- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TEXAS

Judge orders DeLay trial first

AUSTIN | The judge in the money laundering case of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says he wants the former congressman from the Houston area to be tried first, before two co-defendants.

Senior Judge Pat Priest said, in a pretrial hearing Tuesday in Austin, that Mr. DeLay has been demanding a trial for five years.

Now that prosecutors are suggesting they’ll press different charges of election code violations against co-defendants John Colyandro and Jim Ellis - essentially severing their cases from Mr. DeLay’s - Judge Priest says he won’t give them a trial before Mr. DeLay.

Mr. DeLay and his co-defendants were indicted in 2005 in connection with efforts to fund and elect Republican state legislative candidates in 2002. The defendants contend they’ve nothing wrong.

No trial dates have been set.

SENATE

GOP primary loser still fighting Reid

A vanquished Republican candidate is making a comeback in Nevada’s U.S. Senate race, but not on the November ballot.

Businessman Danny Tarkanian, who finished behind fellow Republican Sharron Angle in the state’s June primary, has formed a political committee to launch a website and run radio and TV ads dissecting the voting record of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Democrat running for re-election.

Mr. Tarkanian’s campaign won’t be flattering. The Las Vegas-based group Harry Reid Votes will remind residents of the “poor decisions” Mr. Reid has made for Nevada, Mr. Tarkanian said Monday.

“The votes that he has been making haven’t been a big focus of the race,” Mr. Tarkanian said. “We feel the majority of Nevadans will feel they were not good votes.”

The group formed last week joins an array of independent political organizations pouring millions of dollars into the Nevada race, which polls show is a dead heat.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Tarkanian’s group, Audrey Mullen, said the website will have interactive features that will allow visitors to take quizzes on Mr. Reid’s voting record and answer the question, “How much is Harry Reid like you?”

The organization was formed under a section of the federal tax code that allows it to raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals, unions or corporations.

COLORADO

Tancredo picks running mate

DENVER | Tom Tancredo has picked former Republican lawmaker Pat Miller to be his running mate in Colorado’s gubernatorial race, citing her legislative experience and her active anti-abortion campaigns.

Mr. Tancredo announced his choice on KHOW-AM radio Tuesday, the deadline for minor parties to report the results of vacancy committee changes to the secretary of state.

Mr. Tancredo left the Republican Party in July to run for governor as a member of the American Constitution Party. He told party officials that he wanted to choose his own running mate, and Doug Campbell, the running mate chosen by the party’s original candidate, agreed to step down.

Mrs. Miller, 63, ran twice for Congress as a Republican and lost both times to U.S. Rep. David Skaggs, a Boulder Democrat who held office from 1987 to 1999. She served one term in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1990 to 1992 but lost her bid for re-election.

Mrs. Miller said she knows what it takes to win races, and she also knows what it’s like to lose.

In 1994, she ran against Mr. Skaggs and received 43 percent of the vote. In 1996, she ran against him again and was chosen by 35 percent of voters after audiotapes surfaced of Mrs. Miller bragging at a 1994 campaign rally that patriot groups could count on her support if she was elected to Congress.

Mrs. Miller told the group that there “are a lot of things near and dear to my heart that I don’t talk about a lot in the press because I’m getting called all kinds of names. I don’t want to give them any more.”

Mrs. Miller called it “gutter politics” and guilt by association.

OHIO

Attorney general under Nixon dies

COLUMBUS, Ohio | William Saxbe, a Republican maverick who became the fourth attorney general to serve under President Richard M. Nixon and presided during the Watergate investigation, died Tuesday. He was 94.

Mr. Saxbe, who served in the Ohio legislature and as state attorney general, died at his home in Mechanicsburg, northwest of Columbus, said his son, Charles Saxbe.

Nixon’s first two attorneys general were accused of Watergate-related crimes and the third, Elliot Richardson, resigned to protest Nixon’s efforts to limit the investigation into the break-in and cover-up attempts.

Searching for a nominee who would be easily confirmed, the president chose Mr. Saxbe, a lame-duck one-term U.S. senator who had once labeled the Nixon administration “one of the most inept” in history.

Mr. Saxbe took office in 1974 served for just longer than a year. He resigned Feb. 1, 1975, six months after President Ford took office, to become ambassador to India.

SENATE

Tests show Durbin free of cancer

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, doesn’t have cancer.

Joe Shoemaker, a spokesman for Mr. Durbin, said Tuesday that a growth that the senator had removed from his stomach earlier this month was benign. Doctors had found no traces of cancer before Mr. Durbin’s surgery, but the type of tumor he had removed can be cancerous.

Mr. Durbin is the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate. He underwent surgery on Aug. 12. After surgery, a full biopsy was performed and showed no signs of cancer. Doctors also performed tests on other parts of Mr. Durbin’s body but detected no cancer.

Mr. Shoemaker said Mr. Durbin won’t require any additional treatment for the tumor and is resuming a full schedule.

WEST VIRGINIA

Safety violations widespread at mines

CHARLESTON | Federal regulators say recent surprise inspections show that despite increased enforcement, underground coal mines continue to violate safety laws.

Mine Safety and Health Administration director Joe Main says it’s appalling to keep finding egregious violations, such as those revealed by the agency Tuesday.

MSHA says it found miners working under an unsupported roof at a Tennessee mine, and sections of a West Virginia mine were closed after inspectors found numerous serious violations.

Other problems turned up at two Kentucky mines, including an International Coal Group operation that was issued 43 citations last week.

An ICG spokesman had no immediate comment.

MSHA stepped up enforcement after an April explosion that killed 29 in West Virginia.

From wire dispatches and staff reports