WASHINGTON — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is urging her supporters to oust lawmakers who come from districts she and presidential running mate John McCain won in 2008 and who voted for the health care overhaul.
Palin, the Republicans' 2008 vice presidential nominee and a potential 2012 White House hopeful, launched a website Thursday to "Take Back the 20." On a U.S. map, Palin places bull's-eyes on the districts where, she says, "we've diagnosed the problem."
"Join me in standing against those who stood with Obama and Pelosi in voting for this disastrous bill," Palin says, referring to President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "The Democrats from 20 districts we carried in 2008 voted for Obamacare. Now we can vote against them."
EDITOR'S NOTE – An insider's view of this year's elections based on reports from around the nation.
Palin urges supporters to vote for "good conservatives who will vote to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, results-driven, free market reform that provides solutions to people of all income levels without bankrupting our country."
Palin, who resigned her office in 2009 and now contributes to the Fox News Channel, also posted on her Facebook page a claim that the Democrats' health law includes "death panels," a notion that is untrue, and funds abortions with tax dollars. The law allows health plans in new insurance markets to cover abortions, but they would have to pay with money collected directly from enrollees. No federal dollars could be used.
"Politicians who have vacillated on this issue need to be fired," Palin wrote. "Candidates who don't support 'repeal and replace' don't deserve your support. No amount of money spent on Washington's 'government-wide apolitical public information campaign' (otherwise known as 'propaganda') will convince Americans that this awful legislation is anything other than a debt-driven big government train wreck."
Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman on Thursday came out against a ballot initiative that would indefinitely delay California's landmark global warming law, saying she supports a more limited suspension.
Whitman has long advocated suspending the 2006 law for a year if she is elected governor, but she has deflected questions about her stance on Proposition 23. Her rival, Jerry Brown, the Democratic state attorney general, challenged her this week to take a position.
In a statement, the former chief executive of eBay said the ballot initiative fails to offer a sensible balance for protecting jobs and the environment.
"It is too simple of a solution for a complex problem," Whitman said. "I believe that my plan to fix AB32 strikes the right balance for California."
Proposition 23, which is primarily funded by Texas oil companies Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp., would delay the global warming law, known as AB32, until California's unemployment falls to 5.5 percent and stays there for a year. That has only happened three times during the last three decades.
California's climate change law contains a provision that allows a governor to suspend the law for a year if its implementation would result in harm to California's economy. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the law to great fanfare in 2006, has not invoked that trigger.
The law requires the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020. The California Air Resources Board is currently developing regulations to implement it, including a cap-and-trade market, an idea that has failed to gain traction in Congress.
Alabama state Rep. Robert Bentley says he spent his family savings, raided his life insurance and tapped into his retirement funds to finance his successful campaign for the Republican nomination for governor.
Bentley lent $1.9 million to his campaign during the Republican primary and runoff. The retired dermatologist told The Huntsville Times that he would have had to return to work to pay off the debt if he had lost the Republican primary.
Bentley has raised more than $3 million for his general election campaign, but campaign finance reports show he hasn't started paying back the personal money he put into his campaign.
Bentley is favored in his campaign against Democrat Ron Sparks, the state agriculture and industries commissioner.
_ Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern is trying to turn his profanity-laced attack on the tea party – caught on camera and circulated among Republicans – into a fundraiser for Democrats. In an e-mail on Thursday, Redfern said he won't apologize and asked: "Do the Tea Partiers really think that what I said is worse than comparing President Obama to Hitler, or screaming that he's not an American? Do they think what I said was worse than denying a child health care because of a pre-existing condition?" Redfern then asked supporters to contribute to his "swear jar to help us beat our opponents in November."
_ Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., will campaign with the fellow Democrat who wants to succeed him, Rep. Brad Ellsworth. The pair will make stops together on Friday across the state, hoping to boost Ellsworth's campaign against former Sen. Dan Coats.
_ Kentucky's Senate candidates, Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway, have committed to a fourth political debate, this one on Fox News on Oct. 3. They previously agreed to debate in Covington Oct. 11, in Paducah Oct. 14 and in Lexington at a statewide appearance on Kentucky Educational Television Oct. 25.
_ Leaders of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO have decided to throw the labor union's support behind Gov. Deval Patrick's re-election bid. Patrick and many union leaders have been at odds over his efforts to curb police details at road construction sites, as well as to trim the state work force and revamp the state pension system. The union acknowledged those differences in its statement but says Patrick "has responsibly navigated budget shortfalls and joblessness without callously leaving citizens and families to fend for themselves."
Associated Press writer Samantha Young in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to this report.