Rep. Dennis Hastert, who last year became the longest-serving Republican speaker of the House, will announce Friday that he will not seek re-election, Republican House aides said Tuesday.
GOP aides say Hastert is likely to serve the rest of his term but has been considering resigning from the House this year. If he did, Hastert would trigger a special election that could give an indication of whether Democrats are continuing their political surge or whether Republicans have stanched the bleeding in GOP-leaning districts.
Hastert’s departure has been expected ever since a Democratic wave in November washed him out from the speaker’s chair, which he had occupied since December 1998.
Pedophile arrested twice in one day
A self-proclaimed pedophile who posted pictures of young girls on a now-defunct Web site was charged Tuesday with violating an order to stay away from children after he was arrested twice in a day at a university.
Jack McClellan, 45, pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor count. He was being held on $150,000 bail, with a pretrial hearing set for Aug. 28.
McClellan was arrested Monday after he allegedly was spotted with a camera near the Infant Development Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of violating a statewide restraining order prohibiting him from coming within 30 feet of any child in California.
He was released six hours later and warned not to return to UCLA, but he was arrested a second time that night after someone spotted him giving an interview to a television station in a campus parking lot, authorities said.
McClellan, who is unemployed and lives out of his car, arrived in Southern California this summer from Washington state.
For years, he maintained a Web site in Washington on which he posted photos of children he had taken in public places. He also discussed how he liked to stake out parks, public libraries, fast-food restaurants and other areas where little girls, or “LGs,” congregate.
McClellan said he did not touch youngsters, and he has never been arrested for any sex crimes.
Voters reject ban on alcohol sales
Voters had a chance Tuesday to return this northern Alabama city to the days of Prohibition but overwhelmingly decided to keep alcohol in its stores and restaurants, according to unofficial results.
A measure to end the sale of alcohol in Athens failed in a citywide vote.
Business interests are against repeal, but church leaders who helped organize the petition drive that got the measure on the ballot are asking members to pray and fast in support of a ban.
Business leaders argued that ending the sale of beer, wine and liquor would hurt tax revenues and send the message that Athens is backward.