Nation briefly, March 12

NC politician says Russian bought domain

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina congressional candidate says the website she used when she campaigned for another office is now owned by a Russian.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports a man listing a Russian residence bought the website address that Democrat Linda Coleman used when she ran for lieutenant governor two years ago.

The domain name’s owner is listed as a Moscow man. The newspaper said the phone number tied to the account’s owner doesn’t work and emails weren’t returned.

Coleman said she didn’t know why the Russian-based website was created and urged other political candidates “to be vigilant.” Her campaign has contacted the FBI about the matter.

Coleman is seeking her party’s nomination to challenge incumbent Republican George Holding in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District in the Raleigh area.

Patrick weighing 2020 White House bid

BOSTON (AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval (deh-VAL’) Patrick says a 2020 run for the White House is on his “radar screen” — the firmest indication yet that the political confidant of Barack Obama is weighing a White House bid.

Patrick’s musings are already casting a light on the strengths and vulnerabilities of his legacy as governor.

His strengths include the rollout of the state’s landmark 2006 health care law and passage of his $1 billion, 10-year life sciences initiative.

Patrick’s stumbles included turmoil at the state Department of Children and Families and a disastrous effort to transition to Obama’s federal health care law.

If he runs, the self-described “pro-growth Democrat” will likely try to position himself slightly to the right of party’s liberal luminaries, including fellow Bay State resident Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Was change to Irish name political?

CHICAGO (AP) — It’s an alleged bid to harness the luck of the Irish or, at least, the luck of an Irish name.

A watchdog says a Chicago-area lawyer changed his name to sound Irish to improve his odds of winning election as a Cook County judge, from Phillip Spiwak to Shannon P. O’Malley, after losing a 2010 race in a neighboring county.

The Illinois Civil Justice League is releasing its judicial candidate ratings today, citing O’Malley’s name change for giving him a “not-recommended” rating.

Chicago celebrates its large Irish communities, and political experts say data indicate some voters are more likely to vote for judicial candidates with Irish names.

O’Malley told NBC News the change honored a mentor. But League President John Pastuovic called it “a cynical attempt to game the electoral process.”

Milwaukee girl fatally shot by brother

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police say a 9-year-old girl is dead after she was accidentally shot by her brother.

The girl was shot inside a home on Milwaukee’s north side Saturday. Police say the brother is a minor and was taken to Milwaukee County Children’s Court Center.

Police say the girl’s parents, a 29-year-old Milwaukee woman and a 32-year-old Milwaukee man, were arrested on multiple charges. Police will present the case to the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office in the coming days.