(CNN) - The Arizona legislature has passed a series of changes to the state's controversial new immigration law in an attempt to address charges that the measure will lead to racial profiling.
Gov. Jan Brewer, the state's Republican chief executive, has not yet indicated if she will sign the changes into law. If approved, they would take effect along with the rest of the statute 90 days after the close of the current legislative session.
Among other things, lawmakers asserted that prosecutors would not investigate complaints "based on race, color or national origin." The law as currently written states that the Arizona attorney general or a county attorney cannot investigate complaints basely solely on such factors.
Lawmakers also stipulated that police officers would not be able to detain an individual based merely on the suspicion that he or she entered the country illegally. The proposed change to the law states that a "lawful stop, detention or arrest must be in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town of this state."
Arizona's new law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they are in the United States illegally. The measure makes it a state crime to live in or travel through Arizona illegally.
(CNN) - The race for the Republican presidential nomination is a ways off, but that isn't stopping California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger from predicting who will carry the party's banner in November 2012.
Appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Thursday, Schwarzenegger said he's betting on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney "by a hair."
But Schwarzenegger, who endorsed Sen. John McCain over Romney and Mike Huckabee in the 2008 presidential race, says he himself would run if the Constitution allowed foreign-born citizens to be president.
"Without any doubt. There's no two ways about that," he said when asked if he wants to mount a presidential bid of his own.
(CNN) - Federal jurors deliberating the case surrounding the 2008 email hacking of then-Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin remain deadlocked on one of the four issues they have been tasked to consider, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Jurors are deliberating in their fourth day over the issue of identity theft in the case of a 22-year old man accused of hacking Palin's e-mail account while he was a student in college.
Though remaining divided that issue, jurors did inform the judge Thursday they reached a unanimous verdict on three other charges - wire fraud, intentionally accessing Palin's e-mail account without authorization, and obstructing an FBI investigation.
(CNN) – A day after one candidate dropped out of the race for the Republican Senate nomination in Florida, a new candidate jumped into the hunt for the Democratic nomination.
Florida real estate investor Jeff Greene launched his bid Friday, a day after Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced he would no longer run for the Republican Senate nomination and instead would continue his campaign as an independent candidate - leaving former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio as the sole GOP contender.
Greene appears to be running as an outsider.
"I'm just as frustrated as you are. That's why I am running for Senate this year. For too long, the career politicians we've sent to Washington have played partisan games and have failed us." Greene told Florida voters in a press release and video announcing his candidacy. "I am an outsider, the only candidate who isn't a career politician."
(CNN) – Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist wants independents to back his bid to become Florida's next senator. But he might not be exactly what they are looking for.
"I should be a textbook supporter of Charlie Crist's independent candidacy because I'm a centrist and an independent," said John Avlon, an expert on independent voters. "But I'm not. ... Instead of having principle and disagreements with his party, he seems opportunistic."
On Thursday, Crist announced that he will run as an independent in the Florida Senate race against Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek - who now faces a primary challenger. On Friday, Florida real estate investor Jeff Greene jumped into the hunt for the Democratic nomination.
Avlon, author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America" and "Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics," said Crist's decision comes down to political calculus, something independents dislike.
"Charlie Crist has a much better chance of winning a general election than he does a close partisan primary - especially in a season of overheated rhetoric that is overcoming the Republican Party," Avlon said. "By no means [is this] a slam dunk for Charlie Crist. It's a bit more of a Hail Mary."
Washington (CNN) - As many Americans rail against big banks and lawmakers push for financial reform, Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Chris Dodd of Connecticut will attend a New York fundraiser with some top Democratic donors who also have ties to Wall Street.
The Monday fundraiser will be hosted by Jane Hartley, a longtime Gillibrand supporter, at her Manhattan home. Hartley does not work in the financial industry, but her husband is Ralph Schlosstein, president and CEO of the investment firm Evercore Partners. Schlosstein also served in the Carter administration.
Politicians have long rubbed elbows with Wall Street executives, who have traditionally been an important source of campaign dollars. But Gillibrand and Dodd's attendance at the event could prove politically embarrassing.
Dodd is the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which is deeply involved in crafting legislation to reform to Wall Street. In November, Gillibrand hopes to win a full six year term after New York Gov. David Paterson appointed her to the seat left vacant when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.
The senators' attendance at the event could give critics political ammunition in what has become a major battle over which party is cozier with Wall Street.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: Obama meets with Supreme Court candidate Sidney Thomas
President Obama has started meeting with possible Supreme Court nominees, including talks Thursday with federal Judge Sidney Thomas, a senior administration official told CNN. The senior official would not disclose the other recent meetings, but acknowledged the activity is a sign the process has reached an important phase and Obama is edging closer to a selection. Obama has said he intends to nominate a candidate to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens by the end of May, so the Senate can complete the confirmation process in time for the new Supreme Court session in the fall.
CNN: Campaign finance proposal targets corporations
Congressional Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday that would ban foreign-controlled companies and most firms receiving either government contracts or federal bailout funds from spending money on U.S. elections. The measure is designed to mitigate the impact of a controversial Supreme Court campaign finance ruling this year that overturned a longstanding ban on corporations and unions using their treasury funds to run presidential and congressional election ads.
CNN: Dems to attend fundraiser with donors who have ties to Wall St.
As many Americans rail against big banks and lawmakers push for financial reform, Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Chris Dodd of Connecticut will attend a New York fundraiser with some top Democratic donors who also have ties to Wall Street. Politicians have long rubbed elbows with Wall Street executives, who have traditionally been an important source of campaign dollars. But Gillibrand and Dodd's attendance at the event could prove politically embarrassing.
The Hill: Democrats pledge to move toward 2010 vote on immigration reform
Senate Democratic leaders said Thursday they are serious about having a vote on immigration this year. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and other Democrats made that pledge as they unveiled their outline of an immigration reform plan, which has been widely viewed as a political exercise to help Reid and other Democrats with Hispanic voters, a growing electoral bloc.
Wall Street Journal: Republicans Might Want to Rent, not Own, the House
President Barack Obama went on a campaign-style barnstorming tour of the Midwest this week, a reminder that this is a big political year posing a big political question: Can Republicans take back control of the House of Representatives? It's an interesting question. Here's a more interesting one: Why would they want to? A good case could be made that a Republican takeover would only make life more difficult politically for the GOP, and easier in some ways for President Obama.
CNN: Crist quits GOP primary, stage set for three-way race
Declaring that his only loyalty is to the people of his state, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Thursday that he will run for the United States Senate as an independent rather than a Republican. The move sets the stage for an unprecedented three-way race in which Crist will test whether he can win federal office without the formal backing of a political party.
Washington (CNN) – The senator responsible for promoting Democrats in senate races nationwide said the Republican Party is "cannibalizing" its moderates.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, reacted to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to abandon the Republican senate primary and launch an independent bid. Menendez is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
"This is an example of what's happening in the Republican Party across the country where they're cannibalizing each other," Menendez told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King in an interview that aired on CNN's John King, USA.
Crist's decision essentially launched a three-way general election race pitting him against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio – expected to become the Republican nominee - and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama has started meeting face-to-face with possible Supreme Court nominees, including talks Thursday with federal judge Sidney Thomas, a senior administration official told CNN.
Thomas serves on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is from Billings, Montana.
The senior administration official would not disclose the other recent meetings, but acknowledged the activity is a sign that the process has reached an important new phase and Obama is edging closer to a selection.
Obama has said he intends to nominate a candidate to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens by the end of May, so that the Senate can complete the confirmation process in time for the new Supreme Court session in the fall.
According to the senior administration official, Obama is still going through a lot of reading material as he considers contenders and has more one-on-one meetings planned.
St. Petersburg, Florida (CNN) - Declaring that his only loyalty is to the people of his state, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Thursday that he will run for the United States Senate as an independent rather than a Republican.
The move sets the stage for an unprecedented three-way race in which Crist will test whether he can win federal office without the formal backing of a political party.
"I could have chosen to stay in the [Republican] primary, but frankly for me, this your decision," he told a crowd of about 300 supporters and campaign volunteers gathered in a picturesque St. Petersburg park overlooking Tampa Bay. "It's not one club's decision or another."
When it finally came, Crist's declaration of independence was somewhat of an anti-climax. With poll after poll suggesting that he stood no chance of winning the GOP nomination over his ascendant rival, former House Speaker Marco Rubio, Crist began hinting at an independent bid weeks ago. News of his decision leaked a day early.
Crist told reporters after the speech that he made up his mind to run without party affiliation "late last night." Asked if he could raise the kind of money needed to run a competitive campaign in the nation's fourth largest state, Crist responded: "I already have."