Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Chafee to enter race for governor

WARWICK, R.I. | Lincoln Chafee is officially entering the Rhode Island governor’s race.

Mr. Chafee, a former Republican senator who had earlier formed an exploratory campaign to start fundraising for the race, is running as an independent to succeed Gov. Donald L. Carcieri in the 2010 election.

Mr. Chafee said he would formally announce his candidacy on Monday in Warwick - the city where he once served as mayor.

Attorney General Patrick Lynch and General Treasurer Frank Caprio are vying for the Democratic nomination. The Republican Party was left without a declared candidate after businessman Rory Smith withdrew from the race earlier this month.

Mr. Chafee lost his Senate seat in 2006 to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.


Rep. Radanovich will not run again

California Republican George Radanovich said Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to Congress next year but will serve out his eighth term representing a Republican-leaning district.

Democrats hope to make some gains in California next year by targeting congressional districts won by President Obama in 2008. But Mr. Radanovich’s political turf, the 19th Congressional District in the state’s Central Valley, was not part of that effort.

Mr. Radanovich, 54, said he needed to attend to pressing family matters. His wife, Ethie, has been fighting ovarian cancer for nearly three years.

“My family needs me, and I intend to be by their side to win this battle,” Mr. Radanovich said.

He also said he has recruited a potential replacement in state Sen. Jeff Denham, a Republican in his second term. He said Mr. Denham has agreed to enter the race.


Congressman expects Palin bid in 2012

JOHNSTON, Iowa | An Iowa Republican congressman says he thinks former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and that she’s among a few people who could win the state’s leadoff caucuses.

U.S. Rep. Steve King said Tuesday he initially thought Mrs. Palin ended her political career when she resigned as governor last summer. But he said during a taping of an Iowa Public Television show that she’s now in a far stronger position to succeed.

Mr. King said her book-signing tour has brought her enormous attention, and he complimented her political instincts.

Mrs. Palin has only been in Iowa once since the election, for a book-signing event in Sioux City.

Mr. King said there would be plenty of time for Mrs. Palin to mount a campaign.


Rep. Paul to help son’s Senate bid

FRANKFORT, Ky. | Former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul is expected in Kentucky in late January for a political rally and fundraiser to benefit his son’s U.S. Senate campaign.

Rand Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon, is seeking the Republican nomination to run for the Senate seat now held by the retiring Jim Bunning.

Paul campaign manager David Adams said the two Pauls will be together at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville on Jan. 30.

The younger Mr. Paul is one of several Republicans, including Secretary of State Trey Grayson, running for the Senate seat.

The elder Mr. Paul is a congressman from Texas.


Tennis courts irk Montana governor

HELENA, Mont. | Federal stimulus money to be spent on new tennis courts in Bozeman is drawing the ire of Montana’s governor.

The brouhaha started with reports that the city of Bozeman was spending about $50,000 of its $621,000 stimulus money on new rubber-tiled courts.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer lashed out at the idea Tuesday. He said that such an idea would have been laughed out of the building if Bozeman had told the legislature that’s what it would be using the money for.

Bozeman city officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Mr. Schweitzer, a Democrat, also said that Senate Republicans are partly to blame for the misuse of money for resisting specific lists for federal money doled out by the legislature.

Republicans say that’s not true, and counter that in the end they agreed on the spending language sought by House Democrats.


Officials try to end Panetta-Blair feud

The White House has published an internal memo to calm tension between CIA Director Leon E. Panetta and Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, who is seeking increased control over covert operations, several news outlets reported Tuesday.

The classified order asserts the Central Intelligence Agency’s direct authority over secret missions abroad, but also reminds the agency to work closely with Mr. Blair, who heads the nation’s intelligence establishment, a U.S. intelligence official told Agence France-Presse, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

According to a separate report in the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Blair was seeking more control over missions that include drone strikes and paramilitary operations in Pakistan.

Mr. Blair and Mr. Panetta have also clashed over the past month over the role of the CIA in Afghanistan, which Mr. Blair reportedly thinks is too focused on the hunt for Taliban insurgents and is de-emphasizing the collection of intelligence at the local level.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano did not confirm to Agence France-Presse the existence of the memo, but said that Mr. Panetta “views the national security adviser’s decision as bringing much-needed clarity to intelligence roles and responsibilities.”


U.S. warns of danger in India

The United States published an alert Tuesday for Americans traveling to India, saying Washington continues receiving reports that militant groups may be plotting attacks in that country.

The State Department on Dec. 9 alerted travelers to possible violence in India’s strife-torn Andhra Pradesh region but did not mention, as it did on Oct. 29, that it had reports that “terrorist groups may be planning attacks.”

The latest travel alert came amid heightened security concerns following an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day.

Dated Monday, the State Department travel alert sought to inform U.S. citizens of continuing security concerns in India.

“The U.S. government continues to receive information that terrorist groups may be planning attacks in India,” the statement said.

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