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Thursday, May 29,2014

In case you missed it

Ken Salazar, former U.S. Representative and Secretary of the interior

KEN SALAZAR AMONG FORMER POLITICIANS SITTING ON BIG MONEY

It turns out that several former politicians are sitting on big stashes of political cash they no longer need for campaigns. Among them, Ken Salazar, who in 2009 left his post as a U.S. senator representing Colorado to become President Obama’s appointee as secretary of the Department of the Interior. Though the Democrat stepped down from the latter role in 2013, he still has $1.27 million in surplus campaign money, according to the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan political watchdog group. How long has he had it? Apparently about a decade since the last time he ran for office was in 2004 in the Senate race against Republican Pete Coors. Salazar, who has no announced aspirations for political office, could, by law, donate the surplus campaign money to a charity. Will he give it, for instance, to one of the conservation-minded nonprofits he disappointed with his oil-and-gas friendly votes and initiatives over the years? That seems unlikely. The center quotes longtime Salazar aide Ken Lane as saying that Salazar “just doesn’t have any plans at this time” for parting with the money. The report also notes that some former politicians’ political cash earns interest in investment accounts.

DNA LIKELY A FACTOR IN WHO YOU DATE

In the world of slightly uncomfortable segues (read blurb above), researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have learned that when people decide to enter a meaningful relationship, they’re more likely to be drawn to someone with similar DNA.

“It’s well known that people marry folks who are like them,” says Benjamin Domingue, a research associate at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Behavioral Science. “But there’s been a question about whether we mate at random with respect to genetics.”

The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined the genomes of 825 white American couples, finding fewer differences in DNA between married people than randomly-selected individuals. Scientists found people’s preferences for a genetically-similar spouse are about a third as strong as their preferences for someone’s educational level — conclusions that could have implications for how experts understand the complex process of mating.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

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