Foley abruptly resigned his seat last Fall.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Rep. Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who resigned his seat last fall after it was revealed he sent sexually explicit e-mails to underage House pages, is unlikely to face criminal charges for his behavior, Scripps Howard News Service reports.
The news agency reports federal investigators have been unable to gather enough evidence to prove Foley, 52, intended to "seduce, solicit, lure, entice, or attempt to seduce a child," with his inappropriate contacts.
While there is still a chance new evidence could come to light before the investigation officially wraps up "in the next several days," according to the report. Once the investigation is complete it will bet turned over to Pensacola prosecutors - the location from where Foley sent his inappropriate e-mails.
Foley abruptly resigned from Congress only weeks before the 2006 midterm elections after ABC News reported on a series of inappropriate e-mails and instant messages to teenage House pages.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Romney unveiled his healthcare plan Friday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He was a chief architect of the universal healthcare plan in Massachusetts, but White House hopeful Mitt Romney said Friday as president he would put in place a policy that allows each state to dictate its own healthcare coverage.
"The insurance market has different mandates, so what works in Massachusetts probably won't work in Texas, it's going to need a different plan," Romney said as he laid out his healthcare proposal during a power point presentation before the Florida Medical Association.
The plan seeks to provide states with federal incentives to "deregulate and reform" their health insurance markets and tax breaks to encourage people to buy private insurance.
Romney also said the Medicaid program for low income Americans should be changed to provide states with block grants for creating their own insurance programs - unhindered by federal mandates.
In a statement released ahead of Romney's speech, the campaign characterized the proposal as a "federalist approach."
"His reforms will give states greater flexibility," the campaign said. "But Governor Romney's conservative reforms also make the states true partners in the effort to expand access to affordable, quality health insurance."
Romney immediately got attacked from his Republican and Democratic opponents.
Clinton, with former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, at the Iowa State Fair last week.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Whether or not the presidential campaigns will openly admit it, the past couple of weeks in Iowa have been tougher than usual.
In the past three weeks, the Hawkeye State saw the first round of Iowa debates, the Republican straw poll, an AFL-CIO Democratic forum and the Iowa State Fair. The fair, which ran over the course of 10 days, was neutral territory for the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates as they toured the grounds shaking hands and indulging in such delicacies as fried Twinkies or pork chops on sticks.
"These debates here in Des Moines at the same time as the state fair roughly intensifies the appearances of all these candidates," said Dennis Goldford, a professor of politics at Drake University in Des Moines. "That may be perhaps coincidentally a little out of the ordinary."
On the days preceding these events, campaigns were no doubt prepping from sunrise to well after sunset. So it's time for a break, right? Not necessarily, say the staffers. Ask anyone involved with an Iowa presidential campaign and you'll hear one very similar response: there's never time to rest in the realm of a presidential campaign.
Biden has strong support in the Iowa legislature.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – While Sen. Joe Biden lags far behind the Democratic presidential frontrunners in most Iowa polls, the Delaware Democrat’s campaign is touting the fact that he has the second most legislative endorsements in the crucial early voting state - behind only New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
State Rep. Doris Kelley is the latest Iowan to sign on with the campaign, Biden's Iowa Campaign Director Bill Romjue announced Friday, the sixth Democrat from the state legislature to do so.
"I have carefully evaluated each and every one of the candidates in this race, and it is clear that Sen. Biden’s experience, candidness and tenacity are qualities required to lead our country,” Kelley said in a statement.
Stephanie Bjornson, Clinton's Iowa deputy communications director, told CNN that the New York Democrat has 16 Iowa legislative endorsements - 9 in the Senate and 7 in the House.
- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Chris Welch
John Edwards out on the campaign trail.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - John Edwards delivered a speech Thursday where he encouraged voters to reject “establishment elites” and “outdated answers . . . rooted in nostalgia” and where he also said the American public deserves to know “the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent.”
It was widely reported as a thinly veiled attack on a chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner in most national polls.
But on Friday Edwards denied that his effort to cast himself as the true Democratic presidential candidate of change, had been a hit on Clinton.
“Nothing I said yesterday has anything to do with other presidential candidates,” Edwards said in response to a question from a reporter that specifically referenced the Lincoln Bedroom comment. “They need to move off of thinking about themselves and think about what’s important for the country which is what I’m focused on,” he added.
“Gimme a break,” said Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report. “The reality is there’s a campaign going on and he’s in debates with these guys every week and he’s looking for ways to create a distinction with Clinton and Obama.” Rothenberg added that “everybody knew what he was saying and who he was taking a shot at” with the Lincoln Bedroom comment.
Although he denied taking potshots at his main Democratic rival, Edwards did not hesitate to target Republican Mitt Romney’s new health care reform plan. “What I’d like for Gov. Romney to do is come here to New Hampshire and explain to the people I just met with why universal health care was good for the State of Massachusetts but it’s not good for the people of New Hampshire,” Edwards said Friday after meeting with voters at hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire.
- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
Clinton campaigned in New Hampshire Thursday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - She says she is the Democrat best equipped to fight terrorists, but White House hopeful Hillary Clinton told New Hampshire voters Thursday that another attack on the United States would likely help Republican candidates at the polls.
"It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?'" Clinton told a house party in Concord, first reported by the New York Post and the Associated Press and confirmed by her campaign. "But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world."
Clinton added that if such a scenario occurred, she is the best Democratic presidential candidate "to deal with that."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's no secret White House hopeful Barack Obama is an avid basketball player when he's not on the campaign trail. And on Thursday, the Illinois senator got a chance to show off his skills while touring a South Carolina school.
"I just want to point out I had no warm ups," Obama told CNN's Don Lemon after making the shot. "That was on a dare, people were skeptical."
Nelson said Friday Florida Dems are prepared to pursue legal action against the DNC.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, vowed Friday to consider legal action against the Democratic National Committee, if the national party imposes sanctions against the Florida Democratic Party for holding its presidential primary on Jan. 29, 2008.
“If the Democratic National Committee sanctions Florida then some of us [in] the Florida Congressional delegation may ask an appropriate legal venue to determine whether or not a political parties rules can supersede someone’s right to vote,” Nelson said in a conference call.
DNC rules prohibit any state other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina from holding a nominating contest before Feb. 5, 2008. One of the sanctions would be to limit the number of delegates Florida would be able to send to the Democratic National Convention next summer.
On Saturday, a DNC committee will consider the 2008 state delegate selection plans for 33 states including Florida.
- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former president Bill Clinton will lend his star power at a Hollywood fundraiser next month on behalf of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, CNN has learned.
The fundraiser will be held September 18 at the Brentwood home of David O’Connor, an executive with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a Hollywood talent agency, and his wife Lona Williams, a movie producer and screenwriter. Also hosting the event are billionaire businessman Ron Burkle, film producers Steven Bing and Scott Budnick, and Michael Kives, an agent with CAA.
Tickets will cost $250 for a cocktail reception and $2,300 for a VIP reception, according to the invitation to the event.
In May, Bing, Budnick, Burkle and Kives hosted a “Young Hollywood” fundraiser for Sen. Clinton at the home of movie director Brett Ratner.