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Thursday
Sep302010

Former GOP Senator Bucks the Trend in Rhode Island Gov. Race

Photo Courtesy - Chafee for Governor(WARWICK, R.I.) -- As Tea Party fervor spreads across the country, one former Republican senator, Lincoln Chafee, is looking to revitalize centrism and make history in his home state of Rhode Island by becoming the first independent governor in the state's history. Even though the state is overwhelmingly blue, only one of the last four governors has been a Democrat. Most polls show a neck-and-neck race between Democrat Frank Caprio and Chafee, considered to be the most liberal candidate on the ballot.

What Chafee has going for him is a strong base of support and the backing of a family that has a long history in Rhode Island politics. Chafee's father, John, a Republican, served both as governor and U.S. senator.

Chafee may be somewhat of a Republican refugee but he served more than seven years in the Senate and left with an approval rating of 63 percent, especially high for a losing incumbent. He's also separated himself from the pack with an unusual stance -- raise taxes. In a state with a staggering budget deficit and an unemployment rate of 11.6 percent, above the national average, Chafee's opponents have seized on his proposals. The former senator argues that an increase in sales tax wouldn't adversely impact economic growth.

Chafee quietly split from the Republican Party in 2007 after a loss to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. In a brutal primary and election, Chafee was painted as a Bush supporter, though he often diverged from his party, supporting abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Chafee was the only GOP senator to vote against the Iraq war. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep302010

Write Off: Mike Castle Won't Pursue Write-In Bid

Photo Caption - House.gov(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- Defeated Delaware Republican Senate contender Rep. Mike Castle announced he would not pursue a write-in bid against fellow Republican Christine O’Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons.

"While I would have been honored to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate, I do not believe that seeking office in this manner is in the best interest of all Delawareans," Castle said in a statement. "Therefore, it's time for Jane and me to begin thinking about the next chapter of our lives."

Castle's announcement means he won’t go the way of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, even though the Alaska Republican’s write-in effort appears to be gaining some steam. A CNN poll put GOP nominee Joe Miller’s support at 38 percent, followed by 36 percent for Murkowski and 22 percent for Democrat Scott McAdams, among the state’s likely voters. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep302010

Allred: I Have Letter Proving Meg Whitman Is Lying

Photo Courtesy - Jose Luis Villegas-Pool/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Meg Whitman said Thursday that she did not report her long-time housekeeper to immigration officials after finding out she was in the country illegally because "I didn't think it was the right thing."

The Republican candidate for governor of California spoke shortly before lawyer Gloria Allred was scheduled to hold a news conference in which she promised to produce proof the Whitman knew that her housekeeper of nine years, Nicky Diaz, was an undocumented alien. Whitman repeated denials that she was aware of Diaz's true status, but declined to report her to authorities after the woman confessed to her.

Allred told ABC News Thursday that she would produce a letter sent by the Social Security Administration to the Whitman household in 2003 informing the family that the Social Security number of Diaz, their housekeeper and nanny, did not match the name on file. Allred said the letter should have been "a tip-off" to Whitman and her husband that they were employing an undocumented immigrant.

Whitman, who appeared alongside her husband, Griffith Harsh, said such a letter never reached her desk and may have been intercepted by Diaz. "If there is a letter out there I don't know how they got it," she said, "it's not in our house."

(NEW YORK) -- Attorney Gloria Allred told ABC News on Thursday that she will produce evidence that proves Meg Whitman was lying when she denied knowing that her longtime housekeeper was an undocumented worker. It’s a 2003 letter to California’s Republican candidate for governor from the Social Security Administration, asking her to explain why her housekeeper’s social security number didn’t match the name on file.

“We are going to produce [the letter] today and what this shows is total hypocrisy on [Whitman's] part that she is denying that she received it,” Allred said. “Because she knows that shows that that was a tip-off to her and her husband that she was employing an undocumented worker.”

But Whitman denied ever knowing that her nine-year housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, was illegal, and said she never saw any letter from the SSA.

"When we hired Nicky we used an employment agency. Nicky provided her social security card, a California drivers license, she filled out a 1099 because we told the employment agency we have to hire people only who are documented to work here, so we had no idea that she was not here legally.”

Whitman also suggested that Allred’s revelation is a trick coordinated with Jerry Brown’s campaign. Allred denied that.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

O’Donnell: Education Claims, LinkedIn Profile a Fraud

Photo Courtesy - Christine2010(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- In the latest twist in the saga over Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell’s alleged embellishment of her educational background, O'Donnell denies that a LinkedIn profile at the center of the scrutiny is hers.

“There have been reports that I have released false information on a LinkedIn profile under my name.  This is categorically untrue,” said O'Donnell in a statement through her spokeswoman Hayley McConnell. “I never established a LinkedIn profile, or authorized anyone to do so on my behalf.”

The LinkedIn profile lists Fairleigh Dickenson University, Claremont Graduate University and the University of Oxford in the Education section. But O’Donnell has no record with Claremont Graduate University and her attendance at the Phoenix Institute did not earn academic credit at Oxford.

“I have always been clear about my educational background.  I completed undergraduate work at Fairleigh Dickenson University.  After my undergraduate work, I completed a summer program run by the Phoenix Institute, at the Institute’s Oxford University location.  The Institute runs programs around the world at various universities, and participants study issues of human dignity.  I also completed a Lincoln Fellowship at the Claremont Institute in Claremont, CA,” she said. “We would encourage LinkedIn to remove this profile.”

The O’Donnell campaign’s website -- Christine2010.com – does not list LinkedIn under the “Social Networks” tab, though it does link to her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Still, Greg Sargent of the Washington Post notes, O’Donnell’s spokeswoman did not previously claim the LinkedIn profile was a fraud when questioned recently about its contents.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

President Obama to Meet with Democratic Congressional Leaders

Photo Courtesy - Speaker(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and other congressional Democratic leaders will visit the White House Thursday to meet with President Obama before Congress breaks for recess, a White House official told ABC News. It is the last visit top House and Senate Democrats will make before the mid-term elections that could significantly change the leaders’ status. Reid is vulnerable in his re-election efforts and Republicans are likely to re-capture the House, thus leading to a Pelosi demotion, if not resignation. Should Democrats lose control of the House they could seek a new leader.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Pelosi with a 50% unfavorability rating, worse than any other politician or political group polled. The poll also proposed a number of political scenarios for the post-mid-term landscape and asked which ones respondents found acceptable and unacceptable; 51% of those polled found unacceptable the prospect of Pelosi remaining Speaker.

Nevada polls indicated that Reid is locked in a dead heat with Republican challenger Sharron Angle.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

Boost for NY Gubernatorial Candidate?

Photo Courtesy - Paladino for the People(BROOKLYN, N.Y.) -- Less than two weeks after calling New York Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Carl Paladino, “more of a caricature than a candidate,” the head of the state’s Conservative Party will urge his members to endorse the GOP contender at a meeting of party leaders on Wednesday.

New York Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long told ABC News that although “some of our people are a little uptight” about the primary season friction between conservatives and Paladino, “as chairman of the party, I don’t have the option of being uptight.”

Long said he is hoping to turn the “mixed views” of many of his members toward Paladino into an endorsement -- a move that would provide a boost to the Republican candidate who is battling Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

Texas Governors' Race Goes National as Parties Eye Long-Term Gains

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- It’s not a state where national Democrats tend to spend heavily, but that is changing in this election cycle. Democrats are eyeing the opportunity to recapture the Texas governor's seat for the first time in 15 years, in a race that could have an impact on national elections for years to come.

Texas, the second largest state in the country, is expected to gain four House seats -- the most of any state -- according to private firm Election Data Services, which analyzed Census Bureau population estimates. The national interest in Democratic candidate Bill White's campaign makes the race unlike any other in recent Texas history. White is the top recipient of in-state and out-of-state donations among all Texas candidates, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. The Democratic Governors Association considers this to be a “top tier” pick-up opportunity and the group has poured in $2 million into White's campaign.

The Texas election also gives a good insight into the Hispanic vote. The group voted overwhelmingly for George W. Bush but the immigration debate and the hoopla over the social sciences curriculum earlier this year could shift the tide in favor of Democrats.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

President Obama: "Christian By Choice...Jesus Spoke To Me"

Photo Courtesy - The White House(ALBUQUERQUE, NM) -- At a backyard town hall in Albuquerque on Tuesday, President Obama was asked why he is a Christian.

“I’m a Christian by choice,” the president said. “My family didn’t -- frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week.  And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me in the church.”

Obama said he came to his Christian faith later in life "because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead."

"I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes," the president said. "What we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace.”

“That’s what I strive to do," Obama said. "I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith.”

Because of his Muslim roots – his father was born Muslim, though was not observant – the president’s religion has long been a topic of conversation and smears. Last month a poll indicated that a growing number of Americans mistakenly believe that he is a Muslim.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

The Presidential Planner: Wednesday, Sept. 29th

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama wakes up in Des Moines, Iowa Wednesday where he will hold a backyard discussion on the challenges facing the middle class. Governor Chet Culver and Mayor Frank Cownie of Des Moines will also join the event. The president will then travel to Richmond, Virginia, for the last stop of his "Moving America Forward" tour, where he will meet with a local Richmond family at the Southampton Recreation Association before hosting a discussion on the economy with families from the area. In the evening, the President will return to Washington, D.C. after his four-state three-day tour.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

Congress Struggles to Pass Government Funding Bill

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Only days remain before lawmakers leave Capitol Hill to focus on campaigning for their jobs in Congress.  Yet, on the eve of their departure, they have not fulfilled their most basic duty of funding the government.  Not a single appropriations bill has passed Congress this year, leaving the government at risk of shutting down later this week. It won't happen, but it's another telling sign of the bipartisan stalemate in the nation's capital.  Democrats blame Republicans for obstructing their plans and blindly blocking every proposal.  Republicans, in turn, blame Democrats for ignoring their suggestions and stubbornly trying to jam every proposal down their throats.

The only solution to keep the government running once the fiscal year ends on Thursday is to pass a stop-gap funding bill. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to proceed to debate on the bill, which would keep the government funded at 2010 levels through early December.  The bill seems likely to pass the Senate sometime Wednesday, paving the way for Congress to adjourn until after the November election.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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