Michael Crowley looks at the Media Fund and Americans Coming Together (ACT), two liberal 527 committees who may spend as much as $150 million before Nov. 2 in an attempt to defeat George W. Bush. Although they are officially nonpartisan, 527s - used by both parties - use a loophole in election laws to get around limits on "soft money" spending by political parties.
In "the latest instance in which the Bush administration has been accused of allowing politics to intrude into once-sacrosanct areas of scientific deliberation," the Health and Human Services Department asked the World Health Organization to allow the Department's secretary to review meeting invitations.
Citizens for a Sound Economy, a right-wing corporate front group opposed to everything Ralph Nader has struggled for, is working hard to help his 2004 presidential campaign in an effort to defeat John Kerry. "'Ralph Nader is undoubtedly going to pull some very crucial votes from John Kerry, and that could mean the difference in a razor-thin presidential election,' reads a script used by Citizens for a Sound Economy in its phone calls [to Republicans in the state of Oregon].
With election season in swing, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Mike Leavitt has taken his show on the road, visiting key swing states to hand out pots of money for environmental projects. "Leavitt's recent wave of swing-state politicking has won his agency the moniker 'Election Protection Agency' in Beltway circles," reports Amanda Griscom.
The Showtime reality series "American Candidate," set to air during the lead up to the U.S. presidential election, will follow a dozen people as they stage and manage a "virtual" run for the White House.
"Matthew Dowd, President Bush's chief campaign strategist,
is not just the man who conducts the president's polling.
He also works to control public perceptions about where the
presidential race stands, perhaps more aggressively than
many other campaign aides in his position. ...
'I just want to make sure people have a realistic view,'
said Mr. Dowd, whose official title is 'chief strategist,'
in an interview Friday. 'There are highs that are going to
go down, there are lows that are going to go up. I'm not
"The seemingly endless media adulation and myth-building surrounding the drawn-out death and funeral of Ronald Reagan is in keeping his media-savvy teflon-coated presidency. For all the conservative squawking about liberals dominating Hollywood, it is the right-wing that has excelled at putting actors into office."
Punk Voter is "a coalition of over 130 bands and about 30 independent record labels" seeking to register and mobilize punk rock fans for the 2004 U.S. presidential election. But will the effort "serve to strengthen the very political system that punk has made its reputation attacking?" Scott Evans would say yes. He writes: "Last March [political punk band] Propagandhi withdrew from Punk Voter's Rock Against Bush Vol.
The New York Times editorializes today in favor of a little known reform that might have a revitalizing affect on the US political process. Candidates can now draw a salary running their own campaign for Congress. "The victory of a Democratic lawyer, Stephanie Herseth, in the race last week for an open House seat in South Dakota had some intriguing implications. Ms. Herseth is the first successful Congressional candidate of either party to take advantage of a change in the campaign finance rules that allows federal candidates to pay themselves salaries from their campaign treasuries.