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WASHINGTON: $12M election funds questioned

Two election watchdog organizations urged the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission on Thursday to investigate $12 million in campaign contributions mysteriously funneled through two little-known companies in Tennessee to a prominent tea party group. The origin of the money, the largest anonymous political donations in a campaign year filled with them, remains a secret. The groups said routing the $12 million through the Tennessee companies appeared to violate a law prohibiting the practice of laundering campaign contributions in the name of another person. They said the Tennessee lawyer who registered the companies, William S. Rose Jr. of Knoxville, may have violated other laws, failing to organize each company as a political committee, register them as political committees and file financial statements. Rose previously said his business was a "family secret" and he was not obligated to disclose the origin of the $12 million routed through Specialty Investments Group Inc. and Kingston Pike Development Corp., which he registered in the final weeks before Election Day.

FLORIDA: Prison for setting classmate afire

A teenager convicted of orchestrating an attack on a middle school classmate who was soaked in alcohol and lit ablaze was sentenced to 11 years in prison Thursday. Circuit Judge Matthew Destry agreed with prosecutors that Matthew Bent, 18, deserved the same sentence as the youth who flicked a lighter during the 2009 attack on Michael Brewer, then 15. Bent was convicted of aggravated battery in June. He apologized to Brewer but said he was not the ringleader. Brewer leaped into a swimming pool but was badly burned on two-thirds of his body.

CALIFORNIA: Guard lied about his service

A former Marine applauded for voluntarily guarding an elementary school apparently misrepresented his service history, Marine Corps officials said Thursday. Craig Pusley, 25, showed up in civvies for a second day of guard duty at Hughson Elementary School, after wearing military fatigues the day before. He was gone by midmorning, after the school superintendent discovered discrepancies about Pusley's military service and asked him to leave.

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