Iowa 2004 presidential primary precinct caucus and caucuses news">

Iowa 2004 presidential primary precinct caucus and caucuses news, reports and information on 2004 Democrat and Republican candidates, campaigns and issues

Iowa Presidential Watch's

The Democrat Candidates

Holding the Democrats accountable today, tomorrow...forever.

John Kerry

excerpts from the Iowa Daily Report

June 2003

The Quad-City Times’ Kathie Obradovich reported yesterday on Kerry’s Des Moines campaign stop: “Saying it sometimes takes veterans to remind Americans of their obligation to those who have served their country, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said Friday he would push for improved access to prescription drugs and expanded outreach and disability benefits. Kerry…spoke to about 30 veterans and others at a breakfast at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9127. He has been traveling with U. S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, a fellow Vietnam veteran. ‘Those who have worn the uniform understand there was a promise made to the country,’ said Kerry, a Navy veteran decorated for valor. He suggested that Republican President George W. Bush’s priorities are elsewhere, saying that 235,000 veterans must wait more than six months to access prescriptions from a Veterans Administration doctor and more than 400,000 qualify for V. A. services that are not getting them due to lack of outreach. Kerry said he would change that, as well as make sure that disabled veterans are allowed to collect their full military pension without having their disability payment deducted. ‘If this country can afford to give people earning $315,000 a tax break and if we can find the money to build schools and hospitals and give books and build roads in Iraq, we can make certain that veterans in this country get to the V. A. and get the benefits,’ he said.”  (6/1/2003)

From Kerry’s DSM visit – the Des Moines Register’s Beaumont reported that Kerry said “the credibility of President Bush and U. S. intelligence agencies will be diminished significantly if weapons of mass destruction are not found in Iraq. But Kerry, a U. S. Senator from Massachusetts who supported the war, said he and his rivals for the 2004 nomination who backed the president are blameless should no evidence turn up. ‘Over time, if after all that is completed, there aren’t any (weapons found), it’s clearly a credibility issue with respect to not just the administration, but the intelligence community,’ Kerry said during a campaign stop in Des Moines. Kerry acknowledged the search is not complete, but he also said he is not fully convinced either the Bush administration or intelligence agencies will be able to back up their claims that Iraq possessed weapons.” (6/1/2003)

The Washington Post today kicked off a series of Dem wannabe profiles with the headline, “Hard-Line Realist Seeking to DreamKerry’s Ambition Is Wrapped in Complexity” The Post said that the series will “examine all nine Democratic presidential candidates: their campaign messages, the roots of their ambition, their ability to connect with voters. On all three counts, Kerry is nuanced and often misconstrued. What makes him compelling as a person makes him vulnerable to opponents who say he lacks clarity as a candidate. Kerry’s complexity has been an issue since his national debut in 1971. He became famous for a war within himself. He had fought in Vietnam and came, reluctantly, to believe the war was wrong. As spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: ‘How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?The senators were awed by the young man’s poise and by his Bronze Star, Silver Star and his three Purple Hearts. He was a hero. Complexity worked the first time around. It is much tougher now, as he presents himself as both a dreamer and a realist, an old liberal and a new Democrat, for the war in Iraq and yet troubled by it. While other White House hopefuls lined up for or against Iraq, Kerry voted for the war and then criticized the president for failing at diplomacy. ‘It’s the natural reluctance of a soldier to put young Americans in harm’s way,’ said fellow Vietnam veteran and former senator Max Clelend (D-Ga.) But Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), one of Kerry’s competitors, accused him of being ‘ambivalent’ when the country needed leadership. Republican strategist Richard Galen said, ‘People who were disappointed by the Gore campaign sniff another Gore coming because he doesn’t have any clear message.’ (6/1/2003)

The Los Angeles Times reports that Henry Cisneros, a former secretary of HUD under Bill Clinton and a “popular figure in the nation’s fast-growing Hispanic population,” is backing Kerry’s presidential candidacy. Cisneros, a former San Antonio mayor who now runs a Texas-based venture (American City Vista) to build homes in city centers, said he would do what he could to promote Kerry’s candidacy among Hispanics. Cisneros: “I certainly plan to be active on the phone. I also appear quite often in front of Latino audiences. I’ll be available if Sen. Kerry requests it.” (6/2/2003)

Under the headline “Gephardt, Kerry Miss the Most Hill Votes…Two Draw Focus of Republicans Tallying Absences of White House Hopefuls,” the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin wrote that Gephardt is “hardly a member of Congress anymore, at least if one judges him by the 85 percent of House votes he has missed this year. As House minority leader between 1995 and 2002, Gephardt spent most of his waking hours toiling in the Capitol or traveling on behalf of fellow Democrats, hoping to regain the congressional majority his party lost in 1994. He held news conferences, rounded up votes for major bills and helped craft Democratic policy on issues from technology to education. All that changed last fall, when Gephardt decided to seek his party’s presidential nomination. He stepped down from leadership, announced he would not seek reelection and hit the road to raise dollars and woo primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But he did not retire, choosing to keep his seat until the end of next year. That has attracted some political adversaries, including the Republican National Committee.” The report said the RNC has “focused much of its attention” on Gephardt and Kerry, who has skipped 37% of all recorded votes this year. One more excerpt: “Only Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), a long-shot candidate, has maintained a perfect voting record.”  The Washington Post account also was headlined in The Union Leader online this morning: “Democrats draw fire for missing votes” (6/2/2003)

Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter Cathleen Falsani reported that Kerry courted the gay and lesbian vote at a fund-raiser in Chicago Saturday night, promising a more benevolent government where civil rights are extended without exception to all Americans. ‘I make you this pledge: If I have the honor on Jan. 20, 2005, to take that oath and to swear to uphold the Constitution and principles of this nation, I will be a president for all Americans,’ Kerry told the black-tie crowd at the annual Human Rights Campaign’s event, One Swanky Supper, at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers. ‘I am running for president because the Supreme Court of the United States is at stake, and we need a president who will stand up for civil rights, equal rights, a woman’s right to choose, and, when I am president, there will be no John Ashcroft treading on the Bill of Rights,’ said the senator, who also promised to extend health insurance benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. ‘There was a time when many of our nation’s leaders would have preferred that gays and lesbians stay in the closet and stay out of the way. Sadly, for some of our leaders, that time is still now. But I am running because I believe in my gut and in my heart that that time must end.’” (6/2/2003)

In New Hampshire yesterday, Kerry said the administration is “out to stop organized labor.” Coverage in this morning’s The Union Leader of Kerry’s speech in North Conway reported “he rallied a trade convention Monday by slamming President Bush and repeating his call for a ‘payroll-tax holiday.’ The Massachusetts senator said the saved taxes would help the average worker immediately. He also called for more investment in infrastructure, training and other programs to restore the 2.5 million jobs he said have been lost during Bush’s presidency.” Kerry made the comments at the 59th annual Eastern Seaboard Apprenticeship Conference, a meeting for apprentice carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople from eastern states. (6/3/2003)

Leftover from last week – headline on “Washington Whispers” column: “Attacks on Heinz Kerry may unlock ketchup cash” Columnist Paul Bedard wrote in U.S. News & World Report: “Uh-oh, now they’ve done it. Critics of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s unorthodox and outspoken views have the famously rich wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry reaching for her $550 million can of whup-ass. Originally reserved to counter GOP sniping at her hubby, Heinz Kerry is now open to spending some of her ketchup fortune on a counterattack. ‘The assumption,’ says a friend, ‘was always that the attacks would be on him, not her.’ But now, ‘The attacks on her have exponentially increased the likelihood of her tapping the fortune.” Heinz Kerry, previously married to ketchup heir Sen. John Heinz, who died in a plane crash, has been ridiculed by Republicans for recent statements promoting Botox treatments, prenuptial agreements, and feeding rabbits to kids.”    (6/4/2003)

The Boston Herald – under the headline, “Candidate Kerry barred from most of his wife’s funds” -- reported that aides to Kerry yesterday “confirmed he will not be able to tap the bulk of his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry’s $550 million family fortune for his 2004 White House bid. ‘This is something we have known all along,’ said Kerry spokesman Robert Gibbs. ‘There’s no change in our position…It’s just what the law says.’ It is not widely known that under federal campaign law, only assets Heinz Kerry owns jointly with her husband can be used for his presidential campaign. Despite the law, the Kerry camp believes it could tap substantial personal funds if it needed to during the White House race. The couple’s latest federal financial disclosure documents show Heinz Kerry with sole control of the vast majority of her family fortune. Kerry reported assets between $700,000 and $2.4 million, including artwork and joint accounts. Kerry (D-Mass.) and his wife are co-owners of their $7 million Beacon Hill townhouse.”(6/5/2003)

Most news organizations skipped standard coverage of the “Take Back America” conference held in DC late last week – in favor of general stories about the growing divisions within the Dem Party. Only a handful included actual coverage (and quotes) by the Dem wannabes, but Iowa Pres Watch has compiled some of the coverage – and comments – from the latest anti-GWB rally. Some of the coverage and the wannabe’s comments: KERRY “brought the crowd to its feet by criticizing Bush’s domestic agenda. He blamed Bush for a failure of diplomacy but went on to stress that Democrats must be a party of national security as well as domestic security…”He called for a ‘tough-minded strategy of international engagement.’”…”If Democrats are not prepared to make America safer, stronger and more secure, for all we care about all those other issues, we will not win back the White House and we don’t deserve to.” (6/8/2003)

… Under the headline “Kerry tells NH supporters he’d fighting Bush’s ‘$200 million,the New Hampshire Sunday News reported on a Kerry visit to Hampton: “President George W. Bush may have the money but John Kerry says he’s got something better. The Massachusetts senator, on a campaign stump in New Hampshire yesterday, told a packed house of supporters that he intends to build the strongest grassroots effort the country has ever seen to help him win his bid for the Presidency. ‘We have to fight against their $200 million…They have their money, but we have something else.’ Kerry was referring to the estimated $220 million Bush is expected to raise for his reelection campaign. Playing off the recent suspension of Chicago Cubs’ homerun hitter Sammy Sosa, Kerry likened the slugger’s use of a corked bat to Bush’s economics, saying, ‘When it turns out to be fake, you can only get away with using it for so long.’ Citing his 18 years in the U. S. Senate, Kerry asked that he be measured by the battles he has chosen to fight there, including blowing the whistle on Oliver North and moving toward a new relationship with Vietnam. The veteran senator explained his bid for the White House was aimed at ‘putting the country back on track’ and taking the country ‘where it needs to go.’” Reporting on the same event, the AP’s Stephen Frothingham wrote that Kerry “called Bush’s policies ‘radical” and said they disappoint even conservative Republicans. ‘Conservative Republicans do not create massive federal deficits. Conservative Republicans do not turn their backs on civil rights.” (6/9/2003)

… New England news media reports – headline from Boston Herald: “Poll shows Kerry, Dean leading in New Hampshire” -- this morning: Kerry continues to lead over Dean in New Hampshire – but it’s still close. The latest Zogby poll, released yesterday, showed Kerry at 25% with Dean at 22% -- basically within the margin of error for the poll of 600 likely voters taken 6/4-7. The results are similar to other recent NH surveys, which also have shown Kerry with a slight lead, but previous polls usually had Gephardt and Lieberman holding steady in the teens. In the Zogby poll, Lieberman was at 10% while Gephardt had 7%. The rest of the Dem field: Edwards and Kucinich at 2% and the others – Graham, Moseley Braun and Sharpton – were all at 1% or less. Two interesting revelations: About one-fourth – 27% -- said they are undecided and about one-third of those surveyed said they are not familiar with Dean while only about 10% said they are unfamiliar with Kerry. Translated: That means 90% know Kerry and he got 25% in the poll, while about 65% know Dean and he received 22% support in the poll. (6/9/2003)

Ethanol politics. In his Chicago Sun-Times column – under the headline “Ethanol abstainers” – yesterday, Robert Novak reported: “The only four senators who abstained from Tuesday’s 62-34 vote supporting mandatory use of ethanol are the four senators seeking the Democratic nomination. Three have abandoned previous positions opposing government mandates for the corn-based gasoline additive. Senators Joe Lieberman, John Kerry and Bob Graham in 1994 voted to kill a Clinton administration regulation requiring more ethanol use, but now they want to force increased use, and they cast other pro-ethanol votes on the energy bill last week. The fourth senatorial candidate for president, John Edwards, was not yet a senator in 1994 and says he always has back ethanol. Ethanol is important in corn-growing Iowa, first on the presidential selection circuit.”(6/9/2003)

… The Boston Herald reported yesterday that Kerry was in his home state – for a Dem rally in Lowell – over the weekend. Headline: “Sen. Kerry fires up the party faithful” Excerpts from coverage by Steve Marantz: “Presidential hopeful John Kerry roused Democratic activists yesterday with a vow that he will not lead ‘a second Republican Party’ into the 2004 election. Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts, drew sharp distinctions between himself and President Bush in a speech that ran past 20 minutes, touching on education, health care, environment and economic recovery. ‘This is not a normal contest of Democrats versus Republicans,’ Kerry said. ‘This is a contest between common-sense American values and extreme ideologies.’…The next election is nothing less than a battle for the Supreme Court, Kerry said, with the Republican right targeting abortion rights. ‘They want to criminalize the right of women to choose,’ he said…He noted that Bush cast himself as a friend of police officers and firefighters in the wake of the Sept, 11, 2001, attacks, even though public safety personnel, as members of organized labor, are losing jobs due to Bush’s policies. ‘We should not be opening firehouses in Baghdad and shutting then in New York City,’ Kerry said.”  (6/9/2003)

… What do John Kerry and a Gilligan’s Island character have in common? In his “Washington Whispers” column in this week’s U. S. News & World Report, Paul Bedard writes: “Have you even found yourself wondering if Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry is really Thurston Howell III, the Gilligan’s Island millionaire? No? Well, you will soon if Republican strategists follow through with their prankster plans for the 2004 presidential race. ‘We’ll gig ‘em whenever and wherever we can,’ says one source. The idea is simple. Send an ‘attack mascot’ to primary and caucus appearances of leading Democratic White House hopefuls to heckle and unnerve the candidates. Initial plans by GOP strategists focus on Kerry, Rep. Dick Gephardt, Sen. John Edwards, and Sen. Joe Lieberman. Just this weekend, Edwards will be met in his home state with a Welcome Wagon, a dig at how much time he has been away campaigning. The most original is the Kerry gag mascot: somebody dressed as Howell, the lock-jawed dim bulb who inherited his wealth. In his straw hat; a $150 price tag to represent his barber’s fee. Suggests Kerry spokesman David Wade, the GOP ‘should lay off the Gilligan’s Island imagery before we cast George W. Bush as gilligan in the remake.’” (6/10/2003)

… The Boston Herald’s Noelle Straub reports from Des Moines: Headline – “Gephardt, Kerry, Dean tops in Iowa” Excerpt – “With less than eight months to go before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, three Democratic presidential hopefuls appear to have jockeyed themselves into position as early favorites there. While the battle for Iowa’s Democratic activists remains up for grabs, Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) seems to have emerged as a front-runner, along with Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean…Dennis Goldford, chairman of the department of politics and international relations at Drake University in Des Moines, also rated the three front-runners, saying they have the most active campaigns. He placed Lieberman and Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) in the second tier. Despite the early attention by political insiders and the media, Goldford said the race is ‘below the radar screen’ for most Iowans. ‘It’s very early in terms of the public,’ he said. ‘I think what’s happening now is the pre-campaign. Candidates are trying to line up the activists who will encourage friends and neighbors to turn out for the caucuses.’…Looking to boost his chances, Kerry recently hired 10 full-time paid staff in Iowa, for a total of 18 in the state. ‘Given the limited number of days he’s [Kerry] been here this year, I’m very pleased with the number of supporters we’re collecting,’ John Norris, Kerry’s Iowa state director. Sarah Leonard, Dean’s communication director, noted his staff was the first to visit all 99 Iowa counties. ‘This campaign is a marathon and not a spring,’ she said. Compared to Kerry and Dean’s larger staff, Lieberman has four campaign workers in Iowa. ‘Lieberman’s campaign got off to a later start, but we’re catching up,’ said Ted Osthelder, Lieberman’s state director.” (6/11/2003)

… In yesterday’s Boston Globe, the headline said it all: “Doubt cast on Kerry’s ‘PAC-free’ claim…Senate history conflicts with the candidate’s statements” Globe staffer Glen Johnson wrote: “As a presidential candidate, John F. Kerry has repeatedly railed against the corruptive influence of special-interest money in politics, and has proudly declared on various occasions that he is the only or first person elected to the US Senate three times without taking campaign contributions from political action committees. Kerry’s campaign website makes a slightly different claim, stating that the Massachusetts Democrat joined the Senate in 1984 after ‘running the nation’s first successful PAC-free Senate race.’ But the public record shows that Kerry was neither the first nor the only senator elected three times without money from political action committees. It also shows he was not the first ever to run a ‘PAC-free’ race for the Senate. David L. Boren appears to be the first person elected three times to the Senate without PAC money, in 1978, 1984 and 1990…’I did not take PAC money in any of the three races,’ Boren, now president of the University of Oklahoma, said yesterday in a telephone interview. Warren B. Rudman of New Hampshire was elected to the US Senate in 1980 without taking PAC money – four years before Kerry did it. ‘I steadfastly refused to take it, and I remember [in 1984] when John made that pledge, and I just thought to myself that he was doing a great thing,’ Rudman, now a Washington attorney, said in a telephone interview.” (6/13/2003)

… Report from yesterday’s Madison (Wis.) Capital Times – headline, “Democrat stars come outState convention draws Kerry, Dean” – includes an account of Kerry’s Harley ride in Milwaukee. Aaron Nathans reports: “It wasn’t George W. Bush’s ‘top gun’ landing on an aircraft carrier, but U. S. Sen. John Kerry’s Harley ride along Lake Michigan had the Democratic presidential candidate looking like ‘the Terminator.’ After giving a speech before a few dozen veterans, Kerry, of Massachusetts, stepped onto a borrowed black and chrome Harley. ‘It’s cool out here, I’m going to put a jacket on,’ Kerry said, finding a good excuse on the generally warm day to zip up his leather bomber jacket. He donned shades, and chatted with a campaign advance man who shouted ‘Go!’ His caravan was preceded by a top-down convertible with a camera crew. Contrast that scene with the arrival of Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor who is one of Kerry’s rivals for the presidential nomination. Dean waded into a sea of several hundred supporters as a stereo blared the Elvis remix of ‘A Little Less Conversation.’ Stepping up to the podium, Dean gave a rousing speech touching on the price of U. S. imperialism and Republican tax cuts. ‘You have the power to take this country back!’ he shouted several times, before grabbing the American flag behind him, pole and all, and holding it behind his head. ‘This flag belongs to everyone,’ Dean said. He and Kerry were the two front-running candidates who paid a visit to the Democratic State Convention Friday. Also, there were fellow candidates Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton, as well as all of the state’s top Democrats except U. S. Sen. Herb Kohl.” (6/15/2003)

On Wisconsin…Dem hopefuls, convention delegates share new experience in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Steve Walters – a former IA political reporter – reports in yesterday’s edition about the Dem state convention. Excerpts: “Introducing themselves to Wisconsin Democrats adjusting to their new role of helping to pick their party’s candidate against President Bush, three Democratic presidential hopefuls railed Friday against Bush’s foreign and domestic policiesKerry said Bush pushed for and signed into law a tax cut that gives 54% of the cuts to 1% of the richest American taxpayers. He said Bush will be defeated only by a national ‘sense of outrage’ next year. ‘This is a contrast between common sense and basic American values and extreme ideologues,’ Kerry said. ‘The difference has never been more compelling.’…(6/15/2003)

… Headline from yesterday’s Boston Herald says that “Kerry in Senate’s millionaire Club.” The Herald’s Noelle Straub wrote that Kerry “ranks as just one of many millionaires in the U. S. Senate – several of whom are running for president.” More from Straub’s report: “Kerry listed a Senate income of $150,000 plus four trusts worth between $400,000 and $1.75 million. He inherited three of those from his mother, Rosemary Kerry, who passed away last year. The reports only require wide ranges rather that exact values of assets, so senators’ total fortunes can only be estimated. Kerry’s report also listed a Dutch painting worth between $250,000 and $500,000 that he owns jointly with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. Her assets were listed as at least $210 million. A study by the Center for Public Integrity estimated Kerry’s and his wife’s total fortunes at $198 million to $839 million. The study shows that out of the 933 assets Kerry lists on disclosure reports, he owns 87, his wife owns 844 and the couple hold two jointly. That means Kerry could use only $6.8 million of the assets for his presidential campaign. Heinz Kerry could, however, use her money for independent ‘issue ads’ that do not directly mention Kerry by name.”(6/15/2003)

… Headline from this morning’s The Union Leader: “After third Purple Heart, Kerry asked out of Vietnam.” The UL carried AP’s coverage of a report based on the first installment in a seven-part Boston Globe series about Kerry’s adventures – and misadventures – that brought him to his current presidential candidacy. Excerpt from AP report on yesterday’s first installment: “John Kerry, who was wounded three times during his time in Vietnam, asked for and received reassignment that allowed him to leave the combat zone in April 1969, six months before his second tour of duty was scheduled to end, according to a published report. Commodore Charles F. Horne, commander of the coastal squadron in which Kerry served, said recipients of three Purple Hearts could make such a request under then-existing naval rules and it was ‘above board and proper.’ Transfer was not automatic and was subject to approval by the Bureau of Naval Personnel, he said. “I never once in any way thought my decision was wrong,’ Horne told The Boston Globe, which examined recently declassified Naval documents and conducted interviews with Kerry’s former crew members and commanders for a seven-part series on the U. S. senator and Democratic presidential candidate. Kerry requested the transfer just days after a March 13, 1969 incident for which he was awarded a Bronze Star. Kerry, while under fire, rescued a Green Beret who had fallen overboard. Kerry had been wounded just moments earlier when a mine detonated near his ‘swift boat,’ the small vessels that made forays into the Mekong River delta.”    (6/16/2003)

… The Boston Globe – headline, “Show him the money: Kerry’s foes seen gaining ground” – reported yesterday that “Kerry, scrambling to reclaim the Democratic presidential fund-raising lead, hauled in $300,000 at four Boston events last week. The series of Hub money events Friday were part of an aggressive national fund-raising push by the Massachusetts senator as the June 30 close to second-quarter campaign reporting nears. Kerry hopes a strong showing can help him vault back to the front of the Democratic pack after he has slipped slightly behind in recent months. To stroke his fundraising machine for the deadline sprint, Kerry treated 110 major donors who had raised at least $25,000 each for his campaign to a special one-day retreat in April.” Excerpts from Andrew Miga’s report: “Kerry has successfully mined California’s Silicon Valley, where venture capitalist Mark Gorenberg raised an eye-popping $900,000 for the senator’s campaign at a single event, a March 13 dinner in San Francisco’s Palace HotelThe Kerry camp was stunned in March when rival Sen. John Edwards (D-N. C.) edged him in the first-quarter fund-raising race with a surprise showing of $7.4 million, much of them from trial lawyers. ‘It was a shock-and-awe moment for us,’ admitted one Kerry adviser. Kerry, assumed by insiders to be the early money heavyweight of the nine-candidate field of Democrats, raised a relatively healthy $7.1 million, but Edwards’ performance dented Kerry’s standing as an early front-runnerThere are also concerns in the Kerry and Edwards camps that Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), seeking to rebound from a poor fund-raising start, could make a surprise showing. Lieberman possesses a broad national donor network from his 2000 vice presidential race. Another wild card is U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), who also has built a strong national donor base as House Democratic leader over the years. A party source said Gephardt has pressed hard recently to boost his totals, seeking to forge a breakthrough.” (6/17/2003)

Des Moines talk show host – and former GOP U. S. Senate aspirant – Bill Salier said yesterday “the party of the rich has been redefined” by the fact that three of the four senator-wannabes (Kerry, Graham, Edwards) were identified as millionaires in recently released personal finance disclosure statements. On his KWKY program yesterday, Salier also noted that IA GOP Sen. Grassley made the Senate millionaires list – barely by a few thousand dollars. That, Salier said, made Grassley “the poorest of the Senate millionaires.”(6/17/2003)

Excerpt from the second installment of the Boston Globe’s seven-part series – “John F. Kerry/Candidate In the Making” – Kerry, asked whether he is certain a rule enabled him to leave Vietnam after three Purple Hearts, responded: ‘Yep. Three and you’re out.’ For the past several weeks, Kerry’s staff said it has been unable to come up with a Navy document to explain that assertion. On Friday, however, the National Archives provided the Globe with a Navy ‘instruction’ that formed the basis for Kerry’s request [to be released from combat duty]…The Navy could not say how many other officers and sailors got a similar early release from combat, but it was unusual for anyone to have three Purple Hearts. Kerry’s early departure meant he was leaving behind a crew that had suffered through many bloody battles with him. Worried that crew members would be killed, he arranged for them to receive a safer assignment… Then, at the beginning of April 1969, Kerry left Vietnam. ‘I thought it was time to tell the story of what was happening over there,’ Kerry said. ‘I was angry about what happened over there, I clearly concluded how wrong it was.’ By this time, five of Kerry’s closest friends had died in combat [including Yale classmate Richard Pershing and Donald Droz – “a fellow skipper who had provided support for Kerry on the day he won the Silver Star”] The mounting losses made no sense to Kerry. The boats went up a river, showed the US flag, perhaps killed some enemy, and returned to base without taking any territory. Six months earlier, Kerry had been a gung-ho skipper eager to lead his men and be a hero. Now he felt the mission had changed. He replaced his dream of a life in politics with a path of protest.”  (6/17/2003)

Kerry moves from antiwar protestor to Congressional candidate. The Boston Globe yesterday published Installment Three of the Kerry saga – from Vietnam to the Iowa caucuses. Our lead character has now moved from leaving Vietnam after receiving three Purple Hearts and has become an anti-war activist. Today’s Globe story started with a 4/28/71 phone conversation between President Nixon and his counsel, Charles Colson about Kerry’s protests. Colson tells Nixon that Kerry is “really quite a phony…He was in Vietnam a total of four months” – but does not mention Kerry’s three Purple Hearts, Silver Star and Bronze Star. An excerpt from later in yesterday’s episode: “Scott Camil, a former group leader [in Vietnam Veterans Against the War], said Kerrywas not as radical as some of the rest of us. He was a pretty straight shooter, and he came under criticism for things that weren't fair.’ Still, Camil recalled that Kerry's patrician image was derided by others in the group, which was mostly composed of working-class veterans. Camil said Kerry showed up in ironed clothes, while most of the others were rumpled. Camil said a member had tried to reach Kerry by telephone and was told by someone, presumably a maid, that ‘Master Kerry is not at home.’ At the next meeting, someone hung a sign on Kerry's chair that said: ‘Free the Kerry Maid.’ Kerry left the organization after about a year of participation and about five months after assuming a leadership role. Kerry says he quit partly to focus on a new organization that emphasized veterans' benefits; others say Kerry was forced out. In fact, Kerry once again was thinking of running for the US House from Massachusetts. But unlike in 1970, when Kerry was barely known, the antiwar movement had turned him into a national figure and taught him how to campaign, how to organize, how to raise money, how to use the media, even how to debate on national television. Kerry had battled the Viet Cong, the Nixon White House, and the extremes of the antiwar movement. Now all he had to do was persuade mostly working-class voters north of Boston to vote for him.”(6/18/2003)

… “Kerry says Bush misled Americans on war” – headline from today’s Boston Globe online. Coverage of Kerry’s appearance yesterday in Lebanon, NH, by AP political ace Ron Fournier: “Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday that President Bush broke his promise to build an international coalition against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and then waged a war on questionable intelligence. ‘He misled every one of us,’ Kerry said. ‘That’s one reason why I’m running to be president of the United States.’ Kerry said Bush made his case for war based on at least two pieces of U. S. intelligence that now appear to be wrong: that Iraq sought nuclear material from Africa and that Saddam’s government had aerial weapons capable of attacking the United States with biological material. Still, Kerry said it is too early to conclude whether the war was justified. There needs to be a congressional investigation into U. S. intelligence on Iraq, he said. ‘I will not let him off the hook throughout this campaign with respect to America’s credibility and credibility to me because if he lied he lied to me personally,’ he said.”  (6/19/2003)

Kerry finds energy dilemma in own backyard – of his Nantucket retreat.  Online headline from The Hill in DC: “Wind farm is an issue for Kerry” Report by Sam Dealey: “A renewed plea by presidential hopeful John Kerry (D-Mass.) to redouble efforts at using renewable energy has elicited criticism that the senator has failed to push adequately for such innovations in his own backyard. Speaking in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last Friday, Kerry called for a ‘new Manhattan Project’ to decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources and go easier on Mother Nature. ‘We can generate more and more of our electricity from wind, the sun, forest and farm products,’ Kerry said. ‘I believe we can and should produce 20 percent of all our electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Twenty by 2020 — now that’s a clear vision for America.’ It turns out, however, that it’s not such a clear vision for all. A huge proposed wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal, seven miles off Nantucket Island, has met with fierce resistance, including from some of Kerry’s well-connected constituents and neighbors, who look askance at the idea of peering at a 130 whirling turbines from their luxurious vacation retreats. Some residents in nearby Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, replete with well-heeled castaways and summer vacationers, say the wind farm would mar the view of the sound.  Kelly Benander, a spokeswoman for Kerry’s presidential campaign, said the senator is ‘waiting to hear about the results from the environmental impact statement.’ She said he would announce his decision when he sees the results. Benander declined to say whether Kerry would endorse the plan if the environmental impact studies turn out favorably for the massive project, known as Cape Wind. Vocal opponents are not waiting for such results. They include retired CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, who has a home in Martha’s Vineyard, and members of the Kennedy family. A number of roadblocks have been thrown up to try to delay the project or ban it outright.” (6/19/2003)

… Under the subhead “Vote for me, I’m a Chump!,” James Taranto in his “Best of the Web” column yesterday on wrote: ’Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday that President Bush broke his promise to build an international coalition against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and then waged a war based on questionable intelligence,’ the Associated Press reports from Lebanon, N. H. where the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam, was campaigning for next year’s primary: ‘He misled every one of us,’ Kerry said, ‘That’s one reason I’m running to be president of the United States.’ Well, actually, ‘every one’ overstates the case. The Senate vote in favor of authorizing force in Iraq was 77-23, with Kerry voting ‘yes.’ For the sake of argument, let’s say Kerry is right and Bush perpetuated a sham. In a hypothetical general-election match-up, who would you rather choose to deal with hostile foreign leaders: a guy who’s capable of pulling off such an elaborate deception, or the sucker who fell for it?”(6/20/2003)

In New Hampshire yesterday, Kerry says economy will suffer if estate tax repealed.  Headline from this morning’s The Union Leader – “Kerry says tax cuts will hurt the economy AP’s Holly Ramer reports from Concord: “The economy will not recover if the estate tax is repealed and President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans go forward, Democratic Presidential hopeful John Kerry said yesterday.  ‘We have to have the courage to say no,’ Kerry said at a Concord Chamber of Commerce lunch. ‘It’s a choice. This is a zero-sum game, and we deserve leaders who are going to have the courage to stand up and present real choices to Americans, not these fudgy ones that take us down a very wobbly road to a very dangerous place.’  The House passed legislation Wednesday that would abolish estate taxes permanently, but the bill faces long odds in the Senate. Republicans argue the tax must be repealed to protect families who own small businesses and farms and prevent their heirs from liquidating their enterprises to pay their tax bills. Kerry mentioned the bill yesterday when asked how he would reduce the federal deficit while paying for all the programs he’s proposed if he gets elected. He acknowledged it would take years to erase the deficit, saying money must be spent to spur the economy. ‘We will get back on that road to grow the economy out of this problem,’ he said. ‘The way I begin doing it is by saying we’ve got to be honest with the American people. None of this can happen if we allow the inheritance tax to be cut and if we allow the top rates of the Bush tax cut to go forward.’ Instead, Kerry outlined a half-dozen measures he said would boost the economy, including a “payroll tax holiday” that would exempt a worker’s first $10,000 of income from Social Security taxes. Kerry first proposed his payroll tax holiday in December, but emphasized it anew two days after one of his rivals for the nomination, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, proposed a middle-class tax cut to counter Bush’s strategy of portraying Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals.” (6/20/2003)

The Kerry saga continues. Excerpt from the Boston Globe’s seven-part – Part 5 – series on Kerry’s life adventures: “The thrust of Kerry's candidacy, however, was an attack on Reagan's economic, foreign, and military policies. Kerry was scornful, for instance, of the Grenada invasion, launched by Reagan the previous October to evacuate US medical students after a Marxist-backed military coup on the Caribbean island. At one point he likened it to ‘Boston College playing football against the Sisters of Mercy’. Earlier, Kerry told The Cape Codder newspaper: ‘The invasion of Grenada represents the Reagan policy of substituting public relations for diplomatic relations …no substantial threat to US interests existed and American lives were not endangered …The invasion represented a bully's show of force against a weak Third World nation. The invasion only served to heighten world tensions and further strain brittle US/Soviet and North/South relations.’ Campaigning now for president, however, Kerry is rewriting that history. As he accuses President George W. Bush of hamhanded diplomacy before the invasion of Iraq, Kerry often lists Grenada among the US military incursions he says he has supported. ‘I was dismissive of the majesty of the invasion of Grenada,’ Kerry says now. ‘But I basically was supportive. I never publicly opposed it.’ He draws a parallel to his recent stance on Iraq. ‘I mean, I supported disarming Saddam Hussein, but I was critical of the administration and how it did its diplomacy and so forth,’ he explained of a position critics say is a telling example of Kerry's straddling.  Ultimately, ‘war and peace’ helped Kerry carry the day. Even as Massachusetts joined Reagan's 49-state rout of Walter F. Mondale, Kerry held the Democratic base, winning all but one of the state's cities to thump [self-made millionaire and GOP candidate Raymond] Shamie by 256,000 votes, a 10-percent margin. More than 13 years after he rocketed onto the national stage with his antiwar speech, Kerry was returning to the Senate. Now, he would be a member of the club.” (6/20/2003)

… Headline from this morning’s The Union Leader: “Kerry threatens filibuster of Supreme Court nominee” AP coverage of Kerry’s satellite comments to Dem leaders meeting in Minnesota -- “Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Friday that he is prepared to block any Supreme Court nominee who would not uphold the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. ‘I am prepared to filibuster, if necessary, any Supreme Court nominee who would turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose or the constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties and on the laws protecting workers and the environment,’ Kerry said in remarks prepared for delivery via satellite at a meeting of Democratic party officials in St. Paul, Minn. ‘The test is basic -- any person who thinks it's his or her job to push an extreme political agenda rather than to interpret the law should not be a Supreme Court justice.’ Kerry, a Massachusetts senator and one of nine Democrats seeking the party's presidential nomination, is staking out a position favorable to liberal women. Kerry also has said if elected president he would only appoint judges who support Roe v. Wade, while his opponents for the nomination say they would not impose a litmus test on nominees. All nine Democratic presidential candidates support abortion rights. President Bush has said he would fill any Supreme Court vacancies with judges such as Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas, two of the most conservative justices on the high court who are presumed to favor the abolition of Roe v. Wade.”(6/21/2003)

… Headline from this morning’s Quad-City Times: “Sen. Kerry warns against distorting term ‘patriotism’” AP’s coverage of Harkin-sponsored forum in Mason City: “Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry warned Saturday against what he sees as an effort by Republicans to make support for President Bush’s foreign policy a litmus test for defining patriotism. Kerry pointed to his record as a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War and said Democrats must argue that patriotism isn’t defined by backing a sitting president. ‘We will not allow them to take away a flag that belongs to every single American,’ Kerry said. Kerry was featured in the latest ‘Hear it from the Heartland’ series of forums organized by Sen. Tom Harkin. Harkin has invited the Democratic candidates to make their case to activists committed to attending precinct caucuses next January that will launch the presidential nominating season. In recent campaign swings, Kerry has increased the focus on his military background, saying it gives him greater credibility to criticize Bush for his aggressive policies in combatting terrorism.”(6/22/2003)

Minneapolis Wannabe Roundup: In addition to the general coverage (above), the Star Tribune also posted online summaries of the comments by the respective wannabes. The summary headlines follow: “Howard Dean: Not willing to concede issues to GOP…Dick Gephardt: He’d shift from tax cutting to health-care funding…John Kerry: Not willing to take back seat on patriotism…Dennis Kucinich: One of first to step up against Iraq resolution…Joe Lieberman: Wants another shot at Bush…Rev. Al Sharpton: Brings levity along with passion” (6/22/2003)

Dean vs. Kerry, Round 115½: Headline from yesterday’s The Union Leader: “Stolid Kerry tries to ignore dynamic Dean” AP political ace Ron Fournier files report from Lebanon, NH: “Try as he might to focus solely on President Bush, highlight his own record of valor in Vietnam and polish his prose, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry can't escape his closest rival in the first primary state. Howard Dean's anti-war, Internet-driven insurgent campaign is a constant challenge for the New Hampshire front-runner. At times, the battle between the two has been personal; Kerry has tried to move forward -- with limited success. Consider this encounter with a Kerry supporter. Bill Hayes chases the Massachusetts senator down a ribbon of pavement at Colburn Park, his blue "Kerry" sticker wet with sweat. ‘Let me tell you about Howard Dean,’ the middle-aged Hayes tells Kerry as he catches up. ‘He's arrogant. He's got a temper. And he's too opinionated.’ The senator chuckles, nods his head and says, ‘We've seen it all.’ It is a glancing blow against Dean -- one off-the-cuff joke in two days of stump speeches -- but Kerry realizes the crack is not part of his campaign message and, thus, he quickly retreats. ‘I'm focused on George Bush,’ he tells Hayes, his hand on the man's shoulder. ‘I want you to focus on him, too.’ Kerry's strategy is to use his service in Vietnam to neutralize Bush's biggest advantage -- his stewardship of the war on terrorism -- and expose the president's main vulnerability -- the weak economy. Kerry did not mention Dean again in public -- except to express regret for mentioning him at all.” (6/22/2003)

… “Reckless accusations: Kerry and Graham smear Bush” – editorial headline from yesterday’s New Hampshire Sunday News. Excerpts from the editorial: “Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Bob Graham must have very short memories. Last week Kerry told a crowd in Lebanon [N. H.] that President George W. Bush personally misled the American people about Saddam Hussein's weapons capabilities. ‘He misled every one of us,’ Kerry said. A week ago Saturday Graham told a Manchester audience, ‘I hope that we find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. If we don't, not only will our credibility around the world suffer, but also people's confidence in their government. I am concerned that either some of the intelligence was bad or was manipulated in some way in order to create the impression that we knew absolutely there were weapons of mass destruction.’ They must've forgotten that last November the United Nations passed a resolution that read in part, ‘Recognizing the threat Iraq's noncompliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,’ Iraq must forthwith disarm and comply with all U.N. resolutions designed to verify that disarmament…The United Nations stated that Saddam did possess weapons of mass destruction, and [French] President Chirac implied the same. Yet we don't see John Kerry or Bob Graham proclaiming that the inability of American and British troops to find weapons of mass destruction makes a liar of the United Nations or Chirac — only of President Bush. Kerry and Graham are engaged in the worst sort of political opportunism. Were they decent men, they would be ashamed to say such things.”(6/23/2003)

IOWA PRES WATCH SIDEBAR: Self-proclaimed patriot Kerry – who, according to weekend news reports, warned against creating a litmus test for patriotism during a Mason City forum – was among 10 senators missing a vote last Friday on legislation aimed at improving American history and civics education. The “American History and Civics Act of 2003” would authorize $25 million in annual grants to establish academies for teachers and students of American history and civics. The bill was approved 90-0 by the Senate, but two senator-wannabes – Kerry and Edwards – were recorded as “not voting.” Graham and Lieberman voted for the legislation, along with IA Sens. Grassley and Harkin.  (6/23/2003)

Washington Times report from yesterday that Kerry – feeling New Hampshire heat from Dean – is turning to the left. Headline: “Kerry lurches left as poll show Dean closing in N. H. race” Excerpts from report by Times’ veteran political reporter Donald Lambro:  “Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is suddenly lurching further to the left in what is being called a politically calculated move to keep antiwar candidate Howard Dean from passing him in the pivotal New Hampshire presidential primary race. The senator gambled on the about-face strategy last week as Mr. Dean closed in on the polls in New Hampshire, propelled by antiwar activists who are angry about Mr. Kerry's support of the Iraq war. The shift has raised questions about Mr. Kerry's credibility and unleashed a barrage of White House-initiated attacks from Republican leaders. ‘It's clear that Dean is getting uncomfortably close to Kerry and that Kerry is going after some of the antiwar, liberal Democrats and independents who have rallied around Dean because of his opposition to the war,’ pollster John Zogby said.  Mr. Zogby said his latest poll in New Hampshire, which will hold the nation's first presidential primary in January, showed Mr. Kerry running just 3 points ahead of Mr. Dean, a former Vermont governor, and thus statistically even…Three days after Mr. Kerry refused to answer a question on ABC's ‘This Week’ about whether President Bush misled the country on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — saying, ‘It would be irresponsible of me’ to do so — the senator told an antiwar crowd in New Hampshire that Mr. Bush ‘misled every one of us.’ That flip-flop sparked a debate within Democratic circles about whether Mr. Kerry had hurt his candidacy by switching positions just to appeal to a major sector of his party's political base that is likely to determine the winner in New Hampshire…Some of the rival camps worried that the feud between the two liberals could so eclipse the rest of the party's field of candidates that it would push the party's image further to the left and leave the middle ground for Mr. Bush to pick up in 2004. Mr. Kerry's switch on Iraq also drew a sharp condemnation from the Bush campaign through the Republican National Committee, that in effect called the senator a hypocrite.”(6/23/2003)

Headline from yesterday’s Register: ‘On Mason City visit, Kerry takes shots at Bush, GOP…The candidate touted his military experience and said he supports a payroll-tax cut and ethanol use.” Coverage by Jonathon Roos: “Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry portrayed Republican incumbent George Bush here Saturday as a huckster who has left Americans with failed economic and foreign policies. ‘I am running for president of the United States to put America back on track,’ said Kerry, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts. ‘The one person who deserves to be laid off is George W. Bush,’ he added during a ‘Hear it from the Heartland’ candidate forum sponsored by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia. Each of the nine Democratic candidates will appear at one of the 90-minute forums…Kerry said that if he is elected president, he will do a better job than Bush of getting the cooperation of friends and allies. Kerry, a Vietnam veteran who first was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984, said he is better equipped than his rivals for the Democratic nomination to lead the nation because of his military and congressional experience. Republicans have tried to scare Americans into thinking that only they can protect the nation from terrorism and other foreign threats, he said. ‘We have to have a candidate that can stand up and not let them steal the flag, not allow them to define patriotism.’”(6/23/2003)

Headline from this morning’s Quad-City Times: “U. S. Sen. John Kerry visits Q-CKerry made a quick visit to eastern Iowa yesterday, makes more outrageous claim that he’s only senator to not take special interest bucks. Coverage by Times’ Rachelle Treiber: “Before rushing off to catch a flight and beat what his aides had heard was ‘very bad traffic on an area bridge,’ presidential candidate John Kerry spoke with a group of about 60 people at the Iowa Machine Shed restaurant in Davenport.  Capping off a busy day with appearances in Muscatine and Iowa City, the Democratic U.S. senator from Massachusetts promised Iowans he would continue to work for farmers ‘who are getting crushed by corporatization’ and to ‘give the voice of our democracy back to the average American.’  As the crowd and some of Kerry’s aides ate slices of pie, the man who called himself ‘the only senator to serve 18 years and not take a dime of special-interest money’ answered a few questions and told why he thinks the United States needs a new president in 2004. ‘Our budget has had its surplus entirely taken away,’ Kerry said. ‘There are 2.5 million more people out of work, and I think the one person that ought to be laid off is George W. Bush.’ The 59-year-old Vietnam veteran spoke about increasing health-care costs and said he is even more committed to lowering health-care premiums after undergoing successful surgery in mid-February to remove a cancerous prostate.”(6/24/2003)

Kerry stops in Coralville. Headline from yesterday’s Iowa City Press Citizen: “Kerry pitches health care plan in Coralville … Candidate makes first local stop” Coverage by Gigi Wood: “During a campaign stop Monday, presidential candidate John Kerry pitched a one-plan health care reform concept he said would lower costs and improve coverage. The Democratic senator from Massachusetts spoke to roughly 80 people at the Iowa River Power Co. restaurant about a variety of issues, from the economy to foreign policy. But the crowd was most interested in health care. Audience members asked Kerry about his views on health issues. With his tall frame silhouetted against the morning sun streaming through the restaurant's large windows, Kerry outlined a national health care plan similar to the program introduced by President Clinton in the 1990s. ‘I want to offer Americans the same health care program that the president and congressmen are enrolled in,’ he said. ‘Candidates usually only talk about bringing the uninsured into the system, but I want to make sure the insured Americans have better programs, too.’ He said if most of the country were enrolled in one program, premiums would remain low…A Vietnam veteran, he pointed out he is the only candidate who has served and fought in a war. ‘This is a dangerous world, we need to make friends, not enemies. We need to present ourselves to the United Nations as more humble,’ he said. ‘This president let us down. We need to build a peace coalition because it is difficult winning the peace, not war.’ Reducing unemployment and the country's oil dependency were other issues Kerry discussed during the morning meeting. He blamed President Bush for the country's unemployment rate.”(6/25/2003)

IOWA PRES WATCH SIDEBAR: An online “Quick Poll” being conducted by the Sioux City Journal reveals that respondents (495 so far) aren’t siding with Kerry in his charges that the president misled Americans on Iraq. Response to the question: “Do you support John Kerry’s position that President Bush misled Americans?” – Yes, 35.4%. No, 64.6%.(6/25/2003)

Kerry gets blistered in a satirical hometown commentary – and Harkin gets mentioned, too. The Scot Lehigh column is based on the seven-part series on Kerry’s background that appeared in the Globe last week – except that the headline says that Lehigh was writing about “The Kerry we’d like to see” An excerpt: “The Boston Globe's soup-to-nuts profile of John Kerry has run its course, and as is usually the case with Kerry, the story told inspires a peculiar mix of admiration and reservation: admiration for Kerry's courage, intelligence, and ability, colored by reservations about his egotism, expediency, and self-absorption. What would assuage those lingering doubts? Consider the fanciful scenes that follow. They are imaginary, of course - but wouldn't one feel better about Kerry as he runs for president if at least some of them had actually occurred? For example, what if, instead of traveling to the foreign policy hot spot of Nicaragua in early spring of 1985 with fellow freshman Senator Tom Harkin, Kerry, then a senator for less than four months, had played it this way? It was April of 1985 when Kerry took a call from Senator Tom Harkin. As he listened, an incredulous look crossed Kerry's face, 'Nicaragua? Tom, I've barely got my suitcase unpacked here in Washington,’ Kerry said. ‘'There's no way I'm going to Nicaragua. For the next year or so, I'm going to do what Ted Kennedy did when he first got elected. Keep a low profile, cultivate my colleagues, learn the rules, and pay some dues.’” (6/26/2003)

When he wasn’t riding a motorcycle around Laconia, NH, Kerry was warning of the proliferation of nuclear weapons – “the most serious issue in front of the country today” Headline from yesterday’s The Union Leader: “Kerry: Weapons proliferation nation’s greatest challenge” AP’s Holly Ramer reported: “The proliferation of nuclear and other weapons is the single greatest challenge facing the nation and the world, Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry said Wednesday. The senator from Massachusetts spoke briefly to about 50 supporters in an old textile mill-turned-art-gallery, where he was asked how he would have handled allegations several years ago that America's allies sold nuclear bomb materials to Iraq. Kerry said if elected, he would push for better tracking of such materials, enlist other countries to pressure each other not to develop nuclear weapons and ensure that all countries face the same thorough inspections. ‘This is the most serious issue in front of the country today, the world,’ he said. ‘I intend to go to the United Nations and the world, through NATO and elsewhere and put this squarely in front of other leaders ... I believe I can put this issue on the table and get the United States of America to raise to a much higher level the imperative of our doing this.’ Kerry said the nation has been negligent in approaching the proliferation problem, particularly in recent years. ‘We have failed to create the kind of treaty with the former Soviet Union, with Russia, which actually destroys the nuclear war heads that they're now dismantling,’ he said. ‘We don't destroy them, we're not even containing all the fissionable material properly.’ He also referred to the June 13 arrest of a man in Thailand accused of trying to sell a container of cesium-137 for use in a so-called ‘dirty bomb.’ ‘You know if we caught one, how many did we not catch? This is the most serious issue in front of the country today, the world,’ Kerry said.”(6/27/2003)

Apparently, the Washington Post’s Linton Weeks couldn’t resist the temptation – hands out awards for a Dem event attended by 7 of the 9 prez hopefuls. The headline: “Democratic Candidates Chew Over Their Chances” The report from yesterday’s Post: “Only two of the Democratic hopefuls -- Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman -- were missing last night at the Democratic National Committee's presidential candidates dinner at the Mayflower Hotel. Everyone else was there. More than 650 tickets were sold for the event, which raised $1.7 million, according to DNC spokeswoman Debra DeShong. The money will go into a pot to be used by the candidate who emerges from the primaries as the chosen one. Last night, in the cramped quarters of the hotel's Grand Ballroom, it was kind of hard to tell just who that frontrunner might be. DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe ran the show, recalling days of Clintonian glory and taking pokes at President Bush. ‘He has put a big old For Sale sign on the U.S. Capitol,’ McAuliffe said. With so many candidates and so little time, McAuliffe tried to hurry things along…he handed out awards to big-dollar Democratic donors like Haim Saban, creator of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. As each candidate rose and gave a brief speech, we, too, wanted to hand out awards…  • Flimsiest Excuse for Not Being There: Kerry and Lieberman were raising money for their own campaigns.(6/27/2003)

… The Boston Globe reported Friday that Kerry’s candidacy has been endorsed by Clinton defense secretary William Perry. Report Friday by the Globe’s Glen Johnson: “Senator John F. Kerry yesterday received the backing of former defense secretary William J. Perry in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Perry, who served as civilian leader of the US armed forces from 1994 to 1997 under former President Clinton, was scheduled to join Kerry [Friday] at a fund-raiser in Atherton, Calif., near San Francisco. He plans to provide military and defense policy advice for the duration of the campaign. Most recently, Perry served publicly as a special US envoy to North Korea, whose recent steps to develop a nuclear arsenal has triggered a policy dispute between Kerry and President Bush. Perry decided to support the Massachusetts Democrat based on Kerry's experience in the military and his support for defense in the Senate. ‘The deciding factor for me was his very strong role in national security,’ he said. In a statement, Kerry said he was gratified by the endorsement. ''One of the missions of this campaign is to return to the tough-minded strategy of international engagement and leadership forged by Wilson and Roosevelt in two world wars and championed by Truman and Kennedy in the Cold War,'' Kerry said.” (6/29/2003)

…  Six Dem wannabes go after the Latino vote in Phoenix. Associated Press’ Mike Glover, usually assigned to cover IA politics, reported from Phoenix. Headline from yesterday’s The Union Leader: “Six Democrats court Hispanic voters in Ariz.” Glover’s report: “Six rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, courting the large and growing Hispanic community Saturday, promised to overhaul the nation's immigration policy and enlarge economic opportunities for newcomers.  Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry noted his service in the Vietnam War, where a large percentage of those in the thick of battle were minorities. Many came back to the United States and found little opportunity, he said. "I learned how tough it was, how promises were broken," Kerry said. (6/30/2003)

Kerry main page

top of page

Paid for by the Iowa Presidential Watch PAC

P.O. Box 171, Webster City, IA 50595

privacy  /  agreement  /    /  homepage / search engine