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Romney Says No To Super PAC Smear Campaign

Mitt Romney releases his first general election campaign ad. Plus wealthy GOP investors say their super PAC won't run a smear campaign connecting controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright with President Obama. Host Michel Martin discusses the latest political developments with Lenny McAllister of Politic365.com and author Michael Fauntroy.
NPR

GOP Group Abandons Racially Tinged Attack Ad

Republicans unaffiliated with Mitt Romney had planned to spend millions of dollars on a campaign ad connecting President Obama to his controversial former pastor Jeremiah Wright. The idea raises the question, is it possible to redefine Barack Obama this far into his presidency?
NPR

Donation Gap Narrows Between Obama, Romney

Earlier this year, President Obama's fundraising machine ran millions of dollars ahead of even the best-financed Republican presidential candidates. But now that Mitt Romney is the presumptive nominee, the money gap is narrowing.
NPR

Same-Sex Parents Lobby Congress For Equal Rights

Dozens of same-sex families descended on Capitol Hill on Thursday to ask Congress for a break. They shared their stories of not being recognized as legal parents — or legal families — in hopes that lawmakers would feel their own views on same-sex rights evolve, just like Obama's did.
NPR

Billionaire Donor Joe Ricketts: From Behind The Scenes To Center Stage

TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts became front-page news Thursday because of a report he was considering a $10 million ad campaign that would attack President Obama over his former pastor. But Ricketts has been quietly funding conservative political causes for the past few years.
NPR

Closing Arguments Made In John Edwards Trial

The prosecution and defense in the John Edwards trial gave their closing arguments on Thursday. The former presidential candidate and vice-presidential nominee is accused of accepting almost a million dollars of secret campaign payments. Prosecutors allege he used the money to hide an affair and subsequent pregnancy with a campaign worker. Melissa Block talks to North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii.
NPR

Even Before 'Citizens United,' Big Donors Dominated

The emergence of Joe Ricketts is yet more proof of how the Citizens United court ruling has opened the flood gates for wealthy donors to influence the outcome of presidential campaigns — or has it? Peter Overby talks to Robert Siegel about big donors and what those court decisions really mean.

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