(CNN) – A day after the Federal Elections Commission slapped Joe Biden with a $219,000 fine for spending violations during his failed presidential bid, a spokeswoman for the vice president is calling the ruling “commonplace.”
"Some repayment is commonplace after presidential campaign audits and the repayment ordered here is relatively small,” said Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander. “Payment is due to the Treasury 30 days after the FEC issues its formal ruling and 'Biden for President' will comply with that."
In a report released Friday, the FEC said a mandatory audit showed the campaign had accepted contributions above the legal limit, failed to adequately pay for rides on a private jet, and issued several checks that had never been cashed.
Bar Harbor, Maine (CNN) – President Obama has spent his weekend vacation taking in Maine’s famous coastline, enjoying downtime at a local pool, and eating ice cream.
During their first day, the Obama’s took in some of the state’s attractions - including a hike through Acadia National Park, and a boat ride in the harbor. The first family also capped off the day with a stop for ice cream.
On Saturday, the president and Mrs. Obama took their daughters on a lighthouse tour overlooking Bass Harbor after a morning filled with working out and enjoying a pool. FULL POST
Bar Harbor, Maine (CNN) – President Obama's trip to Maine this weekend may have brought out a few critics who think he should instead be in the Gulf Coast, but some local residents are celebrating the first family's visit to the area.
Local artist Russell D'Alessio is giving away two posters that commemorate the Obama's trip to the state affectionately known as Vacationland. Instead of selling the posters in his downtown art gallery, the artist is asking for a donation to benefit the birds affected by the oil spill.
(Updated with additional context)
(CNN) – Republican Sen. David Vitter apologized to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow Friday after jesting on a radio program that she only looked like a woman “a long time ago.”
“Regarding my remark during a radio conversation today, I apologize,” Vitter wrote in a letter to Maddow. “The hosts made their comment and I obviously chimed in. While we do not usually agree on the issues, I do not think you deserved that comment.”
Vitter’s comments came during an appearance on Rush Radio 99.5 in New Orleans Friday morning, during which the radio hosts joked about a high school photo of Maddow with long blond hair. The MSNBC host currently has short brown hair.
“Must have been a long time ago,” Vitter joked when the hosts said the photo portrays Maddow as “looking like a woman.”
Washington (CNN) - Democratic party officials say activists will be knocking on doors Saturday with the hope of registering scores of voters ahead of November's midterm elections.
Officials at Organizing for America, the grassroots structure of the 2008 Obama for President campaign that was folded into the Democratic National Committee, say their "Day of Action" includes volunteers holding door to door canvasses, setting up voter registration tables, and hosting phone banks to encourage people to commit to vote in November.
"In 2008, voter registration and turnout was key to our victory, with more than 15 million new voters entering the political process," said OFA Deputy Director Jeremy Bird, in a statement. "Now, in 2010, voter registration will be key to ensuring that Democratic candidates are successful and that President Obama has as many congressional allies as possible next year."
(CNN) – Ohio gubernatorial candidate John Kasich is going on the defensive in his first campaign ad, hitting back against Democratic efforts to portray him as a former Wall Street big wig.
"Ohio has lost 400,000 jobs under Ted Strickland. He can't campaign on his record, so he and his friends try to tear me down," says the Republican in the new spot released Saturday. "Here's the truth. I didn't run Lehman Brothers. I was one of 700 managing directors. I worked in a two-man office in Columbus. I have a record of balancing budgets, cutting taxes, and creating jobs."
Strickland, the incumbent Democratic governor, has repeatedly portrayed Kasich as a creature of Wall Street because of his ties to the now-defunct investment banking house. Kasich, a former U.S. congressman, worked for Lehman from 2001 until its collapse in 2008.
Responding to Kasich's ad, Strickland spokeswoman Lis Smith said the Ohio Republican is "implausibly trying to downplay his role as a managing director at failed Wall Street investment firm Lehman Brothers after years of bragging about his work on Wall Street."
Washington (CNN) - What will he say? How will he carry himself? Will he look like a credible candidate? Those are just some of the questions Democratic activists and political observers are asking ahead of Democrat Alvin Greene ‘s first major public speech as a Senate candidate.
On Sunday afternoon before an estimated crowd of 500 at a local junior high school in his hometown of Manning, Greene will talk about his campaign vision as he mounts his unlikely campaign against Republican incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint.
"I told them I would talk about jobs, education and justice,” said Greene, adding that those issues are at the core of his campaign.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama is using his weekly radio and internet address to criticize Republicans for what he says is obstruction of policies that will aide small businesses and boost the economy.
“Too often, the Republican leadership in the United States Senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress. And that has very real consequences,” said Obama.
“A lot of small businesses still have trouble getting the loans and capital they need to keep their doors open and hire new workers. So we proposed steps to get them that help: Eliminating capital gains taxes on investments. Establishing a fund for small lenders to help small businesses. Enhancing successful SBA programs that help them access the capital they need,” he added.
(CNN) – Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is taking aim at President Barack Obama for making a recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick as the new head of the federal agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid.
The recess appointment allowed the president to install Berwick while the Senate was on vacation over the July 4 holiday, thereby bypassing what could have been a lengthy confirmation process.
“It is ironic that the President chose Independence Day for this action, avoiding the Senate’s Constitutional check on executive power, to appoint Dr. Berwick,” Roberts said in the weekly Republican radio address.