August 28th, 2009
08:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Corzine campaign calls Christie 'menace to society'

(CNN) – A spokeswoman for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine called his Republican challenger Chris Christie "a complete menace to society on the highways of New Jersey" for racking up 13 moving violations over the last two and a half decades.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission released documents Friday revealing that Christie, a former U.S. Attorney now seeking the governor's mansion, was found guilty on a total of 13 traffic tickets between 1985 and 2009, including seven for speeding.

Christie was also ticketed for six traffic accidents between 1989 and 2007, the Motor Vehicle Commission confirmed to CNN.

Corzine, meanwhile, earned two speeding tickets going back to 1992, and a third ticket for failing to wear a seat belt in the car accident that nearly killed him in 2007.

"Jon Corzine, like most drivers, has had an occasional infraction, and he paid the ticket," Corzine campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in an e-mail. "Chris Christie, on the other hand, has been a habitual offender and a complete menace to society on the highways of New Jersey."

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Filed under: Chris Christie • Jon Corzine • New Jersey
August 28th, 2009
08:18 PM ET
4 years ago

Kennedy memorialized: 'He had such a big heart'

Dorchester, Massachusetts (CNN) - Friends, family and colleagues gathered to pay tribute to Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy on Friday evening after tens of thousands had filed past the Democratic legend's casket throughout the day.

Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd, who has tried to shepherd Kennedy's signature cause of universal health care through the Senate this year, summed up his appeal in three words: "People liked him."

"Some people born with a famous name live off of it. Others enrich theirs," Dodd said. "Teddy enriched his."

Kennedy died Tuesday night at age 77 after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. He had represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1962, leaving his stamp on "nearly every important law passed in the last half-century," Dodd said.

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Filed under: Chris Dodd • Ted Kennedy
August 28th, 2009
07:50 PM ET
August 28th, 2009
06:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Sanford lashes out at the media

(CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford lashed out at the media on Friday, admonishing reporters at a press conference for their coverage of the multiple investigations into his travel expenses.

"One of the frankly disappointing things I've seen in several instances here over the last 60 days of my life since I've been through this thing is that in some cases it's not been about objective journalism, its been about advocacy journalism with an agenda," he said.

Sanford was in the town of Conway revealing his plans to waive confidentiality in a state Ethics Commission investigation into his use of state airplanes and taxpayer-funded travel, a move that will allow to the public to view the results of the probe.

But the governor, who has adopted an increasingly combative tone in recent days, also blasted members of the state legislature for being hypocritical, accusing them of spending state money on travel as well. He called on members of Senate and House to make their travel documents public.

Then he turned his sights on the South Carolina press corps, with whom he had a largely cordial relationship before he turned the state's political world upside down in June by copping to an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman. He chided the media for its coverage of his travel record and said he has been an excellent steward of taxpayer money, unlike previous administrations.

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Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
August 28th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Kennedy was our 'greatest champion,' says gay activist

WASHINGTON (CNN) – For writer John Aravosis, Edward "Ted" Kennedy's early support for gay rights was very important to a community that has faced a history steeped in discrimination.

"On gay rights, he was absurdly helpful for a straight senator back before gay rights were popular," he said.

Aravosis, who runs AmericaBlog - a political site that often focuses on gay rights issues - said it was Kennedy who sparked his interest in the movement.

"For me it was particularly personal since he gave me my start in gay rights," he said. "I started doing volunteer work in his office in 1993 when I was still working for a Republican senator."

Unabashedly liberal, Kennedy had a long track record in support of gay rights.

Former Massachusetts state Sen. Jarrett Barrios - and incoming President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation praised the Democratic senator's work.

"In those early years, his support may have turned heads but [that] didn't dampen his support - and eventually helped change hearts and minds about LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] equality in the Senate and around the country," he said in a statement.

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Filed under: Ted Kennedy
August 28th, 2009
05:59 PM ET
5 years ago

Gadhafi won't stay in Englewood, New Jersey, congressman say

(CNN) – Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi "will not be staying in Englewood, New Jersey, if he comes to the United States" for the U.N. General Assembly next month, a congressman leading the effort to keep him away said Friday.

Rep. Steve Rothman, D-New Jersey, issued a statement Friday saying that's what he had been told by representatives of the Libyan government.

The State Department said it could not confirm the move, and Rothman said the decision also had not been confirmed by the White House. The Libyan Embassy could not be reached for comment.

Rothman welcomed the news, saying Gadhafi's "appearance would have presented unnecessary safety and security issues for the residents of Englewood and the Libyan diplomats."

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Filed under: Uncategorized
August 28th, 2009
05:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama's Kennedy eulogy to be a 'personal message'

Obama will talk about the impact that the senator has had on him.
Obama will talk about the impact that the senator has had on him.

(CNN) – A senior administration official tells that President Obama will describe Sen. Ted Kennedy as a "legislator, mentor and friend" in a 15-minute eulogy Saturday that will be a "personal message about the life of [the senator]."

Obama will talk about the impact that the senator has had on him, says the aide, but will not include a lot of stories about the relationship between the president and the man whose endorsement played a major role in his capture of the Democratic presidential nomination. Instead, it will be a broader message of a national goodbye and national tribute from the president. Obama will talk about Kennedy's legacy - his "impact on the American people" - but the exact language is not set - the president is still going over his remarks with a speechwriter

The first couple are expected to depart Martha's Vineyard for Boston, where Kennedy's funeral service will be held, around 9 pm Friday night.


Filed under: President Obama • Ted Kennedy
August 28th, 2009
02:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin's PAC forced to correct FEC filing

 Palin's PAC is correcting a number of FEC errors.
Palin's PAC is correcting a number of FEC errors.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sarah Palin's political action committee violated federal election laws with two donations earlier this year and filed a mid-year report with a number of errors in it, according to the Federal Election Commission.

In a five-page letter to SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford, the FEC highlights a number of issues with the filed report, including donating more than is allowed to the reelection campaigns of Sens. John McCain and Lisa Murkowski, as well as not providing proper descriptions on how some of the PAC's money was spent.

Contacted by CNN, Crawford said the committee was currently revising the report to fix the errors and said these types of mistakes are not uncommon with FEC filings.

"A million of these [correction letters] go out every month," Crawford said. "They send out a lot of them.

A spokesman for the FEC said its standard practice for all reports to be reviewed, but would not estimate how many PAC's usually have to file corrections.

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Filed under: Sarah Palin
August 28th, 2009
02:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Cafferty: Who will assume Sen. Kennedy’s leadership role?

ALT TEXT
The American flag flies at half staff Tuesday following the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy. (PHOTO CREDIT: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES)

When it comes to filling Sen. Ted Kennedy's leadership shoes, it doesn't seem at first glance that there is anyone who can.

As Politico puts it, no other senator possesses the combination of "celebrity, seniority, personal charm, legislative savvy and ideological zeal that made Kennedy the most effective liberal in a generation.”

Those who worked with him call Kennedy "irreplaceable.” Many have said the senator's presence was sorely missed in the health care debate. Because of his failing health, he was unable to spend much time on Capitol Hill the last few months. Although Kennedy was a staunch liberal, he was known for compromising with Republicans – a skill pretty much lacking in both parties these days.

Perhaps the only senator who had similar star power was Hillary Clinton. And, before she became Pres. Obama's secretary of state, some aides had hoped she would assume a Kennedy-like role in the Senate.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here.


Filed under: Cafferty File • Ted Kennedy
August 28th, 2009
01:58 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP Senate doctors on health care road show

The only two medical doctors currently in the Senate, both Republicans, are using the August congressional recess to take their two-month old, twice weekly health care reform Webcast on the road.
The only two medical doctors currently in the Senate, both Republicans, are using the August congressional recess to take their two-month old, twice weekly health care reform Webcast on the road.

(CNN) - The only two medical doctors currently in the Senate, both Republicans, are using the August congressional recess to take their two-month old, twice weekly health care reform Webcast on the road across America's heartland - an itinerary that appears designed to pressure on some of their more moderate Democratic Senate colleagues from Nebraska, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

"I think we may bring a little bit more judgment and credibility to what's really going on in this debate and the problems in health care," Oklahoma Sen. and family practice physician Tom Coburn told CNN.

Along with Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, an orthopedic surgeon, Coburn launched "The Senate Doctors Show" in early July. Twice a week, the two doctors sit down and film a roughly 20-minute segment where they answer questions about health care reform submitted by the public via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and through "man-on-the-street" video interviews of Capitol Hill visitors.

This week, the two men hit the road. Wednesday, Coburn and Barrasso were in Omaha, Nebraska where they visited an intensive care unit and taped an episode of their Webcast with a live audience. Thursday, the two men split the day between a morning town hall in Bentonville, Arkansas and two afternoon events in northern Mississippi - another taping of their production with a live audience and a hospital visit. Friday, the two doctors are set to join fellow Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana and three House Republicans from the state at a town hall meeting in Kenner, Louisiana. Vitter will also join Coburn and Barrasso on a tour of a New Orleans medical facility.

Three of the four states for this week's tour don't appear to be coincidental.
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Filed under: Arkansas • Health care • Louisiana • Mississippi • Nebraska
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