Tonight on 360°, buying elections. Millions of dollars are pouring into political campaigns sometimes pushing messages that the candidates themselves haven't even approved. It's virtually impossible to find out where the money is coming from. We're tracking the secret spending – keeping them honest. Plus, an American shot to death on a lake along the U.S.-Mexico border. Are drug cartels to blame?
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CNN National Political Correspondent
(CNN) – Nevada Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian says he taped his meeting with Sharron Angle "for my own protection."
The recording of the meeting is at the center of a new controversy for Republican Senate nominee in Nevada who is in a heated contest with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Ashjian is a third party candidate trailing in the polls.
"I thought it was a set-up, so naturally I recorded it," Ashjian tells CNN adding "I recorded it because I realized every time I've had a meeting the truth gets distorted and the facts don't come out. It was never my intention to release the tape. I didn't do it till three days later when my friends said have you heard reports saying you're an egotistical whack job? So I said no problem here's the truth knock yourself out."
He gave the tape to his campaign manager to turn over to Jon Ralston, Las Vegas Sun political reporter and dean of the Nevada political press corps. The subsequent coverage highlighted Angle's pressuring of Ashjian to drop out of the race.
Full story on the CNN Political Ticker
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel campaigns for Chicago mayor at a bus stop October 4, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: John Gress/Getty Images)
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
Update: Beat 360° Winners:
“Rahm doesn’t use his boss’s fist-bumping style, because it scares the children.”
Catherine, New Orleans, LA
"Having spent the weekend gathering signatures at Oak Lawn Cemetery, Rahm Emmanuel heads for the elementary schools.'"
CNN Washington Editor
(CNN) – Republican Linda McMahon is trying to seize the offensive in the hotly contested Connecticut Senate race, unveiling a new ad slamming Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal over distortions in his Vietnam service record.
The new ad, which will air statewide, made its on-line debut only hours before the two candidates are scheduled square off in their first debate. It raises questions about Blumenthal's credibility as a politician.
Washington (CNN) - Nevada GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle urged third party candidate Scott Ashjia to pull out of the race at a meeting last week, saying his campaign could result in re-election for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to an audio tape of the meeting recorded by Ashjian.
During the session, she offered Ashjian access to several Republican Senators and "whatever juice I have" to help persuade him.
"Anything I can deliver personally I am glad to," Angle told Ashjian,who is running as a Tea Party candidate, during the Wednesday night meeting.
Angle said she and Ashjian share the same views of why the current political system is broken, but told him the best way for her to achieve her goals was to run as a Republican.
Ashjian, who has fought off several court battles to take him off the ballot, is vowing he is in the race to stay. Polls last month showed the race between Reid and Angle a dead heat with Ashjian pulling up to 5 percent support, depending on the survey.
CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Rutgers University held an emotional vigil Sunday evening as the campus grapples with the suicide of a student whose sexual encounter with another man was broadcast online.
The body of Tyler Clementi, 18, was recovered from the Hudson River on Thursday, more than a week after he jumped from the George Washington Bridge, which spans the river between New York and New Jersey.
Two other Rutgers students - Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, 18, and Molly Wei, 18 - have been charged with invasion of privacy. The pair allegedly placed a camera in Clementi's dorm room without his knowledge and then streamed his sexual encounter online, according to the Middlesex County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office.
"Our entire campus is very upset about what happened," said Greg Blimling, Rutgers' Vice President of Student Affairs. "The entire campus is in mourning. And we feel very deeply for what happened to the family. This is a terrible tragedy."
Students and other members of the university community, some wearing pins that read "Pride," stood silently as they lit and held white candles.
Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama has voiced strong support for the sciences, but I’m asking in today’s letter to the White House, just what does true support mean?
Dear Mr. President,
I am starting this week with something from last week lingering in my mind: The idea that we were laying off 1200 people at NASA at roughly the same time as China was launching a big, impressive rocket as part of their rapidly growing lunar program.
In the past, I’ve made the case for a strong, continued U.S. space effort, but let me put that aside here and just talk about education. Plenty of folks, including you, have argued loud and long about the idea that our country is losing its competitive edge in some technological fields precisely because we aren’t excelling in math and science.
I agree. But there is a little cart-and-horse action to consider here. Or rocket-and-spacewalk if you prefer. If we want to be great at math and science, it seems to me that we absolutely must push our economy toward industries that need mathematicians and scientists. In our universities, we need to encourage merit scholarships for the best and brightest. We need to compete for the technical talent of the world and reward our own homegrown experts with the most robust, aggressive research and development in the world.
To put it simply, if we want to encourage educators and students to really focus on these areas, the math is simple: Make it pay. Give it the respect it deserves.