- - Monday, September 19, 2011

IOWA

Bachmann criticizes Perry’s stand on border fence

SHEFFIELD — Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is criticizing presidential rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s support for public benefits for the children of illegal immigrants.

Campaigning in Iowa on Monday, the Minnesota congresswoman also said Mr. Perry was wrong to oppose a fence on the U.S. border with Mexico. Mrs. Bachmann supports completion of the fence. She opposes allowing children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state college-tuition rates, a policy Mr. Perry supports in his home state of Texas.

Mrs. Bachmann is in Iowa visiting an agricultural manufacturing plant in Sheffield and plans a stop in Waterloo. Mrs. Bachmann is devoting most of her campaigning to Iowa, where she won an important test vote in August, but has slipped since Mr. Perry entered the race.

Mrs. Bachmann plans to campaign in the Des Moines area on Tuesday.

CONNECTICUT

Ex-wrestling executive runs for Senate again

HARTFORD — Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon will make a second run for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.

In a statement released Monday, the Republican said she plans to kick off her campaign Tuesday in Southington at a business that designs and manufactures custom-built coil-processing machines.

The former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment ran against former Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in 2010, but lost after spending about $50 million of her own money on the race.

Mrs. McMahon would face former Rep. Christopher Shays in a potential 2012 GOP primary. Mr. Shays already has said he plans to officially announce his candidacy next month.

Both are hoping to fill the seat now held by independent Sen. Joe Lieberman. Several Democrats have already announced plans to run.

TREASURY

Geithner denies ignoring Obama’s banks request

The Obama administration on Monday vehemently denied unflattering portrayals in an upcoming, behind-the-scenes book about the White House’s response to the financial crisis, with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner saying its compilation of “sad little stories” bore no relation to reality.

Chief White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed that one passage appeared to have been lifted from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The book, “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President,” says Mr. Geithner ignored an order from President Obama to help firm up the banking industry. Mr. Geithner said he absolutely did not and would never ignore a request from the president.

“I would never contemplate doing that,” he said Monday at the White House. “I lived the original, and the reality I lived, we all lived together, bears no relation to the sad little stories I heard reported from that book.”

Mr. Geithner said he hasn’t read the latest work by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, which is set for release Tuesday. The Associated Press bought a copy last week.

Mr. Carney portrayed the book as riddled with factual errors, though he said he also has not read the book.

LABOR

Department expands wage violations enforcement

The Labor Department is signing agreements to share information with nearly a dozen states and the Internal Revenue Service as it gets more aggressive in its program to crack down on businesses that cheat workers out of their wages.

The information will help Labor Department officials target businesses that improperly label workers as independent contractors or as non-employees to deprive workers of minimum-wage and overtime pay. Misclassifying workers also lets companies avoid paying workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and federal taxes.

Patricia Smith, the Labor Department’s top lawyer, said sharing information among state and federal agencies could subject businesses to multiple fines.

“There’s more of an incentive to be in compliance because the cost of what we consider to be illegal activity has increased,” she said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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