Former SC Gov. Sanford wins US House seat
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford revived a scandal-scarred political career by winning back his old congressional seat Tuesday in a district that hasn’t elected a Democrat in three decades.
The comeback was complete when he defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert. With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanford had 54 percent of the vote.
Sanford, who turns 53 later this month, has never lost a race in three runs for Congress and two for governor. And he said before the votes were counted Tuesday that if he lost this race, he wouldn’t run for office again.
“I think you can go back in and you can ask for a second chance in a political sense once,” he said Tuesday after voting in the special election.
Sanford saw his political career disintegrate four years ago when he disappeared for five days, telling his staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He returned to admit he had been in Argentina with his mistress — a woman to whom he is now engaged. Sanford later paid a $70,000 ethics fine, the largest in state history, for using public money to fly for personal purposes. His wife, Jenny, divorced him.
Attorneys: Suspect in Colo. shooting will plead insanity
DENVER — The man accused in the deadly Colorado theater shootings wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, his lawyers said Tuesday, despite their fears that the plea could severely hamper his ability to mount a defense against the death penalty.
James Holmes is charged with more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder in the July 20 assault on a packed Aurora movie theater that killed 12 and injured 70. Prosecutors announced last month they would seek the death penalty.
Holmes was widely expected to plead insanity given the compelling evidence against him, but his attorneys put it off for weeks, saying state laws on the death penalty and insanity overlap in ways that violate his constitutional rights and his ability to mount an effective defense.
One of their worries: If Holmes doesn’t cooperate with doctors who will evaluate his sanity at the state mental hospital, he could be barred from calling witnesses to testify about his mental condition during sentencing. That would make it nearly impossible for his lawyers to use his mental state as an argument against the death penalty.
“If you don’t cooperate during the evaluation phase, you lose the right to call witnesses in your own behalf who could help convince a jury that your life should be spared,” said Karen Steinhauser, an adjunct law professor and former prosecutor.
Bacharach, Costello, Lorre adapting album for musical
NEW YORK — One of television’s most successful sitcom writers is joining with Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello to create a musical based on the artists’ 1998 album “Painted From Memory.”
Bacharach said Tuesday that Chuck Lorre, creator of “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory,” contacted him and said he wanted to write a story to go with the music.
The dark and lush album was an unusual collaboration between a pop classicist and an Englishman who usually traffics in rock ‘n’ roll. They earned a Grammy for one of its songs, “I Still Have That Other Girl.” Other songs on the disc include “God Give Me Strength” and “This House is Empty Now.”
Given the songs’ subject matter, Bacharach said the show “won’t be a comedy.” He declined to give details of the story Lorre was writing for the musical. They’re hoping the show makes it to Broadway.
Costello said he and Bacharach are writing additional music for the show.
By wire sources