Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York tries to play tennis a couple of times a week. Sports have been part of her life for a long time, going back to high school when she played tennis and soccer.
Later, at Dartmouth in the late 1980s, Gillibrand served as co-captain of the squash team. What the future senator did not do in college was participate in student government. "I'd gone to one or two young Democratic events, and interestingly, it was almost all male — and all of the men were very aggressive," she says. "And so I didn't really feel like I fit in."
It's a case that has stunned California's political community: A prominent Democratic lawmaker has been accused in a federal complaint of participating in an elaborate conspiracy involving guns, gangs, drugs and bribery.
State Sen. Leland Yee was known as a champion of open government and gun control, but not any more. A 137-page federal affidavit accuses the lawmaker of soliciting and taking bribes from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for political favors.
Calling a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy unconstitutional, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill that would have made it a crime to carry out such a procedure in West Virginia. Tomblin said the bill was a "detriment" to women's health and safety.
The U.S. Supreme Court could deliver a new ruling as early as next week that could undo existing limits on regulating political money. But on the other hand, a coalition of liberal groups has started pushing for the public finance of elections. They essentially want to give money to candidates so they don't have to chase big donors. And the current fight is going on in New York's state capitol, Albany. NPR's Peter Overby reports.