Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


January 17, 2006

"If Al Gore is going to be the Democratic voice on national security matters," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "we welcome it."


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Vilsack checkup

AFSCME President Gerald McEntee should be happy with Iowa governor Tom Vilsack (D) who recently issued and executive order that allows child care providers to unionize so that they can negotiate higher fees with the state of Iowa. However, single moms working jobs are sure to take a higher hit for childcare as well.

McEntee was recently in Iowa measuring Vilsack’s qualifications and chance of becoming president.

McEntee is rolling out a new campaign ad that is part of the Emergency Campaign for America's Priorities (ECAP) grassroots and public relations activity leading up to the final vote in Congress on the budget and tax cut plan on February 1.

Scary Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore is back on the circuit giving speeches that claim President Bush is acting illegally in his surveillance of al Qaeda conversations with those residing in America. This despite the fact that the Clinton administration performed warrant-less wiretaps.

In his speech, Gore did not call for impeachment of the president. However, following his speech Gore used the "I" word with ABC News:

Asked by ABC News after his speech whether President Bush's domestic spying program constituted an impeachable offense, Gore said it might and pointed to one of the three Articles of Impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee approved against President Nixon on July 27, 1974.

"That's a legal determination for Congress to make," Gore told ABC News. "But Article II of the impeachment charges against President Nixon was warrantless wiretapping, which the president said was 'necessary' for national security."

It can be an impeachable offense, Gore added.


Two groups are filing lawsuits against the Bush Administration to stop the National Security Agency from surveillance of al Qaeda conversations with those residing in America. There are questions as to whether the individuals will be found to have standing to bring the action, as no one has proof that their conversations were listened to by the NSA.

The NY Times offers coverage of the story:

Two leading civil rights groups plan to file lawsuits Tuesday against the Bush administration over its domestic spying program to determine whether the operation was used to monitor 10 defense lawyers, journalists, scholars, political activists and other Americans with ties to the Middle East.

The two lawsuits, which are being filed separately by the American Civil Liberties Union in Federal District Court in Detroit and the Center for Constitutional Rights in Federal District Court in Manhattan, are the first major court challenges to the eavesdropping program.

Kennedy discriminates

The Boston Herald reports on Sen. Ted Kennedy’s swearing that he is going to resign membership in a Harvard Club that discriminates against women. There was no mention of the way he treats women in his personnel life however:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy — who ripped Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito for ties to a group that discriminates against women — says he’s going to quit a club notorious for discriminating against women "as fast as I can."

Sen. Bob Ney duped?

Is Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) right about being duped by lobbysit Jack Abramoff? That's the tact Ney is taking in a desperate attempt to avoid being indicted in the Abramoff case. According to the NY Times , Abramoff is saying he did not dupe Ney:

"But it may now be Mr. Ney's word against that of Mr. Abramoff, who has publicly ridiculed Mr. Ney's claim of having been victimized. In an interview in The New York Times Magazine last year, Mr. Abramoff said: "Ney told the press, 'I was duped'? It's crazy!" Mr. Abramoff has given similar accounts to prosecutors."

Now, the only question is how many people in Ohio want a duped Congressman.



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