Published January 25, 2017
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
FBI's Fake Candidate
Two West Virginia men charged with buying votes have asked a judge to thrown out the case since the candidate they cheated for was actually an FBI informant. Thomas Esposito ran for the state House of Delegates as part of an FBI sting to fight corruption in Logan County, which has a long history of election fraud.
An attorney for the two men accused the government of an "outrageous" violation of the election process and says some 2,000 citizens who voted for Esposito were robbed of their constitutional rights. But a federal judge sided with the government, saying a bogus candidate may have been the only way to uncover such widespread corruption.
Call to Violence?
Denmark has issued a warning to any citizens traveling to Pakistan after its ambassador to the country said Islamic fundamentalists put a price on the heads of the Danish artists responsible for drawing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. The 12 drawings by two cartoonists appeared in Denmark's largest newspaper in September and immediately provoked outrage among Muslims, who consider any image of the prophet an act of blasphemy. Now, Denmark says the Jamaat-e-Islami religious party in Pakistan is offering more than $8,000 for the deaths of the artists and demanding that the Pakistani government expel the Danish ambassador from the country.
Utah atheists are suing the state to remove memorials to highway troopers who have died in the line of duty, saying the 12-foot high crosses constitute a government endorsement of religion. American Atheists Incorporated says the crosses, which mark the sites where troopers lost their lives, should be strictly secular and plaintiff Richard Andrews tells KTVX –TV, "I feel the same way a Jew might feel if you put a state symbol on a swastika." The daughter of one fallen trooper says removing the crosses would be "devastating" for her family.
Everybody Loves the Reverend?
Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Al Sharpton has never been one to shy away from the cameras and now his oversized personality may be beamed into living rooms across the country on a weekly basis. Variety reports that Sharpton is in talks with CBS to star in his own family-oriented sitcom. The network has lined up some established writers and directors to produce the project in which Sharpton would essentially be playing himself. The working title? "Al in the Family."
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report