Facing a large deficit in the Democratic convention budget, top officials of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign have begun soliciting labor unions and others for contributions of up to $1 million. In exchange, donors could get stadium skyboxes for Obama’s acceptance speech and other perks.
Obama has been critical of politicians seeking large donations outside the framework of campaign finance regulations – so-called “soft money.”
But campaign officials in July reluctantly decided they had to take a hand in raising large donations from individuals, unions and corporations. Some of the donors get special bundles of perks, including use of the party suites at Denver’s Invesco Field, as well as special policy briefings by Obama advisers.
Kilpatrick trial gets go-ahead
A judge ruled Friday that there’s enough evidence for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to stand trial on two felony assault charges stemming from a confrontation with two investigators.
The investigators testified that an angry Kilpatrick shoved one of them into the other and made racial remarks while they were trying to deliver a subpoena in the mayor’s perjury case to one of Kilpatrick’s friends last month.
Medication OK’d for Huntington’s
Federal regulators on Friday cleared the first treatment approved in the United States for Huntington’s, a rare inherited disease that causes uncontrolled movements, deterioration of mental abilities and, ultimately, death.
The medication, called Xenazine, will not cure the condition – and it has some potentially serious side effects, such as raising the risk of suicidal behavior. However, it does provide relief for a major disabling symptom of Huntington’s: the jerky, involuntary movements known by the medical term chorea.
The disease affects only about 30,000 patients in the United States. Developing and testing medications for such a small population is a difficult process, with uncertain financial rewards. So the Food and Drug Administration granted Xenazine a special “orphan drug” designation that provides additional years of patent protection.