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Posted at 5:22 PM ET, 03/ 9/2011

Afternoon Fix: Date set for New York special election

By Chris Cillizza

Republican strategist Mike Murhpy is headed to Revolution Agency, Tim Pawlenty is headed to New Hampshire, and a date has been set for the NY-26 special election.

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President Obama and the leveling effect


* Republican strategist Mike Murphy is joining the public affairs firm Revolution Agency. Murphy's former clients include John McCain, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Murphy told the Fix he had several offers to work on presidential campaigns in 2012 but had decided to stay out of the mix, citing "quality of life and time demands of Hollywood work and punditry. Revolution also recently signed on Bob Honold, a rising star in the Republican operative world.

* Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a ban on the death penalty in his state today, making it the 16th state to abolish capital punishment. A moratorium on executions has already been in place in the state for the past 11 years. "We have found over and over again: Mistakes have been made. Innocent people have been freed. It's not possible to create a perfect, mistake-free death penalty system," Quinn said after signing the legislation.

* Former NPR executive Ron Schiller, who was planning to leave for the non-profit Aspen Institute, has resigned from that position before he even began. In light of a video showing him making disparaging comments about Republicans and tea party activists, Schiller has been placed on leave at NPR and will never start what was to be his new job. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation) has also resigned over the video controversy.

* Conservative advocacy group Crossroads GPS is out with an ad running on national cable, attacking unionized government workers and highlighting President Obama's ties to unions. The National Republican Trust PAC is up with television ads in Wisconsin, saying it's time for union workers "to pay their fair share, get real, and get back to the jobs they're lucky to have."

* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) doesn't expect Romney to come to Utah to campaign for him, but, "He would do it if I asked him to." Hatch backed the former Massachusetts governor in the 2008 election and says he would support him again if he runs in 2012. "We can't do better," Hatch said.


* A date has been set for the special election in New York's 26th district, so mark your calendars: May 24. Republicans have chosen Assemblywoman Jane Corwin as their candidate; Democrats have yet to pick a nominee, but Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul is seen as the frontrunner.

* Likely GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty is set to have dinner in New Hampshire tomorrow with the sponsor of what's been dubbed a "birther" bill. Freshman state Rep. Susan DeLemus, the wife of Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC leader Jerry DeLemus, sponsored legislation that that would require presidential candidates to present their birth certificates when filing to run for president in New Hampshire. Pawlenty is also attending a house party at the home of former Senate candidate and head of the Granite Oath PAC Ovide Lamontagne.

* House Speaker Newt Gingrich has revealed a bit more on his plans to announce plans to run for president. Gingrich told former staffers and supporters today that he hopes to announce his bid in late May, at noon, in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall. He'll reportedly start direct mail solicitations and telemarketing efforts in the next couple weeks.

* House Democrats are holding a Twitter town hall on the budget tomorrow from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. Eastern Time. "Democrats in Congress are hearing nonstop from our constituents about their concerns with the irresponsible GOP spending bill. This Twitter town hall is a chance for us to directly respond to those concerns," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn) in a statement. Anyone can follow the town hall at and submit questions by tagging them on Twitter with #AskDems or emailing them to

* Julianne Moore will play Sarah Palin in an upcoming HBO adaptation of the gossipy 2008 campaign book "Game Change." Jay Roach is directing - he also made HBO's "Recount," about the 2000 Florida presidential election.


David Broder on the media elite:

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | March 9, 2011; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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