Nation in brief: Edwards reverses stance on funding
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards reversed course Thursday by signing onto the public financing system he once rejected with the belief he could raise more money on his own.
The 2004 vice presidential nominee claimed higher moral ground in the debate over money in politics while announcing the change. But it comes after he brought in far fewer dollars than rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“It is worrisome seeing the amount of money that is being raised in this campaign,” Edwards said on CNN. “This is about taking a stand, a principled stand, and I believe in public financing.”
Money for the public financing fund comes from taxpayers who agree to set aside $3 from their income taxes. Candidates who take from the fund must comply with spending limits.
ICE arrests dozens at 11 McDonald’s
Federal agents raided 11 McDonald’s restaurants in northern Nevada and made dozens of arrests Thursday as part of an investigation into illegal immigration.
Agents for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made at least 56 arrests in Reno, Sparks and Fernley after raids at the restaurants and a franchise corporate headquarters in Reno, agency spokesman Richard Rocha said.
“They are people suspected of being in the country illegally. As far as I know, they were all McDonald’s employees,” he said.
The investigation began five months ago and was sparked by an identity theft complaint, Rocha said.
Luther Mack, who owns at least some of the restaurants that were raided, insisted that his businesses require employees to provide documentation.
Aging mobsters guilty in murders
A federal jury held three aging mobsters responsible for 10 murders Thursday after an extraordinary trial that included colorful witnesses who exposed the seedy inner workings of organized crime in Chicago.
Jurors deadlocked on blame for eight other murders after eight days of deliberations in one of the biggest mob trials in the city’s history.
Frank Calabrese Sr., 70; Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo, 78; and James Marcello, 65, were held responsible for murder, raising the maximum sentence each faces to life. Jurors deadlocked on a fourth defendant, Paul Schiro, 70.
Marcello, described by prosecutors as a top leader of the Chicago Outfit, was held responsible for the June 1986 murder of Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, the Chicago mob’s longtime man in Las Vegas and the inspiration for the Joe Pesci character in the movie “Casino.”
The defendants remained poker-faced as U.S. District Judge James Zagel’s clerk read the verdicts in a packed federal courtroom.