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Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws

Job recommendations and university application referrals from Illinois lawmakers should be tracked and publicized after clout-related scandals at the University of Illinois and the Metra transit agency, the General Assembly's top ethics officer said Friday.

Little-known Democrat tries to unseat Scott Walker

Wisconsin Democrats and their allies who are trying to take out Republican Gov. Scott Walker have invested all their hopes in Mary Burke, a Harvard-educated political newcomer whose father started Trek Bicycle when she was a teenager.

Kansas speech by Michelle Obama draws complaints

If expanding the guest list to include Michelle Obama at graduation for high school students in the Kansas capital city means fewer seats for friends and family, some students and their parents would prefer the first lady not attend.

Wayne County executive to seek re-election

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano plans to kick off his re-election campaign on Monday.

Unemployment rates fall in 21 US states last month

More than two-thirds of the states reported job gains in March, as hiring has improved for much of the country during what has been a sluggish but sustained 4 1/2-year recovery.

Biden's son: Up and coming Democratic star?

Beau Biden, 45, the state's attorney general for the past eight years, said on his web site he would not seek another term as attorney general this year so he could work on the 2016 gubernatorial race.

From Clinton to Obama, many parallels

Thousands of pages of documents from President Bill Clinton's White House affirm a longtime adage: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Advice to Democrats: Don't say 'recovery'

Election-year memo to Democratic candidates: Don't talk about the economic recovery. It's a political loser.

Late sign-ups improve outlook for Obama health law

A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults.

Chris Brown trial set to start on Monday

A judge has set Monday as the start date for the assault trial of singer Chris Brown in the nation's capital.

Homeland Security reissues immigrant asylum rules

The Homeland Security Department has reissued asylum rules to immigration officials amid concerns that they are misinterpreting how to decide which immigrants get to see a judge for asylum claims.

Health care enrollment hits 8 million, Obama says

More than 8 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, a triumphant President Barack Obama announced Thursday.

Vietnam pulls out of hosting Asian Games

Vietnam has withdrawn as the host of the 2019 Asian Games, saying it lacked funds and the country's reputation could be at risk if the event flops.

Iowa Democrats consider expanding caucus access

Iowa Democrats are looking to expand access to the state's presidential caucuses to people who are typically unable to attend them, a tricky task with these local political meetings that rely on the in-person interplay of party activists.

2 long-time friends discuss the First Amendment

The legality of government surveillance is likely to come before the Supreme Court someday, and Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg appear less than thrilled at the prospect.

Alderman: New arena might need regional sales tax

Seated at a table on the Milwaukee Bucks' home court, Peter Zehren looked around the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Thursday and acknowledged that the facilities look out of date. But the Milwaukee resident was firm when he said taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for an upgrade.

Attorney general rejects wording of alcohol item

The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected the wording of a ballot proposal that would make alcohol sales legal in all 75 of the state's counties.

All eyes will be on trade when Obama heads to Asia

President Barack Obama will travel next week to Asia with the centerpiece of his planned focus on the region still in limbo amid opposition from his own party and thorny tangles with powerhouse Japan over trade.

Aereo CEO speaks on future of company, industry

The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday. The enrollments exceeded expectations and offered new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead of the midterm elections.

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