- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 25, 2010

VIRGINIA

Vandalism may be linked to health vote

RICHMOND | Authorities are investigating a severed propane line at the home of a Virginia congressman’s brother after “tea party” activists posted the man’s address online.

Activists are upset about Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello’s vote in favor of the health care reform Sunday in the House.

Mr. Perriello’s office said that a line to a propane tank on a gas grill was cut at Bo Perriello’s Charlottesville home on Tuesday. Activists with the anti-spending tea party movement had posted the address online thinking it was the congressman’s home, telling opponents to drop by and “express their thanks” for his vote.

Albemarle County spokeswoman Lee Catlin said the county fire marshal’s office was assisting the FBI. She said investigators didn’t think the home’s occupants were in danger.

POST OFFICE

Board approves Saturday service cut

The U.S. Postal Service will move forward with its proposal to cut costs by ending Saturday mail delivery, its board of governors said on Wednesday.

The approval from the board allows the independent agency to take the next step by requesting a review opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission, a statutory requirement whenever a significant service change is made, a Postal Service spokesman said.

Eliminating Saturday delivery will ultimately be decided by Congress, as existing law mandates mail be delivered six days a week.

The Postal Service, which delivers nearly half the world’s mail, was hit hard by the global recession, reporting a $3.8 billion net loss for fiscal 2009.

MASSACHUSETTS

Judge won’t dismiss corruption case

BOSTON | A federal judge has declined to dismiss corruption charges against former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and three co-defendants.

But Judge Mark Wolf also said Wednesday that he would consider holding a hearing on whether newer charges filed against the four last fall should be dropped. The defense has argued that the charges in an expanded indictment are not related closely enough to the original case to be a part of it.

The initial indictment accuses the former speaker, a Boston Democrat, and his three co-defendants of a scheme to rig two lucrative state contracts for the software company Cognos in exchange for payments. The expanded indictment added extortion to the public corruption counts. All four defendants have pleaded not guilty.

ABORTION

Lawmaker raises cash on ‘baby-killer’ cry

Rep. Randy Neugebauer, the pro-life congressman who apologized to a fellow House member for shouting “It’s a baby-killer” during debate on the health care bill, is now running a campaign ad vowing to continue speaking out against abortion.

“You know what, I am never going to quit speaking on behalf of the unborn,” the Texas Republican, flanked by his wife, said in the 80-second video posted on his campaign Web site.

Mr. Neugebauer, during the often-raucous debate leading up to passage of the health care overhaul bill Sunday night, yelled out “It’s a baby killer” while pro-life Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan was speaking about abortion provisions in the bill.

Mr. Neugebauer apologized to Mr. Stupak, while saying he was attacking the agreement reached with the White House and not Mr. Stupak personally.

NUCLEAR ARMS

Kerry promises push on Russia deal

A leading U.S. senator said Wednesday he would push for Senate action this year on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, once it is completed with Moscow.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, was briefed on U.S.-Russia talks about the START treaty earlier Wednesday at the White House, along with Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar, the ranking Republican on the panel.

The two senators would play important roles in the ratification of any agreement. Obama administration officials say a deal is close.

NEW YORK

Senor won’t run for Senate seat

NEW YORK | Disappointing GOP officials, former Bush administration foreign policy adviser Dan Senor said Wednesday he will not run for the Senate seat held by Democratic freshman Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The financial executive and Fox News commentator issued a statement saying it wasn’t the right time in his personal and professional life for him to run. Mr. Senor is married to CNN anchor Campbell Brown, and the couple have two young sons.

Mr. Senor was a chief spokesman for U.S. postwar administration in Iraq after the invasion in 2003. National Republicans were enthusiastic about his candidacy, believing his business and foreign policy credentials would make him a strong challenger to Mrs. Gillibrand.

Mr. Senor had begun to assemble a campaign team that included operatives from the 2008 presidential campaigns of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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