(Salon) The National Republican Campaign Committee unveiled a race-baiting ad Friday linking the Democratic candidate for an Omaha-based congressional seat to Nikko Jenkins, who committed four murders after being released from prison in 2013.
Jenkins, a diagnosed schizophrenic who is now 28, was released from prison in July 2013 after serving 10 years of an 18-to-21-year sentence for armed robbery and assault. He was released under Nebraska’s “good time” law, which can cut sentences in half by allowing prisoners a day of credit for good behavior for each day they’re incarcerated. Republican Rep. Lee Terry, one of a handful of House Republicans at risk of losing this year, has accused Democratic opponent Brad Ashford of not doing enough to make the state’s good-time law more stringent during his service as a state legislator on a crime-related committee.
The NRCC’s new ad features footage of Jenkins’ trial, with menacing music and images of the heavily tattooed Jenkins shouting in the courtroom.
“Nikko Jenkins was released from prison early after serving only half his sentence,” the narrator intones. The ad does not specify that the sentence in question was the unrelated assault and armed robbery sentence, not the one for his murders.
“Brad Ashford supported the good-time law and still defends it, allowing criminals like Nikko Jenkins to be released early,” the narrator says, as a photo of Ashford is juxtaposed with Jenkins’ mug shot.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The family of a former small-town South Carolina mayor who authorities say was shot to death by a police officer he had complained about for aggressive behavior has been awarded $97 million in a federal wrongful death lawsuit.
Bert Reeves was shot in the chest with a service revolver belonging to Officer Randall Price in May 2011, along a rural dirt road. Price, who has not been charged in the death, is no longer a police officer.
Authorities have said Reeves had objected after Price arrested an employee of his construction business.
Reeves’ family sued and multiple media outlets reported the jury Wednesday awarded $7.5 million actual damages, $60 million punitive damages against the town of Cottageville and $30 million punitive damages against Price.
The family had said in the lawsuit that the town should never have hired Price after his troubled employment history in different departments, including being fired.
(Politico) The political momentum for a travel ban on West African nations continued to swell Thursday, but health and transportation experts were uniform in saying it wouldn’t stem the spread of Ebola — and could do more harm than good.
That hasn’t stopped politicians and pundits — ranging from House Speaker John Boehner to former Obama press secretary Jay Carney — from calling for a travel ban. The appeal is obvious: It sounds like a no-brainer to build an infectious-disease moat around the U.S., blocking some flights and barring people who come from the countries suffering the worst Ebola outbreaks.
But the reality, the experts say, is that those kinds of measures have failed before. And this time, experts inside and outside the administration warned, throttling travel would hammer already devastated West African countries, make it difficult to send relief where it’s needed, and send an unknown number of infected travelers into the shadows, increasing the difficulty of knowing how many were entering the U.S.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Gov. Scott Walker is being outspent by Democrat Mary Burke and her supporters on television ads in the hotly contested race for Wisconsin governor.
The Center for Public Integrity reported Thursday that Walker and his backers spent nearly $6.1 million on ads through Monday, while Burke and her supporters ran nearly $6.6 million.
That is a flip from just one week ago when Walker and his side spent $5.6 million compared with $5.4 million for Burke.
The Walker strategy seems odd. He ran tons of ads in the Madison market — which is insane, because there’s no way he’ll win here. Burke needs to concentrate on Madison and Milwaukee. And especially Milwaukee. If voters turn out there, this thing is in the bag.