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

October 16-31, 2003

… DSM Register columnist David Yepsen sifts through the squabbling at yesterday’s AARP forum in Des Moines. The bevy of six candidates (Dean, Kerry, Edwards, Kucinich, Gephardt, M-Braun) attended a 2-hour forum on senior issues, sponsored by AARP. The Yepsen column, headlined, “Pandering to old folks is center stage at forum,”…AARP's own poll of caucus-goers finds the single most important issue to a 50-plus caucus-goer is strengthening the economy and creating jobs. Which is why the candidates should have spent even more time detailing how they'd pay for their promises. Panders have price tags, and in the federal government those are too often charged to our kids …Two other observations from Wednesday's event:

·        Winners: Gephardt and Kerry. The two were forceful, informed and presidential- looking.

·        Ultimate panderer: Dean. The former Vermont governor once referred to "us rural people" during his remarks. Right. (Born to a wealthy family in small-town New York City, Dean attended that one-room prep school, St. Georges in Rhode Island, before donning his manure-caked boots and heading to that great land-grant college, Yale.)  (10/16/2003)

By golly, here’s a big surprisesome of the Dem candidates have (gasp) OVERSPENT their campaign funds. Which three? According to Thomas Edsalls’ article in today’s Washington Post, it’s (1) John Kerry (2) John Edwards (3) Dick Gephardt. And Senator Joe Lieberman just barely escaped going into deficit spending. Spending more than they raised, while preaching fiscal responsibility seems a poor way to campaign. Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post article: “Three prominent contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination - Sens. John F. Kerry (Mass.) and John Edwards (N.C.) and Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.) - spent more than they raised during the last quarter, depleting crucial resources as the Jan. 19 Iowa caucus and the Jan. 27 New Hampshire primary fast approach. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) barely stayed out of the red for the quarter, raising $3.63 million and spending $3.59 million. The third-quarter struggles of the four candidates, all members of Congress, sharply contrasted with the performance of former Vermont governor Howard Dean and retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who are campaigning for their party's nomination as outsiders. Both raised substantially more than they spent in the three-month period ending Sept. 30.” (10/16/2003)

The U.S. Senate may be ready to vote as early as today on the $87 billion request by the Bush Administration for the reconstruction of Iraq. Campaigning senators will be abandoning ‘Wannabe Trail’ and heading back to Washington, D.C. to cast their vote. Notable, is yesterday’s report concerning the yea or nay inclinations of the 2004 presidential contenders: John Kerry is his usual ‘no, yes, …uh, I mean… no,..well…’ And John Edwards seems closer to a semi-firm no vote. Joe Lieberman will cast a yes vote on the proposed amount.(10/16/2003)

More figures are available on fundraising efforts – and spending – by the 2004 presidential candidates, according to today’s Des Moines Register: (10/17/2003)
President Bush raised $49.5M ------ $70   M in the bank
Howard Dean raised $14.8M spent $8.8 M $12.4M in the bank
John Kerry raised $  4   M spent $7    M $  7.7M in the bank
Wesley Clark raised $  3.8M spent $107,000 -------
Joe Lieberman raised $  3.6M spent $3.5 M $  4   M in the bank
John Edwards raised $  2.5M  spent $5.8 M $  4.8M in the bank
Dennis Kucinich raised $  1.6M spent $2.5 M $785,000 in the bank
Carol M-Braun raised $125,000 spent $118,000 $  29,000 in the bank
Al Sharpton raised $121,000 spent $109,000 $  24,000 in the bank

Television ads for the Democratic presidential contenders have cost $6 million so far. And it’s still three months before the first votes are tallied in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, reports today. The Associated Press report on detailed spending. Excerpts: “Howard Dean leads the Democratic field in fund raising and ad buys, about $2 million. He is trailed by John Edwards and John Kerry, two senators struggling to show much for their investment. Dick Gephardt has spent less than $800,000, most of it in Iowa, and yet Dean has erased his lead in the Jan. 19 caucus state.” (10/17/2003)

… Targeting three of the Dem presidential candidates, -- Senator John Kerry, Senator John Edwards and former governor Howard Dean --  and blunting a fourth (Wesley Clark), U.S. Senator John McCain took the Democratic presidential candidates to task yesterday for not supporting the $87B Iraq reconstruction funding. The Union Leader’s senior political reports, John DeStaso, reports today that McCain had ‘harsh words’ for Dean, Kerry and Edwards. Here are some excerpts from today’s article: “…I’m not surprised that Governor Dean would oppose this,” McCain told The Union Leader. “I’ve lost confidence that he has any understanding of the national security responsibilities of a President.” Dean has said he would support the expenditure only if it was paid for with a repeal of $87 billion in Bush tax cuts — an unlikely scenario. McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, accused Kerry and Edwards of “pandering” to Dean and the liberal base of the Democratic Party by opposing the package after voting a year ago to authorize force in Iraq. “I’m very disappointed in my friends John Kerry and John Edwards,” he said, “because they know better than that. McCain also targeted the newest Democratic contender, Gen. Wesley Clark, who has taken no position on the package. “It’s very unfortunate, and I’m disappointed in General Clark,” McCain said. He said that “anyone who wants to be considered a serious candidate is obliged to express an opinion.” McCain, however, said he was “impressed with and grateful to” Rep. Richard Gephardt and fellow armed services committee member Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who voted last year to authorize the use of force in Iraq. McCain said they are now acting consistently in supporting the $87 billion package. “I’m sure this will cost them with the far left,” McCain said, “but I also believe they are acting correctly in placing America’s national security interests first.”  (10/17/2003)

Well, it’s official – the votes have been cast and the $87 billion for Iraq reconstruction is a ‘go.’ And as threatened earlier this week, both senators John Kerry and John Edwards voted “no,” senator Joe Lieberman voted “yes,” Dick Gephardt voted “yes,” and Dennis Kucinich voted “no.” According to the article in today’s, Republican political consultant Greg Mueller commented, “It's bad enough to be a dove. It's worse to be a hypocritical dove going into the election.” (10/18/2003)

… Democratic Presidential contenders Joe Lieberman and John Kerry told the Arab-American Conference on Friday that the Bush Administration should dismiss Lt. General William Roykin for comments Roykin made about Muslims. Lt. Gen. Roykin is the leader of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and is quoted as saying that Muslims did not worship a “real God.” According to the, Kerry called the Lt. General’s works “un-American.” (10/18/2003)

Dem rivals Howard Dean and John Kerry were both in Iowa Friday, repeating their stances on taxes and continuing their verbal sparring, according to today’s Des Moines Register. The article quotes Dean as saying it’s unlikely he’ll raise taxes. However, Dean has stated that if elected he will repeal all of the Bush tax cuts – something Dean does not consider ‘raising taxes.’ Semantics aside, the net effect of repealing the Bush tax cuts has not been lost on rival John Kerry. Kerry is vehemently opposed to a blanket repeal of the tax cuts. Excerpts from the article: “Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has called the proposal to roll back the tax cuts on all income levels the equivalent of a tax increase for the middle class. Campaigning in Des Moines on Friday, Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, said Dean's proposal would hurt those who can afford it least. "It would have a disastrous impact on families with children," Kerry said after addressing the Polk County Democratic Party's annual fall dinner. "Howard Dean thinks the middle class has too much money." Both men were in Iowa courting Democratic activists in advance of the lead-off nominating caucuses set for Jan. 19. … Recent polls in Iowa show Dean and Gephardt in a statistical dead heat with Kerry solidly in third place.  (10/18/2003)

AP story today highlights Kerry’s newest try to bring attention back to his campaign. Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, toured a community college job training site in Waterloo, Iowa, as he spelled out what he would do to support job training and education and invest in high-tech industries likely to create jobs. He put no price tag on the idea. His proposal includes giving $25 billion to the states in each of two years to help avoid soaring college tuition that have blocked many from higher education and tax credits for college tuition and vocational training. Kerry said the help to the states is needed because a sour economy and deep tax cuts pushed by President Bush have left them with cumulative budget shortfalls of up to $90 billion.  (10/19/2003)

The Manchester Union reports That Kerry speaking outdoors at the University of New Hampshire, accused Bush of sacrificing the nation's natural treasures in the name of short-term profit. "George Bush is the kind of politician who would cut down a tree and then climb on the stump that remains and give a speech about conservation," Kerry said. "George Bush has put pollution ahead of preservation, campaign contributions ahead of conservation, special interests ahead of America's interests." Kerry's plan includes:

·        Creating "green and clean communities": Kerry would reinvigorate the Superfund cleanup program, establish a task fore to identify toxins in communities and coordinate transportation and housing policies to control traffic congestion and sprawl.

·        Protecting public land: Kerry would require thorough evaluation before remote public lands are opened to new uses, reinstate the protection of roadless areas in national forests and put new teeth into requirements that those who lease public land return it to its original state after energy, grazing or timber operations.

·        Reducing air pollution: Kerry proposes reversing the Bush-Cheney changes to federal Clean Air laws, vigorously enforcing those laws and plugging loopholes in them.

·        Restoring America's Waters: Kerry would work with states and cities to tackle water quality problems, encourage the efficient use of water in industrial, urban and farming operations and restore wetlands and watersheds by enforcing the Clean Water Act.

·        Restoring America's leadership role on global warming: Kerry would focus on the development of an international climate change strategy to identify solutions that provide opportunities for American technology.

·        Reduce reliance on foreign oil: Kerry would create an Energy Security and Conservation Trust to reduce dependence on Middle East oil. He also wants to increase fuel efficiency and ensure that 20 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.  (10/21/2003)

Dean has the support of 33 percent to Kerry's 19 percent in the latest Franklin Pierce College poll conducted Oct. 13-15. The results for the other contenders are as follows: Clark- 7; Gephardt-4; Edwards-4; and Lieberman-3. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percent and interviewed 600 individuals. (10/21/20030)

A poll conducted by a group of Democratic political consultants called the "Democracy Corps" shows Gephardt with 27 percent; Dean with 26 percent; John Kerry with 16 percent; John Edwards, 8 percent; Wesley Clark, 6 percent, and Joseph Lieberman, Carol Mosley Braun and Dennis Kucinich each with 2 percent. Nine percent of the caucus-goers were undecided in the survey, which was taken Oct. 2-13 and has a margin of error of 4.4 percent. (10/21/2003)

Ed Tibbitts of the Quad City Times reports on the dust-up between Kerry and Dean. As Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean pushed his economic plan Monday in western Iowa, he and rival John Kerry traded charges that the other had changed positions in the debate over a middle-class tax cut. The dispute stems from Dean’s desire to get rid of all of President Bush’s tax cuts, while Kerry wants to maintain those aimed at the middle class, including the child tax credit that increased by $400 to $1,000. Dean’s campaign says a quarter of all households got no benefit from the tax cuts, while half got less than $500. And the governor says Americans know it is too much to expect increased services and retain all of the Bush tax cuts. (10/21/2003)

John Kerry’s website has a separate website on the environment if you want to get the full text of his environmental policies. By the way the website says that Kerry’s next Internet Meet Up is tomorrow. (10/22/2003)

Senator John F. Kerry declined to provide specifics yesterday about his televised comment Monday night that French and Russian officials at the United Nations were poised to compromise with the Bush administration on the eve of the Iraq war. In a brief interview in Manchester yesterday by Patrick Healy of the Boston Globe, Kerry said that he believed his information was solid and that he intends to focus on the issue in the coming weeks as he continues to critique President Bush’s foreign policy and attempts to distinguish himself from the eight other Democrats running for the White House. For more on the story go to: (10/22/2003)

The Associated Press has a story today detailing the history and current position of candidates regarding the issue of partial birth abortion.  The story indicates that the political pendulum is likely to swing back towards the choice side because women will are now likely to feel that Roe v Wade is in danger. This has been the historical pattern in the past. It is also due to the fact that after a success, either by pro-choice or anti-abortion, the successful side relaxes their attack. Of all the candidates, Dick Gephardt has the most checkered past on the issue. He voted with the Republican majority last year for legislation that would ban what critics call partial birth abortion. In 1996, the Missouri congressman voted to overturn then-President Clinton’s veto of a similar bill. One of Gephardt’s many missed votes earlier this year was the Partial Birth Abortion Bill. He did issue a release saying he did not favor the bill without a provision concerning the health of the mother. Speaking of missing the vote, Senator John Edwards did. That left Lieberman and Kerry as the only candidates on the floor voting ‘no’ on the bill. After the vote, Kerry’s campaign issued a statement accusing the President of managing a silent campaign against abortion rights. “This vote is a step backward for women, as George Bush’s stealth agenda to roll back the right to choose is pushed forward,” Kerry said. Lieberman did not have a press statement on his website despite the fact he is hiring new press people in Arizona, Oklahoma and North Carolina. Doctor Dean was outraged to learn that Congress was practicing medicine and said so. “This bill will chill the practice of medicine and endanger the lives of countless women,” said Dean. However, all the candidates received a pass from the Pro Choice group. “In general, we’re confident we’ve got nine pro-choice candidates, any one of whom would do a far better job than the incumbent,” said David Seldin, communications director for NARAL-Pro-Choice America. It seems that rather than question the strength of their candidates’ opposition to the bill that the invectives were spewed against the other side who was victorious. “It certainly solidifies the position of George Bush and the majority in Congress as being anti-choice,” said Kathy Sullivan, the Democratic Party chairwoman in New Hampshire. “In terms of the Democrats, the important thing is that they be pro-choice, not when they became pro-choice.”  (10/22/2003)

The Washington Post has a great story on the District pushing hard for statehood with its unofficial Jan. 13 Presidential Primary. The Democrat National Committee does not recognize the primary officially but says they are not directing the campaigns to stay out. The event is scheduled before both Iowa’s caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary.  The story shows that this is not quite the case as Mark Plotkin, a commentator on D. C. politics, recently had lunch with Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence McAuliffe. Plotkin said McAuliffe stood up at the table "looking agitated and screamed, 'We told every single candidate not to come into this primary! And if you report it, I'll deny it.' " Part of the problem for the candidates is that Sean Tenner, director of the D.C. Democracy Fund, has made participation in the Primary tantamount to endorsing the District’s statehood. He has also made it into a race issue, as the Washington Post article insinuates: "How can you just sit here and say you don't want to spend time with disenfranchised minorities in D.C.?" says Sean Tenner, director of the DC Democracy Fund, "so you can go up there and spend time instead with those . . ." (Pauses here. Should he say it or not? Settles for racial euphemism) ". . . those New Hampshire people. We aren't going to put up with that." In response to this problem, Sen. John Kerry has the trickiest position. Kerry volunteers have shown up at ward meetings, showing videos, handing out fliers, asking for votes. But when asked to elaborate, spokesman Leonard Joseph says: "The senator intends -- and let me say this carefully -- to campaign in D.C. He intends to campaign for delegates," which is a sly way of saying he is campaigning for the Feb. 10 caucus, according to the story. As the page 2 of the on-line story sub-headline says, D.C. Primary Puts the 'Pain' In Campaign for Democrats. (10/23/2003)

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry picked up his second labor endorsement Wednesday, receiving the backing of the 50,000-member Utility Workers Union of America. The union represents U.S. workers in the gas, water, nuclear and electric industries. It joins the International Association of Fire Fighters in backing the Massachusetts senator.  (10/23/2003)

Kerry, visiting the University of Iowa Wednesday, pushed a plan that would allow seniors/grandparents who completed a two-year service program to donate four years worth of in-state tuition stipend to their grandchildren. The plan would also give students who complete a two-year service program a stipend equivalent to four years worth of in-state tuition. Kerry also proposed $4,000 tax credits for students to use at public or private universities and a proposed $25 billion aid package for states to offset tuition increases at public universities. "Would I bet money on whether I'll see it if he's president in 2005? No," he said. "There's very few things I expect a Democratic president to get through a Republican Congress facing a deficit of billions of dollars," said Cary Covington, a UI associate professor of political science, according to The Daily Iowan. (10/23/2003)

Sen. John Kerry in an article in the Quad City Times recounts Kerry’s visit to eastern Iowa where he criticized Dick Gephardt’s claim that he was the chief architect of the Clinton economic boom. Kerry claimed that NAFTA was a key component in creating jobs and economic prosperity. He also criticized  (10/24/2003)

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who is at the center of several conflicts with the Bush administration endorsed Sen. John Kerry’s candidacy Thursday. He made the announcement in a conference call with reporters in New Hampshire. Kerry is in second place in New Hampshire, but polls have him gaining ground against first place Howard Dean. Wilson cited his and Kerry’s experience of challenging the government as central to the reason for his endorsement. In a conference call with New Hampshire reporters, Wilson said he and Kerry have shared the experience of challenging their government — Wilson when he questioned the "rush to war" with Iraq, Kerry when he challenged America's role in Vietnam -- according to an Associated Press story. (10/24/2003)

New Hampshire Zogby’s latest poll shows Dean earned 40%, compared to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s 17%. None of the other candidates have exceeded single digits in the polling. Retired General Wesley Clark and North Carolina Senator John Edwards are tied for third with 6% each. Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt received 4%, followed by Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman’s 3%. Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, former Illinois Senator Carol Mosley Braun, and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich each received less than one percent. More than half (57%) feel the Democrats should nominate someone with a political ideology closer to that of former president Clinton, while 24% feel the party should take on a more liberal leaning. Zogby International conducted interviews of 500 New Hampshire likely Democratic primary voters, chosen at random statewide. All calls were made from Zogby International’s headquarters in Utica, NY from October 21-23, 2003. The margin of error is +/- 4.5%. Margins are higher in sub-groups. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the voting population. (10/24/2003)

David M. Halbinger of the New York Times offers up a story titled, Kerry Still Dogged by Questions on Vote to Authorize War. While it is not a snappy title, it is a good snapshot of Kerry’s difficulty with the issue in his campaign swing through Iowa. Halbinger writes: In the interview, Mr. Kerry said that he was frustrated at the way the debate about Iraq was playing out and that he believed that Dr. Dean had escaped scrutiny. He said Dr. Dean had criticized him and others who accepted the administration's assertions that Iraq had unconventional weapons, although Dr. Dean himself had previously said he believed Iraq had such weapons. And he said Dr. Dean had expressed support for the same alternate Iraq resolution that Mr. Kerry and many other Democrats had preferred. It would have allowed Mr. Bush to go to war without further United Nations or Congressional approval, though it would have given him somewhat less latitude. That proposal never came up for a vote. "Nobody has paid attention to his duplicity," Mr. Kerry said of Dr. Dean. "We're going to have to point it out more, but he was allowed a complete free ride."(10/25/2003)

John Kerry is holding a campaign event outside of Tyco in Exeter, N.H. on Friday where, originally, he was supposed to talk about corporate greed. Now we can also expect Kerry to add words like tax loopholes, Washington lobbyists and Clark together in reference to Tyco’s moving off shore for tax loopholes. (10/25/2003)

Former Ambassador Joe Wilson is not only endorsing Kerry. He is also going online Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. EST. So if you want to discuss the leaking of his wife’s identity as an agent for the C. I. A., or his trip to Africa to find out about nukes, go to Kerry’s website and sign up. (10/25/2003)

IPW recently reported on Kerry’s visit to Iowa City where he announced his plan to allow grandparents to volunteer for 2 years so their grandchildren could get 4 years of in-state tuition. Now, Kerry’s education plan is spelled out in more detail in the Register. If you want to know more detail about his plan you can visit his website. However, don’t expect to find anything about grandparents volunteering there. His proposal includes:

·        "I Have a Dream Scholarships," which would provide an additional $1,000 for students to participate in early intervention programs that help prepare students for college.

·        A "College Opportunity Tax Credit" on the first $4,000 paid in tuition for each year of college. The credit would provide 100 percent of the first $1,000 of tuition and 50 percent of the rest. It also would make the credit refundable for those who receive other credits.

·        Fiscal relief to states to help stop rising tuitions, encourage colleges and universities to streamline services and reduce duplication, and keep students in college.

·        A "Service for College" plan that would provide the cost of four years at a public college to young people in exchange for community and national service. (10/25/2003)

The Manchester Union Leader reports on a Union rally in New Hampshire yesterday where Democrat candidates tried to outbid each other in their loyalty to the union cause. Sen. John Kerry, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, U.S. Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Richard Gephardt, and Gen. Wesley Clark faced the union delegation in separate appearances, answering the same set of questions on trade, jobs and health insurance. Gephardt participated by telephone. More than 100 vocal union members cheered relentlessly yesterday as five Democratic Presidential Primary candidates pledged to create jobs for the nation’s millions of unemployed and to keep American jobs from going overseas. (10/26/2003)

Even top Democrat operatives are suggesting after last night’s debate in Detroit that the Democrats are too shrill to win. However, it is clear that the Democrat candidates are finding a welcome audience among the primary going party faithful for the vitriolic invectives. Some top Democrats are arriving at a consensus that the Democrats’ hatred of Bush is greater than Republicans’ hatred of Bill Clinton. Jerry Crawford, a general in Iowa Democrat Party politics, commented on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press that all you need to do to fire up Iowa Democrats is say John Ashcroft -- and it doesn’t matter which candidate says it. With just two months before Iowa’s Jan. 19th caucuses, many top Democrats are hoping to hear more about offering Americans hope and a vision of how they will lead America. Others are concerned that the Democrat candidates’ focus on the War on Terror is misplaced. "There's a huge credibility gap our party has on national security — not because we don't have enough military medals, but because we have no plan of action," said Democratic strategist Donna Brazile in an Associated Press story about the debate. The Democrat candidates are trying to buck the historical trend of Americans believing that Republicans are better in foreign policy and Democrats are better at domestic policy in focusing on Bush’s handling of the War on Terrorism. American soldiers continuing to die in Iraq combined with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein whereabouts still in question could be like the shifting sands in Iraq if anything changes -- including another terrorist attack. Still criticism of the war and each other was the centerpiece of last night’s debate. Here is some of what the candidates said regarding the war:

John Kerry: "Our troops are today more exposed, are in greater danger, because this president didn't put together a real coalition, because this president's been unwilling to share the burden and the task. And I will tell you, the American people understand that."

Wesley Clark: "I didn't believe last year we should have given George Bush a blank check in Iraq. He said he was going to go to the U.N. Instead, he started a war. Now we're trying to give him another blank check. There's no telling what's going to happen."

Howard Dean: "I don't think service men and women do view my position as short of supporting the troops. I've made it very clear that we need to support our troops, unlike President Bush, who tried to cut their combat pay after they'd been over there and he'd doubled their tour of duty." (10/27/2003)

Kerry responded to Lieberman by calling on his Viet Nam experience, "Seared into me an experience you don't have, and that is being one of the troops on the front line when the policy has gone wrong." Clark was not to be left behind in the war credential department and cited his having come home on a stretcher from Viet Nam. Lieberman also launched into an attack on Clark for not being able to articulate his opposition to the war. Clark responded by saying that he had been consistent. (10/27/2003)

The Democrats’ assault on Bush and each other also centered on the budget deficit in last night’s debate. Clark failed to offer detail concerning his economic plan that would repeal some of the tax cuts and which he said would save $2.3 trillion over 10 years. He also failed to offer a time when he would offer more details. Dean stayed consistent and called for the raising of taxes with the repeal of all of Bush’s tax cuts. He once again claimed he could balance the budget in five years without cutting Social Security or Medicare. Kerry referred to an Iowa family that he said would have to pay $2,178 in higher taxes if Dean's program went into effect.  Kerry said that this would be the result in part of repealing the child tax credit and bringing back the marriage-penalty tax. Kerry also said we would reduce the deficit in four years. (10/27/2003)

Kerry’s website has a drive for individuals to sign a petition to honor Senator Paul Wellstone. The site says, “ One year ago this week we lost a great champion for mental health and so many important issues: Senator Paul Wellstone. There is no better way to honor his memory than to pass the Senator Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment to Act of 2003.” The visitor can then click on the petition and sign on-line. (10/28/2003)

In a poll done for the Boston Globe and Boston CBS affiliate WBZ, Dean continues to lead in New Hampshire with 37 percent of Democrats and independents supporting him. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is 13 points back at 24 percent. Trailing Dean and Kerry are Sen. John Edwards at 9 percent, retired Gen. Wesley Clark at 8 percent, Rep. Dick Gephardt at 7 percent, Sen. Joe Lieberman at 5 percent, Rep. Dennis Kucinich at 3 percent and Rev. Al Sharpton and former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, both at less than 1 percent. The survey was taken by KRC/Communications Research from Oct. 20 to Oct. 22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus five points. Lieberman in trouble: In the latest survey, 28 percent reported having a favorable opinion of Lieberman and 42 percent said they regarded him unfavorably. That's an almost complete reversal from six weeks ago when 46 percent viewed him favorably and 25 percent did not.  (10/28/2003)

Clark’s numbers are fading, Dean moves back to front, Gephardt moves up and Lieberman is in free fall according to the poll. The numbers are: Dean-16; Clark-15; Gephardt-12; Lieberman-12; Kerry-10; Edwards-6; Sharpton-6; Moseley-Braun-4; Kucinich-1. The other startling find was that the Democrats are going more liberal. Democrats are 39 percent in favor of a liberal up from 27 percent in August. Those wanting a moderate are now at 53 percent. (10/28/2003)


The Des Moines Register carries an interesting story regarding Democrat candidates’ position on medical marijuana: On medical marijuana. The candidates' positions on medical marijuana, according to their campaigns:

JOHN EDWARDS: Science is still unclear. There needs to be a high-level Food and Drug Administration commission to determine right away whether medical marijuana is the best way to treat pain.

JOHN KERRY: Supports the use of real science to determine the effectiveness, safety and need for the controlled medical use of marijuana. If scientifically warranted, and studied by an objective commission, the use must be closely restricted to prevent abuse and illegal trafficking.

HOWARD DEAN: As a doctor, he believes marijuana should be treated no differently from any other drug. It should be evaluated by the FDA for its safety and then approved if it is safe and effective, rejected if it is not.

DENNIS KUCINICH: Disagrees with President Bush's methods of "harassing medical marijuana patients" and instead favors medical marijuana being used to relieve the suffering of seriously ill patients.

JOE LIEBERMAN: Is aware of reports that marijuana may provide therapeutic relief for some individuals, but isn't aware of any reputable studies to support this. He opposes legalizing a drug that many health professionals believe has greater health risks than therapeutic benefits.

CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN: Is in favor of medicinal marijuana use.

Campaigns for Dick Gephardt, Wesley Clark and Al Sharpton did not respond timely to requests for information about their position on this issue. (10/29/2003)

They just can’t get along

If Democrat presidential campaigns aren’t gay bashing they are inflaming Jewish hatred according to the Associated Press. However, Sen. John Kerry upon hearing about the incident reported in The Arizona Republic that state Democratic Rep. Ben Miranda was trying to persuade backers of Lieberman to switch allegiance because the Connecticut senator, who is Jewish. Lieberman campaign manager Craig Smith issued a statement Wednesday morning calling on Kerry to "take swift action to rebuke these statements and disassociate himself from these individuals who have used these tactics on his behalf." That's just what Kerry did. Kerry spokesman Robert Gibbs issued a statement that said the campaign investigated the matter and found that no campaign staffers were responsible, but the campaign "severed its association" with Miranda. (10/30/2003)

Now it’s name-calling

Kerry at a book-signing event in Iowa City called Howard Dean, “Mr. Avoidance. The reference to Mr. Avoidance came up in a Daily Iowan interview regarding Dean’s refusal to participate in a debate in Iowa City with Kerry and Gephardt. According to the Daily Iowan: Kerry also made some noise by calling former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean "Mr. Avoidance" in response to his decision not to participate in an Iowa City Press-Citizen debate. The three-way meeting would include Dean, Kerry, and Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo. - the three Democratic front-runners in Iowa, according to an Oct. 22 Zogby International poll. "He ought to defend the issues," Kerry said. "It's inexcusable that he's ducking." Dean’s response: "If anyone is 'Mr. Avoidance,' it's Sen. Kerry for avoiding opportunities to make his position on the war in Iraq clear," said Sarah Leonard, Dean's Iowa communications director. She added that she did not recall Dean's campaign ever receiving any formal invitation to the specific debate to which it could have responded.  (10/30/2003)

Kerry gets NY endorsements

Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry received endorsements yesterday from two New York Democrats, Representatives Tim Bishop and Carolyn McCarthy. He now has the support of 19 House members and two senators.  (10/30/2003)

Book’s effect

USA Today is running excerpts from Walter Shapiro’s forthcoming book, One-Car Caravan: On the Road with the 2004 Democrats Before America Tunes In, in Today’s edition. There is the likelihood that the book could change some opinions about who to support. Excerpts:

“Even though Kerry was the only man in the room who removed his suit jacket in an effort to appear informal and relaxed, he came across as tense and a bit defensive. Kerry's presentation provided the first intimations of a flaw in his candidacy -- he tried so hard to be reassuring and was so conscious of the ''Massachusetts liberal'' label that he failed to make clear his rationale for running.”

“For Attie, who was Al Gore's chief speechwriter during the 2000 campaign, was about to re-enter the real-life world of presidential politics. The 60-page ''script'' under the TV writer's arm was really a compilation of a Democrat's policy positions and stump speeches, printed out on the only paper used in the fax machines of The West Wing. And the candidate who joined Attie for a drink at the Four Seasons was far more Heartland than Hollywood. [Regarding Atti’s meeting with Dick Gephardt and helping with Gephardt’s announcement.]”

“…in the midst of taping commercials for her husband John Edwards' 1998 Senate race, Elizabeth Edwards was asked by media consultant Tad Devine, ''Why did you marry him?'' Instead of the usual prattle about a good heart or love at first sight, she responded with an answer that captured the essence of Edwards' political appeal: ''I married him because he was so optimistic.'' (10/30/2003)

NRA blacklist

Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry wrote a letter to the hundreds of individuals, celebrities, authors, religious organizations, and businesses blacklisted by the NRA, to join him in standing up to the divisive agenda of the gun lobby and stand up for gun safety. For full details visit Kerry’s webpage.(10/31/2003)


Kerry main page


Paid for by the Iowa Presidential Watch PAC

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

privacy  /  agreement  /    /  homepage / search engines