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Gramm Asks Donors For ‘Emergency’ Gifts

Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas has sent some supporters a letter asking for “emergency donations” to cover a “cash shortfall” that threatens his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

“The consequences of this shortfall are so threatening, I have no other choice but to ask for your help again,” Gramm wrote in a Nov. 17 letter to his “Steering Committee.”

Despite the desperate tone of the letter, Gramm’s campaign spokesman, Gary Koops, dismissed it on Monday as a “way to motivate” the grass roots.

The letter was sent to members of the Steering Committee, one of about 10 Gramm fund-raising groups, Koops said. The group is $350,000 short of its goal of raising $1.5 million by Dec. 31.

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Italy steps toward populist government as Conte gets mandate

new  Italy’s president asked political neophyte Giuseppe Conte to try to form a government Wednesday, giving the euroskeptic 5-Star Movement and anti-immigrant League a shot at running western Europe’s first populist government.