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ALEXANDRIA The former administrative director at one of the nation’s most prominent conservative organizations has pleaded guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the group.

Diana Carr had kept the books at the Alexandria-based American Conservative Union. On Monday, she pleaded to a count of mail fraud in federal court in Alexandria.

She is the ex-wife of David Keene, who until this year had been the ACU’s longtime chairman. He is now National Rifle Association president.

Court documents say she took from $120,000 to $400,000 over a period of several years.

The ACU is probably best known for hosting the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which regularly draws leading presidential candidates and other top conservative speakers.


GOProud wants ex-governor in debate

A conservative gay-rights group wants the sponsors of the first Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire to reconsider its decision to leave out former New Mexico Gov. Gary E. Johnson.

“Gary Johnson is a former two-term governor and a committed limited-government advocate,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud. “He has certainly earned the right to participate in this debate.”

Mr. Johnson, who announced his presidential bid in April, learned late last week that he had not been invited to take part in the June 13 debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester - hosted by CNN, TV station WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“What will be missing is the voice of those who hold an undiluted view of individual liberty - those who believe that individual rights extend to women who face choices about abortion, Americans who happen to be gay, and those who don’t place other asterisks on freedom,” Mr. Johnson said after he received the news.


Democrats tell Biden to reject GOP plan

Five Democratic senators are calling on Vice President Joseph R. Biden to reaffirm his commitment to keeping major Medicare changes out of budget and deficit negotiations.

Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, and Bill Nelson of Florida expressed their concerns in a letter sent Monday to Mr. Biden. A copy of the letter was obtained by the Associated Press.

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