- - Sunday, October 23, 2011


Gov. Jindal wins re-election easily

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Saturday easily coasted to a second term, winning in a landslide election after failing to attract any well-known or deep-pocketed opposition.

The 40-year-old Republican overwhelmed nine competitors in the open primary, in which a candidate wins the race outright by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Jindal had received about 66 percent of the total vote.

His closest competitor, Tara Hollis, a Democrat from north Louisiana, garnered nearly 18 percent of the total vote. All of the other candidates were in single digits.

“I will use every day, every hour of these next four years to make Louisiana the very best that we can be. I don’t believe in resting on our past accomplishments. I don’t believe in taking time off,” Mr. Jindal said in a packed hotel ballroom of supporters in Baton Rouge.

Mr. Jindal piled up $15 million in campaign cash from across the nation and attracted no Democratic challengers with statewide name recognition or fundraising heft. He has had consistently high approval ratings since taking office in 2008.


Bachmann brushes off notion of giving up

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is brushing off the idea that her campaign is all but giving up on winning the New Hampshire primary.

The Associated Press reported last week that an exodus in New Hampshire cost Mrs. Bachmann her staff in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

The Minnesota congresswoman told “Fox News Sunday” that she’s replacing the New Hampshire staff and is focused on Iowa because its caucuses are scheduled Jan. 3, before the New Hampshire primary.

Mrs. Bachmann has spent little time campaigning in New Hampshire, where her message as a social conservative has less appeal than in Iowa or in South Carolina, another state with an early primary.


Giffords in North Carolina for intensive therapy

TUCSON — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is in North Carolina for two weeks of intensive therapy sessions as she continues to recover from a gunshot wound to the head.

Ms. Giffords’ office said Sunday that the Arizona congresswoman is expected to spend time with a therapist who has worked with her in Houston for the past several months and has been extensively involved in her therapy.

Ms. Giffords will work with the therapist from Monday through Nov. 4 in Asheville, N.C. No other specifics on her therapy were given.

Her staff says the trip is strictly rehabilitation-related and has been planned for several months. No public appearances or events are scheduled.

Ms. Giffords is recovering from a brain injury suffered Jan. 8 in Tucson. Six people were killed and 13 were wounded, including Ms. Giffords.


Holder denounces aliens law at civil-rights memorial

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. attacked Alabama’s immigration crackdown at a memorial for a black civil-rights leader, saying too many in the state “are willing to turn their backs on our immigrant past.”

Referring to the recently enacted law considered the toughest in the nation, Mr. Holder told the audience gathered Sunday at Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church that he “was not going to let that happen.” The Obama administration is among the parties suing the state to block the law.

Mr. Holder was among friends, family and mourners honoring the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who died on Oct. 5 and will be buried Monday. Mr. Holder called the civil rights icon a warrior for justice and advocate for peace who has left behind a legacy for the country to follow.

The country’s first black attorney general told the church audience that he would not be in his position without Shuttlesworth’s sacrifices during the civil rights movement.


Secularist opposition threatens Jesus statue

HELENA, Mont. — A statue of Jesus on U.S. Forest Service land in the mountains over a Montana ski resort faces potential eviction amid an argument over the establishment of religion.

The Forest Service offered a glimmer of hope late last week for the statue’s supporters by withdrawing an initial decision to banish the Jesus statue from its hillside perch in the trees.

But as it further analyzes the situation before making a final decision, the agency warned rules and court decisions are stacked against allowing a religious icon on the 25-by-25 foot patch of land. The statue has been a curiosity to skiers at the famed Big Mountain ski hill for decades, mystifying skiers at its appearance in the middle of the woods as they cruise down a popular ski run.

But the Freedom From Religion Foundation isn’t amused.

“This has huge meaning for Americans. And if you aren’t religious it has huge meaning as well,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, with the Madison, Wis.-based group. “If skiers think that it is cute, then put it up on private property. It is not cute to have a state religious association.”

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