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Forming an Opinion

The moderate New Democrat Coalition will begin hosting forums with the presidential hopefuls beginning at 4 p.m. today.

The series kicks off with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). Next week, the New Democrats will meet with Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). The New Democrats will not make a group endorsement of any candidate. [IMGCAP(1)]

Welcome Wagon. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has tapped Rep. Mike Ross (Ark.) to serve as liaison to new Democratic Members.

Ross will help freshman Members continue to adjust to their first term in Congress by offering guidance, facilitating meetings on behalf of Pelosi and fostering relationships among Members.

Pelosi also has hired a new deputy communications director. Jennifer Crider, who most recently served as press secretary to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and spent five years with Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), will begin her new position later this month. Crider She succeeds Cindy Jimenez, who works on outreach for the Minority Leader.

— Erin P. Billings

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