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   It's difficult to keep track of the candidates for Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds' congressional seat without a scorecard.   So far, at least 18 potential candidates have expressed interest on both the Democratic and Republican sides following an initial campaign that centered around three Democrats aiming to challenge Reynolds. But since the congressman announ…

    WASHINGTON -- No one seems to be listening to Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean's pleas to the camps of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton to cool the rhetoric.      Dean told CNN Friday he has had "extensive discussions" with the Obama and Clinton campaigns to lower the volume. But almost at the same hour, Democratic …

  Campaign aides for Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said Wednesday that Sen. Hillary Clinton has been "cagey" about when she will release her and her husband's income tax returns and exactly what she will release. The Clinton campaign has said the couple will release their returns by April 15, the federal tax filing deadline.   Almost simultaneously Cl…

   Republicans are not supposed to be subjected to wild and wooly congressional races.    That's for Democrats, for heaven's sake.    But that's just what's happening locally following last week's decision by Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, to retire from Congress after five terms. At least five people are now vying for the GOP nod, w…

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  The end of a political era comes today when Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, announces his retirement from Congress.    Since his emergence on the political scene as a Concord councilman in the early 1970s, through his stints in the County Legislature, as Erie County Republican chairman, as minority leader of the Assembly, and finally as a 10-year mem…

   WASHINGTON - A Columbia University economist has testified that the Iraq war will cost upwards of $3 trillion, perhaps as much as $5 trillion in direct and indirect costs.    Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz told the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., that the war's expenses are putting almost unsustainable pressures…

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WASHINGTON - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama sought to quell a firestorm about remarks his former pastor made by giving an address in Philadelphia on Tuesday about race and his quest to bring America together. The speech was prompted by disclosures of remarks made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright in recent years at Chicago's United Church of Christ, which Obama attended for two decade…

     WASHINGTION - A federally chartered commission has urged President Bush to use his trip to the Beijing Olympics to signal his personal concern for freedom of religion and other human rights in the People's Republic of China.      The group, whose chairman is named by Bush, is the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Chairm…

   WASHINGTON - A bill to create an outside, six-member panel to review complaints about House members' ethics and honesty stalled Wednesday in the Rules Committee led by Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport.   Some blamed a late-blooming recommendation from minority Republican members for the delay, but quotes given the New York Times by Slaughter raised …

     The polling organization Zogby International used data showing a growing number of Americans are getting their news from the Internet to say that "traditional" journalists are "out of touch" with their communities.           "Two thirds of Americans, 67 percent," Zogby said, believe that t…

   CLEVELAND -- So maybe Hillary Clinton should hire a new punchline writer.    Last week at a debate in Austin, Texas, she upbraided Barack Obama for purloining passages of a supporter's speech, calling it "change you can Xerox."    The audience booed.    And last night here in Cleveland, she complained that she always …

   Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown is in Cleveland today, campaigning hard for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the heart of the city's African-American community.   Deputy Mayor Steven M. Casey said the mayor was asked by the Clinton presidential campaign to lend a hand in an area where Sen. Barack Obama is expected to do well. As a result, Brown was stumpi…

  WASHINGTON - A bipartisan meeting called today to resolve differences over renewal of the wiretap surveillance law ended in failure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refused to allow the House to vote two weeks ago on legislation that would have renewed the authority of the administration to tap calls without court permission to detect terrorist activity. Many …

   WASHINGTON — So much for the Clinton machine.    It turns out that Barack Obama, the former community organizer from the city that gave political machines a bad name, is out-organizing Hillary Clinton in state after state.    Combine that with the fact that Obama's message is resonating better with voters, and the fact that he's out-raisi…

   As President Bush signed the $168 billion (over two years) stimulus plan, a business leader said the government might have done more for the economy if it had just given money away. “President Bush should have just dropped dollar bills from Air Force One,”  Charles Holland, CEO and founder of Qualpro Inc, said. "This stimulus package is a sad test…