- - Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Gingrich lines up cash to defeat justices

Potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich quietly lined up $150,000 to help defeat Iowa justices who threw out a ban on same-sex marriage, routing the money to conservative groups through an aide’s political committee.

Mr. Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker who has aggressively courted the conservatives who dominate Iowa’s lead-off presidential caucuses, raised the money for the political arm of Restoring American Leadership, also known as ReAL.

That group then passed $125,000 to American Family Association Action and an additional $25,000 to the Iowa Christian Alliance - two of the groups that spent millions before November’s elections that removed three of the state’s seven state Supreme Court justices. The court had unanimously decided a state law restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated Iowa’s constitution.


Lawmakers back government bank

A bipartisan group of senators, joined by both business and labor leaders, is calling for the creation of government-owned but independent infrastructure bank to channel private sector investment into transportation, energy and water projects.

Democrat John F. Kerry of Massachusetts says the bank could generate as much as $640 billion in its first 10 years to “help bridge the infrastructure deficit that has been plaguing our nation for decades.”

He was joined in introducing the legislation by fellow Democrat Mark R. Warner of Virginia, Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

The bank, to be established with federal start-up money of $10 billion, would provide loans and loan guarantees for projects at least $100 million in size.


Barbour press secretary resigns

JACKSON | Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s press secretary resigned Monday after remarks he meant as jokes about earthquake-ravaged Japan and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno became public.

Dan Turner said Mr. Barbour never saw the jokes that were included in a daily e-mailed news digest. Mr. Turner said they should not be considered a reflection on whether Mr. Barbour, a likely candidate to run for the Republican nomination for president, is ready for a wider political scene than Mississippi’s.

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