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Wednesday, Jul 23rd

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N.H. town's police commissioner resigns after calling Obama N-word

Robert CopelandA town police commissioner has resigned after he admitted using a racial slur to describe President Barack Obama, an official said Monday.

Robert Copeland, 82, resigned Sunday night from the post to which he was re-elected in March, Board of Selectmen Chair Linda Murray said, putting to rest a controversy that drew national attention and sparked impassioned debate in this resort town of 6,300 on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.

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Pediatricians Take on the NRA Over Gun Safety

NRA vs AMAFor the past three decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics—some 62,000 members strong—has been an outspoken voice on the issue of gun control, a position that has landed it on the NRA’s (admittedly very long) list of enemies. In 1992, the AAP issued its first policy statement supporting a handgun and assault weapons ban, making it the first public health organization to do so, and it has long recommended that doctors talk about gun safety with parents. Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, the AAP has stepped up attempts to educate parents about gun safety around children.

But as the fight over gun rights grows ever more virulent at the national level, the AAP and individual doctors have quietly begun to take a softer stance on the issue, turning their focus to peddling realistic policies rather than clinging to a hard-and-fast no-guns line.

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The Worst Campaign Finance Ruling Since Citizens United

Scott WalkerWhatever one thinks about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his policies, the decision last week by federal judge Rudolph T. Randa to summarily halt an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations by Walker’s campaign and supporters—and to order prosecutors to destroy all the evidence they collected—was a striking instance of judicial chutzpah.

The accompanying opinion (PDF) is laced with ideological rhetoric seeking to undermine many of the remaining campaign finance laws on the books. Even following the Supreme Court’s evisceration of campaign finance law in the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, Randa’s ruling is a bridge too far. It should not stand.

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Clay Aiken's Democratic rival dies suddenly

Keith CriscoSinger Clay Aiken's chief rival for the Democratic nomination for Congress died unexpectedly Monday, about a week after primary voting.

Keith Crisco, 71, a former North Carolina secretary of Commerce, died "after an accidental fall" at his home in Asheboro, N.C., according to a statement from his family. A woman who answered the telephone at Asheboro Elastics, which Crisco founded, confirmed the news to USA TODAY​ and said the company's workers were in shock.

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Offical: Koch Brothers plan $125m midterm push

Koch brothersA group backed by the conservative Koch (kohk) Brothers plans to spend more than $125 million on the November elections.

The investment marks a significant escalation for the Koch Brothers' main campaign arm. Americans For Prosperity plans to increase television advertising across the country, improve voter data collection and strengthen its 31-state ground operation.

A senior official with direct knowledge of the plans confirms the election blueprint.

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Pennsylvania governor won’t challenge ruling striking down voter ID law

voter id Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday that the state wouldn’t appeal a recent ruling striking down a Republican-backed voter ID law. It’s the latest win for opponents of voter ID.

“The Commonwealth will not pursue an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overturn the Commonwealth Court’s decision to enjoin Act 18’s photo identification mandate,” Corbett, a Republican, said in a statement.

A state judge ruled in January that the law, passed in 2012, violated the state constitution by imposing an unreasonable burden on the right to vote. The court found no evidence the law was necessary either to prevent fraud or to keep public confidence in the fairness of the election process.

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Outside money doesn't beat NC Supreme Court judge

Robin HudsonNorth Carolina Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson survived a primary in which outside conservative groups spent nearly $1 million trying to defeat her.

With 85 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday, Hudson was leading with 43 percent. She will be joined in the November race by Mecklenburg County Superior Court judge Eric Levinson, who received 36 percent. Conservative lawyer Jeanette Doran finished third with 21 percent.

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