Friday, May 16

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

A 19-year-old freshman at the University of Oklahoma was elected mayor Tuesday of Muskogee, a city of 38,000 in the northeastern part of the state. With all precincts reporting, John Tyler Hammons won with 70 percent of the vote over former Mayor Hershel Ray McBride, said Muskogee County Election Board Secretary Bill Bull. "The public placing their trust in me is the greatest, humbling and most awesome experience I've ever had in my life," said Hammons, who is from Muskogee but attends the university in Norman. . . Hammons, who will be sworn in next week, said he plans to continue his college education but expects to transfer to a school closer to Muskogee.. . . Hammons said a key to his platform that resonated with voters was openness of government and keeping citizens better informed of city operations. Seattle Post Intelligencer

The Clinton campaign was caught unawares by the NARAL endorsement [of Obama] , which became public as Clinton advisers were holding a conference call with reporters. Asked by a reporter on the call for his response, Clinton's communications director Howard Wolfson said, "'Surprised' would be my response" and that Clinton's leadership and advocacy on abortion rights had been "second to none." The endorsement drew angry reaction from Clinton supporters, including Ellen R. Malcolm, the president of Emily's List - a group that raises money to support feminist candidates. Recalling Clinton's long support for pro-choice issues, Malcolm decried NARAL's move as "tremendously disrespectful to Sen. Clinton . . . to not give her the courtesy to finish the final three weeks of the primary process." Explaining her group's backing of Obama, Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement that she believes Obama is now certain to secure the nomination and that his differences with McCain on abortion rights and the selection of judicial nominees "will be a major reason many voters, especially pro-choice independent and Republican women, will cross party lines to support Sen. Obama in the fall." Mcclatchy

Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Thursday that, if elected, he would like to take a page from the British government and appear in question-and-answer sessions with lawmakers. "I will ask Congress to grant me the privilege of coming before both houses to take questions, and address criticism, much the same as the prime minister of Great Britain appears regularly before the House of Commons," McCain said in excerpts of a speech he is to deliver later in Columbus, Ohio. Reuters

Ralph Nader, who still uses a manual Underwood typewriter, showed up at Google headquarters where he took questions for about an hour and did a YouTube interview

Alan Keyes, who was recently beaten 3-to-1 for the Constitution Party nomination for President, has decided to continue his run for President as an independent. Keyes is trying to start a new party called America's Independent Party. He has groupings of supporters in Texas, California, Florida, New York and Missouri. In what was their first major ballot-access hurdle, the Keyes campaign has failed to get on the ballot in Texas-collecting only 10,000 signatures. Third Party News

Obama calls TV reporter 'sweetie,' but she gets back at him, An example of spin control spinning out of control: video has 60,000 hits in 24 hours