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Special Report

Which Incumbent Republican Refuses to Debate His Democratic Opponent?

Some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Rallying Cry

Education Secretary Arne Duncan reportedly invited his employees to attend Rev. Al Sharpton's counter-rally to Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor event on Saturday.

The Washington Examiner reports 4,000 employees received an internal e-mail for the Reclaim the Dream rally and march. David Boaz of the Cato Institute says that while the e-mail is legal, Education Department workers should still feel uneasy: "It sends a signal that activity on behalf of one side of a political debate is expected within a department."

No Debate

Incumbent Republican Congressman Steve King is refusing to debate his Democratic opponent -- again.

At a town hall meeting in Iowa on Monday, challenger Matt Campbell invited King to a live televised debate. King responded: "Judging by the fashion that you've conducted yourself, you have not earned it." Another questioner asked why Campbell hadn't earned the right. King answered that his opponent has focused on attacks, not issues.

King has not taken part in a formal debate since he was elected in 2002.

Higher Education

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has admitted awarding thousands of dollars in college scholarships to four relatives and a top aide's two children since 2005.

The Dallas Morning News reports that last week the Texas Democrat has denied any favoritism when asked about the scholarships.

Two days later, Johnson acknowledged violating the Congressional Black Caucus' anti-nepotism rules, but said she had done so unknowingly and would work to -- in her words -- rectify the financial situation.

The Rich Get Richer

The rich got richer in Congress during the recession. The Hill's annual review found that the top 50 lawmakers, worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009, were worth about $85 million more this year.

Democratic Senator John Kerry tops the list for the second straight year with a minimum net worth of $189 million. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa is next at $160 million.

Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller and Republican Congressman Michael McCaul round out the top five.