- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 27, 2008


Lawmakers pass child porn bills

Congress is sending President Bush several bills that would tighten laws on child pornographers’ use of the Internet.

The House on Friday passed a measure by 418-0 clarifying that images obtained over the Internet are subject to federal interstate commerce laws. The bill was in response to a federal court ruling that prosecutors must show that images kept on a computer had crossed state lines.

“This legislation closes the jurisdictional loophole that allowed a guilty man to escape punishment,” said Rep. Nancy Boyda, Kansas Democrat, the bill’s sponsor.

The same legislation contained another bill sponsored by Rep. Christopher Carney, Pennsylvania Democrat, that would allow prosecutors to include money laundering as a tool in child pornography cases. That would fix another loophole that has allowed Internet users to evade child pornography laws by not downloading or saving the images.


House backs pardon for boxing champ

The first black heavyweight champion should be granted a presidential pardon for a conviction 75 years ago that blemished his reputation and hurt his boxing career, the House recommended Friday.

Jack Johnson became world heavyweight champion in 1908, sparking a search for a white boxer, dubbed “the Great White Hope,” who could beat him.

In 1913, Johnson was convicted of violating the Mann Act which outlawed the transportation of women across state lines for immoral purposes. Authorities had first unsuccessfully tried to charge Johnson over his relationship with a white woman who later became his wife. They then found another white woman who testified that Johnson had transported her across state lines in violation of the Mann Act.

Johnson fled the country, returning in 1920 after having lost the title to serve nearly one year at Leavenworth.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain has a companion resolution.


Judge says ‘GOP‘ is fine on ballot

A judge says the word “Republican” doesn’t have to appear next to Dino Rossi’s name on the November ballot for the Washington governor’s race.

Mr. Rossi had listed his affiliation as “prefers GOP party,” referring to the Republicans’ Grand Old Party nickname. Democrats sued this week after a survey showed Mr. Rossi had more voter support with the “GOP” tag than he did with the “Republican” tag.

King County Superior Court Judge Richard Eadie said Friday that a certain amount of confusion is inevitable with the term GOP, but nothing requires Mr. Rossi to list his party’s full name.

Democrats say they will not appeal Judge Eadie’s ruling.

Mr. Rossi is in a rematch against Gov. Christine Gregoire, listed on the ballot as “prefers Democratic Party.”


Ike prompts call to ease deadline

Several groups urged Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday to use emergency powers to extend the Oct. 6 voter registration deadline for Texas counties hit hardest by Hurricane Ike.

Houston Votes, Equality Texas, People for the American Way, the League of Women Voters and others said they want Mr. Perry to extend the deadline for at least seven days in the 29 hurricane-ravaged counties that have been declared disaster areas.

“Many Texans already have lost all their possessions to Hurricane Ike; they should not also lose their right to vote this November,” said Fred Lewis, spokesman for Houston Votes, an association of nonprofit groups that is registering people to vote in Harris County.

Under state law, Texans who want to cast a ballot in the Nov. 4 general election must have their voter registration applications postmarked by Oct. 6.

Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said the governor would have to be asked by individual counties to extend the deadline before he could make such a decision. She said he hasn’t received a local request and hasn’t been told by any county official that there is a registration problem.

From staff reports and wire service dispatches

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