- - Sunday, February 20, 2011


Brown unwilling to push sex charges

Sen. Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican, has told a prosecutor he doesn’t want to seek criminal charges against a camp counselor who he says sexually assaulted him 40 years ago on Cape Cod.

Cape and Island’s District Attorney Michael O’Keefe told the Boston Globe that Mr. Brown didn’t identify his attacker and that the Republican senator didn’t want to pursue the case — a wish the prosecutor said he will respect by not launching an investigation.

Mr. Brown wrote in a book to be released Monday that he was molested by a summer camp counselor when he was 10. In a statement released late Friday, Mr. Brown says he’s not writing about what happened to him “to settle any scores” but to let people know they can overcome hardships.


Priebus raises big bucks early

The new chairman of the Republican National Committee raised $3.5 million in his first two weeks on the job as the organization faces massive debt.

Reince Priebus said Sunday he has been working with donors since his Jan. 14 election to repair relationships that fell apart under his predecessor, Michael S. Steele.

The RNC is telling the Federal Election Commission that it has $21.4 million in debt at the end of January. Mr. Priebus says the RNC is still getting bills from Mr. Steele’s tenure and the real number is probably higher.

In all, the RNC brought in $5.7 million in January and has $2.1 million in the bank.

The Democratic National Committee says it raised $7.2 million in January, has $16.8 million in debt and has $9.1 million in the bank.


State fails in bid to curb euthanasia

HELENA | Montana legislators had been asked to choose between two proposed bills in creating a physician-assisted suicide law: Ban the practice altogether or create regulations for doctors and terminally ill patients to follow.

Now it appears they’ll do neither, leaving the state in the same legal limbo that has existed since a Montana Supreme Court ruling effectively legalized the practice more than a year ago.

Both bills were tabled in committee this week, all but killing the measures for the 2011 session — and likely for at least the next two years. The final nail was hammered last week when Sen. Greg Hinkle attempted to bypass the judiciary committee and bring his bill to ban assisted suicide to the full Senate.

His colleagues overwhelmingly voted him down, 35-15.

Either measure conceivably could be brought back this session, but the sponsor of the other bill, the one that would have created standards and regulations for assisted suicide, said he believes that would be highly unlikely. “That ship has sailed,” said Democratic Sen. Anders Blewett, a Great Falls attorney.


Chemical-eating bugs planned in cleanup

RICHMOND | The Defense Logistics Agency is looking to use chemical-eating bugs to help clean up the area around the Defense Supply Center in Richmond.

An agency study on using the microscopic bugs to restore and protect the environment at the site was developed with support from the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Officials say the site served as a firefighting training area in the 1960s where flammable liquid chemicals and petroleum products were used during exercises. According to the study, those activities are the most likely cause of groundwater degradation beneath the site.

The agency plans to rely on micro-organisms to decompose contaminants and render them harmless. Officials say the system has been tested elsewhere with positive results.


Kaine to decide soon on U.S. Senate bid

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said Saturday night that he plans to make a decision soon on whether he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee spoke at the Democratic Party of Virginia’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Richmond. He addressed the question on whether he’d bid for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Webb.

“My wife Anne and I … we’re spending some time reflecting about it,” he said. “Whatever decision I make, I’m confident that the next senator from Virginia will be a Democrat.”

Mr. Kaine said that he has a job he absolutely loves right now and was completely focused on continuing his work for the committee, but said he understands how important the seat is to the party.

Mr. Webb announced earlier this month that he will not seek re-election, leaving Democrats scrambling to field a strong candidate to keep the seat.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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