- - Thursday, June 30, 2011

SOUTH CAROLINA

Bachmann says miscarriage shaped family priorities

ROCK HILL | Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman seeking the Republican presidential nomination, said Wednesday that a “devastating” miscarriage led her to become a foster parent to 23 children.

Speaking to voters in South Carolina, the mother of five biological children said the experience changed her and refocused her family’s priorities. As she appeals to voters, she is talking about opening her home to a rotating crew of teenage girls from troubled families, some staying a few weeks and others for years.

“After our second was born, we became pregnant with a third baby,” she said. “It was an unexpected baby, but of course we were delighted to have this child. The child was coming along, and we ended up losing our child. And it was devastating to both of us, as you can imagine if any of you have lost a child.”

She said the experience led her and husband Marcus to re-evaluate their priorities.

“At that moment, we didn’t think of ourselves as overly career-minded or overly materialistic, but when we lost that child it changed us, and it changed us forever,” she said. “We made a commitment that, no matter how many children were brought into our life, we would receive them because we are committed to life.”

WHITE HOUSE

Obama to hold Twitter town hall

The White House will host a Twitter town hall session with President Obama on Wednesday.

The president will answer questions submitted via Twitter, which limits messages to 140 characters. The town hall will focus on jobs and the economy, and a video feed of Mr. Obama’s answers will be streamed online.

While Mr. Obama has taken questions submitted on social networking sites during previous town halls, including one hosted by Facebook, the White House said this is the first time the questions will come exclusively via Twitter.

The encumbent’s campaign said last week that Mr. Obama is starting to regularly tweet from the popular social media service. Tweets sent by the president using his Twitter account will be signed “-BO.”

NEW JERSEY

Biotech exec Crowley says no to Senate run

TRENTON | Wealthy biotech executive John Crowley says he won’t run for U.S. Senate in 2012.

Mr. Crowley, whose life was the basis for the 2010 movie “Extraordinary Measures,” made the announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday.

Crowley friend Bill Spadea, who has said Mr. Crowley was “seriously” considering a run for the Republican nomination, told the Star-Ledger of Newark that Mr. Crowley decided to focus on his family.

After two of his children were diagnosed with a rare disease, Mr. Crowley left a high-paying job at Bristol-Myers Squibb to start a small firm that developed a treatment for Pompe disease.

Mr. Crowley likely would have faced Republican state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos in a primary if he had decided to challenge Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez next year.

ALASKA

Former lawmakers to get new trials

JUNEAU | Two former Alaska lawmakers whose corruption convictions were overturned as a result of prosecutorial errors are getting new trials.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline on Wednesday set a tentative trial date of Oct. 24 for Victor Kohring and of Nov. 28 for Pete Kott. Both trials are to take place in Anchorage.

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court overturned both men’s convictions and ordered new trials for them after determining prosecutors had withheld evidence.

Mr. Kott and Mr. Kohring were among a group of Alaska lawmakers caught in a wide-ranging federal corruption probe that also ensnared Ted Stevens, the former U.S. senator who died last August.

Stevens was convicted of lying on financial disclosure forms, but a federal judge threw out the matter after finding that prosecutors also had withheld evidence.

FEC

Colbert gets official ruling about his PAC

The Federal Election Commission says comedian Stephen Colbert can use his TV show’s resources to boost his political action committee. But he must publicly disclose some major expenses as in-kind contributions from the show’s corporate owners.

Mr. Colbert said Thursday he could not have been happier with the ruling. Mr. Colbert played it straight during his appearance before the commission, saving his trademark quips for a crowd that gathered outside the commission building after the meeting.

Mr. Colbert is forming a so-called super-PAC that can raise unlimited amounts of money for elections.

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