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Ron Paul strikes again!
In recent weeks, the McCain campaign has been attacking ACORN, a widely respected voter registration organization, claiming ACORN knowingly participated in “voter fraud.” In reality, this is just another calculated attempt by the McCain campaign and the RNC to suppress new and marginalized voters.
Help stop the lies: http://acorn.org/lies
The famous CSPAN video below captures Republicans joking about keep Obama voters from the polls.
Tom Davis on Voter Suppression: CSPAN 10/10/08
The Republican National Committee has taken out a $5 million line of credit to help fund last minute efforts to keep Senate Democrats from winning a filibuster-proof 60 seat majority, according to an official with the committee.
Of the $5 million, $2 million is being directly transferred to the National Republican Senatorial Committee while $3 million is being devoted to coordinated expenditures that began over the last week.
“This effort not only helps fortify senators but it’s good for the whole Republican ticket,” said the RNC official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “This is an investment in the entire ticket in addition to an unprecedented get out the vote effort.”
With the White House apparently slipping away and House Republicans looking at losses of 20 or more seats, the Senate is being painted as the last, best chance for Republicans to hold some semblance of power within Congress.
Right now, three states are largely seen as near-certain Democratic pickups: Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado.
The RNC line of credit is almost certain to be spent on a handful of vulnerable Republican incumbents who face varying levels of peril. That list includes North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens among others.
The decision by the RNC to help fund a series of Senate contest shows that national GOP strategists see the Senate as their firewall in next week’s election.
Will it change things? It’s very hard to know with so much volatility in the environment. But, it does show the RNC is willing to do everything it can to hold strong against the onrushing Democratic wave.
One for Palin ~ she should keep the clothes ~ if she has to pay taxes on them fine ~ if she can’t afford it ~ one of those donors should folk it up for her!
The Republican National Committee’s $150,000 investment in Sarah Palin’s wardrobe has prompted some teeth gnashing among the party’s big donors about its political sensibility and a feisty debate among campaign finance specialists about its legality.
“As a Republican Eagle and a maxed-out contributor to McCain’s general campaign, I’d like my money back – he can still have my vote,” complained one irate donor on Tuesday.
“I’m not one who says a candidate shouldn’t wear fine clothes,” he added. “I’d just like to think they were successful enough in the private sector to have afforded their wardrobe with their own money, not the party’s or the campaign’s, which is really our money as contributors.”
Another big donor was sympathetic to the effort, but critical of the execution.
The Alaska governor was tapped by Arizona Sen. John McCain to become his vice presidential running mate just days before the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, the donor noted.
Given the short notice and the Palins’ relatively modest means, “she could probably not go into her closet at home in Alaska to come up with a wardrobe appropriate for her status as a vice presidential candidate,” he said.
“Having said that, $150K is big money,” he added. “It kind of makes it worth running. Even if you lose, you’ve got a whole new closet.”
Other donors, in other e-mails and interviews, said the costs were worth the investment.
Palin has proven to be a major draw at campaign rallies, and her strong performances and appearance provides a polished and professional image on television, one donor noted.
In addition, he suggested, the bad press only means the GOP base will unite even further behind the McCain-Palin ticket.
As Republican donors absorbed the news, the consensus among several prominent Washington-based attorneys was that the purchases were legal, albeit in a fuzzy area of the law.
Campaign finance laws prohibit candidates from spending donor cash to their authorized personal campaign committee on costs “that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign,” including clothing, vacations and gym memberships.
But the law does not prohibit such expenditures by party committees, and Congress has killed legislation to expand the personal use ban to those and other types of political committees.
The fuzzy part in the Palin case is that the RNC used money from an account designated for “coordinated,” or shared, expenditures with the McCain-Palin candidate account.
The Federal Election Commission, which interprets federal campaign finance laws, has never been asked to address this issue. And legal experts say the key question is: From which side of the joint account was the money drawn?
Noting that the expenses were reported by the RNC and not the McCain-Obama campaign, Ken Gross, a law partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who advises corporations on campaign finance laws, concluded: “The bottom line is that this is party committee money. These are not campaign funds.”
Wiley Rein lawyer Jan Baran, an adviser to several Republican candidates and committees, agreed with Gross, but added that the Palins may still be forced to comply with tax laws.
“The receipt of goods and services by the taxpayer usually constitutes reportable ‘income’,” Baran said. Consequently, Palin may have to declare the value of the fashion gifts as income and pay taxes on it.
“She might be able to offset some of the taxes by donating the items to charity after the campaign, Baran said, “although she will only be able to deduct the fair market value at that time.”
The campaign said Monday that Palin intends to donate the clothes to charity after the election.
The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.
According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.
The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.
The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.
Politico asked the McCain campaign for comment, explicitly noting the $150,000 in expenses for department store shopping and makeup consultation that were incurred immediately after Palin’s announcement. Pre-September reports do not include similar costs.
Spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, including whether it was necessary to spend that much and whether it amounted to one early investment in Palin or if shopping for the vice presidential nominee was ongoing.
“The campaign does not comment on strategic decisions regarding how financial resources available to the campaign are spent,” she said.
The business of primping and dressing on the campaign trail has become fraught with political risk in recent years as voters increasingly see an elite Washington out of touch with their values and lifestyles.
In 2000, Democrat Al Gore took heat for changing his clothing hues. And in 2006, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was ribbed for two hair styling sessions that cost about $3,000.
Then, there was Democrat John Edwards’ $400 hair cuts in 2007 and Republican McCain’s $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes this year.
A review of similar records for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee turned up no similar spending.
But all the spending by other candidates pales in comparison to the GOP outlay for the Alaska governor whose expensive, designer outfits have been the topic of fashion pages and magazines.
What hasn’t been apparent is where the clothes came from – her closet back in Wasilla or from the campaign coffers in Washington.
The answer can be found inside the RNC’s September monthly financial disclosure report under “itemized coordinated expenditures.”
It’s a report that typically records expenses for direct mail, telephone calls and advertising. Those expenses do show up, but the report also has a new category of spending: “campaign accessories.”
September payments were also made to Barney’s New York ($789.72) and Bloomingdale’s New York ($5,102.71).
Macy’s in Minneapolis, another store fortunate enough to be situated in the Twin Cities that hosted last summer’s Republican National Convention, received three separate payments totaling $9,447.71.
The entries also show a few purchases at Pacifier, a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., suggesting $295 was spent to accommodate the littlest Palin to join the campaign trail.
An additional $4,902.45 was spent at Atelier, a high-class shopping destination for men.
McCain’s on the phone !! Who wants to take the call? The man of honor has something disgraceful and disrespectful to say.
It doesn’t make sense feeling sorry for McCain – underdog or not – as he’s the fighter who punches below the belt.
Laura Meckler reports from New York City on the presidential race:
John McCain’s presidential campaign is blanketing battleground states with automated phone calls that accuse Democrat Barack Obama of working closely with a domestic terrorist, of holding extreme views on abortion and of “putting Hollywood above America.”
Automated calls have been an under-the-radar communication tool in recent elections, as they are hard to track and cheap to make. Hundreds of thousands of calls can be delivered before the opposition or the media is aware of them.
But today, a barrage of McCain-funded calls came into the open. Democrats have tracked them in 10 competitive states: Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Maine, where Republicans hope to snag a single electoral vote given to the winner of the northern congressional district.
Obama spokesman, “John McCain’s campaign has admitted that the economy is a losing issue for them, so he’s chosen to launch dishonorable and dishonest attacks like this.”
The calls are tough on Obama. The one that has been tracked in the most places picks up on McCain’s message from the stump and in TV ads to tie him to William Ayers, a 1960s era radical who is now a college professor. He has a loose association with Obama: the two sat on a board together and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama years ago, but Obama has said the two are not close. The McCain campaign has said that the issue is not the relationship between the two but Obama’s candor about it. But the automated phone call raises the relationship itself:
“Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home and killed Americans,” the recorded message said. “And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our country.”
The call ends with the legally required disclosure, informing the listener that the call was paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee. (Listen)
Asked about the calls, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said: “They are 100% factual, and the mission of this campaign is to ensure that voters are informed on Election Day and the presidential vetting process is complete.”
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor responded, “John McCain’s campaign has admitted that the economy is a losing issue for them, so he’s chosen to launch dishonorable and dishonest attacks like this.”
A second script, picked up in Virginia and North Carolina, warns, “Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats aren’t who you think they are.” It goes on to say that Democrats do not understand the terrorist threat. (Listen)
Another recorded message, which Democrats say was made to North Carolina homes, talks about an anti-abortion measure that Obama opposed in the Illinios legislature. (Listen)
A fourth message accuses Obama of spending more time at a Hollywood fundraiser than working on the financial crisis. (Listen)