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Posted at 5:29 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Afternoon Fix: Pete Domenici endorses Heather Wilson

By Chris Cillizza

Heather Wilson gets a high-profile endorsement, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) gets a sexual harassment lawsuit, and no less than five potential presidential contenders will appear at the same event in Iowa tonight.

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* Randy Bumps, the former political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has been hired by the public relations firm Direct Impact. "Adding Randy to our team is very exciting for DI," said CEO Dave DenHerder in a statement. DI is a subsidiary of PR giant Burson-Marsteller, focusing on grassroots-level outreach.


* Former New Mexico senator Pete Domenici (R) has endorsed Heather Wilson for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) "I wholeheartedly endorse Heather Wilson as the Republican candidate for United States Senate," he said at Wilson's campaign-launching press conference. Wilson, a former House member, ran for Domenici's seat when he retired in 2008. He did not endorse her until late in that primary fight, shortly before Wilson lost to Rep. Steve Pearce.

* Just after Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) announced that "there are consequences to sin" and that he will not run for reelection, Nevada's lieutenant governor put out a statement hinting at his own plans. "Today is not the day for any announcement on Lt. Governor Krolicki's political future," said a press release from his office. "In the coming days, he and his family will consider opportunities to best serve the people of Nevada." Krolicki is considered a Republican contender for Ensign's seat, along with Rep. Dean Heller and former state senator Sue Lowden. Heller also gave a statement, saying only, "This must have been a very difficult decision for John to make. He and his family have been through a lot. Lynne and I wish them the very best."

* The conservative group Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), alleging that he sexually harassed a female employee at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, where he was co-chairman for two years. In a statement, the lawmaker responded: "When all the facts are known in this case, the prevailing sentiment will be, 'How bizarre!'" Hastings was impeached and stripped of his post as a federal judge in 1989 after a bribery scandal.

* Donald Trump's lawyer flew to Iowa today, putting the "The Apprentice" star in potential legal trouble. The lawyer, Michael Cohen, insisted Trump was not involved in planning his trip, despite the fact that he flew one of the billionaire's personal planes. If the trip was aimed at testing the waters for a presidential bid, it falls under a strict set of fundraising requirements that appear already to have been violated.

* Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean had some kind words for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today, saying the Republican is "a reasonable person" and "a good Speaker," who "understands how you get things done in Washington."


* Five likely Republican presidential contenders - House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, and Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain - will all appear at an Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition at Point of Grace Church tonight at 8 P.M ET. Lucky for all us non-Iowans, it's airing on C-SPAN.

* J.B. Poersch, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the past three cycles, is joining political consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker. Before coming to the DSCC, Poersch worked 14 years as a chief of staff for Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) while frequently taking time off for campaign work. SKDKnickerbocker is also home to former White House communications director Anita Dunn. Doug Thornell came to the firm in January from the office of Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

* Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will headline a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party on March 25th. Dinner and VIP Reception tickets are $150 dollars. "I am very pleased to have an opportunity to help Chairman [Jack] Kimball and the New Hampshire GOP fund their fight for liberty and a return to constitutional government."

* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will also be in New Hampshire soon - she's being featured at a state GOP fundraiser brunch this Saturday.


It's a dog train, dog train:

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | March 7, 2011; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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Next: Jim Dyke signs on with Haley Barbour

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