March 12th, 2008
12:11 PM ET
14 years ago

Money transfers tipped off Spitzer investigators

(CNN) - Sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN investigators have identified at least eight instances in which Eliot Spitzer used the Emperors Club VIP over the past several years but are still examining the records to see if there are more.

They say Spitzer began using Emperors Club VIP about eight months ago.

A criminal investigation began when North Fork Bank notified the U.S. Treasury Department about suspicious activity regarding his bank accounts, the sources said. The suspicious activity involved the transfer of money to shell companies identified as having links to the prostitution ring, they said.

Related Video: Mayor Bloomberg urges the city to move forward

–CNN's Kelli Arena

Filed under: Eliot Spitzer
March 12th, 2008
10:15 AM ET
14 years ago

Clinton: Don't disenfranchise Michigan and Florida voters

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Clinton is urging the Michigan and Florida delegations be seated."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton said Wednesday it is crucial Michigan and Florida voters not be disenfranchised from the 2008 primary process and, and that the dispute over how Democratic votes from those states may be counted needs to be resolved quickly.

Her comments came amidst a fresh push by her campaign to ensure delegations from both states are seated at the party's summer convention, as negotiations over a resolution seemed to hit roadblocks.

"The nearly two and a half million Americans in those states who participated in the primary elections are in danger of being excluded from our democratic process and I think that's wrong. The results of those primaries were fair and they should be honored," she told a breakfast gathering hosted by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington. "In my view there are two options: honor the results or hold new primary elections. I don't see any other solutions that are fair."

Earlier Wednesday, Clinton campaign manger Maggie Williams sent a letter to Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe, urging that the two camps come together to forge a speedy resolution to this problem - even though any such agreement would not be official Clinton's name appeared on Michigan's ballot, Obama's did not. Both candidates' names were on Florida's ballot, but neither campaigned actively there. Clinton did make an appearance in Davie, Florida on the evening of that state's primary once the polls had closed.

"Whether voters are clamoring for solutions to the challenges we face or not or whether people are coming out in droves to be heard we have a basic obligation to make sure every that every vote in America counts," Clinton said, echoing comments she has made since both states voted in late January.

"I hope that Senator Obama's campaign will join me in working to make that happen. I think that that is a non-partisan solution to make sure that we do count these votes."

Clinton is scheduled to attend closed fundraisers in Washington and will address the National Newspaper Publishers Association Wednesday evening.

- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
March 12th, 2008
10:12 AM ET
14 years ago

Aides: Spitzer to resign, press conference at 11:30 a.m. ET

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Gov. Eliot Spitzer apologized for a personal indiscretion Tuesday, but did not elaborate."]ALBANY, New York (CNN) - Gov. Eliot Spitzer will resign Wednesday, his aides said, as the New York governor faces allegations - but no charges - that he is tied to an international high-dollar prostitution ring ensnared in a federal probe.

Spitzer is scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. ET. The news conference will be aired on CNN TV and Live.

A top legislative staffer said Tuesday that aides to Spitzer and the state's lieutenant governor had begun planning for a possible transition.

Full story

Filed under: Eliot Spitzer
March 12th, 2008
08:58 AM ET
14 years ago

Florida Dems v. Nelson on re-vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Florida Dems go head to head with Sen. Nelson."]
(CNN) - Tuesday night's statement from Florida's House Democrats stating their opposition to Sen. Bill Nelson's primary re-vote plan came after an unhappy meeting between that group and Nelson's chief of staff earlier in the day, according to a neutral Democratic source familiar with the talks.

A majority of the state's congressional delegation opposes both a primary re-vote and vote-by-mail, and feel Nelson was trying to dictate both without their consent. They gathered again after their unhappy meeting with Nelson's aide and released a statement stating their opposition – a move meant to send a message to the Florida senator that despite his public statements that a deal on terms he's described is imminent, the effort will not be successful if their concerns are not addressed.

"We are committed to working with the DNC, the Florida State Democratic party, our Democratic leaders in Florida, and our two candidates to reach an expedited solution that ensures our 210 delegates are seated," the delegation's statement read. "Our House delegation is opposed to a mail-in campaign or any redo of any kind."

The group is not unified in their objections – but enough are opposed to Nelson's plan to potentially short-circuit the proposal. In order for the plan to be approved, Florida leaders need to sign off before it can be considered by the Democratic National Committee.

Wednesday morning, Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams released an open letter to her counterpart on the Obama campaign, David Plouffe, saying that both the Michigan and Florida votes - which were not recognized by the party - "were fair and should be honored." Williams indicated that a primary re-vote would also be acceptable, and said they were in contact with leaders in both states - including members of Florida's congressional delegation - to ensure that one of those two options occurred.

Florida and Michigan are both weighing options that would allow their delegations to be seated at the party's presidential nominating convention this summer. Both lost their voting privileges because of DNC penalties resulting from their decision to hold their primaries in January, in violation of party instructions. No major presidential candidate campaigned in either state.

–CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: Florida
March 12th, 2008
07:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Muslim candidate wins congressional seat

(CNN) - Indiana voters elected the second Muslim congressman in U.S. history Tuesday.

Andre Carson, the grandson of the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson and a Muslim convert, was elected in a special election, with 54 percent of the popular vote to Republican opponent Jon Elrod's 44 percent.

Julia Carson represented Indiana's 7th district for 10 years. Her grandson, a member of the Indianapolis City Council since August, will serve out the remainder of her term. In a primary in May, he will seek to be the Democratic nominee for a full two-year term.

In Carson's victory speech Tuesday, he said one of his biggest concerns was bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq.

The first and only other Muslim member of the U.S. Congress is first-term Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison.

–CNN's Emily Sherman

Filed under: Capitol Hill • Congress
March 12th, 2008
05:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Exit polls: Mississippi Democrats divide on racial lines

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Obama and Clinton supporters in Mississippi appear divided among racial lines."](CNN) - Mississippi Democratic voters were sharply divided among racial lines in Tuesday's primary, exit polls indicate.

As has been the case in many primary states, Obama won overwhelming support from African-American voters. They went for him over Clinton 91-9 percent.

But Mississippi white voters overwhelmingly backed the New York senator, supporting her over Obama 72 percent to 21 percent.

According to the Associated Press, only two other primary states were as racially polarized - neighboring Alabama, and Clinton's former home state of Arkansas.

The exit polls also indicated roughly 30 percent of Mississippi Democratic voters said race was an important factor in their vote, and 60 percent of those voters supported Obama.

In Ohio, roughly 1 in 5 voters said race factored into their decision. Roughly 60 percent of those voters picked Clinton over Obama.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Exit Polls • Mississippi
March 12th, 2008
05:41 AM ET
14 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau

Washington Post: Obama Is Victorious in Mississippi
Sen. Barack Obama won the Mississippi Democratic presidential primary decisively last night, adding to his overall lead in delegates as he and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton plunged into a six-week battle ahead of a showdown in Pennsylvania.

Washington Post: McCain's Role in Plane Pact Spotlights Ties to Lobbyists
A $35 billion contract has been awarded to Europe's Airbus consortium to build the latest generation of tanker planes. The decision has sparked anger from Boeing's congressional supporters and critics of outsourcing. It has also focused attention on McCain's reliance on lobbyists in his campaign for president because his finance chairman and several other top advisers lobbied for Airbus last year when it was in fierce competition with Boeing for the Air Force contract.

NY Times: Ferraro’s Obama Remarks Become Talk of Campaign
The Democratic presidential contest was jolted Tuesday by accusations surrounding race and sex, set off by remarks from Geraldine A. Ferraro that Senator Barack Obama had received preferential treatment because he is a black man.

WSJ: If Spitzer Quits, Clinton Would Lose One of Her Superdelegates
If New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigns, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton will be down one superdelegate. The scandal-tainted governor and his lieutenant governor, David Paterson, who is a Democratic National Committee member, are among the roughly 800 superdelegates who will also cast ballots at the August nominating convention. Both support Sen. Clinton. The DNC confirmed yesterday that New York would lose Mr. Spitzer's superdelegate slot if he resigns.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
March 12th, 2008
05:36 AM ET
14 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Compiled by Jonathan Helman, CNN Washington Bureau

*Hillary Clinton addresses the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and attends the National Newspaper Publishers Association Presidential Forum in Washington, DC

*John McCain holds a town hall meeting and a media availability in Exeter, New Hampshire.

*Barack Obama holds a media availability in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Filed under: On the Trail
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