Afternoon Fix: Democrats raise money off ‘birthers’

at 05:17 PM ET, 04/22/2011

Democrats are bringing up birthers, Susan Collins doesn’t support the Ryan budget, EMILY’s List is getting into the NY-26 race and John Ensign’s replacement will be chosen before May 3.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* The Democratic Governors Association is fundraising off of ‘birthers’ with an e-mail highlighting attempts to force presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates. Top Republicans, including Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, have been trying to put distance between the GOP and the birther movement.

* EMILY’s List has endorsed Democrat Kathy Hochul in the NY-26 special election, a sign that this race isn’t completely over. Democrats in Washington have been basically silent on the seat vacated by disgraced Rep. Chris Lee (R), but the pro-choice group has decided they have a good chance here. There’s a third-party candidate (Jack Davis, a millionaire running on the ‘Tea Party’ line) that they think could split the Republican vote with GOP nominee Jane Corwin. With a national fundraising juggernaut on her side, Hochul certainly has a better shot than she did before.

* Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) says he's being treated for a curable form of colon cancer and will continue to work while undergoing radiation therapy.

* A New Hampshire poll found that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate who would beat President Obama in the state. While Obama’s numbers in the state are not very good, he beats all the other likely contenders. Other polls in the state have found similar results.

* Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has quietly erased from the congressional record his claim that abortion makes up 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s business. He took a lot of flack for the claim, especially after a staffer told reporters it was “not intended to be a factual statement.” The permanent transcript now reads, “If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that is what Planned Parenthood does.”

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* President Obama might have a problem on his left. His “strong favorability” with liberal Democrats has dropped 10 points, and the perent of liberal Democrats who say they will “definitely” not vote for the president in 2012 has gone up eight points. His approval rating among liberals is still high, but the slipping numbers could be a warning sign for enthusiasm in the next election.

* Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) plans to announce a replacement for Sen. John Ensign (R) before the May 3 deadline, when Ensign’s resignation takes effect. “I take very seriously the importance of this appointment, so to speculate on potential candidates for appointment before then would be premature,”said the governor. He’s widely expected to pick Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who had already launched a campaign for the seat, but there’s always the possibility of a surprise.

* Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the first Republican senator to oppose the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). “I don’t happen to support Congressman Ryan’s plan but at least he had the courage to put forth a plan to significantly reduce the debt,” she told a local news station.

* One of the longest-serving and most liberal members of the Obama administration’s economic team is leaving the White House. Jared Bernstein, economic adviser to Vice President Biden, will join the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A White House official told the Wall Street Journal that Bernstein decided to leave largely because his campaign for more stimulus spending was going nowhere.

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