September 16th, 2010
09:28 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Christine O’Donnell’s claims vs. the facts

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360, what you might not know about the Tea Party sensation of the moment, Delaware's GOP Senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell. She’s trailing her opponent badly in a poll out today, but crushing him in the money race, claiming close to a million dollars in contributions in the last 24 hours alone. But as the money flows in, we’re also learning more about how she spent some of the money left over from her former campaign as well as inconsistencies between some of her statements and the facts. Keeping them honest, we’ll be checking the rhetoric against reality.

In New York, Democrats and Republicans are piling on, calling Carl Paladino, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, a divisive figure who isn’t fit to lead the state. His critics include former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, former U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato, and Gov. David Paterson who said, “I don’t think he’s fit for public service. He transferred emails back and forth that were racist, homophobic, and misogynist.” If you haven’t yet seen the emails Paterson is talking about, we’ll show you them tonight. They’re explosive, offensive and some would say indefensible. So how does Carl Paladino explain them? Find out tonight when Anderson asks him.

In tonight’s Crime & Punishment report, Randi Kaye takes us through the timeline of crucial hours and minutes in a horrifying triple murder and home invasion in Connecticut, while senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tells us whether the defense’s strategy has any chance of working. The details of the crime have brought jurors to tears. The sole surviving victim, Dr. William Petit, has testified about being beaten three years ago inside his home and then bound in his basement. Upstairs, his wife and two daughters were tortured and killed. Jurors have watched a bank surveillance video showing Jennifer Hawke-Petit withdrawing $15,000 to give to the suspects shortly before she died. She told the bank teller her family was being held hostage, which prompted a bank manager to call 911. Yet more than a half hour passed while police waited outside the home, apparently unaware it had been set on fire. Police officials say they were following procedure by setting up a perimeter. But the officers are facing heavy criticism for being so slow to respond. What’s more, the defense lawyer for one of the suspects is now arguing that the police share some of the blame for the deadly outcome. Did the police wait too long? Could they have saved the family? All that tonight.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.

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