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Special Report

Democrat Tells Bill Clinton to Butt Out of Chicago Mayoral Race

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Stay Out of It

A candidate for Chicago mayor has a message for former President Bill Clinton -- stay out of it.

We reported Monday that Clinton would campaign for former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in his bid for mayor. That was not welcome news to State Representative Danny Davis, who is also running.

Davis warned Clinton that backing Emanuel would hurt the former president's relationship with the African-American community. Davis said he's concerned that Clinton would come to town and -- quote -- "thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago's black community."

Davis says he's not playing the race card, but says it is instead a friendship card, telling Fox News -- quote -- "all we're saying is give us a break. Let this thing play out and everything is going to be cool. Mister President, don't come. Don't help Rahm."

Rocket Science

Congress' inability to pass a budget for 2011 has caused a snafu with NASA that mandates more work on a now-defunct rocket that will cost taxpayers $500 million.

President Obama canceled the Constellation Moon Program earlier this year, but the Orlando Sentinel reports NASA will still have to keep building the Ares I rocket because lawmakers slipped language into the 2010 budget to protect jobs in their home states.

The wording prevents NASA from shutting down Ares I until a new budget is passed. However, since Congress voted to extend the 2010 budget until March, the rocket program -- although it's been canceled -- must continue.

Thanks, But No Thanks

Another newly-elected congressman is turning down the government-sponsored health care insurance plan available to lawmakers.

The Hill reports Illinois Republican Representative-elect Joe Walsh says he doesn't believe lawmakers should receive the benefits -- quote -- "I don't think congressmen should get pensions or cushy health care plans."

But Walsh's wife reportedly isn't pleased with the decision. She has a pre-existing medical condition and will now have to purchase her own insurance.

Tweet Deal

Newark Democratic Mayor Cory Booker decided to use Twitter to respond to those asking for assistance in the midst of this weekend's winter storm.

Local reports say in one instance the mayor brought diapers to a woman who was snowed in and couldn't venture out to get supplies for her baby.