- - Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Palin raises $1.2M for PAC

JUNEAU | Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin raised more than $1.2 million for her political action committee during the last quarter, giving $93,500 to conservative candidates and causes ahead of the looming midterm elections in which she’s played a major role.

The financial disclosure, filed Tuesday by her SarahPAC, shows the 2008 vice-presidential candidate and potential 2012 presidential contender spent a total of about $1 million during that time. Nearly $240,000 went to consultants in areas including coalitions, media, international affairs and finance.

Mrs. Palin, who has said repeatedly that her immediate focus is on the midterm elections and on helping elect candidates she considers “common-sense conservatives,” gave money to 15 candidates, including $10,000 to U.S. Senate hopefuls Christine O’Donnell of Delaware and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

She contributed $10,000 to Joe Miller, a “tea party” favorite in her home state who upset Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary and is seeking to turn back Mrs. Murkowski’s write-in candidacy in the Nov. 2 election. He received his first $5,000 during the primary, and it showed up on Mrs. Palin’s previous filing.

The Federal Election Commission allows for PACs to give up to $5,000 per candidate committee per election.


Cranwell giving up Democratic Party post

CHARLOTTESVILLE | Virginia Democratic Party Chairman C. Richard Cranwell said Tuesday that he intends to step down by December from the post he has held for five years.

The Roanoke lawyer and former House of Delegates majority leader said in an interview that he will announce his decision on Wednesday. He said he has informed Democratic legislative and congressional leaders and top staff of the Democratic Party of Virginia of his decision.

His announcement comes three weeks ahead of congressional elections in Virginia that could reverse the three U.S. House seats the Democrats gained in 2008 to take a majority of the state’s 11 House spots.

It also comes after the Democrats took a trouncing in the 2009 gubernatorial race. Republicans won the office in a rout as well as the other two statewide elected offices.

“We’ve had some success during my time as chairman and we’ve taken a bust in the snout while I’ve been chairman, but I think the momentum of this year’s election is starting to swing our way,” Mr. Cranwell said.

Under Mr. Cranwell’s watch, Virginia Democrats elected Tim Kaine governor in 2005, U.S. Senators Jim Webb in 2006 and Mark R. Warner in 2008, and carried the state for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Also in the 2008 Democratic sweep, the party took from the Republicans U.S. House seats in the 2nd, 5th and 11th Districts. This year, the GOP has targeted those first-year Democrats for defeat, and with polls showing President Obama and the Democratic Congress unpopular, Democratic losses in Virginia appear likely.


Coons’ lead grows in Senate poll

DOVER | The latest poll in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race shows Democrat Chris Coons with a 19 percent lead over Republican Christine O’Donnell.

The Monmouth University Poll released Tuesday shows 57 percent of likely voters favoring Mr. Coons, compared to 38 percent for Ms. O’Donnell. The two candidates were virtually tied in Kent and Sussex counties, but Mr. Coons had a huge lead in heavily Democratic New Castle County.

In the U.S. House race, Democrat John Carney was leading Republican Glen Urquhart 53 percent to 44 percent overall, although Mr. Carney trails Mr. Urquhart in Kent and Sussex counties.

The automated telephone poll of 790 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 8 to Oct. 11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Rove fires back at Obama on funding

Republican strategist Karl Rove is denying that his party gets campaign donations from foreign sources and accuses President Obama of “being hypocritical” in suggesting such a link.

Mr. Rove told ABC’s “Good Morning America” the GOP doesn’t accept donations from overseas, noting it would be illegal. He accused Mr. Obama of demanding that Republicans release donor information even though Mr. Obama declined to release such information in 2008.

With control of Congress hanging in the balance, the parties have been trading harsh accusations.

Mr. Rove charged Tuesday that Mr. Obama had “no problem” with keeping his donors secret, and is only protesting now because “Republicans have taken up and started doing what Democrats have been doing for years.”


Obama again seeks to energize base

Summoning his supporters, President Obama on Tuesday predicted Democratic wins across the nation on Nov. 2 if his backers get energized and “hope overcomes fear” once again.

Fielding friendly questions at a political event sponsored by his party, Mr. Obama dabbled with new technology, taking queries from people using the Skype telephone and video service and the Twitter social-media network. Yet his message was familiar: Those who voted for him in 2008 must support like-minded candidates in the midterm elections and rally others to do so as well, or the entire agenda they want will be in peril.

“The only way this is going to work is if hope defeats fear,” Mr. Obama said at George Washington University.

Spending ever more time on political campaigning, Mr. Obama spoke to an audience of backers from Organizing for America, the president’s political organization based at the Democratic National Committee, as well GWU students.


Angle revising policy positions

LAS VEGAS | Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle is distancing herself from an unusual foe her own words.

Mrs. Angle has repeatedly claimed in recent weeks that she never vowed to end Social Security or federal benefits for veterans.

But Democrats have circulated recordings of her making those very points in early campaign stops.

The shift in those positions and others shows Mrs. Angle’s ongoing evolution from a hard-right state legislator to a mellower national candidate.

It’s also letting her rival, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, give Mrs. Angle’s positions center stage in TV spots that brand her as “too extreme.”


Prize may not help nominee

Having a Nobel Prize should be a clincher for getting a promotion or a job change. But it may not help economist Peter Diamond win a coveted seat on the Federal Reserve.

Mr. Diamond won a Nobel Prize in economics with two other economists on Monday. He’s a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Only trouble is, Senate Republicans have so far blocked his nomination. They suggest he lacks the experience to serve on the Fed’s board of governors.

Given the partisan rancor that permeates U.S. politics these days, and GOP disdain for some recent Nobel awards, the news from Stockholm won’t necessarily lead to a confirmation nod for Mr. Diamond.



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