(CNN) - Rick Perry’s lawyers pushed back against a central accusation by Democrats that the Texas governor’s office was being investigated about questionable funding for a cancer research project.
The accusations over the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, CPRIT, are tangential to the two felony charges against the longtime Republican governor over his veto of funding for the Public Integrity Unit. His lawyers Thursday called the cancer funding accusations a “red herring.”
updated at 3:25pm ET
(CNN) - A significant portion of a paper Montana Sen. John Walsh had to complete to obtain his Master’s degree was taken directly from two sources and given no attribution, according to the New York Times.
At least one-quarter of the 14-page paper, “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” from the United States Army War College was copied from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report and a 1998 Harvard scholar's essay, the Times reported.
Walsh, an Iraq War veteran and former head of Montana’s National Guard, completed the paper in 2007. He was 46.
Nearly 24 hours after the story broke, his re-election campaign released a full-bore defense, laying out more than a dozen accomplishments and awards from his 33-year military career. The campaign didn’t deny the plagiarism but said it wasn’t deliberate.
"He acknowledges the citations were not all done correctly, but that it was an unintentional mistake," the statement said.
Walsh separately told the Associated Press that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress after his Iraq deployment. His office said he commanded an infantry battalion in 2004-05.
His office said the difficult period was not an excuse for the plagiarized portions of the paper.
The damning report could impact not only Walsh’s election chances this November, but also the Democrats’ odds of maintaining control of the Senate.
Walsh stepped down as Montana's lieutenant governor after he was appointed to the Senate in February to replace longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who was appointed Ambassador to China. Walsh is running in November's midterm election for a full six year term in Senate.
In the conservative state of Montana, Republicans pegged the race as winnable. The GOP must win six seats currently in Democratic hands to win back control of the Upper Chamber.
Even before the plagiarism allegations broke, two of the top non-partisan political handicappers gave the edge in the race to the GOP candidate, Rep. Steve Daines. The Cook Report listed the race as “lean Republican” and the Rothenberg Report rated the contest as “toss up/tilt Republican.”
In a statement, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee defended Walsh.
"John Walsh is a decorated war hero and it’s disgusting that Steve Daines and Washington Republicans are going to try denigrate John’s distinguished service after multiple polls show him gaining. Steve Daines should immediately denounce these latest smears and call for an end to all attacks on John Walsh’s record protecting Montana and serving his country," said DSCC press secretary Justin Barasky.
CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
(CNN) - A citizen-led petition to place legalization of recreational marijuana on the November ballot in Oregon obtained enough signatures, making the Beaver State the next place pot could be legally sold, bought and consumed.
More than 88,500 people signed the petition, enough to place the initiative before voters on November 4.
Updated 6:25 p.m. ET 6/19/2014
(CNN) –Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer apologized for making some controversial comments about outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Dianne Feinstein that sparked outrage.
"I recently made a number of stupid and insensitive remarks to a reporter from the National Journal. I am deeply sorry and sincerely apologize for my carelessness and disregard," the possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said Thursday on his Facebook page.
Updated 8:18 p.m. ET, 6/18/2014
Washington (CNN) - Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords threw out the first pitch at Wednesday’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game.
Giffords’s ability to throw the first pitch is a feat in itself. She played in the annual game until she was critically injured by a gunshot wound to her head. The 2011 incident killed six people and injured 17 others and forced her to resign from Congress.
The members’ team pitcher, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, walked Giffords onto the diamond in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington before nearly 1,000 spectators.
(CNN) - One of the most powerful Republicans in Washington lost his seat Tuesday to an upstart political novice named Dave Brat. When Brat heard the news, he said he was “shocked” and he wouldn’t believe it until he saw it for himself.
Cantor spent ten times the amount Brat did in an attempt to retain the seat he has held since 2001.
But maybe it wasn’t the breakout popularity of Brat or the unpopularity of Cantor that led to his defeat. Perhaps it was Cooter from “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
In an interview that aired Sunday on CNN, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the transfer of five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but even a leading Democratic senator raised questions about the administration’s handling of the case.
Nearly five years after he disappeared in Afghanistan, Bergdahl has ignited a political controversy, with some members of Congress in an uproar over the terms of his release by the Taliban and the secrecy surrounding it.
We’ll get you up to speed on the latest in Washington with a roundup of all things political:
The release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was detained by the Taliban for nearly five years, included a heavy dose of partisan politics Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after he was securely in American hands.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice was once again in the line of fire on the political talk shows, just as she was after the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
Bergdahl’s release has ignited the debate over negotiating with groups the United States has determined to be terrorists.
(CNN) - As the country remembers service members who lost their lives this Memorial Day, the Veterans Affairs Department continues to face questions about hospitals where veterans died waiting for doctor’s appointments on long, secretive waiting lists.
If you are participating in your local parade, spending extra time with your loved ones or sleeping in, we’ll get you up to speed on the latest in Washington with this comprehensive roundup of all things political.