Tales from the Trail

from Reuters Investigates:

Spoiling the party

Last month The New York Times had a story about Arizona Republicans putting up homeless people as candidates for the Green Party in elections there. Now Murray Waas, our Barlett & Steele award winner, has a special report about Democratic Party shenanigans. 

USA-ELECTIONS/TRICKSWaas went to Pennsylvania's 7th district to show how Democrats helped get Tea Party activist Jim Schneller (left) on the ballot, hoping to siphon off votes from the Republican candidate.

This is what one Democrat involved in the scheme had to say:

Abu Rahman, the president of the Delaware County Asian American Democratic Association and a Lentz supporter, who admits he gathered signatures for Schneller, said in an interview that he had some mixed feelings about what he was doing. "I remember thinking to myself that this is not clean," Rahman said, "But it is not illegal."   

 He acknowledged in an interview that by helping Schneller get on the ballot, he clearly understood that he was going to "dry up Republican votes."  

 Rahman explained why he moved forward despite his reservations: "We really had to consider what was at stake. This is a really crucial election. We don't want to hand it to the Republicans. It's just too, too important for our country."

McCain vows to press fight against Democratic deal-making on health reform

A Senate healthcare vote in the wee hours Monday morning got Senator John McCain riled up and quoting Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones.

The 60-40 procedural vote let Democrats limit debate on the healthcare bill and quashed any Republican hopes for a filibuster, where they could grab control of the floor and talk the measure to death.
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The move prompted Republicans to cry foul. War hero McCain gave notice that he wasn’t letting go. He invoked war hero and naval Captain John Paul Jones, who famously rejected suggestions of surrender and told his British opponent, “I have not yet begun to fight.”

McCain was rather less pithy. He vowed to travel the country, visiting town halls, senior centers and Rotary Clubs to rally opposition to the healthcare reform bill.

Clinton receives thanks from American Indians

FLATHEAD INDIAN RESERVATION, Montana – Hillary Clinton took her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to an Indian reservation where she received applause, thanks – and new footwear.

“You’ve gone a million miles for the Indian people — here are a pair of moccasins to help you on your journey,” Joe McDonald, president of Salish Kootenai College, said on Tuesday in presenting Clinton the gift.clinton1.jpg

A crowd of several hundred roared approval.

Drawing more applause, Clinton said, “We need a president next January who understands the obligation that the United States government has to the tribes that represent the first people of the United States.” 

Gingrich: Obama is ‘far left’ with the right smile

 INDIANAPOLIS – Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Barack Obama remains the best bet to become the Democratic presidential nominee and would be a formidable opponent for Republican John McCain.
   

Speaking to the French Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, Gingrich said McCain had benefited from Obama’s recent difficulties, including controversial comments by the Illinois senator’s longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. 
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“But Obama remains a formidable opponent. He is also the most probable Democrat nominee, even if he is not as untouchable as he was before,” said Gingrich, who led his party’s takeover of the House of Representatives in what was known as the Republican Revolution of 1994.

Clinton gets a boost from a Kennedy

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN.  – Robert Kennedy Jr. — a Kennedy who is not backing Sen. Barack Obama — campaigned on Thursday for Sen. Hillary Clinton, saying he wanted to explain why other members of his family are wrong and he is right.

bobby.jpg“I am here because I love this woman,” he told a crowd of Clinton supporters in southern Indiana, which holds its presidential nominating primary on Tuesday.

“There are some members of my family who have decided to do the wrong thing and support Barack Obama,” he said. “Let me tell you why they’re wrong and I’m right, because I know Hillary Clinton better than they know Barrack Obama.”