Thursday, October 9, 2008


NRA quotes Clinton in anti-Obama ad

The National Rifle Association is turning to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to bolster its criticism of Sen. Barack Obama‘s positions on gun issues.

The NRA’s Political Victory Fund planned a national newspaper ad Thursday reviving a Clinton mailing that accused Mr. Obama of waffling on gun issues. Mrs. Clinton’s campaign sent the mailing when the New York senator was challenging Mr. Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. It accuses Mr. Obama of changing his statements on gun issues to try to fit the audience he was addressing.

“Hillary was right: You can’t trust Obama with your guns,” says the NRA political action committee’s ad, scheduled to run in USA Today.

The PAC has spent at least $2.3 million on anti-Obama efforts in the 2008 presidential race, including more than $100,000 on the new USA Today ad.


Five Republicans trail, Schumer says

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the leader of Democratic Party efforts to gain Senate seats in the Nov. 4 elections, said Wednesday that polls show Democratic candidates leading in five states with incumbent Republican senators, Hearst Newspapers reports.

The New York senator said polls indicate that his party’s candidates are ahead in Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, New Hampshire and Alaska, states now held by Republican senators.


Detainees plead with appeals court

Attorneys for 17 Chinese Muslim detainees urged a federal appeals court Wednesday not to interfere with their release from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the U.S. this week, saying they have been cleared of wrongdoing and have waited long enough for their freedom.

In a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the detainees said U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina made the right decision in ordering their release since they are no longer considered enemy combatants.

Judge Urbina’s dramatic ruling Tuesday would free the Chinese Muslims, known as Uighurs after nearly seven years in custody. It was the first court-ordered release of Guantanamo detainees. Judge Urbina is a 1994 appointee of President Clinton.

The Bush administration asked the appeals court to block Judge Urbina’s order no later than Wednesday. The detainees were scheduled to arrive in Washington early Friday and appear in Judge Urbina’s courtroom for release to local Uighur families who have agreed to help them settle in the U.S.


U.S. ups toll of Afghan civilians

The military said Wednesday that U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan on Aug. 22 killed 33 civilians, far more than it had acknowledged amid Afghan claims of 90 civilian deaths.

A statement released Wednesday by the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East summarized the findings of an investigation.

The statement from Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey asserted that despite the civilian deaths, U.S. forces involved in the attack in western Herat province acted based on credible intelligence, in self-defense and in line with their rules of engagement.

Gen. Dempsey blamed the Taliban.


Missouri suspects ACORN vote fraud

KANSAS CITY, Mo. | Officials in Missouri, a hard-fought jewel in the presidential race, are sifting through possibly hundreds of questionable or duplicate voter-registration forms submitted by an advocacy group that has been accused of election fraud in other states.

Charlene Davis, co-director of the election board in Jackson County, where Kansas City is located, said the fraudulent registration forms came from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). She said they were bogging down work Wednesday, the final day Missourians could register to vote.

“We have identified about 100 duplicates, and probably 280 addresses that don’t exist, people who have driver’s license numbers that won’t verify or Social Security numbers that won’t verify,” she said. “Some have no address at all.”


Debaters agree to use lie detectors

JASPER, Ind. | Two challengers for an Indiana congressional seat have agreed to be hooked up to lie detectors during a debate, but an official with the incumbent’s party dismisses the idea as “bizarre.”

Ninth District Republican Party Chairman Larry Shickles on Wednesday proposed the political polygraphs for Democratic Rep. Baron Hill, Republican challenger Mike Sodrel and Libertarian candidate Eric Schansberg. The three are scheduled to debate Oct. 21, but an official with a debate co-sponsor said lie detectors won’t be included.

Mr. Shickles, in a letter sent Tuesday to 9th District Democratic Chairman Mike Jones, suggested that the candidates be hooked up to lie-detecting machines at the Oct. 21 event or a separate debate.

“While this format may be unusual, I feel strongly that voters need to be able to make a clear decision without all the usual spin,” Mr. Shickles wrote.

Mr. Sodrel’s campaign said he would agree to the proposal, and Mr. Schansberg said he also would agree to wear a lie detector.


Judge bars some early voting, for now

CROWN POINT, Ind. | A federal judge blocked the opening of some early-voting sites in a heavily Democratic area of Republican-leaning Indiana until he can hear arguments Friday on whether they would violate state law.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen, an appointee of President Bush, issued a temporary order barring the opening of early-voting sites in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago after meeting Tuesday with attorneys for Lake County Republican and Democratic officials.

Lawyer David M. Brooks, who represents the county Republican Party, said the Republicans and Democrats agreed none of the satellite offices will open before Tuesday, three weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

Democratic officials want the satellite offices opened because they expect a record voter turnout and want to avoid long lines and other impediments to voting on Nov. 4.

Republicans sued in state court last week, arguing that state law requires an unanimous bipartisan vote by the election board to establish satellite early-voting offices. Democrats petitioned to move the case to federal court by arguing the case hinges on federal voting rights.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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