- - Monday, January 2, 2012


Obama ends vacation, prepares to campaign

HONOLULU — With an eye on his re-election campaign, President Obama wrapped up a low-key Hawaiian vacation and planned to get back in front of voters quickly.

After spending 10 days on the island of Oahu, the president and his family are scheduled to touch down in Washington on Tuesday morning.

Republican candidates will be squaring off hours later in the Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest of the presidential campaign.

Mr. Obama plans to make his presence in the campaign known after more than a week out of the spotlight.

He will host a live Web chat with supporters in Iowa as the caucuses unfold.

On Wednesday, Mr. Obama will travel to Cleveland for an event focused on the economy. Obama aides said the president will seek to draw a contrast with his GOP challengers during the trip to Ohio, a swing state sure to factor prominently in the presidential election.

Mr. Obama also returns to Washington facing further debate on extending payroll-tax cuts, the same issue that consumed Washington in the final days before the holiday recess.


Super-PAC funding unleashed in Iowa

The onslaught of ads in Iowa from outside political groups is giving voters a preview of what’s in store for the presidential election.

A Supreme Court case that opened the floodgates to outside money in American politics is expected to have a major impact in the Republican primary contests and the general election as new super-PACs spend millions of dollars attempting to unseat President Obama.

Such unlimited funds already have made a dent in the GOP campaigns, and some groups have spent more than the very candidates they support.

The high court ruling in 2010 lifted restrictions on corporate and union spending in elections. Campaign watchdogs say the effect of that decision is a worrisome trend.


Legislature will seat first Maliseet Indian

AUGUSTA — History will be made when Maine lawmakers return to the Statehouse for their legislative session.

David Slagger will be seated in the House, becoming Maine’s first Maliseet Indian legislator. The University of Maine doctoral candidate will be sworn in by Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday.

Two of Maine’s four tribes - the Penobscots and Passamaquoddies - are already represented in the Legislature; the Micmacs are not. The Houlton Band of Maliseets was authorized to send a representative to the Legislature in 2010.

Maine is unique among the states in having Indian tribal representatives, according to Maine Indian historian Glenn Starbird. The earliest record of Indian representation dates to 1823, three years after Maine became a state, when the Penobscots sent a member.

“As a native person, I want to be a representative that does substantial things that affect our people’s lives in a positive way,” said Mr. Slagger, whose first name is an Anglicized version of his native-language name, pronounced “TAP-it.”

Indian representatives are selected internally by their tribes. They are allowed to submit bills, participate in legislative committee sessions and speak on the floor of the House, but they cannot vote. Their districts are also represented by voting legislators.

The 800-member Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians is part of the larger Maliseet Nation of New Brunswick, and is led by a tribal chief, Brenda Commander. Graydon Nicholas, New Brunswick’s lieutenant governor and a member of the Maliseet Tribe, plans to attend Mr. Slagger’s swearing-in ceremony.


William Carey, education philanthropist, dies

BALTIMORE — William Polk Carey, who founded a New York-based investment management firm bearing his name and donated millions of dollars to help found business schools at universities in Maryland and Arizona, has died at 81.

The W.P. Carey Foundation said the Baltimore native died Monday at a West Palm Beach, Fla., hospital. It said the founder and chairman of investment firm W.P. Carey & Co. also established that philanthropic foundation in 1988.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Mr. Carey gave $30 million in April to the University of Maryland Law School, since renamed in his honor. He also made a $50 million bequest in 2006 to Johns Hopkins University to found the Carey School of Business. He also gave $50 million to Arizona State University to found its business school.


Former Rep. Jenkins dies at 78

ATLANTA — Former U.S. Rep. Ed Jenkins, a Democrat who represented northern Georgia in Congress from 1977 to 1993, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 78.

His daughter, Janice Jenkins, said early Monday that the former congressman died at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

Mr. Jenkins was elected to Congress in 1976, the same year that another Georgian, Jimmy Carter, was elected president. He served on the House Budget and Ways & Means committees.

Mr. Jenkins, a lawyer, served in the Coast Guard and as an aide to his predecessor, Phil Landrum, and as a prosecutor before being elected to Congress. The Almanac of American Politics described him in 1990 as “one of the smartest operators on Capitol Hill.” The publication praised his dispassionate questioning of Oliver North during the Iran-Contra hearings and cited his efforts to protect the textile industry.

“He was unique and one of a kind,” his daughter said.

After retiring from Congress, Mr. Jenkins remained active in church and civic affairs and served on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. He would have turned 79 on Wednesday.

“He’ll be missed by a lot of people,” Ms. Jenkins said. “He always believed in second chances. He helped a lot of people.”

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Jenkins is survived by his wife, Jo; another daughter, Amy; and two grandsons.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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