Inside Politics: Hitting Haley effigy used in ad against ‘big labor’

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COLUMBIA — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is using video of a union leader whacking a pinata with an image of her face as a campaign fundraiser.

The Republican governor’s 2014 re-election campaign asked supporters in a mass email sent Wednesday to contribute $50 to $250 to “show big labor we will not stand for their bullying.”

The video was shot Saturday after the South Carolina Progressive Network’s spring conference and features retiring state AFL-CIO President Donna Dewitt striking the pinata with a bat. People can be heard in the background yelling, “Whack her! … Hit her again!”

Ms. Dewitt said there was no ill intent to the picnic game and stressed the conference was not an AFL-CIO event.

STATE

Clinton acknowledges cyberattack on al Qaeda

TAMPA, Fla. — The State Department has launched a different sort of raid against al Qaeda — hacking into the Islamist group’s websites in Yemen.

In a rare public admission of the covert cyberwar against terrorists, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said U.S. cyberexperts based at the State Department hacked tribal websites, replacing al Qaeda propaganda that bragged about killing Americans.

“Within 48 hours, our team plastered the same sites with altered versions of the ads that showed the toll al Qaeda attacks have taken on the Yemeni people,” Mrs. Clinton said Wednesday. “Extremists are publicly venting their frustration and asking supporters not to believe everything they read on the Internet.”

Speaking alongside Adm. William H. McRaven, head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Mrs. Clinton said the effort is part of a multipronged attack on terrorism that goes beyond raids like the one that killed Osama bin Laden to include diplomats working alongside special operations forces to shore up local governments and economies and train local forces.

Offensive attacks on extremist sites are generally attributed to the Pentagon’s U.S. Cyber Command, though they seldom are acknowledged publicly.

ARIZONA

Obama birth certificate gets OK by state official

PHOENIX — Arizona’s secretary of state says Hawaii’s verification of President Obama’s birth records meets necessary requirements and that the president’s name will appear on Arizona’s ballot in the fall.

The inquiry gave official weight to a long-simmering political controversy generated by those who say that Mr. Obama was not born in the U.S.

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