(CNN) - No, hell has not frozen over, but a Buckley is backing a Democrat for president.
Christopher Buckley, the son of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, said Friday he's decided to back Barack Obama's White House bid, the first time in his life he will vote Democrat.
“It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup [sic] are no longer alive. They’d cut off my allowance," Buckley, a columnist for the conservative National Review, wrote on the Web site The Daily Beast Friday.
Buckley, who praised McCain in a New York Times Op-Ed earlier this year and defended the Arizona senator's conservative credentials against wary talk-radio hosts, said McCain is no longer the “real” and “unconventional” man he once admired.
"This campaign has changed John McCain," Buckley wrote. "It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget 'by the end of my first term.' Who, really, believes that?
"Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis," Buckley added. "His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?"
But Buckley made clear he's not just voting against McCain, praising Obama for his "first-class temperament and first-class intellect."
"Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy 'We are the people we have been waiting for' silly rhetoric—the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for," Buckley wrote.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) – Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her power as Alaska's governor and a violated state ethics law by trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator's report concluded Friday.
"Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda," the report states.
View the full report (pdf)
Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan's refusal to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten from the state police force was "likely a contributing factor" to Monegan's July dismissal, but Palin had the authority as governor to sack him, the report by former Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower states. However, it states that her efforts to get Wooten fired broke a state ethics law that bars public officials from pursuing personal interest through official action.
Monegan has said he was fired in July after refusing pressure to sack Wooten, who had gone through an acrimonious divorce and custody battle with Palin's sister. Palin and her husband, Todd, have consistently denied any wrongdoing, describing Wooten as a "rogue trooper" who had threatened their family - allegations Branchflower discounted.
"I conclude that such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins' real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family reasons," Branchflower wrote.
(CNN) – In the midst of a fusillade of attacks from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from the McCain-Palin campaign, the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, often called “ACORN,” is not backing down and is, instead, defending its voter registration activities as attention turns to the integrity of the election system on the eve of an historic presidential election.
Citing a long history of voter suppression in the country, ACORN spokesman Brian Kettenring said recent charges against the organization are just partisan attacks intended to undermine the group’s voter registration efforts. “The current strategy seems to be, from the right, to create, to manufacture a so-called crisis of voter fraud . . . and then to solve that crisis through measures that are about constricting the electorate, narrowing the electorate, keeping people from being able to vote,” he said.
Listen: ACORN, Project Vote explain their voter registration drive
On a conference call with reporters, ACORN and Project Vote, its partner in voter registration programs, explained their process for training and overseeing individuals who canvass for new registrations in the field.
Listen: ACORN, Project Vote answer reporters' questions
Canvassers are paid on an hourly basis and not, as some critics have charged, per registration submitted, Project Vote’s Executive Director Michael Slater said Friday. He also said there are no incentives for meeting or exceeding any quota, and that each application is reviewed and if potentially fraudulent or otherwise problematic registration cards are identified, they are flagged and turned into election officials. “In many states we are obligated to turn in all applications by law, regardless of whether we believe that there are problems are not,” Slater added. Asked for more details about which states have such a requirement, Brian Mellor, an attorney for ACORN, pointed to Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and California.
At a campaign event Thursday, October 9, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama repeated a long-time charge: "John McCain says he wants to keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas."
Get the facts!
This absentee ballot was sent out to voters in Rensselaer County in New York state. Photo credit: Albany Times Union newspaper
(CNN) - Some are calling it a Freudian slip. Everyone’s calling it a big mistake.
Hundreds of absentee ballots sent to voters in New York State’s Rensselaer County, near Albany, were printed with Barack Obama’s last name spelled as “Osama," the Albany Times Union reports.
County elections officials tell the newspaper that it was a typo that made it by three rounds of proof-readers. They also said the error affected just a few hundred voters, and that they will re-send corrected ballots on request.
Watch CNN's Fact Check about Sen. McCain's claim.
At a campaign event Thursday, October 9, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain criticized Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama's health-care plan. "Under his plan, he will fine employers who don't offer health insurance to put their employees in government health care. He'll fine them," McCain said. "You know what that does? That costs jobs. That costs jobs for small business people in America."
Watch: McCain, Obama debate their health care proposals
Get the facts!
(CNN) – Hockey Moms might be the hot political demographic of the moment, but NASCAR Dads haven't been forgotten.
The McCain campaign is moving Sarah Palin's Monday appearance from the Arthur Ashe Center in downtown Richmond, Virginia - capacity 6,000 - to a much larger outdoor venue: the Richmond International Raceway, which hosts two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races yearly and can accommodate over 100,000 people.
Watch: Cindy McCain goes for a loop around the race track
The campaign doesn't expect to fill all those seats, but McCain's mid-Atlantic regional director Trey Walker said the demand for Palin tickets has nearly quadrupled the capacity of the original event site.
The raceway is located in Henrico County, which will be slightly more competitive on November 4 than the city itself, which is firmly Democratic. In the 2006 Senate race, Republican George Allen edged out
Democrat Jim Webb, the eventual winner, by just over 500 votes in the county.
The event will be Palin's second of the day in Virginia after a morning rally in Virginia Beach, which, according to Walker, should be larger than the Richmond rally.
(CNN) - John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt accused Barack Obama of ties to ACORN, the embattled community group facing allegations of voter registration violations in several battleground states.
Governor Blunt talked about the community organization’s voting law violations in Missouri and Davis said he hoped that the press would examine ACORN’s activities “so that none of those battleground states are stolen from the campaign in this election.”
This week ACORN and Project Vote announced that their voter registration drive had been the most succeful in history with more than 1.3 million voters registered in 21 states.
As they have done with recent attempts to link Obama to Bill Ayers, the McCain campaign tried to raise questions over whether the Illinois senator was being truthful about his past association with ACORN.
Listen: Davis, Blunt on Obama, ACORN
The Missouri governor said Obama’s ties to ACORN went a long way back, to a period “before he launched his political career in the land of Bill Ayers,” and cited that in 1993 Obama acted as their lawyer on a case and ran a 1992 ran a voter registration drive and taught classes with them in the early 1990s.
(CNN) - With recent polls showing Sen. Barack Obama's lead increasing nationwide and in several GOP-leaning states, some Republicans attending McCain-Palin campaign rallies have taken on a new emotion: Rage.
"When you have an Obama, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and the rest of the hooligans up there going to run this country, we have got to have our head examined. It's time that you two are representing us, and we are mad. So, go get them," one man told Sen. John McCain at a town hall meeting in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Watch: Rage hits the McCain campaign trail
It's almost a cry for help, with the GOP party faithful amazed McCain could possibly be losing.
"And we're all wondering why that Obama is where he's at, how he got here. I mean, everybody in this room is stunned that we're in this position," another man said at a rally.
"I'm mad. I'm really mad. And what's going to surprise you, it's not the economy. It's the socialists taking over our country," another man said.
An ad released Thursday, October 9, by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, titled "Tested," takes aim at Sen. John McCain's mortgage plan. "McCain would shift the burden from lenders to taxpayers, guaranteeing a loss of taxpayer money," the ad's narrator says. "Who wins? The same lenders that caused the crisis in the first place."