Friday, August 10, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, AUG. 10, 2007 – 2:20 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Market Turbulence Could Spur Financial Services Legislation
  • Democrats Hold Lobbying Bill to Avert Possible Pocket Veto
  • Administration Announces Stepped-Up Immigration Enforcement
  • SCHIP Bill Likely to Shrink, Former Official Predicts
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Today in Washington

The House is in summer recess; it will reconvene at 2 p.m. Sept. 4.

The Senate is in summer recess; it will reconvene at noon Sept. 4.

The President is headed to Kennebunkport, Maine, with no public events scheduled.

In Washington,  the three-day 2007 National Powwow begins, sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and featuring exhibitions, dancing, drums, singing, and competitions showcasing Native American Indian culture. Noon-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m., Verizon Center, corner of F and 7th Sts., N.W.

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Top Stories

Market Turbulence Could Spur Financial Services Legislation

The credit and liquidity concerns roiling the world’s markets this week are expected to change the landscape for financial services proposals when lawmakers return in September, including a regulatory overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  [Read More]

Democrats Hold Lobbying Bill to Avert Possible Pocket Veto

Democrats have not yet sent an ethics and lobbying overhaul measure to the president because they fear he might use the August congressional recess to pocket veto it.  [Read More]

Administration Announces Stepped-Up Immigration Enforcement

Having lost the broader immigration debate on Capitol Hill, the Bush administration took steps Friday to show conservative Republicans that it is serious about border security and enforcement of existing immigration laws.  [Read More]

SCHIP Bill Likely to Shrink, Former Official Predicts

Congress probably will have to settle for a shorter, less costly reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) than the five-year expansion Democrats are seeking, according to a former top official.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Northwest Herald reports that a “second Republican challenger has hopped off the fence to declare candidacy” for the Republican nomination to take on two-term Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., next year. Gurnee businessman Ken Arnold, 51, who drew just 2 percent of the GOP primary vote in the last election cycle, will try again, “joining Long Grove businessman Steve Greenberg, 36, who announced his candidacy last month.” Arnold “said he hoped that being one of two GOP primary candidates thus far, rather than one of six last election, gives more attention to his platform. Arnold has hit the ground swinging, not only at Bean but also at fellow GOP candidate Greenberg,” whom he called inexperienced.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., reports that “Sue Myerscough, a 4th District Appellate Court justice, is meeting today with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee representatives about a possible run for the House seat being given up by Rep. Ray LaHood.” Former state Rep. Bill Edley, “now an official with the Illinois Department of Corrections, is another Democrat considering a run in the 18th Congressional District,” the paper said. “On Thursday, Myerscough, of Springfield, indicated she is a long way from deciding to seek a post that has long been centered in Peoria and held by Republicans. But she said she has been encouraged to consider a run.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Ex-Charter Schools Chief Admits Thefts
HUNTINGTON, Utah: Microphone Detects No Sound of Miners
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Minor Quake Rattles Region
THE NATION: Higher State Taxes Cutting Smoking
GEORGIA: Governor Orders Study of Services for Mentally Ill
TEXAS: Justice Facing Criminal, Ethics Probes

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Political Trivia

Inspired by a booklet encouraging African-American students to consider careers in medicine, Del. Donna M.C. Christensen, D-Virgin Is., went to medical school at George Washington University. After postgraduate training in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., she returned to the Virgin Islands, where, during the course of a 20-year medical career, she worked in clinics and hospitals on St. Croix. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

CQ Almanac Plus: Get your first draft of history

 

 

Dear Colleague,

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Sincerely,

 

Keith White

Publisher

P.S. This special offer expires August 17th  — order today. 

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, AUG. 9, 2007 – 2:07 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bush Tells Congress to Change Its Own Priorities to Fund Bridge Upgrades
  • Bush to Sign ‘Competitiveness’ Legislation
  • Sen. Grassley Prods FDA on Inspection of Foreign Drug Plants
  • South Carolina GOP Moves Presidential Primary to Jan. 19
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Today in Washington

The House is in summer recess; it will reconvene at 2 p.m. Sept. 4.

The Senate is in summer recess; it will reconvene at noon Sept. 4.

The President holds morning news conference; departs for the Bush family home in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he expects to receive French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday, Aug. 11.

In Washington,  the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) holds its annual national convention, through Sunday, with workshops and research presentations on the future of journalism and trends in contemporary media. Keynote speech by Bill Moyers. 6:45 p.m., Renaissance Washington Hotel, 999 9th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Bush Tells Congress to Change Its Own Priorities to Fund Bridge Upgrades

President Bush fired back Thursday at members of Congress, including some Republicans, who have called for increased federal infrastructure spending in the wake of an Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse, even if that requires raising taxes.  [Read More]

Bush to Sign ‘Competitiveness’ Legislation

Lawmakers of both parties on Thursday hailed President Bush’s decision to sign legislation aimed at significantly bolstering federal funding for math and science research and education, in spite of concerns about the amount of money it would authorize and its spending priorities.  [Read More]

Sen. Grassley Prods FDA on Inspection of Foreign Drug Plants

The chief congressional critic of the Food and Drug Administration, Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, demanded detailed information from the agency Thursday about how it inspects foreign factories that manufacture drugs sold in the United States.  [Read More]

South Carolina GOP Moves Presidential Primary to Jan. 19

The “front-loading” of the 2008 presidential nomination schedule escalated beyond previous expectations Thursday, as South Carolina Republicans announced that they are moving up their primary to Jan. 19 from a previously slated Feb. 2.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that the campaign season has officially opened in Illinois, ahead of the earliest-ever congressional primary Feb. 5. Tuesday marked the first day that congressional candidates could begin collecting petition signatures to qualify for the primary. These petitions must be filed between Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. The super-early 2008 election schedule in Illinois is a big reason why more political activity already has occurred there than in nearly every other state. Republican Rep. Ray LaHood, who represents the 18th District, announced his retirement July 26, noting that he wanted to give would-be successors plenty of time to prepare their campaigns. And both Democrats and Republicans have taken advantage of the opportunity.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that some Republicans in western North Carolina want former Rep. Charles Taylor to decide soon whether he will challenge Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., to a rematch next year, hoping to quickly dispel the uncertainty surrounding the race. Several potential GOP challengers have put off deciding to enter the race because they are waiting for Taylor. Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., said the race is expected to be among the top 20 most competitive races for the House next year.

The Concord Monitor reports that Sen. John E. Sununu, R-N.H., seems unfazed by polls showing he could lose his seat next year. But “with public support of the Iraq war and President Bush at record lows, Sununu — a Republican who has supported the war and who campaigned with Bush before he was elected in 2002 — is facing a low ebb of his own.” Charlie Arlinghaus, a former executive director of the state Republican Party who worked as a consultant for Sununu’s campaign in 2002, told the daily: “It’s classic Sununu to go full speed ahead, whatever the polls say.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW YORK CITY: Storm Paralyzes Transit, Strands Millions
MINNEAPOLIS: Possible Design Flaw Seen in Collapsed Bridge
HUNTINGTON, Utah: Rescuers Scramble to Reach Trapped Miners
CHICAGO: Newfound Cost Savings Ease Planned Transit Cuts
TEXAS: Funding Stalls 'Virtual Border' Plan
COLORADO: State to Pay for High-Schoolers' College Classes

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Political Trivia

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., became a local activist after objecting to the state’s performance-based Profile of Learning program. She favors local control of schools. The Bachmanns have five children and have been foster parents to 23 other children. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, AUG. 8, 2007 – 2:43 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Transportation Chairman Unveils National Bridge Funding Proposal
  • Congress to Revisit Chemical Security in the Fall
  • Bush Renews Veto Threats, Urges Action on Defense Spending
  • Democrat Faces Uphill Battle Against Mississippi Gov. Barbour
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Today in Washington

The House is in summer recess; it will reconvene at 2 p.m. Sept. 4.

The Senate is in summer recess; it will reconvene at noon Sept. 4.

The President meets with economic advisors; makes a statement on the economy.

In Washington,  Conference is held on Disaster Planning for Hospitals, focusing on strategies and solutions to prepare hospital staff, facilities and supplies for a large-scale disaster or pandemic. Through Thursday, Hamilton Crowne Plaza, 1001 14th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Transportation Chairman Unveils National Bridge Funding Proposal

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will take up legislation in September to create a dedicated funding source for the repair and replacement of structurally impaired bridges nationwide.  [Read More]

Congress to Revisit Chemical Security in the Fall

House Democrats are looking to reopen the chemical security debate this fall, adding facilities that were exempted from regulations that became law last year.  [Read More]

Bush Renews Veto Threats, Urges Action on Defense Spending

Although Congress has left Washington until Sept. 4, President Bush on Wednesday continued to challenge Democrats over their fiscal 2008 appropriations bills.  [Read More]

Democrat Faces Uphill Battle Against Mississippi Gov. Barbour

Democrat John Arthur Eaves Jr., the easy winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary contest to take on Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour in November, faces a formidable challenge.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Portland Oregonian reports that “businessman Ty Pettit said Tuesday that he is dropping his candidacy for the U.S. Senate” and endorsed state “House Speaker Jeff Merkley over the other Democrat in the race, Portland lawyer Steve Novick. He called Merkley the most qualified candidate and most likely to beat” incumbent GOP Sen. Gordon H. Smith, who is seeking a third term next year.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Democrat Steve Beshear continues to hold a double-digit lead in the Kentucky governor’s race, according to a SurveyUSA poll” for WCPO in Cincinnati and WHAS in Louisville. The survey, conducted Aug. 4-7, showed Beshear and his running mate, state Sen. Dan Mongiardo, “with a 21-point lead over Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher and his running mate, Robbie Rudolph. Beshear/Mongiardo are favored by 58 percent of the voters, compared to 37 percent for Fletcher/Rudolph. Four percent of voters are undecided.” Kentucky voters, like those in Mississippi, will elect a governor in November.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that GOP Sen. Ted Stevens, “on his first trip back to Alaska since FBI agents searched his Girdwood home last week, vigorously defended controversial budget earmarks on Tuesday before a large and welcoming hometown crowd. But he refused to address questions from reporters before or after his speech about the renovation of his home, the ongoing federal investigation or earmarks that benefited his son, Ben, a former aide and their clients. . . . Republicans have rallied for Stevens during congressional recesses as a group before, said Alaska Republican Party chairman Randy Ruedrich, who helped organize Tuesday’s show. The investigation, Ruedrich said, was “a very unfortunate attack at this time.’”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES: City Moves Toward a Denser Downtown
CHICAGO: Early Help for Needy Kids Pays Off, Study Finds
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va.: County Looks At Increasing Taxes to Pay For Roads
UTAH: Setbacks Suspend Efforts to Rescue Miners
COLORADO: Governor Wants Immigration Enforcement
MASSACHUSETTS: Pension Director Looks for Bonuses
NEW JERSEY: State Treasurer to Become Governor's Chief of Staff

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Political Trivia

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., worked as a gas station attendant, grocery store clerk, shipyard welder and butcher. It took him 12 years to save enough money to go to college. He learned to play the fiddle as a boy, and his talents helped him win a seat in the state legislature in 1946. Friends drove Byrd around the hills and hollows, where he brought the voters out by playing “Cripple Creek” and “Rye Whiskey.” (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, AUG. 7, 2007 – 2:03 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Bridge Collapse Spurs New Focus on Infrastructure Needs
  • Objection Slows Progress of Water Projects Bill
  • House Leaders Urged to Move Quickly on Peru Trade Pact
  • Anonymous Hold Blocks Mental Health Parity Bill
  • Battle Brewing Over FDA Inspection Corps
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Today in Washington

The House is in summer recess; it will reconvene at 2 p.m. Sept. 4.

The Senate is in summer recess; it will reconvene at noon Sept. 4.

The President meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and defense and foreign policy staff at Camp David, Md., before returning to the White House in the afternoon.

In Washington,  the National Research Council begins a three-day workshop to discuss gaps in knowledge about the possible biological effects and adverse health outcomes of exposure to radio frequency energy from wireless communications devices. National Academies’ Keck Center, 500 5th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Bridge Collapse Spurs New Focus on Infrastructure Needs

President Bush has signed into law a bill authorizing funding to repair a collapsed bridge in Minneapolis, with Congress poised to consider broader plans to address the nation’s transportation infrastructure.  [Read More]

Objection Slows Progress of Water Projects Bill

The Senate could send a $21 billion water resources bill to the president’s desk in September, in spite of a veto threat and opposition from Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, who held up a final vote on the bill just before adjournment last week.  [Read More]

House Leaders Urged to Move Quickly on Peru Trade Pact

Two senior administration officials on Tuesday urged House Democratic leaders to send a free trade deal with Peru to the floor in September.  [Read More]

Anonymous Hold Blocks Mental Health Parity Bill

At least one unidentified senator has blocked mental health parity legislation that was on deck to pass the Senate before the August recess.  [Read More]

Battle Brewing Over FDA Inspection Corps

A battle is heating up between House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell, D-Mich., and the Food and Drug Administration over the agency’s plan to reorganize its regional laboratories and field operations.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Los Angeles Times reports that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, preparing to join other Democratic presidential candidates at an AFL-CIO candidate forum in Chicago tonight, “is facing a backlash over the business ties of a top campaign aide who has angered the labor movement.” Labor activists want Clinton to order Mark J. Penn to “sever connections to the public relations firm that he heads or leave the campaign.” Penn is president and chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, whose clients “include Cintas Corp. of Cincinnati, which manufactures and launders corporate uniforms. With Burson-Marsteller’s assistance, Cintas has staved off a push to unionize its workforce.” Penn has said that his own public relations work does not involve “anti-union activity,” but union leaders are upset anyway.

According to The Olympian, Republicans in Washington state have no backup plan if 2004 gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi refuses to seek a rematch next year against Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire, who defeated him by just 133 votes. Rossi, a real estate broker, “has insisted he must consult his family and won’t decide until much later in the year. Polls show Gregoire, meanwhile, has pulled herself out of the low ratings that dogged her after Rossi’s much-publicized election challenge in court in 2005, and she’s riding pretty high . . . Some speculation is that if Rossi says no, 8th District U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert could drop his re-election campaign and go for governor. But state party chairman Luke Esser said there is no chance of that — and Rossi is the one horse in the barn.”

The Billings Gazette reports that Paul Edwards, a screenwriter who chairs the new Progressive Democrats of Montana, has “made it clear he’s not planning to take on” Sen. Max Baucus in the Democratic primary next year “and is unaware of anyone else who is. . . . In 2003, Edwards was chairman of the Lewis and Clark County Central Committee when it condemned Baucus, the state’s senior Democratic elected official, for his key role in passing the bill to allow private health-insurance companies to sell insurance to seniors covered by Medicare.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CHICAGO: City Near Deal with 34 Unions
NEW ORLEANS: In Big Easy, Slow Headway Against Crime
MINNESOTA: Bridge Disaster Revives Question About Spending
UTAH: Six Miners Trapped in Cave-in, as Hope for Quick Rescue Fades
CALIFORNIA: State Will Issue PPO Report Card

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Political Trivia

In February 1983, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., became the first woman to serve as secretary of the Transportation Department. In January 1989, she was sworn in as secretary of the Labor Department under President George H.W. Bush. She entered the private sector in 1991, when she became president of the American Red Cross, then won election to the Senate in 2002. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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Monday, August 06, 2007

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, AUG. 6, 2007 – 2:32 P.M.

In This Issue

  • House Quietly Moves to Reverse Disclosure of Intelligence Budget
  • Earmark for Textile Firm Designated for Its D.C. Lobbyist
  • Lawmakers Seek to Censure Bush, Cheney, Gonzales
  • Pelosi Seeks to Change FISA Bill
  • Appropriations Showdown Looms in September
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Today in Washington

The House has adjourned for summer recess; it will reconvene at 2 p.m. Sept. 4.

The Senate has adjourned for summer recess; it will reconvene at noon Sept. 4.

The President meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at Camp David.

In Washington,  the American Treasures exhibition at the Library of Congress showcases more than 200 items that represent the breadth and depth of the library’s American historical collection. This rotating exhibit has been on view since 1997 and closes on Aug. 18. 101 Independence Ave., S.E.

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Top Stories

House Quietly Moves to Reverse Disclosure of Intelligence Budget

Late Aug. 4, just one day after President Bush signed into law a requirement that the total intelligence budget be made public, the House passed a measure to block the disclosure.  [Read More]

Earmark for Textile Firm Designated for Its D.C. Lobbyist

Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C., won a $3.5 million earmark in the fiscal 2008 Defense spending bill for a cold-weather clothing system despite indicating to the House Appropriations Committee that the money was intended for Cassidy & Associates, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm that does not manufacture textiles.  [Read More]

Lawmakers Seek to Censure Bush, Cheney, Gonzales

Democrats in Congress have introduced resolutions calling for the censure of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.  [Read More]

Pelosi Seeks to Change FISA Bill

Despite the win President Bush scored on legislation expanding the administration’s eavesdropping authority, Democrats appear determined to make it a temporary victory.  [Read More]

Appropriations Showdown Looms in September

For the second year in a row, Congress will be facing a full plate of appropriations bills after Labor Day, just as the current fiscal year heads rapidly to its Sept. 30 close.  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

CQPolitics.com reports that a question about an exit strategy in Iraq provoked the most lively exchange among the nine declared Republican presidential candidates in a 90-minute debate Sunday at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The debate — in the state set to hold the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in January — was timed in part as a prelude to the Aug. 11 Republican presidential straw poll in Ames. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, though regarded as a potentially serious contender for the Republican nomination, has not yet officially announced that he is running and was not invited to the debate.

The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports that Government Accountability Office investigators have found several potential shortcomings in previous state and local reviews of the disputed results in last years 13th District House election in Florida, keeping them from ruling out the prospect that the touch-screen voting machines were compromised. Investigators said Friday they do not have a “smoking gun” to explain what went wrong with nearly 18,000 votes, but have been spurred to dig deeper. Meanwhile, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Democratic challenger Christine Jennings prepare for a rematch.

The Edwardsville Journal in Illinois reports that Republican Steven Sauerberg is challenging Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill. Sauerberg, a family physician, held a news conference outside Durbin’s Chicago office to attack the second-term senator, who ranks second in the Democratic leadership as majority whip. “I can no longer sit by and watch as out-of-touch, ultra-liberal Senator Dick Durbin does to America what his friend Gov. (Rod R.) Blagojevich is doing to Illinois.” Sauerberg said he considers Medicare, immigration, tort reform and national security as key issues.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
MINNEAPOLIS: $15 Million Bridge Clean-Up Begins
FLORIDA: Gulf Coast Counties Try to Contain Phosphate Mines
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Vote Could Speed 11 New Power Plants
MONTANA: Governor Declares Emergency After Wildfire Evacuations
MASSACHUSETTS: Report: Medical Examiner's Office on 'Verge of Collapse'
NEW YORK STATE: Governor's Aide, Subject of an Investigation, Resigns

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Political Trivia

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is a fifth-generation Floridian. His great-great-grandfather immigrated to America from Denmark in 1829, settling near Chipley in the Florida Panhandle, where much of Nelson’s family still lives. Nelson’s father was a lawyer, among the first to graduate from the University of Miami law school in 1929. His mother was a schoolteacher. (Source: CQ.com Member Profiles)

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