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Sep 15, 2014

Say what? A minimum-wage hike finds hope in U.S. heartland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s push to raise the minimum wage, which has largely found success in liberal-leaning coastal states to date, could make headway in the conservative heartland in the November elections.

Voters in the Republican-controlled states of Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota will consider ballot initiatives in November that would raise the minimum wage above the national rate of $7.25 per hour. Activists on both sides of the issue say the proposals stand a good chance of passing.

Aug 20, 2014

Republicans see Senate chances bolstered by primary results

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans counting on an unpopular president and a favorable electoral landscape to help them win control of the U.S. Senate could have another asset this year – stronger candidates who are less likely to say embarrassing things.

As the months-long primary season nears its end, Republican leaders appear to have achieved their goal of producing more disciplined Senate candidates who can avoid the kind of campaign blunders that cost the party winnable races in 2010 and 2012.

Jun 9, 2014

INSIGHT, RPT-U.S. deaths in Afghanistan may have only tenuous link to Bergdahl

WASHINGTON/KABUL, June 8 (Reuters) – The frantic search for
Bowe Bergdahl began the moment his comrades discovered he was no
longer inside the fragile outpost in a rock-strewn valley in one
of the most hostile corners of Afghanistan.

Exactly why Bergdahl left is subject to intense scrutiny.
But accounts by two Taliban sources as well as several U.S.
officials and fellow soldiers raise doubt over media reports
that he had sought to join the Taliban, and over suggestions
that the deaths later that year of six soldiers in his battalion
were related to the search for him.

Jun 9, 2014

Insight – U.S. deaths in Afghanistan may have only tenuous link to Bergdahl

WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) – The frantic search for Bowe Bergdahl began the moment his comrades discovered he was no longer inside the fragile outpost in a rock-strewn valley in one of the most hostile corners of Afghanistan.

    Exactly why Bergdahl left is subject to intense scrutiny. But accounts by two Taliban sources as well as several U.S. officials and fellow soldiers raise doubt over media reports that he had sought to join the Taliban, and over suggestions that the deaths later that year of six soldiers in his battalion were related to the search for him.

Jun 8, 2014

U.S. deaths in Afghanistan may have only tenuous link to Bergdahl

WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) – The frantic search for Bowe Bergdahl began the moment his comrades discovered he was no longer inside the fragile outpost in a rock-strewn valley in one of the most hostile corners of Afghanistan.

    Exactly why Bergdahl left is subject to intense scrutiny. But accounts by two Taliban sources as well as several U.S. officials and fellow soldiers raise doubt over media reports that he had sought to join the Taliban, and over suggestions that the deaths later that year of six soldiers in his battalion were related to the search for him.

Jun 3, 2014

Clash over Taliban release unlikely to be resolved in U.S. courts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican allegations that President Barack Obama broke the law when he freed five Taliban prisoners in return for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl are unlikely to be tested in court because judges are reluctant to intervene in political disputes, legal experts said.

But that is unlikely to stop the political firestorm. Republicans have attacked the Obama administration’s decision not to consult Congress before exchanging the Taliban detainees for Bergdahl, and resentment is growing among former fellow soldiers who call him a deserter.

Jun 3, 2014

For fallen soldiers’ families, Bergdahl release stirs resentment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Robert Andrews believes his own son might still be alive if U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had not gone missing from his Afghan guard post on June 30, 2009.

As Bergdahl emerges from five years of Taliban captivity, former comrades are accusing him of walking away from his unit and prompting a massive manhunt they say cost the lives of at least six fellow soldiers, including Andrews’ 34-year-old son, Darryn, a second lieutenant.

May 18, 2014

With ads and foot soldiers, Republican ‘establishment’ squeezes Tea Party

BOISE, Idaho (Reuters) – On a recent Saturday, foot soldiers in the Republican Party’s civil war fanned out across a neighborhood of winding streets and manicured lawns to beat back the Tea Party.

They did not meet much resistance. Over the course of two hours, dozens of residents said they planned to vote in the May 20 primary election for Idaho Representative Mike Simpson, a veteran lawmaker with a reputation for pragmatism. None said they would back his Tea Party challenger Bryan Smith.

May 8, 2014

U.S. billionaire green activist shifts from bomb thrower to team player

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Boston Red Sox fans streamed into Fenway Park last April for an early-season baseball game, a small plane circled above, towing a banner that read “Steve Lynch for Oil Evil Empire.” Downtown, truck-mounted video screens looped attack ads against the Democratic congressman, who was running for a Senate seat.

The man footing the bill for this sharp-edged campaign, San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, called Lynch “Dr. Evil” in a local TV interview because he did not oppose the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the United States, which environmentalists say would worsen climate change.

Apr 22, 2014

Conservative Koch-backed group uses soft touch in recruiting U.S. Hispanics

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – The conservative advocacy groups backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are known mostly for spending millions of dollars to pelt Democratic candidates with negative television ads.

But this year, one Koch-backed group is using a softer touch to try to win over part of the nation’s booming Hispanic population, which has overwhelmingly backed Democrats in recent elections. The group, known as The Libre Initiative, is sponsoring English classes, driver’s license workshops and other social programs to try to build relationships with Hispanic voters in cities from Arizona to Florida – even as the group targets Democratic lawmakers with hard-edged TV ads.

    • About Andy

      "I've covered presidential elections, hurricanes, corruption scandals and computer hackers since joining Reuters in 2000. In my free time I'm a musician -- my song "The Internet Is Changing Everything" has been played on NPR and CNBC. I'm currently working on a rock opera about Jack Abramoff."
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