- - Monday, October 18, 2010

ILLINOIS

Giannoulias denies role in bad loans, investment

CHICAGO | Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias describes himself as someone with the judgment and guts to make his own decisions, but he sometimes passes the buck on political liabilities.

In an interview Monday with the Associated Press, Mr. Giannoulias said he wasn’t involved in his family bank lending money to people linked to organized crime. He made the claim although he was one of the bank’s top executives and he personally inspected the property involved in one of the loans.

Mr. Giannoulias is the Illinois state treasurer and oversees a college-savings program. One investment option in the program lost about $150 million.

Mr. Giannoulias says he was just following the advice of financial experts when he continued to use the troubled investment plan.

The 34-year-old Chicago Democrat insists he would be an independent voice if elected to the Senate seat once held by President Obama.

Polls show Mr. Giannoulias locked in a statistical tie with Republican Rep. Mark Steven Kirk with about 2 percent of voters undecided.

NEVADA

Angle tells Hispanic pupils they look Asian

LAS VEGAS | Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle is seen in a new video making an unusual comment about race, telling a group of Hispanic students that some of them look “a little more Asian.”

In a meeting with Hispanic students Friday, Angle defended campaign ads that lean on images of dark-skinned men to blast rival Sen. Harry Reid’s record on illegal immigration. She claims she didn’t know the people in the TV spots were Hispanic.

A new video of the meeting released by the Las Vegas Sun on Monday shows the Republican candidate arguing that it is difficult to pinpoint someone’s race.

She tells the Hispanic students that some of the students look “a little more Asian” and says she herself has been called Nevada’s first Asian legislator. Mrs. Angle is white.

OHIO

Governor cites character contrast

COLUMBUS, Ohio | Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is seeking to paint a contrast in character between himself and Republican rival John R. Kasich heading into the final stretch of the race for governor.

At a campaign event Monday, the Democratic incumbent said that if re-elected, he can provide “stable, mature” leadership during a hard time for Ohio. Mr. Strickland calls Mr. Kasich’s proposals reckless, radical and “well outside the mainstream.”

The first-term governor turned up his verbal attacks on Mr. Kasich as he fights a lack of major-paper endorsements and a deficit in the polls. Mr. Kasich and his running mate continued statewide campaign stops Monday in which they planned to emphasize what they call Mr. Strickland’s economic failures.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama: Focus more on math, science

President Obama says the future of the country depends on educating students in science and math.

The president said achievements in those fields should get as much recognition as sports championships, although they often don’t. He said the U.S. is being outpaced by other countries, and he wants American students to move from the middle to the top in science and math over the next decade.

Mr. Obama made his comments while hosting a White House science fair Monday to celebrate students who have won science, technology, engineering and math competitions. He viewed student science projects set up in the State Dining Room, including one by a trio of boys who tested safety helmets and concluded that foam isn’t the best material to protect the head - gel is.

ALASKA

Senate candidate’s guards handcuff editor

ANCHORAGE, Alaska | An Anchorage prosecutor will decide whether to pursue charges in an incident that resulted in an editor being handcuffed by security guards at a town hall for Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller.

Guards hired by Mr. Miller’s campaign claimed they detained Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger after he “aggressively” pursued Mr. Miller and ignored requests to leave the event Sunday at an Anchorage school.

Mr. Hopfinger told KTUU that security pushed him as he tried to question Mr. Miller and that he pushed back.

Anchorage police have turned the results of their investigation over to the prosecutor.

A police spokesman says that if charges are pursued, it’s possible Mr. Hopfinger could face trespassing or that security could face an assault charge.

Mr. Miller has criticized the Dispatch, an online newspaper, for coverage he deems too negative.