April 23rd, 2008
11:33 PM ET

Dispatch from the FLDS Hearing: Care for the Children Part 2

Six months. It’s the amount of time the state of Texas has to determine if the children of FLDS stay in foster care or go back to their parents, again each on an individual basis. Here’s some of what has to happen in that time…

Child Protection Services are calling the need to place the children from FLDS who are in the coliseum “urgent.”

As for the much discussed DNA testing…

DNA collection has been underway in Eldorado Tuesday through Thursday, testing 15 to 20 of the 54 parents who showed up. The Texas Attorney General's office says they have wrapped up taking DNA samples from the children and mothers at the coliseum.

What about the parents whose children are taken away? They’re making arrangements for parents who may be located in other parts of the country, but it will take time. A tricky question came up…what to do with children older than 1 who are still nursing? They’re supposed to be placed in the same city as their mothers.

Today's updates on the FLDS sitation keep pouring in...

New tasks for Child Protection Services to tell you about. They have to put together a “service plan” tracking information like where children are being moved. They will also have to hold “status conferences” as soon as possible, updating on their conditions and talking to the mothers in a setting similar to a hearing.

I'll sign off on a definitive note...

Judge Walthers put his foot down on an aspect of the FLDS case that he thought was getting out of control saying, “I don't want any more emergency filings people. I have 4 to 5 feet high pile of filings in my office now...it's hard to go thru a 5 ft pile of filings if I must keep having hearings. I am not going to address any more emergency filings!”

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • FLDS court hearing • FLDS update • Polygamy
April 23rd, 2008
10:21 PM ET

Dispatch from the FLDS Hearing: Care for the children

Cheryl Getty, Barclay Palmer and Anna Pycior

Big decisions today for the 437 children removed from the Texas ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).  Here's a quick rundown:

How will the children be cared for?  Judge Barbara Walther says she wants to care for them as individuals, on a case by case basis. Texas Child Protection Services says that will be possible once DNA tests are in. "I feel a personal responsibility to what happens to every child, and I want to be kept updated about that with the children," Walther said.

Are there really pregnant teenagers? Gary Banks, attorney for Texas Child Protection Services (CPS), reported there are some minors with infants and some who are pregnant, though it's not yet clear how many.

How will they take care of infants? To help address each child’s needs, the children will be handled in three groups. Infants up to a year old will not be separated from their mothers if the mothers are adults. Children who are 1 to 2 years old will be separated from their mothers, but the mothers will have visitation rights. If the children are 2-5 years old, though, they’ll be sent to foster home settings.


Filed under: Barclay Palmer • FLDS court hearing • FLDS update • Polygamy
April 23rd, 2008
09:14 PM ET

Pennsylvania and the Gender Gap

Lisa Witter
COO of Fenton Communications and co-author, The She Spot: Why Women are the Secret to Changing the World and How to Reach Them

Women were 59% of the voters in last night’s Pennsylvania primary and 57% of them voted for Hillary Clinton. There clearly is a gender gap in this primary election, but it’s not necessarily what you think.

Women, overall, don’t necessarily default to the female candidate, despite conventional wisdom. Only 4% of those exit-polled said gender was most important to their decision, and 15% said it was only one of several factors considered. Of those 15%, 72% of them voted for Hillary. So, if gender is your thing, then you put Hillary’s XX chromosomes in the mix, but there are other important reasons women voted for Hillary last night and why the female voter seemed to be galvanizing around her.

When it comes to picking a candidate, women are tougher customers. Despite the stereotype that they respond best to the themes of "making Her-story," women actually care more about the substance and details of a candidate’s position on the issues than men do.


April 23rd, 2008
09:10 PM ET

Live Blog From the Anchor Desk 4/23/2008

Tonight, it's on to Indiana with new life and new numbers for Hillary Clinton and some new questions about Barack Obama.

Anderson will be joined by the best political team on television including a panel of Carl Bernstein, Gloria Borger and Jeffrey Toobin.  John King is doing his thing at the magic election board and Bill Schneider goes digging for political gold by data mining the exit polling.

The live blog cam will be up tonight to give a behind the scenes look at the Election Center studio. Tonight it starts early.  We’ll turn the camera on at 9:45p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

Please check out a post that may be helpful if you wonder why some comments get posted while others do not. LINK TO COMMENTS POST

We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
April 23rd, 2008
09:07 PM ET

Despite Pennsylvania, Obama's the Winner

Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
(D) Illinois, Democratic superdelegate and supporter of Barack Obama

Senator Barack Obama is still in the lead, maintaining his strong position to win the Democratic nomination for president.

Last night, Hillary Clinton did the expected - she won the Pennsylvania primary.  For her, the contest was a "home game" in which she was the overwhelming favorite.  In tennis parlance, she "held serve."

Weeks ago, Senator Clinton had been up in the polls by a whopping 25 points.  By last night, Senator Barack Obama had cut that lead by more than half and denied Clinton her last, best chance to make significant inroads in Obama's pledged delegate lead of 171 delegates.  Senator Clinton barely made a dent, winning a net-gain of only about 10 pledged delegates.

No doubt, you'll be hearing a lot from the Clinton campaign about "big states" and their bearing on the general election.  Despite the Clinton camp's hype and hoopla, Senator Barack Obama still has won more contests, more popular votes, more states and more key battlegrounds - like Missouri, Colorado, Minnesota, Virginia, Wisconsin and Iowa - than Clinton.  Most importantly, he's won more pledged delegates.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
April 23rd, 2008
06:35 PM ET

What the Pennsylvania primary really means

Bill Schneider
CNN Senior Political Analyst

What the Pennsylvania primary really means:

  1. Demography is destiny. Pennsylvania has a lot of seniors, blue-collar workers and Catholics. All strongly for Hillary Clinton. African-Americans, young voters and Independents were loyal to Obama. But there were not as many of them. This is now trench warfare. Each contender is trying to pump up turnout from his or her own base.
  2. Pennsylvania borders Ohio. It voted like Ohio (both went for Clinton by 10 points). Three other Ohio neighbors will vote next month – Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky. WV and KY look good for Clinton. Indiana may be closer because 20 percent of Indiana voters live in the Chicago (Obama) media market.
  3. North Carolina is nowhere near Ohio. North Carolina demographics look good for Obama – African-Americans, young professionals in the Research Triangle area.
  4. When Pennsylvania primary voters were asked who they thought would win the Democratic nomination, they said Obama. But they voted for Clinton. This is odd. More and more Democratic voters believe Obama will be their candidate. But there’s no Obama bandwagon.
  5. Hillary Clinton is not just the Comeback Kid. She’s the Comeback-of-the-Month Kid. Four months, four comebacks: January – New Hampshire, February – Super Tuesday, March – Ohio and Texas, April – Pennsylvania. Each time, from a near-death experience.
  6. The Democratic Party is in a tough place. Obama can’t close the sale. Clinton can’t overtake him. It’s not that she’s so far behind – she’s not. It’s the Democratic Party rules that make it difficult to pick up delegates. Or to gain the edge in popular votes without counting Florida and Michigan.
  7. We’re seeing evidence of damage to the Democratic Party. Only 53 percent of Clinton voters in Pennsylvania said they would vote for Obama over McCain. 68 percent of Obama voters say they would vote for Clinton over McCain.
  8. There is a growing danger that the loser will argue the process was unfair – that he or she was cheated out of the nomination. That would split the party wide open.
April 23rd, 2008
05:05 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Paying the Price

Erica Hill
360° Correspondent

Thank you all for your comments on the blog yesterday!

With all that blogging about the environment, there was a lot of talk about organic products. For years I’ve been listening to people complain about the higher cost of some of these products. My answer is often the same, “It really depends where and how you shop.”

While I think it’s no one’s business but your own when it comes to your shopping cart and shopping habits, I can’t let this one go. Organic products are not always more expensive, but they may take you out of your comfort zone. Why do I say this? Because if you want to get a good deal on organics, you can’t always have blueberries in February.

I am from a family of frugal Yankees. We clip coupons, compare prices and live for the Sunday circulars. I love a bargain. I’m the annoying woman in the pasta aisle looking at the price per weight of different brands, and it’s worth it. But even more than a good bargain, I love good food that’s good for me.

Yes, certain organic products will almost always cost more – meat and chicken are great examples - but if you shop with the seasons, I think you’ll find the prices are not so out there. And don’t forget store-brand organics for staples like pasta, milk, yogurt, soup…you may be surprised at the prices. And never underestimate your local farmers and farmers markets – not only are you supporting your neighborhood economy, you may find a fantastic deal on delicious produce.


Filed under: Erica Hill
April 23rd, 2008
03:18 PM ET

A better solution for the children of polygamy?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/23/art.yfzranch2.jpg%5D

Gabe Falcon
360° writer

To the State of Texas and the FLDS:

As I’m writing this, scores of infants, toddlers, children and teenagers from the polygamist Yearning for Zion Ranch are being bused across the state, ferried in all directions, hundreds of miles away from their home, to live with foster parents and families.

The judge presiding over this unprecedented custody battle believes it’s in the best interests of the children that they be separated from their biological parents because all of them are in imminent risk of harm.

There is strong evidence to suspect that is true, including multiple allegations that the church arranges marriages between older men and underage girls. The church also practices plural marriages and holds a convicted felon up as a prophet of god. And there are assorted allegations suggesting followers are victimized and brainwashed.

But are the children really better off in foster care?


Filed under: Gabe Falcon • Polygamy
April 23rd, 2008
02:57 PM ET

Lanny Davis: The Top Ten List of Undisputed Facts Showing Barack Obama's Weakness

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/23/art.obama.pa2.jpg%5D



Let's forget about the spin on all sides and not use any adjectives to modify the following 10 Facts that should not be in dispute:

1. Hillary Clinton won by 10%, 220,000 votes, despite after most of the polls in the last several weeks on RealClearPolitics, including its RCP all-poll average, showed her ahead by single digits and dropping. The exit polls showed her winning by +5. (It's easy to forget that she won if you listen to the Obama spinners last night and today. Believe it or not, Pennsylvania's Rep. Murphy, a freshman congressman who supported Barack Obama, actually said last night on Larry King that Senator Obama did so well in losing to Senator Clinton yesterday that he has a "wind at his back." I am not kidding.

2. Senator Obama tried hard to win the state, campaigned intensely throughout the state for most of the last six weeks - and was trying to win, not just lose a narrow margin.

3. He spent $11 million on media - about three times more than Senator Clinton.

4. Most of his ads were personal negative attack ads against Senator Clinton, meaning attacks on her character and integrity.

5. There were no personal attack ads run by Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania


Filed under: Barack Obama • Lanny Davis • Raw Politics
April 23rd, 2008
11:20 AM ET

Web Searches May Hint at Late Decider Votes

Leslie Sanchez
spokesman and deputy press secretary at the Republican National Committee during the 2000 presidential campaign,
Author, “Los Republicanos: Why Hispanics and Republicans Need Each Other.”

Many of you have emailed my website, LeslieSanchez.com, asking about the Yahoo News search data I mentioned last night on CNN.

Like I said, according to the folks at Yahoo News that I spoke with, the most recent local "search buzz" stats for Pennsylvania (as of yesterday) show that users in city after city searched the word "Obama" four times as much as they did the word "Clinton." They were more curious about Obama from one end of the state to the other:

Obama's percentages vs. Clinton:

  • Philadelphia – Obama 83% vs. Clinton 17% (Clinton up 4.3% since last week)
  • Pittsburgh – Obama 81.4% vs. Clinton 18.6% (Clinton up 9.3% since last week)
  • Harrisburg – Obama 83.7% vs. Clinton 16.3% (Clinton up 6% since last week)
  • Allentown – Obama 88.9% vs. Clinton 11.1% (Obama up 1.4% since last week)
  • Scranton – Obama 82.4% vs. Clinton 17.6% (Obama up 3.8% since last week)
  • State of Pennsylvania – Obama 78% vs. Clinton 20% (Clinton up 1% since last week)
  • United States – Obama 80% vs. Clinton 17% (Obama up 3% since last


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Leslie Sanchez • Raw Politics
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