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The transition: Sebelius considered for HHS secretary

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is near the top of the list of candidates to head the Health and Human Services Department, partly on the strength of her long relationship with President Barack Obama, a senior administration official said. Other candidates, including John Podesta, remain in the mix. Sebelius, 60, signed on early with the Obama campaign, backing his candidacy over that of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Advocacy groups like the consumer watchdog role Sebelius played as insurance commissioner for eight years before she became governor.

Republicans are making another run at overturning a ban on unlimited "soft money" contributions. Democrats say it is an attempt to bring big money back to politics because the GOP can't keep up with Obama's fundraising machine. The Republican National Committee is suing to overturn part of a ban on unlimited contributions passed by Congress in 2002 and upheld by the Supreme Court a year later.

Michael Steele said claims he made inappropriate payments to his sister's company for work never performed were untrue and made by a felon trying to get a reduced sentence. The new Republican National Committee chairman paid more than $37,000 to a Maryland company run by his sister, Monica Turner, for work related to his unsuccessful 2006 Senate campaign. "It was a legitimate reimbursement of expenses," he said on ABC's "This Week."


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