Arlen Specter, the longtime moderate Jewish Republican senator from Pennsylvania whose surprise party switch helped pass President Obama's health-care reforms, has died.
Specter, 82, died Sunday at his Philadelphia home following a long struggle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, his family told The Associated Press.
He was first elected to the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania in 1980, and his 30 years as a senator was a record in his state.
As the Political Insider puts a wrap on what has been a long day, several news organizations are now projecting Republican Pat Toomey the winner in the super-hot Pennsylvania senate race.
If those projections hold he will beat Rep. Joe Sestak, the man who ousted Sen. Arlen Specter in this year's Democratic primary, by a narrow margin.
The results will ignite a firestorm of spin about J Street, the controversial pro-peace process, pro-Israel group that supported Sestak in a big way.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell terminated a contract with an Israeli-American agency that tracked peaceful protests and reported them as potential terrorist threats.
Rendell said Tuesday that he was "deeply embarrassed" by revelations of a $125,000 contract with the Philadelphia-based Institute of Terrorism Research and Response.
The state's Office of Homeland Security contracted the institute to track threats, and then relayed its reports to a large number of law enforcement and private groups.
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