Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $2.5 million to a political action committee that aims to help U.S. Senate Democrats maintain their majority in next year's congressional elections, a Bloomberg aide said on Tuesday. Bloomberg, an independent who stepped down last week after 12 years as New York mayor, gave the money to Senate Majority PAC, according to Howard Wolfson, a former deputy mayor. The news was first reported by Politico, which said Bloomberg developed a close relationship with Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, working on issues from Hurricane Sandy relief to gun safety. Senate Majority PAC is a so-called super PAC, which raised $3 million as of July 15, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Committee began running ads in 40 media markets Tuesday, mostly targeting incumbent senators who supported President Barack Obama's health care program. Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, gave $2.5 million to help Democrats defend their majority in the Senate.
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - A top California lawmaker on Tuesday is expected to unveil a proposal to fund free public preschool for all children in the most populous U.S. state. The plan by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, to offer a pre-kindergarten program to four-year-olds in the western state comes as he and other Democratic legislators try to push California Governor Jerry Brown to increase spending on social services, including education, in next year's budget. Steinberg and senate Democrats who support his plan expect to introduce legislation establishing the pre-kindergarten program this week, said the senator's spokesman, Mark Hedlund. The proposal is expected to involve expanding an existing program aimed at children who turn five years old too late in the year to attend regular kindergarten.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Opposing court rulings on the National Security Agency's massive phone record surveillance — one threatening the program and the other supporting it — are stirring fast legal footwork as both cases start to wind their way through federal appeals courts and possibly to the Supreme Court.
By Dana Feldman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Embattled Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, whose department is plagued by allegations of civil rights violations and corruption, is set to announce his retirement rather than seek re-election, a California newspaper reported on Monday. A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff would neither confirm nor deny media reports that Baca, 71, was to retire or resign. Baca's announcement would come about one month after federal prosecutors accused 18 current or former sheriff's deputies of beating or wrongly detaining inmates and visitors at two downtown Los Angeles lockups and trying to cover up the abuse.