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Political Scene

- The Washington Times - Monday, October 4, 2010

SENATE

GOP spending big in California race

Republicans are moving up their $2 million television ad buy in California after recent polls showing Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer opening up a lead over GOP rival Carly Fiorina.

The investment from the National Republican Senatorial Committee is going to a statewide television ad campaign that tries to link excessive government spending to economic woes in California. The ad also notes Mrs. Boxer's 28 years in office.

Mrs. Boxer's rival is former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mrs. Fiorina, who has never held elective office. In the primary, Mrs. Fiorina spent $5.5 million of her money on the race.

Amber Marchand, spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the investment reflects GOP hopes for capturing the seat.

CAMPAIGN

O'Donnell: China plotted takeover

Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware said in a 2006 debate that China was plotting to take over America and claimed to have classified information about the country that she couldn't divulge.

Ms. O'Donnell's comments came as she and two other Republican candidates debated U.S. policy on China during Delaware's 2006 Senate primary, which Ms. O'Donnell ultimately lost.

She said China had a "carefully thought-out and strategic plan to take over America" and accused one opponent of appeasement for suggesting that the two countries were economically dependent and should find a way to be allies.

"That doesn't work," she said. "There's much I want to say. I wish I wasn't privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to.

"A country that forces women to have abortions and mandates that you can only have one child and will not allow you the freedom to read the Bible, you think they can be our friend?" she asked. "We have to look at our history and realize that if they pretend to be our friend, it's because they've got something up their sleeve."

FEDERAL RESERVE

Bernanke: Threat of deficits 'growing'

PROVIDENCE, R.I. | The economy could be hurt if Congress and the White House fail to come up with a plan to curb the nation's huge budget deficits in the coming years, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned Monday.

Mr. Bernanke, in a speech prepared for delivery, reiterated his belief that the government shouldn't raise taxes or slash spending now because the economic recovery is still too fragile.

But failing to bring the deficits under control could endanger the economy later on, he said. Exploding budget deficits can lead to higher interest rates for people buying homes and cars, and for businesses buying equipment or expanding operations. That could crimp Americans' spending and slow economic growth.

"The threat to our economy is real and growing," Mr. Bernanke said. "The sooner a plan is established, the longer affected individuals will have to prepare for the necessary changes."

The federal government is on track to produce its second-highest deficit ever - $1.3 trillion - for the budget year that ended Sept. 30. That would be slightly below last year's record $1.4 trillion in red ink.

CALIFORNIA

High court OKs line-item vetoes

SACRAMENTO | The California Supreme Court says Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had the authority to use his line-item veto power to cut $489 million from last year's state budget.

In a unanimous decision Monday, the court tossed out a lawsuit filed by several charities and joined by Democratic state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

They had contended that Mr. Schwarzenegger overstepped his authority when he cut additional funding to several social programs that the Legislature already had targeted for budget reductions. It occurred when Mr. Schwarzenegger acted on a spending-reduction bill.

The court said all spending, regardless of how it's described by the Legislature, is subject to the line-item veto.

TEXAS

Challenger slams Perry over donors

HOUSTON | Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White is hammering Texas Gov. Rick Perry for what his campaign calls a "public corruption scandal" involving state grants to the Republican incumbent's campaign donors.

Mr. White is using a mocking reference to a Perry campaign ad that declares Texas "open for business." The Democrat says it's only open for business with Mr. Perry's political supporters.

The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that the state has given more than $16 million to high-tech startups whose investors are big Perry donors. The governor said he was usually unaware if his backers had financial stakes in the technology grant recipients.

Mr. White wants Mr. Perry's campaign fundraisers to answer questions about when they contacted donors.

ALASKA

Senate candidate opposes set wage

JUNEAU | Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller says there should be no federal minimum wage.

The "tea party"-supported Republican said in an interview with Politico and ABC News it's an issue that should be left up to states, not the federal government.

A spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called Mr. Miller an extremist and the fourth national GOP candidate to either oppose a federal minimum wage or be open to lowering it.

Mr. Miller is a self-described constitutional conservative who favors limiting the powers of the federal government to those outlined in the Constitution. He thinks greater control should rest with the states.

Mr. Miller upset Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the August primary. She is now running as a write-in candidate.

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