Archives for Politics

Same sex couple ready to marry legally in Hawaii

Some same-sex couples plan to get married as soon as they’re able to do so legally in Hawaii on Monday. A ceremony for six couples at the Sheraton Waikiki is one of several wedding events planned soon after 12:01 a.m., when a new law allows gay couples to marry in the state. Couples who want to get married as early as possible Monday won’t have to wait until Hawaii’s Health Department opens its doors at 8 a.m. Same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses at 12:01 a.m., department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said. Okubo said the state’s marriage license application
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Gay couple allowed to marry early in Illinois

In Illinois, the 16th state to legalize and recognize gay marriages, a Chicago woman dying of cancer wed her female partner six months before the law actually takes effect. The cancer patient, Vernita Gray, 64, and Patricia Ewert, 65, married in a private ceremony in their Chicago home just two days after a federal court granted an emergency marriage license. Illinois’ gay marriage law, signed by Gov. Pat Quinn last week, does not take effect until June 1, 2014. The couple had sued, arguing the delay discriminated against them by preventing the couple from marrying before Gray’s death. “I’m so
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Republicans see Obamacare as a never-ending gift

In its current disarray, Obamacare is providing Republicans with a steady stream of stories that any campaign manager would consider priceless: tales of ordinary people, some dreadfully ill, with canceled health insurance thanks to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. But what if the HealthCare.gov website gets fixed soon, as the Obama administration has promised, and canceled policies get replaced long before the November 2014 mid-term congressional elections and the 2016 presidential contest? What if the memories fade? Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), said he isn’t worried. There’s more Obamacare trouble to come, he said, and more
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Pro-gun Colorado senator resigns amid recall effort

A Colorado lawmaker facing a possible recall election over her support for gun control resigned on Wednesday in a move that will allow Democrats to appoint a successor and block Republicans from wresting control of the state Senate. The resignation of Evie Hudak, a former educator who represented Denver’s northwest suburbs, comes after two other Democratic senators were unseated in September, leaving that party with a mere 18-17 majority in the state Senate. All three Democratic lawmakers were targeted for recall after they supported a package of laws to strengthen gun control following the mass shootings last year in a
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Crackdown on political activity by tax-exempt groups

The Obama administration Tuesday launched a bid to rein in the use of tax-exempt groups for political campaigning. The effort is an attempt to reduce the role of loosely regulated big-money political outfits like GOP political guru Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the pro-Obama Priorities USA. The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department said they want to prohibit such groups from using “candidate-related political activity” like running ads, registering voters or distributing campaign literature as activities that qualify them to be tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations. The agencies say there will be a lengthy comment period before any regulations will
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Immigration: A political challenge for Republicans

For most Republicans in the U.S. Congress, a large gathering of Hispanic voters to discuss immigration would be politically perilous – an invitation to complaints about the party’s longtime resistance to measures aimed at helping undocumented immigrants. But when Republican Rep. Jeff Denham walked into a meeting with hundreds of his Hispanic constituents at a church in California’s Central Valley this month, he was met with applause, praise and a hand-lettered “Thank You” sign. Denham, 46, is a rarity in the U.S. House of Representatives: one of only three Republicans in the chamber’s 231-member majority who support a Democrat-sponsored bill
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A Dreamworks backdrop for Obama’s economic pitch

President Barack Obama is wrapping up a three-day West Coast tour by making an economic pitch at the studio of movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of his top fundraisers and political supporters. Obama will push his economic agenda at DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, Calif., on Tuesday. Before delivering his remarks, Obama planned to meet with film industry executives and tour the studio that created “Shrek,” ”Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda.” He will also attend his last Democratic Party fundraiser of the trip at the home of Marta Kauffman, co-creator of the sitcom “Friends.” The Seattle-to-San Francisco-to-Los Angeles trip featured seven
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Business PACs continue to back tea party candidates

Business groups waged a fierce lobbying campaign last month to convince Republicans to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling, but many of the most influential U.S. corporations have not cut off support to lawmakers who did not heed their appeal. Eight of the most active business PACs wrote checks totaling $84,750 to 56 Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives after they voted against an October 16 deal to re-open the government that had been shut down since October 1 and avert an imminent debt default, according to a Reuters analysis. They also gave $246,190 to
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Several ambitious governors in Republican ranks

For an ambitious group of Republican governors, next year’s elections could be a springboard to bigger things in 2016. Just don’t talk about the White House — yet. The annual Republican Governors Association meeting this week included a bullish outlook for a party that will defend 22 seats in 2014. Bashing Washington dysfunction at every turn, the governors offered up their can-do records — and themselves — as a model for a party looking to return to power. As if to emphasize the point, George W. Bush swooped in for a surprise lunch, sharing stories from his time as Texas
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White House to Dems: ‘Focus on economy, not healthcare’

Eager to draw contrasts with Republicans, the White House is pushing its economic agenda as it attempts to give Democrats something to talk about other than the troubled health care rollout. The White House is deploying Vice President Joe Biden and Cabinet members across the country, drawing attention to improvements in the still sluggish economic recovery and detailing the costs of last month’s partial government shutdown. On Tuesday, Obama will address the economy during a visit to the DreamWorks film studios in Glendale, Calif., and next month he plans to host a summit of college presidents and business leaders to
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