- - Tuesday, October 26, 2010


School nixes Biden rally

PHILADELPHIA | A Democratic congressional candidate says a Pennsylvania school district is playing politics by canceling an event headlined by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Mr. Biden is set to campaign Wednesday for Democrat Bryan Lentz in the homestretch of a close race for an open congressional seat in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Mr. Lentz, a state representative, is facing Republican Pat Meehan, a former U.S. attorney.

Mr. Lentz’s campaign manager says he had a deal to hold a rally at Radnor High School.

But school board member Pattie Booker says the event was canceled when it became clear Mr. Biden would be campaigning during school time, not giving a policy speech. She says it would be inappropriate to have students and staff on hand.

The event will instead be held at a township-owned gym.


Opponents slam “shove” remark

PROVIDENCE | The three opponents of Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio criticized him in a televised debate Tuesday for saying President Obama can “shove it” for failing to endorse him, with one calling him a “knucklehead” and another saying he acted like a “petulant child.”

The debate was the first for the candidates since Mr. Caprio said Monday that Mr. Obama could “take his endorsement and really shove it” after he learned the president wouldn’t endorse anyone in the race.

Republican John Robitaille, a senior aide to outgoing GOP Gov. Donald Carcieri, said Mr. Caprio’s response wasn’t the one of a governor but was immature or of a “petulant child.” Moderate Party candidate Ken Block called Mr. Caprio a “knucklehead.”

Independent Lincoln Chafee endorsed Mr. Obama in 2008 and said the comments were unfortunate. His campaign Tuesday was airing a new ad showing the onetime Republican senator with Mr. Obama during the 2008 campaign.

Mr. Caprio maintains he never asked for Mr. Obama’s endorsement.


Obama to stump in Virginia race

A Democratic official says President Obama will campaign in Virginia on Friday for embattled Rep. Tom Perriello.

Mr. Obama will speak in Charlottesville at a rally for Mr. Perriello, who narrowly won his seat in 2008 and is again locked in a highly competitive race, this time against Republican state Sen. Robert Hurt.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the president’s schedule has not been announced.

Mr. Perriello voted for Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul, and hasn’t backed away from the president’s agenda during this election season. His district is home to the University of Virginia, and is more than 20 percent black, giving Mr. Obama the opportunity to reach out to constituencies with whom he is popular.

A White House official said Friday’s event was added at the request of Democratic House leadership and Mr. Perriello’s campaign.

Mr. Hurt’s campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement that Mr. Obama’s visit will solidify that Mr. Perriello has been “a lapdog” for the president, representing Mr. Obama’s interests and not those of Virginia voters.

With the Nov. 2 election fast approaching, Mr. Obama is spending much of this week at the White House. He’ll wrap up his midterm elections campaigning on a two-day, four-state swing this weekend as he makes a final push to rally Democrats ahead of Election Day.


Jury selection set for DeLay

AUSTIN| A jury has been chosen in Texas for the trial of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is accused of illegally financing Texas GOP legislative races in 2002.

After more than eight hours of jury selection in Austin, a panel of six men and six women as well as two alternates were picked Tuesday to hear the Texas Republican’s case. Testimony is expected to start Monday.

Potential jurors were quizzed on whether their political beliefs could interfere in their ability to make an impartial decision about Mr. DeLay, a highly polarizing public figure. Most said it wouldn’t affect them.

The former Houston-area congressman, 63, is charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Mr. DeLay, once one of the most powerful Republican politicians in Washington, insists he committed no crime.


Panel reviews regional airlines

A federal panel is examining whether regional airlines are being held to the same safety standards as their major carrier partners.

The National Transportation Safety Board is holding a two-day forum beginning Tuesday on “code sharing” agreements that allow major carriers to sell seats on flights operated by smaller carriers.

The agreements have proliferated since the 1990s. Regional airlines now account for half of domestic departures and a quarter of all passengers. They provide the only scheduled service to more than 400 communities.

A regional airline crash that killed 50 people in western New York last year drew attention to what critics say are two levels of safety a higher level at major carriers, a lower level at smaller carriers


McCain holds off on 2012 endorsement

Sen. John McCain is calling Sarah Palin an “outstanding candidate” for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, but says it’s too early to endorse her.

Mr. McCain told CBS’ “The Early Show” on Tuesday that “I don’t think Sarah would want me to, before she’s even able to make a decision” about running.

The Arizona Republican said “it’s very early to start picking winners and losers.” He said he still holds his 2008 running mate “in high regard” and said he’s been amused by the former Alaska governor’s confrontations with “the liberal media.”

Mrs. Palin has been active in the campaign, raising money, throwing her support behind a host of “tea party”-backed conservative Republicans and giving speeches around the country.


Activist restrained by Paul supporters

LEXINGTON | Supporters of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul wrestled a woman to the ground and one stepped on her head after she tried to confront the candidate in Kentucky.

The incident happened Monday night in Lexington right before a debate between Mr. Paul and Democratic opponent Jack Conway.

Lauren Valle of the liberal group MoveOn.org told Louisville station WDRB she was trying to give Mr. Paul a fake award when his supporters took her to the ground.

Television footage shows Miss Valle’s blonde wig being pulled off before she’s pinned to the ground. A man then puts his foot down on her head. Miss Valle said the incident left her with “a bit of a headache.”

A police watch commander said early Tuesday that she didn’t know if any arrests were made.

Mr. Paul’s campaign released a statement calling the altercation “incredibly unfortunate” and expressed relief that the woman was not injured.

“Violence of any kind has no place in our civil discourse and we urge supporters on all sides to be civil to one another as tensions rise heading toward this very important election,” the statement said.