Campaign spam: Political flotsam and jetsam that pollutes email in boxes; of varying degrees of utility, often futility. If you have campaign spam or an actual thought to share, send it to campaignspam [at]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

DNC RESEARCH DEPT.: Not Ready For Primetime? Huckabee Facing Mounting Scrutiny As He Campaigns

The Daily Flipper
Read what the Republicans Wish You Wouldn’t …
December 18, 2007

TOP HEADLINE: Not Ready For Primetime? Huckabee Facing Mounting Scrutiny As He Campaigns

Now that the soft-spoken Huckabee has emerged as the darling of the GOP field and is surging in polls, he has earned the weighty burdens of a true contender: heightened public scrutiny and the not-so-welcome assaults from his GOP rivals.

During a campaign swing through Los Angeles on Monday, the former Arkansas governor had to respond to an attack ad on his record of granting clemency to criminals, criticism about his slight about President Bush's foreign policy, and questions about a 10-year-old comment he made about women subjugating themselves to their husbands.

Huckabee also had to answer questions Monday about the criminal history of a wealthy Beverly Hills businessman, one of his top financial supporters in California, who was hosting an afternoon fundraiser for him.

Fundraiser C. Frederick Wehba, 60, co-founder of the real estate investment giant BentleyForbes LLC, was convicted in a Texas federal court in 1995 of fraudulently concealing his interest in his Beverly Hills home. At the time, he owed money to a failed Texas financial institution, Vernon Savings & Loan.,1,2937793.story?coll=la-politics-campaign&ctrack=1&cset=true

Mean Mike … Huckabee Blamed Society’s Problems on Gays, Environmentalists (Before He Blamed Them On Saturated Fats)

Huckabee was obviously trying to come across as a friendly and reasonable fundamentalist who eschewed the politics of division. But not too long ago, Huckabee was quite willing to be divisive. In a 1998 book decrying American culture, Huckabee was no seeker of common ground. He drew stark lines, equating environmentalists with pornographers and homosexuality with pedophilia and necrophilia. He also declared that people who do not believe in God tend to be immoral and to engage in "destructive behavior." He drew a rather harsh picture of an American society starkly split between people of faith and those of a secular bent, with the latter being a direct and immediate threat to the nation. . . .

In Kids Who Kill, Huckabee argued that school shootings were the product of a society in decline, a decline marked (and caused) by abortion, pornography, media violence, out-of-wedlock sex, divorce, drug use, and, of course, homosexuality. Huckabee and his coauthor bemoaned the "demoralization of America," observing, "Despite all our prosperity, pomp, and power, the vaunted American experiment in liberty seems to be disintegrating before our very eyes." Huckabee, who was governor at the time and a well-known social conservative, blasted away at those whom he held responsible for America's ills, and he took a rather tough stand against government social programs and their advocates. In lamenting the "cultural conflicts" besetting the country, he wrote, Abortion, environmentalism, AIDS, pornography, drug abuse, and homosexual activism have fragmented and polarized our communities.

Huckabee Wants Two Weeks To Get Ready For “Meet.” What Exactly Has He Been Doing The Past 11 Months?

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is refusing to let his staff put his name forward as a guest with Tim Russert on "Meet the Press." "There is no way he'll do it without at least two weeks of prep time and we can't do that now," says a new arrival to Team Huckabee in Iowa. "He's focused on winning Iowa, note playing 'gotcha' and being embarrassed on 'Meet'."

Russert is believed to have wanted Huckabee for the 23rd or 30th, but has been put off.

Following the Money Trail. . . Huckabee Once Lived in the Pocket of Big Tobacco

Just when it appears [Mike] Huckabee might be the man of conviction that grassroots Republicans are yearning for, we get the news that he was once a wholly owned subsidiary of the tobacco industry.

It turns out that, while Huckabee was serving as lieutenant governor of Arkansas back in 1994, R.J. Reynolds helped finance a nonprofit organization that paid Huckabee to crisscross the country and attack Hillary Clinton's health-care plan. The tobacco giant's role was kept secret for years - Huckabee neglected to report this income on his '94 state financial disclosure form - but now it's all coming out. A former Huckabee political adviser - who doubled as a consultant to R.J. Reynolds - is talking openly about how the tobacco giant put money in Huckabee's pocket. . . . The company has now confirmed it.

But here's the good part: Huckabee claimed last Friday that he didn't know he was taking big-tobacco money while he was on the public payroll. His former adviser, J.J. Vigneault . . . recalls that Huckabee met with R.J. Reynolds officials in his Little Rock apartment.

Vigneault is quoted as saying: "There's no way he could not have known about the money from R.J. Reynolds. If he's saying he didn't know about the Reynolds money, he's been less than truthful."

NH AG To Make Announcement on Romney Push Polling Before Primary

Others are asking where is the report on the now weeks long investigation of the anti-Mormon calls. When I talked to the AG's office a few weeks back they expressed the view that it was not a priority to reach a conclusion before the primary. While no stone should be left unturned in the search for truth and the political calendar should not drive the result the reputation of the NH AG's office would certainly be enhanced by a prompt resolution that can answer basic questions like : was the law broken and by whom? Rushing an investigation to make news before a primary would be entirely inappropriate but so would needlessly delaying its conclusion. Voters and the candidates need to feel that the legal system did its job in a timely and fair manner.

Posted By: Jennifer Rubin

Re: NH AG Report - Monday, December 17, 2007 @ 5:31:42 PM

Actually Jennifer, I spoke to the New Hampshire AG's office today, and was told that they hope to make an announcement before the primary.

Posted By: Philip Klein

Russert:1, Romney: 0. . . Mitt Still Facing Fire Over Sunday Performance … If You Will

One day after his first appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Romney faced an onslaught of questions from reporters about his answers on the show, as well as from a voter who chastised him for not answering all the questions he was asked.

Asked about why he was mistaken on the show about his non-endorsement from the NRA during his gubernatorial race, Romney explained, “We checked with them again and said, ‘OK, what are the signals here?’ And they said, ‘Well, we didn’t give you the official endorsement,’ but they phone-banked members here around Massachusetts, or in Massachusetts... So it was, a if you will, a support phone bank, not an official endorsement.”

Somebody Must Have Deflated Giuliani’s Balloon. . . Rudy Starting To Resemble Lollygagger Freddie On the Trail

But like a boxer in the late rounds of a match, Mr. Giuliani's team appeared to be slowed from a series of blows in recent weeks. The mayor spoke for a little more than 35 minutes to an audience made up largely of workers at Goss International, which manufactures much of America's printing press equipment. His demeanor seemed sober and somewhat subdued. Gone was the swagger he demonstrated at a series of weekend events in New Hampshire just after Thanksgiving.

Anybody Got a Plan C? Giuliani’s Effort in NH Is Too Little Too Late

The increased attention Rudy Giuliani has been giving to New Hampshire doesn't seem to be paying off. The Republican still trails in the first-in-the-nation primary and also faces likely defeats in other early voting states.

Pinning his hopes on big states that come later in the primary season, the former New York mayor is struggling to regain momentum after a series of setbacks. The next month could provide a severe test for his unorthodox approach to winning the GOP nomination.

In November, after weeks of flooding mailboxes here with literature, Giuliani started running upwards of $2 million in TV ads to court New Hampshire voters, and he visited repeatedly over a several-week span. Despite that effort, polls show him lagging Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, even as Arizona Sen. John McCain surges.

Given that lack of progress and to save money for later contests, Giuliani is scaling back his TV ads somewhat this week in the state. Aides say clutter on the airwaves during the holiday season was a factor and he may boost his television presence again. He plans to return to New Hampshire Friday.

Not Practicing What They Preach. . . Christian Group Does Not Approve of GOP Candidates’ Investments

The Biblically Responsible Investing Institute, a North Carolina organization that tracks corporate involvement in activities that Christians might find objectionable, has given a thumbs down to how these major Republican presidential candidates are investing their own money.

"We obviously come at the whole issue from an evangelical Christian perspective," said Rusty Leonard, who heads the institute as well as a money-management firm that advises investors on investing based on Christian principles. "You can't help but acknowledge that they have not...made sure that their investments don't stand in opposition to what they claim to stand for."

For its report, the institute combed through financial disclosure statements for the five major Republican candidates -- Huckabee, Romney, Thompson, McCain and Rudy Giuliani All five own stock, either directly or through mutual funds, in companies that "aggressively promote a homosexual lifestyle," the report says, because they either offer same-sex partner benefits or make significant contributions to gay-rights groups.

The candidates also get slammed for investing in casino businesses and for investments in companies that contribute to Planned Parenthood or make what the group considers abortion drugs.

How Weird Is The Republican Race? The Guy Who Wants To Legalize Hemp Just Raised $6 Million

Despite the new respectability, Paul's not letting his less conventional side go. Responding to a question about ethanol subsidies, he demonstrated the free-hearted sentiment that has garnered support among libertarians and new young voters. "I think there's a chance that you might get more ethanol if you raised hemp," he responded. "But hemp is illegal in this country. So in my idea of a free society, a farmer would be allowed to raise hemp."

"Not only would that be a good product possibly to make ethanol," he concluded excitedly. "There might be a whole lot of other products you could make with hemp. Like the Canadians do!"

Thompson Takes the Tancredo Road. . . Tries To Scare Voters Into Supporting Him

About three months after his initial campaign kick-off, Republican candidate Fred Thompson returned to Iowa with a re-invigorated pitch in his final appeal to the early voting state.

Thompson -- who will spend 15 days in Iowa leading up to the Jan. 3 caucuses -- warned the country is "one successful terrorist plan away from nuclear attack."

Barely pausing to clear his throat, the former Tennessee Senator boomed, "it's not time for on-the-job training," a familiar jab on this year's campaign trail. Thompson believes he has the leadership skills to lead the country in national security issues.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s. . . Bill Frist On a Segway?

As he segues into private life, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was seen out in front of the White House Monday on a Segway. Frist, we hear, is filming a new commercial for Coca-Cola. He joins Bob Dole as a former Republican pol turned pitchman after his party’s fortunes went south.

The Daily Flipper is distributed by the DNC Research Department.

Blog Archive