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Inside Politics: Voter fraud complaint filed against Democrats

- - Sunday, October 7, 2012

FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE — Florida officials are reviewing allegations of voter registration fraud against the state Democratic Party.

The Florida Department of State on Friday confirmed that it has forwarded complaints about voter registration fraud that have been filed against the Democrats, as well as against two groups — the Florida New Majority Education Fund and National Council of La Raza/Democracia USA.

Neither the agency nor the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) would comment on the extent of the allegations or on how many voter registration forms it involves.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington confirmed that a complaint regarding voter registration forms had come from her county, but declined further comment.

The FDLE last week began an investigation into alleged fraud involving a company hired by the state's Republican Party to register voters.

DEFENSE

Panetta worries about exchange escalating

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said the continued exchange of artillery fire between Syria and Turkey raises additional concerns that the conflict may escalate and spread to neighboring countries.

Mr. Panetta said the U.S. is using its diplomatic channels to relay concerns about the fighting.

His comments during a trip to Peru come on the heels of warnings from Turkey's prime minister that his country is not far from war with Syria.

Turkish and Syria traded artillery fire Saturday as rebels clashed with President Bashar Assad's forces near the border. The clash heightened fears that the crisis could erupt into a regional conflict. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Damascus that his country won't tolerate such acts.

WISCONSIN

Ryan rallies GOP faithful at home-state fundraiser

MILWAUKEE — Vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan is rallying the Republican faithful at a fundraiser in his home state of Wisconsin.

Mr. Ryan appeared at a fundraiser in Milwaukee on Saturday evening. He told donors in a 15-minute speech that President Obama is driving the country deeper into debt.

The price of admission ranged from $250 for donors under age 35 to $100,000 for couples who wished to be designated "founding partners." Jon Hammes, finance chairman for the Mitt Romney campaign in Wisconsin, told the crowd the event had netted $2.8 million.

The fundraiser came two days after President Obama made an appearance on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. A Marquette University Law School poll released last week showed Mr. Obama with an 11-point lead over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin.

WHITE HOUSE

Obamas finally celebrate their 20th anniversary

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama got their anniversary date night after all — just a few days late during a busy re-election campaign.

The Obamas arrived at Bourbon Steak in the Georgetown section of Washington on Saturday night for a dinner to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. The couple's actual wedding date was on Wednesday, the day of the first presidential debate in Denver.

During the debate, the president wished his wife a happy anniversary and reminded her "a year from now" they wouldn't be marking the occasion in front of millions of viewers. Republican nominee Mitt Romney congratulated Mr. Obama, joking that the debate stage was "the most romantic place you could imagine — here with me."

ILLINOIS

Ryan: Obama attempting to 'muddle and confuse'

ROSEMONT — Vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan told supporters in President Obama's home state their contributions will help Republicans define the "very clear choice" for voters in the final weeks before Election Day.

Speaking at a fundraiser in suburban Chicago, Mr. Ryan said the president is trying to "throw the kitchen sink" at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and "muddle and confuse" voters. He also accused Mr. Obama of distorting Mr. Romney's record and said the president's campaign is outspending the GOP ticket on television advertising in some key states.

Mr. Ryan told attendees their support will "give us the resources we need to make sure he doesn't get away with it."

Tickets to the event at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare ranged from $2,500 to $75,800 per person. The campaign said about 260 people attended.

From wire dispatches and staff reports