- - Sunday, December 12, 2010

HOUSE

Boehner waiting for golf outing

Golf-loving Rep. John A. Boehner says playing 18 holes with someone is a good way to get to that person. That might be hint from the House speaker-in-waiting to fellow golfer President Obama.

Mr. Boehner is about an eight-handicap golfer, and when asked on CBS’ “60 Minutes” about being better than the president, Mr. Boehner said, “He understands that.”

Aides say Mr. Boehner doesn’t have much time for the game lately, and the Ohio Republican says he’s never had an invitation to play with Mr. Obama.

Mr. Boehner says the two have talked a number of times about playing, but it just hasn’t happened yet.

Mr. Boehner says that on the course, “You can’t be somebody that you’re not, because all of you shows up.”

WHITE HOUSE

Obama to talk job creation with CEOs

The White House says President Obama will discuss ideas for creating jobs and making the U.S. more competitive when he hosts about 20 CEOs on Wednesday.

The White House isn’t saying yet who’s on the invitation list for the event at Blair House.

White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki says the session will give the president a chance to continue building his relationship with the business community. Mr. Obama has said that’s an area he needs to work on.

Likely areas of discussion will include promoting exports and making sure the next generation is skilled enough to compete in a global marketplace. Other topics include tax reform, government regulation and the country’s medium- and long-term federal deficits.

PRESIDENCY

Axelrod expects no party rival in ‘12

President Obama’s chief political adviser says he doesn’t think the president will face a primary challenge in 2012.

David Axelrod tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that he sees “strong support” for Mr. Obama among Democrats. Mr. Axelrod says Democrats realize that Mr. Obama is “fighting hard, trying hard” to move the country ahead and that his administration already has accomplished a lot.

Mr. Axelrod does say that until the economy has recovered and the unemployment rate goes down, “you’re going to have static out there politically.”

He says the “biggest lament” he hears from Democrats is “you’ve done so much, how come people aren’t responding?”

BAILOUT

Top execs says pay limits problematic

The top executive at General Motors said Friday that the automaker’s attempt to rebound from its bankruptcy is being hindered by salary limits the government has clamped on executives at companies that accepted federal bailouts.

GM CEO Dan Akerson said in a speech to the Economic Club of Washington that the company faces many challenges, including the retention of top talent in its executive ranks. He suggested relaxing the pay limits, and said he was meeting later in the day with federal officials who oversee executive compensation for companies that received bailouts.

“We have to be competitive. We have to be able to attract and retain great people,” Mr. Akerson said, adding, “We’ve been able to retain them, but we’re starting to lose them, and I think that’s an issue for our owners to recognize that in their best interest, there should be some relaxing.”

Mr. Akerson said he recently informed executives there would be no salary increases in 2011 for about 26,000 white-collar workers. In a message to employees obtained by the Associated Press, the company said there would not be “any broad-based salaried merit plans in the U.S. or Canada.” GM said the decision was based on “controlling structural costs in all aspects of our business.”

Mr. Akerson is receiving a government-approved $9 million in annual compensation, including stock and salary.

He declined to comment when asked by reporters what he hoped to accomplish in the meeting with Pat Geoghegan, the government’s top official on executive pay.

ALASKA

Judge throws out Miller election lawsuit

JUNEAU | A judge has all but ended “tea party”-backed Republican Joe Miller’s hopes of getting legal relief in state court in his long-shot challenge of how the state counted write-in votes for incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in their Senate race.

Mr. Miller has until Tuesday to appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court the Friday decision by Judge William Carey to throw out his lawsuit. Judge Carey cited past decisions by the high court in his ruling, which takes effect Tuesday.

“Nowhere does Miller provide facts showing a genuine issue of fraud or election official malfeasance,” the judge wrote. “Instead, the majority of the problematic statements included in the affidavits are inadmissible hearsay, speculation and occasional complaints of sarcasm expressed by DOE (Division of Elections) workers.”

Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said Mr. Miller was mulling an appeal, and there were still outstanding issues “in terms of wanting to get a true and accurate count, and we don’t feel like we’re there yet.”

Mrs. Murkowski called on Mr. Miller to concede. “It’s time to end this. It’s time to say that the election is over,” she told the Associated Press.

The ruling marks a victory for Mrs. Murkowski, who sought to become the first U.S. Senate candidate since Strom Thurmond in 1954 to win as a write-in. Senators are scheduled to be sworn in Jan. 5, and the legal dispute has thrown into doubt whether someone from this race will be included.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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