August 12th, 2009
09:50 AM ET
5 years ago

GA congressman describes hate mail, Nazi graffiti after protests

Rep. David Scott's staff found a swastika on a sign outside his district office in Georgia.
Rep. David Scott's staff found a swastika on a sign outside his district office in Georgia.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - A Georgia congressman said Wednesday he's received death threats and found Nazi graffiti outside his office in the aftermath of heated protests about health-care reform.

David Scott, a Democrat from north-central Georgia, told CNN he has received several offensive faxes and letters, including some with death threats and racial abuse.

Scott is black. His district includes part of metro-Atlanta.

In a CNN interview, the congressman showed a cartoon of Barack Obama, depicting the president as a clown with a swastika on his head, which he said he had received in the mail.

Tuesday, his staff found a swastika painted over Scott's name on a sign outside his office.

"I was just simply appalled," he said.
FULL POST


Filed under: Health care
August 12th, 2009
09:45 AM ET
August 12th, 2009
09:38 AM ET
5 years ago

Fears fuel emotional health care protests

The battle over health care reform has energized people on both sides of the debate.
The battle over health care reform has energized people on both sides of the debate.

(CNN) - Beyond the noise of raucous crowds and angry protesters who have turned town hall meetings into shouting matches is genuine concern from ordinary citizens who are afraid that President Obama's health care proposals would only make things harder for them, experts say.

"The reason that we see these protests and people asking tough questions at town hall meetings is because they feel like the president is going to take something away from them. That motivates people. That gets them out," said Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Those fears were heard Tuesday at Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter's town hall meeting in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. "This is going to take away my freedom," charged one man who wanted assurance from Specter that the private option for health insurance would stay viable.

Specter repeated Obama's pledge, telling the crowd, "If you like your policy, you can keep it."

Acknowledging the skepticism at a town hall meeting Tuesday, Obama tried to alleviate fears that reform would take something away.

"I recognize there's an underlying fear here that people somehow won't get the care they need. You will have not only the care you need, but also the care that right now is being denied to you, only if we get health care reform. That's what we're fighting for," he said at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, event.

Since his days on the campaign trail, Obama has promised the public that those who like their health insurance plans won't have to give them up, but he's stopped short of saying at what cost.

"I think that's the fear," said Diana Owen, an associate professor of political science and the director of American studies at Georgetown University. "Even though they are going to keep the plan, the plan is going to be at a much greater cost. And he's not been able to really allay that fear."

Full story


Filed under: Congress • Health care • Obama administration • President Obama
August 12th, 2009
09:01 AM ET
August 12th, 2009
08:01 AM ET
5 years ago

Sanford defends expensive travel, denies divorce

Sanford flew in style on two international flights in 2006 and 2007.
Sanford flew in style on two international flights in 2006 and 2007.

(CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford defended his trips on expensive international flights on Tuesday and said that a state Senate probe into his foreign travel is driven by a politically-motivated "feeding frenzy."

Sanford also told reporters that he and his wife Jenny - who moved out of the governor's mansion in Columbia last week - are not getting a divorce.

Sanford's travel has come under increased scrutiny since he admitted an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman in June. A state law enforcement probe in June found that the governor did not use state money while carrying on his affair.

But on Monday, Republican state Sen. David Thomas concluded an investigation that found Sanford violated South Carolina regulations by billing the state for business and first-class seats on international flights during trade missions in 2006 and 2007. South Carolina law requires state officials to purchase seats for the lowest available fare. Thomas told CNN that Sanford's actions could be grounds for impeachment when the legislative session begins in January.

Sanford, speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting Tuesday, said that the state Department of Commerce purchases tickets and argued that other South Carolina governors had flown business and first class when traveling overseas in the past. He said that if Thomas was really concerned about his travel practices, he should have called the governor's office instead of simply releasing the results of his investigation to the media.
FULL POST


Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
August 12th, 2009
08:00 AM ET
5 years ago

House panel releases Rove, Miers documents

House Judiciary Committee sources say they expect Karl Rove will be called to testify again.
House Judiciary Committee sources say they expect Karl Rove will be called to testify again.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House e-mails and transcripts of closed-door interviews with former Bush aides Karl Rove and Harriet Miers reveal involvement as early as May 2005 by Rove's office in the 2006 firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday released nearly 6,000 pages of documents from the committee's investigation into the firings.

In May and June 2005, for example, Rove aide Scott Jennings wrote e-mails to Tim Griffin, also in Rove's White House office, pushing for the dismissal of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

Jennings wondered "what else I can do to move this process forward" in one e-mail, and told Griffin in another that, "I would really like to move forward with getting rid of NM US ATTY." The impetus behind the push, according to the documents, was a disagreement in how Iglesias handled voter fraud cases.

Miers, then White House counsel, e-mailed in June 2005 that a "decision" had been made to replace Iglesias despite the attorney's top job review rankings from the Department of Justice.

Rove told the judiciary committee, according to transcripts of his interview, that Jennings was "freelancing" in his attempts to have Iglesias fired, but Miers, in her interview, said that a very "agitated" Rove telephoned her from New Mexico in September 2006, saying that Iglesias was "a serious problem and he wanted something done about it."

A month later, then-U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-New Mexico, e-mailed Rove that Iglesias was "shy about doing his job" of bringing corruption charges against her opponent in the 2006 race, Patricia Madrid.

Records also show that then-U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico, also was involved in pressing for Iglesias' replacement. The documents and transcripts show that Domenici spoke with White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten about Iglesias in early October and either he or his staff spoke with Rove at least four times in October.

Iglesias was ultimately placed on a list of attorneys to be fired in late 2006.

Full story


Filed under: Karl Rove • U.S. attorney firings
August 12th, 2009
07:59 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Truth Squad: Will health bill let Uncle Sam into your bank account?

The Statement: Twice during a Pennsylvania town hall meeting with Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday, constituents urged him to fight a provision of pending health care legislation that one woman said "gives the government access to private individual bank accounts at their free will."

"I do not think the government has the right to do that," she said. "I would think I would have to brush up on my Constitution, but I would think that's unconstitutional. I know definitely it's un-American."

(Get the facts and the verdict after the jump)
FULL POST

August 12th, 2009
05:04 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: August 12, 2009

ALT TEXT

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.

CNN: Failing to reform health care 'truly scary,' Obama says
President Obama complained Tuesday about opposition scare tactics against a proposed health care overhaul, but said failing to fix problems in the current system would be the scariest outcome of all.

CNN: House panel releases Rove, Miers documents
White House e-mails and transcripts of closed-door interviews with former Bush aides Karl Rove and Harriet Miers reveal involvement as early as May 2005 by Rove's office in the 2006 firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

CNN: Specter faces hostile audience at health care forum
A hostile crowd shouted questions and made angry statements Tuesday at a town hall meeting on health care in Pennsylvania led by Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter.

CNN: Faith groups launch campaign in favor of health care reform
Religious groups in favor of health care reform have launched a national campaign to offset the loud opposition to President Obama's plan to overhaul the nation's health care system, organizers announced.

CNN: Sanford defends expensive travel, denies divorce
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford defended his trips on expensive international flights on Tuesday and said that a state Senate probe into his foreign travel is driven by a politically-motivated "feeding frenzy."

CNN: Liberal groups continue to target Democratic senator
Liberal critics of Sen. Ben Nelson's position on health care reform sent out a new plea Tuesday asking for financial help in keeping a statewide television commercial that targets the Nebraska Democrat on the air.

FULL POST


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
newer posts »