- - Sunday, November 11, 2012

President Obama will hold his first full-fledged press conference in more than eight months Wednesday, the White House announced.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday the president will hold the conference in the East Room of the White House, probably during the day, although a time hasn’t been set.

Mr. Obama’s last full press conference was on March 6. He has held shorter press conferences in the months since, taking a few questions from reporters in sessions that typically don’t last more than 15 or 20 minutes.

The media has been criticizing Mr. Obama for failing to take questions in a formal press conference setting.

CALIFORNIA

GOP’s poor showing worries party strategists

LOS ANGELES — Tuesday’s elections strengthened the political grip of Democrats in California, and Republicans in the Legislature are in danger of becoming mere spectators at the statehouse.

Democrats hold the governorship and every other statewide office, and they gained even more ground in congressional and legislative races.

In the Legislature, the party secured a supermajority in one, and possibly both, chambers as votes continue to be counted.

Meanwhile, Republican registration has dipped below 30 percent.

Republicans searching for a new direction after Mitt Romney’s defeat will question why President Obama rolled up more than 70 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote, and 9 of 10 votes among blacks.

Demographic shifts have shaped California elections for years, lifting Democrats while Republicans have been pushed to the margins in many areas.

KENTUCKY

Lawmaker says coal industry not bad off

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s beleaguered coal industry isn’t so feeble after all.

Just ask U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, the Democrat from Versailles who was pummeled in last week’s general election by Republican Andy Barr, who had support from the coal industry in the 6th District.

Mr. Barr featured coal miners in his TV ads, talked incessantly about the Obama administration’s “war on coal,” and raked in campaign cash from wealthy coal executives angry about federal environmental regulations that have made it more expensive to mine coal.

By the time the race was over, President Obama had been vilified in the mining industry, and Mr. Chandler had been portrayed as his surrogate in Kentucky. That turned out to be Mr. Chandler’s undoing. Mr. Obama lost Kentucky overwhelmingly and took Mr. Chandler down with him.

VIRGIN ISLANDS

Officials probe allegations of election fraud, corruption

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands says he has created a committee to investigate numerous allegations of fraud and corruption during last week’s general election.

Vincent Frazer appointed a special investigator and four attorneys with the island’s justice department to the investigation.

The government says in a statement issued Saturday that Mr. Frazer and the U.S. attorney’s office have received many complaints from voters. It does not specify the sort of complaints received.

Mr. Frazer said he expects to release findings by the end of the month.

The U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday chose legislators, a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives and education and election board officials.

CONGRESS

Rising tensions likely over filibuster rules

A brewing and potentially bitter battle over Democratic efforts to limit filibusters could increase partisan tensions in the Senate just as President Obama and Republicans are trying to find a compromise on major issues such as debt reduction and taxes.

There could be a showdown Senate vote in January that would put limits on filibusters, which minority parties long have used to try thwarting majority legislation.

But even before that vote, the simmering dispute could mar the cooperative tone that Mr. Obama and GOP leaders have struck since Tuesday’s election.

Bipartisan compromise will be needed during Congress’ upcoming lame-duck session to avert the “fiscal cliff” in early January. That’s when major tax increases and spending cuts will be triggered unless lawmakers head them off.

MISSISSIPPI

Ole Miss integrator troubled by protest

BAY ST. LOUIS — The man who integrated the University of Mississippi says he is troubled and confused by protest there against President Obama’s re-election.

But James Meredith tells WLOX-TV students shouldn’t get sidetracked by what he calls nonsense and foolishness.

A protest late Tuesday grew into a crowd of about 400 people as rumors of a riot spread on social media. Some people shouted racial slurs. Others yelled the school cheer, “Hotty toddy.”

Mr. Meredith’s admission in 1962 sparked riots that had to be quelled by the military and police.

Mr. Meredith said Saturday that he was reviled every day he attended Ole Miss, but he paid it no attention.

He said that if he had an objection, it was with state leaders who created unjust policies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports