- - Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PHOENIX — A judge blocked police in Arizona from enforcing a section of the state’s immigration enforcement law that prohibited people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day labor services on streets.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Wednesday that groups working to overturn the law will likely prevail in their claim that the day labor rules violate the First Amendment.

The ban was among a handful of provisions in the law that were allowed to take effect after a July 2010 decision by Judge Bolton halted enforcement of the law’s more controversial elements.

Opponents of the law had argued that the day labor restrictions unconstitutionally restrict free speech rights.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer’s lawyers had argued the restrictions are meant to address safety concerns and distractions to drivers.


Senate hopeful: Keep GOP focus on ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’

COLUMBUS — Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel says that as a U.S. senator he would focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs” and fight any attempts by the Republican establishment to make social issues a distraction.

The 33-year-old candidate said during an Associated Press interview Wednesday that every elected leader — president “or dog catcher” — should be focused on the economy.

Dubbed an “absentee treasurer” by his critics, Mr. Mandel said he’s improved the financial performance of Ohio’s treasury department while trimming its budget. He’s also missed every meeting of the powerful Board of Deposit that he chairs.

Mr. Mandel is favored to win a six-way GOP primary Tuesday. The winner will face Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in November.


Bill puts lawmaker in hairy situation

The American Mustache Institute claimed Tuesday that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Maryland Republican, had lent his support to the Stache Act, which calls for a tax deduction of up to $250 a year for facial hair grooming.

But Mr. Bartlett’s office said he never supported the measure. Staffers said Wednesday that they only forwarded a copy of the proposal to the House Ways and Means Committee, without the congressman’s knowledge, after receiving a media inquiry about it. That led the institute to believe Mr. Bartlett, who has long had a mustache, supported the measure.

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