(CNN) – A member of the Tea Party Express leadership defended a satirical letter Friday that he says was intended to spark discussion but has instead erupted into a national controversy.
Saying he wanted to make a "serious point about the hypocrisy in the NAACP" and that he hoped to "get the dialogue going," Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams said on CNN's John King, USA that he has made some apologies because "what I said, and the way I said it, was getting in the way."
Earlier this week, and apparently in reaction to an NAACP resolution regarding racist behavior exhibited by some attendees at Tea Party events, Williams published a mock letter from NAACP president Benjamin Jealous to the late President Abraham Lincoln, which Williams has since removed from his blog.
"Dear Mr. Lincoln," the blog post read, "We [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People and we demand that it stop!"
And on Friday, while sometimes sounding a note of contrition, Williams said that the blog post did what he intended.
"What I did was successful, and I'm glad it was successful. I'm sorry I had to go to those lengths to slap some sense into a lot of people who are so afraid of politically incorrect language that we can't get a conversation started," Williams told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
(CNN) - The Utah Department of Workforce Services said Friday it has identified at least two employees believed to be involved in creating a list containing the personal information of a purported 1,300 alleged illegal immigrants.
"At this point we don't think it was a very large conspiracy. We think it was two, maybe. We have suspicion of a couple of more people, a very small group," said Kristen Cox, the executive director of the Department of Workforce Services.
"Release of such private, sensitive information is deplorable," Gov. Gary Herbert said in a news release. "We immediately took action to discover the origins of this list, and I'm pleased with the hard work of the Department of Workforce Services. When someone does business with the state of Utah, they deserve to know that their private information will be kept private."
Herbert told CNN's John King on Friday night that the 1,300 people have Hispanic names and not all of them are in the state illegally.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the former GOP presidential hopeful running for re-election debuted a new TV ad Friday, but instead of targeting his opponents he focused directly on Washington attacking President Barack Obama.
"President Obama has made protecting our border incredibly difficult," the ad's narrator says. "But, Arizona has a senator with the courage and character to stand up to a president who is wrong: John McCain."
McCain's new ad highlights endorsements from Arizona sheriffs, including Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, who is a Republican candidate also up for re-election in November.
"A president versus a senator," says Babeu in the ad. "Doesn't seem like a fair fight. Unless that senator is John McCain."
(CNN) – In a "personal note" posted on his blog Friday afternoon, a well-known face of the national Tea Party movement announced that he has removed a controversial post which mocked the NAACP's criticism of the conservative grassroots movement.
Earlier this week and apparently in reaction to an NAACP resolution regarding racist behavior exhibited by some attendees at Tea Party movement events, Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams published a satirical, mock letter from NAACP president Benjamin Jealous to the late President Abraham Lincoln.
"Dear Mr. Lincoln," an earlier version of the blog post read, "We [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People and we demand that it stop!"
In the "personal note" on his blog posted Friday afternoon, Williams explained his decision to remove the controversial mock letter.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama is planning to sign the financial regulatory reform bill into law next Wednesday, according to senior administration officials.
(CNN) – The 2010 midterms will offer Tea Party activists their first chance to elect their preferred candidates to national office. But once those candidates get to Washington, there might already be a "Tea Party Caucus" waiting to greet them.
That's because a Tea Party favorite, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, has filed paperwork to start such a caucus in the House.
In a letter dated July 15 and sent to Rep. Robert Brady, the Democratic chairman of the House Administration Committee, Bachmann asked to register the group for the 111th Congress.
Bachmann writes: "I would like to register the House Tea Party Caucus as a Congressional Member Organization for the 111th Congress. The House Tea Party Caucus will serve as an informal group of Members dedicated to promote Americans' call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution and limited government."
(CNN) - Rick Santorum's presidential rumblings haven't garnered much national attention, but in the second fundraising quarter of this year, the former Pennsylvania Senator raised more money than Mike Huckabee, considered one of the most prominent names in the early 2012 field.
Santorum raised $391,000 over the last three months for his America's Foundation PAC, while Huckabee took in $258,000 during the same period. A Santorum aide said the PAC added 10,000 new donors in three months.
Both Santorum and Huckabee are unabashed social conservatives who are sure to compete for evangelical voters in the early nominating states of Iowa and South Carolina, should they decide to run.
Huckabee, though, disbursed more to midterm candidates in the second quarter ($70,000) than Santorum ($3,000). Huckabee also has more money left in the bank ($230,000).
(CNN) – A new television ad targeting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hitting airwaves Friday, arguing that the senior Democrat has done little to reduce his state's sky high unemployment.
Titled "Really Reprise," the 30-second spot comes courtesy of American Crossroads, an independent conservative organization formed earlier this year.
"It's bad enough that Nevada has the highest unemployment in the nation," the ad's narrator says. "And Harry Reid claims to be helping the job situation. Really Harry?"
Washington (CNN) - House GOP Leader John Boehner said he supports a ban on all new federal regulations, after meeting Friday with business lobbyists who complained about uncertain economic conditions.
"I think having a moratorium on new federal regulations is a great idea. It sends a wonderful signal to the private sector they may have some breathing room," Boehner said.
He said any ban would include an exemption for "emergency regulations" for some agencies and suggested it could last a year.
A House Republican leadership aide noted that Boehner and House GOP Whip Eric Cantor, in a proposal to President Barack Obama last year, suggested a similar halt to any new regulations that could cause new costs to small businesses.
(CNN) - West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin named attorney and political confidante Carte Goodwin on Friday to fill the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd's seat until a special election is held. Goodwin will be sworn in Tuesday.
A date for a special election still needs to be set, but it could occur as early November 2. Manchin himself has expressed interest in running for the seat.
Goodwin, a 36-year-old Democrat, served as Manchin's general counsel from 2005 until 2009. He is a lawyer in the Charleston law firm Goodwin & Goodwin.
"My responsibility (is) to work hard every day to maintain the trust of the people of West Virginia," Goodwin said. "My sole objective will be to make West Virginia proud. ... I'm excited about the challenge. I'm looking forward to it."