- - Monday, October 8, 2012


Mitt Romney’s attack on Big Bird and PBS isn’t helping him, according to the latest Washington Times/Zogby Poll that found most voters say spending taxpayer money on public broadcasting is a good use of government funding.

“I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it,” Mr. Romney told PBS moderator Jim Lehrer during last week’s debate.

But 55 percent of likely voters said PBS “is a worthwhile place to spend taxpayers’ money.” Only 35 percent said “the government cannot afford to subsidize public television.” Even a quarter of voters who plan to vote for Mr. Romney said they would like to see the money keep flowing.

The poll of 800 likely voters was taken Friday through Sunday, and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.


Two polls vary widely in race for U.S. Senate

Two new polls on the U.S. Senate race in Florida reveal significantly contrasting results, with one showing Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson with a double-digit lead over GOP challenger Rep. Connie Mack, while the other forecasts a dead heat.

The results of a Rasmussen Reports survey has the Democratic incumbent with an 11 percentage point lead, with 6 percent of respondents undecided. The survey of 500 likely voters has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

A We Ask America survey pegs each candidate with 44 percent of the vote, with more than 12 percent of respondents undecided. The automated telephone survey of 1,200 likely Florida voters has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Both surveys were taken a day after Wednesday’s debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, which most political analysts agree was won by Mr. Romney.


Senate candidate tangled
in golf course violations

MORGANTOWN — Republican Senate candidate John Raese filled in wetlands and damaged more than two miles of streams when he rerouted them to create waterfalls on a private, 18-hole West Virginia golf course that federal regulators say he built without the required permits.

The construction of Pikewood National Golf Club near Morgantown is “probably the biggest violation we’ve ever seen in this district,” Sheila Tunney, spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh, told The Associated Press.

More than two years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Mr. Raese, the club’s president, to develop a plan to mitigate the damage. Ms. Tunney says work on that plan is ongoing.


Romney to skip Nickelodeon’s ‘Kids Pick the President’

LOS ANGELES — Mitt Romney has passed on the chance to take part in Nickelodeon’s “Kids Pick the President” special with President Obama, said Linda Ellerbee, the show’s host and executive producer. The decision “disses” children, she said.

“Kids Pick the President: The Candidates,” with videotaped questions for the candidates from youngsters nationwide, debuts Oct. 15 on the children’s channel. Afterward, an online poll asks youngsters to make their pick.

The Romney campaign said “he simply didn’t have time. He couldn’t fit it in his schedule,” Ms. Ellerbee said Monday.


If voters OK hemp, unclear if farmers would grow it

SEATTLE — Residents of Washington, Oregon and Colorado won’t just be considering whether to let adults buy pot at state-sanctioned shops when they vote next month on legalizing and taxing marijuana.

They also will be voting on whether to let farmers grow marijuana’s far-less potent cousin — hemp — for clothing, food, biofuel and construction materials among other uses.

But don’t expect farmers to start growing it, at least not immediately. The passage would create the familiar clash with federal law, which prohibits growing the plant for industrial, recreational or medicinal purposes.


New Obama ad criticizes Romney on foreign policy

The Obama campaign ad released a new ad reminding voters of Mr. Romney’s overseas trip in July and media coverage labeling it “amateurish.”

Showing photos of Mr. Romney’s campaign bus driving up to his plane, a narrator quotes headlines and editorials calling Mr. Romney’s comments on the trip “reckless” and “amateurish.”

“That’s what news media and fellow Republicans called Mitt Romney’s gaffe-filled July tour of England, Israel and Poland,” the narrator says while a video clip plays of Mr. Romney with his head-bowed boarding a plane.

“If this is how he handles the world now,” the ad says. “Just think what Mitt Romney might do as president.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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