Chris Collins to ‘actively campaign’ and serve if re-elected

WASHINGTON — Indicted U.S. Rep. Chris Collins wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he would continue to serve in Congress if re-elected.

The New York Republican had previously suspended his campaign after being indicted on charges of insider trading but reversed course Tuesday after GOP leaders attempted for weeks to find a way to remove Collins from the ballot. Local GOP leaders were reportedly blindsided by his decision to remain on the ballot.

“Voters can be assured that with the recent turn of events, they can count on me to actively campaign for Congress, and to serve should voters re-elect me,” Collins wrote.

“The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress,” Collins wrote. “Their agenda is clear. They want to reverse the recently enacted tax cuts, impose Canadian style healthcare, inflict new job-killing regulations and impeach President (Donald) Trump.”

Trump carried the district by 24 points in 2016, his widest margin of victory in New York’s congressional districts.

Collins faces Democrat Nate McMurray in November, the Grand Island town supervisor.

— CQ-Roll Call

Flake rebukes Trump Jr. for mocking Kavanaugh’s accuser

CHICAGO — Sen. Jeff Flake called out Donald Trump Jr. for making fun of the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by comparing it to a grade-school crush.

“This is sickening. No one should make light of this situation,” the Arizona Republican tweeted on Wednesday, including a photo from Trump Jr.’s earlier Instagram post, which is a note in childlike handwriting that says: “Will you be my girlfriend, Love Bret.” The note includes boxes to check for “yes” or “no.”

Flake, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump who is not running for re-election, has urged Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, to accept an invitation from the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear her allegation either in public or private. Flake is a member of the panel.

Ford’s lawyers say she wants the FBI to investigate the matter before she will testify. The California college professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when the two were in high school. Kavanaugh has denied the incident ever happened.

Trump Jr. has retweeted other people critical of the claim against his father’s Supreme Court nominee. He was widely criticized for his Instagram post on Saturday.

“Oh boy … the Dems and their usual nonsense games really have him on the ropes now. Finestine had the letter in July and saved it for the eve of his vote,” Trump Jr. wrote in the post, misspelling the name of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. “Honorable as always. I believe this is a copy for full transparency.”

— Bloomberg News

Disgraced ex-Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge, accused of presiding over decades of brutality and torture, has died

CHICAGO — Jon Burge, the former detective commander whose name became synonymous with the Chicago Police Department’s sordid legacy of misconduct and abuse, has died in Florida at age 70, according to police union officials and a Florida funeral home.

Details about his death were scarce, with union officials and family members declining to speak with members of the news media, which spent years reporting on the numerous cases in which Burge was accused of torturing suspects in order to obtain confessions.

Burge was fired from the Chicago Police Department in 1993 over allegations of misconduct, but he never was charged directly with those alleged crimes. Instead he was convicted of lying to federal authorities about his conduct and sentenced to prison in 2010. He was released in 2014 and returned to his waterfront home south of Tampa.

The Fraternal Order of Police posted condolences on social media along with a message that the “full story” about Burge has never been told.

Dean Angelo, former head of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago, said he heard during a break in the murder trial of Officer Jason Van Dyke that Burge had died.

“It came as kind of a shock,” Angelo told reporters in the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

“Jon Burge put a lot of bad guys in prison that belonged … in prison,” he said. “People picked a career apart that was considered for a long time to be an honorable career and a very effective career. I don’t know that Jon Burge got a fair shake based on the years and years of service that he gave the city. But we’ll have to wait and see how that eventually plays out in history.”

Burge and detectives under his command were alleged to have tortured and abused more than 100 suspects into falsely confessing to murder and other crimes in the 1970s and 1980s.

While Burge was never criminally charged over the torture allegations, he was convicted in federal court in Chicago in 2010 on perjury and obstruction of justice charges for denying in a lawsuit that he knew of the abuse.

— Chicago Tribune

Poll shows Andrew Gillum 6 points ahead of Ron DeSantis in governor’s race

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Andrew Gillum is leading Ron DeSantis in the governor’s race, a poll released Wednesday found.

Democrat Gillum has a 6 percentage point lead over Republican DeSantis in the Reuters/Ipsos/University of Virginia Center for Politics Poll.

The poll found Gillum has the support of 50 percent of likely voters. DeSantis is supported by 44 percent of likely voters.

Gillum is mayor of Tallahassee.

DeSantis is a former Space Coast congressman. He resigned last week, four months before the end of his third term, to devote more time to campaigning.

The poll has a “credibility interval” of plus or minus 4 percentage points. That’s similar to a margin of error calculated for many polls.

The Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Poll was conducted Sept. 5 to 12. A sample of 2,015 Florida adults, including 1,000 likely voters, were interviewed online. Responses were weighted according to the latest government population estimates.

— Sun Sentinel