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Presidential campaigns setting records for numbers of ads and negative messages

The 2012 presidential race, now entering its most intense phase, has already set records for the number of ads and their negativity, according to experts. Among the reasons: more money than ever to spend by a larger number of spenders, like “Super PACs,” which are outside groups formally unaffiliated with campaigns. Put together, the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns and about a dozen groups backstopping them have invested almost $600 million in advertising, heavily concentrated on just a handful of competitive states that hold the key to victory this year, including Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Nevada and, lately, Wisconsin.
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Paul Ryan to Ron Paul’s flock: A vote for Paul is a vote for Obama

Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan has a message for defeated GOP contender Ron Paul’s legion of faithful followers. If you vote for Ron Paul on election day you are voting to re-elect Barack Obama. The same goes, he adds, if those unhappy with the party’s choice casts a protest vote for any other conservative or libertarian candidate who can’t possibly win. During a campaign appearance in Lima, Ohio, Monday, an audience member asked Ryan: For those of us who would have voted in the primaries for, say, Ron Paul, why should we vote for you and not, say, libertarians
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Obama, Romney spar over foreign policy and U.S. image abroad

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are sparring over how best to address U.S. challenges abroad in nearly back-to-back addresses at the Clinton Global Initiative‘s annual meeting. Following deadly anti-American protests in Muslim countries over the past two weeks, Romney was to outline plans Tuesday to rework the U.S. foreign aid system, tying development money to requirements that countries allow U.S. investment and remove trade barriers. Obama also was to address top foreign leaders, CEOs and nongovernmental organizations at the gathering spearheaded by former President Bill Clinton. The event puts the two presidential contenders in front of the
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White House planning executive order on cyber-security

The White House is preparing to direct federal agencies to develop voluntary cybersecurity guidelines for owners of power, water and other critical infrastructure facilities, according to people who said they had seen recent drafts of an executive order. The prospective order would give the agencies 90 days to propose new regulations and create a new cybersecurity council at the Department of Homeland Security with representatives from the Defense Department, Justice Department, Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Commerce, a former government cyber-security official told Reuters. “It tells those who have the ability to regulate to go forth and
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Focus on campaign issues: Same sex marriage

The issue: On one aspect of whether same-sex couples should have the right to marry, both sides agree: The issue defines what kind of nation we are. Half a dozen states and the District of Columbia have made history by legalizing it, but it’s prohibited elsewhere, and 30 states have placed bans in their constitutions. ___ Where they stand: President Barack Obama supports legal recognition of same-sex marriage, as a matter decided by states. He’s also repudiated the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and affirms the right of states to refuse to recognize such
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Obama’s tax offensive aimed directly at Romney

President Barack Obama’s campaign is launching a new offensive Monday against Republican Mitt Romney, blasting the GOP nominee for criticizing Americans who don’t pay income taxes without having “come clean” about his own. The campaign started the new push with a television advertisement, its first spot using Romney’s comments that 47 percent of voters pay no income tax, and believe they are victims and entitled to government assistance. The ad was to begin airing in Ohio — a crucial swing state where Romney was campaigning this week — but was also expected to be part of the campaign’s final push
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Unemployed and uncounted: Out of work and out of hope

When Daniel McCune graduated from college three years ago, he was optimistic his good grades would earn him a job as an intelligence analyst with the government. With a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University in Virginia, majoring in government service and history, McCune applied for jobs at the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. But after a long hunt that yielded only two interviews, the 26-year-old threw in the towel last fall, joining millions of frustrated Americans who have given up looking for work. “There’s nothing out there and there probably won’t be
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GOP-pushed voter ID laws could disenfranchise 10 million Hispanic U.S. citizens

New voting laws in 23 of the 50 states could keep more than 10 million Hispanic U.S. citizens from registering and voting, a new study said on Sunday, a number so large it could affect the outcome of the November 6 election. The Latino community accounts for more than 10 percent of eligible voters nationally. But the share in some states is high enough that keeping Hispanic voters away from the polls could shift some hard-fought states from support for Democratic President Barack Obama and help his Republican rival, Mitt Romney. The new laws include purges of people suspected of
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Can Todd Akin rebuild his Senate campaign after rape remark?

Written off by many in his own party a mere month ago, Republican Rep. Todd Akin has been slowly rebuilding his Senate campaign after apologizing for inflammatory remarks about pregnancy and rape. Now Akin is approaching a critical week that could determine whether his re-emerging campaign can gain enough momentum to put Missouri back in the battleground column as Republicans attempt to win control of the Senate from Democrats. Tuesday is the deadline for Akin to get a court order to drop his challenge of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. But Akin says he won’t do so. Instead, Akin plans to
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Romney hands out big-dollar bonuses to underperforming campaign aides

Most political professionals agree that Republican Presidential candidate  Mitt Romney‘s stagnant campaign for President is one of the most underwhelming in memory But that didn’t stop the candidate who preaches fiscal conservatism from handing out more than 200 grand in bonuses to a senior staff that hasn’t delivered much in the way of campaign support or organization. At the same time, the Romney campaign took out a $20 million loan to cover cash flow after donations have declined in recent weeks. “Romney comes out of the convention with virtually no bounce and he rewards his aides? This is the guy
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