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Reid Apologizes for Asian Jokes: 'Sometimes I Say the Wrong Thing'


Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., apologized Friday for Asian-themed jokes he made while speaking to the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas Thursday night.

“My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing,” Reid said in a brief statement.

Reid’s remarks were caught on tape and posted to the Internet by the Republican opposition group America Rising.

While speaking to the Asian Chamber of Commerce, Reid said, “I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are.”

The Senate Majority leader then went on to explain the difficulty of encountering multiple people with the last name Wong.

“One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight,” Reid told the crowd as he leaned into the microphone.

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Why Control of the Senate May Not Be Known Until December


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Election Day is Nov. 4, but we may not know until December whether Democrats or Republicans will control the Senate in 2015.

It could all come down to Louisiana, where Sen. Mary Landrieu -- the last Democrat holding a statewide office in the increasingly red Creole State -- is making a bid for a fourth term, with polls showing her neck-and-neck with her leading Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Louisiana doesn’t have a traditional party primary system; instead, the primary and general election are held on the same day in what is known as a “non-partisan primary,” referred to informally as a “jungle primary.” All qualified candidates run at once, and if no one candidate wins over 51 percent of the vote on Nov. 4, the election will proceed to a Dec. 6 runoff between the two candidates with the most votes.

So in a year filled with close Senate races, one of the most hotly contested may not be over for an extra month. Analysts have predicted that a Republican takeover of the Senate is within reach, and if control of the upper chamber remains up for grabs on election night, the nation could be left watching and waiting for Louisiana’s race to end.

The chances of a runoff between Landrieu and Cassidy are likely increased by the presence of a third candidate on the ballot: tea party favorite and political newcomer Col. Rob Maness. Friday marks the close of the candidate sign-up period in Louisiana, and with Maness expected to qualify as a Republican, the stage is set for a three-way race in November.

Maness is not considered a serious contender by the measures of fundraising and polling, but the presence of a third candidate in the already tight race makes a runoff “pretty certain,” according to Pearson Cross, the head of the political science department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“If Landrieu and Cassidy were mano a mano and someone was going to get 50 percent plus 1, I think you know that would make things a little clearer for both candidates,” Cross told ABC News. “With Maness in the race, it makes it hard for one of those candidates to get over 50 percent.”

In a midterm season in which Democrats are playing defense in an effort to maintain a narrow majority in the Senate, it’s not inconceivable that Louisiana could become the final outpost.

In that unlikely-but-possible scenario, extra attention and money would almost certainly pour into the state.

“Let’s imagine it’s Wednesday after Election Day and the Senate has 49 Democrats and 50 Republicans elected,” said Michael Malbin, the executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute. “In that situation, the runoff election will decide control of the Senate and in that case, everyone will have a stake in the election, because control of the institution will turn on it.”

Under that situation, Malbin said the “sky is the limit” when it comes to how much money independent groups might spend on the race.

“It’s impossible to predict how much independent spending would occur in that final month,” he said. “But you can only expect that anyone with a stake in public policy will spend as much as they can. You can imagine some sort of record would be set.”

Louisiana’s race may find some clarity soon.

The passing of the qualification period also marks the beginning of the formal campaign season in Louisiana, when average voters begin to tune into the political chatter and do their homework on the candidates.

“After qualifying, [the election] takes on a reality that it didn’t before, and you see broader swaths of people paying attention,” said Cross.

Though Maness is expected to pull some conservative voters away from Cassidy in the general election, Cross said he may end up actually helping Cassidy more than he hurts him.

“Maness will prevent Cassidy from getting a first round election victory I think, because they do draw from the same pool,” Cross said. “But by the same token, I think if Maness were gone, Landrieu would have a better choice in the first round as well.”

That’s because runoff elections tend to attract fewer, and more politically motivated, voters than general elections. Sean Cain, an assistant professor of political science at Loyola University, says a runoff would likely break in Cassidy’s favor.

“That lower turnout is typically the stronger core partisan voters who are willing to turnout in a runoff election,” said Cain. “So, if it’s a runoff between Cassidy and Landrieu, I think he has the advantage unless something really changes between November and December.”

Despite the fact that Maness trails behind his opponents in fundraising and polling, his campaign is pushing the possibility of a scenario -- perhaps a far-fetched one -- in which Maness could advance to a runoff with Cassidy.

“If the question is, does Maness think he can get 34 percent of Louisianans to choose the non-politician in this race -- absolutely,” said Maness campaign communications strategist Kurt Bardella. “Quite frankly, it wouldn’t surprise us one bit if come November, both Bill Cassidy and Maness end up advancing to a December run-off and the voters reject Mary Landrieu outright.”

But before any scenario of a runoff has the chance of becoming political reality, there are still 10 weeks to go before November election.

Like Maness, both Landrieu and Cassidy are expressing optimism publically, while also acknowledging that it’s a tight race ahead.

Landrieu touts her clout in the Senate as one her campaign selling points, while Cassidy counters that her clout hasn’t brought real results for Louisiana.

“With my service, Louisiana has real clout and now holds the gavel of the Senate Energy Committee,” Landrieu told reporters after qualifying for the ballot Wednesday, according to her campaign. “But this clout isn't mine, it's the people of Louisiana’s and with this clout, we will be able to create thousands of high-paying energy jobs in Louisiana and secure America's energy independence.”

"You can speak of clout, but frankly you should ask, 'Why haven't you been effective? Why weren't you able to get a vote on Keystone Pipeline,'" The Times-Picayune quoted Cassidy as saying after he qualified for the ballot on Wednesday.

Landrieu has also been weathering a controversy as of late surrounding her use of taxpayer funds to pay for charter flights to two separate campaign events. Though Landrieu has called the incidents a mistake and has taken action to reimburse the flights, it has provided fodder for critics seeking to paint Landrieu as a wealthy politician who’s lost touch with her roots.

For Landrieu, one advantage may come on the debate stage.

Landrieu has agreed to four debates and Maness to seven, but Cassidy has yet to commit to any. Cassidy campaign spokesman John Cummins has said that Cassidy will wait until the close of the qualifying period before agreeing to any debates.

Louisiana State University political science professor Robert Hogan said part of Cassidy’s calculation in not committing to debates sooner may have to do with the fact that he knows that Landrieu is a “very good” debater.

“A lot of peoples’ criticism of [Cassidy] is that he doesn’t have the retail politics skill compared to Landrieu,” Hogan said. “A high stakes debate…is an unknown for Cassidy. Landrieu is someone who has devastated her opponents in debates.”

Both Landrieu and Maness have criticized Cassidy for not yet committing to any debates. Maness has even taken to tweeting out a photo of a duck wearing a “Congressman Cassidy” name tag with the accompanying hashtag #duckingdebates.

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Vacationer-in-Chief? How Obama’s R&R Stacks Up to Other Presidents


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- There may never be a good time to take a vacation when you’re president. But the last couple of weeks made for particularly bad timing.

Now, as President Obama prepares to return from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, the commander-in-chief might very well want a vacation from his vacation, which was more notable for its many interruptions than its relaxation -- that is, unless you’re counting the president’s many rounds of golf.

The president held multiple news conferences -- and in an unusual fashion, even broke from his vacation for a two-day trip back to Washington -- as he addressed the developing crises in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri.

But Obama is just the latest in a long line of presidents to adopt the “working vacation.”

“Early on, when vacations began to get criticism -- for example, during the Eisenhower administration -- the press secretary, Jim Haggerty, invented the phrase ‘working vacation,’” Larry Knutson, author of the new book Away From the White House: Presidential Escapes, Retreats and Vacations, said during a recent interview with ABC News/Yahoo! News. “And we've had working vacations ever since.”

In his 37-year career as a reporter for the Associated Press, Knutson has covered presidential vacations ranging from Lyndon B. Johnson to George W. Bush.

Despite public jabs at Obama for socializing in the midst of domestic and international turmoil -- the president was notably criticized for hitting a golf course directly after his somber statement on the death of U.S. journalist James Foley -- Knutson said that when it comes to taking time off, Obama ranks “right in the middle” among his 43 predecessors.

“I wouldn't say that he's on top at all. He's taken regular vacations; he's certainly not taken as many or as long as some recent presidents,” he said. “It's an easy criticism, and it's been made from the very beginning.”

Knutson pointed to the case of Chester Arthur, the 21st president, as an early example of a president whose vacations drew particularly intense criticism.

“He fished from New England to Florida to the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, and at one point [made] a real, almost military expedition to then-very new Yellowstone National Park,” he explained. “And a newspaper in New York proposed half-seriously that the president's pay may be docked every time he went fishing or went on a vacation.”

Other presidents have managed to build their own mystique through their vacations.

In order to prevent the public eye from passing judgment on his holiday habits, Knutson said President Ronald Reagan tried to obscure the press’ view of his off-duty activities, like yard work and horseback riding, while vacationing at his California ranch -- literally.

“In Reagan's case, although he rode and cut brush, famously television was kept more than an arm's length away and had to set up cameras on a nearby mountaintop with lenses that I am told have been used to photograph the moon,” he said.

Despite the longstanding public disenchantment with presidential retreats, Knutson listed a handful of American leaders who were successfully able to unplug from their high-stress jobs for a some rest and relaxation.

“Dwight Eisenhower golfed from coast to coast. …John Kennedy sailed out of Hyannis Port and throughout the country and was photographed playing touch football with all of his nephews and nieces,” he said. “Lyndon Johnson relaxed totally at the ranch in Texas.”

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Ex Gov. McDonnell Takes Stand, Reveals Bleak Marriage in Corruption Trial


Mark Wilson/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Facing corruption charges, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell characterized his marriage in stunningly bleak terms, taking the witness stand to discuss a marriage that, as he describes it, was filled with yelling, unpleasantness, and distance.

McDonnell is on trial in Virginia over gifts his family received from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, who has testified that he believes he was granted access and a platform at the governor's mansion to promote a nutritional supplement, in exchange for gifts that included a $20,000 shopping spree for Maureen McDonnell, the governor's wife, and $15,000 for the wedding catering of the McDonnell’s daughter, Cailin. The total amount of lavish gifts, vacations, and cash loans is at least $165,000.

A deterioriated marriage and evidence of emotional distance is a key to McDonnell's defense, which has contended that Bob and Maureen McDonnell were too far separated by marital differences to have collaborated on a quid pro quo for Williams in exchange for his gifts.

Leaving the jury -- and the public -- with only one side of the story, Maureen McDonnell has not testified in her husband's trial and likely will not.

In his testimony, McDonnell spoke of a marriage that had been strained by years of his public-service career, underlined by fits of anger and yelling by his wife, whom advisers suggested should seek emotional help but who was unwilling to pursue that option. Things got so bad, McDonnell said, that he began working late purposefully to avoid his wife.

"It's going to be very, very difficult," McDonnell said at the beginning of the day's testimony, according to The Washington Post. "It's going to be hard for me to talk about."

It was revealed that McDonnell wrote an emotional letter to his wife in September 2011, which went unreturned, where he admitted that, "I am lonely sometimes."

It read, in part:
"I love you. Yesterday was one on (sic) the lowest points in my life. We have had a very hard year emotionally, despite a wonderful anniversary celebration. You are my soulmate. I love being married to you and having a family. We have shared much good life together (sic). I have made plenty of mistakes in my life which I wish I could fix. I am sorry for all the times I have not been there for you and have done things to hurt you. I know I am a sinner and keep trying to do better. But I am completely at a loss as to how to handle the fiery anger and hate from you that has become more and more frequent. You told me again yesterday that you would wreck my things and how bad I am. It hurt me to my core. I have asked and prayed to God so many times to take this anger away from you and heal whatever hurt is causing it..."

The letter has been entered into evidence but is not yet publicly available. The above text was reported by The Washington Post.

Asked by his attorney about the current state of his marriage, McDonnell reportedly said it was "on hold." He does not believe his wife had a physical affair with Williams, McDonnell reportedly said, and he revealed he moved out of his family's home in suburban Richmond before the trial and is living with his parish priest in the St. Patrick's Church rectory.


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GAO Determines Bergdahl-Taliban Swap Was Illegal


File photo. Credit: US Army(WASHINGTON) -- Accusations by congressional Republicans that the Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five Taliban detainees for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl were validated by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office Thursday.

Immediately after Bergdahl was released in late May following five years of captivity in Afghanistan, GOP lawmakers and some Democrats questioned the urgency to make the trade for Bergdahl, saying Congress was not given the required 30 days’ notice before making the deal.

Although the administration argued Bergdahl's life was in imminent danger, the GAO rejected that rationale, saying the law was broken because written notice was not provided to the relevant congressional committees until the day that swap occurred.

Last month, the GOP-controlled House Armed Services Committee supported a non-binding resolution condemning the trading of the five Taliban detainees for Bergdahl.

Adding to the controversy is Bergdahl's alleged desertion from his military post before his capture. The Pentagon is conducting a probe into the matter and will release its results next month, which could mean disciplinary action against Bergdahl, who is currently back in the States at a desk job.

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Hagel: Secret Mission to Get Hostages in Syria 'Flawless' -- Except for the Rescue


Junko Kimura/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A large contingent of American special operations forces was able to sneak into an ISIS camp near the terror group's stronghold in Syria in search of American hostages, but quickly withdrew when it became clear that while 100 or so armed terrorists were there, the hostages weren't, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the then-secret mission.

The official provided ABC News with new, dramatic details of the raid earlier this summer to grab Americans including journalist James Foley, a mission that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on Thursday was "flawless" except that no one was rescued.

"Knowing their lives were clearly in danger, it's the responsibility of our leaders, our government to take action when we believe there is a good possibility or chance of making the operation successful. This operation, by the way, was a flawless operation, but the hostages were not there," Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters Thursday. "We regret that mission did not succeed but I am very proud, very proud of the U.S. forces that participated in it."

The U.S. official familiar with the operation agreed that the mission, at least from a military perspective, was "magic."

When the "unusually large" U.S. special mission unit -- described by senior officials as "several dozen" warfighters -- arrived at the location near Raqqah, Syria where they believed the hostages were being held, they had little time "on station" because of the distance they had to fly from their launch base.

A senior administration official claimed Wednesday that, "while on site it became apparent the hostages were not there." But around 100 ISIS fighters were there, said the U.S. official familiar with the incident, and the American forces engaged in a fierce firefight. An Air Force AC-130 gunship came in overhead and put down fire on other ISIS fighters, keeping the bulk of the extremist force from the fight.

The Americans killed a number of ISIS fighters -- at least 15, according to the U.S. official -- before scrambling back to their helicopters and flying away.

The official said that some in the military and intelligence circles believe they missed the hostages by less than a week.

"It was magic," the official told ABC News Thursday. "Everything went perfectly and [there were] no major injuries… But they saw it was a dry hole and left."

Hagel declined to blame the incident on an intelligence failure.

"Was it a failure of intelligence? No. Intelligence doesn't come wrapped in a package with a bow. It's a mosaic of many pictures, of many factors, and the enemy always has a say," Hagel said. "The underlying objective was to do everything we could to rescue these hostages, knowing that their lives were in danger, clearly in danger."

Phil Balboni, CEO of GlobalPost, the news outlet for which James Foley was working when he was kidnapped in Syria in 2012, told ABC News Foley was "moved fairly often" while in captivity.

At Thursday's press conference Hagel went on to discuss ISIS, the brutal Sunni extremist group that has swept across Iraq in recent months and murdered James Foley, calling the group an "imminent threat" and "beyond anything we've seen."

"ISIL [ISIS] is as sophisticated and well-fund as any group we've seen. They're beyond any terrorist group," Hagel said, adding that ISIS presents a 9/11-level threat. "We must prepare for everything. The way to do that is you take a cold, steely, hard look at it and you get ready."


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Calif. Attorney General Appeals Death Penalty Ruling


iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- California's top prosecutor is fighting back, arguing to keep the state's death penalty in play after it was found to unconstitutional.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris says she will appeal a federal court ruling that struck down the death penalty.  A federal judge ruled California's death penalty is arbitrary and unfair.

Since the current system was adopted 35 years ago, 900 people have been sentenced to death, but only 13 have been executed.  

Harris calls the court's ruling flawed and says it requires appellate review.  

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New Bill Pushes for Breastfeeding Rooms in California Airports


iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- A new bill in California would force airports to have lactation rooms for nursing moms.

At most airports in California, moms who don't want to nurse in public often have to opt for a dirty bathroom stall.

Under a bill now approved by the California Senate, airports would be forced to offer rooms with a chair and an electrical outlet for a breast pump. New terminals would also have to have sinks in the rooms.

Now, San Francisco has the only airport in California with breastfeeding rooms.

The bill will now head back to the California Assembly. If it passes, it would go into effect in 2016.

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Sen. McCaskill to Hold Hearing on Militarization of Police


Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will hold a hearing in September on the militarization of local police, a spokesperson for McCaskill confirms.

The date has not been set yet, but the Senate is in session next month from Sept. 8-Sept. 23.

McCaskill chairs the financial and contracting oversight subcommittee for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee.

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US Diplomats Can't Participate in Ice Bucket Challenge


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- With the exception of the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand who didn't realize the rules, you won't see U.S. diplomats taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters at Thursday's briefing that taking part in the challenge violates the restrictions placed on high level U.S. government employees.

"Federal government ethics rules prevent us from using our public offices such as, high public officers such as ambassadors for private gain no matter how worthy the cause is and this is of course a worthy cause," Harf said.

"For that reason high ranking state department officials are unfortunately unable to participate in the ice bucket challenge," she noted.

Hard added that the State Department wishes the ALS Foundation success.

"Obviously it's a very important cause," she said.

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DEA to Unveil New Restrictions on Popular Painkillers


Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will officially publish rules on Friday to tighten restrictions on the most common form of painkillers.

The stricter rules are for drugs containing hydrocodone, which is in many of the most widely-used painkillers, including Vicodin and Lortab.

Now with the goal of cutting down on abuse, the drugs are being put into a tougher, more restrictive category. Patients will be limited to one 90-day supply and then will have to see a medical professional to get a refill.

Additionally, in many states, prescribing authority will be limited to doctors only and not nurses or physicians assistants any longer.

The new rules will take effect in about about a month and a half.

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Perry on Indictment: 'I Am Very Confident in My Case'


Stewart F. House/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Just two days after smiling for a mugshot, Texas Gov. Rick Perry took his message to conservatives in Washington, D.C., saying he was certain he would be cleared of the felony charges filed against him.

“I am very confident in my case and I can assure you I will fight this attack on our system of government,” Perry said at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, on Thursday. “I aim to defend our constitution and stand up for the rule of law in the state of Texas.”

Perry’s speech at the Heritage Foundation was scheduled long before a Texas grand jury issued an indictment against the Texas governor last week. Speaking before a crowd of conservatives, Perry talked about the need to secure the border and fight terror groups like ISIS.

The Texas governor said the recent events in Syria and Iraq should put the country on alert for a potential terrorist attack and argued that the U.S. must respond in a decisive manner to root out ISIS.

“They should have us thinking about a possibility of another terrorist attack in this country,” Perry said.

“We have come to one of those moments where American action will be decisive and inaction will be consequential,” he said.

Perry called for more forceful action in Iraq to fight ISIS, including additional airstrikes, an increase in special forces and offering intelligence assistance. Asked whether the U.S should send combat troops into Iraq, Perry said it would be irresponsible to reveal any strategy to the enemy.

“I think all your options have to be open,” he said.

The Texas governor, who has been one of President Obama’s toughest critics on the border crisis, warned that the porous border may have already allowed members of ISIS and other terror groups to infiltrate the United States.

“I think it’s a very real possibility they may have already used that,” Perry said, referring to the border. “We have a serious issue facing this country and the security of our citizens. We need to be very vigilant. We have to be using every authority that we have.”

Perry rallied conservatives to work to elect Republicans this cycle, saying the midterm election will be the last opportunity to “pass judgment on the Obama presidency.”

“And something tells me he’s not going to like it,” he added.

The Texas governor’s trip to D.C. comes less than a week after he was indicted on two felony counts of abuse of power for threatening to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit if District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign following a DWI conviction in 2013. The governor’s office said Perry’s campaign fund will pay for further legal bills relating to the indictment.

“This is an assault on the Constitution,” Lucy Nashed, a spokesperson for Perry, said. “We don't want it to be an assault on the taxpayers as well.”

Perry pled not guilty to the charges on Wednesday and waived his arraignment, which will take place on Friday. Instead, Perry will head to New Hampshire for the weekend where he is set to do a half dozen events, including several with the New Hampshire Republican Party.

Next week, Perry will head to South Carolina for the Texas A&M game against the University of South Carolina, where he will headline a tailgate to benefit the Republican Party of South Carolina.

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EMILY’s List Drops Big Money in Georgia Senate Race


Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(ATLANTA) -- There’s a new big spender in Georgia.

EMILY’s List, the political action committee that supports pro-abortion-rights Democratic female candidates, has bought $1 million of air time in Atlanta’s media market to run a TV ad attacking the business record of Republican Senate candidate and former Dollar General CEO David Perdue, the group told ABC.

The $1 million ad buy will be the largest single outside expenditure in the race to date, topping a $920,000 U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad buy in April.

Michelle Nunn, the Democrats’ nominee to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., is one of the party’s brighter stars in this election cycle, but she faces an uphill climb to defeat Perdue in a state that hasn’t voted statewide for a Democrat since 2000. The last major survey of the race, a CBS/New York Times/YouGov poll conducted from July 5 to 25, showed Perdue leading Nunn by 6 percentage points.

The ad, which has not yet been made public, will focus on a gender pay discrimination suit brought by female store managers claiming Dollar General had underpaid them during Perdue’s tenure. Dollar General settled the suit in 2011 after Perdue had left as CEO, a role he held from 2003 to 2007.

A court allowed a class-action suit in 2007 for women who had worked as Dollar General store managers from 2004 to 2007, and 2,100 opted into it, according to an SEC report. Dollar General agreed to pay $19 million as part of a settlement in 2011, Law360 reported.

More than 140 Georgia women joined the suit, EMILY’s List points out.

“David Perdue owes Georgians answers about his shady business dealings that put his own profits ahead working women,” EMILY’s List spokeswoman Marcy Stech said. “And he certainly needs to be straightforward with the women of Georgia who deserve to know if he still believes it’s OK to pay women less than men for the same job.”

Perdue has faced attacks on his business record before. In his primary runoff, Kingston aired ads that highlighted lost jobs at a company Perdue led and a government bailout for another on whose board Perdue sat. Nunn’s campaign went up with a negative ad this week featuring workers who lost their jobs at textile firm Pillowtex under the leadership of Perdue, who ran the company after it emerged from bankruptcy.

With the new ad from EMILY’s List, Nunn will have her most significant outside help so far and, compared to her GOP rival, she may need it.

While Thursday’s individual buy is the biggest to date, EMILY’s List is by no means the race’s aggregate money leader when it comes to outside groups.

Republican groups have swarmed Georgia, spending millions there already, much of it on the competitive (and overwhelmingly negative) seven-way GOP primary and Perdue’s runoff against Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga. The Chamber, for instance, spent $2.9 million backing Kingston.

A GOP super PAC called the Ending Spending Action Fund has spent $3.1 million, some of it on the GOP primary, and some of it attacking Nunn. The American Chemistry Council has spent $1.4 million backing Perdue, and a pro-Perdue super PAC called Citizens for a Working America has spent over $2 million.

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More US Troops May Be Headed to Iraq


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. troop levels in Iraq could top 1,000 if the Pentagon follows through on a plan to add more soldiers in an effort to better secure State Department facilities in Baghdad from possible attack by Islamic State militants.

A formal request to add 300 troops must come from the White House before the Pentagon can deploy more personnel to Iraq.

It's likely the Obama administration will act soon, given the growing threat to Americans by ISIS, particularly after the execution of U.S. journalist James Foley.

There are currently 700 American forces in Iraq, many of whom are protecting the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and other offices where State Department officials reside.

Some troops are also stationed in the Kurdish city of Erbil, a possible target of ISIS, although U.S. airstrikes have driven back the militants.


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Former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell Takes Stand at Corruption Trial


Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell took the stand on Wednesday to testify at his public corruption trial.

McDonnell and his wife stand accused of accepting over $165,000 in cash, goods and trips as part of a 14-count indictment. He spoke on the stand about the difficulty of running a state-wide campaign and how taxing it can be on a marriage. The morning after his victory in the gubernatorial election, his wife began to yell at him, because of his focus on making and receiving phone calls.

In the end, McDonnell said that he did take money and gifts, but denied giving any favorable treatment in exchange for those gifts.

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