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Thursday, December 20, 2007

BIDEN: Biden Addresses Need For Comprehensive Policy To Preserve Family Farms

Mark Paustenbach/Olivia Alair

“Farm Policy, Foreign Policy, And Economic Policy Are All Connected And Affect The Future Of American Farms”

Webster City, IA (December 20, 2007): Today at the All Cultures Equal, Inc. Center in Webster City, Iowa, Sen. Joe Biden discussed the importance of electing a candidate who can connect the dots between farm policy, economic policy and foreign policy to preserve the future of family and independent farms. He also outlined his own policy proposal for preserving the future of family farms in the 21st century global economy.

“In today’s global market, instability – whether it is in Pakistan or on Wall Street – is going to hit farmers’ bottom line,” said Sen. Biden. “I have represented an agricultural state for 35 years. We need a president who understands how all these things are related, because farm policy, foreign policy, and economic policy are all connected and affect the future of American farms. Farmers need a President who will restore stability.”

Sen. Biden praised the Farm Bill which the Senate recently passed as a step in the right direction, but he argued that more must be done to protect the future of family farms. For example, Sen. Biden supported a payment limitations measure that would have capped payments at $250,000, but the legislation was defeated during consideration of the Farm Bill.

"First, we must level the field on farm subsidies," said Sen. Biden. "Subsidies should do what they were designed to do, provide assistance in times of trouble, not just help the big get bigger at the expense of the little guy."

Sen. Biden urged that more aggressive steps be taken to make sure family farmers and independent producers are not squeezed out of markets by giant agri-business and market consolidation.

"Too often the deck is stacked against family farmers," said Sen. Biden. "We have to make sure competition is fair."

Sen. Biden supports the Packer Ownership Ban and would update protections to stop packers from engaging in price manipulation and make it easier for farmers to seek redress for unfair or deceptive practices. In 2006, it is estimated that captive supplies of livestock cost family farmers and ranchers more than $5.7 billion.

Sen. Biden praised expansion of conservation measures in the Farm Bill and called for more support for new farmers.

"The average farmer in Iowa is over 60. We are losing the next generation of farmers," said Sen. Biden. "We must stop this trend and do more to help young people get into farming."

Sen. Biden would also protect access to credit and capital for new farmers – including funding for alternative farming such as organic production or free range hog production. He supports helping farmers make the transition to organic production, which often allows them to collect a premium on their products, if they want to pursue that alternative. It takes three years of not using fertilizer and pesticides to make that transition and Sen. Biden would provide support to farmers during that period.

"Finally, we must have a smart and tough trade policy that levels the playing field for farmers in the global economy," said Sen. Biden. "That means we have to fight for fair agreements, to keep markets open – and review and enforce the trade agreements we have. In my administration trade officials will ensure enforcement is a priority."

A fact sheet on Sen. Biden’s agriculture policy is attached.


OBAMA: Obama Hosts Discussion with Independents on Restoring Trust in Government

Obama Hosts Discussion with Independents on Restoring Trust in Government
At roundtable with New Hampshire Independents, pledges most open and transparent administration in history

Chicago, IL — Today in Exeter, NH, Senator Barack Obama hosted a roundtable discussion with New Hampshire Independents to discuss his commitment to cleaning up government and forging bipartisan solutions on the nation’s most pressing challenges. Restoring Americans’ trust in government, Obama told the group of local residents, begins with turning the page on the most secretive administration in recent history.

“I will run the most open and transparent Administration in history,” Senator Obama said. “Because when you shut the door on the people, chances are you’re not doing the peoples’ business, you’re doing someone else’s…Instead of doing business behind closed doors, we’ll bring democracy back to the people. When I put together my health care legislation, I won’t do it in a back-room – I’ll do it out in the open. And we’ll make sure the voices of patients, doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators are heard over the drug and insurance industries. That’s how we’ll finally lower costs and make sure that every American has affordable, high-quality health care.” As evidence of his ability to enact meaningful reforms, Obama asked the participants to look at his track record of standing up to the special interests and winning – one that is unmatched by any other candidate. In the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate, Obama stood up to the special interests as well as leaders in both parties to pass sweeping ethics reform. As President, he said, he would show the same courage and conviction to make government work for everyday Americans again.
“These reforms aren’t just about changing Washington – they’re about making change that you can see in your own lives – change that can end a war, that can finally deliver on health care, and energy independence, and a world-class education for all of our kids. Because government in this country works best when it is of the people, by the people, and for the people.

“To make this change, we’re going to have to bring this country together. Instead of just putting someone in office to play the game, we need to finally put an end to the game-playing. Instead of partisan warfare, we need to recapture our sense of a common purpose – and common destiny – in this country.”

In Manchester in June, Obama unveiled his plan to launch the most sweeping ethics reform in history on his first day as President. The Obama plan will restore trust in government by:

Closing the revolving door between government and the private sector;
Banning gifts to executive branch employees;
Shining light on federal contracts, tax breaks, and earmarks;
Ending abuse of no-bid contracts;
Bringing democracy and policy directly to the people by discussing issues and conducting business in public; and
Supporting campaign finance reform.

The plan can be viewed in full HERE.


December 20, 2007
Contact: Obama Press Office
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RNC Research Dept.: RNC Response To Senator Clinton On Foreign Policy

Once again, Senator Clinton is trying to convince the American people that she has the ‘experience’ to lead, while refusing to allow the public to review voluminous documents related to her time in the White House. In a time of war, can we really afford to trust a candidate who doesn’t trust us enough to evaluate the facts and make our own determination?”

-Danny Diaz, RNC Spokesperson

Danny Diaz
Republican National Committee (RNC)

THOMPSON: Fred Thompson Receives the Endorsement of Virginia Society for Human Life

CONTACT: Jeff Sadosky
December 20, 2007

Fred Thompson Receives the Endorsement of Virginia Society for Human Life

Nation's Oldest Right to Life Organization Supporting Thompson

McLean, VA - Today Fred Thompson received the endorsement of the Virginia Society for Human Life, the oldest right to life organization in the country and the state's affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee. This represents the ninth state right to life organization that has followed the lead of the National Right to Life Committee in endorsing Senator Thompson for President.

"Fred Thompson is a stellar candidate for President of the United States," said VSHL President Brenda Fastabend. "Fred Thompson's one hundred percent pro-life voting record compiled during his eight years of service in the U.S. Senate, speaks volumes for his integrity and statesmanship. In the eyes of Virginians who care about the dignity and sanctity of human life and the most basic freedom upon which our nation was founded , the right to life, Fred Thompson is a leader of great promise for the office of president."

Virginia Society for Human Life, Inc., is a voluntary and non-denominational organization united in the belief that the human being in his innate dignity and worth should be safeguarded by law at every stage of biological development. Through education and legislative activity, the Society's purpose is to promote measures which will insure protection for all innocent human life.

"I'm blessed and honored to have the endorsement of the Virginia Society for Human Life for President of the United States," said Senator Thompson. "Virginia Society for Human Life is the oldest right to life organization in the country, and they know I stood with them yesterday, I stand with them today, and will stand with them tomorrow. VSHL and right to life organizations coast to coast who have endorsed by candidacy know I have the ability to win this election. They know I believe in the sanctity of life and as President I will do all that I can to do to protect life."

Fred Thompson is pro-life. He believes in the sanctity of human life and that every life is worthy of respect. He had a 100% pro-life voting record in the Senate and believes Roe v. Wade was a bad decision that ought to be overturned. He consistently opposed federal funding to promote or pay for abortion and supported the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Child Custody Protection Act, and President Reagan's Mexico City policy. While Fred Thompson supports adult stem cell research, he opposes embryonic stem cell research. He also opposes human cloning.


Paid for by Friends of Fred Thompson, Inc.

EDWARDS: Edwards Launches “Fighting For America’s Voice” Tour

December 20, 2007

Audrey Waters


On day one of the tour across Iowa, Edwards discusses his plans to make sure the voices of rural Americans are heard in Washington

Council Bluffs, Iowa – Today, Senator John Edwards is kicking off a three-day “Fighting for America’s Voice” tour by discussing his commitment to making sure the voices of rural Americans are heard in Washington. During the three-day tour across Iowa, Edwards will discuss his plans to stand up for America’s workers, children and families – the very people who don’t have a voice in Washington. Edwards has spent his life speaking out on behalf of hard-working Americans, and as president he will fight to make sure that the American people are heard in Washington, not the special interests.
“Rural America has been ignored for too long,” said Edwards. “I grew up in a small, rural town and I know firsthand the challenges facing America’s rural communities. It’s time we had a president who will speak out for rural Americans. As president, I will help small towns and rural communities create and keep new businesses, and make sure rural Americans have access to quality, affordable health care, good schools and the support systems they need.”
During the tour, Edwards will be joined by numerous people whose voices he has fought to make sure are heard. Today, Edwards will focus on rural policy and his fight to give a voice to rural America. As part of the day’s events, Edwards will be joined by James Lowe, a former coal miner from Wise County, Virginia, who could barely speak for 50 years because he didn’t have health care and couldn’t afford the operation he needed to fix his cleft palate. Edwards met Lowe at the site of a Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic during his “Road to One America” tour in July. It was at this free rural clinic, a year ago, that Lowe finally met with medical professionals willing to donate their time to perform the surgery he needed so he could finally speak.

Tomorrow in West Des Moines, Edwards will deliver a speech about how we can help our children and make sure they have the opportunity to realize the American Dream. He will be joined in West Des Moines by Sandy and David Lakey, and their daughter Valerie, whom Edwards represented as a lawyer after Valerie was injured as a result of a faulty swimming pool drain cover that the company knew was dangerous.

On the third day of the tour, Edwards will deliver remarks on how he will fight for American jobs, smart and safe trade, and a stronger economy. Edwards will be joined by Doug Bishop who, in September 2004, was among the first wave of employees who were laid off at the Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa. Later that month, he and his family met Edwards as Edwards was campaigning for the vice-presidency on the Democratic ticket. Edwards looked Doug’s seven year-old son square in the face and said, “I’m going to keep fighting for your Daddy’s job, I promise you that.” After eight months out of work, Doug found another job and is back on his feet, a leader in his community. But many other people in Newton haven't been so lucky – the Maytag plant is now closed for good. To preview Doug’s story, today the campaign is sending an email to supporters that features a video of Doug explaining why he thinks Edwards is the best candidate to make sure the voices for hard-working Americans are heard in Washington.
Edwards grew up in a small, rural town and is committed to making sure rural Americans have a voice in Washington. In April, Edwards became the first candidate to announce a plan to help Iowa’s rural communities with his comprehensive “Rural Recovery Act,” to restore economic fairness to rural America, create new jobs and businesses in rural communities, help struggling counties and towns and protect rural people and their way of life.

At the event today in Council Bluffs, the campaign is also announcing a new effort to reach out to rural Iowans – a new rural DVD. The campaign will be showing thousands of rural Iowans the new DVD, “John Edwards: For the Country,” that discusses Edwards’ plan to revitalize rural America and his experiences growing up in his small, rural hometown of Robbins, North Carolina. The DVD, which is narrated by former Congressman and Dukes of Hazzard star Ben “Cooter” Jones, includes interviews with Edwards’ parents, Bobbie and Wallace Edwards, rural strategist Dave “Mudcat” Saunders and music from Ralph Stanley II. Additionally, the campaign is launching a new rural website,, that Iowans can visit to learn more about Edwards’ plan to restore hope to rural America.

To learn more about Edwards’ plan for rural America, please see the attached fact sheet.


Restoring Hope to Rural America

Edwards Outlines Proposed Rural Recovery Act

Too often, the problems of rural America are forgotten by politicians living and working in far-off capital cities and undermined by corporate greed. Many rural areas are struggling: rural families earn 27 percent less than other families and 244 of the poorest 250 counties are rural. Rural manufacturing has been hit particularly hard by international trade, the offshoring of jobs and automation. Struggling family farms are another challenge for small towns. As young people move away to find opportunity, rural communities are turning into ghost towns. Over the 1990s, Iowa lost one-third of its college graduates and ranked number two in out-migration of single, college-educated youth nationwide. [Carsey Institute, 2006; Davis, 2003; Census Bureau, 2003]

As a native of a small rural town, John Edwards knows that America cannot turn its back on rural areas. Small towns and rural areas are the keepers of American values like family, work, community, and freedom. America depends on rural communities for a strong manufacturing base, reliable and affordable food, and increasingly for clean energy as well. To make sure they share in our prosperity, we must fight corporate greed and turn the tables on runaway economic disparity. Today, Edwards outlined initiatives to restore economic fairness and create new jobs and businesses in rural America, help struggling counties and towns, and protect the rural people and their way of life.


· Support Main Street Businesses and Invest Seed Money in the Rural Economy: Helping innovative small businesses is a promising approach to economic development, but only 1 percent of state economic development funds now support entrepreneurs. Edwards will create the Rural Economic Advancement Challenge (REACH) Fund to bring capital and management expertise to small town America. The REACH Fund will connect investors with rural entrepreneurs, organize businesses into networks to help them succeed together, and ensure that rural areas have access to the investment capital they need. [RUPRI, 2007]

· Creating the New Energy Economy in Rural America: Renewable sources of energy -- including ethanol, biodiesel, wind, and solar -- can make the U.S. independent of foreign oil, cut global warming pollution, and create new industries and hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America. Edwards will create a New Economy Energy Fund – financed by pollution permits and an end to oil industry giveaways – will help develop new methods of producing and using corn and cellulosic ethanol, support loan guarantees to new refineries, and support making the renewable production tax credit permanent. It will also support locally-owned biorefineries with start-up capital, skills training to make sure the jobs go to local residents and investments in public-private research partnerships to develop ways to maximize America’s biofuel ouput while minimizing pollution, soil erosion, and water, land and energy use. He will also require oil companies to install biofuel pumps at 25 percent of their gas stations and require all new cars sold after 2010 to be “flex fuel” cars running on either gasoline or biofuel.

· Creating Fairness for Family Farmers: Edwards recognizes that the rules are stacked against family farmers. He supports the strict enforcement of laws against anticompetitive mergers, unfair pricing, and country-of-origin laws. He will enact a strong national ban on packer ownership to stop the spread of large corporate meat packers and create a national moratorium on the construction and expansion of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). To help family farmers he will also limit farm subsidies to $250,000 per person, close loopholes in payment limits, and expand conservation programs.

· Investing in Rural Broadband: Once a world leader in broadband access, the U.S. is now 21st in the world, trailing Estonia. Rural households are only about half as likely to have a broadband connection even though digital inclusion is one of the quickest and surest ways to attract businesses. Just as FDR’s rural electrification initiative brought power to every corner of the country, Edwards will set a national broadband policy with a goal of giving all U.S. homes, schools, and businesses access to real high-speed internet by 2010. Edwards will establish a national broadband map to identify gaps in availability, price, and speed and require telephone and cable companies not to discriminate against rural communities in building their broadband networks. [ITU, 2006; CWA, 2006; Pew, 2006]

· Prohibiting Banks from Discriminating against Rural America: Rural communities have fewer bank branches, fewer per-capita small business loans and more high-cost mortgages. Deregulation has led to bank consolidation while small towns rely on community banks to support local businesses. Edwards will strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act to prevent banks from discriminating against rural areas and increase investment in rural small businesses. He will also establish a strong national law against predatory mortgages common in many rural areas. [NCRC, 2007; Carsey Institute, 2006; Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis, 2004; SBA, 2004; Independent Community Bankers Association, 2006.]

· Fighting for Economic Fairness: Child poverty rates in rural areas are higher than urban rates for every racial and ethnic group. The highest child poverty rates are in the most isolated rural areas. To eliminate adult and childhood poverty nationwide within 30 years, Edwards will raise the minimum wage, cut taxes for low-wage workers, help workers save and invest, and expand affordable housing near good jobs and schools. [Carsey Institute, 2006]


· Guaranteeing Rural America the Funding It Needs and Is Entitled to: More than half of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $70 billion in rural development funds has actually gone to metropolitan regions, suburbs of midsize cities, and resort towns like Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Edwards will rewrite these funding rules and get resources to the intended isolated and disadvantaged areas. Because many small towns lack the grant-writing capabilities of larger towns, Edwards will direct federal agencies to offer a simplified, one-page grant application for small grants to rural towns and counties, based on the successful COPS program. [Washington Post, 4/6/2007]

· Strengthening Rural Schools: Iowa’s rural schools don’t get their fair share of funding, and small rural schools often struggle to provide a complete curriculum and attract and retain excellent teachers. As president, Edwards will:

· Reward Rural Teachers: Iowa’s schools are facing teacher shortages in critical areas such as science and math. Rural schools have particular difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers. Edwards will raise pay for teachers in many successful rural schools by up to $15,000 a year and offer college scholarships for students who commit to teach in rural schools. He will also create a National Teacher University to train excellent teachers to serve in rural schools and other places they are needed most. [Iowa Department of Education, 2007]

· Break Down Educational Barriers: About one in seven rural students in Iowa receives special education services. The federal government’s failure to fulfill its obligation to special education and unique funding challenges facing rural schools mean that even a few students with significant special needs can force a rural school to make unbearable tradeoffs. This must change. Edwards will reverse the proposed Bush cuts to IDEA grants and get Washington on a path to fully funding its share of special education costs. [RSCT, 2005]

· Raise Graduation Rates: Rural teenagers are more likely than suburban teens to drop out of school and to be both out of school and out of work. Edwards will create multiple paths to graduation such as Second Chance schools for former dropouts and smaller alternative schools for at-risk students. He will keep at-risk students in school with the Striving Readers literacy program and one-on-one tutoring. [U.S. Department of Education, 2007]

· Support Education Technology: Distance learning through the Internet can bring the content of the world’s best universities, libraries, and museums to rural and remote areas. Software programs incorporating virtual reality, digital modeling, and intelligent one-on-one tutoring systems are proven to dramatically accelerate learning. Edwards will invest in cutting-edge research to integrate these new teaching tools and test them in rural America. [Digital Promise, 2003]

· Improving Rural Health Care: Over the past 25 years, 470 rural hospitals have closed. Iowa ranks 44th in the nation for physician-to-population. The Edwards plan for universal health care will cover the 7 million rural Americans that lack insurance and establish a nationwide network of safety net clinics and public hospitals. He will rewrite the unfair Medicare and Medicaid funding formulas that punish rural states and communities. He will also support investments in telemedicine to instantaneously connect distant specialists and advanced equipment with local doctors and patients, allowing better monitoring, chronic disease management, and emergency response. Health care is also an important source of economic development, creating jobs directly and attracting businesses and retirees. One study estimated that each doctor was worth more than eight jobs. [Winbush and Crichlow, 2005; Iowa Public Health, 2007; USDA, 1999; Wakefield, 2000; KFF, 2003]


· Ridding Rural America of Methamphetamines: Many areas of rural America are facing the devastating effects of meth abuse. It can be easily, quickly, and cheaply produced and is highly addictive. Edwards will invest in enforcing drug laws in rural areas, help states make meth ingredients more difficult to get, and expand programs that successfully treat addicts such as the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program for prisoners.

· Protecting the Tradition of Responsible Gun Ownership. Edwards hunted when he was young and grew up in rural areas where owning a gun was part of a way of life. He respects that way of life and the individual right to own firearms guaranteed by the Second Amendment. He believes that law-abiding citizens should be able to own firearms to protect themselves and their families, enjoy sport shooting and take part in the time-honored tradition of hunting. At the same time, we've all seen the terrible consequences when guns fall into the hands of criminals and those who could do harm to themselves and others. We can do two things at once: protect gun rights and promote gun safety.

· Expanding Access to Clean Water: Every household deserve clean, drinkable water and sanitation services, but more than 1.7 million Americans lack basic plumbing facilities. Rural households are four times more likely to lack proper plumbing than urban homes. Inadequate water and sanitation damage public health and impede economic development. Edwards will help local areas improve their infrastructure and tackle local pollution problems. He will also establish tough clean air and water requirements for concentrated animal feeding operations. [RCAP, undated]

Paid for by John Edwards for President.

EDWARDS: Edwards Campaign Responds To Underhanded Trick By Clinton Allies

December 20, 2007

Audrey Waters


Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa caucus goers have been sent a direct mail advertisement that appears to be an attack on Senator Obama by John Edwards, but is actually produced and funded by an organization supporting Senator Clinton. Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, Iowa State Director for the Edwards Campaign, made the following statement:

“There have been a lot of misleading tactics and tricks in the last few weeks, but we've just never seen anything like this before. Either they are trying to trick people, or they've realized that on health care, John Edwards is the candidate who speaks honestly about what it really costs and what will be required to have truly universal coverage. He has led the debate on health care with the strongest, boldest plan that covers everyone and is paid for by repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

It's fine to have an honest debate about policy, but Iowans deserve better than planted questions and campaign fliers designed to fool them.”

More information about the disguised attack by the Clinton team is available at:

- 30 -

Paid for by John Edwards for President.

BIDEN: Biden Campaign Asks Iowans To Choose A President



Mark Paustenbach/Olivia Alair


Des Moines, IA (December 20, 2007) – The Biden for President Campaign announced the launch of its new television ad, “January Night,” which will begin airing across Iowa today. The 30-second spot highlights the uniqueness of the Iowa caucuses and their long tradition of advancing candidates based on integrity, experience, and proven leadership. Emphasizing that the Iowa caucuses represent an opportunity to alter our nation’s trajectory in the face of significant challenges both at home and abroad and that Joe Biden is the only candidate ready to lead from Day One, the ad asks caucus-goers to do more than choose a candidate—“choose a president.”

“In many ways Iowa is the only level playing field left in presidential politics,” said Biden for President Campaign Manager Luis Navarro. “Iowans have a proud history of bucking punditry and conjecture, and choosing a candidate based on the authenticity of their experience and strength of their character. Our campaign grows more confident with each passing day that this tradition will lead Iowans to choose Joe Biden on January 3rd.”

You can see the new television ad at


RNC Research Dept.: Clinton Campaign Apologies

As of late, the Clinton campaign appears to be on track to catch the Edwards campaign in the apology category. Developing…



Sen. Clinton Supporter, Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE), Apologized For Comments Made About Sen. Obama:

“Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey Has Apologized To Barack Obama For Any Unintentional Insult He Committed By Raising The Democratic Presidential Candidate's Muslim Heritage While Endorsing Rival Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.” (Nedra Pickler, “Kerrey Apologizes To Obama For Any Insult In Muslim Reference,” The Associated Press, 12/20/07)

“Kerrey Sent A Letter To Obama On Wednesday, Lauding The Illinois Senator's Qualifications To Be President And Saying That He Never Meant To Harm His Candidacy.” (Nedra Pickler, “Kerrey Apologizes To Obama For Any Insult In Muslim Reference,” The Associated Press, 12/20/07)

Sen. Clinton Apologized To Sen. Obama Over Comments Made By Her Campaign About His Past Drug Use:

“[C]linton Offered A Formal Apology To Sen. Barack Obama And Accepted The Resignation Of A Prominent Campaign Organizer Who Had Raised Questions About Her Rival's Use Of Drugs.” (Anne E. Kornblut and Dan Balz, “Clinton Apologizes To Obama Over Aide's Drug Remark,” The Washington Post, 12/14/07)

Sen. Clinton Apologized To Sen. Obama In Person At Reagan Airport. “Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat from New York, apologized to Mr. Obama on Thursday morning when they ran into each other at Reagan National Airport in Washington as they were both headed to Iowa for the last Democratic debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.” (Katharine Q. Seelye, “Apologies From The Heart (Of Darkness?),” The New York Times, 12/14/07)

NOTE: Sen. Clinton Co-Chairman Of The New Hampshire Campaign, Bill Shaheen, Was The Individual Who Made The Comments. “William Shaheen, a co-chairman of Mrs. Clinton's national and New Hampshire campaigns, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the Republicans would probably go after Mr. Obama for having used marijuana and cocaine, indiscretions that he wrote about himself. Mr. Shaheen went on to suggest that Republicans would probably also question whether Mr. Obama ever shared drugs with others or was a dealer.” (Katharine Q. Seelye, “Apologies From The Heart (Of Darkness?),” The New York Times, 12/14/07)

Sen. Clinton’s Campaign Apologized About Inappropriate Emails Being Forwarded By Campaign Staff:

“A Volunteer Iowa County Coordinator For Hillary Rodham Clinton's Presidential Campaign Has Resigned After Forwarding A Chain E-Mail That Suggests Barack Obama Is A Muslim Who Wants To Destroy The United States By Being Elected To Its Highest Office.” (Nedra Pickler, “Clinton Volunteer Quits Over Obama Email,” The Associated Press, 12/6/07)

Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle: “There is no place in our campaign, or any campaign, for this kind of politics … A volunteer county coordinator made the mistake of forwarding an outrageous and offensive chain e-mail. This was wholly unauthorized and we were totally unaware of it.” (Nedra Pickler, “Clinton Volunteer Quits Over Obama Email,” The Associated Press, 12/6/07)

Danny Diaz
Republican National Committee (RNC)

RICHARDSON: Richardson and Veterans Discuss Effects of Iraq War on Military Families

Richardson and Veterans Discuss Effects of Iraq War on Military Families
For Immediate Release
December 20, 2007
Contact: Tom Reynolds

WATERLOO, IA-- New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson today will hold a roundtable discussion on the toll that the Iraq war is taking on veterans and military families. Governor Richardson will be joined at the event by New Mexico Secretary of Veterans Affairs John Garcia, Vietnam veteran Rick Bolanos, Iraq veteran Sergeant Julie Gorman of Iowa, and Sue Dinsdale of Huxley, Iowa, the mother of an Iraq veteran.

As other candidates have shifted away from discussing the Iraq war, Governor Richardson continues to promote his plan to withdraw all American troops and properly treat returning veterans and their wounds, both physical and mental.

"Some of my fellow candidates have decided to stop talking about Iraq," Richardson said. "Some have said that we can change America at home while keeping troops in Iraq for perhaps five years or longer. That is not an equation that adds up. The fact is that we cannot move forward on any domestic issues while our troops remain in Iraq."

Sergeant Gorman, who served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, suffers from a service connected disability. Dinsdale is the mother of an Iraq veteran with a service connected disability.

"When I am President, our veterans will have a Heroes Health Card so that they can get the care they deserve wherever they need it," Richardson said. "I will guarantee full mandatory funding for the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs). It is essential that we fix Walter Reed and the rest of our military hospitals. Also, we are going to treat mental trauma, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) the same way that we treat physical wounds-- like the battlefield injuries that they are.

"As President, I will reduce the federal income tax on veterans by five percent for the rest of their lives. Senator Jim Webb is exactly right on this issue. I also will eliminate the federal income tax on all troops in their first year out of the military. We are going to do right by military families."

Secretary Garcia and Vietnam veteran Bolanos both have worked extensively with Governor Richardson on veterans issues.

"Vets are coming back from Iraq with serious physical and mental wounds," Garcia said. "The next President is going to have to do more than just say the right things. Bill Richardson has a long record of getting it done for veterans."

Please find biographies of the roundtable participants below:

John Garcia

Secretary John Garcia brings with him a background in strategic planning, business development, and community relations. He is well-known to the veterans community and was a Commissioner on the predecessor state veterans body, the New Mexico Veterans Service Commission.

Secretary Garcia served in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in 1969-1970 as a member of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division. He is a founding member of the Vietnam Veterans of New Mexico and served as the National Deputy Director of the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program in Washington, D.C.

During the period immediately preceding his appointment as Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Veterans Services, Garcia was the president of Garcia and Associates, a consulting company providing governmental affairs, business development, marketing, and public relations services.

Secretary Garcia formerly served in the administration of New Mexico Governor Bruce King as Deputy Chief of Staff and Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Prior to his service in state government, Garcia was the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

Secretary Garcia is the current president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA), an association consisting of the top veterans affairs official in each of the 50 states. The U.S. Small Business Administration recognized Secretary Garcia as the 2006 New Mexico "Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year."

Secretary Garcia has been a member of numerous boards, committees, and task forces, including the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque Explora Museum, Governor’s Business Advisory Council, Shared Vision of Albuquerque, International Trade Council of New Mexico, Albuquerque Little Theater, and the Inter American Bank of New Mexico. He is a founding member of the New Mexico Hispanic Genealogy Research Center and the recipient of the De Colores New Mexico Hispanic Business Leadership Award, Mexican American Foundation's National Hispanic Leadership Award, American Center's International Leadership Award, and Washington DC's Action Agency ACTION Award. The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognized him as Advocate of the Year for Minority Business, and he received the Profile of Courage Award from the Vietnam Veterans of New Mexico.

Rick Bolanos

In 1966, Rick Bolanos joined his brothers Louis, Ben, and Bill in volunteering for military service in Vietnam. The Bolanos family was the only one in the United States to have four brothers who served in that conflict at the same time. Born in Texas to immigrant parents, the brothers were taught from the beginning the importance of service to their country. Each brother joined a different branch of the Armed Forces: Louis, the Navy; Ben, the Marine Corps; Bill, the Army Green Berets; and Rick, the Army Airborne. Three of the four brothers served in combat together, and two were wounded. The Bolanos brothers were cited for their patriotism by President Lyndon Johnson, and in 2004, the Texas Legislature passed a resolution honoring their military service.

Rick Bolanos received a BA in Management and an MBA from New Mexico Highlands University, and he has spent time as a teacher. In 2004, he toured the nation with his brothers to encourage civil participation in the election, particularly by veterans.

Julie Gorman

A veteran of the Iraq war with a service connected disability, Iowa resident Julie Gorman served 22 years in the Army Reserves, earning the rank of Sergeant First Class E-7. Gorman served in Iraq from May 2003 through May 2004 with the 389th Combat Engineers.

Sue Dinsdale

A resident of Huxley, Iowa, Sue Dinsdale is the mother of an Iraq veteran with a service connected disability who served two tours in Iraq. Dinsdale also is the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Paid for by Richardson for President, Inc.

RNC Research Dept.: NY TIMES: Obama's Vote in Illinois Was Often Just 'Present'

Nothing says experienced leadership like a present vote in the state senate.


December 20, 2007

Obama’s Vote in Illinois Was Often Just ‘Present’

In 1999, Barack Obama was faced with a difficult vote in the Illinois legislature — to support a bill that would let some juveniles be tried as adults, a position that risked drawing fire from African-Americans, or to oppose it, possibly undermining his image as a tough-on-crime moderate.

In the end, Mr. Obama chose neither to vote for nor against the bill. He voted “present,” effectively sidestepping the issue, an option he invoked nearly 130 times as a state senator.

RNC Research Dept.: NY TIMES: In Charity and Politics, Clinton Donors Overlap

Can you quote me smiling?


December 20, 2007

In Charity and Politics, Clinton Donors Overlap

This article is by Don Van Natta Jr., Jo Becker and Mike McIntire.

Over the last decade, former President Bill Clinton has raised more than $500 million for his foundation, allowing him to build a glass-and-steel presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., and burnish his image as an impresario of global philanthropy. The foundation has closely guarded the identities of its donors — including one who gave $31.3 million last year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

KUCINICH: Statement on behalf of Ohio Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich

Statement on behalf of Ohio Congressman
Dennis J. Kucinich

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Perry J. Kucinich, younger brother of Ohio Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, died early this morning in his apartment in Cleveland, Ohio. He was 51. The cause of death will be determined by the coroner's office.

Perry Kucinich was a talented artist who produced a prodigious volume of work. Some of his works have been on display recently at a local art gallery. He and his brother Dennis were planning another showing of his works in the spring.

"He was an admirer of the works of Klee and Picasso, and the style and structure of his artwork derived from their influences," said Dennis Kucinich. "He was a genius. He had extraordinary insights. Although he struggled with mental illness, with the help of his family and friends, he was able to lead a productive life."

"The Kucinich family is very close knit," said family spokesman Andy Juniewicz. "This is a devastating loss to each and every member of the Kucinich family. Dennis was very close to his brother Perry. He watched after him, and he loved him dearly. The two spoke nearly every day. He was more like Dennis's son than his brother."

Perry Kucinich was born Dec. 11, 1956, the fifth child of Frank and Virginia Kucinich. The family's travails were chronicled in a recently released book, "The Courage to Survive," written by Congressman Kucinich.

Funeral services are pending. In addition to his brother Dennis, Perry is survived by brothers Frank, Gary, and Larry, and by sisters Theresa and Beth Ann. They all live in Northeast Ohio.

# # #

Andy Juniewicz

RNC Research Dept.: RNC Response To Senator Clinton's Comments On Iraq

“Not too long ago, Senator Clinton was speaking to the importance of winning in Iraq and providing our troops the resources they deserved. Now that polls show her losing ground, Candidate Clinton has decided to stand with instead of our men and women in uniform. Simply stated, the American people have no reason to trust Senator or Candidate Clinton on the issue of Iraq.”

-Danny Diaz, RNC Spokesperson


Bring 'Em Home

December 19, 2007
New York Daily News, Mouth Of The Potomac Blog
By Michael McAuliff on December 19, 2007 5:35 PM

Hillary Clinton just took what sounded like a bit of a step in explaining how quickly she’d bring troops home from Iraq.

“I think we can bring nearly everybody home certainly within a year if we keep at it and do it very steadily,” she told a questioner the Elkader, Iowa, opera house near the Wisconsin border.

It doesn’t sound like any huge change in her underlying position that the U.S. must leave some troops in Iraq for the long haul to provide force protection, training for Iraqis, help for the Kurds and to hunt Al Qaeda.

But “nearly everybody” doesn’t sound like it would leave all that many troops to do those things, and we’ve heard estimates that those missions could require tens of thousands of forces.

Adviser Howard Wolfson says the words are just a “very slight” strengthening of the rhetoric, and Clinton/s position remains unchanged.

- Michael McAuliff

Danny Diaz
Republican National Committee (RNC)

RNC Research Dept.: RNC Response To Obama NH Tour

“The only things Senator Obama and liberal Democrats are interested in reclaiming are tax dollars that never belonged to them to begin with and more power for bureaucrats in Washington that don’t deserve it. While Obama’s tour through New Hampshire has a catchy slogan, much like his record, it lacks credibility and seriousness.”

-Danny Diaz, RNC Spokesperson

RNC Research Dept.: RNC Response To Clinton Holiday Ad

“Americans don’t want to find socialized medicine, failure to fund our men and women in uniform, and massive tax increases under their tree this Christmas. The best holiday gift we can give hardworking families is a complete rejection of Senator Clinton’s failed, liberal policies.”

-Danny Diaz, RNC Spokesperson

CLINTON: New Ad: Hillary Has a Present for You

Complete with festive holiday wrapping, the Hillary for President campaign today launched a new ad entitled “Presents” in New Hampshire and Iowa today.

Watch the ad here:

Following is the script for the ad.

TV: 30

“Carol of the Bells” is playing while hands are cutting wrapping paper and placing cards on gifts. The cards are labeled “Universal Health Care,” “Energy Independence,” and “Bringing Our Troops Home”

Hillary Clinton:
Where did I put universal pre-K?

Hillary Clinton:
Ah, There it is.

I'm Hillary Clinton and I approved this message.

RICHARDSON: Richardson Statement on Death of Congressman Kucinich's Brother

Richardson Statement on Death of Congressman Kucinich's Brother
For Immediate Release
December 19, 2007
Contact: Tom Reynolds

SANTA FE, NM-- New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson today issued the following statement on the death of Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s brother Perry:

"I offer my deepest condolences to Congressman Kucinich and his family and friends. Barbara and I will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers."

Paid for by Richardson for President, Inc.

OBAMA: Obama Hosts Roundtable on Reclaiming the American Dream

Obama Hosts Roundtable on Reclaiming the American Dream

CHICAGO, IL — In Concord, NH today, Senator Barack Obama hosted a roundtable discussion with Granite Staters about the economic hardships too many American families face. As costs rise and working families fight to keep up, more and more are falling behind. Obama shared his plan to reclaim the American Dream for the middle class with 6 participants who would benefit from the plan.

“Americans everywhere are working harder for less and paying more for health care and college,” Senator Obama said. “For most folks, one income isn’t enough to raise a family and send your kids to college. Sometimes, two incomes aren’t enough. It’s harder to save. It’s harder to retire. You’re doing your part, you’re meeting your responsibilities, but it always seems like you’re treading water or falling behind. And whether we’re rich or poor, young or old, Democrat, or Republican, or Independent, the one thing we should all be able to agree on is that these stories and these hardships are a fundamental violation of the American Dream. This is not who we are. And this is not what America has to be."

Obama discussed his proposals to make college affordable, to reform our bankruptcy laws, to protect the balance between work and family, and to put a secure and dignified retirement within the reach of all Americans.

Obama continued, “This is what we must do to reclaim the American dream. We know it won’t be easy. We’ll hear from the can’t-do, won’t-do, won’t-even-try crowd in Washington; the special interests and their lobbyists; the conventional thinking that says this country is just too divided to make progress.

“Well I’m not running for President to conform to this conventional thinking – I’m running to challenge it. It’s the kind of change that I’ve been working for since I fought joblessness and poverty on the streets of Chicago two decades ago; the kind of change I fought for when I put $100million worth of tax relief in the pockets of the working poor and expanded health care to 150,000 children and parents in Illinois."

Barack Obama’s comprehensive plan to help working families reclaim the American Dream will:
Provide a middle class tax cut of $500 for 150 million working Americans – $1,000 per working family – and eliminate the income tax for 7 million seniors making less than $50,000 per year.
Address the challenge of balancing work and family by guaranteeing workers paid sick days, expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), supporting paid FMLA, and doubling funding for after-school programs.
Help Americans buy and keep their homes – including a tax credit to help more than 10 million American homeowners pay their mortgages, with an average of $500 in savings.
Protect American families by reforming bankruptcy laws, predatory credit card policies, and abusive payday lending practices.
Reduce health care costs by $2,500 for a typical family.
Strengthen retirement security by automatically enrolling workers in portable retirement accounts and providing additional incentives for Americans to save.
Put the cost of college in reach by providing a $4,000 refundable tax credit available at the time of enrollment, and create a Community College Partnership Program to strengthen this vital resource for American students.
Ease the financial hardship of rising home heating costs by releasing a portion of the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve to stabilize prices and funding and expanding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Obama’s plan to help working families reclaim the American dream can be viewed in full HERE.


December 19, 2007

EDWARDS: Edwards Campaign Announces Holiday Ad Campaign

December 19, 2007

Audrey Waters


New ad reminds America to remember the less fortunate this holiday season

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – As the holiday season enters full swing, today the John Edwards for President campaign announced a special holiday television ad, “Season.”

In the 30-second ad, which will begin airing on Sunday in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Edwards asks us to remember that one out of every four homeless people on our streets is a veteran and 37 million people in our country live in poverty. He challenges Americans to promise that never again will we forget those without a voice, because “in America, the chance to build a better life is a promise made to each of us, and the obligation to keep it rests with us all.”

The full ad can be viewed here:

Full Transcript of “Season:”

One out of every four homeless people on our streets is a veteran.

Thirty-seven million Americans live in poverty.

Who speaks for them? We do.

This is the season of miracles, of faith and love.

So let us promise together: you will never be forgotten again.

We see you, we hear you, and we will speak for you.

In America, the chance to build a better life is a promise made to each of us, and the obligation to keep it rests with us all.

I’m John Edwards and I approved this message.

Paid for by John Edwards for President.

THOMPSON: Fred Thompson Receives Endorsement of North Carolina Right to Life PAC

CONTACT: Jeff Sadosky
December 19, 2007

Fred Thompson Receives Endorsement of North Carolina Right to Life PAC

State Affiliate Joins National Right to Life, South Carolina Sister Organization in supporting Thompson

McLean, VA - Today Fred Thompson received the endorsement of the North Carolina Right to Life PAC.

"By endorsing Fred Thompson for President, North Carolina Right to Life PAC wants all North Carolinians to know Senator Thompson's long-standing pro-life record, his unwavering commitment to protecting unborn children from abortion, and our belief in his ability to win," stated Barbara Holt, PAC President. "As President, Fred Thompson will be a strong advocate for life at all stages."

North Carolina Right to Life is the state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee and the sister affiliate of the South Carolina Citizens for Life, both of which are endorsing Senator Thompson for President.

"I'm blessed and honored to have the endorsement of the North Carolina Right to Life PAC for President of the United States," said Senator Thompson. "Influential right to life organizations from coast to coast continue to vote to endorse my candidacy because they know I have stood with them yesterday, I stand with them today, and will stand with them tomorrow. They know I have the ability to win this election. They know I believe in the sanctity of life and as President I will do all that I can to do to protect life."

Fred Thompson is pro-life. He believes in the sanctity of human life and that every life is worthy of respect. He had a 100% pro-life voting record in the Senate and believes Roe v. Wade was a bad decision that ought to be overturned. He consistently opposed federal funding to promote or pay for abortion and supported the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Child Custody Protection Act, and President Reagan's Mexico City policy. While Fred Thompson supports adult stem cell research, he opposes embryonic stem cell research. He also opposes human cloning.


Paid for by Friends of Fred Thompson, Inc.

BIDEN: Biden Discusses Plan To Improve Student Performance

Mark Paustenbach/Olivia Alair:

“In The 21st Century, Education Has Become A Critical National Security Issue”

Fort Dodge, IA (December 19, 2007): Today at the Fort Dodge Public Library in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Sen. Joe Biden responded to new international test results showing that U.S. students lag behind their peers in other countries.

America's 15 year-olds recently ranked 25th in mathematics and 21st in science among the 30 member countries that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Just 70 percent of American high school students reach graduation day. The United States now ranks 17th in the world in high-school graduation rates and 14th in college graduation rates.

"I want to make something very clear," said Sen. Biden. "It is not our students who failed these tests - it is our policies that are failing our students."

Sen. Biden called for an overhaul of No Child Left Behind and comprehensive education reform including: universal preschool, more time spent on learning, putting a well-paid effective teacher in every classroom, expanding service opportunities for middle and high school students and providing a minimum of two years of higher education for every student.

"Education is more than just math, science, and reading. Our focus on multiple choice tests has narrowed the curriculum and the ability of teachers to innovate," said Sen. Biden. "And that shows - not just in the math and science test scores - but in the basic education our students are missing: American history and training in how our government works."

Sen. Biden noted that in the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress test on civics education, only half of 8th graders were able to link religious freedom to the Bill of Rights and only half of 12th graders were able to identify the President's role in foreign policy. Only 47 percent of high school seniors have mastered a minimum level of U.S. history. Only half of U.S. high school students knew that the sentence "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" is in the Declaration of Independence.

"Too many students are simply not getting a basic education in how democracy works," said Sen. Biden. "That's a crisis at a time when our civil liberties are under assault by an administration that has ignored basic protections such as habeas corpus, disregarded the balance of power and secretly authorized torture."

Sen. Biden announced that he would invest in grants to develop civics curriculums for use in schools. He called for providing service opportunities through programs such as Americorps for middle and high school students and rewarding national service with help for college.

"My mother has an expression: 'children tend to become that which you expect of them. I want a country where we expect much from America's children," said Sen. Biden. "As President, I assure you: education will always be my top domestic priority because I believe in the next generation. I believe that they will solve climate change, make us energy independent, and bring peace to the Middle East. But we need to give them the foundation to do it."

Several members of the Delaware State Educators Association, which recently endorsed Sen. Biden for president, were in attendance at today’s event.

Mike Hoffman, DSEA Treasurer said, “I support Sen. Biden because he’s always come to the teachers to get their input. I appreciate that he recognizes that No Child Left Behind needs to be scrapped and that unfunded mandates are wrong. Teachers want to be held accountable but we need to have a fair measure of our students. When Joe Biden talks about making real education reform, I know he means what he says.”

Mary Jo Faust, NEA Director for the Delaware State Education Association and a 2nd grade teacher in the Capital School District, added, “I support Joe Biden because he understands my needs as a teacher. He knows that No Child Left Behind is too prescriptive, that kids need to be in school earlier and longer, and that I teach best when I have small class sizes. And he also understands that we need a professional level starting salary to retain and attract teachers in the classroom.”

Sen. Biden's education plan and College ACCESS proposals are attached.


THOMPSON: Yet Another Romney Flip-flop: Campaign Finance Reform

CONTACT: Press Office
December 19, 2007

Yet Another Romney Flip-flop: Campaign Finance Reform

According to an article in today's Weekly Standard, advisers to Mitt Romney have been attacking Fred Thompson on campaign finance reform. This is ironic given Mitt Romney's past support for publically financed elections, campaign spending limits, and abolishing political action committees.

2002: Romney Went Further Than McCain-Feingold And Supported Public Financing Of Campaigns By Taxing Political Contributions. "...he suggested an alternative funding method. Instead of providing campaign funds from state coffers, his plan would tap 10 percent of the fundraising of candidates who choose to raise money privately." (Richard Nangle, "Clean Election advocates keep pushing; Common Cause to ask Romney's assistance," Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts), 11/14/02)

1994: Romney Wanted To Implement A $6 Million Campaign Spending Limit And Abolish PACs. "Romney also said he advocates spending limits on congressional elections, even suggesting that the current race against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy should have a $6 million spending cap...As for campaign finance reform, Romney called for abolishing political action committees and tightening regulations of the process by which limits on campaign contributions to individuals can be legally bypassed." (Frank Phillips, "Romney, Vowing To Live It, Touts Congress Reform Plan," Boston Globe, 7/7/94)

***Video from 1994:
***Hypocritically, Romney has already contributed $17.5 million to his presidential campaign.

Romney's History Of Support For Campaign Finance Reform

The campaign finance provisions Romney supported in 1994 and 2002 were similar to what was initially included in the federal legislation.
Ø "A Boston Globe article from July 1994 reported that Romney publicly advocated placing spending limits on congressional campaigns and abolishing political action committees (PACs). McCain and his allies on campaign finance included similar proposals in the first campaign-finance reform package they introduced in Congress in 1995, said Meredith McGehee, policy director of the Campaign Legal Center, who was at the center of the fight to pass the changes. McCain and his allies later dropped the spending limit s and PAC ban because they proved to be too controversial, she said." (Alexander Bolton, "Romney's About-Face On Campaign Funding," The Hill, 2/8/07)

In fact, Romney's proposals were even more stringent than what was included in McCain's legislation.
Ø "Back then [since his days as a Senate and gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts], Romney advocated more stringent measures than McCain-Feingold ultimately included, such as a spending limit for federal elections and a tax on political contributions." (Eric Moskowitz, "Romney, McCain Spar On Campaign Finance," Concord Monitor, 4/27/07)

When running for the Senate in 1994 and for Governor in 2002, Romney supported campaign finance restrictions including a 10-percent tax on campaign contributions and the abolition of PACs.
Ø "Massachusetts Romney called for spending limits on candidates and a 10 percent tax on campaign contributions for state elections to finance publicly funded campaigns. Massachusetts Romney wanted to abolish political action committees because they wield too much power, and he bemoaned the influence of money in politics." (Editorial, "Campaign Finance Flip," Washington Post, 5/26/07).

During his 1994 campaign, he bemoaned "the influence of money," spoke out against increasingly larger contribution limits, and called for campaign spending limits.
Ø "These kinds of associations between money and politics in my view are wrong. And for that reason, I would like to have campaign spending limits...I also would abolish PACS...I don't like the influence of money, whether it's business, labor or any other group, I do not like that kind of influence. Lobbyists I want to register, I want to know who they are, I want to ensure that gifts are limited...I think that contributions are fine, I just don't want them to be larger and larger...The kinds of demand s that are being placed on the economics of running a campaign suggest an increasing power on the part of money, and I think it's wrong and we've got to change it." (Mitt Romney for Senate Press Conference Video 1994,, accessed 7/19/07)

Specifically, he wanted a $6 million spending cap in his race against Kennedy.
Ø "Romney also said he advocates spending limits on congressional elections, even suggesting that the current race against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy should have a $6 million spending cap...As for campaign finance reform, Romney called for abolishing political action committees and tightening regulations of the process by which limits on campaign contributions to individuals can be legally bypassed." (Frank Phillips, "Romney, Vowing To Live It, Touts Congress Reform Plan," The Boston Globe, 7/7/94)

Ø Watch:

In 2002, he was a leading proponent of "clean election" law, which many consider to be a huge violation of free speech as it allows for public funding of candidates for state office who meet strict fundraising requirements.
Ø "Hoping to broker a deal that would stave off a legislative attempt to repeal the Clean Elections law, advocates of public campaign financing are pushing for a meeting with Governor-elect Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney campaigned in favor of Clean Elections, which provides public money to candidates for state office who meet strict fund-raising requirements." (Richard Nangle, "Clean Election advocates keep pushing; Common Cause to ask Romney's assistance," Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts), 11/14/02)

Also in 2002, he called for a 10 percent tax on campaign contributions for state elections to finance publicly funded campaigns.
Ø "...he suggested an alternative funding method. Instead of providing campaign funds from state coffers, his plan would tap 10 percent of the fundraising of candidates who choose to raise money privately." (Richard Nangle, "Clean Election advocates keep pushing; Common Cause to ask Romney's assistance," Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts), 11/14/02)

When McCain Campaigned For Romney In 2002, Romney Praised McCain For Standing For "Reform And Change" Saying "Those Are My Values."
Ø "Romney also praised McCain for his general reform campaign when the Arizona senator came to Massachusetts to stump with Romney just before Romney's 2002 election victory in the governor's race. 'He has always stood for reform and change. And he's always fought the good battle, no matter what the odds,' Romney said at the time. 'Those are my values.'" (Eric Moskowitz, "Romney, McCain Spar On Campaign Finance," Concord Monitor, 4/27/07)

Paid for by Friends of Fred Thompson, Inc.

THOMPSON: Fred Thompson Announces Statewide Leadership Team In Iowa

CONTACT: Jeff Sadosky
December 19, 2007

Fred Thompson Announces Statewide Leadership Team In Iowa

Congressman Steve King to Chair Strong Iowa Organization

McLean, VA - Today the Fred Thompson campaign announced its Iowa State Chair and members of its Statewide Legislative Leadership Team. The team is made up of leading conservative legislators from around the state. U.S. Congressman Steve King, representing Iowa's 5th District, will serve as State Chairman of Thompson's Iowa campaign. State Representative Kraig Paulsen and State Representative Sandy Greiner will serve as State Co-Chairs.

"I compared each of the Republican candidates, and after careful consideration, I support Fred Thompson as America's next President," said Congressman King. "Fred Thompson has the sound judgment to appoint our nation's next Supreme Court justices, who will make important rulings that affect the destiny of America. I trust Fred to rebuild our national sovereignty by securing the border and restoring the central pillar of American exceptionalism - the rule of law."

Congressman King served in the Iowa State Senate for six years where he assumed roles as Chairman of the State Government Committee and Vice Chairman of the Oversight Budget Subcommittee. Elected to Congress in 2002 to represent Iowa's fifth district, Congressman King currently serves on the House Agriculture Committee, House Small Business Committee and House Judiciary Committee, where he sits on the Constitution Subcommittee and is the top Republican on the Immigration Subcommittee.

State Representative Kraig Paulsen is currently in his third term in the Iowa House of Representatives and is the House Republican Whip. Since being elected in 2002, Representative Paulsen has championed Association Health Care Plans for small businesses in Iowa and has fought for tax relief. He is a current member of the Commerce, Judiciary and Legislative Council Committees. Representative Paulsen is a former Air Force Officer and also an attorney.

"I've met all of the Republican contenders and I'm most excited about Fred Thompson," said Representative Paulsen. "I believe he can win the nomination. He's no-nonsense and would do an outstanding job leading this nation."

First elected to the Iowa Legislature in 1992, Representative Sandy Greiner has served on a variety of committees the past fifteen years, most recently on the State Government Committee, the Environmental Protection committee, and the Agriculture Committee. Last year she was named Legislator of the Year by the Iowa Agribusiness Association.

"I've studied Fred's positions carefully, and I believe he is well qualified to lead our country," said Representative Greiner. "I'm supporting Fred Thompson because he did not establish his conservative credentials recently. He's always been conservative and has a record to prove it."

"We are honored to have the support of these leading conservatives in Iowa," said Robert Haus, Executive Director of Fred Thompson's Iowa campaign. "These are leaders in our party, leaders in the conservative movement, and leaders who have proven track records, just like Senator Thompson."

Fred Thompson's Iowa Statewide Legislative Leadership team includes:

U.S. Congressman Steve King, State Chair
State Representative Kraig Paulsen, Co-Chair
State Representative Sandy Greiner, Co-Chair
State Representative Clel Baudler
Former State Senator Bob Brunkhorst
State Representative Royd Chambers
State Representative Jeff Kaufmann
State Representative Jamie Van Fossen


Paid for by Friends of Fred Thompson, Inc.

EDWARDS: On Day Two Of Graniteroots Tour, Edwards Outlines Middle Class Rising Agenda

December 19, 2007

Audrey Waters


Joined by Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, Edwards discusses his bold vision to help all hard-working families achieve the American Dream

Manchester, New Hampshire – On the second day of his Graniteroots trip with special guests Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, Senator John Edwards outlined his bold vision to lift up middle-class families and make sure that all Americans have a fair shot at the American Dream. Today, Raitt and Browne performed at town hall meetings in Portsmouth and Manchester before Edwards took the stage to discuss his Middle Class Rising agenda. Edwards’ plan will help build One America where the middle class prospers and all hard-working Americans can find good jobs, save for the future, and have guaranteed health care and retirement security.

“I take it very personally when I see powerful, well-financed interests taking over this democracy, and taking it away from regular Americans,” Edwards said. “We’ve got to stand right and reclaim our democracy to make absolutely certain that America rises again.

“Every time that we stand up for 135,000 people in New Hampshire who have no health care coverage, America rises. Every time we speak up for the 85,000 Granite Staters living in poverty, America rises. When we make sure that a high school graduate in rural New Hampshire knows that college is in the cards for them, and that they'll be able to find a good job in their community, America rises.

“And I’ll tell you this,” Edwards continued. “You can feel the New Hampshire voters rising up right now and giving voice to all those in this country who deserve a voice – for the poor, for the disenfranchised, for the working middle class in America. That’s what this election is about.”

To help the middle class rise again, Edwards' Middle Class Rising agenda will:

Create good jobs: Edwards will invest in renewable sources of energy to create new industries and at least 1 million new, good-paying jobs. He will pursue a trade policy that ends tax loopholes for companies that send American jobs overseas, and end the NAFTA trade model. Edwards will also raise the minimum wage, reform our tax code, build career ladders, and strengthen organized labor.

Give middle-class families the tools to build a secure financial future: Edwards will create Universal Retirement Accounts that people can take with them from job to job, and to respond to the mortgage crisis, he will pass a tough new national law to prevent predatory lending abuses. Edwards will also reign in credit card and other abusive lending practices by creating a new consumer watchdog agency.

Remove the burdens that are weighing families down: Edwards will help families afford rising home heating costs, make sure that college is affordable for everyone, so that every child can have a fair shot at the American Dream, help people balance their work and home lives by making sure that workplace policies are keeping up with changes in the economy, through expanding early education programs, providing paid leave, including sick leave, to all workers, and expanding job protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Create universal health care in America: Edwards' top domestic priority will be making sure that every man, woman and child in America is covered with high-quality care.

For more information please see Edwards’ Middle Class Rising agenda included below.


Middle Class Rising: A Plan to Strengthen America’s Middle Class

The social compact with the middle class is under siege because big corporations and special interests have taken over Washington. That compact says that if you work hard and do what’s right, you’ll get some security and the chance to build a better life for yourself and your family. But today, middle class families are not rising, and the gap between the haves and everyone else has grown wider than at any time since the great Depression.

The American middle class is struggling. Wages are stagnant even though the economy is growing, while the cost of middle-class essentials like health care and child care continues to grow. The basic American bargain is breaking down.

· Our economy is growing only at the top: Forty percent of economic growth over the past 20 years went to the top 1 percent of households. Income inequality is at its highest since the Great Depression. [EPI, 2006; CBPP, 2007]

· Families are working longer hours, but finding it harder to get by: Families work 10 more hours a week than they did 20 years ago. But middle-class incomes have stagnated for the past seven years. [DOL, 2007]

· Higher costs for the basics: Costs for middle-class essentials – including housing, health care, college, child care and transportation – have all outpaced wage growth. A child born in 2003 will cost middle-class families 15 percent more to raise than a child born in 1960, after adjusting for inflation. [Draut, 2005; USDA, 2003]

· Powerful corporate interests have taken control of our government: The number of Washington lobbyists has tripled to 36,000 since 1996, more than 60 for every member of Congress. Their impact can be seen across our society: a broken health care system, reliance on old sources of energy, the neglect of poverty, unfair terms of credit, and subsidies for corporate agribusiness. [Senate Office of Public Records, 2006]

· Losing hope for the American dream: More Americans are worried that the next generation will face fewer economic opportunities and less security and mobility. Only 30 percent of Americans think life will be better for the next generation. [Pew, 2006]

Today, John Edwards outlined his Middle Class Rising plan to restore the American dream and meet the moral test passed by 20 generations before us: to leave a better future to our children than we inherited. We must strengthen America’s middle class to make sure that all Americans have a fair shot at the American Dream.

Create Good Jobs that Pay Enough to Support a Family

· Invest in the Industries of the Future: Renewable sources of energy – including ethanol, biodiesel, wind and solar – can create new industries and at least 1 million new jobs. Edwards will establish the New Energy Economy Fund to jumpstart renewable energies with start-up capital and train over 150,000 workers for Green Collar jobs. He will also invest in other sources of innovation such as life sciences, technology and private-sector research.

· Enact Smarter Trade Policies: Iowa has seen the results of unfair trade – losing more than 17,000 jobs in the last six years due to growing trading deficits with China. Trade deals need to make sense for American workers, not just corporations. Edwards will reject NAFTA-style trade deals and make sure any new trade agreements include strong labor and environmental standards and will vigorously enforce American workers' rights in existing agreements. He will also expand trade adjustment assistance to do much more for the workers and communities that are hurt by global competition. [EPI, 2007]

· Eliminate Tax Incentives to Move Offshore: The U.S. tax code encourages multinational corporations to invest overseas by allowing them to indefinitely defer taxation on their foreign profits. In practice, this means that multinational companies pay little or no tax on their foreign profits. Edwards will eliminate the benefit of deferral in low-tax countries, ensuring that American companies’ profits are taxed when earned at either the U.S. rate or a comparable foreign rate, to eliminate any incentive to move overseas.

· Make Work Pay by Raising the Minimum Wage: Under Gov. Culver, Iowa has been a leader in raising the minimum wage. But even at its 2008 level of $7.25, the earnings of a single parent with two children will still be $2,000 below the federal poverty line. Edwards will set a national goal of a minimum wage that equals half the average wage. He will raise the minimum wage by 75 cents a year until it reaches $9.50 in 2012 and then set it to rise automatically with average wages, ensuring that all workers share in America’s growth. [HHS, 2007]

· Reform the Tax Code to Reward Work, Not Wealth: As a result of President Bush’s regressive tax policies, the share of the federal tax burden borne by taxpayers in the middle and fourth quintiles is increasing while the share of taxes paid by the top 1 percent fell. Edwards will overhaul the tax code with new tax breaks to strengthen the middle-class pillars of saving, work, and family. He will also ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes by raising the tax rate on capital gains to 28 percent for the most fortunate taxpayers and repealing the Bush income tax cuts for individuals making more than $200,000 a year. [Tax Policy Center, 2006]

· Build Career Ladders: Two of the fields with the largest predicted job growth – health care and education –have both low-end and high-end positions and offer the potential for mobility. Edwards will invest in career ladders in these and other fields, helping low-wage workers to train on the job, gain new skills, and move into better jobs. For example, health care aides could become certified nurse assistants and registered nurses.

· Strengthen Workers’ Right to Organize: Union families earn up to 30 percent more than non-union families, but union membership has fallen from 30 percent of private-sector workers in 1973 to just 8 percent today. The right to choose a union is poorly enforced, full of loopholes, and routinely violated by employers. Edwards will enact the Employee Free Choice Act, vigorously enforce labor laws, and ban the use of permanent replacements for striking workers. [BLS, 2007; Census Bureau, 2007]

Give Americans the Tools to Build a Secure Retirement

· Create Universal Retirement Accounts that Move from Job to Job: Only 27 percent of households within 20 years of retirement have adequate retirement savings. Americans who retire with a pension have nearly twice the annual income of those who depend only on Social Security and personal savings, but too few middle-class families are able to start saving. Edwards will create a new universal retirement account available to all workers without another pension. Workers will be able to build up these savings accounts over the course of their careers, regardless of how many times they change jobs. Edwards will match worker contributions up to dollar-for-dollar on the first $500 with a new Get Ahead tax credit, far more valuable than the 10 percent or 15 percent tax deduction that many workers get today on retirement savings. [EPI, 2006; PRC, 2007; Gale, Gruber and Orszag, 2006]

· End the Housing Crisis: Edwards has proposed a comprehensive plan to lead us out of the foreclosure crisis and help families keep their homes, without bailing out irresponsible investors and speculators. He will go further than the Bush-Paulson plan to give every family an opportunity to renegotiate the terms of their mortgage, with counseling and small amounts of aid from a new Home Rescue Fund. He will also let families adjust the terms of their mortgages in bankruptcy, like investors can on their second homes and investment properties. Edwards will prevent future crises by passing a strong national law against predatory lending and creating a new federal regulator for financial services products.

· Rein in Credit Card and Other Abusive Lending: Half of Americans say they live paycheck to paycheck – meaning millions of families rely on short-term credit just to pay the bills. Middle-class families are facing a radically transformed credit environment because interest rates were deregulated in 1978, which has led to looser lending standards and higher rates and fees. Edwards will require minimum protections on credit cards, such as restoring a 10-day grace before late fees and applying interest rate increases to future balances only. He will also create a new consumer watchdog agency – the Family Savings and Credit Commission – whose sole purpose will be to crack down on these kinds of predatory practices. [[MetLife, 2003; Draut, 2006]

Remove the Burdens that Are Weighing Families Down

· Make College More Affordable: The three-quarters of Iowa’s graduating college students who have debt owe $23,700, on average -- 25 percent more debt than the national average. Roughly one in five young adults reports that student debt caused them to delay starting a family and forced them to change careers. Edwards will create a national College for Everyone initiative to pay public-college tuition, fees and books for students who work part-time, take a college-prep curriculum in high school, and stay out of trouble. [TICAS, 2007; Nellie Mae, 2003]

· Offer Universal Preschool and Expand Affordable Child Care: More than two-thirds of mothers are working, most of them full time, but our workplace practices and public policies have not kept up with this new reality. Child care costs more than a rent for a family with two children. Edwards will create a Great Promise early childhood education program for every four-year-old. For younger children, he will more than double the child care tax credit and create a national Smart Start initiative to work with local nonprofits to make child care higher quality, more available, and more affordable. [BLS, 2005; NACCRRA, 2006]

· Create Paid Family and Medical Leave: Edwards will create a $2 billion National Family Trust to offer paid family and medical leave benefits to all workers by 2014, and he will make the federal government a model employer with a generous paid leave benefit. He will also expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover 13 million more workers by reducing the threshold for exemption for the law from 50 workers to 25 workers and help long-term part-time workers. In addition, Edwards will require businesses to offer their workers seven paid sick days a year, with pro-rated leave for part-timers.

· Help Families with Rising Home Heating Costs: John Edwards has championed the need to take on big oil and gas companies to halt global warming and build a new energy economy based on efficiency and renewable energy. Edwards has called on Congress to release some of the nation’s home heating and oil reserves to bring down prices and finally fully fund the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which could help more than 3 million more families. He has also proposed more than doubling assistance for weatherization programs and called on neighbors to help weatherize the homes of vulnerable seniors this winter. Finally, he has proposed helping states and non-profits offer low- or no-interest emergency loans so that squeezed families do not fall prey to high-cost lenders.

Guarantee True Universal Health Care

· Guarantee True Universal Health Care: Forty-seven million Americans live without health insurance. Edwards will take on the big insurance and drug companies and guarantee true universal health care for every man, woman and child in America. Employers will have to help cover their employees, the government will make insurance affordable with new reforms and subsidies, and all Americans will have insurance. His plan offers every American the option of a public plan that could evolve to a single payer system. [Census Bureau, 2007]

· Deliver Better Care at Lower Cost: Health care costs have consistently grown faster than wages for almost 50 years. Over the past five years alone, families have seen premiums grow by 90 percent while benefits have been cut. Edwards will take on the insurance and drug companies to cut needless waste in the health care system. He will also take much needed common-sense steps such as emphasizing preventive and primary care, requiring electronic medical records, and identifying and publicizing the most cost-effective treatments. Together these steps will save the average family $2,000 to 2,500 a year. [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2006]

Paid for by John Edwards for President.

HUCKABEE: Huck's views on foreign policy are No Laughing Matter

Good morning, folks-

Below you will find more information about Mike Huckabee’s inexperience on foreign policy with regard to his recent attack on President Bush’s policies:

“Mike Huckabee’s inexperience and lack of strength in foreign policy is no laughing matter. America faces big challenges at home and abroad, yet Mike Huckabee’s message to Republican voters sounds exactly like talking points from Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. His lack of depth on such important issues is very troubling.”

-Kevin Madden, Romney for President campaign spokesman


No Laughing Matter: A serious look at Gov. Mike Huckabee's record and policy beyond the one-liners.

· Gov. Mike Huckabee: "And the ultimate thing is, I may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night." (WABC Radio's "Imus In The Morning," 12/4/07)

· National Review: "The Holiday Inn Express Candidate." "In sum, conservatives should have worries about the depth and soundness of Mike Huckabee's foreign-policy views. And staying at a Holiday Inn Express is not going to be enough to allay them." (Editorial, "The Holiday Inn Express Candidate, National Review, 12/10/07)

Former White House Adviser Pete Wehner
MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
December 19, 2007

To watch, please see:

Former White House Adviser Pete Wehner Discusses Huckabee's Attacks On Bush Foreign Policy:

MSNBC's JOE SCARBOROUGH: "Welcome back. We got Jim Cramer to stay because he's mad. He's mad for life brother and he's number one with a bullet. Let's bring in right now Pete Wehner. He's former deputy assistant to the President, senior fellow right now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Pete, thanks so much for being with us."

PETE WEHNER: "Nice to be with you. Thanks for inviting me, Joe."

SCARBOROUGH: "You have written and we're a little shocked and stunned and deeply saddened because the guy that loves Jesus, generally loves Jesus, Mike Huckabee was on our show earlier. We're friends with Mike. He likes Hendrix. I mean, he's got all the bases covered. But you have gone after him in a National Review article and you say that his Foreign Affairs article where he attacked President Bush for being arrogant and having a bunker mentality was misguided, and you said it was stunningly silly and deeply revealing. In what way?"

WEHNER: "Well, it was revealing because the criticisms that he made were with the kind that Jimmy Carter and Al Gore would make, not that usually conservative Republicans would make. He said that the President was at war with the world, which is not true. He spoke about the 'arrogant bunker mentality.' He said that the President really should deal with Iran like you deal with miscommunications between parents and friends. And that's actually not how you deal with Iran. It's not that he criticized the President. I've criticized our policy on Iraq. But the grounds of the criticism, I thought were wrong and, as I said, silly and I think for a Republican running in a Republican primary you don't want to sound like Jimmy Carter or Al Gore or the Daily Kos."

SCARBOROUGH: "Do you think, though, that a lot of Republicans are concerned with let's say what Paul Bremer did with the de-Baath-ification plan or what Donald Rumsfeld did by not giving the generals all the troops they wanted. I mean, Republicans, I know you've heard from other Republicans. There are similar concerns about missteps after we got into Baghdad."

WEHNER: "I acknowledge those and I accept them, actually. I've got some of the same complaints. Clearly the post-war situation wasn't handled well. We didn't have enough troops. We didn't have the right counter insurgency strategy. We have it now with David Petraeus. That wasn't the grounds of my criticism for the Foreign Affairs article. As I said, it was the nature of his criticisms as they related to this 'arrogant bunker mentality' that we really weren't, that we were having a problem in communications with dictators in the world. Well, sometimes it's actually the nature of the regimes that cause the problems. Its not that you're not being nice enough to them. He was making the argument that if you dominate the world you're going to illicit opposition. We're not dominating the world. We're actually trying to liberate some countries. And sometimes that elicits opposition."

CNBC's JIM CRAMER: "Peter, this is Jim Cramer, it seems like that Huckabee is also implying that we are a stingy nation that doesn't do a lot around the world. Isn't it true that we're the most, by far, the most generous nation in the world towards both friend and foe?"

WEHNER: "Yeah. That was another criticism that bothered me. Implicit in his argument is that it wasn't a generous nation. If we were generous we'd be well-loved. The reality is that we are generous. We give a huge amount in foreign aid. The President's global AIDS initiative which increased the amount of money to combat global AIDS by five times over the Clinton Administration is one of the great, generous, humane foreign policy achievements ever. And the reality is that we liberated more than 50 million people from two of the most despotic and cruel regimes in modern history and that was an act of generosity. It's come at a lot of cost to us in terms of human lives and in terms of money. It's cost more in lives and money than it should have. But the reality is that the impulse was generous and I think when all is said and done we'll look back on in history as having done the right thing and the generous thing."

MSNBC's MIKA BRZEZINSKI: "Peter, pertaining to the Foreign Affairs article written by Governor Huckabee and the words that he used, isn't it also true that we're dealing with an administration that led us into war on faulty intelligence and an administration that brought up the possibility of World War III which appears to be on intelligence that is still sort of hard to decipher at this point. I mean, isn't there something to be said for the 'arrogant bunker mentality' and why can't Republican candidates say that? Is there some rule against it?"

WEHNER: "No, there's no rule against it. He said it. But there's no rule against criticizing him for saying it. In terms of the faulty intelligence, I don't dispute that. Of course we went in with faulty intelligence and it was a huge, huge failure. The rest of the world had faulty intelligence. Countries that even opposed our actions in Iraq had faulty intelligence. They believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. I would say, that it would be nice if, once in a while, people pointed out that there was a burden of proof on Saddam Hussein to meet the obligations that he had agreed to. He didn't. He intentionally kept the inspectors out, and based on his history we drew conclusions. They were the wrong ones. Again, I don't dispute the idea that the Bush Administration can be criticized or even if it should be criticized. In eight years, you're going to make mistakes. This administration has made some; we've made some big ones. My objection was the nature of the criticisms. I just think Governor Huckabee who is a very smooth and talented fellow – you saw that in your interview with him. He's the best debater in the field. He's a terrific speaker. But, I think on foreign policy, his views are wrong, and he's pretty inexperienced and it's showing."

SCARBOROUGH: "Alright, Pete, thank you so much for renewing this. Pete Wehner. He's with The Ethics and Public Policy Center. You can read Pete's critique on the National Review Online and you can also see Governor Huckabee's article in Foreign Affairs."

Kevin A. Madden
National Press Secretary
Romney for President

DNC RESEARCH DEPT.: Convicted Felons For Giuliani!

The Daily Flipper
Read what the Republicans Wish You Wouldn’t …
December 19, 2007

TOP HEADLINE: Convicted Felons For Giuliani! Another Shady Character Emerges From Mayor’s Past. . . And He’s Bringing Ammo

Ray was one of Kerik's closest friends and the best man at his 1998 wedding. As Kerik was rising to become New York's police commissioner, Ray was in touch with him regularly -- lending him money, discussing possible business opportunities, and using Ray's contacts in Russia to arrange a meeting for Giuliani with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Much has changed since then. Giuliani is now a leading Republican presidential candidate. Kerik has pleaded guilty to state ethics charges and is under federal indictment. And Ray, a convicted felon now in prison on a parole violation, has turned on his former friend. He has provided to state and federal authorities half a dozen boxes of e-mails, memos, faxes, financial statements, photographs and other materials about Kerik's alleged wrongdoing.

That evidence, reviewed by The Washington Post, shows that Kerik brought Ray into contact with Giuliani on a handful of occasions documented in photos and that he invoked Giuliani's name in connection with a New Jersey construction company with alleged mob ties that is now at the heart of the criminal cases.

Giuliani’s Sordid Past Keeping Him From Closing the Deal in NH

Giuliani's policy positions shouldn't be as troublesome for him in New Hampshire, which is more secular and socially moderate than Iowa and South Carolina. But it's personal issues, not policies, that are dragginghim down. When pollsters asked New Hampshire Republicans in the December survey which candidate was the most believable or the "most likely to keep the same positions on important issues," Giuliani trailed both Romney and McCain. On the question of which candidaterespondents saw as "least likely to act like a typical politician," Giuliani came in last, at just 9 percent (Romney and McCain were tied at 18 percent). Voters mayagree with what Giuliani has to say, but they just don't know if they can trust what he's saying.

That makes it difficult not only for Giuliani to sell himself, but also to criticize other candidates. Consequently, it was McCain, not Giuliani, who was the first to send direct mail to New Hampshire voters attacking Romney as a flip-flopper.

Conveniently Suppressed? Romney ‘Doesn’t Recall’ Attending Planned Parenthood Fundraiser

Mitt Romney, who has taken hits from his Republican presidential rivals for his change of heart on abortion, waved off a photo, sent yesterday to several news organizations, that shows him at a fund-raiser for Planned Parenthood.

Nicki Nichols Gamble, a former president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, said the photo shows Mitt and Ann Romney at a private home in Cohasset in June 1994. At the time, Romney was hoping to unseat US Senator Edward M. Kennedy and was eager to show his support for abortion rights, said Gamble, who is pictured in the photo with her back to the camera.

Romney dismissed any significance of the photo.

"I attend a lot of events when I run for office. I don't recall the specific event," Romney said while campaigning in South Carolina, according to the Associated Press. "I think I've made it very clear. I was prochoice, or effectively prochoice, when I ran in 1994. As governor I'm prolife and I have a record of being prolife and I'm firmly prolife today."

Tax Evaders For Mitt!! Romney Helped Clients Avoid Paying Taxes in US

While in private business, Mitt Romney used shell companies in two offshore tax havens to help eligible investors avoid paying US taxes, federal and state records show.

Romney gained no personal tax benefit from the legal operations in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But aides of the Republican presidential hopeful and former colleagues acknowledged that the tax-friendly jurisdictions helped attract billions of additional investment dollars to Romney's former company, Bain Capital, and thus boosted profits for Romney and his partners.

In the Cayman Islands, Romney was listed as a general partner and personally invested in BCIP Associates III Cayman, a private equity fund that is registered at a post office box on Grand Cayman Island and that indirectly buys equity in US companies. The arrangement shields foreign investors from US taxes they would pay for investing directly in US companies.

Huckabee Hits Romney On Non-Pardon Of Iraq Vet

Mitt Romney's new TV commercial questions the judgment of Mike Huckabee, his fellow Republican presidential contender, noting the rival issued 1,033 pardons and commutations as governor of Arkansas while Romney issued none while leading Massachusetts.

Left out of the spot is perhaps Romney's most noteworthy pardon denial: his rejection of the request of an Iraq war veteran who was trying to become a police officer after his National Guard service.

Anthony Circosta's offense? Shooting a friend in the arm with a BB gun as a 13-year-old. The impact didn't break the skin.. . .
Huckabee, appearing yesterday in Houston, was questioned about the ad. He said he exercised discretion and acted responsibly in reviewing the requests.

The former governor added: "People need to understand the real record here. Did Mitt Romney act in the best interest of Anthony Circosta or in the best interest of Mitt Romney? If you're gonna be elected to the job you need to be elected to do the job that's best for the citizens, not for your own political future."

Romney Aggressively Courted Iowans While Governor of Massachusetts; Used PAC Contributions to Aid Campaign

Romney was not always the dominant force in Iowa that he became. In mid 2005, polls indicated that Romney's support was in the single digits, within the margin of error of zero. He was virtually unknown.

So he started building relationships on the ground here early, and it paid off. In a series of interviews with 37 of Iowa's 99 Republican county chairs conducted by Huffington Post's OffTheBus project as part of a collaboration with Iowa Independent, it was revealed that Romney made quite an impression on key GOP activists across the state before some other candidates were even paying attention.

"The Romney campaign did an event in Fall 2005," said Mitch Hambleton, chair of the Republican Party in Dallas County, which contains many of Des Moines's heavily Republican suburbs. Romney was only halfway through his second term as Governor of Massachusetts when he gave the keynote speech at the Dallas County GOP's annual steak fry fundraiser. "He was just getting ... established in the state. I had the opportunity to meet him and share views," said Hambleton.

Romney did not announce his candidacy until February 2007 -- nearly a year and a half after the steak fry -- but that did not stop him from building the beginnings of his Iowa organization. "We saw Romney a whole lot. He was in Iowa quite a bit from 2005 to present day," said Hambleton.

Steve Schmitt, chair of the Blackhawk County GOP, said Romney's campaign first began courting him in the spring of 2006, about a year before he declared his candidacy. "If I remember correctly, the first conversation that I had [with a presidential campaign] was with the Romney campaign," he said. "[Romney] actually came and spoke to our county convention, which would have been in February, March of 06."

But Romney's strategy did not rely entirely on personal visits. He also made strategic donations to local Republicans across the state in the same timeframe, and he developed a bit of a reputation for it. One county chair, Kelly O'Brien from O'Brien County, said the Massachusetts Governor sent checks to everyone he could reach.

Ann Trimble-Ray, who chairs the GOP in Sac County, said "Gov. Mitt Romney's Commonwealth PAC was the first [presidential candidate's] organization to contact our county -- with a $250 donation in 2006. The contact was via mail and they had no requirements for the donation they sent to build the party."

Where in the World Is Rudy Giuliani?

The national frontrunner, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, is not here in Iowa this week. Giuliani's not competing to win in first-in-the-nation caucus state Iowa and first-in-the-nation primary state New Hampshire, instead focusing on big delegate-rich states that hold their primaries and caucuses later in the nomination process.

As Giuliani's pursued this strategy he's dropped to third or fourth place in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Perhaps of greater concern for Giuliani is his steady drop in the polls nationally, from 53% in February to 26% today.

His greatest decline has been among men, conservatives and those following the race very closely - voters who might be award of some of his baggage. A danger for the former Mayor his absence from a continued presence in these early states means that the media and his opponents are the ones deciding what voters are hearing about him.

Republican strategists and ABC News contributor Matthew Dowd thinks Giuliani's strategy carries some risk. "His destiny will begin to be out of his control when the voting starts in Iowa as people go to the polls and a candidate wins," Dowd said. "He won't be able to dominate the news coverage."

Stepping It Up. . . Giuliani To Face More Criticism From NY Firefighters

A group of New York firefighters who lost sons in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks is organizing a political committee to take on former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in Republican primary states.

A leader of the 9/11 Firefighters and Families group met Tuesday with union leaders and political consultants, readying plans to set up a tax-exempt committee that would fund appearances and a media drive against Giuliani.

Jim Riches, a New York deputy fire chief whose firefighter son was killed during the attack, said the group aimed to raise doubts about the central premise of Giuliani's presidential campaign -- his leadership role on Sept. 11. "If we have to follow him around all 2008 we'll do it," Riches said.,0,2935502.story?coll=la-politics-campaign

Huckabee, Making Bill O’Reilly Proud

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Tuesday defended his Christmas ad amid suggestions that the ordained Baptist minister had gone too far mixing religion and politics.

Huckabee is courting evangelical voters and other religious conservatives in his bid to win the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3. In Texas for a fundraiser, he said the ad was a harmless holiday greeting even though it excludes other religions.

"If we are so politically correct in this country that a person can't say enough of the nonsense with the political attack ads could we pause for a few days and say Merry Christmas to each other then we're really, really in trouble as a country," Huckabee said.;_ylt=AnraLAjEzavNbuMPiKCc4x1p24cA

Apparently We Missed His Stint As Secretary of State; Thompson Swears He’s Got The Top Foreign Policy Credentials

Most of the top Republican candidates for president don't have the foreign policy experience to handle the dangers the United States faces, Fred Thompson told Gannett News Service Tuesday.

"The fact of the matter is that among the so-called top candidates, John McCain is the only one with any experience in these areas," Thompson said in an interview.

"I'm not sure where some of these other guys are. When I read that Mr. Huckabee believes that if we played nice with other people they'd like us, (that) causes me to consider whether he understands the world that we live in."

Ron Paul: Pro-Obesity?

Unlike other presidential candidates who want to control obesity and smoking to cut health care costs, Republican candidate Ron Paul said he would not promote preventive medicine.

"I wouldn't promote it," Paul, a Texas congressman, said after a meeting Tuesday with the Linn County Medical Society. "I want the patient to make the decision."

Paul, a 72-year-old former Air Force flight surgeon and obstetrician who has delivered thousands of babies, had a lot in common with several of the 10 medical society members he spoke with in Cedar Rapids.
If You’re Saddling Fred, Better Bring The Spurs

Republican Fred Thompson says if he can be a presidential horse for conservatives to ride in the campaign, "All I've got to say is saddle me up."

What Is It About Fred Thompson? Maybe That You Can Always Get Him On The Phone?

What was it about Fred Thompson that made Condoleezza Rice, after he left the Senate ask him to help her go through, decipher issues of nuclear proliferation. What was it about Fred Thompson that made President Bush call him to help be the shepherd for now, thank goodness, God bless, Chief Justice John Roberts. What is it about Fred Thompson?

All We Found Is A Case of Snickers Wrappers And A Dog Collar, But We’re Saving That For 2008

For Huckabee, becoming the front-runner also means being more closely scrutinized.

"We've got a lot of people doing Dumpster diving in Little Rock right now," Huckabee joked to reporters, referring to a recent spate of critical news stories examining his record.

Romney backer Collins welcomed that examination. Most voters assume Huckabee is a conservative on taxes, spending, crime and ethics, he said, "but that's incorrect. The guy could essentially be a pro-life Democrat."

Being Dogged By Scandals Can Be Ruff: Michael Vick and David Huckabee . . .

What do these two men have in common?

It certainly is not a sub 4.3 forty-yard dash and the ability to elude top NFL defenders.

Actually, it appears both these men have abused and killed a dog. While you probably recognize Michael Vick, the other person pictured above is David Huckabee, son of presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. According to Newsweek:

As Mike Huckabee gains in the polls, the former Arkansas governor is finding that his record in office is getting more scrutiny. One issue likely to get attention is his handling of a sensitive family matter: allegations that one of his sons was involved in the hanging of a stray dog at a Boy Scout camp in 1998.

Don’t Touch The Phone …NH AG Says Anonymous Push Polling Legal Despite State Statute

As a telephone poll floods the state with positive comments about one Republican candidate and "factual information" about his rivals, the state's deputy attorney general said yesterday the state law banning "push polling" does not apply to the presidential primary.

Orville "Bud" Fitch noted in an interview that he has testified before lawmakers in favor of expanding the law, but the provision he supported failed to pass the Legislature.
. . .
Fitch's comments came as the director of a Virginia-based conservative non-profit called Common Sense Issues promised to continue making nearly 100,000 calls a night in the Granite State this week to support Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and to provide "factual information" about other GOP candidates.

Patrick Davis said that before the end of the week, he expects the telephone marketing firm his group has hired to have called 430,000 households in the state, which he said is about 100 percent coverage. He said the calls will then stop during the week of Christmas and may begin again after Jan. 1.'push+poll'+probed&articleId=8d2932da-b53d-4fcc-ac4e-3eabe5e1ad7c

The Daily Flipper is distributed by the DNC Research Department. Items are not intended for attribution to the DNC, its chair or spokespeople.

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