John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
October 12th, 2010
05:04 PM ET

Tonight on JKUSA...

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has arrived on site at the San Jose mine where 33 miners have been trapped underground for 69 days. Rescue efforts to reach them could begin within the hour…Turn to John King, USA @ 7p ET…we’ll bring you all the LATEST from the ground!

Filed under: JKUSA
October 12th, 2010
04:24 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– In the latest Gallup survey, 72% of respondents have a negative view of government with many saying government is too big and corrupt. The Democrats and the Republicans both need to pay attention.

– Barack Obama on the campaign trail seems to be doing nothing more than further exciting Republicans and Independents to vote for Republicans.

– In Colorado, the Republican Party is on the cusp of (A) picking up a Senate Seat and (B) losing majority party status and automatic ballot access.

Senior Political Columnist for John Avlon:

– Carl Paladino’s calculated bomb-throwing over gay rights this weekend successfully hijacked the news-cycle and put him on every network. Responsible Republicans have been condemning his scripted comments, but it exposes a strain of anti-gay rights social conservatism that runs through some prominent Tea Party candidates, from Christine O’Donnell to Jim DeMint.

– Bill Clinton’s deployment this week on behalf of Democrats is an acknowledgement that they have lost the Bubba vote under President Obama – but it’s also an attempt to remind voters about DLC-era Democrats credibility with moderates and the middle class, especially when it came to fiscal responsibility. The over-heated Clinton hating by conservatives a decade ago now looks foolish – as Obama Derangement Syndrome will look one day.

– The rise of anti-China references in US campaign ads is not just about the outsourcing of jobs. It reflects concern over the growing US debt and an increasing understanding by the US electorate that China’s position as our creditor represents a long-term geo-strategic threat to our sovereignty.

Filed under: Bullet Points
October 12th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

What is the DISCLOSE Act?

On last night’s show John mentioned that an effort led by congressional Democrats to require disclosure of donors among independent political groups had fallen victim to partisan gridlock in the United States Senate. Known as the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act – or the DISCLOSE Act – Senate Democrats have filed for cloture on their bill twice but both votes were blocked by unified Republican opposition.

The bill first failed 57 to 41 along party lines in a roll call vote on July 27. Senators John Ensign (R-Nevada) and Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) did not vote.

After the July vote, Republicans accused Democrats of trying to protect their congressional majorities by carving out exceptions in the new legislation for groups sympathetic to their causes. In response, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) tried to win over Republicans by promising to postpone enactment of the new disclosure legislation until after November’s midterm elections.

Nonetheless, a cloture vote on the bill failed again along party lines on September 23. This time the Democrats rallied their entire caucus in support of the legislation, securing 59 votes, but no Republicans defected. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) did not vote.

In the run-up to the September vote, Democrats focused much of their efforts on moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, a frequent target of Democratic bargaining. In the end she voted with the rest of her caucus, releasing this statement explaining her opposition:

“I am deeply disappointed that the legislation currently before the Senate is a 117-page wide-ranging bill that does not apply equally to everyone who is engaged in campaign advertising, contains provisions that are clearly unconstitutional, and has never benefitted from full public review and vetting at even a single committee hearing… “When we first considered this measure in July, the American Civil Liberties Union – which opposes the bill – wrote to me that ‘this legislation would fail to improve the integrity of our campaigns in any substantial way while significantly harming the speech and associational rights of Americans.’ Given the fact that we’re now considering identical legislation, there is no reason to believe this bill will do otherwise.”

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October 12th, 2010
12:20 PM ET
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12:14 PM ET