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Rep. Keith Ellison fine with leaving Congress if he becomes DNC chair

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One of the arguments building against Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) as the new Democratic National Committee chair is that as a sitting member of Congress he wouldn’t dedicate his full attention to the DNC. But Ellison is willing to resign if he becomes the new chair.

At a forum in Denver, Colorado Friday afternoon, Ellison explained that he’s heard the concerns from DNC members and he understands them.

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“I’ve talked with a lot of you and it’s become very apparent that many of you feel firmly about this,” Ellison said.

“Though I love being in Congress – it allows me to serve my neighbors – I think it’s more important to build and strengthen the DNC and the Democratic Party,” he continued. “And so the election is Feb. 24. There’s still many I have to talk to. I’m hoping you’ll keep your minds open as we continue to talk.”

Ellison did say that he is looking for a way to be able to do both jobs adequately, however.

“I’m in the process of deciding this issue and whether I can perform both roles. But will it be my top priority? Absolutely,” he said about the DNC gig.

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One of the many complaints against former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was that she not only had another full-time job, she could use the opportunity to help fellow members of Congress. Another conflict of interest arose when Schultz faced a primary opponent this year. The Democratic Party is to remain neutral in primaries, but it causes a problem when the chair of the party is challenged in a primary.

Former DNC chair Howard Dean dropped out of the running for chair on Friday afternoon.

Ellison has been in the House since 2007 and is a co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. He’s already earned the endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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Judiciary Democrats schedule Trump ‘corruption’ hearing on ’emoluments and profiting off the presidency’

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The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a "corruption" hearing on President Donald Trump's business practices.

The committee on Tuesday, which is controlled by Democrats, posted a notification about the hearing on its website.

The hearing is titled "Presidential Corruption: Emoluments and Profiting Off the Presidency." It is scheduled for Sept. 23 at 2 pm. A witness list was not immediately available.

Trump's opponents have argued that he has violated the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution by profiting off foreign dignitaries who visit his hotels and restaurants.

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House GOP loses yet another incumbent as California’s Paul Cook announces retirement

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Another day, another retirement for House Republicans.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Rep. Paul Cook R-CA) is heading for the exits and retiring at the end of his term in 2020.

Instead of serving in Congress for another term, Cook will run for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, the congressman's chief of staff tells the Los Angeles Times.

Even though Democrats made major gains in California during the 2018 midterm elections, Cook's district will be difficult for the party to pick up. Cook last year won reelection with 60 percent of the vote and his opponent wasn't even a Democrat, but fellow Republican Tim Donnelly.

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Michigan Republicans thank ‘Uncle Ted’ Nugent for testifying after he says their state ‘doesn’t qualify as America’

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Republican lawmakers in Michigan invited conservative rocker Ted Nugent to testify even though he has said the state "doesn't qualify as America."

In testimony on the Michigan state House floor on Tuesday, Nugent spoke in support of a bill that would reverse a ban on deer and elk baiting. The ban was put in place in 2018 due to suspicions that chronic wasting disease (CWD) was being spread through piles of bait.

For his part, Nugent argued that the ban was ineffective because deer are "swapping spit."

"If they think they can stop deer from swapping spit, they're idiots," Nugent testified, according to The Detroit News.

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