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Inouye on Hoekstra: ‘His racist thoughts are not welcome in the United States Senate’

Inouye blasts Hoekstra, Bob Turner might have a challenger, Karen Handel has resigned and Palin veteran has a new PAC.

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* Sen. Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii), the longest serving senator in Congress and the son of Japanese immigrants, blasted former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) today for airing an ad that played on Asian stereotypes. “America should expect much more from a candidate for a high federal position,” Inouye said. “His racist thoughts are not welcome in the United States Senate.”

* Karen Handel, the vice president of public policy at the Susan B. Komen foundation, resigned today. Handel, a Republican who ran for governor of Georgia in 2010, acknowledged that she played a role in cutting grants to Planned Parenthood but was “deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterization” of her involvement. Those grants have been restored after a backlash against the organization.

* The American Teachers Federation unanimously endorsed President Obama today for reelection. The powerful union, which represents 1.5 million teachers, will now start campaigning for the president.

* Obama’s position on gay marriage hasn’t changed — ie, he’s still “evolving” — in the wake of the federal appeal’s court decision that California’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.


* The Times Square street vendor who alerted police to an attempted car bombing is running for Congress. Duane Jackson will run as a Democrat against Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) in New York’s Republican-leaning 19th district, just north of New York City. "It was kind of an epiphany for me,” he said of his role in the bomb scare. “I can tell people, especially young people and people in the minority communities, it's OK to get involved in the running of this country.”

* Queens-based state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D) is moving towards challenging Rep. Bob Turner (R), the upset winner in last year’s special election for the seat formerly held by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D). “In September, a lot of people in the district wanted to send a message,” Lancman told Roll Call. “But in November, they’re going to want to send a Congressman.”

* Missouri gubernatorial hopeful Dave Spence (R) got on national television last night — as the butt of a Jay Leno joke. Leno mocked Spence for claiming to have a degree in economics when he actually majored in home economics.

* Rob Johnson, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign manager, has a new gig. The longtime Texas operative will run a super PAC supporting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s Senate bid. Dewhurst faces former state solicitor general Ted Cruz and ESPN analyst Craig James and former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert in the primary.

* A group of Republican activists are launching a new political action committee to support conservative female candidates. Tim Crawford, who served as treasurer of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s PAC; Teri Christoph, founder of Smart Girl Politics; and former Louisiana Senate candidate Suzanne Haik Terrell are behind ShePAC.


Sad yet cute.

Aaron Blake

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


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