a conference room for hours at a time."