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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Afternoon Fix: Murray to head DSCC; O'Malley takes over at DGA; McCaskill and Nelson support earmark ban, while Lugar doesn't

By Chris Cillizza

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* A source confirms that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will take over as the new chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. He replaces Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.

* The Senate voted down an earmark ban proposed by Republicans. Among vulnerable senators in 2012, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) crossed over to vote with Republicans in favor of it. Among Republicans facing potential tea party primaries in 2012, only Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) voted against the tea party-supported bill, while Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) voted for it.

* Potential 2012 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R) says whoever leaked classified information to Wikileaks is guilty of treason and should be executed.

* A new survey from Democratic-leaning automated pollster Public Policy Polling finds a four-candidate lead pack in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin leading the way at 21 percent, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (19), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (18) and Huckabee (16). Nobody else breaks 5 percent.

* Rep. Charles Rangel's (D-N.Y.) ethics report came out today, as the House debates whether to put his punishment - a formal rebuke - in writing or in person.

* Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) paid tribute to his friend, outgoing Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), on the floor of the Senate today, calling him "one of the most admirable people I have ever met."


* Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) two years ago pardoned a man who is now being accused of sexually assaulting a girl. Pawlenty, who is considering a presidential run, was one of three officials (including a Democratic attorney general) to approve the pardon for the man, who had been out of jail for more than a decade when the pardon came through. Does it still hurt Pawlenty?

* Lawyers for Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and GOP opponent Randy Altschuler began arguing over challenged ballots today, as the only undecided House race in the country went in front of a state Supreme Court judge. Bishop leads in New York's 1st district by 235 votes.

* A Republican National Committee member from Oregon wants an investigation into RNC Chairman Michael Steele's spending practices. Do candidates for RNC chairman jump on board at their debate Wednesday?

* White House senior adviser David Axelrod will be on the PBS Newshour tonight to discuss the president's bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders.

* 26 new members of Congress will gather at Harvard University this week to take part in a bipartisan congressional issues conference.


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With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | November 30, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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