Liz Halloran en High On Tea Party Hit List, Idaho Congressman Looks To Hold On Mike Simpson has been atop the Tea Party hit list for much of this election year.<p>And Tuesday's primary contest between the Idaho Republican congressman and Tea Party challenger Bryan Smith had been billed as a big one in a string of GOP primary mashups that would signal the sway of the Tea Party faction — or the ability of traditional conservatives like Simpson to fight back in a deep red state.<p>"It's been a real-deal campaign here in Idaho," says Skip Smyser, the conservative founder of Boise-based government relations firm Lobby Idaho.<p>In the campaign's waning days, however, internal Sat, 17 May 2014 18:12:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 60892 at In Idaho, A Debate Like You've Never Seen Before <p></p> Thu, 15 May 2014 18:50:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 60781 at In Caustic Nebraska Senate Race, GOP Battle Lines Are Blurred Conservative <a href="">money has poured</a> into Nebraska's Republican Senate primary race.<p>Big GOP names like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are on opposite sides.<p>And the attack ads have been brutal — including one that took a page directly from the Swift-boating of John Kerry's military record during his 2004 presidential run.<p>But that doesn't mean the contest to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Tue, 13 May 2014 10:52:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 60631 at The Congresswoman Whose Husband Called Her Home Fifty-six years ago this weekend, newspapers across the nation told a sad tale of a family seemingly imploding.<p>At the center of the story was Coya Knutson, the opera-singing daughter of a Norwegian farmer, and the first woman from Minnesota elected to Congress.<p>Voted in on her own merits, not appointed to keep a late husband's seat warm for a successor, the trailblazing mother could only watch as vengeful party rivals, a manufactured scandal, and a feckless, alcoholic husband combined to sabotage her career.<p>It all came to a head on the eve of Mother's Day 1958.<p>Never heard of the cha Sat, 10 May 2014 09:58:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 60499 at She's A Doctor, Mom, and Republican - But Conservative Enough? Monica Wehby is the Senate candidate Republicans have been waiting for: a camera-ready pediatric neurosurgeon, mother of four, in a party that desperately needs to elect more women.<p>Make that a candidate<em> some</em> Republicans have been waiting for.<p>The GOP establishment that wants her to be the party's Senate nominee in Oregon this fall has showered her with big money, attention and <a href="">endorsements</a> from the likes of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and mo Wed, 07 May 2014 17:47:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 60258 at This Could Be The Year Iowa Sends Its First Woman To Congress In its 168 years, Iowa has never elected a woman to Congress or picked one as its governor.<p>For many residents who pride themselves on a <a href="">progressive civil rights history </a>that predates statehood, that political reality has become an exasperating distinction shared with only one other state — Mississippi.<p>"It's very irritating to be grouped with Mississippi," says Roxanne Conlin, a Democrat and former U.S. Tue, 06 May 2014 12:39:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 60152 at Back From Recess, Congress Opens With Scandal A former FBI agent turned congressman from New York gets indicted on charges ranging from evading taxes and employing undocumented workers to lying under oath while a member of the U.S. House.<p>A married congressman from Louisiana announces he won't run again, just weeks after being caught on video in a passionate clutch with a married staffer.<p>And this in the wake of the recent resignation of former GOP Rep. Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:29:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 59559 at A Path Out Of Prison For Low-Level, Nonviolent Drug Offenders Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.<p>Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.<p>Cole listed six factors the Justice Department will use to "prioritize clemency applications" as part of the administration's effort to address long mandatory minimum sentences meted out after Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:02:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 59178 at Rand Paul Bids To Loosen Democratic Hold On African-American Vote For more than a year, GOP Sen. Rand Paul has been staking out positions on issues that resonate in the black community, including school choice and prison sentencing reform. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:35:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 58977 at Obama Seeks Wider Authority To Release Drug Offenders Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Obama administration is formulating new rules that would give it, and the president, far more latitude to pardon or reduce the sentences of thousands of drug offenders serving long federal prison sentences.<p>The move comes amid a broad national reconsideration of mandatory minimum sentences approved by Congress in 1986, when America's big cities were in the grip of a crack cocaine-fueled crime wave.<p>"The White House has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications, to restore a degree of justice, fairness, and proport Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:20:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 58966 at