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Inside Politics

- - Monday, October 24, 2011

NEVADA

Las Vegas remains upset about Obama's comments

LAS VEGAS — President Obama has a Sin City problem that won't go away.

Nevada state officials and residents alike are still fuming nearly two years after Mr. Obama discouraged corporations that received bailout money from holding lavish meetings in Las Vegas. Then last year, Mr. Obama said Americans saving for college shouldn't blow the cash in Sin City.

State officials and residents in this economically ravaged state perceived the comments as a rant against the tourism industry.

The friction has resurfaced as Mr. Obama counts on Nevada's support for re-election next year. He was to visit a Las Vegas neighborhood Monday as part of a nationwide tour to sell his jobs plan.

Former Nevada Gov. Bob List said Republicans plan to remind voters at every opportunity that Mr. Obama slighted the industry that employs most Nevadans.

CALIFORNIA

Mayoral candidates call for election monitors

SAN FRANCISCO — Candidates vying for the San Francisco's mayor's seat are requesting federal and state monitors for the Nov. 8 election after allegations of ballot tampering in early voting.

The seven candidates are basing their concerns on local media reports that members of a neighborhood alliance supporting incumbent Mayor Ed Lee have been helping Cantonese-speaking residents fill out ballots.

The candidates outlined their concerns in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and California secretary of state on Sunday. They want an investigation into reports that the alliance used stencils that prevent voters from marking their ballots for candidates other than Mr. Lee.

The candidates include City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

Mr. Lee said his campaign is not affiliated with the alliance.

CAMPAIGN

Perry pads national staff, prepares first Iowa TV ads

His campaign struggling, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is beefing up his campaign staff with veterans of presidential elections and is ready to start running his first television ads in must-win Iowa.

Campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan said the additions have been planned for weeks and represent "a natural progression as we head towards election days" in the early states.

David Carney will continue as Mr. Perry's top strategist, Mr. Sullivan said. But veteran pollster and campaign hand Tony Fabrizio will also take on a senior strategic role, "not to replace Carney, but work with him," said a Republican familiar with the move. He spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.

Additional staff will focus on campaign ads, Mr. Sullivan said.

"It is primarily boosting our media team with folks who've been involved in multiple presidential campaigns in the past," Mr. Sullivan said. "The focus will be on the media side."

HOUSE

GOP sees jobs program in transportation bill

House Republicans are pitching a six-year transportation construction plan as a major jobs bill that can win bipartisan approval before next year's election.

Rep. John L. Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Monday the most significant obstacle to passing the bill was eliminated when GOP leaders recently agreed to keep spending on highway programs at current levels, even though gas tax revenues are declining. The bill would serve as the House's major alternative to President Obama's jobs plan.

Fuel taxes have historically been used to pay for transportation programs.

Mr. Mica said the bill would spend about $285 billion, but would spur far greater investment in roads, bridges, and transit systems through federal loans and loan guarantees.

WHITE HOUSE

'American Grown': Title of first lady's book

The publisher of a book Michelle Obama is writing about her White House produce garden says it will be called "American Grown."

Crown Publishers announced Monday that the complete title of the first lady's first book is "American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools and Communities." It is scheduled to be published in April.

The book will explore how improving access to healthy, affordable food can influence eating habits for the better and improve public health. The first lady has become an advocate for healthier eating and for exercise, and she is leading a nationwide campaign to reduce childhood obesity.

Mrs. Obama received no advance fee for the book and will donate all proceeds to a charity or charities to be named later.

From wire dispatches and staff reports