Morning News and Stuff

Newt Gingrich made the rounds of some Sunday morning TV political talk shows and made it clear he wouldn’t drop out of the contest for the Republican presidential nomination even if he lost Tuesday’s primary in Florida.

Gingrich says he will remain in the race until the GOP’s convention, which begins Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla. Meanwhile, he urged Rick Santorum to drop out, so conservatives can consolidate around one candidate to beat moderate Mitt Romney.—-

In related news, a straw poll held Saturday morning at the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Pancake Breakfast found Romney winning, capturing 48 percent of the vote. Gingrich followed with 24 percent, Santorum with 22 percent and Ron Paul with 6 percent. More than 270 people voted. As local conservative activist Brad Beckett noted, however, “I think it says 52 percent of attendees do not want Romney, that's what it really says.”

With so much data to comb trough, some information contained in Romney’s tax releases is just beginning to get attention. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is highlighting that the ex-Massachusetts governor gave at least $35,000 in recent years to groups actively working to halt the spread of LGBT equality and, in some cases, “intentionally demonize LGBT people.” One of the groups getting cash is the Massachusetts Family Institute, which the HRC described as “a vocal opponent of marriage equality, and believes sexual orientation is a choice that can be cured,” along with being opposed to some school anti-bullying programs.

A former high school student in Miami, Fla., is suing the school newspaper after it used his photograph without his permission to accompany an article on sexually transmitted diseases. Kenneth Clements said the paper published his photo with an "X" over his mouth, making him the “poster child” for teens with STDs.

If you’re getting sick of the people on Earth, you might one day have other living options to ponder. The Kepler Space Telescope Mission recently found 26 previously unknown planets orbiting their suns in 11 new planetary systems, NASA announced. That means more than 700 planets have been found outside our solar system so far, with more than 2,300 other planets suspected but not yet confirmed.

Locally, a so-called “super-PAC” has targeted U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) for defeat. The Campaign for Primary Accountability says Schmidt is “out of step” with her constituents, and it seems to be backing Brad Wenstrup, a Columbia Tusculum podiatrist who is challenging her in the GOP primary.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is warning state lawmakers there that a pending bill that would allow public schools to teach creationism violates the U.S. Constitution. Attorneys for the ACLU say a federal lawsuit is likely if the bill is approved.

Cincinnati City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. today to get input on what criteria should be considered when selecting bids to provide electric and gas service to city residents. In November voters approved two ballot issues that allow the city to form a “community buying group” on behalf of residents to obtain a bulk discount on the purchase of electricity and natural gas.

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