- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 20, 2008

CONGRESS

State says it won’t charge Rep. Foley

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. | Former Rep. Mark Foley won’t face state charges for sending sexually explicit computer messages to male teenage aides because prosecutors couldn’t prove they were sent from Florida.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Friday its case against Mr. Foley is now closed. Authorities also say too much time has passed to press charges.

The Florida Republican resigned in 2006 after being confronted with the e-mails and instant messages he sent to Capitol Hill pages. He has since been under investigation by the state and FBI. Florida authorities say investigators could not get authenticated transcripts of the messages, so the case couldn’t be proven.

ELECTION

Clinton: Backers must aid Obama

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is stepping up efforts to swing her supporters behind Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, her former rival for the nomination.

In an outreach dubbed “Hillary Sent Me,” the New York senator was inviting her primary-season partisans Friday to get involved directly in Mr. Obama’s campaign and donate to it. As part of that, she was urging them to travel to a specific battleground state each weekend, beginning with New Hampshire on Sept. 27, while she will be campaigning for Mr. Obama in Michigan.

“Today I am asking all of you to stand up, hit the road and spread the word that we must elect Barack Obama president and we must send a filibuster-proof majority to Congress,” Mrs. Clinton was telling supporters in a conference call Friday, according to remarks provided to the Associated Press in advance. “This is a call to action. This is a must-do. We all have a role. And there is not a moment to lose.”

The New York senator has already campaigned for Mr. Obama in Ohio, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico and raised about $5 million for his campaign. “Hillary Sent Me” is her first explicit pitch to her grass-roots supporters to get involved, Clinton aides said.

ELECTION

Palin probe to end before election

The Alaska lawmaker directing an abuse-of-power investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin promised Friday the probe will be completed before the election, despite refusals by key witnesses to testify, including the governor’s husband.

After waiting 35 minutes for Todd Palin and two state administrative employees to appear under subpoena before the state Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Hollis French condemned their refusal to testify and the attorney general’s broken promise that seven other witnesses would testify who were not subpoenaed.

Mr. French said the retired prosecutor hired by the Alaska Legislature in the case, Stephen Branchflower, will conclude his investigation by Oct. 10. Still, that report will not include testimony from the Republican vice-presidential nominee, her husband or most of the top aides Mr. Branchflower hoped to interview.

Palin spokesman Bill McAllister declined to comment Friday. The McCain campaign said there are concerns about the effect of political influence on the Legislature’s inquiry and Palin will provide any information needed to a separate investigation by the Alaska State Personnel Board.

WHITE HOUSE

Vermont hopeful vows Bush trial

Lots of political candidates make campaign promises. But not like Charlotte Dennett’s.

Ms. Dennett, 61, the Progressive Party’s candidate for Vermont Attorney General, said Thursday she will prosecute President Bush for murder if she’s elected Nov. 4.

Ms. Dennett, an attorney and investigative journalist, said Mr. Bush must be held accountable for the deaths of thousands of people in Iraq - U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians. She believes the Vermont attorney general would have jurisdiction to do so. She also said she would appoint a special prosecutor and already knows who that should be: former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, the author of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” a new book.

The White House press office didn’t respond to a request for comment Thursday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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