Mason in the News

Posted: May 30, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Saturday, May 24, CBS News

Obama Needs Jews, Hispanics to Win Florida

“As senator Barack Obama moves within striking distance of winning the Democratic nomination, today in Puerto Rico he focused not on senator Hillary Clinton, but on his Republican presidential rival. Senator Hillary Clinton is heavily favored in the American territory’s June 1st contest. But she’s still unlikely to overcome Obama’s delegate lead. ‘He can’t win the general election without winning Florida, and he can’t win Florida without winning the Jewish vote and a substantial stake in the Cuban vote,’ said political analyst Michael Fauntroy, with George Mason University. The key, according to Fauntroy, is keeping Clinton close. But Clinton’s comments yesterday as to why she’s still in the race, in which she referenced the assassination of presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, could ice over her already chilly relationship with the Obama camp.”

Tuesday, May 27, Associated Press

No. Va. County Sees Signs of Change amid Crackdown

“Many say Prince William’s new crackdown on illegal immigrants has created an environment so unfriendly that Hispanic people are leaving the county of more than 350,000, which according to the U.S. Census Bureau was nearly 15 percent Hispanic in 2006. The county’s policy, which has drawn heated debate and national attention, directs police officers to check the immigration status of everyone they arrest. Beginning July 1, illegal immigrants also will be denied certain services, such as business licenses and mortgage and rental assistance. Stephen Fuller, director for the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said the policy could end up tainting the county’s image and scaring off investors. ‘I think this will affect the county for several years even if they reverse the policy tonight,’ Fuller said. ‘The damage has been done. It’s like personal reputation; it’s hard to build that back.’”

Tuesday, May 27, Discovery News (Discovery Channel)

Earth-Sized Tornadoes Seen on the Sun

“A fiery tornado towering more than 10,000 kilometers has been spotted twirling on the surface of the sun and firing white-hot charged particles into interplanetary space, say solar scientists. The short-lived plasma twister of April 9, 2008, is leading to new insights about how some high-speed particles – a particularly dangerous kind of heavy solar radiation for satellites and astronauts – get catapulted towards Earth. ‘What we see is that the twist is a key element,’ said Etienne Pariat, a solar scientist at George Mason University in Virginia. The twist acts like a spring to push material out of the sun, he explained at a May 27 press briefing at the American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.”

Wednesday, May 28, Wall Street Journal

Hotel Market Feels Pinch of Consumer Pullback

“There are some signs that the Washington, D.C.’s office market is slowing. Vacancies are rising in many submarkets. Nevertheless, the nation’s capital, which anchors a region that is home to about 5.4 million people, still commands some of the country’s richest office prices. Demand is driven by the need of many politicians, consultants and agencies to be close to the seat of government. The average first-quarter asking rent for prime space was nearly $60 a square foot in the central business district, nearly twice the $30 range of suburban Maryland and Virginia. Federal spending in the region is a dependable economic driver that is expected to rise by about 2.5 percent this year to $127.2 billion, according to economist John McClain of George Mason University. That’s off from the 10 percent growth rate seen in the early 2000s as the Homeland Security initiative ramped up, but Mr. McClain predicts spending will most likely continue to climb, no matter who takes over as president next year. ‘There will be some changes, but it’s like turning a battleship,’ says Mr. McClain.”

Thursday, May 29, Washington Post

E-Mail Backing Connolly Raises Questions

“A senior executive at the government contractor Science Applications International Corp. has encouraged employees to contribute to Democratic congressional candidate Gerald E. Connolly, raising questions about whether the solicitation violated federal campaign finance rules. The solicitation falls into a gray area of campaign finance law, said Allison Hayward, a law professor at George Mason University and a former FEC lawyer. Corporate contributions are illegal in federal campaigns, as is coercing employees to donate. That doesn’t prevent individuals from urging colleagues to support a particular candidate, unless the solicitation appears to be on behalf of the company, she said. ‘Individuals don’t lose their ability to talk to their friends and colleagues at work, including asking them to vote for a favorite candidate,’ Hayward said. ‘But the more broadly he’s soliciting people that maybe he knows only slightly, and if he’s clearly using a corporate list, I think that is a fact that shows this isn’t his personal political activity.’”

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