Election 2004~

Boomers International Board: Election - Politics: Election 2004~
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Friday, January 2, 2004 - 05:44 pm:

RICOCHET EFFECT
December 30, 2003
-- Why does the opposition party tend to become dominated by its own extremists when it is out of power? Why did the Democrats follow liberal leaders like Walter Mondale and Mike Dukakis while Ronald Reagan was president? Why did the right under Newt Gingrich take over the Republican Party during the Clinton years? Why is Howard Dean dominating the Democrats these days?

Call it the ricochet effect. In the Clinton White House, we consciously used this theory to help the right dominate the Republican Party so that the centrists throughout America would vote to re-elect the Democratic president.

Here's how it works. An incumbent president tends to catalyze opposite reactions among the moderates and the extremists in the opposition party. Because he is adopting policies which help the nation and echo the demands of the broad center, he attracts moderates in the other party. But as he pursues the core policies of his own party, he generally triggers greater hostility from the true believers on the other side.

Thus, President Bill Clinton's policies of reforming welfare and balancing the budget attracted moderates among Independents and Republicans. But his position on core Democratic issues like gun control and abortion drove the right-wing extremists crazy.

Similarly, President Bush's embrace of prescription-drug benefits for the elderly and his stalwart stand against terror lures the centrist Democrats and Independents. But his backing for the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act alienates the extreme left and whips them into a fine fury.

Even the Reagan administration benefited by the ricochet theory. His tax cuts produced a feeling of "morning again in America" which gave him high ratings among the moderate voters - the so-called Reagan Democrats - who normally sided with the opposition. But his strong pro-life position and his budget cuts sharpened the animosity toward him among feminists and minorities.

As the moderates leave the other party and move toward the incumbent president, the leftists of the Democratic Party or the GOP's rightists come increasingly to predominate in primaries. At the same time, their alienation and anger at the policies of the incumbent chief executive generate a new activism on the extremes of the opposition party which kindle increased flows of money and manpower into the minority party.

The ricochet theory, in a sense, is the concomitant of triangulation. If one steals the other side's centrist issues, one becomes attractive to the moderates in the enemy camp. But because an incumbent stays faithful to the core issues of his own party (gun control, abortion, etc.) he generally drives the extreme members of the opposition crazier than ever.

Because George W. Bush is attracting moderates with his forthright stand against terrorism, his willingness to go to war to defend our security, and his relatively compassionate social agenda, he is winning over Democrats and Independents who might once have voted against him. Those moderates who remain Democrats find themselves weakened by the defection of these moderates and become outvoted in the Democratic primaries.

This phenomenon is precisely why Joseph Lieberman is losing to Howard Dean in the Democratic race for president. His constituency is voting for Bush and has left his party.

But Bush's strong Republican stands on the war in Iraq, defense spending, intrusive measures to fight domestic terrorism, support for conservative judges and opposition to powerful environmental measures leads the Democratic left to oppose him in ever stronger terms.

The increase in their vitrol, donations, activism, and primary election turnout that this anger generates swamps the outnumbered moderates and leads to the nomination of an extremist like Howard Dean as the party nominee.

How does a party break this vicious cycle? Usually it takes two or three defeats before the party regains its senses and realizes that catering to its extremist elements only courts disaster. After a Barry Goldwater, it embraces a Richard Nixon. Recovering from the disaster of George McGovern, it nominates Jimmy Carter.

But sometimes it takes repeated defeats - as with Mondale and Dukakis in the '80s - before a party recovers its senses and nominates a Clinton.

It will be interesting to see how soon the Democrats wake up and realize that they can't let their party be hijacked by the left without writing off the general election. But the wake-up call is unlikely to come until after Bush is safely re-elected.

http://www.vote.com/magazine/columns/dickmorris/column60188610.phtml

©1999 VOTE.COM. All rights reserved.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 08:03 pm:

Bush Gets Re-Election Off to Fast Start
Sat Jan 10, 1:28 PM ET

By RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer

WASHINGTON - After all the name-calling, fingerpointing, muckraking and flip-flopping, the Democratic president primary may yield a winner who is not even a Democrat: President Bush (news - web sites).



Democratic rivals are tearing each other asunder, exposing weaknesses that Republicans might exploit in the general election, while the incumbent sits on the sidelines, surveying the carnage.


Even front-runner Howard Dean (news - web sites), who leads in polls and picked up a key endorsement Friday from Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, has experienced troubles that could haunt him if he wins the nomination.


He has waffled on tax cuts. He wouldn't take a stand on Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s legal standing. Years-old tapes forced Dean to explain past comments. And he has been forced to defend a record as Vermont governor that doesn't always square with the antiestablishment image he covets.


Not to mention what rivals say about Dean, and each other.


"There's a very clear contrast here," said Republican Party chairman Ed Gillespie. "While the president is attacking the issues that confront us as a nation, the Democrats are attacking each other, and attacking the president."


Whoever emerges from the primary fight will be damaged, but Democrats say the scars won't last.


"Eighty percent of the fire is trained on Bush," said Joe Lockhart, press secretary in the Clinton White House. "Just look at the advertising. Most of it criticizes the president, not the Democratic candidates."


Still, there is no doubt that the lack of a primary-season challenger has given Bush a tactical headstart on the election year.


"It's a huge advantage," said Joe Gaylord, a GOP strategist in Washington. "One thing Americans respect is a president of either party who is doing the job he was elected to do. President Bush has an advantage by not having any primary opposition and being able to travel above the fray while the rest of these guys are ripping each other apart."


President Clinton (news - web sites) had the same edge in 1996, when he sat out the primary race while airing millions of dollars in television advertising. The ads undercut his future rival, Bob Dole, who was in a nasty primary fight with Steve Forbes (news - web sites).


Bush's father lost his 1992 re-election campaign after conservative rival Pat Buchanan (news - web sites) gave him a scare in the primaries. The son, vowing not to make the same mistake, cleared his primary field with an intimidating display of early fund raising and several policies aimed at courting conservatives.


Bush hopes new immigration policy will help broaden his political base. He will shoot for the moon and Mars to offer voters a bold, unifying vision. His first TV ads will air before Democrats end their primary season.


"The problem these Democrats are having is the country thinks they're out to lunch, which is not unlike the problem Bush I had in 1992, when he was being pushed around by Buchanan," Gaylord said.


Dean was being pushed around Friday after it was revealed that he denigrated the caucus system four years ago. A nimble politician, Dean softened the blow by securing Harkin's endorsement. He also borrowed a page from Clinton's crisis playbook, turning the tables on critics.


"We've got to stop this gotcha stuff," he said. "I would rather talk about the future than something I said four years ago." Revelations about his nearly 12 years as governor that could impact his political future include:


_ He failed to disclose that as governor he accepted money for speaking to special interest groups. Dean has accused Bush of catering to special interests.




_ He was repeatedly warned about security lapses at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. Dean has criticized Bush's homeland security actions.

_ He had a secretive energy panel in Vermont. Dean has criticized Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites)'s hush-hush energy task force.

The race has tightened in Iowa while Dean struggles to counter his critics without looking too defensive. That gives hopes to his rivals, who know they must stop him in Iowa or the follow-up New Hampshire primary to prevent a nomination sweep.

Bush, who addresses Congress the day after Iowa's Jan. 19 caucuses, should enjoy this while he can.

Polls show the president's job approval rating is far higher than either Clinton's or the first President Bush's were at this stage in their re-election bids. Reagan sat as pretty the January before his landslide re-election in 1984.

"Bill Clinton (news - web sites) is the one person who could probably speak with most authority about how Bush feels this week," said Anita Dunn, a Democrat strategist. "My bet is he feels pretty good."

___

EDITOR'S NOTE — Ron Fournier has covered national politics and the White House for The Associated Press since 1993.

From: http://www.yahoo.com


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 05:39 pm:

01/13/2004 - Updated 11:36 AM ET

USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll results

1. How much thought have you given to the upcoming election for president -- quite a lot, or only a little?

Quite a lot SOME (vol.) Only a little None No opinion
2004 Jan 9-11 48 4 44 4 *
2004 Jan 2-5 45 2 48 4 1

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

Approve Dis-approve No opinion
2004
2004 Jan 9-11 59 38 3
2004 Jan 2-5 60 35 5
2003
2003 Dec 15-16 63 34 3
2003 Dec 11-14 56 41 3
2003 Dec 5-7 55 43 2
2003 Nov 14-16 50 47 3
2003 Nov 10-12 51 45 4
2003 Nov 3-5 54 43 3
2003 Oct 24-26 53 42 5
2003 Oct 10-12 56 40 4

3. Please tell me which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Democratic nomination for President in the year 2004.

Dean Clark Lieb-erman Kerry Gep-hardt Ed-wards Braun Sharp-ton Kuc-inich Gra-ham None/ other/ no opin.
Democrats/Democratic Leaners who are Registered to Vote Margin of error: ±5 percentage points
2004 Jan 9-11 26 20 9 9 7 7 4 3 1 -- 14
2004 Jan 2-5 24 20 10 11 9 6 3 2 2 -- 15
2003 Dec 15-16 27 12 12 7 7 6 3 6 2 -- 18
2003 Dec 11-14 31 10 13 10 8 4 3 5 1 -- 15
2003 Dec 5-7 25 17 10 7 14 7 5 3 2 -- 10
2003 Nov 14-16 17 17 13 9 13 6 4 5 3 -- 13
2003 Nov 10-12 17 14 15 10 12 7 4 3 3 -- 15


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Monday, January 26, 2004 - 01:23 am:

Election 2004
Reuters - Sun Jan 25, 7:55 PM ET

--------------------------------------------
Dems On Dems:

Two days before a hotly contested Democratic presidential primary, Kerry asked Dean to "stop running a negative campaign," even as he suggested that Dean can't get elected. "Between foreign policy and taxes, I think it is a serious problem," the Massachusetts lawmaker said.


A spokeswoman for Dean, the former Vermont governor, replied that he has stood up to President Bush (news - web sites) on taxes, education and the war in Iraq. "Unfortunately, to this day, John Kerry couldn't find his position on Iraq with a compass," Tricia Enright said.


Sen. John Edwards, who finished second to Kerry in last week's Iowa caucuses and promised to wage a positive campaign, said the Massachusetts senator has not been clear on the war. "I think he's said some different things at different points in time," Edwards said as the candidates made the rounds of TV news shows. "So I think there's been some inconsistency."


Kerry, who had remained above the fray since leaving Iowa, accused Dean of "flip-flops" on major issues and said his own strength is "the consistency of my positions." That point is in dispute because Kerry backed Bush's Iraq war resolution, then spoke against military action once Dean tapped anti-war sentiments among Democratic voters. Edwards and Lieberman backed the resolution, too.

At one stop, Kerry told David and Diana Frothingham that Dean is weak on foreign policy issues, and favors bolstering taxes on middle-class voters.

John Kerry criticized Howard Dean (news - web sites) on Sunday for espousing tax and foreign policies that will "just kill us" at the polls in November as Kerry himself was accused of waffling on the Iraq war.

Dean countered later at a rally in Plymouth that his opposition to the Iraq war was a significant difference between him and Kerry. He also criticized Kerry for voting against the 1991 Gulf War.

--------------------------------------------

. Dean said the Iraqi standard of living is "a whole lot worse" since U.S. troops ousted Saddam Hussein.

. Wesley Clark refused to dissociate himself from a celebrity supporter's claim that Bush was a deserter.

. Sen. Joe Lieberman accused Dean of an "irresponsible statement," linking pro-war lawmakers like himself to the deaths of more than 500 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

. In South Carolina, Al Sharpton assured black churchgoers that a vote for him will get their message all the way to the Democratic convention. "Know that I am going on all the way to the end no matter what," he said.

. The other candidate left in the field, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, toured New Hampshire Sunday emphasizing his staunch opposition to the war in Iraq and asserting that he was the only Democratic candidate who went on record from the beginning as being skeptical of the Bush administration's claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Monday, January 26, 2004 - 06:26 pm:

Expose the Liberals' Lies:

http://www.grassfire.org/


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 02:39 am:

Updated: 03:41 PM EST
Kerry's 'Last Resort'
Debra J. Saunders, Creators Syndicate

(Jan. 27) - Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., can't give a credible explanation as to why he voted against the Persian Gulf War in 1991 but then for a 2002 resolution that authorized the use of force in Iraq, even though he now opposes how President Bush is conducting the war.

Kerry told "Fox News Sunday," "With respect to this time, I voted to give the authority to the president to use force under a set of promises by the president as to how he would do it: build a legitimate international coalition, exhaust the remedies of the United Nations, and go to war as a last resort. He broke every single one of those promises."

Bunk.

For one thing, the October 2002 resolution did not outline a "set of promises" that limited what Bush would do and how he must do it. Au contraire, to the extent that there were promises in the resolution, they were the promises Saddam Hussein failed to keep in the 1991 cease-fire agreement that followed his ignominious defeat by a U.S.-led coalition.

It's true that the Joint Resolution Authorizing Use of Force Against Iraq includes one paragraph that quotes Bush addressing a U.S. commitment to "work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge." The same paragraph, however, continues by noting that the president also made it clear that "the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable."

I don't see a "last resort" in that language. Do you?

Instead, the resolution made references to Hussein's "direct and flagrant violation" of the 1991 cease-fire agreement, Iraq's continued attempts to manufacture weapons of mass destruction, Iraqi forces firing on U.S. and coalition planes "on many thousands of occasions," as well as Hussein's brutal oppression of his people. Added up, Iraq's aggressive actions "combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself."

Here's another reason why you know Kerry isn't telling the truth. One month before Kerry voted aye, Bush delivered a speech to the United Nations in which he made it clear that America would act against Iraq if the United Nations continued to allow Hussein to violate the U.N. cease-fire agreement and U.N. resolutions. As Kerry's hometown paper, the Boston Globe, reported, "The president left little doubt that the United States reserved the right to strike first. In the absence of definitive steps by the United Nations, he said, the United States will go it alone."

"Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?" Bush asked the United Nations.

So Kerry can't say he trusted Bush not to wage war against Hussein -- and expect to be believed. It makes you wonder whether he believes voters -- and journalists -- won't remember the events surrounding the resolution. Or maybe he thinks that Democrats want a nominee who talks out of both sides of his mouth.

"I know I can make the tough decisions," Kerry told The Washington Post this week.

I know that Kerry can run away from the tough decisions. He voted to authorize the war against Hussein -- and now that the war is unpopular among key primary voters, he won't stand by his vote.

On a related note, readers should be clear on what outgoing chief weapons inspector David Kay is saying. It's big news that Kay told The New York Times he believes there are no large caches of weapons of mass destruction.

It's important to note, however, that Kay does believe there may have been small caches. Kay also said the Iraqis were working on research and development for the biological weapon ricin "right up until" the U.S. led coalition invaded Iraq in March. He also said that Iraq had begun retooling its nuclear weapons program in 2000 and 2001 and that officers in the Republican Guard told interrogators they had believed other units possessed biological or chemical weapons. And: "The only comment I ever had from the president was to find the truth. I never got any pressure to find a certain outcome."

Kay may refute the once catholic belief that Iraq held significant stockpiles of newly manufactured weapons of mass destruction, but he paints the picture of a country that was a danger to the world.

Most important, Kay said: "We know that terrorists were passing through Iraq. And now we know that there was little control over Iraq's weapons capabilities. I think it shows that Iraq was a very dangerous place. The country had the technology, the ability to produce, and there were terrorist groups passing through the country -- and no central control."

Readers should not forget that it was what we didn't know that scared us.

E-mail Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com. To find out more about Debra J. Saunders, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

01-27-04 15:58 EST

Copyright 2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 02:40 am:

Updated: 03:40 PM EST
Iowa Exposes Dean's Mortality
Roger Simon, Creators Syndicate

NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 27) - This is how primaries are supposed to be: knock-down and drag-out, and the last man standing wins. They are supposed to tell us who has a glass chin and who can come back from a body blow. They are supposed to be testing grounds, crucibles, trials by combat. Like getting old, running for president is not for sissies.

"Part of running for president is just slogging on," John Kerry told me at the end of another long campaign day, sitting in a darkened bus that was hurtling through the snow-covered forests of New Hampshire. "Running for president is a tough, long, hard process. And before you get in it, you should know that part of it is a test. When the going gets hard, can you remain steady? People want to see that. That is the watchdog role that the people play. They want to see if you really can do it."

People have become an almost forgotten part of the campaign process. In the early months, there are only polls and pundits, strategy sessions and staff work. It is easy to forget voters actually exist.

But Iowa reminded everyone.

Howard Dean's fall from atop his front-runner perch was stunning. Having campaigned relentlessly in all 99 counties of Iowa for months, having spent millions of dollars and having assembled what he said was a ground organization without peer or precedent, Dean won exactly two counties and tied in two others, coming in a poor third to John Kerry.

Candidates have lost Iowa and gone on not just to win the nomination, but also the presidency. But the Iowa loss made Dean look mortal. It reminded people that he could bleed, that he was not a god.

Moreover, the loss kicked two legs out from under the three-legged stool of the Dean campaign: The first leg was Dean's promise to bring new voters to the Democratic Party. Far from bringing new voters to the party in Iowa, Dean couldn't even hold on to his old ones.

The second leg was the promise that Dean could turn out a vote and not just assemble bloggers and Internet contributors. Dean failed that test also, garnering only 18 percent of the vote to Kerry's 38 percent.

Dean's campaign stool still has one leg left: his message of opposition to George Bush. Dean's bashing of Bush earned him early notice, early money and early support. But in politics, imitation is the sincerest form of thievery, and Dean's message has been co-opted by the other candidates.

All of them are against the war to one degree or another, and the entire Democratic pack is now relentlessly against George Bush and eager to tap into the rage that Democrats have felt ever since Florida was awarded to him by the Supreme Court in 2000.

In crowd after crowd, the plea from Democratic voters is the same: We just want somebody who can win. Electability trumps issues. So the Democrat who looks like he can actually beat Bush has a good chance of getting the nomination.

When Dean was sitting atop the polls and on a mountain of money -- a record $41 million raised -- the other candidates had a hard time getting their message into the media. Not any more. Now Dean is just another candidate, he has only one leg of his message left, and the mad scramble is on.

It is possible to sit atop a one-legged stool, but one's balance has to be perfect -- and Dean's election night "I Have a Scream" speech in Iowa has placed his balance in question.

Day after day, Dean has been bogged down trying to explain how he was just "trying to have a little fun" in Iowa. "I did it. I own it. I'm not perfect. It's done, I'm not a perfect person," an uncharacteristically subdued Dean said after Iowa. "My attitude is that it's done. And now we gotta get back to running for president." If he can.

Though he will not say so in public, Kerry believes that the dominoes will soon begin falling for him as he enters a gaggle of contests on Feb. 3. The key races that day may be South Carolina and Missouri, and though Kerry is not particularly well-organized in either state, he believes early victories will give him the "waves under his bow" to sail through to the nomination.

But if Kerry becomes the new front-runner, won't the pack attack him like it attacked Dean? Won't the others try to bring him down? Yes, but Kerry believes Dean was unprepared for the attacks, that Vermont politics hardly prepared him the way the rough-and-tumble politics of Massachusetts have prepared Kerry.

"Dean spent two years in Iowa, and I beat him there," Kerry said on his bus. "I won the colleges. I won the antiwar voters. I won people nobody thought I would win. I could tell there was a disconnect between the polls and reality. People were coming up to me and saying, ‘I was for Howard Dean, but now I am for you.'"

At the beginning of his campaign, Kerry felt showing off his grasp of the issues and the depth of his experience was the key to victory. He knows better now and believes that while his brain is important, his other organs are more useful.

"Now I am really talking from my heart and gut," he says. "That's what people want. They want something that is real."

Roger Simon can be e-mailed at WriteRoger@aol.com. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.


01-27-04 15:26 EST

Copyright 2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 04:50 pm:

Groups Net More Than $100M in Soft Money
Fri Feb 13,12:40 PM ET

By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Big donations known as soft money found a fresh channel into politics in the months after a new law broadly banned them, flowing to political groups that raised more than $100 million likely to influence this year's elections.

Election 2004

Top recipients include new groups such as America Coming Together and the MoveOn.org Voter Fund, which want to help Democrats win back the White House, and the Republican State Leadership Committee, which is focused on state and local races.


Such tax-exempt political groups began cropping up in larger numbers after the new law took effect in November 2002 banning political parties from accepting soft money — corporate, union and unlimited contributions. Their biggest donors include people and companies who used to write huge checks to political parties.


Democratic giver and billionaire financier George Soros gave ACT $5 million. Hollywood producer Steve Bing gave millions to the Democratic Party in 2002; last year he donated nearly $1 million to MoveOn.org and $2 million to be split between ACT and a like-minded group. Citigroup gave $65,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee, along with $217,580 to the Republican Governors Association and $100,000 to its Democratic counterpart.


The law, upheld by the Supreme Court in December, left such tax-exempt groups as the primary repository for big political donations.


"The soft money — your corporate and labor union money that used to be going to the national parties — is now starting to crop up in these nonparty groups," said Kent Cooper, co-founder of Political Money Line. The nonpartisan campaign finance tracking service compiled the total by reviewing the tax-exempt political groups' IRS filings.


So far, most have been started by Democratic activists, whose party was more reliant on soft money than the GOP. The Republican Party collects millions of dollars more in the limited "hard money" donations from individuals that the parties can still raise.


The law also broadly bans outside groups such as these, known as "527s," from using soft money for federal election activity. But exactly what that means is under debate. The Federal Election Commission (news - web sites) is expected to issue its first key opinion on the issue next week.


Several of the top 10 soft money-raising groups last year are liberal groups that have said their top priority is helping win election of a Democratic president in November.


One of them, America Coming Together, raised $12.51 million last year, second only to the Republican Governors Association's $12.53 million in soft money.


ACT is focused on get-out-the-vote activities, and is raising both soft money and the limited hard money. How it will spend soft money to try to influence the presidential race within the law's confines remains to be seen; its 2004 election activity is yet to come.


ACT attorney Laurence E. Gold said it plans to pay for its activities with a mix of soft and hard money, adding that the FEC has long allowed such groups to do so. Its purpose is winning "election of progressive candidates at all levels of government," not just defeating President Bush (news - web sites), Gold said.


Other top soft money raisers last year include the Democratic Governors' Association, with $9.3 million; the Democratic-leaning American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Special Account, $6.2 million; the pro-Democratic MoveOn.org Voter Fund, $4.8 million; and the Republican State Leadership Committee, $3.7 million.


Cooper said that despite the $102 million tally so far, the political groups haven't reached their full soft money-raising potential. He believes uncertainty about the law's fate during the more than yearlong court fight and jockeying among new groups to become the go-to organization for big donors have slowed their activities.


Cooper also noted that the report on 527s, the political groups, doesn't show all the soft money. Organizations that report to the IRS as lobbying groups also spend in elections. Many, such as the Republican-leaning National Rifle Association, raise tens of millions of dollars each year. They do not have to report as much about their activities as the 527s do, making them more difficult to track.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 03:58 am:

What to Do With Martha's Political Donations

Thursday, March 11, 2004
By Eric Shawn
NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton (search) doesn't want money from a convicted felon but a lot of other Democrats are keeping the dough Martha Stewart (search) gave them.

Not only is the convicted domestic diva facing prison time for trying to lie about a suspicious stock sale but she's also a big Democratic donor.

Federal Election Commission records show that, through the years, the queen of clean has given big bucks to Democratic causes. Clinton's office told Fox News that they will turn over Stewart's $1,000 donation to the senator's charity now that Stewart has been convicted.

Reports say the New York senator wanted to give her pal the benefit of the doubt, but then the jury spoke last Friday.

Stewart was convicted of conspiring with her former Merrill Lynch stockbroker to hide the reason behind her suspicious sale of shares in the biotech company ImClone Systems Inc. (search) on Dec. 27, 2001. She was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings.

Experts said Stewart, 62, could be sentenced to between 10 months and two years for her crimes.

Other recipients of Stewart's largess aren't following Clinton's lead, however.

A spokesman from the Democratic National Committee told Fox News that when Stewart donated, it was legal and lawful and many years before the jury reached its recent verdict.

Besides the $1,000 that went to Clinton's Senate campaign, Stewart reportedly donated $157,000 to Democrats within the past few years.

Records show that in all, $170,000 went to the party and its candidates, including $6,000 for President Clinton's two White House campaigns, $2,000 for Al Gore's presidential quest in 2000 and $75,000 -- the largest single donation -- to the Democrats' Unity campaign, $25,000 to the congressional campaign committee and $10,000 to the DNC.

The DNC would not return phone calls Wednesday but with her conviction, Stewart may also be denied one privilege of American citizenship -- the right to vote.

Currently, 48 out of 50 states bar convicted felons from voting. Only Maine and Vermont permit it.

A study by the Internet group TalkLeft -- which tracks crime-related political news -- claims that if felons were able to vote, 70 percent of them would vote Democratic.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,113854,00.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Sunday, July 4, 2004 - 03:55 am:

Nader Accuses Democrats of 'Dirty Tricks'

Sat Jul 3, 7:54 PM ET

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Independent candidate Ralph Nader (news - web sites), denied a spot on the Arizona ballot, accused the Democrats and presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) of engaging in political "dirty tricks."

Just hours before the developments in Arizona, Nader complained Friday that the Democratic Party has "stepped up its obstruction tendencies" in challenging his ballot access. The consumer advocate said he had called the Kerry campaign three times Thursday, asking to chat with the candidate.


"We have to get a clarification if they're going to engage in dirty tricks," Nader told reporters at a news conference to criticize multinational corporations.


The Kerry campaign dismissed Nader's complaints, arguing that Democrats were following the rules when they legally challenged Nader's signatures to get on the ballot. "These are rules that have been on the books for years and they ought to be followed," said Chad Clanton, who added that the Massachusetts senator would be happy to talk to Nader.


In Arizona, supporters of Nader abandoned their effort to get the independent candidate on the presidential ballot after Democrats challenged the validity of thousands of signatures.


Nader's campaign had submitted more than 22,000 signatures to Arizona election officials June 9 — far more than the 14,694 valid signatures required by state law to compete against President Bush (news - web sites) and Kerry.


Two Democratic voters had filed a lawsuit last week, backed by the Arizona Democratic Party, questioning the validity of Nader's nominating petitions and other documents. The Democrats argued that more than 70 percent of the signatures were invalid.


As a Maricopa County Superior Court judge prepared to hear arguments in the case, Nader campaign attorney Richard Mahrle conceded there were "technical errors" in the ballot petition and said Nader would not contest the lawsuit.


Judge Mark Armstrong then issued an order that Nader be kept off the state ballot.


Nader told reporters that he expects to get on about as many state ballots as he did in 2000 when his name was listed in 43 states and the District of Columbia. So far, he has not gotten on any ballot independently. Nader acknowledged that complex state laws on ballot access could result in additional challenges.


"These statutes are so complex the secretary of states often don't know what they mean, so they are inviting targets for litigation," Nader said. "Democrats have an endless amount of money to throw against our efforts to get on the ballot."


Nader and Kerry met in May, with the two offering compliments following the session. Whatever truce existed was clearly gone on Friday as Nader campaign spokesman Kevin Zeese warned Democrats about future ballot challenges.


"John Kerry may be making an enemy of Ralph Nader if he doesn't stop the harassment," Zeese said. "We've been focusing our criticism on Bush rather than Kerry, but Kerry has a pretty lousy record himself."


Democratic National Committee (news - web sites) spokesman Jano Cabrera said Friday that the national party supports efforts by state parties to validate Nader signatures, but it is not providing resources to help state parties in that effort.


"We feel that no matter how small a percentage of the vote he is drawing, he is drawing that support from John Kerry. A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush," Cabrera said.


Many Democrats blame Nader, the Green Party candidate four years ago, for taking votes from Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites) and helping ensure President Bush's election.


Nader has struggled in some states to collect the thousands of signatures necessary to appear on the ballot as an independent candidate. He suffered a setback last week when the Green Party, which has ballot lines in 22 states and the District of Columbia, declined to endorse him.


Nader has been endorsed by the Reform Party, which has ballot lines in at least seven states.
___
On the Net:
Nader Web site: http://www.votenader.org


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