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Supreme Court Justice's Wife Raises Some Eyebrows With Her Organization

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Tea Time

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is launching a non-profit group linked to the Tea Party movement.

The Los Angeles Times reports Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Incorporated in January. She plans to issue congressional scorecards and become involved in the fall midterms. Experts say Mrs. Thomas' work does not violate ethical rules for judges.

But some critics see a potential conflict of interest for her husband. A recent five-to-four Supreme Court ruling loosened campaign finance rules that affect Liberty Central. When asked what impact her role might have on her husband's impartiality, Mrs. Thomas said, "Are you asking that because there's a different standard for conservatives? Did you ask Ed Rendell that question?"

Thomas was referring to Pennsylvania's Democratic governor who is married to a federal appellate court judge.

Outsourcing

The State Department is spending $5.4 million to buy fine crystal stemware for American embassies. The crystal is being manufactured by a Swedish contractor, because the State Department says no domestic company makes lead-free stemware.

But the New York Post reports there is an American manufacturer that says it makes lead-free crystal — right in secretary of state Hillary Clinton's own back yard of Corning, New York.

Love Story

John Edwards' former mistress says the couple is still in love and will be "till death do us part."

Reille Hunter describes in GQ magazine how she met Edwards outside a New York hotel, and slept with him hours later. She says he told her that first night: "falling in love with you could really [blank] up my plans for becoming president."

She calls Edwards' relationship with his now-separated wife Elizabeth as toxic and abusive, but says he is a great father to the daughter he has with Hunter. She says she's not a home wrecker because, "the home was wrecked already."

On Notice

And finally, some Illinois state lawmakers are getting eviction notices because the state's budget woes have left the government unable to pay office rents and utility bills. The Chicago Tribune quotes one Democratic state senator lamenting, "it certainly puts us in a position of looking like deadbeats."

Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.

Bret Baier currently serves as anchor of Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Bret Baier" (weeknights 6-7PM/ET), the top-rated cable news program in its timeslot. Based in Washington, D.C., he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau. Click here for more information on Bret Baier