March 4th, 2010
11:10 AM ET

Morning Buzz: A politician hits the cot?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/15/chaffetz.congressional.spouse/art.chaffetz.harding.jpg caption="Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his wife Julie pose in front of a view of Washington. "]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Do you have to be rich to get into politics? In our series this week looking at the cost of entry, we’re reporting on whether or not you have to be rich to make an entrée into politics. It’s common for many lawmakers to have multiple homes, numerous cars and deep pockets. But tonight, Randi Kaye reports on one person in Congress who challenges that assumption. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz spent $45 on a cot for his office and that’s where he sleeps. He said he promised to vote like a fiscal conservative and he plans to live like one too. He says he saves his family $1500 a month by sleeping on the cot and he uses a shower two flights below him. So how is his frugal lifestyle playing out at the Capitol? Randi Kaye has more tonight.

Tonight we’re reporting on Dr. Bruce Ivins, the scientist who advised the federal government during the deadly anthrax case of 2001. But officials within the government believe Ivins may have actually been the man responsible for the attacks. Ivins committed suicide before he could be indicted. His former counselor talks exclusively to Joe Johns about Ivin’s deeply disturbed mental condition, giving shocking new insight into how dangerous he was and the dramatic decline that led to his death.

Dissatisfaction, anger and an uncertain future have led professors and students in California and across the country to call for a day of action. Today, students and teachers are protesting to defend education at state colleges and universities. Similar conversations are taking place across the country as states slash funding not only for colleges, but also for elementary and secondary education.

And if you’ve been following our reporting on education you know that last week in Rhode Island, Frances Gallo, a school superintendent, fired all the teachers and staff from a school whose students were underperforming. Yesterday Gallo said she is willing to negotiate now that the union has agreed to support changes. We’ll be following up on this story today.

Iraq’s election is Sunday and it’s a pretty big deal for the country. It could be the first look at the modern Iraq and its political future. There are 325 seats in parliament that will be filled after the election. The outcome may determine whether or not Iraq will still on this path of so-called democracy or if it will move toward a more conservative, anti-American state. Polls open today for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi security forces, prisoners and patients at hospital for a special vote. Five civilians were killed earlier today as a result of a bombing at a northern Baghdad polling station. Will we see more violence? We’ll have the latest developments for you tonight.

And we'll also have all of the developments from Chile today. Aid and increased security are flowing into the hard-hit areas of the country, but yesterday some residents were still complaining that they still had not received food or water since Saturday's massive earthquake killed more than 800 people.

Let us know what you’re following today and see you at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Vera

    I wish I had an office where I could sleep in. I don't even have a job, so I guess I can't save money on rent. Wait, doesn't that sound like that movie...? Is it "The Pursuit of Happyness"?

    March 4, 2010 at 10:40 am |

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