(CNN) - South Carolina's top law enforcement agency announced Friday that it will not file charges against Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) had been investigating how Greene, a political newcomer who could not afford a lawyer when facing criminal charges last year, came up with the $10,440 needed to get his name on the Democratic Senate primary ballot.
"After a thorough investigation, SLED has concluded that there is no evidence of wrongdoing, criminal intent or deception to the court when Greene applied for a public defender last year," the agency said in a statement Friday.
(CNN) - Former Cleveland mayor and current Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich weighed in Friday on the Lebron James free-agency saga, admitting that James "was the beneficiary of a status in Cleveland that only a few athletes ever achieved." And in what many basketball experts might consider a bold prediction, Kucinich said that Cleveland would "surprise the NBA with its resilience" next year.
"I think the other players are going to have a chance to show their potential," Kucinich said on CNN's John King, USA. "I mean you could imagine for some of the tremendous athletes who are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers, in many ways they have to be in the shadow of one extraordinarily gifted athlete. And now they'll have a chance to come forward, and you may actually see the kind of chemistry that can produce the kind of teamwork that will be essential to win."
Touting Cleveland's strong emotional commitment to its sports teams, Kucinich acknowledged that some might say the Cavs will be "at a great disadvantage" next season, but he added that life will go on in his home city.
(CNN) – A Republican Senator predicted Friday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is likely to retain his Senate seat despite a challenge from Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.
Utah Sen. Bob Bennett made his prediction during an interview with the Associated Press, and added that the GOP may also falter in other competitive Senate races in Colorado and Kentucky.
"With the Tea Party creating the mischief that it is in Colorado, we may not win that seat. My sources in Nevada say with Sharron Angle there's no way Harry Reid loses in Nevada," Bennett told the Associated Press.
Washington (CNN) – And the winner is…Marco Rubio.
The Republican candidate has not won the Florida Senate seat he is battling for. That election is not until November. But Rubio's campaign is bragging that it's currently winning another race that many Americans obsess over: who has more Facebook friends.
Rubio is vying for the Senate seat against Gov. Charlie Crist, who is mounting an independent bid after dropping out of the GOP primary, and two Democrats fighting for their party's nomination, Rep. Kendrick Meek and billionaire real estate developer Jeff Greene.
Washington (CNN) - South Carolina Democratic Senatorial nominee and political novice Alvin Greene has retained a private criminal defense attorney against charges he showed pornographic images to a college student last November.
Greene, who is unemployed, had come under scrutiny because he claimed he did not have enough funds to retain a lawyer after he was charged, but paid the $10,400 filing fee to run in the primary.
His June 4 victory stunned Democratic politicians in the state because they had never heard of him and saw no proof he had mounted any type of campaign. His primary opponent, Vic Rawl, tried to have the election overturned saying there were voting machine irregularities, but the state party denied the request.
(CNN) - Republican Rep. Bob Inglis, who last month lost a primary battle to retain his seat, is now taking aim at some members of his own party - the second ousted Republican to express frustration with the GOP in as many weeks.
In an interview with the Associated Press and confirmed to CNN by his office, Inglis targets the "death panels" phrase made famous by Sarah Palin when the former Alaska governor inaccurately claimed the Democratic-backed health care legislation would ration health care for the elderly.
"There were no death panels in the bill … and to encourage that kind of fear is just the lowest form of political leadership. It's not leadership. It's demagoguery," said Inglis, who lost his primary challenge to conservative Trey Gowdy by 42 points last month and faced heavy criticism for voting in favor of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2009.
Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET
(CNN) – Call it a one two punch on a dubious honor.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Republican challenger is out with a new ad Friday that slams Reid over the state's 14 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the nation.
"When Harry Reid became Majority Leader, Nevada's unemployment was only 4.4 percent. Now Nevada unemployment hits 14 percent, leads nation," states a headline in the commercial, which Sharron Angle's campaign says starts running Friday statewide in Nevada on broadcast and cable television.
The ad then uses copy from various news reports about Nevada overtaking Michigan to claim the highest state employment level in the country. The commercial ends by saying "Help is on the way. Visit http://www.SharronAngle.com."
Aspen, Colorado (CNN) – Craig Newmark, a self-described "nerd," has found a pretty nerdy issue on Capitol Hill and is seeing bipartisan support: transparency in government through technology.
Newmark, who founded the popular website Craigslist, is now the company's customer service representative and a board member of the Sunlight Foundation, which focuses on transparency in government.
"A democracy needs informed citizens to survive, and that requires accurate information on political matters," Newmark told CNN after a discussion on technology and government transparency with America's Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
(CNN) – National Democrats are out with a new strategy to gin up enthusiasm among members of the base and line their campaign coffers, warning supporters that the party is likely to be significantly outspent by Republican groups this election cycle.
The memo – sent to Democratic activists and fundraisers around the country – says Republican-supporting groups are likely to spend more than $300 million leading up to the midterm elections – a total, Democrats say, that dwarfs previous midterm election spending.
The memo identifies 14 organizations estimated to spend $500,000 or more this election cycle. Topping the list is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which Democrats say aims to spend $75 million this year. Also on the list is the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads, which Democrats warn will spend $52 million. Other groups on the list include the fiscally conservative Club for Growth and FreedomWorks - the group led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey that has offered organizational support to the Tea Party movement.
Of course, Democrats are not without their own powerful third-party organizations, including a string of unions that have already spent heavily. The Democratic committees have also either kept pace or surpassed the fundraising efforts of their Republican counterparts this year. But in a year that appears ominous for the incumbent party, Democrats may be wary of getting caught with empty pockets come the fall.
(CNN) - Hours after President Barack Obama teamed up with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Las Vegas and criticized Reid's GOP challenger, the Republican National Committee is putting out a new ad that slams the two men.
"It took thousands of men to build Hoover Dam and modern Nevada. But it only took two men to help tear down its economy," says the narrator in the commercial, which begins running Friday on cable television in Las Vegas, according to an RNC official.
Nevada currently has the highest state unemployment rate in the nation at 14 percent. The state's unemployment rate stood at 9.6 percent when Obama took over in the White House at beginning of last year.
Thursday night Obama headlined two campaign events for the top Democrat in the Senate, who polls suggest faces a difficult re-election this year as he bids for a fifth term in office. A Reid campaign spokesman says two events at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas were expected to raise $800,000, according to a pool report.