- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bush draws donors to annual barbecue

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush thanked some of the Republican Party’s biggest spenders Texas-style yesterday, honoring them with a barbecue supper at a ranch next to his.

Mr. Bush has headlined this event benefiting the National Republican Party each year at the Broken Spoke Ranch. The 478-acre spread next to Mr. Bush’s own ranch in this tiny Central Texas town is owned by Stan and Kathy Hickey.

This year, it drew 500 of the Republican Party’s biggest donors from across the country and was putting $3.5 million in the Republican National Committee’s coffers.

It also served as a special treat and a goodbye of sorts for Mr. Bush. Since it is his last year to host the fundraiser, his parents, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, flew in for it. So did his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba. The fundraiser, usually a casual lunch, also was upgraded this year to an evening affair.

Arnold to fight marriage initiative

SAN DIEGO — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says that if an initiative against gay marriage qualifies for the November ballot, he’s prepared to fight it.

California’s governor spoke yesterday in San Diego at the convention of the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest gay Republican group.

He has previously vetoed bills that would have created gay marriages. A Schwarzenegger spokeswoman did not say what prompted the governor to shift his position.

Mr. Schwarzenegger said he was confident a proposal to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman would never pass in California and called the effort “a waste of time.”

Terror trial jury locked in stalemate

MIAMI — Just as in the first trial, jurors hit a stalemate in the case against six men accused of scheming to destroy the Sears Tower in Chicago and bomb FBI offices in Miami and elsewhere. They were told to continue deliberating nonetheless.

Jurors yesterday said in a terse note issued on their 10th day of deliberations that they cannot agree on the guilt or innocence of any of the accused.

“We are unable to come to a unanimous decision on any of the counts for all of the defendants,” the note read.

The first trial in the “Liberty City Seven” case also ended in a mistrial in December because of a hung jury for the accused ringleader Narseal Batiste and the five other defendants. One man was acquitted by the first jury, but the Bush administration intends to deport him to Haiti.

Texas woman told to allow land survey

DALLAS — A U.S. District Court judge has ordered a Texas woman to let the government survey her land for a border security fence, the latest round in a series of skirmishes to arise from the immigration-control measure.

Eloisa Tamez has been a leading figure in resistance to the fence, which is deeply unpopular in border areas. It has made her a thorn in plans to roll out a 670-mile barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border to block people from entering illegally.

The government earlier this month waived environmental and other regulations it said would delay completion of the planned barrier.

Miss Tamez, a nursing professor, owns a small plot with two modest houses near the Texas-Mexican border close to Brownsville. She could not be immediately reached for comment. The land is the remnants of a ranch that has been in her family since the 1700s.

From staff reports and wire dispatches.

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