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Wednesday
Feb292012

Rick Santorum’s ‘Google Problem’ Solves Itself

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rick Santorum may have a problem pulling off upset wins in GOP primaries, but he no longer has a Google problem. After years during which people got a vulgar term for anal sex as their first result when they searched the word “Santorum,” the site responsible for the prank has been bumped out of Google’s top five results.

For months, Santorum pleaded with Google, to no avail, to remove the vile definition propagated by the site “Spreading Santorum” from the search engine results. But it seems an extended run at or near the top of the GOP primary polls was the right medicine to knock the nasty definition out of the top search spot.

While the offending site still appears on the first page, links to Santorum’s campaign website, his Wikipedia page and Google news results all appear above “Spreading Santorum,” which was created by prankster columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage in retaliation for anti-gay comments Santorum made in 2003.

External links to Savage’s definition, such as a similar Urban Dictionary description, still appear in the top five results.

Back in September, when Santorum publicly called on Google to amend the search results, Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker said the search engine does "not remove content from our search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content and violations of our webmaster guidelines.”

“Google’s search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Web,” Stricker said in a statement. “Users who want content removed from the Internet should contact the webmaster of the page directly."

“Once the webmaster takes the page down from the Web, it will be removed from Google’s search results through our usual crawling process.”

Google did not immediately return a request for comment on the changed search results.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar282011

Ignoring Court Order, Wisconsin Governor Publishes Union-Busting Law

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- There's debate in Wisconsin about whether a law championed by Gov. Scott Walker to strip state and locals workers of most of their collective bargaining rights took effect Saturday.

Attempting to work around a court restraining order, Walker had the Legislative Reference Bureau publish the law online.  The governor contends it's now the law of Wisconsin because of its publication and that his "administration will carry out the law as required."

Union workers and Democrats aren't buying it and, as a result, there could be additional legal action ahead.  On March 18, a judge issued an injunction after hearing from the law's opponents that Republicans possibly violated Wisconsin's open meetings law when GOP state senators passed the union-busting statute.

Technically, the measure can't become law until it's signed by the secretary of state and published in the newspaper of record, the Wisconsin State Journal.  Neither has happened.

Walker may have overreached, since nothing in Wisconsin law about what makes a state law mentions anything about the Legislative Reference Bureau.  As of now, the Wisconsin Supreme Court hasn't talked about intervening in the matter.

The issue remains a hot potato in Wisconsin.  Republicans say the law is needed to bring down massive deficits, while Democrats say its true intention is to weaken union support for their party.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec082010

'Not Gonna Happen': Number-Two Senate Republican Rips Reid's Online Poker Push

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s effort to make online poker legal again could become a late add-on to a bill extending the Bush tax cuts, a possibility that a top GOP lawmaker Wednesday soundly denounced.

“It’s not gonna happen,” the Senate’s number-two Republican, Jon Kyl, replied when asked by ABC News if Reid’s online poker push could make it into the bill.

As ABC News has reported, Reid’s measure would change the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which in 2006 indirectly outlawed online gambling by making it illegal to use a credit card or checking account to place online bets. Now Reid wants to change the law to permit existing U.S.-based casinos and slot-machine makers to operate legal Internet poker websites.

According to a draft of the bill, Reid’s measure would legalize online poker in the US, establish licensing and reporting requirements for companies, provide new safeguards for consumers, and generate tax revenue from wagers for state and local governments.

But Reid’s online poker push has drawn the ire of congressional Republicans. GOP lawmakers such as Kyl have vowed to prevent Reid’s poker measure from becoming part of the tax bill. In addition, other Capitol Hill critics have argued that the Nevada lawmaker’s effort is nothing more than a favor for casinos based in his home state.

Meanwhile, the gambling industry could be rankled by the fact that Reid has apparently chosen not to follow Rep. Barney Frank’s lead and legalize forms of online gambling other than poker. Frank’s bill passed the House Financial Services Committee in July, but has since stalled.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio