BY Wire reports
Thursday, February 28, 2013
2/28/13 at 2:39 AM
Anti-gun Democrat wins Chicago primary
CHICAGO - The newly elected Democratic nominee to replace disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. vowed to become a leader in the fight for federal gun control.
Robin Kelly, a former state representative, emerged early as a voice for gun control after Jackson resigned in November. Then she gained huge momentum when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC poured $2 million into anti-gun television ads that blasted one of her Democratic opponents, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, for receiving a previous high rating from the National Rifle Association.
Kelly supports an assault weapons ban, while Halvorson does not.
Kelly's primary win all but assures she will sail through the April 9 general election.
In the Republican contest, Paul McKinley of Chicago led Eric Wallace, a publisher of Christian books, by 23 votes with a handful of precincts still uncounted. McKinley, a former felon, describes himself as a grassroots activist on behalf of ex-offenders.
Jackson resigned in November after a months-long medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues, then pleaded guilty this month to spending $750,000 in campaign money on lavish personal items.
Ark. House overrides abortion restriction veto
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas House voted 53-28 Tuesday to override Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a bill that would outlaw most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy.
The Republican-controlled state Senate, which overwhelmingly backed the 20-week near-ban on abortions before Beebe vetoed it, was expected to discuss whether to vote to override the veto Thursday. Like the GOP-led House, only a simple majority in the Senate is needed to override a veto.
The House-sponsored measure is based on the disputed argument that a fetus can feel pain by the 20th month of pregnancy, and thus deserves protection from abortion. Beebe vetoed the bill Tuesday, saying it contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court's 1976 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion until a fetus can viably survive outside of the womb, which is typically at 22 to 24 weeks.
Prior to the House vote, the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee voted 5-2 to advance a bill that would ban most abortions starting in the 12th week of pregnancy, sending it to the full Senate.
Official quits after release of illegal immigrants
WASHINGTON - The senior Homeland Security Department official in charge of arresting and deporting illegal immigrants announced his resignation the same day the agency said that hundreds of people facing deportation had been released from immigration jails due to looming budget cuts, according to a resignation letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. The government said he had told his bosses weeks ago that he planned to retire.
Gary Mead, executive associate director over enforcement and removal operations at Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, disclosed his departure in an email to his staff Tuesday afternoon. The announcement of the release of the illegal immigrants had come earlier in the day.
President Barack Obama's spokesman, Jay Carney, said Wednesday that the decision to release the immigrants was made without any input from the White House. He described the immigrants as "low-risk, non-criminal detainees."
The announcement of the release was among the most significant and direct implications described so far by the Obama administration about the pending, automatic budget cuts that will take effect later this week under what is known as sequestration.