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New Chief for Menendez

E. Ivan Zapien has been named chief of staff to Rep. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Zapien will serve in Menendez’s personal office after having served the House Democratic Caucus chairman as national outreach director since 2003. He has also worked at private law and consulting firms and at the Democratic National Committee.

[IMGCAP(1)]Menendez said in a statement that Zapien “brings a unique perspective to the job of chief of staff from his work as my National Outreach Director at the Democratic Caucus, his work in a Washington D.C. law firm and his campaign and fundraising work at the DNC.”

Motion Denied. A federal judge has denied EMILY’s List’s request for a preliminary injunction against the Federal Election Commission.

The group, which recruits and funds pro-abortion rights female candidates, had asked Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to enjoin the applications of new regulations that modified how political committees must allocate certain spending between hard- and soft-money accounts.

The new rules, which went into effect Jan. 1, require 527 groups to spend at least 50 percent hard money on voter mobilization activities that affect both federal and state elections.

But Kollar-Kotelly rejected the group’s motion, arguing that the group “has not demonstrated any right, statutory or otherwise, to the former system of allocation rules, which had no minimum hard money requirement for mixed activities.”

Natural Opponents? The movement to amend the Constitution to allow naturalized citizens to serve as president got two high-profile opponents this week when Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Joseph Biden (D-Del.) indicated they likely would not support such a change. The two, who have mulled 2008 presidential bids, spoke Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I think the Constitution probably has it right,” Santorum said. “I think there’s a lot more pressing issues.”

Biden took a slightly different tack, saying, “I am incredibly reluctant to amend the Constitution for any purpose.”

Several lawmakers have sponsored resolutions that would allow naturalized citizens to run for president. Although other possibilities have been mentioned, the focus of much of the grass-roots efforts thus far have come from people seeking to allow California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to run.

Keeping It Private. The legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union has added Timothy Sparapani as legislative counsel for privacy rights. He will focus on such issues as national identification cards and data-mining.

Sparapani, 30, formerly an associate at the law firm Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky, served as a volunteer handling domestic policy issues for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign. — Erin P. Billings, Amy Keller, Suzanne Nelson and Kate Ackley

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