Washington (CNN) - It appears the Democratic National Committee outraised its Republican counterpart last month.
The DNC raked in $11.5 million in October, a party source told CNN Thursday. Earlier in the day, the Republican National Committee reported that they brought in $8.79 million last month, with $11.2 million cash on hand and no debt.
According to the Democratic party source, the DNC has $12.3 million in the bank, with debt of $4.4 million. The $11.5 million the DNC says it raised in October would be a monthly record for a non-presidential election year since the implementation of campaign finance reform measures earlier this decade.
The RNC says the $8.79 million they raised in October was their highest monthly total in an off-election year.
The RNC's $11.2 million in the bank is down nearly $8 million from the start of October, which reflects the large amounts of money the party committee spent last month to help GOP candidates in this November's contests. Republican gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia both won, grabbing back two seats held by Democrats.
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Washington (CNN) - Several White House officials confirm President Obama will appear in a public service announcement with NFL players DeMarcus Ware, Drew Brees, and Troy Polamalu. The 90-second spot will air during the NFL Thanksgiving games, and a shorter version will run throughout the football season.
The ad has Obama playing touch football on the White House lawn with local children and the Pittsburgh Steelers safety Polamalu, New Orleans Saints quarterback Brees, and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Ware. The spot is to promote the NFL's Play 60 campaign which tackles childhood obesity by encouraging physical exercise, and Mr.Obama's community service project United We Serve. During the spot the president wears a Chicago Bears jacket recognizing his home team.
Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates Thursday announced a 45-day review of military policies in response to the Fort Hood killings, telling reporters the November 5 massacre raised questions that "demand complete but prompt answers."
The review will examine whether Pentagon policies fall short in identifying service members who pose "credible threats to others," or in personnel screening programs and security and emergency response at U.S. bases.
Gates said the investigation won't ease the pain of the families of the 13 people killed, but said the Pentagon must do "everything in our power to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future."
"In all of these, I promise the Department of Defense's full and open disclosure," he said.
(CNN) - A spokeswoman for Rudy Giuliani says that the former New York City mayor has not made up his mind about running for governor next year.
Maria Comella's comments were in response to report Thursday in the New York Times that Giuliani had decided not to run for New York governor in 2010, according to people who have been told of his decision.
"Rudy has a history of making up his own mind and has no problem speaking it. When Mayor Giuliani makes a decision about serving in public office, he will inform New Yorkers on his own," said Comella in a statement.
Recent polls of New York State voters indicate that Giuliani holds a wide lead over former Rep. Rick Lazio, the only Republican to have declared a gubernatorial bid, in a hypothetical 2010 GOP primary match-up.
Washington (CNN)– The Senate will vote Saturday on opening debate on the sweeping health care bill introduced by Democrats, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.
At a celebratory news conference the day after unveiling the 2,074-page bill, Reid and other leading Senate Democrats touted it as long overdue reform that will provide health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans while reducing the federal deficit.
Republicans have vowed to try to block the bill, requiring Reid to round up 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to overcome a GOP filibuster and launch debate.
The Democratic caucus is composed of 58 Democratic senators and two independents. However, some conservative and moderate Democrats have expressed concern with provisions in the health care bill.
Asked Thursday if he had the votes to launch debate, Reid said: "We'll find out."
(CNN) - A former security guard at a New Jersey airport who was accused of making threats against the president is expected to be released from jail Thursday after a judge determined he is not a threat to himself or others, the prosecutor's office said.
John Brek, 55, of Linden, New Jersey, appeared Thursday morning before Judge Robert Gardner, who, after reviewing Brek's psychiatric evaluation, sentenced him to the 29 days he has served in jail since his arrest in October, a spokesman for the Essex County prosecutor's office told CNN.
Brek initially was charged with making terroristic threats in connection with remarks he allegedly made about President Barack Obama. He denied making any threats, and the judge ultimately accepted a plea deal under which Brek pleaded guilty to two lesser counts.
Sentencing was delayed pending the psychiatric evaluation. After looking at that evaluation, Gardner said he concluded Brek is not a threat to anyone.
Cedar Creek, Texas (CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday he has read "significant portions" of Sarah Palin's new memoir and called it "a great re-telling of her story thus far."
Parnell, who succeeded Palin in Juneau when she resigned her office in July, said he read parts of the book during his flight from Alaska to Texas, where he is attending the Republican Governors Association's annual conference. Palin did not send him a copy of the book, he said.
"It's such a conversational tone, and there is so much in there that I have lived with her, except for the presidential campaign," Parnell told CNN. "I have enjoyed it."
But Parnell said Alaskans have moved on from the drama of the 2008 campaign and are now primarily concerned with local economic issues.
"Most of our focus has returned to our state issues, the gas line, resource development," he said. "People are just concerned about their jobs, just like here. People are focused on the economy.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A key congressional committee opened its investigation Thursday into the November 5 Fort Hood shootings with a pledge to find out if authorities failed to "connect the dots" and could have prevented the attack.
The head of the committee promised the inquiry would not interfere with a separate investigation into the shootings being conducted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder.
"Their investigation looks backward and is punitive. Ours looks forward and is preventive," said Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut,
Authorities say Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, opened fire at a military processing center at Fort Hood Army Post, killing 13 people. Dozens of others were wounded.
Cedar Creek, Texas (CNN) - Flanked by 14 of his fellow Republican governors, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour Thursday denounced Democratic efforts to reform health care and said that states will bear the financial burden if enacted.
Barbour took specific aim at a health bill recently passed by the House as well as the new legislation introduced in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.
"Sen. Reid's bill, like the House bill, guts Medicare and is a huge cost shift that will have to be borne by states," Barbour said at a news conference held during the Republican Governors Association annual meeting.
(CNN) - House Republicans are criticizing three Democrats for voting in favor of their party's health care reform bill in a new weeklong TV ad buy.
The 30-second spots are airing on cable television and target Reps. Vic Snyder of Arkansas, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota and John Spratt of South Carolina.
Ken Spain, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said this early ad buy is an indication of what Democrats should expect to see in the lead up to the 2010 elections.
"Democrats are getting a taste of what next fall is going to feel like when they are going down to defeat thanks in part to the statements made by their liberal colleagues," Spain said.