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“I know that I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington,” Mr. Obama says. “But, I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

The ad is meant to draw a distinction with Mr. Obama’s chief rival for the nomination — New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Associated Press reports.

Date auction

In an unusual twist on presidential fundraising, supporters of Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat,are holding a date auction tonight.

“Over 100 young professionals from all over the DC-Metro area will meet on Wednesday night for an event to change America … and possibly their love lives,” organizer Jim McBride wrote in a press release announcing the event at MCCXXIII’s “Spank” event in Northwest.

Organizers will “auction” off 20 dates at the fundraiser, billed as: “Bid on your crush for Obama” and first reported yesterday on The Washington Times’ blog Fishwrap.

Barack Obama is the rare candidate that inspires young people to get involved and fun themes like a date auction are a great way to harness their enthusiasm toward supporting the campaign,” said Mr. McBride, president of Arlington Young Democrats who also founded a group for Democrat James H. Webb Jr. in Virginia last year during the U.S. Senate race. He said he plans to start “Generation Obama in DC” on Aug. 25 to mobilize young voters.

“We need [to] move on from this ‘Obama Girl’ hype and translate it into something meaningful that can help Obama win the nomination,” Mr. McBride said in the release, which had typos and misspelled the word “environment.”

Voter ID required

Georgia voters will be required to show a photo ID at the polls for a special election in September, following several years of court and legislative battles, the secretary of state said yesterday.

Opponents claim the photo ID law will disenfranchise minorities, the poor and the elderly who don’t have driver’s licenses or other valid government-issued photo IDs. Supporters say it is needed to prevent voter fraud.

A lawsuit contended the 2006 law was an undue burden on voters, and a Fulton County judge agreed, ruling the law unconstitutional. The Georgia Supreme Court threw out the case, though, finding the plaintiff lacked legal standing to challenge the law. On Friday, the high court denied a motion to reconsider.

Secretary of State Karen Handel said yesterday that the refusal to reconsider cleared the way for Georgia to implement the law for its Sept. 18 special election.

A lawyer challenging the law in federal court said he will ask a judge to block it yet again, the Associated Press reports.

Religious spat

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