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Political Notebook

Mitt Romney takes on new role at son’s investment firm

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney is planning to take on a new role at Solamere Capital, an investment firm started by his son Tagg.

The former Republican presidential nominee will be the chairman of the executive committee and will also be on the investment committee at the firm, according to sources familiar with the move and a letter that went out to current investors on Wednesday announcing Romney’s new involvement.

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“Governor Romney’s track record in the private equity field is extraordinary, and we are honored to have him more involved in the firm,” read the letter, which was obtained by the Globe. The letter noted they would begin accepting new investment commitments in the first half of this year.

“We believe that Governor Romney’s experience and insight in private investing will enhance Solamere’s distinctiveness in this regard, and will be a large benefit to you, our investors,” read the letter, which also mentioned a Solamere Investor Conference that would be held in June.

Tagg Romney launched the firm, which is on Newbury Street in Boston, two weeks after his father dropped out of the 2008 presidential race. He founded it with Spencer Zwick, who led Romney’s fund-raising in the ’08 and ’12 campaigns.

NBC News, which first reported Romney’s move to Solamere, reported that Romney would work at Solamere one week per month, advising on private equity matters but not raising money for the firm.

In December Romney rejoined the Marriott board and more recently started resuming a public profile. Last week, he sat for a Fox News interview and next week he will speak at a conservative gathering.

GOP senators block court nominee for second time

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked the confirmation of federal appeals court nominee Caitlin Halligan for the second time, denying President Obama a key judicial appointment.

Fifty-one senators supported her nomination, but Democrats needed 60 votes to get it past Republican objections.

Citing her work on lawsuits against gun manufacturers and on behalf of illegal immigrants, Republicans said Halligan is too liberal to sit on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The National Rifle Association opposed her nomination.

Obama said he was ‘‘deeply disappointed’’ by the action.

Democrats said the effort to block Halligan, who was first nominated to the court in September 2010 to fill the seat vacated when John Roberts was elevated to chief justice of the Supreme Court in 2005, also is about maintaining a conservative majority on a key appellate court. GOP senators blocked her confirmation vote in December 2011 and Obama renominated her this January.

There are currently four vacancies on the court, with nominees from Republican presidents holding a 4-3 majority. The D.C. appeals court is considered one of the most important courts in the country because it handles challenges to most federal rulemaking and oversees federal agencies based in Washington.

Republicans said they objected to Halligan in particular, not the idea of a Democratic nominee to the key court.

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