Washington (CNN) - Arizona Republican Rep. John Shadegg is retiring from Congress, a GOP source confirmed to CNN Thursday.
The story was first reported by The Rothenberg Political Report.
Shadegg, who was first elected in the 1994 GOP landslide, is the third Republican to announce retirement plans, following Rep. George Radanovich of California and South Carolina Rep. Henry Brown.
It's not the first time Shadegg has decided to call it quits: He announced he would not run for re-election in Feb. 2008, but was encouraged to run again by his colleagues.
Shadegg's district is reliably conservative. In 2008, John McCain won the district over Barack Obama by a 56-42 margin.
UPDATE: In a statement, Shadegg called his decision "particularly hard" but said "it is time for me to take my life in a new direction and to pursue my commitment to fight for freedom in a different venue."
Former Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush have accepted President Obama's request to lead a private fundraising effort to help Haiti. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
(CNN) - Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have agreed to help the Obama administration's efforts to help bring swift aid to Haiti, according to two officials familiar with the discussions. The two former presidents will reprise the role that Clinton and ex-President George H.W. Bush played after the tsunami, and are expected to tape public service announcements urging American to make charitable donations. The two leaders are also likely to travel to Haiti at an appropriate time, according to the officials.
Update: Former Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush issued the following statement Thursday evening.
We are deeply saddened by the devastation and suffering caused by the recent earthquake in Haiti. The people of Haiti are in our thoughts and prayers.
We are pleased to accept President Obama's request to lead private sector fundraising efforts. In the days and weeks ahead, we will draw attention to the many ways American citizens and businesses can help meet the urgent needs of the Haitian people.
Americans have a long history of showing compassion and generosity in the wake of tragedy. We thank the American people for rallying to help our neighbors in the Caribbean in their hour of suffering – and throughout the journey of rebuilding their nation.
Washington (CNN) - An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill several African-Americans in 2008 including then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
Paul Schlesselman of West Helena, Arkansas, faces 10 years in prison under a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors in Tennessee.
Washington (CNN) – The Massachusetts Senate race between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown is now a tossup, according to two respected, non-partisan analysts.
The Cook Political Report, published by analyst Charlie Cook, and the Rothenberg Political Report, published by analyst Stuart Rothenberg, both said Thursday that the race between Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown to be a toss-up.
National political trends are playing a major role in the race, according to the Rothenberg Political Report.
"[T]his race has become about change, President Obama and Democratic control of all of the levers of power in Washington, D.C.," it said.
"This race call is one of the toughest we've had in a long time," the Cook Political Report said Thursday: While history suggests a Democratic win by Coakley, "the non-quantitative arguments are quite strong" in Republican Scott Brown's favor.
Washington (CNN) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell praised the Obama administration's initial response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti Thurday, and said that the international community needs to be prepared to provide aid for years to come.
Powell told CNN's Wolf Blitzer he is "very impressed" with the way the Obama administration has handled the immediate aftermath of the earthquake so far. Powell said he would help out if he is asked to, but said that the president did the right thing by asking former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to pitch in.
"I think the Commander-in-chief, he seems to have everything under control," Powell said.
Powell spoke emotionally about his personal connection to Haiti, and described how he felt seeing the images of the presidential palace in ruins.
"It hit me very deeply. I've been in that palace. I've been to negotiations in that palace and it's a beautiful building," Powell said. "To see it collapse - and when you realize what that meant to the rest of the city - it struck me deeply, and my heart immediately went out to the Haitian people who have suffered so much."
Washington (CNN) - With the Tea Partiers throwing their weight around in Republican primaries nationwide, a number of GOP candidates have spoken at Tea Party rallies and huddled with the small government activists who make up the movement.
But John Kasich, the Republican candidate hoping to topple Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland this November, was apparently the very first.
"I've been all over the state, including with our friends in the Tea Party movement," Kasich said Thursday during a press conference in Columbus announcing his running mate, state Auditor Mary Taylor. He added: "I think I was in the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party."
Kasich - a former congressman, talk show host and Lehman Brothers investment banker - praised the movement for "saying enough of the same old tired promises, pushing problems down the road. Let's fix things now."
Washington (CNN) - Union leaders, the White House and congressional Democrats have agreed to limit the reach of a tax on high-end health insurance plans that would help pay for a proposed overhaul of the U.S. health care system, union leaders involved in the talks said Thursday.
The U.S. government announced the death of a U.S. citizen in Haiti Thursday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) - The U.S. government announced the death of a U.S. citizen in Haiti Thursday while a seminary in Iowa said one of its students is believed to have died.
Victoria DeLong, a cultural affairs officer in Haiti, died in her home when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit, Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley said. DeLong began serving in Haiti last year, he said, and had been with the State Department since 1983.
Also, the Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, said student Benjamin Larson, 25, of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, a senior at the seminary, was believed to have died in Haiti. There was no official confirmation of Larson's death.
It is hard to determine exactly how many Americans are missing as a result of Tuesday's earthquake, Crowley said. U.S. officials have previously indicated some Americans living in the stricken Caribbean country might not want or be able to get in touch with acquaintances or officials in the United States.
He said earlier, however, that three Americans in Haiti in an official capacity were missing.
Washington (CNN) - The retired general who took charge in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina said Thursday the U.S. military should have arrived in earthquake-devastated Haiti 24 hours earlier.
"The good Samaritans who moved early on the first day are to be applauded. They made a difference," Lt. Gen. Russel Honore told CNN.
"What we've got to do now is get the heavy equipment in. I thought the U.S. military could have been there a day earlier. They're on the ground now, and they have a brigade en route and that's going to make a big difference," he said.
Honore, best known for his management of the recovery efforts following the hurricane that killed about 2,000 people on the Gulf Coast, said "time is of the essence" in helping quake survivors.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama brought dozens of key business leaders together Thursday to solicit advice on how to make the federal bureaucracy more technologically efficient.
The session was cited by White House officials as part of an ongoing administration initiative to close a long-standing productivity gap between the public and private sectors.
"When I first started campaigning for this office, I said I wanted to change the way that Washington works," Obama told an audience composed of executives from a range of industries.
"I meant getting rid of the waste and the inefficiencies that bloat our deficits and squander their hard-earned savings. I meant finally revamping the outdated technologies and information systems that undermine our efficiency."
Federal employees are dedicated and work hard, but too often get "a bad rap," Obama argued.