Spencer Platt/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) — With the election a little more than two months away, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker trails Democratic opponent Mary Burke in a new Marquette University poll.

Although the numbers 48.6 percent to 46.5. percent mean it’s a statistical dead heat, the latest results are largely unchanged from a poll conducted in July.

Walker has been regarded as a rising star within the GOP and a possible candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination, having survived a recall election two years ago over his decision to weaken union workers’ collective bargaining rights.

However, Walker has not been able to shake controversy during his four years in office, including the latest allegations that he illegally contacted outside groups for funding during his bid to avoid a recall in 2012.

Burke, an executive for the Trek bicycle company her father started, has made growing Wisconsin’s economy her top priority.

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Office of Governor Jay Nixon(SAINT LOUIS) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon named a new head of the Missouri Department of Public Safety on Wednesday, selecting former St. Louis City Police Chief Daniel Isom for the position.

Isom will take over the position on Sept. 1 for current Director Jerry Lee, who is retiring. Isom currently works as the professor of Policing and the Community for the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

The decision comes just about three weeks after a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen. Isom will be the first and only black member of Nixon’s cabinet.

Isom’s selection is still subject to confirmation by the state Senate.

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FBI(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced Wednesday that there will be no charges filed against law enforcement officers in the shooting death of Aaron Alexis, the man who attacked and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard last year.

After reviewing witness statements, surveillance video, photographs, diagrams and other evidence and reports, the U.S. Attorney’s Office decided that no actions undertaken by law enforcement officers had criminal intent and that their actions were undertaken in the interest of their own defense and the defense of others. Officers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “acted reasonably at all times to neutralize a life-threatening situation.”

Alexis, a 34-year-old military contractor for the Department of Defense, entered the Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013, killing 12 civilians and injuring three civilians and a Metropolitan Police Department officer.

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Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The defense rested in the trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Wednesday, and closing arguments could begin as soon as Thursday.

McDonnell is accused of accepting gifts in exchange for special treatment of a businessman from Star Scientific. The CEO of the company testified earlier in the trial that he believes he was given access and a platform at the governor’s mansion to promote a nutritional supplement.

McDonnell denied those claims earlier in the trial, saying he accepted the gifts but did not offer special treatment. He also spoke of the toll that his position as governor took on his marriage.

On Wednesday, the 23rd day of the trial, the McDonnells’ daughter took the stand. The Washington Post says that Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky discussed the tension between her parents when she was growing up.

McDonnell’s daughter also said that the money she was given, she returned upon finding out that the businessman involved in the trial “was a criminal,” according to the Washington Post.

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Boomerang kids, take heart: One of your own is making a splash in Florida politics.

Jennifer Sullivan, 23, still lives at home with her parents and is just about halfway through college. But the woman who admits she still quibbles with her siblings about who’s stuck with dish duty will soon represent more than 150,000 constituents in the Florida statehouse.

Elected to Florida’s House of Representatives by a 6-point margin Tuesday, Sullivan, a Republican, concedes her age made some voters nervous.

“I understand now that I have to prove myself,” she told ABC News. And she’ll waste no time demonstrating her worthiness once she gets to Tallahassee. She’s particularly eager to get to work repealing Common Core, the controversial education policy.

During the campaign, opponents knocked her for her age and inexperience. One GOP rival’s campaign brochure sneered, “State Representative isn’t an internship or job training course.” Another rival reportedly even attacked her for living at home. But Sullivan dismisses their criticisms as “desperate…grasping at straws.”

“A lot of people are finding that they are still living with their parents because they don’t want to go into debt,” she says. “That just wasn’t financially feasible for me to get an apartment.”

Like any other tech-savvy millennial, Sullivan is now tracking the response to her victory on social media, and is eager to rattle off the stats.

“I have about 54 unread text messages [and] over 300 Facebook notifications,” she says. “I’ve been able to stay up on Twitter so far.”

But she’s far from the stereotypical selfie-snapping, emoji-obsessed 20-something.

She and her friends “didn’t spend [the summer] on the beach chilling out,” she says. “They spent it knocking on doors…because they believe in what I stood for.”

The Vote for Jennifer campaign – nicknamed the #FreshFace campaign – operated out of her parents’ Lake County home. But juggling a hectic campaign schedule with her collegiate workload (she’s taking classes online, through Liberty University) meant she was rarely there.

“I’ve really just been home to sleep and eat, to be quite honest,” she says.

Sullivan, who was homeschooled, acknowledges that running a campaign from her childhood home did come with several distractions.

“Being the oldest of four siblings, it’s always, ‘Who’s going to do the dishes tonight?’” she laughs.

Still, she managed to stage what she calls “an incredible ground game,” raising $10,000 in just 10 days.

Though she knows that Sen. Marco Rubio, a rumored 2016 Republican presidential contender, was elected to the Florida statehouse at 28, Sullivan shrugs off the possibility of an illustrious political career.

“I’m not looking at the national scene,” she says, adding that she’d rather return to her district to work in the private sector when her time in the statehouse is up.

Her advice for other boomerangers with high aspirations?

“Younger [people] are oftentimes written off,” she says. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re young.”

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday that it was looking into reports that a second American may have been killed in the same battle that caused the death of Douglas McCain, an American jihadi.

“We’ve seen those reports,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said during Wednesday’s briefing. She noted that the department did not have independent confirmation of those reports.

The White House confirmed on Tuesday that McCain, 33, was killed in Syria while allegedly fighting for the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. McCain was apparently killed in the city of Aleppo.

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday that it was looking into reports that a second American may have been killed in the same battle that caused the death of Douglas McCain, an American jihadi.

“We’ve seen those reports,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said during Wednesday’s briefing. She noted that the department did not have independent confirmation of those reports.

The White House confirmed on Tuesday that McCain, 33, was killed in Syria while allegedly fighting for the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. McCain was apparently killed in the city of Aleppo.

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Immigration courts are an “alternate legal universe,” one judge said on Wednesday. There are no bailiffs, no court reporters, no Miranda rights, no witnesses — and it’s happening every day on American soil.

There are more than 375,000 cases pending on the dockets of only 227 immigration judges.

“We look like the guy behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz,” Dana Marks, a federal judge and the president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, told a gathering at the National Press Club Wednesday.

“Most members of the public don’t have a clue about the realities of our world,” she said. “Since there’s no statute of limitations in immigration court, the convictions which cause people to come before us in our courtroom can be decades old.”

Marks called immigration courts the “forgotten stepchild within the Department of Justice,” receiving just 1.7 percent of the $18 billion given to immigration enforcement annually.

“Because we have been left to the mercy of the political winds which constantly buffet immigration issues, we have been resource-starved for decades,” she said.

There is a solution, she says, but it would not be quick or cheap – and it would require an act of Congress.

“To be efficient, and operate economically, to guarantee fairness, our immigration courts need to be independent, both from the prosecutors and from the respondents who come before us,” Marks said.

One issue Marks and Denise Noonan Slavin, a Miami-based judge who is the union’s executive vice president, highlighted was the immigration judge’s dual role as judges – or unbiased arbitrators — and employees within the Department of Justice, which often leads to blurred lines.

“The recent docketing changes brought about by the southwest border surge are another example of how we are serving two masters and not necessarily serving the public in the most efficient way,” Slavin said. “There is no other court that would turn the docket on its head at the request of one party. But the immigration court is flipping the docket by moving cases of newly arrived children to the front of the docket at the demand of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Slavin says this flip doesn’t make the most sense, especially when a judge could be deciding the fate of a child, whose parent’s own case may have been already on the docket and now pushed further down.

The administration requested judges to hear children’s cases with 21 days of apprehension following the influx of more than 60,000 children flooding the border since October 2013 – a 100-percent increase since last year. The administration has said they expect to return the majority of the Central American unaccompanied children.

“In the 27 years I’ve been an immigration judge, [I've] never been told what the ultimate outcome should be in a case. However, there are subtle pressures when you know you are supposed to do the case as quickly as possible,” Marks said. “There is a pressure to do things more quickly and that is more difficult.”

Marks adds that she and her colleagues have not seen an impact from President Obama’s initiative to add more judges and lawyers to the cases of unaccompanied minors.

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Immigration courts are an “alternate legal universe,” one judge said on Wednesday. There are no bailiffs, no court reporters, no Miranda rights, no witnesses — and it’s happening every day on American soil.

There are more than 375,000 cases pending on the dockets of only 227 immigration judges.

“We look like the guy behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz,” Dana Marks, a federal judge and the president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, told a gathering at the National Press Club Wednesday.

“Most members of the public don’t have a clue about the realities of our world,” she said. “Since there’s no statute of limitations in immigration court, the convictions which cause people to come before us in our courtroom can be decades old.”

Marks called immigration courts the “forgotten stepchild within the Department of Justice,” receiving just 1.7 percent of the $18 billion given to immigration enforcement annually.

“Because we have been left to the mercy of the political winds which constantly buffet immigration issues, we have been resource-starved for decades,” she said.

There is a solution, she says, but it would not be quick or cheap – and it would require an act of Congress.

“To be efficient, and operate economically, to guarantee fairness, our immigration courts need to be independent, both from the prosecutors and from the respondents who come before us,” Marks said.

One issue Marks and Denise Noonan Slavin, a Miami-based judge who is the union’s executive vice president, highlighted was the immigration judge’s dual role as judges – or unbiased arbitrators — and employees within the Department of Justice, which often leads to blurred lines.

“The recent docketing changes brought about by the southwest border surge are another example of how we are serving two masters and not necessarily serving the public in the most efficient way,” Slavin said. “There is no other court that would turn the docket on its head at the request of one party. But the immigration court is flipping the docket by moving cases of newly arrived children to the front of the docket at the demand of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Slavin says this flip doesn’t make the most sense, especially when a judge could be deciding the fate of a child, whose parent’s own case may have been already on the docket and now pushed further down.

The administration requested judges to hear children’s cases with 21 days of apprehension following the influx of more than 60,000 children flooding the border since October 2013 – a 100-percent increase since last year. The administration has said they expect to return the majority of the Central American unaccompanied children.

“In the 27 years I’ve been an immigration judge, [I've] never been told what the ultimate outcome should be in a case. However, there are subtle pressures when you know you are supposed to do the case as quickly as possible,” Marks said. “There is a pressure to do things more quickly and that is more difficult.”

Marks adds that she and her colleagues have not seen an impact from President Obama’s initiative to add more judges and lawyers to the cases of unaccompanied minors.

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Office of Sen. Mark Pryor | Office of Rep. Tom Cotton(WASHINGTON) — An unexpected issue popped up in the Arkansas Senate race this week — Ebola.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., released an ad titled “Emergency Response,” highlighting the recent Ebola outbreak, saying his opponent Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., voted against funding for medical disaster aid.

“Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola,” a male narrator says as news clips about the unprecedented Ebola outbreak play on screen.

“Congressman Cotton voted to cut billions from our nation’s medical disaster and emergency programs,” a female narrator says.

“He was the only Arkansas congressman to vote this way,” the male narrator says.

The Cotton campaign, which planned a news conference to rebut the TV spot, scoffed at the ad.

“Senator Pryor’s desperation is comical. In Senator Pryor’s world, he doesn’t have to take responsibility for rubber-stamping the Obama agenda over 90% of the time, but wants Arkansans to believe Tom Cotton is responsible for everything from Ebola to crabgrass and male-pattern baldness,” said David Ray, a spokesman for Cotton.

This is the first instance where the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been used in a political ad here in the U.S. The Arkansas Senate race has seen a number of issues come to the forefront, including religion and border security, in a midterm election where the president’s health care plan was expected to dominate the agenda.

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