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US Military Unaware Gyrocopter Violated DC Airspace Before Landing Near Capitol Building

US Military Unaware Gyrocopter Violated DC Airspace Before Landing Near Capitol Building Gary Blakeley/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The United States military says it was unaware that an aircraft had flown into restricted airspace over Washington, D.C., Wednesday and was only alerted of its presence after it landed.Just before 2 p.m. ET, ABC News reported a Florida man was arrested after landing his gyrocopter on the West lawn of the United States Capitol building.The United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the military organizations responsible for protecting the capital region airspace, say they never saw it. “There was no NORAD involvement,” said spokesman Michael Kucharek. He deferred questions about who may have detected it first to the U.S. Capitol Police and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).Kucharek said the military has MH-65 helicopters on standby at all times in Washington, D.C., for the specific purpose of intercepting slow-moving aircraft, yet none were sent.It appears the man who piloted the aircraft is the same individual who spoke to the Tampa Bay Times about his intent to fly his gyrocopter to Capitol Hill and deliver 535 letters -- one addressed to each member of Congress -- calling for campaign finance reform. In an online interview with the paper, Dough Hughes said he is a postman, not a terrorist, and that he did not intend to harm anyone, including himself.But the incident raises questions as to why no one was able to intercept him before he gained access to the Capitol grounds, particularly if the news media knew about the flight beforehand.In additional to the media's knowledge, sources say law enforcement, including a Secret Service officer, interviewed Hughes last year after learning he may have been planning something for the future.In an interview with ABC’s Jim Avila, Tampa Bay Times reporter Ben Montgomery claimed he informed the United States Secret Service ahead of time about Hughes’ plan to land a helicopter on the Capitol.Whether authorities had prior knowledge of the plan, Kucharek was skeptical that an aircraft that small could have flown undetected into the restricted airspace. Kucharek said no one should rule out the possibility that Hughes launched the aircraft from within the restricted airspace, possibly explaining why he went unnoticed.Investigators are still trying to determine where the flight originated, and if it’s discovered he came from outside Washington, the military may have more questions to answer. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chris Christie Calls Normalizing Relations with Cuba a ‘National Disgrace’

Chris Christie Calls Normalizing Relations with Cuba a ‘National Disgrace’ Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images(LONDONBERRY, N.H.) --  A day after the Obama administration recommended that the U.S. government reverse its long-standing policy designating Cuba a state sponsor of international terrorism, Chris Christie called the move a "national disgrace."In an appearance Wednesday at a town hall meeting in Londonberry, New Hampshire, Christie took aim at President Obama's diplomatic warming with the Communist nation."It is a national disgrace that the president is engaged in those conversations and even considering taking that country off the terrorist watch-list," Christie said."If Cuba wants normalized relations with the United States, start acting like a normal country," he said.Obama Tuesday recommended reversing the longstanding U.S. policy of keeping Cuba on a list of state sponsors of terrorism. The administration released a statement declaring Obama's "intention to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation" days after his return from the Summit of the Americas in Panama.Christie also said he would make his final decision on a run for president in "late spring, early summer." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why the IRS Won’t Refund Victims of Tax Preparer Fraud

Why the IRS Won’t Refund Victims of Tax Preparer Fraud iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- If you're a victim of tax preparer fraud, don't rely on compensation from the Internal Revenue Service. The agency is not prohibited from issuing refunds to such victims, but it has no procedures to do so, according to warnings from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson.But it’s a different matter when it comes to victims of tax identity theft. When someone uses your personal information, such as a Social Security number, to steal your tax refund, you could get a refund from the IRS.Olson, who heads the U.S. government Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, argues there's little difference between that crime and that of tax preparer fraud.About 60 percent of taxpayers use tax professionals to prepare their returns, according to the IRS."The IRS has known about this problem and its severe impact on victims for many years," since at least 2000, Olson wrote in a report presented to Congress Wednesday. She presented her 2014 annual report to Congress in a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Government Operations.The IRS commissioner decided in March 2014 that the IRS will issue refunds to victims of tax preparer fraud who provide a copy of a police report."It has now been over a year since the Commissioner made this decision, and the IRS still has no procedures in place to implement this policy," Olson writes. "The IRS has not even circulated draft procedures for TAS (Taxpayer Advocate Service) to review and comment upon."A spokeswoman for the IRS said commissioner John Koskinen has long advocated for better mechanisms for enforcement and taxpayer solutions. When the IRS named tax preparer fraud as one of its annual "dirty dozen" tax scams, it said the IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice to end scams and prosecute criminals."The IRS has been taking steps to help taxpayers know where and how to get the help they need," Koskinen said two weeks ago during a speech at the National Press Club. "We’ve also been working with the national tax groups, including some of those here in the room, on raising taxpayer awareness about the different types of tax professionals available to help."The IRS launched a new directory of tax return preparers on IRS.gov earlier this year, allowing taxpayers to find tax professionals with credentials and qualifications in their local area.Suraj Patel, New York University Stern School of Business adjunct professor, said the problem of enforcement and refunding victims of tax preparer fraud is a symptom of a much larger problem."No politician ever gets votes by advocating for a higher IRS budget, so years of cuts have really led to a situation where the agency can't possibly adequately handle the helpline or do proper enforcement," Patel said. "On the other hand, it also goes to show how complicated and burdensome the annual filing of taxes has become. It's a huge externality on the economy." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

House Oversight Committee Loses Confidence in DEA Administrator

House Oversight Committee Loses Confidence in DEA Administrator Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said on Wednesday that they have lost their confidence in Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Michele Leonhart.The announcement comes after Leonhart's testimony during a hearing Tuesday regarding sex parties involving DEA agents in Colombia."After over a decade of serving in top leadership positions at DEA, Administrator Leonhart has been woefully unable to change or positively influence the pervasive 'good old boy' culture that exists throughout the agency. From her testimony, it is clear that she lacks the authority and will to make the tough decisions required to hold those accountable who compromise national security and bring disgrace to their position," committee chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., along with 20 other committee members, said in a statement."Ms. Leonhart has lost the confidence of this Committee to initiate the necessary reforms to restore the reputation of a vital agency," they added. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Obama Meets with West African Leaders to Talk Ebola

President Obama Meets with West African Leaders to Talk EbolaChip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Transmission of the Ebola virus in West Africa has slowed tremendously, but for some of the countries hit hardest by the virus, the fight continues. President Obama, in a White House meeting Wednesday with the presidents of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, pledged that the United States will continue its support in the fight against Ebola in those nations where the virus struck the hardest.“We have to be vigilant, and the international community has to remain fully engaged in a partnership with these three countries, until there are no cases of Ebola in these countries,” President Obama said from the White House Cabinet Room alongside West African presidents Ellen Sirleaf of Liberia, Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leon and Alpha Condé of Guinea.The virus has killed more than 10,000 people since the epidemic broke -- but this week, there were just 40 new cases, the president noted.“Now we’re focused on a shared goal, and that is getting to zero,” he said. “We can’t be complacent.” The meeting comes one day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would begin testing an Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone.The African leaders will now also meet with the IMF, World Bank and other organizations on their visit.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Congress Holds Hearing on Tax Scams

Congress Holds Hearing on Tax Scams iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- At an alarmingly high rate, con artists are claiming that they're from the Internal Revenue Service, threatening legal action if people don't pay up.The scams are happening all over the U.S., and just in time for Tax Day, Congress is taking steps to try to stop them.Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, will hold a hearing on this tax fraud epidemic on Wednesday. She says more than 400,000 Americans have been targeted by scammers pretending to be IRS agents.The scammers will usually call taxpayers, telling them that they owe money and need to act fast before the IRS takes action against them. But as IRS spokesman Eric Smith notes, any caller that asks you to pay by phone using your credit or debit card is the telltale sign of a scam."We will never call you and demand that you pay your tax debt in a particular way," Smith says. He adds, "If you owe the IRS money, you generally know."Among those testifying at the hearing Wednesday is Al Cadenhead, a 67-year-old pastor from Charlotte, North Carolina. He says he was scammed out of $16,500. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Obama Offers $200 Million in Humanitarian Aid to Iraq

Obama Offers $200 Million in Humanitarian Aid to IraqOfficial White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the Oval Office Tuesday and offered $200 million in humanitarian aid to help Iraqis displaced by the terrorist group ISIS.The president said the aid would go to “help stabilize communities and to help those who have been displaced from their homes, have lost their jobs, have seen their property destroyed.”It was Abadi's first official U.S. visit since taking office last September.Speaking to reporters, President Obama said while Iraqi forces continue to be equipped and trained by the U.S. military, the ultimate responsibility for Iraqi troops lies with the Iraqi government.“The government is accountable for the actions of armed forces, so that if there are criminal acts or sectarian retributions that are carried out, that ultimately Prime Minister Abadi is able to call those forces to account," Obama said.Abadi assured the president that he was cracking down on abuses. “I have to admit that there are some violations, human rights violations, being committed by some criminal parties and outliers, but we have zero tolerance for any violations of human rights,” Abadi said. “And when we manage to catch these people, we are bringing them before the judicial system and we punish them.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Legislation Allowing Congressional Review of Iran Nuclear Deal

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Legislation Allowing Congressional Review of Iran Nuclear Deal Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved legislation requiring Congressional right to approve or disapprove a potential nuclear deal with Iran.The committee approved the legislation by a unanimous 19-0 vote. Chairman Bob Corker called it, "exactly the congressional review that we've been working on from day one."The compromised legislation gives Congress 52 days to review a final deal with Iran -- 30 days for congressional review, 12 for Obama to have the opportunity to veto a disapproval, and 10 more for Congress to consider an override of a potential veto.Prior to the vote, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama, "would be willing to sign the proposed compromise that is working its way through the committee today."The deal would extend the review period to 60 days if the deal is sent to Congress after July 9. Further, the administration would be required to certify Iranian compliance with the agreement for 90 days, and if violations occur, the White House would have to inform Congress to allow for reapplication of sanctions against Iran. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Senate Passes Doc-Fix Bill

Senate Passes Doc-Fix Bill Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate passed the so-called "doc-fix" bill, which passed the House last month, in an effort to reform the way Medicare pays doctors. The measure passed by a 92 to 8 vote.The bill ends the sustainable growth rate, a formula used to calculate doctors' Medicare payments. Doctors were due to face 21 percent cuts in Medicare reimbursements if the bill wasn't passed.The bill now heads to President Obama's desk. "This is a bill that will provide better health care for seniors and real savings for taxpayers," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said last month when the House passed the bill. "This'll be the first real entitlement reform that we've seen in nearly two decades, and that's a big win for the American people." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

DEA Administrator Criticized in Committee Hearing for Response to Alleged Sex Parties

DEA Administrator Criticized in Committee Hearing for Response to Alleged Sex Parties Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Administrator Michele Leonhart was criticized by members of the House Oversight and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday for her response to sex parties involving DEA agents in Colombia.Leonhart attempted to explain to the committee why she could not fire the agents who participated in the parties with prostitutes paid for by drug cartels in government housing paid for by U.S. tax payers. Some of the agents received punishments between two and 14 days suspension without pay, but civil service protections made harsher discipline difficult, Leonhart said."It is embarrassing that you don't fire that person," committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said. "If this is the kind of behavior that they're going to engage in, it's totally unacceptable. They should not have the security clearance and they should be fired."The allegations involved conduct that occurred between 2001 and 2012, some of which were revealed in a Department of Justice Inspector General report last week. Leonhart has been in charge of the DEA since 2007, during the time when some of the allegations occurred. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., suggested Leonhart may need to be replaced. "We need to seriously consider new leadership at DEA," he said. The Inspector General report focused on how the four enforcement agencies housed in the Department of Justice, DEA, FBI, ATF and U.S. Marshals Service, handled misconduct allegations. The DEA had by far the largest share of allegations involving the solicitation of prostitutes overseas, accounting for 19 of 26 total offenses of this type among the four agenciesThe report found that in many cases, DEA supervisors in the field did not notify headquarters about allegations of misconduct. One regional director who failed to move cases involving sex parties further up the chain of command was merely counseled as a reprimand for his actions.   Some members raised the possibility of amending the Title V of the Civil Service Act to allow for more swift and severe punishment for sexual misconduct. However, Chairman Chaffetz questioned whether the charges leveled at the agents involved with prostitutes were appropriate, suggesting that different charges could have resulted in dismissal. Attorney General Eric Holder last week took the unusual step of issuing a memorandum to all Department of Justice employees expressly prohibiting the solicitation of prostitutes on or off duty in any foreign or domestic jurisdiction. “Department employees who violate these prohibitions will be subject to suspension or termination,” the memo states. Supervisors who fail to report such conduct are also subject to discipline. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hillary Clinton Backs Constitutional Amendment on Campaign Money

Hillary Clinton Backs Constitutional Amendment on Campaign Money Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images(MONTICELLO, Iowa) -- Hillary Clinton could have one of the best-funded campaigns in history, but she wants to get so-called dark money out of politics altogether.To that end, Clinton says she supports a constitutional amendment barring it.“We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment,” Clinton said at the first event of her 2016 presidential run, speaking to students and teachers at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, Iowa.Clinton has said similar things in the past--just not as strongly. In 2014, for instance, she said she would consider such a measure, MSNBC reported at the time.The Democratic frontrunner is expected to be supported in her bid by Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that helped President Obama defeat Mitt Romney in 2012. While super PAC support may seem contradictory with Clinton's complaint against political money, it isn't: Super PACs disclose their donors and are not considered "unaccountable" in the same way as nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups, which can also take in unlimited donations from people and corporations, but which do not disclose their sources of money.Clinton also backed President Obama's call for free community college."I fully support President Obama's plan to make community college free," Clinton said.The community-college roundtable discussion was the first of what Clinton's campaign has described as a series of small, intimate events in Iowa, where the former secretary of State will listen to voters on an array of issues.Sitting at the head of several folding tables, Clinton asked the small group of attendees about their experiences as students paying tuition and planning their lives, and as educators seeking to help students along the way.After officially announcing her candidacy this week, Clinton traveled to Iowa in a van she dubbed "Scooby," making a surprise stop at Chipotle along the way. Her campaign has not yet publicly disclosed a full list of the events she'll attend while she's in the state. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rubio Derides ‘Terrible’ Decision to Remove Cuba from State Sponsor of Terrorism List

Rubio Derides ‘Terrible’ Decision to Remove Cuba from State Sponsor of Terrorism List US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Marco Rubio, one day after announcing his campaign to become president in 2016, posted a video to his YouTube page decrying President Obama's recommendation to remove Cuba from the U.S. government's state sponsor of terrorism list."The decision made by the White House today is a terrible one," Rubio said bluntly on Tuesday, "but not surprising, unfortunately." Rubio said in the wake of Obama's December 2014 announcement of normalizing relations with Cuba that he was against such action."Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism," the Florida senator explained. "They harbor fugitives of American justice, including someone who killed a police officer in New Jersey over 30 years ago. It's also the country that's helping North Korea evade weapons sanctions by the United Nations."In Rubio's mind, Cuba "should have remained on the list of state sponsors of terrorism." Instead, the island nation is that much closer to being removed from this list, which Rubio believes "sends a chilling message to our enemies abroad that this White House is no longer seriously serious about calling terrorism by its proper name." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chris Christie: ‘I Have Not Watched’ Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Video

Chris Christie: ‘I Have Not Watched’ Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Video ABC/Randy Sager(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, himself considered a possible contender for the race for president in 2016, said Tuesday that he had not watched Hillary Clinton's video from this past weekend announcing her own campaign for the job."I have not watched it yet," Christie said in between events in New Hampshire. Christie further noted that anyone interested is welcome to run for president. On Clinton specifically he said simply, "We'll see how she does."Christie spent his day in New Hampshire interacting with the people, spending time at a local pizzeria and a shoe repair shop.   Dropping by Caesarios Pizza in Manchester. If you are in the area, come on by! — Chris Christie (@ChrisChristie) April 14, 2015 Here with Fouad Nakkoul checking out his fine work at Heel the Sole in Manchester. pic.twitter.com/6eQcFY0uUQ — Chris Christie (@ChrisChristie) April 14, 2015   Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Obama Recommends Removing Cuba from Terrorism List

Obama Recommends Removing Cuba from Terrorism List iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama recommended on Tuesday that the United States government reverse its long-standing policy designating Cuba a state sponsor of international terrorism.The White House issued a statement declaring the administration's "intention to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation" several days after the president returned from the Summit of the Americas in Panama, where he met with heads of state from across the region, including for the first time with Cuban President Raul Castro.The momentous shift will lift 32 years of numerous financial sanctions against Cuba and represents the latest attempt by the Obama administration to restore relations with the Communist stronghold after more than five decades of a diplomatic freeze.Cuban officials had made clear during the course of recent negotiations with Washington that relations could never be fully normalized as long as the country was designated as a sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. State Department.The policy review began following Obama's announcement in December to begin normalization dialogue with the island nation."I've instructed Secretary [of State John] Kerry to review Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. This review will be guided by the facts and the law," he said during the announcement. "Terrorism has changed in the last several decades. At a time when we are focused on threats from al Qaeda to ISIL, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction."Obama will send his decision to Congress, which has 45 days to consider the new policy. Should Congress seek to block the measure, it would need to create a veto-proof law declaring Cuba remains a state sponsor of terrorism. It's unlikely Congress has votes to complete such a task.The Communist Cuban government was added to the terror list in 1982 after the State Department determined the country repeatedly provided support to terrorist organizations in Latin America, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. But the State Department acknowledged recently those ties had "become more distant."Syria, Sudan and Iran are the only other countries remaining on the list.On Thursday while in Jamaica at a meeting with Caribbean leaders, the president hinted at his decision to remove Cuba from the list."Throughout this process, our emphasis has been on the facts," Obama said. "We want to make sure that given this is a powerful tool to isolate those countries that genuinely do support terrorism, that when we make those designations, we've got strong evidence that's the case and as circumstance change, that list will change as well."The decision is expected to draw criticism from those opposed to normalizing relations with the Castro regime in Cuba.Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said after the December announcement that changes to the terror designation would serve to "tighten this regime's grip on power for decades to come."Cuban officials, meanwhile, have said not only was the designation unwarranted, but also removing it is critical to the process of restoring relations. The banking sanctions associated with the terror designation are so strict that Cuban diplomats cannot even use credit cards while visiting Washington, D.C. or the United Nations in New York, and Cuba's interest section cannot process credit cards for visa applications.Cuba's leading diplomat told ABC News in February that the decision to put them on the list has always been political."People are in disbelief every time they realize that Cuba has been included in the list of so called state-sponsors of terrorism," Josefina Vidal told ABC News' Jim Avila in an exclusive interview. "It has always been a political decision, not a decision based on real facts. Because it's a fact of life, that from the territory of Cuba, terrorism has never been organized, financed, or executed or implemented toward any country in the world including the United States." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Boehner: Iran Framework Is ‘Really an Agreement to Keep Talking’

Boehner: Iran Framework Is ‘Really an Agreement to Keep Talking’ Caleb Smith/Office of the Speaker(WASHINGTON) -- As Secretary of State John Kerry drums up support throughout the Capitol on Tuesday for the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, House Speaker John Boehner denied that he is working to kill the talks before a deal is finalized.“What I’m trying to do is to make sure that if we’re going to have an agreement with the Iranians, it’s one that will in fact work and will be upheld on all sides, but from everything that I’ve heard about the so-called ‘framework,’ all it is is really an agreement to keep talking,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at a news conference at the Capitol Tuesday. Despite the urging of Kerry for Congress to give the administration “the space and the time” needed to complete a nuclear deal with Iran, Boehner said he will continue to speak out.“I haven’t seen anything concrete come out of this yet, but I’ve got concerns and I’ve voiced those concerns and I’ll continue to voice them,” he said.Tuesday morning, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he reached a bipartisan agreement to ensure Congress reviews any agreement to lift sanctions on Iran.Boehner insists Congress should “absolutely” have a role approving the agreement, and urged the Senate to move the bill to the House so the lower chamber can also vote.“Congress absolutely should have the opportunity to review this deal,” he said. “We shouldn’t just count on the administration, who appears to want a deal at any cost.” Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

I.F. Sen. Dean Mortimer hailed a hero of the session

I.F. Sen. Dean Mortimer hailed a hero of the session(Courtesy Idaho Education News) BOISE — One of the first things Sen. Dean Mortimer changed when he was appointed chairman of the Senate Education Committee was set his alarm clock to 4:30 a.m. On the first day of the session, Gov. Butch Otter laid out a challenge to lawmakers: Increase pubic school funding by 7.4 […]

Otter signs K-12 budgets

Otter signs K-12 budgets(Courtesy Idaho Education News) BOISE — While the 2015 Legislature was wrapping up its business late last week, Gov. Butch Otter signed the seven pieces of the K-12 budget into law. The budgets mirror the spending request Otter made 13 weeks ago — at the start of the 2015 legislative session that adjourned early Saturday […]

Ben Carson to Announce Whether He Has Presidential Campaign Plans

Ben Carson to Announce Whether He Has Presidential Campaign Plans Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(NEW YORK) — In just a few weeks, we’ll know Ben Carson’s plans for 2016.The retired neurosurgeon and likely presidential candidate tweeted he will return to his hometown to announce his decision about a presidential run in May.“I’m excited to say that on May 4th, in my hometown of Detroit, I will announce whether or not I will be a Presidential candidate,” he tweeted Tuesday.  I'm excited to say that on May 4th, in my hometown of Detroit, I will announce whether or not I will be a Presidential candidate. #BenCarson — Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) April 14, 2015 In an interview with ABC’s Rick Klein at this year’s Conservative Political Action conference, Carson distanced himself from partisanship, but said that his race and upbringing have given him “a great deal of perspective.”“Having grown up in the lowest rungs, economically, of society and being able to rise through every level to the top and seeing what concerns people at all those different levels,” Carson told Klein in February. “The things that concern black people are really the same things that concern white people or brown people or yellow people.” Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Team Rubio Selling ‘Day One’ Swag

Team Rubio Selling ‘Day One’ SwagMarcoRubio.com(NEW YORK) — One day after Marco Rubio announced he was running for president, his campaign is hitting the ground running with special swag for his early supporters.“We’re selling special ‘Day One’ swag on MarcoRubio.com for today only,” a campaign aide tells ABC News. “Back in 2009, Marco started with only a handful of supporters, and won.” Supporters who donate on April 14, can score items including a Day One decal, t-shirt or autographed poster -- all which display messages such as “I supported Marco Rubio on Day One,” and, “I’m with Marco -- Day One Supporter.”Calling Rubio “the underdog,” the aide says the campaign wanted to “give early supporters something special to show that they were with Marco from Day 1 for years to come.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Chris Christie Aims to Start ‘National Conversation’ on Entitlements

Chris Christie Aims to Start ‘National Conversation’ on Entitlements ABC/Randy Sager(GOFFSTOWN, N.H.) — In New Hampshire Tuesday New Jersey Gov. Christie will “continue to take on the biggest and oftentimes most politically unpopular issues by delivering a speech centered on how the United States has to confront the entitlement crisis,” an aide for his political action committee tells ABC News. “In the short term, it is growing the deficit and slowly but surely taking over all of government. In the long term, it will steal our children’s future and bankrupt our nation,” Christie will say, according to excerpts of his remarks as prepared for delivery. “Meanwhile, our leaders in Washington are not telling people the truth. Washington is still not dealing with the problem.  Washington is afraid to have an honest conversation about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid with the people of our country. I am not.” Christie has yet to announce his 2016 intentions, but it’s been said that one does not run for president without speaking at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics -- a location known for significant political moments. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.  

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