Enough out of YouTube, Gov. Crist!

 

For months, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) has pressed Congress to create a national catastrophe fund to help Americans in disaster-prone areas. Seems someone at CNN has heard enough, however. The cable network declined to pop the governor's videotaped question - about a national catastrophe fund - in Wednesday's CNN/YouTube GOP presidential debate, the Palm Beach Post discloses. Crist wasn't the only celebrity to be rejected; actor Kirk Douglas' question didn't make the cut, either.

As the only state to cast its ballots exclusively by mail, Oregon also is a trailblazer in new ways to spoil a ballot. In the state's Nov. 6 special election, some Oregon voters weighed in on a pair of hotly debated initiatives by returning paper ballots from 2006, The (Portland) Oregonian reveals. Others sent in grocery lists and bill payments, while one confused resident mailed a check made out to a children's hospital. "I wish I could explain it," one county official told the paper.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's trip to a hockey game landed him in the penalty box with some state lawmakers. After spending Wednesday (Nov. 28) lobbying in Springfield for a funding package for mass transit, the Democratic governor skated out of town - before votes were counted - to attend a Chicago Blackhawks game, the Chicago Sun-Times notes. Near the end of the first period, the transit package flopped, leading Democrats and Republicans alike to question the governor's priorities.

Irked by an errant cell phone disturbing the peace in his courtroom in 2005, Judge Robert M. Restaino in Niagara Falls , N.Y. , briefly jailed 46 people on suspicion of failing to silence their ringers. This week, New York 's state Commission on Judicial Conduct fired the judge, saying he had behaved like "a petty tyrant," according to the Niagara Gazette .

New Mexico tourism officials are looking beyond neighboring states - and civilizations - to attract visitors. An award-winning new ad campaign touts New Mexico as "the best place in the universe" and includes glowing testimonials from "drooling, grotesque office workers from outer space," the Albuquerque bureau of The Associated Press reports. Not everyone finds the campaign as funny as its creators, however. Do the extraterrestrials really need to "look like they're going to suck your brains out?" one marketing executive wondered. 

 
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