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Afternoon Fix: Bruce Bartlett calls Rick Perry an ‘idiot’

at 05:21 PM ET, 08/19/2011

Bruce Bartlett called Rick Perry an idiot, Joe Walsh might have a primary challenger and the dueling Senate campaign committees raised nearly the same amount of money in July.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Former Treasury Department official Bruce Bartlett called Texas Gov. Rick Perry an “idiot” on CNN this morning for his comments about Treasury Secretary Ben Bernanke. Bartlett, who served in the administrations of both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said, “Rick Perry's an idiot, and I don't think anyone would disagree with that.”

* The email accounts of Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and most of his transition team were accidentally deleted by the private company hosting them soon after he took office, a potential violation of the state’s public records law. In response to requests from the Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times, Scott’s office attempted to recover the emails through their personal accounts. But it’s impossible to know how many messages from those two months were lost.

* The Minnesota GOP has agreed to pay a federal penalty of $170,000 dollars because of improper money transfers and financial reporting omissions between 2006 and 2008, in response to a complaint to the Federal Election Commission from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. The party said the errors and ommissions were unintentional.

* Republicans aren’t the only ones criticizing President Obama during the recess. “I believe Oregon is very much in play,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) told a local news station. “I mean we are one of the harder hit states in the union, particularly my part of the state. I’ve just done six town hall meetings, have seven to go but people are shaking their heads and saying ‘I don't know if I’d vote for him again.” He said Obama hadn’t handled negotiations with Republicans agressively enough: “Fight? I don’t think it’s a word in his vocabulary.”

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Assistant DuPage County State Attorney Rick Veenstra (R) has launched an exploratory committee to run in Illinois's new 8th district, currently represented by outspoken Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.). Walsh could still run int the district, which will lean Democratic under redistricting. But there’s a good chance the tea party-backed Walsh will instead run a primary campaign against Rep. Randy Hultgren (R) in the new 14th district. Whoever wins the GOP primary in the 8th will face a tough race. Former Veterans Affairs official Tammy Duckworth and former Obama adviser Raja Krishnamoorthi are both in on the Democratic side.

* Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) just won a seat in the 36th district, but she’s planning to run in the new 44th district after new lines are drawn. (California’s bipartisan redistricting commission has created a game of musical chairs) . According to a new internal poll she is well-positioned for that race. She takes 47 percent of the vote in a primary matchup with Rep. Laura Richardson (who currently represents the 37th but also plans to run in the 44th) and Assemblyman Isadore Hall. Hahn is the only white potential candidate in a district that where 28 percent of voters are black, but according to her polling she has a higher favorability among African-Americans than Richardson.

* The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $2.74 million in July, giving the group $9.21 million on hand and $1.8 million in debt. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised a near-identical $2.72 million; they have $4.14 million on hand but no debt. Senate Democrats are reportedly concerned that the Obama campaign is sucking up so much cash that big donors will have nothing left for them.

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