Politics & Government

The Two-Way
11:11 am
Wed May 22, 2013

'I Have Not Done Anything Wrong,' Key IRS Official Says

Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner as she was sworn in at a hearing held Wednesday by the House Committee On Oversight & Government Reform.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

"I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations."

That was the word Wednesday morning from Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the political storm over the agency's targeting of some conservative groups that were given extra scrutiny from 2010 into 2012.

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Politics & Government
7:36 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Animal Protection Groups Praise Alabama Bill

aspca.org

Animal protection groups are urging Alabama's governor to sign legislation toughening the penalties for animal cruelty.

   The Legislature passed a bill on the last night of its session to increase the penalty for animal cruelty from a maximum of six months in jail to a maximum of one year. The bill also adds a definition for torture that can cause the punishment to increase to a felony carrying up to 10 years in prison.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Eric Garcetti Wins L.A. Mayor's Race

Incoming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated with supporters late Tuesday in Hollywood.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:13 am

The next mayor of Los Angeles will be City Councilman Eric Garcetti.

In a race in which the two top contenders were both Democrats, the 42-year-old Garcetti has opened a 7- to 8-percentage-point lead over City Controller Wendy Greuel as Tuesday's votes are being counted.

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Politics
7:26 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Senate To Debate Immigration Overhaul

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 8:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Supporters of a new immigration bill claimed a victory last night. Legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration policies cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee. After weeks of debate, the committee approved this bipartisan measure that would pave the way for citizenship for some 11 million undocumented immigrants. The bill now advances to the full Senate.

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Politics
7:26 am
Wed May 22, 2013

House, Senate Consider Cuts In Food Stamp Program

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 8:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Anthony Weiner Jumps Into Race To Be NYC Mayor

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., in June 2011 — at the height of the sexting scandal that led to his resignation from Congress.
Andrew Gombert EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:03 am

Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose career appeared to famously flame out in 2011 when he resigned from Congress because of an extramarital sexting scandal and his lies about what he'd done, has now officially jumped back into politics.

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Politics
5:32 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Battle Lines Harden In Debate Over Blame For IRS Controversy

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 8:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Lawmakers are demanding to know what went wrong and who is to blame at the IRS. Two Senate committees held hearings yesterday on the agency's aggressive handling of applications from conservative groups who were seeking tax-exemption. A top IRS official facing a House committee, today, intends to invoke her Fifth Amendment right not to testify. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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State Boards
7:12 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

More Than 70 Confirmations Die At Session's End

Governor Robert Bentley is exploring his options after 70 nominations to state boards died without a vote.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

When the Legislature adjourned Monday just before midnight, more than 70 nominations to state boards died without a vote.

The affected bodies range from university governing boards to the state environmental management board and the Real Estate Commission.

Of the pending nominations, 56 were from Gov. Robert Bentley, while another 14 came from legislative leaders or self-perpetuating boards.

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Budget-Courts
7:07 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Ala. Courts Facing Layoffs Without Extra Money

Chief Justice Roy Moore says latest budget not enough to stop layoffs.
Credit Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

Alabama's chief justice expects to lay off 150 employees after the state's new fiscal year starts Oct. 1 unless the court system gets more money than the Legislature appropriated.

Chief Justice Roy Moore says he's grateful that the General Fund signed by the governor on Monday increases the court system's appropriation by $5.6 million to $108 million for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

But he says that is $8.5 million short of what's needed to maintain the current staff.

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Proposed Amendment
7:01 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Ballot Question Could Add Foreign Law Protections

Alabama voter will get to decide if they want to prohibit the state from recognizing laws of other states in making legal decisions if they violate the public policy of Alabama.

In a swift-moving late-night session, the Alabama Legislature approved a bill that will put a Constitutional amendment in the hands of the voters.

If passed, the amendment would prohibit the state from recognizing laws of other states in making legal decisions if they violate the public policy of Alabama. Further, it would prohibit applying foreign law in violation of the rights of citizens.

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It's All Politics
5:13 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Former IRS Head To Senate: It Wasn't My Fault

Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testifies Tuesday on Capitol Hill, before a Senate Finance Committee hearing.
Charles Dharapak AP

It was the Senate's turn Tuesday to grill the Internal Revenue Service, or more accurately, former agency officials, about its handling of the scandal involving the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Oklahoma's GOP Senators Find Themselves In Tornado Aid Bind

An aerial view shows an entire neighborhood destroyed by Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 4:07 pm

Even as President Obama was declaring that tornado-devastated Oklahoma would get "everything it needs right away," the state's most vociferous critic of federal emergency aid vowed that he, too, would push for assistance "without delay."

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Political Junkie
1:36 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Why Don't We Pay (More/Any) Attention To Los Angeles Mayoral Elections?

Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel.
AP

Horace Greeley may have suggested at one point that going west might be a good idea, but he probably wouldn't be happy to see what's going on with Los Angeles as of late. The Dodgers are in last place in the National League West, the Angels are hovering near the bottom of the American League West, and the Lakers' appearance in the playoffs was brutally short. Even Jimmy Fallon and NBC are bringing The Tonight Show back to Manhattan, deserting some place called Burbank after 40 years.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Tue May 21, 2013

'I Was Dismayed' To Learn What Agency Did, Ex-IRS Chief Says

Facing questions for the first time about why Internal Revenue Service personnel singled out some conservative groups for inappropriate scrutiny while he was head of the agency, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told Congress on Tuesday that "I was dismayed and I was saddened" to learn about what had happened under his watch.

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Politics & Government
7:54 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Alabama Governor Signs Both State Budgets

Ala. Governor Robert Bentley has signed the state's education and general fund budgets into law.
governor.alabama.gov

Gov. Robert Bentley has signed the state General Fund budget and state education budget into law.

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