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Monday
Oct042010

First Lady To Host Conference Call For Vote 2010 Update

Photo Courtesy -- The White House(WASHINGTON) -- The First Lady is not slated to formally hit the campaign trail until Oct. 13, but on Wednesday “the closer,” as she was affectionately dubbed by her husband, will host a conference call with “Organizing for America” supporters to give an update on the race just four weeks before Election Day.

“She'll talk about the work we've all been doing together and the importance of volunteering in the final four weeks before the November elections,” Mitch Stewart, the Director of OFA, says in an e-mail. He adds, “With so little time until November 2nd, this update with Michelle Obama will be an exciting way to get motivated for the work we have left to accomplish together.”

The call scheduled to take place Oct. 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern time.

Copyright 2010 ABC News


Monday
Oct042010

Christine O'Donnell Ad: 'I'm Not A Witch'

Photo Courtesy -- Christine2010.com(NEW YORK) -- “I'm not a witch," Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell assures voters, who may be concerned that she once "dabbled" in the dark arts, in a new ad released by her campaign on Monday.

"I'm nothing you've heard," O'Donnell continues in the 30-second spot -- the first of the general election -- "I'm you."

The ad features a spare background, quiet piano notes and O’Donnell, the GOP candidate who has sparked controversy for her past statements on witchcraft, abstinence and evolution, speaking directly into the camera.

“None of us are perfect, but none of us can be happy with what we see all around us,” she says. “Politicians who think spending, trading favors and back-room deals are the ways to stay in office. I’ll go to Washington and do what you’d do.”

O'Donnell defeated Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., to win the Republican Senate nomination and is facing off against Democrat Chris Coons in the general election. Her campaign has gained notoriety from a steady stream of video clips released by television personality Bill Maher, who often featured O'Donnell as a guest on the show he hosted for nearly 10 years, "Politically Incorrect."

In the ad's finale, O'Donnell repeats one of her opening lines: “I’m you."

Copyright ABC News Radio


Monday
Oct042010

McMahon Hits Blumenthal on Vietnam Claims in New Ad

Image Courtesy - Linda McMahon for Senate 2010(WEST HARTFORD, Conn.) -- If Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal thought his campaign had moved past the controversy over misleading statements he made about his service during the Vietnam War, he was wrong.

Blumenthal’s Republican opponent, Linda McMahon, released a new television ad on Monday using a clip of Blumenthal suggesting that he served in Vietnam.

The 30-second spot comes on the same day the two were expected to meet for their first official debate of the general election.

The ad features what the McMahon campaign said was a newly-uncovered clip of Blumenthal embellishing his service during the Vietnam War period at a 2003 appearance in Bridgeport, Conn.

The New York Times first reported in May the Democratic Senate hopeful had taken liberties with his military record -- he did not serve in Vietnam, but received a series of deferments before joining the Marine Corps Reserve. Blumenthal acknowledged his misstatements, but largely dismissed them as a series of “misplaced words.”

Though a Quinnipiac University poll released in mid-September suggested that for most voters the Vietnam issue would not be a major factor in their decision on Election Day, the race has been tightening and now both candidates appear to be running neck-and-neck in the final weeks of the campaign.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

Catholic Bishops Meddling in Minnesota Governor's Race?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Four weeks before voters head to the polls, Catholic bishops in Minnesota have raised an issue that has largely taken a backseat to the economy and jobs this election season: renewing calls for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

While such advocacy by religious groups is not uncommon, never before has the message come in the form of a DVD mailed to all Catholic households in the state. And, some say, never before has such a campaign appeared so political.

Because one candidate in the state's three-way race for governor, Republican Tom Emmer, opposes same-sex marriage, the church's message and its timing amount to an unambiguous endorsement, critics say.

The anonymous donation to the archdiocese that funded the production of more than 400,000 DVDs has also stoked questions about the proper role of religious institutions in the political process.

Five bills introduced during the state's 2010 legislative session would legalize gay marriage. The state's new governor would play a key role in deciding whether any bill that might pass should become law.

Democrat Mark Dayton and Independent Party candidate Tom Horner both support same-sex marriage.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

Obama Makes Pitch for Louisiana Democrat

Photo Courtesy - Cedric Richmond for Congress(WASHINGTON) -- In his first political ad of the general election season, President Obama is endorsing Democratic Louisiana state legislator Cedric Richmond, who is running against the only House Republican to vote in favor of the administration's health care reform bill last November.

“The city of New Orleans has had its trials, but you’ve also had great champions, fighting to see you through the tough times,"  Obama says in the 30-second spot. "Cedric Richmond is one of those champions.”

Richmond is pitted against incumbent Rep. Joseph Cao in the state’s 2nd Congressional district.

“New Orleans needs Cedric Richmond in Congress, and so do I,” the president says.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

Supreme Court Takes Up Military Funeral Protests

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As it kicks off its term on Monday, the Supreme Court will weigh in on several cases, including whether or not church members have a right to protest at military funerals.

In the case of Snyder v. Phelps, the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder sued members of the Westboro Baptist Church's Phelps family after they protested at his son's funeral.

As they have at many other military funerals, the church members carried signs near the funeral with messages thanking God for dead soldiers and others stating that God hates homosexuals.  Snyder was not gay. The Topeka, Kansas church members say they are protesting the federal government's tolerance of homosexuality and that soldiers' deaths are a divine message about America's sins.

Albert Snyder, father of Matthew, sued for emotional distress and an invasion of his family's privacy, winning $5 million before the ruling was overturned by a federal appeals court. The court said that Westboro's protest was "rhetorical hyperbole" protected by the First Amendment. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

September Marks Successful Fundraising Month for Democrats

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that September was its most successful fundraising month of the year. It raked in more than $16 million last month, nearly $3 million more than their previous high in March.

"Demonstrating the increased energy we've seen in the polls and among our grassroots activists, more than 80 percent of the more than $16 million we raised in September came from low dollar donors online and in the mail," DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in a statement. "We've found that our supporters are now focused on the election, are responding to the president's message laying out the choice and understand the stakes."

To keep up what the Democrats see as growing momentum heading into the final weeks before Election Day, President Obama will head back out on the campaign trail later in the week.  He will make stops in New Jersey for a DNC dinner, followed by visits to Prince George’s County, Maryland to attend an event for Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Chicago to campaign for Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

Sharron Angle Caught on Tape Blasting GOP Leaders

Photo Courtesy - Friends of Sharron Angle(LAS VEGAS) -- In a secretly recorded audio tape obtained by Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun, Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle can be heard speaking with a third party candidate, both boasting about her clout in Washington and blasting Republican leaders for their lack of principles.

“The Republicans have lost their standards, they’ve lost their principles,” Angle says. “Really that’s why the machine in the Republican Party is fighting against me. ...They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less government.”

But Angle says her grassroots support gives her “juice” with Republican leaders in Washington.

“I go to Washington, D.C. and want to see Jim DeMint, he’s right there for me. I want to see Tom Coburn, he’s right there for me. I want to see Mitch McConnell, he’s there,” she says.

“Sharron expressed what many working families in Nevada and across the country are feeling,” Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen told ABC News in reaction to the audio recording. “They are angry with Harry Reid, they are angry with Washington D.C., and they want blunt plain-spoken leaders who are willing to shake things up.  Sharron represents the interests of Nevada, not the interests of Washington D.C. like Harry Reid does, and that's why she is going to win.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

Tea Party Fever Means Big Cash from Small Donors

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a year of record-setting campaign fundraising and spending, driven largely by contributions from corporations, unions, third-party groups and dozens of self-financed millionaire candidates, the small-scale individual donor is also proving to be a formidable force.

A snapshot of Federal Election Commission (FEC) campaign finance data compiled by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute, and reviewed by ABC News, shows that of the more than $731 million raised so far by more than a thousand candidates for the U.S. House, nearly 10 percent came from donors giving no more than $200 total.

Candidates in races involving high-profile Tea Party-endorsed candidates, some of whom have a virtual lock on re-election, top the list of grassroots fundraisers.

The findings offer a striking illustration of the political engagement sparked by the Tea Party this election season and demonstrate that the recession has not diminished small-scale political fundraising in many congressional races.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

GOP Senate Candidate Wants to Abolish Federal Minimum Wage

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller now has the solid support of the Republican establishment, but in an exclusive interview with ABC News, he makes it clear he's determined to shake up Washington and the Republican party in a big way.

"We aren't going there to play ball, we're going to make sure things get done," Miller said in a wide-ranging interview with Politico's Mike Allen and ABC's Jonathan Karl. Miller wants to roll back the power and size of the federal government to a degree not seen for 70 years or more.

When asked if there should be a federally mandated minimum wage, something that has existed since Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, Miller said, "That is clearly up to the states.  The state of Alaska has a minimum wage which is higher than the federal level because our state leaders have made that determination. The minimum level again should be the state's decision."

Furthermore, in response to whether or not there should be a federal minimum wage, Miller said, "There should not be.  That is not within the scope of the powers that are given to the federal government."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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