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NEW YORK

Prison dorms urged for welfare recipients

NEW YORK | A Republican candidate for New York governor wants to turn prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients so they can get state-sponsored jobs, job training and lessons in "personal hygiene."

Carl Paladino is a Buffalo real estate developer popular with many conservative "tea party" activists. He's competing for the Republican nomination with former Rep. Rick Lazio. The primary is Sept. 14.

Mr. Paladino says the dormitory living would be voluntary, not mandatory, and would give welfare recipients an opportunity to take public state-sponsored jobs far from home.

He also defended his remarks about the hygiene of welfare recipients, saying he had trained troops from inner-city communities during his years in the Army and was familiar with their needs.

Mr. Paladino made his comments at an editorial board meeting with the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y.

VIRGINIA

Ex-lobbyist pleads not guilty to charges

ALEXANDRIA | The owner of a now-defunct defense lobbying firm has pleaded not-guilty to charges that he funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions.

Paul Magliocchetti entered his not-guilty plea Friday at federal court in Alexandria, Va. Prosecutors allege that Mr. Magliocchetti, who had close ties to the defense subcommittee's former chairman, the now-deceased Rep. John P. Murtha, funneled contributions to members of Congress under other people's names.

His son, Mark Magliocchetti, has already entered a guilty plea in federal court and is expected to be a witness at his father's trial.

A trial date for Paul Magliocchetti was set for Oct. 5.

Paul Magliocchetti, of Amelia Island, Fla., declined to comment after Friday's hearing

FUNDRAISING

Democrats hold money advantage

The Republican National Committee's $5.5 million in July receipts includes a $900,000 insurance payment, helping boost anemic fundraising by the national party.

Federal campaign reports show that Democratic Party committees maintained a cash-on-hand advantage over their Republican counterparts as they entered the final three months before the election.

The Republican Party's insurance payment was from Illinois National Insurance, a subsidiary of insurance giant American International Group. A party official said the money was for an insurance claim but said there was a confidentiality provision in the agreement. The official was not authorized to discuss the claim publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The official said the payment was not related to AIG's financial troubles, which required a massive federal bailout.

Even with the claim, the RNC's receipts were less than half the $11.6 million raised by the Democrats. The Democratic Party reported $10.8 million in the bank and $3.5 million in debts; Republicans showed $5.3 million in the banks and $2.2 million in debts.

The RNC is by far the GOP committee struggling the most, creating anxiety among Republican operatives and increasing pressure on outside groups to help make up the financial gap.

CALIFORNIA

State GOP hoping for breakthrough

SAN DIEGO | For the first time in memory, California Republicans have a diverse statewide slate of candidates to field this fall, a group their party chairman calls an "inspirational ticket."

Coupled with national momentum for conservatives, the California GOP is hoping this might be their breakthrough year.

But it's far from clear whether California voters will see the same glitter the GOP faithful did at this weekend's state GOP meeting in San Diego.

Democrats have a nearly 15-point voter-registration advantage in California and they're working hard to retain the moderate voters who have helped them dominate.

They face a fundraising challenge, though, in billionaire former eBay CEO Meg Whitman's gubernatorial campaign against Jerry Brown, and national support for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina against Sen. Barbara Boxer.

HOUSE

GOP hits spending, calls for cuts

Republicans are again accusing Democrats of out-of-control spending and taxing, arguing in favor of slashing government expenditures.

In the weekly Republican radio and Internet address, Rep. Charles Djou of Hawaii calls on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow the House to consider Republican spending-cut plans.

Mr. Djou says Washington's answer to every problem has been to spend more and more money. He says "no price tag has been too high for Washington, and now we're all paying the price."

He again accused the administration of planning to "impose job-killing tax hikes on families and small businesses."

He says the deficit can't be fixed without tax and spending cuts to spur real economic growth.

INTERIOR

23,000 oil workers hit by drilling ban

The deepwater oil-drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico costs at least 23,000 jobs, according to a federal document that weighed the economic impact and alternatives to the drilling ban.

A six-month suspension would directly put 9,450 people out of work and indirectly affect nearly 14,000 other jobs, according to a memo from Michael Bromwich, the nation's top drilling regulator. The July 10 memo to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar outlined several options regarding the suspension of offshore drilling.

Mr. Salazar issued a moratorium in June, but it was struck down by a federal judge in New Orleans after oil- and gas-drilling interests said it wasn't justified following the Gulf oil spill.

The Obama administration issued a new moratorium July 13 - three days after the memo - that stressed new evidence of safety concerns. The White House hopes the revised ban will pass muster with the courts.

The moratoriums were put in place following the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion April 20 that killed 11 people. Millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf after the rig sank.

MISSOURI

Money, manpower cited to stem losses

ST. LOUIS | Democrats are expressing optimism that the party's financial might and voter-turnout operations will help stem widespread losses in this fall's election.

They say the GOP's governing track record also might help.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic Party chairman, told Democratic National Committee members that the party is going to do better than people think in the midterm elections.

He pointed to strong July fundraising - an $11.5 million haul leaving it with $10.8 million in the bank. He also noted their proven get-out-the-vote operation built upon the success of the 2008 presidential election that delivered Barack Obama the White House.

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