Court Orders Immediate "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Injunction

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips on Tuesday ordered a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, effective immediately. 

The court order, which would affect all service members abroad and in the United States, also requires the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigation under "don't ask, don't tell."

"We have just learned of this ruling.  We are now studying it and will be in consultation with the Department of Justice," said Department of Defense spokesperson, Cynthia Smith.

The government will have 60 days to file an appeal.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Why Won't Alaska GOP Candidate Answer Personal Questions?

Photo Courtesy - Joe Miller for US Senate(JUNEAU, Alaska) -- Amid questions about Joe Miller’s record as an attorney, the Alaska Republican Senate candidate says he will not answer any more personal questions and accused the media of “journalistic impropriety.”

Speaking to reporters Monday, Miller said he has “drawn a line in the sand. You can ask me about background, you can ask me about personal issues -– I’m not going to answer.”

The announcement came on the heels of a report by the Alaska Dispatch that Miller used equipment at the Fairbanks North Star Borough while he was employed there to oust Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich. Two media outlets filed a lawsuit against the borough Monday to release Miller’s employment records.

On Monday, the Tea Party favorite dismissed the claims as the “latest political attack.” Miller resigned as attorney at the borough in September, 2009 after seven years.

“For the final three weeks of this campaign, I am going to talk about the critical issues facing our nation and my ideas to turn things around,” Miller said in a statement to ABC News.

The little-known attorney defeated Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a primary that stunned the Republican establishment. Backed by the Tea Party Express and an endorsement from Sarah Palin, Miller campaigned aggressively against Murkowski and accused her of supporting President Obama’s agenda. He is currently leading in the polls against Murkowski, who is running as a write-in Republican candidate, and Democratic candidate Scott McAdams.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Senate Candidate Faces Questions About Rape Case

Photo Courtesy - Buck for Colorado(DENVER) -- Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck is taking heat for not prosecuting a rape case five years ago on the basis there wasn’t enough evidence.

The victim was a college student at the University of North Colorado when she was allegedly raped by an ex-boyfriend while drunk in her home. This week, she released tapes of her meeting with Buck, then a Weld County district attorney, who argued there is not enough "proof beyond reasonable doubt" to take the case up to the jury.

Buck told the victim  even though she never said yes to sex with her suspect, it appeared to be consensual because she called him over and had a prior relationship with him. Buck also warned the victim against filing any other motions because “it will be very public, publicly covered event.”

The conservative candidate has often been the target of women’s groups for his stance on abortion. He has argued abortion should be illegal even in the cases of incest and rape. Earlier this year, he supported an amendment to the state constitution that would directly challenge the federal government over fetus rights, although he later changed his position.

Buck is a Tea Party favorite who defeated the Republican establishment favorite’s Lt. Gov. Jane Norton in the primary. Multiple polls show him ahead of his Democratic opponent, Michael Bennet.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Karl Rove: Obama 'Hypocritical' on Disclosing Donors

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Republican strategist Karl Rove called the president “hypocritical” when asked if he would disclose the names of donors to his conservative Crossroads GPS group that supports Republican campaigns.

"He had no problem at all with this when groups were spending money on his behalf in 2008 and not disclosing donors. He had no problem at all not disclosing his own donors, tens of millions of dollars of contributions to his campaign,” Rove said.

“Now he turns around because Republicans have taken up and started doing the same things Democrats have been doing for years,” he said.

Due to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, companies can donate an unlimited amount of funds anonymously. At a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Vice President Biden accused Rove of raising money from “shady sources” and even challenged Rove to “tell me that this money isn’t coming from billionaires and millionaires, insurance companies, oil companies, major executives who have about as much in common and concern with the people in northeast Pennsylvania as I don’t know what.”

Rove passed on Biden’s challenge, but when asked about Obama’s accusation that those unknown donors could be “foreign-owned companies” he told ABC News the money is not coming from foreign companies.

“We do not solicit foreign entities and we tell people that we will not accept foreign money and it is illegal since 1907 for foreign money to be involved in American political campaigns,” he said. “We have it on our materials that no foreign money can or will be received.  And let me just tell you, all the area codes I’m dialing are inside the United States.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Eye Doctor Looks to Repeal Health Law

Photo Courtesy - Friends of Nan Hayworth / YouTube(NEW YORK) -- Nan Hayworth says she has spent her career helping New Yorkers see better. Now she's hoping they'll see her as their new representative in Congress.

Hayworth, the former head of an ophthalmology practice, is the Republican candidate in New York's 19th congressional district north of New York City, running against incumbent Democrat John Hall. Hayworth may be one of the most unlikely candidates this fall, but she is clear about her highest-priority issue: repeal President Obama's health care reform law.

That's not all she wants to repeal -- the new Wall Street reform law should be done away with, too, she says.

Democrats in the White House and Congress, she argues, have hurt the economy -- not helped it -- with a series of actions ranging from federal bailouts to new regulations.

Reduce the size of government. Cut back federal spending. It's a familiar argument from Republican candidates trying to capitalize on a wave of anti-government sentiment in tough economic times. While Hayworth has not been endorsed by organizers of the Tea Party movement, she says she considers herself part of the "outcry for shrinking the size of the federal government."

Whether that will be enough for this political novice to unseat Hall in a traditionally Democratic district remains to be seen. But victory won't come easy. Hall recently hit Hayworth with an ad arguing she wants to privatize Social Security, a charge Hayworth denies.

With Election Day fast approaching, Hayworth sounds confident of victory. Asked if she's going to defeat Hall, she sounds like the most famous Tea Partier of all, Sarah Palin.

"You bet," she replies.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Anger Over Economy Fueling GOP Advantage

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- America's economic discontent is playing strongly in the Republican Party’s favor in the upcoming midterm elections.  The latest ABC News/Yahoo! News poll finds that Republicans are markedly more likely than other Americans to describe themselves as “angry” about the economy.  And angry people, by a wide margin, are more apt to blame the Democratic Party than the GOP for the problem.

Angry citizens are also far less apt than others to believe the economy’s started to show signs of recovery.  That pessimism intensifies their hunt for change.

All told, 85 percent of Americans are either angry about the economy or at least dissatisfied with it, according to the survey, produced for ABC and Yahoo! News by Langer Research Associates.  That makes economic discontent even higher than the 71 percent of Americans who said they are angry or dissatisfied with “the way the federal government is working” in an ABC News/Washington Post poll last week.

Twenty-five percent of all adults in this survey said they were angry.  Among registered voters, just 12 percent of Democrats, 30 percent of independents, and 41 percent of Republicans are angry about the economy.

Among those who are angry about the economy, 54 percent blame both parties equally.  But 35 percent say they’re more angry at the Democrats, which is more than triple the number, 10 percent, who aim their ire at the Republicans.

Notably, blame shifts among the larger group of people who are dissatisfied with the economy, but not angry about it.  They’re six points more apt to be dissatisfied with the Republicans than with the Democrats.  Mere dissatisfaction, though, is less of a motivator.  In the ABC/Post poll, it was angry people who were the most apt to say they’re certain to vote.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Country Divided on Tea Party's Future

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The country is at odds over the future of the Tea Party movement.  The latest ABC News/Yahoo! News poll shows three in 10 Americans would like to see the Tea Party political movement form a separate political party of its own.  Nearly as many would rather it remain a force within the Republican Party, while a quarter just want it to go away.

The results, in a survey produced for ABC and Yahoo! News by Langer Research Associates, marks the promise and challenge of the Tea Party movement as it contemplates life beyond 2010.

On one hand, support for forming a new party, at 31 percent, is well over the 19 percent Ross Perot garnered in his independent presidential campaign in 1992.  On the other, it means seven in 10 feel otherwise.

Twenty-eight percent want to see the Tea Party as an element of the Republican Party, while 25 percent would like to see it “disband and leave the political scene.”  That leaves a 16 percent of Americans undecided.

There are differences among groups.  Fifty-five percent of Republicans would like to see the Tea Party continue as a force within the GOP, while only 24 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats agree.  About a third of independents and Democrats alike, 34 percent, would like to see it form a new party, which is more than the 23 percent of Republicans who say so.

An additional 34 percent of Democrats, 27 percent of independents and 11 percent of Republicans would best like it if the Tea Party just boils away.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Carl Paladino: 'I Could Have Used Some Better Words'

Photo Courtesy - Paladino for the People(NEW YORK) -- Following a barrage of criticism over his remarks that being gay is not "equally valid or successful" as being straight, the Republican candidate for governor of New York said he could have stated it differently.

In an interview with ABC News Radio on Monday, Carl Paladino offered no apologies about his remarks, but conceded, “I could have used some better words.”  He also denied being insensitive, adding, "Was I in any way insensitive to the homosexual, the gay crowd?  In my mind absolutely not."

Paladino declined to clarify what better words he could have used but said, “My position on gays has never changed.  I have gays working for me and I have gays in my family.  I am unequivocally 100% for gay rights but there’s one exception and that’s gay marriage.  I’m a Catholic and I believe in my church’s holdings and I can’t accept gay marriage.”

When asked about his own moral failings that run contrary to Catholic doctrine he said, “We’re all human.  We all have human traits, human frailties, human weaknesses, that’s life.”

 Paladino asked his critics to look at the "whole man" before condemning him.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Endorses John Raese In Competitive W.Va. Senate Race

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin weighed in on one of the most competitive races in the country on Monday, throwing her support behind Republican businessman John Raese in his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in West Virginia.

"The last thing Washington, D.C. needs is another rubber-stamp vote for President Obama and the liberal agenda," Palin said in a message posted on her Facebook page.  "John Raese has the courage and independence to stand up to the Washington politics of Reid and Pelosi."

Palin's contention that Raese's Democratic opponent, W.Va. Gov. Joe Manchin, would be a "rubber stamp" for Obama echoes a frequently-used GOP talking point in the Senate contest. Raese has used the same language on the campaign trail and in his television ads.

Once the presumed frontrunner, Manchin has been struggling in the matchup against Raese, who has attempted to tie the popular governor to the president at every turn.

The Palin endorsement comes on the same day that former President Bill Clinton traveled to West Virginia to campaign on behalf of Manchin.  "Don't let this guy play you," Clinton said of Raese, who recently came under fire for campaign ads that sought to portray West Virginia residents as “hicky.”

In her Facebook post on Monday, Palin wrote that after "another great week of travel across our country" she is seeing a growing "commonsense grassroots movement" taking root -- one that she is helping to seed.  In addition to Raese, Palin endorsed eight Republican House candidates from Michigan, Virginia, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi and Utah.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Is Foreign Money Behind U.S. Chamber of Commerce Ads?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- To many Democrats, the accusation by President Obama and other party leaders that foreign money might be bankrolling some pro-Republican political attack ads sounds both compelling and ominous -- but is it fair?

"We learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign sources," President Obama said last week, referring to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the second biggest spender in the midterm elections, behind only the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

A Democratic National Committee TV ad warns conservative third-party groups like the Chamber are "stealing our democracy" and spending millions in "secret foreign money to influence our elections."

An ad by the liberal group asks, "Where has the Chamber been getting some of their money lately?  From foreign corporations in countries like China, Russia and India -- the same companies that threaten American jobs."

Yet while Obama is trying to tie Republicans and some of their backers to the specter of foreign interference in U.S. elections, an examination of the evidence provides little support for the claims.

"We have no idea if the Chamber or any 501(c) organization as defined by the IRS code is taking foreign money for the purposes of playing politics," said Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics. "Saying that that foreign money is actually going toward attack ads or any type of messaging in the political realm, you just don't know. It's speculation and nothing more."

Some funding for the Chamber of Commerce does come from foreign companies and foreign-based Chamber affiliates (called "AmShams") similar in operations of some international nonprofit groups and labor unions.

Chamber of Commerce director of media relations J.P. Fielder said that money goes to the group's general fund and then to the international division, keeping it away from any political activities.

"No foreign money is used to fund our political activities," the Chamber said in a statement, citing the rules established by Congress more than a century ago.

"We are seeing an attempt to demonize specific groups and distract Americans from a failed economic agenda," said the Chamber's vice president for government affairs Bruce Josten of the charges.

"They have not one shred of evidence to back up that baseless lie," said Republican strategist Karl Rove of the claims.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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