Inside Politics: Arizona judge OKs blocking traffic to find day labor

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Witnesses from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a nongovernment military awards database joined Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz in criticizing the Pentagon.

Anyone making false claims of receiving military honors could be prosecuted under a 2006 law, the Stolen Valor Act. Conviction could bring imprisonment for up to six months, or up to a year for false claims of receiving the Medal of Honor.

The Supreme Court is considering whether the law is constitutional.

Defense department witnesses say the records system has been improved, but there’s no all-services database.

CAMPAIGN

Santorum raises $9M in month of early wins

Rick Santorum’s campaign raised $9 million in February as he emerged as the chief rival to Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential contest.

Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said Wednesday that more than 100,000 donors gave online to the former senator from Pennsylvania. Mr. Gidley also said the campaign received more than 130,000 donations during the month that opened with surprising victories in Feb. 7 caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and a nonbinding primary in Missouri.

Mr. Santorum continues to be outspent by Mr. Romney and his allies, but he mounted a strong challenge in Tuesday’s primary in Mr. Romney’s home state of Michigan.

Mr. Santorum now is looking ahead to next week’s 10-state Super Tuesday and honing his message back to the economy and away from the social issues that marked his fast rise.

COMMERCE

Trade official urges action on China, Russia ties

Congress is showing its unhappiness with a federal court ruling that restricted the government’s ability to impose higher trade penalties on China when it subsidizes exports to the United States.

There’s a proposal to restore the Commerce Department’s power to take on China’s unfair trade practices. The legislation was introduced on the same day as the top U.S. trade official, Ron Kirk, asked Congress to act on the China issue and on trade relations with Russia.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that the Commerce Department lacks the legal authority to impose punitive trade measures on subsidized imports from countries such as China and Vietnam.

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